Transcript for "Magic - with Amanda Hsiung-Blodgett"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Constantine

00:01.46
Amanda
And hello this is Amanda schlodget.

00:04.82
podcomm
Oh thank you for saying it because I know how to say it but I wasn’t sure I could pull it off um before we have like a little conversation before I press the big red record button and I always say to the guests. So I’m just going to say it here when I say the word.

00:09.50
Amanda
Nothing blank.

00:22.50
Amanda
Magic.

00:22.86
podcomm
Podcasting what comes to mind and of course. Okay, we’re done no tell me more. Why do you why do you say magic Amanda

00:27.73
Amanda
But well you know I think the fun thing about podcasts is like you don’t know who’s listening you kind of know but you’re not sure but anybody can be kind of curious. What’s in it for them.

00:38.34
podcomm
Um.

00:45.56
Amanda
So it’s almost magic like you are making a connection where you cannot see them and where you are talking into a microphone.

00:52.84
podcomm
So I have this vision of doing magic tricks not that I’m a Magician um but it seems to me like it’s extra hard to do a magic trick if you can’t tell like you know I got a rabbit did it work I pulled the rabbit out of the hat does anybody Know. So Do you. Um, I was going to say. Do you get tired but like how do you continue to create magic when you’re or maybe you’re going to say no I get lots of feedback I’m thinking How do you continue to create magic when you don’t get immediate feedback.

01:26.30
Amanda
That’s ah, that’s so interesting I think the idea is like I know like it was my students would listen to the podcast and parents who are interested in learning Mandarin would listen to my podcasts which is a playful chinese. And then a lot of times if if I ask them if they have any questions for me, they will send me a newsa I want to know how to say dada da in Mandarin so I think so the magician might have a little bird to somewhere flying around and sometimes it might deliver a.

01:50.35
podcomm
Um.

02:01.10
podcomm
Message back. How do you handle? What’s the physical process for those you know like if you say in your podcast send me a message. How do they reach back to you.

02:01.90
Amanda
Special message.

02:09.93
Amanda
Usually they would eat send a email or they go to the website are like a community if I share that in a community and like for for example, like a Facebook community and they would type it in there but mostly I think they like to just let me know.

02:25.60
podcomm
As a comment.

02:29.60
Amanda
Ah, by sending me um email. Yeah.

02:31.89
podcomm
Um, what’s the magic trick that you thought was going to be awesome that went nowhere.

02:37.82
Amanda
Ah, you know sometimes I think when we do the the setup like when we do the podcast we’ll set up you know for for me, It’s like a more teaching I I pick up ah a topic or a theme then I kind of make. Make a story and go along with it and sometimes you’re like maybe they don’t understand or somebody say you you have too many new words I’m having a hard time to follow D and D ding so Failed. So What do.

03:12.66
podcomm
Flop up. So of course the counterpoint to that question is what’s a magic trick that you didn’t think was going to be that big of a deal that really went and touched more people than you expected or went bigger than you thought it would.

03:13.65
Amanda
Like a kid. Ah.

03:23.96
Amanda
Yeah, the ice cream I think everybody likes ice cream. So one time I talk about ice cream and then just pull the f from there all kinds of ice cream into flavors and everything I think people would really love it. So Sometimes the magic is not hard to find but there’s this. But what we need to see and that you know a way that others are seeing so something very simple can actually create magic.

03:51.62
podcomm
Do people ask you for specifics so like and they’re asking. You. You know I don’t get this word or how do I pronounce this? That’s that’s kind of like a pragmatic language education stuff which is great. Um, but I’m just wondering what’s are you getting questions or people that make you go. That makes me want to change with my metaphors Ri out the carpeting in my house. You know like somebody comes in and says you know you should move the sofa over there and then I go Oh well that means I got to move the wall and like are people giving you feedback that makes you just like Rethink. Everything’s like and ah, they’re doing the magic trick on the magician.

04:25.99
Amanda
Wow. Um, that’s a great question I think I probably you know I don’t have that many you know, um, feedback or responses you know, but I think 1 thing I can tell probably found is stats and I will see oh how many people are. Downloading. So I know if one there are people who are interested in it. Um, and then the feedback will be kind of similar to what you just said like you people would say oh there are too many words there’ are too many thumb saying it’s maybe hard for me to follow and but at the same time I think sometimes. You know, um, the way I would present. It might not just be the the teaching episode and I’m trying to add in some interview episodes in there and I think that’s probably even in there. It is connecting in a different direction. It’s a different kind of magic listen to people they have a lived in a foreign country or listen to people they have learned another foreign language and what they have learned on the journey I think can we call it a different kind of magic I think probably yes.

05:38.38
podcomm
Is there something you’ve wanted to have ah not like stuck with the magic metaphor but is there something that you’ve wanted to do with your show that you just haven’t either. You need people to buy into it or you haven’t figured out how to do it or.

