You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension; a dimension of geekdom, a dimension of fatherhood, a dimension of ginger. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into the Interrogation of Jason Parsons a.k.a. The Angry Ginger.
Agent Palmer [AP]: Starting off easy, where do you live and how long have you lived there?
Jason Parsons [JP]: Grand Rapids, Michigan. Born and raised.
[AP]: Born and raised. Obviously, you didn’t choose to live there, but you do have a job there, what is that?
[JP]: The choice was all my parents, unfortunately. I wasn’t born into money or smart enough to have learned to make a shit ton of it on my own… So Grand Rapids is where I lay my head. As for the Job portion of this question. Well, I can only hope to someday have one that will allow for a bit more travel… Perhaps a second home somewhere warmer during the colder months of the year. As I’ve gotten older and I’m now raising a family, I don’t want to leave my home permanently… But I, like many of the card carrying AARP members of the mitten, wouldn’t mind leaving for warmer climate as the snow here is really only used for car accidents and snow days.
[AP]: Since you’ve been in Grand Rapids your whole life, do you know it? Have you uncovered all that is Grand Rapids? Or did you find your haunts and stick to them?
[JP]: I know the city well enough to drive down it’s streets. But to go all Mulder and “Uncover the Truth”…you know…cuz “it’s out there.” No, I’ve not done anything like that. I’ve read a few books about Grand Rapids first being settled. I showed signs of enjoying History class as a kid, so of course my Grandma shared some stories and bought me a book or two. I remember it being interesting, but I don’t remember one fact from the books. Though to be fair that was almost 30 years ago, and I found comic books shortly after.
[AP]: If you were to become a “snowbird,” where would you want your second home to be?
[JP]: I’ve thought about this a lot. I must admit, I’m a bit torn. On one hand, once the kids have grown and found lives of their own, I’d love to be able to move somewhere where I never have to deal with the SNOW again… But I also don’t think that I could stay away for too long. I enjoy having a full house and joke with my wife that we’ll never have an empty house again. My oldest daughter is 12 years older than our youngest son, so we’ll have grandkids running amok before he ever leaves the house. The Wifey and I have talked about different parts of Florida, California and what not, but when push comes to shove, I’m not sure I could ever be too far from away my kids… for very long.
[AP]: So you are married, what’s the story there?
[JP]: I married my High School sweetheart. Well, I suppose I was more her sweetheart seeing how she was a Junior when we started dating. I was out of school working a pretty decent paying job for a 19 or 20 year old. I was the older, well established, put together ginger with a questionable career and new car (this could all be argued mind you)… She was a young beautiful blonde with the locker combination and key to my heart that I’d known for years. She showed up to a party at my house one night, and sparks flew (This however cannot be argued).
[AP]: What is arguable about a new car and questionable career?
[JP]: Not so much the car or career as much as arguing “Well established, put together Ginger.” I’m a bit of a Man-Child, but she looks at me differently than I look at myself.
Like a “LOST” Flash Forward, we are now waste deep in debt, diapers, and despair. Ok, not despair, I really just needed another “D” word to go with debt, and diapers. Really drive home the glamour of it all, so to speak.
[AP]: The “D” word you’re looking for, and I am assuming here, is sleep “deprivation.”
[JP]: TRUTH!!! If I wasn’t so Sleep Deprived, I’m sure that would have found its way from my brain to the keyboard much easier!
[AP]: And the diapers and sleep deprivation, that would be from your children?
[JP]: We currently have five kids. It was just three for the longest time, but then we decided to adopt my niece, who we had taken in… Long story short, we got a surprise pregnancy while the adoption process was still happening. So we went from three to five kids in about a year. Rumor has it that the surprise came from all the sex we were having. Did I mention my wife is young and beautiful? 16 years together and it’s like my first kiss every damn time with her!
[AP]: What is the difference between a three and five child household. And I’m letting you off the hook, by not saying you qualify as the sixth! Because that is arguable!
[JP]: I can’t argue against myself being a kid, but I think the term adult is a bit problematic. I remember being a kid and thinking “It must be so easy being old and having shit figured out,” and now I’m older, maybe a bit wiser, but I’m still trying to figure shit out! I think the only thing that changes with age is STRESS. I like to play the fool, but I’m a father of five. I worry all the damn time. Am I raising them right? am I doing the right thing by working so much? Am I an absent father? Of course I’m trying to do right… Always trying to do right… But it’s something that’s constantly nagging at me.
