As we navigate our days in this time of pandemic, podcasts are a way in which our culturally starved souls can be stimulated, challenged and entertained. They are also proving to be a platform that artists can use to express themselves. Anyone can produce a podcast. It can be anything you want it to be. Use it as an audio ‘soap box’ or a platform to educate and inform. A quick search of available podcasts in iTunes will demonstrate the ocean of content available, Peter Eyers writes.
What is a podcast?
Basically, it’s an audio file you can upload to the internet that can then be accessed by consumers worldwide. The beauty of podcasts is that they can be consumed at your leisure - travelling to work, at the gym, long car trips, doing the ironing - you decide when and how you want to listen. And the majority of them can be accessed free. Think of it as streaming for your ears.
I was inspired to create my podcast Stages to record the oral histories of many of the artists I’ve had the pleasure to work with or whose work I have admired. There seemed to be a dearth of arts content in podcasting in Australia, so podcasting afforded an opportunity to make my own contribution.
I talk with anyone whose role requires them to connect with an audience. Included in this are conversations with arts educators. I have been able to feature practitioners like Robin Pascoe who is currently the President of the International Drama/Theatre and Education Association, Dr John Saunders who is Education Manager at The Sydney Theatre Company and Jane Simmons, the Student Drama Officer at The NSW Department of Education and Training. Content has extended to acting and singing teachers from our leading drama schools and training institutions such as NIDA, WAAPA, VCA and ACA.
In working with students who are invested in a drama education and who might be keen to pursue a career in the arts, I am mindful of showing them that there are many pathways to achieving this dream. My conversations with diverse practitioners, whether they be designers, dancers, directors or actors, provides a great lesson in what can be accomplished with resilience, perseverance and through unexpected routes.
Try it – students love it
Creating a podcast audio file is proving to be an inspired way that teachers are conjuring new forms of assessment; and students love it. It’s a perfect way to harness writing and oral skills.