Transcript for "Play - with Mary Hendra"

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00:00.00
Craig
Um, hello I’m Craig Constantine welcome this is the podcaster community show short conversations that are not just about podcasting because I like to take the scenic route. My guest today is Mary Hendra welcome Mary how are you this morning I so we do the little.

00:13.48
Mary
I am doing Well thank you.

00:19.39
Craig
Discussion Beforehand where we kind of figure out what kind of mood we’re in and what we’re talking about and a lot of times when I ask people some preliminary questions to see what’s on their mind we end up talking about their stuff. The guest’s stuff and then you also had questions for me about my community building and you know I won’t put words in your mouth.

00:37.14
Mary
Um, yeah.

00:38.54
Craig
Um, so maybe today an interesting thing to start to start with would be to talk about spaces that are like adjacent so concepts that are adjacent to podcasting like I don’t think either you or I were starting a podcast because we wanted to podcast or to become you know internet famous. We were starting because we wanted.

00:53.71
Mary
Um, yeah.

00:57.72
Craig
To share I started because I wanted to share conversations I wanted to create conversation spaces with None other person to create a space for the guest I’m so meta even this podcast and I’m wondering I know that you ah you took one of the akimbo podcasting courses. That’s how we know each other. And now it’s been a few months and now to my delight I’m just discovering that you are coming back to like ooh I think my podcast is now coming together and I’m I’m wondering if you can talk me through what are the things that drew you to podcasting like what did you um, initially either want to share through podcasting or what did you want to create. For others by podcasting like what was the thing that made you come into podcasting.

01:40.30
Mary
Yeah, thank you? Also for inviting me to have this conversation. Ah so I I’ve been fascinated by podcasting for a while I I’m like the form I liked that in some ways the intimacy of voice of listening to people.

01:47.63
Craig
You’re very welcome.

01:59.37
Mary
Um, but also the conversations that um, you know can be can be those conversations. It almost like you’re coming into somebody’s living room and hearing them talk a little bit and then getting you know then stepping out in different ways. So I’ve been fascinated for for a while and um.

02:09.37
Craig
Man.

02:16.59
Mary
Tried to convince my my former organization we should do a podcast um and it didn’t go anywhere. Um, and so ah with the with the ah Kimbo podcasting course I thought well what thatck like I’m just going to I I can make a podcast um and after I had signed up my.

02:18.77
Craig
Are.

02:35.77
Mary
Future job actually said oh you could create a podcast for us like okay, great day are what day one day two of the course I realized I cannot do that podcast during the course because um because I I like haven’t even started with them yet I didn’t in.

02:37.47
Craig
For me.

02:55.90
Mary
And and that needed to be collaboratively built it will need to be collaboratively built. Um, so I started thinking at that point well like what could I do a podcast on now and.

02:56.77
Craig
Um, mean.

03:07.96
Mary
And instead of it being something that I wanted to share it actually turned out to be something more that I wanted to learn that I wanted to have conversations about um and that’s play in professional spaces and I I did a lot of iterations on like what the title would be and I I.

03:23.61
Craig
Um.

03:27.58
Mary
Um, change the title multiple times after having guests um talk about it because really I I just I wanted to talk with people who um, who brought play into their professional spaces in part because of the tension between like. The fun of play and the resistance from others saying oh if you want to succeed professionally you have to be more serious right? You know you need. Ah if you want this promotion stop playing around so much right? You know like there’s so much of a dichotomy.

03:58.46
Craig
Madam.

04:03.68
Mary
So I wanted to learn.

04:06.80
Craig
How that work out like have you started say if you started doing those conversations and you just haven’t released them yet. Do you want to say the name of the podcast or you don’t want to put that out in the public internet just yet.

04:08.30
Mary
Um, fabulous. Ah.

04:18.99
Mary
Ah, so so what I intend to have the podcast name be if I don’t have another like oh I have to change it again. Um is lead with a dash of play. Yeah um, and.

04:24.63
Craig
Um, um, it’s a good name.

04:38.60
Mary
And it’s and the conversations have been fabulous. Everyone um you know and and some people I had known a bit before some people I had not known before but doing the podcast um Interviews gave me like a reason to. Invite them to have that conversation. Not just a like networking you know, get to know you conversation but but was it like can we really talk about play and.

05:00.30
Craig
How do you start? those conversations like when you you know when you rope them in or flying tackle them or sign them up or schedule or whatever. How do you? How do you go from 0 to like good what we call good tape if everybody listening is a podcast or how do you go from 0 to good tape.

05:05.84
Mary
I think.

