Transcript for "Collaboration - with Sean Mallary"

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00:00.00
Craig
Hello I’m Craig Constantine welcome this is the podcaster community show short conversations that are not just about podcasting because I’d like to take the scenic route. My guest today is Sean Mallary welcome Sean my distinct pleasure i.

00:12.27
Sean
Hey thanks for having me.

00:37.22
Craig
You were a little early that’s not a dig on everybody else who’s ever been on the show who hasn’t been a little early. You’re not supposed to show up early but Shaun showed up a little early so we had a little more time than usual to chat. So we got to talking about not just how we both got into podcasting but like how. We got started listening to podcasters as podcasting as consumers and I I got to the point where I was asking you where you saw yourself you know in the context of podcasting where you saw yourself like in a year and a half and eighteen months and what I’m curious about is there’s like ooh podcasting is cool. That’s like the.

01:33.79
Sean
Um, sure, um.

01:50.72
Craig
You know when you None experience it and and then there’s also that ooh listening to them is cool like but after you do it enough. You really start to get a feel for whoa. What is this really you know and and we could probably talk a lot about what you do and what you’ve done with lighting. Um, but I’m just wondering now that you’ve got a taste for.

02:00.41
Sean
Um.

02:24.46
Craig
Listening to podcasts and creating podcasts. Do you feel like you’re drawn more toward what I call the enabler. You know the people who do everything but you don’t see them or hear them. Um versus being the actual talent that’s heard you know you feel like 1 of those calls to you more than the other.

02:22.90
Sean
Um.

02:43.43
Sean
Um, I definitely feel like a behind the scenes person I don’t necessarily want to be the person on the mic. So I think a producer role and editing editing will probably be the direction I go in. Ah but I have enjoyed my conversations in my show. And I have a couple different friends who we’ve talked about doing kind of just a like a bullshit friends sort of show just for fun and and I could see it going that way for sure. Um, but.

03:51.40
Craig
Ah, you get the urge to just delete yourself from the commerce. Sometimes I I have a cool conversation with someone I want I feel like I could just delete my track. Yeah.

03:54.81
Sean
Sure and as well and and I’m definitely one of those people who does a lot of responding and and yeah and sure so I definitely erase a lot of that because it gets annoying after a while. But yeah, um, so yeah.

04:28.80
Craig
Um, it’s fun. Yeah I warn people of this I’m not deleting any of your arms and Os and I’m I’m like let’s see just how many you put in I’m noticing not many at all and I think there’s there’s something about I’m guessing a lot. You know if you’ve done and.

04:30.50
Sean
Um, yeah, right.

05:03.66
Craig
If you’ve done like lighting for any live performances you get to see like you know they do a better job most of the time when there’s no safety net.

04:52.49
Sean
Um, sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah for sure. Yeah I mean I do a handful of live music and man I’ve done musicals and stuff. But yeah, definitely when you’re um. In the hot seat as they say it’s It’s a different experience when you’re doing it live So there’s There’s very few ah times you can go back and redo that sort of thing. So.

05:55.10
Craig
Um, yeah, in a way that kind of becomes part of the organicness of you know Craig and Shawn having a conversation. This is the 2 of us trying to figure out who goes next when you know or do we make hand gestures you know or whatever.

05:55.67
Sean
Um, sure. Yeah, yeah, sure right.

06:31.98
Craig
I I was going to say I’m not a lighting director I don’t even play one on Tv I can spell light. That’s the limit I mean like I have a vague sense of what like a lighting director and a lighting designer and and maybe like a grip like some just some basic stuff. But i’m.

06:30.43
Sean
Ah sure. Ah, that’s good. It’s a good start.

07:11.92
Craig
Wondering how I’m I’m always interested in like skill transfer. So if there was something about lighting and and I’m going. Oh yeah, look if you’re in the lighting set at department if you’re in the lighting department in theater. You’re literally behind the scenes or you’re literally out of sight and you’re just telling me That’s what.

07:20.67
Sean
Yeah, sure. Yeah, exactly yeah.

07:52.18
Craig
You’re feeling drawn to with podcasting but do you feel like being in front of the mic Also forces you to grow in a way that everything you’ve done in lighting never ever pushed you that way or.

