In the third and final truly outrageous installment of our special Fanboys of the Universe series on Jem, we are delighted—no, ecstatic—to present our podcast interview with none other than Jem herself: actress, singer and pop culture icon Samatha Newark!
We had a LOT to cover with Samantha, and Johnny M and I were as giddy as two gay geeks could be, chatting with the extremely lovely and gracious Ms. Newark. Samantha is very busy right now, promoting her new album Somethin’ Good, and we’ve even included a couple of clips from the album in the interview, so don’t miss it!
Here are a few highlights from the podcast:
Samantha Newark on…
Jem’s Enduring Popularity
“It never totally went away. There have been diehard fans. There were petitions online for years. The fans would write to whoever happened to own Jem at the time: ‘We have to have Jem back!’ So, it’s just been so amazing. The fans are so, so happy, and I’m happy, too.”
“It was a fun show, you’ve got to admit. There were music videos and colorful costumes and songs, you know, and great characters. The kids got really invested in knowing these characters and rooting for whoever was their favorite. Just great stories, great writing. I think we just had a really wonderful team of people. It was a moment in time that came together.”
Jem’s Gay Fans
“On some level, young boys, that maybe didn’t even know they were gay, but they certainly weren’t into Transformers and G.I. Joe and the archetypes they were supposed to gravitate towards, they liked Jem, and they liked the fashion and the glitter and the music and the dresses and the whole fabulousness of Jem. And I think it gave them permission to maybe dream out of the box a little bit more than they would in their homelife or in school or whatever. It was like they could just kind of be transported into this world they were really attracted to.”
Her New Album Somethin’ Good
“Sometimes I think you can be braver as a songwriter and say things in songs that you might be too chicken to say in real life…I wrote a lot of material for this, and it was hard to choose which ones would work. It is all me. These are my stories. This is my little world, parts of my personality. It’s a very, very personal record. And it’s also very vulnerable in that sense to kind of throw it out there for the world to hear, because you’re like, ‘Wow, this really is me. These are my feelings; this is my vulnerability; this is my sass and my strength and my sexuality’…At the end of the day, that’s what we do as artists. We have to be brave like that and just kind of put it out there. It’s something I can’t not do. As shy as I feel sometimes, I have to do this. This is what I love to do. I have to create like this.”
Emotional Fans at Conventions
“It’s humbling, and it’s beautiul, and it’s like real life. I think a lot of the time we live life on the surface, and to have those moments, where you feel like you’re really connecitng to somebody, and somebody’s being moved, those are the moments that I feel are the most precious, because they’re the most real and the most spontaneous, and I get to see that all the time when I do these fan conventions. It’s amazing.”
Those Videos on YouTube
“That’s taking Jem to a whole new universe that I had not even considered…I forwarded it to a bunch of my friends that have a really sick sense of humor and I was just, like, you have to see this. This is so funny and really scary and sad and great and excellent.”
Plus, lots, lots more conversation, laughs and music from Samantha Newark! Don’t miss it!
Thanks for listening!