Why Podcasting is Perfect for Lazy Actors

So people ask me “What in tarnation is this podcasting stuff, Polo?” Only they don’t usually say “what in tarnation,” I’m just substituting that for a less polite expression. Plus I like that when I first wrote “tarnation,” autocorrect autocorrected it to “Tarantino,” which I think is funny. In fact, I may just start saying “what in Tarantino…?” instead of “what in tarnation…?” from here on out. But I digress, as I usually do — have I ever told y’all that I have A.D.D.? No surprise there, it’s just like most every other artist you know, right? I actually have a “short attention span theater” line of products for actors at <shameless plug> cafepress.com/ctgr <end shameless plug>, featuring fragments of lyrics and lines from famous shows that all cut off in mid-sentence with “— LOOK, A CHICKEN!” They’re pretty popular, actors being what they are. But I digress, again.

So, what in Tarantino is this podcasting business, anyway? I’m glad you asked, even though you didn’t, really. Most podcasts these days are like TV talk shows, only without pictures, i.e., TV for ugly people. But there are other types of podcasts, too, including scripted podcasts, which are more like the modern-day equivalent of old-time radio — these feature actors acting out a script with sound effects and shit. That’s the kind I’m interested in, and it’s the kind I’m writing.

The majority of scripted podcasts tend to be in the sci-fi and horror genres — not surprising, given that to podcast, you need audio equipment, some technical know-how, and the internet, so the medium is tailor-made for adolescent males and older guys who should’ve given up video games by now but haven’t (technical term: adultescents). There are also audio dramas, really interesting documentaries (Serial is one of the best), as well as a few scripted true-crime podcasts, especially the ones from a group called Wondery. The true-crime podcasts are definitely more female-focused — as a long-time devotee of the serial-killers-stalking-women channel, a.k.a. Investigation Discovery, those are the ones that really got me listening to podcasts.

What is really scarce in the podcasting world are scripted comedy podcasts. There are some — Alba Salex and a series by Audioblivious Productions are good — but they’re rare. I like to tell myself that’s probably because it’s really hard to write and produce a scripted comedy podcast, NOT because nobody wants to listen to scripted comedy podcasts. And I’m gonna keep telling myself that.

So where do you find podcasts? On the internet, natch. Your phone probably has a podcasting app that will let you find podcasts to listen to. If it doesn’t, check out your respective store — iTunes and whatever the hell Google calls its Android thingie — and look for it. I’m not gonna tell you how to do that, we’re all grown-ups here. You can also listen to podcasts on Amazon Echo devices. And yeah, probably Google Home, too (can you tell this early adopter has a bias against johnny-come-lately Google devices?). Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher, and apps and sites that let you download or stream music are also good places to find podcasts. If you have a long commute or are getting ready to take a big honkin’ car trip, download a podcast or two — plus if your car radio and phone can talk to each other via USB or Bluetooth, everybody in the car can listen in. A good podcast can really make the time fly!

Well, this started out to be a post about why podcasting is the perfect medium for lazy actors who hate to learn lines, or for people who aren’t actors but whose friends keep telling them they need to be on stage, or for people who’ve been doing theater for a hundred years but don’t do it anymore because they no longer have the energy or the memorizing ability they had at one time, but I kinda blew that, didn’t I? So I’ll just cover all that by saying that podcasting allows you to perform with your script in your hand, and if you blow a line, we just re-record it. Which means you have no excuse for not auditioning for Muckey Landing, my scripted comedy love letter to lower, slower Delaware. Bookmark MuckeyLanding.com for audition info and Muckey Landing news, please follow us here and on Facebook, and share this post on your own FB timeline and tag anyone you think needs to know about it.

Maybe next time, I’ll give you some episode titles and plot run-downs of the episodes that I’ve already written. If the A.D.D doesn’t kick in.

Posted by Chris Polo - Muckey Landing Writer/Creator/Director