05:52.86
Amanda
Yeah I think it is something like the the funny thing is like even though I’m um, it’s a bilingual format. It’s english and Mandarin and then they’re teaching episodes and sort of interview episodes I’m trying to add to at the same time I think. Sometimes people probably don’t know the way of not people they don’t know but that they probably not aware of it. They’re not aware of them of the other program and also maybe learning should be something very formal. We sit in front of a classroom and we do a b c d or. You know this is a more like a storytelling style make it a more like a adventure but the funny thing is if people they can and listen to it and understand that this is actually a way to let the the listener to experience the joy of learning I think. That might be the way to connect and then I would like to more people to experience that and not thinking Mendarin Chinese is one of the most difficult languages in the world by something actually quite interesting and very simple to learn, not everything but to. Begin or to start can be something surprisingly easy. Yes.

07:20.14
podcomm
I’m I’m wondering so you’ve been involved in the podcast I think you went through his podcast when it was called Podcast fellowship. Um, and I’m just wondering from the interactions I’ve seen everybody always goes Oh Chinese you know like.

07:25.81
Amanda
Um.

07:35.85
podcomm
Like the language they’re they’re just like it’s a shock and awe thing like I could never get my brain wrapped around the Chinese language I would never and you you were alluding to that as you see it as a learning Chinese can be fun like it should be fun and engaging um to get. Tired or annoyed like as people having the they think it’s complicated like they think the Chinese language is unapproachable. Do you get tired of that like how do you?? How do you continuously as far as I can tell show up smiling Happy Love Dance or the same thing. No, it’s not hard like you just start here.

08:09.86
Amanda
But Miss Buster right? That’s what we need right? Yeah, we need to see it and to experience and to touch it and try it to to understand. It is always hard to do the first staff I think you know it’s just like Meme learning English English is like my second language.

08:12.75
podcomm
Um, yes.

08:29.57
Amanda
So you know when I first learned this language I said Wow This is really cool. What are they talking about. But but um, so I think doing the podcast is also helping me to actually refine how I’m doing it how I’m delivering it and people.

08:34.47
podcomm
Um.

08:49.19
Amanda
Push back Sam um, maybe it’s not for them. Maybe it’s not for you. Maybe you’re looking in a different level of learning because I try to make it um, simple for the way for the family can learn to gather. That’s the goal. To be able to use a language to help people to expand their worldview and to reach from where I am to where you are even we can think like wow this language actually I heard. It’s a very challenging.

09:17.29
podcomm
Um.

09:26.20
Amanda
But I will like to make the connection say so would you like to give it a try and see experience it to see if it’s really that challenging or you’re like oh really, no verb is this really I can just know 2 words and I know what to do so so it is. Um, you know it’s kind of interesting to to see how the connection can be formed just from the little things or the little voice I have in a podcast.

09:59.50
podcomm
This is going to sound random if I asked your friends what your superpower was what do you think they would say.

10:09.81
Amanda
Does smile in my voice.

10:16.30
podcomm
That’s a good answer I think that I think that might be I don’t know you super well. But that is definitely a contender for your superpower. That’s for sure you definitely have yeah, definitely have ah a light I mean people who know you’ll be like yeah do it’s Miss Panda of course you know? Um, um, which.

10:21.14
Amanda
The computer here Now you don’t know.

10:32.88
podcomm
I think speaks to I don’t know if it’s your parents or an upbringing or just an innate like everybody’s Dna is different. Um I could never do that like I am not that I don’t want to say shining happy like in a trite way like I don’t want to make it sound trivial. Um. But I think that goes a long way to certain people who teach have a way of like sharing. You know, like 1 candle can light many that that kind of thing where it’s like well how can I not be in a good mood if Miss Panda is like doing this in this mood like oh I guess I have to just try and then that positive mindset that i. Just try then it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy it’s a positive feedback loop. So I’m just wondering if you have any suggestions I’m going to say as an experienced podcaster as somebody who’s using the medium in not an unusual way but in a less common way. Do you have any. Tips for those of us who are doing like you know I’m doing conversations people doing interviews. Do you have any tips that you think you see we could use to improve how we do what we’re doing.

11:37.31
Amanda
Wow um I can share something I have learned along the way. Um, my podcast is a playful chinese and I am Miss Panda thank you for mentioning that and um and then I think just the name miss panda sometimes we will say why are you miss panda.

11:55.00
podcomm
Um, I know the answer Do you want to unpack that Why why is it? panda.

11:56.70
Amanda
ah yeah yeah ah panda d because if you listen to my name Amanda Sholog it the the one shown em. Mandarin Chinese is actually bear. So and then my mother is originally from sutram province in China.

12:15.91
podcomm
The Panda bears.

