Scott Ryan on The Red Room Podcast’s 200th Episode
The following is a guest article by Scott Ryan (The Red Room Podcast / Blue Rose Magazine / Fayetteville Mafia Press).
I guess I was like any other kid. When you sum up, I was just playing. This is what children do. They play. That’s right, most of the boys played baseball, soccer, or did some kind of running. I was inside, pretending to be on a talk show. I used to be a frequent guest on Tonight’s Show with Johnny Carson. I even ended up hosting it. Sometimes I was the musical guest. I played the piano and occasionally played Billy Joel covers. Interviewing and being interviewed was my idea of playing “kick the can” or “freeze tag”. You know, like any other kid.
In 2010, Josh Minton (Author of A Twin Peaks Skeleton Key) asked me to start a podcast with him. I didn’t know what a podcast was. It looked like some kind of device to help heal a broken bone. I hate technology. I hate social media. I hate to learn something new that involves an application. The fact that I have to tweet, dance or beg on my Twitter accounts to make a living as a writer has always been a sensitive point for me. Josh loves anything new. If there was an electronic way for Josh to make toast, he would have this app on his phone before he could mix the cinnamon and sugar filling.
He said we would call this podcast The Red Room Podcast. He didn’t care Twin peaks at the time, but he knew I knew it, and he was trying to get me to do it by using my addiction. He bought the microphone, the program, and installed us on iTunes, or whatever he used to get us started. I have no idea how it all started. All I know is it hit a record and 200 episodes later I wrote books, started magazines and interviewed and got interviewed more times than I played. when I was small.
We have never been one Twin peaks podcast, but we always came back to the topic. At the time, there was actually a podcast called The Twin Peaks Podcast and I had only listened to 45 seconds. Josh sent it to me and I immediately hated it. Why the hell would I listen to this? I’m still not a big podcast listener. I have never listened to any of our shows, nor to any of my appearances on any podcast. I love listening to music too much to waste time listening to a podcast. I am amazed by what Twin Peaks unpacked, Diane’s podcast and others have, but never logged in. When some of our episodes broke the record of 18,000 listeners, I never could figure it out.
Over the past few years we’ve had guests like Sherilynn Fenn, Dana Delaney, Sheryl Lee, Amy Shiels and the guy who invented the sounds of the Tokens. I met David Bushman, Courtenay Stallings, Brad Dukes, and John Thorne as guests on the podcast before making friends with them in real life. My discussions with Josh Eisenstadt on Twin peaks are about as deep as they can get. We used to make lists that had characters, stories, and series with math equations that were as unnecessary as lists that rank creative art.
I loved interviewing artists who worked with Stephen Sondheim on Six of Sondheim, The Sondheim review, and the biography of Elaine Stritch. I had the honor of speaking with Jeff Lemire about Sweet tooth and his love for Twin peaks. I had the nerve to ask Mark Frost if small artists were given cease and desist orders. I had fun explaining how thoughtless and hurtful fans are to content creators like Andrew Grevas. I spoke to the man who inspired me to become a writer, Glenn Gordon Caron (Moonlight) which became my last book Moonlight: an oral history. I once laughed so hard I fell to the ground because Josh was talking about a plot from a raccoon and rabies show. He was very serious about it, but it struck me as funny. Honestly, we had a ton of laughs on the show. It was fun, educational, and more work than it could possibly be worth.
Doing a podcast for over a decade and losing money every year doing it is something only a small child would do. A kid who still plays the same game at 51 as at 11. Josh and I will continue, together and separately, to cover what we want. Talking about television, music, cinema and writing because that’s what sustains us. We gave to the world, who had one Twin peaks podcast when we started 200 chances of ignoring us in a new world that has hundreds of Twin peaks podcasts today among hundreds of thousands of podcasts. I don’t know how lucky we were to stand out at the time. I can’t imagine how ordinary people make a dent when podcasts now have to compete with superstars like Conan O’Brien, Alec Baldwin, or Marc Maron. What I liked about podcasting when we started was that it was for little artists like Josh and me. Now money and business have taken over. (There is proof that I am no longer a kid, I look like the old man that I am.)
On October 5th Josh and Scott will air our 200th episode of The Red Room Podcast with special guest Andrew Grevas who has an exciting announcement to make about this website. We are honored that among the many places he was able to make his announcement, he chose us. We have created a red room, not to wait, but to reflect on where art is and where it is heading. As my brother-in-law and friend Josh Minton always says at the end of every episode, “Thanks for watching and thanks for listening.”
I’ll just add, “Thanks for letting me play. “
Scott Ryan is the author of Letterman’s Last Days, Moonlight: an oral history, the book 2022 Fire Walk With Me: Your Laura Is Missing, and the editorial director of The blue rose Magazine, in addition to co-hosting The Red Room podcast.