Comedy Duo On Co-Hosting And Working With Wondery Podcasts With Brooke Siffrinn And Aricia Skidmore-Williams, Hosts Of The Even The Rich Podcast

TBF 55 | Wondery Podcasts

 

There is no limit to what style of podcasting you can do. Just as how varied your topics can be, the way you present them to your listeners can also be as unique. Bringing you something new to the table in this episode, Tracy Hazzard sits down with the comedy duo on co-hosting, Brooke Siffrinn and Aricia Skidmore-Williams of the Even The Rich podcast, a series that pulls back the curtain and dishes on some of the greatest family dynasties in history. Produced by the big production studio, Wondery, which is known for producing a lot of great entertainment style podcasts that are generally story-focused, Brooke and Aricia offer some great insights about how they go about their show’s format and maintain that great rapport as co-hosts. They then share with us how they give improv cues, what traits make a good host, and how to start an entertainment-style show yourself or work with a group like Wondery. Take a deep dive into this different episode to know more about how things work when doing a highly produced show and more.

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Comedy Duo On Co-Hosting And Working With Wondery Podcasts With Brooke Siffrinn And Aricia Skidmore-Williams, Hosts Of The Even The Rich Podcast

I always say I have something new for you, but I have something different than we normally bring you here. I have the hosts of a Wondery show. The hosts of Even The Rich, Brooke Siffrinn and Aricia Skidmore-Williams. They have quite an interesting show dynamic. It’s great insights into how the show runs. If you’re not familiar with Wondery, to give you a little bit of background for those newbies to the podcast industry, it is a big production studio. They do it in entertainment style. They’re known for putting out a lot of great entertainment style podcasts that have a story focused or story-based in general. Even The Rich is no exception. Their new series pulls back the curtain and dishes on someone else’s craziness for a change. Brooke and Aricia tell the stories of some of the greatest family dynasties in history, from the Murdoch to the Carters, Jay-Z and Beyoncé that is. They talk about my favorite, which was their episode on the Royals from Diana to Meghan, which is interesting as well. There are a lot going on there that’s completely different than most of you are accustomed to hearing about on this show. I’m glad I could bring them on. I want to tell you a little bit more about them because their background as host is interesting.

Brooke Siffrinn is a comedian improvisor and alumna of the iO West improv school, where she performed on two-house teams. Her love of comedy started at an early age when her parents taught her the art of sarcasm and quick wit. Podcasting is her favorite thing to do because she loves chatting the day away with the Aricia and not having to put on her makeup for work. Aricia Skidmore-Williams is a Los Angeles-based comedian. She performs improv on multiple teams, including one of the house teams at the Upright Citizens Brigade. She hails from the Chicago suburbs by way of Maryland suburbs. Some could say her comedy spans the country. Her comedy career officially started when she signed up for her first improv class in Baltimore and unofficially started when her brother was born. She realized making people laugh was the only way she could steal attention away from a baby. You will see they’re as fun as their bios are. The thing about this show that’s different is it’s set in four parts. Each one of the sections where they cover the family dynasties or they cover the topic, they’re covering it in four parts. It has cliffhangers and it has some other things. This is going to be one show that you’re going to want to check out from a styling standpoint and take a peek behind the curtain as to how it runs when we talk to Brooke and Aricia.

About Even The Rich Podcast Host Brooke Siffrinn

TBF 55 | Wondery PodcastsBrooke is a comedian, improviser, and alumna of the iO West Improv School where she performed on two house teams. Her love comedy started at an early age when her parents taught her the art of sarcasm and quick wit. Podcasting is her favorite thing to do because she loves chatting the day away with Aricia, and of course, not having to do her makeup for work.

 

About Even The Rich Podcast Host Aricia Skidmore-Williams

TBF 55 | Wondery PodcastsAricia is a Los Angeles-based comedian. She performs improv on multiple teams, including one of the house teams at the Upright Citizens Brigade. She hails from Chicago suburb by way of Maryland suburb, so some could say her comedy spans the country. Her comedy career officially started when she signed up for her first improv class in Baltimore, and unofficially started when her brother was born and she realized making people laugh was the only way she could steal attention away from a baby.

