“Intimate Fame” Podcast

[NoHo Arts District, CA] – NoHoArtsDistrict.com is excited to add Podcasts to our regular lineup.  We would like to introduce you to “Intimate Fame,” written by Scott Edward Smith, with his producing partners Howard Gluss and Melissa Jobe.  The show poses the question, “what if you were in the room…” as it brings you up close and personal with Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and the infamous Wallis Simpson in these intimate, one-person performances of fictionalized audio dramas.

It’s intense….and mesmerizing if that is possible with only the voice. 

Either way, these extremely intimate and beautifully written and performed episodes with icons are absolutely fascinating and a truly unique way to rediscover such timelessly public personalities within their private lives.  

What made them tic? How did their lives change with fame? How like you and I were they? There are so many questions to be asked of them, if only we could. But sadly, they are long gone and we have only our imaginations to guide us. Scott Edward Smith uses his vivid and inspired writer’s imagination to give them new life in the first three of the many more stories he has lined up for the podcast project, “Intimate Fame.”  

Scott Edward Smith
Scott Edward Smith

So how on earth did all this come about we wondered…and so we asked!

Hi Scott! Congratulations on your new podcast project! How did the idea for the “Intimate Fame” series come about?

Covid would be the fast answer! My life is writing. Be it theatre, film, or television. And having projects moving… let’s say inching… ahead in these areas Covid pretty much slammed the doors on all forms of EXPRESSING creativity. That did not mean it would kill creativity.

So, I considered thinking of my work in what format it might work. Podcasts.

My work is mainly focused on one-person stories of historical characters. It seemed a positive outlet.

“That Woman!” was a very successful solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe, why did you think it would work as a podcast and how much adapting did you have to do?

Necessity!  We could not take it forward when the “arts” were non-existent.  I had no concern that it wouldn’t work as an Audio Drama – a better name for it than “Podcast.” Plays, more than film or television, are about words. It felt like a natural fit.

Regarding “adapting” it…  that was the great experience.  Because even a play is visual.  And as a writer, you must recreate those moments in words.  It’s a daunting task, but now three shows in, I can say it definitely makes you a better writer to have to take the transformation of visual into audio.

There is always a lot of interest in anything connected to the Royal Family, why do you think that is?

They are the “Royal Family.”  They are set up for it. It’s like someone famous and rich complain they have no privacy. You are rich and famous… figure out privacy for yourself. Of course, the world wants to know about everything you do! That is exactly the deal you made to be rich and famous.

With the royals and why I was drawn like a moth to a flame… is their unbelievable ability to repeat the past and learn nothing.  Wallis Simpson, Princess Diana, Megan Markle.  Nothing, literally nothing has changed in how the Royal family deals with inner personal relationships. At least in my life, if I did the same stupid, ignorant, bury your head in the sand behavior that the royal family has exhibited for over 100 years… hopefully a good friend would have smacked me upside the head and told me to pull it together.

Concerning “That Woman!” and the upcoming series, what is it about these individuals that interest you? Why them?

For me, it is always the “hook.”  You can pull any famous name out of a hat, and they would probably be interesting to write about.  For me, the hook is the inspiration.  If you don’t have the hook – the inspiration – good luck getting up every day and only thinking and writing.  Not gonna happen. Here’s an example of the first show.  “That Woman!“ Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor.

There are a lot of bios to go through.  But it wasn’t until I read Greg Kings’ bio that opened with a preface that told a small “hook.”

Wallis Simpson and the former King lived and died in the Windsor Villa outside Paris.  The day Princess Diana died – the next most famous royal outcast.  Diana was in Paris to buy Walis Simpson’s, Windsor Villa.  A sanctuary for Diana – much like it was for Walls before her.  Princess Diana decided to buy the Villa, she called William and Harry told them and went to dinner with Dodi Fayed and 12 hours after deciding to escape the royal family – and all the nightmares Wallis had faced before her, and all the nightmares Megan would face after her… Diana was dead.  That is an inspiration to write!

Are you able to produce the show remotely? This must have helped enormously during Covid.

Covid’s great blessing is exactly that.  I work with artist on three different continents.  I like to say we have created an in international repertory company! This never would have happened without a plague that tried it’s best to strangle to death the creative world.  Clearly, we now know who won that battle.

This first season has been focused on famous characters that are somewhat familiar to us.  You sort of know them but maybe not their story.  Season Two will continue some of those but we are already at work on more historical characters such as Alexander the Great and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Where to next with “Intimate Fame?” Any plans for staging or filming them?

At first, I thought this was the only lifeline to hang onto as the creative arts were destroyed in front of our very eyes.  Now, I see this as a creative inspiration like all creative inspirations I have had since a child.  I want to put on a show!  That show can be in your car – in your ears… and yes!  And absolutely, all these stories manifest themselves into visual content in film and television which thank God is returning.  Who the heck does not want to hang out with famous people and hear all the real dirt!?

What do you hope the audience takes from the series?

Enjoyment.  I probably should say something like “learn about,” “inform,” “educate.” No, I just want people to have a great time feeling like they are the “fly on the wall” in a moment in time that would never come their way.

So there you have it! 

Scott Edward Smith has been a writer and producer for more than 40 years on Broadway, television and flm. Scott is also writing a series of articles for NoHoartsdistrict.com “Writing for Actors.”

You can find out more about the series on the “Intimate Fame” website.

And go directly to the shows here: https://nohoartsdistrict.com/podcasts/