Q&A With The Hosts of Breaking The Curtain
It’s August, which means that it is Podcastiversary Month over on Breaking The Curtain!
While there is a lot of content coming your way over on the podcast, we decided to come to our blog pages with a Q&A to share some of our favourite moments and plans for the future!
What has been your favourite episode you’ve recorded thus far?
CRIS: I honestly never listen to our podcast after editing the episodes because I listen to it so much as pieces during the editing process, but one that felt really strong to me was our Show History: Waitress episode? I also really liked recording Show History: RENT - that was a great one script wise.
JOCE: This is such a hard question, because with 30+ episodes recorded over a year, how do you pick a favourite? Especially when we’ve grown so much as hosts. I think a few of my favourites were our Valentine’s and International Women’s Day episodes (A Stagey Valentine’s Day Special and Strong Female Theatre Characters). We went off-script for a lot of it and just got to have a little gush of theatre geek realness, which is essentially why we do this!
Do you have a standout moment from being a podcaster?
CRIS: Although podcasting is something we enjoy doing and it isn’t for the download numbers, both Jocelyn and I really enjoy keeping track of our analytics page (- we love listing numbers and such. Total geeks!) We hit over 500 listens overnight after releasing our Bat Out of Hell Cast Reunion episode and that was really cool. It was the episode that really got the numbers going because afterwards we started hitting big milestones and we’d freak out every time!
JOCE: I think all the feedback we get is just amazing, I never would have expected our numbers or our feedback to look the way they do now!
Like what Crissy said, seeing the numbers is always a surprise to me, and I’m so thrilled that so many people like what we do enough to tune in at this volume.
It’s also wonderful to get direct feedback, and personally, there was a moment when Christy Altomare mentioned how much research and thought we put into each episode that just warmed my heart. We put so much work and effort into creating episodes that are detailed, but still fun and personable, and it’s so nice to hear that recognized, especially by someone of that caliber.
Who has been a dream guest to interview?
CRIS: Everyone we’ve interviewed thus far has been an absolute dream come true! Of course, Bobby Rydell was someone who I was completely awestruck by. We try to keep it super professional even though we’re literally losing our minds at the brilliant creatives we get to chat with on the podcast, but with Bobby… I just could not hide it. It’s really funny to listen back to!
JOCE: Honestly, I don’t know how I’m still alive after interviewing Chilina Kennedy. I have been a fan of hers for as long as I can remember, and being in the Zoom room with her was more than a dream come true. I was scared I’d be holding my breath the whole time, but she is so lovely, graceful, and speaks with so much passion about what she does. It was easy to relax and absorb every single word she said like a sponge!
Crissy is absolutely right, all of our guests have been absolute class acts!
I think the real dream is the fact that we have guests at all! It’s exciting and humbling that so many different artists and creatives have either agreed to speak with us or reached out with something special they wanted to share.
What is something you’ve learned through having a podcast?
CRIS: If you’re not picked up by a podcast network, all of the promotion comes directly from you and only you. Not only do you host a podcast, you’re also editing it on your own, creating graphics, running social media platforms, checking the analytics, doing outreach, writing scripts, doing the research - it’s a lot of work and no income comes directly from it unless you’re qualified to be monetized. It’s why we’re so grateful for everyone who listens, likes our posts, subscribes to the podcast, leaves a rating/review, subscribes to our Patreon, donates $1 to our Ko-Fi - it really keeps us motivated because we’re doing all of this on our own and hoping that it’s something others are enjoying as much as we enjoy doing it!
JOCE: I’ve actually had my mind blown by how much I’ve learned in a short period of time.
I am so lucky that Crissy is tech savvy and enjoys editing, because it’s still so far out of my depth (also, my ancient laptop wouldn’t be able to handle it).
But my goodness, running a podcast is a lot of work, and it’s daily work to keep creating content! Crissy mentioned a full list above about what we do, but it really does take a few hours every day, like a part-time job!
I’ve said this often on Both Sides Of The Curtain, but one of the biggest takeaways is always the power in “just ask”. We have had so many opportunities I couldn’t even imagine, but we wouldn’t have received them if we hadn’t reached out to those people. It’s always worth asking to find out because a “no” or “not right now”, is better than not asking at all! It’s also something that’s just so applicable to whatever else you may do in life.
Do you have a favourite podcast you listen to (besides Breaking the Curtain)?
CRIS: My Favourite Murder, Let’s Not Meet, Out for Blood, And That’s Why We Drink… I’m super into True Crime podcasts! Although the ones I mentioned are a few of the regulars I listen to, what I love most about podcasts is that I can literally search for any topic I want to learn more about, and sure enough someone has made an episode about it. So, while I do have podcasts I listen to weekly, I have plenty of random favourite episodes from many different creators!
JOCE: I’ve actually gotten more into podcasts since we started recording one! I enjoy Tits + Teeth and Cue To Cue, two fabulous Canadian musical theatre podcasts, as well as people like Tony Robbins and Abraham Hicks for that extra motivation.
