882 – Get Besos Sleeping Through a Recap of Season 3
A return to see our friends and make new ones as we journey off to dreamland.
EPISODE 882 – Get Besos: Sleeping Through a Recap of Season 3
[START OF RECORDING]
SCOOTER: Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary, it’s time for the podcaster who’s here for you. I’m leaning in, patrons. You lean into me…you know what I’m saying; virtually or figuratively by keeping this show going. I lean in to tell you a bedtime story at a safe distance ‘cause it’s time for Sleep With Me, the podcast that puts you to sleep. Thanks for supporting it, patrons.
Hey everybody, it’s Scoots and I know this is not an easy time for anybody. This episode was recorded a few months ago so I just wanted to let you know that and to let you know…to check our show notes for resources ‘cause the podcast is here to put you to sleep but there’s more resources in our show notes if you’re needing more. Please use those links. You’re really important to me so please use them. Thank you so much.
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’s keeping you awake. It could be thoughts; things on your mind…I don’t know, have I always said on your mind? ‘Cause they’re kind of in your mind and around your mind, kind of like dancing around. You say…or flying around like those summertime beings that fly around. Sometimes when you say flying around your mind, that sounds like they’re going fast, and sometimes they are. But sometimes they’re lackadaisically moving about your…you’re trying to go to sleep, right? You’re saying what are you doing flying around up there, thoughts? I’m trying to get to bed.
I’m trying to do a podcast intro. It could be thoughts; past, present, or future, feelings, emotions coming up either about thoughts or just in general. I guess oceans…motions or…here’s the thing; hopefully your bed’s not in motion right now. I mean maybe you’re in Afterglow City. That’s great. But hopefully you’re…but your emotions kind of do bubble up, or they appear, or they’re just there. You say wow, oh boy, I felt you before I noticed you. You know what I’m saying? That’s how I feel sometimes. It could be years later. I said I’ve been feeling you for years. Huh. So, feelings, physical sensations could be coming up and you could be dealing with those. Whatever it is, I’m here to take your mind off of that, slowly. Can’t do it immediately but we’ll get there. What I’m gonna do is, I got this safe place set aside. I’m sending it to you all the way, right to your…wherever you are; signed, sealed, delivered. Safe place. I wrapped it up but in a convenient way that’s easy to unwrap but gives you a sense of oh, boy.
You say, this is the first safe place unboxing we’ve ever done on Sleep With Me. I say well, I’ll probably forget if we…but I’ll try to come back to that. One of the ways I establish this safe place is I send my voice across the deep, dark night. I’m gonna use lulling, soothing, creaky, dulcet tones. So, creaky, dulcet tones, they tend to eventually grow on you or you say well, I don’t mind these…the creaky, dulcet tones are a bit different. Like, they don’t have an immediate soothing quality to them but believe me, they’ll…if the podcast works for you, obviously you say wow, I do like the…and that’s creaky like a door and dulcet like a sweet treat or a beautiful sound, like a Tibetan bell. I don’t know if that has a dulcet tone, but to me it does. Certain ones, I’m sure you say well…you say Scoots, what did you get for your…Give Yourself a Gift Day? I say well, I bought these refurbed Tibetan bowls. Turns out they’re called Tibetan bowls, not bells. I misspoke earlier.
It was actually like a sound pack; it was a discounted, refurbed, second-hand Tibetan bowl sound effect pack, royalty-free. But it’s mostly the ones that are in the frequencies that aren’t soothing; they’re more…they don’t even have any in the creaky frequencies. They’re mostly just the kind you don’t…you say oh boy, now I know how a dog feels when you blow that invisible whistle or whatever. Oh anyway, so creaky, dulcet tones, pointless meanders…that was a miniature one we just went on there. Superfluous…could have been a superfluous tangent, too. I’m gonna go off-topic, I’m gonna misspeak. Oh boy, mispronounce…I haven’t met a pronunciation I couldn’t, you know, do that. But what I’m really gonna do is, I’m here to keep you company as you fall asleep. If you’re new, let me give you a couple pieces of information as we unbox what this sleep podcast is. The first thing to know as we take it out of this beautiful box…oh boy, is it soothingly packed in this nice…is that lavender I smell?
Is the idea that this is a podcast you don’t really need to listen to. We take it out, you look at it. It’s kind of like a snow globe, so if you wanted to visualize what we’re taking out of the box. You say, this is…this snow globe symbolizes the fact you don’t need to listen to the podcast, ‘cause you kind of shake up the snow in a snow globe, right? Sometimes you look at whatever the place or the character is in the snow within the globe. You kind of look at the snow but you don’t pay a whole lot of attention to it. I mean, some people may and that’s cool but you maybe only notice the snow for a few seconds and then maybe your attention drifts elsewhere. That’s what you do the whole time to this podcast; you kind of look at it like the snow in a snow globe. Snow in a snow globe; I even have trouble saying that. I’m a little slow on the snow globe, you know what I’m saying? I’ve been that way my whole life. It’s a podcast you don’t need to listen to.
You can kind of barely listen, so that’s one thing. Now, let’s take this second thing out here. Oh, this is interesting because this is…you could say these are slippers ‘cause that’s what popped into my head, and oh boy, are these cozy slippers. They say they’re sleep slippers, right? Maybe they have the ones you could warm them up first, just like Chris would say; warm it up, Chris, and you’d say the slippers? I’m about to. The slippers would say, warming up feet is what we were born to do. These slippers, the thing about Sleep With Me, that these slippers symbolize as we unbox them, is really that Sleep With Me is more of a podcast to be here while you fall asleep than to put you to sleep. Just like slippers; not too many people wear slippers in bed. If you do, nothing wrong with it. My only recommendation would be have some bed-only slippers. Give yourself a gift with some bed-only slippers, if you do wear slippers in bed. A lot of people…I mean, some people associate slippers and lounging but I don’t know, I’ve been making a sleep podcast for seven years; I see a lot of sleep stuff and slipper stuff aligned.
