By Squarespace / Gimlet Creative
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Casting Call is like a Hollywood singing competition, but for people who are pros at audio interviews and non-fiction storytelling. On the show, an esteemed panel of judges will join host Jonathan Goldstein to vet submissions from aspiring podcast hosts across the country, and select three finalists to travel to Gimlet HQ to make a pilot of their show. One talented hopeful will have their pilot turned into a mini-series, produced by Gimlet, and maybe even get a Squarespace sponsorship of their own -- the pinnacle of podcast fame. All of the glory and the drama of the competition will be documented for listeners to hear. Expect a behind-the-scenes look at the weird and wonderful world of podcasting. You’ll learn what makes a good host and how entertaining shows get made when Casting Call officially launches in September.
||ExplicitEpisode 7: And The Winner Is...||Who is the next great podcast star? You'll find out in THIS live episode||10/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 6: The Third Pilot||Each finalist made a full-length pilot of their show. Do not listen until you’ve listened to the other episodes. Seriously!!||9/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 5: The Second Pilot||Here’s the second pilot from our finalists. Do not listen until you’ve listened to the other episodes. Or else.||9/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 4: The First Pilot||Introducing: The first pilot from our finalists. Want to know who made it? Guess you’ll have to listen.||9/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 3: You’re Coming To Brooklyn!||Meet the three people ready to become podcast stars.||9/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 2: Bring In The Judges||The judges convene and select the three Casting Call finalists.||9/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitEpisode 1: I Have This Idea For A Podcast...||The search for the next great podcast host begins.||9/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitAnnouncing: The Casting Call Series||Who is the next great podcast star?||9/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanThe deadline is approaching!||Some Inspiration for your Casting Call Application. These days, it seems like everyone has an idea for a podcast. In this clip Jorge Just, Editor at Gimlet Media tells host Jonathan Goldstein about his many ideas. Tell us about your idea at castingcallshow.com. Apply by May 21st for your chance to be the next great podcast host.||5/18/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanAre you the next great podcast host?||Casting Call is looking for the next great podcast host. Is it you? Submit your application before May 21st by visiting castingcallshow.com.||4/25/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
predictable but disappointing outcome
I listened because I'm a Goldstein fan. I loved the idea, the choice of judges and finalists, and enjoyed the three pilots. But all the way through, I hoped one of the edifying shows on neglected topics by women with life experience (Deborah's or Natalie's) would win, and felt cynically apprehensive that the Millennial with prurient stories would instead. Sure enough, she did. I found her annoying and wouldn't recommend her show, but Gimlet (or Squarespace?) went with the clickbait from a host who will have no shortage of platforms.
I might just weep after episode 4. Listen to this immediately!
An uneven concept that yields a compelling pilot
Jonathan Goldstein is a god. Heavyweight is a 5 star Hall of Fame podcast. So is his episode of Mystery Show. So are the archives of Wire Tap, available on iTunes.
This? Well it is hard to say. Through six episodes it is a bit uneven. Goldstein is excellent, but it’s not really his show. The “judges” come off as self-important and add little. Some listeners may find them alienating. The good news is they go away (I think).
The show then becomes about three pilots. One, on death, is captivating and beautiful and wonderfully done. It is a unique voice among podcasts, and I look forward to reviewing it as a stand-alone feed. I would give the pilot 5 stars.
The other two...? I kept listening trying to figure out why they were picked, but neither the topics nor the hosts held any appeal for me. They seemed set up to fail. And, at least for me, they did fail. I regret the time spent trying them.
As for the non-pilot episodes, Aminatou Sow is not entirely my cup of tea and she talks A LOT. Alex Blumberg makes only a cameo, and his wife Nazanin Rafsanjani is fine, but hardly says anything. The Squarespace CEO says actually nothing. I would give those episodes 3-4 stars on the strength of Goldstein alone. The snippets of submissions were also fun.
So it’s good for what it is: works in progress. But by definition, that is going to be inconsistent. It’s not as good as high quality standalone feeds, but if you like a peak behind the scenes or love Goldstein (as you should), then give it a chance. The Final Say pilot (episode 4) is worth it as well.