3 Clips Re-Air: You Heard Me Write: Structure Sets Us Free (ft. Kacie Willis)

3 Clips Re-Air:  You Heard Me Write:  Structure Sets Us Free (ft. Kacie Willis)
3 Clips Re-Air: You Heard Me Write: Structure Sets Us Free (ft. Kacie Willis)

Jun 29 2023 | 00:52:13

Episode June 29, 2023 00:52:13

Hosted By

Stuart Barefoot

Show Notes

We are currently between seasons, so in the meantime, enjoy a re-air from another Castos Original:


Every so often we come across a show so refreshing, so original, it revamps our whole idea of what a podcast can be. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Atlanta-based sound designer Kacie Willis made her living from live theater. In 2020, Kacie found herself stuck at home without any gigs – and, like many of us, watching people hide behind screen names to attack each other on the internet. So Kacie created You Heard Me Write, a podcast that draws on the creativity of local writers and sound artists, and uses anonymity to unite rather than divide. The show uses a very specific episode structure, and we promise you haven’t heard anything like it before. In the interview, Kacie also discusses working with Spotify, and how she-  a self-described introvert-  developed her hosting persona. 


Visit http://3clipspodcast.com for all episodes of the show. 


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 


You Heard Me Write can be found here: https://www.heardwritepod.com/

Follow You Heard Me Write host Kacie Willis on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/kcshar1shar1

Follow 3 Clips host Jay Acunzo on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/jayacunzo/

From Play It Forward: This week’s recommended podcast is Three Unwise Women: https://threeunwisewomen.buzzsprout.com/

This episode was produced by Andrea Muraskin. Learn more: https://andreamuraskin.com

Theme music provided by Cardboard Rocketship: https://open.spotify.com/artist/5TzmK85fEdotyi2mu582Sm

Thanks for listening!

