We have another wonderful sponsor to introduce to you today – Stacey’s Pop Culture Parlour. Read on to find to find out about Stacey and her podcasts!
1.What’s the name of your site, and what is it about? Where did the name come from?
Stacey’s Pop Culture Parlour is the home of both of my podcasts. The Parlour is a monthly show in which myself and a guest (either a co-host or an interviewee) chat about and review all sorts of things; best served with tea and cake! The show skews mostly towards TV shows, movies and comics, but there’s also some music, theatre, video game and wrestling talk in there. The other show, Podcast in a Half Shell, is a bi-monthly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles love-fest that I do with my good buddy Duncan. The shows are basically a huge excuse for me to ramble with friends about all the things I love (and a few things I don’t :P) and to share that passion with other like-minded individuals.
The name for The Parlour was actually a right pain in the bum to come up with. I’d been wanting to do a new podcast for a few months, but just couldn’t find a name that was both a) good and b) not already taken! In the end I threw the question out to my Twitter pals, and my mate Clarky suggested Stacey’s Pop Culture Parlour. I rather fell in love with it and got to work setting myself up right away!
My podcasting life actually goes all the way back to 2007. At the time, I was working a particularly boring job in data entry, and to keep myself entertained (and awake) at my desk, I used to devour podcasts like there was no tomorrow. My then-boyfriend-now-husband pointed me in the direction of Comic Geek Speak, and their extensive forums. It was in listening to that show and browsing their forums on my lunch break that I discovered a UK show called Geek Syndicate. I got quite heavily involved in their forum and was invited onto their show as Listener of the Month for Episode 41. We had an absolutely cracking time when recording, and the listeners seemed to really enjoy it too. I immediately got bitten by the podcast bug because, although I suffer from social anxieties, I found it a really easy way to talk to new people and share in their passion for the things I love too. Luckily for me, another lovely forum member named Iz was the following months’ Listener of the Month, and members of the Geek Syndicate forum started calling for the pair of us to start up a show together. The female perspective in the comics podcast community was pretty much unrepresented at the time, and so we felt we had something quite unique to offer.
The encouragement was wonderful and after meeting each other at Birmingham Comic Convention in October 2007 and basically becoming instant buddies, we decided to take the plunge, and thus Comic Racks was born! Unfortunately after about 65 episodes, we had to put Comic Racks to bed. It was a really sad time for me because I really love podcasting and was sure I couldn’t start a new show without Iz. However, when visiting Thought Bubble Comic Convention in November 2011, a few friends suggested I take up the microphone again as they were missing Comic Racks. It was bamboozling but lovely to me that people cared so much about the show, and so I set to work trying to come up with a new podcasting venture. I eventually settled on the format for The Parlour, choosing to have a different guest on each month to provide new/different opinions, and got cracking!
Currently, I have a huge love for Hayley Atwell; she seems to be super-famous and yet still entirely grounded. Also, she seems absolutely bonkers and completely herself, which is a fantastic thing to see. To be honest though, basically any woman that stands up for what she believes in gets my respect.
4. Who is your biggest supporter(s) and cheerleader(s) in your life?
My Mom, my husband and my good friend Jenni have been absolute rocks to me, in all aspects of my life. I couldn’t ask for a better foundation when it comes to support. My Mom (aka Mama Frosty) has been by my side my entire life, cheering me on and making me feel so loved. I remember back at primary school, I used to be a part of the Book Quiz Team. The Book Quiz was an annual event run in Birmingham in which each primary school nominated a team of 4 students that would read 6 books provided by the Book Quiz judges. The teams would then participate in what was essentially a massive book-nerd tournament, until there was just one winner. I will honestly never forget Mama Frosty’s face when our school won it for the first time with me on the team. She was so proud of me. Basically everything I do in my life is to keep that pride going! My husband, Rich, and my friend Jenni have been just as important to me, even though they came to me later in life. Rich was really the reason I fully embraced my nerdiness; prior to meeting him I was too scared to get into comics because comic shops were so daunting to me, and he introduced me to a huge amount of films, books and podcasts that helped make me the nerd I am today. He’s also saved my podcasting bacon a ton of times; whilst I love talking and sharing my passion, I’m not very good at the technical side of things, and so many a laptop error or recording glitch has been fixed by Rich! Jenni has basically been my podcasting angel. She’s done so much to help the show in terms of designing booklets, promoting links and shows, and putting up with my madness at comic
5. What would you say to an iggle who wanted to start a podcast?
I would say go for it! That being said, you really need to plan beforehand just what your show is going to be. The one problem with podcasting is that it is such an open medium that if you don’t get it right, you’ll get lost in the sea of existing podcasts out there. I’ll admit I’m not very good at promoting my shows, in a typically British self-deprecating fashion, and it’s something I’m really working on. But I’m quite lucky in that I’m not really in it for the numbers or fame. I mean sure, it’s great to know that people listen and care, and the more the merrier, but really I just love hanging about in my pyjamas and talking about stuff I love.
