Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed podcaster Nyge Turner about his podcast, Adult ISH, what inspired him to start it, and the audience he is hoping to offer support to.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I’m from Richmond, California and I’m a producer and host of Adult ISH, a podcast produced by YR Media and distributed by Radiotopia. YR Media is a national network of young, diverse journalists and artists, and this show is basically produced by and for young adults figuring out their lives as they get into “adulting.”
I’m also the proud father of a new puppy!
How and why did you start podcasting?
I started playing with podcasting when I was 18 and my friend and I started “Not Your Father’s Podcast” where we talked about any and everything from slang to traffic. I joined Adult ISH in June 2018 – I was part of a national talent search for the hosting role and I won! (along with the talented Merk Nguyen who is now a voice actress.) I actually beat one of my college friends who told me to apply.
What is your current podcast called, and how did you come up with the name?
Adult ISH came from a big brainstorming session – we were trying to figure out a podcast name that had something to do with young people and adulting. We started a competition at YR Media for the winning name and my coworker Nancy DeVille came up with the amazing name.
What platforms can we find Adult ISH on?
Wherever you get your podcasts! Or at adultishpodcast.com
What is Adult ISH about?
Everything about learning to be an adult. And the format is everything from personal stories to interviews. This season we’re trying a new format: Dear Adult ISH, where people can write in letters to the show and we dive into issues that way. We’ve heard from so many people over the years about their own adulting struggles, and we are finally bringing those stories to the forefront of our show. It’s so rewarding to be sharing the driver’s seat with other young adults, who we have always wanted on this journey with us.
Do you host Adult ISH alone, or have guest hosts/partners?
Adult ISH launched with two hosts — me and Merk Nguyen and we really built the show around our own lives and experiences, along with producer Davey Kim, and later Georgia Wright and Dominique French (Dom) joined the crew. Everyone on the team has made appearances on the show, since we’re all young adults, and Dom has taken the hosting chair in some of the episodes in Season 6.
Do you edit Adult ISH or have someone who does it for you?
It’s a team effort. We share a lot of the work across the team – I take the lead on hosting, interviews and show copy, but I also do audio editing and work on features for the show. Someone else on the team does the polishing at the end, and we often use music and art created by young people from YR Media.
Do you script Adult ISH or just chat as you go?
I would say it’s a mix. We script and we plan ahead, but interviews and show copy is usually filled with a bunch of unscripted anecdotes. I prefer to have a script for safety and then just ignore it and riff as much as possible.
How has Adult ISH changed or developed since you began?
The team is always changing and reimagining the show each season. We started out with a lot of celebrity interviews, then moved into more personal storytelling, and now have shifted to an advice column kind of format.
What are your biggest challenges with Adult ISH?
Picking and choosing when to insert myself, when I’m talking to guests. I often share a lot of personal experiences in my interviews as part of my questions, but you want to make sure that doesn’t take from what the guests have to offer.
What are your favourite podcasts to listen to?
I love “Bodega Boys” and “Leaving the Theater” (I love movies!)
How and where do you promote Adult ISH?
We’re lucky to be part of the Radiotopia network, so they help with marketing and getting our show out into the world. YR Media also has a marketing and social team that helps push out our show and content and gets us visibility. We also have Adult ISH social media accounts on IG/Twitter (@yradultish) and FB (adultishpodcast) where people can follow our episodes, along with more info about the team and our lives.
Do you earn money from podcasting, or is it a hobby?
Lucky for me I do this as my job at YR Media! So I get paid to work on the show as a full time employee.
What’s something you never expected about podcasting? What have you learned that surprised you?
The toll that sharing so much can take, is something I didn’t expect. Once I wrapped my mind around it, it was cool. But you have to be sure to prioritize self-care when you are sharing your life with the world.
What is the first piece of advice you would give to anyone inspired to start podcasting?
Make sure the content that you put out is authentically you. If you’re not being yourself, it will be hard for you to listen to your show – not to mention other people, and…you don’t want that!
And, finally, are you proud of what you’re accomplishing with Adult ISH? Is it worth the effort?
Definitely. Once one person reaches out and says how something I’ve shared has impacted them, there’s no way to really measure how much motivation that gives you. And the letter-writers from this season who say afterwards how much they appreciate our work really makes all the effort worth it.
It’s also a big bonus to be featured in the The New York Times, AV Club, Harper’s Bazaar, Romper and Colorlines, and our show catalog has hundreds of thousands of downloads. That really puts the reach into perspective.
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