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hey, it's Stuart. So we're still between Seasons on Audience. So in the meantime, we figured we'd listen to a three Clips episode. This one's from July of 2021. It was hosted by Jay Acunzo and was produced and edited by Andrea Raskin. If you like what you hear, feel free to check out three clips podcast.com or just type in three clips anywhere you listen to podcasts. All right, enjoy. Speaker 1 00:00:27 Hey, it's Jay. And I think any creative career is kind of broken into two parts. There's like one thing among many things that can delineate between the before and the after. The before is when you're kind of brute forcing your way through your gut feel based alone, and your sense of taste and the repetition you've put in the reps. Your creative drive and inspiration are enough to guide you or at least push you forward with all the projects you create. But then you realize either by someone pointing it out to you or just the more you burn out or get tired or wish you could do something better, you realize that great created works have a certain form and structure to them. It's like the first time someone teaches you how to structure a narrative or a story. No matter what you're creating, you can find a format, a repeatable structure. Speaker 1 00:01:19 In show running parlance. It might be the rundown. If you are writing a novel, maybe you're using Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey, perhaps the most famous story structure in the world. Regardless, when you understand your plan, when you have a plan and you know that it's possible to be more creative as a result, I think you feel unleashed cuz you can create predictably great work every time. And also innovate with a purpose. My storytelling hero, Anthony Bourdain, would famously play with format. He'd play with structure, but he couldn't do that without first knowing that it was there and knowing what the usual structure would be for a travel documentary like show. So the before is we're just kind of feeling what's right afterwards. We can kind of break down the work into smaller component pieces in the right order to create a wonderful, immersive, irresistible experience. Speaker 1 00:02:11 And every so often when you do a show like we do with three clips, you come across a podcast where you go, well, that's interesting. That's not the usual form. And that is the show that we're gonna dive into today. We're gonna learn a lot about structure, about post production, about creating something that does feel like an original, and it's not an original simply because there are wonderful creative people being thrown at the project. Don't get me wrong, that's definitely part of it. It's also an original, it's worth talking about because they have an actual plan and they innovate off of that base. What if we did too? Speaker 2 00:02:51 I wanna Speaker 3 00:02:52 Know how to do the things being the two that only Speaker 2 00:02:59 Comes from you. This is is Three Clips. Speaker 1 00:03:10 This is three clips, and I am Jay Acunzo. I'm the host of this show and also a narrative podcast called Unthinkable. And in addition to doing all sorts of projects online, like writing books and giving speeches and developing courses for podcasters, I have partnered with Castros, the software company for Creative minded podcasters to bring you this show where every episode a podcaster we admire comes on the program to break down their favorite work. A few pieces at a time. Today we're gonna talk to Casey Willis of You Heard Me Write, and that's Write with a W as in writing or the written word. She's gonna reveal some of the small stuff that made a big difference for her show, and we're gonna spend a lot of time talking about the very smart and delightful format of her show. But first, just a little context. Casey is an arts advocate and sound designer turn podcaster in Atlanta. Speaker 1 00:04:02 And before the pandemic, she did a lot of sound design for live theater and music and dance. Casey was actually a member of the 2019 Spotify Sound Up bootcamp. And the show that she created as a result, you heard me right, is a show about creativity and forming unexpected connections between creators of different stripes. Her idea for the show was to use anonymity to bring people from different backgrounds together as opposed to anonymity. Being an enabler for deepening divisions. As we so often see online, each episode of the show features three different creators who create projects on the same theme, but they don't know each other's identity. Then the producers get everyone together afterwards where they finally meet to listen to each piece and discuss. And here's the very specific format to bring this to life in your mind. It's completely original. Each episode has four parts. First, Casey will introduce herself and the structure of the show, and then the specific theme of the episode. They'll take some idea they'd like to explore creatively. Then we're introduced to a writer and hear their 92nd written piece on that theme. Then we're introduced to two audio artists and hear their 92nd music and sound art pieces based on the written piece from the writer. And finally, Casey and the creators all meet and discuss their projects. Speaker 1 00:05:23 So great. So refreshing. So original you heard me write is a production of Casey's company. Could be pretty cool. She's the creator, host, and executive producer and works with a lead producer and mixer in sound designer and composer Cooper Skinner. They also work with other people too, a production accountant, a story editor, and a coordinating producer. The show is actually produced in collaboration with Spotify, which provides four different executive producers. When Casey attended the Sound Up bootcamp in 2019, she was not selected as a finalist, meaning she didn't get funding to make a podcast, but she produced a pilot with Cooper in 2020 and then pitched it again to Spotify and this time they took her up on it. The first season launched in February of 2021. Okay, with all that context out of the way, let's meet Casey. So everybody has like five or six different flavors of shows that they kind of envision in their minds and model their own work after. And so it, it's difficult to find a show that strikes you as refreshing the more you're in podcasting. Um, but along comes, you heard me write and the format is different and the aim and the sound, it's all so refreshing to me. So talk me through where the idea came from and how you developed it to be something that does kind of play with and break from the typical format. Speaker 4 00:06:42 Well, I think what helped is that I don't necessarily come from podcast world. Yeah. I have a theatrical background, uh, pre covid. I worked primarily as a theatrical sound designer, and essentially I didn't know what a podcast couldn't be at the time that I was sort of putting together the