Our new host for The Bazzness - Jane Froiland - took a few moments to answer some questions for Playlist. Check out her responses below and then head over to anchor.fm/bazzness and check out episode 1 of our second season. New episodes drop every Monday!
What made you want to revive The Bazzness?
I loved the idea of The Bazzness when I first heard of it. Sam is not only a great artist but he is a great artist supporter. I loved how I got to listen to people in our community talk about what we do and how he gave them a platform to be celebrated. It was like being able to sit in on a great conversation, which is what I hope I can recreate!
What do you think people will enjoy about this new season? No spoilers, but is there anything new we can expect?
Something that I wanted to focus on this season was the breadth of all the different types of performing artists there are in our community. This season, in addition to some legendary local stage actors, I also talked to a performance artist, a burlesque artist, a clown, a stand up, and a drag queen just to give a few examples!
I work primarily as a stage actor for scripted work, so it was especially exciting for me to talk to people that performed in different genres. I’m really excited to see some of the guests I’ve had perform in their respective genres, and I hope that other people will be too.
What did you think about the process of making the podcast?
This was my first venture into the podcast world, and I love it! It is so great to have such a great support system, Erin and Damon at MN Playlist who handle so many logistics and were great to bounce ideas off of, our amazing sound engineer Brian Lenz who is so great to have in the room, offering great insight and encouragement, and, of course, Sam Landman. Sam was a huge cheerleader and supporter of me the entire time.
I feel like a big part of art making and collaboration is being brave enough to ask. Hosting this podcast was my brave ask and I am endlessly grateful that those I asked said “yes” to me.
What sort of research did you do for your interviews?
The research aspect of this project was super fun; I felt like a private investigator at times. The first thing I did was listen to what I deemed to be good interviewers. I am always impressed by interviewers who have done their work so well that the interviewee says something like, “Wow, you know about that?” (Shout out to “Hot Ones” on YouTube for that bit of interviewer inspiration!) I also don’t like when interviewers only ask really surface level, easy questions. I wanted to show any guest I had on that I respected them enough to learn a lot about them. I listened to season 1 of The Bazzness quite a bit for inspiration as well.
As for research on my guests, I would say each guest took a few hours of research. I would do a deep dive into a google search--I would watch whatever I could find of recorded performances or interviews and I would even look at their Instagram and social media. Then I would write down whatever fascinated me and formulate questions or topics.
One of the many things I learned from Sam was to reach out to my guests ahead of time and let them know the kinds of questions I wanted to ask, and make sure they were comfortable with that, as well as give them a chance to think/reflect instead of being out on the spot.
How does it feel to be the new host? What were you hoping to get out of hosting?
I am humbled to be trusted with it, and I am absolutely thrilled to be doing it. Part of why I wanted to do it in the first place was that I had been feeling creatively stagnant. I was feeling those feelings that probably aren’t true—you know the ones: you start to feel that everyone around you has it figured out, that they have no problems being creative, or fearlessly making art, or knowing what they are going to do next. Frankly, I was hoping to be inspired, and the good news is that I was, and I am, over and over again. The well of inspiring artists in this community is so, so deep, and it was so good for me to be able to sit across the table from some of them and pick their brains.
Did you learn about anything you didn't expect to?
Yes! Both tangible and intangible. Tangibly I’ve learned so much about different performing art forms--I’ve even been inspired to try some of them!
Intangibly I’ve learned more about human connection. I had great, soul filling interviews with people I had never met and may never encounter again where I felt an inexplicable, mutual deep understanding of the other person. Isn’t that crazy and wonderful?!
Whether or not I’m any good as a podcast host is subjective. I had interviews where I thought I was killing it, and interviews where I felt like I was a fraud and in over my head. But what I didn’t know would happen was how ALIVE I would feel doing it. That is a takeaway I didn’t expect, and I am incredibly grateful for this experience. Thank you so much everyone who participated in these interviews – I hope you had just as good a time making these as I did!