Creator Mondays: Jade Iovine
Looking for a new way to get inspired and start the week off the right way? Grab a cup of coffee and join us for a brand new series: “Creator Mondays.” Each week, we sit down with one of the incredible hosts from our iHeartRadio community to talk podcasts, hosting life, Monday motivation routines and much more!
This week, we’re joined by LA-based host and writer, Jade Iovine. From red-carpet TV interviews to podcasts and more, she’s made a career out of skipping the small talk in favor of more real conversations. Her penchant for more genuine stories inspired her to launch her brand new podcast, “Tell Me About it with Jade Iovine,” which strips away the glossy, social-media-perfected facade to offer a more authentic space for women to share their stories.
Read on to learn more about how Jade got into podcast hosting, why picking a show name might be a lot harder than you’d think and how starting the week off right means being kind to your “Monday-self.”
What drew you to podcasting and how did you become a host?
I had a clear vision for the problem I wanted to solve—I wanted to create a show where I could have heart-to-hearts with women I respected about failures, mistakes and heartbreaks in an extremely honest and vulnerable way. I knew Instagram and other mediums that prioritize short-form content weren’t lending themselves to the kind of intimacy and feeling of safety that I needed to provide my guests in order to have those hard conversations that would make whoever is listening feel less alone.
I’ve wanted to interview people as far back as I can remember, but the problem was I’ve only ever wanted to do one type of show. Some people played sports after school. I studied talk shows religiously. I didn't want to host red carpets or interview people about careers or clothes or who’s dating who—all of that felt like a perpetuation and endorsement of unattainable aspirationalism. And if that’s what you enjoy listening to, no judgment trust me, I love to watch those shows—but it was impossible for me to forge that interest. Companies and networks have asked me to do this several times, and it turns out I'm really bad at small talk and really great and getting people to tell me their life story.
I eventually thought ‘Okay, I have to create this show I’ve always imagined for myself.’ I knew podcasting was enticing because, as I’ve come to learn, there really aren’t “rules”. As my wonderful producer Catherine says, “it’s like the wild wild west”—you can sort of make it all up and learn as you go. That freedom inspired me and was what ultimately drew me to podcasting.
What is it about the medium of podcasts that make them so special and popular?
Conversations have dimension when there’s audio, in a way that can’t be captured on Instagram or a blog interview. Also, podcasting is inherently casual and I wanted that “heart-to-heart with wine and blankets” feeling for “Tell Me About It” that felt unattainable elsewhere. With podcasting, I’m able to be more thoughtful and there’s an intimacy between guest and host, listener and host that, to me, is unlike any other medium. I’m innately interested in asking people deep questions—it’s how I relate to people and how to break the ice. More often than not, deep questions provoke long answers and I’m cursed with verbosity so ultimately it felt like podcasting was the obvious choice. The barriers to entry to the podcast world are relatively low considering anyone who wants to host one can, and that allows hosts to bring their most authentic selves to the table and, in turn, provides listeners a very unique insight into the lives and minds of the people they listen to.
Can you tell us something we might not know about the podcast you host right now?
“Tell Me About It” had about three thousand other names before we finally landed on it. When I first pitched the show to iHeart it was called “Been There” because I felt that when you hear those words from another woman it validates you and confirms that, no, it’s not just you. Once we realized that for trademark and other reasons, “Been There” wasn't going to work, I had to find another name for the show. At one point I had a six-page list of every iteration and synonym of “Been There.” It took months and it made me never want to see thesaurus.com again, but ultimately we landed on “Tell Me About It” and haven’t looked back since. Now of course I can’t imagine another name but that was arguably the most frustrating part of this whole process! I don’t know how it took us so long to think of it but I was so relieved when we did.
What advice do you have for anyone who dreams of hosting a show someday?
My first piece of advice would be to just start. If you have a concrete idea and you know you want to host a podcast, start by interviewing friends and family but most importantly, just start! I always remind myself perfection is the enemy of good, so don’t seek perfection. Just keep practicing and iterating and be open to feedback. Which sort of leads me to my next point which is the only way to learn and get better at hosting is by doing the reps. I’ve learned that the hard way several times. Hosting isn’t something you can just study and get better at, you learn by actually doing it and have to practice over and over again to really improve.
What inspires you, and do you have any Monday tips to help kick off each week the right way?
In a weird way, my mistakes and my past self inspire me. It may sound corny but thinking of getting a chance to do better, know better, be better, than yesterday gets me out of bed in the morning. My therapist once told me you build self-esteem by doing esteemable acts, so I always try to remind myself of that when I don’t feel like doing something or am inclined to break a promise I’ve made to myself.
My Monday tip is actually more of a Friday tip. I always overestimate who I call my “Monday-self.” I’m so lazy and burnt out by the time Friday rolls around that I push many of my “to-do’s” to Monday, thinking I’ll feel better or have more energy by then... and therefore should push it off. Which is mostly true but Mondays are inherently busy so I inevitably get overwhelmed by having to complete Monday’s tasks and the tasks I didn’t complete last week. I would say to be as kind as possible to your “Monday-self” and try to do that extra thing you don’t want to do on Friday.
Whether you’re looking for hosting advice or tips to stay motivated, check back next week for more featured hosts and make “Creator Mondays” a new Monday ritual. And don’t forget to check out Jade’s inspiring new podcast, “Tell Me About It,” streaming now on iHeartRadio!