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Currently Workshopping

English, Cultural, 1 season, 16 episodes, 6 hours, 45 minutes
Join Cece as she works through the perils and frisson of being alive. Part extremely online investigation and part niche liberal arts class discussion section, Currently Workshopping is a thoughtful and analytical foray into ourselves, society, and the ties that bind all of us together (whether we like it or not). Get bonus content on Patreon Hosted on Acast. See for more information.
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every influencer and their mom is starting a podcast

Let’s get meta, baby! In this episode, I explore why it seems like every influencer and their mom is starting a podcast. Surprise—it’s not for the money! (Or it might be, but most influencers are going to be sorely disappointed if that’s the case.) I also reflect on my own podcasting journey since I started in October 2022.Barside (my new podcast with Alex Su and Matt Margolis) covers the latest and greatest (and sometimes not-so-greatest) in the legal industry and is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, and wherever else you listen.I’ll be doing a reading at the New York Public Library on Friday, December 15, in partnership with Substack! Come hang out with me :)References* Goodreads publishing drama* Pew Research Center Fact Sheet: Audio and Podcasting* Media 2023: Podcasting After The Hype, By The Numbers* Buzzsprout stats (scroll down for episode downloads in first seven days)* Study reveals that podcasters are now more influential than traditional influencers* Share of weekly podcast listeners influenced by podcast hosts and social media influencers in the United States as of May 2023, by generation* FTC sends warning to trade associations and individual health influencers* Mikayla Nogueira mascara ad controversy This is a public episode. If you’d like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit
12/14/202334 minutes, 49 seconds
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homeroom: what i consume in a week

This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit* Supreme Court lawyer Paul Clement is representing an Indiana school district to prohibit transgender children from using their gender identity’s restroom. He’s offered a flat fee for his firm’s legal services—$100,000 to petition the Supreme Court to hear the case and another $100,000 to argue the case in front of the Supreme Court (if the first $100,000 petition is granted).* Around 1,200 Israelis and more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed since the October 7 attacks by Hamas. These numbers are particularly jarring after learning more in March about apartheid in South Africa and wondering, How exactly does apartheid happen? How did the world just let it happen? The answer, it seems, is exactly what is happening now. I found a recent episode of The Daily especially thought-provoking and very, very sad, contending that these casualties can be seen as calculated losses to advance a Hamas goal—drawing attention again to the Palestinian cause.* I’ve seen the names Tanya Zuckerbrot and Emily Gellis around but have never understood the full magnitude of their feud, dubbed Fiber Feud (no, really). The Daily Beast goes into the full strangeness of this feud in a two-part series, which reminded me of the Bad Art Friend saga but with influencers instead of writers. Totally worth the read!* Are You the One? Season 9 on Paramount+ (which I got because one of my former colleagues is on this season of Survivor!)* The Golden Bachelor on Hulu + this Reddit thread shows how outdated Gerry’s dating behavior is
11/16/202314 minutes, 45 seconds
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homeroom (secret ep): israel-hamas, yeule, studio legal's first event

This is a free preview of a paid episode. To hear more, visit cecexie.substack.comWelcome to homeroom, the secret episodes where we get to talk about events both in the world and in our lives—just like we would back in homeroom (obviously).Here are the links and resources mentioned in this episode:The Honourable Woman (BBC miniseries)The Daily (Golan’s Story): Interview with a resident of Kibbutz Be’eri, where more than 100 civilians were killed.The Daily (Voices from Gaza): Interviews with Gaza residents about the evacuations and what they expect next.Pocky Boy (Yeule)sulky baby (Yeule) (my favorite of hers)
10/19/20232 minutes, 48 seconds
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knowledge is free; people are not

I'm back!! (Ish.) Missed my voice? Wondered what's been on my mind ever since I contemplated being a failed influencer? In this episode, I delve into social media's algorithmic imperative towards complete personal annihilation through public consumption and how that has been hindering me creatively. I share one of my biggest regrets from social media and my plan for countering these negatives going forward, including why I'm doubling down on Substack. If you'd like more episodes like this one and to join my inner sanctum, click here for your limited-time welcome offer (40% cheaper than subscribing monthly!!).Substack: you are a student without disposable income, un- or under-employed, or a minimum-wage worker, just email me or fill out this form and I’ll comp you a free subscription, no questions asked. If you’d like to donate one of these subscriptions, you can do so here. Get full access to debrief at
10/11/202319 minutes, 44 seconds
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the diary of a failed influencer

