1024 – Tales of Lady Witchbeard in Review
A look back at what took so long for her return, it will involved a lot of meandering walks and character talks.
- Cease the Seas
- “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” – Looking Glass
- Brene Brown
- Errol Flynn
Notable Talking Points:
- Action figures, not emotion figures
- Lady Witchbeard is a dream character – what more could you ask for?
- What’s the worst thing that could happen to _________?
Episode 1024 – Tales of Lady Witchbeard in Review
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and my patron peeps, what up, patron peeps? It’s time for Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep.
INTRO: [INTRO MUSIC] Hey, are you up all night tossing, turning, mind racing? Trouble getting to sleep? Trouble staying asleep? Well, welcome. This is Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. We do it with a bedtime story. Alls you need to do is get in bed, turn out the lights, and press play. I’m gonna do the rest. What I’m going to attempt to do is create a safe place where you could set aside whatever is keeping you awake. Could be thoughts on your mind, things you’re thinking about about the past, the present, or the future, or just figuring, or figures, or figurines. Maybe you did…maybe you collect figurines or you like figurines, or there…there’s lots of other thoughts about figurines now that I’m thinking about it.
There you go, I’m thinking right in the middle of a podcast intro where I’m talking about thinking. Big meander there. But it’s thoughts, it could be feelings or emotions coming up for you. Maybe you’re taking your child’s figurines or your own and putting them in…I like to do that, put them in different emotional…whatever. I don’t know what you call it. It’s not a sculpture. Poses; that’s what they’re called. Poses. How come they don’t have that? They always say there’s action poses, but I’m…mine’s in an emotional pose. Don’t over-splain me. No, no, no; not an emotional pose. Please don’t…different emotions. Now with the ability to emote. G.I. Joe, 20…the G.I. Joe, the Scooter Collection, now with the ability to emote. This one says oh, huh.
That’s the Calculator, the newest member of G.I. Joe, whose job is to calculate. Oh, no; gotta redo those numbers again with…you can pose them emotionally and the ability to emote. Not real…no, G.I. Joes do not come with the ability to actually emote. It’s only a…is mostly in your imagination, including G.I. Joe, Scooter Edition. Only in Scooter’s imagination. Available for a limited time only in this intro. Okay, so, you could be…feelings coming up for you, it could be physical sensations, it could be changes in time, temperature, routine. You could be going through something, you could have…you could be anticipating something positive. Whatever it is that’s keeping you awake, I’m here to keep you company and take your mind off of it.
If you’re having any things…conflicts related to figurines, I’m sorry that I had to bring all this up for you. So, I do apologize. I’ve made a fuh out of…I and G, the -ine and -gine. Figure…you…figure…I’ve made a F out of I and U, ‘cause you can’t spell ‘figurine’ without those…some of those letters, I think. Okay, so, it could be thoughts, feelings, physical sensations. Whatever’s keeping you awake, I’m gonna try to keep you company and take your mind off that, like I said. The way I’m gonna try to do that is I’m gonna send my voice across the deep, dark night and attempt to create a safe place for you where you could set aside that stuff.
So, I send my voice across the deep, dark night, I use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones, which are neither traditional nor traditionally soothing, but they do…they are…eventually, for most people that like the show, they’re soothing. So, yeah, just see how it goes with the lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones. Pointless meanders and superfluous tangents; I don’t know how many I’ve had already tonight, but multiple ones. I mean, how many times do we get to do a toy launch in an intro out of a thousand episodes? What do you say, 500 times? 450? If you count imaginary fun leisure centers and toys, probably…yeah, 700. I don’t know. Not too often. Oh, what was I talking about? Take your mind…oh, pointless meanders. I just got caught in another one. But all to keep you company and take your mind off of stuff.
Also repetitive words, filler words, like I said at the open. But here’s the things to know; if you’re new, one, the most important thing is you getting the sleep you need. You deserve a safe place. You deserve a place of respite. You are important and your sleep is important. While I cannot provide that for everybody, at least I can get that message across to you. That’s the truth; you deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve a bedtime you don’t dread or that’s not filled with rigmarole. You deserve a bedtime you can ease into, and if I could be a part of that, it would be my honor because one, it makes the world a better place if you get the rest you need and your life is more manageable.
Two, I’ve been there, tossing, turning, mind racing, trouble getting to sleep, trouble staying asleep, all…think…thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, all that stuff I’ve dealt with. So, while I might not know exactly what you’re going through, between me and all the other listeners that are here right now with us, we know some of the underlying feelings of how it feels, and it doesn’t feel good. So, again, if I can help with that, it’s important to me, and it’s also important to a lot of other people listening with you right now. They believe it. They believe…I can hear the regular listeners nodding their heads when I say you’re important and your sleep’s important. So, that’s one thing. The flip side of it is that this podcast just doesn’t work for everybody.
That’s what makes it work, in some sense, is it doesn’t…it’s not for everybody, but I hope it’s for you. It does have a…whatever that’s called, a high tier…a high bar of acceptance or…I don’t know what it is. Not everybody buys it, just like you’d say I’m…I played with action figures, not emotion figures. I say well, it’s time for a change. Time to rearrange their poses into emotion…emotive. It’s like, these are…this was the original emoticon. That’s what my…that’s what the Calculator drives around in, the original emoticon. It doesn’t look like an emoticon because it was before there were emoticons. You say hold on, Scoots; why would the Calculate…wouldn’t…shouldn’t the feel…somebody else be driving around in the…? I’d say probably you’re right about that. But whatever…okay, where was I?
Oh, this podcast just isn’t for everybody. It does take a few tries. That’s what hundreds of thousands of people have said. Took a few tries. I didn’t like the podcast at first or I tried to listen or I tried to pay attention. It took a few tries ‘til I realized oh, this podcast will never make any sense, and that’s why it works. So, give it a few tries. Other things that create…that is different about the show; one, it’s a podcast you don’t listen to, or you just kinda barely listen. You can listen to it just like sand going through your hands. You’re kind of holding onto it but it’s also flowing through. So, it’s a podcast you don’t listen to. It also doesn’t put you to sleep. I’m here to keep you company while you fall asleep.
