Good News with SXSE

Good News with SXSE

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Good News with SXSE

Getting to Know Our Neighbors

Welcome back to another Chicago themed episode of the DJ Doran Show. We are delighted to bring you an episode featuring our Chicago Podcast friends South by South East (SXSE). SXSE is a Chicago-based podcast that highlights community staples in the Chicagoland area. For those unfamiliar with the term; Chicagoland refers to the sprawling network of Chicago suburb tributaries that share many of the qualities of the Windy City.

In this episode you’ll learn about the some of the “best kept secrets” of the South Side, hear stories of community support during the COVID pandemic, and get the low down on
the best spots to eat in Chicago. Make sure to listen to the whole episode and follow SXSE through the links below!

Follow SXSE below:

SXSE on Youtube
SXSE on Instagram
SXSE on Facebook

Full Video:

Full Transcript

Hello, hello.




Oh, hey, you made it. Welcome. Welcome. Thanks for being on the show. Oh, no problem. I’m actually recording the show remotely. I’m in Kansas City, Missouri right now. Nice. Nice. Yeah, and after the bar after the podcast, we’re gonna go get famous Kansas City barbecue.


I’m jealous.


I know. I’m gonna get the big called burnt and pulled pork


sandwich. Man, those are so good.


I can’t wait. I was a little older though. I’m late in that game. I didn’t know about that either. And I used to always like the burnt ends and I didn’t know you could actually order them as a as a thing. So I was really excited about that. So if I if I lick my lips a lot during the show because I’m drifting and and thinking about it. Yeah.


How’s the levels?


Oh, yeah. Yeah, I can hear you naked. Everybody. Can you can hear everyone Right. Yep. NET producer Nick and here, everybody. So, Ricky, I’m excited to have you on the show. Um, you know, you guys are from our, our hometown, we live in Lakeview east. And, and that’s where we usually broadcast from. And I got to watch your video. And when you ask the dog groomer, yeah, yeah. I love that. Now we have a dog. We have a little cocker spaniel that we rescued. His name is Oliver. And so he’s, I got to share this picture with him if I hope I remember. I’m going to share it. Give me one second. You know, technology is not my is not my thing. So almost the same way.


It’s definitely a learning curve.


It is a learning curve. But let’s see if I did it. I did it right. Ah, Oliver Oliver. Oh, hold on one second. And then we’ll start the show. We’ll get into the real thing. But yeah, I saw that. I thought, oh, they’re dog lovers. I will share it.


Definitely. We have our two little hot dogs that we have here. Yeah, sometimes they do. Do a little special appearance. It’s kind of weird though. Because not everybody’s like dog lovers. Right. So we actually get some comments where people are like, I can’t watch this anymore because the dogs on the table or there’s something weird, you know?


Oh, really? Who doesn’t like dogs? For God’s sakes? I’m saying.


Okay, let’s see if this Oh, look at that. I can just drag it.


Oh, yeah. uploading the duck so that the dog walker is a Chicago Bears fan. And so take a look at the file I sent you and then you’ll see what she did to him.


See, it’s loading downloading.


Oh, I’m telling you though. That famous downloading.


Here we go.




the cutest thing in the world


is just want to see. Just a little love bug. Oh, Leah. We rescued him. And the people that had him or they got in the rescue Got him. They abused him and starved him though he was very skinny. But now he’s living the good life. Oh, yeah. Went from the rough life to the good life.


And it kind of the same thing with what our first dog goes. She was a she was supposed to be for like a niece or nephew. But they couldn’t have animals in the in the apartment. They’re saying it. So yeah, dogs and they weren’t getting along. So she’s this one, like in the basement. Just neglected, like neglected.


And he you know, and uh, you know, he’s living the good life. He sleeps on the bed on the couch. So all the things that trainers that don’t do Don’t let him sleep on the couch. Don’t do this. within two days. He was sleeping in the bed. Yeah. Any been spoiled ever since. Yeah. But, um, so listen to before we begin, um, why don’t you tell our audience a little bit about your you guys and what you do and this and the nature of your podcast. We’ll start with that. And then we’ll go into it.


All right, like, Hey, what’s up, guys? I’m Mike. This is Krista. We’re from the south by southeast podcast. We are a local podcast who mainly focus on what would you say? Chicago, Northwest Indiana.


Yeah, Chicago, southeast side, Northwest Indiana, small local businesses and independent people doing great things that don’t always get noticed. Yeah.


So we’re just trying to bring positivity to, to the internet and to your Facebook feed. So check us out on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.


That’s awesome. And God knows we could use some positivity right now. Where, um, so one of the things that I liked when I saw the links that were sent to me about your podcast is that you go around and you, you interview and you do shows about and with small business owners, primarily on the south side, right, and maybe parts of Indiana, but you you just highlight them and you talk about what they’re doing and and how they’re contributing to the community. Is that probably a good? Good thing? Yeah. So how did you guys get started? What motivated you to do that?


Well, you pretty much started so


so i’m a i’m an audio engineer by by trade. That’s my job. Local Chicago. So, uh, but yeah, I’ve been doing sound since about 2008. And over the years, I accumulated all this audio gear. And I’ll just kind of like, well, what can I do with it? So to kind of give back to the community that we grew up from, you know, the south where our recognition. So what can we do as our kickbacks to be like, this is what we can offer you guys. So that’s basically how it started. I already had most of the gear. It’s just a matter of putting it together. Finding the right people. That’s where my wife Krista came in. And she was like, I wouldn’t mind hosting and talking to people. So that’s just kind of what started the whole thing.


