We love to highlight Simplecast members who are totally killing it. This week, we decided to ask Aliza Kelly a few questions to learn what she does #OnSimplecast.
I joke that Brooklyn is really small, and that was never proved truer than when I was looking through new Simplecast customers' shows (I'm always on the lookout for new podcasts to listen to while cleaning my apartment) and saw that one of the first episodes of Aliza Kelly's Stars Like Us featured Anka Lavriv, the owner of a Black Iris Tattoo, a studio where I've gotten a few pieces done! Of course, I was hooked.
Aliza is a New York City-based astrologer, writer, and host. She's written two books, The Mixology of Astrology: Cosmic Cocktail Recipes for Every Sign and Starring You: A Guided Journey Through Astrology. As the resident astrologer of Cosmopolitan Magazine, her horoscopes and advice column appears in both print and digital, and she also hosts “Star Chart,” a celebrity-based astrology show. To put it mildly: she's busy!
When I finally met Aliza IRL at our YouTube Space event in New York last month, it was all I could do to stop myself from pulling up my birth chart on my phone and pelting her with questions about it. (Yes, there is an #astrology Slack channel at Simplecast!) I decided to be a little more productive and ask her a few questions about launching her show!
What's your show's name?
Stars Like Us
What's it about?
As a professional astrologer, I see the world through the lens of cosmic patterns and synchronicities. I wanted to create a platform where I could simultaneously share my astrological insight while also learning about others' practices and passions through expert interviews. Stars Like Us is a weekly journey into astrology, mysticism, and occultism — made relevant through pop culture, celebrity gossip, and lots of laughter.
How long have you been podcasting?
I actually launched my first podcast in 2016, but took a three-year hiatus before releasing Stars Like Us in March 2019.
Why did you start podcasting?
In the words of Joseph Campbell, "myths are clues of the spiritual potentialities of human life." Simply put, I love stories. I love telling them, hearing them, experiencing them. So, one of the major reasons I wanted to start a podcast was to create a platform to bolster the art of storytelling. Also, I strongly believe that creators need to diversify their business across multiple outlets. The current structure of podcasting enables podcasters to actually own their intellectual property, which is an essential component of any sustainable business. For example, if Instagram collapses tomorrow, I would still be able to produce and publish my podcast — and at this particular moment in time — that is something we all need to be considering in a very real way.
Where do you podcast/what's your setup look like?
When I'm in New York, I record from my apartment. I have some fancy equipment (two mics, pop filters, AKG headphones, and a Scarlett interface). Podcasts are extremely intimate things — your voice is literally in someone's ear! So, I want to make sure the sound is high-quality and that the listening experience is always enjoyable.
What's your favorite podcast to listen to?
I love That's So Retrograde — Elizabeth and Steph always interview excellent guests and effortlessly hilarious.
What's one big mistake you made in creating your show–and would you go back and change it? How?
To be honest, I wish I had given a bit more thought to titles and numbering/labeling the episodes. Apple automatically numbers the titles for you, so in labeling a show "5.", it shows up in Apple Podcasts as 5.5. — and I hate that! It's a small detail, but both my Mars and Mercury are in Virgo, so I can't help it.
What's the most inspiring thing you read/listened to/saw/did in the past few months?
I'm so inspired by my guests. Speaking with so many passionate people about their journeys and experiences has been truly profound. There are so many interesting, amazing ways to move through this short life, and I'm very grateful that so many dynamic individuals are taking the time to sit with me and tell me their tales.
Any advice for new podcasters?
Everything takes a lot longer than you think it will. Allocate extra time for everything.
What's your party trick?
For many years, my party trick was astrology. Now that I'm a professional astrologer, however, my party trick is not talking about astrology in social situations. How wild is that!
Anything else you want to talk about?
My next book is coming out on June 11! It's called "Starring You," and it's an guided journey that enables the reader to explore self-empowerment through astrology. I'm so excited to share it with the world!