April 4, 2016

#10 'Raising My Eyebrows'

by Sampler


Background show artwork for Sampler

This week, Anna Sale talks Death, Sex, and Money with Brittany.

**Warning, this episode contains adult language.**

Episode #10 features clips from the following episodes (click below for the hyperlinks):

Death, Sex, and Money Episode with Dan Savage: Dan Savage Says Cheating Happens. And That's OK.

First Time, Last Time with Joe Loya

Fresh Air with Tim Gunn: On and Off the Runway 'Life Is a Big Collaboration

'Only Human, 'Who Are You Calling Inspiring?'

The Facts:

This episode was produced by Rose Reid, Sarah Abdurrahman and Brittany Luse.It was edited by Peter Clowney and Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Stevie Lane.Our theme music was made by Micah Vellian and our ad music was made by Marc Phillips.The show was mixed by Matthew Boll.

Where to Listen


BRITTANY LUSE: Hi, I'm Brittany Luse and welcome back to Sampler, the show where we play you hand-picked moments from podcasts you just have to hear. We just want to let you know that we are going to talk about adult themes today and we will have adult language so this may be the time to put your earbuds in or send your kids out. So today on our show we are talking with Anna Sale. Anna hosts the WNYC podcast Death Sex and Money. Hi Anna, welcome to the show.

ANNA SALE: Hi Brittany. I'm so glad to be here.

BRITTANY: I'm so glad you were able to come.


BRITTANY: So, um ever since we have started Sampler I've wanted to have you, Anna, on the show. I mean I'm a super-fan of your show but specifically because I think you are like one of my favorite interviewers of all time.

ANNA: Thank you.

BRITTANY: Anna likes to say the show is about the big questions and hard choices that are often left out of polite conversation. So you can see why we have the uh —

ANNA: Not suitable for children.

BRITTANY: Not suitable for children warning [laughs]. But you manage to talk about things as heavy as death, sex and money without having it be tawdry or sensationalistic. I mean Death, Sex and Money, that’s 90% of the covers of US Weekly you know what I mean?

ANNA: Which I love.

BRITTANY: Which I absolutely love. But your show never feels like you're gawking. If feels like you're gently probing but sometimes the questions that you ask are like… you are not shy.


ANNA: A lot of contradictions, right?

BRITTANY:  So…Today in honor of your show, Anna, Death Sex and Money, we are going to play you a death clip, a sex clip and a money clip, but not necessarily in that order.

ANNA: Oh cool.

BRITTANY: It's going to be even more surprising then.

ANNA: I might think it's the money clip and it's really about death. Cool.

BRITTANY: But our first clip that we're going to play is actually from your show just to give listeners an idea of the kinds of... conversations that you have. It's from your interview with sex columnist Dan Savage.

ANNA: Oh, I love this interview.

BRITTANY: Dan is the host of a podcast called The Savage Lovecast. In this clip and on the show you guys talked about monogamy. He was saying that monogamy is not necessarily a requirement for a relationship, or even beneficial to a relationship.

And then after he asserts this point, you do something really interesting. Something I had never heard you do before. Uh, you asked him if there was anything he wanted to know about you.


DAN SAVAGE: Are you in a committed relationship?

ANNA: I am.

DAN: Are you non-monogamous? Are you monogamous?

ANNA: No we're monogamous. Yes.

DAN: So what would you do if you found out that he cheated and what do you think he would do if he found out that you cheated? And cheating is something that will probably happen.

ANNA: Yeah.

DAN: Just put that out there first. The research and the data shows that roughly 50 percent of men 50 percent of women in long-term relationships at some point will cheat and those 50 percent of men are not married to those 50 percent of women so it will touch almost all committed, monogamous relationships. So what's going to be your reaction if and when that happens to you?

ANNA: I know, I mean read you Dan Savage and you make me uncomfortable because intellectually I understand all this. I get desire. I get that it's not rational and I get that it's a real thing but it — I don't know what I would do with the hurt. I have a really difficult time seeing a way outside of it being OK. Or seeing a way for it to be OK.