Oh, that’s awesome. So what of all the episodes that you guys have? First of all, I think that’s a great thing. Because, you know, everybody talks about certain things. And you know, but it’s nice to, it’s, it’s nice to, and I want to, I’m going to follow you guys because it’s nice to see the people talking about the good that people are doing in their community and, and the positive things that they’re contributing to the community, whether it’s small business, or whether it’s volunteering, or what have you. And that is, that is, you, I think, needed now more than ever, quite frankly, and, and we know of all the episodes that you’ve done, has anybody really stood out and sort of inspired you? Or, or made you feel like, wow, this was a great show, and I really enjoyed getting to know this person.




there have been a lot of episodes like that, especially when we find very small businesses that are, you know, just getting started or don’t have a lot of followers. Um, there was one that was very recent was poco Pico. So they reached out to us to, like, give me a birthday present, I was like, you don’t really have to do that. It’s just my birthday. It’s not really all that special. But, you know, just making like,


hey, birthdays is special. And when you but you get to be my age, you’re glad to have met all right.


You know, it’s just not always seem like oh, like a small businesses can do something for your for your birthday. Like, it’s, it was very heartwarming to know that somebody like that would just reach out and say, oh, here’s a little sample of what we do, just to let you guys know that we’re here, you know, we want to and then even when we did the interview with them, they even mentioned, you know, if we get on your South by Southwest podcast, then we know that we’re doing something right. And so just by them, saying that it made me feel like, wow, I guess we must really be doing something good for the community and letting people know that we’re here to make them known and like, let people know that they’re there for whatever business that they’re doing. Yeah. So that was, that was a good thing, I think from poker, because I have to just reach out and do that for I don’t know, for us, for them for both of us.


So what is it? What is the most surprising thing? Since you’ve been doing your podcast that that happened during a show?


I think there’s a couple surprising things. I think one of them, the only one that sticks out to me is surprisingly enough, a lot of the people that we interview are people that we know, personally, that we’ve known since going back to Grammar School, you know, high school, and they’re just driven and they have this idea, and they’re not scared to take that foot, you know, and actually go in and just try it all out. So, to me, that’s, that’s kind of surprising. And it makes me feel like man, well, what can I do? You know, like, like, it motivates me to see them doing what they like to do. But I think that the most impactful thing that we had was just recently we talked to a pizza place called Isabella’s. Yeah. And in our neighborhood, on the southeast side, there was a pizza place called g apples. That was like a staple, like everybody loved their future. And unfortunately, own they closed down sometime in the in the mid late 90s.


Yeah, I think so.


And for the past 20 years, one of the workers who kind of knows, like the rest of it, he’s been around Lincoln around in Indiana, and nobody knew about him. And we found them. And we put a story out and their business just blew up. Like, they weren’t prepared really, sir. They weren’t prepared for like all the call in orders. They only catered to their little town in Whiting, Indiana, when they started getting calls from us all around the south side, they couldn’t fulfill like, the times, like everyone was complaining because the times are delayed. People need to understand that they weren’t ready for it. They don’t cater to that area, you know, so it was really cool. They were really grateful. And they they support us a lot now. And and how did that make you guys feel that you had that impact? That’s like a real that’s like a real, tangible thing. Like, you know, so often when you podcast you don’t know if you’re impacting anyone, you know, but that’s a real tangible


it is. And it was more like, Well, we know that he’s here, but are people really gonna care that, that he’s there. And once we had that response from them, it was like, Okay, now people are really watching. Like, I felt like we need to kind of establish ourselves as a podcast so that people would know that we’re here. And I felt like that kind of made us. Like, let people know that we were here doing these things for small businesses.


We definitely got a lot of feedback from people saying like, a lot of people like I just tried that pizza for the first time and it’s delicious. I’m gonna go back and I’m not gonna go to that pizza place anymore. I’m only going to go to this place. Thanks to you guys. And it’s just it’s crazy seeing the response from people because you know, a lot of people watch but they don’t really like chime in and


like or whatever it is. He says, but yeah, they don’t always chime in and let us know that they’re there. So I guess that episode was more of letting us know that the people are there.


Yeah. Definitely watching and trying and listening.


That’s so exciting. I love that. I love to hear stories like that. Because, you know, people always say, Well, I don’t know, if anybody’s listening to my podcast and what have you know, I nobody cares what I say or, or, and they start to lose motivation to create their podcast, which is what I’m going to lead into here shortly. And so when you hear when I hear a story like that, that’s why you do podcasts is that’s why you, that’s why even I do a podcast is is to know that it is impactful. You may not see it right away, but it is impactful in the community. So that brings me to that a question is What? What are the biggest challenges you faced in launching and then consistently creating your podcast?


I think from my behalf is definitely trying to be consistent because like I said, I work in the in the entertainment field. When summers come around, I have I’m not home, I’m working 16 hours a day, seven days a week, we’re building Lollapalooza, we’re building Spring Awakening, we’re building all the shows at Wrigley all the shows in Sodor. So even though I


hope I hope they all come back next year, this is this summer ever. Yeah,


definitely. But actually, like, I mean, in a weird, ironic way, that kind of motivated me, because now my summers completely open. So I decided, I just decided to just push the podcast even harder. So that actually gave us the opportunity to stay on schedule and put everything out weekly, like new material,


who does the editing.


