Last Friday I was taped performing some of my songs (popsong, esmerelda, unwind, and ghosts) and talking about various venues I’ve played for a cable access show “Deprogramming Hour”. The show is conceived and run by Katharine, a sometime bartender/artist at The Backfence and puppeteer in Central Park. I attend the open mic there on Sundays hosted by Jon V. Worthley, sign-up at 7PM. Everyone should visit this historic joint before they close shop on September 30th.
Katharine, first off thanks so much for having me on the show, “Deprogramming Hour”, I had a blast!
1. What inspired you to want to create your own t.v. show?
First there was Wayne’s World. I thought oh that’s cool. Then I went to a memorial service for one of the Marvel Comics editors. There were pictures from his childhood dressed up as super heros, pages from comics he helped produce, and a few people there were walking around dressed as characters he created. Then there was this presentation which included his cable access show that he made with friends. It stuck with me that he and his friends showed up every week for years to do this show even if they weren’t prepared or tired. I thought that sounds like a great time. After 9-11 my best friend got cable because her tv signal was knocked out. She started watching Manhattan Neighborhood Network and there were ads encouraging people to come in and make a show for free. She asked me if I wanted to do it with her. As if I needed more convincing she added that my hero Micheal Moore said he wanted to start a militia of people making their own media to combat mainstream misinformation. I said yes.
2. How long have you been doing this?
The first tv show I made was in high school. We did a piece for the Archdiocese tv station on homelessness. My part in the show was to interview this Pastor who ran a soup kitchen and housed the homeless. My first show for MNN years later was in June 2003.
3. What are some of your favorite television shows? (past and present)
The Muppet Show, TV Nation, Awful Truth, True Blood, Game of Thrones, everything by Bill Moyers, Frontline, American Masters, Daily Show, Colbert Report
4. You also do a puppet show in Central Park, when and where do you perform and how did you land that gig?
I puppeteer at the historic Swedish Cottage, 79th and West Drive (near the Delacorte Theatre) . A friend told me about the auditions and I tried out.
5. Do you have a favorite muppet?
Gonzo is my favorite because he is the weirdo. I loved Muppets in Space because the plot revolved around him.
6. Do you have a favorite film director? If so, who? If not, why not?
I don’t really follow directors much. I guess it would have to be Micheal Moore.
7. Do you have a favorite band? If so, who? If not, why not?
I have four favorite bands: Bauhaus (including Tones on Tails, Peter Murphy solo, Love and Rockets), U2 (Achtung Baby and before), Joy Division, and The Beatles. I love Bauhaus because they are dark, experimental, artsy, and different from everything else. I love early U2 because Bono’s voice is beautiful and the lyrics are passionate. I can’t explain my attraction to Joy Division. They were just perfect and their music moves me. The Beatles were my first love and their music makes me feel happy.
8. I love the title of the show, it has many layers to me, what does it mean to you?
It comes from the process of undoing brainwashing. So much of tv is dishonest, we try to be honest. The show was meant to be more political than it’s turned out to be. I wanted to cover topics that weren’t getting enough attention, but affected us all together such as war and pollution. However it seems that people don’t want to hear about it, so you have to hide the message in art.
9. What do you hope will happen with Deprogramming Hour in the next 5 years?
I hope it gets an underground following. It would also be great if it somehow led to paid work.
10. Do you have a favorite author? Painter? Do you prefer the beach or mountains?
author: George Orwell; painter: Arthur Rackham, I prefer the beach because I haven’t been to the mountains much.
It was great having you on the show. Thanks for the interview too.
Thanks again Katharine!!
So check out Deprogramming Hour every other Friday at 12:30AM on MNN4, channels 36/67/85 depending on your provider and in Brooklyn every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 6PM on channels 34/67/82/42
I’ll let you all know when my segment airs. Have great listens this week, support live music and free independent media outlets!!