Podcast Plus: Mark Kamish Chat

This week’s episode of Talking Audiobooks features a chat I had with audiobook narrator Mark Kamish.
This episode is a good illustration of how I sometimes end up picking my guests. I’ve said before that I tend to give priority to those individuals who reach out to me and ask if they can be on the podcast. Them reaching out to me lets me know that they would be excited and enthusiastic guests and that’s most important.
But I do ask people to come on the show and Mark was someone that I asked. How did it come about that I asked Mark? Keep reading to find out.

It really started out in the late summer/early fall of last year. I exchanged comments with Mark in the Audiobook Addicts group on Facebook. So when I saw a couple of books that he had narrated in Audiobook Boom I reached out to him via twitter and asked about them. In the process of doing that and trying to get review copies, I saw this on his twitter biography.

Audiobook Narrator • Audie Nominee • Recovering Criminal Defense Lawyer • Would you believe I talk for a living?

The words “recovering criminal defense lawyer” got my attention right away. I felt like there might be an interesting story to tell and I decided to ask Mark to be on the show. That’s a big thing for me when I am looking for my own guests. I want to find interesting stories to tell and that is doubly true if they haven’t been told on a hundred podcasts already. But even if they have been told frequently, I do make an effort to get something out of my guests that they didn’t tell the previous hundred times.
The more I researched Mark which involved spending some time on his website, the more certain I was that he had a story to tell. I saw information about his law career but also about his time in the military and the corporate sector. All of which we talk about during our interview.

Research doesn’t tell me everything about a guest, however. I did not know that Mark was a Minnesota Vikings fan until we were in the middle of the interview. This is significant for a couple of reasons.

  1. My dad was a Minnesota Vikings fan
  2. I love making fun of Vikings fans

So when Mark mentioned being a Vikings fan, I really couldn’t resist taking a few shots at them. Mark took it in stride and even chuckled a couple of times. But what that ended up doing is turning our interview in to a conversation.
I have talked before about the difference between an interview and a conversation. I have also talked before about that moment when an interview becomes a conversation and how much I enjoy that aspect of doing the show. I feel like in this episode, we shifted from interview to conversation around the time I started teasing Mark about the Vikings.
Some might not think it a good idea to start teasing my guests about their football allegiances because that can be serious business. But I had a feeling by that point that Mark wouldn’t take too much offense as long as I was good natured about it. Besides, the only way to not get teased about your football allegiance at some point is to not have an allegiance in the first place. It happens to us all.

As much as I enjoy talking to audiobook professionals about their work, one of my favorite things to do as of late is to go off topic. I like doing this because I never quite know where it is going to end up. Usually, I wait until the end and ask them about something they’re interested in outside of work. But as of late, I have gone from on to off topic with my guests in the middle of our chats. Not only does that facilitate a more conversational tone but I also think it helps my guests to relax a bit and helps my audience to see them as something more than an audiobook narrator or some other professional.
I’ll be saying more about this in a couple of weeks time.

Mark is super nice and friendly and I really enjoyed talking to him. I could probably sit and talk with him for hours. It continues to amaze me how nice everyone that I’ve met through this podcast has been and how eager they have been to do the show. Not only does it make the task of finding guests that much easier and far less stressful for me but I think it makes the show better.
As I have said before, I love every interview I have recorded for the show. I do sincerely believe that they are all entertaining and informative. The law of averages would suggest that such a thing is not possible but I have to remind myself that the law of averages does have some limits to it. For example, the law of averages doesn’t account for the fact that all of my guests have been enthusiastic and are used to speaking into a microphone. It also doesn’t take in to account my ability, whatever it may be, to construct an entertaining conversation and let it go where ever it needs to go to make an interesting show.