Welcome to Broadway!

Today, Zach and Rock speak with Alan Seales, co-founder of the Broadway Podcast Network (BPN) and host of The Theatre Podcast. Alan’s entire network switched over to SquadCast.fm during the pandemic for their recording needs and he’s got a lot to share about remote content production, the future of Broadway, and more.

About Alan

With over 2 decades of experience in film and theatre both as cast and creative, host Alan Seales speaks with Broadway and beyond’s biggest talents to learn more about not only how the world of theatre and performing operate, but also what makes it so real and human. Alan is a North Carolina native with over 20 years of direct, hands-on experience in tv, film, and theatre. He has been an actor, singer, dancer, producer, director of photography, audio engineer, and editor, in addition to utilizing his computer science degree to work for several of the top tech companies in existence.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • How to build a podcast network
  • Why it’s so hard to translate “Hamilton” into Japanese
  • About the latest from BPN, including a sneak peek of a Broadway-true-crime show
  • How Broadway can survive and adapt to the age of the internet

Extras

Our podcast stack

  • ATR 2100 Mics
  • Apple AirPods Max Headphones
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interfaces
  • Adobe Audition
  • Buzzsprout

Episode Transcripts

Jenn: [00:00:00] Hey, friend. Before we get into this week’s episode of Between Two Mics, we want to tell you about another show we think you’ll love, which is also recorded on SquadCast. Hi, I’m Jenn Trepeck, host and creator of the podcast Salad with a Side of Fries. We talk all things wellness and weight loss, but for real-life answering the questions that come up when you’re having a drink with friends or in the locker room of the gym. They look great. What are they doing? Should I do that? Answer? Probably not. But let’s talk about it. Check out salad with the side of fries on your favorite listening platform, or go to a salad with a side of fries dot com. I can’t wait to share my fries with you. Now for this week’s episode of Between Two Mics. [00:00:41][41.5]

Zach Moreno: [00:00:47] Welcome to Between Two Mics, the podcast that brings you remote recording resources from SquadCast dotFM. [00:00:53][6.2]

Rock Felder: [00:00:55] I’m Rock Felder, co-founder and CFO of SquadCast. [00:00:58][2.9]

Zach Moreno: [00:00:59] And I’m Zach Moreno, co-founder and CEO. [00:01:01][2.2]

Rock Felder: [00:01:03] On Between Two Mics, we bring you interviews with podcasters experts in the field of remote recording. We discuss current events in podcasting and so much more. [00:01:11][8.5]

Zach Moreno: [00:01:12] Twice a month, you’ll hear a founders episode. That’s just the two of us chatting about all things remote recording, updates to SquadCast, what we’re up to, and what we’re listening to. [00:01:23][10.9]

Rock Felder: [00:01:24] The other two weeks of the month, we’ll bring you interview episodes. Zach and I will sit down with experts in the podcast space to discuss their companies, their podcasts, their thoughts on podcasting, creating content, and more. [00:01:36][12.2]

Zach Moreno: [00:01:37] The most exciting part? We’re recording all of this on SquadCast, the best place to record remote audio and video interviews in studio quality. [00:01:46][9.1]

Rock Felder: [00:01:47] So let’s get between two mics. [00:01:50][2.8]

Zach Moreno: [00:01:52] Alan Seales, welcome to Between Two Mics. We’re excited to dig into all the amazing work that you’re doing across the network and industry and shows that you’re creating, but just to zoom all the way out. How would you describe the work that you do and your background? [00:02:06][14.2]

Alan Seales: [00:02:07] Oh my gosh. I would describe myself as a constant hypothalamus conflict. My left brain and my right brain have always been fighting. I’ve loved the tech, I’ve loved the nerdy stuff I’ve loved, and then the other side of it performing. I love creating and I would go as a child to chorus and performances and do community theater and then come home and play sports and take my computers apart. So I’ve always had this kind of crossover love for creating in a technological way. And so fast forward, making an extremely long story short. Fast forward a bunch of years got a computer science degree, and then with that degree, I started acting full time. Then the writers strike hits in 2007. I fall back on computers, which leads me to Google, which gets me strangely involved in Broadway again, and that’s a whole other conversation. So I’m an engineer at Google. I get reconnected with Broadway. The people I used to perform with are now on Broadway. And here I am CTO, co-founder of Broadway Podcast Network and especially coming out of the pandemic. We were one of the few organizations that throughout it all kept on producing and kept on recording, and especially with the help of SquadCast was able to pivot very quickly and go from a 100 percent virtual recording in person in the studio workflow to a virtual workflow. And it’s been working out really, really nicely. So I hope that answered your question. I tried to summarize, [00:03:31][84.0]

Zach Moreno: [00:03:34] We’ll unpack it. [00:03:34][0.0]

Rock Felder: [00:03:35] It does. It’s just like, where do we start? There’s so many different places to go here, and all of them, I think, can lead us down an exciting path. I guess with Broadway podcast network, you said you’re the CTO there. Were you part of the founding team or like, how did you come to be working there? [00:03:47][12.4]

Alan Seales: [00:03:48] Well, I’ve got my own individual podcast, which is just generically named the theater podcast with Alan Seales. [00:03:54][5.8]

Rock Felder: [00:03:54] Oh, what’s it about? [00:03:55][0.4]

