So last week I tried an experiment, and it wasn’t entirely successful. It’s probably a damn good idea… for someone who isn’t me, and has more free time, to try.
The idea was as follows: borrowing a page from the playbook of the ol’ teevee production days, record a week’s worth of daily podcasts in one session. Tightly time everything – each podcast should be roughly the same length. Work from a detailed outline. Get five of these done in a day… and… go!
First thing I ran into was that, even with an outline, I still rambled. I have a way to podcast hands-free, so invariably I wind up multitasking. In this case, I was making blueberry muffins while podcasting. Which is indeed as silly as it sounds. I rambled. I talked as much about the ingredients as I did the intended topic – I thought it was funny at the time. When I went back to edit the hell out of the results (I’m a stickler for eliminating the dreaded “um”), I found myself growing intensely displeased with the finished product. How the hell did this guy ever hold down a job in radio? (That’s simple: he wasn’t making muffins while he was on the air.)
It’s still a good idea… just not for me, sadly. I will try to re-record this week, without multi-tasking, and without any illusions that I have the time to do a daily podcast. That’s for someone much younger than me. I figured, since I’m trapped at the house with no vehicle for three days a week, I’d have that time, but the domestic grind never ends. My time is not my own. And if I’m actually going to put my name and my voice to something, I kind of want it not to suck.
The idea came from my first teevee job, during which Thursdays were a dreaded day: a local husband-and-wife evangelist team would descend upon the studio with their entourage of hangers-on, and they would record the entire following week’s worth of nightly Jim-and-Tammy-Faye-wanna-be schtick in one grueling (for me) three hour session. I had monitors, a switcher, a VTR, and the responsibility of choosing between the best of two camera angles. Neither of which really disguised the fact that this was an every-expense-spared local-televangelism-celebrity-grab.
That “block recording” idea is not a bad one, especially if you have a time limit, more or less rigidly defined topics, discipline, and loads of free time to record and edit. What I found out, in the course of my experiment, is that that’s not me – not at the moment, anyway.
I know I’ve been dropping hints about the return of the podcast. It’ll happen – just not this week, and not as an every-day thing.