The Hero's Journey

My New Podcast Is Here!

Here’s the short version of people in a hurry:


I’m co-hosting a new podcast called THE HERO’S JOURNEY with my friend, Dan Zarzana, the writer behind The podcast is all about what makes great stories great. There will be movie clips and book quotes and Joseph Campbell and whisky. You’ll laugh, you’ll learn, and you might even be inspired. SOLD?

Oh, you have a moment, you say? Well then, intrepid reader, read on!


I’m in love with stories; writing them, reading them, watching them. I’m fascinated by the history of storytelling and its evolution from cave paintings to virtual reality games. When I’m not working on or consuming a story, I’m probably talking about one. I’m fairly obsessed with the whole enterprise.

As a child of the twentieth century, I tend to absorb stories as books and movies, and roughly 20% of my communication with friends takes the form of quotes from these sources. This is especially true with one friend in particular, book blogger Dan Zarzana. I can’t bring myself to share the date we met in Junior High School, but I’ll tell you that the following films were released that year: Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Little Mermaid, Say Anything, Field of Dreams. And the following books were published: A Time to Kill, The Joy Luck Club, Like Water for Chocolate, The Dark Half, Pillars of the Earth.

So, I’m an author and I love it. But here’s the thing: Books take a year to write and eighteen months to publish. That’s a long time. After Symptoms of Being Human came out and the storm of promotional events passed, I realized I wanted to provide content to my audience/readership/book-family more frequently than that.

Around this time, I was also falling in love with the podcast format. (Serial, S-Town, Waking Up, to name a few.) So I did what I do when I want to do something but I don’t want to do it alone: I called Dan. (Well, technically, I pinged him on Google Hangouts, because that’s how we roll.) You’ll remember that Dan was the unfortunate soul whom I roped into doing NaNoWrimo with me.


Dan and I both attended film school in the era of Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, Se7en, and Good Will Hunting. While I was studying screenwriting, one of my professors introduced me to The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. Vogler was a veteran of the Disney story department who had written a memo that transformed the way the children’s entertainment conglomerate told stories.


Vogler’s memo was based on The Hero With a Thousand Faces by renowned mythologist and lecturer Joseph Campbell. Campbell traveled the world, absorbing and interpreting the mythology of cultures great and small, from metropolitan Europe to indigenous people in Australia.

He discovered that certain story and character functions seemed to have arisen independently in almost every culture on earth. He complied these concepts into a framework called The Hero’s Journey.  

I am not exaggerating when I tell you that reading The Writer’s Journey during college changed my life. It altered forever not only the way I write and experience stories, but the way I interpret the events of my life.

Flash forward to 2017: I decided I wanted to do a podcast analyzing some of my favorite books and films through the lens of The Hero’s Journey—but I had still never read the original Campbell work, The Hero With a Thousand Faces. So I called my accountabilibuddy, Dan, and we started reading it.

A month later, we sat down in front of microphones at Studio Z in Burbank, and the result is The Hero’s Journey podcast. Each month, Dan and I tackle a different book or film and analyze it through the lens of Campbell’s and Vogler’s work. With luck, you’ll be entertained, maybe even educated and inspired. Please click on link below to subscribe. We hope you enjoy!


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Jeff Garvin

Author of SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN and THE LIGHTNESS OF HANDS. Cohost of THE HERO'S JOURNEY podcast. Rock musician, D&D geek, aspiring revolutionary.

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