Interview by Edwin A. Santos
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Later today at noon, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, FilAm Creative will launch its first podcast/vodcast show, FilAm Creative: Voices at iTunes and YouTube. For this month’s FAC In Focus Series, we are happy to bring you an exclusive interview with creator/producer Rodney Cajudo and one of the hosts of the new show, Walter Talens.
Edwin Santos: What is Voices about? What is the format of your podcast?
Walter Talens: Voices is about featuring Filipino Americans in the creative field and talking to them about their life, struggles and success stories.
Edwin Santos: How many episodes will the show have per season?
Rodney Cajudo: Currently, we have eight episodes in the can and we are debating on the overall length of the first season. It might be sixteen or it might be twelve. But what we are finding is that there are so many FilAm Creatives we can sit down and talk with and it’s wonderful to know that there are so many stories we can help tell.
Edwin Santos: Is it a weekly show, or a daily show?
Rodney Cajudo: Voices will be released weekly, but there might be times where we release special episodes. But currently the plan is to release a new episode every week.
Edwin Santos: Walter, what is your background?
Walter Talens: I actually have a degree in Radio, Television, and Film from San Jose State University. I have an extensive background interviewing people during my time as Broadcast Journalist/Combat Cameraman for the US Army and US Army Reserve. I’ve had the honor of interviewing Ambassadors, Elected Officials, Foreign Heads of State, celebrities, and the brave men & women who serve in the US Military and our allies around the world.
Edwin Santos: How do you keep the conversation going; natural and interesting?
Walter Talens: I keep the conversation going by listening to the person I’m talking to and acknowledging their presence, story, and point of view. Natural and interesting is the result of listening to the other person in my opinion.
Edwin Santos: How do you avoid or have you experienced dead air in your interviews with the subject?
Walter Talens: Fortunately not. All our guests have been very interesting, funny, and the closest thing to dead air are the moments we are too busy laughing.
Edwin Santos: Who have been your favorite guest(s) to interview with and why?
Walter Talens: Honestly, I can’t say I have a favorite because they have all brought something unique and valuable to the table. I have no doubt our audience will have their favorite episodes, but all our guests have shared some serious insight and funny stories that our audience will surely enjoy.
Edwin Santos: Does anything goes or do you stick to the script? Or, is it a little of both?
Walter Talens: What’s a script? =)
Edwin Santos: All podcast shows have a niche audience. What is Voices‘ target / niche audience? Who do you want to reach? And, how will you be able to sustain that audience?
Walter Talens: In my opinion, I want to reach everyone… but start out with anyone willing to listen to the amazing stories of our featured guests. These guys have such great stories about what inspires them in their careers that I know people would love.
Rodney Cajudo: Manny Streetz said it best in his episode, that there is a common ground among Filipino Americans. We want to find that common ground with Filipino Americans who are persuing the creative arts, or just fans of Fil Ams in the arts. We want to have more agency in telling our own stories as we are our greatest advocates. Outside of our community, anyone that is interested in creativity and the arts can gleam a lot from listening to the likes of AJ Calomay, editor on Mr. Robot, or Manny Streetz radio personality, laugh at the stories of Mary Grant, YouTuber. Or marvel at Grace Moss and how a strong woman of color rose the ranks to be a successful executive at NBC.
Edwin Santos: Walter, if you had to choose, who would be your dream guest? And, what would be the first question you’d ask?
Walter Talens: My dream guest would be Jose Rizal. And, my question to him would be, “How did you really charm Josephine and how sprung was she brah?!?!”
Edwin Santos: In your opinion Rodney, what is the appeal of hosting a podcast compared to hosting a radio show? What are the similarities and differences? And, what do you think is the reason why there is a popularity with podcasts?
Rodney Cajudo: Producing podcasts are a dream of mine. I love the medium and have been a fan for years. I love how you can feel like you are sitting in on a wonderful conversation with people and get to know them on a deeper level that you couldn’t on a more traditional TV segment or even radio interview.
Edwin Santos: Do more people listen to a podcast compared to watching a vodcast? Can each work independently on its own or do both depend on each other for it to work
Rodney Cajudo: We are producing on as many mediums as possible. People consume media differently and as there is a plethora of choices that fit one’s lifestyle. Podcasts enable you to do two things at once. People listen while driving, or working out, or doing things around the house. While many people like to sit and watch YouTube and might have a YouTube video up while doing work on their computer. As we make compelling content, the audience will spend time with us in the method of their choosing.
Edwin Santos: From your first episode to today, what have you learned since recording your first episode that you do not do today? Is there room for improvements? Have you already found your rhythm?
Walter Talens: Strangely enough, I learned how to sit properly and not smack my lips. There is always room for improvements and I believe the Voices production team are constantly trying to figure out how to get better.
Edwin Santos: Where do you see Voices in five years? In ten years?
Walter Talens: I hope we are still producing content and interviewing new talent whose careers has skyrocketed since the launch of our show five to ten years ago. Which is why people should tune in on April 4, 2018 and watch and listen to every episode after that.
Edwin Santos: So, how and where can people find Voices?
Rodney Cajudo: For the podcast, people can find us anywhere they subscribe and listen to their podcasts. iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play. For the video podcast, we will be uploading full episodes to the FAC YouTube channel, and smaller clips to FAC’s FB page.
Edwin Santos: Thank you for your time.
Walter Talens / Rodney Cajudo: Thank you.
NOTE: Voices host Arlyn Dela Pena was not available for this interview.
Photos by Homer Dulu and Miguel Arcilla