Alan Seales: [00:03:55] Well, I interview. I interview theater theater people. Yeah, so at least you know what it is. Interview theater celebrities, Broadway celebrities, and even some TV and film like, I’ve kind of upped my game in the I won’t say the TV or film is better than theater because it’s it’s this different. But TV and film is more widely known than theater, but expanded my game to be more than just theater. But I still am stuck with my name anyway. Put a pin in that. So I had my podcast and I would not have started my podcast had I known how many other similar podcasts existed, which says to me as the technical creator, Oh, there’s an opportunity here to solve a discoverability problem. And coincidentally, exactly around that time that I started my podcast, I met my co-founder. So I’m one of the two co-founders of BPN and Dori Berinstein, four time Tony winner. She’s amazing. She’s been in the industry forever. So she and I met her. I was researching her to interview her for my podcast because I hadn’t had a producer on my podcast at that point, and I was like, She’s done this and she’s done this, and she went to this school and she, you know, did Muppets The Muppets 3D ride for Disney and has worked with Jim Henson, and done this documentary. And she’s part of the creative team that made Dirty Dancing happen, and she’s amazing and all over the place. I gotta pitch her this idea, and so after I interviewed her, I pitched the idea for the network. And basically before we left the room, we had agreed to make it happen because she loves podcasts and loves creating. And so her knowledge of Broadway and my knowledge of the tech in the podcasting world has been this perfect marriage. [00:05:29][94.3]

Zach Moreno: [00:05:30] So you saw that crowded space crowded category and saw that as an opportunity to not as like a discouragement, but as an opportunity to coalesce and share resources and create a network. Is that right? [00:05:42][12.3]

Alan Seales: [00:05:43] Absolutely. Because a rising tide lifts all ships. [00:05:45][2.5]

Zach Moreno: [00:05:46] Yeah. [00:05:46][0.0]

Alan Seales: [00:05:46] And Broadway being a niche in general. Anyway, actually, this goes back to what I just said that Broadway is less widely known than the TV and film world. So it’s easy if you are a TV or film celebrity and you’re interviewing your TV and film friends to get well-known relatively quickly. But if you come into the podcast space, then that is an already crowded space because there’s there’s people like an anchor and, you know, nothing wrong with anchor, but there are ways that they’re trying to get anybody to have a podcast and so that crowds the feel that overcrowded the field very quickly. So how do you find the good stuff? So what BPN the idea behind BPN is that as a as a consolidated network, we bring in similarly themed podcasts and create some new ones of our own and bring in ones that are existing. And then from an advertisement from a financial standpoint, instead of essentially then competing against each other for advertising dollars, then we have a team. We’re centralizing the outreach from an ad perspective and we’re selling as a whole network because our demographics. A listener demographics are so similar that we can sell as a as a whole network and everyone down to the tiniest show benefits from the numbers from the largest show and vice versa, because we’re always acting as a single unit and it’s been benefiting everybody. [00:07:07][80.9]

Rock Felder: [00:07:08] That’s a great model and really exciting to hear. Is it a network that talks about Broadway or are you? Are you all like producing Broadway shows through the medium of podcasting? [00:07:16][8.6]

Alan Seales: [00:07:17] Everything like the. [00:07:19][1.5]

Zach Moreno: [00:07:21] Both directions. [00:07:21][0.3]

Alan Seales: [00:07:22] Both directions. Literally. So I am someone who has never performed on Broadway and I talked to Broadway people. We have Tony winners talking about things. They have their own podcasts where they talk about things that are not Broadway related. There’s somebody who’s very much into social justice, so she’s got a Tony and she talks about social justice. So she is part of the network because she’s in the Broadway ecosystem. We’ve got podcasts that cover L.A., Chicago West End Australia. And so the a lot of these are people that, of course, have never been on Broadway, but they’re talking to Broadway people. We’ve got producers, other producers who talk with their producer friends. So there’s the business side of it. We’ve gotten into then producing audio dramas and radio plays, so we’ve got a very, our very own soap opera that follows the real process of creating the fictional story the fictional musical avatar, the musical that’s called as the curtain rises. So it’s a real podcast that follows the real process, and inside the podcast creates the fake show that if Tik Tok, if I had my way, Tik Tok is going to write this musical for us one day and it will become real. All of our other radio plays, we’ve got Dracula, a comedy of terrors. We we’ve got a couple of bleeding love. There’s a couple of others that that we we just released the other day around the Sun, which is the through line. They’re a little mini vignettes about New Yorkers. All of this is it stars Broadway people, the actors in them, because that’s just our circle, that’s our ecosphere. So we have the cast as Broadway people. But the story itself has. The stories have nothing to do with Broadway, but because the actors are Broadway well known on Broadway. That’s why they fit in our network, fit in our ecosystem. And then outside of our ecosystem as well, people still enjoy it because they’re just it. Really entertaining shows. [00:09:14][112.5]

Rock Felder: [00:09:15] Sounds like a comprehensive and fun suite of shows you got there. When you came up with this idea was kind of solving the discoverability problem you mentioned. But like, did you expect to have this media conglomerate company media empire? I don’t know what to call it. It’s sounds like you’re doing big things. [00:09:31][16.3]

Zach Moreno: [00:09:32] And how did people respond when you approached them? Because usually it’s like, Oh, competing in this category, but like, that’s a different approach, different perspective. [00:09:39][7.7]

