Featured Co-Hosts: 20 Minutes of Banter Edition!

Featured Co-Hosts: 20 Minutes of Banter Edition!

We’re taking time to introduce you to the teams behind the podcasts of Secret Weapon Productions.  This month we are taking a look into the inner workings of 20 Minutes of Banter and it’s hosts, Dan Crary and Austin Logan.

The Interview

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Explain your podcast in three words.

Austin: Two. Idiots. Improv? Or, Comedy? No Thanks!

Dan: I would say, prolonging this friendship.

Austin: Friendship Life Support.

How did you come up with the idea of your podcast?

Austin: Well it’s the weirdest thing, I did a Faustian bargain in reverse. Where the devil got the bad end of the deal, I Daniel Webster-ed the Devil. And I was like I’ll give you fame, I’ll do a podcast. Nooooooo!

Dan: We had toyed with the idea of doing a podcast in 2011 or 2012 and we did one zero episode that no one will ever hear that was just a garbage fire, over hosted and under produced garbage. And it had the same title and we just never let it go and then in 2016 I said to everyone ‘we’re doing this, godammit, I’m buying the domain’ so now we have to because I’m a pusher.

Why did you feel one another was the right choice of co-host?

D: I still don’t feel that way…

A: Well I was on a cliff and there were a bunch of stampeding gazelle under me and I reached up and said, “Dan…Podcast?”

D: And I said, “Long live the host” and pushed you away.

A: And I died, it was very sad.

D: Austin’s been the right choice since we were thirteen years old.

“Austin: Well I was on a cliff and there were a bunch of stampeding gazelle under me and I reached up and said, “Dan…Podcast?”

Dan: And I said, “Long live the host” and pushed you away.”

Favorite podcast bit you’ve done together?

D: I really liked in the hundredth episode when my mom and Bev talked to each other, that was pretty fun. I liked that time we just came up with the different groups of things based on a complaint of Karens.

A: Okay, and you know my favorites because they all involve destroying you.

D: Cutting me off at the legs before I do something I told you I was going to do.

Favorite thing about co-hosting with one another?
D: Stares expectantly at Austin…

A: Oh no, my favorite this is….this cat. How about this cat.

D: I hate you, my favorite thing about co-hosting with Austin is if I get too bad at this he can usually save me.

A: And if I get too good at this…

Dan: I can drag you right back down.

Least favorite thing about co-hosting with one another?

D: The smell, it’s not that it’s bad more that it’s ever-present.

If you could choose another co-host for 20 Minutes of Banter who would it be?

[At the same time]

D: Clark

A: Anybody but Clark

If you created another podcast together what would it be about?

D: I would do a serious show about cartoons with you, or I would do a parody sex advice show and just give really bad sex advice.

A: Ooooh, let’s do that. Still involves people to send in stuff, and Adair can’t pretend to be many more people.

D: What else would be fun?

A: You could just explain New York to me.

D: That would be fun, just explain New York to you. Oh promise of a new bit in two episodes, I’m going to start a New York minute with Austin where I’m just going to explain something about the city to him that I’m sure he will fail to grasp.

For the unedited (meandering) version of their answers you can listen here.

Featured Host: Cameron Fehring

Every month we interview one of our hosts to learn about their backgrounds, projects, and passions. This month, we're getting to know Cameron Fehring, our local trekkie and co-host of The “Meh” Generation.

The Interview

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What drew you to podcasts, and what advantage do they have for you over other forms of media?

Dan. Dan drew me to podcasts. He kept casually pitching terrible ideas to me and finally hit upon one of my true passions, Star Trek. He also promised to watch every episode with me... how could I refuse?

But seriously, all kidding aside, I LOVE podcasts! They are my favorite medium to come out of the internet age! I always describe it as the very best of talk radio and its only about things you care about and enjoy! I commute almost exclusively to podcasts.

What are some things you’ve learned in your first year of making a podcast?

