July 8, 2021

Jonathan Cook, Playwright, Filmmaker, Podcaster

Jonathan Cook, Playwright, Filmmaker, Podcaster
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Have you ever wondered how prolific creators keep creating? Find out from creative renaissance man, Jonathan Cook, what keeps him motivated and what he does to keep his head clear so that there is room for unbound imagination.

Check out Jonathan's podcast, Gather By The Ghost Light, wherever you listen to podcasts.

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I guess that moment, you kind of get some credibility to yourself. Right. Because it's like, this isn't a friend that's just kind of doing me a favor. This isn't someone local that they just need something to do. Because you know, I wrote plays in college, which were all terrible. But they put them on. Right. You know?

Welcome to another episode of Chewing the Fat. I am your host, Big Robb. Thank you so much for all of the follows, the listens, the messages on Instagram and the emails of support. I really, really appreciate it. That makes doing this so much more worthwhile. I'm excited about my guest for today. He's a filmmaker, a playwright, an award-winning playwright at that, a musician, a podcaster as well. Please welcome to the show,

Jonathan Cook. Robb. Hello, sir. What's going on? I almost got out of breath trying to list off your litany of accomplishments, but all true, all well deserved. I just do what I can. You're kind of blushing over there. No, I'm just trying to stay humble, that's all. That's such a stay humble. Well, your bio is very verbose and you've done some really cool stuff. We've done shows together, we've worked on film projects together,

It's funny, we've done a lot of stuff together, kind of behind the scenes on a lot of projects here in the Augusta area, and I always enjoy working with you. I know it's always gonna be a quality product, whatever it is, whatever genre it is. If it's gonna be a play or a film or a podcast or whatever, it's always gonna be quality, whatever your name's attached to it. So thank you for having me on your stuff and for being the type of person

stand for good quality entertainment. Well, thank you for those compliments. And I appreciate you having me on, because you're doing a good thing here. And I'm a listener. I'm a fan. So I listen to you every time there's a new episode. Well, I appreciate that. So what are you working on right now, Jonathan? I'm always working on something. Pretty much the thing that's got the most traction right now

gathered by the ghost light. Great podcast. Do radio theater stories, which they're basically stage plays for the most part. And they've been adapted into audio plays where on the podcast, you kind of hear the stories in a radio theater format. And there's sound effects, music, all kinds of good stuff. It's a fully, I wanted it to be a fully immersive experience. And I'm hoping that I have accomplished that in about a year and a half.

Yeah, and I have been a fan of your podcast since you started it. With your original plays is how it started, right? You took your plays and adapted them into a radio theater format, right? Exactly right. And that's how it started is I was setting up a platform to produce my own plays. I have a lot of stage plays that have just been produced a lot in theaters, you know, all over the place.

could share the plays that I've written without, you know, audiences having to wait for a theater to put it on, you know, especially locally. And now since I have a lot of those plays set up in the audio play format, they could just go listen to them on the podcast. Now over time, when I realized that a lot of my stage plays you have to kind of adapt them to an audio play format. Cause if a stage play has lots of visual cues in it, you gotta change some dialogue around and little things like that. And as I was doing that,

I thought it might be fun to, well not just fun, but to kind of share a voice with other playwrights. And I've been to a lot of play festivals over the years because my plays have been accepted to different theater festivals. And whenever I go see my plays, I would see other short plays. And I've met a lot of playwrights and I started reaching out to some of them, the plays that I had seen that I liked a lot. And the ones that I, when I read back through them, I was like, you know, this would work good as an audio play format.

as well. So I started inviting other playwrights to submit their work and I started producing their stuff as well. How's that response been from those playwrights? Have they listened back to their play in one of your episodes and you heard back from them? Oh yeah, it's funny, whenever I first ask them, you know, because my podcast isn't, you know, huge yet. I mean, I get a lot of listeners and everything, but whenever I asked them it's kind of new to them. And until they actually go and listen to what I've been doing

