3 Clips Re-Air: Nice Try with Avery Trufelman

3 Clips Re-Air: Nice Try with Avery Trufelman
3 Clips Re-Air: Nice Try with Avery Trufelman

Sep 01 2022 | 00:38:49

Episode September 01, 2022 00:38:49

Hosted By

Stuart Barefoot

Show Notes

On this episode, we dive back into our archives and an old episode of 3 Clips. This episode aired on January 17, 2022, and was hosted by Evo Terra. It was edited and produced by Stuart Barefoot


For connoisseurs of podcasts, Avery Trufelman shouldn’t need much of an introduction. She’s worked on popular shows like 99% Invisible and its successful spinoff, Articles of Interest. More recently she teamed up with Vox and Curbed to create Nice Try!

In season one of this investigative series, Avery explored failed attempts at creating Utopias. For season two titled Interior, she turned her attention to the home. Each episode dissects the history and the stories of household appliances and the role they play in our attempt to turn our homes into our own little fiefdoms. 

She joined Evo to discuss the making of Season 2 Episode 1 titled The Doorbell. Sow how does someone make an entire episode about a doorbell? Well, with breadth comes depth.


3 Clips is a Castos Original Series. Castos provides tools for public and private podcasts and believes podcasters should own their turf to provide the best possible audience experience. Visit http://castos.com 

Inside the Episode

Listen to full episodes of Nice Try! at podcasts.voxmedia.com 

Learn more about Avery’s work at her website averytrufelman.com 

This episode was produced by Stuart Barefoot @smallleaguestu 

Music was provided by Tyler Litwin 

About the Host 

Evo Terra has the dubious honor of releasing the 40th podcast… ever. Other notable podcasting elements from his past include authoring Podcasting For Dummies and Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies, launching and running one of the first large podcast networks, building a successful strategic podcast consultancy, and is a celebrated keynote speaker on stages around the world. He’s also done a bunch of really, really weird stuff that Google still shows.

