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Jan 23, 2020

POD SAVE ASTORIA WEEK: Making the First Move with ‘Shooters Gotta Shoot’

When we started looking into local podcasts a few weeks back for story ideas, there were so many good opportunities for content that we decided to make it a week-long (…)

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When we started looking into local podcasts a few weeks back for story ideas, there were so many good opportunities for content that we decided to make it a week-long series! So, welcome to “Pod Save Astoria” Week, where we’re interviewing local podcasters about joining a super popular medium, recording locally, the laughs (and tears) along the way, and so much more. Enjoy (and start downloading…now!).

If you don’t mind people looking at you on the subway because you’re laughing hysterically to yourself, or have your roommate ask “what happened?” because you walk in the door with a huge smile and giggling, listen to “Shooters Gotta Shoot.” (Both of those things happened to me this week as I was listening to the show on my commute).

Started by Astoria roommates Erica Spera and Molly DeMellier, Shooters Gotta Shoot follows the two women’s dating hits and misses and also gets real about the so-called “baggage” we take into relationships. Two former basketball players, the name comes from a game-time term, how players in the shooter position just have to keep shooting, even if they’re not having a great game. Follow along as they shoot their shots week after week…

WHA: Tell us about “Shooters Gotta Shoot.” What is the aim of the podcast?

MOLLY: We really set out to break the stigmas around women who go after what they want, especially when it comes to men and making the first move.

ERICA: We also wanted to start a new conversation around dating with STIs, specifically herpes, and other things deemed as “baggage” that we all inevitably bring to our relationships. Everyone has some form of “baggage” and nobody should be shamed for theirs.

Recording an episode in their local deli.

WHA: How did you come up with the idea for it? 

ERICA: After I found out that I had herpes, I kept finding that a lot of other people shared my struggles. It was like the more I talked about it, the more I heard how common it actually was. So I started a Meetup Support Group and again was surprised by the turnout and I felt like a podcast was a way to reach people and communicate that would keep their secret, while giving them a place to feel less alone.

MOLLY: As best friends and roommates, Erica and I talk about guys and dating all the time. One thing we found really funny was that even though I don’t have herpes, a lot of our dating issues were actually very similar. We figured that if we were both experiencing it, then others must be too and that there must be a way to start a larger conversation around these issues while challenging ourselves to not give up on love—because trust me, we’ve come real close.

WHA: Was it always going to be a podcast, or did you consider another form of content at first?

MOLLY: I don’t think there was another medium or form of content that we really even considered. When we thought of the podcast we fell in love with the idea and felt it was the form that would deliver the most honest message.

ERICA: I think it’s where we can be the most open and genuine on some hard hitting topics. We’re typically recording with no makeup, no cameras, just like you’re listening in on a sleepover between best friends. Real, honest, funny pillow talk.

WHA: What was the process like starting a podcast? 

ERICA: It took a lot of planning, trial and error. You have to really figure out what the goal is, what the hook is, and the chemistry of co-hosting and guests. Step 1 is figuring out what your style is, step 2 is figuring out how to keep it fresh and enticing every episode.

MOLLY: To get off the ground we really had to trust each other’s strengths and what we were trying to accomplish together. Until our first episode I’d never done a podcast before, but Erica had many times and I knew she was great at it. So she was really responsible for the launch and I worked more on our messaging. I think being able to trust each other in that way as a team is one of the biggest reasons we were able to make Shooters Gotta Shoot happen.

WHA: How did you learn? 

ERICA: We’re athletes, so we practiced. You don’t go into game day unprepared. We recorded a few practice episodes, listened back, critiqued what we would change and improve on and once we felt ready we started recording episodes to be released.

MOLLY: We also sent a few audio folders along to friends to give feedback before the show was officially live. The feedback we got was all very positive and had some really good tips, so right from the get-go our thought process was “how do we make this week’s show better than last week’s?” As one of our more out-of-the-box forms of research, I went to Erica’s herpes meetup group and pretended I had herpes. This was a flop and I learned I’m not a very good liar.

WHA: How were the logistics—getting the equipment, learning how to record/edit, etc? 

ERICA: Fortunately for us, I had a podcast years ago that failed. So I had the equipment and some editing experience. But this time around we reached out to our friend, Mike Coscarelli, who’s a podcast producer for “Betches” to make sure we had our sh*t in order. He walked me through some editing tips and helped us figure out where to host the podcast, etc. He also does freelance producing work so hit him up! (But you better pay him).

MOLLY: To be honest, Erica still runs this operation. I show up on recording day and make pigeon sounds into the microphone until she tells me the levels look good. I can’t record a podcast to save my life, but I could probably fool a Central Park pigeon at this point.

WHA: How does Astoria play a role/inspire you? Do you record in your Astoria apartment? What is that like?

ERICA: Yes! We love recording in Astoria because it’s our home. It’s where we feel like we can truly be ourselves and relax. It has the energy and realness of the city, but is much calmer and livable.

MOLLY: Yeah, our pizza spot has let us come back and pay the next day when we forgot cash, or when I lose my credit card (again). You won’t get that kind of familiarity in Manhattan.

Quick Fun Q’s

WHA: What are some of your other favorite podcasts to listen to? 

ERICA: U Up? – Jared Freid & Jordana Abraham; How Cum? – Remy Kassimir; Yung Daddy – Lev Fer; Self Helpless – Taylor Tomlinson, Kelsey Cook, Delaine Fischer

MOLLY: Dirty John – Wondery; Up First- NPR; J Train – Jared Freid

WHA: What’s your favorite thing to eat/drink while you record or edit? 

ERICA: Never eat on your podcast! A little wine usually does the trick.

MOLLY: While I am a fan of the ‘ain’t no laws when you’re drinking Claws’ game, White Claws will probably makes you burp and that’s not a good look into the mic, so I also recommend riding the wine train.

WHA: What is your favorite most underrated spot in the neighborhood?

ERICA: Coffee- Balancero; Food- Oliver’s; Late night- Greek food cart on 32nd and Broadway

MOLLY: Anytime: Steinway Deli off the Steinway Stop; Shopping: Lockwood; Mani/Pedi- The Health Bar inside Impress Hair Studio on 37th/Broadway

Listen to Shooters Gotta Shoot on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts

Follow Shooters Gotta Shoot on Instagram

Subscribe to their Patreon for more bonus content.

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