2015 was a pretty awesome year. We had the first new Star Wars movie in 10 years, I went to my first Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim and I was really starting to get the hang of a new hobby – podcasting. It was amazing and I really couldn’t imagine a better year than that. Then 2016 came.
It’s hard to describe the even more amazing year this one’s been, but I’ll try. Most of the awesomeness is due to the fact that about a year ago, I joined a burgeoning podcast called Blabba The Hutt. As I embark on my one year podiversary with Blabba The Hutt I’ve been reflecting a lot on the unbelievable past year. Many people wonder how the two of us, perfect strangers, living 5000 miles apart got be cohosts. Jamie recently recounted his Blabba origins, well, here’s the rest of the story…
In August of last year I noticed a new podcast pop up on the Star Wars Twitter scene. It was Irish and had an incredibly clever name – Blabba The Hutt. I was intrigued and gave it a listen. I was immediatedly drawn to the excellent production, the amount of Star Wars knowledge, and Jamie’s easy going, humerous take on everything.
Episode 3 – Blabba Goes to Dublin Comicon particullary caught my interest. It was exactly the type of coverage I would aim for when I attended cons. And while I wasn’t exactly sure how, I knew that Jamie could be an amazing resource for my future in podcasting.
At that point I had podcasted for nearly a year with Who Wars (A Star Wars/Doctor Who mashup podcast). I had come a long way in just a year. I went from 0 experience with podcasting or really any sort of audio production or media experience to regularly covering cons, conducting interviews with industry professionals and doing various reviews.
The format of that podcast was an ‘audiozine’ where we submitted our individual pieces. I was getting bored doing solo reviews so I went out on a limb and asked Jamie if he’d be interested in recording a review for Marvel Star Wars #8.
He reddily accepted and the review was a complete success. Right away there was an excellent repoir between us. And that was a relief for me because oftentimes I feel extremely nervous with new people and don’t always feel comfortable right away.
A few weeks later things took an interesting turn. I had reached a point where I wanted to create my own nerd culture podcast, Nerd of Paradise. Around the same time I learned that Who Wars was losing the ‘Wars’ and transitioning to Doctor Who only podcast. I won’t lie. It broke my heart. Not only had I been more into Star Wars from the start, but more importantly I was losing my outlet for sharing Star Wars with the momentous release of The Force Awakens just months away.
I figured I would go ahead with Nerd of Paradise and do a few Star Wars based episodes. I knew if I was going to get more serious about podcasting I had to upgrade my equipment and I knew just the guy who could give me answers. Jamie recommended the Zoom H4n (which we both use to this day) but also let me know that if I was interested, he was looking for a co-host.
Partners in Crime
I accepted and the adventure had just begun. It was amazing to regularly chat with someone who loved Star Wars as much as me, had a similar passion for the production end of things and had an inborn need to succeed. As the months went by we excitedly talked about Star Wars and were astounded by the growth we were seeing. It was a nurturing atmosphere from the start that has really helped me thrive personally and as a podcaster.
I’ve always been very introverted and expressing myself doesn’t always come easy. I have a tendancy to stay in my comfort zone. I’ve also faced bullying issues that made me want to stay in my comfort zone even more so. But Jamie and the Blabba community have helped me to be able to but to gain an inner confidence to be more outgoing and step out of that comfort zone. It’s changed who I am in a good way, a more extroverted person. A person who has no qualms walking up to a stranger and asking for an interview and a person who’s able to talk more openly about the issues I face.
So, we kept podcasting and kept seeing amazing feedback. Excitement was definitely in the air as The Force Awakens neared. I was somewhat afraid that this might be the apex of our Star Wars lives. And while it was amazing, it was just the start of a crazy, crazy ride for Blabba The Hutt.
One Team One Dream
2016 started off with a bang. It started with my first 10k at the Star Wars Disneyland marathon. It was actually while I was at Disneyland that I decided to buy tickets for Star Wars Celebration that summer in London and take a little detour to Ireland.
Yes, 2016 was off to a great start and it just kept getting better. We kept getting awesome interviews for the show. More talent kept being added to Team Blabba. And we had the amazing #ReyOfHope campaign where we actually got a response from Mark Hamill! In addition to all of that, we constantly had new Star Wars content coming out to get excited about like books, games, comics and Rebels.
The Roller Coaster that is Blabba Continued!
Then of course there was this little trip to Europe I had coming up. That in itself was the adventure of a lifetime. I made my way to Ireland and finally got to meet Jamie and the Blabba team face to face. Then I got to embark on a journey to Skellig Micheal and traverse the Jedi Steps. After that it was off to London for Star Wars Celebration Europe where we got to do our Blabba Live panel! An incredible 10 days that I will never forget!
This past year has been unreal and seems like a dream at times! It’s been a roller coaster for sure, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. Blabba shows no signs of slowing down and I’m sure the next 12 months will give us more surprises, memories and amazement.
Doing a podcast is a funny thing. Most of us don’t get paid and freely give our time, resources and ourselves. Honestly it can really be a challenge at times to find the balance needed for “real life” and the Blabbaverse. But in the end it’s worth it. As humans we thrive on connection and podcasting is a great way to do that.
So, as I hit my year mark with Blabba all I can really say is “thanks”. I’d be a totally different person if not for you.