Transcript for "Instincts - with Alexandra DiPalma"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Konine hi Alex um I I often get excited but I’m really excited because I’ve waited. Well not that I’ve waited. But I’ve been like searching for an excuse to ask you to join me on some show some might even say I invented an entire project.

00:01.40
alex
Hey I’m Alex de palma i.

00:17.54
alex
Of who.

00:19.49
podcomm
Did 40 episodes just to figure out how to invite Alex but um, so it’s super fun to get a chance to. Well first of all to nail you down. So like you show up or like as you’re so busy. You do so many things. So as I say to everyone oh my gosh. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to show up. Um.

00:33.40
alex
Um, thank you? Um, yeah.

00:36.91
podcomm
I love getting a chance to talk to people we do as all the listeners know we do like this little pre-conversation chat thing where we kind of figure out what we want to talk about and today we’re going to talk about whoa. So when i.

00:42.91
alex
Um, a.

00:49.41
podcomm
When I asked you about podcasting you quite honestly yeah and I always know I’m in the right place when you you know you get that the pause from the person like oh yeah, so that’s a good question. Um, and ah you and I were sort of commiserating about oh podcasting. Love it and also it’s kind of eating my face these days with.

00:56.50
alex
Yeah, yeah.

01:06.54
alex
Exactly.

01:09.15
podcomm
Too many things going on. Um, so I don’t I mean I’m assuming everybody knows but people may not know how much you do like behind the curtain I Love the wizard of Oz you know like the the person behind the curtain and I’m wondering like what do you.

01:16.38
alex
Ellen.

01:24.91
podcomm
Do when the I call it the dark dog when the dark dog shows up and you’re just like I don’t I don’t know that I can like what are the what are some things that make you look at podcasting you go whoa if that’s something that I get to work on that’s something I get to dip my toes into.

01:26.29
alex
No.

01:37.44
alex
Over.

01:41.36
podcomm
Um, what are the things that are really lighting up your passion with podcasting these days.

01:42.20
alex
Um, well first of all, thank you for having me I think um I love the idea of your podcast and like the experimentation you’re doing and it’s super inspiring because like you had said um. We’ll get more into it. But I’m feeling a little I’m I’m struggling to be inspired by podcasting right now but even like a podcast like this where you said to me before we get started recording like I sought I set out to take away every element of a podcast that takes time and work and just like ship a podcast which is amazing and so that’s the kind of thing honestly like. When when you’re asking me what what makes me inspired with podcasting first of all at this point because I do do everything behind the curtain I’m a producer you know so this is like kind of rare than I’m the one on Mike but I enjoy it because I love talking to you and especially, you’re so good at talking to people. It’s nice being in a conversation.

02:27.29
podcomm
Yeah.

02:34.60
podcomm
Ah, thank you.

02:35.80
alex
But somebody who’s so good at conversations. Um, but the first thing I look for it’s selfish at this point but I look for a project that I’m going to have fun producing. So if I see a project and I’m being offered it or it’s on my somehow it has come across my desk and it seems like something. And this is a I’m at this point right now and it’s like a luxury you know it’s taken me kind of a long time to get to this point where I can say no to things but like if there’s a project where I have any inkling that it’s gonna be a chore I mean you know work is work in some cases. Obviously there’s gonna be hard. There’s gonna be bumps in the road. But if it’s gonna be something where I’m like.

03:06.23
podcomm
Right.

03:11.23
alex
This project is is gonna be a nightmare for whatever reason like I immediately trust my instinct now because over the past five ten however many years I’ve been doing this like I have been burned too many times you know what I mean like and in any every time I’m burned I know I look back to the beginning of the project and I know that I had doubts.

03:14.20
podcomm
Um.

03:21.20
podcomm
And yeah.

03:31.60
alex
And the beginning and I’m like I should have trusted that you know what I mean and so number 1 thing like the team that I’m working with needs to be cool and needs to be on the same vibe as me, you know, like it’s like it’s just not worth it to me at this point like to be forcing myself into a box to work on a certain team.

03:39.31
podcomm
Oh my God Yes, yes yes, yes.

03:49.44
alex
So definitely the team has to be great obviously subject matter so Domino sound is a production company that I run with my partner my business partner my life partner Kenya and the the mission at Domino sound is just quite simple and I think a lot of people have this mission now but like. We’re really trying to do things differently in the podcasting industry and by doing things differently that means having different talent on Mike that means basically highlighting what we would call underrepresented voices. You know what? I mean but not just necessarily making them the host of a show but getting them involved in production like empowering people who might not have been.

04:14.30
podcomm
And.

04:22.10
podcomm
Yes.

04:23.97
alex
Formerly empowered in the podcasting industry. So it definitely has to align with that and then also what inspires me is like some of the podcasts we put out like. For instance, we have a podcast that we put out. We’ve been putting out for the last four years which is crazy but it’s called fool for thought and it’s you know it’s hosted by 4 queer multiracial writers and.

04:34.83
podcomm
Ah.

04:42.35
alex
Over the past four years we’ve gotten just so many incredible Dms and emails and notes from listeners saying how much the podcast has helped them. You know like queer people in the midwest or in a country like ah, a small village in England like saying like I’m listening to this podcast and I feel like I’m at brunch with my best friends on sunday.

04:54.80
podcomm
And.

05:01.23
alex
But I don’t have any gay best friends and so like this is my outlet and I’m finding community here and so that’s another thing that like is definitely inspiring to me. So yeah.

05:01.36
podcomm
Are.

05:09.22
podcomm
Okay, so first of all so your passion is freaking obvious, please more more people like you in the industry I’m I guess I’m technically industry in the industry I don’t really like but but I’m like I’m like ah a guy in a house. You know like I’m not I don’t know you know like I feel like.

05:13.38
alex
Um, yeah. Um, you are of course.

05:28.53
podcomm
That’s part of what um said i’ want to say is that sometimes I go like I not that I want to go to an office but I feel like I feel like I should like be hanging out with my peeps you know, but like but I’m like I’m on a Zoom call like all right I mean I see a lot of people on so I guess I’m in the industry but maybe maybe I feel like I’m missing a piece of it i’m.

05:28.80
alex
I See what you mean though? yeah.

05:36.91
alex
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

05:45.68
alex
What is the.

05:48.61
podcomm
I’m like frantically frantically writing downwards partly because I’m searching for the title of the show which I think is going to be whoa W O A is gonna be the title of show. But ah you you mentioned team and instincts and one of the things I thought of when you said instincts is like I’m a big fan of Journaling So I Journal like for soft reflection and I write Journalists all the time like.

05:51.10
alex
Yes I love it. Ah.

06:02.49
alex
Um, um, more than la.

06:07.58
podcomm
All that went badly. You know and I want to make like a hand mirror which like on the back says here’s the answer and when you pick up the mirror like you know you’re just looking at yourself like here’s the problem. Um, and ah so that idea of like pay attention to your instincts just rings so true. Um, and ah the idea of.

06:13.68
alex
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, yes, exactly Yeah yes.

06:26.16
podcomm
The idea of like the short game versus long game or some people say finite versus infinite games I find that anytime I’m thinking all right I’m gonna do this thing and then I’m expecting this person’s gonna share it and then that’s going to lead to this as soon as I start playing that oh God it becomes a problem but every time that I go.

06:27.60
alex
Um, yeah, um.

06:37.13
alex
Um, right exactly? Yes, right? exactly? Yes, Yes, yes, yes, yes.

06:44.40
podcomm
I don’t know I think it’d be cool to talk to Alex. It’s great things I’m like I come away like that was awesome. You know? Um, so yeah, instincts would be um to you mention the name of Domino sound that Domino sound is your company I didn’t know that you mentioned yes I’m like I to make sure that yes, definitely needs to go in there. Um.

06:53.93
alex
Yes, Domino sound I mentioned it but we could mention it again. Domino sound. Yes yes, um.

07:03.85
podcomm
And you mentioned team and I don’t I don’t know how big your team is or how small your team is but when if you’re so let’s let’s like look outward. Let’s think about somebody who’s listening who’s like doing this by themselves. They’re just podcasting for fun. Um, and they’re thinking. Okay I think I need to find somebody.

07:12.11
alex
Um, and I I.

07:23.39
podcomm
If somebody is thinking about making a team and it’s just like I’m adding one now there’s 2 of us is it better. Do you think to to I’m going to say to reach up or reach down like find somebody who’s passionate about podcasting but doesn’t know left from right on the headset or try to hang out.

07:23.82
alex
Um.

07:31.17
alex
Um, ah has no of for.

07:42.00
podcomm
You know, like like should I hang out with Alex and I don’t actually want to beg you but like beg alex to be on my team or should I go find somebody who’s just starting like do you have any feel for is it better to like build from scratcher.

07:42.15
alex
Um, right right? Yeah I I Actually I love this question I would say in between those like I would say the op like reaching across to people who are like on your level and like.

07:58.39
podcomm
Um, um.

08:01.97
alex
I mentioned food for thought which is the podcast that like honestly that was kind of the start of domino sound that was the start of me um, getting out of corporate podcasting and like so the start of food for thought was there’s there’s an amazing list serve. It’s like a Google group and it’s called I don’t know should I be saying this. It’s called like and Nyc public radio or something and it used to be years and years ago for like the people in New York city public radio and now it’s essentially like thousands and thousands of people from all around the world who are any what and like somewhat related to podcasting so it’s like a huge group but it’s basically where.

08:24.52
podcomm
Um.

08:38.18
alex
Gigs are posted and people kind of talk. You would be great in it because there’s a lot of equipment talk and I know you’re like a tech whiz. So it’s it’s kind of like a nerdy nerdy radio forum. But anyway like four years ago when I was kind of um, getting out of public radio and just getting into podcasting.

08:41.28
podcomm
Um, that.

08:53.20
alex
Food for thought posted the host of who for thought had never podcasted before there were 4 writers and they said you know queer podcast is looking for a queer producer and this is an unpaid gig like we have no money we’re going to be paying for studio time ourselves and like we’re doing this like like because we love it.

09:01.18
podcomm
M.

09:10.72
podcomm
Yeah, bootstrap right.

09:12.34
alex
You know what I mean and at that point exactly bootstrap and at that point like if any of us had been in different places in our career because in the past four years there’s 4 hosts to myself. The hosts have all gotten exponentially more famous like insane and my career has obviously like gone. And ah like you know gone in a different direction as well. Like I’m not a beginner anymore like I’ve I’ve gone further you know and so like if any of us if any exactly if any of us had had kind of not aligned in that moment like we wouldn’t have done an unpaid gig I wouldn’t have like been putting in money for studio time like.

09:34.69
podcomm
Ah, yeah, not a beginner expert.

09:45.60
podcomm
Mm.

09:47.66
alex
And at that point we were all kind of like level. You know what I mean and so like if they had been looking for a producer that was like an expert like they would have said f you I’m not doing an unpaid thing and then somebody who wasn’t like somebody who wasn’t had 0 experience like they really wouldn’t have been able to help either exactly that wouldn’t have gotten what they needed.

09:48.81
podcomm
Um, yeah.

10:02.99
podcomm
Wouldn’t have got what they needed. Yeah.

10:05.51
alex
And so seriously like and apart from the food for thought thing I think part of like the joy that I’ve had in this in this industry or within podcasting has been like rising with people. You know what I mean and so like it’s like finding people that are on exactly you know it’s true though and it’s like it’s also um.

10:14.95
podcomm
Yeah, rising tide Lifts all boats. Yeah.

10:23.12
alex
I don’t know I find that that dynamic is more I don’t know I definitely have mentor figures like as you know Seth is a huge mentor and I wouldn’t not be anywhere near where I am without him and so that’s a different dynamic but finding people that are I guess are like um, parallel with you or horizontal with you. What’s that like on your level like it’s it’s like a less i.

10:38.40
podcomm
Yeah, parallel right.

10:42.83
alex
It’s almost like um, less transactional in some ways. Not that like there are mentorship relationships that are not transactional, but when you guys are like seeking the same thing and to like Rise at the same pace in the same way I think there’s something really really cool about that. So I would I would recommend that? yeah.

10:54.13
podcomm
I I am nodding vehemently and trying not to knock my headphones off my head I I love um I Always love when I ask a question people go Well, that’s a good question but here’s actually what you should have asked me and your point about going in the middle like oh yes, that’s exactly the right thing.

11:02.14
alex
Um, yes. Um, yeah, if yeah, right.

11:14.18
podcomm
There’s um, ah, ah something you have an idea and it’s like Ah, how do you words into sentences put there’s ah, an idea artists are sometimes like ah you know paint like physical artists are sometimes told to don’t do work for free like you know, never do it for exposure and then sometimes your people say no the best gig I ever did was for exposure and I’ve always like.

11:17.60
alex
Yeah. Yeah, yeah, right right.

11:33.86
podcomm
I Don’t consider myself an artist in that sense I’ve always wondered like well which is it and and now I’m thinking oh right? The obvious answer is do it for free when you’re getting as much as you’re giving when it’s that.

11:40.00
alex
Exactly. Um, yes, exactly right? Yeah exactly and it you that this is another thing where your instincts come In. You know what? I mean because like even.

11:45.41
podcomm
You know, reaching across the parallel which I’m like oh brilliant Alex I’m taking that idea and that’s going to be anytime I hear that I’ll be like no actually it’s sometimes do work for free. Yeah.