Alan Seales: [00:09:40] The responses were mixed in that some people were like, Oh, great, this is awesome. I totally see the point. Some were a little bit like, Well, this is my space, and I’m going to, I’m going to share it. But then when they started receiving advertising dollar checks, then you know, they started getting the money. Then like, OK, that helps. I get this. Yeah, that helps. Did we see this coming sort of in that we always had the idea of, you know, I sort of pitched this to Dori as like, Let’s be the Netflix of Broadway, right? Let’s be the destination where you can go and get all different types of shows that interest you because this is the same type of person that is, you know, coming to the network. So we’ve got an iOS app, too, that you can get that helps you discover just our shows because still, if you go to Apple or Spotify, it’s hard to find similarly themed shows. Their algorithms are OK. But for the Broadway lover, the theater lover, which is a niche within the niche of podcasting, it’s really it’s still really hard to find the content that you like and know what’s out there. [00:10:38][57.9]

Rock Felder: [00:10:39] Kind of sounds to me like how we talk about always promoting podcasters have a website to have that like central hub, where they can at least go to know where to find everything about the show. And it’s independent of what listening that they use. I feel like to me, that sounds like the next step of like, no, we’re creating that app because discoverability is baked in, baby. That’s pretty cool. [00:10:58][18.9]

Alan Seales: [00:10:58] Exactly, exactly. And it’s the BPN app and, you know, Broadway podcast network to search for that in in the Apple Store and Broadway podcast network dot com. When we go there, you can sort by category, do you want social justice? Do you want equity? Do you want inside the business? Do you want resumé rundowns? You know we can. We’ve literally categorized the podcast and we have 135 now, I think at the time of recording or about to launch another one. So we’ve got over 130. They’re all easily sortable and discoverable. And for anybody listening, right, just go to the website, put in your favorite Broadway actor, and they’re probably in at least one, if not multiple episodes across all the all the networks. So you can find it, you can find it by person too by show. We sort by show, we sort by person, we sort by category and topics. So no matter how your brain works, we try to. Be a little bit easy for you to discover what else, what else you like. [00:11:54][55.3]

Zach Moreno: [00:11:55] It feels and seems like these two mediums like Broadway and podcasting fit together really well. Like what are some of the things you you’ve kind of learned? Like, what are some of the strengths that come from Broadway and help set you apart in podcasting? And what are some of the things you’ve learned from podcasting that are starting to have an impact on your Broadway work? [00:12:14][18.8]

Alan Seales: [00:12:14] Having personality to be an entertaining person? You know that that goes a long way in the podcasting. [00:12:21][6.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:12:21] Often overlooked, sometimes overlooked. [00:12:22][1.2]

Alan Seales: [00:12:25] Everyone’s like. [00:12:25][0.4]

Rock Felder: [00:12:26] Yeah, you got to be inspired, right, Zach? [00:12:27][1.5]

Alan Seales: [00:12:28] Yeah, know. It’s like, Hey, so welcome to my podcast about the color of tables. Yeah. Like, you got to be entertaining to listen to. All right. And then there’s there’s the video aspect of it as well that it’s getting added on now. But when you’re listening to someone, you need someone who, even if they aren’t, exactly they can fake it. And that’s what Broadway actors can do. Right. So the art of performing the art of, I mean, some of these people that we talked to have talked about the same things over and over and over again, but they make it fresh every time because it’s their job. They’re the they’re the Olympians. [00:13:03][35.5]

Rock Felder: [00:13:04] Such a skill. [00:13:05][0.4]

Alan Seales: [00:13:05] It is. It is to keep yourself on the top of your game. Eight shows a week and make it feel like every show is the first time you’ve performed it. Yeah, because there’s someone in that audience who’s never seen it, and it’s people who really deserve the exact same experience that everybody else has. So, so that’s helped a lot in just being engaging, knowing it’s actually really nice because we’re part of the community that writes and composes and creates that when we need something written or composed or created, we just call up some friends and we’re like, You know, can you put down your eight Tonys for a second and write us a theme song and huge talent? Pretty cool. Yeah, it’s got a of right. Yeah, right? So it’s really easy to find that kind of stuff. And then in the other way around, I guess what I’ve been really excited about personally is that I feel like BPN is pushing the industry forward technologically because there was one point Dori tells the story a lot and I may be butchering it because I’ve been retelling it for so long now. But she was the producer, the lead producer on Legally Blond, the musical years and years ago. And that was right, a huge success. And that was right after 2000 2001, and she made her own website at the time because the marketing team said no one’s going to go online to buy tickets for Broadway. That’s ridiculous. Why would anybody use the internet to buy tickets for Broadway? And then it was. We don’t need a Twitter account. Why is everyone going to use social media to engage with Broadway? Then it was. We don’t need Facebook. We don’t need Instagram now. It’s we don’t need Tik Tok. And so we’re in this process now of we’ve just overcome. We don’t need a podcast. Why do we need a podcast for Broadway? So we’re working with producers to chronicle individual shows and create content centered around the shows. And so the perfect example is something we just launched last week at the time we’re recording this episode here is it’s called This Is Reality, which is an extension of the play. Is this a room which just opened on Broadway to rave reviews? It’s the story of a true crime meets Broadway. It’s the story of reality winner 25 year old girl who leaked confirmation of Russian involvement in the 2016 election. It is the performance of the verbatim transcript of when the FBI interrogated her and arrested her and the podcast. We’ve literally interviewed Reality’s Sister Reality’s Mom, a couple of reality’s legal team that surrounded the whole case, and we’re creating this true crime narrative, and we’re telling it almost in real time because the story’s still happening. Her sentence isn’t over yet. She’s on home confinement in Texas right now, and she’s she can’t talk to us yet because she’s legally not allowed to. So that’s coming later on, later on in the series. And so we’re able to combine the world of Broadway and podcasting to extend the plays to extend these shows beyond just sitting in a theater. And people can literally now take it home with them and listen to them, listen to more information about what they just saw on their way home. And that’s never happened before. People are loving this. [00:16:13][187.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:16:13] Yeah, the complementary stories is something we’ve usually gets talked about is like TV, you know, podcasts about TV shows or, you know, YouTube channels about movies or something like this kind of derivative content. But this strikes me kind of like serial, right? Like this is an ongoing story that you all are helping chronicle, as well as it being just like a really interesting story at that. [00:16:37][23.8]

