A harrowing camp story and comedian and actor Sharron Paul. You might recognize her once we start talking. She’s the voice of the mom, Francine, on the kids cartoon Fanny Fun Facts on Amazon, and she’s also in a webseries called “GhostedBusters."
Sometimes I get a little nervous talking to guests, especially the part right there at the beginning. The hello. The handoff from being alone to being in someone’s company. But I was good with Sharron and we had a pretty epic conversation. Here’s us talking back in May in Prospect Park.
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Next week we’ll be on the Staten Island Ferry with Comedy Central writer Tim Duffy. He tells some pretty amazing tales of the Hudson and we talk fat guy clothes.
Have a good 4th.
SN2:EP4 "Emotional Graffiti w/ Tim Racine & Athena Desai"
Tim Racine and I on: cats that try to separate us from our lovers; frozen gummy bears; and lying about Pantera. Also, former NPR reporter Athena Desai ties a bow on a 14-year-old audio clip mystery I've been trying to get my head around since I left WBUR in 2002.
SN2:EP3 “Something w/ Jeff Simmermon”
I’m releasing this on a Saturday morning just to see what happens. It feels right to me. Herein is a tiny documentary on what it's like to be in a friend's apartment when they're not there. Followed by me and Jeff talking about: people who don’t wring out the kitchen sponge; getting way deep into the nature of storytelling (he helps coach me through an impossibly climax-less story I keep insisting on telling). He comes over and cooks me the mushrooms I helped watch for him one weekend in March.
Jeff’s a real heavyweight and it was an honor to have him on. He's “a storyteller, standup, and the guy behind "'And I Am Not Lying,' a variety show that combines stand-up, storytelling, burlesque, sideshow and music on the second Friday of every month at UCB East."
He’s won a bunch of Moth StorySLAMS, And you may recognize him from stories on This American Life, The Moth's podcast, and some things he’s written for The Paris Review Daily. (I pretty much just ripped that off from his website.)
He also teaches a storytelling class that actually gets going tomorrow, Sunday, June 5th. "It’s a six-week workshop for experienced comics and storytellers, to teach the structure and technique of comedic storytelling." If you’re interested go to his site and contact him at jeffsimmermon.com/contact
I know you listen to lots of podcasts and everybody asks you to go on iTunes and review their show, but that would really be a big help.Had a couple people say some nice things already. but two reviews on iTunes is sort of embarrassing so come on help us out. You could also support the show at patreon.com/yarnworthpod ,but I realize that’s a monthly recurring thing and it’s a bit of a commitment so I’m trying to work out some other veiled form of digital patronage, also known as begging.
Regardless, we're at whatsyouryarnworth.com. Check us out there for more details. To hear about music used in the show and check out the artists that make this thing sound alive. Also @yarnworthpod on twitter.
Oh and at the end of the show I play one of the stories he told on the moth. With thanks and attribution to the moth podcast there. That’s from their show on the week of August 5th, 2015. Go there. themoth.org/podcast
Next week on the show is Tim Racine who comes up with a potential new name for the show. He’s a solid, funny dude and I had a great time walking around the park with him.
Beginning with a sort of mini documentary of me getting a colonoscopy (I'm healthy. It's a long story, explained within.), this episode is likely one of the first podcasts to provide an audio chronicle of what the day before one of those things is like. Maybe one of the last to do it as well.
This week my walking companion is Katina Corrao. Much has been written about her positivity, but what is sometimes left out is just how much loss she has experienced in her life. We bond over the grim and I marvel at the horsepower of her attitude. I hate the word "attitude," but she helps me accept it again.
This episode was recorded on January 27, 2016 and February 22, 2016 and is one of the longer ones I've done with a guest. And for good reason. Hang in till the end or just treat it like two back to back episodes, maybe.
Music this week by Aaron Campbell, A guy drumming at the West 4th Stop, and Direwires
Katina on twitter: @KatinaCorrao
WYYW on same: @YarnWorthPod
Support the show on Patreon
Welcome back to what’s your yarn worth? w/ me, your host, andy farnsworth. I’ve been sort of reverse-groundhogging my way back into the world this Spring. Hope you're good. Margaret Dodge is my traveling companion this week.
