By Lea Thau
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From Lea Thau, Peabody award-winning producer and creator of The Moth Podcast and The Moth Radio Hour, comes her new storytelling baby, Strangers, part of KCRW's Independent Producer Project and of PRX's Radiotopia network. Each episode is an empathy shot in your arm, featuring true stories about about the people we meet, the connections we make, the heartbreaks we suffer, the kindnesses we encounter, and those frightful moments when we discover that WE aren't even who we thought we were.
||CleanElizabeth and Mary, Part 1||Would you give a kidney to a stranger? Inspired by a previous episode of Strangers, Elizabeth decided to do just that. This is Part 1 of the story that ensued.||1/29/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Waxing Virgin — Then and Now||Four years ago, we met Becca, a virgin in her 30s who waxed g******s for a living. On this episode we play her original story, along with an update about what Becca has been up to since then…||1/15/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitA Special Broadcast From Strangers||Two of our favorite stories in one radio hour. With Henry & Jane Evans and Lyena Strelkoff, produced for KCRW.||1/4/2016||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitLeft Right Black White||A stereotypical, Whole-Foods-shopping, NPR-listening liberal finds herself in an alliance of Republicans.||12/4/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman||Sometimes you get in a rut as a creative professional, wondering if you’ll ever be a professional, creatively, or if you’ll be forever stuck in some dead-end day job that’s designed to pay the bills but barely does.||11/6/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitMy Father’s Bones||One day when Susan was five, her father came home and nailed her bunk bed shut. That was the beginning of a long strange journey.||10/9/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanJenni, Remembered||In the Strangers community, we've lost one of our own: Jenni Rowell, 33, has passed away. In this episode, with the help of her family and friends, we rejoice in her life and everything she gave us, and we mourn what we have lost.||9/11/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitSexistential||What exactly does a sex surrogate do? Meet Kendra Holliday to find out. - Warning: This content is not suitable for children. - -||8/18/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitLove Hurts – One Year Later||One year ago today, July 31st, Lea went to interview Robert, a guy she’d dated, about why he’d turned her down. That became the first of a series of episodes called "Love Hurts,” where Lea investigated why she was having trouble finding love again||7/31/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Teacher Who Couldn’t Read||John Corcoran graduated from high school and college and then spent 17 years as a high school teacher without knowing how to read or write. How on earth did he pull that off? And why? This is his story. -||7/10/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitAmerican Mormon — International Mr. Leather||A new - and improved! - version of an old Strangers story: A Mormon boy grows up to become "International Mr. Leather," which is the “Miss Universe” equivalent of the leather fetish world, and he’s forced to acknowledge some surprising parallels bet||6/26/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanLike a Pizza: Two Men and a Baby – the Follow-Up||In 2014 Patrick and Steve received a surprise delivery...and it was a newborn, whaa! A story ensued, which became the episode Two Men and a Baby. Now, a year later we check in to see how things are going. - Get the full story here.||6/12/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAdrian’s Race 2||This is the second installment in our series about Adrian Wagner, who at 25 is losing his eyesight, and who is in a race to try to locate his birth parents in time to qualify for upcoming clinical trials, which might cure his condition but require gene...||5/29/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitUnconditional||This is a story of mothers, love, regrets and redemption, and of secrets from many years passed that cast long shadows in our lives. It’s about how Deborah Jiang-Stein came to be pulled over by two highway patrolmen at 19 years-old,||5/15/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Cruellest Month?||April is the cruellest month. At least it can be. If you are depressed or heartbroken, there is nothing worse than the thaw and the blossoms and the girls in short dresses and the lovers on park benches licking melting ice cream off each other’s faces .||5/1/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitAdrian’s Race||Adrian is 25 and losing his eyesight. He's in a race against time. He’s also in a battle between humility and pride. When is it stubborn, perhaps even foolhardy, not to make concessions to one’s disability? When is it the only way out?