I’m here to be your bore-friend, your company in the deep, dark night, your bore-bae, your bore-cuz, your bore-sib, your bore-bud, your bore-bestie, maybe one day. I’m here to make things feel a little bit less lonely and to say oh, I have someone I could listen to if I need to, ‘cause if you can’t sleep, I’m here. I’m here the whole night long. If you need episode after episode, queue them up. I’ll be here. So, that’s one thing to know, is that yeah, I’m here whether you’re awake or asleep, and that you could kinda just barely listen to me. The other thing that makes the show hard for new people is the structure of the show, but I want to tell you why the show is structured the way it is and what to expect, even though it’s like, ten minutes into the show already. Probably even further.
But so, show starts off with a greeting that’s important and silly. I say, ladies and gentlemen, friends beyond the binary, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Then I usually say something a little bit goofy so that you say okay, I’m welcome here. Hopefully I feel seen and I get the tone of the show; a little bit goofy. Then there’s support for the show, because I like the podcast to come out twice a week for free. Then there’s support for listeners, then there’s support for the community, then there’s our intro which we’re now ten or eleven minutes into, I think. People will say what, is this part of the business or what…twenty minutes of housekeeping? I can hear…my critic says stuff like that all the time, too, so I get it.
But no, the intro is a show within a show and it serves a very, very important purpose to me because it’s the transition between daytime and bedtime or wake and sleep. It’s the middle place. The intro; it’s at the beginning but it’s really the middle place. The intro; it’s the in-between. It’s not the upside-down. Oh, no, no, no. It’s the in-between because it’s between when you’re waking up and when you’re falling asleep or when you’re awake, or…yeah, not waking up, ‘cause that would be confusing. Sleep With Me, the pod…you could listen to Sleep With Me after you wake up if you’re trying to go back to sleep. I mean, people do do that at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning, or even 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning.
But anyway, so, the intro goes on and on and on with me kinda failing to effectively describe the show. It’s different every time, and that’s why it’s a show within a show, so that you have something familiar to listen to but it has some variety. So, you say, Scoots has never talked about action figures that emote with emoticons and all that stuff before that he remembers, even though some of you might say, except five intros ago when you were talking about it. I say, really? Did they have emotional poses? There’s actually one I have; Curious Poses, just like the song. Is there a song with Curious Poses? ‘Cause I do have one; leaning forward, one hand on its elbow, the other underneath its chin, leaning forward curiously. That character’s called The Barker.
Nothing to do with carnivals, but…just ‘cause that’s what I named the character just now in my mind. That was the first word that popped in my head. The Barker in a curious pose. Oh, the…’cause that was right before doves flew, right, was Curious Poses? Anyway, where was I? Oh, the intro. It goes on and on and on but it’s different every time because for a lot of listeners…there are 2% of people that skip the intro. There’s a few percentage of people that sleep through the intro. That’s awesome; either way. Then there’s a few thousand people on Patreon that listen to story-only episodes. But for a lot of other listeners, the intro’s part of their wind-down.
So, whether they start it as they’re getting ready for bed or they’re in their room doing some sort of other chill activity or they’re in bed, the intro’s part of them easing into bedtime, slowly dialing the day away. That’s just what works from what I’ve researched and for what works for me, is having a wind-down routine. So, the intro is like oh, you get to listen to Scoof…Scoof goof around during…and maybe doodle or whatever it is. So, that is the intro. Then there’s support between the intro and the bedtime story. That’s just another part of coming out twice a week for free. Then there will be our bedtime story. This will be the tail-end of our Tales of Lady Witchbeard before we move onto our next series. So, we’ll talk about that, and then there’s thank-yous at the end.
So, that’s the structure of the show, that’s why I make the show, that’s kinda what to expect, but it’s very different, so give it a few tries. It’s free and I really do hope it works for you, or at sleepwithmepodcast.com/nothankyou are tons of other sleep audio or sleepy stuff, so check that out. But I’m glad you’re here. I work really hard, I yearn and I strive, and I really hope I can help you fall asleep. Thanks again for coming by, and here’s a couple of ways I’m able to do it for you for free twice a week.
Alright, hey everybody, it’s Scoots here and this is the Tales of Lady Witchbeard, Episode 13, where we look back at the series, maybe take a little Saturday morning preview of what’s coming up in our next couple series. So, yeah, I’ll just have Antonio introduce things right now since we’re doing this a little bit different. Ah, the friends beyond the binary, the ladies, the gentlemen, the boys, the girls, it’s time for a recap of Tales of Lady Witchbeard. Splish, splash. Yeah. Alright, thanks, Antonio. So, let’s see. So, this is the kinda episode…you could listen to this first and then listen to all the Lady Witchbeard episodes, or you could listen to this separately. This is kind of our look-back episodes. I started doing this years ago, like a series wrap-up, as long as we have time to do it.
One, because I found it’s very sleepy for most people. They sleep right through it, which is great. Then two, there are some people in the audience that are creative and want to hear kinda some of the processes behind the show and sleep to it, or listen to it optionally to chill out, or both, ‘cause usually that’s on a realist…and you know, here’s a funny thing if you’re listening to that…for that reason; I do recommend setting a timer because it is hard to focus on Sleep With Me in general, and just listen to it in ten-minute chunks. Probably ten minutes is your max. I mean, I listen to…when I’m doing a really focused listen to the show, yeah, I’m doing it in fifteen-minute chunks. But I’ve been doing it for thousands of episodes. Or, excuse me, a thousand plus episodes. A little pro-am tip from Scoots.
So, we did Season 2 of Lady Witchbeard. This, I believe, was our longest stretch between a Season 1 and a Season 2…is possibly one of my…I mean, not possibly; it’s definitely…Lady Witchbeard is one of my favorite characters to work with and to think about, especially…I mean, this is weird; Lady Witchbeard probably is the character I feel like lives the most life in-between the Sleep With Me episodes. As opposed to other characters, she inhabits more of a space of where…I’m only getting…we’re only getting exposed to a segment of her life, probably…normally her life is even more exciting than it would be on a episode of Sleep With Me. So, I don’t know…so, there was a long delay.