The difference between three and five kids is really the increased likelihood that one kid can be blowing up some strange concoction in the microwave, while the little one sneaks away to rip off his own diaper, then makes a conscious decision to paint a brown mural on the wall, while the wife is vacuuming and I’m helping with homework!
[AP]: Being outnumbered as you and your wife are, and being as time consuming as tending the family, and the other pursuits you have, that we haven’t gotten into yet, how do you manage to keep the romantic spark?
[JP]: The best advice I can give here…and I know that’s why everyone came here today! Love advice from a Ginger! Here ya go kids, free of charge. Don’t take your loved one for granted. Not even accidentally. Sure, you can tell your wife or husband that you love them every morning and every night…and mean it. But you’ve got to show it. Be passionate. Look, I fight with my wife all the time. We’ve got five kids trying to rule the roost and more money going out that coming in, half the time. But damn it if don’t grab her and kiss the ever loving piss, right out of her face, every day when I get home from work!
I call her on the phone to tell her I love her, and that I’m coming home for lunch… And she’s the main course. (Yeah baby!!) I think she is as sexy now as she was when we first started dating. Sure she doesn’t believe it, but it’s true! This always works, too. Kiss that spot that drives her crazy, without any expectation of the equivalent to a Mortal Kombat Sexual Finishing Move! It won’t be long before you hear “Get over here!” (keeping with the Mortal Kombat scenario…) Of course, what works for me won’t always work for someone else. But I do think that if you’re always actively pursuing your partner and making them feel special, it makes for a better relationship and it’s fun!
[AP]: Where did you go to college? What, if any, degree did you earn? Did you change your major, how many times?
[JP]: I attended our city’s finest Community College for a year and a half. I studied film and screenwriting but before I even earned an associate’s degree I found myself in a full-time job making decent money for a 19-20 year old… So I did what any normal 20 something would do… I continued to work and swore one day to return… Ironically or not, depending on your definition, (Webster’s or Alanis Morissette) I’m now working two decently paying jobs for a 19 or 20 year old and feeding a family of seven. So I may not have returned to college, but I still wake up to that Frat/Sorority house feeling every morning! That’s gotta be worth a credit somewhere!
[AP]: I often wonder where I would be if I had skipped the four years and jumped right into what I’m doing now. So, if you knew then, what you know now, would have given it the old college, or community college, try?
[JP]: I have mixed feelings about college. Being in my mid-thirties, I’ve met lots of people since my days in college. The strange thing is, almost everyone I’ve met, that has graduated with some type of degree, either has a very difficult time finding a job in that respective field, or they are so disinterested in what they went to school for, they find a job doing something else. Money wasted? I don’t know. Myself, I don’t necessarily think I missed out as much on the college life, as I did on pushing myself harder to achieve my goals. When you’re 20 you think you have your whole life ahead of you. “I’ll start writing that movie tomorrow.” Now, it’s tomorrow. I’m in my mid-thirties and I’m nowhere closer to making the movie that I’ve always wanted to make. So to answer your question, I still think it was a waste for me to go to College and take Math classes and Bowling, when I was there to study film and writing screenplays. I wish I would have continued with that portion of the education more, but I don’t think college was necessary.
[AP]: So what is your current profession and do you have any side jobs or professions?
[JP]: Current profession blah! Within the last month or so I’ve decided to go with one of Kevin Smith’s mantras, “if you want to be something, be it.” So I am a writer/podcaster. Period.
[AP]: What podcasts are you currently a part of?
[JP]: Currently I host 7 Days a Geek, Podcasting 101, and Better Call Saul:A Companion Podcast. I’m also one of four co-hosts on the Gotham Knights podcast.
[AP]: Can I safely assume that time is the only thing keeping you from more podcasts? Or is that still possible?
[JP]: Time and money. At this point, I’m hoping to start making some money on my creative endeavors, so I can at least quit one of the two jobs… Which in doing so, will free up more time. More time with my family, more time being creatively fulfilled.
