We’ve always enjoyed following the progress of Kelechi Okafor. Way back in Issue #008 we knew that her podcast Say Your Mind was only going to get bigger, and the last year has certainly proven us right. Not only did she claim the converted cover star spot for our seventeenth issue, but she stormed out of the pandemic with sellout live shows in April.
Now she’s back with a bonus live show at Sadlers Wells in September. We pinned her down to talk a bit about her thoughts on live podcasting…
Kelechi, congratulations on the sell-out shows in April! You’re back with more in September. How does it feel to be in the same room as your listeners?
It feels incredible to be in the same room as my listeners. The moment just before I step on stage I feel nervous and excited because naturally, I don’t want to let them down and I have to remind myself that it is unlikely they would be let down because, they choose to tune in weekly to a podcast where I randomly burst into song and say the most random things.
What can you do with live shows that you can’t do on a podcast?
Truly it is the feedback that you get from a live show that is unrivalled. Sometimes I stream live on my social media platforms but I am usually just reading people’s reactions from the words they type as opposed to actually seeing them and hearing in real life their screams and claps. I love that. As a trained actor, I feel like I am literally fuelled by the audience’s energy. We have more video podcasts now so people can see facial reactions from the podcast host in a similar way to a live show but that real-time back and forth that you can have with a live audience is what I find extra inspiring.
Is there anything you had to get used to NOT doing in the live shows?
I can’t really think of anything I personally wouldn’t do at a live show. I pretty much wing most episodes once I have the general outline of what I want to discuss and that carries over into the live shows too. If anything maybe not having so many listeners on stage as that can be hard to manage even though I want everyone to come onto the stage and say their mind.
What is one of your favourite memories from the Live shows so far?
One of my favourite memories has to be The Receipts Podcast ladies surprising me by attending my 2019 live show and they brought me flowers. That really touched me for them to acknowledge me in that way. I think in podcasting it is important to have a community of fellow podcasters that celebrate you and vice versa.
Finally – are you any closer to getting (dream guest) Viola Davies on??
Arrgghh!! If I speak they will say I am speaking (Nigerian turn of phrase used by people who feel they’ve lamented too much already!) I thought it would be the publication of her memoir that would land me the interview but that didn’t happen. I’m hoping it is something else. Maybe an upcoming film. I don’t know who else I can beg to let me interview this amazing woman. I know once I finally speak with Viola I will be able to successfully pitch why I should play the lead in Wild Seed.
Watch Say Your Mind live on Sunday 25th September at Sadlers Wells Theatre, and buy your tickets here.
Article hero photo credit to Jennie Scott Photography.