So, what I’ll do for this episode is I’ll run through the history of Lady Witchbeard and maybe if I can find it, we’ll take a deep dive into the first episode she ever appeared on, and kinda talk about the series and where things went, and then see what our time’s like and go from there. I guess the first thing I want to address though, is why…I get a lot…I definitely am not in a position where I can take any episode submission ideas. I put that on our website and I try to let people know that. That’s non…but even…understandably, people say hey, when’s this…that’s not a episode submission idea. It’s more like hey, when can you do a second season or another season, or when are these characters coming back? Because understandably, everybody has their favorite characters and…just like I’m the same way.
When’s this series gonna have its Season 2 or Season 3 or when’s this movie coming back out with this recurring character, or when’s this person putting out their next movie? I don’t care what…if it’s…so, I’m just a fan of theirs. So, totally understand that. Lady Witchbeard is one of those ones where it’s like, I think people stopped asking ‘cause the episodes became so far back in the archives they fell out of the free feed. So, there was just Lady Witchbeard superfans. There was a long gap; I think Lady Witchbeard was…wasn’t one of the first series we did ‘cause the first three series were…well, the first two ones that stuck were Besos and After the Glass Slipper. So, I don’t know if it was the series after those both concluded, so that would have put it in like, Year 2 of the podcast, maybe, or…I don’t know.
I’d have to look and maybe we could do that as well, but it was such a long gap because…a lot of interesting things, and I may have talked about some of this, so excuse me. I’ll probably be inaccurate and if you look back at my answers at other times, I’ll probably be remembering things in a different way than I remembered them in the past, and I might even be wrong about a lot of facts. That’s just the nature of Sleep With Me and my brain and the way it works. I’m very imperfect and I remember…my memory does not work like a recording device. It’s more of an impressions device. But so, the biggest reason for the gap of Lady Witch…between seasons of Lady Witchbeard is just, there was not a story worthy…like, that says why…I’m trying to think of the phrasing of the question.
Then I say, but like, well, is this…is there a reason to make a Season 2 of Lady Witchbeard? Until a story or a concept comes up, the answer’s normally no, let’s just wait, or what…if I’m discussing it with myself, it’s like oh, what ideas do you have? Well, I don’t know. I just miss her. Okay, well, it’s probably not enough to produce twelve new episodes, so let’s just wait and see. Because Sleep With Me is independent, I don’t have outside pressure to say okay, when is this new series gonna be done? It’s not a matter…this isn’t a matter of perfectionism ‘cause it’s more like it’s pre…it’s whatever you call that, where you’re saying okay, when there’s enough juice here to push a series forward, then the series will be ready to get pushed forward.
So, it’s not like procrastinating or avoidance or saying I’m waiting for the perfect idea, ‘cause it’s definitely never a perfect idea. It’s more of like, can this concept or idea sustain a series? In a sense, not is it worthy of being a…is it gonna make great material; is it worthy of the characters in the story? Again, can it come up…can we get about twelve hours…is it sustainable in the sense of like, is there twelve hours of material there? Because that’s a lot, and a lot of writing. In order to do that, it’s like okay, there has to be something conceptually…now, in Season 2s or Season 3s of a series with Sleep With Me, there is an extra advantage which was not…well, I guess it was in this case, but I wasn’t able to lean on it. But maybe I was, of having an established relationship with the characters.
That’s something I talk about a lot of times. That does come with extra responsibility, so it doesn’t make it any easy to kick off the season. But once you start writing, it’s easier to get into a groove because you know the characters a little bit better. Now, it had been a long time since I worked with these characters, and one of the difficulties of Season 1, it was that Lady Witchbeard was such an amazing character that…a witch who was a pirate; what more can you ask for, right? You say holy cow, that’s a dream character. I mean, that’s what I…in my opinion. I say well, I can just see any number of amazing people being Lady Witchbeard or portraying Lady Witchbeard or creating an animated Lady Witchbeard, because the idea of a witch who’s a pirate is just endlessly fascinating to me.
Then Lady Witchbeard herself is a complicated character, but she’s also kind of in the similar…I don’t think…I guess she is…I don’t know if she’s heavily influenced by Star Trek: The Next Generation or somebody like Picard, because she is different than Picard, and I haven’t seen a lot of Captain Janeway, so I can’t say that she’s influenced by Captain Janeway. But I’d say she’s as competent as Picard. Maybe she’s a little more Riker. I’m trying to think. But she’s definitely influenced by the competence of the crew of the Enterprise and the command structure of the Enterprise. She’s an incredibly competent character, though she is not constrained in the same ways by a Federation, so she is different in that sense, is…and that’s kinda one of the cool things I was able to do…or that I had fun with with this series.
But one of the difficulties of that is when you’re prepping something like that in Season 1, I had less experience too, but…say oh boy, this is gonna be amazing because it’s gonna be Lady Witchbeard’s story and she’s gonna take things from the beginning to the end. We had a pretty strong concept which was…the simplest version was Lady Witchbeard heard the Neil Young song about Hernan Cortez. Then she said okay, I don’t like this guy. Let’s go find him and teach him some manners. That’s a very, very…I don’t know. It’s still a juicy concept of…drives a lot of Sleep With Me. But in this version, we went to kind of an alternative reality, but we went kinda back in time. I think…we definitely weren’t in our universe because things were much more surreal and magical.
So, it had this magical realism-type feel, or that’s what I was going for, I guess. But once we got there, it became a lot more…germ kinda took over, the character that I was playing kind of as myself. In some sense, it was a character…the Scooter-type character. But there was a lot of surreal, fun stuff that happened, but it wasn’t a straight…it was definitely not even…it was a very meandering plot line, and over-complicated and…in a good way, but it wasn’t as straight…I mean, it obviously couldn’t be because that’s not the job of Sleep With Me, but I still thought Lady Witchbeard would carry that series as a character. But instead she ended up being kind of the B character.