08:00.45
Sean
Yeah I mean no, that is interesting I I definitely spent many years enjoying not being in my own lights um or being on stage in any way. Ah, again, the experience I’ve had through doing my interview style show. Talking to pretty much complete strangers has sort of changed the way I’ve communicated with people how I’ve thought about things. Um I have definitely enjoyed it but I don’t I don’t see myself as wanting that to be where I look for work next you know I definitely feel the. Producer role speaks to me more that way. But again I I have enjoyed it and because I do like talking to people. Um I was a lyft driver for ah for a while here in Denver before the pandemic and that was one of my favorite things was just talking with people. You know for five ten minutes at a time and getting to know people and so there is something to that on the mic side that is appealing to me and you know in terms of lighting. It’s just ah, telling stories in a different way. You know.

10:23.64
Craig
2 thoughts come to mind I’m trying to remember in so you and I met in the akimbo podcasting course and in 1 of the previous iterations. My brain just went I distinctly remember there was somebody I think there might have been an uber driver there was somebody who built a show.

10:39.45
Sean
Um, ah yeah, sure. Yeah, right? Ah, yeah, yeah, yeah, and I mean um.

10:59.78
Craig
Which was literally recording those conversations guy wired the guy miked his car and then when you’d randomly get in the car. He’d be like hey by the way would you like to and then people would say yes or no and then he would do little like because that’s a whole format is we don’t know what’s going to come out of this.

11:18.95
Sean
It’s funny that you say that the idea that I did come up with for the podcasting workshop was um I had a very different experience as a liftft driver I felt like I had these really pretty intense connections with a lot of people because I drove at night and a lot of people would be in various states of intoxication. Um, and very.

12:01.84
Craig
Um, is that really consent if they sign right.

11:59.23
Sean
Weirdly, vulnerable. Yeah yeah, but no vulnerable and not in like a weird you know creepy sort of way but like ah just a very open sort of way and you know I I started writing down some of these experiences and like I said I drove for about 3 years had about 3000 passengers

12:29.40
Craig
Um, yeah.

12:36.37
Sean
And I mean I talked to guy at a committing suicide one night and took him to a hospital instead I you know there was handfuls of things like that and so my idea for the podcast was actually to write these things and restage them in sort of a audio play format. Um, and i’m.

13:16.42
Craig
Um.

13:13.23
Sean
I’m still interested in doing that I just I kind of stalled out because it’s that’s ah, just a different shift in audio work in terms of multiple actors and things like that. But and again I don’t know if I want to be the driver character or hire an actor that could do it better? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

13:49.40
Craig
Oh you have to be the driver car. You have to be the driver character if you write those things you have a None of all, do it and when you do it my brain just went oh my god that’s totally like because it’s it’s like you get to listen like you’re riding in the trunk you get to listen to these conversations.

13:50.43
Sean
Yeah, yeah, ah yeah.

14:06.85
Sean
Sure Yeah, but yeah I don’t know I mean miking up my car that that seems like a violation to me and I don’t know how how honest people would have actually been knowing that that was the case right? and I know they.

14:23.46
Craig
You know that are that are restaged. That’s a neat that would be a neat thing. Um, yeah.

14:42.20
Craig
Um. Yeah, that was my concern is like you kind of have to even if they say god.

14:46.67
Sean
Yeah, yeah, and yeah, and maybe no it just maybe forces the conversation after that you know and so maybe less organic I mean I know people sort of. Do forget that a mic is there sometimes you know that that happens but I don’t know though that would have been odd to me and you know.

15:22.62
Craig
Um, yeah, well it gets back to the same I kind of have the not kind of the exact same challenge here. Um I do a little bit of prep work and I do it immediately before these calls.

15:19.65
Sean
I wouldn’t have done that personally. But.

15:28.93
Sean
Um, ah. Um, yeah.

15:56.78
Craig
People who’ve listened a lot I call it loading the guest into my head where I I do nothing but think about the person who’s showing up at whatever time it is and you know I’m Google or I’m on Linkedin or I’m you know whatever I get my hands on I’m not trying to like accomplish anything in particular I’m just going to spend time thinking about that person and.

