Harry welcomes to the show, co-hosts of the Imagination and Junk podcast, Bill Barol & Mat Ricardo. Bill is a writer and podcast creator who has gained critical acclaim for his work on the podcast HOME: Stories from L.A. Mat is a performer, modern-day vaudeville and one of the greatest variety artists working today. This unlikely duo met and formed a friendship during the COVID-19 pandemic, where they came up with the concept of Imagination and Junk, a freewheeling transatlantic conversation about creativity — what it is, where it comes from and why it matters.
In this episode, Harry, Bill and Mat talk all about creativity and content creation. Bill and Mat open up about how the pandemic impacted their lives and how they were able to create in spite of this global challenge. Mat shares his background as a performer, including the first time he ever got paid to perform. Bill speaks to the importance of being vulnerable and authentic in the Arts. Finally, they each share their thoughts on the future of Imagination and Junk and talk about one thing they’ve recently changed their minds about.
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06:35 – Harry welcomes to the show Bill Barol & Mat Ricardo, who tell the wild story of how they first met
16:33 – Creators respecting creators and the inspiration to launch the podcast, Imagination & Junk
24:42 – Podcasting without a plan and lessons learned
30:20 – Performing for a dull audience
31:56 – Cultivating new friendships in the time of COVID-19
37:23 – Vulnerability, honesty and authenticity in the Arts
41:00 – Bill’s vision for Imagination & Junk
46:06 – Leaving a legacy
49:12 – The reception that Imagination & Junk has received
51:26 – Mat recalls the first time he got paid to perform
53:16 – Bill recalls the first time he got paid to write
55:06 – Something Bill & Mat have changed their minds about recently
58:04 – Harry thanks Bill & Mat for joining the show and let’s listeners know where they can connect with them
“One of the things I’ve learned in the last third of my career, the most recent third, is to be personal with my work and to be honest, which enhances what I do.” (13:25) (Mat)
“It occurred to me that coming from two different and somewhat complementary perspectives of a writer and a performer, that we were circling the same topic in a way but coming at it from a different direction.” (17:38) (Bill)
“What happened was somebody swooped in and did this other podcast while I was dealing with this other thing in my life. The performer’s nightmare – one of them. And so I was sort of casting around for a new idea for a podcast and these videos of Mat’s kind of tipped me over to this notion of creativity.” (23:50) (Bill)
“I’m a performer. I’m a maker. I’m a writer. But at heart, all of this is based around the fact that I am a circus act. I am a variety performer. I do tricks. My hands can do things. So, it’s easy to therefore think that that’s the one thing that I’m good at, doing tricks.” (27:07) (Mat)
“It’s been such a weird eighteen months. It really has in all sorts of ways. And one of the things we talk about is the ways in which a species level event affects everything, by definition. One of the new relationships that I formed during this period has been with Mat who, I’ll say again, I have never met face-to-face.” (32:23) (Bill)
“The time when the Arts are interesting and are moving to people is when you can be honest, you can be authentic and you can be presenting as close to the real you as you can. That’s what makes great art, being truthful and authentic.” (38:35) (Mat)
“The creativity of communication is the communication of creativity.” (42:13) (Bill)
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