I guess that’s the sense of…I remember at the time I was very frustrated and I even was e-mailing with somebody that wrote comic books for one of the big comic book companies, and they said I can’t…really, they were trying to be kind about it, but they said well, you’re lucky that this character, she’s making her own decisions and her decision is to step out of the spotlight. You gotta respect that because I gotta write characters that…they don’t…I don’t get to give them that breathing room. I have to write a character that’s somebody else, that has all these expectations and lack of choice, and use those creative constraints so the characters have to behave a certain way or have to fit a certain thing. Here, you’ve got this character and she’s just doing…she gets to do what she wants. That’s a pretty good problem to have.
I think that was early on, so…in the series, and I can remember I think reading the message when I was eating my lunch. I don’t know if I was on a run, but I remember I was in…this is when I worked at the library and I was on my break, in Fremont, California at this lake; Stevenson, I think it’s called, which is where I would eat my lunch and take my lunch breaks or go for a run and then eat my lunch at my desk. So, I just remember that season. I don’t remember much about it because I haven’t re-listened to it. It had some things — if I can recall correctly — that I liked. It was more slapstick. Lady Witchbeard was much…because it was more in the R-rated, PG…strong PG-13, like Lady Witchbeard was much…her temper was much more foul and she was a little bit harder around the edges.
I was her…I wanted to be her sidekick even then. She was kinda burdened with germ at the time, now Daw. So, I don’t know. I had fun with that series. I really liked how it turned out, looking back on it and seeing how many wild things happened, and also that it was a sleep podcast where Lady Witchbeard was going back or going in time to destroy a conquistador. That’s such…I mean, you can’t say anything other than that’s so Lady Witchbeard. That’s exactly what she would do. So, that’s when I…you know you have a good character. It’s like okay, if Lady Witchbeard did hear that Neil Young song and listened to it and said wait, are these the lyrics? Who is this guy? That’s exactly the choice she would make.
Now, that kinda leads into the delay of seasons, is when you have a character that is that specific and kind of, I guess, fully-formed or pretty strongly formed and has strongly-held opinions, you can’t really force them to make decisions in a…even as a writer or whatever, you can’t say okay, Lady Witchbeard, I’ve decided that you’re gonna do this. Well, okay. She would say, like a actor or actress, okay, what’s my motivation? You’d say oh, boy. That’s exactly the relationship we have, in a good sense. I don’t know, maybe it’s some sort of external projection. But in both series, it was like okay, leave me…basically Lady Witchbeard’s in…she’s withdrawn at the start of a normal adventure with us, because of her relationship with me, or before…the first time we met, it was something else.
But so, she doesn’t…she needs a very strong motivation to change her mind from being on a break or saying okay, I’m done with you, Daw, germ, and your wild adventures. Now, meanwhile, the whole…Lady Witchbeard was existing between the two series because the first series left off and I somehow…I think in very Sleep With Me tradition, I got scattered across multiple universes. I don’t know how many series have ended that way. I guess it’s a trope, but it’s also just one way I like to end series in different ways, is…or start them, is the scattering across the universe idea for whatever reason. This one, it was like, that was the only way to resolve the trouble at the end of the season. But of course, Lady Witchbeard, being tied to me in some sense, was like okay, now I have to go collect Daw.
So, that was what happened for Lady Witchbeard between Season 1 and Season 2. That took a long, long time. She had been…she had left the thirteen seas, her world, to one, deal with Hernan Cortez, and then two, on another separate adventure, collect the pieces of germ scattered across the multiverses or whatever, then needed a break because that probably was exhausting. Of course, understandably, she didn’t want to have anything to do with me after…you know, after you rescue someone who won’t stop talking, you say okay, I need a break. So, yeah. So, Lady Witchbeard’s in…oh, okay, so one of the things that would become important and naturally would become important is so, Lady Witchbeard left the world of the thirteen seas and had her two adventures and then was also on a break.
Meanwhile, the world of the thirteen seas is still existing. Things haven’t stopped there. I guess I wasn’t aware, though…some of those facts until I started working on the series again. So, for years now, I’ve been like huh, just like everybody else; will Lady Witchbeard have a second season? Sometimes I’ll go on walks and think about her or think about it. Then I just say I don’t know, what adventure is really worthy of Lady Witchbeard? It can be different every time for a different series. It might be that you think of something…I mean, this could have been other ways it played out; I could have thought of something enticing, like a clearly-formed adventure or type of opposition that fit Lady Witchbeard’s needs or that would appeal to her, and then said okay, how about this? I heard this happened.
Even the way the season played out, if we could present her in a different way without the initial concept, and she’d go for it, probably. If we said there’s a ominous plan to gelatinize the thirteen seas by some mysterious figures, one of which we believe is a witch-conqueror from another realm or something, she’d say…she’d already be gone. I would have just heard the door close. I’d be…Lady Witchbeard, where are you? Or we said jeez, the pirate guilds are all closing down. No one knows why. There’s something going on. Piracy has been stopped or pirates have gone legit. Even that might get her attention, but that’s not what I thought of first. That’s actually what grew out of the concept, which is the nice thing. Those weren’t the ideas I had first; those grew out of another idea.
But so, it doesn’t have to be as simple as a concept. It could be a character, it could be a conflict, or it could be a what-if, or huh, what’s that? I think there’s probably other things it could be, but normally your best place to start is with a new character. Oh, huh, what are they gonna do? Then…or huh, well, that happened. How are we gonna fig…how would Lady Witchbeard fix it? But I didn’t have any of those ideas that appealed to Lady Witchbeard over the past, whatever, five years, and at different times I was like okay, maybe there just won’t be a second season of Lady Witchbeard. That’s fine. Actually, that gives you the free…that actually is freeing in some sense, ‘cause…okay, until there’s a really good idea, then I’ll…I just won’t worry about it.
Interestingly enough, it kinda happened by accident, like a lot of good things, or popped out of the Story Swamp. I don’t have an exact memory of this…how this happened, and I don’t…so, I don’t know if I talked about it already a different time that’s a accurate portrayal of what happened. But I could tell you that at some point I was thinking of Lady Witchbeard, and maybe I had a couple ideas that I didn’t write down, unfortunately, that kind of helped me, but at some point I heard the song Brandy, which I think is by Looking Glass. I think I literally…it was just on a playlist or something, probably a Yacht Rock playlist, maybe Brene Brown’s Yacht Rock playlist. For some reason…and I think I talked about it with Lady Witchbeard; it’s like, for some reason, something about that song feels like the 70s to me, musically and just the tone.
