Intro to Podcasting, Part 3: Podcast Recommendations

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{Header image by NY Photographic and used under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.}

Note: as of July 2011, this article (and the remaining two parts) will be published as one article in the August 2011 issue of KC Stage Magazine (link no longer active).

Part 1 of this series discussed what exactly a podcast was, while part 2 went into the basics of what to do if you are interested in creating your own podcast.

Podcast Recommendations

Before I go into specific recommendations, there is a tag on KC Stage’s Delicious links (note: as of June 2013, link has been removed) as well as my own for podcasts (note: as of June 2017, link has been removed), which has far more than the ones I list here. Since this is a performing arts blog, I kept my recommendations to arts-related ones.

Atlanta Radio Theatre Company

In September of 2007, I recommended ARTC and their audio dramas. Back then, I listened to their podcast via their website/blog, but now I subscribe to it via iTunes (although you can still listen on their blog). Even though they scaled down to broadcasting only once a month, you still get an awesome dose of audio drama (doubly awesome if you happen to be a sci fi / HP Lovecraft / fantasy fan).

KCUR Arts

If you like to know what’s going on in the Kansas City arts community on a daily basis, and you’re an NPR listener, you’ve tuned in to the arts reports from Laura Spencer, Steve Walker, and others at one point or another. iTunes gives you the ability to subscribe to these news items (although it sometimes is spotty in keeping up the subscription), letting you listen to the news on your time.

Reduced Shakespeare Company

Creators/originators of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), The Complete History of America (Abridged), and other such shows, the RSC was on the scene of podcasting back in 2006. The mostly weekly podcast is, as I’m sure you could guess, very short — I don’t think I’ve heard one that has gone past 10 minutes, and is about their life on the road, their shows, and other similar topics. It’s an interesting behind-the-scenes tour of a touring company, and gives some insights to anyone who’s interested in acting or running a theatre company.

The Tobolowsky Files

I’ve wanted to write a full-on recommendation of this podcast since I discovered it about six months ago. If you know Stephen Tobolowsky enough to recognize him outright, it’s most likely from one of two places: if you’re at least 30, it’s as Ned Ryerson (the insurance salesman) from Groundhog Day; but if you’re a little younger, it’s as Sandy Ryerson (hmmm — maybe they’re related?) in Glee. The consummate character actor, Tobolowsky is an excellent storyteller, telling tales of “life, love, and the entertainment industry” (you can get a sample of what he’s like through the movie Stephen Tobolowsky’s Birthday Party, which was kind of the start of the podcast). If you have ever wanted to be an actor, on the stage or in film, this is a great one to listen to for inspiration, empathy, and ideas.

eTown

This is a weekly hour-long radio show that does not have a radio station playing it in the Kansas City area (Wichita is the closest). I found out about this through one of the Chipotle cups (who was a sponsor for some time, and may still be). It’s a live show that has typically two music acts, many of which I personally have never heard of which the host, Nick Forster, has short interviews with as well. It’s also a pro-environment show, discussing the importance of community (however you may define it), and has a weekly e-chievement award that goes to someone who is making a difference in the community. If you like discovering music and have a soft spot for saving the environment, you need to check this out.

Stage Savvy: The Podcast

The first episode of the Stage Savvy podcast was January, but the idea for me to do a podcast has been with me since at least last year. But it was my trip to LA last May as a NEA fellow that provided the appropriate kick in the butt for me to actually start putting it together.

The podcast follows the same format as my blog of the same name, which is inspired by this ongoing column, and is co-hosted by Jennifer Morris. It’s a guide to the various aspects of the performing arts, whether it’s marketing tips, editorials, or ways to make your organization better — with the focus on Kansas City area specific people and/or issues. We also end each show promoting a song written and/or performed by a local musician.

Other podcasts of interest

I can’t give full recommendations to these podcasts, as I don’t listen to them any more due to lack of time. But they are ones to definitely look into if this is floats your proverbial boat:

  • Technology in the Arts: a monthly podcast that has interviews and tech tips about the technology side of the arts world.
  • NAMPRadio: from the National Arts Marketing Project, it’s also a monthly podcast that discusses the marketing end of the arts world.
  • L.A. Theatre Works (www.bigcontact.com/latw or www.latw.org): broadcast locally on KKFI 90.1 FM Wednesdays at 6 pm, the hour-long show is also available via podcast. It’s audio drama of works such as Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, W. Somerset Maugham’s The Constant Wife, and George Bernard Shaw’s Major Barbara – all with a star-filled cast.
  • nytheatrecast: want to know what’s going on in the off-Broadway and independent theatre world in New York City? Check this podcast out. (NOTE: as of 2015, link no longer active)

If you’re interested in learning more about podcasts and podcasting, you’ll want to check out Podcast411, HowStuffWorks.com’s primer on how podcasts work (and I have to give a short recommendation to the podcasts they have: I listen to two of them, Stuff You Should Know and Stuff Mom Never Told You, and they are always informative and entertaining), and the Podcasting for Dummies podcast.