Behind the Podcast Scenes: Team Adult ISH
Adult ISH podcast co-hosts Merk Nguyen and Nyge Turner have some very special interviewees this week: their own co-workers, Podcast Producer Georgia Wright and Senior Producer Davey Kim! In this behind-the-scenes edition of the Adult ISH you know and love, Merk and Nyge turn the mic on their usually-hidden colleagues, putting them in the hot seat to share first impressions, tell silly stories, and reveal some juicy secrets about how the show gets made. Be sure to follow all our socials at @yrAdultISH!
Kyra: Hey, this is Kyra Kyles, the CEO of YR Media, and you are listening to the aforementioned YR Media and Radiotopia.
Nyge: Merk, do you ever like binge watch shows on HBO?
Merk: Uhh, no because unlike you who binge watches shows, I take in my shows at a healthy dose. And I’m on Hulu instead like Monsterland, My Hero Academia, all that.
Nyge: Sounds super whack. But the moderate dose stuff.
Merk: Umm, you sound whack. Why do you ask?
Nyge: (laughs) So my favorite thing about binge watching shows on HBO in particular is that after the episodes, the actors sit down and they kind of pull back the curtain and talk to the audience. It always felt like such a huge treat at the end of the episode to learn a little bit about how the magic was made and the people who made it, you know?
Merk: Oh, yeah, Okay. Actually, yes, I do watch HBO because I watched Euphoria and I remembered those kinds of behind the scenes with Zendaya and Hunter and stuff. And for some reason the videographer was, like, obsessed with the hands. You would see close ups of the hands all the time. You remember that?
Nyge: No, but sounds like a cool videographer choice.
Merk: Yeah, cool videographer choice. And I just like the vibes of getting to know people in that way. That wasn’t just their character. And I want to do that today. Are you down to pull back the curtain with our audience?
Nyge: I definitely am. Welcome to Adult ISH produced by YR Media, a show where we invite you behind the scenes to introduce y’all to the people who make Adult ISH happen.
Merk: That’s right, this special episode’s called Meet Team Adult ISH! So later in the show we’re gonna bring on our Senior Producer Davey who’s been with us since the dawn of Adult ISH time.
Nyge: But now, we’re gonna bring on the newest member of our team. Quick disclaimer, though, my audio sound super trash because recording in my closet doesn’t always work out super great. So please bear with us.
Merk: Bear with us and, here we go!
Merk: Even though she’s been on Team Adult ISH for only three months, she’s already an amazing contributor of SO many things on this show! You’ve heard us shout her out in the credits, and on our socials if you follow us there @YRadultISH. It’s our producer Georgia Wright! Hey Georgia!
Georgia: Hey, thanks for having me on.
Merk: Yeah, of course. Well,Georgia, we kinda know you and have luckily each met you on our separate social distanced dates but there’s still so much more we, and our listeners don’t know! So we’re gonna put you in the hot seat for this little game called, “All Right, Georgia Wright!”
Georgia: Oh wow. (laughs) Oh my goodness!
Merk: So none of your answers will be wrong ‘cause all of them are… (laughs)
Nyge: With a “W.”
Georgia: With a “W.”
Merk: Please, don’t fire me.
Georgia: I don’t think I have that power, to be honest.
Nyge: So we’ll have you answer some basic rapid-fire questions, that get progressively more intense as the questions go on and yeah. You get it. And if there ARE some juicy stories you wanna share in a response or something you wanna talk more about, then go for it. Sound good?
Georgia: Alright, let’s do it!
Nyge: So gonna start off with a heavy hitter here. How old are you, Georgia Wright?
Georgia: I’m 26. Last time I checked.
Merk: (gasps) Oh, my gosh!
Nyge: Pew pew pew pew pew!
Merk: Two years older than us! What is your Zodiac sign?