It feels like a 70s game show or something I would have been watching as a kid on repeats on a cable channel. I don’t know, nothing to me feels…I didn’t really live very much in the 70s as a sentient being, so it’s not like I say oh, well, I grew up in the 70s or I was a teen in the 70s where I had some formative moments. I mean, most of the formative stuff happened to me in the 80s, so…while I existed in…for a time in the 70s, I didn’t really experience the 70s. So, I don’t know why…what that is, but it’s just something about that style of music. I know there’s a lot of other styles of music that evoke the 70s, but for me, I’m saying…and I mean, it’s definitely…and maybe it’s the 60s song, but I don’t know. For me, it clearly is different than 60s classic rock or whatever, even though classic rock was in the 70s. I don’t know.
So, that song, I usually tune into it unless I don’t…unless it’s bringing up some non-positive feelings for me, which happens at times. But I say oh boy, I get that 70s groove. A couple other songs do it, like Ride Captain Ride or something…is another one. They say oh boy, I feel like I’m on a 70s game show. I have no idea why that creates that experience for me, and it’s more of a dreamlike experience. It’s not like I’m saying I heard the song on a game show. I don’t know, it’s just a mood, I guess is the best way to put it. So, that song came on and at some point…I don’t know what happened first, if I started…I said well, I need one more hit of that Brandy, man. Or I said wait a second, never really paid attention to the depth of the song.
I mean, I knew the lyrics and stuff but I said, wait a second, this song is…the more you listen to it and you explore the lyrics, you say…one, it’s like this love lost song, but then you think that kinda Brandy’s being treated poorly by all these other people, but then they’re also all in love with her. They’re all jealous, like oh…and I don’t know, it just has this tale. Actually, at first, conceptually I said oh wow, this is interesting. I guess that’s all that matters, is that. I mean, I’ll talk about what was…where I thought things were gonna go, but they don’t…they never go that way, obviously, in a good way. But I said oh boy, this is something. This song has something to be curious about, and I didn’t even…it wasn’t like I was looking for a song.
I thought maybe…I didn’t think that Lady Witchbeard’s next adventure would come through a song again. But I said holy cow, this song raises more questions than answers, and…or for me. That’s exactly the kinda thing that you can write twelve episodes about. I say okay, there’s a lot of questions this song raised for me. One, who was this dude? Wait, did he really love the sea more than Brandy or was he just telling her tale? What if she was…wait, was she waiting for him to come back? Then that’s not…is he…was he gonna come back to her? I love my ladies of the sea, or whatever he says to her, I think. So, I said huh, this is interesting. There’s a lot of questions here that remain unanswered. I mean, some people might think case closed; it’s about…the song’s about Brandy and her being sad.
But I did say to myself, if I was Lady Witchbeard and listening to the song and then Brandy told me this similar tale, well, what would Brandy look like? I don’t mean physically; I mean emotionally. Is she sad? These are questions, not answers. This is a important part of the process sometimes for me. Okay, well, yeah. Would she be sad? Is she mad? Is she defeated? Is she…is longing flowing out of her? Has she moved on? Are dudes still bothering her? Okay, she’s sworn never to love again. It’s just the…kinda that…I say oh boy, that’s a lot of questions getting raised. So, then I’m like okay, so if Lady Witchbeard’s there…Lady Witchbeard is less asking the questions than saying which question is Lady Witchbeard asking that she needs to have answered?
So, then I say…and that, I guess, is where the catalyst happens where it’s like okay, we gotta make this now, ‘cause I say okay, I think Lady Witchbeard…I’m…this is not written, so I can’t put words in her mouth, but I say…I think, who the heck is this guy? Wow, I really feel for this Brandy. Is this guy lost or is he just a jerk? Or is he really in love with the sea? I gotta get to the bottom of this. Whatever…wherever when we’re brainstorming and it was Lady Witchbeard and I and Brandy together…and we’re more in this question place than a reality place, I say okay, this is stirring something in Lady Witchbeard that she can no longer be inactive about. That’s it; that’s what I mean by a catalyst. So, then it doesn’t mean…you don’t need the answers at the…that point, the…they…the…Lady Witchbeard has been activated.
The catalyst has happened. That probably…just that event is enough in this series; not…maybe not other series, but for a character that is action-based and is kind of…I don’t know. That’s how she expresses herself, most…for the most part, is through her actions, and she’s driven to…yeah, I guess that…just that catalyst drives her to action. That’s enough, so I say oh boy, okay, we’re in it now. Then that’s when you start to…that came up I don’t know when, but I said okay, and then I was listening to Brandy, listening to cover songs of Brandy while we were still working on the last series, which I have no idea at this point even what series that was. Wasn’t it a new series? I have no idea because I’m already…my brain just doesn’t work that way.
But not important, either, other than the…I mean sure, if somebody’s feelings are hurt, the star of the last series, whoever it was…it wasn’t Otter Things, I don’t think. Oh, it was…was it Journey into the Land of Tomorrow? That makes sense. So, they wouldn’t be hurt ‘cause they say we understand, Scoots. It’s been a while. So, this is probably spring of 2020 when this is happening and we’re wrapping up Journey into the Land of Tomorrow. So, then I say okay, then it…then what happens is you just have these concepts. Maybe you have time to play in it, but more you’re just feeling it. Then the recording of Journey into the Land of Tomorrow, whatever, Episode 12 or 10 or whatever we finished on finishes, and then two weeks later you gotta be recording Tales of Lady Witchbeard, Episode 1.
So, you have two weeks to write it, which is…some people, it might sound like too much or a lot, but it’s the rhythm of the podcast that works. For me, not…I don’t always love it, but having a deadline and the creative constraint of the deadline helps eliminate procrastination and perfectionism. Not all the time, for sure. But it just works for the show, knowing two weeks, you gotta get that done. You gotta be recording next Thursday or Friday, Scoots, or two Thursdays…whatever. So, then we say okay, well, where did we leave off last time? Okay, she had a whole other adventure. Well, in this sense, the same environment when we met the first time is probably the best place to start the story. Where does the story start?
