Each week, Suck The Joy’s Kathleen Wilhoite and Kaore Bonell talk about anything and everything. The refreshing podcast is now a favorite and highly recommended listen. Recently, I spoke to Wilhoite, a talented musician and actress. She’s appeared in multiple movies and shows such as: The Dog Lover, Gilmore Girls, Murphy’s Law, Under Cover, Mad About You, Pepper Ann, ER, Fragments, California Solo, Crazy Kind of Love, Road House, Cop Rock, L.A. Law and Jane the Virgin. You can follow Kathleen and Kaore on Twitter and read their blogs on their website.
Tell us how you and Kaore started Suck The Joy?
My husband suggested I do a podcast. He’s a television producer and felt that I had the personality for it, but I was afraid to do it alone. He told me to ask someone who had the qualities that I felt I lacked, so I asked myself, Out of all the people I know, who is the one person who consistently makes me think and laugh? Kaore’s super cute face kept popping into my mind. He isn’t a friend I call on a daily basis. He’s a guy I’ve known for years who would hold court at one of our mutual friend’s parties. I loved hanging out with him. Whenever I go to this friend’s parties, I’d seek him out. If Kaore was there, I knew I was going to have a great time. I wanted to do a podcast with someone that felt like a good hang. So, I called him out of the blue and asked him. He said, yes. It turned out that he’d been thinking about doing a podcast on his own, so the timing was right, and it worked out.
How long have you both been doing the show now?
We’ve been doing the show now for a couple of years, I think. Maybe three years. Wow. I don’t know.
How often do you both record?
We try to record once a week. However, lately, Kaore’s job has been taking him out of town, and I recently have been in the application process to get into a program to get my Masters in theater arts. So, our recording schedule has been less consistent.
When do new episodes drop?
Our episodes usually drop on Wednesdays for some reason. I think because we used to always record on Tuesday nights, so Kaore would drop them the next day. Ever since Kaore moved over to my neighborhood, we started recording on Sunday afternoons. Now I think it varies.
You’ve had guests like Bellamy Young and Sarah Paulson on the show, who are some of your favorite guests that you’ve had on the podcast?
I loved having Justine Bateman on. She actually transformed our podcast into a whole other thing. She’s brilliant. I liked our Jeff Kober episode on mediation a lot, too. I liked our “Orange is the New Black” episode where we interviewed a friend of mine who spent time in jail. She came on with a nome-de-plume, or maybe I should say a nome-de-yammer—okay, well, a nome-de-different name. She used a different name so as not to incriminate herself further.
Do you have a dream guest?
Oprah? Obama? Barbra Streisand? I’m always trying to make a mental note of “Oh, this one would make a great guest. I should ask her,” but then I forget to do it. Kaore’s got a running list of people. You should ask him. He’s dying to debate someone from the right. I’d rather gouge my eyeballs out.
You both have a blog on the Suck the Joy website, tell us about the blogs.
Oh, Kaore is interested in politics. His is more of a video blog/rant kind of thing. I like to write. I’ve written two novels and numerous screenplays. So, mine was going to be a place where I’d post personal essay stuff, material that I felt was relevant to the types of topics we discuss on the podcast, but my enthusiasm for blogging waxes and wanes a bit. I should write another one soon. Thanks for reminding me.
It seems that there is no topic that is off-limits. Is this true or is there a topic that neither one of you will go near?
I have a lot of friends, or used-to-be friends, or, well, I guess some would call them “ex-boyfriends.” I don’t like to talk about them. I don’t like feeling like I’m gossiping. There have been many occasions where I’ll have said something on a podcast, and then on the drive home, I’ll call Kaore in a panic and say, “You’ve got to cut that bit out. Please cut that bit out. Please. I can’t live with myself if that stays in,” and he’ll hem and haw (he hates going back into an episode once he’s finished editing it) but he’ll cut it out. So, bad-mouthing people— that I know is my number one topic I’m not interested in delving into. Kaore keeps wanting me to get someone from the Los Angeles Unified School District. I don’t want to do that. I’ve recently pulled my kids out of the schools in that district and am not interested in discussing my reasons for it. They’re too numerous and emotional for me. So, public school v.s. private school—or I should say, “people who put their kids in public school v.s. the limousine liberals who never even look at public schools as an option,” that’s another topic that is off-limits for me. I get too hot under the collar about it. I loathe so much that the Obamas put their kids in private school. I just hate that they did that. Every time Michelle talks about the importance of education, I want to puke. “Hey, Michelle—you mean the importance of privileged people who can afford to put their kids into private schools? Is that what you’re talking about? It’s important for those kids to be educated, even though the public school kids are forced to compete with private school kids when they’ve got fifty students jammed in the honors math class in a public school. Is that education you’re so concerned about? Are you talking about he importance of lower and middle-income people to warehouse their children in these failing institutions so “liberals” like you can go garden with them once a year and pretend like you give a crap about their education, just so long as your children aren’t affected by common core and other such out-of-touch so-called steps in the right direction policies that have been put into place during your administration? As long as your kids aren’t affected by it, and can continue to eat their sushi for lunch—then you’re going to go on television and pretend you’re deeply concerned about the importance of a good education. It sickens me.” Yeah, see. I can’t talk about it.
Both of you have very busy lives. Between family, work and kids, how do you balance it all with doing a podcast?
It’s much easier for me to balance everything because Kaore hated doing the podcast at my house. He hated how it sounded on my microphones and felt my house was “too cavernous” and had too much of an echo. So, since I didn’t care that much where we did it, we went back to doing it at his house. I’ve got three kids and two dogs. There are a lot of distractions around here.
Any projects coming up for either one of you?
I’m in between projects at the moment. I’m directing “Moonchildren,” a play that will open on June 10th. I’ll be going to Cal State Long Beach in the fall to get my masters degree in theater arts, and I continue to do my monthly show on the first Monday of every month at Vitellos.
What advice would you give to anyone starting a podcast?
Don’t take yourself so damn seriously, would be my advice, and regarding the technical aspect, you have two choices: 1) Learn by trial and error, which is what we’re doing, or 2) Hire someone to teach you how and to help you buy the right equipment.