One of the questions Tiff gets a lot, as a videographer who has worked on set for a big name podcast, is, “What is it like to be in the studio when celebrity-types are on the show?” We get it – it’s really fun! And there’s also some professional skills we picked up to get the job done while also enjoying the experience.
In this episode Tiff and Christine share some of their favorite stories of being in studio, as well as share their top tips for creating a great environment on set to make sure the guest has a memorable experience.
“I am a huge fan of learning from other people.”Tiff Tyler
- (3:20) What Christine learned from being in the studio
- (7:28) What Tiff learned from being in the studio
- (14:41) Top tips for creating a great experience in your studio
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Transcription of this episode:
(auto-generated, please forgive typos)
Welcome to Think Like a Producer podcast. I’m your co-host Christine Baird.
And I’m your co-host Tiff Tyler. Being in the podcast industry, being in the content creation industry, this is what we learned, and this is how you can get out of your own way and get started.
You name it, we’ve probably done it. This podcast is about bringing all the wisdom to you, tune in weekly to learn how to think like a producer.
Tiff starts, starts.
Tiff starts, uh, ho, ho very rare times in the beginning. Oh, okay. Welcome back to think like a producer on this episode, we’re going to talk about a question that I get so much that I never really understood, but now I kind of get the significance a little bit more Christine and I have had the privilege, the opportunity to be in the room with a lot of really cool celebrities and thought leaders and influencers. You know, there’s so many words for them right now, entrepreneurs, but people would always ask me, what was it like to be in the room? And the reason why I didn’t understand that question was, you know, all the podcasts are free. Everyone can listen to the podcast, they can hear the audio, you’re getting the exact same information that I’m getting. So I was a little disconnected of why people were thinking that it was just a bit more of a benefit for me to be in the room.
Then I kind of sat with it for a little bit, discussed a bit with Christine. So I was like, maybe you can explain to me why this was so special. Um, but I will say, you know, sitting on it, thinking about it, being in the room with those personalities and really getting to know the people that we, you know, I have a lot of books, you know, the people that are reading the authors, uh, the people that we see online, there really is something to sitting in the room across from them. We actually were in a pretty cool spot where we were typically in the eyeline, at least me. I know I was typically in the eyeline of the person, the guest who is speaking. And so getting those lessons and being right there and having to hear it and being so present in the room.
Whereas, you know, most people who are listening to audio podcasts, you might be multitasking. You might be doing something else. So now I kind of understand, like to be so present and to be there. And also I think this is something that Christine can talk about too, but I think I didn’t understand how special it is to be able to hold space for these personalities. People who are typically, you know, people want their autographs. They, you know, they’re, they’re almost put on these pedestals where they can’t really be human sometimes. And for, and to be the person who allows them to sit and be open and be vulnerable. It, Christine and I have seen millionaires and billionaires cry right in front of us, you know, just being so open about themselves and their families and what works and what doesn’t work in business, all the different topics that, you know, we’ve had the privilege of covering.
I really do understand. And I think I’ve learned probably one of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned is how to hold space is how to, to show up and let someone be themselves, not asking for the selfie, not asking for the autograph. And I think that is special about what we’re able to bring into the studio. But Christine and I also realized that for some reason, we actually didn’t have the same experience because we were not really in the studio necessarily the same amount of time. So just a quick breakdown. Like I, as soon as my day one, I had to be in the studio. I was always there. My very first episodes, Jason Silva and Esther Perel, don’t know who was first, but those are kind of like my first experiences of being in the room. And so I’ve always had to learn and kind of be there and, you know, I’m getting coffee while I’m setting up cameras. Like I’m just kind of a multitasker, but really holding space for them. But Christine, I would say you have a bit of a different experience because you didn’t start out in the room like I did.
Totally, we figured this out while we were recording this episode. So it was definitely a memory lane, but what happened was I started as the audio only editor back when the show, the school of greatness was only an audio show. A couple of years later, it was time to start actually filming all the episodes. The host of the show, Louis decided that so then Tiff was hired and originally once Tiff was hired, she was the only one in the room. I was still just sitting at home, editing the audio files. And over time I being, you know, an enterprising, young woman was like, I want to be there. So I started really making a case for, Hey, I think I need to be in the studio when these guests are arriving and I can really help facilitate the whole experience, make sure I’m catching all the loose ends, you know, making sure I understand exactly what needs they have as far as marketing and posting and their team and dah, dah, dah.
So I got myself to come to the studio whenever episodes would be recorded from that point on, but I still wasn’t sitting in the actual room. I would help greet the guest. I would help sort of like Tiff said, get the coffee, make sure everyone’s happy. And then Tiff and Lewis and the guests would go into the room and record and I would just sit outside and work. Well, you can imagine that this was like me sitting there being like, no, I actually want to be in that room. And honestly I did have a good professional case for it. We’ll cover in later episodes, like how to work with a production team and why it’s important to have multiple people accurately onset. So after a little while I convinced the host of the show to actually have me sit in the room and read like while the recording was happening, you know, I was monitoring the audio.
I was taking notes. And from that point on, for the last couple years that I was producing that show, I would actually sit in their room. So Tiff and I would be there together and we would have a lot of the same experiences. So when you hear us tell some of these stories of what it’s like to be in the studio or in the room with these incredible conversations happening, we did have a couple, I don’t know, maybe a year there where we were not exactly in the same place and then weaseled my way in. And the very first episode I ever sat in the room while it was being recorded was with Ray Lewis, the NFL legend. And it was like a very profound experience because I was used, as Tiff said, to just listening to the conversation. And then when I actually was in the room, as the conversation was happening and I was experiencing the authentic connection that the guest and the host were having, I really actually felt this powerful energy in the room.
And that’s where I realized sort of for the first time, the power of podcasting is this deeply intimate connection that happens between a guest and a host where all the distractions are stripped away. People’s cell phones are turned off, obviously, no one’s allowed to come in the room, it’s a recording. And it’s literally, I say this all the time. It’s like better than a first date because you have less distractions. And if you were on a first date in a restaurant and were checking your phone and distracted by other people. So that’s where I witnessed for the first time, like, wow, podcasting has the power to create a very intimate connection between two people. And it was a privilege to sit in that room, you know, one foot off camera and watch these things happen. And there were incredible experiences that we had where the guests would engage with us.
And we would end up kind of being part of the conversation because we were in their line of sight. And, and there were a lot of fun times too, where, you know, maybe the guest was a mentalist or a magician or a musician. And so they would do something really interactive and we would end up getting pulled into the, you know, the video or the camera. So there was a ton of fun that we got to have as producers in the studio. And I’m so grateful for that. But I think the big shift for me once I started actually sitting in on the recordings was realizing like, wow, there is a special alchemy that happens when two people put distractions aside and focusing on each other for an hour and have a powerful conversation about something that they care about. And that’s, you know, just add into the love affair I have with podcasting.
Oh, I love that. And I, I keep forgetting, you know, I mean 2016 was a pretty big year for me, so maybe I don’t have a lot of great memories. It’s just like, it was a lot of work, not in a bad way, but just, you know, it was just day after day, week after week, a lot of episodes. But I will say, like Christine mentioned, you know, having another episode where we talk about the benefit of having a team, it really made a difference when she was in the room. That’s probably why like just tried to like skip over that part of my brain, because it was a lot harder when it was just me in there. Um, but you know, the re you know, having Ray Lewis in that connection, I think that’s so interesting because there are some people who I feel very connected to having only met them once being in the room with them once.
But having that experience, you know, just when, like I know them a little bit better, um, than I had before. And Christine, what she’s mentioned on that episode, we talked about how we started as producers. Christine is a fan of podcasts. Christine is a fan of a lot onto the podcast where I kind of make this joke, but it’s probably not funny, 85% of the people that I’ve met over 500 interviews. I didn’t know who they were before they got into the studio. And I think that’s probably why this question has always sort of, um, you know, I never really connected with until now because, you know, I, I just sort of, I learned who they were and they were kind of were always people because I didn’t have this fan base or anything before they came into the studio. Um, I’m saying all that to say, I do appreciate you talking about Ray Lewis and your connection and what that felt like to be in the room.
I think there was a time where we had, um, Leslie Odom Jr. in the room. And for me, it was so interesting. He’s a, you know, he’s an artist, he’s a singer. He actually, I think we probably put this episode around out maybe a little after Christmas time, but you know, he has a new album and everything out, and he was talking about the work, like the process. And when he first moved to Los Angeles, he said that he got that, um, the musical, which is very popular rent, right. He got that immediately. That was his very first role. And then after that, nothing really happened. The phone stopped ringing people, weren’t calling and he was just kind of stuck. He was just, it was the craziest thing, Christine, cause he was saying that he was ready to apply, to be a hotel manager and just pretty much give up on his dream.
And he called his manager and told him, like this is over and his manager was like, you can quit. You can, you know, do your thing. But I would really love for you to try first. And Leslie Odom Jr. is like whole arguing. Like what do you mean try first? You know, I’ve been here, it’s been so long. I’ve been working at this and nothing’s been happening. And his manager said, and like this kind of, I don’t know if it’s just echoes with me every day. He said, when you show up, when the phone rings, like you are the best, you are amazing, but the phone didn’t ring today, what did you do? Did you go to class? Did you study? Did you make connections? What were you doing when people weren’t paying you for your talent? And those are the kinds of interviews. Like, those are the kinds of moments that really hit home because I’m over here.
Like, you know, I have a job, obviously I’m working, I’m in the room, I’m filming, but there is something to this freelance life. There is something to working when people aren’t watching doing, you know, I think that that iceberg Christine, that keeps coming to mind where it’s like success and it has like 20% is above water and 80% is below. There’s so much more that goes into it. Um, and I’m just saying, cause that that’s one of my favorite podcast episodes, not just because of what he said, but like I said, just the energy in the room and Christine actually has a pretty funny story when it comes to Leslie Odom Jr too. Um, but I thought it was really cool because there was a movie coming out for another co-star, uh, that he had in Hamilton.
It was a really exceptional interview for sure. I mean, we are both huge fans of Leslie Odom Jr. And what was really cool about this interview as Tiff said, was it was fantastic. Go watch it. We’ll link it in the show notes. It’s available for everyone to be inspired by. But at the end of the interview, once the cameras stopped rolling, Leslie said, Hey, have you guys seen the new movie Blindspotting? My co-star from Hamilton Daveed Diggs is, it’s incredible. You got to see it. You’ve absolutely got to see it. You’ve got to go this weekend. It was opening weekend for the show. And we were all like, absolutely Leslie, like whatever you say. And he was like, no, I’m serious. Like text me once you’ve seen it. And so Leslie gave me his phone number and I was like, well, you better believe I’m going.
So that night I went home, I grabbed my roommates, my friends. I was like, we’re going to go see this movie. We went and saw the movie. It was incredible powerful movie, Blindspotting. And we took a selfie and I texted it to Leslie and said, thank you so much. We’ve just finished it. He was like, amazing. I’m so glad. He’s like, guess who I ran into at the theater tonight? Cause he had taken his assistant to see the show that night and Lewis our client, the host, the show had also gone to the theater that night had run into Leslie. So they had sent me a photo and then Tiff ended up seeing it as well. She can explain that, but we honestly all had a very authentic, genuine connection. Leslie’s the type of person who just gave us his phone number because he cared so much about promoting his friend’s show and that, that kind of magical stuff does happen. And it’s really cool. It’s never planned. It’s obviously a total cherry on top, but being in the studio. Yeah. There’s some really cool moments like when Leslie Odom Jr. Is like text me when you go see this movie and it’s totally genuine and awesome. But Tiff, to wrap it up, you did go see the movie and what happened?
Well, I mean, technically speaking, this is where, you know, I always say like you got the phone number. I didn’t actually get the phone number. He, I got the phone number from you. Cause I was like, Hey, you know, you already gave it to you. I don’t think it’d be weird if I got it and took a photo and sent it over to him. And so I kind of, cause you said, you know, early in the episode you weasel your way into the Lake. The studio gets into that connection with, and uh, grab the phone number. Um, went to the movie too and send him a photo over and everything like that. And it was just, it was really cool. And like, like Christine said, like, you know, I never, I mean, I’m sure you haven’t, I don’t think you said this, but I’ve never texted a man since I’ve never called it.
It was just the moment. Um, so we’re talking about what it was like for us, obviously, you know, this was years of us working together and being in the studio, but I’m sure you’re listening to this episode and you’re listening to this podcast because you hope one day, if, if you haven’t already to be around celebrities or influencers or entrepreneurs that you really look up to, and I will say that there are a few things that Christine and I have learned and that we do. I think I’m just kind of going back to the beginning of this episode, that can be really tangible things for you to do when it comes to meeting these kinds of celebrities. So you can build a bit more of an authentic connection who knows can have a lasting relationship with someone that you might’ve been a fan of before.
Um, and I’ll just kind of start with what I think about whenever I’m in the studio, this is a human being in front of me. I’ve said it a little bit earlier, but there really is something to having an anxious energy or a way about you when you’re around someone. Even if you’re a fan, I will say I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it a thousand times, Tony Hawk was probably the only person that I couldn’t bring down my anxiety a little bit because I really, really was excited to meet him and have been a fan of his, my whole life ten-year-old Tiff has like this crazy tattoos and, you know, walking around the skateboard every day. I imagined myself now as an adult. Um, but uh, you know, overall to do my job, to show up, to be a professional in this kind of setting, really most of the time I would say this, I don’t think I’ve said this on an episode before, but uh, you know, Christine and I have this thing we call kind of like grounding, right?
It’s like, you almost like set your intention before you walk in. And I had to do this every day, whether I knew the person or not just kind of knowing like today I’m going to be a professional today. I’m going to treat the humans in the room like humans. And today I’m just going to make sure that I am at my best and that they feel that they’re at their best to be open and vulnerable and share what they need to share. Uh, that’s really something that I want to encourage any new freelancer who’s listening right now, any new videographer, because it is really exciting to meet these celebrities. But at the same time, you have to think about the client. The client doesn’t want someone constantly taking selfies. Doesn’t want someone constantly fan girling or fanboying, I guess, is that a phrase fanboying over the celebrities that are in the room.
It makes it very hard to rehire you over and over and over again, if you are a freelancer or to keep you on a long-term team, if they feel like they can’t be themselves and celebrities can’t be themselves around you. So I wanted to make sure I mentioned that, like I kind of set my intention. I do my best to make sure that everyone in the room feels like a human and no one’s better than the other person, but Christine, once you were in the room and you did have to kind of manage personalities with me, what’s something that you did just kind of make sure that you stayed at a professional level.
Mmm hmm I love what you shared. A lot of it was the same. We had the good fortune of working on a show together that had a very intentional host, Lewis,Howes, the host of the school of greatness. He’s all about intention. And he has a really big vision and a very high standard for the work he does. And so coming in, you know, kind of coming into the industry on a show with that kind of standard really did train us. And I’m grateful for that experience because it really did condition me to show up in excellence, like truly representing this brand. I mean, that’s the job I was being paid for. Right. I am representing my client, I’m representing this brand. And that helped me all the time sort of remove my own, whatever I might’ve had, whether it was like fan girling or just having a rough day or, you know, if I was stressed or tired, when I got to set, it was like, no, this is now about the client.
And that was very helpful. And, and having a client who did have such a clear vision, he really brought the energy and he would train us that way and say like, I want people to have an incredible unforgettable experience when they come on this show and he held himself to that standard. And so it was a lot easier for us to do the same because that was literally what the, you know, example that we were being set. So whether I was meeting a client in the lobby and helping them up the elevator and welcoming them into the studio and getting them coffee and making sure that they felt it was a lot easier to do, because I knew that that same energy was going to be reflected in the whole team, Tiff, Lewis, if his assistant was there, Sarah or Matt, the COO, like anyone who is going to be there that day was going to bring the same energy.
