4.2 The Open Kwong Dore Podcast

Listen Up: Ever since I joined the podcast revolution as an avid listener, I secretly had a desire to start one myself. Yes, here I am behind the trends again. I started this blog a few years ago, after about everyone else on the planet. But something intrigued me about podcasts. Here were people finding their voices and their audiences. And doing it on their own, producing content that they wanted with no interference. It really is the most democratic form of expression we've come up with yet.

Another secret I held was working in some capacity as a journalist. Not necessarily as a newspaper journalist, more along the lines of a Jon Ronson type. Someone who follows their curiosity and searches out stories that are interesting to them. Also, one of my favorite things is to talk to interesting people and engage with their experiences and stories.

There was one other reason. I've made it clear in the past my respect for Marc Maron and his WTF podcast. I've listened to all 300 plus episodes and wait impatiently for his twice-weekly entries. What has fascinated me about his show is how he has developed as a person. He opens each episode with a monologue about himself, followed by an interview, which is as much about him as his subject. Instead of this being self-indulgent, the show has been an incredible journey of watching a man struggling to become a better person. Listening to those first episodes, he was washed up, angry, resentful and bitter. Sure, he still fights with these issues, but through the course of the show, he has managed to push himself out of the pit he was in and get better.

A few months ago, I did some recordings. Recordings that no one will ever hear. Terrible. I know that everyone hates hearing their own voice, but mine sounded especially grating, monotonous and boring. I shelved the idea.

I talk to my friend Pj Kwong all the time about this stuff. She works for the CBC as a writer, commentator, and has a widely successful blog. And she said, "Why don't we do a podcast together?" Something clicked for me and I thought it would be easier if I was speaking to someone else. There's no one else I'd rather do this with this. We decided on an interview show with some banter between us at the start and end.

We got some microphones and a bit of a learning curve commenced - I come from a television background, with not much radio experience. Pj is proactive and had two interviews in the can already. Time for a little banter from the hosts. We got together and set up the microphones. When she threw it to me, I could barely speak. We tried a few more times, but it didn't work. My respect for Pj and other people who talk one microphones so freely and openly went through the roof. It's not so easy.

After a few days of thinking, I realized I was over thinking. I'm not Marc Maron, I'm not a broadcaster. My biggest fear was being one of those people that copy Maron's style. He's honest and talks about things authentically. Now, I can listen to a few minutes of someone else and determine if I'll keep listening or turn it off. I turn it off when it's not an authentic voice. I turn it off a lot. But damnit, I had shit to say and I wanted to at least give this an honest try. I had to do it my way, trust Pj and just go with it. And so, we hit record and started talking and it went well. I got tripped up a few times, but I have to give myself permission to screw up before I give up.

And so, we're up and running. This is just the start and the great thing about podcasts is that they will evolve and change over time. I think our podcast is a good thing, something we've already been working hard to get out there. Pj and I both have lots to talk about and there are many people whose story we want to present to you. We want the show to be broad, and so we are interviewing people from all walks of life: athletes, visual artists, musicians, actors and anyone else with an interesting story to share. Of course, we hope you come back for us!

I've added a link on the menu below and will be providing updates on this website and on my twitter feed. Here's how you can listen to The Open Kwong Dore Podcast:

Go to this link or search for Open Kwong Dore in the iTunes store.

Visit the website openkwongdore.com to stream or download episodes, updates about the podcast and information about guests.

Follow us on Twitter: @openkwongdore.