They don't really give me the okay, because the reply back is always like, yeah, I'll listen to a few episodes, I love you today. They never just blindly, oh yeah, go do my stuff, which that's smart to do. You wanna know you're getting into something that's gonna sound good and represent you well. Right, I know that was hard for me to get you on this show because of that. In doing that type of format, in that radio theater format, is there something that's more difficult or easier that you find in producing it,

you were actually to mount a play in a theater? Well, what makes it easier is that if a line isn't delivered right, we can do another take. Whereas if you're in live theater, you just take it as is. But on the other side of things, for live theater, you will rehearse four to six weeks, sometimes more. So you'll know it. Whereas with my audio plays, I usually do a virtual rehearsal with the cast once, maybe twice, and then it will do that before recording day.

we're all on the same page and I listen to everyone's delivery over virtually and then on recording day when we're all in, it's kind of easy to knock it out because everyone is prepared. And no one's coming in that day looking at the script for the first time. That's another reason I like to have rehearsals because I want to make sure no one's doing that. Just make sure everyone's at least looking at it and being prepared. Kind of have some sort of character idea in their mind that they're going in with. Exactly, exactly. And all the cast I've worked with before and I already know they're kind of professional and they wouldn't do that anyway.

So yeah, it's been a good year and a half of doing this. That's awesome. Do you have a favorite that you've done so far? I know that's kind of like favoriting your children and all like that. And I guess it could be one of the ones that you didn't actually write either, but do you have a favorite production that you've done? It's weird. Because I can listen back to them and I can hear the quality getting better every time I do it. Because I recently went back and listened to the first episode where I had subpar equipment

And I love the story. It's one of my first ones I wrote. It got produced a lot on stage and all that. But every time I do a new episode, it's I know I'm getting better at what I'm doing. I'm getting better at editing and mixing the audio. And so the new one is always usually my favorite. Because it's the one that's most in my memory, the one I'm working within that moment. So the one that's releasing this week, which you're actually in, is currently my favorite.

I love it and I've listened to it just in editing so much now. And usually after our releasing episode, I'll listen to it one more time on the platform that it released on just to make sure the file went over correctly. And then I just kind of step away from it because I've already listened to it so much. Right, and I mean, I assume you kind of get kind of an ear fatigue from the editing and listening to it over and over and over again. But do the lines still make you chuckle? Do you still get some entertainment

of those? Every time. That's great. Especially, you know, in this new one with you, like the character you put on for this is great. Yeah, the new episode dropping this week, it's called Doctors and Lawyers, First Edition Rules, which is kind of play on Dungeons and Dragons. Okay. To where us as humans, we play Dungeons and Dragons and we put ourselves into this fantasy world as wizards and barbarians and rogues and all that. And so this is a play called Doctors and Lawyers,

the elves, the dwarves, you know, what game do they play? What fantasy world did they dive into? And for them, they play a role playing game called Doctors and Lawyers, where their fantasy world is kind of coming into our world, where they do these mundane jobs, which is mundane to us, but to them, it's really exciting, you know? Right, right. And it's a very funny concept. I saw the play first, probably about six years ago, in Orlando, that's where the Playwright is based. We were both in a festival together. I saw my play,

and I loved it back then. You know, and it's a stage play, since it's characters sitting around a table rolling dice, there isn't much action there really, you know, not much room for blocking or anything. So thinking back, when I started doing the podcast, I was like, you know, that would actually make a great audio play though. Which the stage play was still great too. I mean, it definitely was memorable in my mind or else I wouldn't have reached out to him to put it on. But yeah, it's hilarious. And all you guys did a good job, you and Nicole and Brandon,

and Bruni and Brie Hayes. Yeah. What's the name of the playwright? David Strauss, based in Orlando. Do you have a goal for Gather By The Ghostlight? I mean, when I follow and look at your, like your Instagram and you do the promoting and stuff, I love the different photos that you've had of just different ghost lights from different theaters around there, around the world. I think that was a great homage to theaters that were closed because of COVID.

