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.
Eugene Mirman (re-edit/reboot) - Episode 75
Back in 2016, aka a zillion horror-movie lifetimes ago, my friend Eugene and I had a late-night conversation about fame, comedy, having a newborn baby boy, and much much more. I re-edited it to put it back out here on the occasion of the streaming release of the wonderful documentary "It Started as a Joke," which follows the decade long run of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival along with the parallel story of Eugene and his wife Katie's battle with her cancer. That may sound like a rough juxtaposition, but it's extremely well done. You'll laugh, you'll cry - see it, it's not like you don't have any free time right now.http://prettygoodfriends.com/it-started-as-a-jokeBest to all in these strange, tough times.-j
Beth Lisick (reboot) - Episode 74
Re-edit reboot of my 2017 two-episode conversation with Beth Lisick on the occasion of the publication of her great new and first novel, "Edie on the Green Screen." Congratulations, Beth!The episode starts with a serious #metoo conversation before moving on to lighter topics. So if you're needing light in these heavy times, after the intro, jump ahead about a half an hour.Best to you all, I wish you the best lives you can possibly live right now!-jamie
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.