It's the last day of 2022 and the last episode of Season 1! It's only fitting that we're coming full circle to reflect on how quitting a 9-5 to become an influencer is going--or more accurately, how quitting my 10-10 to become a writer (and almost necessarily by extension, a content creator) is going. To be honest, I'm pretty lost, which is why I spent a few hours this week researching three artists to see how they handled the art vs. money issue, AKA selling out. Did Kurt Cobain really mean it when he said that there's more to life than living out your rock & roll identity? Why did Jonathan Franzen have to write a personal letter of apology to Oprah after his novel was selected as an Oprah's Book Club pick? Did Gaby Dunn ever get rich, or did they die vlogging? Substack: Instagram: [timestamps] 0:00 - intro 1:51 - kurt cobain 11:10 - the pain of unintentionally selling out 13:21 - jonathan franzen 17:10 - gaby dunn 20:39 - degrees of selling out [references] --- Send in a voice message:
12/31/202228 minutes, 14 seconds
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holiday q&a: answering your questions!

You asked for unscripted, you get somewhat unscripted! In this episode, I answer listener-submitted questions in four major domains: law; work; life strategies; and personal questions. Do I regret leaving biglaw? How did I deal with coworkers who got on my nerves? How should one handle racism/sexism/being othered by peers in elite university settings? How did I go from being a libertarian to a progressive? No matter if you're visiting family, traveling, or taking some much-needed alone time for yourself, I hope you enjoy this extra-long holiday episode! You can find me on Instagram at and subscribe to my Substack at [timestamps] intro - 0:00 law - 1:55 work - 11:39 life strategies - 19:33 personal questions - 25:28 [references] --- Send in a voice message:
12/25/202240 minutes, 27 seconds
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everything i learned from my book deal

How do you get a book published? What does an agent do? Which publisher is the best home for your book? I answer all of these questions and more in this week's episode, informed by the crash course in publishing that I've gotten in the past nine months and my own publishing journey (which is still ongoing!). I talk about the most challenging parts of trying to pitch a book, how novels differ from nonfiction books when it comes to the publishing process, and answer questions from listeners about book covers, how I outlined, and whether you even need to be a "good" writer in order to get published. Enjoy! [timestamps] 0:00 - intro 2:41 - fiction vs. nonfiction 5:00 - "be more famous" 6:08 - finding an agent 11:50 - submitting to publishers 17:12 - book advances 19:14 - writing and editing 20:44 - post-manuscript delivery, pre-publication 22:12 - q&a [references] --- Send in a voice message:
12/18/202226 minutes, 40 seconds
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lifestyle vlogging is a trap

I'm gonna be honest: I regret lifestyle vlogging. It's so easy, other creators IRL and through screens told me, All you have to do is record your life as you're living it. It's the same logic and vocabulary surrounding MLM recruitment, and the fact that I purchased vlogging equipment from their affiliate links makes me all the more aware of the pyramid-like structure of the endeavor. In this episode, I lean into the personal and reflect on my lifelong penchant for mimicry and the unintended consequences that have flowed from living life by trying to be other people. I discuss this weird impulse in light of mimetic theory and wonder whether copying others has inadvertently led me to commodify my own life... which is a bad thing, right? [timestamps] 0:00 - intro 1:40 - humans are natural mimics 6:19 - mimetic theory 8:48 - life commodification 10:49 - problem #1: precession of the simulacrum 15:12 - problem #2: "you're no longer relatable" 17:46 - problem #3: self-identity threat 22:32 - lifestyle vlogging is the MLM of digital content [references] --- Send in a voice message:
12/10/202224 minutes, 28 seconds
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law school rankings are dumb

