Transcript for "Responsibility - with Jule Kucera"

(Interactive content will replace this message when viewed in the Forum.)

00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Constantine I’m here today with juul cachera and today we wanted to talk a little bit about creating space or how did how did you put that the.

00:14.66
Jule Kucera
Protecting the safety of our guest.

00:15.47
podcomm
Yeah, and and it’s right up against um, like the moral responsibility or the ethical responsibility that we as you know the the global Royal we have as hosts or interviewers. So um. You and I talked a little bit beforehand and we exchanged a couple of Messages. So I’m just wondering if you can tell me a little bit about you. You mentioned you had a bit of an aha moment where you sort of found your guiding touch point or guiding star for how you think about this Now. So Can you tell me about that.

00:45.67
Jule Kucera
Sure and like most aha moments it comes after a problem right? You’re like uh oh now, what? So The aha was I was interviewing somebody and during the conversation I was thinking I don’t know if I should be asking these like it was starting to feel too personal. But I didn’t have a good sense of any guidelines for myself and then in the edit I ended up cutting out about a good 10 minutes of it because it just felt too raw and then I’ve I finished the edit because you know you got to get to post and I’m still learning and I’m behind.

01:20.42
podcomm
Right.

01:23.73
Jule Kucera
But then I went online and said I got to figure out. Is there any guidance around this and I came across an interview. It was part of a workshop that was done for not-for-profit organizations. It wasn’t done for podcasters but there are lessons fit for podcasters really well because they were talking about ethical storytelling. And the 2 interview or the 2 people talking one was a former interviewer with or host with npr and the other one was formerly with the bbc so they got cred and they I don’t remember if they specifically called out these 2 points or they were the two that I took away and I’ll put this link in our.

01:52.94
podcomm
Um, right.

02:03.50
Jule Kucera
In the episode Craig but the 2 things that I took away from it were 1 make sure the guest has agency in the conversation and 2 do not engage in trauma porn and they use the term trauma porn which is something not-for profits do to raise funds as they kind of.

02:18.47
podcomm
Right.

02:20.61
Jule Kucera
You know parade the person who’s been helped by the organization and they tell the gory details of their story and it’s it’s more exploitative than helpful.

02:28.61
podcomm
Um, the person that you’ve had interviewed and then you felt some trepidation when you went to do the edit did you know them in advance like do you think this problem is um I feel like it would be made better if you know the person that you’re talking to. But I’m actually wondering if maybe in reality it might be worse when I know the person because I can I can actually manipulate them like in a bad way because I have a more subtle understanding of the situation I’m just wondering if you’ve had any chance to reflect on how does this? What’s called a responsibility. How does this responsibility play out. But you know what we’ll call a cold guest versus a guest that you know, really? well.

03:10.89
Jule Kucera
That’s a really great question and I’ve had it play out in both instances with guests because the the guest it happened with was someone I was acquainted with but didn’t really know well and frequently on my podcast I don’t know what the person’s going to talk about even if I’ve known the person for 10 years they can still surprise me so what I’m asking myself is it is it cold guest versus warm guest or guest where I know the story versus warm guest where I know the story versus I don’t know the story I’m still thinking about that. But it’s happened a number of times and so I have guardrails now that have helped me both. In the conversation and in the edit.

03:48.88
podcomm
So but now that begs the question. What are these guardrails.

03:52.64
Jule Kucera
What are the guardrails my guardrails. It’s just a motto which is vulnerability is okay. Nakedness is not vulnerability is ok. Nakedness is not and I do recognize that.

04:04.32
podcomm
That’s a good card rail.

04:09.88
Jule Kucera
It’s subjective do I feel that the guest is naked and I could be off or not but because of the nature of my podcast when I’ve edited the episode I send it to the guest for their approval and I tell them anything you don’t want in there. Ah I’ll cut out and ah so Far. Nobody’s ever asked me to cut anything out. But I can one of my favorite examples that I think really helps support the value of having a motto was when I was talking to somebody and then in the edit they had done a they had worked hard to control whether or not they cried and you know because.

04:45.42
podcomm
Right.