But slippers are more part of a bedtime experience than to put you to sleep, even if they were sleep slippers. I mean, unless they were made by Morpheus, the great god and goddess of sleep who would say oh yeah, these ones, you just click ‘em twice. I’d say well, thanks for putting Sleep With Me out of business, Morpheus, with your sleep slippers. Flooded the market with those. This podcast, the reason why those slippers symbolize that is it’s really not here to put you to sleep. It’s here to be here as you fall asleep, to be a part of your bed-down and wind-down routine. Bed-down routine…again, that was my favorite…one of my favorite Beastie Boys tracks that was never released; Gotta Get a Bed-Down. People thought it was made about a bed made of down, which it wasn’t. Then people thought it was a metaphor for something else which it was not. That’s why it wasn’t released. Oh, also, I imagined it in my head; probably another reason they didn’t release the song.
But so, this [00:10:00] is a podcast you don’t need to listen to, just like a snow globe, and it’s more part of your bed…you could listen to it in bed as opposed to the slippers which, I guess these imaginary ones we’re having is bed slippers. Also called socks; we just renamed them slippers. Bed socks. This is a podcast you don’t need to listen to. It’s more here to keep you company as you fall asleep. Those are two things to know. The other things we gotta get outta this box is the structure of the show because it is…really had to get it in this box ‘cause it’s so…the structure of the show is so different. The first thing you’ll notice is the show starts off with a greeting. I guess that would be the card in the box that says hey, glad you’re here. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and friends beyond the binary, everyone’s welcome and we’re here to try to put you to sleep. That would be the first thing you would notice. Then at the bottom of the box is…you say whoa, that’s the thing from the company that sent the box.
It has everything; the inventory and the costs. The next thing we have to do to keep the podcast free for everybody is the business. We do the business next, then after the business is the intro which I guess in this case would be…if this was a box of something, it would be a sampler pack where you say either you ordered the sampler pack or even better, they included it for free because…but you’d say huh, this isn’t like any other sampler pack. But the idea of a sampler pack I think is to introduce you to a variety of products, right, so you could sample them. Sleep With Me has an intro that’s somewhere around twelve to twenty minutes long. A greeting; one minute. Business; four, five, six minutes. Then from about minute seven to about minute twenty is the intro. Those are approximate things. With a sampler pack I think this may be easier to understand, but some people might say what are these jars so small for? Because I would like…they said well yeah, you could order…I guess it would be…I guess that’s a pretty good thing.
You’d kind of have to look at Sleep With Me as the inverse of a sampler pack because it’s a gigantic…maybe that would be it. You’d say oh boy, at the bottom of the…at the top of the box is a sampler pack. You say okay, that makes sense. At the bottom of the box, the sampler’s bulk size samples. You’d say well, I’m not even sure…I haven’t even tried this product or paid for it, so this is great because I now have it in bulk. The reason that Sleep With Me, really, the intros are so long is one, to introduce you to the podcast and give you a general idea of what you’re getting. But two, is that the podcast is really a part…supposed to be part of your bedtime routine and for people that become regular listeners…thank you, regular listeners, for being here…they either start the podcast as they’re getting ready for bed or as they just get into bed, or a lot of people listen during the day for a break. But the whole idea of the intro is it slowly winds you down.
So, whether you’re getting ready for bed and you’re listening and you’re doing some bedtime stuff and prep stuff, or you’re in bed and starting to get comfortable and relax, the podcast is here to kind of do that with you as you wind down because I haven’t found any instant way, personally or as a sleep podcaster, just instantly puts you to sleep. If you’re still confused, I’ll tell you a few ways people listen. 2% of people start the show at twenty minutes ‘cause they just wanna get closer to the story. Then a variety of people start the show and then they set a sleep timer for thirty, forty-five, or sixty minutes. Maybe that’s probably less than 5% of each of those, I would say. I’d have to get a look. Those people either start the intro during their…before…after they get in bed. Some people fall asleep during the intro and then some people don’t start listening until they wake up, so that’s another style of listener. Another way people listen is they start an episode and maybe they set the sleep timer and then the…for thirty minutes, and then the next night they start the same episode at thirty minutes, so there’s a lot of different ways to listen to the podcast.
You could kind of slowly discover what works for you which again kind of is about the sampler pack idea. It’s just, we’ve packed our sampler pack away. That doesn’t make…you say, I guess it doesn’t…it kind of breaks the mold of sampler packs but it makes sense in this situation. The other thing about sampler packs is that you discover not everything is your taste, right? Unfortunately, Sleep With Me just doesn’t work for everybody. I’m not everybody’s taste, or some people just want a bedtime story, or they’re looking for something different. But also, you gotta be careful in a sampler pack that you do give everything a try. I tell everybody give this show two or three tries because it is an acquired taste. Millions of people have acquired a taste for the show and I only say that because almost every person that has an acquired taste for the show has said oh yeah, it took two or three tries before I acquired…it’s actually the opposite; I acquired…I realized I didn’t have to taste the podcast which is great because I really never had any interest in tasting a podcast.