05:13.70
Mary
It varies by the person. Um, for some people I started with the question that I then moved to the front if I didn’t start with it. Um, generally and that’s when did you last play.

05:30.93
Craig
That’s a good question but that kind of puts people on the spot because I think most people go.

05:35.47
Mary
Well well think about it for a minute right for you when did you last play.

05:39.93
Craig
Ah I play every day I have scaffolding on my patio I just spent ah five days in just the other side of the charles from Boston and in Boston at a giant parkor event. So I spent like 40 hours in the last five days literally outside running and joping and playing. So yeah, I’m not but I’m definitely It’s definitely not normal.

06:00.89
Mary
Well and and and and Craig for you right? when you when you started at answering that question instead of um, thinking in the meta of what it means you smiled you relaxed your shoulders a little bit and you have like oh yeah I just played and. Ah, for a good number of my guests like that’s what happens because it actually so breaks it out of um, a formal interview like I’m interviewing you about this, you know like how do you get into this and what is your coaching like or what is your you know what do you do? What’s the last time you know something happened. How do you define play right.

06:35.14
Craig
Um, me.

06:39.47
Mary
Those are big None questions but when did you last play like that. That’s our body that responds right? because we like we have that visceral memory of when we played whether it was with a child or as outside or it was with paint.

06:55.11
Craig
Um.

06:57.70
Mary
And so it’s just is fascinating and it usually comes with a little smile. Um, there was one person that I interviewed who is fascinating because for a living he runs games right? So I was like okay this you know like this will be interesting and I and. And he very specifically said well we should talk None and then decide whether you know I’m a good fit for your podcast I’m like great because I wanted to talk with him anyway and so we talked and he said I’m not a playful person.

07:29.77
Craig
Youth.

07:30.99
Mary
Like you do run games for a living tell me more about this. You have to be on my podcast. Um, so with him I didn’t start with that I actually we we did other things we talked about some other things none we talked about the company None and. But and for him like that was where he relaxed in it was like oh it’s not about me, let me? yeah sure I can talk about the company and I can talk about what we do and the activities and such um and then about halfway through I said you know so when we talked before this you said you’re not a very playful person when did you last play.

07:53.66
Craig
Version.

08:08.96
Mary
And then he laughed because he was he was you know he’d gotten a little bit more comfortable. So then he laughed and he said actually I played this weekend but that one let me tell you about that and it was ah so it was. It’s you know, great question at that point. But um, if the it depending on the person you know.

08:18.48
Craig
Um.

08:28.68
Mary
Ah, start the interview needs to start in different a place.

08:34.49
Craig
I’m thinking about what we do as podcasters when we’re um, in the you know people who are doing conversations. Interviews recordings how we’re trying to ah going to presume um benefits benefits presume good intent. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will suffice I’m going to presume good intent and say that everybody out there uses their powers for good and we’re always trying to walk the line between what I want out of the conversation. And what I’m trying to capture like why are we even bothering to record why don’t we just have cool conversations Craig well because I’m also trying to capture and share something with the people who I think are listening if amity listens and I’m wondering. Do you ever find that. So there’s like attitudes you can go in. You can be like I’m just going to go in I’m going to press the record button I’m going to have a great conversation without really paying attention. The microphone tech becomes subconscious and you can just ignore the making a podcast and you just have great time. You hit stop and the magic trick worked again.

09:31.56
Mary
Um, yeah.

09:38.93
Craig
Um, is one way to do it another way to do it is to try and be very mindful about like what’s the energy level and to sort of be more intentional about the activity that you’re doing and I often want you know wander between the two because I struggle with oh maybe there should be a story arc maybe there should be a 3 part. Maybe I should be. Recording material which I know I’m planning on cutting none of everything I record and then the then the guests get even better stuff I sorry that people listening get even better stuff on the guest. So I’m wondering what is your experience like when you’re in the moment having those conversations and you’re recording. And assuming your experience is similar to mind and you’re wandering between those None mindsets like what? What’s it like to be in those mindsets why you’re trying to have those conversations.

10:20.41
Mary
I will say I don’t usually um I don’t usually go back and forth between the mindsets in the conversation because for me when I when I start in once I’ve started in on the conversation I Just love the conversation.

10:38.58
Craig
Shh.

