Pilot episode

1) I'm so spoiled with blogs, how it gives you the luxury to change your mind every second. A comma now, semicolon later, then back to comma whenever you please. When I was working for a newspaper, I always dread reading the actual print, because of all the typos and grammatical errors that I might see. My first experience in producing a podcast is recreating that dread, even tops it. At least with print media, you will just have to accept the blunder. That you can reproduce a podcast, meaning re-record, makes it so tempting to actually do it. In other words, it's so tempting to subject yourself to torment.

2) The Stunner podcast is now available on six podcast streaming services, including Spotify.

3) Here is the transcript of the pilot episode, where I explain the whole motivation behind this endeavor:

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Who/What is The Stunner?

A podcast is like free verse poetry. There's a lot of freedom in it. If it sounds like a nice thing, it's not. In both cases, freedom is the burden of creating your own form. What I'm trying to say is I don't exactly know what I'm doing, but I'm very excited.

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I've worked for five years for a national newspaper and before and after that, I've been writing freelance for magazines, websites — publication in its many forms, really. I've done advertorials, lots of it, SEO, feature stories.

When people ask me, especially my previous colleagues if I'd be willing to work again in that kind of environment, I give a quick no. It's wonderful, yes, but it's also extremely fast-paced, and I'm a very chill person.

What I miss most however, and what I think made me enjoy and endure those years, is doing profiles. Interviewing people.

I'm an introvert. Like I said in the trailer of this podcast, I'm one of those who would say, "I hate people". And maybe I do, maybe a little. But I am also very intrigued by people. And working in the media, it gave me a chance to entertain that curiosity.

When I think about it, recalling all those times, it's either I meet interesting people, or I have done a good enough job, to dig deep enough to find what's interesting about them.

That's an experience that I want to replicate again and again. And that is the whole motivation for this podcast. When I attend events and do interviews, I become sociable and to my surprise, fall in love with people! Of course we were in carefully organized events, putting our best food forward; but, yes, that’s what I like. An environment designed to keep you on your toes but eventually let your guard down.

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The Stunner — noun — is everyone, who is given the time of day to show who they really are. It's me building on that notion that we all have something interesting to say. The Stunner is also that moment or idea that stops us in our tracks. That thing which stuns.

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It's mostly a lie when writers say, "I'm writing this person or that person's story'. Most likely the writer is not telling anyone's story but their own. The subject is exactly that: subject for a desired narrative.

When you go to an interview as an interviewer for a publication, you carry with you a frame. Which can be both a good and bad thing. Good because you'll have focus, direction. And bad because — and I think this is a mistake all writers make — we force a story into a shape that doesn't serve either the subject or the reader.

Like I said earlier, the podcast is like free verse. Because there's no structure to guide you, you can either be happy about it or be lost. We understand how important structure is in communication. But we have to admit that having lots of room to play is a welcome advantage of the podcast.

If all goes well, I'd be talking to different people about the things that stir their mind. The idea is really less on what people do, and more on what they think. And again if I do it right, I'd let them tell their stories in their own voice. Yet be responsible, still, for the listener. That each episode will be crafted with purpose and clarity in mind.

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My background is literature, I write poetry. I maintain a personal blog with a literary and artistic bent. In a way, the Stunner is an extension of that practice, as a space for the unforgettable characters that I’ve read in books, or seen onscreen. I would like to chronicle here my impressions of people, real or imagined.

The concept for this programme's been brewing in my head for a couple of years now and it's funny — well I'm laughing at myself — because it takes being quarantined to push me to finally do it. Being forced to stay away from each other made me realize how crucial human interaction is.

So, in short, the Stunner is my way of connecting with people.

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