Mike Peacock joins me today to talk about various things including getting out of a rut, podcast as therapy, creativity, and of course his podcast – On The Edge.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Tell us a little bit about On the Edge with Mike Peacock.
MIKE PEACOCK: Definitely. So the concept of the show, it was kind of a long origin story but basically, in a nutshell, I had got into a rut, I guess you could say creatively, personally, professionally whatever you want to say and just kind of felt in a funk and I think we all get to that spot at some point. So I'd have a lot of stuff on my mind and one day, I just decided you know what I need to vent to somebody and rather than go out and be like a super negative person in the world. I just said, 'let's just get all this stuff off my mind' and I sat down with a microphone one day and I'd just like went F. Scott Fitzgerald total stream of consciousness and just let loose just a bunch of craziness and it was really no form to it, no texture to it, just stuff and it ended up not turning into an episode but what it did for me was it basically said, 'okay this is a kind of a form that I can use to say what I think' and if people choose to listen, they can choose to listen, if they choose to not listen, they can choose to not listen and then over the course of that process I said, 'okay', actually might have some cool things to say that could be entertaining, light hearted but still satirical and the name 'On the Edge' came from me constantly always being told that I'm on the edge, people like, 'hey man you're on the edge of something here, what's going on?' And so then I looked at that and said that could really be interpreted a lot of ways. Are you on the edge of a revelation? Are you on the edge of [inaudible] [01:30]? Are you on the edge of catastrophe? Are you on the edge of a breakthrough? Are you on the edge? What are you on the edge of? And then from there, it said, 'I'm a musician for years and years and I had a lot of friends in the music business' and I said, 'I could take this show in two directions'. I can say, 'hey, let's just have this be rants against humanity which was actually going to be the original name for the show'. Then and I said but I also have so many talented friends, so many people I know from this community, it would be really cool to have a forum to not just talk about the silly things in life but to also showcase people who had something to say because I felt like in a world full of kind of craziness and often negativity, you really want to give people something that 'hey let's focus on the good stuff', 'let's focus on what's really cool in life' and so kind of had this really cool balance of me ranting about craziness and then also saying, 'hey check this out, here's what these people have to offer to the world' and then from there the show was born.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Cool. What you're saying earlier is that to me, I see podcasting, I've felt that podcasting is a form of self-therapy?
MIKE PEACOCK: Absolutely.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: You mentioned like you're in a rut and then you just pick up this medium you start going and you start just letting it out. Sounds like you're agreeing with the cell therapy. Did you feel like it was a big release?
MIKE PEACOCK: It was really awesome and at the risk of getting too personal at some point in my life some years back, I said what I'm having some crazy stuff going on you maybe I need to go talk to somebody and I went so I went to a couple therapy sessions and I felt like it didn't really help me where I was and I said all the stuff that I'm doing there I can do that myself. I could really be introspective. I can really say, 'hey I know that this is a me issue versus a world issue', so I'm able to kind of separate and self-regulate there but I think the therapeutic aspect of podcasting is definitely there because it's just you, if you have guests on it's different but the idea of me being able to sit in, I think what I called my corner of the universe and just be me and take it or leave it, this is who I am for me was it was like a huge step.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: And how many episodes you have now Mike?
MIKE PEACOCK: So on the technical side it's eight episodes, I do have two episodes broken up into two parts because I have such a free flowing form that it does get kind of hard to attract the time and listeners tend to start tuning out at about the one hour time frame and so give or take, I've seen some of these things run two hours to half hours on other people shows but I really try to limit it to about an hour, hour and fifteen minutes max and if it goes over that and I'm like 'this should really be two episodes'. So technically, I think on the clicker it says 'ten' but I think really it's 'eight'.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Have you found like in the eight episodes that you've done? Have you found that it's changed you? Have you found that maybe you even become a more positive person?
MIKE PEACOCK: It's funny you mention that. So again getting back to the origin story, I was like kind of an angry person I'm like a blah, blah, blah, blah, F the world blah, blah, blah, blah. Here's what I have to say about this and then over the course of the show, having guests on and really being able to celebrate people's art or people's creativity or getting a new perspective on things. I think I have steered a little bit more away from the idea of I just want to talk smack and read and that's still very, that's still a part of who I am but it's really wanted to be more of a 'hey let's just get people talking', 'let's just get some different perspectives on things' and having guests on the show definitely introduce an entirely new dynamic than you sitting alone in a room and sending random thoughts out to the universe.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: So the guests that come on your show. Are they like what are you trying to do with them? Because you mentioned being on the edge of certain things. Are your guests on the edge of certain things?
