Representation, Love, and Death with Lilah Sturges

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Representation, Love and Death with Lilah Sturges
Breaking Barriers
About The Episode Transcript

Rachel spoke with Lilah Sturges, an incredibly talented writer, as she shares her unique lens to the evolving comic book industry. Listen as Lilah opens up about her journey with the popular series, Lumberjanes, and the hurdles she's faced as a transgender woman in conservative Texas. We celebrate the increased representation of women, non-binary, and queer individuals in comics and how it's shaping the industry. She also shares her experiences collaborating with brilliant people and the importance of telling powerful stories where the characters are from typically marginalized groups so that readers know that they’re okay, allowed to be who they are, allowed to be confused sometimes and that they’re worthy of love and friendship.

You can find Lilah at and be sure to get a copy of Girl Haven!


0:01:41 - Four-Day Work Week Benefits and Challenges (90 Seconds)

0:06:25 - Lila Sturgis and Her Graphic Novel (78 Seconds)

0:09:54 - Recognition in the Comic Book Industry (70 Seconds)

0:14:16 - Writing and Supporting Girls in Texas (133 Seconds)

0:23:50 - The Writing Process (101 Seconds)

0:38:31 - Severance and Workplace Commentary (58 Seconds)

0:00:09 - Rachel Murray Well, hello and welcome to the Sheiky South podcast, where we geek out about workplace inclusion and talk with brilliant humans doing great work, making the world a better and brighter place.

0:00:21 - Felicia Jadczak I'm Rachel, I'm Felicia, and let's get into it.

0:00:27 - Rachel Murray Okay, yes, before we move on to our lovely guest, we have just a few things to share. As always, it's end of year. We've got one more episode coming after this before we hit 2024. What even is that?

0:00:43 - Felicia Jadczak Who even truly knows at this point. But yes, we're definitely in this headspace of wrapping up the year. We still have a couple episodes left in the season for early 2024. So that's exciting. But we're just reflecting on what has been happening, the state of the world, or the undoing of the world, however we want to think about it. We probably need a whole separate episode just to talk about that. So we're not going to get too deep into that right now.

0:01:10 - Rachel Murray I was like I was about to get down that revenue.

0:01:12 - Felicia Jadczak You're like I'm going to just take a week down that whole. Honestly, we'll be here for like five hours.

0:01:19 - Rachel Murray Well, one thing that we can talk about, which I think is related to the work that we do, is we are very intentional about making sure that we take some time off because we need processing space to deal with all of this Michigan, as I like to say. So we take off the last week of December as a company because things are quiet. We also take off the last week of August. There's been a lot of talk about taking off those Fridays and going down to the four-day work week.

0:01:46 - Felicia Jadczak Yeah, I feel like you had a whole revolution of your thought process around that. It's been interesting because the research has actually started to come out way more strongly in recent weeks. Even that there are a lot of benefits for a four-day work week and for us at SGO, we played around with it here and there We've had it be more official, less official. Summertime tends to be when we are a little bit more leaning into this idea. Where we have had several Fridays. We also do typically like no meeting Fridays, so it's definitely of interest, I think I know for me. I love me some no meeting Fridays and I try to guard them very zealously because it's really important for my brain space. I don't know what are your thoughts on this right now. Where's Rachel Murray in regards to four-day work week?

0:02:38 - Rachel Murray It's so hard because, yes, the idea of having three days consecutively, of not just in the work and to really have that brain space is glorious. Where I get stressed is how to fit all of the work that I need to do in the four days. So I guess my ideal situation would be to create an eight-day week and then somehow we would still have the five days to work and then three days off, but since I don't have that kind of power, I don't think that's realistic. The thing that really is frustrating is I consider myself an incredibly efficient person. This is the first role that I have had in my adult life of having a job ever where I don't get all my work done. I've prided myself on being really efficient and getting things done really quickly, and it's just. That's not what this is here.

0:03:37 - Felicia Jadczak Well, maybe it's not about creating an eight-day work week, because it's doable there's a lot of logistics involved and very complicated but maybe it's more about reframing what it means to get your work done and I'm only saying that because that's something that I have been trying to think about for myself, because I'm just the same as you. I think that's why we work together so well is let's get it all done, cross it off, leave for the day and erase everything from your memory. A good night's sleep. In previous jobs, I was definitely that person who was like it is 5 pm and I am done, so I get a phone call for work. I am not picking it up because I am out of here, but it's different when you're an entrepreneur, it's different when you work for yourself, it's different when you're in our roles as co-CEOs and business owners, and I do think you and I are working harder than we have ever worked in our lives at this point.

So for me, what I've been thinking about a lot is and I don't think this is the answer, just to be clear but I've been thinking what does it mean to not have work done and be okay with it? Because I have just come to the realization that I will never be able to get all my work done, and even when I get to that place where I'm like, oh, I got so much done. If I worked 24 hours, I probably still have the stuff left on the table. So I think it's about prioritizing, and then I think it's also about delegating, and I know you and I are talking a lot about that. What can we get off of our plates? So maybe that's how you have to think about the four-day workweek, which is like what is the stuff that you need to give to someone else so that you can have the four-day workweek?

