Some changes are going down here at Elsie Cast Central.
About two months ago, I found out I was being laid off at my job. Our department’s budget had been cut, and I was the last person hired. There was a moment of personal discomfort, followed by a lot of anger on behalf of my co-workers who now have to take over the work that I was doing and on behalf of the students I worked with who will be less well-served because my co-workers won’t have the time to do everything I was doing. Then I set about looking for another job.
And the job I found is a dream job.
I enjoyed the job I had before, I really did. But I wasn’t particularly interested in it. I mean, I believed in what I was doing, and I genuinely cared about my students and making sure they had what they needed. But as much as I admire and value the work that they do, I don’t understand it. It’s advanced biochemistry–figuring out the mechanisms by which genes work inside animal cells–and just way beyond my training, if not my intelligence.
So that worked out well for Elsie Cast. I did my job and enjoyed it, but it wasn’t taking up a whole lot of psychic energy. The real satisfaction came from what I was doing here.
Now, though, I’ve got a job using all the skills I learned at my previous job, plus all the skills I learned at the job before that one, and it’s in the area of reproductive health, which is something that I’m really interested in. And then Justice Kennedy retired. So now, not only am I really interested in my job in a very satisfying (and tiring) way, but it feels really important to be engaged in that area. Like, if we don’t keep up this fight, women will die because they can’t get access to necessary care.
As I saw Elsie Fest season approaching (I’m expecting an announcement the week of July 23rd, based on past experience) I wasn’t feeling happy and excited like I was last year. I was feeling anxious and stressed. I couldn’t see how I would keep up with the Elsie Fest news and do a good job at work. And doing a good job at work feels WAY more important. Not just because it’s my job and they pay me and I take pride in what I do, like at my previous job, but because it’s REALLY IMPORTANT. So I asked if anyone wanted to help me with my twitter.
Bre stepped up right away. And I like Bre. She seems dedicated to her love of Darren. She’s young and energetic, and from what I’ve been able to tell, she seems trustworthy. But I felt awful about giving her my Twitter. Just miserable. After a few days, I realized why. @Elsiepod, like the podcast, is me. It’s not all of me–I try to keep it just to musicals as much as I can–but it’s me. I have friends. There are convos in my DMs that people probably don’t want me to share. When you see a tweet from @elsiepod, you know it’s from me. And it was one thing having JoAnna help with RTs during Elsie Fest last year–it’s quite another to have someone actively tweeting all the time. It didn’t feel right.
So I kept wrestling with what to do. And here’s what I came up with. I’m going to move my Elsie Fest news over here. I have the blog set to tweet every time I post anyway. And Bre is going to help out on the blog, under her own name. You can see her introduction post here. So if I’m too busy at work to post a link to Darren’s Elsie Fest announcement, Bre will be able to do that for you. And who knows? Maybe she’ll get inspired and write some great posts on why she loves Glee or what’s her favorite Broadway show or something else that will be great for all of us to read–I’m giving her freedom to do what she wants under her own name as long as it’s related to the topic at hand. Once we start the FAQ for this year’s Elsie Fest, Bre and I will work together to keep it updated and useful for you. And once Elsie Fest is over, Bre and I will discuss where we want this to go, if she wants to stay on and do regular posts, or she wants to do other things and come back next year at this time, or what. We’ll let you know in November or so about that.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen with the podcast. For now, I’m reducing it from every two weeks to once per month. I’ve got two more interviews scheduled now, hopefully, and then I’ll decide what I want to do after that.
So that’s the plan for now. Subscribe to this blog if you want to be kept up to date on the latest Elsie Fest news, which Bre and I will gather from the many places the producers leave it and try to digest into something coherent and useful for people. If you want to help with the blog, you can reach out to me here or on Twitter or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And then we’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll miss doing the podcast every two weeks and go back to it. Maybe I’ll find I don’t miss it at all and I’ll end it, or at least go on hiatus until I get inspired again. Maybe once per month will be just perfect. Most of all, though, I don’t want to lose the community that’s formed around this podcast/Twitter/blog. So let me know how you feel about all this, and what you want from me, and what you like and what you miss. I’m not saying I’ll feel obligated to give you what you want, but I can’t even consider it unless you tell me what that is. My impression is that last year’s FAQ is the most useful thing I’ve ever made, so I’m making that the priority for now. If I’m wrong, tell me.
But the last two years have been really fun, so thanks for listening, and above all, Make More Art!