Let’s put that on a shirt and sell it because that’s probably…I’ve never had any interest in tasting a podcast. Sleep With Me; I assume it tastes pretty neutral. Not as tasty as other podcasts, but yeah. That’s most of the stuff. There’s two other big things in the box, so we do the story. Oh, we do the intro, then there’s a little more business between the intro or the sampler pack and the big box in there which is our story that starts around twenty minutes. Tonight, it’ll be our…look back at our episodically modular series Get Besos. I’ll look ahead to our new series. Then again at the bottom of the box or the end of the show is the thank yous, that I say thanks…hey, thanks for checking this out or thanks for purchasing this product, if it was an unboxing. Here’s the amazing thing about this; this is the only unboxing you’ll ever experience this, is that everything…you say wait a second, I didn’t have to deal with the box or the wrapping or wonder if this was recyclable or not.
Well, no; this is a figurative box so it’s gone already. You could use the stuff in there but you don’t gotta clean up after me. Just like having a guest over that you don’t have to pay any attention to me, you don’t have to worry about me leaving crumbs behind when I go. It’s just, I’m on-demand. That’s pretty much all you need to know, other than this fact; I make the show because I’ve been there. I have trouble sleeping and I’ve had it my whole life. I know how it feels there in the deep, dark night. That’s why I call it the deep, dark night, because that is figurative and it’s real. But also, that’s counterbalanced by the fact that I believe…you know what? I don’t believe it, I know it; you deserve a good night’s sleep. You deserve a place where you can rest and feel safe and unwind. It’s my job to provide that for you if I can. Like I said, it is an acquired taste, so I’ll try to do that and I hope I can help you because you do deserve that. With you rested, not only will your world be a better place; our world will be. That’s the truth. I mean, it really is a fact. I’d be honored if I could provide that for you. I really appreciate you coming by and checking the show out ‘cause I work really hard. I yearn and I strive. I really want to help you fall asleep so thanks again for coming by and here’s a couple ways we’re able to give you this podcast for free.
Alright, hey everybody, this is Scoots and this is kind of a recap and looking forward episode from our episodically modular series Get Besos, the tale of Richard Warren Sears and James Cash Penney’s return to Earth. We’ll talk about that. I do these recap episodes one, because it really helps me in the creative process when I’m transitioning from one series to another to kind of look back and see what worked, what didn’t work, what I could learn from. It also helps me…give me a few extra days of prep for the new series without having to maybe miss any releases or maybe we take one week off, so we’ll see. I don’t know, the releases are so far in the future, about two months, [00:20:00] and I always talk about process and the workflow for the show and stuff like that. Some of these we cover some of the same stuff, but a lot of new stuff. Maybe we’ll…if we have time, we’ll talk about some of the ideas for the upcoming series and what it’s gonna be like or what I’m anticipating and how I’m gonna handle that, ‘cause those are interesting questions that I’m wondering about myself.
That’s a couple of things we’re covering. Also, just happens to be that I’m recording this…when I started making the season of Get Besos and when I’m finishing, things…I’m in a much different place as all of us are. Well, I try to be as sensitive as I can and talk around stuff and be indirect. It has really…recontextualizes the how and the why I make this show. I’m sure that’ll come up in some indirect ways ‘cause it’s definitely…especially when you make a…well, here’s a couple things; we’ll start with this about the production process of the show just in case you haven’t heard this or…it’s pretty chill, so it might relax you, too. Let’s see, I’ll talk about how Sleep With Me is released and then a little bit about the pre-production and post-production parts of the podcast and the production side. Sleep With Me comes out twice a week. New, full episodes come out on Sunday and Wednesday, both in the Patreon feed and in the free feed.
The patrons get their episodes early and maybe I could talk about that. That’s kind of built-in to our workflow. When I say workflow, I mean all the stages of making the podcast that end up with a finished product. Since you might be new to this, some of this might be a surprise to you; to produce and administer and put out Sleep With Me, at this point it takes, I think…I’m pretty sure over a hundred hours of combined labor a week. That includes all the work I put on the show, the work that the editors and the Mystery Bard and my brother and all the administration of the podcast at Night Vale and PRX. It’s actually probably much over a hundred hours at this point. Forty, eighty…at least 120 I would guess, just ‘cause as the podcast grows, the needs to support it and administer it, the time that goes into that also grows. This might be news to you that yeah, there’s…even though there’s a free and easy sound to Sleep With Me, as ideally sounds as effortless as possible, the way we achieve that is by a lot of work, both in production and administration.
Okay, so where…what was my point though, leading into this? Oh, so why the release schedule and that? So, Sleep With Me comes out on Sundays and Wednesdays. Once upon a time it came out on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday but we could never generate the support between Patreon and sponsorships to just make that work from a working…it just didn’t work. Maybe two-and-a-half years ago, we cut back into two episodes and we’ve been doing two episodes a week since then. That’s worked pretty well, but we still have…from the original part of the podcast, we put out three styles of episodes that we alternate between all three. There’s three very distinct styles of episodes; TV recap episodes where I recap a TV show, episodes called Trending Tuesday style episodes which are also potpourri. They could be episodes built on randomization, personal essays, personal…looks back at nostalgic things, unboxings, cooking, guest-hosted shows by Ray or Bernie or Reginald Cusack, or seminars.