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hey Stewart here. So for this episode, we're gonna dig into our archives again, with an old episode of three clips, we had Avery Truffleman on the show, and if you're not familiar with Avery, I hope this episode will send you down a rabbit hole of her work because frankly, it's all pretty amazing. The episode first aired in January of 2022 and was hosted by Evo. It was edited and produced by yours truly and enjoy Speaker 1 00:00:28 The beautiful and tragic thing about a podcast is it's like direct knowledge transfer. It goes directly from someone's mouth into someone's brain. Speaker 3 00:00:39 Hey, it's Evo. And this is three clips, a Casto original as always. Our goal with three clips is to demystify the creative process behind great podcasts and inspire greater creativity in your work to help us today. We hear from podcast luminary, Avery Truffleman specifically, we'll be chatting about her podcast. Nice try now in my head, and as you'll hear me gush about in just a moment, Avery needs no introduction, but not everyone is quite the same fanboy as me. So I will tell you that Avery is an acclaimed podcaster and radio producer. Having worked with various outlets like NPR, 99% invisible and a spinoff series called articles of interest, which new Yorker called one of the best podcasts of 2018. Avery teamed up with Vox media and curbed, a vertical from New York magazine to launch. Nice try an investigative series that in season one, explored failed attempts at utopian societies. The series was a hit and for season two, she decided to narrow her focus onto the home. This season's episode's focus on everyday household items like the bday, the vacuum cleaner, the crockpot and the doorbell. That's the episode, the doorbell, the second episode of season two, that she and I will discuss today. Speaker 3 00:01:59 Three clips is a Casto original series and Casto helps podcasters like you post amazing shows and monetize premium content all within our easy to use podcast dashboard. If you're looking for a team to help get your next podcast project off the ground, look no further than Casto S productions. Hey, we help make this show too. Email us. hello@castos.com with any questions or visit three clips, podcast.com/casto for more information. And now here's my conversation with Avery Truffleman of the podcast. Nice try. Speaker 3 00:02:41 I'm gonna start with the confession. You can chalk it up to hubris white privilege doing this for the longest time, but I, I just don't get intimidated when I'm introduced to people who are luminaries in, in any industry, except I gotta be honest. I'm a little intimidated to be talking to Avery Truffleman right now. I mean, seriously, I am. You're like a powerhouse at this. I've been listening to you since you started and it's been, it's been amazing. So, uh, just so you know, I'm a little, little nervous. So if I, if I say dumb things, don't hold it against me. Speaker 1 00:03:13 I want, I, I, I wanna say thank you cuz I'm flattered, but I also hope, I don't know. I don't want thank uh, no, thank you's weird. I don't want that to be the reaction, but um, you have nothing to, to yeah. Nothing to fear. I'm I'm totally chuffed. Thank you so much for listening and for your questions. Speaker 3 00:03:34 Uh you're you're this, this is gonna be great. I've been looking forward to this since Stewart said we were gonna do it. So <laugh> it's it's wonderful. All right. So to that end, I mean, the reason that's the case is all the great stuff that you have done in podcasting. Your competing with podcasting is fantastic. Um, I want to run down a career arc for you. If I may, for the people who've been, who've been living under a podcast shaped rock, I guess, or who don't have a full appreciation of all of your efforts. So let me know if I've got this right. So 99% invisible, then your own spinoff articles of interest, which went out in 99% invisible. Uh, then nice try the show we're talking about with you today. And there's also the cut. Have I missed anything major and important? Speaker 1 00:04:19 No, just a whole, uh, smattering of weird varied sundry internships before 99 PI. But yeah, that's my whole all that's everything Speaker 3 00:04:29 I got it. Yeah. And wow. And, and all those are, are great for, for lots of different reasons. I, I wanna start off with the question about your approach to making audio, you know, there's some, I'll use the word tension between people who are committed to making radio and people who are committed to making podcasts. Mm. So who side are you on? I'm kidding. That's really not. <laugh> not, not my question whatsoever, whatever. Um, but I, I do really wanna find out what do you think about making good audio? Do you see a difference in a distinction between making radio making podcasting? Speaker 1 00:05:08 Yeah, totally. And I, I mean, this is something where I feel like I should be talking to you about this, but I mean, I I've, I, when I was starting out, I feel like I'm one of the last generation of people who wanted to work in radio. I was applying for radio jobs at like small regional stations. And this is just like what I wanted to do when there was like, not, it wasn't considered a, a gold rush or anything. I was just like, I would like a quiet life making radio shows. And I remember it was you just like, there was no way you were gonna get on the air. You were gonna be someone else's producer. And I was like, what a great, what