25 April 2018
Ever considered sharing your teenage diary with the world? If the very thought has just brought you out in a cold sweat, you’re not alone. But this is not the case for our gal Gwen from S&G HQ! This fearless lady has turned her embarrassing teenage dramas into our new favourite podcast. We sat down with her to get the inside scoop on Dear 1995…
So Gwen, for anyone who doesn’t know, what is Dear 1995 about?
Basically, I read aloud totally unedited entries from my 1995/’96 high school diaries. The diary covers everything from your average teenage angst to my first kiss. My co-host and I make fun of it all and discuss how it relates back to us now as empowered women, and maybe question a few things we did way back when in pursuit of a boyfriend. And, of course, it’s major ‘90s nostalgia. Lots of mix tape mentions and developing of film!
What made you decide to do this? We think you’re very brave to share your teenage diaries!
I had been listening to My Dad Wrote a Porno and at the same time found my diary and thought the formula could work so well for this. I guess it’s kinda brave, but it was so long ago, hopefully I’ve grown and people won’t judge me too harshly! When I did first find the diary, I read it and put it away for a few months because it was sooo cringey I couldn’t bear to look at it! But then I realised it’s GOLD!
How did you choose your co-host and will you be having any other guests on the podcast?
At first I thought I would have a different friend on each week. Brooke (my co-host) came to record the second episode with me and after that session I asked her to do all of them because she was TOO GOOD! She’s so insanely funny and very insightful, perfect for podcasts. We have a natural chemistry so the whole thing just fell into place really easily with her! The dream is definitely to have guests on reading their diaries – preferably celebs relevant to the ‘90s. My number one pick is Claire Danes because My So Called Life was EVERYTHING to me at 16.
Did you have any previous experience of making/producing something like this?
Not really – I’m in PR so I know about content, and as I came up with the idea, we were working on producing podcasts for Soap & Glory, so was really helpful to be involved in that process.
Did you face any challenges?
It’s been surprisingly easy. I have definitely learned a lot and have figured out what works and what doesn’t. For example, at first I thought it would be good for my guest to have not seen the diary before we record, so their reactions would be really genuine. But actually it’s much better to be prepared and have an idea of discussion topics. Brooke and I don’t write a script, but I do send her the diary entries for each episode ahead of time (typed up, of course) so she can prepare and we quickly discuss before we record anything we definitely want to touch on.
Were there any entries you were tempted to skip out and why?
Sometimes I might skip an entry if it’s boring and just every day stuff. The juicy ones, that might be the most embarrassing, are the best ones! At first, I was really nervous about how friends and family might react and I questioned what to keep in, but to get really great content you have to be brave. My parents get a pretty bad rap in the diary, but I mean I was a teenage girl – they get it!
If you could read one other person’s teenage diary who’s would it be?
OMG great question! Hmmmm my mom’s would be a super helpful insight. Or maybe Tom Cruise – was he normal way back when? I bet he was!
What was the best thing about being 16?
Not sure I appreciated how great things were for me! I didn’t realise at the time, but something Brooke points out in one of our episodes is how much potential there is when you’re a teenager. Everything is new and exciting – I LOVED the freedom of cruising in my car with my best friends, blasting Christina Aguilera and who knew what would happen. Obviously we just wanted to meet boys!
And the worst?
The pressures I felt to do well in school and to have the exact same values as my parents.
Finally, what advice would you give to your 16 year old self?
Be more confident in yourself and do what makes you happy! I spent so much time thinking I wasn’t cute enough or cool enough – never as good as my friends, that I would never have a boyfriend etc. When I look back now, I realise the only difference was confidence! I was just as great as anyone else!
AAAAAAAAND before you go, wait a minute because we’ve also got a cheeky lil’ giveaway for you all. 3 lucky winners will receive a free lunch from burger buffs Five Guys and a selection of S&G face masks. Just fill out the form below to enter!
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