This week we have a guest post by Rikki Condos! She turned an interviewer into an interviewee when she spoke with Patrick Hinds, a Broadway podcaster known for his interviews with Broadway’s hottest stars.
I started listening to podcasts quite a few years ago when Glee had just begun airing on TV. None of my friends were watching the show as intensely as I was, and I wanted a place where I could express my opinions and hear what others thought of the show. I found a handful of recap podcasts that would simply talk about each episode as they aired, and I listened avidly during all of Glee’s six seasons. I eventually ventured out and found podcasts on other topics: pop culture, music, history, other TV shows. Now, I’m subscribed to 19 podcasts that update almost every week, but my favorites are the theatre podcasts.
While there are quite a few to choose from, three of the best are produced by Patrick Hinds. His original podcast, Theater People, is about to celebrate its third anniversary. He saw the missing piece of theatre in the landscape of podcasts and thought, why not fill the gap himself? Since starting Theater People, he’s created two other podcasts: he launched BroadwayCon: The Podcast over the summer, and his latest podcast, Broadway Backstory, premiered just last month. His podcasts are the only place to hear long-form interviews with Broadway’s biggest stars.
Over the summer, I was lucky enough to intern with Patrick and both work on Theater People and help launch the other two podcasts from the very beginning. It was so cool to be involved in the process after listening for so many years! I always imagined that a lot of work went into creating these episodes, but actually experiencing it hands-on was a whole different story. I chatted with Patrick about the excitement of launching a new podcast, and what it’s like to juggle the production of three podcasts simultaneously. Check out our interview below!
Your new podcast is called Broadway Backstory. Could you give us a little bit of your backstory, and how you got where you are today?
I moved to New York City to work for CNBC in 2000 (I might be old). That gig didn’t last long. From there, I worked as a bartender and freelance writer. I’ve had two books and several magazine articles published. In 2014, I decided I wanted to make a theatre podcast. I called it “Theater People.” I had no idea what I was doing, but I stumbled my way through it (the first 10 episodes are hard to listen to). I now host and produce three podcasts: Theater People, Broadway Backstory, and BroadwayCon: The Podcast.
Could you describe Broadway Backstory in three words?
Why do you think people will love Broadway Backstory? How is it different from the other podcasts you produce?
The message of Broadway Backstory is that anyone with a good idea, talent, perseverance, and a little bit of luck can get their show to Broadway. You don’t have to ‘know people’ or ‘have money.’
People will love the podcast because it’s all about the people who live, eat, and breathe theatre. And it’s documentary-style, which is new for Broadway-themed podcasts. We get the stories from the people who lived them.
Why podcasts? What does this medium bring to the theatre community that a written interview does not?
Podcasts are great because you can listen on the subway or in the car on your commute. Podcasts let you hear people tell their stories in their own words–you can hear the passion and excitement in their voices, that’s what sets podcasts apart from books and magazines.
What’s the biggest lesson you learned from starting your podcasts and building them from the ground up?
I think the biggest lesson is that if you have it in you to do something creative, just go do it. Start. Don’t listen to the voices telling you that you’re not good enough or that you don’t know what you’re doing or that other people are doing it better. I had NO IDEA how to make a podcast when I started and now it’s my full-time job.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned about Broadway while podcasting? What has been your favorite show to learn about?
Nobody ever thinks they’ve made it. Even Lin-Manuel or Laura Benanti or Megan Hilty feel like this job could be their last. There isn’t a whole lot of job security in theatre.
I think learning about Spelling Bee for Broadway Backstory has been the most interesting. There is a STORY there, but you’ll have to listen to the episode to find out. [Ed note: I’ve heard these interviews and you guys will not believe how crazy it is! A must listen!]
What’s next for your podcasts and other non-traditional media in the Broadway community?
Right now I’m just trying to keep up. I produce three podcasts on a weekly basis, so I’m just trying to keep my head above water.
What do you think makes the Broadway community so special?
Nobody’s trying to get rich. People are just trying to do what they love.
What shows are you most looking forward to in the coming season?
What is your all-time favorite show? What show do you wish got more appreciation?
My favorite show is Tommy. It was the first show I ever saw and it just hooked me. I got to interview Michael Cerveris [who starred in the original Broadway cast of Tommy] last year and I cried. Not in front of him, but before and after. Catch Me if You Can was brilliant; I wish more people had seen it.
What advice would you give to college students trying to enter the theatre industry?
Get involved, wherever you are. Go volunteer or intern and make your intentions known. Ask questions and then LISTEN to the answers. Meet people, try to be social, and most importantly, be kind and easy/fun to work with. Oh, and be on time. For the love of God, be on time.
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Feature photo by Dianna Bush of Dianna Bush Photography.