Honestly, I just hope that listening to Even The Rich helps people escape this crazy world for a little while. We are just two friends talking about rich families and dynasties in a light-hearted way and we want listeners to feel like they are hanging out with us.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Brooke Siffrinn & Aricia Skidmore-Williams, Hosts of Wondery’s “Even the Rich”
Brooke Siffrinn: Brooke is a comedian, improviser, and alumna of the iO West Improv School where she performed on two house teams. Her love comedy started at an early age when her parents taught her the art of sarcasm and quick wit. Podcasting is her favorite thing to do because she loves chatting the day away with Aricia, and of course, not having to do her makeup for work.
Aricia Skidmore-Williams: Aricia is a Los Angeles-based comedian. She performs improve on multiple teams, including one of the house teams at the Upright Citizens Brigade. She hails from Chicago suburb by way of Maryland suburb, so some could say her comedy spans the country. Her comedy career officially started when she signed up for her first improv class in Baltimore, and unofficially started when her brother was born and she realized making people laugh was the only way she could steal attention away from a baby.
Thank you so much for joining us Aricia. Can you tell us a bit of your “personal backstory? What is your background and what eventually brought you comedy and podcasting?
I’ve always been a fan of comedy and found early on that making people laugh is one of the greatest feelings in the world. I started improv at the Baltimore Improv Group and started taking classes at the Upright Citizens Brigade within days of moving out to LA. I went through the core program and eventually got put on a house team last spring and then again last fall. Podcasting has always been a peripheral interest of mine, a way to perform comedy without too much of the trappings, if you will, so it’s been great getting to marry the two.
Can you share a story about the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started podcasting?
Our associate producer emailed us saying that Even the Rich was #23 in the charts and #6 in Society and Culture…and that it was ahead of Conan’s AND Oprah’s podcasts. I mean, beating out titans like Conan and Oprah for a week? Doesn’t get much cooler than that!
Can you share a story about the biggest or funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaways you learned from that?
Haha, probably referring to Diana as a commoner. People got really upset about that, so I’d say the lesson is to not under-embellish the status of royal family members. That, and to avoid reading reviews.
How long have you been podcasting and how many shows have you aired?
Unofficially, I’ve been podcasting for a total of a year, and officially it’s been almost 6 months. Brooke and I had an amateur short-lived podcast about The Bachelor (we did it for a season), and we started recording Even the Rich at the end of January.
What are the main takeaways, lessons, or messages that you want your listeners to walk away with after listening to your show?
I want our listeners to walk away feeling like they spent the past hour hanging with their good friends. Our show is meant to be light and so while I definitely hope they learn a little more than what’s shown in the headlines, I hope most of all they had fun and felt like they were there with us.
In your opinion what makes your podcast binge-listenable? What do you think makes your podcast unique from the others in your category? What do you think is special about you as a host, your guests, or your content?
I think people listen for the way we deliver the content. We’re the first dual-hosted storytelling show at Wondery and since we came into this as friends, our relationship showcases well in each episode. Plus, we have fun which I think is obvious to listeners and makes them want more.
Doing something consistently is not easy. Podcasting every work-day, or even every week can be monotonous. What would you recommend to others about how to maintain discipline and consistency? What would you recommend to others about how to avoid burnout?
Oh yeah, consistency is key but also so challenging! We’re very fortunate in that we have Wondery producing Even the Rich’s episodes, so a lot of the heavy lifting isn’t on us which certainly makes things easier. I think making sure you’re doing a show about something you’re passionate about is the most important thing.
Is there someone in the podcasting world who you think is a great model for how to run a really fantastic podcast?
I’m a big fan of Justin Long’s show Life is Short and I think it’s a fantastic show all-around.
What are the ingredients that make that podcast so successful? If you could break that down into a blueprint, what would that blueprint look like?
I love it because he has pretty open conversations with his guests where it seems like nothing is off limits. I love when people connect to each other — I truly believe everyone in the world has something in common with someone else — and I enjoy hearing him open his guests up, so to speak. Plus, the stories and memories he shares are always a lot of fun and make me feel like I know him, so I think feeling a connection to a host/show is important in its success.
Can you share some insight from your experience about the best ways to:
- 1) book great guests
- 2) increase listeners
- 3) produce it in a professional way
- 4) encourage engagement
- 5) the best way to monetize it?
Brooke and I are very fortunate to have the team at Wondery working hard to check all of these boxes and make Even the Rich the best it can be.
For someone looking to start their own podcast, which equipment would you recommend that they start with?
I don’t know much about podcasting equipment, though in our pandemic-times, I’ve had to learn a little! I think it’s most important to do some research based on what kind of show you’re looking to launch. I also don’t think you need to get the most expensive equipment to create a quality show.
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be?
I think there are plenty of movements already in existence that don’t need to be inspired, but need to be bought into. I feel very passionately about the Black Lives Matter movement and know that once this becomes a country that actually fully lives and believes in it, it will do incalculable good for every person in our society.
How can our readers follow you online?
I’m on Instagram and Twitter — both under the handle @ariciaskiddubs