[AP]: Being a podcaster couldn’t have been your first career path, because growing up, podcasting didn’t exist. When did this become something you wanted to do?
[JP]: As a kid, my best friend Nate and I would always hook a microphone into my dual cassette recorder and pretend we were running a “Pirate Radio Station,” thanks to Christian Slater and the underrated Pump Up the Volume movie. We would play music and tell stories, it was silly and one of the things I remember most fondly from my youth. So even then, I wanted to podcast, I just had to wait a few decades for it to exist.
Now, going back seven or eight years, I used to read Kevin Smith’s daily blog; My Boring Ass Life. In that blog he had mentioned that he and Scott had started a podcast; SModcast. Being the early adopter that I am, I sat down one night and listened to the first episode of SModcast. And right then and there… fell in love! I started going through iTunes looking to devour anything that fancied my interests. Soon after I thought… “I could do this!” Since then, I’ve been both addicted to listening and producing podcasts. I’d like to think that I’ve found my calling… But I suppose only time will tell.
[AP]: So you were, shall we say, ahead of your time? But can you describe the moment the lightbulb went off and you decided, that podcasting was going to be a part of your life?
[JP]: Having a complete stranger write in red lipstick across their ample breasts “Angry Ginger” might have been that moment! No wait… That was just a moment… A moment I learned yet another method, on how I could get under my co-hosting partner Grant’s skin. Under his kilt so to speak! Ha, I do love ruffling his feathers.
I can’t pick out just one moment. Podcasting to me was like falling in love. Podcasting was pretty, and she let me talk to her. People listening found me funny, accepted my idiotic ways and always responded with kindness. So of course my passion grew. After a few years, I started having people ask me ‘how do you do it?” So for shits and giggles I started telling people, from that, another podcast, Podcasting 101, was born! Now I have become the Master Jedi. No, not really. But I’ve learned enough over the years to help people who are interested in starting their own podcasts. I love knowing other people are falling in love with it, too!
[AP]: If you were not working to become a podcaster, what would you be working toward?
[JP]: Probably screenwriting. Though I’d like to still write a movie someday… I’m happy with writing smaller stories and telling them in the podcast medium.
[AP]: What other projects do you have in the queue or are currently working on, besides the podcasts?
[JP]: Well, like I previously mentioned, I’m a father of five, so my house is a zoo from 6am till 10pm almost every day and night. So I’ve decided to take some of the more personal aspects of my life and create a “Dad Blog.” Most of it will be lighthearted and fun, but to be honest, the creation of it was born out of my depression from always being gone, always working.
Like I mentioned before, I went from three to five kids in what sometimes feels like overnight… And sometimes I blink and wonder where the hell the time has gone. So I’m creating the blog, for lack of a better description, as a selfish way to be creative with my family. To keep track of the things we do and to force me to do more with them. Sometimes I feel like an absentee father, not because I’m an asshole, but because I’ve gotta put clothes on their backs and put food on the table. Though the guilt from trying to figure out what’s right has really gotten on my damn nerves… So a bright and bushy-tailed blog might just be the right prescription. If not… I know of a guy…Walter White, I believe is his name. He’ll make it all feel better!
[AP]: Would you be comforted to know that all self identified geeks and nerds have self guilt. Feel any better?
[JP]: Well, it’s nice to know I’m in the right club, but NO… Purely for selfish reasons.
[AP]: What can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
[JP]: Well, to keep it short and sweet, and those that listen to my podcast, know I’m really good at that. I’ve got a ton of upcoming projects. Perhaps too many? I like to be creative. I’m under no illusion that the world is dying for more bullshit from this Angry Ginger… But I’d like to think that someone out there enjoys what I do. Even then though, I create for me. I just want to do things that excite me and it is my hope that maybe it will excite others to either go create their own shit… Or maybe to find a little bit of joy in mine.
[AP]: I started this blog for me. There is absolutely nothing wrong in doing something for you and sharing it with the world. That’s what the internet is all about, in its more positive light. What else do you have?
[JP]: I’ve started a small production company, or a banner if you will; Monkey Poo Studios. Look, I’m not changing the world here, just trying to have a little fun in it, so Monkey Poo has always been fitting. Under that banner we’re doing the podcasts, and upcoming Dad Blog, listed above. I’m also slowly developing an “Interactive” storytelling podcast that will be enhanced through the use of multiple characters using Twitter and blogs. As of right now it’s called “Goodnight, Pandora Falls.” I’m also turning my self-published comic book series, E.L.E. or Extinction Level Event, into a webcomic that I will start sharing very soon.