0:05:09 - Rachel Murray That is great. We will have a therapy session with me, you and my Asana, and then we can talk through it. I love it, I love it.

0:05:17 - Felicia Jadczak I mean and I'm just saying this like please don't take this like oh, I know it all because I'm still struggling myself and you know me, I know I love late night work sessions to get my plate when I'm when I should be relaxing and resting, but yeah, I feel like it's so hard because I feel like the things I am definitely the kind of person that procrastinates on the thought work.

0:05:36 - Rachel Murray I'm like let me just get these easy tasks done and then I have these really big, important things to think about and develop and write and I just they just take time and you know that and I just you know chat, gpt is wonderful but it cannot solve this problem yet.

0:05:56 - Felicia Jadczak Yeah, I'm not. I'll be honest, I'm not looking forward to it solving our problems If the board of chat, GPT is going to continue or open eyes going to continue to be all men who are trash and problematic. So anyway, another conversation for another podcast.

0:06:11 - Rachel Murray Again I love it, I love it. All right. Thank you so much, listeners, for hanging with us. If, or maybe, you just hit that little forward button, which is also 100% understandable, I do it myself. So at least we're not ads. At least we're not ads, we're just, we're just us, so like. So, for today's incredible conversation with the lovely Lila Sturgis you were unable to attend. I know I'm so missed. Thank you.

0:06:36 - Felicia Jadczak I feel bad that I missed it. I was definitely looking forward to it, but I'm glad you went ahead and did the call.

0:06:42 - Rachel Murray anyway, it's a great conversation, so even though it would have been amazing if I was. I mean, I mean, obviously, I think there were some, some holes that you could have filled, which I mentioned during the interview. So all good, well, let me tell you about Lila. So first of all, I've known her for several years. She's another one of those really thoughtful, kind and smart people. You know the usual kind of human that we like to hang out with. Lila is an incredible graphic novel designer. She's so fancy. She even won last year's ink pot award at comic confer achievements in the comic arts and BD. You have to check out her latest graphic novel, girl Haven. It is really it is. It's an awesome, awesome comic novel. It's a fantasy adventure with a special message for young trans kids that she shares and, of course, we 100% agree with that they are okay, allowed to be who they are, allowed to be confused sometimes and that they are totally worthy of love and Friendship. So hope that you enjoy. Welcome, lila, so good to have you here.

0:07:49 - Lilah Sturges Hi Rachel, it's very good to be here.

0:07:52 - Rachel Murray It took a couple of tries, but we made it you know 2023 be 2023 in, so it's just what it is. I'm so excited to get into it with you. We miss Felicia here. She is under the weather, so it's just gonna be you and I having some power conversations. Maybe we'll talk about a couple of movies. We don't know what's going to happen, so I wanted to like start from the basics, because you are a Brilliant comic author, so I feel like the first great question to ask is tell me your origin story.

0:08:23 - Lilah Sturges Begins on a planet far, far away.

Star Wars let's do this called Rhode Island. No, I was born in Rhode Island, although I don't remember anything about it. My origin story is that I wanted to be a rock star and I don't know if you can see behind me all this musical equipment, but since I was about 15, really dedicated to the idea of being a professional musician, and worked really hard to do that, and in College I was in this band called those who dig. That was popular here in Austin and we had a great time. And then that broke up and I tried for a couple more years to do stuff and it never came together for me.

The rock star life just didn't happen and I thought, well, one of the other creative outlets that I have that I can use to be creative, and I'd always loved writing. So I joined a writing group and it just so happened that the writing group that I joined contained a guy named Bill Willingham who was a professional comic writer and With his help I was able to get my first job Writing comics. And of course, that was before I transitioned, and in those days it was very, very difficult for women to get jobs writing comics, but what they didn't know couldn't hurt them, so I got the job under false pretenses and then, when I finally did transition in 2016, it was like oh well, I'm already here, you can't get rid of me now suckers, suckers, love it, I love it, I love it.

0:09:54 - Rachel Murray Well, so you were in the industry. I was fortunate enough to see you was it last year or the year before at Comic Con.

0:10:02 - Lilah Sturges It was last year. Yeah, it seems like a million years ago, but it was literally just last year, yeah true confession.

0:10:08 - Rachel Murray I literally cannot tell the difference between 2021 and 2022. I don't understand. If you had asked me, I'd be like I would lose in that game show. I could not tell you so. So you actually spoke and you got an award, I believe yeah, what was the award.

0:10:24 - Lilah Sturges The award is called the ink pot award and it is for significant contributions to the comic arts. Which is a very nice way of saying that. I managed to stick around for 15 years in this industry, survive not just survive but thrive.

