Podcasts, known as the new age of talk radio, emerged in the early 2000s and have consistently developed each month since then with new installments of various shows. Of those new and emerging podcasts, Denver is proud to add another one to the ongoing list of locally-recorded discussions. Wait, Is This Thing On? is a female-led podcast focused on showcasing inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs, authors and artists. Produced by professionals, leaders and community thought leaders, this creative, comfortable and entertaining podcast seeks to explore round table discussions on a variety of engrossing topics. Here, 303 Magazine went behind the scenes to get a closer look at the preparation for recording and expected discussion topics.
303 Magazine: Tell us a little about Wait, Is This Thing On? and the members of it.
Larina Chen: We are a collective group of women who all come from different backgrounds but have shared interests in what we want to create and accomplish.
Our house consists of Annie Bloj, a former fashion designer who worked for many years in New York, turned her busy social calendar into a curated calendar of its own and thus The Bloj Report was born; Esther Lee Leach, a TV host and model in her past life, who has also been in the publishing and media industries put her skills of being in front of the camera to behind the camera to create Cherry Creek Fashion; Keren Nimmo, an ex-tech exec who wanted to build a network of women where art and technology intersected and founded FoundHer; Larina Chen, a public relations lackey who finally decided to stop working for the man to formulate her own company, LWC Concepts; Leigh Gordon, who moved here from California, currently on her eighth life to breathe new life into The Scout Guide Denver.
303: What inspired the launch of the podcast?
Keren Nimmo: We are new friends, back in town and creating our own way. We all have different backgrounds but kept finding ourselves at the same events, being introduced to each other over and over again. When we all finally met last March, it just clicked. We have all reinvented ourselves (some more than others) and as we started getting to know one another, we found so much inspiration and support from each other.
We believe that people can reinvent themselves over and over and be relevant at any age. We all are in it — we have pivoted and are all redefining who we are and what we are doing with our lives. We want to showcase inspiring people who have pivoted in their careers, accomplished big things later in life and demonstrate that anything is possible at any age. Our guests range from authors to entrepreneurs to people in the arts. The topics range from beauty to tech to art to fashion and everything in between.
303: From the sound setup to the schedule of the team, organizing a podcast seems like no easy task. Can you describe the formation of it all?
Esther Lee Leach: I always joke that we have no idea what we are doing when it comes to podcasting. That media format was completely new to all of us but the technology is so advanced now that the process can be very simple using apps to record, edit and upload episodes to iTunes, Spotify, etc. The most important thing we had to decide was about the content. What do we want to talk about? What topics would listeners be interested in? After that, it was just about adding regular meetings to our calendars and choosing interesting guests. We, of course, have had some hiccups along the way but all of us are bringing so many skills from other industries to the table, so we usually figure it out. All of us are used to getting in the weeds and building businesses from scratch, so it is always fun to create a new project.
303: How was the name of the podcast established?
Annie Bloj: It happened really organically, actually. We were all sitting together at lunch, laughing at the thought of us trying to figure out how to go about making a podcast. Voila! The name just came to us and was available. It really speaks to the nature of the conversations on the podcast and our friendships. We are all just trying to figure everything out all the time and rely on each other for help and support as we navigate our ventures. We are very open about the fact that we are learning as we go along … wait, is this thing on? Truth be told … sometimes it isn’t.
303: How often does the team record an episode and how long is a typical one?
Leigh Gordon: As we’re learning the ropes of podcasting, we decided as a group to meet every two weeks. The first week we prepare and the next we record. We intentionally make our episodes around 45 minutes. We want to give plenty of time to interview our guests, but also allow some time for us to catch up with each other and allow our audience to get to know us more and more each episode.
We recorded our first episode in October and wanted to have a few under our belt before launching in January. Right now, we are releasing one episode each month with an occasional bonus episode if need be. Once we become more seasoned podcasters and iron out the kinks, I think we’d love to be recording and releasing episodes more often. I will say, we have already lived up to our name and went through an entire interview without actually recording it.
303: What discussion topics can audiences expect to hear when listening to the podcast?
LC: We tackle everything under the sun ranging from the obstacles of being an entrepreneur, current events, relationships, fashion, tech, pop culture and everything in between.
303: When the team sits down to record an episode and discuss topics, is there a schedule of possible dialogue subjects or is it more of an organic setting with no script?
KN: We each take turns to produce an episode. Part of producing involves identifying the guest, booking them, coming up with questions, prepping the rest of us with background information prior to the recording, editing the episode and posting the podcast plus socially posting after the podcast. We open the episode with five minutes of talk between the hosts focused on a central topic that relates to the guest we are interviewing. We then jump into a 30-minute interview with the guest. The main producer leads and then we jump in organically with questions. We may or may not be drinking mimosas.
303: Esther, with you being Editor-in-Chief of Cherry Creek Fashion Magazine, can readers expect to hear any fashion discussion?
ELL: Yes, definitely! For an upcoming episode, we interviewed Jane Burke, the senior curatorial assistant of textile art and fashion at the Denver Art Museum. The conversation was fascinating. Denver is really becoming a fashion town with its own voice. It’s great to see everyone embracing who we are here without trying to copy other cities.
303: Describe the podcast in three words.
LC: Witty, multi-faceted and insightful.
303: How does the team hope this podcast inspires others?
KN: We want to entertain and educate. We want people to think their time is now, not that their time has passed. You are relevant now and can redefine yourself, reinvent yourself and pivot at any time. We want to share stories that inspire people to jump in. Do it. That thing you have always wanted to do. Do it. The world needs your unique talent, expertise and passions. Make it happen. The world needs you.
303: Where can readers find, Wait, Is This Thing On?
ELL: Anywhere you listen to podcasts. We recently got accepted by iTunes, so that is very exciting. Also, visit our website and sign up for our newsletter to get alerts about new episodes and behind the scenes shenanigans.
All photography by Danielle Webster.
Makeup by Amy Dickerson and Chanty Vargas for Live Love Lash.