Steven Canals Wants To Tell All The Stories

Summer 2018 TCA Press Tour - Day 10

Couples Therapy is a funny and sometimes vulnerable podcast where real-life couple and comedians Andy and Naomi speak with fellow comedians. Their conversations, in turns funny and serious, center on getting real about all kinds of relationships - with family, with friends, with exes and of course, with significant others. On "Doing The Lord’s Work," Andy and Naomi are joined in the studio by Steven Canals, the creator, co-executive producer, and writer of FX’s groundbreaking TV series, Pose. They leave no stone unturned in this interview, getting into Steven’s childhood growing up in the Bronx, his past career in academia, and the impact of the show on the fans.


For the uninitiated, Pose focuses on the black and Latinx drag ballroom culture scene in New York City in the 1980s, giving an unprecedented voice to gay, trans, black, and brown people’s stories. Naomi wondered about the pressure of creating that kind of series: “When you are brown and you're trying to do this creative work, I would say you’ve got to be a quadruple threat: sing, dance, act, make white people comfortable,” she said. “It's a lot to do!” How does Steven handle this pressure, she asked, knowing he’s representing marginalized people, and it might be the only chance to get these stories out there? Steven responded:

“I just think if you're part of one of those communities whether you're a woman, LGBTQ, or a person of color, that you always sort of shoulder the responsibility and the weight being part of that community....It’s part of the privilege, I think, of existing as straight, cis, white male, that you don’t have to think about those things. Is there responsibility and is it exhausting? Sometimes. But I don’t feel I have the right to be tired….If my entire career was built on only telling stories about marginalized people, then that’s okay. Because historically our stories haven’t been told, and there are so many stories to tell. And it’s like, well, let’s just tell all those stories.”

With the success of the show, some of the pressure is off, although he’s reticent to start celebrating. “Hopefully, more of those opportunities will emerge and those doors will open. That remains to be seen. Because the reality is I don’t see a plethora of queer or trans stories being told," Steven pointed out. "Progress is slow, but i’m hopeful.”

Join Andy, Naomi, and Steven to get advice about eating vegan, what sunscreen to use, and why no one starts living until they’re 40 (“Okay then,” Naomi said, “I do have some time to get it together!”), in this episode of Couples Therapy.

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