Issue 288,  published January 12, 2021

Introducing Hot Pod’s newest columnist: Aria Bracci

The Hot Pod family has officially grown a little bigger. I’m excited to announce the newsletter’s newest regular contributor: Aria Bracci. She’s a freelance writer and producer based in Massachusetts, and she’ll be writing a story a week for the Tuesday letters in addition to taking over the paid Insider newsletter on Fridays starting next week.

We’re already in the middle of developing her first few columns, but today, we’ll just do introductions. Here’s Aria:

A Note from Aria Bracci. As I write this, I’m starting at a crispy Christmas tree, wondering which of us will last longer.

I’m not one for posturing. Freelancing — that is, what I used to call my on-again-off-again relationship with the Department of Unemployment Assistance — is hard. I’ve learned a hell of a lot, and I’ve seen a lot of other freelancers go down. I’m excited to share what I’ve found with all of you. How many of you are out there? Let’s be friends.

The name’s Aria to colleagues, @braccisaurus to Twitter. I’m both a current and former audio producer, the former as a fresh-faced freelancer and the latter as a science journalist for a research university. I’ve made straightforward public radio spots and weirder experimental pieces, a series all about laboratories and a tear-inducing string of voice memos (no link — sorry) for my grandpa’s 90th birthday, celebrated in isolation.

To be honest, a lot of podcasting annoys me. It’s the wrong format for certain things. It’s often not assembled cleanly. It’s sometimes too long, insufficiently thoughtful, unoriginal. That I still love the medium should not to be taken lightly. I’m a big complainer. Yet, here I am. Stoked.

I want you to be, too. Podcasting has gotten Big, but the little tickle you get in your stomach, the spark that brought you here, doesn’t have to shrink. In fact, mine’s doing quite well, nurtured by hosts who actually have good rapport, (surprisingly high-quality) iPhone audio messages my sweet angel friends leave me, and the knowledge that even Cardiff Garcia has started smoking again.

Tell me things. Write to me about shows and tape and audio that changed your life. Let me know about some story that unexpectedly foreshadowed real-world events, or some funky project that has absolutely nothing to do with the news. You can find me here: ariahotpod@gmail.com.

Maybe I’ll take down the tree. More likely, I’ll just start watering it again. Like Grammy predictions or even the freshest-looking bouquet, once picked, it’s already doomed. The least I can do is help it see another day.

I run this thing.