Transcript for "Storytelling - with Heather Morrison"

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00:00.00
podcomm
Hello I’m Craig Konstan team

00:00.69
Heather Morrison
Um, hello and I’m Heather Morrison Elise I am today. Ah.

00:04.75
podcomm
There was a bit of discussion about you’d be amazed how many times Podcasters don’t know how to say hello not that you couldn’t figure it out but it’s often a point of discussion I’m so I’m going to say hello you notice I waved at you I said hello and I waved I don’t know. Yeah, do you know why.

00:17.59
Heather Morrison
You did wave. No.

00:21.63
podcomm
Because it tends to make you want to say hello back I Realize that after you do a bunch of these. It’s like if I wave like this is the bar where you say Hello Sorry I’m so meta even this podcast but it plays right into my minimum viable podcast idea which is if I can figure out something.

00:29.31
Heather Morrison
That’s brilliant. Ah.

00:38.97
podcomm
That I can do that makes it easier on the guest I’m doing it. Ah bonus points if I can figure out how to not have to do whatever that was you know like images of guests are hard for episode cover art. Skip that my God that was my decision because we don’t need that. Um. So That’s me like waving back at you is not just me being animated and trying to get you to engage? Sorry and if anybody listens I’m sorry that being so.

01:00.31
Heather Morrison
So if you don’t editorialize What is the equivalent of waving Auditorially what is that? Oh that’s hello of course. Okay dumb. Um, hello audibly hello Hello That’s your intro Now we got an intro.

01:08.20
podcomm
Oh audibly a auditory. Yeah yeah, hello Yeah Hello is the greeting Hello Hello Hey there hi there. There’s no intro so in the little conversation we have beforehand I Often say to people podcasting and then whatever comes out.

01:20.00
Heather Morrison
Ah.

01:27.74
podcomm
And so we were talking about. Um I’m going to put words in your mouth. We were talking about change. We were talking about how because you and I were old enough to be able to talk about hey everyone the invented podcasting and and we were talking about how you kind of go from like yeah.

01:36.85
Heather Morrison
Ah.

01:47.29
podcomm
Pretty much think anybody who’s podcasting now probably has been listening to podcasts for a while but you and I were literally like everyone used to download them on the ipod and then you did like the whole thing and then somewhere along the way you became like 1 becomes the person you know I could I could make those things and you were talking about that change happened.

02:04.81
Heather Morrison
I have bugs in my house from fruit. It’s It’s sorry that no, that’s not ah, a different kind of version of hello. That’s a fruit fly I apologize. Ah.

02:05.78
podcomm
Waving ah that you were waving me off? No I don’t want to talk about that. Um, but I remember time flies like a banana so gradual marks. Um, so yeah change what when I asked you about podcasting What made you think of that.

02:21.50
Heather Morrison
Mm yep.

02:34.42
podcomm
You know you immediately told me a story about how you used to consume podcasts how you used to listen to them. What makes you think about that change from listener to creator when I say podcasting.

02:45.78
Heather Morrison
Well, the change happened because first of all I love them I love them with a passion like like this the little kid I was that would go to bed with those little golden books under my under my pillow because I would get nervous at night I get scared of the dark or whatever. So.

02:58.78
podcomm
Um.

03:04.53
Heather Morrison
And I still sleep with books that is not the title of my podcast. Um, ah, um, books books I Love books. Yeah, big reader. Um, so I I just it just.

03:12.25
podcomm
Um, I’m writing down books.

03:21.88
Heather Morrison
There’s something really childlike in my exuberance and my love for the form of podcasting and having somebody tell me a story. That’s what I feel like I feel like a little kid and someone’s telling me a story. So I’ve always had a lot of energy and enthusiasm and excitement for it. I mean not all podcasts or for me, but the ones that they are. Ah, literally walking through bart and the top of my head is exploding from Radio Lab you know,? well maybe not literally that would be really messy and obviously I’m still intact but figuratively or metaphorically or whatever the right word is and so yeah and I just went down a rabbit hole about my enthusiasm which.

