Digital Gamechangers: Seriesly Podcast Host, Brittany Heyward & Mary Sabal

For the next few weeks we will be highlighting  creatives who are making moves in the digital media space. This week we are highlighting Brittany Heyward and Mary Sabal the talented ladies behind the Seriesly Podcast. 

1) What inspired you to start the Seriesly podcast?
Mary: I knew Brittany wanted to start a podcast and was actually in the process of starting one but that kind of fell through. She came to me with the idea of recapping our favorite web series since we would always talk about it and write notes to each other. We’ve been in love with web series since college; we fell in love with shows such as The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, Venus vs. Mars, and Close Friends. We would talk about the characters and plot lines for hours so when Brittany told me her idea to create a podcast centered on web series, I just knew I had to say yes!

2) What has been your most exciting podcast moment?
Brittany: There’s been so many ‘cause starting this podcast has opened up a lot of doors for us! We got the opportunity to host a podcast panel at Black Web Fest then we were able to host screenings for web series such as #LoveMyRoomie2 and Bum Rush web series. Each event has been amazing and we’re so grateful for every opportunity that has been presented to us. We were also able to cover the red carpet two years in a row at The Urban World Film Festival which was so much fun! We got the chance to speak with web series creators from our favorite shows and talk to celebrities such as Joe Morton, Boris Kodjoe, Ava Duvernay and the cast of Queen Sugar.

3) More people are listening to podcast. Why do you think there is a shift in media?
Mary: I think people really enjoy hearing new stories and different opinions. The beauty of a podcast is that it’s something new, different, refreshing and uncensored. Unlike radio, where there is censorship and most of the time the hosts are not allowed to say certain things and are encouraged to just do their job, that all goes out the window with a podcast. Podcasters can say whatever the hell they want and give their opinions without getting in some kind of trouble.

4) What is the biggest challenge you faced creating the podcast?
Brittany: There are so many web series out there and a struggle we sometimes have is trying to accommodate all these series and trying to find a medium to what our listeners enjoy. Some people are a huge fan of one show we recap and don’t like the next show we recap so trying to find a good balance of what our listeners would like to hear can be difficult.

Mary: Creating it was no problem at all. I think we struggled with staying consistent. Being able to keep the podcast going is literally a full-time job and we already had full-time jobs when we started the podcast. From deciding on a show to recap, to scheduling everything, to getting the new episode out on time to promoting it was not easy but I think we’re doing much better.

5) Fill in the blank. I wish there was more (blank) for Black creators. Please explain your answer.
Brittany: I wish there were more programs and grants to help black creators and filmmakers especially. We all know it is not cheap to fund a project; it would be great if there were more resources to help with all of the necessities needed to properly fund a successful web series.

Mary: I wish there were more support and opportunities for Black creators. It’s crazy that many people don’t see the value in black content or even black directors, writers or producers. We tell our stories the best. No one else can excel at it better than we can. It would be great to see more of us running the show.

6) What is one of your favorite new web series and why?
Brittany: I really enjoyed #WASHED web series, which follows a young professional who wakes up on his 30th birthday in the midst of a quarter-life crisis. I thought that it had a really fresh take on what people go through when they turn 30. It was told from a guy’s perspective and we got to see him at a real vulnerable point in his life, which shed light on all his insecurities. The storyline was also really relatable, when many people turn 30; they begin to ask questions about where their life is heading and if they made the correct choices.

Mary: I really liked Sit, Black and Relax, which is about a woman that moves to NYC and tries to maneuver her newfound adulthood, love life, and Blackness. I binged watched the second season and I was cracking up the entire time. I think the storylines and characters are super relatable and the characters remind me of myself or someone I know.

7) What is some other podcast you love?
Brittany: I have a few podcasts that I love to listen to Dating, Relationships and Love with Tennesha Wood, SideHustle Pro, Black Girl Podcast and The Read.

Mary: I’m a huge fan of For the Culture Podcast, Joe Budden Podcast, The Soul is Prismatic and The Read. I love to hear the hosts’ opinions on pop culture and politics.

8) What can we expect from you ladies next?
Brittany: We’re planning a series of events that will be a hybrid of web series screenings and creator discussions. We really want to build the web series community and connect the creators with their audience. Our Seriesly Podcast merchandise is also dropping really soon so we’ll have shirts, mugs and more for our listeners! We’re also working on creating video content for our YouTube platform Seriesly TV. Our audience will get to see exclusive interviews, red carpet recaps and hilarious reaction videos. We’re #seriesly excited for what we have coming up next!

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Digital Gamechangers: Seriesly Podcast Host, Brittany Heyward & Mary Sabal

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