Featured Host: Maia Mills-Low

Each month we interview one of our hosts  to learn about their backgrounds, projects, and passions. This month, we're introducing you to Maia Mills-Low, co-host and resident mixologist for Dizzy Channel Original Friendship.

The Interview

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

Ever since I was a little kid I enjoyed radio shows. From oldies like Jack Benny to modern hosts like Phil Hendrie I enjoy the creation of characters and the fun and laughter that is spread throughout the audience. Later I started listening to shows like Comedy Bang Bang and Professor Blastoff. These podcasts showed me how conversation with funny people can make you feel like you’re in the room with them. There’s an intimacy in podcasts that isn’t in the radio shows that I love. I want to be able to bring people into the recording studio as it were. Make jokes with us. Enjoy (or hate) what we enjoy (or hate). It’s social, and I’m a social person.

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

Podcasting takes a lot of hard work. It’s a commitment. It’s also an amazing way to share my thoughts with our listeners. Even with craziness there is a structure that I find comforting. I learned that I wouldn’t be able to do this without the great support of Secret Weapon Productions and of course my pod-life partner Adair. We all hold each other up.

"Podcasting takes a lot of hard work. It’s a commitment. It’s also an amazing way to share my thoughts with our listeners. Even with craziness there is a structure that I find comforting."

What is your favorite episode from your podcast and why?

I’m sure everyone would expect me to Camp Rock or Lemonade Mouth. But honestly? I’d have to say the recent podcast of Z-O-M-B-I-E-S! The movie was so surprisingly enjoyable and so was the drink! Also Let It Shine was so much fun to record. I like the episodes where we don’t have high expectations for a movie and we are proven wrong. It’s so fun to be surprised.

What are you working on outside of Secret Weapon Productions?

I’ve been reading a lot of YA. Contemplating new possibilities. In talks with my sister about another podcast.

Do you have any favorite drinks from past episodes of Dizzy Channel Original Friendship?

My favorite cocktails are the ones I got to be creative with. Like the Zombie Mule:
4 oz Ginger beer, 1 1/2 oz Vodka, 1/2 oz Midori, 1/6 oz Lime juice. It’s refreshing and light, a fun twist to a classic drink.

Any new audio projects in the works?

I’m still in the proto planning stages of something. I’ll keep you posted.

What is your favorite podcast not on SWP?

Man that’s a tough one. I’m going to have to give you a few. First, on the suggestion of Dan Crary, I started listening to Bubble made by Maximum Fun. It’s a great serial and easily addictive. Second, Clarksworld Magazine by Clarksworld. It’s a sci-fi story podcast narrated by Kate Baker who has the most soothing voice. A new story each time and it’s thought provoking and fascinating. Finally, How Did This Get Made? By Earwolf. It just cracks me up. Seriously, funny as hell.

Featured Host: Reiley Wagenhals

Featured Host: Reiley Wagenhals

Each month we interview one of our hosts  to learn about their backgrounds, projects, and passions. This month, we're getting to know Reiley Wagenhals, co-host for the cooking podcast Me Cook Pretty and the now retired 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 was a little late to the game and started listening to podcasts in 2012. The first podcast that hooked me was called Professor Blastoff. It was a comedy podcast with Tig Notaro, Kyle Dunnigan, and David Huntsberger.  I loved the open format of a podcast, and I’m a sucker for free entertainment.

The advantages of a podcast…hmm. I really think that any spoken word mediums hold a lot of power over other varieties because there aren’t any crutches hosts can stand on. Sure, you can over-produce the hell out of your sound design (looking at you Radiolab), but that’s about as flashy as it gets. Spoken word relies entirely on the ability of the host(s) to piece together their words in a way that is entertaining and concise, neither of which I have mastered in my own endeavors.

"I really think that any spoken word mediums hold a lot of power over other varieties because there aren’t any crutches hosts can stand on."

