Two of my books have been turned into audiobooks. Both of those books – Galileo’s Middle Finger and The Talk – are first-person works, which means that I’ve twice been played by professional actors. I conceived this episode as being a chance for me to find out what it’s like to play me, but it turned into something more interesting: an exploration of the relationship between what’s on the page and what we give to the world.
This episode starts off with a conversation with someone who hasn’t played me, namely my friend Peter Sagal, best known for hosting NPR’s news quiz show Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!. Peter shares about what it’s like to have such a well-known voice, and also shares with us his view about why role-playing is so common in sex.
Then we head into the interviews with the two women who have played me: Jennifer Riker, best known for her two-year run as Dr. Helga Jace on Black Lightning; and Tavia Gilbert, a top performer in book narration. At the end of the episode, you’ll get to hear Mike and I talk about how revelatory it was for us to listen to Tavia perform two pages from one of my books.
You can listen to the whole episode for free. But if you want to hear more of our conversations with the helpers, subscribe to our Tangent Tier and gain access to the raw, long-form tapes. If you do so, you’ll see how hard it is for us to choose material to pull to the main pod!