A Podcast I Love: Off-stage and...On The Air

I love podcasts.  Love 'em!  They are basically radio shows available on the air, and while some of them are available on the FM dial, many of them are produced exclusively for the internet.  Whatever your interests or passion (old time radio shows, Harry Potter, crocheting) no matter how eccentric,  it's likely someone on the web is podcasting about it.  Some are professional, very polished shows and some are as simple as a guy (or girl) on a microphone.  In case you've not listened to them, they are treasure troves for artists of any kind, as many shows focus on the creative process, explore art and culture, and these shows will also talk in depth to wildly talented folks like John Hodgman or  Charles Busch, or Neil Gaiman, who don't get a huge amount of time on the radio or TV.    I hope, in the future to talk about a lot of my favorites, but thought I'd start with a local podcast I enjoy which is available on I-tunes.  That Podcast is...(drum roll please)

  Off-stage and... On The Air (with Lisa Scheps and Nicole Shiro)-

 My college professor used to drill it my and my peers young undergraduate brains that if wanted to call ourselves theatre artists we needed to suck up every bit of knowledge we could about current events, culture,visual arts, food, theatre history, and certainly about what was happening in the present in the theatre scene.

I paraphrase him and say, if you want to call yourself a theatre artist (or theatre appreciator), especially in the Austin area, you need to be listening to Off-stage and... On-the Air.  The two hosts (Lisa Scheps and Nicole Shiro) are opinionated, passionate, kooky and have a charmingly self deprecating sense humor.  Both care deeply about their subject, but don't usually "insist upon themselves". They're the kind of people you want to hang out with at a dinner party, and that's exactly what I want out of an on-air personality.  As for the show's content, not only will you hear run-downs and reviews about what's going on in Broadway (what's in development, what's opening and what's closing, and reviews on those shows), but you'll also hear what happened "on this date in theatre history", and get interviews with Austin artists discussing their current projects. 

I've been on the show a couple of times and seeing it from that side is, needlessly to say, a very skewed way of catching the show.  I was so caught up in how I'd sound on the air, whether I'd fuck something up in the dramatic reading of the scene we were performing or some other self-involved nonsense, that I didn't get to enjoy the rest of the program.  As an audience member, I get so comfy and relaxed and I often listen more than once to soak up the tidbits I missed the first time.  So, please sidle up to your radio station on 91.7 KOOP Wednesdays at 2PM CST or download the podcast on I-tunes, or at their website. 

And if you are like I was and had only been on it and never taken the opportunity to listen, do yourself a favor and "step right up".
Joe Hartman