We had one more conquest for season 1 that we wanted to achieve, and that was to have a guest.
A guest would stretch our abilities and the diversity of programming that we offered this season.
My name is Andrew Keefe and I am the co-host of The Music Challenge Podcast. A loose, nerdy music commentary podcast (that you can find anywhere) and we’re now done with season 1. And this written series chronicles our first season.
One More Goal
As a group and a podcast, we had survived several challenges this year. I start out most of the posts this way but this is a story of persistence and triumph. We started by recording in freezing conditions. When the quarantine hit, we moved to a recording model using the universal winner of the quarantine: Zoom. We went to a remote recording setup from our own homes. We made a “social injustice and protest music” episode after the murder of George Floyd. And, through the employment of a minimal ad budget on Facebook- the audience was growing).
But, we had one more goal. And this involved expanding the podcast into a different dimension. We had talked about having a guest all year. We thought it would be something new for the audience and us. I wanted to do this in the first season so that we would have the experience in the period in-between seasons to talk about.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Meet John Roccia!
I didn’t want the guest to be someone we knew that didn’t have a lot to say. I wanted the person to be outspoken and most of all a good storyteller. But, we didn’t have long tentacles in the record industry. So, our guest list was limited in our eyes. But, we lucked into another great decision and that was to call one John Roccia; my personal coach from Ama La Vida which is a personal coaching firm. Here’s a pro tip: I highly recommend them.
John had been one of the first people I told I was going to do a podcast. He was ultra-supportive and was even the first “fan” to submit his formative four albums to us which was our theme for Season 1.
John could spin yarn for hours. I knew this from watching him in lectures, holding court for hours at parties, and our personal conversations. He loved music. He, as a fan, was a perfect guest. I thought that he could possibly even carry the episode. And he brought a mega-album to talk about. Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I had noticed that the bigger selling album we used for content- the more downloads seem to come with that episode.
John was great. He presented the album with eloquence mixed with personal stories and many points of significance for that album in his personal life. He was funny, light-hearted, and delightful.
And we, as a cast, had a ton of fun. It was a pleasure to have John. But, what we saw as a team was the possibility of adding guests to more than one episode. It added depth and broke out of the musical mode of just the cast. It was bringing the experience of another person to interact with ours and the results were great. The episode was easy to do and easy to edit.
Having John was an awesome experience. In the big picture, we felt the nerves of dealing with a guest and we more than held our own as far as supporting him with a cast of eager listeners. We wanted him to give us his “A” material- all we had to do was want to hear it. And that’s a little different than when it is just the normal cast of three.
What’s most important is that we gained the confidence to have a guest time and time again. In fact, we plan to incorporate it much more into season 2.
“The Wall” episode has been one of our best downloaded episodes yet. I feel like it was just a few weeks a go that we were announcing we had achieved 500 downloads. Well, this week we achieved 600. I, personally, watch the numbers daily. And they seem to trickle in. But, everything counts in large amounts (nod to Depeche Mode fans).
Be sure to read the entire series of “My Podcast Adventures“.