Game of Thrones

Podcasting 101: Step by Step Podcasting Process

PodcastingOK, young Podcast Padawans. Would that be Podawans? Podcastwans? Padacasters? YOU: Shut up and do the thing!

Jeez, fine! So you feel like you’re ready to start podcasting. However, you may feel overwhelmed because it’s new or it’s a big thing or what if you don’t like your voice. It’s OK, I was overwhelmed, too. As someone who learned on the fly, there’s a very basic process to recording your first podcast episode. And by the way, nobody likes the sound of their own voice. Unless you’re Adele, I guess. Her voice is pretty.

Here’s are some basic steps I’ve learned that you, yourself, might need to think about while you’re podcasting. Enjoy. Maybe learn, but mostly enjoy.

Check Off the Little Things

Check these items off your list:

Is your microphone plugged in?

Are your headphones plugged in?

Did you hit the record button on Audacity, GarageBand, or audio recorder of choice?

Is your dog going to bark this entire podcast? (The answer is always “yes.”)

You may think this step is silly. But I can guarantee you that at some point in your recording career, you are going to forget about this list and you will have gone through an hour before realizing you had not pressed the record button. Then you have to start all… over… again. That good performance you had is gone forever. Great for performing live theater, bad for recording podcasts.

Have an Outline Ready

So, this doesn't apply to the improv and sketch comedy podcasts. Those are the formats I focused on in my "Choosing Your Format" post from a few weeks ago. Well, unless you're a sketch podcast, but sketch podcasters like to call their outlines "scripts" or "radio plays" or whatever. Supes pretentious, sketch kids!

However, if you're rebelling against my “Choosing Your Format” post and want to do an interview or conversation-based podcast, you need an outline. I co-host a conversation podcast about geek culture and fandom, and sometimes I forget to make one for my own podcast when I'm heading the topic. While they turn out OK, that's a lot more "um's" and "uh's" to edit out. Also, you're already going to go off-road during your podcast recording, especially if you're podcasting with a friend or friends. If you don’t have an outline, you will completely lose your sense of what you were talking about in the first place because you had to talk about season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Stay on task, make an outline.

Start Talking and Have Fun

The actual recording part is the best. You just open your mouth, say some silly things, and then close out your show. It truly is that simple.

Just remember to avoid the three podcast taboos: 1) Do not eat while you podcast, 2) Give credit where credit is due, and 3) For the love of god, whether for spoiling movies or talking about sensitive topics, announce warnings!


This process is not the best, but you don’t have to go crazy with background music or sound effects. This is a podcast, not a radio deejay gig. The editing process is as simple as leveling the audio, reducing background noise, and cutting out long pauses and filler words. Since you all might have different programs, use the “Help” option and Google troubleshooting problems in regard to your editor of choice.

Also, save your work. Save your work, save your work, SAVE YOUR WORK. You know what happens when your computer decides to restart and you haven't saved your work? That's right, just like if you forget to hit the record button, YOU HAVE TO START ALL OVER AGAIN.

Export as MP3 and Upload It to Your Feed

Exactly what it says on the tin. Find “Export as MP3,” then log into your feed of choice, and upload your episode. This may take a while. Also, your computer may try to update during this process—tell your dumb Windows update to wait its turn, you’re podcasting!

And boom, you’re done. Congratulations, Podawans. You made a thing and it’s in your feed! Yay, you!

YOU: Yay, we made the thing! what?

Um… we’ll go over that next time! Because I totally have a plan! Yep, have this all planned out. I have every step planned… like Game of Thrones… except with podcasting… Even these awkward ellipses that might be subtle clues that I’m writing as I go were planned. Obviously.

KC Ryan is currently a Level 5 student at DCH. An office worker by day, she spends her nights writing, improvising, recording podcasts, and having existential crises. She’s a co-host of Parsec Award-nominated podcast Anomaly Supplemental about general sci-fi and fantasy topics. Her greatest achievement so far is convincing her husband to watch Project Runway.

Podcast Rec No. 10: Sword and Laser

Sword and LaserWith hubs like Goodreads, it’s no surprise that online book clubs are becoming a thing. Speaking for myself, reading is one of my favorite things. I should not be disturbed if I have my nose in a book. I will get angry. I mean, not Hulk or She-Hulk angry. Whenever I try to get angry across, I think I’m more like an annoyed Agent Coulson—I look nice, but I can get snarky. What was I talking about? Oh, right! Since I prefer genre fiction, my go-to podcast for all things nerd lit is Sword and Laser, hosted by the Internet's very own Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt. Sword and Laser's primary function is a book club, which switches out science fiction and fantasy picks monthly, but it also features publishing news, author interviews, and so much more. I guess I should also mention that they talk about Game of Thrones often. Even though I'm not a fan of the books or the show, I know plenty of you are in Season 6 mode. There are also brief discussions regarding other book-to-screen adaptations like future film Ready Player One, and SyFy’s The Magicians and The Expanse.

