The Truth About My Podcast

01 Jan 2019

In 2013 I created a podcast entitled “Are You Famous, Yet?” while drunk on a couch with a friend who was ditching engineering and becoming an actor.

Where do I even begin with this 5 year endeavor and its predicable but, none the less, sad ending? I should start by saying that I’ve always been a bit annoyed when people don’t call failures what they are. Calling something a failure doesn’t mean it didn’t have value. So let’s start with this: My podcast “Are You Famous, Yet?” has failed and is ending. There’s a last episode that goes into details and emotions which I will link to when it drops.

Decent podcasts can get between 5-50 thousand downloads per episode in the first 90 days. Some do better and the ones that do worse really don’t talk about it much and that is why I am releasing these cringe-worthy numbers. Our numbers have aways been deeply horrible when compared to the industry standards. The weird thing is, less than 1% of our guests asked about our downloads. If they did, I could put them off with some sort of hand waving generalities that were true in as far as anything concrete was mentioned (it was not). One of the reasons we stopped is that it kinda felt like lying to keep having people on to promote shows/performance/plays/etc. Our audience was mostly listeners the guest brought in via social medial or other promotions. We spent money promoting on Facebook but the $2-10 I would spend on a given episode didn’t ever seem to gain us much. In one of our episodes a social media professional estimated that a small brand should be spending $100 a month to promote itself on social media. Perhaps I could get a side gig to support my podcast?

One last thing before we get to the hard facts, some episodes were downloaded a lot b/c they are old or the great algorithm in the cloud deemed it so. Our most downloaded episode may be our worst: “Interruptions - Episode 3.” Please do not feel judged if you were a guest on an episode with a smaller number of downloads.