So, just kind of random one-off episodes, though some of them have reoccurring characters that are always usually individual episodes; at least over the past four years, they have been. Then we have our episodic series, written series episodes. In a normal episode cycle you could start with any one, but one episode…if it was a Wednesday and a TV recap episode came on on a Wednesday, then on Sunday it would be a Trending Tuesday random style potpourri episode, then on the next Wednesday it would be a…our episodic series episodes, then on the Sunday would be a TV recap, then on the Wednesday it would be a random episode, then on the Sunday it would be our episode series, written series. There’s a few reasons that we do that and that kind of developed around Episode 150, I think. Maybe not even ‘til 300. I’d have to look back. There’s two reasons that…one is that not everybody…the podcast is…a lot of listeners choose what they listen to based on what they…what has worked for them in the past or just their general impressions.
They say well, I don’t know if I liked the sound of that one. Sometimes, you know, I think everybody should try everything because sometimes people have expectations about the TV recap episodes, but some listeners have been listening long enough, they know what works for them and they know what doesn’t. I’ve been making this show for, whatever, over seven years or something. I constantly have to relearn this lesson but it constantly is powerful, is that you can’t please everybody all the time, like everybody says. You can only do your best. In the case with a sleep podcast, what that means is having a varied selection for listeners to choose from that’s both…the content that feels fresh and new but also familiar. But yeah, so that people have their favorites. They say okay, I can go back to these favorites or oh, this is very similar to my favorites. That’s one part of it but also the other part of it is that a lot of work goes into this show, like I said.
What I stumbled on in the first few years of making the show is that each one of these styles of episodes takes a different kind of work to make it. What that results in is having a balanced week for me as far as the types of work I’m doing. It’s not a week anymore but it’s like, the production of the show is more balanced and what reservoirs of energy are getting drained. For example, the TV recap episodes, I watch, believe it or not, the TV show four or five times. At some point, I’m watching it very…like in few minute bursts and taking tons of notes. Then I’m preparing my notes and I’m preparing research and I’m preparing transcripts and getting the episode ready. It’s kind of like a different part of my brain. It’s like I’m focusing on getting as much information as I can and then I’m making the episode based on all of my notes that I have so that I can make tangents based on those notes, or just use the notes to talk to the audience, to talk to you about the episode.
In some sense, I’m writing it, the episode, while I’m watching the show for the last or the second-to-last time and taking a lot of notes. I’ll put jokes in there or whatever and descriptions and stuff. Then the episode’s kind of being re-written as I’m making it. It’s a little bit more…it’s based on something a little bit more concrete. I’m not starting from zero so it’s a different muscle that I work. Then the Trending Tuesday or Tuesday episodes, those episodes I’m kind of always preparing for, constantly collecting ideas or doing research or keeping lists of episode ideas or randomizing ideas or trying to form memories or look at old memories and say huh, would that be interesting for an episode? Those take…the pre-production part or the prep part is a little bit different and then those episodes are by-far the…well, they’re very difficult to make. The recording of them takes longer and it’s very, very draining ‘cause I have to stay in the moment and I’m more creating…most of that’s being created while I’m recording it, though I do…can take multiple takes which you don’t necessarily ever hear.
But if I don’t like how something’s going or how something sounded, I could pause and take a break, though I do try not to be a perfectionist when I’m recording ‘cause that would get in the way of being in the moment. Those are very draining but the prep part isn’t as draining. Then there’s [00:30:00] the written episodes. When I say written, I have a two-week writing cycle for episodic series like Get Besos or Nuns in Space, or our next series. After I record a episode, the next morning I’ll start writing the next episode and over the next two weeks I’ll write the episode. Well, I’ll plot it, I’ll write the story, figure out what’s gonna happen. Then I’ll record it. That kind of leads in…that’s a nice transition point to talk about this series, Get Besos, and I can talk about how I did that process with this series. That’ll probably just bring up more natural thoughts about the series in general. I don’t know if this is our first season three; I guess it is, and if…maybe we did three seasons of After the Glass Slipper, but I guess maybe we did do three seasons of After the Glass Slipper.
That would make sense ‘cause of our original series, After the Glass Slipper was our first series and Get Besos was our second series. Yeah, I think maybe this is our second series and what’s interesting is at the beginning of the show, I mean in the early years, the series would be much longer. I mean one, because we were putting out three episodes a week, so I needed much more material and content. Two, just ‘cause I hadn’t had as much feedback. I’ve found that with the series, twelve episodes is enough for a series, especially with coming out twice a week. It covers a pretty long set of months, like maybe a third of a year. Actually, yeah, about a third of a year. Twelve…yeah, about a third of a year. That gives people a chance to have some…still some selection within the year. Oh, and then this…I guess this goes back to the recording stuff. Another thing people might not know and part of this writing process is I’m doing this well before the episodes come out.
I’ll write a episode over two weeks, then I’ll record it. The writing process can be good or…it could go well or it could go, you know, not easy. Then the recording process doesn’t always necessarily…I notice that I do feel a lot of pressure most of the time, no matter how the writing process went, before I record, that I want to procrastinate one more day or write for one more day. But I do have deadlines so I say no, no, let’s get it recorded today ‘cause gotta be done today. Then what’ll happen is, after I record it, and usually I record the show in segments, so I’ll record…actually, for this episode as an example, I’m recording the episode on a Friday. Then at some point this weekend, on Saturday or Sunday, I’ll record the intro and the thank yous for this episode. Normally I had planned on recording the intro and the thank yous yesterday but I started recording the intro yesterday, and then something about Star Trek came up. It just made sense to do…end up directing that intro to a Star Trek episode, ‘cause it came up in the intro.