I’ve learned a lot about our (Dan’s and my) friendship and how my enjoyment of something is affected by, not only my evolving perspective but Dan’s sometimes antagonistic “last-standing.” It’s also been a fascinating intellectual exercise to view something all in, in a method and format never intended, and measure it to contemporary standards. Overall, I have learned a lot about myself and have learned to enjoy the mistakes as they come. It’s been a humbling and complicated but wonderful experience so far.

“Overall, I have learned a lot about myself and have learned to enjoy the mistakes as they come. It’s been a humbling and complicated but wonderful experience so far.”

What is your favorite episode from your podcast and why?

I don’t actually think I can pick a favorite episode, largely because I’ve had so much fun making this podcast, but if I’m pressed, I loved “By Any Other Name,” “Trouble with Tribbles,” “The Menagerie,” “Beyond the Farthest Star & Yesteryear” and “The Pirates of Orian & Bem.” The reasons are in the episodes themselves, the collaboration, the bits, and the heart!

Do you have a favorite Star Trek episode?

SO MANY! I wasn’t shy about revealing my favorites on the podcast of the series we’ve done so far and I don’t want to tip my hand for the next 8 years so I guess you’ll just have to tune in and listen!

Do you have another show or film you would want to podcast about?

SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, and anything that Dan loves so I can eviscerate it. Kidding! Mostly.

What are you working on outside of Secret Weapon Productions?

I’m teaching voice, music composition, performing, acting, and tap dance to all kinds of talented children and adults; I’m the founding Technical Director at Communal Pancake Performing Arts which I love; I’m actively shopping my musical, “The Retail Song Cycle” to producers all over the country and working on two more full-length musicals; several side projects, including a city-wide festival for my hometown; as well as launching my own company for all the things I do and helping my lovely wife develop her photography company! Also as of today, I’m a proud Dramatist Guild Member! It's been a very busy year. I’m really excited about the coming years in both my life, and the podcast!

For more info about all the stuff I do, visit:

http://www.cameronmichaelfehring.com

And

www.bluedoorphotography.co

What’s your favorite quote from any of the Star Trek episodes you’ve covered?

"The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity."

"And the ways our differences combine to create meaning and beauty."

What Secret Weapon podcast would you want to rewrite the theme song to and why?

I’m actually pretty content with all of the theme songs at this point, but I’m still especially proud of the “Dizzy” theme.

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with another member of Secret Weapon Productions who would it be and why?

I enjoy everyone’s company in this company. It’s a nice place to work and I am so impressed by the variety of people involved and product put out from this media conglomerate! Now if only we got to do this full time...

What is your favorite podcast not on SWP?

My Favorite Murder, The Original Cast, What It Takes, Bowery Boys, Switched On POP, Theater People, Broadway Backstory, and Adam Ruins Everything, are my go to, subscribed, have listened to every episode podcasts.

Featured Host: Clark Hodges

Every month we interview one of our hosts to learn about their backgrounds, projects, and passions. This month, we're saying hello to Clark Hodges, one of the founders of Secret Weapon Productions and co-host of Me Cook Pretty, Wordstruck and Into The Echo.

The Interview

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What drew you to podcasts, and what advantage do they have for you over other forms of media?

I have a hard time focusing on visual media, but I really enjoy comedy, drama, and educational media. Podcasts offer the perfect way to consume media without having to stay in the same place or look in the same direction.

I’ve spent enough years listening to podcasts that I feel like many of my favorite hosts have become friends in a weird sense. I look forward to hearing their latest thoughts, opinions, and advice, even if we’ll never meet in real life.

“Podcasts offer the perfect way to consume media without having to stay in the same place or look in the same direction.”

What are some things you’ve learned in your first few years of making podcasts?

My inner dialogue is much more eloquent than what comes out of my mouth, so listening to myself in the edit can be frustrating. I often wish that I could go back and re-record bits, but that’s impossible so now I just take more time to think before I talk. Turns out that thinking before you talk is handy in many more situations than just podcasting.