MIKE PEACOCK: Sure I definitely think that's the case that a lot of these guys or girls in some cases, have things that they're working towards and so I've got a guy coming on here this upcoming Sunday, who will say, well he's on the edge, is really a breakthrough for him. He's been a musician all of his life and he just had the literally the storybook episode happened to him where he went to a concert, the singer of that concert, the major band got sick and they were going to cancel the show and they said, 'hey does anybody in the audience know our songs' and so his friends nominated him, he got to go up and he literally was the lead singer for this major band in an arena and all of sudden, it seems like it's all of a sudden but it's not it's a lifetime's worth of work but they're on the edge, as on the edge of fame is it on the edge of just exposure who knows but I do think there's people that are on the edge of breakthroughs and getting to where they want to be and then some of them might be like myself or I'm just on the edge of losing my frigging mind. So different strokes, different folks I guess.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Well like when someone is listening like what do you want the listener to feel? What do they want? What do you want them to get out your episodes?
MIKE PEACOCK: I really want them to take a second look at the way that they see things in I want to be funny and I want to be entertaining and sometimes the words I choose might be biting or it's let's be honest, I have a mouth like a trucker and so what I really want people to get out of it is 'hey this is something that is, this is a no holds barred'. This is something fun, this is a forum that is whatever's on your mind as well as mine but I just I want people to be entertained and I want people to know that even if you have a specific view of something out there, that somebody else is going to have a different view and it's really good to be able to make fun of yourself and look at maybe I'm looking at this wrong and that's the one thing I tend to do a lot is self-deprecating humor I think is also very therapeutic. So I'll throw myself under the bus as often as possible, and be like 'am I crazy for saying this? Am I wrong? Let me know if I'm wrong and usually people say, 'dude, you're way off'. So you're out of your mind.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Hey, Mike, you are a musician, so you're familiar with creating art. When you create this podcast. Do you feel like you're creating a work of art?
MIKE PEACOCK: That's a great question. I struggle with the identification of what is art quite a bit but art is very personal. I do consider it an art form, music is art, radio is art, whatever your medium is I just happened to be in tune with the music scene so for me that was kind of a natural progression but I think the first episode that was one of the things that I said was, 'I'll have you on the show if you've got something to share with the world, let's share that with the world'. I don't care if you're a musician, I don't care if you do poetry, I think I said, 'hey if you want to go all Henry Rollins and do some spoken word then come on'. Hey if you've got a sculpture and we you can talk about a sculpture but I can share some pics. So it's far is my goal for also for those people it's like, 'hey let's just give you a forum to maybe get to an audience that's not your normal audience' and with the power of I think social media. The art if you will definitely spread really fast.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Do you have a highlight or a favorite moment of your show this far?
MIKE PEACOCK: That's a great question. There's I really like the episodes where there's people that come on I would say that my second episode I did with a local band here called 'the Fibs' who happen to be my friends but anybody that knows me, knows that I am a super fanboy of this particular band, so I was lucky enough to have those guys come on and we did a live jam here in my studio which is in my house and got to do like in a very intimate acoustic set from this band, it's not really known for doing acoustic stuff, so it was really cool to hear different variations on their songs. I also did, I think the first one that I really delved into just what I called, 'Nerd tast awesomeness'. I'm kind of a Star Wars dork, so I had a friend of mine on who was also a Star Wars dork though we are different sides of that spectrum and dorkiness and that episode was really fun because we kind of made fun of ourselves the entire time but also made fun of the different kinds of people that we have encountered in our jobs, we work for the same company and we kind of deal with I guess you'd call it 'pop culture stuff' kind of where we work out where we're kind of surrounded by it so it really had kind of a I guess you could say a personal tinge to it, it really kind of hit home when we started talking about the stuff like 'oh my God, this is what we live every day' and we really took ourselves out of it and said, 'wow'. How much are we actually involved in this kind of a conversation every day? It was really fun. So that was a really fun episode and then I had a couple of friends of mine on who also have a podcast and so I had them as guests on the show and we have two different kinds of podcasts and so we combined our forums and that was just really I introduce that episode is and that was actually the last episode that I did, it was like how I say it's beginning to show unscripted, unprofessional like I have no idea what we're going to do today, this is completely off the cuff and then it turned into like well over two hours it had to be split up and that was that one was also really fun so.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Maybe this is a little early but have you been thinking about monetization? Do you have any and strategies at all for that?