a great life I would love to be someone's producer and like read books for them and prep, guest questions for them and work at a radio station. Speaker 1 00:05:55 That would be great. And then podcasting came along and the obvious differences, right? Like there's no broadcast clock, there's no FCC regulations. You can say whatever you want for as long as you want. But I also think there's like an ethos, of course, where the radio really comes from this place of service. You're like, what does the community need to hear what's going on? How can we tailor this to like the widest swath of people, which is kind of noble in so many ways, but it also means that everything gets very generalized and you know, it's all kind of the most common denominator is like what's on the radio. And also the thing that initially attracted me to radio is I, it, it struck me as, so egoless back in the day when we were like, what does lame sing look like? Nobody knows. And you know, there were like these rotating cast of voices. Speaker 1 00:06:48 You kind of didn't know when you know who, when was, when it was gonna be Robert Segel and when it was gonna be Melissa block and, you know, the BBC host changed every single time. And, um, I loved that. I love that there was no ego in it. And now with podcasting, it's very much like, look at me, don't listen to them, listen to me. Right. It's not served to you. You have to like, be like, Hey, Hey, Hey, over here, listen to me. And so it's way more ego full than, uh, radio in ways that aren't good and bad. And I'm like adjusting to, and I think podcasting is currently in the process of changing because of the pandemic. I feel like I witnessed, I was lucky enough to be at sort of the, the leap from radio to podcasting where suddenly instead of hour long radio shows with breaks in the middle, people wanted like basically 99% invisible, something 30 minutes long for their commute deliver you some facts. Speaker 1 00:07:41 And now you're at your destination. And now, I mean, again, Evo, I should probably be talking, asking you about this, but it seems to me that people are not commuting as much. They're sort of, um, either driving around or doing chores, doing dishes, and they just want something ambiently sort of floating over them podcasts that are like an hour long, two hours long, 45 minutes long that they can sort of tune in and out of. And I feel like I have to adjust my style again and sort of like rise to the occasion. I guess they're just different sorts of different sorts of audio for different sorts of needs and different habits of listening and different kinds of, of hosts. And I don't wanna say one is better or worse than another or one renders another absolute. It's just kind of interesting. I mean, it's gets to the core of what articles of interest is all about. It's like a show about fashion, but it's really a show about trends and like, why we like what we like and what fashion is and podcasts, like everything else have fashion. Like these things just come in and outta style. So I don't know. I don't have a team <laugh>, I'm just so confused. I'm confused. Like everyone else, Speaker 3 00:08:57 Well, you're just making, you're just making good content, right. And as you said, previously, we're making content that fits the needs of the audience today. And unfortunately the needs of the audience today, changing every single day, it seems like right. Just nonstop change. You know, it's funny that you mention that radio, that your impressions was radio was without ego and podcasting is pretty ego driven and I get all your reasons why, but I think from the outside, looking in my radio days are way in my back. My rear view mirror right now. I think a lot of people might think that it's the opposite of that, that radio was dominated by super strong personality types. And I'm thinking right wing talk radio totally more than I'm thinking public radio. Right. There's very, there's two sides to, to that coin. Definitely. Speaker 1 00:09:40 Definitely. Well, that's the interesting thing that I think about is that like now podcasting is almost made a return to right wing talk radio, not necessarily in like opinions, but just, you know, I always used to love listening or Howard stern is a great example. I used to love listening to Howard stern, not necessarily for the content, but just for like the stamina, the charisma, oh my God, that man talks for like three hours at a time. And some of the, I mean, you could call them experiments that he would conduct on the radio were kind of genius. And people had this parasocial relationship with him and they could just tune in and tune on and like, listen to their friend, Howard. Who's always there for them. And I think that's what people are coming to want from podcasters in this way. That is not my, not my background at all, but I'm kind of curious to see what that would be like. Speaker 3 00:10:26 Yeah. And I think we're all of us podcasters now more than ever are dealing with that parasocial relationship because we're a lot more accessible than the radio person that you comes over your speaker, right. You can't really shout at your car radio, but you can shout at your phone <laugh> you, you can send a direct message because we're all saying, follow me on Twitter and all that stuff. So you can really get that direct feedback. Yeah. Uh, it's amazing. So we're gonna set up and play these clips in just a moment, but last thing I wanted to get into before we do that, I