I’m kind of being flexible. I record everything, then I upload it for one of the editors to work on. This is usually…with the episodic…or the modular…episodically modular series, we’re usually only…I’m usually for…in a perfect world, I’d be six…eight…six to eight episodes ahead of the release but usually it’s really hard with the episodic…’cause the episodes have to be written and it takes two weeks to get more than four episodes ahead. So, four episodes are done so while you’re listening to Episode 2…three, four, five, six…I’d be working on Episode 7. Anything less than having four episodes prepared kind of doesn’t necessarily work well for me because it’s very constraining if something unexpected were to happen or I want to take a break. Usually, I take two vacations a year and they’re usually at least partial working vacations. If I do take a vacation, I don’t write during that vacation. Just couldn’t fall off like…in the podcast, it doesn’t need…it constantly…it’s like a pet; it constantly eats twice a week. I mean, this pet eats twice a week but I’m actually making the food for the pet from scratch.
It’s much easier if you say okay, I’m making the food this week and then freezing it so you can have it in four-to-eight weeks. Then for the other two style episodes, it vacillates between eight and six episodes ahead. Again, one, that gives the editors time to edit, then me time to again, get the files, listen to them, make any other changes, then I do something called mixing which is putting everything…all the parts together and the music and everything that you end up hearing for the patrons, and then the public feed. That’s all part of the workflow process. That’s a little bit…there’s a benefit to that. Well, there’s also a big benefit; it’s like, if I’m ahead on the episodes, then I can also be flexible, particularly with the Tuesday-style episodes. If I have eight episodes done, then I have the ability to start curating episodes or producing the next episode based on a need. For example, we have about six, seven, eight episodes done, or we did two weeks ago.
I had feelings about everything that’s happening and trying to metaphorically talk about that and so I said okay, well, I have these…a couple of these episode ideas that might…would fit. There are ways of indirectly helping people get some rest and feel like they’re heard at the same time. These episodes about swimsuits and so, I was able to produce…record those and then move those…well, I think one’s edited and one’s in-process, and so those will be moved up ahead in the queue so that they come out in a little more timely fashion. Or if sometimes with the random potpourri episodes, I might just be in a place where I’m…I have similar ideas so it’s like okay, I’ll record both those episodes and then stretch them out, like maybe Ray. I know I recorded a Ray episode in like, January or February and I may have recorded two of them in a week or two-span. I’m not positive about that. That’s like, in the back of my mind; I’m like, did I record two Ray episodes or just one? That’s just another thing.
The writing process; the writing, as far as writing an episode of Get Besos, it’s very similar of writing everything except for this new series we’re doing which is gonna be a little bit different. Not too different, but what happens with this series Get Besos, is…let’s just say it’s a…well, normally I record on a Thursday or Friday. So, let’s say I record on a Friday. So, Saturday is Day 1 of writing. It’s actually not two weeks; it would be…whatever, a week minus…and ideally, I’d record it on a Thursday or Friday, like ten or twelve days later. You could see how the episodes come out every ten days so those two days, at some point I gotta figure out a way to make up those days, you know, ‘cause otherwise over the year it evaporates all our time which is stuff I play with. I’ve done this long enough that I’m able to do that. But so, okay, so usually on the first day I’ll read something and…for example, not for the last few series, but I’ll read something like…about the Enneagram.
That was what I used for Superdoll, I think, or maybe for another series. Then I’ll say okay, well, what character…what part of the Enneagram is this character? Then I’ll kind of play around with that and be like oh, okay, interesting. Then I’ll play with some things and I’ll be like oh, how can we come up with a theme of this episode, for this character in the Enneagram? Which actually, this is useful to talk about ‘cause now I say okay, I could go back to the Enneagram for this new series, maybe. Then I say well, how can I use the Enneagram…which is just a personality thing, like a personality tool or a self-help tool. I say okay, well how can I use the Enneagram to get to understand this character better? Just go from there on the first day or two. Then it’s like okay, using that, what I learned in the first day or two about the character or about the plot, sometimes it’s more about what is the conflict? Or some sort of need or some sort of obstacle.
But whatever it is, I try to build the episode based on that [00:40:00] so that Day 3 of the writing I say okay, so I learned that people with this…on this place, the Enneagram, have trouble with this. Okay, what could happen in the episode? Then it’s also thinking about the overarching things or what ideas have come up, and then saying okay, so…okay then, if that’s kind of like, what we’re thinking thematically is the conflict, what’s the specific conflict? If they have a problem with assertiveness, I say okay, well thematically, this character’s gonna struggle with assertiveness. Then I start to brainstorm; okay, what is it? What is the…what’s coming up? Just playing with that until I can come up with a beginning and an end or some sort of obstacle or antagonist or challenge that fits with that, that appeals to…that makes me excited so I can write about it. Then the rest of the time is kind of spent building plot points, like beginning, middle, and end, more or less, for them to go through.
I use different types of story structures and…but it’s mostly just okay, what happens then? What happens next? What happens next? A lot of times it’s like trying to come up with ideas, trying to come up with questions, going down one-way streets and saying okay, this didn’t work; we gotta backtrack, or this idea is not landing, and then wondering why. Now, what’s interesting is I’ve tried to alternate over the past few years between a new season of a series we already did and then a new series. That’s basically…we’ve been alternating with more or less over the past few years, at least that I’m aware of. Then on the holidays, I guess it is more of a…sometimes we’ll do a repeat, sometimes…I don’t know. I don’t even know…oh, we did the Cookie Adventure and last season was the Holiday Shop. The season before that was As the North Pole Turns. So yeah, maybe this holiday season we’ll do As the North Pole Turns. I don’t know; that’s pretty far out.
