YASS! Masterclass: Helen Zaltzman – Boring Interesting

Boring Interesting is the opening masterclass of the II season of YASS! You are so sound.
It was recorded last November 10th, 2022.

[Due to tech issues, we couldn’t record the first few minutes of our warm-up chit chat… sorry about that!]

Not all audio stories are personal; not all are emotional.
The Allusionist is a show about language, so the stories belong to hundreds, millions, even billions of people, some currently alive, some of whom may have been dead for 2,000 years. The purpose of the show is not to showcase an individual’s lived experience, but to make the depersonalised relevant to whichever person is listening.

How do you carve a narrative from such a gigantic, idiosyncratic, sprawling mess as language, then make something so complex into an easily digestible 25-minute entertainment podcast for all ages and knowledge backgrounds? Helen Zaltzman tried to give us some answers, starting with one of the basic essentials of podcasting – the interview with the expert – and the need to find a balance between being knowledgeable or ‘simply’ curious.

Helen Zaltzman is a multiple award-winning podcast host and producer. She is entirely self-taught and works mostly alone, usually from bed. Her linguistics entertainment podcast The Allusionist covers topics ranging from oppressed language and queer history, to protest cakes and weird facts about falcons. The live theatrical spin-off has appeared on stages around the world. Answer Me This, the comedy show she began with Olly Mann in 2007, was one of Britain’s longest-running and most successful independent podcasts, ran for 400 episodes and nearly 15 years. She founded the Podcasters’ Support Group on Facebook to provide a home for all podcasters’ most tedious questions about microphones and hosting sites.