April 7, 2020
Winner of this year's Chicago Writers Association Spirit Award, talk-radio show Playtime with Bill Turck & Kerri Kendall takes an irreverent look at the arts and how the arts can change the world. This award-winning show has grown a national and international audience. From music, photography, the visual arts, poetry, film, theater, dance, comedy and writing, Playtime brings you celebrity guests and up and coming artists and writers, helpful how-to’s, and more from around the world.
Kerri Kendall is a Playboy Playmate, and is certified in three healing modalities: Certified Master Level Energy Healer, Certified Reflexologist & Intuitive Reader. She has clients all over the world. She was published in Playboy at the young age of 18, and continued working for the magazine while working a series of other jobs. She has been published in numerous newsstand specials and videos and has done a multitude of public appearances and autograph signings.
Bill Turck is the author of five books, is an artist, a critically acclaimed playwright, and talk-radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His latest book, A Tragic Fate, is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17. His first novel, Broken, was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published Everything for Love, a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo.
Jess: To start off, tell us a little bit about your show.
Kerri: Playtime is the only radio show in Chicago that is completely dedicated to the arts. It was Bill’s brainchild. And then I was invited on, and we’ve been doing this for almost three years now. I've learned so much from being here and from Bill.
Bill: Kerri, my wife Ana and I first met at a Starbucks in Evanston to discuss the show, and when Kerri sat down the first thing she said was, “I'm a Playboy playmate. Is that going to be a problem?” It wasn't gonna be a problem for me or for my wife but Kerri was genuinely concerned that people wouldn't come on the show if they knew, or they would make a judgement about it.
Kerri: Bill said, “Well, we don't have to say that, we can keep that out of the show,” and I said, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no!” Because if someone found out I didn’t want them thinking they were uncovering a big, salacious story. We needed to be up front about it, it’s part of who I am, and I just needed to know Bill was ok with that. And he was perfectly fine with it.
Bill: I’m the light in the wilderness.
Jess: How has the show evolved to what it is today?
Bill: I feel that our purpose is to be a crossroads, a sort of center of networking. We’ve introduced people from really disparate areas of the arts, and outside of the arts, and we bring them together.
Kerri: Bill already had his finger on the pulse of the art community here in Chicago and by bringing people onto the show, we’ve connected them and now some are out doing projects together and inviting their friends onto the show. It’s become this huge family and we’re really promoting the arts in Chicago. It’s amazing.
Jess: What does winning the CWA Spirit Award mean to you?
Kerri: It means we're doing a good job. Bill has put his blood, sweat and tears into this show, seriously, he really puts so much into it. He does all the networking, the connecting, the emailing, getting the guests, scheduling... He deserves this award. I mean, I'm part of the show and we have great chemistry together and we have fun and it really works, but he does the bulk of the work and it’s great that he’s recognized for it.
Bill: Kendall really underestimates her contribution to the show, and the award means a great deal to both of us. We love the folks at Chicago Writers Association. We love authors. Their work is spending quiet time, separated from the world and thinking and pondering over the words they write and the stories they craft and then putting those into a cohesive and cogent framework. Not every author is going to be commercially successful but they're at least attempting. And we love that spirit.
Jess: I know you’ve had a lot of guests but are there any who particularly stood out to you and impacted you in some way?
Kerri: Wow, so many have. But we've actually even made friends and become family with so many of the guests. So many of them have had a big impact on us.
Bill: I can say that we have loved every single guest. When we come into the studio we want people to walk out feeling validated and empowered and knowing that somebody cares about what they do.
Jess: What advice do you guys want to give to others who might pursue something, whether it be a business or pursuing their creativity in the arts? The younger generation, maybe.
Kerri: To be true to yourself.
Bill: I was going to say that. If you're studying in the creative arts, first of all, be true to yourself like Kerry said. But know your craft. Know how to spell. Don’t ever go anywhere near Grammarly or anything like that. Find your rhythm and find out how to construct sentences.
Kerri: Learn the difference between your and you’re, please! That’s my #1. But let me add to that: integrity. Keep your integrity. If you don't have integrity, you've got nothing. Whatever you do in life, whether it's healing, whether it's art, whether it's being a lawyer, whether it’s being a president. If you don't have integrity, you've got nothing.
Jess: Is there anything else you want to add?
Kerri: Know this is a labor of love. We don't get anything. This is not our job. We don't get paid to do this. And if we don't get the advertising or donations for the show, we can't carry on. We're doing this because it's important.
Bill: We have a hell of a time.
Interview conducted by CWA intern Jessica Mack
Jessica Mack was previously Editor-in-Chief for the Joliet Junior College Blazer, editing and preparing articles for publication and managing a general staff. Under her leadership, the Blazer was 2018 Best-In-Show at the Illinois Community College Journalism Association annual fall contest and received 2018 Awards for Excellence. She is currently working on her Masters of English at DePaul University with a focus on creative writing and hopes to become a book editor.
Write City Magazine
Write City Review
Windy City Reviews
Book of the Year
First Chapter Contest
Chicago Writers Association
Make a Difference!