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How One Writer Changed The Lives Of Many - Laree' Griffith

How One Writer Changed The Lives Of Many

So today’s Tiny Talk is a bit different; I will be interviewing the founder of the Open-Door Playhouse podcast. She talks about her journey to creating the podcast and how it has profoundly changed the lives of so many creative artists when their craft was shuttered due to the COVID crisis. 

A little over a year ago, I answered an opportunity to help produce a podcast that a writer was trying to get launched. The writer was Bernadette Armstrong, and she is not only a writer; she is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, director, and filmmaker, and now a theatrical podcaster. 

Her mission is to get her work out into the world while taking as many people with her as she can. She’s a powerhouse and the mother of many cats.

Today, September 15th, 2021, is the podcast’s first anniversary. 

The interview you’re about to listen to was actually recorded for her podcast. Still, I thought I would share it with you on my podcast, too, because Bernadette personifies what it means to get your work out into the world where it belongs – and that is my war cry, if you haven’t noticed! 

It’s what Bernadette practices and is committed to every day, no matter what life throws at her. Our work is so much bigger than just us. You never know whose life will be changed by your work or the opportunities you will create, not just for yourself but also for others. 

Before I play the interview with Bernadette, I want to share with you a letter she received from one of the writers she connected with through Penn America, a prison program for incarcerated writers that Bernadette collaborated with. 

Writing is both a passion and a hard-to-reach thorn, waking me in the dreary hours to jot down a thought or idea. Writing should serve a purpose, challenge and enrage, change paradigms.

As long as there’s one person on this earth who remembers you, it isn’t over.

Here’s what Daniel Lambert had to say about hearing his work on the Open-Door Podcast:

I just listened to Replacement Player and am absolutely blown away! I had no idea what to expect, but am thrilled with the level of professionalism and skill everyone involved demonstrated. Please express my gratitude to the actors; their timing and inflection were spot-on with how I adapted it, almost as if I was performing it myself.

Thank you for reaching out to me initially and having the vision to pick up Replacement Player. I have had plays staged and read, but this is my first professional accomplishment! 

Prior to prison, I had great professional career success that I was very proud of and worked my ass off for. None of those can match the pride I feel having been published.

A personal note: I had to have Michelle stop the podcast because I became overly emotional about two minutes in. I was reading the script while listening and I was struck that something I helped design, under the worst possible conditions, would be enjoyed by people I’ll never meet. To a man, we all have a fear of success in prison. When you’re told that you’re less than, not good enough, and underserving repeatedly, it takes a mental toll on you. We are constantly scrutinized and criticized throughout our day, made to feel dirty. Scott and I proved them wrong.


Oh, man, I get teary-eyed every time I read that! 

Whenever that voice in your head tells you not to bother, or your projects will never amount to anything, or What’s the point? The entertainment world is rigged! –  remember this heartfelt letter from Dan and remember this interview.  

Bernadette’s story is the ultimate example of the powerful results of one woman’s decision to create something bigger than herself, something more powerful than COVID, through collaboration with other creative artists. 

Open-Door Playhouse is always looking for new projects. It’s not just for playwrights, so if you’re a screenwriter or fiction writer or a wonderful poet, send in your work for consideration. It’s a great way to get your work out into the world as you continue to pursue your bigger projects. 

Ready to get on the playing field? As a creative life coach and screenwriter, I can help you take your idea from concept to final draft so you can finally get your work out into the world where it belongs. Book a free consultation and find out how we can work together.