04:47.27
Jule Kucera
I don’t try to make people cry. Sometimes it just happens and this person did not want to cry and but they had said something very difficult that I didn’t notice in the conversation. But in the edit I heard they made a sound and it was like a combination of a gasp or a sob. It was just There was so much aching pain in that one half second sound that I cut it out and I feel that that was the right thing to do because to me that was naked that was beyond vulnerable.

05:20.35
podcomm
That’s an interesting point or an interesting thing for you to bring up that you know we started by saying you and I the hypothesis here is that we have a responsibility to create the space and to protect the guest and. 1 of the first things I think of is like well wait. Wow did I get stuck with this responsibility in 1 obvious place is I chose to press record and point mics at people but another place that that I’m thinking this comes from is we’re wielding the magical power whether or not we involve them later. We’re still wielding this power of the editorial. The choice of what’s in and what’s out and a lot of times I know I’ve always thought of that editorial as well. Yeah I’m I’m the artist I mean you know with great responsibility blah blah but I’ve I’ve never really thought before about yeah that. Okay, I’m only going to use it for good but still even if I’m only using it for good It’s a very powerful scalpel. It’s not quite the right metaphor. But it’s a very powerful tool and I think the point you’re making about yet 1 thing to like know what you’re doing to have thought about the the meta of your trade. And that’s another thing to go into the interview with the right mindset and okay I have my guardrails I have my way I do things and here’s what I’m trying to get I want this not that you know vulnerable not naked and then it’s another to think about that in post and I haven’t I’ve only had.

06:41.93
Jule Kucera
M.

06:49.23
podcomm
Ah, too many conversations to enumerate but only in a small number of times has the conversation gone somewhere where I’m like whoa this is ah vulnerable or very personal most of the times I don’t wind up in those spaces just not because I don’t go there but just doesn’t seem to go there and.

06:57.36
Jule Kucera
A.

07:05.93
podcomm
I hadn’t really considered oh you know I could have cut out that really I don’t say awkward but I could have maybe cut down the emotional you I could have dow that from 10 down to 9 by just a couple little simple snips. So I think that’s a really astute observation to make on your part. Thank you.

07:23.60
Jule Kucera
You’re welcome it happened because I was a guest on an interview on a podcast and I was telling the story of when my husband passed and I can tell that story pretty easily without crying. It’s been a long time. But. The host was asking some questions that were really digging and at one point I wanted water and even though I had some right by my side I said I want to go get some water because essentially I just wanted some space from the conversations I walked away got some water came back or got a glass of water came back and said. Hang on drank the water with my headset on and the decision was made to leave that in the recording of you know me gulping water and that’s an instance where and I did reach out to the person and we just had a different perspective on whether that was Beyond Vulnerable. Um. And so that’s what’s made me maybe extra careful about it because the nature of my podcast is kind of touchy. You know, kind of vulnerable but I do like your perspective that it’s in post I mean we’re interviewing our guest and they’re telling our story but when it goes through our hands in post.

08:36.78
podcomm
Yeah, as as much as I my my shtick is not like powering my podcast with storytelling per se I’m not trying to actually create an arc I certainly don’t create 1 in post-production but it’s 2 or 3 or 4 you know it’s some number of humans talking.

08:37.62
Jule Kucera
We’re telling the story.

08:56.74
podcomm
We’re telling stories. That’s that’s how humans communicate so it does wind up being storytelling and even the slightest. Um, you know I’m just thinking ah sometimes people I cheat we don’t do the the actual final editing in-house. We we use outside services and.

08:57.63
Jule Kucera
Yeah.

09:12.16
Jule Kucera
Yeah, yeah.

09:14.93
podcomm
But we we do review very carefully what they send back because sometimes we have you know cut this or cut that or whatever I can’t recall ever rearranging anything that’s ever been said other than it’ll like take a poll highlight out to the front. You know as a cold open kind of thing but I was I was just thinking if I haven’t lost my train of thought. Oh I was going to say the even the slightest changes in post-production make a big difference. So Sometimes they they send them back and it’s like it’s it’s tight like all the space is Gone. You know? yeah and’s like I’m like what happened to this like the whole tone feels different. So’s even if you don’t.