0:10:41 - Rachel Murray You know, one of the things that's so cool about what you do and what you write about is you have this perspective that is particularly unique and your writing is influenced by that. So I'm just curious, given the comic book industry and I will admit my ignorance I know it from a very far away, but I would imagine that your voice is probably relatively unique, although hopefully that's evolving. I would love to hear about what changes you would like to see Further in this industry when I, like I said, when I first started, there were very few women writing comics.

0:11:14 - Lilah Sturges There was Gail, simone and Kelly suit iconic and that was almost it. Now things have really changed. A pendulum is swinging and you see so many more women in the industry, not just as creatives, but in editorial and executive positions. You see more non-binary people. You see more queer people. There is a whole segment of the comic book industry that caters to women and queer readers and Publishers have had to keep up with that and you get that sort of like Wokeness is ruining comics. That still, we still hear that a lot, but obviously that's not true. It's just that the people who were buying comics back then are not the people who are buying comics now and that makes some people mad. But Obviously, to me I see it as a wonderful thing and there are so many amazing comics being put out by all sorts of different people and this incredible variety of Perspectives and lived experiences and I'm just happy to be one facet of that and that brings me to lumberjanes, which I have a copy of.

0:12:24 - Rachel Murray I won't whip it up, but I have one and I love it because you're focusing I mean, the audience is young girls, so just love to hear sort of the inspiration for that particular story. And also, if you could talk about Lumberjanes, because I believe it's a series right, you're part of it.

0:12:38 - Lilah Sturges Yeah, if you could talk about that, that would be amazing lumberjanes was kind of a phenomenon, sort of took the kid, let world by storm, and it was created by a couple of very wonderful folks. I'm not one of them. I wish I had this. But what's beautiful about lumberjanes is and if you're not familiar with it, it's a story of these five girls who Are at a summer camp and the summer camp is surrounded by woods and those woods are filled with monsters and cryptids and weird things and they have adventures and it's very fun and it can be very silly, but it can also be very touching and warm. And when you write lumberjanes you have these long conversations about these girls and what they're feeling and what they want and what they need.

The big sort of call to action when you're writing lumberjanes is you want to help middle school kids Girls primarily, but there for anyone you want to help middle school kids put their feelings into words. So a lot of what we're doing is Putting kids in an emotional situation and then giving them the vocabulary To express how they feel in that situation, because so much of what's going on at that age it's just like emotion, emotion, emotion, emotion. It's like you don't know how to deal with it all. Like you remember being in sixth grade like it's just a whirlwind of stuff. And if we can help put a name to those feelings and talk about how do we Manage those feelings, how do we regulate ourselves when we're having these feelings, then I feel like we're doing kids a huge service. And that's what sort of the project of lumberjane is, aside from just being silly fun.

0:14:16 - Rachel Murray Can you remind me when did you actually write it?

0:14:19 - Lilah Sturges it's been a couple of years because of the pandemic. Like you, I have no sense of time, and so I wrote three lumberjanes graphic novels over the space of two years, or something like that.

0:14:30 - Rachel Murray Probably what was like pre-pandemic.

0:14:32 - Lilah Sturges I think, so I'm not entirely sure. I know the first one came out before the pandemic because I did a book tour for it and that was very exciting. So that was like 2018 around there.

0:14:45 - Rachel Murray And the reason why I ask and these are like this is the unauthorized part of this interview which sometimes happens. So you live in Texas a blue dot in Texas, of course, but still it's Texas and I guess I'm just curious to hear was part of your desire to write for this particular audience outside of it, of course, being a phenomenon is Sort of the reason I was asking. Also that was pre-pandemic is because it was also during one of the darker periods in our Presidential history. So I'm just curious to know how was it basically being a transgender woman in Texas under not only Trump but Greg Abbott, and being out and writing and supporting Girls and making sure that folks are being seen to broad question, just Just asking about your feels. Basically it wasn't great.

0:15:40 - Lilah Sturges Let's not great. It still isn't great. In some ways it's worse. But right before I transitioned, it was the 2016 presidential election and I thought, well, maybe Hillary Clinton isn't my favorite candidate we can have a conversation about that later but she's going to be a heck of a lot better than Trump and obviously she's going to win. So things are going to be okay, right. And then I just remember that election night thinking, oh my God, like what am I going to do? I can't be a trans woman if Donald Trump is president. Like that's a nightmare. But I did it anyway and it mostly worked out okay. But it was a very scary time, especially right then. And we are now in another kind of a scary time because there's a lot of anti trans bills that have passed in legislatures.

At small aside, I was just in Florida for a work trip and I had to ask my friend to go to the ladies room with me, because I could literally be arrested for going to the ladies room at the airport in Florida. And this is on a work trip. I'm asking my co-worker hey, can you run with me to the bathroom in case I get arrested there? Like it was the weirdest thing, rachel, but anyway.