Recorded in two parts: October 25th, 2015, on a visually and aurally beautiful day in Central Park; then, deeper into our respective issues and into the belly of her new apartment/feral cat cave at the end of February 2016. Basically, this episode bookends several months of substantial emotional fermentation.
Anyway, I’m making some progress and Margaret has become a good friend and has been pretty helpful with that. She's funny and easy to talk to.
This week I visit Eric Aleman, owner of the storied King of Kings Barber Shop in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. I’ve been going to him for a couple years and it's always an odyssey which begins on my scalp and ends in my heart.
Eric, like a lot of good barbers, is able to step in and out of conversation. He’ll talk if you want to talk. Or he’ll just step back and keep working on your hair. That’s part of why I like him.
He’s not only a really solid barber, he’s also a talented lyricist, hip-hop artist/ whatever you want to call it. He’s a founding member of BLKLYST. Who you can check out playing at Littlefield’s or here on youtube.
If you listen real close here you can hear him shaving my neck at one point. It’s pretty hard to talk w a knife to your neck, but I did my best.
#Barber #EricAleman #KingOfKings #HipHop #SunsetPark #WYYW #Patreon #NYC #WNYC
It's one thing to be invited into the home of a comic, but to see them in the thick of motherhood is, to me, like the spotted owl of documentary conversation. Today's episode is a sort of extreme form of eavesdropping. An audio portrait of the sacred struggle to get a kid to bed with comic, mom, and brilliant facebook satirist Julie Kottakis.
I first saw Julie perform at the New York Fringe festival last year in her solo show "Does This Dress Make Me Look Alone" which she called an "Alone Woman Show. She did address the circumstances surrounding the conception and birth of her daughter, what it's been like to care for her on her own, but I hesitate to bring that up because there's a danger in thinking this was just a mom doing a one-woman-show about being a single mom. That sells it way short. Her performance spanned the range of comic and tragic registers and she laid out some rawness in a way I don't remember seeing before. Not tell it like it is stuff. Afterbirth type stuff. Literal and metaphorical. Frankly, I wish more comics packaged their jokes less and did more of what Julie is doing.
As you'll hear in this episode she offers her life with abandon and pushes nothing. Frankly, I was surprised she allowed me to put some of this audio in here. Having wireless mics on people makes them forget they're on tape sometimes and that yields some very candid moments. The moments people don't talk about like a 5 year old kid that still asks to breastfeed sometimes. Take a listen. I've received permission to use all of it. And I'm so grateful to Julie for that because it's stuff people need to hear I think.
It's a very real, very earthy, and absolutely beautiful and generous look at something a lot of us who don't have kids take for granted. And if you don't laugh at this, rot in hell.
Also, if you're in NYC, go see Julie in the Venus / Adonis Theater Festival this coming Feb 8, 10, 13, Details here:
Friend her on facebook (Julie Kottakis) if you can because that's where the really good stuff happens. Also @theweirdjulie
Episode 8 Credits:
Find out how to support what's your yarn worth? w/ andy farnsworth at patreon.com
More detailed information about Episode 8 here:
Music this week:
"When the Saints Go Marching In" - Marysville Marimba
"Glockendoodle" - Aaron Campbell (@banjoporkchoppy)
Technical Help from:
Vince Fairchild at WNYC (@vincefair)
Doug Shugarts at WBUR in Boston
#Julie Kottakis #Bedtime #Kids #Breastfeeding #WYYW #WNYC #WBUR #NYC
It's impossible to tell the story of how I know comedian and psychologist Marc Gerber without getting into a host of sordid and vulnerable-making trauma from my past. He offered some perspective back in June that changed my life and comedy.
Gerber is an atypical hybrid of a professionally funny and employably empathetic person. He and I met when I performed on a show at the PIT called Relationshit where he served as on stage therapist for a story I told about a piece of material about my own childhood sexual abuse. In this episode I play the recording of that performance along with another version I did more recently at a recovery show in New Jersey. The revision of this bit over time is the best example I have of how my perpetual over-disclosure has unintentionally helped saved my life.
