So Jono, first things first, how and why did you decide to get into podcasting?
I’ve been into podcasts since the days of the iPod, so finally starting my first show in 2014 was a bit of a thrill. I was a newspaper reporter at the time and I spent way too much of the workday jabbering with my desk neighbours. One night out, we decided we should start our own podcast and we somehow convinced our news editor that a pop culture show would be a good way to spend company time. For the next year and a half, we released a weekly episode on all kinds of random movie, TV and film topics. It was always the best part of the week.
Tell us about Puttin’ In Work.
Puttin’ In Work is an interview podcast that dives deep into the inspiring stories and career experiences of talented people from all sorts of creative industries. I have a natural curiosity about the creative process, the big breaks and the baby steps it takes to get from point A to point B, so Puttin’ In Work is a cool way to share these motivating stories of hard work with my audience. Whether or not you’re interested in comedy, art, voice acting, game development, podcasting, or music, I think there are lessons from these people’s stories that we can all apply to our own interests. That’s what keeps me interested in talking to these people from all around the world, even after about 150 episodes.
Who have been your top 3 guests on the podcasts and why?
It’s so hard to pick from around 150 people so I’ll just go with three that come to mind.
- Roger Clark is an amazing actor and if you’ve played through Red Dead Redemption 2, you’ve probably spent 50 plus hours listening to him as Arthur Morgan. It was great to talk to Roger about working on a billion-dollar franchise, coming out of nowhere to have a legion of fans and the process of motion capture and voice acting. All the voice actors I’ve chatted to have been totally awesome people with the best stories, so if you have a chance to meet or interview a voice actor, don’t pass it up.
- Digital artist BossLogic has been on the podcast twice now, and I’m especially proud of the first interview (live at PAX Aus 2018) because it was his very first podcast. He was very elusive and no one even knew what he looked like at the time. He was already doing awesome stuff, but since then he’s worked with Disney, Marvel and Ubisoft, doing all sorts of amazing official artwork for these mega IPs like The Avengers, Aladdin and Assassin’s Creed. It was also great to get a second interview with him to talk about that growth and how he’s managed to stay humble through it all.
- New York Times best-selling author Shea Serrano is one of the funniest people on the internet and someone I never expected would agree to an interview. His story of switching from a career as a teacher to writing for websites like The Ringer is just amazing. I wasn’t sure how I convinced Shea to do the podcast, but in his words, he could tell I just “wasn’t going to give up”. So that’s something.
For those who are new to podcasting, what’s the process like with getting some of these guests to jump on the show?
You’ll never get anywhere without asking, so it always starts with finding a way to contact people, whether it’s an email, a DM or just a straight-up public tweet. I think it helps to tell them why you’re interested in their story and achievements, that you’re flexible to work around their schedule, and that your audience would love to hear from them. Sometimes you have to pitch to a bunch of people at once, knowing that maybe only one of them will say yes or be available over the coming weeks. Once you’ve interviewed a couple of cool people, you can really use that to your advantage. For example, “Hey Robert Downey Jr, I recently interviewed your friends Tom Holland and Chris Hemsworth, so I know my audience would love to hear your story too.” But that brings me to another point – you have to approach people who are accessible, who want a platform to engage with an audience, who ideally own recording equipment and software, and who understand the world of podcasting… so probably not Robert Downey Jr.
You’re clearly a busy man outside of Puttin’ In Work, tell us a bit about your other projects?
Puttin’ In Work has taken a bit of a backseat over the past year while I focus on other podcasts, including my movie rewatch show Comedy Rewind and my NBA podcast Hoop Dreams, which are also part of the ATEBIT podcasting network. Finding a new Puttin’ In Work interview every week was getting a bit tricky, and you’ve got to be careful not to do something beyond the point of enjoyment, so hosting these new podcasts has kept me from burning out and allowed me to be a bit more creative. I’ve also published two adventure novels, The Spy and the Maven and The Maven Effect, so writing has definitely taken a lot of my attention when I’m not behind a mic or editing a podcast.
Lastly, what’s next for Jono Pech?
A lot of podcasting is what’s always next. I’ve actually been writing and doing sound design for a video game called Trigger Witch, and that’ll be releasing fairly soon on Switch, PlayStation and Xbox. It’s been so much fun and I can’t wait for people to get their hands on what I’ve been working on with the devs at Rainbite. I’m hoping to get a chance to promote that as a guest on other podcasts, but I will definitely find a way to share the experience with my own audience too.