I have been working on and off for years now with an artist who draws all kinds of cartoon images of and for the 7 Days a Geek crew. He has drawn the logos for 7 Days a Geek, Podcasting 101 and recently just finished the website cover art for the Dad Blog, called Deconstructing Dad. For which I hope to launch a companion podcast sometime in May.
Anyway, we are starting to work on a new webcomic that we hope to debut soon called Heroic Nonsense. In a nutshell, it’s about a family man/superhero who is torn between being a good husband and father, and “playing super hero” as his wife, condescendingly calls it.
Also, one of my co-hosts on 7 Days a Geek, Angry Oz, and I have been working on an Audio Drama that we’d like to start releasing via a weekly podcast, called “Chesney Goss vs. The Apocalypse”. This one is about as crazy as you can get. Imagine a sex addicted drug-wasted Rock God, who may or may not time jump, getting caught in a full out Zombie Apocalypse. All of this told through the melted mind prism of Chesney himself. This one is for the kids, I assure you! Well, the immature humored for sure. What I’m saying here is that it’s full of dick and fart jokes, but it’s also written as if Chesney has the mind of Stephen Hawking!
There are more on the cusp of reality, but I’ll save you from the continued boredom.
[AP]: Those all sound great, but I can’t help but think there is some kind of autobiographical element to Heroic Nonsense. Care to prove me right?
[JP]: Oh, there most certainly is. There will be elements of my wife’s reactions to the stupid things I do and of course with that there will also be elements of the stupid things I do! LOL I do want it to be its own thing, but someone far smarter than me once said “write what you know.” Unfortunately, I don’t know much. I know geek, and I know my family. So I’ll play around in that sandbox for a while.
[AP]: Can we get a small Deconstructing Dad preview, with a wild story of your kids surprising you or your wife in a good (or bad), but mostly unexpected way?
[JP]: Just the other day I was sitting on said throne, doing what it is that we humans do. When all of a sudden Carter finds himself on the other side of my bathroom door. Recently, within the last few months he’s become pretty proficient in opening up the doors in the house. Now, not that it’s a big deal, but if there’s a time for privacy in someone’s life, Father of Five or not, it’s when he’s using the bathroom. Actually, this goes for all of humanity! I’d say there’s a time for privacy for both “Using the Bathroom”, and “Having Sex”, but there’s a whole industry built around that second one so what do I really know? [See the full post “A Father’s Right to Bathroom Privacy.”]
[AP]: Thank you for that preview. What inspires you to start a new project (podcast or otherwise)?
[JP]: Everything inspires me. A conversation. A commercial on TV. Movie Trailers. Good stories… or even bad ones! Podcasting. People. Events new and old. The what-if’s. Everything.
[AP]: If you have any, what are your favorite “What ifs?” And do you accept more than one interpretation, like for example; Darth Vader would destroy Batman in a fight.
[JP]: Pulling this one straight from the streets of podcasting I see! Yes, I accept more than one interpretation. But it has to be well executed. Can Batman just come upon Darth Vader and win that fight, without any previous knowledge about the Sith Lord and the Force? NO. But Batman is Batman, he studies his opponent. He knows their weaknesses. He fights with both his mind and his body. Psychological warfare is the Goddamn Batman’s weapon of choice. I think he’d give old “Voicebox” a run for his money, if not a complete and utter beat-down, and I’m a huge fan of Star Wars! But this is BATMAN we’re talking about! (Full Disclosure, my Batman is Frank Miller, Paul Dini, Jeph Loeb and Scott Snyder Batman. Not Movie Universe Batman. I still don’t think they’ve gotten it completely right.) #BringOnBatfleck
[AP]: Since we’re going down this road anyway, let’s take a look at the things you like. What are your favorite books?
[JP]: Unfortunately, I’m not well read. At least I don’t feel that I am. I read all the time though. But few books, mostly magazines (yes, they still exist) and articles on the internet. I’ve never sought out the “Greats”. I’m more of a comic book man. I grew up on Spider-man, Batman, and Spawn. I still read those when I have time. Some of my recent favorites have been; Civil War, Blankets, Ultimate Spider-man, Batman Hush and A Court of Owls. Superior Spider-man was great, anything by Brian K. Vaughn.
[AP]: Have you had any luck passing comic books on to your kids?
[JP]: My oldest daughter, Alexus, is currently reading The Walking Dead. She’s read some Ultimate Spider-man and a little bit of X-men. This summer she turns 15. I’ve been waiting her whole life for this. Now she’ll get to read all of daddy’s comics! Any one she wants. Personally, I can’t wait till she reads The Runaways by Brian K. Vaughn!
[AP]: And how about your favorite movies?
[JP]: Star Wars, Bad Boys, Casablanca, St. Vincent, Crazy Stupid Love, Birdman, Oblivion, Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Red State, The Avengers, The Dark Knight, Back to the Future, Inglorious Bastards, Zombieland, Spy Game, Stranger Than Fiction, Aliens, Terminator 2, Scream, Dumb and Dumber, Jurassic Park, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Chasing Amy…
[AP]: That’s quite a wide array of genres and even time periods. As a listener of your podcasts, I can vouch for your title as a cinephile, but I wonder what some of your favorite “off the beaten path” films are? I’m sure you have a few!
[JP]: I think I just assume that most people have seen the movies that I love. I guess if you went “off the beaten path” then you could add movies like The Loved Ones, Garden State, Undead, The Frighteners, Evil Dead, Slither, John Dies at the End, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Munchies, Drive, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Tremors, The Lost Boys, They Live, Big Trouble in Little China, Desperado, The Beastmaster, but like I said, I’m sure most people, at least the ones that run in our circles, have seen them.
[AP]: As a father and cinephile, have you introduced your kids to any of your favorites?
[JP]: I have been introducing my kids to my favorite movies since they were toddlers, sometimes by accident. My oldest daughter Alexus, she was maybe two years old the first time she watched Spider-man with me. I remember just having bought the DVD. I had put her to bed and then laid on the couch, lights dimmed and pressed play. I was only a few minutes into the movie when she came walking out of her room. (Like most two year-olds, multiple attempts at bedtime are needed.) So instead of mixing her a kiddy cocktail (which the law frowns upon) I figured I’d just let her lay by me and soon she’d be sawing logs, and I’d carry her back to bed, once the movie was finished, of course.
Well, that never happened. What happened was, she was transfixed on this “Spider-man” character. She got excited and completely fell in love with the movie! After that it was over, repeat viewings were a must. Books, toys, the whole nine. Spider-man was her gateway drug. As I mentioned, she’s a month away from being 15 years old now. She has seen every comic movie that has come out since her birth, and has even gone back, sometimes without me (which both pleases and angers me, only because I love sharing this passion with her) to watch the older superhero movies. The best thing is, she has no problem schooling the boys in her class on the characters and actors. She knows her shit!
Sometimes, I’ll give the kids back stories on how the movies got made, or what it was about a movie that captured my imagination as a kid. Films like Goonies and Labyrinth. The best part is, as my kids get older, I get to introduce even more movies to them… Now when I go to the movies, I’m paying for the three oldest to tag along. It reminds me of being a kid. My Dad took me to the movies almost every weekend. We’d see whatever flick was new, and if there was nothing new, we’d see something we’d already seen before. Then, we’d go get dinner and talk about all the things we loved about the movie. He’d tell me about other movies the actors were in before the one we watched, he’d tell me behind the scenes stories and act out scenes… I would just absorb it all. This was well before the advent of the internet, before the days of logging onto multiple websites and just learning anything I could.
But my Dad knew it all! As I’m writing this, I’m just now realizing that I do the same things with my girls and I hope they grow up appreciating not just the movie, but the bonding that we’ve shared from all the experiences, as well.
[AP]: Are you waiting for them to get to the right age to be able to enjoy some of them?
[JP]: I think it’s a bit subjective at times. As the kids have grown, and experienced these movies, I base their ability to handle certain subject matter and story types on what we can then see later. If something is scary or violent, I’ll keep that away from the smaller ones… But if it’s something the older ones can handle, then we watch it. My oldest loves horror movies as much as she loves superhero movies. Sure, the rating is [R] and suggests that the viewer be 18, but I was 13 or 14 when I started watching all the great horror movies. So it just depends, mentally, on what they can handle.