Title Downloads
Interruptions - Episode 3 455
The Q Brothers’ Burgeoning Empire - Episode 125 423
Heart is Everyone’s Favorite - Episode 9 375
The Good in the Bad - Episode 16 351
Musicals, Death, Sports, and Food - Episode 19 339
Father and Son - Episode 18 335
Dan Taube All Together and Remastered - Episode 12 335
The Almost Tweet - Episode 2 333
Naked and Fearless with Janie Martinez - Episode 17 332
The Aim is Fame - Episode 5 310
That Guy… Who was in that Thing - Episode 4 310
We’re Holding Out for a Hero: Captain Ambivalent - Episode 33 291
New Year’s Eve Reflections and Plans - Episode 8 291
And So It Begins - Episode 1 289
Nilsa’s Story - Episode 7 281
Wisps of Ash - Episode 20 281
Uncle Fun: The Man Behind the Store - Episode 101 269
The Adventurous Life for Everybody - Episode 24 267
Hip Hop Grandma - Episode 21 251
Puccini. Casey Puccini - Episode 22 248
Perpetuum Bruce Lee - Episode 6 248
Andrea Prestinario:The Intersection of Preparation and Opportunity - Episode 11 232
Tales of Awesome Heaviness Part 2: The Relativity of Failure - Episode 15 229
The Let Down - Episode 23 224
Gin Fizz and her Burlesque Commentary - Episode 114 212
The Casual Clawing of Erik Tylkowski - Episode 46 198
Steve Presser: Merchant of Happiness - Episode 66 181
Following Different Avenues:- Episode 13 173
Rachel Finan is Stripper Jesus & Corey Eno Ruffin is Trouble - Episode 170 170
Sad Times w/ Laura and Jake - Episode 59 168
A Home To Fail or Jason Paul Smith’s Unexpected Gift To Artists- Episode 58 167
“Gary” is “Gay” With An “R” In It: The Wisdom of David Boyle - Episode 44 166
Daniel Knox Learned Piano in Public - Episode 190 163
Aurin Squire Just May Be The One - Episode 79 156
The Oral Traditions of Roberta Miles- Episode 77 153
Seth Bisen-Hersh: Theater Raconteur (part 1) - Episode 119 152
The Courtesan and the Cabin Boy - Episode 208 146
RUFY 207 - “Avenge Our Blood” w/ David Finney and Bec Willett 145
The Benefactor’s identical twin! - Episode 55 144
Katherine Biskupic and Leah Frires are “Pure and Weary” - Episode 112 141
Douglas Post is All Aspects of Theater - Episode 113 139
Freckles and Camp Grounded - Episode 175 138
Joe Foust and Laura Love Door County - Episode 135 138
Christine Lin Has Engineered A Career in Performance- Episode 56 137
Changes with Jake and Laura - Episode 206 137
Jeremy Wechsler’s Outward Going Charisma (Part 1 of 2) - Episode 96 137
John Weagly: Dr. Goat: Goat Doctor - Episode 116 135
Tana Karo and the Acrobatica Infiniti - Episode 128 133
Dana Lynn Formby and her American Beauty Shop - Episode 131 131
Happy Irish Cows Make The Best Damn Butter with Amanda and Tim Winters- Episode 34 130
Psychologist, Playwright, and Troublemaker: Paul Pasulka - Episode 129 129
Ken Davenport Produces Art into Existence - Episode 123 127
Rori Nogee Will Get Back to Broadway - Episode 121 126
Farah Williams Loves All of Chicago - Episode 199 126
Thom Britton Imagines Sideshow Spalding Grey - Episode 126 125
Mosque Alert and More with Fouad Teymour - Episode 124 125
Hugs During Wartime - Episode 61 125
Tim Mooney is Moliere Than Thou - Episode 82 124
The Magical Realism of Emmi Hilger - Episode 50 121
Going Balls To The Wall With Valerie Hager - Episode 54 121
Bryn Packard, Nilsa Reyna, and 360 Video - Episode 138 117
Tim Barnes Makes With the Smart Funny - Episode 172 117
Tony Mendoza Has Wanted to Make Movies Since “La Bamba” - Episode 204 116
John Abbott, Buddy King, Holly McGuire & Connie Foster - Episode 186 116
John Battles: “Let’s All Go To Uncle Fun” - Episode 196 116
David “The Rock” Nelson - Episode 37 115
Barbara Lhota and the Intergalactic Dog - Episode 130 115
Melanie Adcock, Bryan Sperry, and the “House of the Apocalypse” - Episode 188 115
Josh and Caroline Beadle and 3 Brothers Theater - Episode 163 114
Maria Vorhis, Sexpert Franzen, Clowns, etc. - Episode 179 114
Amy Sumpter: Comic and Beastie Boys Tribute - Episode 115 113
Marc Frigo is a Platinum Mixer - Episode 137 112
Ron Keaton Made His Own Churchill - Episode 117 112
David Fink: OUTspoken - Episode 145 112
Rev. David Holcombe Returns with More Films - Episode 162 112
Madelyn Sergel Knows the Many Sides of Production - Episode 160 112
Jason Paul Smith In A Beulah Box - Episode 100 112
Klea Blackhurst on Yodeling Muchachas, Ethel Merman, and playing Shelby Cross - Episode 27 111
The Cast of Three Cat’s Holiday Radio Show - Episode 209 111
Things Get Wild with Storyteller Erin Diamond - Episode 65 110
