#PodcastPick – How to Fail: Episode 1

#PodcastPick – How to Fail: Episode 1

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By Alys Marshall

Hosted by author, broadcaster and journalist Elizabeth Day, How to Fail is dedicated to discussing exactly that. Day asks her guests to bring a few of their most significant failures to the table, and in return, she helps them to explore how these failures have led to success.

In this first episode, Day meets with actress, writer and director (not to mention superhero of feminist comedy) Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Being friends already, the interview is brimming with brilliant examples of each singing the other’s praises. When talk turns to working life, they cover the brutal effect of auditions on self-esteem, and the difficult climate for aspiring female actors. The iconic ‘having a secret wank to an Obama speech’ scene in Fleabag also gets a mention – side note, if you haven’t watched Fleabag yet, go forth and binge!

Day calls Waller-Bridge the “poster child for female rage”, perhaps because so much of her work involves taking a long, dark look at what women are really feeling. She mentions that a lot of the characters she writes for have a kind of “duality”: an existence that combines their shiny, painted exterior and internal turmoil. Day eventually gets Waller-Bridge to modestly admit that her writing has enabled her to act again, in a way that is both three-dimensional and challenging; she intimates that for young women, these roles can be rather thin on the ground, and depressingly, “being hot” is the main pre-requisite.

How to Fail gets off to a moreish start with this opening episode. I’d definitely recommend tuning in to the rest of the series to hear some more great women (and even a few men) talk about failure in this refreshingly candid, constructive format.

Title image sourced here.

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