I currently have two podcasts, one weekly podcast about Canadian theatre (Stageworthy) and one for introverts called The Introvert’s Guide To… which I co-created and co-host, that comes out every two weeks.
I remember the first time I heard about podcasting: I read about Adam Curry and podcasting, and was really excited about the idea of how it was suddenly possible to host an internet radio show, without a studio or the need to have a broadcast license. I listened to some early podcasts, even before Apple had introduced podcasts on iTunes. I even tried it out a bit, but this was long before there were the kind of services that’s exist now. I learned to create my own RSS feed to deliver the podcast (which thankfully, I don’t have to do anymore), but that was a lot of work, and I gave that initial project up, becasue I didn’t yet have a real idea of what I wanted to do with a podcast.
Years later, I was an avid listener of podcasts, and was listening to the American Theatre Wing’s Downstage Center podcast, hosted at the time by ATW Director, Howard Sherman. On one episode, the guest was Stephen Ouimette who was in New York performing performing a show, and I realized that this was the first time I had heard a Canadian on the podcast. Were there any Canadian theatre podcasts? I looked around and at that time I couldn’t find any, so I started thinking about how I might create one of my own.
I also thought it was a great way to challenge my introverted self and to force myself to talk to new people each week (I was right, BTW).
My first theatre podcast, called Offstage, ran for a couple of years, but I was recording episodes and releasing them the same week I recorded, and that was an exhausting schedule and became too much to sustain.
A few years later, missing the podcast, and after figuring out how to make doing a weekly podcast easier to manage (record a bunch of episodes in advance and bank episodes) I started Stageworthy, which is now 7 years old, and a couple of years after that, came The Introvert’s Guide To…which I created with my friend Jess Gorman.
One of the things I’ve learned over the years of podcasting, is to be a bit more relaxed. I used to worry a lot about not having an interview ready to go every week with Stageworthy. Its a lot of pressure to do a weekly podcast for seven years, and in the past when I have started to run out the bank of episodes I’ve recorded, I would get a little anxious. That anxiety came from the self-imposed need to produce the podcast every week, and not from any other obligation. But the only obligations that exist are to myself and to the guest, and of course the audience to whom I commit to provide episodes. But there’s no financial obligation. I don’t make anything from either podcast, but it does cost money to put them out, from hosting to website costs, to editing, and other promotional tools. So, i do both podcasts for the love of it, and not for any other reason.
But what is it that I like about podcasting? Its some of what I initially thought about podcasting: how it doesn’t take an elaborate setup, or equipment. But also, how easy and inexpensive it is. Now, there can be costs. While there are free tools to get started (like places to host the audio files), with 350+ episodes of Stageworthy, I have long exceeded the threshold for free. But compared to radio, the overhead is low. And I like how its a great way to connect with people. I have had people as guests on Stageworthy who have become friends. And I didn’t know Jess very well before we started co-hosting together, but can now count her as a good friend. But most of all, what I like best, is that with both podcasts, I contribute to a community, that in some way, I’m doing some good for those communities. And what could be better than that?