Brooke and Aricia, thank you for joining me. I’m excited to gossip about gossip.

We’re excited to be here. It’s usually the two of us talking about nonsense.

You have great interplay together. Were you friends before? 

We were. We met parking cars. We worked as valets. Brooke was my boss.

I still am.

She thrives in that role. We ended up moving in together. I moved in with her and her now-husband. We’ve known each other for a few years.

We hit it off right away. As anyone who listens to the show knows we both have a similar sarcastic personality and it goes well together.

You do have a great rapport and cohosting is hard. That’s what I wanted to start with. A lot of your show is scripted, but do you have queues between each other? Do you argue about how you’re going to handle that? Do you plan it out ahead of time as you’re reviewing the script? 

We don’t argue with each other.

I know I was thinking like, “We don’t argue.”

I want a good line. That doesn’t happen.

Aricia and I both have a background in improv. What Wondery liked about us is we had a background in improvised comedy. When we originally auditioned for the show, they gave us a script and they were like, “Go ahead, riff and banter anywhere you want to.” The script is fully written and then we’re able to go in and write our own jokes if we want to or rewrite anything. A lot of times when we record, we say whatever comes to our mind, that’s how both of us work best when it comes to comedy. A lot of the stuff when we’re talking to each other and making jokes is completely improvised.

You’re interjecting and you’re doing the little interjection and make a joke, that’s all improvised but the rest of the story as it flows, you’ve got a script and you’re following. 

It's important for comedians to be authentic and be themselves because that's where the comedy comes in. Click To Tweet

There are some moments that are scripted to get us to another moment that maybe a little bit jokey, but a good majority of the humor is improvised.

You’re working with Wondery and you’ve got this show, are you doing a lot of the research or are they doing a lot of that for you? 

They’re doing everything for us, which we’re both grateful in the sense of they have somebody who’s writing the script, who’s doing the research, and we were able to bring it to life-based off what they write for us. It’s such a great collaboration in the sense of we get the script, Brooke and I will go over it. We’ll decide, “Let’s riff here. Let’s not riff here.”

Change a little the language so it sounds a little more like you saying it.

Very much we want it in the language and in the way that we talk and the way that we communicate with each other. We’re both agreeing that’s why Wondery picked us. They like how we interact with each other, our banter and all of that. We take the script and make it our own.

How did you get picked by somebody like Wondery? There’s somebody sitting back on, “That’s what I want. I want to do a show and I don’t want to do this all myself. I want to get picked.” How do I prep myself to get in on their radar? 

Aricia sent me a screenshot of casting that she saw on a Facebook group. This is something we’ve joked about before that we do all the time. We’re like, “Look at this, let’s do it.” We’re like, “Yeah, definitely,” then we never do it. I had been podcasting for a couple of years independently and it felt like it was made for us. We didn’t even know what was Wondery at the time. She sends me the casting notice and we recorded a quick audition about our experience with podcasting, our friendship and all of that. They’re like, “We love your banter.” We did three rounds of auditions. The final round was we went into the Wondery studio. I didn’t know that much about the podcast world and networks. My husband is a huge podcast fan and he’s like, “What’s the network?” I was like, “Wondery.” He’s like, “No way. It’s Wondery?” I was like, “Is that a good thing?” He was like, “Yeah, that’s a great network.” She and I were both like, “Okay.”

We had no idea until Russell was like, “That’s real and legitimate.”

Up until that point we were like, “Whatever, we’re doing independent stuff. It’s probably not a big deal.” When we found out it was such a great company, we were like, “Let’s be serious about this.” They seemed to like us together and that’s how it all happened.

It wasn’t your first show though. You had been tapping into the podcast industry. You had The Right Reality and you did the Bachelor Recap section on that. How did you find the difference going from what you’d been doing there to going into this wonderfully produced with all the help and support?