I know that’s so important. Every time I talk to other podcasters, they say that one of the biggest challenges they have is, is editing and marketing their podcast, you know, it’s so important. And it’s kind of cool that Chrissy you have you guys have that built in, in your own partnership, that, that you have someone that can that can edit because it really takes a lot of effort. And, and you know, what you put out there as the finished product is a reflection of, of your, of your commitment to creating a quality product, like a like an edited well edited podcast. So I am I wanted to sort of, you know, the south side gets such a bad rap all the time. Right. And I I’m just curious. I mean, you guys had such a positive vibe and such a nice energy. What do you think is the most special part of doing your podcast that’s focusing on the south side? Because Because it’s not what most people might expect,


right? It’s definitely not what most people would expect, especially coming from the southeast side where a lot of people want to see you fail, for whatever reason. Yeah. And so when we started the podcast, we’re like, okay, we’re not gonna listen to a lot of people, we’re not gonna play the political game, we want it to just be straightforward. Let people know that these businesses are here. And that’s what majority of this outside is just mom and pop shops. It’s not a whole lot of Starbucks, or Dunkin Donuts or big box, things that are on the south side. It’s all mom and pop. And people need to know that they’re there. And obviously, at a time right now that people are struggling, but even before that, we wanted to let people know that these businesses were there. And they could have been there for 10 years. And nobody knew about them. Like there were a couple places that surprised me that were still there. When we first started the podcast. No, like, I don’t even know they’re there for that long. But it’s it’s a good thing. You know, just making it known, I guess.


Yeah. And, you know, the thing that I am sure that you have, that you have experienced podcasting is you get to know your community better. That you know, and, and that’s a that’s a, you know, that’s the byproduct that I have from doing my podcast, like, Oh, I didn’t know you were there or I didn’t know this was happening. So you get to know your community and your focus is is really highlighting small businesses in your communities. So does that affect your buying habits? Yeah,


yeah, definitely.


committed to trying to stay locally and buy our stuff from them before we go anywhere else.


Yeah, we’ve definitely established some relationships with a lot of the mom and pop stores that are around the area. There was one girl combo Western where that we get all of our like Mexican shirts from and hats and boots and boats and whatever they have


and I have Oh


covers, covers


and the stay coming up. We usually go there Yeah.


Yeah. I am just a little background My husband is Mexican. And and so we go to Mexico almost every year. And last year we had the opportunity to go to Guadalajara. And to to Locky Pocky and Zapopan, I think it was, if I, if I’m saying it correctly, and and we eventually want to retire to Mexico, you know, we want everyone to continue to believe that Mexico is nothing but drug cartels and violence, so that we can keep it. We can keep it to ourselves. Exactly. Yeah, beautiful place. I want to talk a little bit about that for a second. My sister who doesn’t travel very much, every time we say, oh, we’re going to Mexico Oh, be careful. Like, you know, the, the cartel is going to greet the plane on the tarmac, you know, and all and all of that. And in 20 years, that we have gone to Mexico, we have traveled all over that part of Mexico. Never once had a single incident ever. Yeah, ever. Yeah. And so so when someone says, yo, Mexico, so bad was like, Oh, yeah, it is as horrible as you say here. You have to be careful, we


get off the plane.


Yeah. You know, it’s like, it’s really a misconception. And I think and we publish, my company publishes the travel magazine. And as a matter of fact, the last time of the last issue. When we traveled to Guadalajara, we stopped in tequila, the town of tequila. And while we were while we were in tequila, we slept in hotel rooms that were tequila bearer. Oh,


awesome. You guys send us and then we,


I, I’ll send you the photo of it. But uh, but and then we went to it was a tequila distillery and a boutique hotel, though we had real tequila. And and let me tell you, there’s a big difference. What did they say? It was like one, they add sugar. And the other one they like is this is the real deal. The other one will make you blind. That’s the big kept telling me as he gives me, you know, little shot glasses over and over again. I’m like, holy crap, I’m getting. I’m getting bugged by this. I’m not gonna even be around for dinner. You can’t we had. Yeah, but we had so much fun. And it just reminded me, and I’ll just say this, and I mean, this sincerely. The Mexican culture is so hospitable and so friendly. And so if you know if it was just, I don’t know, I every time I go there, I feel like I’m just in the family. Yeah. I’m part of the family.


Because Yeah, they want to make sure you’re taking care of them. Same thing with us. We go to Mexico every year, we either go to like Akuntsu resort, or we go to where my parents are from a little hometown, like in Mexico City. And everybody is just so generous. And they make sure it’s like the businesses, right, like, it’s literally like their person’s house, but they have the storefront in front, but they’re like, best kind of food that they can offer you. You don’t seem to get your business.


Yeah, we went to this little town called Punta Mita. And we, we rented a Jeep when we drove out there, and this is a few years ago. And on the way, you know, everyone says, Oh, my God, you’re gonna drive a car by yourself. You know, I was like, Yes, we’re fine. And we I remember, we saw a little town and we, we went down the dirt road. And we went into the town, we parked the car, and we got out and we went to this little restaurant. It was somebody’s house was up there. Their front of their house was the restaurant. We sat in there, and we had food. It was a dirt floor, I believe. And the woman was so nice. And we we ate so much food, and it’s so delicious. And by the way, I never get sick. We never get sick. So that’s also another myth that we let them believe but but yeah, except for the water, you know, the water, we sort of say, Okay, we’ll have bottled water, that’s fine. But I mean, on the food, we never got sick. And um, and as we were leaving, there was a guy riding a Burro on the town. And I was like, I feel like we’re in a postcard. Right? And then and when we got back to the main road, right on the corner, was this really, really, really old gentleman and a woman and they were selling you know, those things of fruit with the tahini on it? Oh, yeah. You know, I swear to God, I we shouldn’t have stopped and got any but we did. And we ate that all the way back. By the time we got back to the resort, I was ready to explode. We had eaten so much food. But that’s the part of Mexico that we love. You know, it’s nice to be at the resort, you know, we in where we stayed is nice resort and everything is great. But we also like to get out and to see, you know, see the culture and, and, and meet with the people. And we went to this taco tour. I forget. Oh, Katyal. Have you ever been tempted to know Oh, when that was amazing. And if you ever get to printer by ARCA. Go to PTO and go on their taco tour, it is just amazing to do so I’m trying to find I was stalling and telling you my vacation stuff. While I was trying to find these pictures of the, of the barrels in my story that fingers don’t go fast enough on my computer. And so, but I’m almost there. But we really enjoy I truthfully, I’ve never been to Guadalajara and I didn’t know what to expect. You know, I thought, Oh, man, this is gonna be a disaster. It was awesome. It was an amazing city come to people, but amazing, everybody. Everybody’s an entrepreneur, you know, anybody who’s selling their stuff. I got up early, and I went out into the plaza by the governor’s mansion. And I was just sitting there having my coffee. And I texted my sister. I said, Oh, I’m sitting out here. Having my coffee. I took a selfie and sent it to us. Oh, my god, you’re out there by yourself. I said yes. I know. It’s amazing. I can’t even I can’t even believe it. Okay, so this guy’s so lucky. I I stumbled across this. Don’t get hungry.


