A day in the life of an 'unstable' podcast host
The messy makings of ‘Run Like a Woman’
Whoever said making a podcast was easy?
I mean it’s fabulous fun! It’s energising. You get to hang out with really interesting people. But … it needs planning. And it needs good sound.
Believe it or not, that seems to be the most stressful part. Especially when you live in a city a long way from the podcast studio.
That’s me. I predominantly work from home. Not just because of COVID, but because I live in Melbourne and my office and colleagues are predominantly based in Sydney. Yes, you are right – Sydney is also where the podcast studio is!
I have one of the best jobs in the world. I am the Chief Wellbeing and Communications Officer for Bible Society. Great title. Fabulous role. And I am also co-hosting a women’s podcast with the delightful Rebecca Abbott, a writer with Eternity.
If your internet is ‘unstable’, you/me/we also feel very unstable!
I am no stranger to a microphone, having worked in radio and television over my working life. That’s not the problem. It’s the vexed issue of a stable internet connection – a problem we have all experienced over the last two years as we have spent our workdays in remote meetings. Whether it be on Zoom or Teams or Facetime or Skype or Messenger or any other brilliant virtual meeting space, if your internet is ‘unstable’, you/me/we also feel very unstable!
Which leads me to today. It started well. Our new podcast, Run Like a Woman, drops its first episode tomorrow (I love the language – it gets dropped or so I have been told.). And today, Bec and I were recording one of the episodes which will run in the week of International Women’s Day. We had invited guests to speak on the episode – one guest recording with Bec in the studio and two others online.
Super pumped! I love podcasting! I get to do so many things I love. Having fabulous, deep, meaningful, funny conversations with impressive women. Hanging out with colleagues as we record the podcast. Sitting at the feet of people who are willing to share their struggles, successes, wisdom, life. You know the drill – amazing.
But something happened today. We have a very professional producer, Bella, who, not surprisingly, wants the sound to be excellent. Well of course; if it’s not excellent, people won’t want to listen. But that brings me back to the stressful part. Internet connection! In my effort to find a quiet space to record this podcast, I ended up sitting in the car, in the garage.
I have recorded an episode of the podcast in a lift. It wasn’t too bad.
Back one step … I live in the inner city. Our neighbour is a very busy dairy. Yes, you read correctly. A dairy. No cows, thankfully. The milk tanker comes every morning and the milk, yoghurt and butter are all made in the small warehouse next door. There are large trucks, small trucks and electric drills because invariably something breaks and on it goes. Not quiet.
Bella doesn’t like it. Plus, there’s the street noise: the restaurant over the road, garbage trucks, etc.
I have recorded an episode of the podcast in a lift. It wasn’t too bad. Thankfully the lift wasn’t called while I was in there.
Then I tried the car in the garage and then the internet dropped out. Bella suggested driving my mobile studio somewhere where the signal was better. Great idea. Hot spot off my phone. Could work. But I couldn’t even get out of the garage into the laneway. There was a ladder going up to the roof of the dairy blocking my exit.
Eventually, it was moved. Then the signal was not getting any better. I travelled to one spot – needed shade. Another spot – not enough bars. Meanwhile, they’re recording without me. Stress getting higher!
I found myself at my son’s apartment – in a bedroom with double glazing, really good internet and a podcast almost completed without me.
Bella’s comment: “Fabulous sound! How about recording from there every week?” Quite possibly. Definitely less stress.
As you can see, as in life, one needs to be flexible when making a podcast.