09:45.60
Jule Kucera
It’s too tight. Yeah.

09:53.28
podcomm
Go in and decide this 10 You know one doesn’t go in and say this 10 minutes is too personal to protect the you know to be honest as the host I’m gonna take that out even if you’re just making small things if you remove just go in and take all the umms ahs and breaths out on your side and leave them all in on their side. Well nah that.

09:56.58
Jule Kucera
What.

10:07.70
Jule Kucera
Um, yeah, yeah, and they just think and comparatively how much better you will sound and they will sound simply because you did that.

10:09.66
podcomm
I Mean that’s a whole different. That’s not what we recorded.

10:15.63
podcomm
Um, I Really um I’m super passionate about and I’m just like I’m not a big fan of the word passionate because I use the daylights out of it. But I’m I’m super passionate about conversation as like a method for. Improving myself like I think conversing with other people, especially when I have no clue what we’re going to be talking about is a really good way to get better at listening and empathizing and all those things. Yeah and what? ah it is that the and that’s the.

10:45.30
Jule Kucera
That’s true studies have shown. Ah.

10:49.81
podcomm
Mirror Neurons I think it is as there’s a whole physiological part of us but where I was going to go with that is I go to tremendous lengths I I do the Movers Mindset podcast which is my main project I do that one in person and that’s that’s like a whole another level of hurt.

10:51.80
Jule Kucera
So.

11:07.38
podcomm
To actually go and record in the field and then but I’ve been in places where I’ve considered buying a coffee table because I was going to be in a flat you know for a week doing interviews and I’m like but there’s no table in the middle of the room and I’m like all right I’m not going to go to Ikea even though wouldn’t cost much I don’t own the place I had to leave it here.

11:07.65
Jule Kucera
Yeah.

11:25.65
podcomm
But I really think that anything you can do before you press record is what people think of like we as podcasters as hosts we think I’m Goingnna do my homework. Everybody has their style write questions out. Don’t make it all I’m gonna do my prep work I’m gonna do my thing I’m going to make the guests feel comfortable. And then at the very beginning when you press record you’re as nervous as the guest is once you get past that phase when you press record I think a lot of podcasters I’ve seen they switch from um this super Ben Beneficent is that a word super so you know we’re like.

11:59.63
Jule Kucera
Yeah I think so beneficent.

12:04.24
podcomm
Everything I do I do for you Dear guest you know, like in an honest way they switch to like okay but now I can’t worry about you like because I’m oh my God I’m podcasting and I can’t say so and um, and and it’s really tough I think to to go across that you know the moment of pressing record to get across that moment of.

12:06.36
Jule Kucera
Ah, yeah.

12:24.17
podcomm
Record and still have the same mindset of um I’m thinking of gul’s do no evil like to make it across record and still 15 minutes in be thinking I’m still 100% all in on safe space. Um, you know making the guest feel welcome trying to figure out.

12:29.27
Jule Kucera
Yeah.

12:38.30
Jule Kucera
A.

12:43.83
podcomm
You know like are they sweating profusely. Maybe I need to you know, conceptually back off or or maybe physically back off. Maybe I’m talking to somebody who has a different personality. So there’s so much there to unpack about you know as 1 practices.

12:52.49
Jule Kucera
Um, yeah when when I used to think I was focused on pressing record to get the guest past it. So I do it early in our conversation I Really think it’s as much to get me past it.

13:06.30
podcomm
It it isn’t it is a weird moment. Um, because for both the host and the guest you know everybody is cognizant that nothing before record is ever going to get hurt like after record, you could get edited it out. But before record nobody hears that it’s like things get real when the little red light comes on and I try to remind myself of that you know having done whatever hundreds the I don’t get nervous anymore and people press record on this side I’m just like hey whatever like if if I was nervous about this I shouldn’t be here at all, kind of thing. But I always try to remember like the very first recording I ever tried to do with somebody that I screwed up I didn’t press record and 13 minutes in I went oh hey, remember when I said I needed a guinea pig because I was going to screw it up I screwed it up so I always try to remember like what what is it like to be. Sitting in the chair you know for the first time. Um, and I think everybody that I’ve ever talked to in podcasting servers. All the podcasters I’ve talked to. They’ve always been nice human you know, nice people they’re they’re in it for the right reason. Um.