03:41.46
podcomm
Phrase.

03:52.69
podcomm
Someically.

03:57.48
Heather Morrison
Part of my problem with writing and staying on topics. Thank goodness. This is only 20 minutes and you can cut me off but um, anyway, so I’ve always had a lot of enthusiasm for it and I never thought I never made that leap though to like thinking like I could do it because I don’t have that background I went to school I was in.

04:04.74
podcomm
And.

04:17.22
Heather Morrison
I Got an English degree I did a lot of performing arts. So I had community theater My background that kind of thing but I never did radio never wrote for the school paper I Did you know So there’s like a yeah.

04:23.47
podcomm
Um, well, there’s definitely something about a podcast this is over there like I’ve been to a few plays and there’s no universe in which I am going to leap literally in the performance up on the stage and join in like you you consume you sit back you well. But.

04:38.60
Heather Morrison
You could in an Improv show. But.

04:43.00
podcomm
But I mean 1 goes to a performance and 1 takes in the performance 1 listens to a podcast. You don’t you don’t even though it really is easy. You have now discovered. You don’t like hit pause and like say something and then it comes out in the next 2 minutes as part of the show. It’s a very 1 ne-way thing. Um, do you remember? What made you think you could be on the other side of the projection.

05:07.20
Heather Morrison
Yeah I mean honestly it was seeing a Facebook ad for the podcast fellowship and I think I was I was it was also hitting me at a time that I wanted to find try something different creatively because I’ve tried all kinds of different things. Things I’m quite a dabbler and I was like wow. Ah you know I just never kind of I don’t know why but I never kind of connected up this idea that I could do it I’m like well what do I need to do it I didn’t know the tech or anything and so interestingly I think it literally came. Months before the pandemic hit and in fact I was in a tpf the podcast fellowship 5 which got extended because people are just kind of having a difficult time getting through you know the material and everything.

05:58.21
podcomm
Um I remember that one. Yeah, they they held the I don’t know if they delayed the kickoff but I’m pretty sure they I know they vastly extended how long the platform was left open just because people had.

06:02.38
Heather Morrison
So.

06:09.36
Heather Morrison
Yes, what? yes.

06:15.38
podcomm
There’s like a community that Springs up among the students who are going through in each cohort on any online course. Um and the the kimbo group that runs it was like well let’s let’s leave this community running so people can like just be in their community more? um.

06:29.97
Heather Morrison
Yeah.

06:30.56
podcomm
So but so you pointed out that you saw an ad for a course but I’m going to bet that if you’d seen that ad like 3 years previously you probably wouldn’t have jumped is there anything that you can point to that was the I mean. Part of it I think is you just wake up and you’re different person in the next morning and then not realizing that oh today I’m going to jump on that opportunity that I see whereas the yesterday you might not have done that so part of it. Maybe it’s impossible to find the catalyst to change within yourself. But I’m just wondering if you if you looked back and thought.

06:46.58
Heather Morrison
Yeah I wish.

06:58.40
Heather Morrison
Yeah, yeah, I’m sure it’s the timing thing through why at that time trying to think of like what I was doing three years ago um you know if I’d seen it three years ago I might actually have done it because it just. You know it’s like with everybody. It just depends on when something comes into your consciousness if you go back ten years ago no because I was learning screenwriting and doing short films and things like that. So I had gotten involved in media but not in radio.

07:35.17
podcomm
Um, audio yeah.

07:35.27
Heather Morrison
Or what I would call like what is it on Demand radio right? Audio I don’t know what did I just say video I meant yeah audio I don’t know what I said does it matter. It’s not getting edited fluns I make you laugh. It’s worth it. So anyway, oh no to please please don’t do that.

07:41.82
podcomm
Ah quick. Oh the oh I’ll just I’ll just go into Stoic Mode I give you nothing to work with. Ah.