When I send this to you.


Okay, I’m trying to Oh, yeah, there it is. God dang, I’m hungry. Just looking at this is a this is during the taco tour. In kick er, so I’ll send this to you. It’s downloading right now. I know this is off topic, but I think you would really enjoy it and I’m


we love doing we love hearing people’s stories. It’s interesting. I’m intrigued by everything that you do you know?


Okay, it says it’s downloaded. God only knows if I get it right. If people boo people downloading here. That’s pity. Oh, where the pictures I’m sending you bro. I sent you. Okay, standby.


All of a sudden now he wants to be really well.


And luckily for you, DJ was able to find the photos for the with the tequila barrel.


taking forever. Here we go.


Probably because I sent you like five pictures all at once. Oh,


it’s okay.


Did it work? I hope it did. It’s since it’s in my downloads and it’s with everything that I have.


It’s kind of hard to find. Oh, well, it doesn’t matter. You can if you can’t find them. You can look for later but but I think she’s that and I sent you pictures from the tequila barrels. Okay, but probably because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. And I probably sent the photos in the wrong format.


Both ways. I don’t know what I’m doing. She’s just such an


executive what I do, Mike, I’m like, I don’t joke movies. I don’t know what happened. I have no idea. It’s random. I hate and then I said I hate I always end with I hate apple. So, okay, so anyway, so that’s my little thing about Mexico. And so this year, we didn’t go obviously for COVID because of COVID. But we hope to do that and make up for it next year. You barrel. That’s awesome. Did you see him?


Awesome. That looks so nice.


It was so much fun. And that was the hotel and it’s attached to a tequila factory.


Oh think Is it real? Is it just like a little studio?


No. Well, it’s big. It’s one barrel is one room. Right? So the barrel is pretty big. It has a you know, queen size bed and a dresser and furniture and then at the far end of the barrel is a bathroom. Okay, separate. Like it has a you know, a door and everything that’s unique. That’s a cool design. I like that. Yeah, so all the barrels are all scattered around the tequila distillery, and that’s the hotel room and then they have like, a stone walkway. It’s really, really pretty at night because everything’s lit up. And the GAVI plants look like alien. An alien landscape. That’s awesome. So yeah, so getting there when we checked in it was easy. By the time I had to kill, I was like, How the hell am I gonna get back into the room? I don’t know. But first of all, they all look the same. And I was like, I don’t even remember where the hell we are. So anyway, that’s what it’s like to travel with me and and Joe is like, it’s always an adventure. And but that was that was so much fun and the food they get this. They store the tequila underground, right? And underground in this huge cave. They have a stage and it’s a huge restaurant. Oh, and it is. It is very cool. So we ate ate a really good dinner and then we had a had a Had tequila, and then we toured the tequila factory, which is interesting to say to leave a note about that. Um, so what, what’s so special about the southeast part of Chicago,


in your view,


in my view, is a community that’s thriving, like, we have so much. So much negative stuff on us. I mean, we, we profited from the steel mills, like, that’s what put us on the map, you know, we had the Kelly Murray, and everybody’s just right there doing steel mills, and then they all shut down. So now we’re left with all this contaminated soil that’s been neglected and not being looked at. But still, the community, you know, stays, and they want to stay there. And they want to, they want to have some kind of a, I keep saying the word but community, like we want to be together, and we want to come above it. So here, you know, a lot of people could leave. But a lot of people decide to stay because that’s where their, you know, their parents grew up, you know, when they migrated from wherever they came to the south, South Chicago, South East Side. So this is where our router, and this is where we want to stay. So to me, that’s what it is.


Do you guys find that you guys find that, that your sense of community is what is what people connect to? through your podcast?


I think so I feel like we try to project what we feel to our audience, I feel like, we want to make them feel that homey sense that they shouldn’t be afraid to venture out just not into their own community, but different communities as well. And I feel like a lot of what the southeast side does is that they don’t feel like they can venture out into different parts of the area, they only have to stay in their little communities. And it’s not always the case. And we want to make sure that everybody knows that it’s okay to venture out into Northwest Indiana. And we like to feature the mom and pop shops that are over there. I mean, it doesn’t always have to be the negatives of the southeast side.


Yeah, I’d like to think that like, we’re, hopefully we come off as being genuine, because we really want to hear your story. And so say like, every every local community has, like that establishment that’s locally that’s been there forever, you know, like, whatever chicken Yeah. And of course, we can go talk to them. But I feel like the obviously want to get their story out here then too. But that’s just kind of like there’s other mom and pop shops that have been around, you know, just as long, or who just opened up a year ago, or you know, six months ago. And I feel like they’re the ones who really need the help. And me is like a freelancer audio kind of guy. I’m intrigued, and I want to hear these people’s stories on. Now why did you want to do this and you know, what made you take that step and and let the people in our community know that, hey, this place is here. And you could try it out.


