During one of our Fifty Feminist States fellowship workshops in March, we conducted short interviews with our classmates, which we then edited on our own. Beyond the basic editing techniques we used for interviews conducted at festivals for There Goes the Fear, editing and producing self-recorded audio was entirely new to me. Below, you can listen to me being interviewed by L’Oreal Thompson Payton to learn a bit about astrology and my background with it. It has been posted to my Soundcloud with permission from both L’Oreal and Fifty Feminist States’ host and producer and our fellowship program leader Amelia Hruby.
Since March, I’ve been a fellow in the 2021 Fifty Feminist States Podcast Fellowship. This is a brand new program for the podcast and brand in 2021, and it’s been a great experience. I applied for the fellowship, as I had wanted for some time to do something with my voice for a long time. I wanted to write about how I got to this place.
Before all the COVID lockdowns and restrictions on travel began last year, I was in Belfast last February for Output Belfast 2020, a music conference by day, a music festival showcase by night. During the conference, I met Josh Rabinowitz of Brooklyn Music Experience, an experienced global music leader in the American advertising industry. He said something to me during a networking dinner that surprised me. “You have a voice for advertising.”
I was skeptical. He went on to ask a bunch of music professionals at the table, people I’d just met that night, if they agreed. In one of the oddest moments of my life, I was prompted to speak in front of a group of strangers, who then critiqued and unanimously agreed with this industry veteran. The result? I learned that I own a trustworthy-sounding voice that might be put to good use in voice-over work.
I had arrived in Belfast after time off in Scandinavia. I had left a position in nonprofit scientific publishing, knowing that I was destined for something bigger. I just didn’t know what that was or what it looked like. Like many people, I had big plans for 2020 that could not be followed through on because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
One big part of my plans was directly connected to the music industry, and that part was no longer viable once live music was put on pause indefinitely. I wrote about my hopes for critical change in the industry in this previous blog post. I sincerely hope that what we’ve seen in the last 14 months leads to lasting changes in how artists and others working in the industry are perceived, respected, and fairly compensated.
Realizing that my dreams would have to be put on hold at least temporarily, I had to change my focus. While all of us were involuntarily forced to stay at home and reduce contact with other humans, I concentrated on myself. I had always loved singing. Then that idea from that brash guy in Brooklyn re-entered my mind. Once COVID hit, I had already dismissed the idea of pitching myself and my voice to companies. Who would want to spend money on new advertising and recording new commercials when no one was going anywhere or buying anything except food and toilet paper?
And then it came to me. What if I did a podcast? I could do that from home. But what would the podcast be about? What would I need to get one started? Who would even want to listen to me talking? How would I drum up enough interest to attract an audience? My anxiety was running wild. I was trying to run before I could walk.
I had casually mentioned my idea to Carolina Isabel. She’s a radical reiki master I met through a female entrepreneur virtual convention I had attended last autumn. Carolina told me about a podcast fellowship that she’d seen advertised on Instagram and suggested I look into it. I applied to the fellowship, I was accepted, and here we are.