But that’s also how far I plan, so let’s see; that’s…so, where were we? Okay, so this one had…this season, I’ve been trying to come up with an idea. I wanted to do another episode of Get Besos because I really love the characters, I love their relationship. I mean, inadvertently, I think the last time we had a season of Get Besos was in the…what is it? We’re in the…was in the…not in the…in the 2014, ’15 era. It’s just interesting thinking about Richard Warren Sears as a character now, even when I started the series, recording, which would have been in like, November, December. Thinking about Richard Warren…it really put Richard Warren Sears in a new context of trying to not make…to trying to add some depth to Richard Warren Sears’ character while still maintaining what I love about him so that he doesn’t become just…because…so he could be his own character even though his character may have similarities to other characters out there in the world.
Richard Warren Sears was never based on a current character in our current times. Richard Warren Sears was based on an amalgamation when I first came up with Richard Warren Sears back in 2014 or ’13. But so, that actually is helpful because I say okay, I do have to try to add…he’s not a really nuanced character so trying to work with that was exciting to me, as someone that makes stuff to be like okay, how am I gonna still add some nuance…so you have some nuance from anybody you’d be similar to, so that this doesn’t feel like this character is supposed to be a statement. ‘Cause Richard Warren Sears is a statement but he’s a statement about Richard Warren Sears, not about anybody else or people that behave in a similar manner. I don’t know. I’m not trying to be…so, it doesn’t seem like a ham-handed thing, ‘cause Richard Warren Sears is just so…I don’t know, I think you know what I’m saying. That’s one thing that was fun and working with characters I really already know is really exciting ‘cause…especially Richard Warren Sears and James Cash Penney.
Richard Warren Sears is very brash and confident and acts first and thinks later, and is not the most considerate person in the world. He has a big ego. Then James Cash Penney’s character has actually evolved in a different way where James Cash Penney is a little bit removed from his flaws, or his flaws have evolved over the years. A lot of that is just due to time constraints and stuff like that, and to make him fit…he’s still the same person; it’s just some of his flaws in the earlier series, I tried to make him human. I guess he’s not human anymore, so that’s kind of part of it. He’s just changed as part of his evolution of all these journeys. James Cash Penney is a little bit more down-to-earth. He’s very confident, too; actually, more confident. But he’s competent and confident. He’s almost like a…he plays the role of balancing out Richard Warren Sears. He loves Richard Warren Sears, Richard Warren Sears loves him, they both love Jiff very much, so writing for them is very enjoyable.
Then, of course, because they have this very close…but they don’t really…the antagonism, it’s more like they’ve worked so long together, like other partners. They have like, a shorthand that I know well. It’s not even like, an antagonistic relationship anymore. It’s like, this is how we work together. How can we work…even though we know this about ourselves and how we work together, so how could we make that work in this episode, in this story? Then I knew, of course, one of the challenges of making this is they always have to get Besos, otherwise it wouldn’t be called Get Besos. That was one of the challenges with coming up with what was the season gonna be. I knew what the season was gonna be about; that’s when I was like okay, to say it got greenlit was whatever, six months ago or whatever, saying oh, okay, that’s what the season’s gonna be about thematically. I’ll talk about that but…so then it’s like, how do we get Jiff involved? Also deciding that Jiff wasn’t gonna be a character…Jiff was gonna have an impact and a presence in this season but not be a character.
That’s just mostly something I’ve learned over time, is that Jiff…or that the limited…the more we can limit the number of speaking characters, the show just seems to flow better. Though of course, this next series, I don’t know that we may be changing the rules, and that’s good to change the rules, because then we have to…I have to learn new skills and stay within the context of the sleep podcast. Thematically, I knew what this season was gonna be about so again, the idea for this season probably came about in sometime in the middle of 2019, at some point. Actually, it may have come sooner and then I forgot it but I was like…or maybe it came later. I don’t know. It was basically an idea that’s come up on this episode, particularly in Tommen and Pounce or in the podcast many times before. It comes up with Tommen and Pounce and their series that was tucked into all the Game of Thrones episodes, is in a source of interpersonal things that could use help, is stuff that goes on on the internet, especially on social platforms.
What does that mean for us as humanity and what does that mean that this is a private business or, whatever, a public business or a company that’s like, their platform. It has these…like a stone in a pond, it has these ripples that impact people and communities in ways. Then also looking at the behavior of people and communities and saying wow; that can be both interesting and not easy for me in my day-to-day life to see or deal with. Even these small-scale things that, in some strange way, now when I’m making a…talking about this in…I don’t even know what month or day…April of 2020, it takes on a whole new meaning, right? How can these small things…those are just the things I was curious about [00:50:00] thematically. It’s like oh, there’s all these things that…so, I’ll just talk about them because they were in episodes. Straws; seeing people’s strong feelings about straws here in California, or parking. I know those were two things, or people’s…when, I mean, all the messages I get that aren’t necessarily the easiest to absorb or thinking about that with movies or…I don’t even know what the other ones were right now off the top of my head.
But thinking about those things and saying okay, and then I was trying to fit Jiff in. It was like okay, well, this makes sense that there’s this…I mean, this was ham-handed; I guess in…’cause the person wasn’t really a character in the series. They were also a presence with Z-Biff. Just like Jiff, they’re fictional characters based on real…they’re influenced strongly, right? The idea of Z-Biff being representative as this giant platform that has these impacts on communities and people and the way they use that platform, and that maybe there is some pollution in there. I mean, that was the underlying thing this season, is like, this is some static or some pollution. What is it doing? Then that was kind of the procedural part, was okay, if this is the specific thing that’s happening about straws and how straws are impacting this community and then how the use of a social media and shopping platform is impacting this community, what can we do to resolve it?
