Coming Attractions

Telling stories on a digital stage

Recommended activities for the coming week


It will surprise no one to hear that there are many, many differences between life in New York City and Denver. But comedian and podcaster Crystal Beth has come across one that may not be immediately obvious to most.

“I asked people for recommendations on good therapists, and found out people here don’t really talk about that,” she said. “In New York, all we do is cry on the subway and talk about which therapist we’re seeing.”

Beth and her husband John Robert moved to Colorado about five months ago in search of more affordable space to do what they love — tell stories, whether that’s through a microphone or on a stage.

“We wanted a room that we could dedicate to our podcasting operation and have permanently set up all the equipment we use for our shows,” Beth explained. “We’ve also started Box W Media, a company that will hopefully allow us to produce podcasts for others.”

The pair recently wrapped up a podcast called “The Fifth Eleminute” which was a minute-by-minute examination of the cult-favorite science fiction film. They’re also part of Unlimited Lives Radio, a video game podcast they host with Carlo Rojas and T.J. Del Reno.

Telling stories is a talent Beth picked up from her mother. It was from her mother’s example that Beth learned what makes a good story (or joke) — having a good button at the end that calls back to the beginning.

“You want something that brings it all together,” Beth explained. “A good story doesn’t have to be happy all the way through or anything like that. But it does need to make the listener feel like the speaker is talking directly to them.”

The world of podcasting is ever-growing and competitive, which means that while there are plenty of opportunities for people to talk about what they love, not everybody has the talents to make it entertaining or turn podcasting into a sustainable business. Like all things, developing a good podcast takes dedication and practice.

“I love stand-up comedy, but I don’t do it to become a famous comedian,” Beth said. “I do it to work on my writing, develop my voice and figure out what makes people laugh.”

Beth’s work allows her to not only discuss things she loves, but also to be open about struggles with anxiety, insecurities and other challenges that she and so many other people experience every day.

Much like stand-up comedy, podcasting is a predominantly male industry. But Beth is eager to work with women, people of color and members of the LGBTQ community to tell stories and share voicies on stages (both physical and digital) that have otherwise been shunted off to the side. As long as they don’t become more successful than her, she adds with a laugh.

“I love helping people get to where they want to be,” she said. “Even if it conflicts immensely with my need to be the center of attention.”

Stay up to date on Beth’s efforts and podcasts at

Celebrate Diá de los Muertos with a cultural wallk

Halloween is on a Wednesday this year, which makes it a little difficult to properly celebrate the holiday. But Diá de los Muertos is from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 — in other words, more time to celebrate.

To celebrate the traditional holiday, Lakewood’s 40 West Arts District is marking it with its First Friday event from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2. The hub of the event is the 40 West Arts Gallery, 1560 Teller St. in Lakewood.

All of the district’s galleries, studios and creative businesses will be open to the public and visitors to the district will see multiple exhibits inspired by Diá de los Muertos, including altars and pieces by local grade school students. Aztec dancers in traditional costume and fire artists will also be performing.

For more information, visit

Clarke’s Concert of the Week — Jim James at the Paramount Theatre

There are certain singers who can do things that seem practically inhuman with their voices. Kentucky’s Jim James, the lead singer and songwriter of My Morning Jacket, is one of those singers for me. This year James has released two albums with different approaches on the same songs — “Uniform Distortion” and “Uniform Clarity.”

In honor of the albums, James is going on a first-ever solo tour, featuring just him and longtime touring drummer David Givan play songs from his entire oeuvre. He’ll be stopping by the Paramount Theatre, 1621 Glenarm Place, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

The concert will also feature special guests Alynda Segarra from Hurray for the Riff Raff and Andrea Gibson. It’s going to be a special show, and you won’t want to miss it.

Get your tickets at

Getting another shot at prom as an adult in RiNo

Prom is one of those events that our culture has turned into a major life milestone, when for most people, it was just another in a long line of school dances.

For those who want another crack at the whole prom thing, RiNo is giving adults a chance with the RiNo Prom, beginning at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10 and ending around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, the 11th. Prom will be held at the B-Spot Gallery, 2750 Blake St. in Denver.

This 21-and-older event will feature everything that go into traditional proms —- gowns, tuxes, limo rides and dancing. But there will also be no curfew, spiked punch and more.

For tickets, visit

Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at


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