||4/16/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitJenni, Now||We revisit Jenni Rowell from the episode “Life, Interrupted” to see where things stand, and learn some sh*t about life. - Get the full story here.||3/26/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAnd Justice for All?||A booker for TV court shows shares highs and lows from the merry-go-round of daytime justice... - Get the full story here.||3/13/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitLove – Good and Bad||For Valentine’s Day we return to the theme of love, with a story about someone else’s heartbreak for a change. As for Lea's heart, well, you’ll see… - Get the full story here.||2/12/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanA Father’s Story – Then and Now||To mark the three-year anniversary of Strangers we share with you the very first story ever featured on the show, about Stephen Rochelle and his son Matthew, and we return to Stephen to see how they're doing now, three years later. In July 2011,||1/16/2015||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitLove Hurts — The Follow-Up||Lea received hundreds of messages in response to her raw, personal four-part series, "Love Hurts." In this follow-up episode, she strings together the funny, poignant and moving voice mails she received from listeners in response to the series and trie...||12/18/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitThe Mind Shaft||Greg O'Brien was in his late 50s when strange things started happening… - Get the full story here.||12/4/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAlaska Bingo||Sam Feirstein takes a broken heart to Alaska and finds surprising kindness in "enemy territory.” Also, producer Lea Thau takes a broken heart to India and has a “stranger” experience that inspires her to create this show.||11/7/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanScreaming with Professionals||For Halloween, we give you a ghost story of sorts. Not in the traditional sense, but we think you'll know what we mean when you hear it. As a little boy, Bill Ratner experienced a series of tragedies. Then he learned to scream…. -||10/30/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitFalling Slowly||Strangers, at its core, is about the beauty and the struggle of human connection and what happens in those moments when we get closer to someone else, or, say, further removed from ourselves. Often that change is subtle and slow,||10/23/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitBig Jim & Smokey Joe||A waitress, a former bomber pilot and a retired railroad engineer embark on the adventure of a lifetime. - A version of this story was previously featured on Season 1 of Strangers. - Get the full story here.||10/14/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanLove Hurts 4||In this final installment of Love Hurts, Lea talks to a guy SHE turned down. - Get the full story here.||10/8/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitLove Hurts 3||On this episode, Lea seeks dating advice from two experts...and lets it all hang out. "Love Hurts" is a series in which Lea investigates why she is single. We recommend listening to the episodes in order. - Get the full story here.||9/17/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitLove Hurts 2||Lea continues her quest to discover why she's been single for nearly four years. She interviews yet another guy who turned her down to find out why he didn't want to date her, and tells stories of her past loves and present dates. -||9/3/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitLove Hurts||While doing a story about online dating, Lea gets her heart broken (yet again). - Get the full story here.||8/14/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitKenna Fisher: Renaissance Woman||Kenna, formerly known as Ken, came out 5 years ago. This her story. - Get the full story here.||7/11/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanTwo Men and a Baby||Two young men receive a surprise delivery. And it's a newborn. Whaaa! - Get the full story here.||6/15/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanThe Long Shadow||Murder, music, mystery. A controversial event in 1997 changed the fate of two band mates. - Get the full story here.||5/16/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||ExplicitCora Leighton: The Gift||A stripper and a tattoo artist have a fateful encounter. - Get the full story here.||4/17/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanJenni Rowell: Life, Interrupted||Imagine waking up every morning and seeing a stranger in the mirror... - Get the full story here.||3/13/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanLiz Fletcher: Little Orphan Edie, a Valentine’s Story||A tale of true love spanning four decades, two countries, and classic racial divides... - Get the full story here.||2/11/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanBorn Rich (or Poor): Moby, Jamie Johnson and Others||Just how fabulous is it to be fabulously rich? 4 stories of wealth--inherited and earned. - Get the full story here.