So when you're in this really negative real environment, there's a couple of approaches you can take. You know you can do satire and truth to power, that kind of thing. Another thing you can do is you can imagine a better world. You can imagine the world that you would like to live in, and that's what Lumberjanes does and that's what I really tried to do in Lumberjanes. It's imagine a world where there is no sexism, where there's no misogyny, a world where girls are safe to be whoever they want to be. If they want to like other girls, they can do that. If someone who is assigned male at birth decides or realizes that they're a girl, they can be a girl and it's not a problem and everyone loves and accepts them. It doesn't seem like a huge ask, but apparently it is, and that's the world that we try to create in Lumberjanes.

And what's really sad about it is that people find that so threatening that I was set to give a presentation in Leander, which is about 20 miles that way, and when they found out who I was, the public library canceled my appearance. Like the day of, I just got this very curt email saying you know, your event has been canceled. Then I had to follow up and be like what's going on and it became a whole thing. There was like a new story, there was a anyway, but when the city council found out that a transgender person was going to speak to kids in Leander, they freaked out because they thought I don't know what they thought I was going to do. But I was going to do was talk to them about being good friends, you know.

0:18:24 - Rachel Murray Well, Lila, you're a witch. That would, of course, convert them into being things that they don't like. Sorry that I have to talk about that in public. That's the one line we don't cross. I just want to say I really appreciate your and I'm grateful for your courage. Honestly, I've known you for several years now and it's just beautiful to see how you show up for yourself, for others. I'm getting weepy. It's really lovely, and I'm just so sorry that there are so many assholes out there that literally cannot just let people live their lives. And you mentioned girls and boys and I'm so sorry.

I read your latest book and I've already forgotten the name of it Girl Haven yes, Girl Haven and the boy in it, and I was thinking so much about masculinity and how it's just. We throw out the word toxic all the time about masculinity, but letting boys cry, letting boys just emote in ways that don't involve fists and show up in ways that they want to show up. If we could all just do that, it would just be. You probably wouldn't have to leave one place for terrible weather.

0:19:43 - Lilah Sturges It's interesting that you bring that up to the subject that I've thought about a lot and the prescribed gender roles that we have and they run so deep that I think a lot of people don't even realize the things that they do that are gendered. The way you hold a coffee cup when you're walking to your car is gendered. I don't know if you've ever thought about that, but, like women usually will hold their cup like this when they're walking to the car, kind of hold it up a little bit with your elbow. Cooked Guys will hold it with their arm at a 90 degree angle. It's just one of those tiny little things that's like programmed into us from such an early age. That's one of the really fascinating things about being a transgender person is that like you transition and suddenly you realize that all of these things are like these little differences not just the big differences but lots of weird little differences too and you get to experience that sort of firsthand the differences and one of the things that when you tell people you're transgender, like before you transition sometimes people will say, well, why can't you just be a feminine man? Why do you have to be a woman? And okay, I think it's an honest question, and the answer is that we don't create space for feminine men, first of all.

Second of all, if we could somehow ameliorate gender roles not even get rid of them, but just like take some of the pressure off them, then boys could be feminine. A boy could go to school in a dress and nobody would care. And then if that boy realizes, oh, you know what, I think I'm a girl, then no big deal, right. You are already wearing dresses, you're already doing whatever is like. Who cares? Or that boy can say no, I'm very confident in my masculinity and I just like wearing dresses and it's no big deal. Either way, it would be no big deal, right? So that's my spiel about gender roles, and toxic masculinity hurts everybody.

0:21:26 - Rachel Murray It hurts everybody. Hurt people, hurt people. That's what I've been thinking a lot about that lately. I'm just like well in this, because you hurt people, hurt people, and that's so true.

0:21:35 - Lilah Sturges It's one of those things. Is like such a cliche, but it's so true. It's just so true I think I want to put it on a mug.

0:21:42 - Rachel Murray I'm sure, I'm sure it's already on a mug.

0:21:45 - Lilah Sturges Really kind of a dark mug.

0:21:49 - Rachel Murray It's kind of a dark mug. So I'm curious, like if you were to give advice for other folks that are creating how they can show up authentically in whatever it is that they're creating. I'm just curious to hear and a little bit about your process about creating.

0:22:07 - Lilah Sturges Well, to answer the first part of your question, I think what I always tell people, what I especially tell kids, is that your voice is your greatest gift. Everyone has their own unique voice, and a big part of the creative process at the beginning is learning to strip away everyone else's voices, because when we're learning to write or any creative passion, we start by imitating others that we love, and then the process of becoming better is stripping away the things that you're copying until you're just left with what's really sort of uniquely you. And that thing that is uniquely you is so incredibly powerful and you have to nurture it and let it grow and find ways to let it come out. And I think that is the most powerful thing for me, because when I, before I transitioned, I wasn't thinking in those terms. I wasn't thinking about, well, what's my authentic voice? I was just trying to get jobs writing comic books. I didn't really think about it that hard and then, once I had this big life change, it was like, well, what am I trying to say actually? What is it that matters to me? Who am I? And those questions are great sources of inspiration for creating material. We don't have to have the answers to those questions. We just have to have the questions and let the questions inform what we do.

