#RFBatHome (Part 9): Vijay R. Nathan of “Truth to Power ” broadcasts live from Matawan, New Jersey
It’s another day of what the eff’s gonna happen now — and we have another ingenious RFB host to profile! Today, the latest in our ongoing series, #RFBatHome (Part 9): Vijay R. Nathan of “The Truth to Power Show.”
I really miss sitting with friends on a quilt under my favorite one-armed sycamore tree in Prospect Park and sharing food, drink and conversation till the lightning bugs come out. That, and a root beer float at the beach, spiked or not… but there’s so much work to do before we (at least I) can un-guiltily enjoy those again.
Till next time, your friendly redheaded editorial director,
My name is Vijay R. Nathan and I host “The Truth to Power Show.” It’s an interview-based show with rotating co-hosts (poet and founder of “Rockaway Writer’s Workshop,” Claire Van Winkle; screenwriter / teacher of “Meditative Writing,” Jessica Hinds; and, currently, poet, activist and Tibetan Buddhist practicioner, Bruce Whitacre). My aim is to explore the truth our guests: artists, musicians, poets, teachers, and community leaders, hold — and how those truths empower them and their communities. I’m very interested in personal values and how they inform the practice of the individual guest, whether it is a creative practice or a spiritual discipline (many times, it’s both!). I’m also interested in the idea that the personal is political, and how we can observe society as a whole by having thoughtful conversations with individuals that examine their choices and passions. Society is, after all, made up of individuals.
I’ve been at Radio Free Brooklyn with “Truth to Power” since November 2017. I started as a prerecord and switched to broadcasting live from RFB’s Bogart Street Studio in 2018. In April 2020 I began broadcasting “live from home” because of COVID-19. I am at my parents’ house in New Jersey for the interim (the pandemic disrupted my living plans), but will soon move to Rockaway Park, Queens. I hope we’re back in the studios by then!
I’m also a writer — I’ve published two poetry books: Escape from Samsara and Celebrity Sadhana, or How to Meditate with a Hammer, and I decided I was yearning to talk more to poets and practitioners to better understand my own practice — and those of my community. I wanted to have heart-based conversations with community members in order to better understand how to approach questions around social justice and see what’s growing in our field. How people treat other people is important to me, and I try to bring a mindfulness to my approach, which has been growing since the show began.
One unexpected benefit of remote broadcasting is that I’ve been able to expand my guest list, since all guests are necessarily remote now. (I had tried to keep a good mix of remote and in-studio guests previously.) I’ve been doing interviews via Zoom (since the telephone seems a bit impersonal), and use I use a MacBook, an AT 2020 microphone, a XYNX Q802 USB mixer and RFB’s Audio Hijack. Broadcasting remotely has been a really good experience for me. It’s a lot less stressful than having to commute, even though my studio right now is an unused office room in my parents’ house!
I’ve also stopped playing music on the show for the time being, because it’s easier to just keep the conversation going now, but no promises moving forward! The guests have all been great and I allow the universe to guide me as to who gets on and when. It’s a mercurial thing and while I’m sorry a few guests have been bumped, I know the universe will adjust. Continuing to do my show certainly helps keep me sane during this time — and I hope it’s doing something for our listeners, as well. As I state on my RFB home page, I’d like to thank all the listeners for co-creating “Truth to Power” as a powerful experience. Many thanks to you all!