All Mothers Know (Ep. 78 - Clueless)

This Week's Guest: Jonathan Federico


Who can you trust to keep your secrets safe? Well that might depend on the secret. Jonathan Federico wasn't sure the people in his life could handle the truth about him, so he entrusted the truth to fictional figures, disappearing into alter-egos on stage. Occupying characters was comforting to him -- but it wasn't until well into adulthood that he was ready to discover how much better it felt to finally be himself.

This Week's Recommendation: Cole Escola and AB Soto

As for my recommendation this week, I don't even know where to begin so I'm going to give you options -- two queer artists Jonathan's worked with. The first is the mind-altering comedy of Cole Escola, who you might know from Jeffery & Cole Casserole, or his live shows, or a neverending cavalcade of strange and hilarious YouTube videos where he plays everyone from Bernadette Peters to someone's mom.

And then there's AB Soto, an incredible dancer whose music videos feature hypnotic visions of strange gyrating creatures. Watching him perform feels a bit like that moment right before you fall asleep and then wake back up and you're not sure if the thing you were just thinking about actually happened or was a dream.

Cole and AB are really really different from each other, but there is something that ties them together -- they don't just create characters, they create entire alternate universes. Cole's weird Joyce character cannot possibly exist in the same dimension as us, and the same goes for the AB Soto, whose entire life seems to be one big sexy exploding dance number.

And while they may seem to have singlehandedly created fantasy worlds of their own imaginings, that's not actually the case. Like Jonathan said, queer artists need help, they need support, they need each other to bring their ideas to life. Visionaries needs more than their visions -- they need an army of like-minded creatives behind them. So that way they'll be ready when there's an audience in front of them.

Clips of Things We Talked About


Parisian Kevin MacLeod (
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