wanna talk about your, your knack for making connections between seemingly disconnected things. That's I think that's a superpower of yours. Oh, I don't know, like, like apropo of nothing, the architecture of the American home and racial inequality. And of course nothing. I mean, we're gonna talk about that in just a moment. Um <laugh> so I'm not gonna ask you how you make those connections, cuz I never like the, how, where do you get your ideas question, but I am instead gonna ask you what attracts you to that style of storytelling, a style that's not go obvious. Speaker 1 00:11:34 Oh, well thank you. I mean, I always have seen the work that I do as more. The thing I like to read the most is I love reading an essay that just makes all these connections and brings in poetry and highlights unexpected facets of, of everyday life. And there's so many brilliant masters of the genre. You know, I think about like for example, Katie Weaver's classic New York times article about like, what is glitter and where does glitter come from? Um, so those are the things I really like to read the most. And that has kind of become how my, my brain works. And like, uh, you know, the Borge short story, the olive I'm forgetting the whole setup about it, but basically this character looks into the, this, this like, oh my God, I now I'm forgetting this. I haven't used this metaphor in a really long time. Speaker 1 00:12:30 <laugh> but the olive, I forget if it's, I think it's a book and it, you, you open it up and it just like connects to everything and you see everything all at once. And there's this beautiful long paragraph that Borge writes where it's like, he sees, you know, a child being born in Belarus, a, a woman dying in Columbia. You just like, see the whole world in this book. And people have, have speculated that Borge was basically predicting the internet. And it's true. Like the Wikipedia is the book that like leads to everything else that leads to everything else that leads to everything else. And we live in this time of immense connection. That's the world we all live in. That's the privilege. Like this is a ho this is a weird and horrible time in so many ways, but the immense privilege and joy is the instant connection. And there's a lot of fear and handwringing, and Pearl clutching around that. Like it's too much, it's too quick, it's too fast. But I find it's also like a ball pit that you can play in to have access to everything all at once and try to just, you know, machete a little path through it all. Speaker 3 00:13:33 Am I get arrested, bringing a machete to a ball pit, but I, what you're Speaker 1 00:13:38 Horrible, mixed metaphor, horrible metaphor. Speaker 3 00:13:53 All right. So look, we're gonna pull all of the clips from the first episode of season two of nice try, which is entitled the doorbell and it is about at least on the surface doorbells <laugh>, but of course it's much more than that as we're gonna hear in this very, very first clip, which is a monologue coming from you. So let let's play that. Speaker 1 00:14:21 And so come along with me on a journey into the private sphere, into the technology and products that have determined the ways we clean cook, exercise, sleep and shit. As we attempt to sail to the unreachable shore of a better life in our little homes or apartments or rooms, each ideally its own little fiefdom with its own culture and philosophy and rules and each contingent like any perfect utopia on letting in only who they want to let in. And that decision who to let in and who to exclude is aided by a technology that I don't often think of as a technology. But it's the first thing that you touch when you enter someone else's home. Speaker 3 00:15:16 So I love that clip for a variety of reasons. I mean, you're, you're nailing exactly what it is you're going to cover in the entire season. Not just that episode. You not only do you do it really quickly, but you blend it in perfectly with the crux of the episode that, that doorbell, that getting into someone's home. But here's what people may find odd. That piece we just played, which setting everything up comes almost 12 minutes into the episode. It's not by design. It's not the first thing someone hears. Can you talk about that style of storytelling? Where, where the beginning isn't necessarily the beginning. Speaker 1 00:16:02 Oh, thank you so much. First of all, it's so kind of you, I used to say nice try as a show about utopian experiments, because season one was about utopian experiments and each one we looked at a different utopia and sort of told this story about all the aspirations, all the dreams, um, leading up to it and then inevitably why it all fell apart. And, um, we, we were asked to do a second season and we didn't really wanna do utopian experiments for a number of reasons. One was that like it was getting conflated with a lot of cult shows and I would be like, no, it's not cults it's utopias. And then also I realized that like, how do I put this utopias don't exist? Like perfect places don't exist. Right? But there are places that are try. There are communes, there are places that are trying to live in a like different, more communal way. Speaker 1 00:17:03 And it's not a cult. There's not some horrible charismatic leader. There's no ulterior motive. In fact, it's probably not a very good story. The arguments are probably just around like who does dishes. And it had me thinking a lot about, um, the whole, the whole team. I have an amazing, I