DAN: Here's the - my advice would be if and when it happens - you know when people always say you know, when they talk about the people they love most in their lives, ‘I would take the bullet for this person, I would walk through fire for this person.’ That's hurt. You're saying I would hurt for this person in a really profound and life-threatening way. I would take a bullet. I would walk through fire. Infidelity when people believe in monogamy and monogamy is what they want, infidelity is that bullet. And so if you look at your husband and think I could take a bullet for that —

ANNA: We're not married yet. I'm not even there.

DAN: Of if you look at your partner and think this is someone you know I love you so much I could take a bullet for you, just if and when it happens remember that feeling because that's the moment where you take the bullet and some people accuse me of sounding pro non-monogamy. That I'm giving get out of jail free cards to serial adulterers or — and I'm not. People should honor the commitments that they make. If you make a monogamous commitment, you should attempt to keep it. Attempt to honor it. Do your best. And then if you if it happens to you, if you get cheated on.. you know, what is love and what is forgiveness if you can't forgive the person you claim to love most in the world? For a betrayal that really cuts you to the core. And I think these things should be — because infidelity is so common — these things should be thought about well in advance of them happening because I think if you just set your mind to that is something as painful it is that we would get through, love each other through, forgive each other for… you're likelier to actually get through it, love each other through it, forgive each other for it when it happens if it happens.

ANNA: Dan Savage thank you so much for your time.

DAN: My pleasure.

ANNA: That's all I'm going to say. I'm not going to say any more about whether I'm going to be able to handle it if my boyfriend cheats on me. I'm going to leave it there.

DAN: Or if you cheat on him.

ANNA: Or if I cheat on him. It's true.

DAN: Women cheat too.



ANNA: That makes me uncomfortable all over again.

BRITTANY: You say it makes you uncomfortable.

ANNA: Yeah.

BRITTANY: How did you feel in that moment?

ANNA: You know because I've heard Dan Savage talk a lot about the importance of exploring and being honest about monogamy and its constraints in relationships and like I said to him, you get it when you're thinking about it from an intellectual level and then when the conversation became like ‘What would happen in your relationship should one of you cheat?’ like it just becomes that much more raw to experience that conversation when you're actually thinking about it in those terms of if there's a betrayal or a violation, you know, that you have to encounter.

BRITTANY: You guys even got on that topic only because you asked him do you have anything you know that you want to ask me? Is there anything you want to know about me? Why did you do that? That's like my greatest fear, is like being interviewed. It's kind of terrifying.

ANNA: It's something I ask people a lot now at the end of interviews. That was the first time I had asked it and thinking back it makes a lot of sense that it was to ask Dan Savage that because his job is to, you know, give advice to people so he's always quickly assessing the dynamics of you know, what’s going on in the person's life that he's engaging with. So, and also he has his things that are his core messages so he is in some ways, you know, rehearsed on some things so I knew that asking him that would sort of throw it off — throw off our conversation — and it might get to an interesting moment and it really did. And of course if Dan Savage is going to ask me one question it's going to be like, ‘What's the deal in your bedroom?’ I should have expected that. But I didn’t — I didn't somehow and so but I just people got we got so many emails after that moment on the show because to think about whether cheating in a relationship is taking a bullet for your partner, being willing to love your partner through that betrayal is a good way to think of it or not — people have varying opinions — but I think just to hear someone openly acknowledge that people get cheated on and people cheat was refreshing.

BRITTANY: Why do you think refreshing?

ANNA: Because when you're cheating on or you're cheating, it’s completely isolating because there's so much shame. And we did a episode last year that was around that, we just asked people to tell us their cheating stories.

BRITTANY: Oh I remember that.

ANNA: And it was just you just sort of opened the can and people wanted to, needed to share because… think about it if your partner of multiple years who everyone knows you as a couple and then you find out that he or she is having a tawdry affair on the side… it's humiliating. You're not going to talk about that. But there's so much you have to process and you feel alone in. And I think that's what that's what I really like about podcasts and in particular what I was trying to do with Death Sex and Money is that it can be a place where you can let yourself access those emotions and you don't have… it's such an intimate setting, it gives you a little bit of space that wasn't there before to maybe process some of that stuff.

BRITTANY: Sorry, just had to raise my eyebrows. Wow but that was I guess this is why you're Anna Sale. This is why you host Death Sex and Money.

