JOY! That’s the theme of this week’s podcast. Adam Ferguson and I are working on an sound recording assignment for class, and I loved his idea of asking strangers the question “What brings you joy?” On today’s episode of TBD With LDT, I recount some of the answers we got, as well as some of Adam and I’s reflections — and I list some of the things that bring ME joy…..like Rhea Butcher and Cameron Esposito’s “Put Your Hands Together,” which is both a live comedy show that happens weekly in LA and a podcast that you can listen to anytime, anywhere! Check it out. And also check out a longtime friend and fellow joymaker, Chelsea Foy, whose site lovelyindeed.com is constant source of joy and ideas on how to make and spread it. Have a great week, y’all!
RELEASE DATE: December 12, 2018
Bethany Saint-Smith is a singer-songwriter, a poet, an autobiographer, a mother, a survivor, a force of nature — and a piece of the Universe glowing brightly. Of her singing, The Supreme’s Susaye Greene said, “Bethany has the instincts of an aged American blues singer. There’s a tug in the heart when you hear her sing that grabs you and makes you wonder what she’s lived through. She reminds me of the earthy Odetta of 60’s Folk-rock fame, or of Nina Simone’s scathingly sophisticated perceptions of life.” Bethany and I sit down and discuss life and barriers and human relationships in what will hopefully just be one episode in a series of talks with this incredible artist. Follow her on bethanysaintsmith.wordpress.com and find her on Facebook and Twitter.
RELEASE DATE: November 28, 2018
Greg Sidnam is a fellow MFA in TVFT student at Cal State LA, a technician, a director, a former actor, and one of those people who gives meaning to the term “don’t judge a book by its cover.” When we first met in Fall 2017, we probably wanted to punch each other in the face a little bit. But the thing about listening to others is that you often learn that there are more similarities between us than anyone could imagine. This episode is about life’s journeys, the unexpected paths that this life of art will take you on, and how it’s never too late to make discoveries and open yourself up to new experiences. We also argue about how graphic novels are NOT (and are) comic books…because everyone should read Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoirs Fun Home and Are You My Mother?
DISCLAIMER! From 12:03 – 12:39, there is a high-pitched tone that comes on over the PA system in the room we were recording in.
RELEASE DATE: November 14, 2018 (day before my 36th birthday!)
On this episode, I once again sit down with Jeremiah Ripley, a fellow MFA Actor at Cal State LA, and this time we dig deep into matters of queer identity, politics, acceptance, awareness, representation, and more. Progress was made in the midterm elections, but our world still has work to do — and some of that work starts by letting ourselves and one another shine, just like mama Marianne Williamson taught us.
RELEASE DATE: October 31, 2018
…aaaaand we’re back from Unexpected Hiatus Due to Life as an MFA Acting Student! The past few weeks have been tough ones, not just because of an intensely fulfilling school workload, but also because our country–our WORLD–is in a state of tremendous upheaval. Over the past two weekends, I was privileged to sit in the audience of two theatre pieces that resonated with me strongly, not only because of their own depth and breadth, but because of the intense connection and reflection on current events and current mindsets. Truly, these were reverential, sacred experiences, akin to the transcendent moments that occur in a church, temple, fellowship hall, mosque, or other places where people gather in faith. If you are in the LA area this weekend, you have a chance to partake of one of those experiences — Sarah Mantell’s “Everything That Never Happened” is in its final weekend of performances at Boston Court in Pasadena. GO SEE IT.
RELEASE DATE: September 5, 2018
August 20th marked the beginning of the 2nd year of my MFA, the first semester of the Teacher Training program, and Joel’s first year at CSULA. On August 15th, I got word that my dad had a stroke and was in the hospital. He’s doing okay, all things considered, and these past few weeks have been big ones. Balancing the emotional/mental/physical workload of school is already a big journey; getting to be a part of my Dad’s life during this is a journey all its own. This episode of TBD With LDT talks about stretching — how life stretches us, pushes us, and how growth often comes with growing pains as we stretch through and past the discomfort of unfamiliarity. Join me as I talk about some of the discoveries of the past few weeks. And as always, thank you for listening.
RELEASE DATE: June 14, 2018
You guys, life gets BUSY sometimes! But honestly, I prefer it that way. Here’s a little catch-up on what I’ve been doing, why my summer is so busy, why I prefer to stay busy, and some of the things I have planned for Summer 2018 — including some LONG held goals that I want to FINALLY accomplish. Thanks for listening!
RELEASE DATE: March 19, 2018
The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) has been posting a series of awesomely inspiring infographics, featuring facts/quotes from articles and studies regarding the positive impact of theatre on students. It is SO inspiring that I’ve dedicated a podcast episode to “Theatre in our Schools,” sharing a few of the EdTA posts with you and discussing the benefits of theatre and of arts education in general. Keep the arts in our schools and enrich the lives of children everywhere!
RELEASE DATE: February 12, 2018
Gary Thomas suggested that I talk about surviving tech week — that dreaded week before a play opens, when all elements come together for the first time. One thing I forgot to mention? Humor! Humor helps, even if it’s just laughing at yourself when there’s a snafu. Here’s some tips on staying calm, self-care, and creating a productive collaborative environment — tips that work for all disciplines, not just theatre!
RELEASE DATE: January 29, 2018
On today’s episode, Jeremiah Ripley and I sit under a stairwell in the Television, Film, and Media (TVFM) building at Cal State LA and talk about the things we do when we’re bored, music and music festivals and large crowds, and getting in trouble in high school.