Like most other recovering prestige addicts, I evaluated where to go to law school primarily based on one thing and one thing only: the U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) law school rankings. The USNWR law school rankings has had legal education in a chokehold for over thirty years now, so it was a shock to everyone when law schools--including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley, and Georgetown--began ceremoniously announcing that they were leaving the rankings (whatever that even means). In this episode, I wonder why a for-profit magazine's rankings has had such power and influence in legal education, dive into the methodology used by the USNWR, and contemplate whether these explosive mic drops from (let's admit it, the top-ranked) law schools will have a lasting impact on the legal industry at all. [timestamps] 0:00 - intro 1:52 - how we're conditioned to love rankings 12:05 - USNWR history & methodology 17:53 - but will it even matter? [references] --- Send in a voice message:
12/2/202222 minutes, 6 seconds
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why we love-hate gossiping (w/ shannon of fluentlyforward)

We're doing something a little different this week! This episode, I'm joined by Shannon of FluentlyForward to talk about all things celebrity gossip and blind items. We talk about how blind items have exploded in the past few years, how we think their rising popularity is related to societal distrust of mainstream media (and whether that's a good thing), and ponder why we as humans love talking about other people so damn much. We share our own pieces of fave celeb gossip and how we feel about occasionally being in the crosshairs of online gossip ourselves--and how we would respectively dispose of a dead body, if we had to (strictly a hypothetical, we swear!). [timestamps] intro - 0:00 what is a blind item? - 3:38 mainstream media - 6:20 the rise of blinds during the pandemic - 9:40 blinds vs. conspiracy theories - 15:35 selena and lindsay - 21:57 researching blinds - 26:30 the risk of defamation lawsuits - 28:02 what we can learn from blinds - 34:35 too big to be trusted - 37:38 gossip is the weapon of the powerless - 45:28 when the perceivers become the perceived - 51:01 [references] --- Send in a voice message:
11/21/202255 minutes, 54 seconds
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can "good feminists" get married?

This week, I dive into a thoughtful question posed on one of my TikToks: is it anti-feminist to get married? I shuffle through my Family Law notes to give an overview of the legal history of marriage, which is unsurprisingly pretty sexist. (Yes, the Supreme Court really did rule that women couldn't be practicing lawyers.) I unpack my complicated feelings about my pending nuptials in light of the patriarchal and sexist foundations of marriage before going on to question even further what "family" means in our society. Marx and Engels made early arguments for abolishing the family, and even David Brooks wrote an article in March 2020 suggesting the evolution of the nuclear family. "Family abolition" sounds terrible, but is it really as bad as it sounds? [timestamps] intro - 0:00 legal history of marriage - 3:00 is marriage anti-feminist? - 5:47 should we abolish the family? - 11:17 [references] --- Send in a voice message:
11/14/202219 minutes, 36 seconds
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we're the asian kids in affirmative action america (whoa)

On Halloween, the Supreme Court held oral arguments for two affirmative action cases, one against Harvard and one against UNC. The verdict? Well, there isn't a verdict in appellate proceedings, and we don't know yet (and probably won't for a while), but the Supreme Court does seem poised to strike down affirmative action. Being Asian American is a weird position to occupy in this debate--on the one hand, the educational benefits of diversity are very real to me, but on the other hand, how would I have felt if I had gotten rejected from Yale despite stellar scores and doing everything "right?" In this episode, I unpack my own experiences with affirmative action in the context of affirmative action's history in California and the United States and try to enumerate why affirmative action makes so many Asian Americans angry. Which side should we be on? [timestamps] intro - 0:00 Harvard and UNC - 0:54 a brief history of affirmative action - 6:55 my college experience - 12:27 final thoughts - 21:25 [additional references] --- Send in a voice message:
11/4/202226 minutes, 10 seconds
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i wish i were a skinny white girl