[AP]: Favorite TV Shows?
[JP]: Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Lost, The Strain, Two and a Half Men, Friends, Game of Thrones, Bored to Death, The Newsroom, Rosanne, Spin City.
[AP]: Can I safely assume that a TV recording device of some sort is required for your viewing pleasure?
[JP]: You’re damn skippy! That and I’m pretty sure I’ve actually worn out a pause button or two on the remotes. I can’t make it through 22 minutes of Modern Family without having to find a snack, pour a drink or two and change a diaper! It’s madness!
[AP]: What are your favorite podcasts?
[JP]: SModcast, Tell Em’ Steve-Dave, Pizza Beer Revolution, Tiny Odd Conversations, Serial, Dark Angels and Pretty Freaks, The Dad Podcast, The School of Podcasting, The list really goes on! I’m subscribed to well over 100 shows. Sometimes I’m a fan of the hosts even more than the Podcasts themselves.
[AP]: I notice that the two of my Big Three; The Nerdist Podcast and WTF with Marc Maron, aren’t on the list, as well as one of my personal favorites, the Nerdist/SmodCast hybrid of FEaB, but I digress, are you a serial listener? Or do you just cherry pick episodes based on topic?
[JP]: Actually, I love Nerdist and WTF. Though I do tend to cherry pick through those shows because of both the quantity of episodes they release and the quantity of podcasts that I listen to. I’m a serial listener. If I subscribe, I listen to each and every episode and I try to go back to the beginning, too… Which is getting harder and harder with the current amount of aural pleasure I have pumping into my lobes! FEaB, I’m quite aware of and I always love the books that Scott Mosier brings up on SModcast, but for whatever reason, FEaB has yet to make my rotation.
[AP]: Who are your favorite podcasters? Why?
[JP]: I have a very large group of podcasters that I associate with. I’m a fan of them all. I’d hate to not mention someone here, so I’ll just go with the tried and true; Kevin Smith. He’s Honest, Intelligent, Funny, Raw, Passionate and Real. I’ve followed him and respected him long before podcasting and to this day I still follow him for a multitude of reasons.
[AP]: As a student, for lack of a better term, of Kevin Smith have you tried to get the Mrs. to do a Plus One podcast with you?
[JP]: Oh yes! And just like his Mrs., mine fights me like I’m a chimp holding a juicy bloody steak! I have managed to get her on 7 Days a Geek a few times, and it’s an absolute joy to me. My Wifey is a talker and very different from me… So it’s fun to have her on, but she’s not into sharing every intimate detail of her life like I am. Which is just silly!
[AP]: What is it about the podcasting community that makes it such a community, more so than bloggers or other online mediums?
[JP]: I really don’t know. Perhaps it’s in the fact that we actually support and TALK to each other. Guest host on each other’s shows and really get to know each other. You can really feel the genuine goodness in people. I think it’s the same in blogging, but much like having a conversation over the phone rather than texting, things happen much faster.
[AP]: Favorite ways to spend your free time (or hobbies).
[JP]: I love having dinner with the whole family. It’s a great time to just put the phones, iPods, iPads down and just sit and have conversations over good food. I love creating and writing new ideas down, developing those and of course I love, LOVE, podcasting!
[AP]: How often do you have dinner with the whole family and I have to applaud you for killing off the devices and just being with each other during them. It’s not something that happens often enough around family dinner tables!
[JP]: Almost every night. Sometimes it even drives my wife nuts, mostly because cooking dinner for a family of seven is insane, but I’m a big believer in spending time together as a family. Have some laughs, get some things off your chest and learn things about each other. My kids are so far apart in their age that it’s really one of the few times we can get together and have that common bond. Sure it’s over food, but we’re humans so we’ll always have that. It’s not like the older girls will sit down and play Lego Star Wars with the two year old boy. Not regularly anyway. They’re far too busy with makeup, social media and selfies.
[AP]: What is the most productive/creative setting for you to accomplish your work?