You find that people in your community are now starting to follow your show, or or watch your show, as a way to learn about aspects of their community that they didn’t or wouldn’t have known before.


I would like to hope so. Um, I feel like we do put a lot of businesses out there to let them know that they’re there. And I know that we’ve seen a lot of the numbers jump. So that’s always a good thing to see. And both Instagram and Facebook. So I I would definitely hope that they are seeing what we put out.


Yeah, I think I think people react because at the end of the day, the businesses that we talked to, they’re extremely happy with what we’re doing. And, you know, we’re not here to just, you know, get your interview and move on and leave, we always try to build a friendship or some kind of communication where again, if you ever need anything or you want us to come back, you know, you’re running a promotional, you’re running a promotion or you have something going on, just just reach out to us and we’ll come back, you know, we’ll make it work. So that you know, they are happy with what we’re doing. Even maybe if you’re not getting anybody coming in because we’re just trying to bring positivity, right?


Well, you guys have a really good


kartra I don’t know that’s a Star Trek term. I’m by the way a huge nerd so sorry about that. That contra what’s the work?


Oh, yeah, you think you’re so special, Mike, right.


Um, by the way, the you have good energy, a good vibe, you know, and I think people want to gravitate towards that especially Yep. Every now in a in a you know, in these times, you know, people want i want i want positive I don’t I’m tired of seeing about the the, the The worst part of our community I want to see like people doing positive things and saying positive things and bringing positive energy. And so that’s what I liked about your, your show when Nick told me that you’re going to be a guest on the show. So I thought, Oh, I want to see this. And now that I’ve met you and we sort of bonded But the whole Mexico thing. That’s awesome too. And by the way, when I was in San Diego A while back, I crossed over to, to Juana to take the train to into nada, right, which is, I have a, I have a plane there, then it’s being restored and airplane. And, um, and I went to the street vendors, and everyone’s like, Don’t let the street vendors, it’s so bad there and whatever I was a cheap vendor and I, I literally stuffed myself with the tacos, the carnitas and everything. And I was like, this is this is life, this is like, life is good. And then I got on the bus. And, and, you know, I know it’s hard to believe, but nothing happened. Nobody robbed me and nobody gets taxed me, you know, I just had tacos and got on the bus. But, um, but you guys have a great energy. And I think it’s that’s reflected in your show, has COVID affected your area in a unique way that you’re aware of?


I think we got kind of lucky, I think people did get sick. But it wasn’t like a, like a huge concern. You know, everyone’s been pretty, pretty good with following the


guidelines. Six feet away mass. I know, there are a couple of places that are the couple of people that we’ve interviewed lately, since COVID. We do all of the practices, the cleaning everything before we meet with them hand sanitizer, and we’ve done a lot of the interviews outside too. So it’s, it’s, I feel a safer environment than just being inside and like


this close to me. I know, unfortunately, a couple of places that we that we have talked to or had in the works or talking to they have closed down. Unfortunately, it happened and it’s, you know, the people that we talked to are just like us, you know, they’re living day by day. Just because you’re a business owner doesn’t mean you have a lot of money. I’m saying they’re just following your dream. Yeah. And you get by so you need to understand that’s why we really try to push support local people, because just because you got a sign with your store, name or pack, whatever does not mean you’re driving, you know, a 2020 or 2021 car, you know, you got all these bills,


like you’re preaching, you’re preaching to the choir, I swear to God, you know, as an entrepreneur, you know, people think, Oh, you know, you have, you’re lucky I was like, No, I paid myself laugh most of the time, I’m broke. And you know, and then they say open your own your own business, you must be rich. So I get it. Entrepreneurship is hard. You have to create your job every day.


All right. And when I Christa, I left my day job to do to do this audio thing full time I took a tour. And my first year of being a freelancer entrepreneur, I’ve made no money. I think I made like, $20,000 because yeah, the field is so broad. You got to make a name for yourself. And you guys Yep. There’s no work in the winter. They don’t


know, man. I know. Trust me, and you know, I, uh, you know, I do. I always say when when COVID first happened I was like, this is this is ridiculous. This is ridiculous. But now you know, to me, it’s easy. You wear a mask, it’s no big deal. You know, it’s the least it’s the simplest way to show respect and and consideration for others. And I bought into it. I have a special mask. I’ll share it with you. Oh yes. I know the dinosaurs. We went to the Field Museum and and I saw the mask and I we had our niece or I’m sorry stepdaughter was in town. And and so she’s like I said you want to mask it? Because I like that one. But she was too embarrassed by it. So I bought it and I wore it. And I did and then of course I did like dinosaur sounds and everything. So he’s only he’s only 14 glad to traumatize her a little bit. Yeah, I think that oh, you know, 14 you know? Every Oh my God, you’re so crazy. Oh, you’re embarrassing me. So we’re gonna have


when we were when I was younger, and I was to feel that Ah, you don’t want to hang on my friends. I don’t want to hang out with my family. Right. But now. I want to I want to do is hang on my family. I don’t want to go my friends.


Well, first of all, I forgot how long and how often teenagers sleep. Oh, yeah. Right. I’m like, I could press this normally happens before noon. That’s what I told her. That’s what I told her but but yeah, you know, I have five brothers and one sister. I have my Italian and Irish family. And, um, and so you know, I don’t know how my mother did it with five boys. You know? And all she said I do remember this one thing. She’s to buy milk like, like, four gallons at a time? Yes. You know, and then of course they all drink out of the container. You know, so that was that was a whole thing in our house growing up.


You’d like that much.


I was gonna do that, though.


