125: Time to write. Podcasting during a pandemic (with kids).

In this solo episode, Tamara expresses gratitude for the guests and listeners of Artist Soapbox, and updates folx on the status of the podcast. Short version: After releasing 31 episodes in 7 weeks (8-9 months of content on the pre-pandemic schedule), Artist Soapbox is going on hiatus for a bit, so Tamara can write, complete other creative projects, and manage home/life responsibilities. She will get back to the podcast for occasional episodes (subscribe so you get them!), and in the meantime, she’s thinking about you and sending love. See the transcript below and listen to the end when the kid’s say ‘good-bye for now too.’

TRANSCRIPT:

Hey friends,

I hope that you are listening to this from a location that is safe and comfortable and nourishing and that you and your loved ones are well.

Over the last 7 weeks, Artist Soapbox has released 31 podcast episodes, plus a 6 part audio fiction series titled THE NEW COLOSSUS

That output is the equivalent to 8-9 months of podcasting on my regular pre-pandemic schedule. Whew, it feels kinda incredible to say that! It felt kinda incredible to do that.

I’m super grateful to the generous artists who spent time talking with me about their work and their creative process. Those conversations and connections have been life-giving to me and inspiring in so many ways. For me, each episode was touchstone, a reminder of who I am vocationally.

I am an artist, a writer, a creative being, a theatre-maker, a meaning-maker, a leader. I am a storyteller. I am a member of our creative community. It was a relief for me to be grounded in those identities while everything else shifted and tilt-a-whirled every which-a-way.

As you might imagine with that amount of content being released, the downloads for the last two months have been a huge spike for Artist Soapbox. The downloads for April are double my previous highest month over the last 2.5 years. It feels good that people are listening, and I’m hopeful that they found comfort, or distraction, or encouragement in the conversations. 

Here’s the deal though, dear listeners. As much as I try to delude myself, I can really only do one thing at a time. With both of my kids home, I can actually manage about .3 of a thing at a time stretched over an incredibly long day. Sometimes the .3 of the thing I accomplish is subpar — well-intentioned good-hearted, but sub par and full of mistakes. On the day I’m recording this, Governor Cooper of North Carolina declared that our schools will be closed for the remainder of this academic year and that summer and fall will likely be significantly altered. This is no surprise and absolutely the safest choice, but it is sad and sobering and yet another reality check where I’m forced to  reassess what I want to do vs. what is possible with these given circumstances. 

For the last seven weeks, I’ve been going hard on the podcast and that outlet was vital for maintaining my equilibrium. The focus was just what I needed,  just what I could do, and it pressed vigorously on my precious productivity button. And now I need to write — partially because I have deadlines I need to meet — and holy crap, I don’t know how I’m going to meet those how am I going to meet those? — and partially because — Oh my god, if I don’t do some writing, then I just might explode because where do I put these kaleidoscoping emotions and questions boiling and roiling in my gut and I’m punching them down but they rise up from the heat of my heart, and there are kids in the house –  how much daily tears-snapping-upset mama is enough to be truthful without being frightening  —  I’m not gonna lie, friends, the plight of the world and her people as a result of the pandemic — it’s getting to me. IT. IS. GETTING. TO. ME. TODAY.

All last week, we were dancing in the kitchen to the Moana soundtrack, making pillow forts and eating strawberries, but today and yesterday….whew, everyone here is brittle. My last nerve is shot. I am out of sparkles and sunshine. So, the podcast is going on hiatus for a bit while I write and breathe and endeavor to bend like a reed in this gale force wind. Here’s to more days of strawberries and hummingbirds and quiet cups of coffee at sunrise. 

How are you taking care of yourself?

What’s helping you the most?

What makes you feel like yourself?

How are you doing?

Talking into the void like this, it’s weird. It’s an odd one-way conversation, but friends, I just want you to know that however you are feeling, whether you are grooving in the kitchen like a dancing queen on the regular, or secretly crying in your backyard like I was today….you are not alone on this roller coaster ride. 

I’m pausing the podcast, but I’ll be back periodically, and I’ll be thinking about you in the meantime. 

A few more quick things:

  1. If you have the resources, please contribute to the businesses, nonprofits, and individuals in your community who need your support whether that’s moral support, financial support, or another kind of sustenance. (See list below.) Be kind and gentle to your tender selves too.
  1. If you want to stay current on all things Artist Soapbox, make sure you are subscribed via your podcast platform of choice and you’ll get notifications when I’m back to releasing episodes, and subscribe to get emails which include podcast episodes and blog posts via the ASBX website www.artistsoapbox.org. I’m on all the social medias too.
  1. I’m reassessing possibilities for Piedmont Laureate events for the remainder of the year. For the moment, I’m focusing on podcasts and blog posts. Here’s the PL website if you’d like to follow that too.

And finally, If you miss going to the theatre and you’d like to experience scripted audio fiction with immersive sound design, please listen to the 6 episodes of THE NEW COLOSSUS AUDIO DRAMA. It was an enormous amount of work, and I’m really proud of it. The amazing performers, design and production team deserve your attention and all the accolades. You can listen via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or the website www.thenewcolossuspodcast.com.

I’m grateful for you. I’m wishing you well. Thank you for listening. 

Tamara

RELIEF FUNDS + RESOURCES:

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox!  This episode was recorded at the ASBX home studio. Artist Soapbox theme music by Bart Matthews. 

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