Alan Seales: [00:16:38] Yeah, it’s exactly right because we’re chronicling it. We’ve released episode one as of last week. Episode two is going to come out next week. So we’ve given a backstory now. Episode 2 is going to be all about who reality is so we can paint that narrative telling the public more about her, like why do people care about her and this story? And we’ve also got one of our other top podcasts on the network. This podcast called Burnt, which is the tagline, Is the show that set Broadway ablaze, which you’ve gotta say it with that voice. So it’s burnt. It’s called burnt, and it is our first true crime Broadway crossover that a journalist, Blake Ross. She’s amazing. She interviewed all the people in and surrounding. This only happened recently. A scandal of Rebecca, the musical that was supposed to come to Broadway and never did because there was defrauding. There was child pornography. There was a bunch of really crazy things that happened. There was just plain old someone they said they had an investor. That investor then died of malaria, but then the investor was made up and never existed in the first place. This, it’s been insane. That’s that podcast is blown up on the network. We’re trying to like, go outside the Broadway ecosystem, outside the Broadway bubble to talk on topics that are really interesting and still bring it back to the industry because more people need to know about this stuff. It’s fascinating. [00:17:56][78.9]

Rock Felder: [00:17:57] It’s scandalous. It sounds very interesting, but also like, I mean, true crime and scripted content tends to add some complexities, but this even sounds like it at some perhaps unique challenges that I’m not even aware of, like besides not being able to talk to the reality. Yeah, besides reality, what other complexities are going on with the creation of this type of show? It almost sounds like a new model, too. [00:18:18][21.8]

Alan Seales: [00:18:19] It’s been really fun, and I always like to joke around that there’s if you can bring me a tech challenge that I haven’t solved yet, then like, I’ll give you the biggest hug ever. Like, I live for solving technical challenges. [00:18:31][12.3]

Rock Felder: [00:18:32] Sounds like a software engineer. [00:18:33][0.8]

Alan Seales: [00:18:35] I mean, the challenges that we have in general, just recording recording period, especially virtually. And you know, of course, even through SquadCast, I’m sure you both realize this is is everyone’s home setup is completely different. So you’ve got people that don’t know they have their mic upside down or backwards. Everyone’s got the yeti blue and they hold it like a handheld, even though the pickups on the front, not the top right. So know how to position your mic. That’s your basic stuff. Then do you have Echo? If we’re if we’re recording VIDEO Is your lighting good? Like, let’s adjust the camera so there’s the right amount of headspace above. You know, your head shouldn’t be in the middle of the frame, it should be near the top of the frame. You have to be able to train someone remotely to be their own lighting designer and their own cinematographer, and then they get to worry about the scripted content if we’re recording scripted material. So then we’re at the mercy of everyone’s local Wi-Fi. So even if it’s a big ensemble in a scene, we try not to do more than two or three people at once because one person with bad internet can bring everybody else down and we start getting delays and the reactions aren’t real. So it’s I mean, literally like think about staging a play, which I don’t know how many people listening have ever done that before. But staging a play, being in a play, whatever you’re doing and we’re in an intense scene. We’re doing a comedy right where timing is everything totally. And that the internet, like, you know, when you have that, those challenges to work through, that’s a pain in the butt. [00:20:03][88.2]

Zach Moreno: [00:20:06] We’re going to take a quick break, but we’ll be back soon with more from Between Two Mics. [00:20:11][4.9]

Rock Felder: [00:20:13] Hey, listener, a quick note to let you know about the latest and greatest from SquadCast, we recently launched SquadCast version four point nine and it’s got some really great new features we want to make sure you know about. You can now hide your own camera from view, so if you’re chatting with an interviewee and you don’t want to stare at your own face, that’s now possible. This was a very popular suggestion from the community. Also, we are now integrated with podcast host Captivate. So if you use them to host your show, there are some great new ways to schedule SquadCast sessions from your Captivate dashboard. We’ve also got some more Zapier integrations. We also introduced an Auto Re rendering for audio and video files, so that will save you a click in a whole lot more. You can discover v4.9 By logging into your SquadCast account. As always, let us know what you think, and there will be more updates coming soon from us and the rest of the SquadCast engineering team. All right, let’s get back to the show. [00:21:15][62.0]