[Anna laughs]

BRITTANY: So, that brings us to our next clip. It's either the death clip, sex clip or money clip. Um and this clip is from a podcast called First time, Last Time so it's created by this guy Ben Adair and it's all about people talking about the first time they did something and the last time they did the same thing. In this episode an author named Joe Loya is talking about a big decision he made moving from live as a petty criminal on to something much, much grander.


JOE: I was committed to the idea I was a new man, new life. Fuck it, I’m going to go rob a bank. So, I drive up to the United States and I go to downtown San Diego. And I start walking in and out of banks. And I walk to the first bank at 10 in the morning. I stand there and I grab a deposit slip. And on back of it, with a marker I write ‘We have a bomb, I have a gun, give me the money now.’ And as I finish writing it, I panic and I walk out. Turns out, for the rest of the day I’m walking in and out of banks. And I’m leaving in various stages of distress. I”d stand in line for two seconds and I’d leave. They’d say, ‘Sir you’re next,’ and I’d leave. [laughing] I’d walk in and I’d get a hint there was a guard around there. I leave. And so, at 4:45 I was like ‘Fuck, if I don’t do it today, I’m lame, I’ll never do it. If I wanna be a bank robber, I gotta do it today. If I wanna be a bank robber, you gotta shit or get off the pot.’ And it's 4:45, its deadline time. I walk into a bank. I walk into a bank, I got my shitty little note. I walk up to a woman teller. She says “Hey how you doin' sir?” And I say fine, and I walk up to her and I put the note there and I slide it toward her. And she looks down, I mean I’m not an asshole, I give her a little time to read it, right? Um, she reads it. And I realize, oh you know, she probably got stuck on one of the words. She’s taking a little time to read this. Now she coulda read it twice. Hey wait, now she’s just fucking with me, she’s not lifting up her head… So I lean forward and I’m like I’m not fucking around. And I kind of like move the note and slide it around like hey man, fuckin’ pay attention to me. Look up. And then she pulled the note and pulls it towards her. And I’m like, fuck, give me my note back. And she pulls it back. Now we’re doing a tug of war with the fucking note. And she still refuses to look up. And she lifts her head and looks at me and then she starts handing me money. And as soon as I hit the door, boom I start running. When I was that age I was thin and lean and fast as fuck. Broke school records in track. So I hit the streets, running, fast as fuck. And I look back and I’m being chased now, people at the bank are chasing me. They’re after me. And I’m just making space between us. I get over to a cab a couple blocks away. Jump in it. And I’m all excited. $4300 bucks for nothing. Basically the work itself, less than 10 minutes. Fuck robbing, stealing cars, fuck bounced checks… I know what I’m going to be, I’m not going to be petty, I’m going to be a bank robber.


BRITTANY: Can you guess what kind of clip that was?


ANNA: I think that was the money one and my favorite is ‘If I don't do this today I'm never going to be a bank robber.’ [laughter] It's go time.

BRITTANY: Exactly it's like it's all or nothing. It's all or nothing. But actually speaking of money — I guess the money that you specifically talk about on your show… so I think that like death and sex are topics that people regularly know how to like engage with up to a certain point and kind of disengage and they're also topics that I think people find more unavoidable. I find the money conversations actually on your show to be the most surprising. Why do you think it is that people are so weird about money or so hesitant to talk about it I guess in polite conversation?

ANNA: In life?

BRITTANY: Yeah in life in general because people are even — it's like, people will talk about sex with their partners. They'll talk about death with their family members or with their children but people will not talk about money with anyone sometimes.

ANNA: Yeah, I think it starts with that we really don't know how because there's just not a common language. Thinking about sex if you share a peer group with people you know you kind of can assume that there's certain values that you share that like consensual sex is important. Desire is something that both women and men have… You know but around money it's like we talk about it so little that there's no prompts really. Um and I think it's from a few things… like first like you never know where you stand with the person you're talking with. You could have much more money and be much more comfortable in the world as a result and not have that existential dread that you're not safe in the world that can happen when you don't feel like you have enough money. You might have shame about having money. So I think that, that that's like the baseline and then I just I think it's so interesting and to have a conversation where you're like acknowledging that there's something deeper about those choices than just, like, trying to follow Suze Orman's personal finance advice you know I think is interesting. Because there is… there's a lot of decisions we make about what we think about how our life is going to go that you can get to when you ask about money.

