The Lapse is a local production that is independent to the core, entirely facilitated by host Kyle Gest. In his three years of making The Lapse, he has managed to amass a passionate following of fans who fund and support the show. Each episode focuses on one guest, who is often an avid listener of the podcast, thus creating a unique two-way relationship between creator and audience. As each episode progresses, the featured guest slowly unravels their tale with an unprecedented level of intimacy.
Episodes are slim, however, with runtimes rarely exceeding 30 minutes. As somebody who often listens to podcasts two or three times that length, I was pleasantly surprised at how much could be explored in such a short time. The unique personality and voice of each guest is given room to shine as they propel the listener through their story. Occasionally, Gest will chime in to transition between vignettes, hammer a point home, or help re-enact scenes of dialogue. Some added foley sound effects help create a sensory atmosphere around each scene, providing listeners with a feeling of total immersion.
The remarkable thing about the stories shared on The Lapse is that they exist amid the everyday. Slices of reflection are revealed as the story is told in a way that feels natural and conversational. For example, in “Skinny White Oprah” (Episode 51), Gest shares his own experience of participating in a reality T.V. show. His humourous experience evolves into revelations on how promises of fame or power bring us to act in ways we would never expect, and how the advice we give is often a projection of our own insecurities.
The Lapse exemplifies how collaborative storytelling can be used to create a highly intimate listening experience. You will start an episode looking forward to hearing an interesting story, but you will stay for the startlingly profound and personal experience of stepping into somebody else’s shoes.