That's made such a huge difference to me, because now people will come up to me and say I read Girl Haven and it made me cry. I like sobbed when I read it, and no one would have said that about a book that I wrote 10 years ago. They would have thought maybe, like, oh, that was an interesting book or that was a pretty good book, but they wouldn't have said I cried for an hour in the bathroom after reading. And that, ultimately, is the goal, I think, of any writer is to make people cry, to elicit sob. What my process is? This is interesting because a lot of people will ask where do you get your ideas, which is like the hackneyed question that you ask a writer, right. But that's not the interesting question, because ideas come all over the place.

0:24:04 - Rachel Murray I have so many ideas I could never write them off by the way, I'm really glad I did not ask that question. So good for me, yeah.

0:24:12 - Lilah Sturges We asked a different question, so that's good. The question is, which of your ideas allow you to say the thing you want to say? Right, because you can have lots of ideas. You know, I have an idea about a story About kids at a school where you learn to ride dragons, and that's a fun idea.

But I don't know what I want to say with that idea. It seems fun, but I haven't connected to it on a deep level. So that idea is going to float out there for a while and either it will drift away or I'll find a way to tell her down and it will become a story. But for me that's how it works. It's like I have this Cloud of ideas and I'll think something like I want to tell a story about being young and being angry, right and like, because young people's anger is never celebrated, it's never Given it's due, it's always pushed down. We always tell you and kids, stopping angry, don't be. And so maybe if that story is about a kid who's very angry, who goes to the dragon writing school, and there's a really angry dragon and those two people bond, well, hey, maybe then we've got a story right. Maybe that is the story I'll give you a cut if that turns out to be the story.

0:25:21 - Rachel Murray I'm so excited for this.

0:25:23 - Lilah Sturges I'm here for it, so definitely but that's the process and then from there the rest is logistics and typing.

0:25:31 - Rachel Murray I'm just curious so I really just geeking out a little bit about because you write for graphic novels, comics what that relationship is with the illustrator. How does that work? Is it always pretty consistent? Does it change based on who's illustrating? Has that work?

0:25:47 - Lilah Sturges it really depends. There's a spectrum on one end. It's like I write a script I have no idea who's going to draw it, and the script goes to them and they draw it, and then I get it back and it is what it is right. That happens sometimes. Other times, the other end of the spectrum is that your Artists is a close collaborator and you're in contact and so I will write a script and send it to an artist like that, and then they'll say email me with a bunch of questions or they'll, when they're drawing a particular page, they might say hey, I had an idea for this page. What do you think as much collaboration as I can get with an artist is the best. The more collaboration, the better. It always works out better in the end. It's not always possible because it's a business, but when it is, it's really wonderful.

0:26:33 - Rachel Murray Well, thank you for humor me, because I'm honestly always kind of wonder, so I just probably could just google it. But thank you for telling me now.

0:26:39 - Lilah Sturges Other people don't have to go to the.

0:26:44 - Rachel Murray So switching gears a bit. I wanted to talk about the fact that you're not only writer but you have like a day job of us, and if you could talk a little bit about that and just how it's been and if you've had any sort of experiences where people have shown up For you in space. You actually already mentioned one where it was like the bathroom at the airport and I'm assuming your colleague wasn't like no.

0:27:08 - Lilah Sturges She definitely showed up. She was furious, in fact and this I think is kind of a sad commentary is that I would think of her as an ally, right, like someone that I certainly trust and someone who I know Is going to show up for me and other lgbtq I people. She didn't know that that law existed. I think a lot of people don't. A lot of people don't realize just how bad it is for trans people out here right now, because the people who make the laws probably not people that you are listening to a lot, and so that is really unfortunate.

At my job, for the longest time I started there in 2018 and never mentioned the word transgender or trans for years that I was there, I just, you know I was lila and I'm her and everyone was like cool, like wasn't an issue, but then we started An erg at the company. It's called the pride erg. I got really involved in that and that's been a lot of fun because we've been able to educate people about this stuff and educate our, our coworkers about these Laws and stuff that's going on like lgbtq history, and so I've been very passionate about that and it's been. The response has been really good. I think it kind of helps them like a professional writer and that I am very comfortable speaking in public because I can do these talks and presentations and things like that and they come off really well and everybody has a good time. And Again, if I can make someone cry, that is always the goal. Sometimes I manage it.

0:28:46 - Rachel Murray It's harder to do in a in a powerpoint than it is in a graphic novel, but you know, I feel like if you can do that, that's like extra points, if you can make it like and not cry out of boredom because it's a PowerPoint. It's actually something that's interesting. But thank you for for sharing that. So what's next for you?