07:54.43
Heather Morrison
Torture nothing to work with anyway. So it hit me it just it hit me at the right time and with a lot of creative things that I start I went in and with a lot of enthusiasm and I I hate to bring up trauma but I really do think it’s a traumatic response I went into freeze.

08:03.28
podcomm
And.

08:12.22
Heather Morrison
Like I was so into it and so enthusiastic and I felt supportive of other people and then I went into this like I don’t know what to do and I spent most of the fellowship going I don’t know what to do I don’t know what to do I don’t I don’t know what pot cast to do and I Finally just said.

08:23.98
podcomm
Yeah title description who’s it for what it What he’s like meltdown.

08:28.62
Heather Morrison
Oh my God It was. Yeah yeah, it was a slow meltdown and so I finally just selected something as an exercise I’m like okay I’m going to do this thing and so I can move forward and I can always change it. You know so that’s that’s what I did towards the very end and I’m like going Oh my God Okay, we’ll write this thing quickly. You’re running out of time.

08:46.37
podcomm
Um, yeah, while you have the safe space I’m I’m like you know you can have more than 1 podcast that you can mix.

08:48.47
Heather Morrison
So much pressure. Yeah.

08:54.71
Heather Morrison
I know but that was a problem because then then I wanted to do 2 and people like going heather just try and do one can you do one I’m like oh I don’t know I barely could do zero a couple a couple weeks ago. So um, it is it is that first one’s really hard. So.

09:03.96
podcomm
You know there’s an infinitely larger. You know what 0 to 1 is really hard. Yeah.

09:12.66
Heather Morrison
Yes I did I did develop a ah podcast called geeks in the green room because I wanted to talk to people who did community theater and I did get 1 person to do that and then it became quickly difficult to find anybody in community theater who actually wanted to talk about it. So I started expanding like anybody who was involved with Tv like.

09:27.68
podcomm
Any geek in any green room right.

09:32.40
Heather Morrison
Pretty much accept sports because I know nothing about sports. But yeah anything. So I I interviewed a whole bunch of people and ah I haven’t done anything with that for a while because I’m doing something else but huge learning curve some fun stuff and.

09:34.24
podcomm
Yeah.

09:49.93
Heather Morrison
And my podcast is still out there if you guys want to try it out there.

09:51.89
podcomm
Yeah, it’s yeah, it’s I think it’s neat I mean it’s also fun if have you gone back and listened to like your third episode like how far back would episode 3 be time. Yeah said a year ago two years ago three years ago okay so it’s like a good you would be fun like.

09:58.59
Heather Morrison
I Should do that in terms of time. Well Twenty Twenty No wasn’t that far back. So okay.

10:11.61
podcomm
Go listen episode 3 be sure to have whatever your comfort. Whatever your go-to comfort stress thing is like if you have a stress pillow or be sure you have that? Oh I’ve had I’ve had guests show up bringing like well they don’t bring never had somebody bring.

10:20.44
Heather Morrison
Ah, yeah, I’ve.

10:27.20
podcomm
Stress pillar with them. But I have had somebody come into a space where I was going to record in person and like come in the door look around find the sofa basically run to the sofa jump on the sofa sit cross-legged grab a pillow and like and I’m just like okay this is somebody who is slightly nervous and of course my reaction was because I’m super organized.

10:39.58
Heather Morrison
Wow.

10:46.89
podcomm
I had scoped in advance I had rented it a place for a week to do this we had people coming through but the day before I had done the very first episode I went and I found the best local coffee shop. This is in a city that I’m not familiar with so I knew where it was and when this person came in all like totally freaked out. There was no way they were ready to do an interview I’m like. Really need a cup of coffee. How about you and they were like yes please and then you know like I’m the most manipulative but benevolent nice person I was like I need coffee and the person who works with me looked at me but knows enough not to go huh you know because I would never do that I was like I need a cup of coffee and then the guest was like oh my god yes please and then 3 of us went for a cup of coffee. Only like a few feet away and then we sat there for 15 minutes and now I’m off on a tangent but basically after we came back more like you would think more caffeine make it worse now after that the guest was just excited and super happy and we had a really like really good conversation. Um, that has nothing to do with what we were talking about.