because we couldn't actually be in a theater together. And that thought of gathering around that ghost light to hear those tales, those theatrical tales, kind of like gathering around a campfire. What do you want to see happen with the podcast? Just to continue on and to make some great entertainment? Or is there something more you'd like to do? I mean, that is the main goal. I mean, a lot of people don't know this,

I launched a podcast in March 2020, which was pretty much right as everything was shutting down. But I started recording the plays a year before that in early 2019, because I knew I wanted to do something with them. And I started, a lot of the plays I've written have been produced locally. So I started contacting the original cast of those plays. And I was like, hey, can you come in and record this? And so I guess I had about five or six kind of in the vault,

pushed a button, kind of like your first episode, he's waiting to push the button because you did. I didn't know what I wanted to do with it. And then when the shutdown happened, I was like, you know what? People don't have theater right now. A lot of businesses closing. Let me find a way to bring theater to them with these plays I recorded. And so I released the first one, which I said, recorded at home, subpar equipment. I got a lot of positive feedback. Everyone loved it. But in my head, I was like, you know what? I can do better. Yeah, yeah.

looking into local studios, the ones that were kind of still operating if you had a small group. And so we started going for the next, I guess it was about six episodes after that. I went to the studio and it was a good way to lay out a good foundation for high quality audio recordings. And then from there, I was kind of learning stuff on my own and saving up to get my own stuff. And then by the eighth episode or so, I was set up again at home with more professional gear.

that I stopped going to the studio. Yeah, I didn't know that because I had a chance to be part of your Christmas episode last year, and we went to the studio, great facility, and then when you were like, yeah, I want you to come on for doctors and lawyers, I'm like, okay, great, but were we meeting over at the, like, no, no, at the house, I was like, oh, okay. And, but yeah, I was not able to tell the difference

quality of that. So that's a great testament to you in your craft, in the professionalism and the quality, like I said, that you want to put out. And I think it's very innate in you that you're not gonna put out crap. You know what I mean? You're in the stuff that you're involved with, like I said, and that's me personally. And I mean that anytime I see your name attached to something, I know it's gonna be a quality production. Well, thank you. I try, that's kinda my goal. I'm more quality over quantity. I don't like to show my cards early.

So if you hear about me doing something, I've already been doing it for about three or four months. Like I've been preparing for it. I mean, I know some people that'll get an idea for a movie script, and then next thing you know, they'll be posting on Facebook, hey, I'm doing this movie. If I do that, I'd already written the script out. The thing's already in motion before I say anything about it. Because I know ideas can evolve, and I hate to say something prematurely. And then down the road, people will be asking, hey, so what would happen? Well, I'm doing this.

now, this new thing, I know. So usually I don't really, like I said, I don't show my cards. Just, you know, when something's ready to go, that's when I'm like, okay, here it is. Yeah. And if folks want to subscribe and follow, you're on all the podcasting platforms or anything like that. Is there anything else like, like if somebody wants to do more than just listen, you know, follow the podcast, is there any way that they can do anything like that? Actually, I'm glad you brought that up

Just launched, we now have a, well, I now have a Patreon page for the podcast. And if you've enjoyed listening or if you're a newcomer and you like what you hear, and you do want to further support, there's several levels. And if you subscribe to at least the mid-level tier within the first 30 days of launch, you'll get a, the Gathered by the Ghostlight Year One book, which this book,

audio play scripts that were produced in the first year. These are the same scripts that the voice actors used when recording. So you'll see the sound effect and the music cue notes. And along with that, you'll also see commentary before each script from myself, as well as the playwrights who have contributed stories. So you're getting kinda, you're getting some behind the scenes sort of trivia and information for each story. And it's really cool. It's kinda like your own little companion book.