pitch for this show. I, I guess that that sort of allowed me to dream up a production that I could hopefully record and share with other people. And so breaking sort of the format wasn't necessarily an intention, but I'm happy that we were able to sort of translate what could have easily been a live experience, like an open mic type thing was like in front of an audience to a podcast in a way that I hope still captured that live performance or live, I don't know, panel discussion type of feeling. Speaker 1 00:07:50 What were you going for? Like what was in your head at the time that you were crafting the show? Any kind of like inspirational sources, whether from inside a podcast or outside. Like you said you weren't from this world, so what was rattling around in your brain that you were trying to manifest into this show? Speaker 4 00:08:05 There are several live experiences from poetry slams to variety shows to, uh, there is, there's an organization called The Write Club that sort of similarly gives right, uh, a topic and there'll be opposite topics, so maybe day or night, hot or cold. And they sort of battle one another with their responses to these themes. And it's a live event. You watch them, the audience can respond. And I, I love that stuff. I love the sort of living, breathing people in a space, bringing new work that no one has heard before until that day to audiences. That's kind of one of my, I guess, just favorite things as the creator. And so again, just trying to figure out how to translate that to podcast land was something that was, I don't know, really fascinating to me. Speaker 1 00:09:02 There's a, uh, Buddhist monk by the name of she Suzuki, and he has this quote, uh, about the beginner mindset, which is basically like in the mind of an expert. There are a few possibilities and I'm, I'm, I'm paraphrasing here, but in the mind of an expert, there are a few possibilities, but in the mind of a beginner, there are many. And I love that you came at this from that kind of like, uh, useful naivete. Like it was a like maybe a confident naivete. I don't know. I'd ask you actually, like, because you were new, were you like, this is great, I'm new, I'm gonna play confidently. Or were there moments where you were thinking like, should I go and research what a podcast is supposed to be? Speaker 4 00:09:38 It, it's so funny, just really going back to the beginning, the entire reason that this show is a thing now is because of the Spotify Sound Up podcast accelerator. And actually one of my theater mentors, you know, was just kind of like, yeah, I know you do sound, I don't know if you do podcasts, but that's sound right? So wanna apply for this. And it was just kind of like, okay, this is a thing that exists, I'll just go for it. And for me, I think it was really sort of, uh, just being open to an opportunity without expecting much. You know, it's, it's funny to me, I was probably the opposite of most people on like the reality shows who, it's like, I'm not here to make friends, I'm here to win <laugh>. I would just kind of like, I'm just kind of here to see who the people are and Right. Figure out what happens. Speaker 1 00:10:28 Also, like, it'd be cool to make some friends like, I'm, I'm ki I could use some, let's Speaker 4 00:10:33 Be serious. I wanted to meet everyone. I wanted to hang out and talk to people. And so the sort of, you know, I have to craft this perfect show and then sell it to, in make it the number one show. Like that wasn't even a part of the process. It, it still isn't a part of the process <laugh>. So yeah, it's kind of just purely I, I'll, let's see what happens. Speaker 1 00:10:54 So part of my business is developing shows for brands and part of the process is to start to think about like, what is the elevator pitch of this thing? Like we do a lot of premise exercises and then you get to this idea of like tone or like a listener asking you what would this feel like? And, and I encountered this thing which is very rote in like Hollywood, but very new to me at the time, which was the show cross where you're like, it's kind of like X meets Y meets Z or like that thing or this thing specifically borrowed from this project and that thing specifically. So you kind of like mash things together. So like three clips I always say is like Song Exploder meets inside the actor's studio for podcasters. I appreciate you rolling with this little Casey. I'm gonna put you on the spot a bit. Could you try to pitch it as a cross? Speaker 4 00:11:44 Okay. Okay. Um, you heard me right? Is sort of like dissect. Yep. Meets an open mic night at a local coffee shop with a bunch of indie artists and afterwards there's a q and a. Speaker 1 00:12:09 That's pretty good. Speaker 4 00:12:10 Okay. Speaker 1 00:12:10 Okay. You heard it here first. That Speaker 4 00:12:12 Was harsh <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:12:13 Let's get into the clips cuz it's such a rich, rich experience. So just for context, we've selected all three clips today from episode three, A moment of total silence, bit of a conundrum, right? How do you, how do you create an experience or talk about silence in an audio experience in an audio show? So we're probably gonna have to have some existential crises today. The first clip that we're going to play is actually two clips that we splice together. The first part is an excerpt from the original written piece on the theme of total silence. And the author, uh, and reader is a veteran and human rights advocate, Chris Purdy. And just to set this up, Chris is writing about a time when he was serving in the military overseas and he writes that to get to the chow hall after a mission, you had to make your way through this crowded, smelly barrack and you could walk through a quiet field but potentially be exposed to enemy fire. So you kind of have those two choices, the crowded, smelly barracks, or that field that might be rife with danger. And so we're gonna hear an excerpt from Chris's essay, and then we're gonna hear the first part of one of the two sonic responses to that essay, A composition by an audio artist named Seirra. So let's take a listen to the clip Speaker 5 00:13:24 On most nights. And it was always nights because that's when you worked, it was too hot, otherwise the walk across the field was so quiet and tranquil. You might as well have been back home on a hike. It was an expansive void where the lights from the living areas were blocked out by the walls. And you could see every star in the galaxy in the fall sky, the constellation. Draco would light up the path past a bombed out building that doubled as latrine. It would lead you winding through rubbles sand sliding under foot alone towards the only place that made you feel normal. Like you're a real person walking. Sometimes you would run into a friend and stroll along quietly before going your separate ways. Sometimes the, the mortar siren would pierce the vacuum