11:30.19
Heather Morrison
Um. Oh nice, no it sort of does though. But how do you do? How do you do a cup of coffee version if somebody like I did all mine via Zoom you know so.

11:43.64
podcomm
However.

11:49.33
podcomm
Oh excellent question. The answer is you can’t I mean you can do some things.

11:54.66
Heather Morrison
Is it your tone of voice like your voice is so soothing mine. It’s not I have a nice voice I have a very nice speaking voice I was told I had a nice speaking voice long time ago, but it don’t think that does it.

12:05.10
podcomm
Um, ah well, okay, there are first of all great question. Ah trust me I have a big timer I’m watching I have the stop button. Not you I will say because I’ve I’ve said this many times if you can think of something that you can do before you press record or after you press stop.

12:09.71
Heather Morrison
We all have 8 minutes so don’t take that long to answer. Ah.

12:24.10
podcomm
That makes things better. You should at least try that and probably make it part of your bag of tricks. So one of the things I would suggest is so you mentioned your voice and 1 of the things I would say is I’m going to make you all, um, self-conscious is a boom mic is a terrible choice if you’re worried about how your voice sounds.

12:25.60
Heather Morrison
Um.

12:42.88
podcomm
Because one of the things that you can hear is when I move around you can tell that I’m being animated. Oh my God if I move my head around a lot mom I’m talking right? and you laugh because you can see it but everybody else can feel the change in energy If you have a boom mic and it’s always in the same place your voice never changes So that’s I’m not I’m not saying throw out your.

12:53.18
Heather Morrison
M.

13:01.24
podcomm
You You know M power headset because those things are really hard to get now keep that yeah those are unobtainable. Keep your M power. How however you might want to experiment with a different mic that sits lower So as a theater person you should know that the projection right? the.

13:02.54
Heather Morrison
Oh really? yeah.

13:20.12
podcomm
And you hear that right? That’s I’m I’m actually yes that that comes from the breast bone because your lungs are under there. So part of the operatic stuff is from lower in your chest.

13:23.32
Heather Morrison
He’s he’s he’s He’s beating his chest ladies and gentlemen and Children. Ah. Right. Who.

13:37.10
podcomm
And guess what if I take the mic and try to just keep talking the same but move the mic up here. It probably sounds a little different even though it’s about the same volume level and I I changed the angle of the mic and I moved it I just moved it up so now it’s like ° above me angled down.

13:41.45
Heather Morrison
A tire. Yeah.

13:54.24
podcomm
As opposed to if I take the microphone and I try to talk the same but I move the mic down here. 2 things happen the popping peas now get to the microphone so you have to go off to the side so that Peter Piper here’s Peter Piper picked the pickup pickled peppers missing the mic as opposed to Peter Piper picked the packup pickup right on the mic. So the Mike’s off to the side.

13:55.92
Heather Morrison
Are.

14:05.25
Heather Morrison
Ah. Um, um.

14:13.68
podcomm
But with it below me feeder people. You know this now you get more of the base so you will yeah so I was gonna say if you’re concerned about how your voice sounds because you’re thinking it should sound better for the guest then play with Mike Tech don’t please don’t.

14:16.92
Heather Morrison
I Need one of those. Ah.

14:29.45
podcomm
Everybody listening and you don’t get all self-conscious about oh I got to do a better job because you’re self-conscious but this mic is very intentional when I use this mic I give guests headphones I use these mics in person I put it on a stand and I I don’t don’t I don’t hand it to them because they do really horrible things I set it on mic stand.

14:32.54
Heather Morrison
The.

14:48.32
podcomm
And I get it where it brings out the best in their voice. So I set it like over here and then I give them headphones and then they tend to they like really they like they tell me really important stories so setting them up for that space. You can’t do that if you don’t have physical control. They show up with their you know Apple wireless earbuds which are I guess.