With Lady Witchbeard not wanting anything to do with me and me longing to be with Lady Witchbeard once again, because if…I kinda talked about it in the first episode, I think, when I’m pitching her; is like, of course you want to be with…if you have a real who’s a real leader who makes you feel safe and part of something and is competent, of course you want to work on the Enterprise if you could. I mean, if that’s your thing. So, once you’ve been exposed to someone like that, it’s something you desire, or particularly the character of Daw, which is similar to me, but I’m not a leader-seeker, really, as much as Daw is. But maybe if I came in contact with Lady Witchbeard, I would be. So, I said okay, so Lady Witchbeard is once again reluctant, and we gotta introduce the song Brandy to her, which will start the adventure.
But then there’s still…I said wait a second, though; Lady Witchbeard’s gonna be really resistant. She does not want anything to do with me and this song does not quite have the immediacy, though…well, it’s interesting. I didn’t feel like it was quite…it has enough juice to make a series about it and create a catalyst in Lady Witchbeard, but I don’t know. I felt like there has to be something else, because then I said okay, I want this to happen in the thirteen seas, not in the witch world, not in our world or an alternative reality. I said I want this to be…I was hoping it would be a pirate…I was thinking it would be just a story of piracy, and Lady Witchbeard would be trying to find the man who loved the sea and answer that question for Brandy. That’s what I conceptually thought we would do.
I said okay, that…we’ll try to answer those questions. Probably be straight-forward. We’ll go, we’ll do some pirate stuff, and then we’ll do some more pirate stuff, and some piratey pirate-style, and we’ll get the answer or we won’t, but we’ll get close. So, when I thought about that, I said okay, well, what’s the thirteen seas like now? How are we gonna have this piracy? I don’t know. At some point, I stumbled up kinda on this bureaucratic idea. Also, it was one more motivator because I thought Lady Witchbeard’s just too smart to fall into the trap again of me playing a song and it stirring an idea in her and her going for it. Even if she wanted to, she would be like fool me once, that’s fine; fool me twice, no chance of that happening with Lady Witchbeard. It’s that simple.
But so, I said okay, well…okay, so, we need an extra motivator, but maybe it’s not personal. We wanted this to be…we’ve never seen Lady Witchbeard as a pirate very…so then I don’t know how the…this bureaucratic idea came up, but I said okay, it would make sense if…and also, how would…me and Lady Witchbeard’s idea…I don’t know, just ideas to explore. I said okay, well, maybe Lady Witchbeard is on the outs with the pirate’s league; maybe that will create more conflict later on. Then also, I did watch a bunch of old movies and there’s like, very…I don’t know if you want to say archetypal pirate type, like Errol Flynn. I said okay, well, that’s not Lady Witchbeard’s style. So, how does that fit in? Because again, if you’re playing in archetypes, it just gives you…or familiarity…I don’t know, it’s just inspire…I don’t know.
So, I said okay…or for people…Dread Pirate Roberts, Wesley, from Princess Bride will be the more modern…or not…that’s not…I mean, I guess the 80s, 90s version of that that you may be familiar with. Then maybe Orlando Bloom? But he’s a little more by the rules, less of a rogue. I don’t know. I didn’t see all those movies. But I mean, he is swash-buckling, I’d say. So, okay. Where does that leave us? So, I said okay, maybe yeah, there’s this bureaucracy, then the…’cause at some point you have to deal with the charismatic pirate. There’s no other way around it if you’re dabbling in piracy, or at least I felt that way. So, I said okay, well, so we have to come across this charismatic pirate or swash-buckling style, swinging from the ramparts. So, I don’t know, as we started out the season, those were the things.
I said okay, maybe Lady Witchbeard needs a extra motivator to get back into the world of piracy and take me along. Maybe she needs some extra desperation, is what it turns out, because again, I don’t think you would…if you were a witch-pirate, no offense to me or Daw, but I already kinda created enough problems for Lady Witchbeard. She probably…she doesn’t know that she’s not better…on a conscious level and on a common-sense level, she’d be like, well, I’m better off without Daw. Can’t have the story without Daw, the narrator. So, that was a…I’m a problem that needed to be solved. Again, it’s like okay, but if she has some extra…she’s acting on her instinct to act when she hears about an adventure that appeals to her, but she’s also…has a extra motivation that kinda puts her in a tough spot.
Then she kinda might need me more. Then it makes the timing more…makes more sense. I don’t know, it just kinda grew. That’s where you start…I started building. I said okay, okay, this pushes her…this pushes us into the world of the thirteen seas in the first episode. Then it keeps us moving. Then it gives us kind of a…’cause again, people don’t believe this and…but you cannot have any story, in my opinion, but definitely even a Sleep With Me story, without layers of conflict and antagonism. That makes it fun to make episodes of Sleep With Me, but without a episode…without any conflict or antagonism, the episodes…there’s no motion. The episodes, even though they’re sleepy, you can’t meander without moving for…you can’t meander without moving, right?
Even if you’re going backwards, you need some sort of momentum. Even if you have a great character, the…if there’s no sort of antagonism or purpose or conflict, even if there’s a purpose, then they’re just…well, why would they meander if they know the goal? Or, I don’t know. It just makes…it makes a better story but it also makes…the story is almost impossible to tell, for me, in a concise…I mean, in a concise way within the Sleep With Me sandbox without having some sort…like, I can’t…I just can’t…I don’t know. It’s the only way to form it for me. It’s kind of like part of the language or something. I don’t know how to describe it. It’s also…gives you…you’re building a train, right? It’s like okay, so, it’s like, the train’s moving…I don’t know how to describe it, but it’s like…it’s just part of my process, I guess.
