Today, I chat with the show's hosts, Tim Drake and Jordan Eyre, about their podcast and the book idea it was based upon, the recent changes to the show and some other topics along the way. (All pictures courtesy of MHOTM.)
Jordan Eyre & Tim Drake
Gavin: Hey, guys. First thing, tell us a little bit about yourselves.
Tim: Well, I have soft warm eyes, I enjoy to cuddle, and I like long walks on the beach.
Jordan: I grew up in Orem, the oldest of five kids. I am a black belt in Taekwondo, I play the guitar and the piano, I love to climb rocks and mountains, and have traveled around the country as a public speaker. I’m a bit of a serial entrepreneur, having created several businesses, ranging from music recording to book publishing, and now trying my hand at comedy. It’s been interesting, learning how to monetize my ADHD.
Tim: Seriously, I just turned 29. I love entertainment of all types. I've always been a big movie buff and music fan. I've been married five years and have two cats. Yep, I'm a cat guy.
Gavin: What got both of you interested in comedy, and who were some early influences on you?
Tim: I was interested in comedy from a young age. My dad introduced me to the likes of The Smothers Brothers, Bill Cosby and SCTV. I loved their material! I also remember watching In Living Color as a kid. I probably wasn't supposed to be watching it, but that didn't stop me. I was probably the only 5 year old with a Fire Marshall Bill impression. One year for Christmas, my parents bought me a little handheld TV. I would sit up at night under my covers watching The Tonight Show, Conan and Letterman. I would takes notes on their monologues and then go to school the next day and repeat them for my friends for laughs. I knew my friends weren't allowed to watch them, so they thought I was hilarious.
Jordan: I wasn’t so much the class clown, more like the class comedian. I always loved being in front of people and making them laugh. Even when the situation is serious, I can’t help but find the humor in it. I grew up watching shows like Seinfeld and The Simpsons. I listened to Weird Al. I read joke books. As I got older and really started paying attention to shows, those old shows like Sesame Street and other PBS programs, with a critical eye, I found that kid shows are brilliantly written, keeping kids entertained, but throwing in enough humor to keep the parents from blowing their brains out. I guess the comedy of it all had been there all along, just subliminally.
Gavin: How did you each get involved with the local comedy scene?
Tim: Both of us really got involved with the local comedy scene from going to shows at Wiseguys. I had been to a few events years ago at Fat, Dumb, and Happy's (RIP) and Comedy Sportz, but I never really got involved. Over the last year and a half, I've made it a priority to get out to shows at Wiseguys and talk to the local talent after the shows. I think that's the key to success in any venture. You just have to put yourself into the scene and make friends if you want to be a part of it.
Jordan: I had never considered going into comedy as a career or as a serious hobby until I was invited by my friend Eric Boothe to go up at open mic. My first set was at King Dave and Cranky Chuckies in Provo, and it was amazing! Crafting a set, and finding my own voice, was difficult and super-fun, and I’ve never looked back. Also, we have met several of the big names in the Salt Lake comedy scene through the interviews we have done for our podcast, My House On The Moon. We have gotten to know them on quite a different level than if we just shared a stage, and have even made friends, believe it or not!
Gavin: When did the two of you first meet and become friends?
Tim: We met just a little over eight years ago while we were dating two best friends. After we broke both girls’ hearts, we stayed close friends. We worked together many times, in various positions and different stores. Because we were always together, we got to talking about some of our dreams and aspirations, which ranged from forming a band, which we did, to marginal success, to writing a television show pilot, which we also did; it’s called Retail, and it’s hilarious.
Gavin: Jordan, when did the idea come about to start writing a book, and where did the title come from?
Jordan: In high school, I took a creative writing class, where I learned about satire. I fell in love with the idea of making people laugh through my writing, and to my surprise, I was pretty good at it. I won some contests, and even had my essays printed in my school’s newspaper. I didn’t think I could really do anything with it, though, until I read Michael Ian Black’s book, My Custom Van: And 50 Other Mind-Blowing Essays That Will Blow Your Mind All Over Your Face. Black’s book showed me that it was possible and gave me the confidence to try my hand at writing a collection and, hey, maybe even put them together into a book. I created a blog and just started writing. I originally named it “Thoughtful Essays by Jord,” but I wanted a catchier name. I was brainstorming, and in my local public library I came across a book called The Mouse On The Moon, which stuck in my mind, and I mutated it into the title we have today, My House On The Moon.
