Tales from the Podcast Stage continues with Lords of the Sith.
Tell me a bit about your Celebration experience. How many have you been to? Have you ever been on the podcast stage before (or applied but didn’t make it before)? Why did you apply to be on the podcast stage?
Denise: This was my first Celebration. Because we really wanted to talk about romance in Star Wars, we also applied for a panel and ended up presenting at the Podcast Stage and the University Stage where we discussed romance in Star Wars.
Lee: I had been to Celebration Orlando, but this was the first time I attended Celebration as part of a fan project and it made my experience even more special because I got to connect with so many other fans directly. We had thought of applying to the podcast stage before but didn’t think we would be considered at the time. This time we also didn’t think we had much of a chance, but we applied regardless because we felt it was important to represent the point of view of fans who are interested in romance in Star Wars, especially in the Sequel Trilogy. We feel there are a lot of misconceptions about romance fans in the Star Wars community that we wanted to address.
Monte: This was my first Star Wars Celebration and podcasting stage appearance. It was great to meet fellow Star Wars fans and people who liked my team’s presentations. My friends Lee, Denise, and Mary at Lords of The Sith applied and invited me as their special guest speaker, of which I was very honored.
How did you prepare for the podcast stage? Did you have a set structure for the conversation? Did you invite guests? Give out SWAG? Do giveaways?
We prepared by figuring out who would be hosting/moderating and making a general outline of talking points we wanted to cover; we don’t like to have our podcast exchanges be overly structured because we don’t like to sound rehearsed and prefer a more spontaneous/organic conversation. For the panel at the University Stage, on the other hand, we had a very structured and more formal presentation. It was fun to present in both formats.
We invited our friend Monte, who podcasted with us at our previous project called Star Wars Connection. Monte is brilliant, and we wanted to include a male perspective in our conversation about romance/shipping; although shipping is generally considered a female interest, there are a lot of men who belong to the larger shipping community or are supportive of it and we felt it was important to highlight that.
The idea of giveaways didn’t occur to us at first as we had never attended a live podcast event and had never seen it done. By the time we realized we could do this it was too late to plan. Next time!
What were the highlights from your appearance on the podcast stage? Any big surprises (good or bad)?
Although we advertised as a Reylo/romance focused discussion, a show of hands revealed that not everyone who was present for our podcast stage appearance was pro-Reylo or even pro-romance. Some of them had never even heard our podcast before. This made for an interesting exchange when we started taking audience questions. It added to the quality of the conversation and the overall experience to be able to exchange ideas with people who weren’t on the same page. This is the kind of conversation we hope to get started with our project, so it was a pleasant surprise. Another big surprise is that a lot of people were in attendance! We were the last podcast to appear on stage on a day when most fans had already departed, so we expected it would be half empty.
Is there anything you wish you would have done differently?
Denise: I wish I had made a more focused effort to network and meet people I usually only talk to online. Celebration is crazy busy and just “We’ll meet there,” without a plan, doesn’t really work. That said, at this Celebration we were under a lot of pressure because our romance panel at the University Stage had received a lot of attention, both positive and negative, with some backlash directed towards us on social media. Because of that, we were careful about our security and avoided, for example, posting on social media about where we were or using anything identifying ourselves as part of the Lords of the Sith podcast. This made networking even harder, but we feel it was a fair trade-off. We had received some veiled threats and preferred to be extra careful than sorry. Thankfully there were no safety issues and our experience ended up being very positive.
Lee: I wish we could have attended more podcast stage events. And it would have been great to be able to network more and meet more people. Our panel on the University Stage required a lot of preparation and structure, and that took up quite a bit of our time. Personally, in the future I would avoid committing for two big events if possible, in order to get the most out of the Celebration experience. Also: giveaways!
Monte: Given how swimmingly both our stages went I wouldn’t change anything. My more experienced co-host worked really hard and had us all prepared so we could pack in a myriad of information in a timely fashion.
Will you be at Anaheim in 2020 and if so do you think you’ll apply to be on the podcast stage again?
Some of us are planning on attending Celebration Anaheim in 2020 and if we can get at least two of our team there we will definitely be applying for the podcast stage again. It was an awesome experience!
How can people find your podcast online?
Our strongest presence is on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/c/lordsofthesithpodcast
We’re also on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LordSithPodcast