of the night air and you'd run for the nearest stone or dip in the ground for cover knowing that the open field provided no protection. But most days you walked alone in silence trying to get to your destination, just waiting for it to be over. Speaker 1 00:15:17 So hearing that piece back, what went through your mind? Speaker 4 00:15:23 Well, this particular episode was one of two episodes in our 10 episode season that featured a writer who isn't a creative writer. And so, uh, Chris Purdy is someone who I know through the art community, actually through his work with veteran services, um, many of the arts nonprofits do outreach to veterans or offer, you know, discounts or free tickets to different programming. And he's someone who's always been very receptive of that who'll show up to the place, he'll show up to the gallery openings. And so I asked him to be a part of this show almost just kind of like, come on, just do me a favor. Like I knew he was, you know, like, uh, these artsy fartsy people, but he did it. And hearing back, even though I've heard it, you know, through editing a million times, it's really like almost just such an honor to have this person who's lived this really, I mean, it, it's an experience that I, I certainly have never lived. It's an experience that most people haven't lived serving in a combat zone, uh, during a war. Share that experience in a creative way with a bunch of other, you know, hippie artists is kind of like, man, it's, it's really interesting the ways that arts and, and creativity can bridge together experiences that we as individuals may not ever have. But you really feel it more when it's told as like a, a story. Speaker 1 00:16:59 How did that connect to the sonic response, the music from Sia in your mind? Like, was that an expected response? Are you often surprised by what the music sounds like to me? I've listened to it a couple times, so I've kinda lost what I felt initially, but hearing it again just now, I was struck by like, wow, that actually does really evoke at least the segment we heard Chris Reid. But talk to me about what you've noticed, whether in it's this piece or in general when you now take this leap cuz it does feel a little bit, uh, hard to predict perhaps what the response is gonna be. Speaker 4 00:17:37 Absolutely. Uh, it's incredibly hard to predict what someone else is going to hear or feel after they read someone else's words, which is, you know, kind of one of the larger points of the show. And with this particular episode, I was hoping, and this is something that Chris mentions later on in the episode, that the, the soundscapes wouldn't just be like, you know, take cover and bombs dropping and, you know, that felt really, really easy. And to sort of have these, these sound artists read Chris's like really personal essay about a really sort of just scary time, uh, being in Iraq and take this approach that was a lot more, uh, internal, a lot more reflective, a lot more calm. It was a a, a good surprise, but it was something that again, just really showed me that critical listening skills are something that when you have the time to focus on something, and the sound artist had two weeks with this piece to craft their, their artistic responses. And so they all said, you know, they read it over and over or they read it and then put it down and came back to it. Like, you can just really tell that they spent time with this piece and looked beyond the sort of easy surface answers and decided to just really tap into something that was more personal and, and quiet. Which I guess thematically made a lot of sense for the theme of the episode. Speaker 1 00:19:14 Right, right. I have a question about what you're giving to these artists before they produce their respective pieces. But first you hinted at something really quickly, which you said, I guess that's maybe the overall or one of the major purposes of the show or points of the show or messages, which, you know, is you, you're, you're asking a musician and a composer here to, to sort of reflect back how they're feeling about the created work from a writer. I is the point of the show to explore sort of the nooks and crannies of people's psyches and emotional states when responding to art. Is there some sort of higher level message here that is, is maybe implicit you're not beating people over the head with it, but that you're kind of carrying with you in the production? Speaker 4 00:19:58 Well, yes, and I, I may slightly be trying to beat people over the head with it. Um, I think that after so much of the unrest that we've experienced, like as a society, both in real life and in virtual life, what I was really hoping for was a platform to show people that our individual life experiences shape our perspectives and they're not going to be the same as everyone else's. And that's okay. And so in art and in creativity, having people with diverse perspectives, diverse, you know, life experiences really aids in taking one general point of stimuli, which is the theme and just having so many different responses to that theme. Yeah. And having that be what makes the show interesting. And so if there is one major point of the show, it's just to, to demonstrate like, it's cool that we don't all think alike. Right? It's cool that we don't all respond to the same stimuli alike, but let's take some time and like get together and talk about it. Right. And that should not be something that is difficult to do. Speaker 1 00:21:15 I promise you, I don't usually just randomly quote lots of important sounding people. Cause I've already quoted a Buddhist monk on this episode, but what you made me think of was Nobel Prize winner in literature. Uh, and author Kazuo Ishiguro talked about when he won that prize. Um, he said that stories are like saying to other people, this is how this feels to me. Do you understand what I'm saying? Does this also feel that way to you? And when I first encountered that quote, I was like, I could spend a literally a lifetime thinking about that quote and how it affects the work. And for you, I feel like you're, you're building a show around that. You're like, this is the theme. And then Chris goes, okay, this is how that feels to me. Do you understand what I'm saying in the written piece? How does it feel to you? Does it feel this way? And then the musician comes back and says, okay, it's this to me. And, you know, it's, it's this reflection, this kind of volleying back and forth of like emotional interpretation of the themes to get something that feels that profound, to get something that feels that rich in an experience for a listener. What instructions are you giving them? Because you're directing these people, you know, what are they, what are you telling them upfront to deliver something worth hearing afterwards? Speaker 4 00:22:22 The only rules are, I mean, almost just very technical. Um, you know, this is the length that your piece needs