get to work with curb, which is a vertical from New York magazine for this series. And there's some amazing, uh, minds, namely Diana buds and Kelsey, Keith, Kelsey, Keith, who were thinking about this with me. And we were just talking about like, what is keeping us from the perfect place? Like, what's the deal. It, you know, why is it so hard to just live together? Even if you live with one other person or even if you have, you know, a couple roommates like just living with multiple people is so difficult. And so we started the series the way we always start by like doing a lot of reading and a lot of research. Speaker 1 00:17:59 And we felt that we really needed to set up this transition from season one to season two, why we're not talking about utopian experiments. And instead we are talking about the utopian experiment that we are all engaged in, which is building what we being Americans. Really. This is like a very American thing that the home is supposed to be something separate from the rest of society and the rest of the world. And this actually has a name and it's called the Haven model. And we really wanted to build the groundwork for that before we even talked about what was next to kind of answer the questions of like, what is this whole season about? Why does the, why is the home count as a utopia? And it still leads back to our thesis from the first season, which is that utopias don't exist. Not in some like freaky culty way, just in all of our lives. Like we are, we are all reaching towards this thing and we will never find it. So honestly, I hope it's not too annoying. I, I sometimes really don't like when, when, um, shows bury the lead too far in, so I don't know. I just was like, it, it it's very academic. I was like, we need to cover this groundwork first before we get into it. But I hope it works. Speaker 3 00:19:11 Yeah. I, I, I think it does work and I, and I really like the fact that it, your par the idea of parachuting him into the action, right? So the first 11 minutes, you may not have a real clear understanding of what, where the story is going, but you know that you're in a story and it's a story well told, and which is, it's a, I think it's definitely good enough to keep people's attention. They're rooted in the story. And so then when they listen a little bit, then they go, oh, that's what I'm into. All right. So now I've got a really good clue. So yeah. Now I'm hooked and if I wasn't hooked before that has hooked me, I'm gonna be in it for, for the rest of the season. So, so well done. Speaker 1 00:19:46 Thank you so much. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:19:57 So let's switch over to clip number two. This one actually features field recordings and some studio work combined. Now a fair listener or fair listener, a fair warning listeners. Speaker 1 00:20:08 <laugh> FairWarning fair listeners. Speaker 3 00:20:11 Yes. Yes. You are about to hear a doorbell. It is probably not your doorbell. No one is likely at the door. Speaker 1 00:20:17 I know. I realize I should have put in a warning. People are like, my dogs are freaking out listening to this series. I'm like, oh no, I'm so sorry. <laugh> you're very wise the word. Speaker 3 00:20:26 Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that's, that's the warning. So I'm gonna have some questions afterwards, but let's, let's play that second clip. Speaker 1 00:20:32 And this is the part of doorbell history that really gets Robert going. Speaker 5 00:20:36 My real love is the long bell door chimes with long tubes that are kind of the grandest of doorbells. They're supposed to be electrically operated, but I'm gonna cheat and just strike 'em with a mallet. Speaker 6 00:20:49 I think everyone would understand though. I think it's pretty cool. You're hitting them with a mallet. Can we say you're hitting them with a Malad please. It's so cool. Speaker 5 00:20:56 As long as you say that this is exactly how they would sound electrically. Speaker 6 00:21:00 Okay. Deal. Speaker 5 00:21:18 So that is a, uh, long bell, eight note melody Westminster peel played on a vintage long bell door chime. Speaker 1 00:21:30 The long chime is exactly, as you would imagine, long, you can picture it as sort of a flat wind chime up against the wall. Speaker 5 00:21:38 The bells are the real star of the show, the long tubes. Speaker 1 00:21:42 And now we come to the part of object history where we have to mention world war II. Everything comes from world war II. Speaker 3 00:21:49 I love how you humored Robert early on in that clip, agreeing to, for that you would, you promised to let everyone know that <laugh> exactly what these long chimes are going to sound like. I'm certainly everyone over the age of, I don't know, 12 probably knows that iconic sound, but still he was, he was pretty adamant that you, you recite that, which was, which was great. Oh, I Speaker 1 00:22:09 Love that. I think he was hitting it with a mallet before he was like, can not tell anyone that I'm hitting it with a mallet. It's like, that's so cool that you're hitting it with a mallet. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:22:17 Right. Yeah. We, I think we know it's what it's gonna sound like when the electronically yeah. It's the same sound, you know, exactly the one we know exactly. Speaker 1 00:22:24 Exactly. Speaker 3 00:22:26 Now the reason I like that is just before that bit in the clip, you acknowledge the fact that you yourself are obsessed by people who are obsessed by things that the rest of the world likely finds very mundane. And I think that's great. And I think that that approach really takes a lot of courage and trust. Not only in the person that you are interviewing or having a conversation with, but also in the story, as well as your ability to find the story within all of that. So my question is that trust, is that something that you had to learn how to do and how to have, or is that just part of who you are, Speaker 1 00:23:02 You mean trust in people who have fun obsessions trust Speaker 3 00:23:06 In trust in the people to, to not only to tell a story, but also in, in your ability to find the story and also in that the story itself is gonna work out. I mean, I think there are three angles of, of that trust that has to work out there that not everybody's that trusting. I don't think Speaker 1 00:23:20 Really that, I mean, come on, if you met someone at a party and they were like, get this, I own 400 vintage doorbells, wouldn't you be like, what's up with that? <laugh> yes, Speaker 3 00:23:33 Yes, no, I do not doubt that it was, or I, I would want to know more about that, but I'm not so sure I would go, I want to tell somebody else about this guy. Speaker 1 00:23:41 Oh, really? I don't know. Yeah. I think especially, um, you know, it's increasingly rare to find people who are so taken with specificity that they, they, they give over a portion of their life to it. There's actually this beautiful book by Michael Kimmelman called the accidental masterpiece that sort of explores the thin line between art and obsession. And you know, at what point when you start collecting something, does it become a, a collection, a museum? And at which part, and you know, somewhere in between, you're like a weird hoarder. Um <laugh> but I think, I don't know anyone who does anything with any sort of dedication and repetition, even if someone, I don't know my friends, I know who like wake up and meditate every morning. I'm just like, that's so interesting. What, what kind of, what leads to that devotion? What in, what in you? Speaker 1 00:24:37 Um, I mean, it's love, it's a love story. Like what compels you? What draws you towards this thing? This practice, like, there's always something more to it. And I guess that's the thing that I learned from 99% invisible is we were like, because the question we'd always get asked is how do you do a radio story about design and the question we always, and we'd always answer it by saying, it's really not about the object at all. And in fact, it's better that you can't see it because you can cut right to the meat of the story. You don't have to see the doorbells and be like wheth and decide whether or not you agree with Robert's taste. Or, you know, if, if you like the doorbells, he likes, you can't see them. There's no, you only can know why he loves them and what draws him to them. Speaker 1 00:25:24 And I remember just feeling that way about the stories we do about buildings. It's so easy to be like, Ugh, I like that. Or I don't like that. And I felt that way when I did articles of interest too, it's very easy to get intimidated by fashion. Fashion's like freaky and weird looking. And when you can't see it and all, you know, is the intention behind it and the story behind it, it actually makes it more approachable. So I suppose I learned that from 99 PI, but I honestly think that most, I don't know, I really believe that most people would wanna hear from someone who's obsessed with something obsessions are fascinating. Speaker 3 00:26:07 So our final clip, but we're gonna play comes from even further now into the episode. And it is where in case you have not figured it out yet, you learn that this podcast episode is about something much deeper and much more meaningful than just doorbells. Let's hear it. Speaker 1 00:26:22 But I think a subtle, yet key distinction in this development of the doorbell is this ring doesn't just capture video. It also captures sound and it captures sound pretty well. Sure can. Sure can. Which actually caught me off guard. I mean, I went to Tammy's apartment in order to look at her ring camera and I was still a little weirded out when, after we spoke, she sent me all the footage that her ring had captured like this moment when I left at the end of our time together, and her doorbell filmed me leaving even out past her gate and practically speaking, just think for a moment about the nature of the conversations that happen in the doorway, in the coming and in the departing, the last words, the good night kisses. Speaker 3 00:27:17 So I think in that clip, you had a very important role to play and in, and it comes to light during that. And, and that is you are playing the role of us. You're the proxy for the listener. You've just listened through all of that. And, and what you're, you're what you're not doing is you're not telling us the listeners what we should think, but you are drawing attention to some important concepts that we should think about. And I think that's a very fine line that hard for some people to straddle. How do you, how do you know when you have the right balance when you've shined the right amount attention, but not so much that you're spoon feeding us? Speaker 1 00:27:55 Well, I think actually this is really interesting. This goes back to, um, the difference between podcasting and radio. I think, cause I think so much of radio was built around the understanding that people were tuning in, in their car at any time, they