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✨ Dan Taberski ✨ bush boys 🌲 jumpin' Tom Cruise 🛋 should I cancel my Disney cruise? 🚢
🍭 👂 You're in for a treat! 🌈 🤸♀️
Today is Monday, January 31. There are 127 days until I go on my next Disney cruise???????? In case this email is too long, a show with a chef’s kiss trailer is here and it did not disappoint, a beautiful new music podcast launched that offers the most interesting conversations about gender, this episode is making me question my life choices. (Or one life choice I will have to make in 127 days.)
This week we’re getting to peek into the listening life of Corynne Corbett, a former beauty editor and editor-in-chief turned entrepreneur and host of Start Right Here.
Why'd you make your show? My goal is to create a more equitable and inclusive beauty industry. One way to do that is to provide information on all the career paths that exist. So I interview BIPOC pros so that listeners can also learn how they have navigated corporate, STEM and creative roles as well as entrepreneurship. My guests are transparent about their experiences, sharing their triumphs and things that have challenged them.
What speed do you listen to podcasts? 1X
How do you discover new podcasts? My friend Jackie is always sending me new podcasts to listen to.
What's a show you love that not many people know about? Micheaux Mission
What's a show you love that everybody knows about? Jemele Hill is Unbothered
Anything else you want to say? The most gratifying part of working on this podcast is hearing how it has helped those who are early in their career as well as others who are already established.
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👋q & a & q & a & q & a👋
How would you describe your voice?
My voice is too loud. Otherwise I don't really think about what my voice sounds like. I just think about if it has the meaning in it that I want, if it's imparting the meaning I want it to express. That's the hard part. But as far as it's sounding good, that that ship has sailed.
Where did you grow up?
In Flushing, Queens.
I was wondering if there was an accent that you are hiding.
If I get really, really drunk I'll snap little bits of it, I’ll sort of drop my G's off, but I grew up with a lisp. I had a speech therapist for a long time as a kid. The gap in between my teeth doesn't help. If I drink a bunch or if I'm really tired I'll lisp a lot more. I am always doing it a little bit, It's not so pronounced that it's crazy.
Which of your projects are you the most proud of?
If I had to pick one, I would say Missing Richard Simmons, but it's not even necessarily the best, I just think it was the most unusual and I was really proud of how it struck a chord. Some people loved it, some people hated it. I was really proud of how we went into it with our eyes wide open. And we really just deliberately told a very sensitive story in a way that I still feel proud of. We talked about something that was really squishy, about friendship and what it means to lose a friendship. And how you say goodbye and all this sort of weird stuff that is really hard to talk about.
How aware are you of your downloads?
This is gonna drive you crazy when I say it but I don't keep track of the numbers. I also don't read iTunes reviews. We get thousands of them and sometimes my husband, if we're in a fun mood, he'll read the mean ones back to me, just to hear, ‘cause they're always crazy. I work with Henry Molofsky a lot, and he will sort of give me ballpark, he'll let me know, are we doing great? Are we doing good? But I don't really keep track of that. I also think it's very different, keeping track of numbers for a six episode podcast is very different than keeping track of a podcast that comes out every week.
I'm in a very lucky position. I had one show that was a hit for whatever reason. And so that really sets you up. That really helps. You can't worry about it. It's just too much to worry about.
If you were going to make another podcast, don’t worry about any of the logistics or whether or not anyone would like it, what would it be?
That's what I'm doing, is it not? That's what it feels like to me, like nobody's making me make anything, everybody just says, what do you wanna do now? Or I have to convince people what I wanna do, but I would never try to convince people to let me do something other than something that I really had a burning desire to do, that is just the quickest way to failure or even worse, mediocrity. Right? To pitch a show that you don't really wanna do, but you feel like it might sell. And then you have to spend the next year and a half making a show that you never really wanted to do in the first place. And so everything I've made is something I could have doubled the time I spent making it.
How have you changed as a podcaster since Missing Richard Simmons?
I've learned to really enjoy what other people are good at and that I don't have to be good at everything. You work with these people who have skills that are different than yours and, and that take the pressure off you. You learn to appreciate what other people are good at and I really appreciate being around that. It's learning what you're good at and learning what you're bad at.
What is your favorite show?
I listen to a lot of book podcasts and literary podcasts. Have you listened to Myself with Others with Adam Shatz? It's just an interview show, but Adam interviews pretty esoteric people, authors and artists and musicians and people that I don't even really know most of the time. He's got such a funny way of interviewing. He's such a specific type of person. I really like it when people that are so themselves. That's what's really can be really special about podcasting, getting into somebody's quirks and how the quirks play out in other conversations and listening to that.
Listen to it. It's really weird. He has funny quirks in his interviews that annoyed me. And now I really like him, he's fun to listen to.
Does he know you think that?
I sent him a DM saying that, which I like to do. He just said ‘thanks.’.
That's so him. I can't imagine getting a DM from you saying you like my work. I'm glad you did that. People need to do that more.
I do that randomly. I'll just email, text, DM somebody and be like, ‘Hey, let's hang out,’ and people do it. I would say, ‘let's go get a beer’ or something like that. And there's something about podcasting, that's it's small enough that, nobody's ever said, like, get away from me. So I'll keep doing it.
