I Started a Podcast – First Guest Anna Carini

It’s called “The GOATcast.”

Only folks who’re GOATS are on my show.

I was going to call it “The GOAT Podcast,” but one ep it’s clear that it’s so One ep in and The GOATcast is already a GOAT so I thought limiting it with the “pod” was insufficient.

My first guest is Anna Carini. Anna is a talented actor, playwright, and screenwriter, who did theater in Chicago for a longtime before moving to LA a couple of years ago.

We talk about writing for yourself, being frustrated with the lack of roles for women being an impetus to to start writing plays, and the writing process itself.

I have a website for the podcast in the works, but for now just listen to it on the site I’m currently hosting the audio, Spreaker. As soon as you listen to it, you’re a GOAT too.

Anna Carini

Anna Carini

Anna Carini an actor, playwright and screenwrite. She is a founding member and the Artistic Director of SiNNERMAN Ensemble, a storefront theater company formed by graduates of the School at Steppenwolf in Chicago. She is now based in Los Angeles and a proud member of The Road Theatre.

Anna’s play, Sweet Confinement, won four “After Dark Awards” when it premiered in Chicago in 2008 including Outstanding New Work. The play has had three subsequent productions to date including being remounted at Chicago’s Theater On The Lake, a prestigious invitation offered to eight standout Chicago productions of the year. Two of her plays, Sweet Confinement and Facing Back, have both had readings at The Road Theatre in LA as part of their Summer Playwright’s Festival. Facing Back has also had a reading at Chicago Dramatists and was chosen by The Women’s Theater Alliance in Chicago for participation in their New Play Development Workshop. Her first short film, Bliss Blue, that she wrote, starred in and produced will soon have it’s LA premiere at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. Anna can also be seen in a recurring role on the Amazon show, Good Girls Revolt.


Facebook “Dead”

Facebook DeadNovember 9th, 2016. Donald Trump is now the president-elect of the United States last night/today. Like half the country I’m wondering “How the hell did we get here?” There are plenty of think pieces out there about it. I’m not going to say anything new about it. I’m anti-Trump. I think his election is both mind-boggling, and going to a disaster in about every conceivable way.

I can say that watching Facebook and Twitter today as people vented — and everyone on my feeds vented and none celebrated — I just felt like it was such a waste of time and energy. I used to think Facebook was at least useful to keep in contact with my family. See pictures of my nieces and nephews growing up. My siblings and I do chat and connect through it. But there are so many apps that you can communicate electronically now, Slack, GroupMe, Kik, etc, without having to have your soul getting eaten up by Facebook’s White Lies of Happiness and Illusion of Connectivity.

FB has been instrumental in getting me apartments, roommates, jobs, etc, but whose to say that I couldn’t have done that through more social means because I wouldn’t have had my face 18 inches away from a laptop or phone screen for hours a day?

The disconnectedness with half the country is what really irks me though. Historically, the Coasts have and still do always look down upon the states that don’t border a large body of water. But I’m from There. I grew up in Kansas City and lived there most of my first 27 years. Our country has a built-in racist and misogynistic culture, but to me it has grown more conservative and outwardly unabashedly racist since my childhood. Yet, the day-to-day common decency of folks is as present as it always has been. There’s a break in the collective psyche of Midwesterners Whites and the ideals of the country we grew up in that welcomed the Huddled Masses and everyone was entitled to Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. There’s also a break between the children of the Midwest who have moved to the big urban areas, and the towns and states that birthed and raised them. Many folks that live in Blue States and liberal cities come from these large Blocks of red. They tackled opponents on the gridiron, marched in their bands, shot baskets on its hardwood floors, and kicked soccer balls across its never ending soccer fields. We’ve broken from each other and the anger and hate towards each other and towards non-whites is more intense than I can remember. There’s always been the tension, but I don’t remember the unabashed vitriol.

Social media has thankfully been used as a tool to shine lights on injustice. Facebook Live feeds of murder by cop that may have been covered up in the past are now reaching the public’s eyes. It will continue to serve as a tool in this fashion. But Primarily It Divides. It Divides and deepens the darkness in this country. It’s used on the Right to push hate, and lies, and vitriol and has given a hate-monger, Demagogue the White House, and its abused by the Left to ignore those who don’t agree with It.

Like every smart idea that becomes a company. The bigger the company gets, the dumber it becomes. One of the worse sins of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is that it controls which posts by our friends and family come across the feed. We are given no option to access to the raw data of information put in by our fellow online citizens, and instead spoonfed content that they think will keep us online the longest. It’s been completely aggravating tonight, to see on Instagram 23 hours after the fact, pictures posted of my friends voting and getting ready to watch the election. Why these pictures were delayed 23 hours? I have no idea. It’s painful. It’s like listening to a voicemail of someone who has passed since leaving it. And yet, there was no way to control this. What good is Instagram doing me when it can’t provide me realtime information about what my friends are currently doing? Isn’t that supposed to be one if its strengths? The first thing FB asks me every time I log on is “What’s on my mind?” It should say “What’s on your mind that might be relevant to your friends in 12-24 hours?” No algorithm can fix a company’s flawed strategy. Hell, Google is the best at algorithms, and the can’t even get a Social Media company off the ground.

Since 2013, multitasking has been shown by cognitive science to be a myth. Human beings are not more productive when doing it. You can’t watch TV and do homework at the same time. You can’t watch a game on TV, and be a good conversationalist with your date. You can’t take your work with you 24/7, and be a good partner to your significant other. Yet, social media and all apps constantly want to ping is with updates and articles, and engage us much as possible. These “smart devices” are making are lives worse in so many ways. As great as Google Maps or Waze can be in routing you a shorter route through traffic, the other apps are in your phone eat up way more time than you save in traffic.

Most importantly, social media cuts down on time I should be using to create worlds, critically think through issues about stories and my life, and cuts down on face-to-face interaction. I won’t figure out how to make my world any better, both personally and in community, by wasting any more time on Facebook. By letting some third-party app decide what information I get to see from my friends. I get to go back and be in control of that by reaching out to them and talking and hanging out.

Just as important to me, I get back to tackling the humanity of us in my writing, trying to bridge the divide be creating characters that we all relate to, and whose flaws we empathize with. Cause if anything really was the Biggest Loser in this election, and it’s something that Facebook and Twitter is horrible at fostering, it is Empathy.

11am to 6pm

Since you were 13, the most productive you’ve ever been is always 11pm to 6am. Always. You can’t listen to ball games, call people up, chat people. Over or asleep. You’ve read everything on the internet. Nobody is posting on Twitter. You put the internet blocker on your computer, leave your phone at home, and finally start writing in the library.

Do you not want to be a 11pm to 6am writer? Or are you fine with it, but you think you have to be an 8am to 5pm writer, because that’s what you think you’re supposed to be?

Also, Ned Yost should be fired. #yosted