Alan Seales: [00:21:18] So I guess with all that said, these are challenges that, you know, we do multiple takes. We basically have turned the art of theater, of recording online theater into a TV and film format where we do multiple takes. We do multiple versions of different takes, like one more for safety. That’s my favorite line, right? And you hear that a lot in TV and film, so it’s great. It’s perfect. One more for safety and don’t change a thing, and then you have to go through. Yeah, and you’re picking out your favorite takes. It’s sort of like filming a documentary almost. You go through all the footage, you take it what you want and pulled together this narrative in audio form, and it’s been incredibly fun and incredibly challenging. [00:21:57][39.3]

Rock Felder: [00:21:58] Yeah, sounds like your cup of tea. And like you said it, one thing that I want to call back to is it, you know, if you’re doing multiple takes, it really requires that skill set that we touched on earlier that you talked about with theater folks having being able to recite something like it’s the first time, even though they’ve done it countless numbers of times. The reason why I want to call back to that, though, is I feel like our audience could truly benefit from that skill. I think podcasters are, you know, they’re wearing a lot of hats. They’re oftentimes podcasting while doing a bunch of other jobs, whether it’s their regular day job or, you know, all the other jobs that need to be done for creating and promoting amazing show. What type of tips do you have for folks on how to keep that type of mindset or getting that performance flow, even when they’re maybe not necessarily feeling it? Because I’m sure just like those Broadway actors like there some nights when it’s Showtime and they’re not feeling the best, but you couldn’t tell when they when they get on that stage. So what do you think podcasters can peel away from from that type of profession? [00:22:52][53.7]

Alan Seales: [00:22:52] Well, in general, I’m glad you asked this question in general. One of the easiest things to do to be a better podcast host is to talk less if you are interviewing a guest. Let them talk, right? So it’s different if it’s a group. And you know, the shtick is that you on talk on top of each other and you interrupt each other and like that there’s a place for all of that that’s, you know, well needed. But for my podcast, it’s mostly me. I’m on somebody else, one on one. And the less I talk in my podcast, the better. Because acting in general, acting one or one part of being a good actor is listening. You really need to listen to what people are saying, how they’re how they’re saying it and make your reactions off of that and make them authentic, right? Like, you don’t need to fake it. Because if you can pretend, even if you’ve heard someone say, say, a line ten thousand times before, if you actually listen to how they’re saying it, how they’ve come in, like how they dealt with their kids that day, how they dealt with their boss, how they dealt with their friends, whatever their mood is at the time, is going to color what that line slightly differently every single time. And then your reaction is going to be that much different every single time. And then because you’ve reacted differently than they’re going to react differently. So it just builds and you have a different you literally have a fresh show every single time, regardless of if you said the exact same lines over and over again. [00:24:21][88.7]

Rock Felder: [00:24:22] Makes total sense. [00:24:22][0.5]

Alan Seales: [00:24:23] So you want to listen and that’s, you know, I’m shameless plug again for SquadCast here. Even I know people are like, can’t we just use something we’re like Skype or something where we don’t? And I said, No, no, no, we I don’t care if we’re recording video or not. Seeing each other is so crucial to having a good conversation because as I’m talking, you’re not saying anything and people listening right now don’t see that you’re nodding, but you’re smiling. You’re nodding. I can tell that you’re engaged. I can tell that you’re you’re looking like you’re not all over the place. I’m moving my eyes around right now. I’m like reading my notes, reading my email, checking my phone right. It’s really important to have a genuine conversation as a podcaster, if that’s your format, right? And then if you especially when it comes to radio plays or if you are reading off a script, go bigger than you think you need to make it bigger. Because when you can’t see people, when you’re only listening, you need a little bit more energy in your voice to remain engaging. And so if you’re sitting here like, I got an email from last past here, so I’m saying the subject is staying safe this cybersecurity awareness month. Cheers to 18 years. I just read that straight was boring, but if I was like, Whoa, guys, I just got an e-mail from LastPass staying safe this Cyber Security Awareness Month. Cheers to 18 years. [00:25:41][77.6]

Rock Felder: [00:25:41] Alan. no way. I’m expecting the same thing and can’t wait now. [00:25:45][3.9]

Alan Seales: [00:25:47] Yeah. So on the fly, right? So go bigger. You might feel a little ridiculous going bigger if that’s not what you’re used to in your normal personality. But then when you’re listening back in the editing, I think you’re getting, you know, you’ll start to get used to it and being a little bit a little bit more. Just, yeah, just energetic in in your presentation, because if you get excited about something that’s contagious, people are going to want to hear more. [00:26:11][23.8]

Zach Moreno: [00:26:11] I feel like I’ve I’ve had several conversations with my wife. She’s she’s an former educator about. How teachers have been embracing this because of the remote classroom, like there’s much more performance kind of necessary to keep a class engaged that are looking at a screen instead of, you know, in a focused environment that is set up for them to learn. And the skills behind performing arts are really major asset in those types of situations and completely different use case. But like, I think there’s a lot to be gained there as well. And keeping kids engaged is difficult, keeping a listener and audience engaged as difficult and kind of managing your energy and knowing that that’s not something you can just kind of mail in. I think it’s like a pretty core skill here for podcasters to learn. [00:26:55][43.3]

