Outside the Glass

After years of talking about it, this winter we launched a monthly podcast. It is called “Outside the Glass.” It comes out around the first of every month. We’ve put it on iTunes and SoundCloud and probably will place it on more platforms, like Acast.

It’s been a fun challenge to make a radio show: sorting out how to use the equipment, getting interviews during busy events, editing the material, recording the intros with our sons. We’ve had a huge help from our freelance producer, Grant Shprintz, who is a wizard with everything.

I’ve had some technical issues, like when I interviewed Joey Barrington at the U.S. Open and after ten minutes realized that the memory disc was full; we re-recorded it a month later at the World Championships.

But the main problem has been background noise. Last weekend I recorded some US Squash staffers at an off-site retreat in Connecticut. We found an empty art studio next to the meeting room. A few minutes after I sat down and pressed record for the first interview, a guy came past on the grass outside the window with a rattling, roaring lawnmower.

The worst was at the British Open this spring when I was looking for a place to interview Jenny Irving. Airco Arena in Hull was a cramped, crowded space. The media room was jammed, the lounge noisy.  Then I bumped into Peter Schmidl, ASB’s international affairs consultant. He had randomly commandeered a giant room near the entrance to the arena a few days before the tournament began and no one else had ever come in. Tables, chairs. Quiet. Perfect.

However, disaster struck. About halfway through my interview with Irving, just as she was beginning to spin amazing tales about her rivalry with Heather McKay, an alarm went off right above our heads. The beeping was steady, insistent and loud.

We soldiered on and talked for another twenty minutes and I sent the tape to Grant. He performed various surgeries but it was impossible to remove the beeps and make it palatable for listeners.

I guess it just shows the power of an empty room.