Gavin: What made you decide to bring Tim in for the audio component of it, and Tim, what was it like for you to take part in that?
Jordan: Having worked together on creative projects in the past, Tim and I knew that our comedic sensibilities complemented each other well. Tim had some ideas for a sitcom and some feature-length-film screenplays that he needed some help with, and I wanted to start a podcast, like some of my favorite shows: WTF With Marc Maron, Mike & Tom Eat Snacks, You Made It Weird, among others. We sort of invited each other aboard and embarked on several journeys at once.
Tim: I was excited about it! When Jordan first started his blog, I was always reading and commenting on the posts. I loved it! I was really funny, but I never dreamed I would be a part of it. I don't think either of us really knew what it would become.
Gavin: How did the idea come about to start up a podcast?
Jordan: In the summer of 2011, while training for a triathlon, I got really bored of listening to music while I worked out. I tried listening audiobooks, which kept my attention a lot better. Soon after, I discovered the MATES podcast, with Michael Ian Black and Tom Cavanagh. On that show, they pick a snack, talk about it -- and tell a ton of other random stories -- and eat it on the show. I found it to be extremely entertaining, and the way that they were so quick on their feet with the improvisational quality of the show was appealing to me. I thought to myself, “I could do that. Who could I do that with? Tim!” I called Tim up, and within a couple of weeks, we were sitting in front of the microphones, goofing off.
Tim: I knew we could do this and really have fun with it, so we just decided to go with it, and the rest is history.
Gavin: What was it like gathering up the equipment and putting together a podcast setup?
Tim: Gathering the equipment wasn't hard at all. A few years ago, both of us had decided to start recording bands and started buying studio gear. When we decided to start the podcast, we both already had the gear to record it. It wouldn't work at first, so we just used the onboard mic on my Macbook Pro. It worked perfectly so we kept doing it. The only piece of equipment we have purchased since starting was our H4N. We knew we needed to be more portable and this was our solution. We bought it on our way to record a show at the Salt Lake Comedy Festival. It was such an easy way to record, we've just stuck with it ever since.
Gavin: What was it like figuring out the format of the show and what you'd be talking about?
Jordan: When we first sat down, we had no idea what we were doing. We recorded our first episode several times, gradually scripting our “improv,” because we were so stilted. That episode came out pretty well, in the end after a ton of editing, but we still took it down after we figured out what the show was really about. We are saving that episode for maybe our 50th or 100th show on iTunes. Stay tuned. Our new first episode was a spoken-word component to the book that went right along with a chapter I wrote called “Dress for Success,” where we discussed what it would take to dress for success if you wanted to be a member of a 90’s boyband. You know, piercings, pencil-thin beards, and magenta-dyed eyebrows. From there, we decided that we would be a “How To” forum, so the world would know how to be hipster or how to be thug.
Gavin: What was the audience reaction to the first few episodes, and what was it like for you building an audience as you went?
Tim: We had a great reaction from close friends. I would get random texts from people quoting something we had said in the show. It was really cool that people were listening and enjoying the show.
Jordan: People liked it, but it wasn’t the overnight success we hoped it would be. It wasn’t until we broadened our networks on Twitter, on Facebook, posting almost every day on the website, and really getting out there that our audience grew. Now that we have become a little more popular locally and nationally, our audience is steadily growing.
Tim: Yeah, we were doing all we could to spread the word about our show through Facebook, Twitter, Stumbleupon -- really, anybody we could tell, we were telling. We kept watching our Web audience and podcast audience grow. It was so humbling at the same time to see that people around the world were listening to us. At one point, I received an e-mail from a close friend who was going through cancer treatments, telling me how our show and website had really helped them through some hard times. I hadn't thought our show could reach people therapeutically, but it did. It's been an incredibly humbling experience to watch our audience grow and get feedback from people who love the show.