weren't necessarily starting and going along with you for the journey. So in a radio story, you periodically have to be like, remember this, or like that's so and so again, and you, you kind of end up talking to the audience like they're idiots, but like you're, you're trying to accommodate them because they could have tuned in, in the middle. And so it's a tricky balance to strike. And I think a lot of podcasts that have come from radio still keep that of like, remember this. And I always want to try to make it to be like, the audience is smart. They chose, it's not the radio. You're not being, they're not being subjected to you. They chose you. They clicked this. If they've made it this far, they are, they have heard you, you know, just like tell it, like you're telling story Speaker 3 00:28:59 Accidentally listened at minute 35. Exactly. Speaker 1 00:29:02 Exactly. Speaker 3 00:29:03 It just doesn't happen. Speaker 1 00:29:04 Exactly. So I guess it's just like be a human, you know, talk about it. Like you're a human and honestly, a huge way. Well, it, it sucks cuz I can't do this now, but a big way that I would practice or right. Would be going to parties and I have no chill at parties. People will be like, Hey Avery, what's up. And I'll be like, can I tell you about doorbells? Like, I'll just wanna tell you the story just so that I can hear what I sound like when I just say it to a person and I can gauge how they're, um, I can GA it. It's very useful. Cause I can be like, oh, this part's less interesting to them. This part's more interesting to them. You can kind of see where their eyes light up. You can see where they're like, wait, I don't get it. And you can see what, uh, metaphors you employ. It's like very useful. So I even did this, you know, on the phone with, with friends during quarantine, just being like, can I just tell you about the story I'm working on? And you know, if it's an interesting enough story, if you're like looking into something cool, people will be like, yeah, tell me, you know, who doesn't wanna be entertained. Speaker 3 00:30:00 You're trying out a bit on your friends. Speaker 1 00:30:02 Exactly, exactly, exactly. It's like a comedian and I think that's a, that's like the root of what makes it feel natural. It's like, I'm just talking to you. Like I would talk to anyone or I'm trying to, I'm still like doing a weird podcast performance of myself. Can I brag for a second though? Speaker 3 00:30:17 Do Speaker 1 00:30:17 It. I made like most of the music for nice tri season two. And that one is one of my favorite, uh, pieces that I, I made. Yeah. Speaker 3 00:30:25 Fantastic. What'd you make it on? Speaker 1 00:30:27 Oh, it's just like a synthesizer and a bass. It's not okay. Yeah. Not, I'm not a, I'm not a musician musician, but I don't think that music should tell you, like, like you said, I don't think music should tell you how to feel. I don't like when the music is too sad or too ominous or strikes any mood, I want it to create, I see music as creating chapters of just like pay attention here, pay attention here, pay attention here, pay attention here. And so I'm not a good musician, but I am, I can make like neutral music or like relatively neutral music that can stop and start and like tell you where to direct your attention to it kind of functions like a spotlight. And so I think that is another part to actually answer your question. I think that's another way of like not telling people how to feel is by using very repetitive, not statement music. Speaker 3 00:31:16 Yeah. And I, and I think using you're using music as a punctuation exactly is the way I would consider that. Right. Speaker 1 00:31:21 Right's that, Speaker 3 00:31:22 That's a good way. This is what it's supposed to be. Yeah. Yeah. Buy its own. It's not it it's, it's a little seasoning. Yeah. We flavor it that way. But more importantly, it lets you know, that there's still things to think about for that, that, that sustain that lives on for a while. You know that that's, that's put there intentionally, assuming it was put there intentional by other podcasters, but by you certainly it is because you're supposed to be going, oh Speaker 1 00:31:43 Right. Speaker 3 00:31:43 Let me think about that a little bit longer. And maybe until you're uncomfortable because perhaps the thing that was just mentioned should have made you the idea was to make you uncomfortable. So I wanna make sure you soak in that, you know, but again, you can't, you can't force it too, too hard, you know, researching a podcast like this, researching any podcast in my opinion is probably hard. <laugh>, you know, if you're gonna do a good job, there's there a certain amount of research that, that needs to go into anything that you tell. And, and certainly when you're doing this kind of storytelling where you are connecting lots of different dots together, not only in a single episode, but across an arc for a full season, it takes some upfront work and not just a little, a, a, a lot of upfront work. Um, can you talk for a minute about the, the prep and how you create, not how you create this, but what all effort and energy goes into just knowing where the story's going to wind up. How, how do do you get at least the beginning stages of that in your mind? Speaker 1 00:32:42 You know, it's so interesting. A lot of these were actually leaps of faith. I would meet up with my, my team. Mostly the, the main producer on this show was, um, my dear colleague, Megan ADE. And