What is your favorite episode from your podcast and why?

I’d have to share my co-host Reiley’s answer and say that the Into The Echo episode where I accidentally called him Dad was really amazing. That and the house-sorting episode of Wordstruck. It’s really cool to have these hilarious times with my close friends available for listening at any time.

What is a non Harry Potter related book you hope to review on Wordstruck?

Hmm, this one’s tricky. Alyssa and I have talked about going a few different directions in terms of book series. Redwall and The Dark Tower series are two of my favorite possible options.

Do you have a favorite thing you’ve enjoyed cooking?

I really enjoy cooking stir fry. At its baseline, stir fry is always delicious. But when I get my ratios just right and end up with the perfect stir fry, I feel like a wizened chef that makes vegetables yield to my power.

What are you working on outside of Secret Weapon Productions?

I’ve just acquired some woodworking tools, so I plan on making a coffee table and a bar cart soon. Now that it’s getting cold outside, I’m also firing up the oven to start baking again.

What’s your favorite moment from any of your podcasts?

There have been quite a few moments on Into the Echo where Reiley and I laugh until we cry, but I think my favorite moment is when we worked with the band Krystal Optiks to debut a new album. It was really neat to work in tandem with a band across the country that was just as stoked to be talking to us as we were talking to them.

Any music recommendations for the new year?

I gotta go with Bomb the Music Industry!’s album Vacation and Grant Jones’ album Nighttime Friends.

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with another member of Secret Weapon Productions who would it be and why?

Oh boy, probably Reiley. I feel like we’re similarly self-sufficient and neither of us would go crazy from the lack of people. Dan would be my close second, but he would definitely kill me within the first six months or so.

What is your favorite podcast not on SWP?

The Adventure Zone and Do By Friday are my favorite comedy podcasts. Last Podcast on the Left and My Favorite Murder are my favorite true crime podcasts.

Featured Host: Alyssa Small

Every month we interview one of our hosts  to learn about their backgrounds, projects, and passions. This month, we're saying hello to Alyssa Small, the sole Gryffindor of Secret Weapon Productions and resident bookworm on Wordstruck.

The Interview

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What drew you to podcasts, and what advantage do they have for you over other forms of media?

I never wanted to make podcasts. I didn’t even like listening to them. I blame all the news-heavy podcasts I tried at first. They just hit too close to work for me. The podcast that changed my mind was “Gilmore Guys.” It showed me podcasts can be finite and fun. I loved that I could listen to people enjoy each other and go on a journey with them. And that made me crave a journey of my own. I’m just glad I could talk Clark into it with me! As a busy person with multiple projects in progress, I enjoy podcasts today because I can listen to them on my way to work, while I cook and while I workout. I never imagined I’d be a person who chooses podcasts over music, but it appears I am!

“I loved that I could listen to people enjoy each other and go on a journey with them. And that made me crave a journey of my own.”

What are some things you’ve learned in your first few years of making podcasts?

I get rambly close to midnight, but hot tea helps. When I have no outline, it takes me forever to articulate what I actually think. My poker face (and poker voice) is atrocious. And just like I’ve matured since I first read Harry Potter, my taste and tolerance for simple storylines have changed.

What is your favorite episode from your podcast and why?

I love a lot of our early episodes, even though they are a bit of a mess to go back and listen to. My favorite recording experience remains our sorting hat episode. I just never saw that result coming! I love that we captured it on audio.

What is a non Harry Potter related book you hope to review on Wordstruck?

I would love to hand Clark the reigns and read something he loved (not Animorphs...I’m hoping for something a little more sophisticated than that). Perhaps Redwall, similarly to Clark’s experience with Harry Potter, Redwall was read to me during elementary school, but I remember very little of it. There was a clock scene, I think? I’d love to dive back in with Clark and see what he thinks of it today and rediscover the story with new eyes. I fear my predictions wouldn’t be as entertaining as Clark’s, though.

