By Lyra Bordelon
The Greenbrier Valley and Mountain Media News now have their own podcast! The Stage on a Stage podcast features local and casual interviews with students, teachers, representatives from the perspective of Greenbrier Valley youth.
Hosted by two Greenbrier East High School students, the show looks at education during COVID, casual conversations with West Virginians, and more. Of the first couple of episodes, guests have included GEHS band drum major, and now cohost, Reece Rowan, GEHS band director Jim Allder, GEHS engineering teacher Kevin Warfield, and Lewisburg Mayor Beverly White. Each spoke about their life, early career, thoughts on the state of West Virginia and the Greenbrier Valley, and what the future could hold.
The show has a guiding vision, interviewing locals about their lives in the Greenbrier Valley, but the spark of inspiration was even more straightforward.
“Me and my dad were listening to a Joe Rogan podcast one day and I was like ‘wouldn’t it be cool to do that for a job, at least it could be fun to do a podcast or something,’” said Showell with a laugh. “He was like ‘okay let’s do it’ and I thought he was joking.”
The show’s hosts are Showell and Reece Rowan, local students at Greenbrier East High School. When planning the first episode, Showell asked Rowan to be a guest, but the easy friendship and a misunderstanding lead to cohosting.
Rowan explained Showell asked him to be on the show and “I assumed he meant together, like we were going to cohost. [I] asked who we were going to have on” the first episode “and he goes ‘You!’ … So I invited myself as a cohost.”
After recording the first episode, mostly reflecting on remote learning and their understanding of politics, Rowan stayed on, interviewing each guest alongside Showell.
Both Allder and Warfield offered some insight into their experience teaching remotely over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, while White spoke on Lewisburg’s several ongoing infrastructure projects, her work in local government, and managing a city during COVID.
With production help from Bill DePaulo and the literal stage on a stage in his studio, the show aims for an easy listening atmosphere.
“I would describe it as having a conversation with your friends,” Rowan said. “[We’re] trying to be personable, but not official. Just casual.”
“We just want to see what people have to say,” Showell said. “We have some people from the community on, we just want to know what’s going on around here.”
The show now has a local focus, but Showell and Rowan also set their sights higher.
“Joe Biden,” Showell said with no hesitation.
“It would be cool to sit down and have a conversation with the most official person in the nation,” Rowan said.
The production is a Mountain Media News podcast, affiliated with the Mountain Messenger through its online, multipaper sister website Mountain Media News. Episodes have been posted to YouTube on the Mountain Media page.