14:49.20
Heather Morrison
Um.

14:58.45
Heather Morrison
Oh.

15:07.67
podcomm
Okay, but horrible for really conveying the emotion so that’s the first thing I would say is you can work really hard in a good way to create the auditory experience for the guest. That’s 1 thing you can do um your background is actually really nice because ah chsantha ums are those chryssanthem ops. No, what’s on the board.

15:12.65
Heather Morrison
Ah.

15:18.10
Heather Morrison
M.

15:24.92
Heather Morrison
Oh they’re just puffy I don’t know what they are. They’re paper flowers that I stole from I took from work. Thank you.

15:26.71
podcomm
Have a pink flower looks like a chrysantamum. It’s nice, but everything in the background here including this picture frame here. Nobody else can see this that picture frame that little thing is a picture of my wife on a beach and this picture frame here is a picture of me and.

15:35.99
Heather Morrison
Oh my goodness. Yeah, oh.

15:44.72
podcomm
You can’t really see that but you get ah you get the idea that there’s some photos back there and like you can’t see this staing glass So well. But yes I’m very mindful. There’s there’s there’s chaos. You know like over here. But we’re not going to tip you know? So um, if you’re mindful about.

15:46.23
Heather Morrison
Yeah, it’s soothing right? is that the idea.

16:01.57
podcomm
What is the auditory and the visual experience of your guest that goes a long way. Um, you know like do you have the camera.

16:03.25
Heather Morrison
Yeah, well I did set dress this believe it or not I removed a bunch of crap from behind me even though I know nobody can see this I know you can see it So right.

16:10.41
podcomm
But but that’s clearly you being mindful of the experience of the other person so that’s that’s the kind of thing that I do um I’m nuts you know I’ve I rearrange the rooms you know like I’ll show up at your house and rearrange your house. You know, prepare you for your interview.

16:22.87
Heather Morrison
How.

16:24.70
podcomm
Um, but if I can I’ll arrange the guest to have the best view like if there’s a window I’ll arrange as the guest can see out not me or which side of the room is going to sound better and just try to do all those things to make them feel comfortable. Sometimes yeah oh that’s the other thing. Um.

16:36.61
Heather Morrison
That’s really nice. You’re making me feel comfortable I feel very soothed.

16:43.94
podcomm
You know what mirror neurons are brain chemistry. Um, okay so mirror neurons everybody has these you have them you use them. It’s house aside. It’s like how you get along, you can practice intentionally mirroring what the other person is doing So I’m mindful of whether or not my hands are in the frame or out of the frame like.

16:44.56
Heather Morrison
Yes.

17:02.52
podcomm
So I don’t talk with my hands down here where you can’t see him if I’m if I’m going to gesticulate I bring him up here where you can see him as like you know Steve Martin Wild and crazy. You can do that in person and you can do it on video calls so you can be thinking. Um, how much head space. So the video frame is touching the top of my head.

17:11.46
Heather Morrison
Right.

17:19.85
podcomm
Which is very intentional like I want you to be able to to like see me now if you’re in person life is much easier. You can just Heather’s adjusting your video camera. Um, so that when you do that in a video call. You can be intentional about like how much you know what are you sharing? and ah I mean what are you sharing with your hands and your face and that kind of thing.

17:22.20
Heather Morrison
Yeah f.

17:33.21
Heather Morrison
Right? yeah.

17:38.37
podcomm
I Happen to be an animated to the point of you know multiple detentions in high school I happen to be an animated person. So I tend to be emphatic and gesticulate and make people laugh but I can totally do the I’m sorry that your dog died like I can totally do that. And don’t have to be the clown. You know when it’s not appropriate so those are ah, you’ve never heard me have a conversation with a guest who’s talking about um the death of their loved one. You know like they came home and found them Hung had hung themselves. That’s a little bit more of an intense conversation.

17:59.39
Heather Morrison
It’s ah I don’t think of you that way at all, you’re just so calm and soothing on our calls and.

