Marc's thoughts on Episode #50

After today’s taping, I figured this was a good time to start writing down my thoughts.  Andrew’s more than welcome to write down his own but this comes from me.  If you haven’t heard episode 50 yet I strongly suggest you give it a listen before reading any further…

I’ll wait…

Okay, now that you’ve listened you know episode 50, one that should be considered a landmark episode, will instead be remembered as the episode where I finally lost it, threw down my headphones and stormed out.  Thing is, the episode started great.  The riff about the media’s infatuation with winter storms was hilarious.   Andrew was hilarious.  Then I brought up a gig I did last weekend for an animal rights organization and it all just fell to pieces.  It devolved into a screaming match.  Well, not really a match.  A match implies at least two participants.   Ever since we were kids, our verbal altercations have always consisted of me being the screamer and Andrew being the quietly vicious and antagonistic assault artist.

In hindsight I feel bad that I didn’t stick it out and continue.  I could’ve remained calm, waited him out and then said what I wanted to say.  But sometimes my emotions get raw and unfettered.   I’ve always been that way.  It’s who I am.    And when it comes to dealing with family? Well, we’ve all been there.   Button pushing is as integral a part of family as, say, Thanksgiving dinner or carrying caskets.   Add to that mix the pressures of public performance and watch out.   I’m sure the Smothers Brothers spent plenty of time in “choke each other” mode.    The Marx Brothers?  Definitely.  Even The Hudson Brothers- although they were probably mostly just thrilled to be on television.

The problem with creating art with a family member- and I do consider a podcast to be art.  By my definition, anything that starts as nothing and becomes something is art.  Good art?  You can be the judge- but the tough part of creating with a family member, specifically a brother, is you take the individual vision that each person brings to the effort (and the contention that can spring from that) and then toss on years of sibling rivalry, jealousy, and sometimes outright disdain and you’re talking toxic.   Andrew and I work differently. Every week I drive to the taping and plan out the show while thinking “maybe this will be brilliant”.    And I’m not saying I plan brilliance.   You can’t.  If you do something great on stage or on radio or on a podcast it tends to just crystallize on its own.   It can’t be forced or it’ll smell forced.   But I’m definitely cognizant of the fact that our listeners count on us to provide something superior.  And maybe I wear that more than my brother does.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been doing this for so much longer.  Maybe it matters more to me.   Maybe because of all the career setbacks and frustrations and poor decisions and hurts I see this podcast as a real opportunity to make a mark.

Andrew doesn’t bother himself much with that stuff.  Sure, he’s neurotic as hell and constantly worried what people think but his defense is to ignore it, sit down in his chair and just starts talking.   Which is great.  And he’s great at doing it.  But I’m more aware of the listeners outside of our small circle.  Andrew gets excited because our friends and family like the podcast.  I‘m certainly happy they do, but that’s to be expected.   After all, they already like who we are.  The tough part is to get strangers to dig you and what you’re doing.   I know that every week there may be a first time listener in Iowa or Italy or Kentucky and I want to make sure they listen for a second week and a third… and a fourth.  Or who knows if maybe episode 50 was the one some big shot podcast network decision maker decided to download?  What if he hears this?  What if we blow a shot because I couldn’t keep my emotions in check or because I thought Andrew’s a dick?

Plus I was excited.  I really wanted to talk about the animal rights group and veganism.  I knew Andrew would attack it.   I expected that.  But I at least wanted the opportunity to offer my thoughts and observations on a pretty unique and interesting experience.   Normally you would bring that stuff on stage with you and talk about it there but my stage time’s been limited lately and the podcast is my opportunity to riff on things I’d otherwise talk about in a club.   And no one would be cutting me off to ask about the hot chick in the Facebook picture.   That’s probably a lot of what got to me today.   I wanted to riff solo and Andrew decided he didn’t want that to happen.  I guess that’s just something I have to live with.  That’s what doing a podcast with your brother is going to be… like it or not.   It’s just sometimes I think our podcast gets too sophomoric.  And I think we’re better than that.  I think we have something to say.  I think we have a unique viewpoint and a “voice” that can only come from two brothers with our shared dynamic.

Those of you who listened to this episode might’ve felt it was my fault.  I overreacted.  I had a tantrum. Maybe Andrew was just being really, really funny and I was envious.  Maybe there’s some truth in that.  I do sometimes feel like I’m the straight one and he’s the comedian.  It’s frustrating.  I’m also very aware that when Andrew’s at his best he’s brilliant.  He has one of the quickest minds I’ve ever worked with.  But I also know he can be deliberately antagonistic.  I also think he cuts me off with non sequiturs too often and changes the direction of the show.   And he thinks I cut him off too much. Maybe all of that is what makes the show great.  In the end, I’ll apologize for the abrupt ending and for my childish behavior… and his.  We could’ve done better.  Or maybe it was great.  I don’t know.  See you next week.

Marc

 


Comments

07/25/2015 7:22am

The learning process does not have any start and no any end. Its starts from birth and it will continue till death of that person.

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