Thursday, January 27, 2011

Short List: Podcasts that Inspire Me

1. Cool Hunting
Best Episodes: Ian Hundley, BAP Lap Part 1, Okamato Studio, Social Suicide, Troika, Jill Greenberg, Jose Parla, To Catch a Web Part 1, Gelitin, Y.A.C.H.T.


2. The Nerdist
Best Episodes: Tom Lennon (#1), Billy West (#49) I think it depends on if you're interested in the interviewee for the most part.


3. Kevin Pollak's Chat Show
Best Episodes: Craig Ferguson (#53), Bryan Cranston(#64), Paul Provenza (#69), , Billy Bob Thornton(#94) Each show is about 2 hours so it helps to be interested or at least open-minded about the possible intrigue level of the guest.


I considered summarizing each podcast individually, but they really all hit home on the same point. They all feature people who are doing something that they are passionate about, who know what they are talking about, or who have hobbies that are just as interesting, but not necessarily related to their well-established careers. Cool Hunting often focuses on someone who handcrafts something unique, and how they have carved out a niche for their business. In one episode, they talk to Ian Hundley, who sews quilts based on aerial view maps. People being recognized for their strange side projects, and turning those side projects into profitable pursuits, encourages me to explore any crazy idea that comes into my head.

Kevin Pollak often says "if you're not creating, you're waiting." There are always obstacles to being creative, but they aren't really that big, and it's mostly a person's initiative or lack thereof that delays their career from advancing. Many guests of the chat show will begin a story with a small role they had in a TV show that someone saw and that lead to their breakout role. Small projects can still be introductions to people who can help you out later in life, and can be that extra foot in the door that leads to the next project. Often actors who began in improv will say they are no longer comfortable doing it, because they are out of practice. It's not just something you can let lay around, you have to work on parts of yourself that you think are valuable.

In the Nerdist, Chris Hardwick often asks his comedian guests what their writing process is, how they became comfortable with themselves on stage, and how they got a grip on what their perspective as a comic is. When people come up to him and ask how to be a comic, he says "Start doing it! If you lose interest or you can't take the life, you probably shouldn't be a comic." They are casual, often going totally off-topic of biographical information, but seeing them in action is also rewarding. His two co-hosts add more perspective from working comics.

It's about taking ACTION. It's about finding out who you are, using your strengths and developing skills to find a job, or invent one, and move confidently from there.

1 comment:

Aestro said...

The Billy West one was so good! It made me think of Weird Al. I've grown up always liking his stuff, but it seems like regardless of how much his fans might like it, he enjoys doing it a thousand times more.

Patton Oswalt was just on the Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33) podcast last week, and they spent the first 20 minutes or so starting off talking about how worthless radio promotion is, but that led to them talking about how great podcasts have been for comedy. Mostly that it not only gives them a lot more creative control, but it also allows them to hit a target audience, which in turn is doing a great makes for better shows and more exposure, since their listeners actually take an active interest in the show.

Now I want to do something creative. :-/