Yeah, so you know when they’re little they fill up there. They they think You’re the best thing since sliced bread. They do everything you say mostly, you know, and you’re their favorite when they’re teenagers. I don’t know you’re too young to have teenage kids but, but when they get to be teenagers, all of a sudden your popularity like plummet, and you’re the last thing you have to wait until they’re our daughter now is almost 30. And she finally while back, she sent me a text She goes, I just want to thank you for putting up with me. You know, so all those years that we had like this, you see this gray hair? bald spot that I have. That’s for you. Seen cheating? Yeah. Dating, driving, piercing, you know, how can we ruin our life all the time? We don’t understand. Like, we were born. I was born 50. You know?


You know, so anyway,


do you have any kids? No, we have for babies? Nope.


Oh, even even better? Because they drink your alcohol when they get to be teenagers. And then they they think you’re stupid. And so they fill the Vaska with the bottle with water and they put it in the freezer? Yep. And then you’re like, Oh, I wonder how this froze? Why this is now frozen. Just Just to let you know, that’s how that’s how that all works. If you ever do have kids expect that. So enjoy the, the actually the birth part. Because, quite frankly, infants are ugly, I think in most and they poop a lot. And they do all this other gross stuff. But from like one one and a half to like 10 is like the sweet spot. Okay, right. They have fun to have they do stuff. They can go to the bathroom on their own. You know, I we tried litterbox training, that didn’t work. But I’m just kidding. We wouldn’t do that don’t report us anything. She’s an adult. She’s an adult now passed the statute of limitations. But that year, that part was awesome. Right? at 11. You know, you don’t listen to everyone think for yourself and whatever. And then they start doing that. And you’re like, No, we want you to do that to other people, not to us.


I’m your mom.


Yes. So just FYI, that’s what you have to look forward to. So Mike, I’ve marked this on the calendar, one and a half to 10. That’s the sweet spot. Okay, sorry about that, and kind of segue off. Probably cuz I’m starving. And I’m thinking about barbecue right now. And by the way, these put this place is called What’s it called? The X or something, or whatever. It is owned by an African American family. And it’s a Kansas City tradition. And I am an onion ring aficionado. And so this place supposedly has like, the best onion rings. I can’t wait to try that anyway. Now, um, so what are you missing? What are some challenges that you guys have faced podcasting during COVID? Because you guys primarily use video, right? Yeah. Have you found that to be more difficult? It started off being extremely difficult.


Our whole our whole like, thing, a little chilly down here wagging her tail? Or Oh, yeah, it’s almost time to feed her. So she gets a little crabby. Um, our whole thing was going on site and talking to people, you know, like physical contact and talking and seeing their place of work. So when COVID hit, obviously, you know, we stopped doing all this stuff. And we’re like, well, we still want to put out content. So what can we do? So we decided that right here in the house, exactly what you see as the setup that we started doing, we would just go out, still support these businesses and do a review. We wouldn’t call them we wouldn’t sell them anything, we would just go get the food, bring it back, eat it and film ourselves talk about like what it is and then put that out. So that’s what we’re doing for a little while.


did that for about two months? I want to say right,


yeah, probably about two months. And then I think that was when we started, you know, feeling it out and seeing which people were still able to come out or film outside so that it’s not in close proximity to another


person. Second thing we did was we had we bought a canopy and the whole outdoor set up and we’re inviting people you know, if you’re not feeling sick, if you feel good and you want to promote yourself, we’re willing to come out because now everybody kind of knows wash your hands sanitize wear a mask. Now, you know, the more more data’s coming out, so we feel a little more comfortable talking to people. Um, so yeah, we got the canopy outside so that the all the stuff we’re doing now is outdoors, we just closed one of the curtains. So it looks like we’re, you know, inside a nice space or whatever. And now instead of using handheld mics, now we’re just using a boom microphone, so nobody touches anything. We show up early and we clean everything. Try to sanitize it, or we do sanitize it, and then we offer them some sanitizers. little hand sanitizer. I’m a local brewery in the area. So we’re still supporting? No, yeah. So we make sure that they clean their hands. And then they’ll show up to and they’ll clean up stuff too. So everybody’s really mindful and doing their part.


That’s awesome. That’s awesome. So what do you see as the future for your podcast? Have you thought that I know I kind of put you on the spot. But have you thought about like, hey, what happens if, you know this really takes off? And it requires a greater commitment?


I don’t. I don’t know.


I don’t think we’re thinking that far.


I mean, I’m just hoping because I like where we’re at right now. We’re still building our reputation. I mean, we just barely hit 1100 likes on our Facebook page. So I feel like that’s a good jumping off point to show that we have at least a little bit of background and give other people like, Okay, this is our catalog, this is what we have. This is what we’ve done. So I want I would hope that they feel more comfortable in coming to us, but as the future of South by southeast, I’m not really sure.


I think it’s a what certain people would call selling out. Right? What do you guys do it as a hobby? Or do you have a plan for it to be a business, there was no plan for this whatsoever. This is literally, like I said, are giving back to the community. But eventually, like, like she was saying, you know, at the time, we only had 100 hundred and 70 likes on our Facebook feed. Right? Then little, we get to 500 700 800. Now we’re almost at 12. So I think it’d be really good to team up with like the local Chamber of Commerce’s and, you know, network, obviously, yeah, a lot of things because of COVID. But the idea was, let’s work together and do some kind of events. Because, like I said, I have all the lighting and audio gear. And we can do the live streams and whatever you guys need, let’s work together and work out some kind of like sponsorship or something where it benefits the both of us. I think maybe that might be in the future.


I mean, we kind of do that or not. Now, the summers prior to that we


always try to give back, like I said, so we’ll do like the praise, we’ll do live coverages of the parades. Go even participate in some of the in the parades or any kind of like Halloween events that they have going on.


local musicians did nest Fest, yeah. Last year, I believe. I think so.