0:29:06 - Lilah Sturges Oh my gosh, so many things are next for me. I have a book coming out in may called the science of ghosts, which is one of my favorite things I've ever written. It is about a woman who is transgender, who is a forensic parapsychologist, and she is an expert in interpreting ghost behavior, and so she uses that to solve crimes. That's amazing, also comic it's also a graphic novel yes, graphic novel for adults for adults, very much for adults.

It's very spooky, it's a little racy. In part. There's a romance. It's like it's got everything you could ever want. So that is coming out in may. And then I'm working on a new series called the heavens with love grossman, who are the magicians, and this is a very cool sort of like. I think that the pictures like succession meets game of thrones and outer space or something like that. But it's very, very cool and we're working on it right now and having a blast. So it's really nice to know that, like things are happening and I have books and things to share with people and it's not stopping and that makes me really happy.

0:30:24 - Rachel Murray Yeah well, you're kind of like a thing and we look at you like a comic con. That's like kind of a big deal. So are you going again this year?

0:30:33 - Lilah Sturges I think I will go next year because I have the book coming out. Oh, that totally makes sense do I have something to promote? Yes, it's not.

0:30:41 - Rachel Murray it's like a comic con is like I know I actually gave up on even trying to get tickets this year because it was so dramatic. But this is going to be a terrible segue, but I'm going to try it, because you had mentioned your book in May. It's creepy, paranormal, weird stuff. I don't even say weird, I just threw that in there. It made me think of something we talked about right before we hit the record button. Do you love this transition?

0:31:08 - Lilah Sturges I was wondering if you're going to bring this up.

0:31:10 - Rachel Murray yes, I mean because it was a formative experience in my life. It turns out you had discussed on another podcast a movie that we both very much enjoyed, which was Sleep away camp, the.

0:31:27 - Lilah Sturges I think it came out in 1980. It is a slasher film with a twist, and what's fascinating about Sleepboy Camp is, if you haven't seen it, I almost don't want to spoil it for you.

0:31:39 - Rachel Murray Yeah it's true.

0:31:41 - Lilah Sturges Huge trigger warning. If you happen to be trans, I don't know how, if I would recommend this film to you or not, or maybe I would extra recommend it to you. It is a very weird film. It is a film that really, really, really hates women. That's the thing that I recognize rewatching it. This is a film that thinks women are stupid and shrewish, and watching it as an adult, you're just like, oh my God, this is such a train wreck. And then the ending, which I will just say. In the ending, we learned that one of the characters has been forced, against his will, to live as a girl and this has driven this kid into a murderous lunatic. Like I just love the idea that if you were a man and you had to be a girl, it would drive you insane. It would just literally drive you insane, literally. Yes.

0:32:43 - Rachel Murray Like I want to be in the room when they pitched this.

0:32:47 - Lilah Sturges That would be amazing. I just want to like well, like the thought process there.

0:32:51 - Rachel Murray How did that go down? By the way, that reminds me do you know about the podcast? How Did this Get Made?

0:32:57 - Lilah Sturges Yes, it's one of my favorites.

0:32:59 - Rachel Murray So this was one. You know they did this.

0:33:02 - Lilah Sturges I didn't know that, no.

0:33:04 - Rachel Murray Oh, it was a live one. I highly recommend going in. It's one of my top five. It's literally my favorite podcast ever. I listen to it every week, but this is in the top five. They did a pre-pandoh live audience and they literally spend like a half an hour just on the opening scene. I love it. It's like they cannot get their heads around like the women in it and like the waterski accident that happens. Yes, it's phenomenal. I'm so excited for Future, yo.

0:33:37 - Lilah Sturges Oh, my God, it's all just so much. I'm just reliving the film in my head. There's just so much. There's like low-key child sexual assault, but it's like it's whatever, it's fine, you know. It's like what is happening. What am I watching?

0:33:51 - Rachel Murray Exactly, I watched it as a very young teenager probably a preteen, I feel like when I watched it, so it stuck with me from when I was 12. Like, that movie stays with you, it doesn't go anywhere.

0:34:07 - Lilah Sturges It's true, it lodges in your brain.

0:34:10 - Rachel Murray Is this my first experience around like gender-bending concepts?

0:34:15 - Lilah Sturges That's terrifying.

0:34:17 - Rachel Murray I think it's true. I should be the one that's like a murderer after watching that as being my experience as a child.

0:34:24 - Lilah Sturges Thank you for indulging me.

0:34:26 - Rachel Murray Yeah, yeah, me too. I just feel like it would be too much.

0:34:28 - Lilah Sturges Have you ever thought, though, about like could you get away with a murder? Like, if you needed to murder someone, could you?

0:34:35 - Rachel Murray No, I'm so sad that Felicia is not here for this, because she is obsessed with murder podcasts and would love this question, and I will tell you that I literally texted her this morning because I found a card for her that, oh, this will be a YouTube special. I don't even know if it can show up, but basically it says hey, girl. It says hey, girl her, do you like murder? It's with like two crows on there and she was like, yes, this is me, do I think I get a note and here's why I am not going to keep secrets. Please don't tell me things that I need to hold on to. I would be so worried that I would cause a tumor in my body and I'm very worried about that stuff and I also definitely believe in karma. Like I have trouble, like literally. Like if there's a fly in the house, I feel bad, like I'll do it if I have to, but I usually make Mark do it.

