By: Amber Nightengale
One of the interesting things about podcasting is the in-studio appearances. In radio broadcasting, the studios are very similar. With podcasting, the studios are left to the individual’s imagination and no two are the same. Comparing studios for co-hosts of the same podcast gives an exciting insight into how each host prepares for the show, and how the podcast is recorded.
Beauties & Headcanons host Elisabeth Thorpe sets up her studio in her room; her computer with microphone and sound equipment is next to her bed. A mother of a young toddler, she is grateful to her husband for distracting her little one during recording time. Mrs. Thorpe and her co-hosts will see or hear ideas for their show on social media (such as Facebook, Tumblr, etc.), then bounce ideas off each other. Agreeing on a topic is not difficult, as all three enjoy geeking out over similar things. For topics unfamiliar to any host, the ladies do their research whenever their children will allow it.
In contrast, host Emily Elmquist has her studio set up on a desk with her microphone currently being held by R2D2. A mother of three children, she does research whenever her children are occupied and will do recordings during naptime. For Mrs. Elmquist, the trickiest part of the show is the different time zones. Her favorite part, however, is being able to geek out over topics she is passionate about. The show is largely conversational, with each host being able to discuss their feelings in turn.
Once each host is prepared, a time is set up to record. Again, due to the time zone differences, getting the show recorded in one take is crucial. Each host signs into the platform they use, checks over their microphone and sound equipment, then it’s showtime. Apart from the scripted beginning and ending part of the show, Beauties & Headcanons is a conversation. Each host takes a turn discussing her ideas, bringing them up to her partners. Remaining a conversation is not difficult, as the hosts get along well together. Interestingly, none of the hosts have ever met each other in person. For the show to be pulled off without the hosts being together or having ever met is indeed a wondrous thing.
Both ladies are very passionate about the subjects they discuss on the show, with different favorites. While currently passionate about Supernatural, Mrs. Thorpe believes favored fandoms can change over time as a person grows. For her, Supernatural appeals to the writer within her as she examines plot points, character development, and considers this as she writes her own fanfiction. Preferring the company of her husband when she is writing, Mrs. Thorpe having a dream studio which would allow her to have a dual screen setup for her podcast; one screen being for her notes and research and the other for recording the show. In addition, Mrs. Elmquist would also love a studio where she can pursue other activities, such as sewing. As far as a favorite fandom, Mrs. Elmquist and her husband are currently engrossed in the League of Legends video game series, watching tournaments together. Mrs. Elmquist also credits her husband with helping her come up with show ideas, often focusing on the hypothetical “what if” questions.
In conclusion, a podcast may have more than one host but as each host is an individual, the way the show is run and the studios are set up can be drastically different. For the hosts of Beauties & Headcanons, they have fallen into an easy rhythm which makes them perfect co-hosts of a very unique show. Their advice to anyone wishing to start their own podcast is to be willing to listen: listen to feedback from listeners, listen to other podcasts to determine what is a popular format, how to make the show better, and never stop researching or learning.