On The Table Read, the “Best Entertainment Celebrity Magazine in the UK“, co-founder of F Street Production, Scott Kushner, talks about his podcast, The Occult Unveiled, hosted by Ashley Ryan.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed Scott Kushner about The Occult Unveiled podcast, what inspired him to create it, and the work that goes into producing it.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
I am a co-founder of F Street Productions, a new content company, developing , producing and now releasing original, cross-platform scripted and unscripted entertainment.
I am also Executive Producer of MediaPlace, the NYC based integrated media and creative services company I founded in 1993. MediaPlace is a digital experience agency that creates content and location based experiences across all digital and interactive platforms for our brand partners.
I have been involved in creative development across many mediums throughout my whole career, which began in network radio; most notably as an engineer and producer on The King Biscuit Flower Hour, America’slongest running radio concert series.
How and why did you start podcasting?
In today’s tech-driven world, the concept of sight, sound and motion is so prevalent; The renewed attraction toward audio-only programming is uniquely unexpected. As the audio-only application and environment become so popular with today’s generation, it’s exciting to see audio take a huge new position in people’s content consumption diets.
In speaking with my longtime friend Michael Simon, who I started in radio with back in college, we realized we had this same refreshed interest in where audio programming was today, thus the concept of F Street Productions was born!
What is your current podcast called, and how did you come up with the name?
F Street Productions is presently launching two podcasts as its initial offerings, the first one being The Occult Unveiled. The title derived from the idea that many people may not have a deep understanding of the Occult world, but they might have a sense of what they think various occultist beliefs are.
Our goal in working with The Occult Unveiled host, Ashley Ryan, (AKA Pythian Priestess on TikTok) is to use Ashley’s unique knowledge and her talent of explaining the subject to dispel the myths and understand the realities behind it. In a sense, “unveiling” truths about the Occult world. The idea is that we are unveiling Occult concepts to people to help them better understand it.
We felt ‘The Occult Unveiled’ uniquely described what we’re doing within the show – you don’t have to be someone with 20 years of occult knowledge and experience to enjoy listening – you can just be a curious, everyday person who wants to understand Occult practices and what they mean.
What platforms can we find The Occult Unveiled on?
The Occult Unveiled is available on Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon…..wherever you get your favorite podcasts. You can also find it on www.theoccultunveiled.com
What is The Occult Unveiled about?
The eight-episode audio series The Occult Unveiled centers around Pythian Priestess’ deep insights, knowledge, and amazing ability to assist those searching for spiritual guidance.
Each episode, she and her guests pull back the curtain on a different occult topic. Insiders and outsiders alike are rewarded with a rare, non-judgmental look into these beliefs and practices.
Do you host The Occult Unveiled alone, or have guest hosts/partners?
The Occult Unveiled podcast is an interview based format hosted by Ashley Ryan, who spent half her life silently practicing and studying the occult under a veil of secrecy. In 2019, she went public becoming a popular occult expert and witch influencer known as Pythian Priestess (TikTok @pythianpriestess and Instagram @pythianpriestess). Ashley makes it her mission as a Priestess to assist those searching for spiritual guidance emerge from behind their own veils.
Do you edit The Occult Unveiled or have someone who does it for you?
These are both inhouse productions. We work with incredible writers, audio producers, and engineers along with our A-list of Voice talent. It’s great to work with such talented people who are all excited to make it happen!!
Do you script The Occult Unveiled, or just chat as you go?
The Occult Unveiled is very organic. It’s an interview format, where Ashley creates a comfort zone for her guests to relax while they have a conversation that is both informative and entertaining. While we dont write scripts, we do a fair amount of research as it’s important to know as much as possible about your guest, and in this case about their connection within the Witchcraft and Occult communities.
How has The Occult Unveiled changed or developed since you began?
This is our initial release in the podcast medium…and boy we’ve learned so much already but we certainly expect that both shows will continue to evolve based on feedback from our listeners. A portion of our Season 2 production which has just begun will certainly be influenced by our listeners. We believe in making the content for them, and with them.
What are your biggest challenges with The Occult Unveiled?
Determining an efficient and effective marketing strategy for our shows has been a challenge. We are independent producers trying to cut through all the noise and clutter in this rapidly growing medium… It has been a challenge for us to make sure people who would be interested, know that these new podcasts are out there. Podcasting in general has grown at such a rapid pace that there is so much content to choose from. It’s critical to figure out how to stand out and convince people to see what makes this special.
What are your favorite podcasts to listen to?
The Knowledge Project, All Songs Considered, WTF
How and where do you promote The Occult Unveiled?
We have been promoting the shows on social media, in the press, with our personal networks.
Do you earn money from podcasting, or is it a hobby?
We would love for podcasting to become a revenue stream, but at present we are working to create great content that people enjoy. Revenue will come if we deliver a great entertainment experience.
What’s something you never expected about podcasting? What have you learned that surprised you?
I never expected the ravenous consumption level of podcast enthusiasts, or the active foreground role that podcasting plays in people’s lives today.. Podcasts have become a key component of many people’s lives. Part of their ecosystem, they don’t go anywhere without them.
What is the first piece of advice you would give to anyone inspired to start podcasting?
You’ve got an idea that’s keeping you up at night – you have a thought that you want to scream out to so many people out there- don’t go into podcasting for the sake of going into podcasting – go into podcasting as a communication tool to articulate a very unique, interesting idea that you want to share with other people – that people want to receive. And that is where success will come from.
And, finally, are you proud of what you’re accomplishing with your podcast? Is it worth the effort?
Now that we have finished the first season of each of these shows and we’re in “launch mode,” to sit back on launch day and go from provider to provider, checking and seeing how everything played was rewarding. It was amazing to see this vision Michael Simon and I had at the beginning of Covid, brought to life and brought to market on our own as independent producers! It’s very exciting and we are very proud of what we put out there!
Was it worth it??? Hell yeah! We have the opportunity to create great content that people enjoy. There’s nothing better than that!!
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