12:16.27
Amanda
That’s where all the pandas are from so so my ah coworker of mine on a radio station said oh Amanda Bear Bear pandas so you’re Amanda Panda so so that’s what it goes so so for for kids. It’s very easy to ri for and da just.

12:25.35
podcomm
Right.

12:33.37
podcomm
It’s perfect.

12:35.76
Amanda
Love that and every time if I show up on campus. It was say this here out. Do you? You see a bunch of kids are running after me and trying to find me and just imagine that it’s a kind of ah I’m humbled. You know they dictation. He’s after me, but at the same time I think um.

12:39.66
podcomm
Ah.

12:51.90
Amanda
Anything doing podcasts I’m coming back to your question about the podcast. The tips I think 1 thing is like I think people can the listeners can hear your your mood and how you present it just from your voice. So if you talk with a smile. And then I think they can really feel that and then we you arere very serious about it. Do you can hear that too. So I think the tip for I think 1 thing I learned the mosts is like when I presented. How do I want to deliver. What’s the mood or the background the setting I want to share with my. My audience my listener I think it’s quite interesting and quite magical. It’s all in your voice.

13:36.79
podcomm
And we’re back to magic I sometimes I’m so not sometimes pretty much every time I’m surprised at how it’s like filigree or or flourishes in writing how there’s there are flourishes to stories. So. When we sit down to do this. You know short 20 minute format I mean if you’ve done enough podcasting. You’re like ah this is going to work. But if you haven’t done a ton of podcasting some people sit down and they’re like I don’t know about this and I’m like I do like the the number of times where a conversation like ours now. Has gone you know over to the side. But then it comes right back and I’m like literally coming back to magic and I think maybe in your case, the magic is not so much something that you intentionally create. It’s more like a. I was going to say like a pixie dust like there’s something about you which creates the magic and then you go? Well you know if I just go like this with a flourish magic happens and you’ve sort of maybe learned to do the magic. So I’m wondering have you always had that like did you do this same kind of magic. Maybe as an ah educator before a podcast like where does like when did you discover that you could do magic and how did you develop that skill.

14:57.26
Amanda
I think what you are doing is magical. You know you just talk about it and the magic is right there I think we all have that magic inapps and then a lot of times. It’s probably not just right now but all the things we have done before. So for my podcast too. You know because I am mean a ranking community actually in akimbo the community. We are all familiar with the the forward link. So um, then because I was doing the podcast and then I decided. You know I think I I can put a book together just a very simple book to let people know how to say the chinese words when they see the ping. They know how to pronounce everything correctly. So I wrote a book first mandarin sounds and awesome chinese wordbook and. That’s almost the magic from the podcast and from the work I do was Miss Pennna chinese and then and then this a little thing a project you know to share with everybody. So I think it says accumulation of the things we’re doing and then the magic. Is in everyone.

16:15.44
podcomm
If you could um, do this question backwards from the way. It’s normally done if you could write a letter to yourself. Um, but it’s going to be time capsuled so you’re going to get it in. Let’s say 15 years um what would you write for yourself today that you’d want to like you forget about it and you find it in 15 years

16:44.22
Amanda
Many years ago when I studied broadcasting Tv the first time I weigh into a recording studio. It’s um, in a special recording studio. They have like a on air thing. You know on on the door and then there’s a.

16:57.11
podcomm
And.

17:01.30
Amanda
Big glass and then the engineers on the other side of the the room I was like wow this is so cool and I did something with a teacher and then later I said you know when I look at a microphone. It’s like a. A rabbit looks at a carrot and then the funny thing is it has never that kind of feeling never um vanishes and then if I write a letter to myself today I’ll say I really enjoy you know talking to people. And having a conversation and then even it’s in front of a microphone or sometimes I don’t even see them. But I think it’s a happy feeling so I should keep doing what I’m doing.

17:52.88
podcomm
I’m torn I have an evident number of questions and a ticking timer. Um I think I will just say anything else that you maybe had in mind before you came to the call today that you might want to share.

17:58.10
Amanda
Ah.

18:07.55
Amanda
I think the best thing is why you send me and a message and say you know this is going to be 15 minutes out of time I’m to send you the link and you don’t need to show up beforehand you know distress level just win down. It’s really interesting and I think that’s maybe what 1 thing all the podcasters can do to destress the persons who is do be interviewed and I think that’s a great practice. Actually yeah so. I want to prepare and then I was like maybe there’s nothing to prepare. But I think quick already told me I’m already prepared I’m going to show up and share.

18:56.30
podcomm
Um, well thank you so much Amanda it’s as I say to everybody. It’s a delight I run out of adjectives I’m so happy that you are able to carve out time to chat with me today and I guarantee everybody who listens to this is going to be like that was awesome. So thank you so much.

19:12.47
Amanda
Thank you so much. It’s being a pleasure and they go due to magic.