Actress, singer and Tony nominated Broadway star Laura Bell Bundy has a new and unique podcast, Women Of Tomorrow, on The Broadway Podcast Network. Bundy and her co-host Shea Carter explore the many struggles that women have to deal with all the time. They examine the history of those issues and provide solutions for moving forward.
Laura Bell Bundy (Photo credit: Jeremy Cowart)
Their first episode centers around women breaking the glass ceiling and getting a seat at the table. “In our podcast, we examined the rights women won over the last 100 years that enabled them to join the workforce and interviewed Amy McGrath, the first female fighter jet pilot and marine to fly an FA-18 in a combat mission who ran against Mitch McConnell for Senate in Kentucky,” says Bundy.
The Women of Tomorrow podcast was inspired by Bundy’s album of the same name, which was co-written by Bundy, Carter and Jeremy Adelman. In the album, “Women of Tomorrow,” each song delves into a different issue women are facing today. But the podcast allows them to delve deeper.
Future podcast episodes will feature a song that sets the stage topics including equal pay, unrealistic beauty standards, obsession with social media, domestic violence, pitting women against each other, domain over our own bodies, sexual assault, the new rules of masculinity, motherhood, pregnancy, the mental load and what it means to be ‘a good guy. “We cannot set the stage for our future if we don’t understand our history,” says Bundy. “We are just two women and one guest working to lower the high cost of equality one song at a time. We may not change your mind, but we will make you think.”
Jeryl Brunner: What inspired you to create the Women of Tomorrow podcast with Shea Carter?
Laura Bell Bundy: Out of the ashes of the 2016 election came the biggest women’s movement since the 1970’s. Women came together in mass to preserve the rights and freedoms they had fought for in the last 150 plus years. These freedoms and rights were never a given for women.
They have always been hard fought. This podcast is opportunity to educate the listener about this history while examining the issues women are still facing today and how that stems from the history, like breaking the glass ceiling, over-apologizing, unattainable beauty standards, domestic violence, equal pay. We then speak to an expert and discuss how we can move forward and make change.
Jeryl Brunner: How has the experience of creating the podcast changed you?
Laura Bell Bundy: Shea and I cannot stop researching and talking about these subjects, the only difference is that we have a microphone in front of us and we get to talk to experts about it. If anything, it’s made us more organized.
Jeryl Brunner: So many people want to make a difference but don’t feel a sense of personal power, what would you say advise?
Laura Bell Bundy: The instinct to want make a difference is all you need. Just trust the feeling and go from there. Self-doubt is the biggest bully you will ever face. And really, if you can just connect with one other person who doesn’t see things the way you do, and in that moment be vulnerable and honest with them. That is huge. Really listen to them. Attempt to understand and ask them to do the same for you. From that place, you may have an opportunity to change a mind. It’s all about empathy and understanding. We don’t have to be decisive and defensive when we are speaking to a person directly. We can be humans who have needs. We can ask them to put themselves in our shoes and we can do the same. If you do that, you have made a difference. The common ground. That is the gateway. Start small. It can make a big impact.
Jeryl Brunner: Huck, your son, is only 18 months. But how do you teach him to be a kind and caring human? What values do you want to give him?
Laura Bell Bundy: I I start with treating Huck with compassion, understanding and respect. I let him know his feelings matter to me and that I am actively listening. We learn how to treat others with how we are treated. As he gets older, I hope to instill in him kindness and compassion. But I am fully aware that compassion often requires suffering. So, I will have to allow him the freedom to experience his own life without controlling or protecting him too much.
Jeryl Brunner: Your album and podcast helps educate others. How has it helped you?
Laura Bell Bundy: It’s easier to get information through entertainment. It’s like thinking you are eating candy when you are eating vegetables. That is my aim. I am incredibly passionate about the subject of women’s equality. That passion pushed me into studying the history of the condition, of learning about our female heroes. I got educated in the process and from there, I did a lot of unlearning.I questioned all of the societal norms that I had accepted as a child and young woman about a “woman’s place.” I began breaking down the reasons for our cat fighting. I saw how ridiculous it was that a woman’s worth had be whittled down to her physical beauty and youth. I am beginning to be free of all of the smallness I accepted because of those collective beliefs. They were false. They began to keep us in our place. Now it is time to run the place.
Jeryl Brunner: When you feel discouraged, how do you stay intrepid?
Laura Bell Bundy: I remind myself how good I have it compared to others. Also, I would not have the inspiration, drive or the passion inside me if I wasn’t meant to use it.
I also feel like every hard moment or failure is an opportunity to learn something so I focus on growth. I lean into it. My father taught me that. Goodness always comes from those gifts in super bad packages. The story we tell ourselves about the things that happen to us shape our experience of life.