What was interesting about writing it was I didn’t know the…I don’t write stuff ‘cause I know stuff; I write stuff ‘cause there’s interesting questions and things that interest me. So, I didn’t really know the answers to these questions. I mean, why are humans human? We don’t really know, right? Why do we behave in such wonderfully…not always wonderfully human ways? Even our own behavior, my own behavior, I say well, I don’t know. It’s more…sometimes looking at it with wonder and actually being able to look through the eyes of the characters didn’t necessarily make it easy for me, but one of the very, very, very unexpected things and that had a nice thematic alignment, was that they weren’t solving the problems. They were Band-Aiding thing…every time, for the first multiple ones, they were not fixing anything, or anything underlying. They were merely putting Band-Aids on stuff or coming up with, whatever, something…what do they say?
They weren’t…they were just saying oh, well, that’s what’s bugging you? Let’s deal with the fact that you’re bugged. Oh, the pet…leaving your pet stuff behind. Instead of actually saying well, why do you do that? Those questions were just too…they weren’t solvable by the characters and so the characters and I, we constantly had this thing we were writing where they’re saying well, we keep doing the same thing. We had this conversation, like I said; are you…did you put us back in H-E- double hockey sticks or not? Because this is starting to feel…this is like, on-the-nose conversations I have with the characters that don’t necessarily make it to the podcast. Now I’m taking them off the nose again to tell you at bedtime, but saying is this some practice where you’re putting us in a new H-E- double hockey sticks? Is any of this real? Is Hearth real? Is Jiff real? Is Z-Biff real, or are you…is this just an illusion and we’re just supposed to be doing this? At first, I said well, maybe…does it matter?
Would you still help or still try to find Jiff? They said well, we would still…I mean, RW wasn’t sure but James Cash Penney was like yeah, we’ll still try to find Jiff. Why not? Even if we’re in H-E- double hockey sticks, we’ll still make the most of it. But it was also like huh; that’s interesting to me that you both feel that way. It’s really informative about the situation. Maybe I’ll just leave it open-ended, whether that was true or not. I mean, well, if you feel like that’s true, that’s good, but I also feel like there was a great reality to the situation and actually, it makes it more powerful that it was real in reality. So, every episode was kind of like that, where Richard Warren Sears and James Cash Penney were setting out to kind of fix things. They were kind of fixing things, but they were also learning the depth…in some sense, it helped story-wise because they were only able to partially help. They were learning the strange intersection of humanity and social media and shopping platforms in this way that even we as a society are curious about but it hasn’t been publically…people publically talk about it but they don’t really get listened to because it’s not that interesting, right?
It really helped me understand all this a little bit better, that they were like wait a second, well, this intersection is more powerful than our ability to help or does…James Cash Penney’s case; do I need to let go of some of my control or need to help and fix things? I don’t know, I really enjoyed, as the season developed, that Richard…that they’re, again, that Richard Warren Sears was able to change or evolve in a small way. He’s evolved in the other seasons too, but this one is very clear that it would really be hard to fix things and move forward to the end of the season without being more open to being wrong and not being right. The same thing with James Cash Penney; it’s like, you have to learn to trust…even though Richard Warren Sears should never…judgement should probably never be trusted, he thinks it should and he thinks he’s actually evolved to the point where, because he believes he can be wrong and correct himself or apologize or make amends, that James should be able to trust him. In some sense, James Cash Penney should be able to trust him and accept things.
Well, there’s an inherent conflict there that I really love, right? He should be, as a character or person, be able to let go and have faith and trust his friend. At the same time, his friend, as a character and a person, is probably, as James Cash Penney is a very…more…they’re both heroes but James Cash Penney’s a much more familiar heroic character. How can a heroic character…even if someone says they have changed and they can apologize, there’s something not easy…there’s not a easy solution there. Then James Cash Penney did trust Richard Warren Sears and he did, of course, admit multiple times that…and have to trust Richard Warren Sears within solutions in the season, his judgement. But like, for a global…something that could impact us globally or this new world globally was a much harder thing to be like okay, I’ll just leave you here alone to fix things. Does show…I don’t know, it’s just…I don’t know, I love that it’s unresolved, even for me. It’s like, was that really a good idea?
I understand you’ve grown as a person, James, and you want to trust that Richard Warren Sears and Z-Biff can fix everything but if you look at the history of Richard Warren Sears, he doesn’t have any…he’s never fixed any…every time he’s tried to fix something, at least in the series of Get Besos, it’s not going well for the most part, or hasn’t gone well for everyone. But also, the fact that I really liked…’cause I didn’t plan this, that Richard Warren Sears would want to do something on his own. When characters act of their own volition or tell me no, no, no, I’d rather…when things don’t feel right and I have to keep probing and it says oh, this is what feels right for you, that you want to do this? I don’t know, I’m like wow, that’s really brave of you and maybe it has shown you’ve changed. Then there’s that. That’s a little bit about that season. Again, I tried to make it and build it in a episodically modular way while there still was some seriality. We still explored things thematically.