15:57.11
Sean
Um.

16:14.49
Sean
Um.

16:33.42
Craig
That’s 1 thing that’s totally missing if you’re picking up people you know in the lift economy. He’s like oh no, what we’re going to get so that’s 1 thing to’ be tough. It’s 0 prep you have literally no clo. Um, and then the other part would be I tell if people have been guesting on the show know this I tell you yes at the end I’m going to give you a great big veto button and you can just be like that was awesome or.

16:25.85
Sean
Um, ah yeah, the answer.

16:53.13
Sean
Um, yeah, right? sure.

17:12.54
Craig
No, and that be another thing that would be a little tricky to explain to people because maybe they’re in a hurry or they don’t have time for that and it’s totally not what they were expecting I was expecting a ride from pointy to point B bro you know and you’re making a podcast so there’s all that meta.

17:17.19
Sean
Um, sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah, well and I mean well the interesting thing about Lyft At least when they first started and when I started working with them. They wanted that community I mean that was their whole thing was they encouraged drivers to.

17:59.92
Craig
Are.

17:55.21
Sean
Talk to their passengers to the to their comfort level. You know, um I’ve always thought about it as a weird situation. You know I’m a stranger you’re a stranger we’re we’re getting in my car. Um the talking for me was was like yeah just to kind of put people at ease more than anything else and you know had mixed results. But.

18:27.12
Craig
Um, welcome to my fear. Nice sofa.

18:34.25
Sean
The most part people were interested in sort of taking that and you know just try to make it a ah ah less awkward experience when anything else and that was that was what I really enjoyed about it. You know? So yeah.

19:09.32
Craig
But that’s see connections sometimes people and I think you actually ask me what’s the show about yeah like they show up for all right? I’m down for a recording says. Well, what is this and I’m like well sometimes it’s like a Venn diagram I have 2 circles topic a topic b and then I try to like smash them together. They can make them overlap.

19:11.50
Sean
Ah sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, sure.

19:44.74
Craig
And I just went oh wait a second so you practiced 3000 repetitions of thrown into a small space with a person. You don’t know and now you have to try and make them feel comfortable. That’s kind of like doing conversations for podcasts.

19:52.30
Sean
Right? Yeah sure. Yeah yeah, ah yeah, ah yeah, yeah for sure. Yeah.

20:19.98
Craig
So’m like whoa that’s like setup work for what you’re doing with your show currently have you ever noticed that.

20:38.28
Craig
Do you feel like um I always ah this show doesn’t really have a through line. It kind of does. It’s about podcasts but it doesn’t really and I feel like if a show has a through line then I’m.

20:44.65
Sean
Um, yeah, sure.

21:14.38
Craig
Leeary of having to become like I become an indentured servant like I have to always make sure that I’m at least paying lip service to the topic that we’re supposed to be making a show about and do you think maybe that’s part of your.

21:06.29
Sean
Ah, yeah.

21:40.82
Craig
Ah I was going to say your aversion to being in front of the mic is yeah I don’t want to do that I want to just do this random thing that I’m currently doing.

21:36.85
Sean
Well I I think um, you know I did lighting for 20 years and there’s always been a fun sort of playful back and forth between us and the audio folks so you’re in technical rehearsals and sometimes you have to stop to fix a light or you fix the sound cue. And so it’s always Competition. You know you have to tell everyone in the room that you’re waiting for lighting. You’re waiting for sound and so this friendly competition to see who can wait the least right? And so yeah or yeah and so I mean it’s it’s it’s all in good fun. But.

22:44.68
Craig
Screw it up the least right.

22:45.53
Sean
I I joke with people that I still know in that industry and I’m like I did lighting for 20 years and now I’m calling myself a sound guy I don’t know what the heck is going on. You know? Ah, ah you know I’m like there’s a little bit of imposter. Syndrome. You know I’m kind of learning new skill sets but a lot of it. You know is kind of shifting in you know and a similar direction in terms of the attack. Um, but yeah, it’s just it’s just funny I’m still going like how how is it that I’m you know in front of a Mike these days. That’s just nuts. Yeah I Never like.

23:40.42
Craig
Are.

