Outside The Spotlight
A Podcast Series Exploring Mental Health & Artists
Outside The Spotlight is the newest podcast series produced by the Creative City Centre.
In this series, performing artists open up about their mental health journeys and how those journeys impact and foster their art. They also share tips and tricks they’ve learned along the way.
Each episode features two artists in conversation from various artistic disciplines including music, poetry and comedy. The discussions are 100% unfiltered and led by the artists, so each episode takes on a life of its own—focusing in on whichever topics the artists feel are best suited to their conversation.
At various points throughout these discussions, the artists take breaks from chatting to perform (songs, poems or comedy bits), giving us a taste of what they’re accustomed to sharing in the spotlight amidst the discussion of their lives outside of it.
This series deals with difficult subject matter that may not be suitable for all listeners. Listener discretion is advised.
Outside The Spotlight is a six part limited series. Listen to all episodes wherever you stream podcasts!
Season 1: Guest Profiles
Episode 1: Cat Abenstein & Roxie Lenton
Cat Abenstein (she/her) is a bisexual, neurodivergent, white settler from oskana kâ-asastêki in Treaty 4. (Regina, SK) She’s a spoken word artist and arts administrator at the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild where she is witness to the connection and community found through story. Cat explores addiction, mental health, consent, and family history in her work. She lives with her wife and two cats in a house older than all of their ages combined.
Roxie Lenton is a singer-songwriter born and raised in the land of the living skies (Saskatchewan). Her struggles with mental illness over the years have given Roxie an added drive to share her lyric-driven pop-folk music with the world in the hope of empowering others. Put her in front of a piano or toss her an acoustic guitar and watch Roxie’s quirky spirit come alive while her sultry voice carries you on a musical journey.
Episode 2: Lexy Desjarlais & Erik Mehlsen
Lexy Desjarlais is a local musician based out of Regina, Saskatchewan. 2022 was a big year in her musical career – having spent most of the year recording the newly released People of the Sun album, as well as taking home her very first Saskatchewan Music award with the band for R&B Artist of the Year. Between both accomplishments, and working with so many wonderful musicians in both People of the Sun, as well as her solo project – she is very excited for what will come next in 2023 and beyond!
Erik Mehlsen is a musical Swiss army knife. He is the founder of sharp 5 records, and is a sideman, bandleader, songwriter, and can carry quite a bit of musical gear.
Episode 3: Shelynn Fretz & David Roman
After experiencing years of mistreatment and misdiagnosis, Shelynn Fretz – a founding member of Femme Fragile – has written lyrics about her experiences as a form of therapy and as advocacy for mental health awareness. Her goal is to help others who have also experienced similar struggles to feel seen and heard. In her spare time, she just naps the pain away.
David Roman is an Audio Engineer and Composer originally from Weyburn, SK. He is the founder of Roman Empire Studios with over a decade of experience Composing, Recording, Mixing, and Sound Designing. David has worked on several award winning films and his audio work has screened at many international festivals. He is also a musician who has played with acts such as Linger, The Criminal Kid and Femme Fragile.
Episode 4: Carla Harris & Dara Schindelka
Carla Harris (they/she) is a disabled queer writer, performer and interdisciplinary artist from Treaty 4 territory, living in Regina Saskatchewan. They released their first chapbook, Obtain No Proof with Dis/ Ability Series of Frog Hollow Press. They are currently working on a collection of creative nonfiction poems, as well as a play in proudly unconfined #CripTime.
Dara Schindelka is a Saskatchewan feminist folk artist that tours throughout Canada sharing her stories and songs. Her latest album, Saturn Returns, was the #6 album in Saskatchewan at the SaskMusic Awards for 2022. In 2023 Dara is working on a new project that explores traditional folksongs and the stories of women within those songs.
Episode 5: Genevieve Robinson & Vanessa Prevost
Genevieve Robinson is a comedian, actor, sketch writer and improviser. She spends her days trying to think of clever puns about mental health issues, but they are all depressing.
Vanessa Prevost is a stand up, improv and sketch comedian and writer based out of Regina Saskatchewan. She’s the director and producer of Funnyhug Comedy.
Episode 6: Sydney Wright & Traci Foster
Sydney is a Registered Dietitian working in the field of eating disorders. She is a singer/songwriter and the vocalist in the band Carmela.
Traci Foster is a disabled somatic artist and theatre maker who explores and develops her work with a focus on where awareness, intuition, and action intersect. She works with creation as care, and unapologetically seeks pleasure in all aspects of life, including art making. Traci is the founder and executive| artistic| director of Listen to Dis’ Community Arts Organization and is an unrelenting advocate of disability culture. She loves art, especially the stuff that makes her laugh, cry, or squirm.