Updated: Dec 2, 2020
And now for something moderately different... In #PodcastingHistory 7 we broaden our horizons with an entry from Darrin Sunstrum, who co-hosts MythTake with Alison Innes. Enjoy this discussion of the motivation behind exploring ancient myths, with a focus on their episode, "Wonder Woman":
Hello there everyone! I’ve been asked to write a few thoughts about the MythTake podcast. As educators and classicists, we were always ‘talking shop’ and bemoaning the fact that we couldn’t talk about this, or cover that, or expand upon this. We wanted the conversation and content that began in the classroom to continue and grow. Then it hit, like the Olympian thunderbolt – podcasting!
We quickly ran in under the sign that read ‘abandon all hope ye who enter here’- our local BestBuy - and purchased a USB microphone, downloaded some software and asked, ‘where’s the record button?’ This is a pretty good description of the genesis of MythTake.
On our podcast Alison and myself talk about ancient Classical Myth and literature and anything else that we feel is of interest to our audience, because our audience are like us. If they want a close reading of an ancient primary source and discussion, we’ve got them covered. If they want a tour of solar system that adds the mythology to the astronomy, we’ve got them covered. If they want to talk about the myths and heroes that are in movies and television, not a problem. We will talk about all sorts of things connected to our passion for classical mythology and literature. Once the microphone is on and a few ground rules laid out, we start our discussion. It’s live and sometimes we do get a bit out of hand.
As a life-long student of myth, I feel that our choice of podcasting is just perfect for what Joseph Campbell would define as ‘following your bliss’. I will let him describe this for us now;
“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you.
I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.”
A perfect example of our shows flexibility comes to mind when I think about episode 24. Having been inspired by watching Wonder Woman we had decided to include a wide-ranging discussion of the myths of the Amazons, comic books, gender in the ancient world, and on the list of topics grew. Now, I’m sure this seems perfectly normal, except we recorded it and didn’t like it. It was too stuffy, too many academic sources and ‘shop talk’. We went and saw the movie again and this time we kept our opinions to ourselves (even during the car ride home) and didn’t speak until we were in front of the microphone. To this day this episode has been one our favorites as well as being the top downloaded episode of our catalogue!
Podcasting and connecting with our listeners has been an experience that I would not trade for the world. We initially threw our content out into the void and thought that we were alone out there. But, we couldn’t be more wrong. We have met and connected with other fellow podcasters and have had the privilege and honour to be include in their work as well. This can seem like a thankless endeavor, but we can tell you truthfully it has been incredibly satisfying. As we grow and learn, we hope that you will continue along with our journey and join the conversation with us! MythTake a ‘fresh take on ancient myth’
We hope our enthusiasm ενθουσιασμος (ancient Greek for being possessed by a god’s essence) for our content doesn’t scare you off. So, give us a listen, a like on Facebook and follow both Alison @innesalison and myself @darrinsunstrum on Twitter! Also, did I mention the blog? MythTake.blog (here you will not only find our show posts and links, but also reflections on mythological topics, poetry, my posts on the Heroic Question and more!)
We’re your hosts, Alison Innes & Darrin Sunstrum. Our podcast is a little different from other myth podcasts out there. Rather than telling the stories, we focus on analyzing the literary material where those stories come from. Sometimes we choose a particular figure or theme from mythology and examine texts relating to it. Other times, we choose a passage from a play or poem and analyze it for its themes and ideas.
Our podcast is unscripted, so anything can happen! We keep it real–we want you to feel like you’re sitting down and having a conversation with us. We also welcome your input–questions, thoughts, suggestions, ideas.