listen to the stories and you just kind of want to read through what the scripts look like, the voice actors worked off of. It's a good little thing to have. So that's what you get if you sign up for at least a mid-level tier or higher within the first 30 days. And the book will also be available on Amazon in about a month or so. But this is kind of a way to get it early. Okay, any other benefits to folks that do support via the Patreon on one of your levels there? Yeah, so there's the base level support where you get your own Patreon feed

of scenes content, stuff like that. And then there's the mid-level tier, which you'll get early access to episodes. The new episode launched today. The people on this tier would have already heard it a week ago. And then the highest tier, you actually get merchandise. Every couple of months, you'll get a shirt, a mug. Every year, I plan on doing this book. So there will be a year or two. So you'll get that when that comes along. But yeah, it's just a way that if you

and there's a level that works for you. Overall, I appreciate just the listeners. You know, if that's the only way you can support, then that's cool with me, that works. But if you wanna do a little bit more, then have the Patreon available for those that want to do that. That's awesome, yeah. And definitely, wherever platform, if there's a rating tool on whatever platform you're on, don't forget to go on and give a five-star rating, write a review of the podcast,

not just because it does anything with any algorithms, but it's cool feedback to get. I know I've gotten reviews from people I don't know. It's like you can always tell when it's like somebody you know, but then when you get that one from somebody you don't know, it's like, wow, that's kind of cool. Yeah, yeah, and especially like on Instagram, if I get a comment from someone I have no idea who they are, they live in Louisiana, and I'm just like, I don't know who this is, but they're saying they love the podcast and they can't wait. I'm just like, it's awesome. So yeah, it's got a really good feeling. Very cool.

definitely check that out and they can find the Patreon on the website. Yes, there'll be a link in the show notes. If you look there, it'll be there today. So what is some of the latest film work you've been working on? Any film work? I know you've been working with our friend Jay Starks on a project that he has. Right, he recently, he's actually written a couple of short films recently and I recently acted in one that he did, which I'm not sure where that's at now. I'm pretty sure he recorded,

and now he's kind of in the editing process, I believe, but I don't want to speak for him. I don't want to. Right, right. I just didn't know if you had any other projects that you've been working on film-wise, because you've also done major film work too. Not just indie films, not just local films. Mostly indie stuff. Right, but I mean, you have done some work in other films too, right? I mean, if you want to count like,

background extra in so-and-so. Not uncredited, uncredited work. Yes. But I mean, still, that's, I mean, and I think that gives you great perspective when you're going into one of your films, though. I think there are people that go into this and they have no idea what it's like on, what set work is like, what a set's supposed to be, what it's like to be in front of the camera, what an extra in a extra pin is having to go through while they're waiting to be pulled out

where there are four seconds of film and then have to be sat back down. So I think it gives you a great perspective on that. Yeah, and definitely the best way to learn how to make a movie is to actually make a movie because the personal hand-on experience that I've done with the short film work that I've done over the years, I've learned more from that than anything I learned in college. Yeah. You know, and I was on the TV cinema track in college as well, and that's what I graduated with. But we didn't really do much hands-on stuff other than, you know, the senior project type thing. Really?

I heard it's different nowadays, but I was at Augusta State University and it wasn't, that's not a film school. They have a film track, but it wasn't, from what I hear, they do more with that nowadays. But just when I was going through it, there wasn't as much hands-on stuff. So after graduating, like I said, to get experience, to know what you're doing, you have to actually just go out there and do it and you're gonna fail. You're gonna probably make some crap at first, but you get better.

You know, just like with recording the audio plays, you know, even though everyone loved the first one I did, you know, when I listened back to it, I told myself, you know what, I could do better than this. And then you just keep going. And in every episode, the quality is getting better. Even with my short film work, the latest one I did is called Don't You Dare. And I filmed it in 2019 and started submitting other festivals and it got accepted a lot of places, but COVID happened. And a lot of festivals were canceling

which they showed the film a lot online in those festivals. And there's one festival that actually ended up having to cancel, but they were sponsored by Shorts TV, the network. And so even though they canceled Shorts TV, still watched all the selections. And I think they chose maybe two or three movies from there and they chose mine to be licensed and distributed in North America and Europe on their network. So yeah, I was surprised.

