Student Podcast Produced at Digital Union

Have you listened to a podcast this month? This week? According to Edison Research nearly 21% of Americans listen to podcasts and nearly half of those listeners are under age 34. But podcasts aren’t just consumed by young, tech savvy individuals; they are also created by them.

Clarissa Smith produces her podcast ‘The Final Stretch with Clarissa F’ in the Digital Union Audio Studio and we had a chance to speak with her about her experience producing a podcast, using the space and her advice for others looking to start their own shows. Check out our interview with Clarissa below:

Why did you start your podcast?

I actually didn’t start my podcast at Ohio State, I started it back while I was recovering from a liver transplant in Los Angeles. While I was recovering, I found that I needed people to talk to, especially since I was so far from my support system in Ohio. I decided on a podcast because I like to talk and producing one is less expensive and complicated than video. I’m very passionate about people and this gave me the opportunity to have the interactions I needed to thrive while I recovered. I found it to be a rewarding process and decided to continue the podcast when I returned to Ohio.

What do you talk about?

When the podcast started, it was primarily about my journey growing up, working to graduate college and move out of my hometown. As the podcast has progressed it’s become an opportunity for me to reflect with others that I interview about issues that affect my life. I am really passionate about the black American experience and have enjoyed using this podcast to delve deep into the ways in which I and others in my community experience the world. My episodes are mostly interview based, while some are just a reflection of the quirks of my week. I use these conversations to expand on ideas or themes that I’ve been thinking about. It is a wide range but that’s what makes it interesting.

Why do you use the Denney Hall audio studio?

I use the Denney Hall audio studio to record my episodes and interviews. When I first started the podcast, I used voice memos on my phone to record audio. As it gained traction and I started to interview more people I wanted a space that was more professional and produced better quality audio. It is really nice to have a central location where I can meet with interviewees and get the assistance I need if I run into issues while recording. The mics are fantastic and it’s nice to come into a space where everything is all set and ready to go. It’s a great resource and has helped to make my podcast more professional.

What advice would you give to students who want to produce a podcast?

My biggest piece of advice is to recognize that it won’t be perfect and that that’s okay. Producing a podcast, especially if you’re new to the medium, comes with some learning and it is a much better experience when you accept that growth as a part of the process. If your podcast involves interviews I recommend having research and questions put together twenty-four hours before the interview. This gives you time to send them to your interviewee and become familiar with them yourself. That being said, sometimes an interview will go in a different direction than you had intended. If you like that new direction, go with it! If not, don’t be afraid to stick to your guns and take control of what you want the work to look like. Making my own podcast has been great because I have so much creative freedom, but it can also be a means in which I deal with rejection and learn to be firm in what I believe in. If someone isn’t comfortable with a conversation, I have to decide if the content or relationship is more important. That’s been the hardest, especially if it comes to personal relationships and a topic.  

Ultimately for me, having this podcast has allowed me to document my exploration of the world and work with a lot of fantastic people. It’s been a great journey and I’m looking forward to how it will progress in the future.


Are you interested in producing a podcast or recording in the Digital Union Audio studio? Learn more about the Prior and Denney spaces and reserve your recording time.

Listen to  The Final Stretch with Clarissa F on Soundcloud.

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