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

Podcasts have taught me a Lebron-sized handful of things. First and foremost is that I am not as good at staying on schedules and meeting deadlines as I thought I was. Certainly as an amateur podcaster, there are some expected delays with getting episodes out and all that, but did I ever underestimate how laissez faire I would be about being a month behind on episodes. 

Secondly I discovered just how much creative energy I have. From designing logos to running Instagram accounts, I never knew I had so much artistic and creative energy in me. I wish podcasting could be a full-time job so I could get it all out!

I suppose I owe a special shout out to my fellow co-host and life confidant Clark. I’ve learned so much about our friendship and myself through the lenses of music and cooking. It’s been incredible. A lot of important life events have happened since we started our first podcast Into The Echo, and we have talked about it ALL, mostly on air.

What is your favorite episode from your podcast and why?

My current podcast, Me Cook Pretty, is a fledgling show, so I don’t have a whole lot of library to look back on. I will however draw on my former podcast Into The Echo for an answer to this question. Into The Echo was a misguided, semi-directional, uninformed, emotional romp through the world of mostly alt-rock music. Now, my favorite “episode” is more of a favorite moment from an episode. 

We have an episode called “Freudian Dad”. There was a moment on this episode, I forget the context surrounding it, in which Clark whole-heartedly, truly, and honestly called me “Dad”. I don’t know what subterranean, Freudian consciousness we were stimulating with discussions about his dreadful taste in pop music, but something inspired his heart and mind to call me dad. I will never let him live that down, because I can never unhear that.

What are you working on outside of Secret Weapon Productions?

Gardening! I currently spend a lot of time at a garden plot that I have for the summer. It is producing more food than I know what to do with. It takes almost daily care, but it is the best chore I have ever had.

I also am part of a crew of folks that makes incredibly weird PSA videos about grocery stores called For The Right Price Productions (4TRP). You can find us on YouTube under our series moniker JAFR. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, it is uncomfortably weird.

I am also technically the founder and owner of Kumo Ramen. I make ramen noodles and sell them. By that I mean I haven’t had the time to pursue running a business past the initial paperwork, and I sometimes make ramen and give it to people. I need more hours in a day so I can continue working on this one!

Any new audio projects in the works?

Ideas! I have a couple ideas, but zero time. I have a hard enough time managing to stay semi-scheduled with Me Cook Pretty that I could not add another project on top of the current one. I also just cannot get used to recording episodes by myself, so that is going to be necessary before I produce another show.

What is your favorite podcast not on SWP?

This is going to sound dramatic, but I’m serious about this. One of the top 10 experiences I have had in my life has been listening to The Adventure Zone by the McElroy’s. This podcast is absolutely next-level incredible. I’ve been in stitches, tears, and suspense countless times, even on my third listen of the series.

Currently I listen to a lot of the McElroy brothers’ other show My Brother, My Brother, and Me, because I am all caught up on The Adventure Zone. MBMBAM is the scratch that my unsettling sense of humor needs almost every day. I feel like I am best friends with the McElroy brothers after I listen to every episode. You guys, if you are recruiting new family members, I am so in.

Featured Host: Adair Rice

Featured Host: Adair Rice

Each month we interview one of our hosts  to learn about their backgrounds, projects, and passions. This month, we're getting to know Adair Rice, co-host and editor for Dizzy Channel: Original Friendship and Slow Claps and Rewrites

The Interview

You’re a writer and poet by day; podcaster by night. What drew you to podcasts, and what advantage do they have over the written word?

Becoming the host of a podcast was never a specific goal of mine,  I was actually very late to the game when it came to it. But once I really grasped the medium, the freedom that comes with it and how I wanted to approach it; I began to feel a levity that I don’t experience with writing. You don’t get the chance to second guess your choices, so little of what we talk about is planned out so I’ve learned a lot about my impulses and the beauty of not overthinking what I say when I’m recording.

