Explore the discomfort of disconnect in identity with James Kim’s MOONFACE, a realistic, semi-autobiographical audio drama mini-series about a gay Korean-American man’s struggle to come out to his mother using the language they can both understand.
Like what you hear? Us too. You can support James Kim on his website.
About Radio Drama Revival:
- Learn more about how to support Radio Drama Revival on our website
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This episode of Radio Drama Revival was recorded on the unceded territories of the Akimel O’odham and Hohokam peoples.
If you are seeking ways in which to donate to Native communities, the Aniwa Gathering of Elders and the Boa Foundation are raising community relief funds for six reservations: Oglala Lakota, Hopi, Lenape-Ramapough, Apache, Diné (Navajo) and Tohono O’odham communities.
You can donate to their GoFundMe.
How does a disconnect to your history translate to a disconnect with your present? How do you engage with your identity when the deck is consistently stacked against you? And how does the coming out narrative change when your first language is inadequate in bridging connections, let alone a second language you hardly speak? These are some of the questions tackled by James Kim’s Moonface, an indie project from a veteran audio creator, leaning deep into realism and intimacy of place and people.
Come learn about the places you’re from, especially the ones that are harder to connect with, with Moonface–right here on Radio Drama Revival.
Hello, and welcome to Radio Drama Revival, the podcast that showcases the diversity and vitality of modern audio fiction. I’m your host today, Wil Williams. Everything is literally on fire in Oregon, so I’m taking over for our regular host, Elena Fernández Collins, today.
Moonface is a 2019 miniseries about coming to terms with yourself, your family, and the places you’re from. Paul is a young, gay Korean-American who is working as a waiter when he wants to be working in audio, who is not out to his mother and can’t find a good way to do that because his mother doesn’t really speak English and he doesn’t really speak Korean.
It’s a fictionalized version of creator James Kim’s own life growing up in Downey, a small city just southeast of downtown Los Angeles. It’s heart-breaking in its truth-telling about first-generation children of immigrants, about being ashamed or insecure about where you and your family are from, and about the process of coming out of the closet.
Moonface makes absolutely no bones about its subject matter, and here, Ely in the script a note to change “makes absolutely no bones about it”, um… but given this is a very not safe for work podcast, I’m leaving that in because I think it’s hilarious.
Moonface includes sex, Korean with no translations, and racism in every form it can show up as. The audio here relies on silence, on long spaces where all you hear is the environment, in order to achieve a deep depth of intimacy and a slow, breathable pace that fills out every corner of the soundscape.
Take a breath and dive into Moonface, episode one: “Moaning”.
[MOONFACE’s “Moaning” plays]
Moonface is six episodes long. You can learn more about creator James Kim at https://www.jmstkm.com/, and in our interview next week where we discuss Downey, language, and more on identity.
Radio Drama Revival runs on silly string and Elmer’s glue. If you’d like to help keep us afloat and featuring new, diverse, unique fiction podcasts and their creators, you can support us on Patreon, at patreon.com/radiodramarevival.
Other than Patreon, you can also support Radio Drama Revival by buying merch at our shop at radiodramarevival.com/shop. You could probably wear one of those shirts on a leisurely walk down your neighborhood street as you pay attention to the sounds of what’s happening around you.
And now we bring you our Moment of David.
[Moment of David]
That means it’s time for the credits.
This episode of Radio Drama Revival was recorded on the unceded territories of the Akimel O’odham and Hohokam peoples. If you are seeking ways in which to donate to Native communities, the Aniwa Gathering of Elders and the Boa Foundation are raising community relief funds for six reservations: Oglala Lakota, Hopi, Lenape-Ramapough, Apache, Diné (Navajo) and Tohono O’odham communities. You can donate at https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-indigenous-communities-in-usa. The link will be in our episode description.
Our theme music is Reunion of the Spaceducks by the band KieLoKaz. You can find their music on Free Music Archive.
Our line producer and associate interviews producer is Wil Williams.
Our senior interviews producer is Eli Hamada McIlveen.
Our associate producer is Sean Howard.
Our researcher is Heather Cohen.
Our social media manager is Anne Baird.
Our submissions editor is Rashika Rao.
Our executive producers are Fred Greenhalgh and David Rheinstrom.
Our host is Elena Fernández Collins.
This has been Radio Drama Revival: all storytellers welcome.