Feeling bored and unsatisfied while working in a Wollongong call centre, an idea began to percolate in comic Seamus McAlary’s mind.
The end result was the Kiama comedian writing, producing, directing, scoring and voicing a new independent five-part comedy serial podcast, Clancy Blaxland.
It tells the story of a burnt-out investigative journalist working out of the fictional town of Steel City.
McAlary, 34, won’t reveal which call centre “inspired” his creation.
However, he said the show is “not about Wollongong, but the idea was born in Wollongong”.
“There was a lot of talk about fake news and people were and still are skeptical about where their news is coming from,” McAlary said.
“I wondered what a veteran journalist would think of all this. And I wondered what if that journalist wrote for a regional newspaper, and also what if that journalist knew kung fu, and so Clancy Blaxland was born.”
He said it took about a year to develop, create and record the show.
The series also features Carlo Ritchie (Tonightly, The Bear Pack) Ivy Latimer (Mako Mermaids) and guest stars Aaron Chen (Talkin’ Bout your Generation, Aaron Chen Tonight, Very Small Business).
Having a limited knowledge of sound engineering and audio production, McAlary took a DIY approach and taught himself the ropes of producing an audio-play.
“I think that with podcasting there’s lots of opportunities for young writers and performers to get there stuff out there,” he said.
“Podcasting doesn’t just have to be an interview style show or a pre-packaged ‘best of’ a radio show.
“There’s a place and I believe a growing demand for narrative and storytelling in podcasting.”
McAlary previously hosted another podcast, Sampled Conversations.
The podcasting format is often credited with rejuvenating or launching the careers of many comedians.
“Previously you’d have to get on radio or whatever, but now the whole system is set up for you to be able to do it independently,” McAlary said.
“The sound recording gear, microphones; it’s cheaper and more accessible these days.
“That probably explains why a lot of careers have taken off with podcasting.
“You can get a microphone, have one idea, record it and have an audience right away.”
Clancy Blaxland is available now for free on iTunes and Spotify.