He is tall, bearded, tattooed and walking towards me. His arms are overloaded with recording equipment as he passes underage skateboarders smoking cigarettes. Fairmont Park is alive with bums chugging vodka, kids smoking weed, heavy petting under the tall oak trees and me waiting under the pavilion to do a podcast with Chris Holifield.
Chris is the host of I Am Salt Lake Podcast and we are recording episode #81. I walk out to meet with him and shake his hand for the first time. Up to that point, Chris is merely some guy I followed on Twitter and befriended on Facebook. We live in an interesting era where you can have a buddy via an online relationship and never meet with them face to face.
He surprising soft spoken off mic. Chris is very polite, witty and funny as he sets up his gear on one of the picnic tables leading me to wonder why I haven’t met him before. In a small town like SLC, I figured everybody who drank beer and listened to podcasts knew each other. We each brought an armful of bottle water to battle the late afternoon heat which is a shame because it was clearly Miller Time. As Chris was giving me a rundown on the success of his podcast, we were slowly being circled by teenagers who either were going to form an audience or shank us. Luckily, they merely composed an impromptu crowd.
We fired up the microphones and got after it. On his well-crafted podcast, Chris has a deep baritone voice that is equally soothing and commanding. I couldn’t stop thinking during the interview that he looked like a guy I would pass at a grocery store and not think anything of it. I guess that’s the beauty of podcasting. He asks good questions, listens well and moves the conversation along. We were occasionally distracted by something off in the distance but Chris was able to drive the show back on track. Kinda like a river runner on the Colorado—you can’t really steer through the rushing water but you can at least avoid getting grounded.
I, on the other hand, am as much a buffoon on a podcast as I am in real life. There is no man behind the green curtain when it comes to babbling into a microphone. Every lisp, stutter and rapidly spoken word is me. I wish I sounded cooler like a smoky midnight DJ sending out this one for all of the lovers but I became a motor mouth and just rambled through the show.
But that is what I am good at. When you are facing a crowd at the bar, you have to be able to talk a million miles an hour and keep people interested. Admittingly, I am a one-trick pony that goes to a very shallow well of stories I have but when your audience is a bunch of drunks, you cares? I think it was pretty good episode.
I hosted my own podcast a while ago and Chris was kind enough to cite it as a reason he got into interviewing people. Whatever mark I left, Chris picked up the baton and ran it for a gold metal. Guy has chops and the interview was a blast. It is very impressive to meet people that enjoy living in SLC as much as I do and here Chris is highlighting what makes this town very special. Definitely cool that he thought I added something to the town besides contributing to the DUI count.
Here is the link to the podcast. Click on it and give it a listen. Close the blinds, pour a glass of wine and find that sexy spot in your day where you want to hear my and Chris’s voices pumping into your earhole. I guarantee I will disappoint but Chris was really good.
Ben Raskin bartends at Keys On Main Wednesday through Saturday. Follow him on Twitter @BennyRaskin. Podcast this, homeboy! Leaving the podcast at Fairmont Park, he saw a guy get hit by a car. Fortunately, the paramedics were already at the park. This officially makes Fairmont the nuttiest place in Salt Lake City.