I will say it’s a lot easier to not have to navigate both sides of recording and putting out a piece. With The Right Reality, we had somebody who was underneath the umbrella, who was more on the challenge side, who would do the editing. With our Bachelor Recap podcast, it was not scripted at all. It was like we would watch episodes usually together and then take these notes and then talk about it for more than one hour.

Did you get to turn on the mic and riff?

Yeah. The Right Reality is still going. I still do that podcast and it’s crazy because it’s such a difference. On The Right Reality podcast, I say whatever I want and truly unfiltered. It’s an adjustment coming to a place like Wondery. My humor, I’ll go as hard as I want on The Right Reality, but we have to tone it down a little bit with Wondery. That’s a difference for us too. It was finding those moments where we can be ourselves and banter, but also keep the story going.

Do they promote the show or do you have to do some promotion too?

Wondery have a PR company that they work with. They have a great marketing team. They do all of that. She and I both post when the show is up and promoted as much as we can, but they have an amazing team that handles a lot of that.

TBF 55 | Wondery Podcasts
Wondery Podcasts: The comedy comes in being able to be comfortable and feeling like you’re having a conversation with your co-host more than just reading a script to you.

 

It was a lot harder when you’re doing The Right Reality trying to get listeners there. “Please listen. Please I’m begging you. We have a show.” We all are out there doing that. I like to touch on the bingeability factor and I want to hit on this before we talk about a few more things. What do you think your bingeability is?

That’s a great question and it’s hard because I feel like it can be a little bit subjective like, “Why is X, Y, and Z listening to this show?” It’s juicy stuff and we’re talking about people we all know exist. We all know certain things about these people that we’ve seen in headlines, that we’ve maybe read in articles, but we’re going deeper. There’s something exciting about that. Plus, rich people to me, at least, they’re fascinating in the sense of they’re almost like a different species. The idea of like, “I have an $8 million yacht that I hang out on.” I cannot fathom that. I’m lucky to have an $80 car to hang out in. There’s that almost morbid fascination with having a lot of money and what that brings for you.

What do you think Brooke? 

All of our shows, we do a four-episode arc for each season. We leave it on like a cliffhanger each episode, if you want to say that and like, “You got to find out the rest of these juicy details on the next episode.” Anybody going back and finding it later, it’s easy to binge because you’re like, “I have to know what happens in this story.” I know a lot of people found us because of season one, which were Princess Diana and Meghan Markle. That’s such a hot topic. A lot of people found us because of that and then stuck with it. We hear from a lot of people that are like, “I binged your whole thing.” Especially during quarantine, if you don’t have anything else to do, you’re like, “I’m going to listen to this whole series.” That’s what we’re hearing a lot of people. The cliffhanger has helped make it bingeable.

It’s an easy 45 minutes. I’ve heard from people saying that, “The time goes by fast. I can’t believe we’re already at the end of this episode.” That helps when it’s like, “Shit, a whole hour has passed.” It’s a nice feeling. In quarantine, you need to pass that time as quickly as possible.

I always psych on and analyze the shows because I’ve reviewed many shows here, The Bingeability Factor. You’ve hit on it. First off, human beings are hard-wired to want to know the whole story. By you leaving those cliffhangers in, there’s no way I’m not going to finish. The funny thing is even if the story isn’t exciting to me, we still can’t stand that we don’t know what happens next. That’s a human being thing. You’re tapping into that. Once they find your show, they’re like, “We’re going to keep going through.” It’s the team fun, the fun that you two have interacting with it. You said, Aricia that it is this fact that you have no concept of what that lifestyle is like. It makes us feel more like, “We’re not alone. We don’t know what that’s like.” If there was some stuffy British voice talking about Meghan Markle, then we would be like, “That’s a documentary.” Instead, it’s your outside view of it, which is a little more tampered in this reality of like, “Life isn’t like that for most people.” 