BRITTANY: Yeah, money's emotional. That's something I'm finding the older that I get… is that money is extremely emotional.

ANNA: Yeah and it's emotional and it's also so black and white and cut and dry. It’s like, there is this amount of money in my checking account right now, but I have so many feelings about it and the way I feel about it today is different than I felt last night in the middle of the night when I was worrying about X or Y. You know, I find that kind of interesting.

BRITTANY: I'm glad that you asked about it and I'm glad that you enjoyed our money clip.

ANNA: Yeah it's good. It's really good.

BRITTANY: So we're going to actually take a quick break right now but first to recap the clips so far: Dan Savage on cheating came from Anna's own show, Death Sex and Money and the bank robbery is from the podcast First Time, Last Time. Coming up we've already covered money so let's talk about sex and death. You like that?

ANNA: Yeah. Stay after the break for the sex. Just stay for the sex.

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BRITTANY: Welcome back to Sampler. My guest today is Anna Sale, host of WNYC's podcast Death Sex and Money. And, in honor of Anna, our clips today all follow the theme of her show. So, um, we've already gotten the money out of the way. We've done the hard thing first. Uh, so Anna this next clip is actually from something you recommended. So we asked you to send us a podcast episode that you liked — which we usually ask our guests for to kind of like figure out what they're listening to, to know what it is that they're into and it helps us inform what clips we think might be good for you to hear. So you brought us an episode from Fresh Air with Terry Gross which is an NPR interview show and also a podcast. This interview is with Tim Gunn, who is best known as a mentor on Project Runway. What was it about this interview that you enjoyed so much?

ANNA: I can remember exactly where I was listening to it. I was on the subway. The way it started was very charming… like Terry, who doesn't make interviews about her, they started by exchanging information about what they were each wearing because they weren't in the same studio. It was just like her first question: ‘What are you wearing?’ And he was wearing something very, um, classic and put together and then she described her outfit and they talked about pleather versus vegan leather

BRITTANY: Oh I love that part.

ANNA: It just was very… I just really liked it. I liked that it was a surprising open and then very quickly it became a conversation about who Tim Gunn was before he was Tim Gunn on television, including his really severe depression when he was a teenager. And then it became a conversation about how he how he felt like he got well and he talked really lovingly about his macho dad, his dad who was a speechwriter for J. Edgar Hoover like just like so much interesting stuff packed in but it was all about basically Tim Gunn learning how he wasn't alone in the world.

BRITTANY: We have chosen a clip from that episode. Terry Gross asks Tim Gunn about how he attempted suicide when he was a teenager, which he had talked about in an it gets better youtube video. So, he starts off by explaining to Terry what tipped him over the edge.


TIM GUNN: I had been dropped off at yet another boarding school by my parents and it was that first night. I had taken I don't even know how many prescription medications out of my parents' medicine chest and I didn't even know what they were. I mean I knew they were prescription but I didn't know what they were and I took all of them. Probably easily 100 pills. And I was so resigned to just going to sleep and not waking up and that next morning, I did wake up and I was completely disoriented. The room was spinning. I couldn't believe I was still alive and my disorientation didn't get better so I went to the school administrators and told them what I had done and then of course they brought in a doctor. And in spite of the fact that I was still there they took my blood, pumped my stomach. There was still stuff in it. Anyway, it's a long-winded way of saying yes that there was a catalyst. It was that I was being dropped off at yet another school. I had no reason to believe that experience was going to be any better than anything else I had gone through and I thought ‘I don't like this life. This is really rotten.’ And I want to just stop it. So my father took me to the hospital and what I didn't expect was that I'd spend the next two and a half years there.

TERRY GROSS: Where, in the hospital?

TIM: Mhhmm. Yes. I don't know that I've said that to anyone.


TIM: I mean, more precisely, two years and four months. So I had a very major intervention there and couldn't run away or I would have.

TERRY: Was that considered like rehab? Was it like a rehab setting?

TIM: No it was a psychiatric hospital for adolescents.