I thought it was kind of like a scam. Because I was just like, well, what the world's going on here? That festival didn't even happen. So I contacted the festival director, and he goes, yeah, they're one of our sponsors. So yeah, it's legit. They've showed some of my movies as well. And I was like, oh, hey, cool. So a lot of negotiating with Chores TV, and they picked it up. And it's a three-year deal with them. So they're going to be showing it on their network, just on rotation. Wow. It's a 10-minute movie. Don't think it's like some feature length, but it's just a. But still.

good Augusta people involved. The crew and the cast was all Augusta based and now their faces are being seen on their network. So that's awesome. Yeah that's awesome. I mean you know you're the only person I know that can say that so I mean that's that's pretty cool. The Augusta film community is a it's a pretty great community in and of itself. I know that I've done a ton of stuff

Gilliam Danbeck. I even did a short film with them for their 31 Days of Horror that I shot on on cell phone, you know, but again they're so opening, they're so open to, hey, come on, be creative with us, be creative. And I think that's one of the great things about this community as far as when it comes with anything artistic like that, whether it be film, theater, that there's somebody

be more than willing to help you along in whatever it is you're doing. All right, yeah. What I love about the Wages of Sin guys is they're all about the passion of it. When they do the 31 Days of Horror and they invite directors, they're not looking for the experienced director who's made 30 films. If you got a passion for it, you got an idea, you got a script, come on, come film it with us. We'll put you on our channel. And that's, like I said, and they're helping those filmmakers because, like I said, going out there and doing it

That's how you learn. And they're always willing to help. Even if it's not a short film that they're labeling, this is a wages and project, they've always been willing to help, especially with stuff that I've done and other people around town. So, love those guys. Yeah, it's a really cool community to be a part of. Do you have anything that you're noodling on or writing for any future plays or something aside from converting something for the podcast, but like any original plays,

you're working on for theatrical production or any short films or anything like that? We've got a couple of things. I do have a full length play. Now I don't want to go against your grain of letting the cat out of the bag before you're ready to say anything. I do have a full length play that's done and still kind of tweaking, that I was actually awarded a grant to write from the- Critical Star Arts Council? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Which I got that in early 2020

produced a play in 20, but then COVID happened. So that's all been pushed back. So that will eventually be put on. I don't know what the date is for that now, but it's done and it will be produced locally. And then I have a couple of short film scripts, one that I'm about to submit for a grant because there's an opportunity that I'm going to submit to. This short film kind of needs it. It's got like effects and stuff. And if I can get a grant for it, that'd be awesome. And I would totally get,

everyone involved that I can. And then some other short films that I'm just kinda, I'm always doodling on something. Right, right. I think that's a testament to your prolific output of creativity. I'm always seeing where you're like, oh, hey, this play got picked up in Australia and they're gonna be performing it. Or hey, this play got, so it's not just, you're not doing it just for your own edification.

Yes, you may be submitting it to festivals and things like that. But it's like, hey, I really liked this I think you like it too. If you want to pick it up and you know, you make all those connections that way And going to those festivals and things like that. I think I guess it was around 2009 is when I got my first play acceptance to Another theater not in this town from people that I don't know read it and we're like, hey, we want to put this on and that's I guess that moment you kind of get some

to yourself, because it's like, this isn't a friend that's just kind of doing me a favor. This isn't someone local that they just need something to do. Because I wrote plays in college, which were all terrible, but they put them on. And then, like I said, one of my early plays in 2009, the theater in Pittsburgh wanted to do it. And I was like, oh, that kind of blew my mind. And that moment, it kind of pushed me to kind of keep going. Because for a while, it's just a hobby. You know, I got an idea. Let me write this down. But then when something like that happens,

you don't know, contact you and they're like, hey, we like what you've done here. It kind of makes you feel like you're doing something right. It's a little bit of validation. Exactly. And that's one of the early moments in my life that kind of pushed me to keep on with that hobby. And then over the years, just more and more theaters have been, when I submit it out, if I see an opportunity where it's like, hey, we got a mass call for submissions, let's see your scripts and I'll send out what I have available in Nevada, a lot of productions around the world because of that.