What are you working on outside of Secret Weapon Productions?

I’m about to start NaNoWriMo in November. I think I’m going to explore a mystery about a missing woman. There may or may not be a ghost, as well. I haven’t decided yet. In the more tangible world, I’m in the process of building a bathroom in my basement. Last week we replaced the old sump pump, and then laid pipe where before there was none and covered it with concrete! It was hard work, but satisfying.

What’s your favorite moment from your podcast?

There was that glorious moment in Season 2 when Clark focused so much on the dwarves dressed as Cupids delivering valentines and missed Ginny’s horrified reaction to her diary being discovered. I thought Clark would remember that moment and see Ginny’s relationship to the diary coming from a mile away. But I kept it together and bluffed him well enough without calling too much attention to it, and Ginny’s Suddenly Voldemort moment was that much more satisfying.

Any new audio projects in the works?

Honestly, audio isn’t my main medium. I’m way more comfortable when I don’t have to speak much. Outside of Wordstruck, I’m focusing on my noveling muscles.

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with another member of Secret Weapon Productions who would it be and why?

This may be obvious, but I pick Clark. He’s got some real foraging skills, loves all creatures great and small, is a similar level of introvert and being quite a bit of sunshine to every interaction. Plus, his love for modern conveniences would keep him motivated to find a way off the island rather than going full Robinson Crusoe when he befriends some lizard.

What is your favorite podcast not on SWP?

Shows I savor whenever there are new episodes include “Hello Internet,” “Lore,” “Dear Hank and John” and “Delete This.” The newest podcast I’m digging is NPR’s “Believed.” It’s horrifying, but so well told.

Featured Host: Austin Logan

Each month we interview one of our hosts  to learn about their backgrounds, projects, and passions. This month, we're introducing you to Austin Logan, one of the founders of Secret Weapon Productions and resident sociopath on 20 Minutes of Banter.

The Interview

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What drew you to podcasts, and what advantage do they have for you over other forms of media?

I first started listening to podcasts just because they were sort of there, the free thing that came with my phone. The more I listened though, the more it struck me as an incredibly genuine medium. I think the challenge of getting something out on a regular basis, or even just filling the silence, brings something out of people.

“The more I listened though, the more it struck me as an incredibly genuine medium. I think the challenge of getting something out on a regular basis, or even just filling the silence, brings something out of people.”

What are some things you’ve learned in your first two years of making podcasts?

Just get it done. I think the most important part of doing it is consistency, so that the listener that you'll be there week after week.

What is your favorite episode from your podcast and why?

I think it's around episode 12. Dan, Dan's wife Courtney, Clark, Alyssa, and I are all in Fort Peck, Montana for a show Dan did. We ended up recording it on the porch of the only hotel in town, because it was the only place away from others that had a power outlet. The audio was terrible, but it was such a fun time I still think about it.

Do you have a favorite 20 Minutes of Banter bit?

Dan always has a bit he wants to try that he's really excited about, and he usually tells me right before the show starts. The whole "okay, now do your little thing" bit fills me with joy every single time. Or maybe that's just Dan's suffering.

What are you working on outside of Secret Weapon Productions?

Nothing, really. Adulting. Holding down a job, figuring out various student debt nightmares, you know. The norm.

Any new audio projects in the works?

A couple. Clark and I have been tinkering with the idea of a mental health podcast for a while. Dan also has a few audio dramas he wants to flesh out. I'm really excited about both, so we'll see what happens in the near future.

If you had to be stranded on a desert island with another member of Secret Weapon Productions who would it be and why?

Alyssa, hands down. Everyone else, every single person including myself, would be dead in a week. Alyssa is the only host I can imagine learning to fashion a spear from sticks and reeds. My only real chance for surviving would be to be the Wilson to her Tom Hanks.

What is your favorite podcast not on SWP?

I think it's a tie between My Brother, My Brother, and Me and Last Podcast on the Left. Both of them are just so consistently good, I don't know how they do it.