Stephen, NPR, Rebecca Sugar discussed on Bullseye with Jesse Thorn
Getting flustered. Richard that aren't in the center of the story. That's how I would feel I I wanted to with Stephen also put more of a spotlight on those characters. The characters in Stephen that are equivalent to that kind of royalty. are not nearly as important written as you know the Butler and the maid versus the the character of the night the people who would be side characters the main characters which is of my show. Do you remember an early time early in your career. When you got a big feeling from your childhood would you put into story? Yeah Yeah I think the one that I keep returning to is that when I when I was a kid I left a stuffed animal in the garden and I didn't find it until I don't know how many months later maybe it was a year here. You know how things feel like a year when when maybe maybe it was two weeks I don't know But it must have been well because when I found it again it had been lying upside down and the sun had faded its belly it was a black rabbit and now it had this light grey belly when I turned it over and it was the first time time I ever realized that things could change without me and and it wasn't that it was worse or better. It was just different and I wasn't there to see that happen and I never really forgot it and I and I also felt bad that I had been so careless. I thought I cared so much about this toy and I hadn't even realized that it was gone and I wrote a song about it. Called everything stays for adventure time and then as we were working on the movie. It slowly really dawned on me that I was writing about it again about this. This person leaving toy in the garden and do something about that just really stuck with me. I think it was a turning point as a kid where where I had my first existential crisis but I think I also realized that I could. I could make a mistake a bad mistake that I could leave something behind in that way. I think I realized is. Is there a point. Where your child where you realize that your childish that must click at some point? I know it really must have rattled me because I keep talking about in my stories. Do you feel like you have to do a lot of work to access those feelings that you had in those memories or do you feel like they're particularly present in you. I don't know no I. I think more often than not I tend to write about what I'm going through at the moment and then try to find some way to to connect that with the past if I can. A lot of the show was an interesting process because it started out with me writing about my childhood with my brother Stephen. My younger brother other and I wanted it to be about about this formative time when I was just becoming a teenager. And he wasn't quite there yet he was younger and I was. I was becoming this role model and I wanted to be a good role model and Stephen in. The gems are all based off some aspect of fat. But Stephen was with me on the show. He's our lead background designer. So as a show is becoming more and more difficult and I was buckling a little under a lot of that pressure. Sure he was there for me in real time and the story ends up reflecting that a lot is the gems. Start to unravel and Stephen steps up to be there for them. That was very much what was happening at that moment. Not necessarily what had happened although that also happened when we were that age You know being a teenager was a little tough on me. And he was such a reliable source of positivity and if I was ever having a bad day he'd just throw on a video video game that he knew I liked and I could always count on him and it just stayed true the past the present the future. What kinds of things about about teenager Damore particularly difficult? Oh Gosh let's see what a question I think. I had not a bit of a rough time as a by teenager because I knew right from the start I knew it was going on but when I would try to talk about it people would with people shut me down pretty quick and that became very confusing. I got a lot of bad advice. That just kept living in me really until my late. Twenty s Things like Oh you know. We'll we'll mainly like who cares serenely like the rules which I was like. Yeah I guess yeah I guess who cares and at that point I I think I internalized. I would stop caring about my own feelings because I was just like well who who cares really absorb that which I think was people's way of saying I don't mind you know at the time but it wasn't particularly helpful and then people saying well you'll figure it out when you end up with someone which which made me pretty confused because I felt like I needed a relationship to tell me who I was and I think i. I've made decisions that would have. I would have made better decisions if I had trusted myself. I learned I think from that to not trust myself because I thought that that this made sense and hearing from everyone around me that it didn't made me pretty unsure of my own ability to make sense of anything anything more with Rebecca sugar after a short break. Stay with US still to come Rebecca. We'll talk about how she deals with feedback from fans who don't always see things things the same way she does. 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Guys seen any movies you like to tune into switchblade sisters for a one of a kind episode with April Wolf and me. Katie Walsh. See You then corrupt. I listen listen to welcome back to Bullseye. I'm Jesse Thorn. My guest. Rebecca sugar created the Cartoon Network Series Steven Universe I. The show has been turned into a feature film which came out earlier this year and the latest chapter in the Steven Universe series is called Steven Universe Future. It's airing now on cartoon network. I think is pretty unusual. That Steven Universe is a story. That is about a boy whose you know. Main role models and protectors and family members. These are all Present as women basically a gems are this slick. They're like a space people aliens WHO WOULDN'T BE FEMALE Gender Dan on their home planet but on Earth they present as women and they're perceived as And that those are not mother's Like I that feels really unusual insignificant to me like it's there. Aren't that many stories about that kind of thing. And like I like. You're an older sister and had a relationship that was not maternal but was protective of your little brother. But like did you think about Oh anywhere else where that kind of story existed. No I wanted it. I wanted that visual and and I think it says a lot that you never see just an image or an aspirational story about a young boy looking up to looking up to women you know even as someone who I was was about to be running a television show I mean how do you how do you navigate a world where no no young boy has ever seen an image edge where the correct thing to do is to just listen to what a woman has said. That's when you see that zero times Uh Not that it's zero times but it's it's rare in what you what you get a lot of our boys hanging out with each other and influence points each influencing each other and and looking up to two men which I'm there's so so so many men that I look up to certainly nothing wrong with looking to men but I think it would do a lot of good to just put the idea out there that taking direction from a woman is a sign of strength and Taking and taking direction from nine non binary person who people perceive as a woman as a sign of strength. That would be great. That would be great. I I would like for and I think that as someone who's been leading a team I feel like we're also strong together. I don't see why that can't be something that's out in the world. I mean I think that there have. There's been a lot of progress in the time since I was a kid. You know in the last thirty years or so. So in terms of having feminist messages and children's entertainment but those feminist messages are almost always coming from women two girls.