[JP]: I have a corner of the basement that I affectionately call “Monkey Poo Studios.” That’s where I keep what little of the geek memorabilia, toys, and what not, I have. It’s my little place in the house where I can sit down at my iMac and write or edit a podcast. I’ve got a large table top with all of my podcasting stuff on it. It’s perfect for walking up to, hitting the power button and just recording.
[AP]: What is it about the space that you carved out in your home of “Monkey Poo Studios” that makes it yours?
[JP]: I think that it’s given me a place to share my multiple voices, even though they’re not that distinct from each other. I can share my love for being a geek on “7 Days a Geek”, I can share my love for podcasting and podcasts on “Podcasting 101”, I can talk about my life as a sitcom-ish type dad with my family on “Deconstructing Dad”. For shits and giggles, in the early days of “7 Days a Geek,” I decided to write a “Radio Drama”, or really more of an immature comedic outing. In it I had created an idea for a drug fueled, sex addicted, Rock God long past his prime who gets stuck in the middle of a Zombie Apocalypse. My co-host Oz, built the character from there. He really ran with it! So much so, that we are currently creating a “Chronicles of Chesney Goss” Audio Diary of sorts that will be its own Podcast.
What Monkey Poo Studios has allowed me to do is be as creative as I want to be… Even in the face of failure. Who gives a fuck! I’d rather being making something fun and having a good time with my fellow geeks, than dying a slow death at one or two of my shitty jobs, which might be inevitable, but this makes it more bearable.
[AP]: Professionally or in your side projects, what are some of your big successes, public or behind-the-scenes?
[JP]: I think just creating the podcast has been a success. That and keeping it going. There are so many things that I count as a success. I like to celebrate the little things. It really makes all of it worth doing. I think everyone should give it a try! Because of podcasting, I once wrote and directed a six episode web series, Between the Covers. Sadly, nobody has seen it, but I never would have had the balls to have moved past the “I’d like to create a web series someday” if it weren’t for the positivity that podcasting has given me. I was able to self-publish the first two issues of E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event), my comic book, because I’ve been fortunate enough to really have some great listeners and supporters through the years. I’ve been able to create multiple podcasts since, help others start podcasts and really meet a shit ton of like-minded people! All because of podcasting.
[AP]: Will you ever resurrect Between the Covers?
[JP]: It almost happened. Two years after we shot season one, I got the whole cast to agree to come back and shoot more. I had written out the second season and started writing the scripts, but sadly scheduling the main cast got to be too much. The only way it would have worked was if I started writing episodes based on availability for that week of shooting. Which wasn’t going to work, I’m not that talented and this wasn’t Arrested Development on Netflix, so with a hard decision and some personal heartbreak, I stopped production on it. Though it did show up again in that radio play I spoke of earlier. Also, there’s potential for a webcomic return.
[AP]: Is there a medium you want to break into?
[JP]: Oh hell, I’m not sure I’ve even broken into this medium yet. All jokes aside, I’m not looking to be The Goddamn Batman of podcasting, I’m just looking to share my joy of Comics, Television, Movies, Podcasting and Storytelling with other like-minded people.
Through the years I’ve been able to build a good sized audience, and make some really cool “Friends” (That’s right… I used the F word) with some really cool people. If this continues… I’ll be happy.
[AP]: You have broken into the medium; you have listeners, followers and friends. Is there anything more you’d like to do with this, beyond keeping on keeping on?
[JP]: I’d love for it to be my career. The idea of this being my job, getting so much JOY from it and then being done for the day and hanging out with my family… That would be a dream come true.
[AP]: How well do you manage your time? And how do you or don’t you manage it?
[JP]: I don’t. I’m really at the mercy of my two jobs and my family! So, when I’m not working, and the kids are in bed, I head on down to Monkey Poo Studios and try to make some magic happen. It’s not all gold mind you… But it’s always a blast!
[AP]: Do you sleep? Are you a robot? How do you manage to keep it all together and function? You’re, dare I say it, with Marvel implications, you’re almost InHuman!
