Living the Dream: The Podcast Story

As a consumer of media I've always been into music, film and literature (of the comic variety). This is a fact of my nature and nurture, and I feel that this is probably a pretty common set of interests for youth and young adults like me. However, these traditional forms of media are quickly being joined by a series of new contenders brought on by the internet age - among these, online video, short-form written content, and yes, podcasting. 

In the past year I've had the genuine pleasure of living out a magical life cycle of discovering, exploring, experimenting with, and most recently, fully embracing podcasting as a unique and expansive method of absorbing and sharing entertainment. Just tonight, I had the honour of having my good friend Greta Gibson visit the studio to be the guest on next week's episode of our in-house podcast, Living the Dream, and I can honestly say it was among my top 10 experiences in my artistic career so far, and it's inspired me to open up the curtain behind the subject. Let's talk about that.

It's difficult to pinpoint when I first discovered podcasting, and it's likely that at the time I didn't understand or particularly care about the art form. This was due to one simple fact: at that point, I had nothing to relate to on the topic. The creators of the content I initially stumbled on were strangers to my entertainment-hungry mind, and I was unable to spark an interest. Further backstory - for most of my high school career, I had ambitions to pursue a career at CollegeHumor in New York because of my admiration for online comedy duo Jake and Amir, stars of their own self-titled online series. For several years, I had experienced their comedy through their YouTube shorts, but was shocked and ecstatic to discover they had gone ahead and started their own podcast called If I Were You. I was immediately sold on the concept, downloaded the podcast app and began following every week.

This opened up a whole new world for me. Through If I Were You I was introduced to a variety of other individuals hosting their own podcasts including Jeff Rubin's Jeff Rubin Jeff Rubin Show, Streeter Seidell's The Talk of ShameRhett and Link's Ear Biscuits, and most notably, Pete Holmes' You Made It Weird. Through a combination of these influences as well as a growing itch to create something new and unforeseen while I was attending the University of British Columbia a year ago, an idea was sparked. During a routine Tim Horton's visit with my good friend Olivia Lewis, the idea of creating our own podcast was devised and we set to work.

Take a trip through the looking glass to February 2014, where we find Past Liam and Olivia recording the very first episode of the soon-to-be-premiered Liam Sturgess Show.

 

Alas, this was a short-lived venture that was doomed for failure after only three episodes. The plan was to put out a new episode twice a week with a new guest every week, through which the poorly planned nature of the venture was revealed. Still, I held it in my heart that the podcast would one day return with a vengeance.

And thus, came January 2015. After almost a year of thought, imagining and planning, Alex Balanko and myself began running Four Destinations Entertainment full time which allowed us the creative freedom to pursue more creative projects, and I saw this as my opportunity to get the gears moving again. Alex and I sat down and planned out our goals for 2015, and one of the sticky notes we put on the "goals board" simply said, "Podcast". Two weeks later, Alex and I sat down and recorded the first episode of the newly branded, newly christened podcast, Living the Dream

The idea behind the show as it exists now is to explore the world of culture, art and entertainment, and how it all ties in to personal ambition and self-development. This newfound direction allows me as the host to invite a wider range of guests to participate and share their stories, while keeping focused on spreading a specific message. 

The message is that anyone with enough passion or curiosity, no matter what their circumstances, walk of life or background, has the opportunity to pursue a dream and transform it into a tangible reality. Whether you're dreaming of being a firefighter, musician or filmmaker (or anything else your beautiful mind can imagine), there is true anecdotal evidence that shows that you can define your own success and take your own measures to lead yourself to it - this is what each guest graciously provides us with.

Tonight's experience was no exception. As soon as I sat down behind the mic with Greta, I immediately felt that I was in the presence of someone who shared the very same beliefs that Living the Dream and Four Destinations are built on, with today's episode with Nichelle Eng reflecting the same ideals. Today reminded me why I do what I do and why Living the Dream means so much to me - I am now even more able to sit down with people who I call my colleagues, friends and loved ones and trade stories, advice and ambitions, all with the common goal of inspiring others to do the same.

Ladies and gentlemen, Living the Dream.

Living the Dream is a weekly culture podcast hosted by Liam Sturgess, Chief Creative Director of Four Destinations Entertainment. Featuring a variety of guests such as Steve Borock (CBCS Comics), Alex Balanko (Four Destinations Entertainment) and Will Erichson (Vancouver Stunt Performer), the show delivers a fresh perspective on arts and culture as a hobby and career, and promises to educate and inspire the next generation of successful artists and cultural creators.

Listen to all episodes for free and subscribe on iTunes!