to be. This is the maximum words your piece needs to be. But in terms of, of thematic content, in terms of, uh, structure of both the written pieces and the sound pieces, there are no rules. You can do a short script, you can do a haiku, you can, whatever you want to do, whatever medium is going to translate how you feel about this stimuli. That is the right answer. Go for it. And it's so interesting hearing back from so many of the guests who say that made it even harder for them because sometimes when you have complete freedom, it makes it sort of harder to nail down what the right quotation fingers answer is. Like, is the right way for me to interpret this poem with a song versus a soundscape versus a, you know, I wish they would've just told me you have to make a 32nd song clip and then that would've made it easier for me to focus my work. But for me, that's not how life is. We don't really have, you know, the instructions all the time of like, this is the right way to do X. And so as the person who doesn't actually have to participate in the process, it's a lot more fun for me to be surprised along with the listeners, to see like, oh, they took it in this direction. All right. Speaker 1 00:24:05 The, the next clip we're gonna hear is from the segment of the show where you actually get the writer and the two audio artists together, I should add in an actual physical space to discuss their, their work here on the episode. And so in the clip we're about to hear the first voice belongs to Dante and his name is Dante Hodge I believe. And that's the other audio artist we haven't heard from quite yet, uh, who you featured in this episode. And he's gonna ask the first audio artist seirra a question about her artistic choices. So let's listen in Speaker 8 00:24:36 And let me ask you this. Are that's, that's for real instrumentation. Speaker 9 00:24:41 Yes. I played, um, I had, for some reason I gravitated towards guitar Yeah. For this track. I think I was imagining, and I wanna know what you were seeing in your mind reading Chris's piece, but I was imagining being in the desert. Hmm. And that put me, I thought, what instrument would I have out here? And it would be my guitar. So I just picked up my acoustic and started there. Yeah. And um, we both have some keys in there mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I think. Yeah, yeah, yeah. With kind of a similar tonality Right. In a way. Which is really interesting. Speaker 8 00:25:14 Yeah. Very interesting. Speaker 1 00:25:16 There are a million questions I wanna ask you about that, this particular segment of your show. Before I do any reactions or thoughts on hearing them banter like that? Speaker 4 00:25:26 The, just to put, you know, sort of the situation in context. Sure. This is October of 2020. Wow. We were, we meaning myself, my two crew members, uh, our audio, uh, record us Cooper, we had a videographer, Jake and the three artists were in a backyard of an Airbnb that we rented about 40 miles outside of Atlanta. This is a few weeks before the presidential election. This is, you know, we're deep into 2020. This is the first time I had been around people for a few months. This is the first time most of us had like, been in a situation mm-hmm. <affirmative> where we're meeting people for a few months. And so the conversations were unstoppable. It was just like all of the tape that we have, like, there's just so much tape on the cutting room floor because it just felt like I have to talk to someone. Speaker 4 00:26:31 Oh my God, you did some art. I liked your art. Lemme tell you what I liked about your art. Okay, now I'm gonna talk about my art and let's just talk like it. It was almost, I mean like, I was there clearly, but in terms of having to push the conversation along or moderate, once we got the artists together, it just sort of went and we hit record and eventually had to tell them to stop talking because we had to get to another session. It was just, it was like the best of times during the worst of times. Yeah. Which I mean, as we all know, is like artists and creators sometimes that's when like the best stuff happens. Amen. Is when like the cr craziest things are happening in the world. So hearing that clip, uh, another thing that sort of strikes me, so I knew Chris personally, Seirra and Da Dante were cold email asks, which Oh wow. I was literally meeting them for the first time. Yeah. They, they trusted some Brando from the internet and came out to a house and participated in this thing. And so it was just kind of like, again, this is cool. Like complete strangers can just start kicking it. Right. And yeah, listening back to that, so like, yeah, it, it works Speaker 1 00:27:44 <laugh> well, but I didn't know about the cold outreach. But that and also the dynamic of the conversation, which, you know, I'm sure it was turned up a notch because of everything going on in the world and the isolation people felt and the excitement they felt being in the room. But even still, I feel like when you have something that feels refreshing when you've developed a premise and you have a purpose to the show and a, and a format that people can get on board with when you, when you can explain the specificity of the show and the purpose of it in a way that, you know, a general interview with creative people can't necessarily do, it's like what you have to do then is cite all the famous people you've had on the show and or the reach of your show, but you have an advantage cuz you're like, this is our vehicle, this is what the program is. Speaker 1 00:28:26 It's, it's different. It's unique, it's original and I'm sure the people who are for it are incredibly for it. Right. And then you, I'm sure you have some folks that, you know, maybe they're just like on the book tour and they just wanna know the reach. Like they're not gonna be a good fit for your show anyway. But to get the Yes from the cold outreach and to get that great dynamic when they're in person with each other, I feel like it's all kind of glued together based on the fact that you've actually developed the show. It's not just like yet another series of q and as. Does that resonate? Do you feel like, was there a lot of work that went into just trying to develop what this show is? Cause I feel like I use that word and a lot of people don't know what I mean, develop the ideas, develop the show, and a lot of people get stuck and like, oh, a podcast is just pick a topic, interview people about it. Uh, this feels like hard won to get to the place where the show sounds like it does. Talk to me about the development process. Speaker 4 00:29:20 Sure. So pre-production for this particular show in a way is probably, or was probably more extensive than the actual sort of production process. Um, again, because of just the situation we were in all 2020, finding people who were willing to, you know, and understandably like leave houses and meet strangers and go