Our podcast recommendation of the week is telling the stories of the movies – it’s time for a bit of Verbal Diorama.

For over 100 weeks, the brilliant Em has been using this spot on a Friday to recommend independent UK movie podcasts, and has gone out of her way to help and support others. This week, I asked her to turn that spotlight on herself. She was typically reluctant to do so, but eventually agreed. And with that, I’ll hand you over to her  – Simon, Editor.

If you grew up in the late ’80s/early ’90s, you’ll remember that your favourite American teen show (mine was Saved By The Bell!) almost always had a very special episode. It was usually an episode dedicated to more serious topics, like being addicted to caffeine pills, and it almost always ended with a public service announcement along the lines of “just say no to drugs, kids!” This week’s feature is sort of like that, a very special episode (but without the seriousness and the PSA!)

For over a hundred Recommended British Movie Podcast features, I’ve always been very careful to not mention my own podcast, Verbal Diorama. Call it modesty, call it acknowledgement of privilege, heck you can call it stupidity if you like, but when I took this task on, two-and-a-bit years ago, it was with the clear and sole purpose of promoting other people’s podcasts. I genuinely, during all this time, never wanted to talk about my own; that was never the point, and yet having my own podcast benefitted these features immensely.

Being a podcaster myself, I understand what other podcasters go through, I empathise with the work you need to do. I know how hard you need to work for this hobby. Any writer can write about someone else’s circumstances while being completely detached from the experience, but I actually know, and I’ve gone to great lengths to keep that reasonably private in the context of these features. While I understand what’s involved, it’s never been about me, and I’m fine with that. 

Podcasters are expected to be extroverted, to like the sound of their own voices and to shout from the rooftops about their podcast. I am none of these things, and honestly, most podcasters are none of these things either. Podcasting has given me a reasonable degree of confidence, but I still struggle with feelings of self-doubt and anxiety. I still question if I’m good enough. This is why this feature exists though; to give those podcasts who don’t have a huge company or celebrity endorsement behind them that little bit of exposure. To remind them that someone is watching and listening to what they’re doing. To tell them to keep going, to not be be disheartened by the struggle. For every podcast I contact (because I do, every single one) it’s been because I’m in the same boat. I know all I ever want is some sort of acknowledgement that I’m doing ok. I’m privileged to be able to give that acknowledgement to others.

I genuinely love writing about other people and their podcasts. I’ve met some amazing podcasting peers and made some wonderful friendships through it too. This feature has always been about other people, and that’s how it will remain, but if I may, we need to talk about Verbal Diorama.

Someone I respect a great deal in the world of podcasting said recently that the only way we can grow, as people and as podcasters, is to remember to step outside of our comfort zones frequently. Truthfully, I had no feature planned this week at all; I’d planned to take a break for reasons I shall come to. When Simon asked me to write a website feature about Verbal Diorama, my initial reaction was one of horror and dread. But then… I realised; had I not stepped out of my comfort zone, I wouldn’t even be writing for Film Stories in the first place. I took a leap of faith two-and-a-bit years ago, contacted Simon, and here I am. It’s not hubris to be proud of your achievements, and it’s not being conceited to admit you do something that brings you joy.

Despite these revelations, I’m not going to sit here and say that my podcast is great, the host is incredible and it’s the best thing since the Film Stories podcast (it’s a coincidence that the formats are similar!) but what I will tell you is that this week Verbal Diorama turned three. It’s the podcast all about the history and legacy of movies you know and movies you don’t. I have a passion for practical effects, puppetry and animation, but I’ve featured all sorts of movies. I’m really chuffing proud of everything this podcast has achieved, and the opportunities it’s granted me. I’ve released 142 episodes over the last three years and this week I released three episodes in three consecutive days, because, yes I work really hard at this. And maybe if you like what Simon does with the Film Stories podcast, then you might also like what Verbal Diorama does.

My name is Em, and I have a podcast.

Recommended episode: Episode 126 – (25 November 2021) – That Thing You Do!  – https://verbaldiorama.com/that-thing-you-do 

Verbal Diorama can be found at https://www.verbaldiorama.com/ 

And followed at:

Twitter – https://twitter.com/VerbalDiorama 

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/verbaldiorama 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/verbaldiorama 

All episodes of Verbal Diorama are available and can be listened to or downloaded from Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts from.

Are you a British movie podcast who would like to be featured on Film Stories? We welcome all suggestions and requests, but we especially want to hear from you if you’re female, POC, non-binary, LGBTQIA+ or have a disability. Email Em – verbaldiorama at gmail co uk (Just remove the spaces and add the ‘@’ and the dots, but don’t send spam. She’s vegetarian.)

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