I’ve noticed a common thread among the various (and varied) podcasts I’ve featured here – often they start as a way for friends to stay in touch. It was that way for the first podcast I featured, Worst.Comic.Podcast.EVER!, and it’s true for another podcast I recently found – The Chalkboard Podcast. Meet Micah and Eric – two friends talking to interesting people about “creating dope stuff,” in a podcast based out of Kansas City.
What is the name of your podcast?
The Chalkboard Podcast.
How did you come up with the name for your show?
We were roommates up on the 3rd floor of a grimy Midtown apartment building. It was a total dump: no A/C, creaky wooden floors, and eventually, one of their neighbors got bedbugs, which eventually forced all tenants to move out of the 6-plex unit. The apartment was garbage, but it was a space filled with great conversations and plenty of laughs.
One of the memories that stands out most from our stint as bunkmates was a small framed chalkboard Micah’s mom bought us to “spruce up the place.” I guess she didn’t think Tarantino movie posters and old boxes of Miller High Life counted as decor. We quickly made use of the chalkboard by writing down and arguing about power rankings: lists like best area breakfast joints, favorite Springsteen songs, and the most inspirational sports movies.
Who are the hosts?
Eric Milner – Co-Creator and Host
Micah Conkling – Co-Creator and Host
How would you describe your podcast?
An interview-centric culture podcast. Two best friends from Kansas City talking to interesting people about the cool stuff they’re doing and letting them tell their story. Our audience right now is mostly Kansas City locals.
When was the podcast launched?
We published our first episode in June 2016.
What made you want to launch the podcast?
We had talked for years about doing it. We loved listening to podcasts and would have weekly phone calls about all the pop culture stuff we loved. It just sort of made sense that we would record it. It was a way for us to hang out every week but also work on something creative we both wanted to do.
How often do you publish shows?
What do you discuss in your shows?
Our tagline is “Conversations from Kansas City.” While sometimes we chat about Friday Night Lights or Black Panther or the latest Jason Isbell record, we focus on interviewing local folks who are doing or creating dope stuff.
How long are your shows?
Typically between 30 and 45 minutes.
What equipment and software do you use to produce your show?
Neither of us have a background in recording. At first we relied heavily on our friend Ian Shea to help us get it off the ground. He gave us a grocery list of equipment to get and we started there:
- 4 channel mixer
- Apogee Duet Audio Interface
What do you love about podcasting?
We love having a reason to hang out every week, having a project to work on and the challenges it presents. We’re also just interested in people and their stories.
I think what makes us unique is our focus on interviewing local people but in a way that isn’t pandering to a local audience. We fought hard against becoming a “Kansas City podcast”. We didn’t want to ask every guest about what BBQ they loved or their favorite Boulevard beer (although we love Boulevard beer, please sponsor us) or anything like that. We’ve focused on bringing in incredible people doing or making cool things, but who are also from our home town.
Tell us about a particularly memorable moment in your show.
One moment we always look back on fondly is when we interviewed Joel Johnson, who created the card game Mixtape. We were nervous leading up to the interview because we hadn’t really interviewed someone we didn’t know before. When Joel came in he was just the best, and we ended up hanging out for like 3 hours and it made for a really great interview. When that episode released it just felt like we were really making what we wanted.
What podcasts do you enjoy listening to?
- The Watch. It’s part of The Ringer podcast network and features two best friends, Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald, talking about pop culture.
- Judge John Hodgman. An internet judge making rulings on disputes between friends, family members and significant others. It is incredibly funny and at times pretty heartwarming. Speaking of fake judges… Eric also lost a bet to Micah (while at the hospital for the birth of Micah’s first child) so he has to follow Judge Judy on Twitter for the rest of his life.
What future plans lay ahead for your show?
Better interviews, more guests and engaging video content. Covering events around town and telling the stories of the people who make Kansas City the best place to live.
Where can someone find more information about your podcast?
- Website: chalkboardpodcast.com
- Facebook: The Chalkboard Podcast
- Twitter: @chalkpod
- Instagram: @chalkboardpodcast
- You can support us on Patreon.
What’s something you love about Kansas City?
For us it always has been and God-willing, always will be home. But also the BBQ, beer and music scene.
Anything else you’d like to share?
This is a passion project for the two of us. We care about it a lot and are working hard to keep growing. Micah wishes you’d ask him to defend Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice because he really enjoyed it.
Hungry for more local podcast goodness?
Check out my list of Kansas City podcasts!