Yeah, that's so cool. Do you have any advice for anybody that may be a budding playwright out there or someone who is trying to develop a short film or something like that? I'm the worst at giving advice because it feels like I've never, I've never gone from my goals based on advice. It's just been, I wanna do this, I'm gonna do it. But I would just say, kind of like what I just said, if you wanna do it, do it. I mean, that's advice.

passion, you know, you put it in flowery words. It's, you know, if it's within you, get it out. It's and then the other advice I would give is quit if you can. Quit if you can. If you can. Gotcha. If you can't quit, then you're meant to do it. Meant to keep going. Yeah, right. So that's good. That's good. Yeah. I think that would probably be a harder piece of advice to figure out. To quit if you can. Yeah, because a lot of people hear that and they think of the wrong way. Yeah. I'm like, no, no, no. I'm saying if you can quit, do it. If you can't, that means you were meant,

Jonathan, this is the part of the show where we like to dive a little bit deeper. Um, you know, as an artist, as a playwright, as a filmmaker, I'm sure you've had those days where you felt like banging your head against the wall or, uh, you know, or something just wasn't working right. And maybe it took a darker turn than you were expecting. Uh, everybody has down days. Everybody has sad days, but what do you do to stay positive and to keep the dark at bay? Well, I, uh, let's see.

I mean, I think everyone goes through depression in their own way. Yeah. You know, daily, I have bouts of depression, but for me, it's more of a nostalgia thing, you know, seeing my kids getting older, thinking back. My wife calls me a hoarder because if there's a certain toy that Sophie had when she was little, and I can remember specific moments that she had that toy doing certain things, but if I can remember who gave it to her and how excited she was to get it,

cleaning out a room later and they want to throw it away. I'm just like, Oh, just hold on. Let me, let me, let me put that in a box over here instead. And you know, what I do is, you know, I always get involved in a lot of stuff and I have a lot of creative outlets and that kind of keeps my mind busy. And that's what kind of what I would encourage other people to do to get, get your mind off things like that. I also, I'm up at five o'clock every morning at the gym.

shoot, probably around a decade. And it's just something I do. It's a routine I have. It just kind of clears my head every morning because I just go in and I just stay focused. And that's kind of my early routine before I go to work. I would say that's kind of what I do to kind of clear my head. And it kind of suppresses any of those bad vibes. Yeah, I mean, and I could definitely understand that. Not that I can understand getting up at 5 to go work out. No, that's not for everyone. I would say every morning I see kind of the same people. You know, there's like, there's regulars.

Right, right. But I mean, but the ability to focus on something else, I think that is a key when you have things that are kind of weighing you down, the more you focus on those, I think the larger they seem, the smaller you seem to get. And the heavier and the harder it is to get out from under that stuff. So if you have something, whether it be exercise or a creative outlet or something like that, that you can put your energy and your focus into,

realign and to not feel that weight so much. Yeah. And for me, I mean, just doing that daily, like I said, it's kind of like a head cleanser every morning where it just kind of starts my day. How long did it take you to kind of get into that habit? I mean, did you just wake up one morning and you're like, all right, this is at 5 a.m. I'm going to the gym? I mean, over the years, I mean, I wouldn't even say it's been off and on. I mean, you know, I started off maybe a couple of days a week and then, you know, eventually it's like, you know, I need to do this more often.

I'm kind of stuck to it. And even today, it's not like I'm not like seven days a week. I'm kind of like a three on, one off kind of thing. Just whatever, I listen to my body. If my body's like, you know what? You don't want to get up this morning. I'll kind of sleep in for a day and just kind of get rest that way. But yeah, started a routine and I stuck with it. It's kind of a part of my day now. Yeah, but that's good. Like you said, establishing those routines. That's something, again, if you're focusing on

can't be focusing on the depression, on the sadness, on the weight of whatever else it is. It doesn't mean that you're trying to ignore any of that stuff, especially if it's serious stuff going on in the world. But it's not, you're like I said, resetting your mind, clearing your mind so that you at least have a fresher perspective on whatever it is. They say if you have troubles at night, sleep on it. You may have the solution in the morning. I do think there's some-

