NaNoWriMo executive director Grant Faulkner joins us to discuss National Novel Writing Month. We discuss how the NaNoWriMo initiative promotes daily writing habits, community building, and leads to the galvanizing goal of a 50,000 word novel. Grant explains how social events and communication are at the core of the NaNo experience, how to survive writing obstacles – both situational and self-imposed – and how NaNo can jumpstart your efforts at a serious writing career.
We talk with Emmy-winning choreographer and comedienne Kathryn Burns. Kathryn has contributed dance numbers and movement direction to five seasons of Key & Peele, to the hit Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer, and to tons of productions with the Upright Citizens Brigade. She worked on Children’s Hospital and Another Period, and danced in a “Weird Al” Yankovic video. She also choreographed the Grammy-winning international megahit music video “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Kathryn is currently working on the critically acclaimed CW series, Crazy Ex Girlfriend. It’s a comedy punctuated by impressive musical sequences that heighten the absurdity but also showcase an immensely talented cast and crew. And, as a show flying below the radar of mass audiences, Crazy Ex Girlfriend manages to be one of the most hilariously raunchy, explicit, subversive shows on network television. There’s nothing else out there like it. The series has won a number of awards, including a Golden Globe and a couple of Emmys – one of which went to Kathryn, for her choreography routines.
We talk with writer Bonnie Burton, author of Crafting with Feminism: 25 Girl-Powered Projects to Smash the Patriarchy, which arrives in stores and online retailers on October 18th. The book features a forward from Felicia Day, and contains projects ranging from merit badges to googly-eyed tampon puppets, and takes an enthusiastic, tongue-in-cheek approach to both crafting and defiance of the patriarchy. Bonnie has also written The Star Wars Craft Book, You Can Draw: Star Wars, and Girls Against Girls: Why We Are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change. She is the former Senior Editor for LucasFilm’s StarWars.com, and is currently a freelancer writer for CNET. Bonnie is the co-host of Vaginal Fantasy Book Club, a YouTube series with Felicia Day and Veronica Belmont. We talk with Bonnie about the often not-very-lucrative business of being an author, and supporting writer-y pursuits with other work. She walks us through the pitch process for a crafting book, creating a viable product for existing audiences. And we discuss her long career writing for magazines and websites, from the early days of the web to the current, cluttered blogosphere.
We have a really fun chat with comedy writer Rob Kutner. He’s a monologue writer for TBS late night show CONAN, and also has five Primetime Emmy’s for his work on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Recently, Rob released a new audio mini-series called Runaway Brains, available exclusively on subscription-based podcast service Howl.FM. It’s a madcap comedic romp starring “Weird Al” Yankovic, Mayim Bialik, Michael Ian Black, Dave Koechner, and Ken Jennings. Rob has also partnered with Farrago Comics to produce the original series, Shrinkage, illustrated by John Lucas. Farrago Comics is a new free-to-read, ad-supported comics app, available now on Apple and Android devices. We talk with Rob about his career writing for TV, and how he broke into the late-night comedy business. We also discuss branching out into different media, exploring new distribution models, and how he attracted big names to indie projects.
We have a great conversation with Guy Birtwhistle, writer, producer and star of the indie science fiction movie Alistair1918. The film debuted at this summer’s San Diego Comic Con International Film Festival.
In Alistair1918, a World War One soldier accidentally time travels to present day Los Angeles. Filthy and penniless, with no way to prove his identity, he struggles to find a way back to his wife in 1918. Guy talks in depth about the creation process for the film, and his method for dividing the production into small sections over time to diminish costs and work around the schedules of his team. We discuss his career as a working actor in LA. And we explore ways ambitious creatives can make their day jobs work for their endeavors, rather than against them.
We talk with Hugo-award-winning author Mary Robinette Kowal about her new historical fantasy novel, “Ghost Talkers”, available now from TOR. We discuss how Ghost Talkers came together, and we also explore the other facets of her career, including her award-winning work as a puppeteer, and her side-gig as a voice over artist reading novels and short stories for other writers.
We welcome back Susan Eisenberg, the voice actor best known as the voice of Wonder Woman from Justice League / Justice League Unlimited. DC and Warner Brothers are currently celebrating 75 years of Wonder Woman, in anticipation of her big 2017 feature film. Susan has been playing the character in cartoons, animated movies, and video games for sixteen years. We talk with Susan about portraying an iconic character, the differences between voice acting in cartoons versus video games, and interacting with fans online and at conventions.
We talk with actor David Harbour, who plays fan-favorite Sheriff Jim Hopper in Netflix’s breakout original series “Stranger Things”. David discusses how he became attached to Stranger Things, and his reaction to its surprising success and intense fan adoration. We talk about the differences between acting for stage and screen, and the sudden spotlight after years of character work. And we realize just exactly which type of adventurer Sheriff Hopper would be in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign party.
This is a super fun chat with the dynamic musical comedy duo Paul and Storm! We talk about their upcoming JoCo Cruise, an annual vacation event they host with internet superstar musician Jonathan Coulton. We also discuss their work on the upcoming revival of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Plus, the weird path that turned a couple of dudes from an a cappella group into touring comedians and W00tstock co-founders, and now has them creating their own board game.
We talk with Lawrence Grey, producer of Lights Out, an indie horror thriller from first-time feature film director David Sandberg. Lights Out began as an independent short film, created by Sandberg in his native Sweden. The super creepy 3-minute horror short caught fire online. Lawrence discovered it, decided to collaborate with Sandberg to bring it to the big screen, and enlisted help from James Wan, the director of horror mega-hits Saw, Insidious, and the Conjuring films. They also assembled a talented cast, including Teresa Palmer, Billy Burke, and Maria Bello. Lights Out was produced on a micro budget, just $5 million dollars, but it opened with a stellar $21.6 million at the box office.