places was pretty difficult. Yeah. Which was why, you know, some of these asks were like literally people who I saw on Instagram and just cold emailed and said, please, I hope you come do this. And they said, yeah, which is great. But also the development process of okay, what themes are we gonna come up with? Uh, having sort of the scheduling timetable of when we're going to give people themes and they have their two weeks, then we have to make sure we collect this and, uh, disseminate it to the proper people and give them their timetable. Speaker 4 00:30:18 The pre-production was kind of crazy and all over the place, but again, I was so happy to have that to focus on. Yeah, yeah. In, uh, all of last year, which is, this is something I'm sort of thinking about for the first time. I admittedly have, have not had the time to sort of like decompress from all of the things from last year. But this is like really making me think like, man, what the heck would I have been doing all last year if it wasn't for trying to get this show together? Which is like, wow. Uh, um, so yes, the pre-production was the most extensive. Getting the folks together was like a breeze again, it was kind of just like hit record, let 'em go. And I guess for any sort of future iterations or any, you know, future, I don't know what it's going to feel like, right. To develop it in a non sort of like, society is crumbling all around us type of way. And that actually as I'm sitting here is like, what is this gonna feel like when it's easy? What is it gonna feel like when it's not as difficult to, you know, like, yeah, no, ugh, yes. Existential crisis you called Speaker 1 00:31:36 It. I called it. I mean that's what we, we try to, we try to get to either really weird and quirky moments on this show or, or moments where we're like, wow, we're not really just making a bunch of audio episodes here, are we? Uh, do you carry that around with you? Do you think about the show when you're, you know, in your gap time? Like it's just that doing something this immersive for the listener and this heavy lift for the production does feel like it could be all consuming. So you must just have it around your psyche at all times. Right. Speaker 4 00:32:06 Fortunately, you know, I, I'm, I'm starting sort of the decompression process, but again, last year when we were in it, absolutely, it's checking the email every 20 seconds to see if, you know, a cold ask finally said something. Cuz we still need to fill this slot and we need to get them the theme or we're not gonna have enough time. But again, I was sitting in a house and having all of that to worry about was like, it just felt very purposeful. And so I was like grateful for it. But yeah, it can, it can get pretty consuming. I, I suppose Speaker 1 00:32:45 Talk to me about the edits that go into this because yeah, you're gathering lots and lots of tape and then there's this like mental kind of gymnast move that you're pulling where it's like, I wanna respect the authenticity of what was said, but I have a runtime to meet and maybe, uh, splicing the beginning and the end of that sentence would be better for the listener experience. But how will the guest feel like I, I'm always very protective in a way of, i, I host another podcast called Unthinkable and it's narrative. And so I'm very protective over like, what were they trying to say? I'm not gonna really mess with the emotional reflection. I might do some voiceover or crop out some of the descriptions of things to be more economical and a little bit tighter on like the what and the sequence of events. But if they were trying to, you know, if it was a moving moment and they were really being vulnerable, I try to just keep that as is or take it out entirely. I'm not gonna try and manipulate it. So I've over the years, tried to figure out what's my level of comfort in like wading into that post-production, editing, manipulation, crafting mode. How do you navigate those waters? Speaker 4 00:33:48 Once again, this is a space that I was entering for not the first time, but this was a, I've, I've never edited a podcast series before. This was the first one. Um, fortunately, you know, I have the sort of audio technical chops to do so, but as far as, you know, all the things you mentioned about crafting the proper story and keeping the tone and you know, making sure that everything is in context and everything is flowing, it was I think a secondary component of the like, I don't know what this is supposed to be, so let's, let's see if this makes sense to people. Um, unfortunately, uh, the folks on the production team on the Spotify side who actually know what podcasts are, um, were incredibly helpful and sort of being like, okay, you can't really have like a five minute, uh, droning on of one person talking. Speaker 4 00:34:47 So maybe if you wanna, you know, that was really helpful. But for me, something that I would again, be sort of curious about for future iterations is having someone other than myself during the recording process who's sort of taking notes on certain beats or certain things that speak to them. Because I think that could potentially be something that changes sort of the intention or the flavor of the conversations when it's not just coming from the perspective of, oh my God, I remember when such and such happened and I love that. So that has to go in the episode. That could be something that to them they're like, I mean, yeah, that, that was cool, but it doesn't make sense for what's happening in the conversation. Right. So that's kind of a, something that I think moving forward, I want someone else there to sort of be the, the story editor on site so that I'm not the only person with this, this power. I don't need all the power Speaker 1 00:35:48 <laugh>. There are lots of people involved in the show relative to a lot of sort of the d I y podcasts and myself and a producer, you know, three clips. We, it's me and two freelance producers, Andrea and Cherrie. And I'm really proud of what we've built here. But you mentioned a, a list of people already really quickly in, in a previous moment here. I guess somebody might be wondering where the heck did those resources come from? You know, was the show acquired? And so you have like an almost like a book author gets in advance. You actually get an upfront influx of cash. Is it from sponsorships? Are you selling books and courses through it? Uh, walk me through how this is like a financially viable project cuz it is so ambitious and involves a lot of people too. Speaker 4 00:36:29 Sure. So this is a project that was supported through the Spotify Sound Up Accelerator. One of the, well, I guess one of the main perks or aspirations of the program is, uh, it's a week long sort of intensive of workshops and classes and developing, um, shows for 10 women of color and the top three pitches at the end of the program. Um, get funding to make a pilot. In my case for my