truth in that and be able to give your mind time to reset and to think about it from a different direction or even you know talking with friends that may have a different perspective on what's going on finding those people that you can talk with that you can be real open and honest with about what's going on because they may be able to provide perspective that you had never thought of but even just the act of getting off your chest being able to talk

to someone, I think that helps a ton as well. Like I said, just also having my own creative outlets, always trying to think up story ideas and stuff. You know, a lot of people tell me I'm quiet. They're like, you don't say much. You know, you're in the group, but you're just, it's because my mind is working through a plot twist that I'm trying to work, you know. So I'm always thinking about what I'm in the middle of writing or what I'm gonna write next. So I just keep my mind occupied. And like you said, just focused on other things for the most part. And don't let those bad vibes sink in.

Jonathan, we're at the time now for the Fast Five. Fast Five, Fast Five. Oh my gosh. It's the time for the Fast Five. Thank you for singing along. Ooh, I like that bass line you threw in there. Fast Five, it's powered by Poddex. It's an app that you can get that is for podcasters, but it's also great if you ever have to talk in front of a bunch of folks. You need some ice breakers or things like that. So it's kind of like conversation starters.

Holiday table over the turkey or something. I will say listening to all your previous episodes this segment here gives me the most anxiety Because when I listen to your other guests and I'm just like, you know what? I'll try this out You know I'm gonna hear what they have and kind of think what I would say and whenever you give them something I'm like, I have no idea what I would say right here I would just be like I would just pause and be a statue You can't you're on the hot seat now. So here we go. We're gonna hit the randomizer here for our first question

What futuristic thing from a sci-fi movie or book do you really wish existed right now? It would be really cool if it was something you could wear on your vocal box or something to where no matter what language you spoke, people would understand you. Like it would just be an automatic translator as you spoke to where no matter where you went, it's like people notice. And you'd also have like a earpiece too to where when they talk back to you, you'd be able to tell them,

that would be a cool sci-fi thing to have, which... Kind of like the Babel Fish in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Yeah. Except without having to put a fish in your ear. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But yeah, that would be... I think that would be very helpful overall, you know? I think that would probably solve a lot of problems, too. Oh, yeah. I mean, obviously, there's, you know, when you hit language barriers and people get so separated by language and so, you know, angry sometimes.

type of things. It's like, like you both are just trying to communicate. If you had something that helped you out. Miscommunication is a big problem in this world. So yeah, yeah, that's, that's a good one.

Do you try to buy local? I do when I can. If it's more convenient to just hop online and order some online, I mean, I order a lot from Amazon. My printer ink is, you know, I don't think I can get that locally, actually. You can't get some farm raised locally sourced printer ink. Yeah, that's right. But yeah, I do a lot of local buying around town and all that.

I think sporting local is definitely important. Oh yeah, definitely. But like you said, you can't always. Not everything. Not everything can you get local, so that's good. Number three.

There you go. As someone who is very, I say you're very health conscious because you get up at five to work out, but I mean, this is where I'm going to stumble right here because you're, because you're prefacing it with this. I'm just saying if you had a day where calories didn't count, but you could only eat three foods, what would they be? So calories aren't counting, but you can only eat three foods. What would they be? I would probably say chicken wings, burgers and pizza. I'm just the full on,

on junk. Yeah, the Friday night frat party menu. Just like, gotcha. Yeah, for sure. I'm down with that. Definitely down with that. And before. No, no, no. Here we go. Ooh, what do people ask for your help with? My daughter asked me daily to help her clean her room as we get onto her like, Hey, you need to clean your room. And I helped her one time

And ever since then, it's like she expects that. I'm like, no, no, it's your room. How can you do that? So that's the thing that people ask you real good. That's the thing I get asked the most, probably because she lives with me. Right, right. Okay, so someone outside of the house, do you have something that falls into, that people are like, oh, Jonathan, you know, like, I personally will never own a pickup truck because I don't want to be the pickup truck guy. They're like, oh, Rob got a truck, because I also sometimes have a problem saying no. So.

to kind of look at scripts before. Since that's kind of something I've been doing for a few years. Sometimes people will send me stuff to kind of look over and see what I think about it. I don't know if that's the most asked thing. I'm still trying to think through these things here. But yeah, I'm going to go with that. I mean, that's a good one. That's a great thing to do. If I were to ask somebody to look at a script, I would ask you to look at a script. That makes sense. All right, our final one here.