12:00.34
alex
Even I’m talking about my career is different now than it was four years ago and I would probably be less likely to take a free gig but like I’ve had a million calls with like students or people who have absolutely no budget but like are really like aligned with the domino sound mission or people who just like have our. Really interesting projects that they really don’t have a budget for and I’m super open to doing that work too and I think you’re completely right? like it’s a question of whether you’re going to get out from the project or from the work like what what you’re putting in and I think there’s there’s a million situations where it’s not coming down to money you know.

12:19.41
podcomm
Um.

12:27.30
podcomm
Um, yeah.

12:33.17
podcomm
Um, like it So to sorry um.

12:35.71
alex
So yeah.

12:40.61
alex
I Love it I Love it I’m just as excited as you are I promise.

12:47.00
podcomm
What’s funny is ah sometimes people are like that was super fun I’m like oh I I actually have no idea what I’m doing I just get excited and I’m curious and and I’m just like I’m too dumb like I got involved in parkor ten years ago which is running and jumping and playing and I don’t jump across rooftops but running and jumping and playing and all the people who are famous in parcor they’re just like.

12:49.35
alex
Um, and listen oh Wow. Okay.

13:04.61
alex
Um, yeah, yeah, writing.

13:05.93
podcomm
Little kids like if you ask them a question. They answer it or or so I’m the guy that’s like oh what’s going on over there I don’t know let’s go ask like cross the street you know? and yeah, it’s also how the cat got killed but Curiosity is like sometimes of people like to talk about the superpower. Well let’s do this the superpower question.

13:12.33
alex
Curiosity are ah yeah, yeah, on.

13:23.69
podcomm
People ask me? what’s my superpower. You know if I was asked and I would say I think it’s either curiosity and then now I actually think it’s learning how to listen even though I’m doing all the talking. Um, so if I come and at you if I asked your friends what your superpower is what would they say.

13:32.20
alex
You not? Yeah yeah, um I think it would probably be something along the lines of connection like making connections with people. And like 1 on-one connections. But also I think um I I’m good at connecting other people as Well. You know and so like like it’s a whole situation where like when I have a friend like they’ll become friends with it’s just like a whole network thing you know and I think so like so i.

13:57.35
podcomm
And.

14:04.50
podcomm
Um, yes.

14:10.27
alex
I’m definitely proud of kind of like the people in my life. You know like more so than I am of myself like a lot of times Kenya and I will like sit here and like think to ourselves like it’s really crazy the people that we have in our life like the people who are around us and like our our team. You know what? I mean like our best friends like and it’s like.

14:25.29
podcomm
Yes.

14:28.42
alex
Not team in the work sense whatsoever. But like the people who we associate with you know and not for any like not for any reason other than like I mean of course many of them are like accomplished and I respect and admire their works So much. Um, but it’s really just like everyone that we keep. In our life is is really bringing something to the table. You know what I mean and so like I guess I like to think of myself in that same way like I always and maybe this is like an insecurity or a past insecurity but like a fear that I really used to have was like being somebody that didn’t bring anything to the table in in so many senses. Do. You know what? I mean and it’s like.

14:49.18
podcomm
Yeah.

15:06.24
alex
And now that I I don’t I Maybe that’s why like I don’t know me I think that was just one of those things like it’s just like maybe that’s that’s a quality and a person that that I find like troubling is people who don’t and so I like yeah I guess that’s.

15:06.76
podcomm
I’m laughing because I don’t I’ve never seen that Alex I don’t know what the heck you’re talking about.

15:17.95
podcomm
Well, you know there’s that like positive um I was going to say positive feedback loop but maybe like the upward spiral of self-awareness which which looks like that and you know an upward spiral. You know it’s like um, um, yeah, oh.

15:24.76
alex
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah I like that upward spiral of Self-awareness did you invent that Oh okay.

15:36.75
podcomm
No, no, no no that upward spiral that um, that comes from oh brain lookup. Um, yeah I think that comes that might come from Leo. Oh how do you say his last name Babata b a b a UT a it’s the guy from zen habits z e n h a b I t s dot net. Um.

15:40.26
alex
Um, first spiral of self-or is I Love the image. Okay, okay about then? okay, cool. Okay.

15:56.50
podcomm
Yeah anyway, um, sorry but what I would what I like about the Upward spiral is everybody gets the metaphor about like you’re going Upward you know what? it’s a slow rate you’re making progress but in an upward spiral you can look across the spiral at all times so you can see where you were just like half a loop ago.

