Travis McElroy, Podcaster
Cool Tools Show 266: Travis McElroy
Manicure Kit ($8)
I am slightly fastidious, one might say, when it comes to my appearance. And I don’t know why, but I get really hung up on nail cleanliness and nail shape. This is the kit. I have 18 different pieces within the set. It’s this sleek, black-on-red kind of looking set. So it’s really cool. And there’s a lot of options and it makes me feel I’m taking good care of my nails. I’ve gone through a couple of different nail kits in the past. The kit that I had before had like 10 pieces in it. And then Teresa gave me this one. What’s great about it is it very much feels like a toolbox. Where you would have as many different tools as there are needs within it. And it kind of feels you’re getting down to business when it’s time to just sculpt those nails. It’s one of those things that like, people have asked me before — What it is about painting nails and taking care of nails that I really enjoy? There’s something about it that is kind of very Zen to me. I don’t say that lightly. I practice and study Zen, but it’s very Zen to me because you’re just doing these little minute, detail work and you’re kind of focusing all your attention on such a small space. And then it also feels a little bit like preparing for battle and not battling like I’m going to go fight someone, but when I’m getting ready for the day or getting ready for a big event, shaping my nails and painting my nails gives me a task that I am doing to prepare myself, that feels very active.
Shure SM 58 ($99)
The Shure SM 58 is the workhorse of the audio industry. It is the most reliable microphone that I know of, to the point where we do a lot of live shows now. And it is very rare, maybe 1 in 20, that a theater isn’t using Shure SM 58s. The Shure SM 58 is durable to the point where I let my four-year-old play with mine, because even if she drops it, nothing’s going to happen to it. As long as she doesn’t submerge it in water for a long period of time, it will be fine. These are people’s touring microphones. There are standup comics that will bring their own Shure SM 58s with them. There are musicians that will tour with their SM 58s. They’re durable and what’s great about them is they’re also very flexible in their usage. You can use them, like I said, on stage. They’re very good in front of a crowd to amplify.
N.4 Lumiere d’hiver Super Comb Prep and Protect ($19)
When I was a young foolish, foolish man, there was a period of time in which I did not how much body my hair had. I thought it was too poofy. So, I’m talking when I was 13. I wore way too much hairspray and I wanted it to stay down. I wanted my hair to stay down because it always wanted to stick up. And I hated cowlicks and I hated all that. In retrospect, if I could go back in time, I would’ve said, “Okay, just let your hair grow a little bit, my dude,” and that will fix a lot of the problem, but it was also a couple of things that I’ve learned since then. 1. Do not shampoo your hair every day. This is not good. It’s bad for your scalp. It’s bad for your hair. Your hair has natural oils that occur within it that will make styling your hair easier. It’s easier to style dirty hair than it is clean hair. So if you’re going to get ready for something, wash your hair the day before. Do not wash it right before the event. And 2. When you wake up in the morning, if you are me and you end up with wild bedhead, this leave-in conditioner is perfect to spray your hair down and get your hair wet and brush through and it will help keep your hair soft and manageable for longer, without showering and it smells great. Smells amazing. And it will help you style your hair in the morning if you have some wild and crazy hair. Now I would also recommend there are special water bottles, spray bottles that you can get where it is not aerosolized, but it is designed in such a way that as it sprays, it sprays in like a mist. So it gets more of your hair wet at a time instead of just spraying a Windex bottle. So the combination of this kind of spraying water bottle and this leave-in conditioner is part of my secret.
Sharpies ($8, 2ct)
This is my preferred writing utensil. For a birthday present, a friend of mine got me a box full of personalized Sharpies. I love them very, very much. I find the Sharpie to be reliable. I find it to be satisfying to write with. And I write pretty dynamically. I write in all caps all the time. And so writing in Sharpie just feels right for that. And too, I also have really large hands. So a Sharpie is significant. You can really grab onto it. It really feels like a thing. For five years, I worked as the technical director for the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. And the thing is, sometimes if you’re writing down measurements or you’re making a to-do list or something, you don’t always have paper. So I would just have a Sharpie and grab a scrap piece of wood to write on and it didn’t rub off. I would sometimes just take a two foot by three foot chunk of plywood and write everything that I needed to do to finish the set, you know, the tech on it and then just carry it with me, like something out of the Flintstones. For writing on stuff that, man, it does not beat Sharpie.
About Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You) — A How-to Guide from the First Family of Podcasting:
“In Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You), the McElroy Brothers will walk you through the process of turning an idea into ear-candy for legions of fans, sharing their expertise on everything from deciding on an effective name (definitely not something like My Brother, My Brother and Me), what type of microphone to use (definitely not one from the video game Rock Band), to making lots and lots of money (spoiler: you probably won’t). A must-read for anyone interested in podcasting, Everybody Has a Podcast (Except You) shares the keys to success as well as the mistakes to avoid and draws on the vast experiences of three of the funniest and most successful podcasters working today.”