Welcome to our glorious feature for the month of April! This month we have the privilege and honour to be going behind the scenes of the Improv Treehouse Podcast. The show is ran by Emily Brady and is a fortnightly podcast that interviews some of the best improv troupes around the UK. This month I sit down with Emily to talk all thing podcasts and improv.
This week we talk about other podcasts, searching for guests and key advice…
How do you go about finding your guests?
Honestly, I tend to just email and ask if they want to do it! I think improvisers are such generous and giving people that 9 times out of 10 if I ask they will either say yes or at least explain why it’s not possible at the moment. I tend to try and tie it in to other events – so if for instance I am going to a festival or show, or if an act is coming to a regular night in Nottingham then I’ll drop some messages ahead of time and see if anyone is interested in recording with me. But sometimes I message big names not expecting a response and they’re super accommodating!
For anyone wanting to start a podcast, what key three bits of advice would you give them?
First, make sure you have more episodes than you need, so that if one goes wrong you have a back-up. Second, do your homework – make sure you know who the act is, and who the people you are interviewing are! Third, be present in the moment with your guest! Don’t be worried about the audio or the room and whilst you should keep track of time, your full attention should be on the person in front of you!
“I think the most touching moments are often when team mates tell each other how much they love improvising with them…” – Emily Brady, Improv Treehouse
Out of all the guests that you have had on the podcast, what have been some personal highlights for you?
I recently interviewed Dummy – who are Coleen and Jason from LA – just after I’d done a workshop with them at the Edinburgh International Improv Festival. They were just so clever and articulate I could not stop myself fangirling. But actually I also love listening back to my recording with squidheart – when we first spoke to them, they had only just started, and now they’ve performed in London and keep getting bigger and bigger!
You are an improviser yourself, what is some of the key advice you have learnt from the interviews you have done with guest?
One thing I always think is how much everyone in a group gets along, and is friends outside of the team. I think the most touching moments are often when team mates tell each other how much they love improvising with them (which tends to happen organically once an episode or so). Doing this podcast has made me really realise how easy it is to take your teammates for granted, and that telling them they’re awesome is something everyone should do more!
Some argue that there has been a recent surge and saturation in the market for podcasts – do you think there are too many now?
Absolutely not. I love that there are people who are passionate enough about random stuff to want to share that with the world! I think that it can be hard to make your stuff stand out, but that should make you want to be better. I think podcasting is kind of like fringe theatre – it’s more democratic, more easy to access, and it gives a voice to people!
“…your full attention should be on the person in front of you!” – Emily Brady, Improv Treehouse
What podcasts would you recommend to our readers to give a try – they do not have to be improv related?
I have been 100% hooked on Stellar Firma recently – it’s a podcast series by Rusty Quill about an organisation that makes planets on demand. My friend Tim Meredith is in it and he is incredible, but it’s also legitimately fantastic so I don’t feel like I’m being biased by recommending it!
More Next week ….