I think maybe just getting some some people to back us up, right, because we’re backing up businesses. And, uh, you know, we put even though we own all the stuff, we put money into it, right? Yeah, yeah. When I see some kind of return. I mean,


well, I mean, to start with, sponsor, you know, trying to get a sponsor for your show. You know, we’re trying to do something like that as a way that the community can show support back to you. Right. And they can sponsor, you know, you know, for the year, you know, on a monthly thing, have you guys ever tried? Okay, I’m gonna sound like I know what I’m talking about. But I’m not 100%. But it’s called Patreon. Yeah, I’ve heard of it. Yeah. I looked at.


And it’s, uh, I don’t know if it’s just the lazy part of us. But it feels like you got to contribute and give extra, right? Like, if they pay a certain thing. You got it, you got to do extra content or something? No, no,


no, you don’t know, what happens is you can, you can do that. If they like, you can have levels. Like, you can just have, hey, you can just support us because you like the podcast. But you can also say, hey, if you want to, if you want to do you know, let’s say somebody wants to give you a lot of money, then you could say they can have exclusive content, like you can say, you get first listen to our every new episode, like a special area that is. And so that’s how you can do it. But you can start out just a basic. And then people, even if they say I’m going to give $1 a month to your show, they give $1 a month Well, that’s $30 roughly right? You get 10 of those and 20 of those. Right? You’re talking about 600 $900 as you go every month towards your podcast, though, I would urge you to sort of look at that a little bit. Because the point of Patreon is that it’s not one person sponsoring that your sponsorship cross a, a broader base of a lot of different people. So let’s say you have on your Facebook page 1200 people and say, Hey, we want you to sponsor no br patron for $1 a day or $30 or whatever, they can do that. Or they can say you know $10 a month but whatever they want and that’s it. And think about this Mike and Krista, if you got $10 a month, let’s just say from half of your your Facebook likes right? So $10 a month times 600 Right. At $6,000 Yeah. a month. That’s, uh, I think that. Yeah. So, you know, I’m, I know, Nick is kind of smiling a little bit. I know a little bit about that sort of stuff that I don’t I’m not an expert at it. But you know that that there are resources out there. And then of course, the community, the the podcasting community, just like you’re on my show, you know, people share that and they share it to your network, right. So they’ll you share on your network I share on my network. And that’s how you build your audience. And we have found it to be very effective. Okay, appreciate that. Oh, just, yeah, just some little things. And just remember, don’t think about one person giving you a ton of money. Think about getting the people that like what you’re doing to show a little bit of support. Yeah, you know, yeah. $10 a month I spend that on a on a tall nonfat like with extra hot mocha yesterday. And


it’s not that I have any OCD, or I’m very particular about anything. I just want to put that out there.


Very specific there, sir.


Listen, we’re coming into my time of the year. I like the cold weather. And the one thing that I like about the cold weather, I really don’t like Starbucks coffees always taste burnt to me. But every year they make the best peppermint mocha ever. So that’s


peppermint hot chocolate from there.


Oh, absolutely. Same thing. So. So it’s like, that’s my little indulgence. And like, Okay, I’m gonna pay $5 for this big of a peppermint mocha that has a lot of foam at the top and whipped cream. And I’m like, I peeled off the light. But I’m like, yeah, so anyway, I just want to if you put it into that perspective, then then it’s easy. And it’s a way for you to also feel connected to a community, because right now you’re doing everything and you’re promoting them. And it sounds like you’re not getting a lot back other than the feedback and the social media life. But if they, if they support you, financially in some way, then it it is it becomes real, it becomes a real connection, and then you’ll be able to be able to do better, and things be more things.


Yeah, and that’s a because let me just piggyback off of that really quick, because, you know, some of the stuff stuff that we had that say it’s outdated, but obviously it’d be nicer to to upgrade our gear and do stuff like that, too. So if we could do some kind of Patreon, like you’re saying it would help us not only put money in our pockets, but we could actually improve the quality of the stuff that we’re doing. So that’s awesome.


That’s right. And the thing is, is you should be broadcasting that on your episodes saying, hey, if you want to, you know, be a patron, here’s a link go there. And that little thing doesn’t cost you anything to do you know, and it might and might help you and you You might be surprised how much how much support you’ll get based on what I’ve heard. And the way you do it, the way you do your podcast. Yep. And so, uh, I, I have thoroughly enjoyed having you guys on the show. And I wish I had was in my studio. So I hope all the sound comes out well, and I my ear pods keep falling out. But I am, I am only a couple of minutes away from putting my shoes on and going to a Stax barbecue. And so I’m very excited about that. But you guys have been an absolute joy. I’ve enjoyed having this conversation with you. And I want you to know when I meet it sincerely, please reach out to me or to Nick if we can help you in any way and we would love to do that. And I’d love to have you back on the show as well.


This time flew by too fast.


It did right? I know. Can you can you believe it? So in the last few minutes, though, I want to give it to you. So I want you to sort of promote your podcast tell people where they can find you. Tell them how you would love for them to support you. And you know and all of that you put your social media out there everything tell them everything


like this.


No, no.


We’re just two average people. A lovely couple who appreciate learning and hearing people’s stories and the south south side of Chicago St. Louis, Indiana but we are willing to travel so if you’re like in Texas, we will put the flight and we will go hang out. But we just want to promote all kinds of positivity guys if you’re if you’re doing anything positive whether you know we always tell our people if your kid got straight A’s or you know your kid hit a home run on the baseball field in the in the little league. We would love to get a chance to talk to them hear their story and put them up so people could hear them and see what they’re doing. So you could find us on Facebook as x se podcast. You can find us on Instagram under the same tag. We are on a Twitter but we don’t really use that allow but everything is SC


president uses president You did a lot.


