Kawartha Lakes' Finest Magazine

Jess Topfer, the Advocate's digital content manager, figures into the most recent episode of The Advocate Podcast – as a comic performer.

Podcast teaser: The play’s the thing – and then some.

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Jess Topfer, the Advocate's digital content manager, figures into the most recent episode of The Advocate Podcast – as a comic performer.

Sure, bringing interesting, important stories and introducing fascinating people from our community to The Advocate Podcast’s listeners has been rewarding since we launched last February.

Heck, I’m not sure I would have otherwise had the opportunity to speak with an artist who used gingerbread to miniaturize Bobcaygeon’s downtown or the couple that transforms its home into a Christmas light show that rivals Parliament Hill’s. (Spoiler alert. Listen for those interviews in upcoming episode 21).

But if I’m being honest, one of my biggest joys comes from producing each episode’s short opening comic sketches.  They set a tone, I believe, that allows us all to breathe a bit, even smile possibly, in the face of, well, everything 2020 has wrought.

Most gratifying about those opening sketches, specifically, is how members of our community often participate in their creation. To wit – (and, yes, I did use a time machine to travel back to the 1300s for that expression) – the most recent episode features Jessica Topfer in a starring comic role.

The digital content manager for the Advocate has helped guide some of us through the oft-confusing machinations of social media. (And by some of us, I mean me).

But Jessica also has some solid comic chops, despite her admission that she was initially a bit hesitant. I know this because I read it on social media – which Jess has helped me better understand. (See previous sentence).

Jess is now in good company with other full-time citizens of Kawartha Lakes and part-time comic contributors to The Advocate Podcast. Mike and Cathy Puffer probably figured they were only coming to our home for a socially-distanced bonfire – not necessarily to record the socially-distanced performance heard in episode 19 which they both knocked out of the park. Or, at least, over the fire.

When pal Keith told me of his big bounty of cucumbers, it inspired his appearance in episode 17

Good friends Dave and Julie – (not fair to call them amateur performers; you can hear their seasoned professionalism in, you know, their voices) – were featured in episode 13 along with Stacy Anderson and Ryan Goldie.

But, arguably, the most invested performance came from Jason Ward in episode 18 – no doubt because it centered on his genuine appreciation and affection for the topic.

Jason, however, may have to share that mantle after the next episode drops December 15. That installment’s opening sketch includes none other than Santa. Yes, Santa.

And that’s no joke! Honest!

Denis Grignon is a veteran print/broadcast journalist and the producer of The Advocate Podcast: Stories from Kawartha Lakes. He is also a professional stand-up comic who lives near Dunsford.

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