So, then I said okay, well…okay, so now we have a couple motivations that are moving, and then we’re formulating…and then I said okay, this is better than just having this one giant piece of antagonism, ‘cause we don’t know what it is. We’re trying to figure that out as Lady Witchbeard and Daw. So, what are the antagonisms or conflicts? Well, we don’t know…we gotta find Brandy and get to the bottom of it, but Lady Witchbeard also has lost her clearance as a pirate and she’s expected to be the apprentice of this guy, Don Dankle. Okay, will Don Dankle be the antagonist or not? Well, he’s gonna be a source of antagonism but I felt like for me, sometimes stuff can be on the nose or whatever, as expected, but I was like…and I think a character like that type of Don Dankle, swash-buckling pirate that’s not good, is a great…could be a great character.
But for this series I said I don’t know, I’m not feeling it. At first I kinda was like, but this could be. I said, who is this Don Dankle? He’s incredibly swash-buckling and dashing. I don’t know if Lady Witchbeard will like that, but as much as I wanted those two not to get along and I thought it’d be good for the story or might drive us to this next…where we’re…drive us towards the man who loved the sea and Brandy, it just ended up that no, as we uncovered stuff, that wasn’t what was story…what we were finding in the Story Swamp as we dug into the muck below. But it did carry us into Episode 2 and 3. I said okay, and it makes perfect sense. The Pirate’s Guild in the thirteen seas has very strict rules. Lady Witchbeard has not been paying her dues or renewing her certifications and so by their rules, she’s no longer a full-fledged pirate.
She’s an apprentice and she has to go back and work with Don Dankle who is a by-the-bookish full-fledged pirate. Then she could be…regain her rights to piracy. Would Lady Witchbeard be down for that? Oh no, no, no. I thought also it’d be a little bit of character-building for Lady Witchbeard. That’s like, she has to kinda relearn these skills. We didn’t really have time to play in that too much. Maybe that…oh, will this story be a exploration of her…does she have some sort of pirate inadequacy? Which I mean, in some sense, that’s how the payoff of the series is, but in a much different, unexpected way. But so, those were again…okay, that’s carrying the story forward for me and exploring some new ground, or…I don’t know. It felt good. So, I said okay, so, this is why Lady Witchbeard’s returning to the thirteen seas.
Why the thirteen seas? Oh, this is this universal myth. Like, what if…I don’t know. I said…’cause some of this stuff about the necklace and the song, I said okay, that’s a very specific thing to mention in a song; gold of chain from the North of Spain or whatever. I said okay, that’s something. Then so, I said maybe that’s Lady Witch…well, this reminds me…it’s not like she never heard the song before, ‘cause otherwise it’s like…well, Brandy’s from this world. I mean, I thought about that for a little while but I said okay, there’s no way we could set it in 2020, 2021. It just wouldn’t be as fun. I don’t know, the thirteen seas is something I always wanted…I guess that was a qualifier for the season, or something on my checklist; is like, does this take place in the thirteen seas? Well, I don’t know. So, I don’t know.
Then saying…I mean, it was a little bit of a cheat, I guess, to say oh yeah, I know this song from the thirteen seas too. Let’s look into it. Also, let’s go. Oh, why? Well, I want to go on this adventure. Lady Witchbeard’s not totally honest; I lost all my…supposed to…let’s go now as opposed to let’s go later, ‘cause otherwise it’s like well, the song’s old. Why do we need to go now? So, then we go, and I’m not sure of the series of events again ‘cause like I said, it’s episodically modular, but we get to that world. Sometimes I talk about Sleep With Me, trying to keep it as contained as I can as far as characters, and so, we definitely hit some hurdles with that because we came across Brandy…‘cause I definitely wanted to do a scene with Brandy, like finding Brandy and kind of procedural in the sense of let’s go through this song and find Brandy.
At first I thought that would carry…maybe that’s it; the whole…I thought maybe the whole season would be us going to different ports to find Brandy, trying to stay…dealing with Don Dankle and then trying to find the man who loves the sea. So, I think at the time, that’s kinda how I thought things would unfold. But apparently it didn’t. I definitely wanted to have a scene with Lady Witchbeard kind of teaching some of the men that aren’t appreciative of Brandy’s hard work a lesson, so that was kind of gratuitous in some sense, ‘cause I said Lady Witchbeard would not like this behavior of saying oh, why don’t you be my husband or whatever? But then once we discovered Brandy, I was like, okay…I didn’t…I wasn’t comfortable with Brandy as someone that needed to be rescued.
I said okay, that’s not…I’m not feeling that as part of the story. Like oh, our job is to kinda help…or someone trying to get back…while those kind of things are part of the story, like longing and vengeance or whatever, again, they didn’t start pulling the string. So, I said okay, well, that’s un…I thought it would. But again, that’s not appealing to Lady Witchbeard. She wants to look into this. But I don’t know. In a sense, we got distracted because there was another story to be told. It’s really that simple. Yeah, it takes two or three episodes to find that out. So, then it was like, Don Dankle’s trying to track Lady Witchbeard down. Is Don Dankle gonna catch us? What would happen then? Okay, well, maybe that is inevitable ‘cause I kinda watched some movies; I said okay, well, this is what happened in this movie.
Well, it’ll probably happen a little bit different. How could it happen a little bit differently? Then it’s like okay, well, what if Lady Witchbeard ends up being Don Dankle’s apprentice? I said okay, that wouldn’t…you can’t hang out…I said okay, how are we gonna do this creatively? ‘Cause you can’t force…even for three or four episodes, at first I said okay, I don’t think this is gonna work with Lady Witchbeard just being passive. I don’t know, having a onboard contained ship thing where it’s like oh, Lady Witch…Don Dankle’s like…I don’t know. I just wasn’t feeling it again. Don Dankle as a character was troublesome in a good way because he was like okay, well, I don’t want to be a dominant boss. I just want to be, again, in this theme of competence, in some sense.
He said, I’m not looking…Lady Witchbeard’s supposed to be my apprentice, not my…I’m not here to demean her. I’m here to treat her with dignity and respect, but also by the rules and to build her up and get her back as a full-fledged pirate, but by the rules. So, then I said oh boy, we got some creative challenges here. So, we have Brandy, and Brandy…the song is still motivating Lady Witchbeard, but Brandy doesn’t seem to be catalyzing anything, and I don’t want to force that on her ‘cause she’s saying no, I’m not a catalyst right now, but there is something mysterious about me. So, I mean, normally in another story, you’d have to figure this out or you’d figure it out in a series of drafts and you’d say…but meanwhile, I’m figuring out while I’m building the train, right?