He also opens up about his own struggles and offers a much needed and practical solution for quelling loneliness, a call to 1-800-Contacts.
Check out his weekly show at Comic Strip Live on Mondays called Three Day Weekend.
#WYYW #NYC #Flatbush #UES #Abuse #Recovery #Comedy #ChineseFood #Relationshit
Ali Pearl, author of the recent New York Times Modern Love article 'On Tinder, Off Sex,' and I discuss: the intimacy of listening to Enya together; our emotional exhibitionism; and a grudge I had against her for not putting me in her article. I also take her to meet Chango—those badass EDM subway performers in Union Square wearing Mexican wrestling masks you may have been lucky enough to experience.
#AliRachelPearl #ModernLove #OnTinderOffSex #Changoliveset #Comedy #Podcast #SelfHelp #EDM #NYC #WYYW #UnionSquare
Over a year in the making, this epic episode of What's Your Yarn Worth spans several conversations with NYC comedian Aalap Patel. From Alpha Donuts in Queens, along Avenue A in the village, 3 of Andy's apartments, a rooftop in Brooklyn, and into the dark heart of one of New York's most beloved funny men.
[Correction: The poem that I read about 22 minutes in to this episode is by Greg Koehler and his name is actually pronounced "Keeler." Originally published in Ninth Letter as "Heart River Dirge," the poem is now titled "Mutual Testament" in the as of yet unpublished manuscript "Style, Elements." For now it's here. Check out Greg on Instagram. I've loved that poem for years and was finally able to track him down recently and get to know him a bit.]
#WYYW #NYC #Queens #Brooklyn #SelfHelp #Comedy #GregKoehler #NinthLetter
How ducks have sex; ways to call in sick to work; and "food brain"--just a few of the topics covered during this fantastic conversation with LA comedian Barbara Gray. We walked through Prospect Park in Brooklyn on a crisp afternoon and watched fall ripen around us. Listen to this episode of What's Your Yarn Worth? with Andy Farnsworth and then go listen to her on the popular Lady 2 Lady podcast over there on Maximum Fun.
#Ducks #Sex #Lady2Lady #BarbaraGray #Sauce
I hope that this conversation with one of the best and brightest French people I know makes up for my lack of insightful commentary on the situation in France. Sami Bronowski is a NYC comedian who walked around Manhattan with me back in April. (I've been sitting on this episode because I was worried you guys might think it's too difficult/distracting to listen to a lively conversation which sometimes battles the sounds of dump trucks and helicopters.) We talked about the usual stuff: girls, mimicking people, food, death, and a lot of other very French type stuff. It's worth a listen. Very John Cage-esque if you go in for that sort of thing.
Livia Scott is not only a freakishly funny and compassionate person, who I was stoked to get to spend an afternoon in Prospect Park with, she also offers a compelling theory about my childhood that helped me find my inner 2nd-grader's Walter White. She explains the origins of her body suit and why she is so proud of a particular song she wrote, one that confirms all my worst fears about my genitals. Listen as we "embarrass our way to the right hand of God." And go see Livia in her shiny suit on the Livia Scott Sketch Program at the UCB Chelsea this Wednesday, November 11, at 9:30
An honest, unvarnished conversation with James Greco: painter, inner monologue coach, and person I respect and love a whole lot. There's literally zero production on this first episode. Just a straight, conversational document. Pretty much every instinct I had at the time told me not to put this out there, but my friend Tasha listened to it and told me not to trust my instincts. It's advice that served as a guide for all the episodes that have followed. Anti-instincts.
I'd say this episode is intense but what's intense you know? I probably wouldn't listen to it in front of kids, but maybe you're running some kind of experiment. Here you go.
You can check out James Greco's work here
[Correction: Just FYI I got a little carried away in this one when I was talking about the baby-smuggling grade school teacher. I actually didn't have her as a teacher. It was my sister that had her. Also, the teacher in high school I was talking about was actually "Mrs. Mishler" not Mueller. Don't know why I said those things.]