then there was an associate producer, Sarah Burke, and a curbed researcher named Diana Budds. And we would all get together and just be like, what are the objects that can most tell the story of the home? And we had a whole bunch on there. We were thinking like, maybe blenders, like what, what would the objects be? And after we made what seemed like a reasonable list, we kind of wanted one that represented every facet of life. One that could represent various rooms in a home different, uh, parts of private living. Then it was just reading, reading, reading, reading, like a huge part of my job is just reading, which feels when I'm in the research phase, it feels crazy because I'm not just like LA LA LA like casually reading. Speaker 1 00:33:37 I'm like, duh, like gunning through books, searching, searching, searching, underlining, um, you know, and luckily with nice try. I have a lot of help with, uh, with a show like articles of interest, which I make myself, it takes. I, I have to like spread it out over a long period of time because it just takes a while to like find stuff. But, you know, Diana will be like, have you heard of this book? And Megan will be like, have you heard of this book? And we're like, okay. Okay. And we're just like buying and ordering all the books, reading all the books, it's totally frenetic. And I've learned to read very quickly. I just read very fast and I'll underline parts that are interesting. And then usually when we interview the author, I'll go back and I'll read it again and like do a more slow methodical take. Speaker 1 00:34:21 But yeah, the, the series is a ton, a ton of reading, not only for history and context, so reading a lot of books, but also reading a lot of articles and a lot of academic journals, especially with the series, like nice try where it actually has a lot of tech reporting. We talked to a lot of contemporary tech CEOs and we wanted to make sure we did our jobs. Right. And weren't, you know, cause it's very easy. Like we wanted do our jobs, right. And hold these powerful companies accountable. Definitely. We also wanted to be entertaining, but we also wanted to make sure that there was a gray zone because again, a lot of like for example, critics of ring have ring doorbells. A lot of people do have crockpots and instant pots and Roombas, and we don't want it like, like we wanted to come at it from a really open minded place of like, why do we buy these things? How did they come about no shame, no judgment, but like here are all the sides and all the elements that contributed to like how we live the way we live. And we really need to do a lot of research to be able to come at it from an open-minded perspective. Like actually being open-minded takes a lot of background because I find if you don't really know what you're talking about, the easiest finger to point is like blame and fury and accusation. And I think with context with history, with, with breath comes death, I think Speaker 3 00:35:58 So much great stuff from Avery in that conversation. I hope it really helps you better master the craft of podcasting. You can get all seven episodes of the second season of nice try in your favorite podcast, listening app, or visit podcasting dot Vox media.com and search the website, or just follow the link we'll have in the episode details I have been and shall be your host for this season. Evo Terra. Thanks so much for listening. You can find all the episodes of three clips on our website, three clips, podcast.com, and you can show support for the show by telling a few dozen of your closest friends about it. Again, that's three clips, podcast.com. This episode was produced by Stewart barefoot theme. Music was created by Tyler Litwin and Matt Madeiros is the executive producer of three clips. And if you can't get enough of me, follow me on Twitter, where I'm at Evo Tara. And if you are a serious podcaster with any interest in making podcasting, better check out my daily short form podcast called podcast pontifications which you can find@podcastpontifications.com. Three clips is a Casto original series. You can learn more@casto.com and all of these links are in the episode details. And now our bonus segment, each episode, we ask our guests for a podcast. They'd recommend that isn't at the top of the charts, a show they'd like to show some love to we call this segment, play it forward. Speaker 1 00:37:33 One of them great undersung shows is, uh, the lonely palette by Tamar AR shy. It's an art history show. And I feel like so many art history shows have this attitude of like, oh, we know art is boring, but it's important. The sort of like eat your vegetables mindset. Yeah. But art is about like drugs and crime and sex. Like art is art is good stories. It is juicy. And you don't have to treat it in this. Like, uh, I guess you have to know about abstract expressionism. It's very, very fun. And she does these really experimental deep dives into certain genres, certain artists, and she's just a gorgeous writer and performer. So highly, highly recommend the lonely palette. It's a very fun way to feel like, you know what you're talking about about art Speaker 3 00:38:30 And that wraps another episode of three clips, a Casto original hosted by me, Evo, Tara. I truly believe that one of the best ways we can make podcasting better is by understanding what goes on inside the heads of our fellow podcasters. Thanks for joining me this season. Cheers.

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