Instead, it’s our terrible British accents, which are fun and they love them.

It is fun that you tap into those on occasion. You have a lot of fun on the show and that comes across too. We’re sitting there getting to gossip with you two like all girlfriends. That’s a lot of fun. Did it ever occur to you that people might listen to you on double speed? 

No.

I’m going to tell you that you are even funnier on double speed. It’s not because you sound like chipmunks. The jokes come faster and it’s a different style. I have to listen to many shows in order to do my job here that I got to squeeze you into twenty minutes. I gave you the fourth day because I could not finish this story. For four days in a row, I would put it on double speed while I was doing my hair and my makeup every morning, so that I could be prepped and ready for our interview. I had to put you on double speed to cram it into the amount of time I had. I felt guilty about it at the beginning. I would tap it out and then bring it back again but I realized I wasn’t losing. I was afraid I was going to lose some of your styling. That’s why I did that but I realized I didn’t. It was as funny.

Are you finding that we’re less funny in normal time?

No.

She’s going to do this interview. It’s going to be double speed.

I’m going to speed it up. Don’t worry. I’ll do that on the production side. This pod fasting is a thing. That’s what we call it in the industry. It’s where people are like, “I have a 30-minute commute.” It doesn’t matter what the show is. I got to squeeze it into my 30 minutes or the time while my kids are in ballet, whatever it is, it’s got to fit in that timeframe. That’s what they do. Those are the serious podcasts listeners who do that, but you are great on that. It works out. 

That’s good to know. I thought I talked fast already.

At the end of the day, the hosts, the people they’re talking about, and the readers are just people. Let's have some respect for that. Click To Tweet

This is funny. I talk fast as you can tell, but my husband doesn’t. We co-host together. He’s methodic and I’m like, “I don’t know how anybody could do anything, but listen on double speed.” That’s my view as a listener. It’s terrible. You then listen to me and I’m way too fast. I love that you do that. You mentioned briefly that things are a little different in quarantine. It’s like listening is different. How was recording different or did you go into a studio to do it before and now you’re having to do it elsewhere? Are you on hiatus for recording?

We were going into the Wondery studios originally to record and now we have a sweet home setup. In the beginning, there were some growing pains. The first day we recorded it took us, unfortunately, maybe hours to figure out all the equipment and get it set up. We’re mostly smooth sailing now.

This is Aricia’s old bedroom when we finally got rid of her, we turned this into a studio and my husband’s crafty here. He made all these soundproofing panels in this room. There are four on the ceiling. There’s this wall, there’s a sidewall, there are two behind Aricia and we made this our studio. The first time we recorded an actual episode, we were in my bedroom. We had a mattress up on the ceiling trying to sound any way we could. It was ridiculous, but it’s smooth sailing now.

We’ve come a long way.

It sounds good. You’re doing well. Do you find it different though when you’re in the studio and now that you’re in the space? Do you have cues between the two of you as to how you co-host? In case you want to make some changes, how do you give an improv cue? 

I don’t think we do. We’re truly lucky to have the rapport and the chemistry that we do. Especially for two people who have never performed improv together outside of this. We’ve done it separately, but it comes. You can tell when the other person’s going to say something and you let them fall back or you fall back. In the studio, we had all these big mics in between us. We could see each other, but it wasn’t as well as we can see each other now.

It’s easier now. 

It is. Even our producers have found like, “You guys seem a little lighter now that you’re at home.” It’s more relaxed and feels like our environment. I feel like that helps us improvise and be comfortable.

You have had some great successes. You got to 23 on the charts. You got to number six in Society & Culture, which is hard to do because there are lots of great podcasts in that category. You beat out Conan and Oprah. 

That will forever be our shining moment.

That’s going on my gravestone.

That’s a big deal. Has it afforded you some other perks, some other authority in the marketplace and the next time you go into an audition, you’re going to go like, “I’d beat out Oprah?” 

