Chilarious

Feast of Fun and the Art of Podcasting

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I love you, giant headphones. Recording Feast of Fun. Photo by Jason Smith - jasonsmith.com.

Clap it up if you love podcasts!  I sure do.

I'm an avid radio listener.  I pop WBEZ (or WLS if I'm feeling like I don't want to take my own bags to the grocery store that day and need support on that) on first thing in the morning and flick it off only when leaving the house or needing to hear a sweet jam by The Knife, so the concept of a podcast is right up my alley.  Radio that I can pause and resume listening to at my leisure?  Yes, please.

It is a dream of mine to have a home recording studio, and not because I can play anything other than a squeaky rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In" on the saxophone.  Nope, I just want to throw some oversized headphones on, get into a fierce debate with a colleague, and then play a song or two for the listeners.  Without a broadcasting degree and balanced against the amount of time I spend onstage, podcasting has helped me make this crazy dream a reality.

Podcasts also allow for a really devoted fanbase, from listener comments and emails fueling future programming to Twitter interaction and hashtag conversations.  I'm a huge fan of the Savage Love Cast and Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me;  both are a solid resources for current events, both engage directly with listeners and experts alike, and both have huge followings. 

It has been my pleasure to be a guest on a few awesome podcasts.  On heretv's Hot Gay Comics and You, Me, Them, Everybody - a local music driven podcast - I have had the opportunity to talk about my standup; it's rad to get the word out to an audience that might not be at a live show.

I have an especially close working relationship with Marc Felion and Fausto Fernos, the hosts of Feast of Fun - with 30,000 downloads per week, Feast of Fun is the most downloaded LGBT podcast in the nation.  Need a visual?  Here they are:


Having hit the ground running early in the podcast game (think way back to 2005), Marc and Fausto have the show down to a science;  they ask interesting questions, stand behind strong, often differing opinions, and they keep things focused.  I dig working on the show and I believe my frequent guest appearances have made me a better interviewee. I have to think on my feet and get to the point - great interview skills to learn. 

I recorded my most recent appearance on Feast of Fun last night, and it's fascinating to note that, like all things done well, the show seems to flow effortlessly.  Probably because, behind the scenes, Marc and Fausto run a tight ship - I show up and they'll have news items printed, intro music queued-up and tea steeping by the stove.  What a relief that is. 

An up-and-coming comic has to be prepared for every scenario; they will all happen.  High-energy, well-attended shows wherein I have made some decent money for time spent?  Check.  Done 'em.  Horrifying sets done to a crowd of three whilst the bartender ejects a drunken tough guy from the bar?  Check.  Done 'em.  It is a load of my mind to have working relationships that actually work.  Because the bad shows build character, but the solidly produced podcasts help me sleep at night.  Thanks, podcasters.

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3 Comments

JasonSmith.com said:

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WGN is pretty good too. It's a Tribune broadcasting station don'tcha know.

; )

Michael Lehet said:

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I too have had the great opportunity to work with Fausto and Marc - they are truly fabulous podcasters and really do deserve the awards they've won. They are a terrific addition to the Chicago LGBT Community - we are lucky to have them in our hometown!

Fausto Fernós said:

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Thank you for the love guys!

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