Amy Crider is About to Re-read All of Proust - Episode 205 110
Seth Bisen-Hersh Part The Two - Episode 120 109
Bryn Packard and Nilsa Reyna Unionize - Episode 139 109
The Dirty Details of Producing “Punk Grandpa” - Episode 118 109
Playtime - Episode 10 108
Jerrod Bogard and the Reality of Writing - Episode 49 108
Laura does Postmates, Baltimore, and Door County - Episode 185 108
Jacqui Rêgo and the cast of Baby Hubris - Episode 182 108
EntrePoNegroes, Blaculas And The Mind of Reginald Edmund - Episode 92 108
The Lost Bar Mitzvah Speech of Blake Levinson - Episode 68 108
Michael Jones: Young American does Good - Episode 127 107
Owen Hickle-Edwards and Andrew Root from Runcible Theatre - Episode 181 107
Amy Crider Can Not Die on Saturday Morning TV - Episode 70 106
Barbara J. Wells: Playwright, librettist, lyricist, screenwriter, novelist, producer - Episode 169 106
Bernardo Cubria’s Tales Of The Tex-Mex Mafia- Episode 52 106
Tales of Awesome Heaviness Part 1- Episode 14 164
Caryl Pohlmann is the ‘Punk’ Grandma - Episode 168 106
Elise Mayfield is a Master Chef and Actor - Episode 72 105
Laura Interviews Jake! Also: 2016 Art Retrospective - Episode 165 104
Jim Lasko and the Redmoon - Episode 143 104
Episode 36 103
Jonathan Pitts, 2 Festivals, and a Chimpanzee - Episode 150 103
I Do Everything Better Naked: A Talk With Kevin Urban - Episode 26 103
A Shapely And Beautiful Hostful - Episode 88 103
The Alien From The Planet Fun - Episode 84 103
Schoen Smith Does Theater/Film/Directing in New York/Chicago/L.A. - Episode 192 102
Ken Coughlin: Musician, Actor, Punk Grandpa - Episode 122 101
CJ3 Likes a Nice Catsy - Episode 76 101
Ele Matelan, Josh Zagoren, Foley, Horror, and Wildclaw - Episode 174 101
Sara Maslanka: Artistic Director of Chicago Danztheatre - Episode 183 101
Richard Henzel plays Ronald Reagan and Mandolin - Episode 166 101
The William Oliver Watkins Experience - Episode 25 101
Josh Wolff makes movies and Bryn makes plans - Episode 41 100
The Honey Brown Goddess - Episode 63 100
John Ritter: Sex Object w/ Eileen Tull - Episode 85 100
Shariba Rivers Has A Lot Going On - Episode 193 100
Mariah Karson’s Powerful Dad Joke - Episode 176 100
Talking Taboo, Los Improviachis, and Making “Shift” Up w/ Nelson Velazquez - Episode 178 100
Dolores Diaz, Wendy Schmidt, Lisa Scott, and Laura Scruggs Write a Holiday Show - Episode 210 100
Zoe Sjogerman, King Lear, and the Eleusis Collective - Episode 136 100
The Ms. Subways Mystery - Episode 86 99
Brittany Meyer: Fake TED Talks, Arm Wrestling, and Strip Joker - Episode 203 99
Bryn and Nilsa Leave the Show - Episode 111 98
Corky Siegel Plays Chamber and Symphonic Blues - Episode 159 98
The Parallel Universe Door-Slam Farce and Other Worlds of Leonard Franks - Episode 30 98
Dan Rybicky and 10 Years of Almost There - Episode 161 97
Don Hall Directs All the Events - Episode 158 97
Creative Jakub - Episode 87 97
Ironically Mortified with Jill Howe - Episode 74 97
Captain Ambivalent’s Ongoing Adventure - Episode 148 97
The Man Who Would Be Josh Force: Justin Shaffer - Episode 99 96
The Once and Future Performink w/ Abigail Trabue and Jason Epperson - Episode 144 96
Mariana Green Directed Davy Tomei as Punk Grandpa - Episode 98 95
Bryn, Nilsa, Laura, and Jake - Episode 157 95
Rachel Edwards Harvith - Episode 110 95
Late Nite Slam Futurist: Lisa Buscani - Episode 151 95
Bryn and Nilsa 200th Episode Spectacular! 94
Bureaucracy and Yoga - Episode 104 94
Meghan Beals. Artistic Director of Chicago Dramatists - Episode 109 93
Mitch O’Connell Draws Everything Sexy - Episode 167 93
Ada Cheng’s Change - Episode 198 93
Ronen Kohn and Time Crash - Episode 149 93
Greg Allen is in his Third Decade of Neo Futurism - Episode 141 93
Carolyn Hoerdemann was/is a Time Traveling Rockstar - Episode 133 92
Chris Jones: Chief Theater Critic of the Tribune - Episode 154 92
Black Bryn? White Warren? Warren Phynix Johnson - Episode 47 92
Jeremy Wechsler Is A Theater Revolutionary (Part 2 of 2) - Episode 97 91
Patricia and Kendra and Leela - Episode 90 91
Sean Masterson and the Theater of Magic - Episode 132 91
New Place and Stuff in Our Lives - Episode 197 91
Jamey and Susan Barnard - Episode 195 91
Anna Lucero & Mary Rose O’Connor: A Little Nod and a Big Middle Finger to Beckett - Episode 142 91
Melissa DuPrey and a New Intern - Episode 105 90
What has Laura Force Scruggs been doing this Year? - Episode 156 90
Man Interviews Cat - Episode 78 90
John Frigo and Sherri McGlothlin’s Artistic Life - Episode 40 90