Recommended episode: 2011 Interview with Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind).

It’s a little hard to find a starter episode, if only because there is so much history to this show. You could possibly start with the fairly recent “Episode #251: How Veronica Tamed Tyrion,” as it kicks off the latest book of the month. However, to play it safe, I would suggest going through the archives and find an author interview that interests you. I recommended the Patrick Rothfuss interview because I believe he is very thoughtful and funny in interviews, he’s a pretty big deal with his Kingkiller Chronicles books, and I respect his charity Worldbuilders. Then again, you Game of Thrones-adoring fans might want to find the George R.R. Martin interview. Or maybe you're interested in publishing and going the InkShares route. Good news! Sword and Laser has interviews with authors who have won Sword and Laser’s Inkshares contests (Editor's Note: One such contest was won by DCH's own Nick Scott and Noa Gavin, and you can now buy their book.). If you can think of an author, they have interviewed them.

Except Neil Gaiman...they have not interviewed the ever-elusive Neil Gaiman. Curse you and your elusive brilliance, Neil Gaiman.

Running time: Approximately 20 to 45 minutes.

For more information, visit

KC Ryan is currently a Level 5 student at DCH. An office worker by day, she spends her nights writing, improvising, recording podcasts, and having existential crises. She’s a co-host of Parsec Award-nominated podcast Anomaly Supplemental about general sci-fi and fantasy topics. Her greatest achievement so far is convincing her husband to watch Project Runway.

What We're Loving: Comeback Stories, Little Lord Legs, Michael McDonald Deep Cuts, DCF14

DCH_what we're loving_3_14_14Each Friday, DCH performers, teachers, and students offer their recommendations for what to watch, read, see, hear, or experience. This week Julia Cotton speaks to the self-loathing narcissist in us all, Ashley Bright needs tiny legs, David Allison makes a That's My Bush reference, and Ryan Callahan shamelessly plugs his own work. 369Dan Harmon is the genius that introduced me to the love of my life, Donald Glover, by creating an awesome show called Community. Around Season 2, I found myself listening to every interview he did and then consuming everything he’d ever created. I could tell that he was a person who absolutely cared about humanity, honesty, harmony, and 'Harmon’. He was clearly a narcissist while simultaneously being very self loathing. It’s a personality combination that can lead one to often feel very isolated, often be misunderstood, and often get fired.

When he was fired from Community, I was heartbroken. I’d become so dependent on his voice that I felt a little more lonely and weirdly… rejected. It was like whoever fired him had also fired me.

Luckily, he began the Harmontown podcast. It is premised as a town hall meeting to plan the founding of a colony of like minded misfits. The question is ‘What do we need to form a functional society?’ The podcast features some improv, made up songs, and freestyle raps (that are clearly performed by a white dude in his 40s that is NOT named Eminem). There are many special guests (Bobcat Goldthwait, Robin Williams, Jon Oliver, Mitchell Hurwitz, frequently Kumail Nanjiani). Around episode 6, it was decided that each show would culminate with a game of Dungeons and Dragons (see Community S2:14). In that episode we are introduced to Spencer Crittenden - an audience member randomly chosen to be Dungeon Master.

Harmontown went on the road and was filmed. It documents Dan’s journey which ultimately leads him right back into the arms of his lost love (Community season 5!). It also chronicles him and his girlfriend going through relationship woes and eventually becoming engaged. Harmon suggests that perhaps the most interesting story is that of Dungeon Master Spencer as he takes an unexpected journey into celebrity.

The documentary really highlights Dan Harmon’s effect on the people who call ourselves “Harmenians”. What we have in common is this feeling of never quite “fitting in” and often feeling misunderstood and rejected. Dan Harmon has shown us how to take those feelings, and fuse them into creativity.

