This past week I had the wonderful opportunity to conduct an email interview with Cecil Baldwin and Joseph Fink, the star and creator of the hit fiction podcast “Welcome To Night Vale” which is currently touring for their live show, The Attic. This is a little surreal for me as a big fan of the show, thankfully, it’s a littleharder to embarrass myself over email so I sent over the questions and waited for a response. Below are the responses I got;
Welcome to Night Vale has been running for eleven years now which is insanely impressive, congratulations! This means there is a lot of content for listeners to connect with. Is there anything in the show that got way more popular among fans than you expected?
CB: The love story between Cecil and Carlos was so gladly embraced by the fans.
JF: Every part of the show got more popular than I expected.
Night Vale is crafted perfectly for an auditory experience, what was the hardest part of adapting it for live shows, as a writer and as an actor?
CB: You play to a crowd in a theater, and only to yourself and a microphone in your home.
JF: We all met in the theater world, so we had a lot of experience with what works in front of a live crowd.
If you could change one thing about the Night Vale world as is, what would it be?
CB: I’d set it in Florida.
JF: Can’t really think of anything we would want to change that we haven’t.
Many shows after so many episodes tend to have a noticeable dip in quality as the writing team exhausts themselves or loses passion in the project. However, Night Vale over its entire run has been consistently great, in fact, it seems to get better every year. Where does the inspiration for new WTNV episodes come from? And how do you keep that energy going?
CB: Inspiration comes in many forms.
JF: We like doing it. If it stopped being fun, we’d stop.
Have any episodes or moments been particularly difficult to voice for, whether that be from their sheer ridiculousness or serious subject matter?
CB: No. But certain phrases are very difficult to say correctly.
At the station, I help manage the podcasts that students create. What would your advice be to students who may want to be involved in their own fiction podcast?
CB: Do it. Make it. Share it.
JF: Work with what you have. If all you have is a single mic set-up, write something for a single voice. If you don’t know how to do sound effects, don’t do them. Also, work with other people, and prioritize working with people you enjoy hanging out with. That way, worst case is you made something you like with some people you like.
Here at KJHK, all of our DJs have DJ names. They’re all relatively silly, for example, our station manager is DJ Goon, our General manager is DJ Beefcakes, we have DJ Gator, DJ Dogmouth, etc. We also play a huge range of music, so the question is, what would be your DJ name and what kind of music would you play?
CB: DJ Snaps, and I’d play nothing but ambient train sounds.
JF: DJ DJ, and only play artists whose initials are DJ (Don Johnson, Daniel Johnston, Dinosaur Jr, etc.)
Finally, what has come from Night Vale that you are most proud of?
JF: It has become a business that supports multiple people, all while being entirely independent and only telling the stories we want to tell. I think that’s something to be proud of.
Thank you to the Night Vale team for the collaboration with KJHK! You can catch The Welcome To Night Vale Live Show, The Attic, locallyat Liberty Hall on October 10th, and listen to Welcome To Night Vale wherever you get your podcasts. Happy listening!