Movement and Viewpoints and Silliness and Slugs: A Mildly Explicit Hostful- Episode 60 90
Lori Myers and Not In Our House - Episode 146 90
Rhonda Findley and David Gordin and Fun Rock’n and Pop City - Episode 164 89
David Zak, The Bailiwick, South Korea, Hammond, and Priscilla - Episode 171 89
Bob D’Haene Hasn’t Been To Bed, Yet- Episode 64 89
Andrew Seller: Laura’s Muse - Episode 89 89
Meredith Lyons Will Kick You In The Throat - Episode 28 89
Cheryl Coons: Story Catcher, Guild Representative, and Resident Playwright - Episode 134 88
Les Scruggs at Snake the Lake - Episode 191 88
“The Finder of the Lucky Devil” and Megan Mackie - Episode 187 88
Corson Barnard: Straight out of College - Episode 212 88
One Year Anniversary Hostfull - Episode 51 88
Aamira Martinez has not seen Blade Runner - Episode 35 88
Jay Nagle’s Ecologic and Epic Life - Episode 103 87
On the Importance of Fun - Episode 80 87
Santa is the Baum w/ Laura and Jake - Episode 202 87
Laura, Jake, 2017, and Beyond - Episode 211 86
The Heart of it All with David Holcombe - Episode 43 86
A Structured Conversation with Elizabeth Cambridge - Episode 194 86
Jacob Reyes Brings His Own Theater - Episode 201 85
An Oddly Down Bryn - Episode 57 85
Mrs. Scruggs’ Wild Ride and Ms. Reyna’s Magical Times - Episode 42 85
Leslie Scruggs and the wily accountant - Episode 39 85
It’s Jake’s Birthday - Episode 91 84
Tanner Melvin and the Elgin Fringe - Episode 152 84
New Beginnings - Episode 102 84
Bookings! Mischief! Distractions! - Episode 38 84
Leigh Barrett has Blade will Babe - Episode 140 84
July 13th, 2018 “Cabaret on the Lake” - Episode 227 84
I’m Hotter Than You Are - Episode 67 83
We found Lindsay Porter’s Lost Internet Presence - Episode 93 83
3 Texans Take New York w/ David Davila/Benjamin B. Wright - Episode 45 83
“Uncle Fun: You’re The One” Update - Episode 177 83
Dax Valdes Knows How To Hustle- Episode 62 83
Danger Circus at the Last Abbie Fest - Episode 147 83
Working Yes, Cash No - Episode 106 83
Megan Mackie and The Princess Peach Conspiracy - Episode 173 82
Short Update on our Last 5 or 6 Things - Episode 226 82
Felisha McNeal Chooses Dream Explosion - Episode 108 82
The Condition of Femme - Episode 217 82
Tonya, Nancy, Priscilla, and Jon Martinez - Episode 153 81
Erika Arneson Puts The Art In Barter - Episode 48 81
Mare Swallow’s Life Adaptation - Episode 155 80
The Devil and Anna Lee Anderson - Episode 83 80
Rick Olson, Stephanie Palko, and The Edge of Orion Theatre - Episode 189 80
Come To Play and Make Something Cool - Episode 81 78
Maureen Smith and Daniel Johanson of Scapi Magazine - Episode 228 78
Jake, Laura, Ladie M, Uncle Fun, and Stand Up Comedy - Episode 215 78
A Modicum of Modesty - Episode 94 77
Tim Ferro: Best Color Man in the Business - Episode 53 77
Baltimore Here We Come - Episode 229 77
A Lifetime of Music with Jon Spiegel and Some Storytelling - Episode 218 76
“Wicked, Immoral, Utterly Bad!” with Pete Blatchford - Episode 230 76
‘Do Not Submit’ to Karen Genelly - Episode 184 76
Ellyzabeth Adler and Danztheatre - Episode 180 76
Mistakes Were Made and Triumphs Were Wrought- Episode 75 75
Taking Care of Each Other and Ourselves - Episode 69 75
Finding Your Happiness With Geoff Barnes - Episode 32 74
Kelly Bolton as ‘Andy Drodgenous’ - Episode 107 74
The Price of Fame - Episode 95 74
Rosina and Ryan Snow, Jazz, Song, and the Law - Episode 216 74
Chris Kriz Designs Many Sounds for Many Theaters - Episode 31 73
Big Scary Fur Teeth, Love Rat and Vegetable Candy- Episode 73 72
The Flattening of the Pyramid- Episode 71 70
Amy Crider, Self Producing, Leda, and Metadata - Episode 213 69
Uncle Fun: You’re the One premiere Q&A&Performances - Episode 225 69
Drugs, Richard J. Miller, The Facts, and Society - Episode 214 67
June 8th Three Cat Cabaret on the Lake - Episode 224 67
A Hostful Episode - Episode 29 66
Thom Britton and Jonathan Pritchard Play with the Dead - Episode 231 65
Chels Harvey talks social media, podcasting, and writing - Episode 220 61
Uncle Fun Documentary is Done! - Episode 219 60
Daniela Thome’s Journey to “Not For Sale” - episode 233 60
Surreal Cupcake Comedian Martin Felshman - Episode 223 57
Lauren Sowa of Form & Pressure Films - Episode 235 55
Fairy 101 at the WasteShed w/ Laura Scruggs - Episode 222 54
David A. Holcombe and “Blacksite: The Musical!” - Episode 232 54
Laura’s New Documentary Subject - Episode 221 49
Cabaret on the Lake September 14th, 2018 - Episode 234 46

Notes: