The Hollywood Podcast
March 10, 2009 by Beatweek
What first led you into the world of podcasting?
I’m not even sure exactly how I heard about podcasting. I think it may have been an NPR news piece. I just remember driving around on my scooter listening to Adam Curry’s “Daily Source Code”.
And it wasn’t that I loved his show so much. It was his enthusiasm. He was recording in his car. He was pushing the technology forward. He was excited and it was contagious.
From there it was a no-brainer.
My Dad worked in Boston radio for years. I grew up around radio. The thought of having my own show was thrilling. Especially after having a few years in Los Angeles under my belt. I love Los Angeles but prior to this DIY revolution, or whatever you want to call it, all the power rested in very few hands. I didn’t have a voice unless someone decided I should have a voice.
I needed something that was mine, something creative that I didn’t need permission or approval to do.
After months of thought and research I finally launched my first show on March 27, 2005.
Why do a podcast about Hollywood itself?
My original idea was sort of a “This American Life meets Hollywood” concept. As a struggling actor, I was in the trenches of Hollywood and I knew that there were a lot of interesting stories that weren’t being told.
I also knew that these mainstream big media guys were stuck in the publicist/press junket vortex. They interviewed the big names and I couldn’t compete with that. My strength was that I could bring the stories from the trenches to whoever was interested.
They could interview Gwyneth Paltrow and I would interview the paparazzi photographers that chase her. And that’s exactly what I did for my first show. It was called “Chasing Gwyneth”. The show was a collection of sound bites and interviews from a weekend I spent riding along with a paparazzi photographer as he chased Gwyneth Paltrow.
There are tons of stories here that haven’t been told. I’m a one-man operation so I’m not able to capture them all but I’m doing my best.
What does a typical episode of The Hollywood Podcast consist of?
There’s no such thing.
About a year into my show I started doing these episodes called “Unkempt”. It was a crazy time in my life. I was single, driving a scooter, sleeping on a pilates mat in a kitchen, and my career was going nowhere. I was really hurting and I needed to talk about it. I needed to express myself.
I was also getting tired of all the hours I was spending editing audio. I just wanted to turn on the mic and talk about my life. No editing. Just send it out. That’s where the “Unkempt” title came from. I was unkempt. My life was unkempt. And these shows reflected that.
That’s a long way of saying that my show is essentially two shows in one – one side interviews and the other side “Unkempt” stories about my life.
That’s the beauty of podcasting. It’s challenging and maybe frustrating for potential new listeners but it’s my show and I can do whatever I want.
Who are some of the more interesting people you’ve interviewed on the show?
There’s a few that come to mind. The paparazzi photographers in “Chasing Gwyneth” reminded me that things aren’t always black and white. Think what you want about the paparazzi but each one of them has a unique story to tell.
I’ve interviewed a hand model, Pamela Anderson’s “Baywatch” body double, a former Mouseketeer, but the most controversial interview was with James Bulliard, who went from the lead in an ABC primetime drama to a depressed, bankrupt and out-of-work actor. He was brutally honest and open with me and it elicited a very interesting and passionate response from my listeners.
Strangely though, I think my “Unkempt” episodes have been the most interesting to my listeners.
How has being a podcaster influenced your acting aspirations and vice versa?
My podcast has expanded my aspirations. The response I’ve gotten from my listeners has given me the confidence to tell stories on stage, to write essays and screenplays, to think of myself as a true artist and not “just another actor in LA”. Also, my “Unkempt” series has forced me to pay attention to my life and to get out of my apartment and take some chances.
I’m not as young as I’d like to be but I think things are just getting started for me as an artist and I owe that to my podcast.
What motivated you to take over the reins of LA Podcasters?
Those early LA Podcaster meet-ups were thrilling – Dan Klass, Larry Winfield, Cush, the Tres Jefes guys, the Dr. Floyd guys, Lance Anderson, and several others. It was just a bunch of guys from different walks of life, all wanting to express their art in some way. It was really cool.
Lance has been running it since day one and he was looking to hand it off to someone. It’s a lot of work and I think Lance just needed a break. I thought it was really important that he hand it off to someone who was there from the beginning and had respect for the passion and energy that he put into it.
What can we look forward to from LA Podcasters going forward?
My goals with the group are humble. Really, I just want to bring it back to what Lance started back in 2005. There’s a bunch of new media, social media, video, social networking groups sprouting up around town and they’re great but I think all these groups made us think that we needed to grow and expand our reach. I want to keep LA Podcasters simple and focussed. If you’re a podcaster or you’re interested in podcasting then an LA Podcaster Meet-Up is the place to go.