Yeah. So I mean, we’re just we just want to hear your story. If you guys want to be featured on our show, just message us at sex se [email protected]. We are working on a website. And we will see you have a website working. I’ve been working on it for the past two or three days. Yeah.


I’m just telling you right now Chris is giving you the side I trying?


Yeah, that’s it. So don’t be afraid to come. You know, when you come Chicago. There’s a lot of positive and cool things going on in the south side. So come on down by us. Come on down to Northwest Indiana, purity in the area, and then the city, and you’ll find a lot of amazing people, and a lot of cool places to go and try out. Mexican food is top notch. I’ll tell you that right now. And we also have really good deep dish pizza. So come on, come on down in Memphis.


Okay, so one thing you didn’t say, Where can I find your podcast?


Oh, I didn’t say that. No, there’s there’s a lot of stuff going on this random sorry.


That’s another side. I Wow, I’d watch out for her.


podcast on YouTube. You’ll see all of her content that’s up there. I think we have right now we have about 50. Now we have 63 videos. Yeah, we’re looking forward to hitting that hundred mark. And you know, if every night Are you guys on a podcast hosting site. So that’s originally This is supposed to be only audio. That’s why it’s called self by se podcast. But it’s hard to tell people what food tastes like, are, you know, you can’t. So right before COVID hit. That’s what we’re working on doing. And now that things are kind of normal, I’ve been reaching out to everybody. And that’s gonna be the next step. That’s why we have these microphones and


this kind of thing. I’ll tell you right now, that’s important because that that is a good platform. And they you can connect to Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, either stitcher and all that. And what we do is we do our audio podcast, but we make this video and then it goes on our YouTube channel.


And that was, that was part of our idea. But sometimes we’re in a busy loud area. So it’s kind of hard because you got all this background noise going on. So I always tell them the option that we’re gonna come back if you want to do video or we could do audio, like it’s up to you a lot of people


so the magic of the magic of audio mic is that you and Nick always has to you know, probably tune out some of the things I say, you know, they can clean it up before you care. So, Jessie, I know Kristin never does that. But you I’m not sure.


That means




We have to have you back on I would love to talk about I’m gonna end in a we have one more minute, but I want to tell you, I’m a huge sci fi nerd. So I must ask you my Star Trek or Star Wars.


You know what? I’m gonna say Star Trek. Star Trek because my mother freakin love that show. That’s what I grew up on. But my older brother loves Star Wars. I never really got into Star Wars. I don’t know why. But when I when I took this gig going on the road and doing this this audio thing. Yeah, you bought me a shirt from Target the Star Wars with the Millennium Falcon Falcon. I just worked cuz she bought it for me. And that ended up shrinking to my tour name. They call me han cholo. And I don’t even like Star Wars like, oh.


I cannot believe Han Solo was on my show. Yeah.


Oh, my God. I’ll be


back. Okay, but


how am I that that’s super funny and awesome. But I like I like both, you know, but Star Trek is what I grew up with. Because my dad used to always watch Star Trek The Original Series. Yeah. And so we always watch, watch that. But I like the original like the first three Star Trek. You guys are probably too young. But I remember going to the movie theater when they came out in 1977. The first one and I really like you know, that was a great story is basically good against evil, you know, was so clean cut. I’m not a big fan of these other ones. You know, they’re, they’re okay. I was so mad when Han Solo. Your long lost your long lost gringo cousin. Um, he got killed, you know, but Luke Skywalker was just like a little whiny brat. In those things. I was like, stop whining for God’s sakes. You’re a Jedi, you know. So anyway, Chris is over there going like, I want to offer this podcast right now.


clocked out and


totally checked out. Anyway, you guys have been so amazing. It’s been awesome. I hope you had fun. I can’t believe we talked for an hour for God’s sake.


Yeah, like it was fun. Yeah,


yeah. So anything that we can do to help promote you and both of you feel free to reach out to me a niche will provide you with my email if I can help connect you if I can help guide you If I can give you any insight or anything that I can do, don’t hesitate. I mean, that appreciated. Because we’re in Chicago someday we’ll cross paths, sir, we’ll get we’ll get elbow bump. We’ll do it. I want to tell you that the the high, the high point of this whole show, and I’m going to use it often is Han Solo. And I have a lot of Mexican friends. And I am going to totally use that. Yeah. Thank you for that, Mike. Anytime. You guys have a wonderful day, thank you for coming on the show on Sunday. I know it is Sunday, and everyone should be sort of resting. But this is fun. This is just like


hanging out. I wanna I just want to say thank you guys for everything that you guys are doing. Thank you guys for reaching out to us. It’s, you know, it’s kind of weird having people want to talk to us. It is but it’s awesome at the same time, so I appreciate it. And absolutely what you guys are doing, man.


Absolutely. Thank you, Mike and Chris. It’s a pleasure. And now I am putting my keys on and I’m going to stacks barbecue and email lists those pictures. I will take care of you guys.


Thank you.


Thank you, sir, for everything.

Previous Episodes:

Chicago Content Creators – Steven Russell B.
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Psynautical: Alternative Health, Philosophy and Spirituality

About the Show:

“Through our mutual exploration and search for the truth we can become a little more enlightened.” – DJ Doran

The DJ DORAN SHOW is a Chicago based podcast. The show covers many topics that interest Host DJ Doran as a perspicacious gay man with strong opinions. There are a plethora of topics and an insatiable curiosity about this complex and oftentimes confusing life that he finds himself living.

Despite being a Chicago based podcast The DJ Doran Show features guests from all over the world discussing topics, issues, and stories that have an impact on our society & everyday lives. There are topics that will peak interest of most people and we hope will push the listener’s perspectives so that they can leave the show with more insight than when they began.  

Whether you’re in Chicago or Thailand, feel free to reach out to us at any point with comments, questions, feedback or if you want to be featured on our show. 

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