Oh, and get yourself a good microphone. It doesn’t have to be super flashy and expensive, but sometimes the sound quality can be the thing that turns people off what is otherwise a really good show.
Without a doubt, the community aspect. I’ve met (both in person and via the internet) some absolutely wonderful people through the podcast that have become very important in my life. Being able to chat with them either on the show itself or via comments on the shows on Twitter and Facebook is so great. It sounds entirely cliché, but doing the show really has changed my life entirely for the better. I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of my favourite comic creators (Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jamie Smart, Leigh Gallagher to name three) and even did a bonus episode with voice acting legend Rob Paulsen (I was a bit of a fangirl mess during that one!) My social circle has expanded to the point that I’m often stunned by it. I’ve always been a bit of a loner (at school I was the kid everyone bullied because I was smart, a bit of a teacher’s pet, short, tubby and bespectacled!) so it’s fantastic to be surrounded by so many lovely, supportive, hilarious people.
7. What’s your favorite podcast episode you have done?
In July 2014, I did a 24 hour live broadcast of The Parlour to raise money for Operation Smile. It was an entirely daunting project to begin with; checking out the broadcast software, spending months contacting and arranging guests, organising promoting the event… It was hard work. It turned out to be entirely worth all the stress and effort though! It was such a fantastic experience. Jenni joined me over at my house (to co-cost and cover me during toilet trips and the like) and we had a ton of special guests on, including Jamal Igle, Ash Paulsen, Paul Cornell, Adam Hughes, some of the guys from Moose Kids Comics, and loads more. It was some of the most fun I’ve had whilst podcasting, and the challenge of setting it up and then editing it into smaller episodes after the event was so fulfilling. Especially when we surpassed our donation target! In the end, we raised just over £1500 for charity, and I couldn’t be happier with the whole event. It was tough to get through though as we hit a bit of a tiredness wall at around 2am (after having started podcasting at 9am the previous day) and my bowels took days to recover from all the Skittles and energy drinks, but we powered forward and had some really great conversations with some really amazing people. It was such a success that, despite all the hard bits, I shall be doing it all over again next year for Alzheimer’s Society.
8. What are your current top 5 Geek Loves?
Oof, I have to pick just 5?!… Well, my current obsession is with Rick and Morty. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a show that’s so clever whilst also appealing to my more childish nature with some of the jokes. It’s such an imaginative show, the sci fi concepts are flippin’ fantastic, and the voice work in it is just wonderful. It’s genuinely one of the funniest shows on right now.
You can probably tell from the fact that I do a TMNT podcast that I’m a bit of a Turtles fan, and I don’t think there’s been a better time to be one! The current Nickelodeon cartoon is just brilliant, and IDW have been knocking it out of the park with their run on the comics. I even quite enjoyed last year’s movie (OK, so the Turtles were decidedly adult-looking and the plot made zero sense, but it was crazy ninja fun, right?!)
If you’re not reading L’il Depressed Boy by Struble and Grace then you are missing out on one of the best comics out right now. I think it’s on a little hiatus at the moment, but that just gives you a great opportunity to get caught up! I think it’s a testament to how well written the book is that it’s a genre I’m not usually a fan of (it’s very slice-of-lifey, and I usually go to comics for the bombastic escapism), but LDB is smart, funny, emotional, and just beautiful to look at.
Like almost everyone else on the planet, I adore Adventure Time. I love that the show is perfectly balanced in terms of its appeal to children and adults. It’s brightly coloured and fun, but has so much to offer outside of being a fun children’s cartoon. It doesn’t shy away from tackling some pretty big stuff, but never loses itself in the process.
Hmm, just one more…. Argh, so hard! I guess I shall go with Agent Carter. I adore Hayley Atwell’s portrayal of Peggy. She’s smart, funny, well put together and has just the right level of sass! I think the idea of a ‘Strong Female Character’ has made writers believe that to be strong a women has to be physically strong and a bit gobby, and also have basically no flaws. Peggy Carter is how I see a ‘Strong Female Character’; well-rounded, aware of her faults and does make mistakes, however she learns, uses her situation to her advantage and is basically just brilliant. I’m very much looking forward to more of Carter and her exploits, as the first series was pretty much perfect.
The writing! I used to write all the time (my teenage years’ diaries are just embarrassing…) and had a ton of penpals when I was younger, but we all rather drifted apart when we grew up (I’m still working on growing up, by the way). Before joining IGGPPC, I would only handwrite to make small notes for preparing podcasts; even my job has gone entirely electronic! When writing my first Iggle letter, it rekindled my love for writing by hand. I think I went a bit bananas with it actually, and apologise to my Iggle buddy for the insanely long initial letter I sent! I was quite surprised to realise just how much I miss just sitting down and writing something, whether it’s a letter, a short story, a diary entry, whatever. I’m excited to keep this up and learn more about my new friend in the process!
If you happen to check out the show and like what you hear, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@StaceysParlour) or join the Stacey’s Pop Culture Parlour Facebook group! All are welcome, though the cake may be somewhat of a lie…