This week our new Creator Spotlight reporter Cilka Ovettini sat down with the host of Girth Radio's Creative Imbalance podcast, to talk all things creativity.
1. Can you briefly describe your own experience in the podcast industry?
SEAN: My experience within podcasting has been one of the most positive experiences in my life. I feel like there are many things in society that places you into certain positions to act differently than you actually are. Whether it's in a professional cadence at your workplace, or in a social sense around your grandmothers dinner table, there is consistent altering of ones self to please others. With podcasting I feel so free, and being an unfiltered version of myself has actually continued to make the product I produce better, and has branch me out to amazing opportunities. The entire experience is a very Zen feeling. The studio I record at (Girth Radio) is attached to a bar (The Pacific Junction Hotel) who sponsors the show, and drinks are on the house. To a listener, they could check out a select episodes of my show (The Creative Imbalance) and feel like what is going on is chaotic, but truly once those mics are on, it's all meditation to me.”
2. What motivated/compelled you to become involved with the podcast industry?
SEAN: What compelled me was my natural love of people, ideas, creativity and conversation. It was originally spawned from my 5 plus years of living here in Toronto doing videography work. A lot of the content I would produce were mini documentaries for music artists, interviews for a handful of music websites, and KOTD battle rap competitions (which used to always end with post match emcee/judges interviews). I got really comfy with asking questions and directing recorded conversations to benefit a viewer or listener, but when working for other people there is always an agenda, and I'd often not have full creative control of the direction of the content. Always wanted to do my own thing, so I did! My podcast beginnings were intended to be a hobby. The first episode was recorded in a park with the ambiance of police sirens and random dogs interrupting the interviews by jumping on our laps. Feels like in a blink of time after the shows inception I was introduced to Sammy the program director at Girth Radio. He told me to keep doing my thing, but pulled my ass off the streets, gave me a studio, and threw me into a network of other beautiful people with their own diverse shows. He's such a leader, I like think of him as the Professor Xavier and we are the X-Men (And yes Sammy if you happen to read this, I'm not being sentimental, that was strictly a bald joke!).
3. How would you describe the podcast industry?
SEAN: Unique! The beauty of podcasts is that it can be anything and everything. There is no format. As a creator you can audibly capture what ever your heart desires, and as a listener, you can pretty much find a show to match any of your niche interests. Podcasts can provide a certain kind of entertainment that traditional mainstream media can't due to censorship, advertising agendas, or even some egotistical billion dollar man in suit thinking he knows what the people want. There are many podcasts now that prove this by surpassing television/radio ratings. The industry is often an example of entertainment in its rawest form.
4. What is the most challenging part of running a podcast? What is the best part?
SEAN: For most people they would tell you it's booking consistent guests, or coming up with questions to ask, but I'm lucky to never have a problem with that. What I do find difficult are the challenges that arise that you would never think of or anticipate. From technical hiccups with the studio gear, accidentally recording over an episode, not recording at all, having a crackhead on the street threaten to murder your guest (The Girth Radio studio window looks out to the corner of King and Sherbourne), and with the studio being attached to a bar, having lost drunk people accidentally walk in trying to find the bathroom. Some challenges are hilarious.
Best part of running a podcast is being able to share the stories and the work of incredible people to others while selfishly having an excuse to let these incredible people to sit down and have a conversation with me.
5. What advice would you give to a person who intends to create their own podcast?
SEAN: Be yourself! Have fun! Make the show you would want to hear, but have not heard before. Don't be a watered down version of something/someone else. Down the road when you get momentum, and the podcasts are going great, always keep the question in your mind "What can I do to make this show better?". You'll be unstoppable! Then after you take over the world, remember who gave you this advice and get me a chair at Podcasters Illuminati table... and remember to have fun! Did I tell you that already? Vibes are infectious.
6. Where should upcoming-podcasters go when they need assistance/resources/support?
Though we appreciate Sean's suggestion, the IWCC is here in case this "google" fails you.