And that was really powerful because we all knew we were working as a team representing the same level of warmth and excellence and greatness. And that was a cool experience that I’m still grateful for for this day to experience what you can create when the whole team, the whole production team from the camera person to the producer, to the assistant, to the host are all on the same page. And we did get a lot of cool feedback from guests. And they would say like at the end of their experience filming, they were like, wow, this is amazing. Like I’ve never been on a show like this. Like this is one of the best interviews I ever did. And we knew from, you know, just feedback internally, like this is because it’s a team effort, we’re all committed to someone having a really great experience and being treated as a human being treated as a VIP, but also having a really like warm, authentic human connection with us.
Like we were never going to be, you know, stiff or too formal. Like there was a very warm culture to that show. So it was an awesome learning experience. I’m so grateful for it. And it’s really helped shape how I work with all my clients going forward, even though I work remotely now with all my clients, like I’m not on set for anyone anymore. Um, but it’s helped me translate that into even all of my remote, um, interactions, whether I’m still, you know, interacting with a celebrity is we’re helping to schedule and, you know, get them on a show or whether I’m just working with the hosts. I’ve been able to keep that same sort of mantra and idea in my head, which has been an awesome experience. So Tiff, anything else we should cover before we wrap this? What it’s like to be in the studio episode?
I think we covered not only what it’s like to be in the studio, but what it, what it takes to stay in the right. So we’re always getting you our mindset. We’re always gonna give you how we approach things, but we’re always going to give you those tangible, you know, takeaways as well. So I will say, you know, what it took to stay on set. I was always there an hour early and part of that gratitude and part of that grounding and just setting up my intention, everything that I was doing that had to do with it being early, being prepared and being able to set my mindset like right, for what we’re about to do and be on set. And I give Christine a lot of credit for who I am as a producer, because I learned so much from her even when she wasn’t in the room in the beginning.
I think there’s definitely a way about you that I just want to make sure that people understand. Um, I have never seen you yell. I have never seen you get upset. I have never really seen you like kind of go out of your own personality no matter how stressful or, or not, or you know, how easy the situation is. You’re always very level on the same person. And I say that to say one, I’m very grateful how the show with you and to me, learning from you all the time and also for anyone else out there, who’s like, man, I would love to do that, but I’m just nervous. I mean, pay attention to the people around you have people around you who, you know, I’m grateful it wasn’t planned, but have people around you have a bit more experience, um, and can help you with these things just don’t be discouraged because you don’t have this all together right now.
Or you’re not really sure about the next step. I am a huge, huge, huge fan of learning from other people asking questions. And, you know, w when I, I’m a bit more humble that I don’t have all the answers life turns out to be just a little bit easier. Um, but that’s, that’s what we wanted to tell you today. Thank you for asking that question. What it’s like to be in the studio. Cause now I can just send this video over to people when they ask me, um, and hopefully it can help them with their life and their career. Thank you so much for watching this episode. Be sure to subscribe. We have new episodes every Thursday and sometimes a couple of bonuses here and there where you can probably see some, some fun things, maybe some bloopers. Cause you know, I got a lot of them.
Christine’s got like this much and I got to like, but it’s super fun and be sure to check out the audio version of this episode. We have audio everywhere. You listen to audio, especially on Apple podcasts. And if you are more of an audio person, be sure to leave us a review. You can ask us questions here or there, but getting the reviews is very helpful for us to continue to grow the show and make sure that we’re serving you to the best level. Thank you so much for watching and we will see you in the next video.
Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Think Like a Producer. This has been a Worthfull Media production, massive thanks to our team who makes the show possible. Worthfull Media for audio editing, Jorge and Veronica from Mosaico productions for video editing and effects and Amela Subasic for our amazing artwork and graphics.
If you are ready to launch your podcast, you can check out the Worthfull Media podcast course at worthfullmedia.com and as a special gift to our listeners, we are giving you $50 off the podcast course. All you have to do is use promo code T L A P. If you have launched your podcast or YouTube channel and show, and you are looking for the community to support you as you continue to grow, as well as some Q and A directly from Christina and myself, then please check out our think like a producer channels. The link is in the show notes.