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Episode 22

The JV Club

Kulap Vilaysack

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The JV Club #22: Kulap Vilaysack

Episode 22 of The JV Club welcomes the wonderful Kulap Vilaysack (Childrens Hospital, Who Charted?) for a frank and emotional discussion about tumultuous families, getting comfortable with ‘being a threat,’ and the kind of sweet sweet lovin’ that can only come from “Red Light Special” by TLC.
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20 comments

  • Hi, first off, I would like to mention that I just stumbled onto this at a time that I really should have been going to bed, but I chose to listen instead and I’m very happy that I did. Even as a child of the technological age, I’ve never listened to a podcast before, so this was a new experience for me. I’m normally not much of a commenter when dealing with things online, but I thought that this could be the exception.

    Janet, thank you for doing this podcast in the first place, and some of your comments and insights throughout it really hit home with me. Between you and Kulap, you were hitting some points that I’d been pushing down for a while. Kulap, thank you for sharing what you did because a lot of what you said pulled a number of parallels and perpendiculars to my life. While I can’t say I can relate to your ethnic background and what that meant for you growing up, I found that I can relate almost exactly to the emotional aspects of your childhood that you discussed here, and while I wasn’t personally involved in any gang related issues, I knew people that were and those sort of things were always in my peripheral. Also, while many of the things you went though and actions you took, were highly dissimilar to me, they remind me uncannily of my best friend. I love my best friend, and I know she loves me, but we come from very different homes, and there are many times that we are so completely at odds from each other, that we never really talk about these things for fear that the other person won’t understand.

    One of those things I have a hard time talking about is something you brought up at the end of the podcast, and that I didn’t even realize I did until quite recently. I mean to say that I was perfectly aware that I talked to myself a lot, but I didn’t realize the extent of it, or just how weird it was that I did that until a few months ago, and when I did realize it, I immediately put that under my ‘do not talk about’ list (I learned to make that when I was pretty young, my family is pretty secretive too, although not for cultural reasons, just because we’re a bit bizarre like that) I mean, how do you explain to someone that you have conversations with them when they’re not around? The simple conclusion I came to is that you don’t.

    That is just one of the many things you and Janet touched on in one hour that forced me to pause the podcast to maintain my composure. And that means something because I’m not usually that emotional of a person.

    Since you freely gave so much of yourself here, I thought I might give back a little information of my own, along with a bit of a request.

    I am 19 years old and I spent nearly a decade in the grips of depression, and now that I’m sort of stepping through that tunnel, I’m looking back in a kind of shock at some of the things I’ve put myself through to get here. The next step is to look in front of me at what is to come, and I’m starting to realize that there is going to be just as much, if not more work to do there to undo some of the damage done. To be honest, I’m worried, and I have no idea where to start.

    That brings me both to the end of this unnecessarily long rant, and to my request, now I have no idea if either of you, Janet or Kulap, are going to read this, but if you do, I would like to let you know that I did enter in my e-mail on this, and I would be thrilled if either of you were willing to respond to me, It would really mean a lot.

    Well, either way, I just want to thank you, your words truly meant a lot to me.

  • I’ve been listening to the podcast for a while now since I love funny ladies being funny, but this is the first time I’ve felt the urge to comment, and that’s because I honestly feel that this has been one of the best episodes of The JV Club ever. As a young Asian American woman not that far from her teenage years, it was amazing to hear Kulap talk about growing up in America with immigrant parents and hear bits of my story reflected in hers. Of course, I couldn’t begin to understand what she went through with her family and I’m so impressed with how she’s managed to deal with her issues. But it really means a lot to know that there’s a successful, beautiful, hilarious Asian American woman like Kulap out there who’s been through some of the same stuff I’ve been through and come out the other end happy. Please please feel free to have more serious episodes! Sometimes you just need to hear someone else’s story to make sense of your own. The funny episodes (like the Alison Brie one) are awesome, but this was really the icing on an already delicious cake. Thank you for being honest and talking about your lives!

  • This was a good episode. I just listened to Kulap on Pete Holmes’ podcast, so there were no surprises… but it was still good.

    However, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the open acceptance of astrology, the blatant vilification of agricultural science, and the endorsement of the LA mantra that everyone should be in therapy.

    Oh, California… : )

    Super-fun (or super-weird?) to relate to Kulap’s memories as someone who currently lives in St. Paul.

    Thanks for the great pods!

  • I’m really enjoying following the saga of the astrology retreat. Every once in a while I hear a new snippet of it on a podcast and it feels like I’m collecting something.

  • First episode of this that I listened to. I did come in expecting funny, but I enjoyed the the deep conversation. It definitely made me think about my own life and trying to overcome a dark period (though I’m Male and, 26 years old, and have locked away most memories of my childhood; the words were still helpful). It’s inspiring to see that someone with a difficult past can still succeed and become such a likable and funny person. Thanks to Kulap for speaking so candidly. Your fans definitely respect and appreciate your story. Janet, I will go back and listen to previous episodes while rating and commenting on iTunes. Best of luck to both of you.

  • Hey Janet.

    As one of your male listeners, I’d just like to say thank you. Your interviews help me understand people I love better. Don’t ever think there are topics that will turn guys off, because any guy who would listen in the first place is already seeking a perspective he is not used to.

    Hugs to all of you.

  • This episode was simply amazing because if was very inspiring but also due to how connected so emotionally, I just wanted to go through the screen and laugh, cry and hug both of you. Like all episodes this was some truly brilliant stuff! <3 :D

  • Thank you so much for this episode! I was tearing up with you two. Although my experience was nowhere near as trying as Kulap’s, I can certainly identify with a lot of her struggles. It was good to hear that someone made it past all the strife and is still strong.

  • You both have given me a lot to think about, with the whole point at the end of the podcast about talking to people and it really is a great point. It is so difficult for some people, like me, to talk to people about difficult things and sometimes, it feels like it’s just easier to act all happy and pretend that nothing is bothering us but it really does take its toll. I think it’s great that you two are so close and are able to talk about serious subjects like this.

  • Towards the end of this episode, I absolutely just wanted to jump in and give you both a hug. This was such a beautifully personal and reflective podcast episode. I just feel very fortunate to have been a fly on the wall for such an encouraging, weepy but strengthening talk. I really loved listening to this. Thank you so much.

  • Kulap, you’re such a strong lady, thank you so much for sharing your story. Parts of it were really tough to listen to (so used to hearing you as probably the happiest/most joyful person in podcasting), but so glad you persevered. Thank you Janet for another great interview, as well!