Thursday, November 12, 2015

Inspired By: The Long-Form Interview

As I said in my last blog post, I have been taking walking breaks at work every day.  Every couple of hours, I get up out of my chair and head outside to walk for 15 minutes.  It has done wonders to clear my head.  Taking in the fresh air and just have some time to step away and think.  I’ve added listening to podcasts to the repertoire now.  I can’t listen to podcasts while I work, because my work demands a lot of thinking, so I can’t even listen to music with words most of the time.  But podcast + walking has been my jam the last two months.  It has made my walking breaks something I REALLY look forward to.  What could be better than getting some steps in while being entertained or learning something?

I listen to different types of podcasts, but the one type that has been really inspiring me right now is the long-form interview.  It’s one where the guest sits down with the host and talk for a long time (40 min to 1.5 hours) about his/her work, how they became who they are today, what lessons they’ve learned, etc.  I find the long-form interview absolutely fascinating and inspiring.

Here are a few specific podcast episodes that I just love:

  • Off Camera – Episode 17 Matt Damon – I found this interview completely riveting.  Some people don’t know what they want to do with their life until they are in their 30’s.  Some people know as a kid/teenager what they want to do, and they doggedly pursue it.  I found it fascinating how Matt Damon basically willed himself into an acting career by not having a Plan B and never giving up.  I also learned a lot about what it’s like to be in movie productions, and what it’s like working with great directors. 
  • The Nerdist – Episode 610 Benedict Cumberbatch – The Nerdist is one of my favorite podcasts.  I’m always entertained by it, and learn a lot from famous actors, musicians, writers, etc.  This episode with Benedict Cumberbatch was just a fantastically fun episode! Plus, you get to hear Benedict Cumberbatch say, "Enjoy your burrito", and make various fart noises.  What could be better?
  • WTF with Marc Maron – Episode 652 James Cordan – James Cordan is my new favorite late night TV host.  I love his fresh take on late night TV, including singing and dancing skits, and having all his guests appear at the beginning of the show and sit on the couch together so they can all chat together.  I also loved him in the movie “Into the Woods”.  He is a breath of fresh air in late night TV.  In this episode he talks about how he came to be the host of the Late Late Show with James Cordan on CBS.  If you haven’t seen James Cordan’s carpool karaoke with Stevie Wonder, or his skit Matt Damon Acts Out His Film Career with James Cordan, you’re really missing out on some fun stuff.
  • The Nerdist – Episode 732 Shirley Manson – I was a big Garbage fan from the mid-90’s to the mid-2000’s, so this interview with Shirley Manson was quite awesome.  The coolest thing she said was that we need to “engineer adventures”.  She said when you're young, everything is like an adventure and you tend to say "yes" to everything.  When you get older, you get comfortable and you start saying "no" to things that might make you uncomfortable.  She said she you get older you need to engineer adventures for yourself.  Basically say yes to adventures and make them happen.
  • Fresh Air – Interview with Shonda Rhimes – I’m always fascinated to see how someone in a field different than mine works.  Shonda Rhimes is the creator of the shows “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Scandal”, and “How To Get Away With Murder”.  I enjoyed her take on leaving work at work, and how she said “yes” for a year to everything that scared her.

Some of these above podcasts have swearing in them.  If you are easily offended by swearing, they may not be for you.  I found all these interviews really eye-opening and educational.  Even though they are mostly in the entertainment field, I was able to glean lessons that apply to my own life.  My own re-invention of myself.

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