Let's Face The Facts: "The Facts of Life" was a Shit Show with which podcaster David Almeida is Obsessed
Into the crowded fray of podcasts of every description and level of quality or lack thereof comes a fairly recent entry by Orlando Actor/Writer David Almeida which is just quirky enough to rate being featured here in your WANZeGRAM.
For each episode of his “Let’s Face The Facts” podcast David Almeida invites one Central Florida so-and-so of some degree of notoriety into his Audubon Park home to watch an episode of the 1980s TV sitcom “The Facts of Life.” Once the episode concludes David turns on the recording device and coaches his guest to join him in “overanalyzing” said episode.
This concept seemed just weird enough to Wanzie that when asked by David to be a guest on the podcast he couldn’t say no. Especially since, as Wanzie explained to David, “I’m not sure I have ever seen an entire episode of ‘The Facts of Life’ from beginning to end because even back then I thought the show to be atrocious and most of the acting so bad I couldn’t bring myself to sit through an entire half hour of that tripe.” David saw this as a positive in keeping things interesting and so Wanzie did indeed avail himself to be a guest in this venture and thus, for perhaps the first time in his life, Wanzie watched an entire episode of a series which he refers to as “One of the most appalling, badly-written, poorly-produced TV sitcoms to have ever survived beyond its first season.”
The whole concept seemed so off the wall to Wanzie that he insisted we here at WANZeGRAM (WG) World Headquarters - nested in the heart of the lovely College Park neighborhood of Orlando Florida - conduct an interview with podcaster, David Almeida (DA) and so we have:
WG: What made you decide to enter the very crowded podcast arena?
DA: I love listening to podcasts, and some of my favorites are TV-nostalgia oriented. (My favorites: “TV Guidance Counselor,” “Go Bayside.”) I was like, “I can do that! I watched too much TV when I was a kid, too!” And crowded as it is, podcasting is easy, inexpensive, and allows anybody an international platform where their work can be found.
WG: Why this subject matter for your podcast?
DA: Other podcasts have used a similar format to talk about other shows, but nobody had done “The Facts Of Life,” which was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. I had considered others, but I thought this particular show was the best choice because it had a long run (9 years!), it dealt with the issues of its day, it took on many different formats, and it clearly has a lasting place in our culture.
WG: Would you briefly explain your podcast formula for our Subscriber Friends?
DA: I invite an artist friend to my house. We watch an episode of the show. Then I hit record and we synopsize the show. Along the way, we analyze it, critique it, and use it as a springboard to talk about other related subjects. I also do a brief interview of the guest so they can talk about their own art and projects.
WG: Who have you had as guests thus far?
DA: I have had Matthew Arter (a/k/a Carol Lee), Kevin Kriegel (a/k/a Mitzi Morris), Mike Marinaccio (of the Orlando Fringe Festival), Mark Baratelli (of The Daily City), actor friends Philip Nolen, Alex Mrazek, Paul Padilla, Brett Waldon, Martin Kunz, and a little up-and-coming spitfire named Michael Wanzie. I think he’s going to do well in this town. (I apologize that this list doesn’t contain more females! It was just a scheduling thing; I am already working to correct this!)
WG: How would rate or to compare your podcast which featured Wanzie with others you have done?
DA: Michael is one of my guests who had never seen the show before. I love the insight and observations that those people bring, and Wanzie’s spin didn’t disappoint. It didn’t help that we were in Season 1 when the show hadn’t yet found itself. Michael also gave me loads of crap for the extensive notes I took while watching. He then expanded on that to shame me for how clean and organized my home is. I think I am still traumatized.
WG: Do you intend for this to be a commercial/for-profit venture or is it just for the hell of it or what?
DA: This is 100% for my own fun and diversion. I think so many of us in the arts can relate to having many, many people we call friends, and yet we rarely see or spend time with them. This is a great excuse to create time to do something fun with those friends, and then send it out into the world to show how many amazingly talented and entertaining people we have here in Central Florida. If down the road the show became very popular and I could find sponsorship and/or monetize it, I would certainly consider it. Just to defray the relatively small costs of web hosting, etc. But this was not started with for-profit intentions.
WG: What has proved to be your greatest challenge thus far?
DA: The marketing side of things. I’m still figuring out the best ways to reach people and get the word out about the show. I’m learning that social media marketing is very complex, and while I want this show to be heard by lots of people, I don’t want the business end to swallow up the joy I get from creating the show itself.
WG: How many episodes do you have in the can?
DA: I had banked about 8 shows before I premiered it this past Halloween. I have enough right now to get me into the new year. In January I’ll be back to recording every week.
WG: Tell us anything more you want WANZeGRAM Subscriber Friends to know about the podcast.
DA: I am part of the generation that grew up in front of the television, and I’ve learned there are so many others like me. If you love to talk about the shows you grew up with, then I think you’ll enjoy the podcast. I realize not everybody is tech-savvy, but the good news is if you aren’t connected to a podcast app on your phone, just go to www.facethefactspod.com and you can listen to the show directly from the web site.
To go directly to the episode in which Wanzie is the guest just point your browser to: https://www.facethefactspod.com/podblog/2018/11/28/005-s1e5-overachieving-with-michael-wanzie
EDITORS NOTE: David Almeida is originally from Massachusetts and has lived in Orlando since 1992. He is a full-time performer at Walt Disney World and can also be seen at Universal Studios. He has appeared with many local theatre companies including Mad Cow Theatre, Garden Theatre, Winter Park Playhouse, Sea World, Beth Marshall Presents, Orlando Philharmonic, Bay Street Players, and Jester Theater. He has also produced / written / performed in many Orlando Fringe Festivals. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. As a writer, he was film critic for Watermark for 5 years. He recently penned a new murder mystery for Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theatre, where he also performs. Other playwriting collaborations with co-author Stephen J. Miller have been featured by Playwrights’ Round Table, Theatre Downtown, and off-off-Broadway with Emerging Artists’ Theatre. David wishes WANZeGRAM subscriber friends to know that he is a Leo. He is single. His favorite food is pizza. His FICO score is 807. He owns his own home and he doesn’t have any pets, unless you count his roommate Austin. Potential suiters may wish to visit www.davidalmeida.com.