cohort, I was not one of the top three pitches that was selected. And so I was just kind of like, oh, you know, it was still good to have this experience and one day when I have time I'll totally make a pilot. Which of course the months go by and you don't even think about it again. Let's cut to 2020 now I have plenty of time. I'm going to just make, make a pilot, see what happens. Speaker 4 00:37:26 Made a pilot on my own, well not on my own, but with my internal production team, submitted it to my sort of sound up mentors just to get notes and feedback and from there it, it was acquired and picked up and turned into a Spotify original. So it is all a part of that like decompression that I need to sort of start doing more seriously because I definitely, from the making of the pilot to everything just sort of taking off, it all just sort of started and didn't stop <laugh>. And so I am incredibly grateful and also just kind of like still like, what, like what just happened? We just did this. So yes. Thank, thank you Spotify, Speaker 2 00:38:17 <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:38:25 Let's go to the third and final clip. Uh, in this clip we're actually gonna hear your voice Casey, and it's the last thing we hear before the credits. Let's go to the clip. Speaker 4 00:38:38 New episodes of you heard me right, will be dropping weekly on Thursdays. So make sure to follow, subscribe, share with your friends, share with your enemies, maybe if they like the podcast you won't be enemies anymore. That'd be kind of nice. So yeah, I guess meet us back here next week. We're a theatrical director, film and television composer and master percussionist. We'll tackle a theme that can have many meanings because it's a homo graph. We'll hear you later. Speaker 1 00:39:23 So I mean, sonically it has to be pretty great given everything we just went through and I think, I think you nailed it. I think you stuck the landing on those, uh, on those moments as a first time podcaster, was it difficult to find your voice? Cuz you feel like it feels like this is a, this is a pro, this is a veteran. Speaker 4 00:39:41 I I I tried even in just that moment, not to cringe the entire time. <laugh>. Um, if you h listen to the original sort of pilot that I put together, you'll notice that I'm barely on it. I may be on it for like 45 seconds and then it's just sort of the artist and the experience when crafting this show. I had very little intention of being on it much. And it's so weird. It's still so super weird for me to hear this voice and to sort of take command of, of the host role because in theater world, the sound guy, like, we don't, we don't talk. We're in the back in a booth in the dark by ourselves and you know, of course we're an important part of the production, but you know, we're just, we're sort of there to support. And with this, this podcast, my supporting roles as you know, sort of producer and coordinating things and editor like, oh, like natural, like yes, we will coordinate the, the crap out of this, the host role for me is what takes the most work. Speaker 4 00:41:01 And it's so weird and so funny when like family members are like, we didn't know you talked or we didn't know that you could do like since when do you, and it's cuz I didn't, I I mean I, I guess I do now, um, for this show, but it's what takes the most work. Yeah. Which I think is really almost ironic. Uh, all the podcasters that I've sort of been meeting, it's like they love to talk, they love hearing their voices. They lo oh, I I I get it. I un you know, I, I understand people who just have that natural inclination to want to speak and be heard and share. Like, it's, it's gorgeous. It's something that I can do. It takes the most work of every aspect of the show. Speaker 1 00:41:54 Yeah, I will say I'm Speaker 4 00:41:55 A deeply introverted person. <laugh> Speaker 1 00:41:58 Well, I'm glad you brought that word up because I will say, um, part of my sort of like, call it me being a content entrepreneur, like creating content on my own in this weird digital age that we are all living through and trying to earn a living on that creative craft. One sort of major lane that I've occupied is that of public speaker as not just a marketing thing to get my book out there and get my show out there, but but as an actual revenue generator for my business. And I've encountered a lot of people who I just admire so much for their stage presence, their charisma, the inspiration they bring, the great ideas that they've built and brought to the stage. Their content and their performances both are so great and they get off stage and they're quiet and reserved. They have to go recharge in a hotel room. Speaker 1 00:42:42 They are introverted. They know that about themselves. And I'm saying like, did you, did you realize what public speaking was? I mean, it's in the name, it's in the public speaking. Like, what, what are you doing? And they're like, this is, this is my art. This is the art I'm drawn to. That doesn't mean when I step off the stage that I'm still in performance mode. And it feels like a very performative thing for these friends of mine to go mill around the event after they just delivered an hour on stage. Whereas I'm like getting off stage and I'm like, all right, who else can I talk to? Let's go, let's go hang, I'm around. And so it strikes me as maybe that's a little bit of what you've encountered here, Casey is like, you have this craft, this thing that you've built or found that is kind of like external perhaps of, uh, from you and you're like occupying a set role, I guess. Does that, does that make sense? Speaker 4 00:43:35 It makes sense. And also in a way I think it, it just comes from my, my sound design background. I'm sort of like, what does the voice of this show need to sound like? Yes. In order to sort of be the connect, you know, this, this sort of like, shout out to the design team for the cover design. They have like a random hand on the cover. And I remember asking them like, what does, what does the hand mean? And they sort of said, well, you know, we think of it like sort of like this invisible hand that's kind of like guiding the whole process. And I was like, yes. That I love, I love that. And that helps me sort of connect to whoever this host is. Like whoever's hosting this show is gonna be like, kind of awkward, but like really amped and excited about all the things that are happening and just wanna keep things moving and like keep it happening. Speaker 4 00:44:27 And so I guess part of that like performance is what would this sound like? And figuring out how to be that yeah. Person on the tape, that's a another fun thing that having to deal with with my family or my older siblings. It's like, yeah, you know, when Casey does her podcast voice, you know, it's like this, but when she does this voice, it's like the end. It, it's true. But I think that it works to sort of solidify