15 Minutes: a podcast about fame, with Jamie Berger
Episode 49 - Mira Bartok
Mira Bartok is a dear old grad school and Pioneer Valley friend. We had a conversation about the Cinderella-story-40-plus-years-in-the making that is the last whirlwind two years of her career as a writer and an artist, during which, among other wonders, her debut middle-grade novel was snatched up by Hollywood before it was even sold as a novel or even finished! Here’s her official Bio: Mira Bartók is the author and illustrator of numerous books for children and adults, including The Memory Palace, a New York Times bestselling memoir and winner of the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for autobiography, and The Wonderling, the first in a middle grade series, published by Candlewick Press. A major motion picture of The Wonderling, directed by Stephen Daldry (The Crown, Billie Elliot, The Reader), is currently in development. Mira is also a spokesperson for TransCultural Exchange, an international arts organization that seeks to foster greater understanding between world cultures through artistic collaboration. She lives in Western Massachusetts with her musician husband Doug Plavin and their little dog Sadie. We spoke in October in her writing/art studio behind her house in Western Mass.
Michael Ian Black - re-edit/reboot of episodes 50 & 51
Back in 2017, I spoke to actor/writer/comedian Michael Ian Black for this show. At the time, I broke our conversation up into two episodes, each preceded by a long rant by me about the political and social injustices of the day. Well, it's the end of the year, and I'm exhausted by injustice, and decided to re-edit the conversation into a single, more entertaining whole. I think you'll enjoy it. We talk about fame of course, and about our mothers, about toe fungus, his feud with Marc Maron, the list goes on. Listening back, I found this, on how what's better than being a lead, the famous one, on a TV series, is being somewhere around 5-7 on the call list:"“If I knew that I would have an acting job for the next five years on a network show, where I didn’t even really have to think, it was just showing up, doing some scenes, having a free lunch and collecting a fat paycheck, I would like to do that for the next five years with the full knowledge that at the end of the five years I’d have enough money in the bank to write a novel, devote myself to the podcast, five years of being number 5-7 on the call sheet. There’s a sweet spot there that’s just ideal. I don’t want to be in every scene, I don’t want to solve the crime.”***I wish us all better times, and a free and fair election, in 2020.-Jamie B.
Episode 2 - Tim Lockfeld
My dear friend and former San Francisco Public Library colleague, skater, certified arborist, actor, adventure traveller, and raconteur, on how he brought punk and skateboarding together; the splendors and hazards of trimming Sharon Stone's trees; and other gems. A perfect example of the hardest-to-lure guest: the decidedly non-famous person who wants to come on a podcast and dig into the topic.It's still one of my favorites, back from when I didn't know what I was doing at all but sometimes it worked.Enjoy!-Jamie
That First Hodgman Episode from back in aught-16
If you listened to Episode 72, with John Hodgman, or even if you didn't (you should), here's Episode 1, as promised, with same. Warning: there's a lot of ambient, though not unpleasant, noise (of a busy bar) in the interview, and then rather low sound quality for the Judge John Hodgman meetup, which ostensibly wasn't being recorded for the podcast, but which I wanted to include here for the true JJH Stans out there jonesin' for a deep cut. Image is a pic from the poster for the event at the Rendezvous in Turners Falls, MA, back in 2015 (yes I dithered an entire nother year before launching the show - don't do that!), designed by Anja Schutz.