MIKE PEACOCK: That's something I've thought about I'm going to be honest with you the entire goal for the show was not a financial one but it's and I do okay. I make a comfortable living and I am lucky enough and fortunate enough to have the resources to start out with a really good set up as a lot of podcasters that I have come to know and I'm podcasting with my phone I’m kind of go. I'm standing outside on my back porch with just flip phone. So the monetizing for me I think would be the purpose for that would be really just more growing the market and exposure and maybe offering up new opportunities to you, do some more community events. So I would definitely welcome that I know that like patriotic is a really big thing and I even know people that are kick starting and they're putting up 'Go Fund Me' which I think it's great. So I'm not there yet, I would I would say that in the future I could see that going down that road, this is a really once you get rolling on this, it's hard to explain to people but this is a really fast-paced kind of a thing, it just goes and goes and goes and goes and sometimes I can't even keep up with it where it's at. I feel sometimes overwhelmed by the response that you get from people, it's really cool.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: That's awesome and you know the thing about monetization, it's like everybody wants to monetize and that's fine.
MIKE PEACOCK: Right
ALEXANDER LAURIN: But if you're doing it and you're having fun and you're successful, success doesn't necessarily come from money, success comes from like how you're feeling about doing it and if you're doing it, you're having a great time even if it's a form of therapy or whatever, your success rate there.
MIKE PEACOCK: I think where the line for me or the edge if you will see what I did there.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Right.
MIKE PEACOCK: For me I think once something becomes a necessity, then that's when it stops being fun and stops being true and comes from a different place. Once you have that need to monetize or you have that need to do something because if you don't all of sudden things fall apart that makes me very uncomfortable. So I want to approach the show from definitely a standpoint of 'that I love to do this' and it doesn't have to be a financial success for me that being said, 'hey guys if you want to throw your money at me, I will catch it with my open arms’, and I will just put that towards production and make the most awesome show that I can possibly do that you would allow me to do. So I would welcome that opportunity, so.
ALEXANDER LAURIN: Mike, what's the biggest thing that you struggle with the podcast?
MIKE PEACOCK: For me, it sounds really funny being is that I come from this environment with equipment and gear and whatnot but the technological side of podcasting for me is tricky and then the social media aspect. I recently, I'm forty-two. Facebook has been a thing for a very long time now. I got set up on Facebook two years ago, I fought the whole social media thing for years and years and I'm like listen I'm already a negative enough person I don't need to hear all your political rants and raves and I don't care what you believe and I don't care but then I found some friends that I hadn't seen in a long time and I'd set up a Facebook profile for my wife because she is writing a book and she wanted to get some kind of exposure to things and I'm like well, 'let's do this for you’ and then I'm like 'hey this is actually kind of cool', I should do this. So I broke down one day but that started the train rolling and I've been struggling with just how to interact on social media. Facebook to me is still kind of a foreign thing. I just set up a Twitter account, you got to have a Twitter account, and I'm reading these Twitters and I'm like man, this is, talk about my show being a pile of randomness. Twitter is a complete pile of randomness and I was like 'hey I got like ten Twitter followers' and now I have twenty and then I have thirty and I'm like this is really awesome but I cannot keep up and they like 'hey you need to pin this' and re-tweet that and 'pin this' and 'move this' and 'like this' and 'comment on this' and I'm like 'don't you guys have jobs'. I don't know how this works man and then it's like 'oh he set up a YouTube channel' and I'm like - Are you frigging kidding me? Set up a Youtube channel? Where does it end up? I'm like, I have a hard enough time getting one episode out a month and some of these guys are doing like three episodes a week and my mind is blown and my hat's off to you folks because that's a hell of a lot of work and that's a lot of time and that's a lot of dedication just to the promotion aspect, not counting, just sitting down and making the actual recordings happen. So for me, that's the biggest challenge is the keeping up with what happens after the episode is done.
Alexander Laurin is the Podcaster’s Coach, and the Author of the upcoming “Book of Podcasting”, due January 2018. He hosts the meta-podcast “The Podcaster’s Life”. He focuses his Podcast and Coaching practice on the lives of fellow Podcasters. He is the world’s first authentic Podcaster’s Coach, a Certified Podcaster’s & Professional Life Coach with a membership to the International Coaches Federation. Alexander is a proponent of the effectiveness of podcasting as a tool for business & career growth, happiness, meaning, and fulfillment.
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