A few days ago I was sitting in the courtyard at my school in between classes when I got on the phone for an interview. It was my fifth interview that week and, as much as I really love getting to know podcast creators, I was a little tired and just wondering how I was going to stay awake during my next three-hour class in a freezer of a lecture hall. Of course, it helps that my professor looks a little like Santa Clause and sometimes people ask entertaining questions, but a class from 6:30-9:30 at night can only be so appealing.
That’s what was spinning around my head when I called Chris Chavez and Cody Wagner, but I wasn’t distracted for long. See, the way Chris and Cody feed off of each other, the excitement they have for their podcast, and the format they’ve come up with for the show chased away all my pre-class blues. See, Chris is a believer, Cody isn’t, and together they make the Believer/Skeptic Podcast (BSP), the podcast where two idiots debate weird phenomena.
Cody helped fill in the details. “We both have a fascination with things that are paranormal, which encompasses a lot. That’s something that a lot of people don’t know. People think paranormal and think ‘ghosts,’ but paranormal is basically anything unexplained,” he said. “It could be ghosts, it could be Bigfoot, it could be aliens, it could be anything like that. We just discuss it very lightly, it’s more for entertainment.”
Pretty basic so far, right? But once Cody explained the twist I wanted to know everything. “Chris is very spiritual, whereas I’m very skeptical when it comes to this stuff,” Cody said. “So after sharing stories and talking about the subject, we move into what we call believer/skeptic, which is where Chris talks about why he, or people, believe and I basically debunk it and say why we don’t.”
Chris has been listening to podcasts for a few years and really loves the medium. Chris thought that he may be able to make one himself and started to tell Cody (a friend he had made in his Victorian singing group) that they ought to do it. Of course, Cody had never listened to podcasts and, though he was supportive, did not think that they would actually ever make a show. Then all of a sudden, they had waded through all of their ideas, narrowed down their focus, and started recording.
Of course, starting anything has its rough patches. “For me personally,” says Cody, “editing is such an important part of our podcast. We try to keep the episodes at 48 minutes… But because I like to talk, I will plead guilty to that, we’ve had some that have run an hour and a half long. For Cody, editing the episodes and working on marketing are the hardest parts of making the show. In a way, Chris agrees: “Growing our audience has been difficult because we can tell everybody and out of, say, twenty people, we’ll get two to listen.”
But, after a year of making the show, Chris and Cody were a lot faster to answer what they love about the podcast than what was difficult. “Doing the research is actually fun for me,” says Chris. “Even though I’ve always been interested in these subjects, doing the deep dive and finding all these different aspects that I had not thought of before or these stories people have has been the most interesting thing to me.”
Of course, because the two are so different, Cody had a different favorite aspect of the show: “My favorite part is actually recording. I like being silly and making it entertaining, in addition to making it educational. And once we start recording, we just start riffing off each other and we just have a really good time talking about the subject. So once we hit record, I just feel like I’m in my element.”
It’s no urban legend that Chris and Cody love making Believer/ Skeptic Podcast, and it won’t take a yeti hunt to find out what they have coming up. “I think this year we have done a lot of different things. In this first year we have learned a lot. We changed our name, we changed our logo, we changed our music, our format has stayed the same, but even our sound has gotten better. So, in making all of those minor changes, we are hoping to cater to a larger audience.”
Chris’ answer fed well into Cody’s, who is hoping that their fan-base will grow to the point that the duo will be able to make a live show sometime in the future. With such a broad subject for the show and all sorts of ideas for new episodes, there is no reason to think that building that kind of fan base is only a myth.
But, if you do love a good myth or anything that hasn’t been explained, Believer Skeptic Podcast is the show for you!
Chasing Pods is a Podchaser blog series dedicated to letting our readers know about podcasts they may not have heard of or provide a sneak peek into the making of their favorite podcast. We talk to podcast creators about their journey into podcasting, the creation of their shows, the ups and downs of the work, and what they’re looking forward to for their podcast
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