Podcast Inspiration

Robin Chakrabarti, Operations Coordinator

It’s peak summertime! One of my favorite parts of summer is having the time to start new habits I’ve been putting off, and building the momentum to continue them into the school year. Something that has positively influenced my life recently is listening to more podcasts, specifically podcasts that help me develop more self-awareness or teach me something new. Here is a small selection of the podcasts that have inspired me the most over the last few years!

(Of course, these are all in addition to our own CS Radio – which returns for its fifth season in September!)

Oprah’s Master Class
Do you want to learn from some of the world’s most impactful people? Would you like an autobiography distilled into something you can consume during a workout or during your lunch? Oprah Winfrey’s Master Class features powerful stories from iconic entertainers, musicians, actors, and more as they guide us through key turning points and difficult decisions they made on their personal journeys. At times when I’m feeling unmotivated or am simply looking for a moving story, I find tremendous inspiration in learning about the lives of others, all of which keeps Master Class in heavy rotation on my phone.

The Marie Forleo Podcast
Marie Forleo is a businesswoman, life coach, author, and former dancer, and combines her many talents and bubbling personality to host a fun, energetic podcast on building a business for aspiring entrepreneurs. Forleo and her team interview top businesspeople and create a radiant show atmosphere that seamlessly weaves sketch comedy into professional advice and is sure to make you spit out your coffee laughing. (The show is even better on YouTube where you can watch her hilarious skits).

With topics like “Networking Basics: 8 Tips to Networking Without Being Fake” and “How to Use Social Media so it Doesn’t Overwhelm Your Life,” Forleo brings positivity and personable professionalism to entrepreneurship that is a welcome addition to the typical alpha-male, hustle-and-grind entrepreneur mentality broadcasted on most platforms.

On Purpose with Jay Shetty
Jay Shetty is a former monk who is making wisdom go viral. I first learned about him from his captivating interview on Impact Theory. In his podcast, On Purpose, Shetty hosts thoughtful and vulnerable conversations with CEO’s, actors, artists, doctors, and public figures including Lilly Singh, Charlamagne tha God, Arianna Huffington, and Gary Vaynerchuk.

I especially like the show’s shorter podcasts focused on practical life skills in topics ranging from mental health to communication, which you can start implementing to immediately experience positive results. Some titles include “7 Ways to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others” and “4 Types of Negative People & 3 Ways to Deal With Them.” For those looking to develop more self-awareness, I highly recommend this podcast.

TED Radio Hour
Anytime I listen to TED Radio Hour, I feel like I read a book. For anyone who enjoys Ted Talks but wishes they were even longer, this is a great choice! Each episode finds common themes across different Ted Talks and ties them into larger pieces about concepts such as “Future Consequences,” “Prevention,” and “Jumpstarting Creativity.” Episodes run close to an hour long and are jam packed with interesting stories and information—TED Radio Hour is a great substitute to watching TV at night.

Man Up
In an era where we are slowly learning not to place celebrities and leaders on pedestals, especially powerful men, and are holding more public figures accountable for their actions, we also need a broader, more inclusive, conversation on American masculinity and an understanding of how we can raise children to grow up to be better adults. Man Up is a podcast from Slate Writer Aymann Ismail who hosts conversations about where we as a culture get our ideas of masculinity. Ismail examines the intersections of race, class, gender (including trans perspectives), sexuality, faith, and tradition and the impacts these have on our understandings of masculinity. He explores these conceptions within the backdrop of modern topics including parenting, workplace culture, health, and sex education as well as pressing and historic issues like Islamophobia, transphobia, anti-blackness, and police brutality. These conversations are both insightful and accessible, and since they clock in under 30 minutes, they are perfect for commuting and mealtimes.

Dispatches from the 2018 Austin Film Festival Writer’s Conference

J. Michael DeAngelis, Digital Resources Manager

The past two years, it has been my privilege to attend the Austin Film Festival & Writer’s Conference.  It is a unique event, featuring a festival of films and shorts that are screenwriter driven and a conference on careers in writing for film, television, theater and podcasting.  As a writer myself, I find the conference to be both invaluable and energizing.  I can’t thank my colleagues at Career Services enough for supporting my travel to the conference and it’s my pleasure to report back to our students and alumni on what I learned this year.

Here are some of the highlights and takeaways from this year’s conference.

There are more jobs than ever in television, but it’s harder than ever to make a living at it.  That was the main topic of discussion during a live taping of the Script Notes podcast. Fast Company ran an article earlier this month called “The Death of the Hollywood Middle Class“, which goes into detail about how the proliferation of streaming services which offer typically shorter seasons than broadcast networks, effects the living of writers, who are paid per episode.  As the way in which television content is produced and delivered changes, unions like the WGA are having to try and stay ahead of the curve.  I highly encourage everyone interested in writing for television to both read the full article and listen to the Script Notes episode as well.

Podcasts are more popular than ever, but it’s still “the wild west”.  As the host of our very own CS Radio podcast, I was particularly interested in attending the podcasting seminars.  While CS Radio is a non-fiction, informative show, there’s an entire culture of audio dramas gaining popularity via podcasting.  Shows like Bubble, Girl in Space, The Black Tapes and Wolf 359 exist in an exciting intersection of classic radio dramas and DIY garage band grunge.  Due to the relatively low cost of producing a podcast, along with direct consumer support from platforms like Patreon, writers are finding a way to get noticed by telling stories they’re passionate about and recording them as podcasts.

There’s no one path to a career in entertainment.  I had the great pleasure of getting hear the legendary producer/director Roger Corman talk at the conference.  He spoke about how he had gone to college for engineering, despite always wanting a career in the movie business.  Struggling to find work in entertainment, Corman got a job as a civil engineer.  After just four days on the job, he walked into the HR department and said “This has all been a terrible mistake!”  He did land a job at Fox as a script reader and then went to graduate school at Oxford where he studied literature before returning to the studio.  Corman noted that his engineering degree helped him quickly learn the technical side of filmmaking, while his literature studies helped him understand what made a good story and how to give a movie a solid structure.

I’ll be talking more about what I learned on next week’s CS Radio.