I’m dropping that Wondery name every chance I get for an audition like, “I host a Wondery show.” I haven’t gotten to drop the Conan O’Brien and Oprah thing yet though.

I think you should.

I’m going to do that.

Wondery Podcasts: When looking for a podcast co-host, find somebody you have great chemistry with and people like listening.

 

Every time I interact with somebody I should lead with, “I beat out Conan and Oprah.”

Aricia and I ran into Conan. This is such an insane story. There’s this thing called Pod Front where advertisers can come and hear about new shows, and decide if they want to advertise on your show. This was right after we had found out we had gotten the job. We’re going in and presenting to these advertisers. It was crazy for us. Afterwards, Aricia was like, “Conan O’Brien was standing right there.” I didn’t see him.

This is classic Brooke. I’m standing with Brooke. We’re giving our mics back to the sound person or whatever. You could reach him. It’s not a 6-feet thing. You could reach out and touch him, especially with his long arms and Brooke was standing right next to me. I give her a look and this is an example of when we are not in sync. She looks back at me and I assume it’s because she’s seen him. He goes in and I was like, “Can you believe that?” She was like, “What?” I was like, “That was Conan O’Brien,” so then I made her wait.

Classic Aricia makes us sit in the lobby on this bench waiting for him to come out. He finally does come out and the three of us look at each other awkwardly. Nobody says anything. He looks like dead in my eyes. I was like, “Should I say something?”

He recognizes another successful podcast host. That’s what it was.

He’s like, “I feel like these two are going to beat me out at some point on the charts. I’m not saying anything.”

He recognizes the game.

Everyone reading this is an example, this is a relationship and you can see why the show and the synergy between the two of them are working. It’s such a good thing that you applied together because you can see that they could never have done this. I understand that you’re the first cohosted show in this genre for Wondery. Did they want that from the beginning? Was that what you presented when you auditioned?

The posts that Aricia had sent me, they were looking for, was it female or comedic duos?

If I’m remembering correctly, it was for two female hosts to lead comedic hosts or one female host, which sounded like they were thinking about pairing up with another person if they could find a match.

They were originally looking for comedic duos.

They wanted two people.

They got it lucky for them. Normally I do these five tips, but we’re not going to do them because you have a production team that does that at Wondery. We’re not going to go into all that but what I want to do is ask this one question and see if you can give our audience some advice here. What traits do you think make a good host? 

For our show specifically, hosting with a co-host is different, but I’ve said this before. I feel like someone who can talk about whatever, the gift of gab truly makes a great host. That’s always been what makes me enough an okay host. I’m not going to be like, “I’m the best host.” I can talk to anybody about pretty much anything if I have a little bit of a backstory on it. Being ourselves, that’s important to me. I know these are scripted that’s why they’re called scripts. It’s important for me to be authentic in who I am, and especially for Aricia because we are comedians and we want to be ourselves and that’s where the comedy comes in. Being able to be comfortable, feel like you’re having a conversation more so than, “I’m reading this script to you. Here’s a story.” For me, that’s a big thing. I feel like if I can relate and connect to a host, then that makes them a good host.

What about you, Aricia?

Brooke said it well. I agree with all of that and to add to that, it’s caring about or having some interest in what you’re talking about.

The fact is you can't wait for things to align perfectly. You have to go out, get it, and make things happen. Click To Tweet

Even if you can’t relate to it, but it’s curiosity.

It’s having passion. Much of the stuff that we talk about, I didn’t know anything about, but I’m interested borderline fascinated by it that it helps. If you’re listening to somebody talk about something they don’t give two things about, you’re not going to be like, “Why you keep listening?” They clearly don’t care. It’s having that passion. It doesn’t have to be full-on like I know every single detail about everything and don’t worry, listeners will let you know if you get it wrong.

That was my next question for you. Do the listeners let you know when you get it wrong? Because you’ve got some super fans, especially when you’re talking about the Royals. 