You can check out the trailer here. - Julia Cotton

Nigel-Lindsay-as-Shrek-and-Nigel-Harman-as-Lord-Farquaad-in-Shrek-The-Musical.-Photo-by-Brinkhoff-MögenburgI've had one of those go-go-go weeks, where I didn't make adequate media absorption time for myself. I did watch the True Detective finale, but so did everyone else and their dog. Dogs love Rust Cohle. I watched some more Sopranos, but I dabbled on that topic last week. I did have a Gilmore Girls watching evening with Mr. Terry Catlett. No, I won't be sharing the joys of Stars Hollow with you. In fact, I'm going to use this forum to ask you to share something with me. Let me explain. You may not know this, but TC (Terry Catlett for some of this entry) is a big fan of musicals. After watching Rory move into her dorm at Yale, we watched Shrek on Broadway on Netflix. I can't lie; I didn't really dig it, although there were some very inspiring stage setups. Here's what I did love: TC was absolutely tickled by Lord Farquaad's tiny legs. I had a giggle fit just watching him have a giggle fit. I've tried searching for more big bodies with tiny leg gags, and I've come up with nothing except for some unfortunate real-life body disfigurement. I saw some stuff I can't unsee. So, first, I'm asking for any videos of a similar tiny leg gag so that we can all continue giggling. Be careful on your search; I'm telling you there is stuff out there that will burn onto your eyes. Second, and more importantly, can someone help me make some tiny legs for Terry? I can provide materials and I'll do the legwork (pun!), but I need some help figuring out how to make them functional with bending knees. I should note that I cannot sew. I'm not sure if that's important. - Ashley Bright south-park-the-movie-back-cover-98981I love alliteration! In celebration of that fact, I’m creating “Movie Soundtrack March” to showcase great comedy soundtracks that go underappreciated. The only rule for my weekly pick is that the soundtrack has to mostly be comprised of original music.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone are geniuses. You know that. The problem is that they’ve created so many amazing things (South Park, Team America: World Police, Cannibal, Orgazmo, BASEketball, Book of Mormon) people tend to lose track of things. Heck, just by attempting to create a list of their work, I’m sure that I’ll get critiqued because I forgot something random, like That’s my Bush. It happens when two people create such a consistent collection. Because of that, I’m going to highlight my favorite piece that they did, a soundtrack that they don’t get nearly enough respect for; South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.

The movie was the first time that South Park began to receive acclaim as something more than a show that gets by on the shock value of kids not acting like kids and the quality of each musical number was a big reason. For starters, you’ve got “La Resistance” and “Up There,” which are fantastic parodies of “Do you hear the people sing?” (Les Miserables) and “Part of your world” (Little Mermaid) respectively. Next, check out Big Gay Al’s one man show stopper “I’m super” and be reminded that people used to shop at Mervyn’s (And reference it in song!). Still not convinced? Well let me remind you that MICHAEL MCDONALD CREATED AN ORIGINAL SONG FOR THE ALBUM. Midway through the track, he just starts advertising his friend Keith’s car detailing business. Yes, not every track on the album is great, but there are so many gems that it is well worth revisiting. - David Allison

14517_10152631209974056_1575422524_nI'm loving many things the week: The Daniel Bryan angle on RAW Monday, learning that Night Hawk is a non-fictional producer of Salisbury steaks, watching my girlfriend watch Game of Thrones, (What!), but most of all I'm loving the anticipation for The Dallas Comedy Festival. This is my first festival and my first experience with the heightened intensity, the crackling energy in the air, the camaraderie as the DCH team hustles together to get ready. I'd call it the Super Bowl of Comedy, but that would probably get me sued, so I'll call it the SuperWrestlemaniaFinalsCup in Memory of David Von Erich of Comedy to be safe. Man, it really feels like the SuperWrestlemaniaFinalsCup in Memory of David Von Eric of COmedy around here this week! There's so much going on.

The Dallas Observer wrote about out "pretty killer" lineup, (quotes means you aren't bragging,) while the Dallas Voice was struck by the strong bonds formed at DCH.

Jason Hensel and I had the opportunity to speak with some of the talented men and women who will be performing at the festival. If you're a comedy nerd you'll appreciate the many discussions on craft and technique. If you're not a comedy nerd you are clearly in the wrong place and horribly confused. Take a deep breath and back away from your computer.

Comedy nerds, get to know some folks a little better:

- Executive Branch - Saffy Herndon - Gramt Redmond - Christian Hughes - Rob Christemsem - ZOOM! - Susan Messing - And more to come next week!

By the way, I'm still loving Rick Ross. Guys, it might be serious. - Ryan Callahan

What We're Loving: Single Use Acronyms, Suicide Prevention, An Abundance of Body Oil

dch_what we're loving_02_28_2014Each Friday, DCH performers, teachers, and students offer their recommendations for what to watch, read, see, hear, or experience. This week Ashley Bright cries alone, David Allison shapes pop culture, and Ryan Callahan will never sleep again.


