How to Make Something About Making Something (Ep. 168: Bedknobs and Broomsticks)

This Week's Guest: James Connelly

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What if you had the power to make the places you imagine real -- so real that people can walk through them and touch them, and millions of strangers could see the setting that once only existed in your mind? My guest this week is James Connelly, who designed the sets for shows like The Voice, Bill Nye Saves the World, the Teen Choice Awards, and many more. When he's building worlds for television, he draws on his memories and experiences and daydreams, mashing together influences from across his life to invite the world into his imagination.

By the way, if you're heading to DragCon in LA this weekend, I hope you'll join me for two panels! On Sunday, I'm be hosting a game of Dungeons and Dragons played by BenDeLaCreme, Erika Klash, Kitty Powers, and Fraya Love. And on Sunday, I'll be hosting a fun friendly chat about tabletop gaming, featuring a panel of queer and ally gamers sharing recommendations for finding games and people to play with. 

And mark your calendars for our next Sewers of Paris live chat -- it's on Saturday, May 19th, at 2pm Pacific.

If you're enjoying The Sewers of Paris, click "Support the Show on Patreon" to join the folks who make the podcast possible for as little as a dollar a month. Or you can support The Sewers of Paris for free by leaving a review on your podcast platform of choice -- that really helps people find the show.

This Week's Recommendation: The Great British Bake-Off

Thanks again to James for joining me. I hope you've already seen this week's recommendation, but in case you haven't, make this the week you finally watch The Great British Bake-Off -- or as it's called in the US, the Great British Baking Show.

I'm not normally one for reality show competitions where everyone's bitterly clawing for the prize, and fortunately that's not what this show is. The Bake-Off often feels more like a collaboration, a partnership between contestants where everyone enjoys seeing each other succeed.

There's no sabotage, no cruelty, no attitude from anyone -- apart from, perhaps occasionally, one of the judges -- and the whole affair feels more like friends gathering to support each other than a contest.

That's not to say it isn't dramatic. The challenges they face are overwhelming, often requiring ingredients nobody's every heard of, techniques impossible to master and recipes that may not even be in English. The show pushes the bakers to reach beyond what they think they can do -- and when it's at its best, shows them helping each other to reveal that with just a little assistance from others, we're all capable of exceeding our expectations for ourselves.

Stuff We Talked About