For us, it’s different because with our other show, it was on a smaller scale. We had people reaching out to us and saying they love the show and whatever, but I don’t think her and I were fully prepared for the chaos that is iTunes reviews.

Do you read your reviews? 

Not anymore. We read them initially, not all of them, but it was like, “Let’s check-in and see where we are right after this had been dropped.” We learned almost instantaneously, “This is why you don’t do this.”

Do not read your own reviews. There you go. Good to know. 

People will pick out the littlest craziest thing and run with it. We want to do and say the right thing. We never want to truly offend anybody. We do welcome feedback and we have changed things due to feedback. Every once in a while, you’ll see something negative and it could be amidst 100 positive things and you focus on that negative and you’re like, “I’m a terrible host. I’m not funny. I shouldn’t do this anymore.” It’s crazy.

There will be reviews that are factually untrue and there’s nothing you can do about it. One of the reviews said that I was a white woman and especially in the midst of what’s going on in the country. It’s like, “I’m not. Why would you say that?” There’s nothing you can do about it and you’re like, “I don’t need to read these because I have no control of them. Let me focus on what I can control.”

I had one of my podcasts where we did over 580 episodes. That’s one of them. It was the one I cohost with my husband. It’s all about tech. It’s about 3D printing, geeky. Every so often we would get hate mail. We would get this nasty message and it wasn’t in the reviews, but we get an email about it like, “Tracy’s voice is annoying.” This whole thing and I’m like, “You don’t have to subscribe. You don’t have to listen.” 

I told Aricia my new thing is I’m on a quest to make it a rule that you have to put your first and last name on your iTunes review.

It would change everything. 

There are people like this and I’ll never understand it where there’s no reason to say that. What does it matter how somebody’s voice sounds? Nobody’s got a gun to your head saying, “You have to listen.” Why even put that comment on? Stop listening and move on with your life. It’s like, “No, I’ve got to come after this person I don’t know and I’ve never met.” One of the things that I have learned through this process and I’ve always known this, but there are people and we’re all people. We can’t say who but somebody we talked and spoke about and we covered on our show, a relative reached out to us and was like, “We love what you’re doing.” That put it into perspective where we’re talking about people and we honor that and we respect them even when they make poor choices in their lives. It’s important to remember that as listeners and people. At the end of the day, we’re people. We’re talking about are actual people let’s have some respect for that.

We’re allowed to say what family the person was from. We have it on good authority that someone in the Murdoch family heard our podcast.

For those of you who are reading, they have a four-segment section on the Murdoch family. I could see why they’d be a little nasty to you. 

TBF 55 | Wondery Podcasts
Wondery Podcasts: The most important thing in life is to do something that you enjoy. If you’re enjoying it, then even if it’s not as successful as you might want it to be, you’re still having fun.

 

They weren’t nasty.

They were nice. That’s a surprise.

Hearing a relative say, “I love your show. I’m listening to it. This person that you mentioned in the show is listening to it as well and may enjoy it.” It was like, “Thank you.” It’s great that they appreciate it. That speaks to how we are telling these stories. We’re trying to remember that there are people behind these stories. They’re not just names on a piece of paper. I would love for people who listen that have something negative to remember that as well. At the end of the day, we’re all people. Let’s treat people with respect.

Maybe Meghan is listening.

Meghan, I’d love to talk to you about your style and what it’s like to be married to a Royal and also getting drinks. I want to get drinks with her. You can come.

Have you become podcast fans? Brooke, you said your husband was a big podcast fan before. Have you become fans? Have you listened to other shows to try to hone your craft a little more? Has that occurred because of podcasting? 

Yeah. This is my new tactic for seeing what people may be saying about our show. I go and I find shows similar to our show and I listened to them and I look at their reviews and I was like, “If people are mad about this on your show, they may be mad about it on our show.”

Does it make you feel better? 

Almost, but it’s like, “I don’t have to hear this direct feedback. I’m getting it second hand and I’ll implement it.”

I’ll implement it before someone comments on mine. 