0:35:33 - Lilah Sturges That presents some serious difficulties for murder.

0:35:37 - Rachel Murray Right, what about you?

0:35:38 - Lilah Sturges I think I could do it. I think I could get away with it, like I think I would have the wherewithal to actually commit the act Right and I think I could be clever enough to get away with it. Well, for one thing, like it's immoral, so I probably wouldn't do that. That's a big part of it, but the other part is Unless.

0:35:55 - Rachel Murray who is it, though?

0:35:56 - Lilah Sturges Is it like a dexter situation, where, then it's like If it's a dexter type situation, then I'm less worried about the morality, Right. So that's a little could be a little shifty, but the thing that would get me is I'd always be worried in the back of my head that I get caught, Like if it's someone would piece it together and they'd be like, oh it was Lila all along and then I'd have to pay for my crimes and I just I don't want to do that.

0:36:22 - Rachel Murray I don't even pay for my crimes. I don't want to really committing them, because I would 100% there would be a Colombo in my life for sure. Just one more thing I confess I did it. Yeah Good, neither of us are going to commit murder, so I'm really glad that we got that.

0:36:40 - Lilah Sturges And why we got that straightened out.

0:36:43 - Rachel Murray I don't know what the heck I'm going to call this podcast episode, so okay. So we had a few fun questions for you, and the the first one is my favorite, but there's rules to it. So it's what do you think out about? What are you currently geeking out about? But it cannot be what we've already discussed.

0:37:00 - Lilah Sturges What I am currently geeking out about is the TV show severance. Have you seen severance?

0:37:07 - Rachel Murray Yes, I was just talking about it, I I'm. Everyone got so mad at me because I was like and it's coming back? And they were like what it's out? And I was like no I just mean like eventually it's coming back. Yeah, they're going to make a season two.

0:37:19 - Lilah Sturges I love that show so much and I'm so excited for another season and I'm where it's going to take a while because of the strike and everything. But let's get back to it guys. Let's get back and make season two.

0:37:31 - Rachel Murray Well, the strike is, I believe, officially over PS, which is amazing. The writer strike was over and now the actor strike, I think as of literally yesterday, as this recording is in November. So very exciting. But what is it about severance? That is like giving you like all of the juices. That's making geek out about it.

0:37:49 - Lilah Sturges It is a great genre idea, like science fiction, fantasy, horror, whatever you want to call it. It is a great idea that is very well executed and that is what I'm going to do and I'm excited and that is always such a pleasure to see, because it's obvious that the writers really have thought through everything that they're doing and everyone's having a blast doing all this weird stuff.

I'm like the room with the goats and all this stuff. It's like it's like if lost had a plan. That's what it feels like. You know what I mean. I love it, but yeah, it's just really well made and I love the cast. But yeah, I love that there's a clearly like a deeper mystery and I'm always a sucker for that.

0:38:31 - Rachel Murray Yeah, I agree with all of what you just said and I think that it's wonderful timing because I don't know about you, but this sense that I get about the feels around work and corporate and all of it, I feel like there's like so many of us have woken up from a haze, largely due to just incredibly ridiculous inequity between the people who are running companies and everyone else who's working for?

them and Gen Z being like, not interested hard past, like they're literally like. I don't even want to be a manager right now, I don't need that kind of drama in my life.

So I'm just like. I'm so here for it, and so Severance is like a wonderful commentary on the workplace in this current time. So I'm just with you, I love it. I'm really sad that she's not here, because I think she would agree with you and my friend, probably have more words of wisdom to say but good, yeah, I can get out about that as well. So who or what inspires you?

0:39:30 - Lilah Sturges different things at different times, but there are some things that I really really love where I think I want to do that Like, I want to do that thing. One of the things that I have always loved, like since I was 11, is the TV show Doctor who, and it's like it's an irrational love. It is a one of those things where you you fall in love at a certain age and then you can't, you can't even see its faults. You know, like I'm aware that especially the old series had a lot of flaws. Not to me it didn't.

I'm in love with the idea of this character who is good and kind and smart and uses that to solve problems, and that they can go anywhere in time and space. It's like the world is your oyster man, like, and I've always wanted to think like how could I do that? And I got to actually write a Doctor who mini series for comics a few years back and that was super fun. But I want to create my own thing that makes me feel the way I feel when I watch Doctor who. Does that make sense?

0:40:40 - Rachel Murray Yeah, totally does. But of course I have to follow up by asking who's your favorite Doctor who.

0:40:44 - Lilah Sturges That's a difficult question because my doctor is Tom Baker. That's my doctor, but I really really love David Tennant a lot and like a lot, a lot Like David Tennant's really handsome also, and so I don't know. It's a tough call, it's tricky.

