Marylin Monroe once famously said, “Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.” The movie and pop culture icon was right in that boredom is never a good alternative to wild and eccentric. In the world of podcasting, it is easy to get lost in a jungle of shows that range from silly to boring in a single click. Usually when people find a podcast that resonates with them they latch on until….you guessed it: until it gets boring.
So, it has been several months since I first stumbled upon the quirky podcast 2 Girls on a Bench. In full disclosure, I originally wanted to write this piece on them months ago because I was in for a pretty busy summer of writing. However, the two worlds of procrastinators and an overworked writer somehow melded harmoniously because during the summer, I simply tuned in more to these hilarious women. Now, I grew up with three sisters and from the time when I was a little boy, I literally felt like a fly on the wall as I listened to my sisters carry on about all the happenings in their lives. I was allowed to tune in to their conversations, but I seldom ever participated. And listening the Tricia and Siana, the 2 Girls on the Bench, many times I felt like I was back there, in that old house, with my sisters, just listening in amusement at some of the truly comical and crazy stuff they would often talk about. Perhaps this is one reason why I recommend this podcast to everyone I know personally. They’re like my sisters from an alternate universe.
Some notable aspects of this show that sets it apart from others includes the organic and natural chemistry to hosts have. They are true friends of over 25 years and the stories they share span over two decades. A lot things happen over that much time and Tricia and Siana find some truly merry and humorous ways to point out the crux of their topics. Often they revert to their writing, the prompts, and of course, snacking (which there never seems to be an end to the discussion of great snacks).They also shy away from being overly political, which is quite refreshing. I’ve taken the liberty of reaching out to Tricia and Siana and ask them some questions regarding their show. Below are their answers, which are candid and not too shocking (now that I have listened to them quite a bit). This is them in a nutshell. An absolute trip to listen to and never, ever boring.
1. You have mentioned a “come back” of sorts with your writing and this show. Can you talk a little about your past work?
We started out as a writing duo in college and wrote several plays that we produced and toured with and then got into writing screenplays. We had a blog for many years and then had to let that go once we started having kids.
2. How did you come up with the concept of “2 Girls on a Bench?”
In our 26 years of friendship, (listen, when we started this, we were girls) whenever we sit on a bench together anywhere in the world, we always see something unique happen. We have seen a lecherous corn man in Guadalajara, Mexico, been robbed on a bench in Madrid, Spain, watched a man screaming about his eye run into the ladies bathroom at Whole Foods in Sherman Oaks, you get the idea.
3. Are you really procrastinators and do you really have trouble writing stuff? (*Side note: it took a few months to get answers to these questions.)
Yes, have you listened to our podcast? :) Because we’re friends we always have so much to talk about, we call it downloading before we upload. We both have full time jobs and families and dogs, so we have 8 million things running through our collective minds at all times.
4. How much of your content is scripted and how much is improvised?
Um, none of it is scripted, except when we read from our old travel journal or dig out an old list.
5. You two seem to complement each other quite well. How do you balance time and things talked about on your show? Do you follow a guide or does this happen naturally as you are recording?
We developed segments to keep ourselves on track because most of the conversation does happen naturally. “Gimme that snackbook” helps contain our snacking thoughts, “Write it Bitch” is our focused writing time, etc.
6. You record your shows on a schedule, correct? And even if you don’t stick to a rigid schedule, what are some routines you do in prepping for the show?
The schedule is always dependent on when we can find some time in between everything else. We try to block out a day here and there to record a few episodes. We text each other about snacks all the time and randomly buy them separately and together to prep for the show. We decide before we start each episode what we will do for each segment.
7. You have certain reoccurring themes (like snacks, for example), which reminds me of shows like Seinfeld where otherwise mundane things turn out to be quite hilarious in certain scenarios. Is this your goal or is it more of an organic “go to” facet of the show that has taken form?
The snackbook was established in our blog and through that we realized that all people in some way relate to snacking. We will publish a real snackbook that is a book someday soon. We think most mundane things are hilarious and we also find that going through our old journals, random memories, stalker stories and old script ideas is good material for this new audience.
8. In today’s podcast landscape, there seems to be new shows popping up all the time. Do you see this as a renaissance of podcasting and do your think there’s a ceiling we’ll eventually hit in regards to interest in podcasts?
We’re enjoying the ride now and the community that is built online around podcasts. We saw a sort of ceiling with blogs, so it’s possible it could happen with podcasts. But knock on wood there are so many different topics, personalities and good content out there we hope it goes on forever.
9. What do you draw from -for the bulk of the topics you talk about on your show?
Our lives and whatever comes into our brains as we’re talking. Our families occasionally come into the conversation as well as struggling with our jobs, being tired, living life, surviving commuting and wanting to express ourselves creatively throughout it all.
10. What do you hope listeners will “take away” from tuning in to your show?
We hope that people will laugh and we really hope we inspire people to write. Through all the jokes and stories, being a writer is lonely and listening to other people struggle with the same things keeps us motivated.
2 Girls on a Bench is on Stitcher and iTunes and most podcast platforms — but you can always Google them. Have a listen and subscribe to their show. I also recommend you share it with others, especially those of like-minded interests –such as in delving into the world of quirky writers. These women are soul sisters and the topics they cover on their show are remarkably entertaining. The show makes me smile, laugh, and paint some fantastic images in my head as they peel back the layers of their lives, their works, and the delectable details of snacks. Make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss an episode. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter!