Spilling The Tea In Room 413B

Sadie McDonald, Assistant Copy Editor, Captions Editor

Sophomore Sophie Henschel twirled back and forth in her navy swivel chair. She was discussing ways to record an introduction with sophomores Ally Talge and Celia Condon for their podcast. They were getting ready to film Viral: Episode 3 – TikTok. 

Henschel counted down from three on her fingers. When her pointer finger went down, the girls greeted their listeners with a “hey everyone” in unison. Condon followed by wishing them a happy Friday while Henschel welcomed them back to the podcast, and finished with Talge introducing the topic that their guests would soon be gushing about – TikTok.

“It’s weird to think that I have a podcast,” Condon said. “Or that I can even look myself up on Spotify and listen to my voice.” 

At the beginning of the year Henschel was talking with her brother, online editor Ben Henschel, about his podcast. The process of creating a podcast and idea of hosting intrigued her. She decided to make one of her own. Not too long after, Talge and Condon joined Henschel in hosting the podcast. Rather than only being print and online based, podcasts gave them the chance to reach their audience in a new way.

Instead of spending hours perfecting two 600 word stories they’d have to write for their online week, the girls executed their assignments during their quick two hour long seminar. 

“It was easier than writing two online stories each week,” Condon said. “But it’s also fun because you get to sit down and talk with a lot of people, which is different than writing a story.”

Henschel, Talge and Condon jotted down name ideas in a document they shared. They wanted to encapsulate activities and events going on around the school in one word. After brainstorming, they came up with one word that stuck out to them in particular. Viral. Viral came off  trendy and relevant. Just what they were looking for.

As Viral began to gain traction with 200 regular listeners, it wasn’t the only one the publication offered. Dine or Ditch, Lancer Listen and One Week, One Album aired on alternating weeks as a platform for staffers to give their opinions. 

When it was time for sixth hour, Henschel, Talge and Condon sat in the backroom and thought of episode ideas. Homecoming was only a week away, so they agreed to record their first episode about a freshman and senior boy’s thoughts on homecoming. 

From spray tans during homecoming week to Halloween festivities, they found people through social media polls who wanted to share their opinion on the podcast.

“Random people will come up to me at school and ask me to be on the podcast,” Talge said. “It’s embarrassing to hear that they’re listening because sometimes I say some stupid stuff on it, but it’s nice to hear positive comments.”

But as flawless as it may have seemed, the podcast didn’t always go as planned.

After a strong 25 minute interview with senior Kaden Bornholtz about Sound Cloud rappers, Henschel put in her Air Pods, ready to edit the sound on iMovie. After two minutes, all she heard was static. The microphones hadn’t picked up the sound. 

“It’s trial and error,” Henschel said. “We never know if it will work, and it only even works half of the time.”

Despite their few failures, the girls persevered. They entertained themselves with ridiculous plans, like an April Fools episode, where they imagined pranking their guests by acting awkward and speaking over each other. 

Every other week the podcast succeeded to give the girls captivating conversations. Whether it was hearing from sophomore Bella Wolfe who was totally against spray tans, or sophomore Ella Smith who got one for every dance. They could all agree that spray tans gave girls terribly bright, bronze streak marks. 

“Having a podcast is almost like being a part of a gossip circle,” Henschel said. “Except we aren’t talking about people and we’re filming it.”.

 During seminar, Henschel switched on the light to the library conference room. Talge and Condon walked in behind her, carrying a hefty, plastic box crammed with equipment. 

They waited for their guest for Viral: Episode 5 – Halloween. Freshman Peyton Moore walked inside the library conference room and took a seat at the table. Henschel cleared her throat and hit record.