the, the program and what, what we're trying to do with it. So it's work, but it, it works. I hope Speaker 1 00:45:09 The fourth and final segment does not have a clip. We're gonna look ahead. As you think about the future of your show, how are you thinking about keeping it refreshing, keeping yourself and your team engaged, trying new things? Cause I think, you know, a serialized or episodic experience, this feels more obvious, but any creative project time provides a certain friction that bears down on you and stagnation becomes your enemy, even if it's the same thing you've been doing for a while and it started strong, that same thing can start to feel stale. So how are you gonna avoid that problem, keep it fresh for yourself and your listener? What are you hoping to try moving forward? Speaker 4 00:45:46 Oh, yes. Um, one of my favorite art periods is the neo dada movement of the 1960s, which is basically a bunch of like artists who were kind of like, yeah, I know we're supposed to be, you know, tortured and brooding and think the world is like horrible. But I actually kind of just like doing art and like, yes, hanging out with other artists, amen. And they did a lot of uh, like chance performance where it's like a composer and a dancer and a painter will like show up somewhere and somebody will roll a dice and it's like, okay, six. So now we all have six minutes to do some work and then we're gonna do a live performance and then whatever happens, that's what happens because why worry art could be anything. That sort of spirit is what I want to sort of continue putting into the show. Speaker 4 00:46:33 So whether or not we make little tweaks to maybe how topics are disseminated, whether we do add more sort of gamification or rules to how the responses have to be delivered, whether there is sort of more intentional pairing or, you know, groupings of guests, uh, that would be some things that I would be interested in playing with. And then also due to several factors, all of the artists on season one were Metro Atlanta based. I would love to meet people that I, like, everybody's a code email, everybody's a code, something like we're all literally meeting each other for the first time and then seeing kind of what that dynamic is like, bringing a dynamic of someone who's from someplace completely different and experiencing something completely different. So really just continuing to play with chance, continuing to play with freedom, continuing to play with just not, not having to be so serious as adults. I, I don't like absorbing all of the sort of torture porn narratives that are like adult entertainment now. Everyone's depressed and on drugs and hates their life and it's violence and sex and I don't wanna be like the, you know, back in my day we used to, but that's kind of where I am right now. <laugh>, like, I'm just trying to live and, you know, get people together and hang out and do some art. And that's, that's kind of the vibe I'm, I'm going for right now. Speaker 1 00:48:06 Casey, some people send swag or gift cards or little handwritten notes to say thank you to their guests. Um, we're gonna cut down on the emissions and let's face it, the landfill, let's be honest, I'm gonna sit it on my shelf till I don't feel guilty, then it's going in the trash. So instead let's do some good to say thank you. We're gonna place a small donation in your name to no kid hungry.org, which is out there doing amazing work to solve hunger in in America among children. It's, it's a terrible problem and we're trying to do some good with this show. So we're gonna place a small donation as a way of saying thank you not only for coming on the show for, but for creating. Quite frankly one of the most freaking refreshing podcasts we've come across the show is You heard me write Casey, thank you so much for your time and your craft. Speaker 4 00:48:46 No, thank you so much. That's, that's such a wonderful virtual swag gift. Thank you for that. That's Speaker 1 00:48:52 Great. We're all out the virtual high fives, handshakes and hugs here. Speaker 1 00:49:02 Thank you so much for listening. This episode was produced by Andrea Raskin original theme music by Cardboard rocketship. You can learn more about me and my projects, including my newsletter for creative people, my books and my course for podcasters@jayacunzo.com. Three clips is a Casto original series. I love partnering with Casto on this show because they believe firmly that creativity not resources, resourcefulness not resources is how you make a wonderful show. And they also wanna provide great show runners, great hosts and producers with the tools necessary, not just to host and measure their podcasts like so many others, but also to go deeper with our audiences. And so as a result, Casto is building tools and selling them right now on their website for you to go deeper by building private podcasts. It's a wonderful way to build community, deepen your relationships, and also earn a living podcasting if you so choose. So whether you're a brand trying to appeal to your team, uh, solo creator online, trying to go deeper with the community, or you're actually trying to drive revenue through private podcasts, check out all the tools offered by CAOs at their website, caos.com. That's cas t os.com. All these links are in your show notes. And now our bonus segment. Each episode we ask our guests for a podcast they'd like to recommend that is not at the top of the charts. A show they wanna show some love to. We call this segment, play it Forward. Speaker 4 00:50:26 The show that I would like to shout out is called Three Unwise Women. It is a podcast that is hosted by three college graduates who graduated in May, 2020, the height of the pandemic. And instead of focusing on all of the sort of negativity and things that were going on, these three sort of college best friends decided to say, Hey, we're gonna be thrust out into the world now. We're gonna have to start figuring things out. Let's figure out a way to do it in a sort of positive and and future forward way. And so they have discussions that really sort of make me envious of my past 22, 23 year old self. I wish that I was that, uh, uh, future forward and optimistic and ready to sort of take leadership positions and not, you know, just feel sorry for myself, like ready to go and be a leader about something. And so I think I'm at an age where I can say the young people. I'm just, I recommend this show really to anyone who just wants a refreshing view of life from young people who are just ready to go out here and solve some problems. So check out three Unwise Women. Speaker 1 00:51:47 All right, that's it for this episode. As always, I'm your host Jay Acunzo, and I believe great podcasting is not about who arrives, it's about who stays. So thank you so much for staying with us and I'll talk to you every single Monday with a brand new episode of the show. See ya.

Other Episodes