I have been endlessly comparing myself to others lately--namely, conventionally attractive, skinny white girls--but even hearing, "Comparison is the thief of joy," doesn't make me feel any better. (That's a Theodore Roosevelt quote, btw.) When in a spiral of self-loathing, there's really only one source for me to turn to: my old Feminist Legal Theory readings. What is woman? How can we think of being alive as a woman? How does one woman relate to other women? From Professor Angela P. Harris' musings on gender essentialism to Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw's unfairly maligned and oft misinterpreted intersectionality, I contemplate how these prisms for viewing legal systems can be used to view our own emotional systems. I also discuss my strange and intense friendships with other women and confront the possibility that I may never have emotionally matured from being 16 years old myself. [timestamps] intro - 0:00 research turned me into a jealous monster - 1:15 my early female friendships - 5:25 why feminist theory as a lens? - 9:01 gender essentialism - 10:33 intersectionality - 13:55 applying legal theory to my emotional systems - 15:50 going even deeper - 17:19 You can check out Cece's other projects at --- Send in a voice message:
10/27/202219 minutes, 49 seconds
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are we in a parasocial relationship?

It's time to DTR! In this episode, I discuss my thoughts on a popular YouTuber who suddenly stopped posting on YouTube after perhaps a bad parasocial experience with her fans (and Amazon?). Are parasocial relationships bad? Are we in one, right now? I go through the pros and cons of parasocial relationships and hypothesize why some parasocial relationships sour in more extreme (and terrifying) ways than others, rooted in a theory of how the creator/influencer/whatever got their power in the first place--traditional bestowment or grassroots. I draw parallels between subscribing to someone and being a shareholder in a corporation--what can we learn about our relationship with online creators from corporate law, of all things? And finally, I answer the meta question--are we in a parasocial relationship? [timestamps] intro - 0:00 what is a parasocial relationship? - 2:21 parasocial relationships are normal/good - 4:44 drawing parallels from other settings - 8:09 the source of power/clout - 10:46 responsibility and ownership - 12:30 corporate law - 16:12 let's DTR - 19:12 [additional references] Dream's face reveal You can check out Cece's other projects at --- Send in a voice message:
10/20/202220 minutes, 55 seconds
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we should all be scammers

You know what they say--one's a point, and two's a line! This week, we unpack one of my favorite fascinations--scams and scammers. I discuss how my imposter syndrome likely impacted why I found scammers so magnetic and how scams are mostly the same old bones dressed up in new disguises. The million-dollar question is: are we all vulnerable to scams because they implicate the human condition? From LuLaRoe to crypto to Baudrillard, I connect the dots right into our favorite scammers, Brittany Dawn, Anna Delvey, and Elizabeth Holmes--plus an alleged scammer whom I met in real life, to a confusing set of feelings. [timestamps] 1:16 - imposter syndrome 5:13 - scams are a tale as old as time 6:58 - how new technologies encourage scams 11:18 - how social media encourages scams 15:10 - scams represent the human condition 19:35 - q&a: soft skills for corporate workplace success [additional references] NYT: Why Do We Love Scammers So Much? How Scams Worked In The 1800s Investopedia: MLM You can check out Cece's other projects at --- Send in a voice message:
10/13/202223 minutes, 36 seconds
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the stupidity of quitting your 9-5 to become an influencer

In this very first episode, I'm unpacking my thoughts on the resurfaced video from Mikayla Nogueira, one of TikTok's top beauty gurus, in which she vents about how hard being an influencer is. The backlash has prompted discussions around work and criticism of the full-time influencer, which contrast interestingly with the rise of the anti-work movement and the popularity for kids of vlogging/YouTube as a career aspiration just a few years ago. I dissect the "creator" career through the lens of changing paradigms--entertainer, aspirational influencer, and neighbor--that are drawn from William Deresiewicz's theory of paradigm shifts for "artists" and ponder whether we have all just fallen victim to "producerism," the mutation of consumerism to make itself more palatable amidst growing anti-consumerism sentiments. Maybe we shouldn't all aspire to create, after all, or maybe creation is simply the latest iteration of entrepreneurship. [timestamps] 2:02 - what my parents think 5:17 - the paradigm for creators 11:57 - the paradigm for artists 16:12 - artist/creator as entrepreneur 21:15 - the real question You can check out Cece's other projects at --- Send in a voice message:
10/5/202225 minutes, 23 seconds