Eric Whitehair & Rebekah Lamb
"Quarantine living reminded me that storytelling is a human need."
Describe yourself as a maker/artist/creative
I am a high school history teacher in Baltimore who has a side hustle as adjunct faculty at Towson University. I met my collaborator, Rebekah Lamb, in the last century when we were both undergrad Religious Studies majors at Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College in Westminster). We both did college radio and continue to write and do visual art as well.
What are you currently working on?
We are currently wrapping up the first 12 episode season of our podcast, Jackalope Carnival. We are taking a month off of recording new episodes to improve the website and do more research and writing for season two.
Has your work shifted in response to the pandemic? How?
The whole idea for this podcast was hatched because of the quarantine. Bekah and I have been having conversations about often arcane things that we found interesting over the years as scholars/teachers of history and religion. We decided to open these up to an audience who might hopefully find it interesting. We cover the things that we don't get to talk about in our classes: Ouija boards, monster sightings in history, cannibalistic tour guides, leeches, all sorts of things.
For me, at least, this became a little "side reality" that I could escape into. I get to have fun conversations with a close friend and pretend that all of 2020 isn't happening. It's escapism using the tools of the historian and storyteller. On the other hand it is a remembrance that the old "normal" may not be as normal as we might remember as an ideal.
In your opinion, what role does the creative process play in helping us confront our “new” reality?
I think there's some benefit to looking at the specifically weird part of history. It offers a context that can be comforting, especially right now. It's good to remember that things have always been weird. That "normal" is a transient construction at best and that all things change all the time.
Don't worry, we don't always talk like that on the show. This episode includes a commercial jingle for a medical leech peddler. For the next episode we sing a sea shanty we wrote about a run away romance between a sailor and a sea monster.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Quarantine living reminded me that storytelling is a human need.
Listen to Jackalope Carnival here.
All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.