“Smash/Cut,” a local podcast organized by University students and alumni, began its second season with a piece on the Women’s March in Washington and a follow-up to a piece in season one.
Theatre senior Alexander Charles Adams, producer and creator of the podcast, attended the Women’s March in Washington D.C. and recorded material for the piece “98.1 WMXN” while marching.
“I recorded a bunch of interviews with women, while marching, but I didn’t want to make a journalistic piece because I’m not a journalist,” Adams said. “So, we made a story about an intern who went to the Women’s March and is showcasing these interviews on a radio show where listeners can call in and respond to something they’re hearing.”
Adams began “Smash/Cut” almost two years ago after someone in a cinema aesthetics and language course brought up the Ryan White Act, which seeks to improve availability of care for low- income and underinsured AIDS victims.
“I knew I wanted to make something about [The Ryan White Act], specifically about what would happen if it wasn’t renewed,” Adams said.
Adams, along with co-producer Mallory Osigian, created “Marksman.”
“We created a very political piece and ‘Smash/Cut’ was born because we decided we needed to do more of that,” Adams said.
Osigian, a University alumna, is a “conservative Christian from the heart of Texas,” and, though they fight about a lot of the issues the podcast covers, she is one of Adams’ closest friends and collaborators.
One of the podcast’s performers, mass communication senior Samantha Kennedy, said that although the podcast can be construed as liberal minded, it “presents political issues without providing an answer.”
Fellow cast member and mass communication junior Laine Farber agrees.
“We never want to tell people what to believe,” Farber said.
Both women have loaned their voices to several episodes in the podcast’s history. Kennedy is the show’s graphic designer while Farber is the team’s marketing consultant.
“I looked for any and all opportunities to do art,” Kennedy said. “I saw a flyer for a meeting for this podcast and I didn’t really think I’d go, but Alexander cornered me and dragged me to the meeting.”
Kennedy credited Adams for the majority of “Smash/Cut’s” success.
“I think it’s really impressive,” Kennedy said. “We all do a tiny bit and then Alexander puts everything together to make an actual cohesive piece.”
Kennedy said she likes that even though the podcast is very political, the team’s goal is to find new and innovative ways to tell narrative stories.
In fall 2016, Adams studied abroad in Ireland and created a mini-series for “Smash/Cut” called “Project Ireland” while he was there
Adams is also organizing a piece for the “After Orlando Theatre Action,” with “Smash/Cut” being the only group involved doing a radio production.
Season two marks “Smash/Cut’s” largest cast ever, with 14 actors participating in one of the pieces.
In the first piece of season two, “Digital Kissing Booth 2.0,” the “Smash/Cut” team returned to an episode from its first season.
“Digital Kissing Booth was about changing the question of when was your first kiss to when was your first good kiss,” Adams said. “[The sequel] was motivated by metrics to a certain extent.”
“Digital Kissing Booth” received over 1,000 listens, the most so far in the podcast’s history.
“We’re kicking off our second season with ‘Digital Kissing Booth 2.0’ because I wanted to make a piece that people wanted to hear, instead of giving them their vegetables, which we do a lot,” Adams said.
Despite their success, Adams said the second season is bittersweet because they’re concerned about whether or not the show will survive.
“I put forth 100 percent of the funds,” Adams said. “So, I’m afraid because we’ve made pieces I’m very proud of, but I don’t know if I’ll have the money to support more of this.”
Adams hopes people will listen to the podcast simply because they’re curious about the message it sends.
“[‘Smash/Cut’] is about connecting to other people without judging one another,” Adams said. “The message is don’t be mean. The message is put yourself in someone else’s shoes and really see their point of view.”
“Smash/Cut” is in its second season, with new episodes every other Monday. Those interested can listen to them on iTunes, Google Play Store, Podbay.fm or through their website, smashcutthepodcast.com.