I don’t think anyone was actually blamed; that was another hard thing that came out of the writing, was like, who is Z-Biff really? Do I reveal that? Do I not? [01:00:00] Is Z-Biff blameless or is Z-Biff sympathetic or not sympathetic? Do we leave it a mystery? Then in the end, the…just enough exploratory writing led to the fact; it’s like no, you are sympathetic and it’s understanding. Actually, I’ll just talk about…one of the big influences was trying to gain a better understanding, sometimes, of Lebron James. This is a strange tangent, but some…I live in the Bay area so I follow the Golden State Warriors. Actually, Lebron James’ first round with the Cleveland Cavs, I went to a Cavs game with a Cavs fan and I saw how much those audience love Lebron. I don’t know, sometimes I really try to think about what Lebron James’ life has been like because he was a kid…and I mean, there’s other people that have experienced this but he’s probably one of the biggest global superstars.
How is his…he didn’t really…he was so skilled and had so many expectations of him at such a young age and had to mature so fast and take on all these responsibilities and the spotlight and everything. I don’t know, this is…Lebron James as a person, it just makes me so curious, like what was that like? Specifically, just because it’s…then thinking about the past year and other superstars. I don’t know, just constantly…kind of…and especially because I root for the Warriors and the Cavs, and the Warriors have had such a rivalry when Lebron was on the Cavs that you know, when you’re rooting for another team, it makes you curious ‘cause you have strong feelings about the team you’re rooting against. But then thinking about this journey Lebron’s been on…and not that it’s unprecedented or anything, but just so much in the spotlight and that he…I’m not saying he never got to be a kid but he didn’t necessarily get to be a young adult, really.
He had to go from being a teen to being…having all of these expectations and responsibilities. Again, very much like Z-Biff, I’m not saying…I’m just saying it in a way that it really does stir up some empathy and curiosity of compassion in me, and makes it both…it helps put it in a balance so that Z-Biff had this…that he did have this responsibility for…he, in some sense, created this program when he was like, seventeen or whatever, that became Z-Biff, the social media and shopping platform, very similar to the…to reality. But it’s just that emotional connection to Lebron, in some sense, helped me find the character and be like okay, you don’t have to be entirely sympathetic but there is this emotional, sympathetic understanding that yeah, this happened…you started this when you were a kid and that you didn’t have this transition period in your life and now you have this gigantic social media and shopping sharing platform that has all these responsibilities and expectations to it, and your behavior…you’re still maybe maturing.
This is more about Z-Biff and not about anybody else. But Richard Warren Sears and James Cash Penney are saying well, that still doesn’t change the fact…it’s, yes, it’s a paradoxically difficult situation because you’ve created this thing. It’s not necessarily under your control but you’re still the figurehead and responsible for it in some sense. It has these impacts on these communities so how can you do it different? How can we now start to fix things? Okay, so that was a tangent there. Never thought I’d talk about that ‘cause I said well, it’s not really important but that was really like…was a important emotional keystone for me so thanks, Lebron. Okay, let’s…that’s the first time I’ve…I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve talked about Lebron James and I rarely talk about sporting stuff in the podcast. Go onto the next series; I’m preparing the next series. Started yesterday, so today was my second day working on it because…what is it?
Wednesday I recorded the last written episode of Get Besos. This series is gonna be influenced by a TV show, for the first time. I don’t know if…what you call it when it’s…you say okay, like when The Simpsons does a episode that’s kind of influenced by a TV show or whatever. I don’t know, it’ll be interesting. It’ll be taking a TV show and trying to make it…mashing it up with something else. It should be multi-character. I’m still trying to…I’m watching the first episode of the show. Actually, it’s not a TV show but it’s a show or a program, and watching the first episode and kind of seeing oh, how are we gonna do this? Again, are we gonna be able to make this procedural even though this is a serialized season-based show? What characters can I trim down? But this’ll still be a little bit more of an ensemble piece. But then it’s like okay, are we gonna have a narrator? I mean, I know who the main character is already. Then it’s like, okay, is she gonna narrate everything?
Is she gonna be the only voice, or will there be other characters that have voices? How will we do that? How many characters from the show…how many characters can we combine on the show…can we combine down so it makes it a little bit more manageable? Or just do sequences like we did with As the North Pole Turns? Then yeah, how can we keep it sleepy but also make it procedural? Is that possible? I think so, ‘cause most everything that’s in a show-based…even if it’s a series still has a procedure from the episode, or a sequence within the sequences and the episodes. Or if not a procedure, it’s still like…each show has its own structure, so we’ll see. I’m excited. That’s what I’m gonna be working on. I may…this is a little teaser for anybody that’s listening along here; I’m not positive about this so you’ll probably know…you’ll know now, but I may do a Patreon-exclusive series about it. It’ll probably be at one the higher tiers in Patreon just ‘cause…trying to do everything I can right now so we can maintain our current production schedule, ‘cause Patreon’s a big part of that.
But I may do some sort of mini-series or shorter…still bedtime story episodes, or maybe they won’t be bedtime story episodes. As I brainstorm each episode…I don’t know, you’ll know. If you hadn’t seen it, ask me about it and I’ll tell you what happened if it’s not out on one of the…probably be the $10 and $20 tiers Patreon. That’s not to be exclusive or anything; it’s just the reality, keeping the podcast going and free. Or where the podcast is…2% or a little bit less support us on Patreon, so it’s like when there’s like that, it’s like that’s what keeps the show in balance. Yeah, I’m excited, though. Either way, the new series…that’ll just be like a behind-the-scenes thing. The new series will be out after you hear this; it’ll either be out ten days after you hear this or it’ll be out a little bit longer depending on how my runway is looking. Yeah, that’s it. Thanks so much for listening and goodnight.
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