Featured Post: Interview Sistah’s En Review
Today is a very special day here at Mother/Gamer/Writer because we have a new featured post that I am sure you don’t want to miss. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a TV, video game, book loving, podcasting junkie. Rather than being addicted to music and iTunes, I am constantly filling my 16 GB iPod with podcasts (nutty, I know). And through the wonderfully mischievous world of True Blood, I stumbled upon two of the best podcasting women in the business. They are the talented women behind a series of podcasts called: Sistah’s En Review or you might know them as Sistah Speak (catchy title huh?).
These ladies are pros at telling-it-like-it-is and drawing in an audience with their ability to keep it real, funny, and entertaining. It’s a fist full of hilarity (and I have told them that several times on Twitter. Swoon). I can recall several days at my office where I have laughed so loudly my co-workers were giving me the stinky sideways glance. You know the one that says “nothing is that funny’ and “I wonder what she’s up to”. Ha, if only they knew. Lucky for me I had the pleasure of picking the brains of Sistah J and Sistah K. As usual, the two do not disappoint!
Enjoy the interview!
1. Welcome ladies! First of all, for those who have not heard of either of you and what you do (which is a crime), please ladies introduce yourselves.
Sistah K – I currently live in Dallas and work a regular 9 to 5 job for The Man! I love love love watching television and have since I was a little girl. I explain this better on our website but I am an only child of a single parent and TV was my friend growing up. Now that I am an adult, I still love it…maybe a little too much. I should probably be out exercising somewhere.
Sistah J – We podcast because we like some of the same shows and there was – at the time we started – a lack of black voices on the internet. We view reality shows and even dramatic shows through a different lens than the majority in this country and we felt it was important for the majority to hear the voices of two sane, intelligent, and professional black women.
Me – Well said.
2. How did you get started in the world of podcasting? How long have you been podcasting?
Sistah K – I love talking about my favorite TV shows almost as much as I love watching them. Sistah J and I were talking one day about several shows that lacked a voice for people of color and our podcast idea was born. This was the summer of 2007 so there were not a lot of podcasts available at that time. At least not that I knew about. None of them were female or produced by people of color. We decided to start our own podcast called Sistahs En Review…the “En” stands for Entertainment. A few years later we decided to break up our podcast into individual shows so we now have Sistah Speak: True Blood, Sistah Speak: Big Brother, Sistah Speak: Fringe, and Sistah Speak: Reality. We just retired Sistah Speak: V because we can no longer stand to watch. LOL! We wanted it to be a podcast where we can talk about what we really think about how women and people of color are portrayed on television. We do not dwell on those topics but it is a subject that comes up continually in the podcast.
Sistah J – We actually started in 2006 and have a vast archive of podcasts (Sistah K maintains this archive). We are fans of podcasts and were shocked that none of the podcasters about television shows were black, and these podcasters quite often missed the issues that most black folks pick up in these shows – be they drama series or reality TV.
3. How do you decide which shows are worthy of needing a podcast?
Sistah K – We decide what shows to podcast about based on what we like and discuss the most. Sometimes we do not agree but it would not be Sistah Speak if one of us did not participate so we have to come to a consensus.
Sistah J – As all of our Sistah Speak: Reality listeners know, we don’t always listen to the same reality shows, but the ones we both watch religiously we podcast about. The same with dramatic TV series – we decide that we have a lot to say about a show, so we decide to discuss it in a podcast.
4. Which shows are you favorites? I am partial to True Blood and Fringe myself but I listen to all of your podcasts because they are entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny.
Sistah J – My favorite podcast is Fringe – I love all the characters and have enjoyed watching them grow and change over the seasons. I’m a lover of most science fiction (I say most because I don’t include that fantasy crap) I read science fiction novels but not fantasy ala The Hobbit, Harry Potter, etc. – and I love a good sci-fi story or mystery. My second favorite show on TV is Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Spartacus: Gods of the Arena – either one. Those men are fine!!!!! But I also like the intrigue, plotting, and situations they find themselves. Although I truly enjoy True Blood, it is third or fourth on my list of favorite TV viewing. Third for me is Timothy Olyphant in “Justified.” Love that show!
Me – Well I have seen Spartacus once, and you are right, those men are fine! I think it might become a regular stream on my Netflix account. And I think I just fainted from True Blood being so low on your list, tear. What about you Sistah K?
Sistah K – It is hard to decide on a favorite podcast because I feel like they are all my babies but if I have to it would be Sistah Speak: True Blood, Sistah Speak: Big Brother and Sistah Speak: Fringe. I love each one for entirely different reasons…
Sistah Speak: Fringe is great because I just love talking about the show. There are so many ways each scene can be interpreted based on what universe we are in and the character’s motivation. I enjoy any show with a great female lead and Olivia is one of the best. Great show!
Sistah Speak: Big Brother is another favorite because I love reality television. I have for many years and this show has a little bit of everything in it. It’s a guilty pleasure that I do not feel guilty admitting I like. I love discussing strategies and trying to figure out what I would do in that situation. I would go absolutely bat-shit crazy on that show like the houseguests do every season but it is fun to judge them when they do it.
Sistah Speak: True Blood is definitely a favorite because I love the HBO show so much. The fans are very passionate which makes doing the podcast so much fun. We get tons of feedback during that podcast which is my favorite part of podcasting…the ability to talk with so many different people about topics I enjoy. I love that!