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

I think the first thing you learn when you begin podcasting is how to hate the sound of your own voice, it’s humbling to edit the awkward pauses and meandering stories but you learn a lot about how you navigate conversation. Another huge lesson is how important it is to pick the right partner/co-host in a creative endeavor. You need a person who can make you laugh but who can also empathize when things aren’t going smoothly, I could not imagine these podcasts being half as good without Maia and Dan.

 

"I think the first thing you learn when you begin podcasting is how to hate the sound of your own voice,"

 

What is your favorite drink from Dizzy Channel: Original Friendship?

My favorite drink to look at was the Witch’s Brew cocktail we made for Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge, it had dry ice and was so cool visually but it was too strong for me.  The drink I love the taste of is the Zetus Lapetus, a Zenon themed drink I created including Limoncello and Prosecco, it’s strong but so refreshing.

What are you working on outside of Secret Weapon Productions?

I’m still happily contributing weekly to the poetry project Dan Crary and I created last year entitled “Everything’s an Island” and recently had a poem published in the TILL’s 2016 Chapbook.  In April, one of my poems is being featured by 4Culture’s Poetry on Buses contest and I’m working on final edits for my first solo chapbook.

Any new audio projects in the works?

Not yet, I’ve been toying around with a possible scripted project but, for me, it’s all about finding the right collaborator and getting them on board with my reckless enthusiasm.

What is your favorite podcast not on SWP?

I have recently become a huge fan of “Comedy Bang Bang” and am a Nerdfighter at heart so “Dear Hank and John” is always a favorite.

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

As you may have noticed, things look a little different around the SWP website. This came as a surprise to many of our producers, who entered the lab on Monday and found Clark lying in a pool of multi-colored Kool-Aid, murmuring endlessly about Erlenmeyer flasks. Now, this sort of thing happens every week or so, so we didn't think twice until we booted up the supercomputer and saw what terrifying creation had been wrought on Clark's behalf. 

It's too late to change things back, so I guess we'll all have to learn to enjoy the new graphics, updated pages, and better mobile experience. It's not easy, but we'll do it FOR SCIENCE!

Featured Host: Daniel Crary

Featured Host: Daniel Crary

Each month we interview one of our hosts  to learn about their backgrounds, projects, and passions. This month, we're getting to know Daniel Crary, the central founder and Social Media Manager of Secret Weapon Productions.

The Interview

Q: Why did you start Secret Weapon Productions?

A: I am lucky enough to have a very talented circle of friends. In the past, all of us had collaborated on plays, papers, film, or music. As many of us shifted into “the professional world,” it became clear that creative endeavors may not pay as well, but they're far healthier for our ilk. So I sent a few (too many) emails, and that’s over 100 hours of content ago.

 Q: What do you love about podcasts?

A: I have to admit, I was behind the curve on podcasts by about 3 or 10 years. But, the freedom of format and the ability to create unimpeded immediately hooked me. You can’t do a production of Little Red Riding Hood on a park bench for less than what it takes to start a podcast. The bar to entry for most people is very doable. Which makes it great for schmucks like me.

 

"You can’t do a production of Little Red Riding Hood on a park bench for less than what it takes to start a podcast."

 

Q: What have you learned in the first year with the company?

A: I don’t get Twitter, but I’m trying.

Q: What are you working on at SWP right now?

A: Co-hosting both 20 Minutes of Banter and Slow Claps and Rewrites. I’m trying to grow the company and make us a home-base people want to create out of. If I can get one more person creating a thing that previously lived in their head, I consider that a win.

Q: What are you working on outside of SWP?

A: Adair Rice (co-host of Slow Claps and Rewrites) and I have a poetry tumblr we update every Tuesday and Thursday with new original poems. I’m also writing a TV pilot and watching every episode of The Simpsons backwards in hopes of finding enlightenment.

Q: What is your favorite podcast not on SWP?

A: I am a big fan of Script Notes. One of the hosts liked a tweet I sent his way and it filled me with hope.