13:59.58
Jule Kucera
A.

14:08.95
Jule Kucera
Really nice people. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they are the podcasters that I know are motivated by something. There’s something they want to get out into the world. It can be a topic. It can be mean if you think about the Craig you’ve been involved with every pod.

14:27.21
podcomm
Ah, no I didn’t I was only in so in the akimbo courses that was only I took 3 but I had a podcast for I have to do math like two or three years before that so I took 3 and then I’ve been back to help for 4 5 6 7 8

14:27.57
Jule Kucera
Right? Every pod one 2 3 4 you were in so one and.

14:41.49
Jule Kucera
7 8 Yeah yeah, you’re heading into 9 and you think about how many podcasts you’ve seen come through and they’re all so different. That’s what amazes me. So.

14:44.28
podcomm
And know what number we on. Ah.

14:50.71
podcomm
Yes, yes.

14:58.12
Jule Kucera
Every podcaster has a motivation that’s unique and special and I’m just happy that we’re doing this and that it’s yes, there are costs to it. But I love the fact I love how Seth Godin says the tools of production are are in our hands mean this is like having our own radio show.

15:11.70
podcomm
Yes, yes, yes, yeah, it doesn’t have to cost. Um, you actually you can actually figure out how to do the hosting basically for free too if you’re really motivated but roughly like $15 a month total will get you. You know going, you can buy used gear.

15:16.51
Jule Kucera
You know.

15:29.80
podcomm
Um, off ebay. It really is low barrier to entry. But of course the other side of that is it’s um, it’s It’s very um I don’t know like it’s real like when you press record you know people I.

15:40.33
Jule Kucera
Here.

15:45.90
podcomm
I hear people’s interviews that I recorded then and are like 3 or 4 years old and I’m like wow that person is not the same person anymore. Not like the interview was bad or showed bad things. But wow has that person changed in 3 years and you know I’m thinking like you know this stuff’s it’s pretty permanent I mean you can delete it out of your podcast feed. But. You know the internet archive found it and Google found it and so it is a very pretty much chiseled in stone as far as anything goes on the internet. It’s a really permanent type of performance and it never ceases to amaze me that guests will sit be like yeah I’m down for that like.

16:20.76
Jule Kucera
All right here we go? Yeah, you really want to? yeah thank you? Yeah, it’s amazing to me to think that I’ll be off the planet but my voice and the voice of my guests will still be here and I I love knowing that I Love what.

16:21.80
podcomm
Okay, you know like another person. Yeah, so yeah.

16:31.12
podcomm
Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, so yes.

16:37.79
Jule Kucera
Um, Bruce Deverow is doing with the creatively engaging his podcast. He’s capturing voices that are so close to disappearing and they don’t have a lot of time and he’s capturing them.

16:48.70
podcomm
Yeah, it’s an interesting. Yeah um. What else Springs to mind.

16:59.72
Jule Kucera
I would say that I’ve I’ve talked about what I wanted to talk about So I’m happy to close if you want as long as the message that I would want people to take away from this is as the host you have a responsibility not just to your audience but to your guest and that. Responsibility resides within the context of the conversation and afterward and just be ethical if you especially if you have conversations that tend to go into vulnerable areas make sure you have a guardrail for yourself that will help guide you when you’re in the conversation or in the edit.

17:36.32
podcomm
That’s a terrific observation. A terrific piece of advice and I think a terrific place to stop cool. Thank you very much jewel. It’s a pleasure I don’t think we’ve had a chance to talk while recording previously I know we’ve talked before but it’s fun to get a chance to actually create something together.

17:40.65
Jule Kucera
Um, I think so too Craig all right.

17:51.42
Jule Kucera
Yeah, we’ve been on webinars together. You know Zoom calls together. But yeah, this is fine. This is we made it. Ah, thank you bye Craig.

17:53.65
podcomm
Um. So thanks and now we’ll just press stop. Thanks Jul by.