10:40.10
Mary
And so um, so I I tried to be a hundred percent really listening to the person listening at multiple levels listening to their words but listening to what’s just beyond their words listening for their energy level. They’re you know. The the emotion they’re bringing to it and really allowing us to go in those places I tell my guess ah that that ultimately the podcast will be probably about half an hour but we’ll likely talk for 45 minutes um and that gives a little bit of flexibility. So I do do I do some editing and let them know that that will be part of it. Um, it gives some space for for the conversation. To go off topic a little bit and come back and then for me to decide whether I use the off topic part or not right? Ah think exactly so that yes it gives a little bit more space you know for that. Um, if the guest to someone that I didn’t know as well before.

11:32.71
Craig
Flip the whole thing over the off topic part is the on topic part The rest of it got deleted.

11:47.89
Mary
Then Um, then some of that beginning part might feel a little bit stiff in the end and and there are times where I guess at the at the end is where I allow my mind to come back to something So um, there is. There’s one person I had this fabulous conversation that was very like.

11:51.82
Craig
And.

12:07.28
Mary
On topic all the way through but still really fun and we got to half an hour and I was like I’m not going to be able to cut any of this like I’m just going to end because we like more I go like that’s go to be an hour long podcast. Um, and then there there’s another one where I came back to.

12:16.41
Craig
You know.

12:25.55
Mary
Ah, question that I had asked in the beginning I came back to it and and in a different way at the end because I recognized how different the energy was there at the end and and that the response might be a little different and I asked it in a little different way. Ah so it wasn’t you know a hundred percent of repeat of the question. But. Um, but it did give a ah a different way to um begin the conversation or to begin the podcast and my recording something at the very end. Um, and so ah, so like at that point it’s almost like ah we dive deep into the conversation and really. Go there and then as we’re coming out. That’s when the the second brain kicks in and says okay did I did I is there anything else I want to ask before I hit stop on the on recording.

13:20.54
Craig
So many things spring to mind um, turn signal for left turn. What’s what’s something. That’s really surprised you um like in the conversations like so I’m I’m assuming you’ve had lots of conversations and now you’re beginning to do them.

13:26.91
Mary
Um.

13:40.36
Craig
At a certain point in your life If’re We need to do them by pressing record which changes the environment and I’m wondering what things that you have experienced within you know, Maybe you don’t notice it till you’re doing the playback and the edit but what things you’ve experienced now that you have the now that you’ve been recording conversations. What have you been surprised About. That’s maybe been different to conversations you’ve had elsewhere and in other times.

14:01.84
Mary
Um, and. So. There’s been one pleasant surprise and that’s that before doing the podcast I loved ah I loved doing panel moderation. Um. And which was something that I did sometimes do for my job sometimes on stage sometimes in a you know small setting. Ah but not usually recorded although Webinars during the pandemic shifted some of that and so there was some interviewing or moderating people on Webinars but it.

14:32.39
Craig
No.

14:38.97
Mary
But those had felt more akin to the in-person versions than to a podcast right? They’re at least in mindset. So one one was ah a pleasant surprise and that the the enjoyment I get from interviewing people and moderating panels. Like translated really well the podcast and so that was a that was a nice surprise and I think it’s why like I I beforehand I’m like okay is my mic set up and has my technology and do I have all my notes and literally have like my questions and my my extras Google doc of questions and mean i.

15:13.93
Craig
And the glass of water.

15:17.81
Mary
So water. Yeah, and I and I don’t I don’t go overboard with questions but I do have some core ones and then I have some specific to the person that I that I prep beforehand at 90% of the time once I start talking like I don’t even look at any of those things. And I forget that the mic is there or I forget to look at the the um sound volume. Um for like the none time I was watching I had audacity in the background. So I could watch the the sound volume while I was doing and Zoom. Um, once I get what get into the interview I just love.

15:39.31
Craig
Um I.

15:54.89
Mary
Interviewing and talking to people and having those conversations. So um, so all of the other stuff kind of fades away so that’s been a nice surprise.

16:02.80
Craig
Yeah, podcasting is I make the joke people warn about rabbit holes I’m like no no, the whole field is just rabbit holes. There are no field. It’s all just holes because there’s a None

16:12.42
Mary
There’s feel.

16:15.75
Craig
And then just when you have something figured out. It’s like ooh let’s try 2 guests or let’s try my personal I love to do podcast recordings in person I have portable gear and that’s like I love it and the conversations are you know they’re like regular conversations that you have with real people normally so there’s just so many things that you can get sidetracked on so i.

16:22.40
Mary
Are.

16:35.14
Craig
Definitely agree with you about it is nice to notice that you I will say it’s nice when I noticed that I haven’t wrecked conversation. In other words I I say you know when’s the last to had an awesomeome conversation. It was at your friend’s house in the before times at your friend’s house on a Tuesday you go over with your favorite beverage.