18:08.24
Heather Morrison
Um, oh my God Yeah wow.

18:16.22
podcomm
And a lot of the podcasting journey for me has been like Craig learning hashtag ccreiglearn. You know it’s really not good and no, but having said that.

18:23.24
Heather Morrison
Please write a book. Okay, having a movie.

18:29.80
podcomm
I’ve spent a lot of time intentionally practicing like U-oh this guest is going to a dark place and instead of me getting uncomfortable which used to happen now I’m I’m super interested in like is this guest. Okay going like sometimes people go places. They’re not even paying attention. So another thing that.

18:48.39
Heather Morrison
Woohoo.

18:48.73
podcomm
You can do as a host trying to create a space for the guest is to is to have the the meta the higher level train of thought like what are we talking about like no, we’re we’re still in safe land. This is good. Okay, this guest is bringing up something that is obviously gonna be really emotional for them I mean I’m okay with that but are they gonna be okay with that and.

19:05.83
Heather Morrison
Um.

19:07.37
podcomm
Like sometimes I’ll I’ll either try to bring a little bit of lighthearted into it or sometimes I’ll just let it you know like let it develop and be emotional and emote with them so it took me a while to get comfortable being artificial like that like okay this conversation.

19:15.45
Heather Morrison
Ah.

19:24.46
Heather Morrison
Bria.

19:26.22
podcomm
Like not ours you know Heather but like this conversation that we’re recording is getting very deep. Okay I have to I wasn’t in a deep mood like I wasn’t down for that. But I can do that I can be that and that’s what would best serve this guest so that’s where I’m going so those are kind of like 3 things that I’m touching on like the tech and the.

19:29.16
Heather Morrison
Sure yeah.

19:39.00
Heather Morrison
Yeah I got a downshift. Yeah, that is awesome stuff. Lucky me No oh crap. Ah.

19:45.99
podcomm
Mindfulness. Um, but we should have recorded that yeah anything else you went? No I’m kidding. It’s recorded. Um, but yeah, so we spun off on Craig talking about how Craig does podcasting which is fine but it’s not the Craig show.

19:59.80
Heather Morrison
Ah, lucky me and I don’t mean that ironically I feel like it came out of my mouth kind of snarky and I don’t mean it that way at all because any time I get to spend with you is awesome.

20:08.73
podcomm
Oh stop. But I appreciate you saying that? ah any final thoughts on how about how about this so having done the transition from somebody who like is passionate about listening to podcasts and having clearly transitioned to somebody who’s. Passionate about making podcasts. Um, is there anything you can say to people who are stuck so they’re a podcaster. They know how to do it but they just quite not quite getting to the publish part and I’m not trying to like you know, hold a mirror up and make you treat yourself I’m I’m just saying like. You managed to jump the shark to get from listener to creator. How do we get other people to do that.

20:49.85
Heather Morrison
Ah, on a phrase. Um, ah, honestly since I’m allowed us to swear I’d say I hate to leave the show on this I’d say you have to kind of say fuck it because you can be your own worst enemy and I have suffered from. Ah, stagef frighted all my life even though I have a pleasant voice I don’t like to listen to it sometimes and sometimes you just have to say I really, you got to look beyond your discomfort and ah find the reason you want to do it in the first place and then just keep trying to move forward. It’s so hard but just keep trying to.

21:20.25
podcomm
Oh yes.

21:26.36
Heather Morrison
Move forward because your voice your story I’m all about story. Obviously it’s why I’m working on this new project to help people write about their lives in Journaling. It’s all about just kind of ah you have to move through the discomfort. Pretend. It’s not there I don’t know there’s a there’s a lot of things you can do. It’s It’s kind of like writer’s block and social anxiety. It’s all those things. But if you really want it and you really love It. Just make it happen.

21:56.93
podcomm
Thank you very much Heather It was a delight and I think that’s where we’re going to end.

22:00.32
Heather Morrison
Thank you! Excellent! Thank you so much Craig for having me on.