TERRY: Hm. Was it the right thing to do, you think?

TIM: Yes it saved my life. And the doctor I had there, and he was actually my third doctor, because I was a very difficult patient… and doctors would — I won't say give up on me, but they'd pass after about three months. And Dr. Philip Goldblatt, God bless him, wouldn't let go. I saw him five days a week for almost two years.

TERRY: What made doctors give up on you before that, do you think?

TIM: They would lose patience. I was - I mean I will say this about myself: I’m smart, and I'm canny, I figure things out quickly, and I knew how to manipulate and maneuver around them, and I knew how to simply be intractable and difficult. And for Dr. Goldblatt, I mean our first couple months together, he was with me almost all day every day, and it was a matter of guess what, you can't escape me, and if you want to keep playing these games, I'm here to say, OK, play them, I'm just, I'm going to watch it all happen, but I'm not leaving. And I didn't believe him, and I tried to push all of his buttons so that he would reject me, and he wouldn't stand for it. And I love that man. In fact, I tear up when I think about him and what he did for me.

TERRY: Do you think about him when you're mentoring people?

TIM: I do.


BRITTANY: You mentioned that you liked this interview because it was learning about this public figure I guess the journey he went on to figure out that he wasn't alone in the world as you put it and he had talked about the suicide story before but that particular detail the hospitalization he hadn't mentioned it before he talked to Terry Gross. And I find that when I listen to your show that people have the same — the same sorts of reactions the same sorts of ‘I didn't know that I was going to say this’ or ‘I didn't know that we were going to talk about this’ or people get choked up or people pause. What do you think it is? What do you think happens in the guest's mind? Or what do you think with the guest emotionally that gets them to the point that they share something that they genuinely haven't before?

ANNA: So the clip you just played with Terry, how she asks the question after learning that it was more than two years in a mental hospital she said ‘Did you think that was the right thing to do?’ Like it was such a gentle way to say ‘How do you feel about that time? Do you feel like you were locked up? Do you feel like you needed it? Do you feel resentful? Do you feel glad?’ And it's that kind of question that then he gets to say ‘Here's how I feel about my life.’ And you can tell she's really listening so I think that there's something around.. there’s just something that happens when you feel like you're being really listened to and someone really wants to not only understand exactly what you're saying but like understand the details of that moment. Like ‘Where were you living how old were you? What was going on?’ And then they kind of go back to that moment. They start narrating it in a way that brings in more details than maybe if they told the same story at a dinner party. Um, but I think it begins and ends with that feeling of surprise that someone is actually listening carefully to you.

BRITTANY: Often on your show people tell you these really surprising stories. Even when it seems like you've probably done some pre-interviewing obviously to find out certain details to know kind of what to move toward, still you actually get in a conversation and they say something that obviously surprises them that they've told you. But also sometimes you seem surprised. What's the most surprising thing — not necessarily shocking — but what's the most surprising thing that a guest has told you?

ANNA: One of… the thing that immediately comes to mind because it's one of my favorite moments on the show because I did not know, I didn't know this was where we were going but I was talking to Domonique Foxworth who is the—

BRITTANY: The former football player.

ANNA: Yeah former NFL player now a graduate of Harvard Business School. I was asking him about the dynamic on campus, um, when you're 18, 19, a freshman, already kind of a star on campus, when you show up right out of high school because you're a college football player at a big college football school. And I asked him what it was like with women, thinking it would be like ‘Oh yeah, you know here's some story,’ because you kind of know what that experience is like but you don't often hear it narrated. And he brought in this dimension to the conversation that I hadn't really thought about. You know, ‘I treated women not as well as I would now, I'm a little older.’ But he went on to describe the racial dynamic on campus at the University of Maryland where it's a majority white school.


DOMONIQUE: Women who wouldn’t necessarily be interested in you as a long term relationship type person, they’re like well, this big kind of Mandingo strong black man, let’s experiment with that and see what this is all about. Obviously—

ANNA: Were you aware of that at the time, or looking back?

