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Career Spotlight: Adam Cecil, Night Vale Presents

This week, I traded emails with the very pleasant Adam Cecil, who does various things over at the Night Vale Presents.

Hot Pod
: Tell me about your current situation.

Adam Cecil: I’m the Director of Marketing at Night Vale Presents, and I also run most of our membership programs and the merch stores. Big picture, I work with the show teams to engage with listeners outside of the actual show. Also at Night Vale, I’m the assistant producer on the excellent comedy erotica podcast Pounded In The Butt By My Own Podcast with Chuck Tingle.

HP: How did you get to this point?

Cecil: I went to school at NYU and got a BFA for Dramatic Writing, so I always have that as a back-up in case marketing doesn’t work out. Before Night Vale, I was employee #6 at a fintech startup called Policygenius. I was hired for content marketing, but being in that environment allowed me to stretch my legs beyond my job title and got me into rooms that I would otherwise have no business being in. It also taught me how to survive at a company that’s constantly changing and evolving from week to week. As the company got bigger and things got a bit more regimented, I wanted to go someplace smaller where I could do a bunch of different jobs and learn some new skills outside of the typical marketing track. I saw a job listing for Night Vale in Hot Pod and have been there for two years this month.

HP: What does a career mean to you?

Cecil: End goal for me is to be able to make a living by making art, so I feel very lucky to be in a position right now where I’m working with artists and helping them make their work and get it in front of audiences. I don’t know what career means to me other than I hope to keep being able to help make art happen.

HP: When you first started out, what did you think you wanted to do?

Cecil: I pretty much always wanted to be a writer in one form or another.

HP: What drew you to Night Vale, and what drew you to audio fiction?

Cecil: I met a lot of the core Welcome to Night Vale folks back when the show was just starting out — I was interning for the New York Neo-Futurists at the time, a theater group here that most of the WTNV folks have been a part of. So, I was definitely drawn to it because it was like, Oh, people I know are making a podcast, but I was also drawn to it because these folks turned their writing into a podcast that thousands of people would listen to. By that point I’d been listening to podcasts for years but had never thought of it as a medium for fiction. For me, audio fiction is exciting because there are so many different ways to tell a story, both through the writing and through sound. There is a ton of diverse storytelling out there right now, and as more people start creating audio fiction, it’s only going to get more interesting.

HP: What are you listening to right now?

Cecil: I’m wrapping up my binge of Tommy Pico’s Junk right now – I love object history and Tommy Pico so this show has been very much up my alley. On the recommendation of Jeffrey Cranor, I’ve been dipping into Imaginary Advice, a very inventive fiction show. I’m also super excited to listen to Kaitlin Prest’s The Shadows. The Heart is one of my fav podcasts of all time and one that I consistently recommend to folks, and I’m so excited to see what Kaitlin does with fiction. Also, I’ve got to plug the Night Vale fall slate – Within the Wires, Adventures in New America, and the upcoming Dreamboy – three shows that show off three very different approaches to audio fiction.

Thanks so much, Adam. You can find him on Twitter.