Alan Seales: [00:26:55] Well, it takes practice takes it takes a lot of practice. You can’t. I mean, most people, I guess some can, but you can’t. I was going to say, you can’t just like, turn it on without ever doing it before because you do need to find out what works for you and what works in the medium that you’re in. And part of the challenge, I agree with your wife. One thousand percent in that when you have a static locked off camera, a.k.a. a webcam, something that doesn’t move and you’re not cutting between angles, you need that much more energy to maintain the person’s attention. Who’s watching? Because that’s I mean, that’s part of why TV and film has multiple cameras because we want to. The cinematographer is making us not have to think and not have to stay as interested because we’re looking at person one. Then we cut to person two. All right now, third camera, we’re doing the wide shot, so that’s establishing the room that we’re in. So unconsciously, we’re being told exactly what to think. A lot of times when we’re watching TV and film. But in this kind of medium, when you have one camera that is not moving and someone’s background may be not interesting in the first place and then their energy just kind of is a little bit down, then you know, you’re not really going to want to hang out and listen to them very long. [00:28:05][69.8]

Rock Felder: [00:28:06] Yeah, one of the things I’ve been starting to really appreciate that that I think we’re touching on here, too, is that how unique it is to write for audio. We’ve been interviewing a lot more folks that are creating shows that aren’t, you know, just interviews or like nonfiction. So, you know, a lot more fiction scripted shows and writing for audio that is a unique skill set and adds complexities itself and something I’m definitely starting to appreciate more and more. Was that something that came maybe a little bit more natural from theater? [00:28:33][27.0]

Alan Seales: [00:28:33] But yes, yes. Actually, it reminds me of a of a fun time. There is a I could tell. Talk about this because this episode will come out after we announce it. There is this radio comedy called Twits that will have just been announced when this episode drops and you need to check it out. Subscribe to the feed because the trailer will be out in episode one will come out in a few weeks, but it’s got some of the funniest people on Broadway starring in it. And there is. There’s a couple. We went to the writer and we said, you know, like make as bright as many sound effects in as you need. And I went to the editor and I said, add even more ambience wind noise, peep background noise, trees swaying in the wind like you. We have to hear this stuff because it’s things we take for granted when we’re in real life. Like before we started recording, you were like, Oh, I hear you’re in Brooklyn because there was ambulance noise going by city noises, you know, city noises, right? And so if you’re telling me, if you’re trying to set a scene for me as a listener that’s set in the middle of Brooklyn, I’m not going to think it’s real. If I don’t hear city noises, I need to hear ambulances. I need to hear people, you know, yelling at each other. Right? Being stereotypical. But the point being with twits is that there were some kissing scenes and it’s comedic. So we’re going again over the top. We’re going big. And I said, Listen, you know, we need we need the sounds of the two of you kissing and they’re not in the same room, they’re not even the same state. I don’t think while we’re recording. And so I said, All right, get close to your mic, make out with your hand. And we got, you know, we got, you know, like over the top really big kissing noises and in post. Now, the final product sounds so unbelievably funny because you can really imagine what’s going on because we’ve got these sound effects of them doing this stuff over the top that in real life, if you were watching, you wouldn’t need to do it that big because you’ve got the visual, the addition of the visual aspects so we can see what they’re doing. But when you can only hear it, it’s up to the listeners imaginations, so you got to go big. And so, yeah, to answer your question when we’re writing for audio only, right? More sound effects, right? More music cues tell your actors to go bigger than they’re used to because you can always come down. You can, you know, do a take that’s normal and calm down, but going bigger is always harder. [00:30:50][136.3]

Rock Felder: [00:30:50] I think that’s a good tip. That’s one of the ones I’m going to start taking with me, sharing with folks go big. Listening to that, [00:30:55][4.9]

Zach Moreno: [00:30:55] There’s so much, Alan, that you are doing that sounds awesome. And as is working innovations and all over the place looking ahead, what do you think can be changed or would need to be improved in either like podcasting or a whole? Or maybe it’s your network or, you know, a specific show or maybe a genre that doesn’t exist yet? I don’t know. What do you think could be improved with the state of the art with podcasting as it is today? [00:31:17][21.3]

Alan Seales: [00:31:17] Reporting statistics, but most people don’t care about that as a network owner, we host with Megaphone, do they have the statistics through Megaphone, which is now about bias owned by Spotify. So we’re starting to get demographic info. But in general, every host doesn’t share stats. So. So the podcasting ecosystem is very fragmented and there are there are efforts made to consolidate it, but that’s got a long way to go in podcasting in general. More and more people are trying VIDEO And there are other people to do this way better than me. So I haven’t tackled this personally yet. But I think that somebody with a lot of resources and a lot of time should tackle the video aspect because right now, RSS feeds in general for podcasts don’t support. VIDEO I can’t pull up a video companion to my audio only podcast on Apple Podcasts, right? Or even Spotify. [00:32:05][47.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:32:05] I think there’s some efforts at Spotify, or at least I think they were testing this what seemed like when they brought over Joe Rogan from YouTube. I know that’s kind of a dirty word on this podcast, but right, it’s it’s the first example. So maybe, you know, that’s that’s something that’s coming, but it brings questions about hosting right to your point. [00:32:21][16.5]

