Headphones On — My new direction for 2020 and Beyond

Since 2004 I have worked full-time as a theatrical performance activist, presenting original one-person comedies about the extremely serious issues of reparative therapy, Bible interpretation, and climate change. Performing on-stage has been one of my greatest joys. Once I get into character, I am fearless, incredibly comfortable in my skin, and free to be wildly creative.

As an actor who cares about making the world a better place, I am thrilled I figured out how to merge my activism with my art. So many people helped me with this through the years: In the beginning the members of Hartford Friends Meeting encouraged me to bear witness to the harm I experienced from conversion therapy. In a cramped attic apartment on Beacon Street, small groups gathered to give me feedback on the little scraps of performance I was piecing together. From that tiny studio apartment I created Doin’ Time in the Homo Halfway House, Queer 101–Now I Know my gAy,B,Cs, The Re-Education of George W. Bush, and Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible.  Then in Sunbury, PA, I found a new set of friends and fellow artists to give me the feedback and support I’ve needed to engage in climate work.

After thousands of performances in over 30 states and 20 countries, I now see a shift occurring in my public witness and outreach. In the last 12 months I produced 49 podcast episodes for five different shows. After taking a course in writing radio dramas, I wrote one myself and started producing them.

I receive much pleasure from spending hours pouring over audio clips, shaping them into stories, writing scripts, editing, adding music, and getting them out into the world. Very quickly I am becoming a full-time audio producer and podcaster.

This year I joined the Rock Candy Network and along with Stephen Long, host of Sacred Tension and the members of the band Eleventyseven, we have been encouraging, promoting, and helping each other.

In addition, I have begun to assist and mentor others in creating their own podcasts. Storytelling through audio proves to be powerful and personal. It is also relatively inexpensive to make and much more sustainable than traveling far and wide to perform, both in the impact to the planet and to my body, mind, and heart.

I will still do some live presentations, but I will be much more selective about where and when I perform live. It is time for me to step back more and more from those platforms as younger artists with fresh ideas deserve those spaces.

If you know of such artists/activists/performance trouble makers, let me know about them. As requests come in for me to speak about LGBTQ issues, queer Bible interpretation, and climate justice, I would love to refer the venues to these up and coming new voices.

Please feel free to sample some of the audio I produced this year.

Tags:

This post has 2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Greg Pyke on January 15, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Best of luck in the new venture Peterson. Hard to always know when it’s time so good for you!

  2. Avatar
    Elizabeth Sterling on January 19, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    Sounds like you have clarity and clearness in your direction. The nice thing about using podcasts as your medium is the potential to reach even more people. Blessings to you, Peterson!