Excerpts from Inside Podcasting Post-Show with Skye's Parents
Dad: How did you feel when you heard "Dolly Parton's America" was being made?
Skye: I was over the moon excited, like beyond. I was on Twitter, and I saw a post from Jad. And it had a picture of someone sitting in front of a monitor that had a picture of Dolly on it. The caption was something like 'Coming Soon' — some kind of teaser — you knew that this meant that they were making a show about Dolly. I think I audibly gasped when I saw it. I remember being so excited to put this into my newsletter and to let all my readers know that a podcast about Dolly was coming. More than any other podcast, I plugged this podcast so many times because I was just so personally excited.
Dad: How did you decide to interview Shima?
Skye: A confession I have to make is that I have not been a Radiolab listener. And so I wasn't really that familiar with Jad or Shima. I knew who Jad was — I had written about him in my newsletter — and of course, I knew about Radiolab; it just wasn't part of my listening diet. And so when I reached out to someone I knew at WNYC, my natural question was, can I interview Jad? And they said, yes. And then it was like a long slog of trying to figure out when [to do the interview] — I was having scheduling issues because I share a studio with my boss Jason Calacanis. He has a few podcasts that he records in a studio, and I get the crumbs on the table, like whatever's leftover [laughter]. And Jad is very busy.
Then around that time, [fellow newsletter writer] Erik Jones interviewed Jad for Bello Collective. And it was a great interview — people who are interested in this podcast should go and read it. But then I started thinking — here's this woman, who's the producer on the show. She's probably doing a lot of the work. I think producers sometimes don't get the credit that they are due. It ends up being all about the host and all about the "face" and what I have learned, just by writing about this business and talking to creators, is that the producers are often the ones who are doing the scriptwriting, doing the editing, figuring out storylines, figuring out questions, coming up with the angle. In that situation, it can often be much more of a partnership than a sort of producer-host situation, in which one is somehow better than the other. So I went back to WNYC and said, you know what? I'd like to interview Shima. And of course, that was still really hard to schedule [laughter] because Shima was busy, and then she was on a much-deserved vacation. In fact, the interview we did for last week's episode was her first day back at work after that vacation! And I didn't realize that until I was talking to her. She was so sweet about having scheduled it for her first day back. I was really thrilled about that.
Mom: I think that's fascinating and really fortuitous as it turned out.
Skye: Yeah, really fortuitous. The other element of this whole thing is that I knew I would get a completely different angle from Shima. I knew that she would have had a completely different point of view and new stories to tell. I'm always looking for like, how can I have a different angle? How can I have a story that other people aren't telling so that they'll want to listen to my podcast? Because when they come to my podcast, they'll get something different. And then it was funny. I started telling people that I was interviewing Shima, and a few different people said, oh, she's great; you're going to love her. And I thought that that was just further confirmation that I was on the right track.
[Indeed it was! Listen to the full interview here.]