When my commute started getting longer, I started questioning how I used my time in the car. I mean I love music, but how many times can one perform a one-woman reproduction of Hamilton: An American Musical before it becomes wasted time?
I tried my luck with audiobooks thinking that I could learn something new or at least work my way through my ever-growing list of books to read. A few weeks after signing up for Audible, I realized listening to the entire Harry Potter series narrated by Jim Dale didn’t really count as learning something new. Though his ability to create voices for each character astounded me, and I realized that I knew his voice from the ill-fated show Pushing Daisies.
Enter the world of podcasts. These short little bursts of information and entertainment that captured my attention and didn’t make me feel guilty if I didn’t like show/episode because I didn’t pay anything for it (unlike Audible).
I started with a few well-known shows like S-town and Serial, then found my way to more interest-specific shows like The Room Where It’s Happening. All of those hours of singing Hamilton hadn’t been lost after all. Co-hosts Travon Free and Mike Drucker did a phenomenal job of creating a fan show that was equal parts entertaining and educational. They brought in guests who provided an education in musical theater, writing, Broadway and how theater tackles major issues in history and present-day America.
That podcast served as a launching pad for me. This sounds dumb, but it gave me permission to try shows that I might not have tried otherwise. It allowed me to be curious.
Since then, I’ve listened to dozens of different shows and started a podcast of my own at work. Who knew something as simple as carrying on a conversation about mutual interest could transform an hour commute home into something funny and intelligent all at once? I plan to recommend some of my favorite shows or episodes on the blog soon.