23:51.79
Sean
My undergrad days in the late 90 s I would have never imagined this as a reality for me. Yeah, okay.

24:16.30
Craig
I’m going. Ah I’m going to pull on that thread some more um, imagining you know, thinking about yourself like as the podcaster that you currently are um what you know so somebody a lot of times we what showed you like oh philosophy and that we like people pass names of shows around a lot right? um.

24:15.90
Sean
Um.

24:31.43
Sean
Oh yeah.

24:49.46
Craig
What show like what other shows would you like to be in a sentence with so somebody says 3 shows about cheese and you’re in the list and who else is in there.

24:53.41
Sean
Ah, ah, interesting I don’t know I mean I don’t I really can’t I I told you before I do listen to a lot of comedy. But I mean I listen to staples like Radiolab and reply all and ah this american life I mean those those 3 I mean. Listen to a lot of those or at least you know this american life on the radio long before the the podcast world ever became a thing you know so that kind of storytelling has always been appealing to me and I think of Mike Probigia sort of getting his start as an Npr.

25:49.52
Craig
Um.

26:03.69
Sean
Person on the moth and in on this American life live shows and um, there’s something to that kind of storytelling that is really appealing I mean I’m doing an interviews style show. It’s completely different but that is the world that is interesting me interesting to me because I mean there’s a theatricality to it. There is a. You know a constant sort of having to move things forward through story in Audio and I can’t imagine what direction is going to sort of aim me towards those like giants you know, but I I like what they’re doing and even if I was doing editing for something. Along those lines I I think I would be in a very good place in terms of where I want to be but I mean you know I listened all these you know comedians sitting around their garages bullshitting about dick jokes and stuff and you know I mean that’s fun Too. I I Love the playfulness of that kind of stuff and so I don’t know there’s a in between those Worlds I would love to figure that out.

28:29.52
Craig
There’s There’s a neat throughline there. You’re you’re talking about storytelling again and you’re just talking before about making a podcast about restaging. Um, you know little vignettes I’ve always liked that It’s a handy word to trot out to people listening if you ever get a conversation with someone and people are a little nervous.

28:23.57
Sean
Yeah, yeah. Um.

29:04.20
Craig
Like I can’t do an hour of like coherent talking I tell them oh you don’t have to with this little vignettes. It’s like beach volleyball I’ll set it you spike it if you don’t score my bad I didn’t set it correctly. We’ll try again and almost anybody can imagine. Oh well I can I can do three back and forths and and then next thing you know.

28:55.53
Sean
Sure. Ah. Ah, yeah, sure. Um, yeah. Um, yeah.

29:43.68
Craig
An None in they’re dropping the good stuff. So just that idea of being the person like when when you’re when you were just talking about the people and the shows that are storytelling icons for you and then before we were talking about the kind of storytelling that you’re.

29:47.97
Sean
Are. Um, yeah.

30:16.64
Craig
Had been doing with lighting and now you’re talking about doing more succinctly with your shows that storytelling throughline like goes back to I Want to be the enabler I Want to be the producer and I think no matter where you are in the in the production thing you’re going to have a fingerprint.

30:21.91
Sean
Right.

30:48.60
Craig
Like your fingerprints are going to be on. You’re in the production meeting and you asked a question or something and.

30:36.23
Sean
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, and I mean the the 1 thing I did love about doing theater all these years I mean it is very collaborative right? and I think you even had mentioned podcasting can be kind of lonely. But that’s yeah.

31:11.18
Craig
Are. Kind of it’s horrible.

31:14.89
Sean
But one of the things that I got from the akimba workshop was I mean it wasn’t about your skills. It wasn’t about your content. It was about the connection to those people and um I think I didn’t always take advantage of that in the lighting world where I want to.

31:43.14
Craig
Yes.

32:05.54
Craig
Audio world. Yeah.

31:53.41
Sean
In the radio podcasting world. Yeah, and it is even if it can be lonely in your editing or whatever I still think there’s a community to tap. Um I’m I’m part of a group here in Colorado called the high altitude radio group and where you do a book club and all of that is way more appealing.

32:37.12
Craig
Um.

32:33.13
Sean
Than than any of it Really for me, you know? Um, so yeah, it’s connection and storytelling at its roots. Yeah.

