Completing the Deck

For Season Five, I’ve been using a lot of non-scripted material. For episode 51, I decided to just sit down and talk about the difficulties I had getting my PhD at Berkeley. I then went on so long I had to break it up and make it into two podcast episodes.

It’s a story I’ve told many times, and have now recorded. The success story is this: between beginning and ending the program, which took 11 years, I was the only person in my five person class who finished. And this was after I was told several times that I should not continue, that I should leave, and that I was not even capable of writing, much less completing, a dissertation.

The process of getting my PhD was in some cases demoralizing, and yet in other aspects rather inspiring. (I made a short YouTube video about the inspiration part.) In the end, with PhD in hand, I managed to build quite a successful career in theatre and academia. The degree enabled me to do things that I would never have thought possible prior to earning it. And I have always cited myself as a success story, suggesting that you can in fact have success when you choose a theatrical or artistic career path, a path that so many denigrate or try to steer young people away from.

I am releasing both of these podcast episodes at the same time, because, well, you know, I hate it when, on a streaming service, you get really involved in a TV show, you watch several episodes, and then you have to wait a week to see the next episode?! How 20th century! Here you can binge my tale in one sitting, if you so choose

Here are the links to episodes 51 and 52.

Oberammergau, Germany. In 2022, I had the chance to see the centuries-long-running Passion Play that I have wanted to see for decades.

Published by stephenschrum

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts; interested in virtual worlds, playwrighting, and filmmaking. Now creating a podcast called "Audio Chimera."

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