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Who are we?
My name is Gary Pearce. I thought up this show, and I'll be the producer and host (hopefully one of many hosts). In other words, I gave myself my dream job. Or nightmare job. We'll see.
Our other occasional host is Julia McClung, and maybe you? We’re looking for participation from wannabe podcasters across our area. Interested?
And when he’s really lucky, Gary can convince is wife Cyndi to join the pod.
Right away I need to say that I'm not that Gary Pearce, a man Politico calls "one of North Carolina’s most experienced political consultants." Gary and another consultant, Carter Wrenn, write a politics blog here: http://talkingaboutpolitics.com/. I met Gary once at an event. Because I've worked in media in NC since 1990, and we tend to get each other's phone calls, he was vaguely aware of me. And I've worked with Carter Wrenn many times over the years (but it's been a while). Maybe I can wangle those connections into having them as guests on a totally unknown podcast. Maybe. While I may be inching into their territory with some politics talk, I am absolutely not at their level of understanding or connections.
I'm 69. I grew up in Chicago and suburbs, wanted to be a radio DJ really bad as a teen, and for a short time I was a really bad DJ on small town stations in Wisconsin and Illinois. I returned to Chicago to get married and attend Loyola University, and was recruited into a ‘boutique’ television production company where I learned to be something called a 'video editor'. This was in the mid 70's. The technology was crude but very expensive by today's standards. I assembled mostly commercials and worked on some training programs for companies with big budgets. I didn't make TV shows - that happened in Hollywood. Chicago was the home of big ad agencies, and so it was a commercial production hub.
My behind-the-scenes career continued until I pretty much retired last year. I came to Raleigh in 1990 to be closer to aging family, and got married again (OK, there was a divorce back in Chicago). But I never quite got over that itch to be on the air. Between Chicago and Raleigh was a very short stint as a radio DJ in a small town in Arizona, where I didn't totally suck (but got fired anyway). That whetted my appetite for more on-air, but the video jobs paid a living wage, and radio didn't, so I caved and reluctantly went back to 'real work' (but still with the glamour of being 'in the media').
Some of that work included making political commercials for many of the campaign consultants in the area (including Carter Wrenn), Republican and Democrat. I also got to do a little voice-over work, with the peak being the announcer for Travelocity radio and TV commercials for about two years around 2007. That was a 'right place / right time' opportunity that I wasn't able to repeat.
The last puzzle piece is my entry into podcasting. My lifelong hobby has been something called Amateur Radio, or Ham Radio. It's a two-way radio hobby that involves learning some basic electronics and communications skills, passing an FCC exam and getting a license. It's not broadcasting. The communication is mostly one-to-one.
I started that at age 15 in 1965, and it's been a part of my life ever since. I'm not an engineer, but I do know a lot of basic electronics. I'm pretty good at computers. All that helped my television career immensely.
In 2004, ham radio 'media' was magazines, while the world - and the rest of my world - was television. I thought we could do better. Consumer video equipment had evolved from VHS to High-8 to digital, and the new digital stuff was affordable (enough) and looked nearly as good as the pro equipment I'd been using just a few years before. I bought a camera and editing system, and produced a few documentaries that I sold on DVD. Here are two that may be interesting to a non-geek audience:
Radio Orienteering - a contest to find transmitters hidden in Umstead Park.
The Last BIG Field Day - another contest, and the biggest event of the year in Ham Radio.
Podcasting was just getting started then, but I totally missed it. YouTube was also getting started, but I didn't think 'video over Internet' was good enough for my stuff, so while I was being progressive in my little niche, I was not riding any media waves. But in 2011, I was asked to be a guest-host on a ham show on an emerging technology TV and podcast network called TWiT (This Week in Tech). Hmmm... podcasting. I pivoted my little production company, adopted the name HamRadioNow, and started making my own shows on YouTube in 2012. In six years I produced almost 400 episodes (and well over 400 actual shows), and in my humble opinion, I didn't suck. Then I turned it all over to my co-host early this year.
Because... I wanted to do this. The Triangle Talk Show.
One more thing...
We have a YouTube Channel. Many podcasts put their show on YouTube as audio, with some basic graphics on the video. Maybe just a logo, maybe something actually related to the audio content. But they're not really a TV show. They're just trying to find that elusive audience anywhere they can. So the video here is in that vein.
My goal is to make the Triangle Talk Show a stand alone audio program. But, I have all this TV equipment – cameras, lights, a switching system – I've done TV all my career and the ham radio show was TV. So... might as well use it. I'll probably record some, maybe most of the shows as video, released on YouTube and Facebook. So some kind of talking-head thing, maybe showing web sites. While that adds complexity, I've learned some ways to KISS the video.
I'm also been putting them live on YouTube as we record, and setting some kind of regular schedule. I know several other shows that do this. Again, not a slick CNN/Fox News style TV show, but you see the host's face, and maybe a guest's face.
The 'regular schedule' is the part that adds the most complexity. Getting co-hosts and guests all together at the same time (on Skype, so at least you don't have to get them to the same place) is hard enough. Telling them it's "X o'clock" means you need the juice to make them really want to be on the show. That's not us (yet?).
Just thinking out loud for now....