The TalkingJoints storytelling series, where I recount some of the crazy antics that have befallen me while dealing with different aspects of my disease, is finally here. I apologize that it took so long to come to fruition, but it was a long road o’ hoe. The 5-minute episodes, or what I like to call popcasts, represent more work that you probably realize, so it means a lot to me and the rest of the people who helped make it happen. Enough about hardships, though, let’s talk about how TalkingJoints came into being, and why it’s so important.
I have always been part of a podcast or radio show, in some form or other. Even going as far back as 1995, I was involved in an early Internet radio prank show called UG Radio. Since then, I have been on comedy podcasts, radio shows, and other audio programs throughout my life. I have always been told I have a voice for radio (not sure if that’s a compliment or an insult), and, frankly, when I listen to my own voice I think I sound like a leprechaun on helium, but I suppose it only matters what the listeners hear, but I digress. The point is, I have been participating in audio shows for a while now, and I enjoy every moment of it. This is why I was already primed and ready to go when TalkingJoints was proposed.
The genesis of the whole idea was, like everything else these days, completely organic, I assure you. Seth Ginsberg, the spiritual leader and figurehead purveyor of CreakyJoints was asked to guest-host the Lisa Wexler radio show on WFAS 1230AM, Westchester, New York. The topic of discussion was chronic pain and the multitude of issues surrounding the topic, including prescription pain medicine abuse and availability. Since I am a veteran in this arena and it has been the subject of many of my blog posts, Seth asked if I would speak a bit about it. Of course, I said, “Yes, I’d be honored.” After all, how often does one get a chance to share their knowledge about narcotic painkillers live on a popular radio show? (Not often is the answer). The show was a success, and I like to think my segment went especially well, but that’s just my own biased opinion.
After the interview, my CreakyJoints editor, impressed by my radio prowess, thought it might be productive to look into creating my own show. I was thrilled when I was connected up with veteran network radio anchor and television segment producer Stacey Cahn. With Stacey on board, we came up with TalkingJoints, a storytelling series that would highlight both my struggles with autoimmune disease and my decidedly unique and sardonic view of the world. As with any project, there were growing pains, and in the beginning, results were hard to come by.
Eventually, though, with Stacey’s help, we ended up with a program good enough for release.
We now are launching the series with three shows “in the can,” as the industry lingo goes (it just means recorded and ready to be aired). I am thrilled the program is online because, frankly, there isn’t anything else like it available. I hate to toot our own horn, but here goes.
Humor has always been an essential part of chronic illness. Doctors have always been aware of the mental (and in a roundabout way, the physical) restorative powers of laughter. Patch Adams springs to mind, but there are other, less famous, examples out there of laughter helping terminally ill patients and others who have lost hope. A quick search of Google will show you that studies have even been done to prove the healing power of humor. For me, personally, humor and sarcasm has always been one of my main ways for dealing with this crippling and mentally draining illness. Having Rheumatoid Arthritis since the age of nine was no picnic, I can tell you that, but it did help me to develop a sharp wit and biting sarcastic attitude, when needed. School wasn’t the most inviting place for a young, handicapped, boy, so I had no choice but to find a defense. You can fight a bully with a fist, but crushing his psyche is so much more satisfying, I assure you. So, humor became my support, and it has been serving me ever since.
So, now, I am sharing that valuable remedy with you in the form of TalkingJoints. It is my humor at its finest, distilled down to flavor-packed, five-minute bite-sized portions. I assure you that if you are having a bad day, or you have reached your limit of pain, if you listen to an episode or two, things won’t seem so bad.
So, please, come along and laugh with us, and let Talking Joints help you to overcome your illness the way I have conquered mine: www.creakyjoints.org/talkingjoints