If someone made a movie about your life, who would play you? Oh my gosh. Am I just, okay. Will it be who you would want to play you, but who would actually probably be a better casting choice to play you? Because they may be two different people here. That's true. So we're gonna take your ego out of it a little bit. Tell you what, I'm gonna go with a young Kurt Russell. Young Kurt Russell.

Uh-huh. He's not young no more though, so I don't know if that counts. That's fine. That's fine So so that's who you'd want to play you or yes, okay? Who do you think actually would play? Probably John Stewart People say I look like John Stewart sometimes Just a little bit I could see that either one would be a great casting choice I'd watch that movie. I'd watch that movie That's it. That's your fast five. That is your last question Jonathan. That's it

You made it, you survived. I survived the Fast Five. You survived the Fast Five. Thank you so much for coming on the show today and talk with me, I really appreciate it. I've told you this before, but I don't want you to ever get a real theme song for the Fast Five. I want you to always, Fast Five, Fast Five. Just do that from now on. From now on. But always make the comment, I'm still coming up with a, I am still working on it. But don't actually be working on it. Just let that always be it. I emailed my music guy the other day, asked him about that, and he hasn't got back to me,

mindset that you are. This is just what it should be. But thank you again Jonathan for coming on the show. I really appreciate it. If people want to find out more about you and Gather By The Ghost Light, the latest episode dropped today. Doctors and Lawyers, First Edition Rules. You can check that out wherever you find your podcast. So if you listen to this one just search for Gather By The Ghost Light. There you go. And then also you can find out more about Jonathan and his endeavors

You've got some other places people can look for you on Instagram? Well, yeah, Instagram is Jonathan R Cook is my user tag. Also JonathanRCook.com or gatherbytheghostlight.com is the pages for myself and the podcast. Excellent. So please check them out. And also don't forget the Patreon. You've got that up and running now there with the different levels and get some of that behind the scenes action.

on the levels as well as the cool book. You showed me a picture of the book. That thing's gonna be really, really cool. Right, and that's just the print proof. Yeah, but I mean, it looks great. I mean, I've always loved your graphic for the podcast anyway, but yeah, that's gonna be cool for those different tier levels if people wanna support you via your Patreon as well, and they can find that on your website too, right? And if you wanna support on the Patreon, you get a little something extra if you wanna support from listening, and that's cool. Absolutely, I mean,

listeners that really help to keep this going. Oh yeah, and I mean after a year and a half that's kind of what my foundation has been based on and I'm 100% happy with only that if that's all it ever is. And if you listen to Gather by the Ghost Light, let me just show you right now. Go ahead and smash that five star rating on that thing. Give Jonathan a review because it is an excellent, excellent podcast and it should definitely be in your podcast rotation repertoire. So all right, absolutely.

thank you so much for being on. If you would like to support this podcast, you can buy me a coffee at ChewingTheFatBR.com. I also have all the socials on there that you can follow, like, subscribe as well. So thank you for being with me today and sit in a spell. I'll see you next time. We chew the fat.

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Jonathan Cook

Creator / Host

Jonathan is an award-winning playwright and film-maker based in Augusta, GA. Many of his stage plays have been produced around the World and he's a four-time recipient of the Porter Fleming Literary Award organized by the Morris Museum of Art. His latest short film DON'T YOU DARE was recently licensed for distribution by the ShortsTV Network. He is also the host and creator of the podcast GATHER BY THE GHOST LIGHT. Launched in 2020, GATHER BY THE GHOST LIGHT is storytelling podcast in radio theater format. Think of the Ghost Light as your campfire. Gather around and listen to stories from a variety of genres.