This_american_lifeThis week I listened to the latest episode of This American Life. It's been awhile since I've listened, but I've been a fan of the show for many years. This week, while I sat at my desk alone, I listened and I laughed out loud and teared up. Alone at my desk. Typical This American Life listening for me. This latest episode is #518: "Except For That One Thing. "If you're not familiar with TAL (This American Life for the purpose of this this article only; if you approach me and say TAL outloud, it is unlikely I'll know what you're talking about), each episode has a common theme and each act fits into that theme. This episode features stories about things that are perfect Except For That One Thing. Act One is a radio drama based on a short story featured in B.J. Novak's book, One More Thing. It's about a perfect first date except that the fella is an African warlord. It's funny. Act Two is about how we could all be eating hippo meat instead of cows, if only the Internet was around a hundred years earlier. It's also funny, but this one's educational. Tig Notaro is featured in Act Three, so of course it's funny. And Act Four is when I cried. It's a really good episode. If you download the TAL app on your mobile device, you're able to save your favorite episodes, such as:  Episode 172: "24 Hours at the Golden Apple." That's a good one. Each act of this episode is divided into time segments at a diner off Lincoln Ave. in Chicago. The people are diverse and the interviews are incredibly interesting and entertaining.  For those of you going to Chicago for the Improv Festival, listen to this episode. Listen to it on your way there. And then go to the Golden Apple. And then take a picture, post it, and tag me in it. Please and thank you. - Ashley Bright

gethard120402_560Quick follow up before I get to this week’s recommendation.  A few posts ago, I discussed one of my favorite new shows, Broad City. Due exclusively, I think, to that post, Broad City got renewed for a second season.  Let’s keep changing the world!

Anyone that follows pop culture has a couple of favorites.  Maybe it’s a celebrity that shares a similar set of morals.  Or it might be someone that makes great decisions on what projects to take. Or maybe this person comes across as cool in interviews.  Why we like certain famous people varies greatly, but we’ve all got a few who regardless of what project they take on, we’re going to follow. One of mine is Chris Gethard.

Chris Gethard is predominantly known for his New York Cable Access television program, though you might also know him from his book or improvisational career.  He performed The Chris Gethard Show at UCBNY until 2011, when he was introduced to the free world of Cable Access.  As long as the necessary paperwork is filled out, anyone can make a television show about anything, which is probably why his show is about everything.  The Chris Gethard Show doesn’t really seem to have a discernible structure or consistent format, except that he usually takes calls and is happy to showcase anyone’s talents.  The latter is what makes the show special to me.  It’s an hour of television that makes you feel like you can do anything, because everyone on screen is getting support for the dumbest thing or part of them that they don’t normally allow others to see.  This mindset extends well beyond the show because of Gethard’s interaction with viewers; the dude has literally saved people’s lives.  His post in response to anonymous fan on the verge of suicide is an inspiring piece that I try to look at a few times per year.  The Chris Gethard Show was recently given a pilot order, so they’re not currently doing a weekly episode, but here’s an archive of every episode they’ve ever done.  As I said earlier, everyone has a famous person they like, so search through the list and find one where Gethard interviews someone you know and appreciate, like Amy Poehler or Bobby Moynihan.  Soon enough, you’ll be addicted to the show and bemoaning the fact that there are only three Sandwich Nights. - David Allison

ric-flair-49ers-panthers-orderIt would be a lie to say that I'm loving anything else this week other than the WWE Network. Since its launch on Monday, the Network has consumed me. There are many stripes in the rainbow of pop culture which I cherish, (books, comedy, movies, Criterion Collection Blu-Rays,) but nothing ranks as high as professional wrestling. Now, before I continue, allow me to answer the question that you have in your head. Yes, I know pro wrestling is fake. Just like I know that Robert Downey, Jr. isn't really Iron Man. Just like I know that Westeros is not a real kingdom. Now that I've defensively answered your fictional, judgmental question, let’s move on. I have been a fan of wrestling for as long as I can remember. There's wasn't a first show that reeled me in, nor a single match that turned got me hooked. As far as I can tell, it was always there and I loved it. And I loved everything about it, not just the morality tale of good versus evil, where good will always triumph in the end, not just the fake sport aspect which allows for stories impossible in the real world, but everything about the show: the interviews, the characters, the entrances, the shows within the show. Only in the world of wrestling can a thing like Piper's Pit exist. Only in the world of pro wrestling can a person like Ric Flair exist. That alone is enough to justify the existence of pro wrestling. My life now has two distinct eras: The Before Network Era (B.N.) when life was gray and flat, each day filled with the dull ache of sameness, and The After Network Era, (A.N.) where life is vibrant and lush, each day ripe with joy and endless possibilities. I could watch pro wrestling 24 hours a day. Now I can. It's a godsend. The god in this case being Ric Flair. Woooo! - Ryan Callahan