Thursday, July 2, 2009

can we tawlk?

I've decided to start my own Blog Talk Radio show.

This may have come on the heels of my little platform anxiety attack a few posts ago, but it's actually something I've always fantasized about doing. Well, maybe not exactly a podcast, but when I listen to Click and Clack on Car Talk, for example, I think, Hey, I'd love to do that. Just sit in a studio and laugh for fifty minutes.

I'm not the only one to think so. My friends used to tell me that I could have my own talk show. Complete with desk and couches and bookcases in the backround. Had I lived in ancient Greek times, I'd have been a sophist, I'd tell my friends. The non rhet-comp ones would look at me funny and walk away.

What I'm working out right now is content. What will my show be about? How long will it be? Will I have guests? My finding things to talk about for a set period of time doesn't worry me -- I was vaccinated w/ a phonograph needle, as Groucho Marx used to say (man, is that joke dated). But how will I make it meaningful?

By doing what I always do -- make it about me.

I teach the class I would want to take. I write the books I would want to read. Am I writing the blog I would want to read? Sometimes I'm not so sure. But why not do the show I would want to listen to?

This seems like such a selfish MO, and I suppose it is, but it somehow works. The minute I start trying so hard to make it about what everyone else wants, it becomes nothing more than "product". Making it personal makes it authentic, and rather than going out to find the audience, the audience finds me.

My twin brother affirmed this when I asked him what kinds of things would interest him. As usual, he had a story told by a brilliant author: "Kurt Vonnegut once said that anyone who tries to make a movie from a Hemingway novel will fail because the movie will always be one character short." He meant Hemingway, of course.

I get what he means. We go see every Robert DiNiro movie because it's DiNiro. Or we listen to everything Eric Clapton does because it's Clapton. I watch or read everything Aaron Sorkin has ever written because it's Aaron Sorkin.

Artists make their mark by their style, but also by their persona. It's unfortunate that in most cases it's a media-distorted persona, but it's a persona nonetheless. My twin brother's suggestion was to be me -- whatever being me is all about -- and that will make the show good.

But first, practice. I have a newfound respect for radio personalities who make it seem so effortless. I did two mock shows using Audacity, a recording software that you can download for free, and realized that I have a ways to go before I post my first podcast show. And yet, I think it's gonna be fun. Heck, I've already recruited my brother to write theme music -- I promise you, that'll be the best part of the show.

In the meantime, I'm going to ask you, readers, what kind of show you would listen to if I were the host. Oh, and if you've got any suggestions for the name of the show, let me know that too.


Elisa said...

Funny, I just caught the irony of my final statements -- my spending an entire post justifying why I need to do the show I would listen to, but then asking, "So what do you all want to hear?" Classic.

Stacey Cochran said...

Elisa, I can't tell if you're being ironic when you say "How to make it meaningful? Make it about me."

If you've learned one thing from all that I've been doing the past year or two hopefully it's to always make it about helping others and putting others in the spotlight... that's what will make people will want to tune in.

Click and Clack works because a) they're funny, b) they help other people, and c) they know a heck of a lot about cars. But the show isn't "about them." It's about helping folks solve their car problems.

If you make the show about you, it just seems a little self-absorbed.

But I think you were kidding.

You were kidding, right?

Or maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean by "make it about me."

Elisa said...

Kidding, Stacy-

What I meant was making it a show that I would be interested in if someone else were doing it, but not going on endlessly about myself.

A show that would make me interested would be talking about topics that interest me, but for the purpose of serving others rather than myself.

Stacey Cochran said...

Okay, that helps. Well, the big thing is being able to get guests. I guess if you've listened to the Blog Talk Radio shows Dawson and I have been doing the past few weeks, you can see there's no shortage of writers who want to discuss their books.

Maybe you could make your show about dating and/or relationships and could have on folks who have books relevant to that platform...

Just an idea.

I'd be willing to sync your show into my sites and, which will get you an audience, if you can get it running and can get guests.

Elisa said...

Thanks, Stacey! I *definitely* plan on getting guests. That was my plan all along.

Will let you know when I'm ready. I still need a lot of practice.

And yes, I have learned a lot from watching you. I'm always intending to be of service. It's why I'm a good teacher.

Elisa said...

And why I love teaching, too.