RedHanded is one that Wondery had told us about to check out because it’s two female friends hosting. It’s a true-crime podcast. It’s a similar vibe, two friends talking about crazy stuff. We checked that one out. There are some other female hosted podcasts that are comedic that I listened to get a sense of what people who are maybe listening to our show are also listening to and doing my own research that way.

I may have mentioned this on but I met Brooke and Aricia because they applied to my Authority Magazine article. In there you both put two shows that you thought were great Whitney Cummings show, which I can see why you would like that from a comedic standpoint. Justin Long was the other one that was mentioned in the show. Those are great shows to model in terms of how they operate them. Whitney does a monologue there most of it. That’s a lot to sustain. 

She’s one of those people who I would listen to talk forever. She’s funny to me. I adore her. Aricia has got a big crush on Justin Long.

That’s not the only reason I listen, but you’re correct. He’s funny. I love interview podcasts when they’re talking with people, which isn’t so much what we have, although the last episode of each series is us interviewing. What I love about Justin’s podcast is it feels personal. He’s talking to people and they’re talking about their own experiences and I’m a big fan that we can all relate to each other in some way or another. It’s finding out how. He showed us a great job of finding that thread.

What’s next for you? Where is this going to go? 

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If we make it out of Corona.

Either personally or professionally, where’s it going for you? 

Aricia and I are in the same boat. We want to continue doing things together. We enjoy doing comedy together. We have tons of ideas that we need to implement. We can only do things when someone else is doing them for us. We need to get going. We’ve always wanted to write a web series about our friendship or TV show about our friendship. I’m happy to keep podcasting for as long as people feel like listening to us. I always say I would love us to be the next Broad City. That is my big dream. I love Broad City. They’re funny. That’s my ultimate dream.

Being able to do stuff creatively together is our goal and whatever we can do with that are aces in our book. Los Angeles is a hard city to navigate. I feel grateful that I have somebody who gets me and is navigating it with me. It’s cool that we get to do it together. We’re lucky that our comedy is authentic. Never have we tried with each other. Half the time we’re recording its stuff we would have said, “Not recording.” That’s something that is unique and doesn’t come along often. Tapping into that however we can is what we’d like to do.

We’re going to force it on people for as long as we can.

You were mentioning that this is a hard city and LA is a hard city. Doing the entertainment style podcasting is a hard model. There’s not a ton of shows out there. It’s competitive. What advice do you have for someone who has a desire to do that whether they want to do it themselves and start-up an entertainment style shows themselves or work with a group like Wondery?

You just do it. I have some microphones behind me. This one right here is only $45. You can get this microphone on Amazon and it sounds great. We’re lucky to have all this equipment that Wondery send us, but my other podcasts, we’re just like, “Let’s do it.” You can buy a recorder for a couple of bucks. You can buy a microphone on Amazon. You can get Audacity, which is a free program on your computer and record. Do it. It’s easy to get started. There’s a ton of podcasts out there but if you can find somebody who you have great chemistry with, who people like listening to. I’m a big proponent of like, “Try it on your own and see what happens.” You can even email Wondery or any of these networks and say, “I’ve got this show. Do you want to take a listen?”

I feel like it’s important to not wait for everything to be perfect because it’s easy to say, “I need to have this in line and I need to have this setup.” At the end of the day, what do you have fun doing, and then just do it. I’m saying this as somebody who struggles all the time. I originally moved out here to write and I don’t write as much as I want to. The fact is you can’t wait for things to align perfectly. You have to go out and get it and make things happen. The most important thing is to do something that you enjoy. If you’re enjoying it, then even if it’s not as successful as you might want it to be, you’re having fun. At the end of the day, if you’re not having fun, what’s the point?

This opportunity was truly a preparation and luck meeting. It was perfect for us. We had no idea. We thought maybe this was some podcast we were going to record in some guy’s garage. We’re like, “It’s Wondery, great.”

There’s a studio there. It’s a lot safer. 

