15 Minutes: a podcast about fame, with Jamie Berger
Episode 9 - Matthew Latkiewicz
Intro: Matthew Latkiewicz is a writer, most recently of the book You Suck at Drinking - he’s also a graphic designer designer, videographer, creative director, and now TV-show-maker. His first TV series, the comedy-advice-show You Can Do Better, debuts on Tru TV on August 23rd. More important to my, though, is that Matthew, along with Sarah Reid are co-founders of the legendary - Lady Killigrew Cafe in the equally Legendary Bookmill in Montague MA. Ten years ago after nearly a decade and a half in San Francisco, I had applied and gotten accepted to the creative writing MFA at UMASS and had to find a place to live from 3,000 miles away. So I moved back east, closer to my parents and my Upstate NY roots, to Western Massachusetts to get an MFA in fiction. From 3,000 miles away, I somehow decided to move not to the college town, Amherst, nor to what I then saw as a wannabe San Francisco, the up and coming Northampton, but to a tiny village called Turners Falls, one of the five Villages of the town of Montague. I had never lived outside a city in my life before. At first, it was daunting. But I got very lucky in my choice of towns. The Bookmill was ten minutes away, and, quickly, the The vibrant, creative community that formed around Matthew and Sarah’s cafe became the social center for my dog Bo and me - it was my study hall, my writing den, bar, cafe, and, the place where my dog introduced me to my future wife - I’ll tell you that story another time. Matthew and Sarah were these two cool people more-or-less out in the woods who were obsessed with and connected to a community I had just moved away from and was friendly if not exactly friends with in SF, the world of Dave Eggers and Co’s McSweeney's Magazine and 826 Valencia educational and arts center and pirate store. The cafe and bookstore would even put on events by travelling McSweeney’s authors and related music acts. Matthew and Sarah sold the cafe and moved to Oakland several years ago, but we meet and catch up on one coast or the other from time to time. This Spring, I had a drink with Sarah, now an interior designer (smallvictoriesdesign.com) when she came home for a quick visit lately, and she told me that Matthew had just landed a TV show on the cable network Tru. So of course I thought what a great place to run into a friend, reluctantly climbing, or, maybe, being pushed is a good way to put it, up that Fame Wall. We talked on the phone about an hour before Game 6 of the NBA semi-finals, when our Warriors were just peaking, in Game six of their Series with OKC. *** Outro: (spoiler alert!) Creative Control, that seems to be Matthew’s main hope from fame. The ability to make the art stuff he wants to make for a living. He doesn’t seem to care how much fame, just enough to have that control. Don’t let Matthew’s self effacing nature that I’m pretty sure is about to make publicists cringe. You Can Do Better is sure to be at least an interesting show, maybe much more than that. We’ll see, when the show debuts on August 23rd, right before, or after, I’m not sure which, Adam Ruins Everything, on Tru TV. And then we’ll also check in and see how Matthew feels about it then! You will find many things Matthew Latkiewicz-ian at Youwillnotbelieve.us Coming up, episode 10! I’ll take a look back at some of what we’ve heard and learned so far, and reflect on the Wall of Fame and its many splendors. Talk to you then.
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.