Also, we’ve had a few special guests with amazing podcasts of their own, like Kristina Miller-Weston and Bobby Traversa of My Favourite Flop, and Xena Gusthart’s Showbiz Clinic!
Can you share some shows you’d love to create Show History episodes about?
CRIS: I am the biggest fan of the parody shows that were presented at the Rockwell in L.A! I’d personally love for us to cover Cruel Intentions because it’s one of the productions that made it the furthest with an off-Broadway run and National Tour.
JOCE: I have a HUGE list! But to share a few: Mamma Mia, Newsies, Come From Away… We have so many we can’t wait to record and share with you all!
What equipment do you use to record?
CRIS: I use the Yeti Blue Nano to record with. But I really think it’s all about what system you record with. Our favourite is SquadCast, super clear sound since we can’t be in the same room when we record, we really rely on the quality of our recording program, or else we’d just record directly through GarageBand.
JOCE: Once again, I am not tech savvy. I use my old laptop, the Snowball microphone Crissy recommended and whichever headphones aren’t at the bottom of my purse.
We jump between different online platforms, and I did want to mention that your generous donations to our Patreon and PayPal accounts actually help us fund our subscriptions to these platforms, as well as Zoom where we conduct our interviews!
Thank you for all of your support!
You created a Dream Musicals episode all about your biggest ‘musical theatre wants’, give us another not from the episode list.
CRIS: I mean, where’s my Dolly Parton musical? I’d also love a Fleetwood Mac musical - that one can be a bio-musical, I want all the Lindsey and Stevie drama on stage in front of me!
JOCE: This isn’t specific to musical theatre, but I’d love to see a stage adaptation of The Outsiders. I also would love to see another stage adaptation of Bonnie and Clyde. I love the Wildhorn musical, but there’s this great book called Go Down Together by Jeff Gunn, and it’s such a vivid retelling. I think their story would be amazing onstage, but maybe more as a play with music than musical?
What is coming up next for Breaking The Curtain?
CRIS: As much as we plan out our podcast episodes, we often have to work around guest schedules, show schedules - we never really know what is actually coming up next for us! A good example would be the three-part Heathers series we’ve recently put together in celebration of the upcoming UK tour and West End run - all in spontaneous planning!
JOCE: We actually do have a few exciting episodes ready to send your way! There’s a collab, a show history, and we have a really special guest lined up for July.
There’s a lot in the works, as always, but the thing is that we often have to wait for confirmation - But once we have it, we’re ready to roll!
The rest of Season 2 is going to be awesome, I can’t wait!
What is your favourite musical theatre song to belt in the shower?
CRIS: I’m actually not a shower singer! The only time I sing in the shower is when I’m actually working on a song for something I’m in. I think the last time I properly sang in the shower was when I was working on Sweet Charity before Covid cancelled it.
JOCE: I will belt the entirety of Wicked every time I have the chance. Honestly, there’s something really cathartic about a good shower sing, and it’s really just whatever’s in my head at the moment!
How do you feel about live theatre coming back?
CRIS: Thrilled, of course. But it’s also so different from what we’ve known. I totally took sitting beside all my friends at a show for granted, but then I guess we never thought there would be a day where we would have to sit in separate rows in the theatre. I’m also feeling very content with staying away for a while and watching theatre slowly return through staying updated via social media.
JOCE: I am so excited. I was nervous for a really long time, and of course, there are still nerves that come with it. But there is so much hope coming out of the West End and even Broadway right now, it’s hard not to be thrilled? Of course, I’m not the kind of person to go unless I was certain it was safe for myself and others, but I am double vaccinated and so ready to get back in a theatre in any capacity!
Do you have a dream guest?
CRIS: Amanda Kloots. We’re both currently reading Live You Life and I’ve already taken away so many valuable life lessons from her. I think she’d be a really inspiring guest to have join us.
JOCE: Gosh, there are so many! I would love to host some sort of SMASH interview, like Debra Messing and Christian Borle would be super fun! The show was huge for both of us at the time, and despite its cancellation, it has a huge cult following. I think it would be fun as mega-fans to host a group of cast members and just celebrate all that the series was!
Breaking The Curtain will celebrate its one year anniversary on August 17th, and of course, we want to celebrate with all of you! We will be going LIVE on Facebook at 6:30PM EST on the 17th to share the joy, answer your questions, and have some stagey fun!
You can find us on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/breakingthecurtain
If you listened to our most recent episode, you already know how we’re sharing the love this month, and I wanted to share it here as well to spread the word!
In our interview with Avionce Hoyles, he shared about his work as co-director of the Next Generation Young Artist Showcase. NYGAS provides accessible training to young artists to not only educate the next generation of artists, but to give them a place to showcase their talents. Scholarship opportunities are made available to applicants as well, which is why we decided that for the month of August, any donations made to our Patreon, Ko-fi, and PayPal will be donated to NYGAS. We know not everyone can afford to donate large sums after the year we’ve had, but if we all donate a little, we can ease some of the financial burden and help make theatre training more accessible to someone who may not be able to afford it otherwise.
You can learn more about the organizations here: https://ngyas.org/
Have a fabulous August everyone and we will see you all very soon!