One of the most common pieces of advice couples receive at weddings is a reminder that marriage, like any long-term relationship, isn’t always easy. What is easy is for people in these relationships to feel like they’re alone, and that their struggles are completely unique.
Arvada residents and married couple of nine years, Emily Van Fleet (an actor who has performed all over the state) and Nathan Jones (education curriculum adviser) have launched a new show called “ Twice as Less Not Perfect: A Messy Marriage Podcast,” to provide a window into their relationship and show other couples they’re not on their own in what they may be going through.
“When we were going through hard times, you’d reach out and it seemed like no one wanted to talk about it,” Jones said. “In a lot of peoples’ minds, you either have a great marriage or a terrible marriage, and there’s no in between.”
The first five episodes of “Twice as Less Not Perfect” were released on Sept. 1, with the aim of releasing new episodes weekly. Topics the couple get into range from being quarantined together and household tasks to discussions of the Me Too movement, open relationships and more.
“When we recorded our first episode it was around the time of our ninth wedding anniversary and we have this tradition where we reread our vows to each other and talk about them. So, we did that, but on the podcast,” Van Fleet said. “We read them out loud, talked about what’s changed from when we first said them and made up new vows on the spot, based on what we’ve experienced.”
Both Jones and Van Fleet are hoping for audience engagement to grow with the show, and there’s a Facebook, Instagram and YouTube page where people can chime in.
Van Fleet and Jones both have experience speaking and performing in front of people, but a podcast like “Twice as Less Not Perfect” required a kind of public openness and vulnerability that took a little adjusting to. The hope is that very vulnerability will allow others to connect with them and their experiences.
“It feels messy, it feels challenging, it feels like one day you’re on the highest mountain and one day you’re on the lowest low. And navigating that together is half the battle, it’s half of the relationship, it’s half of where the growth comes from,” Jones said. “Every action we take with each other is a vote for who we want to be going forward. Ever yday you’re waking up and making a conscious choice to do this with this person. If you’re doing that, that’s step one.”
Even if listeners don’t have the same experiences as Van Fleet and Jones, they hope by sharing their lives, it will lead to discussions and enlightenment for all.
“I want to talk about as many hard things as possible and help people realize that voice [in their gut] is important to listen to,” Van Fleet said. “If we can be those people to talk about it and be real about it, then hopefully there will be more of those aha moments.”
Visit messymarriagepodcast.buzzsprout.com for information and listening options. And watch my full interview with the pair here:
Enjoy the great outdoors and help Dumb Friends League
The Dumb Friends League launched the Peaks for Pets hiking challenge, which runs for the entire month of September. The challenge is simple — keep track of your vertical feet all month and earn incentive items as you climb.
Participants are encouraged to take part in exciting weekend challenges and share photos of their adventures using #PeaksforPets or tagging the Dumb Friends League on social media, according to provided information.
Visit www.peaksforpets.org for details and to register.
Clarke’s Concert of the Week — ‘Live at the Vineyards’
KUVO JAZZ has been providing listeners with the sounds of one of America’s most important original art forms for 35 year and is celebrating that achievement — as well as 15 years of “Live at the Vineyards” concert series — with a 15-day radio celebration.
“Live at the Vineyards: On the Radio” began on Sept. 9 and airs through Sept. 23, highlighting the artists who performed over the last 15 years — artists like the Hazel Miller Band, Poncho Sanchez, Dianne Reeves and many more.
To listen, tune into KUVO JAZZ (89.3FM Denver), visit kuvo.org, or download the free KUVO JAZZ app.
Streaming style — ‘25th Hour’
Spike Lee has made some extremely important films during his career (“Do the Right Thing” anyone?) but “25th Hour” is notable, not only for the caliber of the performances, but because it’s been called by critics like the San Francisco Chronicle’s Mick LaSalle “the only great film dealing with the Sept. 11 tragedy.”
The film follows Edward Norton’s Montgomery “Monty” Brogan, a drug dealer going through his last 24 hours of freedom before beginning his prison sentence. The film submerges itself and the audience in the immediate post-9/11 world of New York City. The result is all Lee — enlightening, moving and utterly human.
Check it out from your local library or stream it on Amazon.
Clarke Reader’s column on culture appears on a weekly basis. He can be reached at Clarke.Reader@hotmail.com.
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