Podcasting is encompassing. I know so little about so much of podcasting because I'm just doing a very specific type of podcasting. And so there's all these other types that I don't know a lot about. So it's interesting to talk to people.
What's your favorite show that like everyone knows about and is just a classic?
I really like Ezra Klein. I listen to him every week and I'm envious of what he gets to do and the people he gets to talk to. He's just so good and even keeled, which is hard to do. I listen to a lot of interview podcasts. I don't listen to a lot of narrative podcasts. It's hard when you're making them to listen to others. I find it gets in my head.
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🚨If u only have time for 1 thing🚨
Wild Boys has maybe the best trailer ever, and the first two episodes were equally thrilling. In 2003 in Vernon BC, two half-starved brothers emerged from the wilderness with an unbelievable story about living as “bush boys” who were kicked out by their parents because they wanted to become vegetarians. The small Canadian community of Vernon did everything to take them in. We know right off the bat that the bush boys were lying—so far this podcast plants so many strange clues (the boys were obsessed with fruit and clean eating to the point that one of them was full-blown anorexic.) But we don’t know who these they really were. Comedian Sam Mullins talks to people of Vernon and eventually, I’m told, the bush boys (real names Kyle and Roen Horn) themselves.
⚡️News from Sounds Profitable⚡️
Sounds Profitable (check out the newsletter and podcast) is exploring the problem with programmatic ads in podcasting, and the recent coverage about ads that should have been blocked by the publisher-set filters, making it into the podcast episode. Brian points out that isn’t actually the fault of adtech or podcasts. It’s a people problem. A few ways to solve? Collaborative work, third-party validation, better tools, and accountability. (I’m leaving out the absolute biggest one. Can you think of what it is?) Read/subscribe here.
🎙️I outline how you can grow a weird podcast to 100K downloads without spending a dime in Podcast Marketing Magic.
🎙️I don’t listen to a lot of comedian chat shows, but Nick Quah wrote about Sad in the City so I gave it a try. Comedian Taylor Tomlinson isn’t just chatting, her focus is on being lonely in cities. The episodes sound like legitimate stand-up performances I’d pay for, and her chemistry with her producer is so great it makes me want to follow her, too. Taylor’s review of New York City was so spot-on in episode one that I wrote several things down: “You shouldn’t have to shimmy into your kitchen to get cereal.” “We love suffering, that’s why we live here.” “New York City makes you work for it.” “Do I like New York because I like it or am I just proud of myself when I like it?” “You’re winning every day you don’t have a mental breakdown.” “The commercial for New York City should be: You wanna live in New York City? We’ll see about that.” I have lived in NYC for fifteen years and have never felt so seen. BTW Taylor, if you’re reading, I have been the woman peeing in the street. Listen here.
🎙️Build for Tomorrow, the show that proves that our hysteria over the future often comes from a place of ignorance, dropped the granddaddy of topics: writing. We all hear warnings that people are forgetting how to write because of technology and social media. But host Jason Feifer has done the research and he’s found that this is something we’ve been wringing our hands over for centuries. We’ve literally never been happy with how people are writing. There’s a valuable section at the end about why we teach writing wrong in schools and writing across curriculum that every. teacher and parent. should. listen to. Like always, pinning a problem to one factor is usually simplifying the problem. These “problems” are always more interesting than we think. Listen here.
🎙️Follow Friday (“the show that reminds you to always talk about people behind their backs…just say something nice!”) turned ONE! Can you believe it? Happy birthday! I love this show and was thrilled to hear the tables turned on host Eric Johnson. (Especially when he shared Defunctland.) Listen here.
🎙️My favorite Akron comedian River Butcher was on Feeling Seen to talk about how he felt watching Back to the Future as a kid. It made me think of the film in a whole new way—he talks about how much less gendered kids are than adults, and why a less gendered depiction of Marty McFly stuck with him. Listen here.
🎙️Ghosthoney is not the first influencer who has tried to convert their audience into podcast listeners, but his new podcast Dream Machine is different. He’s not “shooting the shit” or talking about “live love and everything in between” or any of those bullshit things influencers think people want to hear about. The show is made of tiny (15 min) scripted episodes full of original sketches and fast-paced segments (the show feels like TikTok.) The soundscape is bouncy yet dreamlike, and will make you feel like you’re staring at the moon with Tyler. I listened to the first episode, which featured the dreams of some of Tyler’s followers and Tyler’s funny analysis, but I’m not sure we can be quite sure what to expect with this one. And there’s nothing more exciting than that. Listen here.
🎙️The Pod Pipeline launched this week, which is like a monthly Black List for podcasters. It will source the best original podcast ideas from Pod People’s Community of 2,000+ amazing audio creators, who don’t have the connections to get their ideas funded and made. (Hello, Hollywood, looking for the best original podcast IP.) This news makes me dance in my seat. The inaugural slate goes out tomorrow! Learn more.