16:01.46
alex
Um, the minutes for.

16:07.46
alex
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, well.

16:13.71
podcomm
But you can also look down and go and look where I came from and that idea of like so I think when when I go I don’t know about this like I’m not sure I know what do I really.

16:21.56
alex
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, right right? Oh yeah, yeah.

16:25.10
podcomm
To me that’s me like I’m looking down like it’s hard to do with a mic right? I’m like looking down the spiral I’m like yes, look there was cute Craig like ten years ago oh my god you were an ass hat right? But it’s like yeah, but but just half a loop ago but look at the you know then it’s like yeah now you look up like so I I love the way you talk about? um well.

16:38.90
alex
We ask we.

16:44.67
podcomm
Love that the way that you’re talking shows that you’re self-aware about yeah this is what I’m good at the superpower question which I think I stole from Tim Ferriss is you can ask people? what’s your superpower and then people demure they’re like noh and mean you know. But if if I say what would your friends say people always answer the question and.

16:46.60
alex
Um, um, yeah, right? Yeah I like that I like that. Yeah.

17:02.80
podcomm
They forget that but they’re not they just give me their own answer. They’re just like well I think they would say that I’m well and they just launch into it and it’s just those little like framing is there’s so much to framing So the spiral idea of just look across at where you were or where you’re going and and so it’s completely obvious has been but I just wanted to like try and jam it in here somewhere that your.

17:06.17
alex
Yeah, it’s a good framing though. Um, yeah yeah.

17:21.45
podcomm
Very self-aware um of what you’re doing like what you’re saying in this conversation I’ve seen you in a few other conversations the the work that you’re choosing, um the like this even the spaces that you create like you’re you’re in a space that’s full light you know and and like some people show up.

17:23.88
alex
Um, film fitting. Yeah, yeah, exactly.

17:39.23
podcomm
Like oh only record an audio they like show up in a dingy corner which is fine, not like okay but you clearly want a space that energizes you. So I think all of that like um yeah I’m picturing a cauldron you know and all this stuff that goes in there and it’s all these positive things which generate the Alex that.

17:41.51
alex
Um, yes, definitely yeah Yes, yeah.

17:57.14
podcomm
You know then is behind the scenes pulling the levers and making cool podcasts in a podcast right? I don’t know if you mean me waving my hands I had to work really hard to get the mic stand. You know where I can be like I’m Italian We joke if you want to get my mom right to shut up, You just grab us by the hands and we go like.

17:59.26
alex
I’m loving these visuals Craig seriously yeah, they’re really good. Yeah I know.

18:15.35
alex
I Love it I Love it I Love it.

18:15.60
podcomm
We don’t fight. We just stare at you. Ah um, let’s see any last was there anything that was on your mind on your way to the recording that we didn’t get to that you want to get to. That’s just a lob.

18:27.40
alex
I Don’t think so I mean there was nothing I was I got your note about like not coming with anything prepared and so I was just like open to whatever we talked about So there’s nothing like on my mind that we didn’t cover I Just loved the conversation and.

18:39.62
podcomm
Cool.

18:43.83
alex
And once again I Love that you’re like experimenting with the production aspect of podcasting you know and I think it’s really cool. Yeah, ah yes.

18:47.62
podcomm
I I steal from the best I seem to recall taking a course twenty five months ago where some people were saying things like go go go just ship it. Um, what’s the simplest thing that could possibly work I I think David Doinsky outside of the course at some point said Mvp.

19:03.57
alex
No yes, yes, he’s the best.

19:06.50
podcomm
Minimum viable podcast and that’s what this project was I I literally said I want to figure out how to have cool conversations with people 20 minutes which means I can do a half hour and I don’t want to do anything else and okay, that’s a thing. So um, if anybody listening is in any way inspired by that. Go go go as they say.

19:13.73
alex
Yeah, yeah, it’s a genius. It’s genius. Yeah, yeah, go go go thank you Craig.

19:25.11
podcomm
Ah, all right as much as I hate to say it. Um I think that’s a good place to stop for today. Alex yeah, we’re we’re both making like nobody nobody heard that right? Yeah I got learn I learn morse codes like and like tap. Thank you on the microphone break all the rules my pleasure. Alex.

19:30.75
alex
Um, making a heart symbol to you over the screen. We’re just doing hearts to each other. Thank you? Yeah exactly thank you Craig what a pleasure. Thank you all right? You’re the best bye.

19:43.57
podcomm
Thanks for taking the time bye.