Illumination Bureau

The Illumination Bureau podcast is a podcast produced by Creative Portfolio, and co-hosted by Catherine Lang-Cline and her business partner Kristen Harris.

What makes this podcast special is that Catherine and Kristen bring two different perspectives to the podcast conversation. Ultimately, they have two different audiences listening to their podcast, their business clients and their talent clients. They weave their podcast content into addressing both targeted listeners.

Portfolio Creative provides access to creative talent to fill their business clients’ short or long-term contract needs. Catherine works with business clients and Kristen works with the creative talent.

Each brings a different perspective to each podcast’s topic, which is a great balance for each episode.

This is how they describe their podcast…

Even before this all started, we were creative people, hiring people, interviewing people, or being interviewed ourselves. With all of that life experience, we’ve acquired a lot of knowledge about how the job market works (and how it doesn’t work).

  • We have learned what makes a successful interview from both sides of the table.
  • We have learned how to present ourselves and how we wanted to be presented to.
  • We have learned how to find a job you love or an employee that you would soon love.
  • We have learned a lot–but what good does all that knowledge do if it’s trapped inside our heads?

So we decided to start the Illumination Bureau podcast to share all of that information. To help candidates get hired and for clients to find success in hiring the right person. Everyone is making a first impression at one time or another; this podcast will share information about putting your best foot forward. And, sometimes, it is just not a fit. We’ll also help you move on and find the job or candidate that is.

We’ll talk about finding the right job, moving up the ladder, mentoring employees for leadership, side hustles, contract employees, and so much more. There is a wealth of topics we can cover and, if we don’t know, we’ll bring in an expert.

Find out how it all started, and where the podcast is going in the ever-changing workforce planning and creative talent arena.

Recorded in Studio C at Channel 511, in the Brewery District, downtown Columbus, OH.

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. With over 35+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording and Broadcasting, the podcast consultants at Circle270Media strategically bring these strengths together for their business Podcast clients.

Exit The Warrior, Lessons from Neil Peart

I discovered Neil Peart and Rush when I was in high school, back in the beginning of the 80s. He was doing everything that I always dreamt of becoming as a drummer. He was just a master of what he did. He played this mammoth drum kit and was the master of the odd time signatures.

At the time, there were no other progressive drummers raising the bar to the level he did. I’d never seen or heard another drummer like him. He had the same kind of impact on the drum community that somebody like Jimi Hendrix or Eddie Van Halen had on the guitar community. I just became obsessed with him and everything about him.

That was around the Permanent Waves/Moving Pictures LP timeframe. Once I got hooked, I worked my way backwards and became completely obsessed with all those albums.

What did he do? Neil played his instrument like he was playing a symphony or conducting a classical piece. He was so nuanced and creative. No drummer was playing like that. There are nuances in every fill, every groove. Drummers around the world studied that. 

When they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, it was totally appropriate that he opened the trio’s acceptance speech. The musician and author, who passed away at the age of 67 on January 7 after a private, three-and-a-half-year struggle with brain cancer, famously shied away from the spotlight and rarely gave interviews.

However, the Ontario native was a quiet leader who shaped Rush’s voice, writing the bulk of the band’s lyrics and maintaining a steely, rock-solid presence behind the drumkit.

Peart didn’t play on the studio version of “Working Man,” but joined Rush that same year, replacing original drummer John Rutsey.  He became known for his philosophical musings on road life and restless souls; sharp critiques of power and greed; fantasy-tinged vignettes; and incisive political and social commentary, cloaked in metaphor, earning him the nickname 

Peart’s refinement on the drums earned him the nickname “The Professor.”

It was well-deserved: he possessed knowledge about a variety of topics, owing to his extensive global travels. During Rush tours, he was known for taking off on bicycle rides and would hop on his motorcycle to travel between gigs. He had a voracious curiosity about the world around him.

Peart found musical, and personal, brotherhood with bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson. The trio’s bond came alive during performances, which were immersive musical marathons. Shows featured an extended Peart drum solo, performed with precision and creative freedom. But while highly technical, Peart’s playing was always joyous. His lyrics were constructive, not destructive.

Neil Peart’s drum solo on Rush’s R40 tour took the drummer an entire career to construct. In 2015 he wrote for Classic Rock and explained the process

At the final show on Rush’s R40 tour at the LA Forum, Queens of the Stone Age drummer Jon Theodore was so moved by Neil Peart’s playing that he was moved to comment: “The solo was so impressionistic. Stripped down to just Neil and the drums. No vids or sequences. I never saw that much flow and colour and instinct set free in him before. Just f****** beautiful.” The comment got back to Peart, and here’s his response.

Let me just say right off, “Thank you Jon, more than you know.”

I can only try to express how much it means to hear that somebody got it – what I was trying to achieve with that solo. A lifetime of achievement, really.

Yet as I developed that solo through months of rehearsals and even into the tour, I was a little perplexed that I never received any feedback, from band-mates or crew members.

Sometimes people seem to take the attitude, “Aw, he already knows he’s good. He doesn’t need to hear it again.” But we do, don’t we?

Especially when we’re pushing ourselves way out on a limb like that.

Day after day, week after week, after each time we rehearsed that part of the show and I delivered my sketch of the solo, I was mildly concerned by the ringing silence. What did it mean? I worried that my ambitions were too high – my reach exceeding my grasp. (It often does, honestly – pretty much always – but maybe this time by too much.) I wasn’t going to ask anyone what they thought – fearing the answer too much! In any case, I was proceeding entirely on faith in an idea, and that solitary dedication was not easy.

My vague design for that solo was deceptively simple. I would approach it as if I was just sitting down at the drums to start playing – to exercise the improvisational skills I have been working on for, oh, about ten years now. Technically, I was determined to exemplify everything I thought I knew about drumming, and everything I love about the drums – almost 50 years of experience and passion had to go in there somehow.

All through band rehearsals I ran through sketches of what I was aiming for – rhythmic patterns conversing over favoured ostinatos (repeating rhythmic bases), polyrhythms and counter rhythms laid across each other, the rudimental snare work I always enjoyed riffing on – all the while letting it evolve naturally.

But again, in all that time, playing that “vision” every day for weeks, nobody ever said anything. Not my long time trusted drum tech Lorne “Gump” Wheaton, not my band-mates, not Brad in the mixing room, not Jim Burgess, not the crew guys, nobody.

Finally, some weeks into the tour my friend Matt Scannell told me after a show that he really liked that solo – how it seemed to tell a story.

I could have kissed him. (I probably did, actually. We’re like that.)

Late in the tour another friend, Chris Stankee, Berklee-educated drummer and long time Sabian pal (and riding buddy), had seen a few of our shows, and described that solo in a way that swelled me up big time.

“It’s like the marriage of you as lyricist and you as drummer. It’s the* phrasing*. And with all that, the technique doesn’t go over the audience’s head.”

So with those few “nods,” and now Jon’s, I can rest easy knowing I accomplished what I set out to do, at least in the eyes and ears of those who could “receive” it.

As my late drum teacher Freddie Gruber liked to say, “What’s the difference – if you don’t know the difference?”

I’m so glad some people do…

When I re-read this article, it really struck me. It made me ask myself, do I confirm, compliment, and give feedback to my podcast clients?  I believe I do, but maybe not enough. As we all take the mic, and begin the podcast journey, we all need feedback. Certainly at the beginning, with all the trial and errors, but we shouldn’t miss the opportunity with more seasoned podcasters, to tell them how well they are doing.  That may be just as important a time as in the beginning, as Peart just talked about.

Keep encouraging, keep giving feedback.  That’s what I do, and will continue to do with my podcast clients.

Recorded in Studio C at Channel 511, in the Brewery District, downtown Columbus, OH.

Brett Johnson is the owner and lead consultant at Circle270Media Podcast Consultants. With over 35+ years of experience in Marketing, Content Creation, Audio Production/Recording and Broadcasting, the podcast consultants at Circle270Media strategically bring these strengths together for their business Podcast clients.

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Google and Your Podcast Website

Google has started indexing podcasts. At their recent conference they announced that podcasts and podcast websites are appearing in regular search results. 

Don’t confuse Google podcasts with Google Play. Google is transitioning away from Play. 

They explain how they index podcasts in their developer Docs. 

Basically it says the podcast must have a dedicated home page, with a link pointing to your RSS feed. 

What does this mean? Your podcast needs a website. 

Google is actually transcribing the audio in the same way that they automatically do on YouTube, with the idea being that you would be able to search for something the podcast host said in the episode and it will show up in search results. 

So I think we can expect that all of the search optimization tricks people are doing on YouTube, like putting keywords in their titles, making sure that they actually say the keywords out loud, especially at the beginning of their video, all of that’s going to apply to podcasts now as well.

Moving forward, you are going to really need to think through your podcast episode titles, as well as the first paragraph of text in your show notes, and what you say at the introduction of the show. Google is going indexing that.

So far Google has not been a big player in the podcast space. But that will change having podcasts show up in regular Google search results both on mobile and on the desktop. This could be a game changer. This could mean that podcasts get a lot more distribution. 

I talk with long-time friend and colleague Chuck Francis. He is the owner of Take And Bake Marketing, as well as the owner of USAAccess, a web-hosting, video production and graphic design firm. My websites are hosted with USAAccess, full disclosure, but I bring him to the mic because of his knowledge around building websites, and how a website protects your podcast. We cover

  • Importance of owning your own website
  • Maintaining control of your own RSS feed(s)
  • WordPress for site and show management
  • Control your feed, and control where it lives