0:41:03 - Rachel Murray I think it is tricky. I think my favorite because I it creeped me out when I was a kid, did not, I don't know, it was something about the visuals Like it really like freaked me out. And then as an adult I watched it with Matt Smith and he was my favorite. But I mean, david Tennant to me is like and Good Omens, I highly recommend if you aren't already watching. So like I watch it all day. Also, I'm a sucker for a Scottish accent, which is a common theme on this podcast for me, so Scottish accents.

I'm such a fan.

0:41:35 - Lilah Sturges I love a Scottish accent, so much Literally the best accent. Accents are my thing and there was. I don't know if you're watching this season of Great British Bake Off, but there is a. There was this woman. She was from Aberdeen and she had the most perfect Scottish accent, the way she enunciated everything and her arms were so rolled so heavily and I was like this is like a cartoon. She sounds like Scrooge McDuck. You know, it was my favorite thing in the world.

0:42:06 - Rachel Murray But, lila, you do it so well. If I could do the accent, I would be like doing it all the time just to make myself happy. Okay, what is your favorite way to practice self-care?

0:42:17 - Lilah Sturges My favorite thing to do for myself is to lie down, put my headphones on and listen to music. As I always love music, it's always been really, really important to me, and I'll just put on one of my favorite albums and just zone out and just listen to music. That's one of my favorite things to do.

0:42:35 - Rachel Murray That's the best. What do you have a like a go to.

0:42:38 - Lilah Sturges It really depends on my exact mood and I have very eclectic music tastes. So one night it might be churches, one night it might be Steely Dan, one night it might be Chicago, and not even like cool old Chicago, but like mid 80s Chicago, like I have no filter when it comes to music.

0:42:57 - Rachel Murray I love that and I could talk about my musical taste, but that's not what we're here for. So what are you reading right now, or what's your favorite book? You could answer one or both.

0:43:08 - Lilah Sturges The book I'm reading right now is really fascinating. It's called the Feast by Margaret Kennedy, and it was written in the 50s by this author. She was very, very popular at the time. Sort of like nobody knows who she is now. But and it's about these this hotel that's on a cliff, it's in England or some Cornwall or something, and you learn at the beginning of the book that a landslide has destroyed this hotel and killed many of the people in it. And then it goes back in time and you learn about all the people at this hotel the guests and the staff and everybody and so you're like just the whole time wondering like who is going to survive and who is going to die. And it's very, very weird and fascinating and I love it.

0:43:54 - Rachel Murray It sounds. It reminds me of White Lotus.

0:43:56 - Lilah Sturges Oh, I haven't seen that. I need to watch that.

0:43:58 - Rachel Murray I recommend. I actually didn't watch the first. I went. We saw the second season first, so I recommend just watching the second season and then, if you're like I love it, then do the first, because that's better. I think we asked all the questions except for the one which is where can people find you?

0:44:14 - Lilah Sturges This is tough now because Twitter is such a garbage hole now I don't really go on there anymore. I'm on blue sky, that's my thing. I'm lilabskysocial. I have a mailing list people can go on to at buttondownemail slash lila and otherwise you just got to come up and find me on the street.

0:44:35 - Rachel Murray I love it. I put you on the street. Speaking of Twitter, so I like stalked you on Twitter for a hot second or X, or whatever that little garbage is called, and I was not in the know about Tom Holland Until. So I'm so glad that you tweeted it, because now I know.

0:44:52 - Lilah Sturges Tom Holland lip-syncing umbrella yes, yes, it's one of the best things there is.

0:44:59 - Rachel Murray Literally one of the best things on the internet. I was like what is this that I am watching? And we actually talked about this in another episode because we were talking about celebrity crushes, and I was like, ps, have you seen this clip? When you know, you know, if you know, you know, and now I know, and Felicia was like he was a dancer, yeah, and he was in musicals and stuff and I had no idea.

Yeah, I had no idea. So now we know that boy can dance. Oh my god, it is incredible. I am a big fan. So that's, I think, a wonderful place to end on Great. Thank you so much, lila. So appreciate your time and wisdom. We hope you enjoyed listening to this interview as much as we enjoyed this conversation.

0:45:52 - Felicia Jadczak We have a free webinar coming up on how to kickstart your 2024 with some great DEI programs. That'll be happening in 2024. But you can go ahead and visit our site at shegeeksoutcom for more information and to sign up and, while you're there, download our free 2024 DEI calendar or our ebook on AI and DEI and so much more.

0:46:13 - Rachel Murray Yeah, we are constantly pumping out that content, ok, so thank you so much for listening. Please don't forget to rate, share and subscribe. It makes a huge difference in the reach of this podcast and, by extension, this work. And visit us on the YouTubes, on the Instagrams, on the LinkedIn, to stay up to date on all things SGO.

0:46:35 - Felicia Jadczak Later Happy 2023. Happy 2023. Bye-bye.

0:46:40 - Rachel Murray Bye.

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