The Atheist Experience (Live)

The Atheist Experience Scrapbook

The Roy Blevens & Joe Zamecki Days

When The Atheist Experience began its run on Time Warner Cable (back then it was Austin Access), it was hosted by some of ACA's founding members, Ray Blevins (the Raytheist) and Joe Zamecki. Joe left after a time and moved up east, where he now works with American Atheists. Ray continued as host of the show, with Jeff Dee as co-host, leaving in late 1999. Here's a glimpse into ACA's primordial media efforts.

(Left) The early crew. Joe, Ray, and then-stage manager Keith Berka are kneeling in front. Arlo Pignotti, who's back and still occasionally involved with the show, is standing to the far right. (Right) Vic Farrow, co-host of ACA's The Non-Prophets, is standing on the left. Vic became the TV show's producer, and even its co-host for a short while under Jeff Dee at the beginning of 2000, before Martin replaced him. He preferred working in the control room much more.

Winter 2002 Crew

Winter 2002 Crew

Winter 2002 Crew
(Left to right) Back: Producers Steven Elliott and Russell Glasser.
Middle: Then-co-host David Clark and host Martin Wagner; guest and occasional sound guy Arlo Pignotti.
Front: Crew members Charles Tabony and future co-host Ashley Perrien.

Winter 2003 Crew

Winter 2003 Crew

Winter 2003 Crew
Standing in front of the new banner designed by Jill Ford: Ashley, Martin, Steven, sound guy Charles Tabony.
Seated: Andi Roberts and Ashlea Doty.

Martin's Goodbye as Host

Martin Wagner February 29, 2004: Martin's 4th anniversary...and final show.

I go back to the 20th Century with this show! As the last of the "old guard", let me just say what a joy and privilege it has been to be ACA's public "ambassador," so to speak, on Austin's cablewaves. Over the last four years I have made some great friends, whom I fully expect to have for life, and most importantly, I have learned more than I can say. We've debated many believers, some calm and civil, others histrionic and hostile, but in each case, the experience honing my own skills in critical thinking and argumentation (a process I'm still enthusiastically learning after all this time) is something I will reap benefits from all my days. For me, atheism represents a positive outlook on the present and future; being able to appreciate life without the fetters of dogma, prejudice and superstition. The human race will only come together when we all embrace reason over ancient faiths and fears, and look ahead to our mutual survival.

I want to thank Ashley, Steven, Russell, and the crew for all their hard work and support (and at times patience), Jeff Dee for early guidance, the ACA for its unwavering commitment to the fulfilled secular life, and all our regular viewers all these years! I look forward to involving myself with other ACA outreach efforts in the future while Ashley ably takes the TV reins. —Martin, 2/15/04

Spring 2004 Crew

Spring 2004 Crew

Spring 2004 Crew
Back (Standing): Russell Glasser, Jeff Dee, Keryn Glasser and Don Baker
On the table: Ashley Perrien.
Front (Seated): Joe Rhodes and Steven Elliott

Some 2007 Behind-the-scenes Shots

We haven't updated our scrapbook in a while, but we had these behind-the-scenes shots to give people an idea of what it's like setting up and running the show.

Thanks to Frank for the pictures.

Russell and Matt

Russell and Matt, seconds before air time.


Matt praying for a good show.
(Just kidding!)

Joe in the mini-studio control booth

Joe playing Oz in the mini-studio control booth.

Shelley and Frank adjusting the lights

Shelley and Frank fussing with the lights.

John behind the camera

John mans the camera with a smile.

The Internet Years

From 2007-2010, we gained a dedicated International audience due to a number of Internet innovations. We have been able to stream our shows live over the Internet changing our caller demographic to being more atheist and largely from outside Austin (and the US). Fans of the show have made clips of our videos and re-posted them on YouTube. Our Atheist Experience blog has a large following.

Best of Austin 2010

The Austin Chronicle's "Best of Austin 2010 Awards" recognized The Atheist Experience as the Best Public Access TV Show, in the readers choice category. The award was given in September 2010. This is the first year for the Atheist Experience to win the award.

The award is due, in part, to the fact that the Atheist Experience in recent years has gained a loyal international audience via streaming and the Internet. The readers choice category is something of a popularity contest and the award effectively recognizes the show's large audience. We sincerely thank our loyal fans.

Joe and Shelley

Joe and Shelley show off the Best of Austin award banner.

Best of Austin 2011

The Austin Chronicle's "Best of Austin 2011 Awards" recognized The Atheist Experience as the Best Public Access TV Show, in the readers choice category. The award was given in October 2011. This is the the second year for the Atheist Experience to win the award.

Once again, we very much appreciate our loyal fans.

Pilgrimage to the Atheist Experience

For some strange reason, people from all over the world came to Austin to see our March 18, 2012 show. Our audience numbered in the 50s. We think it was some sort of divinely inspired global pilgrimage. No matter the cause, it made the show feel like more than a scrappy local effort!

View of the audience

View of the studio audience, March 18, 2012.