DOMONIQUE: I think I was aware of it at the time. Or I kind of used it to justify some of the things that I would do. So I wasn’t like the best boyfriend or the best everything at the time, and I think I would use things like that, like, well they’re just after me because they want to be close to the football guy, or they think I’m in great shape and they think I’m this stereotypical, like oversexed black male. And they want to give that a try. But they don’t want to actually take me seriously. So, I mean whatever. I don’t care if I am with her and her friend and don’t think much about it. You know, so I think I was aware of it to the extent that it gave me cover, you know.


BRITTANY: I remember that moment. I remember I was on a flight to San Francisco in like I think it was June of last year when I went back and listened to that episode. I remember where I was when he answered your question.

ANNA: [whispers] Wasn’t that interesting?

BRITTANY: Oh my gosh.

ANNA: Yeah because it's like of course that's a dynamic that's happening but you don't — I just had never heard someone say it out loud and maybe that's because I'm a white person and you know black men don't often talk to me about their love lives. But I think that it just like it made like… it's easy to say, like it's easy to say these athletes and rock stars and whatever are treating all these women like garbage because they can but to see how the other side of that and the emotional dimension of feeling like you yourself are being used for whatever reason because of your star power or because you're an in-shape black man and college girls are interested in trying to be with you, um, I just thought it was like this really complicated dynamic and it was an answer that I wasn't expecting and I loved that moment.

BRITTANY: Honestly, I'm a black woman. I date black men and that answer surprised me. I had never heard anybody… like it's something that I knew but it's not anything that I had ever heard anybody put into words and then share in I guess what one would call mixed company. Yeah. I did not see that one coming.

ANNA: I know. I mean for me it's made watching college sport so much more interesting because I'm just like what is happening in all of your lives, you know? You know if I could have a moment being a sideline reporter the questions I would ask…

BRITTANY: So yeah we've had our money clip. We've had our death clip and so now we've arrived.

ANNA: At what we've been waiting for: the crowd pleaser.

BRITTANY: What we've been waiting for. The crowd pleaser. The sex clip. So this clip comes to us from, actually, a sister show of yours: another WNYC podcast called Only Human.

ANNA: Oh good.

BRITTANY: Which is hosted by Mary Harris and in this episode she interviews Max Ritvo who is a 24-year-old writer from New York. And when he was a teenager he was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. He had to get chemotherapy, but before he got treatment he had to take some precautions.


MAX: Cancer makes you sterile.

MARY: Right.

MAX: As comfortable as —

MARY: Cancer or chemo?

MAX: Chemo makes you sterile, sorry. It’s all one in the same. It’s just one is the tails, one is the heads. So, we decided to set some of my sperm aside. So my wife can now realistically talk about babies with me. It was a good decision. But the harvestation of the sperm was very fraught. Because you know, I’m sitting there in a hospital room, and my mom calls the sperm bank for me, she gets all the equipment, gives me a tube and she looks at me and says ‘You gotta do this. I guess call me when you’re done. I’ll be waiting outside.’ So she steps outside.

MARY: What are you thinking at this point?

MAX: I’m thinking this is the fucking weirdest thing that’s ever happened to anyone. I’m right now binding one of the most humiliating and strangest moments with my child’s DNA — with what will eventually be calling me dad, and whenever I look in this kid’s eyes, I’m going to be remembering like the creaking sound of my hospital bed that I’m making, matching with the beeping of my opium drip. It was very weird um…. Every teenage boy has some story of a time when — usually it was own impulse to masturbate led them into a weird situation  this was completely set upon me by the world and it was very, very strange. So and then I end up producing and I go ‘Mooooom!’ And mom is waiting outside. And I hear her — you know she’s Israeli but she has a bit of accent which I can’t do probably … So my mom walks in, takes my sperm and she sticks it into her little like lipstick pant pocket, like this really hip little lipstick pocket she has and she goes, ‘I was the first one to hold my grandchildren! Before even their mother.’


ANNA: Oh and look at that mother, considering the sperm the whole child.

BRITTANY: So… [laughs] is that what you had in mind when we said we had a sex clip?

ANNA: No, but I love that. I love that because I — you think he's going to be like talking about just how odd it is to just you know the sperm but the process that he goes the step further of thinking about when he looks in his child's eyes this is where it all began like that that's really funny. Yeah.


