We live in a world of brand new things. From technology to entertainment there is constantly something coming to the front of the zeitgeist that we’ve never seen before, which means we are always asking “what is that?” And sometimes, no one can quite give us an answer. When Podchaser received an email about Meow Wolf beginning a podcast, I immediately asked that question and even half an hour of internet scanning left me feeling like I had only scratched the surface. But, as Meow Wolf rapidly grows and moves toward becoming a common name in entertainment, they knew they would need more clarity around what they are and what they are working to become, so they started a podcast called Too Sick and I got to talk to the hosts, Sarah Bradley, Theodore Schafer, and Warren Langford, all about it.
As soon as I got on the phone with them I asked what exactly Meow Wolf is. “Yeah, that’s actually one of our big, nebulous questions that we ask on our podcast because it’s so hard to define,” Sarah answered. “Nuts and bolts, Meow Wolf is an arts and entertainment company that’s producing large-scale installations in a variety of cities across the country.” Meow Wolf creates massive experiential art installations that often contain incredible narratives or mysteries and are entirely other-worldly. After doubling in size in only a year, Meow Wolf wanted to keep people, both in and out of the company, informed on what’s happening and decided the way to do that is making a podcast.
Why? Warren, the head of Meow Wolf’s podcasting department and the expert brought in to help with the show, answered that question. The first reason is that the idea is really cool and entirely brand new and documenting its growth and development was a major goal of Too Sick. But they also wanted to acknowledge the tension that kind of growth could cause. “It’s part startup and it’s coming from artist collective roots,” Warren said. “And there is that question of ‘how do we stay true to ourselves while becoming a corporation?” This question is at the center of Too Sick as original members of Meow Wolf seek to understand the new reality of a growing business and new members are brought into a company like no other.
So how are they answering the question? Conversations, of course. Over the course of thirty minutes, the three hosts have a conversational interview with a Meow Wolf employee from a different department of the company. Sarah explained that these conversations are an exciting chance to dive into the various artistic abilities of the incredible Meow Wolf employees saying that “there are a lot of people with really fantastic skills and talents… and all of their artistic skills are informing what they do.” When I asked if the interviews focus more on work or personal life, Theodore explained that “the intention is to be kind of half and half but not be too strict about leading the guest in any direction,” because the social and work circles often bleed together when working at Meow Wolf and allowing the interviewee to lead helps them get to better answers as they discuss the identity and work of Meow Wolf.
Now, you may be wondering why you should listen. Is this just a podcast for people who work in Meow Wolf? I was wondering the same thing, but Warren assured me there’s good reason for you to give it a try. He compared Too Sick to Start Up in that it is tracking a company doing what has never been done before. “[Meow Wolf] has really lofty goals of changing the artistic economy, and creating a new standard for entertainment and studio systems… and we’re offering a peek behind that curtain.” Sarah added that “we’re talking about subjects that a lot of people working in creative fields can relate to like balancing your personal work and your job, the awkward relationship between art and money, and work-life-balance” and these universal topics are relatable for everyone.”
So, if you want to understand what will be the next big thing, watch an entirely new corner of the artistic and entertainment world form, or just hear from other people who are making work and life fit together, Too Sick just released and is perfect for you! Give it a listen and be sure to leave a rating and review to let Sarah, Theodore, and Warren know what you think!