It helps. Brooke mentioned this was something we would do all the time. She would see something on some page, send it to me and say, “We should submit,” and vice versa. Most of the time, I would forget to submit and she would submit. There were many times when we submitted, we never heard anything. It’s not this was the first time that we had ever tried to do something. Any story of success has many stories of not success and that’s normal. Don’t let that derail you because everyone talks about all the times that they mess up and don’t get what they want. Not everyone’s going to like you remember that. Don’t care about that. Do it for yourself more than anything else.

Aricia and Brooke, thank you for joining me. This has been fascinating. Thank you for giving me some insights into how things work when you do a highly produced show. Thank you for sharing your journey with us for those of us out there who might want to try that too. 

Thank you, Tracy, for having us.

Comedy Duo On Co-Hosting And Working With Wondery Podcasts — Final Thoughts

I hope you find that as fun and fascinating as I did, and such insights into how this works and how nice it is for those of us independent podcasters to think about what it’s like when you work with that great team who’s prepping you. A little reveal here to make sure that you know. You know I’m lucky and I have a full production team on the post side of things right after it’s recorded. I do all of my own prep here because I don’t have that team that Wondery has for Brooke and Aricia. Even The Rich and these types of shows that are much more story-based require a lot of research. For the independent podcasters out there who I’ve talked to, who I’ve spoken with about how they prepare their true crime stories. That research portion takes an inordinate amount of time. Being able to tap in and step into it and handle that comedic side of things, to be able to personalize it and make it special, Brooke and Aricia are lucky. I know that they know that.

In this case, because they’re not mired down with all of that history, research, and the things that they have to do. It allows them to be freer with the show. The show gets produced faster because there’s a team involved in it. That can be the frustrating thing and the hard thing about sustaining a podcast when you’re trying to do it on your own. My strong recommendation to you is to go listen to the show, hear how it is. If you’re thinking about doing any of these gossipy talk show or cereals in which you’re reviewing something or historically looking at something or telling stories about something, check out how they’re doing it because the personality that Brooke and Aricia interject into this is amazing. It serves the show extremely well.

TBF 55 | Wondery Podcasts
Wondery Podcasts: Remember that not everyone’s going to like you. Don’t care about that. Do it for yourself more than anything else.

 

For those of you who are afraid of getting a co-host out there, take a listen as well because you don’t want to miss the idea that there is a way for you to go back and forth between one taking a back step and leaning back into it. One being sarcastic, one being cute and funny, whatever it is that your model is, there’s a model out there. Listening to shows like Even The Rich will help you broaden that view of how could my show be produced? How could I be better at hosting or cohosting? Pay attention on Brooke and Aricia’s advice because it’s spot on for all of that. For those of you who don’t know, there’s a bunch of new applications in there. If you’ve got a brand-new show, there’s still a way for you to get featured on The Binge Factor. For those of you who are doing seasoned podcaster that is sitting back wondering, “Do I have a bingeable show?” I’d love to review that for you. Make sure and apply at TheBingeFactor.com. I’m looking forward to being back with you and bringing you newer and more interesting podcast and podcast hosts as we continue The Binge Factor series.

Don’t miss Tracy Hazzard’s Authority Magazine article about Brooke Siffrinn And Aricia Skidmore-Williams too!

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Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard is an Authority Magazine columnist, former Inc. Columnist on disruptive innovation, and host of 5 top-ranked podcasts including: The Binge Factor and Feed Your Brand–one of CIO’s Top 26 Entrepreneur Podcasts. She is the co-founder of Podetize, the largest podcast post-production company in the U.S. As a content, product, and influence strategist for networks, corporations, marketing agencies, entrepreneurs, publications, speakers, authors & experts, Tracy influences and casts branded content with $2 Billion worth of innovation around the world. Her marketing methods and AI-integrated platform, provides businesses of all sizes a system to spread their authentic voices from video to podcast to blog, growing an engaged audience and growing valuable digital authority.
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