Season Five of Storytime with Paul Dore has just been released. Listen to all the episodes through iTunes or wherever you get podcasts. Or click on the images below to subscribe and learn more about the podcast HERE.
A few weeks ago, I listened to the 1000th episode of the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron. It was a bit of a surreal experience listening to Maron and his producing partner Brendon McDonald talk about the history of the podcast. They went through it all - how they met, the events leading up to the creation of the podcast, and how it has evolved over the years. Maron even got all teary eyed at the end when he talked about the impact his partnership and friendship with McDonald has had on his life.
WTF was the very first podcast I ever listened to, and I can say with a certain amount of pride that I have listened to each episode since - all 1000 of them. You could say it has really stuck with me. I’ve gone in and out of devouring each episode as soon as it’s posted to taking breaks and binging those that had stockpiled.
The intimacy of Maron’s voice struck a cord with me from the beginning. He was a man who was broken, picking up the pieces of his life, and searching for answers. Answers through his monologues or looking to each of his 1000 guests. I went along for the ride, listening as he got a little healthier each episode, not shying away from talking about tough subjects.
You could also say it has had a profound impact on my life. At times when things sucked for me, Maron was there. I could plug in my earphones, walk the streets, and listen to other people talk about how things might have sucked for them as well. How they got out of it, or at least, how they are trying to get out of it.
I met Maron once. My friend Willie and I went to Montreal to see a standup show of his. The next morning, we were in a coffee shop before heading back home. I went to the washroom and there he was talking with a journalist. I went back to Willie, “Maron’s here. What do we do?” He was done with the journalist and heading to the exit. Right towards us. Willie and I stood up, and he regarded us with, what I interpreted as, trepidation. Now, I don’t really get star struck, but I couldn’t speak. Willie told him we were at the show, big fans, and could we get a picture? My hands were shaking as I took Willie’s picture, Maron growling (or again, what I interpreted as growling), “Did you get it?” Willie took my picture and he went on his way.
I’m rehashing all this because Maron inspired me to use my voice and the podcast medium to try and see how I could express myself in my own way. The first show I did was mostly interviews, which was great to connect with a wide range of interesting people and find out more about them. This fed my curiosity for a long time, but I soon morphed this into my current podcast - Storytime with Paul Dore.
Honestly, it’s a lot of work to do an interview show. Counter to many misconceptions, you don’t just show up at the agreed upon time and talk with someone. Well, some people might do this, but I don’t. My approach is to do as much research as I can - read the subject’s books, listen to their music, watch their movies - and layout a framework of the direction I think the interview narrative can go. Then when I hit record, I throw all that away and deeply listen to the person in front of me. All the research, contacting people, organizing, scheduling, and recording is time consuming and a lot of work.
So, after doing hundreds of interviews, I wanted to be able to record, edit, and put out the show myself without having to rely on anyone else. I decided to use the many stories from my blog and recordings from my performances at Stories We Don’t Tell as a basis. It’s great to be able to wake up on a Saturday morning and record a bunch of episodes in my pyjamas. I also really liked the concept of creating seasons with a podcast, and so I’ve been doing a bunch and dropping them like a Netflix show. I love having my own podcast that is focused on my own work. Season three was all live recordings from Stories We Don’t Tell. In season four, I turned the show into a sort of audio book for the release of my second book. The sky is surely the only limit.
For this fifth season, I’ve gone back to the origins of the show in a way. There are seven episodes plus a bonus episode that includes in-studio recording of some of my favourite stories from the blog. There’s one about my new life as a pirate, an episode about Anthony Bourdain, the time I became a hairstylist, and a few others.