BRITTANY: I like that even though it's this really — it has to be such a really scary and tragic time as a parent to see this person who you have raised, who you've created and who you know you assume and you also really hope is going to outlive you by a lot, right? To see them going through this really devastating time but to still like find all of these ways to support and all of these ways to be funny and bring like levity to the situation that's like only your family can find a way to find a gentle and somehow appropriate way to humiliate you… While you're like right before you start to go through chemotherapy.

ANNA: I love that episode of Only Human. I really love that episode.

BRITTANY: Anna, I have one last question for you. Is there anything that you would like to know about me?

ANNA: Yessss! Oh god, I should have seen this coming. Brittany, OK I'm going to ask you a money question but I'm just curious so it seems — my impression of your life at this moment because you've had like a major not only did you make a major career shift but you did it in a very public way where like you have an audience and feel kind of maybe exposed as you're like learning how to be the host of Sampler and what Sampler is and I understand the dynamics of that.

BRITTANY: Yes you do.

ANNA: But what's it been like to as you think about what's the money angle I want to know about is you had a more conventional career path before you came to Gimlet. Do you find yourself do you feel more secure financially now or did you feel more secure then and like how do you weigh that against what it feels like now to have your creative work the way you're making money?

BRITTANY: I feel more financially secure now because I mean to be honest I make more money now that I did at my previous job.

ANNA: See? Radio pays!

BRITTANY: But also I have a lot more responsibility. The thing is though is so like the actual amount of money is not something I think as much about. I think a lot more about I guess like so much of like so much of my livelihood before depended upon an organization and work that came from that's like work that came from another large organization and there are so many other people responsible for the product. Like the end product has very little to do with me. Well, had very little to do with me. Whereas now the end product of everything that I make has a lot to do with me. And I feel… I feel a lot of pressure now that you mention it. I feel a lot of pressure to consistently deliver on myself, which is not something that I really had a concept of before and not something that I ever set out to make my living on. Um, and to constantly be figuring out the best version of that that I can give to people so it's weird because my money now depends on... me in this way that doesn't like… not to say that I have a fantastic team… I have so much support at Gimlet. It’s not that. It's more so like… people interact with what is essentially a product that has my face and name on it, and like—

ANNA: Mostly your voice.

BRITTANY: Yeah, mostly my voice. Exactly. Which is that's weird and my voice which is scarier. It's like everything that I say. That still feels very ephemeral to me even though I know it's not. I work with people who have had long careers doing exactly this. But like I had been doing other types of work consistently for what for me felt like a long time. Um, so to then like do something completely different… that part sometimes wakes me up in the middle of the night.

ANNA: But then you can just roll over and remember, [whispers] 'But I just got a raise.’

BRITTANY: [laughs] I will say my sheets are nicer now.

ANNA: Yes! good investment.

BRITTANY: Yes. God, you are… how did you do that? I just start...  you asked me a question and then I just started waxing for minutes about like how I feel emotionally about the amount of money I make and where my livelihood comes from. And there you go. You just raised your eyebrows.

ANNA: I just raised my eyebrows.

BRITTANY: Well, Anna, thank you so much for coming.

ANNA: Thank you.

BRITTANY: So today you've heard real talk from Dan Savage on Anna Sales' WNYC show Death Sex and Money and Joe Loya's first bank robbery from First Time Last Time. Tim Gunn opened up about his adolescence on Fresh Air with Terry Gross from WHYY and Max told us about harvesting sperm on WNYC's Only Human. Thank you for listening.

Stay tuned after the credits for a taste of what we are sampling next week.

This episode was produced by Rose Reid, Sarah Abdurrahman, Matthew Nelson and myself.

It was edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Peter Clowney.

Our theme music was made by Micah Vellian and our ad music was made by Mark Phillips.

Special thanks to Stevie Lane.

The show was mixed by Matthew Boll.

Sampler is a production of Gimlet Media.

—————AD BREAK —————-

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BRITTANY: Next week on Sampler, I’ll face some fears.

-----EPISODE 11 PREVIEW------

SARAH ABDURRAHMAN: She reaches inside the sneaker…

BRITTANY: Oh my god, Sarah.

SARAH : She finds a note…

BRITTANY: [screaming] Oh my god, what does the note, say?