||1/16/2014||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAnniversary Episode: Strangers Revisited||An online dater finds love after 16 years, and an exonerated prisoner goes to see the former District Attorney. - Get the full story here.||12/13/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAlfredo Corchado: Midnight in Mexico||An immigrant boy receives an offer he can't refuse. - Get the full story here.||11/15/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAndrew and Akina Cox: Meet the Moonies||A hip young artist couple find themselves in an arranged marriage. - Get the full story here.||10/17/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAndrea Askowitz: Be My Baby||A woman finds her way to the all-american, suburban, lesbian life. - Get the full story here.||9/20/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanMatjames and Tyler: Flee, Flood, Float||A story about the places we go and the people we find. (Sorry we don't want to give it away, just listen, please.) - Get the full story here.||8/15/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanHenry and Jane||A 40-year-old stroke victim demonstrates that a sense of humor can be the last thing to go. - Get the full story here.||7/15/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAltruism||Does true altruism exist? Here are three stories that say yea, nay, and just maybe... - Get the full story here.||6/14/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanGay Talese: Committed Voyeur||Legendary non-fiction writer, Gay Talese, discusses his marriage, his work, and the scandals that have made waves in both. - Get the full story here.||5/9/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanFranky Carrillo: Life||A man spends 20 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, but comes out ahead... - Get the full story here.||4/11/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanAlec Ledd, Moby: A.K.A.||Moby shares moments with strangers, Alec Ledd goes Jewish for Barbara Streisand. - Get the full story here.||3/15/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanLauren Whaley, Jake de Grazia, VS. Dobbs: Love||Three stories of heart break and true love. - Get the full story here.||2/14/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanDavid Terry: Jesus||The son of missionaries is taken to Greece and returns to the U.S. in the 8th grade with a mullet and a Jesus shirt. - Get the full story here.||1/10/2013||Free||View In iTunes|
||CleanTerry’s Treasure||Producer Lea Thau embarks on a strange online dating adventure. - Get the full story here.||12/13/2012||Free||View In iTunes|
This program is gem.
I am a sucker for a real good story telling and I am always searching for new stuff. "Strangers" is gem. I feel like I am right there sitting next to Stephen Rochelle, listening to him telling his story about his son. I like the whole concept of a program based on strangers.
I'm in love!!@!!!!
I heard about this from a friend and I cannot wait to hear more. Holy crap.
Something in me is healed, hearing about the collisions of random people's lives, and the takewaways and wisdoms or shames that they illuminate. Its like I get to learn lessons without living through them.
I can't say enough good about the idea of "Strangers". Four days after listening to the episode about Stephen Rochelle I still find myself looking at people differently as I go about my day. Below is what I posted at KCRW's website.
--Dan Kennedy, Host of The Moth podcast.
There are a handful of reasons to hear people's stories, some of the reasons are purely anecdotal: 'What has this person done or seen that is funny or remarkable?', or 'What has this person had the privilege of being a part of that I haven't?' that's one thing. But the bigger thing is that when we walk down the street we have to be reductive to get down it. You can't walk down the street and feel and understand the humanity and heart of every person you pass, or you'd never get down the block, it would be emotionally exhausting, so we reduce people in the blink of an eye if only to get down the street and through our busy days and lives. People become 'the guy who doesn't know how to drive and stranded everyone at the red light' or 'the kid dressing like some gangster and wondering why people treat him that way' or 'another person walking slowly and right in my way when I was running late'. Then along comes a podcast that takes each person you pass on the street, or in the grocery store, or airport, or on the freeway, pauses on them and zooms in, and let's you discover for yourself just how off you were when you typecast them in the passing blink of an eye. That is a massive idea. "Strangers" goes a lot further than the pure entertainment of a story or performance -- it's an idea that makes you challenge the way you've seen your world day-in and day-out for your entire life so far, and it does it one person at a time. You can't look at people the same way after listening to just one -- if you ask me, that's the definition of important work and brilliant art.