But that’s a good thing for Sleep With Me ‘cause you say okay, if the question doesn’t want to be answered now, then part of the story is exploring and finding the answer. Okay, Brandy’s mysterious; I don’t get her motivations. Okay, let’s say yes to that. Don Dankle does not want to be the center of the story as a antagonist of Lady Witchbeard. Okay, huh. Well, that’s a interesting choice you’re making, Don Dankle; not…it’s not ideal for me as a storyteller, but I’ll listen to you. It’s almost like Don Dankle…this is not a direct link, but maybe is in the back of my mind? I don’t know. When Riker…everybody’s like, when are you gonna be in command of your own ship? When are you gonna be in command of your own ship? He’s like jeez, I’m on my own timeline, or I’m…this is…it’s none of your business, basically.
Don Dankle was saying to me it’s none of your…I said why aren’t you gonna be a jerk or why aren’t you gonna cause some trouble that Lady Witchbeard has to react to in a direct way? Said, none of your business. I’m running this ship. I’m a member of the guild. I’m just competent. None of your business, anything else. I said yeah, but I created you. Too late now. So, then I said okay, alright. Well, where do we build from here? I don’t know where the other ideas came from that ended up being the foundation for the story that we did tell, but it was again investigating a little bit of a mystery which worked in these constraints that the characters were giving me. Lady Witchbeard and I found ourselves under Don Dankle.
Don Dankle was not gonna be moving the story forward but a part of the story, and Brandy at the time was saying well, I’m just a mystery and I’m a passive mystery at this point, but there is something more to me. So, I said okay, but Don Dankle didn’t say there’s something more to me, so I guess that’s like a…you might say well, no, those characters were saying two different things. Brandy was saying just wait. Yeah, my motivations aren’t gonna be clear to you, which in some storytelling you might say…I don’t know, they have something to write about and explore. So many people are used to consuming created things. This is more part of the process for me. So, then I say okay…so, then I said okay, well, this is what we have here to work with.
I don’t really know where it came from, to be honest, but I said okay, wait a second; the leap did come that…and Brandy would be a part of it, but I still wasn’t sure if she would be a part of it on whose side. But I said okay, what would put the man who loves the sea under…what would be the greatest source of ant…so, if Lady Witchbeard’s investigating the man who loved the sea and Brandy, trying to find him, that she would use the necklace, she would find Brandy, then she would find the necklace or do those things. So, that’s how Lady Witchbeard would behave. But if we still needed a source of antagonism and we’ve struck out, Brandy; not a current active source of antagonism. Don Dankle; not gonna be a long-term source of antagonism.
Maybe conflict because he’s an obstacle, but he’s not going to…the story’s not gonna turn on his decisions. He’s not gonna be in opposition. He might be in conflict with Lady Witchbeard but he’s…you know what I mean? So, I said okay, well, if Lady Witchbeard’s purpose of this season is to tell the story of Lady Witchbeard and finding the man who loves the sea and investigating that…okay, well, we have our investigation. Now, you do have some short-term conflict. Don Dankle’s in the way of that investigation because we need to find North of Spain. So, that’s kind of where you say okay, but at the same time, then you say the growing antagonism of the season…so, there’s your episodically…antagonism is procedural, like a couple episodes of procedural.
But then…also, then, the good thing is when you don’t have…you have to get more creative. You say okay, well, what would be the worst thing that could happen to the man who loves the sea? The sea ceases to exist. Oh, what would be the worst thing that could happen to Lady Witchbeard if she’s a witch-pirate in the thirteen seas? The seas would cease to exist. Then you actually build more; oh, wait, Don Dankle wouldn’t like that either. Then you say okay, well, how would you cease the seas to exist and why? Then the rest of the season just grows out of that. Oh boy, well, what if you made gel…the sea into Jell-O? That wouldn’t be good for anybody. Why would you make…who would make the sea into Jell-O?
Why would they do that and how would we stop…how would we, one, realize that, and then how would we stop them? So, that’s where you start to get motivation of…you know what I mean? That carries us through to the end, and that made it fun. Then it also gave us…my favorite thing, I think, about the series was saying that…getting…giving Lady Witchbeard a chance to explore…to be…to surrender and to not have competence, to be like wait a second, I’m outmatched here. What do I do in a case where I’m outmatched but I still…? That’s what great movies do, or great stories of these…I mean, they do them in a much different way, but you say okay, how do you say…if the stakes are the sea and your opposition is stronger than you and your best plan, how would Lady Witchbeard react to that if that’s the truth?
So, that was my…definitely my favorite part from a emotional connection to a character standpoint and as a human being, I guess, to think about Lady Witchbeard as a real living and breathing being is like well, this is a gigantic opportunity for growth and heroism and setting an example of what heroism and leadership really is, is saying huh, how do I behave if I need to do what’s best for everybody? It’s impossible from a storytelling standpoint. It’s always like when you’re reaching the top of the story or whatever. You say okay, fixing…saving…if this is the stakes and saving…doing what it takes to save the stakes is impossible. How does the character go beyond that, you know? Lady Witchbeard’s limitation is almost her effectiveness and her competence. That’s her weakest point that they’ve discovered.
They hope to prey on that, and then that’s how this…I mean, then that leads to the final episode. Then yeah, who knows what comes out of that? We did take a lot of time, so I didn’t get to look into the…Lady Witchbeard, but you can find that…I think we ran it as a repeat once, and patrons can find it for sure. Then yeah, soon I’ll be working on the new series. So, we have a holiday three-fer which is based on one popular episode from the holidays last year. Then we’ll start a new series that’ll run twelve or thirteen episodes in the winter and the spring of 2022 that I’m excited about. It’ll be a new series, so I’m really pumped. Then yeah, that’s it. Thank you so much and goodnight, everybody.
[END OF RECORDING]