[JP]: More like Un-Human. Mentally, it’s starting to kick my ass. Can a Ginger get a nap and a day off!? I’ve read that the less sleep you get… It starts to affect your brain. Now, I’ve got a pea sized brain entrapped in this ugly ass head of mine. I can’t afford to come off more stupid than I already am! Yet, now I’m forgetting things. I was having some internal dialogue with myself… as I sometimes do. Now I don’t remember what the topic was, but I remember that I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember the word “Eskimo!” I’m yelling at myself, still inside my own head mind you… I’m not some crazy vagabond yelling into the air, for no damn reason! So I’m telling myself, “You know, those people that live in igloos!” Nothing. I was brain dead. That seems to be happening almost every day now. Could be signs of age… But I think adding some sleep to the regiment might be what the doctor ordered. That or I start overdosing on Focus Factor!
[AP]: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
[JP]: My Step Dad once asked me if I would sell one of my kids for a Million dollars. Of course I said “No,” to which he responded with “Then always think of yourself as a very rich man.”
[AP]: And the best piece of advice you could give to someone?
[JP]: There is no plan. So make one for yourself, but don’t just stop there. You have to make it happen. Push for it every damn day!
[AP]: I have to ask, how did you, Jason Parsons, become The Angry Ginger? Was it a Bruce Banner / Hulk scenario, only you can’t change back?
[JP]: Wow! You’re closer than you think. But that’s only a portion of it… A very true part of the name, in fact, but there’s more.
From what I’ve been told, “Ginger,” comes from South Park. If not directly from the show, then it got its popularity from the show. Grant (my friend, co-worker and podcasting co-host) had started calling me Ginger after witnessing it. At first, he was using it as more of a humorous, dare I say, denigrating term. It got under my skin. I’m sure I “kindly” voiced my opinion within those first few days… Leading to me being called “The Angry Ginger.” You see, I grew up a carrot top. As a child it was a much brighter orange than it is now. I hated it. It didn’t seem like anyone in the world liked it either. So being called out as an adult for being a “red head” made me want to smash Grant’s brains in. Of course being an adult and having lived with being a “red head” my whole life, I didn’t really care either. I’d heard it all. This was just another term.
So I started calling myself “The Angry Ginger.” I think reason it has stuck though, is because, for the most part, I’m not an angry person. But when I do get angry… It’s not good for anyone involved. I very much relate it to the Hulk. I mean, I don’t grow green muscles and split my purple pants, but it can be very Jekyll and Hyde-like. I hate it. It’s probably the reason why I use humor so much… It keeps the beast inside at bay!
[AP]: Thank you for your cooperation. Having been through the ringer and back is there anything else you would like to add, or do you just want the bright light turned off?
[JP]: Anything more to add? I think I’ve covered EVERYTHING. I would like to note, that I’m terrible at this interrogation thing! I’ve seen many a movie where the Detective or Spy; some law abiding official with a badge and a trench coat, leans over the table littered with PROOF positive documents, coffee stains and photographic evidence of the crime, yelling obscenities and threats of a life sentence in “The Big House” if they don’t turn over states evidence. Yet, I got none of that. It was a very pleasurable experience. Still… I broke. I gave you the goods. So you have a great technique Agent Palmer. I applaud you and your skills! Thanks so much!
As you can tell, Jason is “endlessly in motion, ridiculously dedicated,” as his 7 Days a Geek co-host Grant Markham says.
Jason is always creating, he’s always positive and he enjoys getting a laugh out of people. Grant also summed up Jason with “for being a simple guy he’s very complicated,” and “for Jason the sun is always shining, even when it’s not.”
All of these quotes from Grant are relevant but, most of all, based on what you have just read Jason’s ambition is something to be inspired by. He does more in addition to being the father of five and a loving husband, than most do in a lifetime.
You can best follow his exploits on his main twitter @s7evendaysageek or even @DeconstructDad, or @MonkeyPooStu, or @Podcaster101, or perhaps @7dagpodcast. He’s also on tumblr, instagram and the 7 Days a Geek facebook page, as well as, the 7 Days a Geek site and his Deconstructing Dad Blog.
His many podcasts are available on iTunes, Stitcher and their respective websites. And you can interact with him and his podcasts through his S7evendaysageek@gmail.com or his Skype: S7evendaysageek.
Lastly, but most importantly, you can support his many endeavors by becoming a Patreon Patron of 7 Days a Geek. I do, and I suggest you do, as well. In my opinion, the more Angry Ginger the better, not necessarily the angrier the ginger the better, but that’s subjective.