32:51.20
Craig
Um, those are really good points I think and I’m just going Maybe I should change the words I use I you know as often as anything I often say podcasting is Lonely or it’s it’s astern. You know it’s like yeah, see all this coal shovel. All you know like this is an endless thing.

33:03.15
Sean
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

33:30.60
Craig
But I’m actually thinking you know what I don’t think you I’m going a you know guess for you and for I know for me I don’t actually mind that work. What bothers me is is when I get excited about something and you know my spouse is like if you talk about podcasting one more time I’m going to hit you with this pan. You know like it’s just shut up about podcasting.

33:30.10
Sean
Ah sure. Ah.

33:46.63
Sean
Sure, Yeah, ah yeah, yeah.

34:08.56
Craig
And I think for me, it’s not that podcasting is Lonely I’m like ooh I should change my words. It’s actually I need a place to go and be rapidlyd passionately insanely and that’s part of what this show is this is my way of scratching my own itch. But I think that that’s an opportunity that people who.

34:02.17
Sean
Ah.

34:15.46
Sean
Um, yeah, that sure.

34:45.40
Craig
Are making podcasts you you need not an opportunity that’s ah, a blind spot a hazard a pitfall that people need to be aware of and like yeah you can do really long I recorded 3 hours it took me 37 to edit it. That’s okay, as long as when you get to the end you can be like I made this thing look. It’s awesome and you can share it with all my value form like run screaming down the street. So maybe it’s not that it’s lonely.

34:39.86
Sean
Um.

34:52.87
Sean
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah I agree and I I think that’s one of those things coming out of the pandemic that a lot of us are realizing in weird ways is that we need.

35:24.86
Craig
Is that we need others.

35:32.69
Sean
Ah, people a lot more than we’ve ever imagined and I think even our little Silos and everything else just that connection and everything else. Ah you know, um, it’s way more important to me these days than really anything else. You know just that connecting with my family in ways that I’ve never done before and.

35:46.14
Craig
Um, yeah.

36:11.53
Sean
Getting to know my neighbors who had barbecues and these marathon Dayd drinkking sessions in their front yards during the pandemic but like I made friends during this time you know and ah so it is. It’s that connection thing is is very important and I think it is good that there’s forums.

36:36.38
Craig
Um, there is.

36:49.19
Sean
Like this in akimbo you know to do that because it not only can it be. You know you’re doing all this work in isolation. But I mean it’s just daunting the amount of work it can take so having people to bounce it off.

37:19.22
Craig
Are you getting a lot of people asking you hey how do I get started in. You know, like a lot of times. It’s the None person be like I think I’m going to go try this new thing and then your whole friend group is like where are we what tell me more are you getting you finding. That’s fun.

37:21.39
Sean
Um, sure. Yeah, it is and you know some people are are definitely sort of like I didn’t even know that’s something people could do or but you know I again with my show I I have a ah theme that. Speaks to me and and I realize speaks to other people and you know even if it’s a small niche of the world. Um, but people are curious about this kind of stuff and so um, yeah I mean it’s It’s been fun. Just having people reach out to me going. Wow This is cool. You know I didn’t know this part of you things like that you know. So yeah, yeah, yeah.

38:53.40
Craig
Terrific as much as I hate to say it I’m watching our time take away. Um, we have not said a single word about where people can find more about you or even the name of your show. So what’s the name of your show and where can people find more about you.

38:56.93
Sean
Sure? All right? Yeah so um, my show is called Where Did I Get Like This. Um, it’s basically a show where I talk to people about moving around a lot because I grew up as a nomadic military brat and so. All my guests have had something similar and then this season I’m actually talking to people who lived in None place you know that is just opposite of the way I grew up. So um, my website is ah the fullmedium.com that’s the name of my company that I’m producing under um and. That that site actually has a couple um couple shows that I’ve started and are to be determined and as well as my some of my lighting work is there as well. That’s where I’m pointing people these days. Yeah yeah, ditto.

40:37.48
Craig
Excellent, well Sean it was a pleasure to meet you face to face to get a chance to talk and thanks so much for taking the time.

40:42.59
Sean
All right? Thank you so much.