Stories Of Galaxies Far Away, Right Here in Tigard…

Michael Curtis (left) and Tim Ramaekers working on a new episode of The Adventures of the Awkward Screw.
Michael Curtis (left) and Tim Ramaekers working on a new episode of The Adventures of the Awkward Screw.

Michael Curtis & Tim Ramaekers are the pilots of their own intergalactic voyage these days, as they launch their new venture into podcasting, “The Awkward Screw.” Set from the perspective of a multi-species crew working on a repair ship in some distant galaxy, these freelance space contractors navigate the stars beyond while reflecting on how they can repair themselves, as well. Based out of Tigard, Mike & Tim have launched “The Awkward Screw” in hopes of exploring their own personal galaxies in a way that reaches listeners all over the planet in this galaxy.

Why did these two choose podcasting of all mediums? Why now and why on this subject? Well, Mike says it was a long time coming, “Well, after I had my second on the job injury in 20 years, I started to think that I was doing the wrong thing. I’ve always worked jobs geared towards physical labor and realized maybe I’m supposed to be focusing my energy elsewhere. Tim and I had reconnected a year ago, we have been friends for decades, throughout our friendship we always made up goofy stories, so we started talking about doing an animated series.”

Anju Jayohwen
Anju Jayohwen

Mike assumes the majority of the physical creative process, while Tim crafts ideas and helps the story get to where it needs to go. Between the two of them, this labor of love is a truly collaborative process meant to engage each other and the listeners in an honest way. Originally supposed to be an animated series, these two explored other avenues after realizing the process of creating an animated show would be such a huge undertaking. “We thought of doing a podcast detailing the creation of the animated series, we needed the social media presence to get funding for the series itself, so we thought this would be a
good way to advertise it.” Mike says, “After a lot of discussions about what we should talk about, we realized we should talk about the characters, then we started interviewing the characters and realized the room for character development and growth. Eventually we just settled on making it an audio show.” The pair have plans for an animated series in the future, still, but the podcast is the primary focus until animation becomes feasible.

Helount Gafse
Helount Gafse

Podcasting, however, remains an accessible medium for their story and happens to honor the old spirit of radio. Those who grew up on audio dramas on the radio can attest to a certain magic in audio storytelling, when asked if they believe the spirit of radio is still alive with the podcast format, Mike and Tim both give a resounding “Absolutely.” Both had their own points on how the medium may differ, but Tim made an excellent point that podcasting is becoming so successful that radios are beginning to emulate them. “Podcasts will have recordings of a broadcast, where radio will just broadcast live. Now, radio stations are beginning to podcast all of their old broadcasts.”

Marrk Deet
Marrk Deet

What’s so fun about sitting around telling stories about aliens figuring out their emotional issues, anyhow? Well, it’s exactly what Mike & Tim have always been interested in. Both Tim & Mike grew up with science fiction, B movies, and a love for all the stories a little too weird for this world. Not only that, but this allows for an honest creative expression that nurtures not only the soul of the creator, but for the listener who identifies with the creation itself.

Podcasting is just the beginning for “The Awkward Screw”, along with the aforementioned animated series that they hope to launch, Mike & Tim hope to build a whole community of creators supporting each other’s projects and visions. They plan on taking the time to community build and hopefully launch their own production company to enable projects they believe in.

Tony Pale
Tony Pale. Illustrations by Tim Ramaekers.

Most podcasts have guest voices from time to time, or guests to interview, when asked about who their dream guests would be, Mike and Tim had different, but remarkable answers. “For me, I grew up watching Peter Sellers movies and he’s where I grew to love funny voices, so him for sure. Then, it would have to be Eric Balfour, ever since I first heard his voice I knew I needed to record him saying something. Then, Mike Myers, for obvious reasons.” Mike says. Tim’s list is short and sweet, “I would love to work with Geddy Lee, Robin Williams, and William Shatner.”

For these two, the only direction to go is up. The sky’s the limit here on Earth, but when you’re dealing with intergalactic handymen, there is no limit to how far you can travel. Stay tuned for episodes of “The Awkward Screw”, available on Soundcloud and at TheAwkwardScrew.com.