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Meet Lissette Camacho of Quarantine Season in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lissette Camacho.

Lissette, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Growing up, I always wanted to become a medical doctor. I knew it would happen. I had visualized being a doctor and treating patients in my own medical practice. Then, in my freshman year of high school, I was introduced to poetry. At the same time, I got hooked onto “The Andy Griffith Show,” which later expanded to a love of classic television and watching everything on the Turner Classic Movies Channel.

As an undergraduate student, in my spare time from studying Biochemistry, I would write short stories and would later publish two poetry books: “The Forgotten Rose” and “Passion, Love, & Tears: Poetry.” I wanted to be a poet and a doctor. When I discussed my plans to university advisors, I was told to stick with medicine. The money is there and not in poetry. So, I continued my pursuit of a medical career, but I never stopped writing. I kept doing what I loved. In 2014, I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Biology and minored in Chemistry from Georgia State University.

After graduating, my MCAT scores were not strong enough to be accepted straight out of undergrad, so I applied and was accepted to the University of South Florida’s (USF), medical graduate program and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s master in biomedical sciences program. These programs are designed to weed out students from entering medical school. And I was one of them. As the work got harder in the graduate program at USF, I focused more on what I loved, writing. What stuck was my love for writing, and after three failed attempts at doing the program, I decided to give a career in writing a shot. This leap was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Since elementary school, I struggled with a severe speech impediment. I was shy and introverted growing up. It was so bad that I could not even pronounce my own name. This experience closed me off to meeting people. I felt very anxious in large groups, especially for school presentations. Instead of expressing myself verbally, I acquired loads of experience expressing my ideas in writing. I filled up multiple journals. Expressing myself in writing improved my confidence to deal with people in larger groups and even now as a director. Through therapy, I realized the root causes of my speech impediment was social anxiety disorder and even though I continue to struggle with anxiety, this was a memorable first step in controlling my anxiety.

When I started my Master of Science in Medical Sciences in 2015, my life was altered. The program was challenging and pushed me to reconsider my future in medicine. The situation became worsened when my great friend and college roommate, Julie Smith, passed away suddenly from a freak car accident. I was devastated. Her death was traumatic. Emotionally, I could not handle it on my own, so I received emergency counseling and met with a psychiatrist. I acquired strategies to manage my anxiety and depression. In addition, when Julie passed away, a light bulb went off in my head and pushed me to really question what I really wanted and whether I was truly happy doing medicine. Emotionally, my writing was overwhelmingly more fulfilling than a career in medicine. The answer became very clear to leave medicine, especially when I was teaching myself how to write scripts instead of studying for my medical courses. It was a struggle leaving medicine, but I know that I made the right choice.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Quarantine Season – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I am fully emersed in developing my podcast called “Quarantine Season.” I started this podcast to help people cope with COVID-19. In 6 months, I have recorded 28 episodes. They air on Mondays at midnight Pacific standard time. The show comprises of myself and a guest where we discuss mental health issues, coping mechanisms, quarantine struggles, and our passions. Previous guests range from personal friends such as Diana Retiz to actress Megan Gainey and screenwriter Amara Brown. The podcast is rated 5 out of 5 stars on Apple Podcasts. Originally, I had 10-minute episodes, but fans preferred longer episodes, so the podcast expanded to 30 minutes. People have responded very positively to the longer episodes.

What’s special about my podcast is the way that our conversation inspires each other and hopefully inspires and encourages the listeners. This podcast has helped me and others cope during the lockdown. I try to maintain a positive environment with my tone, music, and conversation.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I plan to continue my podcast, “Quarantine Season,” and continue working on more projects. I am currently working with Seda Anbarci, my co-writer on a feature film. We are in the developmental stage of our film with characters and plot lines. We are both super excited as we ride this rollercoaster together.

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