16:42.11
Mary
Um, yes.

16:53.20
Craig
You don’t show up and say like I’m coming over at three o’clock and we’re gonna we’re going to be done by None and it’s going to be awesome and we’re going to record like that’s not how you normally cultivate great conversations. So I was pleasantly surprised to see that. Yeah, all that stuff didn’t not only did it fall away for me, but it doesn’t actually get in the way of you know if you just some.

16:55.59
Mary
Yes.

17:12.31
Craig
Bare minimum things like if I’m in person I I give guests really comfortable, really good professional headphones and the None time they approach the mic they go is this whoa. That’s on oh my good you know and that there’s like 30 seconds I’m screwing around but then afterwards and it’s like they just take the mic with them because they can hear themselves. They’re just some little tricks and.

17:27.50
Mary
Um, yeah.

17:30.78
Craig
I was always I mean now it doesn’t surprise me anymore. But I was always surprised at like how quickly random people can fall into being comfortable with the strange parameters and constraints that we add to the mix by like podcasting so I just.

17:41.17
Mary
And so thin it now.

17:46.73
Craig
Attribute that to like people are awesome.

17:47.10
Mary
Yeah, Nice strange. 1 thing I have discovered ah is I have a loud laugh laugh for a microphone and I’m still working on it because I I The first one that we that I recorded was with somebody with a woman I know who um. She’s hilarious. She’s just hilarious. So We we laughed so much during the podcast which is really fun. Um, and and you know the microphone just kind of blows up every time I you know like I have when I have an unexpected laugh then it’s this like cackle almost.

18:11.74
Craig
Um, move. Um, that.

18:23.32
Mary
And so I’ve I’ve been trying to get better at um, leaning back when I start laughing so that it’s just a little here I don’t know if you have any tricks on that.

18:30.70
Craig
I Turn to this slide I was gonna say I turn to the side. So people who’ve been on virtual recordings with me and in real life I Do the same thing I put the microphone on the right like ° off to the right? So that if I go I Just miss the microphone with the air and then if I’m gonna laugh real loud. I’ll I’ll just keep talking the same but I’m go laugh real loud instead of laughing at the microphone I’ll do this and turn off to the side so you can hear how much the mic drops off just by me turning my head away so instead of laughing here I will laugh over here which takes a lot of the bang out of it. But in reality.

18:54.36
Mary
Yeah.

19:00.60
Mary
Ah, it’s a good tip.

19:03.68
Craig
But in reality nobody cares because when I put it in Hindenburg the thing that I use I just turned the green on like okay this is this person clipped like I’d rather have the person not slam into the ceiling with the recording. But if they do there’s a thing called the compressor. We just turn that on and it’s good enough cool.

19:18.31
Mary
Ah, ah.

19:22.95
Craig
Um, well ah, as much as I hate to say it Well how about this where can we forgot through this part where can people connect and reach out to you if you they want to find more out about you where can people reach you to find more about you. Geez.

19:29.23
Mary
Am. Well thank you? The easiest way is I do have a website. It’s Mary Hendra Dot Com and my podcast eventually will be linked to that as soon as it releases I’m hoping that lead with a dash of play will release in July with um music that a friend of mine I know.

19:52.41
Craig
Um, it’s July first I’m just saying with those listening. It’s joy first. So that’s that’s the challenge for your snow.

20:03.87
Mary
Ah, um, it is a challenge. It’s and it’s not entirely out of my in my control because I’m I’m waiting for a friend who is writing the music and I am so thrilled that he and his music will be part of the podcast that if it takes until August it takes until August um, but ah, but I think it’s getting close. So. So um, if it if if I do you know, get the music and and I would love for it to come in July but ah http://maryhender.com will have the links to that. It also has um I call it my playground. It’s like it literally on the web website it says playground and it’s like what’s going on what I’m doing I always um, like to do some free events and then i. Run um cohort experiences that have a dash of play and um so they are fun ways to um, recenter on who we are which is one of the things I believe play does is allows us to really be um, be our authentic selves and it allows us to um to step back.

20:52.40
Craig
Evening.

21:02.58
Mary
With curiosity so that we can lean back in to society and reengage with where we want to go with greater clarity.

21:12.84
Craig
Terrific has become my catchphrase I think because it’s true. Thank you so much for taking the time this morning Mary it was a pleasure. We’ve talked briefly before but this was really cool to get a chance to.

21:15.81
Mary
Yeah.

21:25.13
Craig
Sit down stand up I’m standing you’re sitting 20 minutes of little bite size conversation. So thank you so much.

21:25.72
Mary
Thank you.