Briefing for guests
So, I’ve managed to convince you to guest on my podcast?
Wondering what you’ve got yourself in for?
Want to find out more before our interview?
On this page I’ve set out the before, during and after stages of our interview so that there are no surprises.
If after reading this you have any outstanding questions or niggling thoughts do please drop me a line – I want this to be a fun experience for you, and the best way to do this is by making sure you’re comfortable and confident.
Though every interview is different, the best way to get a flavour for the show is by listening to previous episodes. I’m particularly on form here and here.
What is Lost Spaces?
Lost Spaces is a conversation based podcast where every week I speak to a different person about a lost queer space from their past, what they got up to there, and how it helped to shape the person they’ve become (ok, ok. Sometimes I get a little intrusive and ask about who they snogged there).
From small-town bars to big city superclubs, the 80s up until now (well, now-ish), every episode visits a different venue and examines why these places were important, how they helped shape us, and what we lose when we lose them.
Before the interview…
- If you haven’t already, please let me know which venue you’d like to talk about – the easiest way to do so is by letting me know when you schedule a time to chat (I will do some research into the venue, looking for pictures, finding out what now stands in its place)
- Please identify the time period most relevant to talk about (You may have gone to the venue every weekend for ten years, but I would like to encourage you to focus on a period of particular significance to you, as it helps to focus the conversation)
- If you have any photos of yourself in the venue please share these (these would be really useful for me as a jumping off point for questions)
- The interview is as much about you and your life as it is about the venue. I will potentially be asking personal questions about a number of subjects – your coming out/your family situation/relationships/work. Please think in advance about these areas and what you are and aren’t prepared to talk about
During the interview…
- Always remember – It’s not meant to be formal and uptight. It’s meant to be a casual chat!
- I will be editing the audio after we’ve recorded our interview. If you lose your spot or forget your next point, don’t be afraid to sit in silence until you regain your composure and continue. Likewise, if you get halfway through a sentence and realise that you’d like to start again this is totally fine.
- Whilst it’s a good idea to think in advance about some of the topics that we’ll be covering don’t over rehearse or read off of a script. I want the podcast to sound natural. It’s okay to have a few bullet points to work off of (and I will!), but people that listen to podcasts don’t want to listen to an audiobook. They’re listening to the dynamic conversations and discussions that happen in real time.
If we are undertaking the interview online there are a few steps to make sure you sound great:
- Make sure you are in a quiet room. I know this is really obvious, but it makes a huge difference! A curtain flapping in the wind or a dripping tap can be very distracting for listeners!
- The built-in mic on computers work fine, but for a better sound a USB mic can work wonders. If you have one please use this
- To avoid feedback please wear headphones for the interview
Every interview is different, and I am always more than happy to be swept away in chatting about random non-related things, but some of the questions that might come up include:
- Around what time did you start to go to this venue? How old were you?
- How often did you go? Days of the week you most commonly went
- What would a general night there entail? What would your routine be beforehand? Who would you be going out with?
- How important was fashion to you? What would you typically wear?
- What was going on for you at the time? (Work/study, living situation, relationships…)
- What songs stick in your mind from that period?
- What would you say to the person you were at that time?
After the interview…
I will edit the conversation before publishing it (usually taking out ‘ums’, ‘ahs’, and any bits of conversation that doesn’t serve the episode), and usually won’t be in touch again until the conversation is published.
Let me know when we chat if you’d like me to give you more notice about when I intend to share the episode with the world.
General troubleshooting tips
I use Riverside.fm to record my interviews – below is a short checklist they put together for a seamless recording experience:
1. Make sure all participants tune in from a computer with a Chrome browser that’s up-to-date.
2. Check internet stability. Ethernet cable is preferred over WiFi.
3. Use an external mic, if possible.
4. Use headphones/earphones to prevent echo. If someone doesn’t have them, consider turning on echo cancellation for that person. Echo cancellation degrades the audio quality so for the highest quality recording we recommend wearing headphones.
5. Close all applications that don’t need to be open during the recording. This prevents CPU overload. Important: Please all programs that try to use your mic/camera.
6. If you can’t connect the mic/camera, make sure that you have given access to Chrome to use the mic/camera. The same holds for screen sharing.