🎙️National Geographic’s Tara Roberts became a certified Scuba diver so that she could join a group of Black divers who are dedicated to finding and helping document some of the thousand slave ships that wrecked in the Atlantic Ocean during the transatlantic slave trade. On the new six-part podcast series Into the Depths, we get to go along with her. This podcast takes us to a special place we are lucky to visit, and it’s an interesting way to explore the history of global slave trade and the 12.5-million Africans forced to make the Middle Passage. Listen here.
🎙️Imperfect Paradise is a longform narrative podcast showcasing California stories that truly illustrate what it’s like to live there. In the first series Home is Life, we hear about one man’s mission to build housing for people experiencing homelessness in Orange County (and spoiler alert) his failure to do it. You get to see both the opposition and support of these ideas, and think about the things we can do that will actually make a difference for the unhoused. Listen here.
🎙️Last year, Paris Hilton opened up about how she was “verbally, mentally, and physically abused on a daily basis” during her stint at Provo Canyon School, a treatment center for troubled teens. Trapped in Treatment is her podcast (hosted by Caroline Cole and Rebecca Mellinger) that lets us into the world of the troubled teen industry. The first season will focus on Provo, and other seasons will focus on the stories of a different youth treatment facility, its survivors, and the traumatizing abuse at the hands of their captors. The school does not come off well, but the show is trying to understand why some people think they’re necessary by looking at the fractured families who send their kids there. By hearing from the people who are hired to remove kids from their homes (in episode two) we can try to understand why they do things like “kidnap” kids in their bedrooms at night, and what it’s like to be a parents who just doesn’t know what else to do. Listen now.
🎙️ Sasha Geffen, music critic and author of Glitter Up the Dark: How Pop Music Broke the Binary, brings us Shattering Gleam, a podcast about the creative ways pop stars have re-shaped gender through music. The episodes I listened to were fantastic musical deep dives, but really served as an entry points into interesting conversations about gender, the most unique I’ve ever heard, like Prince and how our ears gender vocal pitch, and the way robotic imagery in Beyoncé’s music confuses traditional expectations about gender and sexuality. Future episodes will cover Little Richard and the Bee Gees’ falsetto, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the hyper-masculation of the electric guitar, Tina Turner’s androgynous vocal style and more. A companion Sasha-hosted playlist on Pandora for songs featured on the show can be found here. Listen to the show here.
🎙️Uhoh! Many of you have been following along with my countdown to my Disney Cruise, but a recent episode of The Times terrified me. The Silver Shadow cruise ship was stranded in the port of Recife after a passenger was diagnosed with the coronavirus in Recife, Brazil, on March 15, 2020. On board was comedian Jen Murphy, who was ready to perform for 1,800 people. She ended up quarantining in her room for days. Why Jen boarded the ship in the first place is something host Gustavo Arellano does not understand. (I do.) But through Jen’s funny (and might I say harrowing) account of events, it seems clear that going on a cruise might not be worth it. (I dunno, is it worth your money to go into what seems like solitary confinement in a small, dark cell with limited entertainment options?) Listen here.
🎙️In case you’ve forgotten / are still thinking about the explosive Bloomberg piece that had podcasters discussing whether or not we would ever see another podcast hit, hear what Tom Webster has to say on I Hear Things. He makes so many good points about the audio industry and finding audiences. This was the piece I was waiting for. Listen here.
🎙️Sarah Marshall was a guest on Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend for what feels like a celebration of You’re Wrong About, revealing its ethos, beginnings, and why Michael Hobbes stepped away. I have heard a lot of Sarah Marshall, but not so much about her own personal trajectory as a podcaster. Indie podcasters should take notes. Listen here. Sarah was also on The JV Club with Janet Varney.
🎙️Willa Paskin was on You’re Wrong About to dissect the moment in 2005 when Tom Cruise jumped on Oprah’s couch—it’s a fun look at celebrities in the early 2000s, the evolution of Tom Cruise, and the history of The Oprah Winfrey Show. We might remember this moment, but memories don’t always serve us well and Willa and Sarah break down what actually happened on that stage and the context of the situation. The episode ends on a chilling clip of Cruise, telling Oprah that he “didn’t want to let Katie Holmes down” when she said she wanted to marry him, after Oprah asked him if he was interested in making Holmes’ dreams come true. Listen here.
🎙️Speaking of Oprah, Kellie Jackson Carter (of This Day in Esoteric Political History) has announced her new project with Leah Wright Rigueur (produced by Jody Avirgan and Radiotopia.) Oprahdemics promises to break down Oprah’s most iconic episodes and what the Queen of Talk has meant for our culture. Learn more.
🎙️The podcast formerly known as The Gay Agenda, hosted by Yellowjackets stars Jasmin Savoy Brown and Liv Hewson, will now be called The Homo Schedule. We learn this in episode two with Natalie Morales. Listen here.
🎙️Roxane Gay’s Here to Slay, which she hosted with Tressie McMillan Cottom and was behind the Luminary wall, is now called The Roxane Gay Agenda (or as Google Translate likes to call it, ‘The Roxane Homosexual Agenda,’) and is available for all of us. The first guest was Tressie McMillan Cottom, and they talk about Krysten Sinema and Morgan Wallen’s mullet.
🎙️I love you!