Alan Seales: [00:32:22] Right? But they’re going to do it because they yeah, so they want their competitive advantage. So they’re going to make to use that feature, they’re going to make you use Spotify. And maybe it’s going to be an exclusive Spotify feature. And Apple just launched the subscription, the paid subscription model that’s exclusive to them. So if you know is Apple Podcasts, then you can’t pay for the subscription content. And so everything is is all over the place. And maybe, maybe this is how the world is going, because right now, you know, in terms of streaming services, right, we’ve got Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime and Peacock and this and that and all is CBS All Access Plus minus all upside down, right? And you’ve got all these different services. They’re all competing against each other. And I guess I guess it’s different. I mean, it is different because you have to you have to subscribe to each one of those. And the equivalent would be like in the past when we were kids. Instead of turning on the TV, you pay for cable and cable gets you everything. But instead of that, imagine having to pay for NBC and CBS for like magazines and TBS and blah blah blah. Right? Yeah, yeah, it’s multimedia. Yeah, that’s kind of that, that sort of thing. So there’s a lot of room for improvement. And I think we’re I mean, obviously we are we’re only at the very beginning. We’re at the cusp of bringing all this together. And I I really enjoy that from a perspective of consolidating all of theater and all of Broadway. We’re the first in the game here to bring this all together and bring this content to the world. So when the technology comes to support what we what else we want to do, right, because coming out of the pandemic, now we’re just seeing Netflix is recording these shows. Some of them are straight up pro shots is what they’re called when you record an actual performance like Hamilton on Disney Plus is called a pro shot. And then there’s movie adaptations where they take the story and adapted them into an actual movie. It’s not a recording of the staged version. So this is now theater. Broadway is now becoming much more mainstream just now coming out of the pandemic because, like Diana, the musical was released on Netflix before it ever opened on Broadway, and that’s the first time that’s ever happened. And you’ve got producers all over the place saying, Well, if we recorded, if we put it out there, people aren’t going to see it in person. But in the pandemic, they had no choice. There was no Broadway. It was all shut down for 18 months. So we’re seeing some of that. Fortunately, in my opinion, not go away now that Broadway’s been reopening. [00:34:49][147.2]

Zach Moreno: [00:34:51] Some organizations kind of looking at remote work during the pandemic as some sort of like liability or something kind of weird that they just did because they were forced. But like, there’s other organizations who are looking at it as like, Oh, this is a new capability. This is a learned skill that we didn’t have before, and now we have this. And that therefore makes us more flexible. And maybe we don’t have the cost of an office anymore, and that’s a huge cost. Or, you know, that could be the difference between, like a nonprofit staying around or not, right? So I think that that’s just half empty, half full, right? Like which way do you look at it? But it sounds like Broadway has learned some skills here during the pandemic. [00:35:32][41.0]

Alan Seales: [00:35:32] Absolutely. And I think in general, getting on a zoom has become a colloquial term. Whether or not it’s Cisco or Google Hangouts or Skype or whatever it is, it’s, you know, video conferencing like where even when we use a SquadCast, they’re like I’ll see in the Zoom and like… [00:35:49][16.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:35:51] Sort of. [00:35:51][0.2]

Alan Seales: [00:35:53] Sort of right, right sounding like a whole lot better. And you know, when I try to explain local recordings and multi-track the people, they’re just like, OK, cool, I trust you. But a lot of experience and a lot of growth has come out of the fact that you’re right. It is for it’s a forcing function. It made people do things that previously, especially non technically non-technical people were afraid to try or afraid to do. Because it just it was unknown people are afraid of the unknown and they’re afraid of change. So ironically, now that we have been working remotely for so long and using Zoom as a generic word for so long now, going back to the office, people are like, Huh, I don’t want to do that. I like working at home, so people always want what they don’t have. It’s a little bit frustrating, but I really enjoy where we have come both as inside and outside the Broadway world because I think there’s a lot of companies now that have started to realize like, Oh yeah, we can, you know, we’ve got the tools now. We’ve got Slack, we’ve got Google Hangouts, we have got Zoom, we’ve got base camp, we’ve got all of the SquadCast, we’ve got all these ways we can connect and record and interface and chat nonstop as if we were together. And, you know, being an extrovert, I will be the first to admit there’s something you’re missing from not having the in-person experience, but in terms of finding talent and working with people that may or may not want to move or are able to move for one reason or another. This has been a really, really good change. [00:37:23][90.2]

Rock Felder: [00:37:24] Yeah, well, that’s fantastic to hear. And even though you know, our hypothesis was that more and more folks would want to continue to collaborate remotely once they got to see and experience how easy and how many superpowers you gained from it, and that it’s still going to look and sound amazing. It’s nice to hear that even after the pandemic and folks are starting to get back into the office or whatever. Our hypothesis was always that there’s still be a use case for that. So it’s it’s great to hear that. And we’re just grateful that we’ve been able to help you with your show, endure these tough times and keep things on schedule. And, you know, just really excited about what’s going on with you and looking forward to hearing what’s next. What are you most excited about for your work on, on your podcast and the BPN network? [00:38:06][42.0]

