I've been watching Blake create art since the fourth grade.
In high school, when I was washing dishes for a local Italian restaurant, Blake was beginning his first apprenticeship as a glass blower. No one else in my group of friends was dedicating themselves to their desired craft the way Blake was at that stage in our lives. I've always admired him for that. He made sacrifices time and time again in order to learn a new medium. Catching up on what he's been doing is always a treat for me. After all, we've been talking creativity and inspiration since we were wee lads.
Recording this episode was no different. I had to get the podcast starting quickly because within the first five minutes we started chatting about stuff that definitely should have been in the final edit. We circled back on most of it once we finished recording, so rest easy, you're not missing anything too juicy. The beginning of the episode was much more casual and relaxed as opposed to the "official" introductions I've done previously. It's also the second appearance of the new intro music which will be the standard ongoing - until its time to change again. Forever under construction, right?
This brings me to a side point about the Omnistudio; I'm able to upload my own introductory music that they then automatically stitch to the beginning of new episodes. So I've set up a 30 second delay that allows the intro vocals to play through, and then a nice little beat leads us into the episode. This creates a much calmer, more seamless transition from introduction to actual episode content. The previous intro music just ended and then, boom, the conversation starts. That can be somewhat abrupt and because each episode sounds slightly different than the introduction, there was a distraction to the audience that I wanted removed. I am recording all of this with one computer and one microphone.
Circling back to the interview for this episode. I sent Blake the questions ahead of time, similar to Ep009's structure. This is probably going to be my standard practice now. Even if the guest doesn't do anything with it, it provides an opportunity to be more confident when taking over and answering questions with semi-thought out answers, instead of always being in a reactionary state. Catching someone off guard can be a nightmare and I've noticed it completely throws off the mood of the interview in some instances. The balance of interviewing a person and keeping them comfortable enough to continue a thought is definitely my main focus these days. You can't start a question with too negative of a direction, or else the guest might not be enthused enough to provide a descriptive answer. Too much energy and you might build up something that doesn't receive that level of hype from the guest and then we've got a disconnect to get past. We discussed this a little bit before starting the episode and Blake was completely sensitive to my role as well. In the end, I love this episode and recording with an old friend makes me feel warm and fuzzy in m'belly.
Of course, a billion memories flooded my mind before, during and after the interview. We're talking decades of backstory here. The Blake I interviewed last night brought things completely full circle; past, present and future. We're definitely not kids anymore. That label disappeared when we brought children of our own into this world. Now we are both fully engaged in large projects that are outward facing to our communities and respective social circles. I like when my people challenge themselves. There was motivation to start this podcast from seeing those around me push themselves out of their comfort zone. Watching others trudge a difficult road and finding success, big or small, makes me want to return the favor in my own way with this podcast.
Every week the podcast gets a little more difficult and scary, and that's a good thing. The self-imposed deadline of every other Tuesday keeps me moving. No week is really at rest. Either edit what you have and publish a blog post, or find a new guest and record. There are really only two options. By no means is there a deficit of exciting ideas running through my mind. What new feature to create and engage an audience in? Who would be interesting to talk to for myself? Or, what is the show missing? What area can I dive into that hasn't been discussed? All of these unknowns may seem stressful at times, but there isn't any shame in setting the torch down for a week and taking a break. No one will come after you if you do. But there is another personal challenge of, how long can I go without a break? When will I call upon the audience to wait another week? The numbers are growing, the downloads per month have literally popped in a steady and impressive fashion. Little successes, small victories, everything can accumulate to heavy anvils in a matter of time. What you're doing in the meantime definitely impacts the big picture, but keeping the podcast alive, every other week, will bring natural growth and that's the truth.
Hope everyone enjoys the podcast as much as me.