5. When I listen to the shows, I notice that you all have many similarities and differences. Do those differences ever hinder the show? Have you ever gone a few days without talking to each other because of something that was said on the show?
Sistah J – Never! (I hope Sistah K says the same thing…LOL). We don’t hold grudges or get angry about what another person says because we’re giving our opinions. My opinion is not the same as anyone else – although Sistah K and I agree on many things. I do roll my eyes at her a lot, though… does that count as something funny? LOL
Sistah K –I have never gotten angry with Sistah J for what she has said in the podcast but I know that we have been irritated with each other at times prior to and while recording. LOL! I think it comes across in the podcast in those little moments where we get snippy with each other. Sometimes, I do make facial expressions and roll my eyes at her but at the end of the day we respect each other’s opinions. We are passionate, strong-minded women who do not mind speaking up about what we feel. How can you not love and respect that?
6. What are your favorite and/or funniest podcasting moments?
Sistah K – The funniest moments to me have been the ones where we have been silly for no reason or in response to something we or a listener says. For instance, go back and listen to our Sistah Speak: True Blood episode 25 at about an hour and twenty-five minutes in. It is our reaction to a listener email and it is hilarious. I still laugh hysterically when I listen to it.
Sistah J – The only funny thing I can think of is when we get the giggles and can’t stop laughing. That happens sometimes for good reason, and sometimes for no reason at all. Also, sometimes I forget and refer to Sistah K by her name (we use aliases, of course) and then we crack up and she has to edit that out.
Me: You ladies are so in sync you practically have the same answers. Signs of a great team.
7. Have you had any weird or unusual fans or fan requests?
Sistah J – None that I am aware of, but Sistah K handles our email and voicemail.
Me – Okay, I know Sistah K has one.
Sistah K – I can remember being asked to stop cussing. I realize that swearing offends some people but I would not be true to myself if I did not cuss on the podcast because I do in real life. We have a podcast geared towards adults and hopefully no one turns us off if they hear swearing on the show. That said, our listeners are wonderful and have great ideas. We discuss every piece of feedback so we can try to improve the show without compromising on who we are.
On the other hand, we have gotten countless emails about how our discussions have helped people cope with something they were going through in their lives. One listener wrote in to say that they felt uncomfortable listening to our lively debates at first because it reminded them of the verbal arguments and abuse they had witnessed as a child. After listening to several shows, they realized there could be healthy, heated discussions that are rooted in love and respect for the other person. It was definitely a heartwarming email to receive and I felt honored they shared that with us and allowed us to share it with other listeners.
8. Do you have any tips for someone who is interested in starting a podcast? Resources they should use, or things they should not do?
Sistah J – I don’t because, again, Sistah K is the technical person. We use my iPhone to record, but she does all the uploading, downloading, or whatever she does. LOL
Me – Okay LOL, Sistah K? Oh that rhymed. LOL
Sistah K – If you are interested in starting a podcast there are a lot of resources out there to help you learn the technical aspects. There are a lot more now than when we first started. I do all of the technical aspects of posting our podcast and it is time consuming. There are sites that will host your podcast for you but we did not go that route.
My recommendation would be to make sure you love the subject you are discussing because that will see you through the lulls and find someone you can podcast with to keep it fun and to help share in the work. I would also decide on a recording and posting schedule and stick to it unless a natural disaster strikes. Sistah J and I have gotten off schedule so many times in the past few years that it is now commonplace. It bothers me when we allow that to happen because it is not fair to the listeners that have been faithful to us over the years. I have been amazed at how accepting they are when this occurs. They always come back to us and for that I am grateful because I love what we are doing.
Me – Oh I am one of the faithful and I wear my badge proudly! But I don’t think I could ever stop listening to you ladies (cough—Fringe—cough).
9. Moving right along, where can people find you on the Net?
We are on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/sistahspeakpodcast
Twitter at: _SistahJ and _SistahK.
Our website is www.sistahsenreview.com and you can link to our various podcast pages from there.
10. And where can listeners find your shows?
Sistah K – You can find us on iTunes or by going to our website and clicking on our various podcast pages for our feed address. You can plug that link into any podcast player and listen to your heart’s content.
11. Is there anyone you would like to shout out?
Sistah J – I’m sending a shout-out to all our listeners – we luv y’all – and all our Twitter and Facebook fans! Thanks for sticking with us, even though we get kinda lax sometimes (like we’re way behind in our Fringe podcast).
Sistah K – I have to shout out to all of the people who listen and support our podcasts. I do not think I can ever express the joy I receive from reading every email, Facebook post and tweet. It’s been an amazing experience for me and I hope to continue for many more years.
12. One last question that I have been dying to know the answer to since it was mentioned on one of your recent podcasts. What’s up with Sistah J and Whoopie?
Sistah K – Do you know that she still has not told me? I hope she answers this so I can find out along with everyone else.
Sistah J – Okay, I can sum this up in one sentence: Whoopie is a koolaide drinking Obama supporter and I AM NOT! Enuf said! LOL
Me – Oh Lord! The views expressed above are not those of Mother/Gamer/Writer. Just throwing that out there, hehe.
Thank you Sistah’s! It’s always a joy talking to both of you and I hope that your listeners and my readers have enjoyed getting to know you better. We will definitely have to do this again. Maybe discuss the season finale of Fringe (hint, hint).
And everyone please feel free to leave comments for the Sistah’s!