Alan Seales: [00:38:06] Oh, wow. Well, my goal personally with the network is just like I was saying earlier that every show, every show now has a Twitter account, an Instagram account, a Facebook account. I think every show should have a podcast, so it’s whether it can be different per show, whether it’s hosted by the cast or hosted by somebody that’s interviewing the cast. Or maybe it’s something where the cast or a host is interfacing between fans. It’s fans all about the show, its content about the show, you know, Moulin Rouge. The musical has thrown this out there a bit. I think it would be great to like interview all of the songwriters for all of the songs that are contained within Moulin Rouge. You’ve got Adele, you’ve got Lady Gaga. You’ve got, you know, now Ken Dee, Lil Kim, right? It’s all over. It never ends. And so get special. You know, maybe, maybe that’s a podcast. It’s like behind the scenes of Moulin Rouge writing the songs that make them make the musical. There you go. There’s something somebody run with that and bring it to the top. But I think when you have, you have shows like Jagged Little Pill that are that’s heavy subject matter, right? That deals with substance abuse and interracial adoption and and sexual abuse. So there is podcasts that can come out of that surrounding that show that are all about social justice and equality. And then you’ve got shows, shows like six that you know, that are about the six wives of Henry the eighth. So maybe there’s history. There’s lots more history involved with that. Hamilton The possibilities with Hamilton are just endless because there’s history, there’s hip hop. There’s all the different the casts around the world producing Hamilton. There’s a guy that I interviewed on my podcast who’s literally translating all of Hamilton, the whole Hamilton cast album into Japanese, which I didn’t know this until I interviewed him. The Japanese don’t have rhymes. They don’t have rhymes in their language. So when you’re speaking Japanese like they, they just don’t. That’s not a thing that in their language, they they do. I mean, think about all of the wordplay that Lynn has written into into Hamilton, the brilliant insight that in Japanese and get the rhyming in there, it’s brilliant what this guy is doing. So like, follow this guy. There are so many ways. So yes, I’m long winded in answering your question. But the point being, every Broadway show needs to have a companion podcast with it. Format can be different per show. And, you know, for BPN, we can create it, we can host it, we can produce it all, all for the world and will be the one hub where people come to find all of this material. We’re finding so much success in the journalistic stuff, in the journalistic podcasts. And of course, we’re tying it back to Broadway. We’re finding tons of success with the radio plays, so we’re continuing to write more radio plays and make sure that we’re getting that out there. So we’re only growing. It’s very exciting. [00:40:55][168.9]

Zach Moreno: [00:40:57] Thank you for sharing a bit of your work with us. I know there’s probably more. Yeah, this is just been a delight to hear how you think about the opportunities in podcasting and how there’s, you know, content kind of all around us, right? Like Rock and I Rock and I train jujitsu and one of our instructors is always saying, like submissions are everywhere, I feel like like podcasts are everywhere from from the perspective that you’d shared with us today, especially, you know, in really, really creative environments like the talented people working to make Broadway and theater part of our lives. So really appreciate your contributions and innovative thinking into the podcasting and sharing it with our audience. You shared some of the places that and some of the shows that our audience can can find your work. How else would you like people to to engage with BPN and and you, Alan? [00:41:48][51.8]

Alan Seales: [00:41:49] Thank you for asking. Broadway podcast network dot com. You can find my podcast within the network. We have a short link bpn dot FM so bpn dot FM slash TTP for the theater podcast. We are Broadway podcast network on Instagram or Byway Pod Network on Twitter. I Am Theater Underscore Podcast on Instagram and Twitter. Alan Seales is my personal Instagram and Twitter. We have the app, so you can conveniently get that through BPN dot fm slash app. We made a short link for that. Sign up for the newsletter because we’re always running contests to get that through the website and tell your friends life ratings leave reviews. I think that is an overlooked thing that you can do to support your favorite podcast. Just leave a review because they all help wherever you’re listening now. Just leave a review. [00:42:42][52.8]

Rock Felder: [00:42:43] Thank you, Alan. Well, make sure to leave links to all those in the show now. Really appreciate it. Thank you, Alan. [00:42:47][4.2]

Alan Seales: [00:42:48] No problem. Thank you for having me. [00:42:49][1.4]

Rock Felder: [00:42:53] Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of Between Two Mics. [00:42:55][2.7]

Zach Moreno: [00:42:56] We hope you enjoyed our conversation. If you learned something or we interview you a bit, let us know on social media. [00:43:02][5.9]

Rock Felder: [00:43:03] You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn by searching for SquadCast FM. [00:43:09][5.6]

Zach Moreno: [00:43:10] And if you want to show the podcast Some Love, you can leave us a rating or review wherever it is you’re listening right now. [00:43:15][5.5]

Rock Felder: [00:43:16] This show is put together by us, Zach and Rock. It’s mixed and produced by Vince Moreno with help from Arielle Nissenblatt. Our logo is designed by Alex Whedbee. [00:43:25][9.3]

Zach Moreno: [00:43:26] Since we’re a podcast about podcasts, we want to shout out the brands and products that we trust. We’re recording using SquadCast.fm, and here’s our current stack. For recording, we’re using ATR2100 2100 mics, Apple AirPods Max headphones, and focus right scarlet 2i2 audio interfaces. [00:43:46][19.6]

Rock Felder: [00:43:47] We edit the show on Adobe Audition in our hosting site is simple cast. [00:43:50][3.4]

Zach Moreno: [00:43:51] That’s it for us this week. We’re back next week with more from between these mics. [00:43:51][0.0]

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