Jordan: I’m still convinced that our voices are echoing of the walls of an empty auditorium.
Gavin: What made you decide to bring on guests, and how do you go about choosing who comes on?
Jordan: We had intended to bring guests on to talk about our little “how to’s,” but we never could get around to actually booking someone. Then, one day, we had our first guest on the show to discuss a new theme song for us. Right away, we had Richie T, from X96, booked for the Comedy Festival episode we did. After months of trying, we finally booked the very funny Jay Whitaker, as well, and then we were off and running. With word of mouth and a little credibility, people started lining up to be guests. We sometimes have to reach for guests, when booking during a busy time, but it has been relatively steady. We have had guests, like all three hosts of X96’s Radio From Hell and Keith Stubbs, owner of Wiseguys comedy club.
Gavin: The show has been running almost a year now. What's your take on the way it's progressed so far and the impact you've had on local podcasting?
Tim: It's incredible how it has progressed and continues to progress. Hopefully, it will keep climbing and we will keep giving our audience what they love. I don't know how much we've really impacted local podcasting. I hope that we've done some good to it. We love all of the local podcasts that we continue to get to know. I don't think we've impacted local podcasting the way Chris Holifield has with I Am Salt Lake, but I think we've at least got people paying attention to podcasting a little more.
Jordan: After being on the “air” for a year, I’d say we finally have a handle on how to do the show, and how to be comfortable in front of a mic. There are a lot of details that don’t get broadcast, like the editing of the show, running the website, and finding a site to host the podcast from. After all this time, I think I can say that we are podcasting professionals, and run a pretty swell show.
Gavin: Word is that one of you is moving to California. What brought on that change, and how will it work running the show from this point forward?
Tim: It's true! I'm currently living in Burbank. I was accepted to the Los Angeles Film School and decided to pursue my film career in the heart of Hollywood. We will still do the show, doing individual interviews with different comedians and entertainers. We've also found a way to record using Google chat and our mics to keep the shows going.
Gavin: The book this show was based on is finally out. What was it like finalizing that, and how has it been doing so far?
Tim: It's crazy to think that we are published authors. Jordan took it upon himself to pick the book apart with a fine-tooth comb in editing. He worked so hard on editing it to be perfect. I'm really proud of what he did with it. After talking about this possibility for over a year, it's insane to see it happen. We've received great feedback on the book and hope that people keep checking it out.
Jordan: Yeah, I was our editor and designer for the book. I also run the recording equipment and edit the show, too. We are talking 25 hours per week for the last year of work on the show. That was all because I didn’t trust anyone to do anything, not even Tim! I finally realized the value of having help, especially since Tim was begging to help the whole time! It has gotten a little easier these days. The book is doing well. We are on Kindle right now, and by the first part of September, we will have soft and hardcover editions out on Amazon and in select stores. Later this fall, we will have an audio edition on Audible, which we are extremely excited for. You can find it on our website, and download your free excerpt.
Gavin: What can we expect from both of you and the show over the rest of the year?
Jordan: Rest on our laurels, for me at least. I don’t know what Tim is planning.
Tim: I think we will see a lot of growth in the show over the next year, as well as a lot of great upcoming guests. Aside from the show, I will be working on a few scripts for a feature-length screenplay, as well as a new short film. I am hoping to have this short into production this fall and released by the spring/summer of 2014. I've also been working on launching my music podcast, In the Studio, where I will be interviewing bands and getting their backstory. I have a few other little projects I'm working on as well that I really can't say at the moment, but they're going to be rad!
Gavin: Aside from the obvious, is there anything you'd like to promote or plug?
Jordan: I have started a new podcast called The Adventure Squad Pod. Catch it on iTunes, or go to AdventureSquadPod.com. Of course, keep listening to My House on the Moon, and like us on Facebook for updates and silly videos from Tim and me. We will be doing a free Kindle edition one day soon, to be announced on Twitter. Stay tuned!
Tim: And buy the book! Listen to the podcast! We’re on Twitter and Facebook. We have so many projects that we are working on that we don't want people to miss anything. We are so grateful for our fans. Thank you to everybody who listens to us and reads our website and book!
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