Alexa, Play that Podcast!

To say I love listening to music would be a huge understatement. I love turning on the radio and listening to the same 20 songs in rotation or asking Alexa to play a little Lo-Fi Hip Hop or shuffle songs by Krewella while I clean the house. Recently, however, I have a new love: podcasts. Yes, I know! How did I wait so long to hop on the bandwagon? Well, I actually started podcasting BEFORE officially listening to podcasts. I had heard a few and gotten the basic premise, but I always wanted to be the one behind the mic entertaining people. Listening to other podcasts just made me want to try and produce something better and THAT was a horrible way to treat this craft! I fell in love with podcasts through YouTube with the group known as Screen Junkies. Like me, they produced a film talk podcast. However, I immediately noticed just how different and professional they were. In truth, I envied them. I wanted to have what they had and knew that if I was going to get better, I would need to step my game up. I began to listen to other podcasts and slowly, but surely, I not only learned from listening to others, but I found myself enjoying them as well! No longer did I find myself comparing my podcast to those that had been around for years. Now, I was listening for the sake of hearing others ideas.

My tastes have become more refined in recent years. Now that my own podcast has found its rhythm, I tend to shy away from listening to other film talk podcasts, though now, instead of competing, I try to befriend and guest on other shows. Instead, I find myself drawn to those who are actually in the entertainment industry. Comedians like Hannibal Burress and his show, Handsome Rambler, are some of my absolute favorites. He has so many guests on his show that I have found new musicians, comedians and even other podcasts through it! It is no wonder that people have 50+ unlistened podcasts in the queues! Almost every podcast I’ve ever listened to has led me to another, more spectacular podcast! And with each new listen, I learn something else about producing a podcast and how to keep listeners engaged. While I don’t copy a show beat for beat, I will take notice of the structure and tell my team, “Hey guys! Let’s try this on the show this week!” Sometimes it works and other times it crashes and burns, but regardless, I’m learning and mastering my craft and creating a show that is unique enough to be heard in a sea of countless podcasts.

This journey I’ve gone on for the past 4 years, trying to create a show and keep it going has been both rewarding and challenging at the same time. I’m sure everyone who reads this knows the struggle of scheduling, trying to keep your show relevant and navigating just where to post your episodes so you can get the most eyes! There were times when I thought my show would have to cancel just because of how exhausting it was to put everything together. But I kept going. I kept producing and soon enough, I was celebrating 100 episodes with my co-hosts. The joy I felt knowing that we had made it to 100 episodes and that people were actually listening was indescribable. Even more surprising was that my original co-host was able to come back and do a movie review with us! Producing this show has been a true blessing and having a full team and tons of memories to share with them has been a joy in my young adult life.

As I come to a close and prepare to wake up early and edit my podcast, I hope that my words here will fill you with some joy and fond memories. Maybe it’ll give you a nice kick in the butt to try something new on your show or even interact with this community without the sole mindset of promoting your show. And if you’re still trying to get your show off the ground, take a moment to listen to a podcast today. Someone is working hard to entertain you and you could be the listener that makes them keep diving deep into this world of podcasting.


MARCUS SALLEY (HE/HIM), POPCORN PRATTLE: FILM TALK PODCAST

Follow Marcus on Twitter: @ Marc_Laroy
Follow Popcorn Prattle on Twitter: @ Popcorn_Prattle
Find Popcorn Prattle Online: https://popcornprattle.podbean.com/