Georgia: I’m a Cancer, but I’m a little skeptical about zodiac. I’m not going to lie. I’ve had my moments where I’m more enthusiastic and less enthusiastic. But right now, you know what? Right now I’m trying to lean into it because things are falling apart. So why the heck not?
Merk: Welcome to 2020. What’s your favorite color and why?
Georgia: Ooh. I’m so lame to be like, “I love all colors,” but I truly do. I think there are good and bad iterations of all colors. But I will say a warm yellow. A warm yellow that makes you think of sunshine and happiness, that beats away the winter blues. That’s what I’m really feeling these days.
Nyge: Poetic, moving. What is a smell that you love?
Georgia: I love so many smells. Okay, sorry. This is a theme. I’m clearly not good at rapid fire. I can’t make decisions. I love the smell of Earl Gray tea and the herb that they put in. It is called bergamot. And it’s like, I don’t know, there’s something about it that’s just so deeply soothing to me. You can, like, grow bergamot. Maybe I just need to get a plant.
Merk: Oh, is that a secret PSA for us to get you one?
Georgia: Mmhmm. Yeah. Oh, please do. Sooner rather than later. Christmas is coming up.
Merk: Who makes up your family? And in what ways are you different from your kin?
Georgia: Oh wow.
Nyge: Kin, kin, once again.
Georgia: Okay, so I have one younger sibling, Lily, and my parents, Dan and Jane, and I am different from them. I’m definitely the most social in my family. My mom, really all of them have streaks of socialness, but I’m by far the most gregarious. Could, like, talk to a, you know, window for five hours. Talk to a lamp, talk to a cat. You know, like I can I can befriend any inanimate or animate object or human.
Merk: I like that. That’s a superpower.
Georgia: Yeah, it is. You know, I like it too. But sometimes it’s definitely annoying because, like, for me it’s great. But for them sometimes everyone’s just like, “Georgia, you know, like shut up! Like stop talking.” And I can’t hear you. Not always. But I think sometimes it’s like, “Georgia, just, you know, like, let’s just take a moment of silence. Let’s maybe, like, do some individual quiet time, some some silent reading, you know?” (laughs)
Nyge: Alright. I feel like that’s kind of the perfect transition of you talking to inanimate objects for this next question.
Georgia: Oh, good.
Nyge: What kind of kid were you in high school.
Georgia: Oh, wow. Yeah, okay. I was a theater kid. The answer is that I was a very high-key stressed out student, got like straight A’s, you know, very like very worried about school, but also, you know, was social and dramatic and loved attention. And so I did a lot of plays and that was really fun. But also sometimes just like, you know, a lot to balance because I was really into the plays and I was also really into school. And that meant that I really wasn’t into sleep. I didn’t do very well in high school. I was kind of like not living my most healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Merk: But you got straight A’s.
Georgia: Yeah, but like at what cost? (laughs) You know, so I learned from it and I don’t think that I live that manically anymore. But who’s to say? Who’s to say?
Merk: Next question. What are three big topics you’re super passionate about?
Georgia: Number one, climate change. Y’all know I talk about this because…
Nyge: What? (laughs)
Georgia: (laughs) Nyge is like, “What? It’s not like you talk about this every day.” So I’m a youth organizer with the Sunrise Movement, which is a youth-led organization that is, you know, fighting against the climate crisis. And I also have a podcast called Inherited, which is about young people who are, you know, grappling with the effects of the climate crisis and what that means for our brains and our and our worlds and how we interact with one another and how we think about our futures.
Nyge: Super dope show, by the way. Go check it out.
Merk: Yeah, go check it out. If you haven’t already heard the cross promo for it play on our show.
Georgia: Thanks y’all. I appreciate it. So that’s definitely like one really big thing, but I also have a lot of other, you know, I like super care about my friends and relationships, you know, with other people. With family, with friends, with loved ones. I know that’s kind of a really general answer, but it’s always at the forefront of everything I do — just like other people. So I’ve been thriving in quarantine, as you can imagine. Oh, no. I mean, thank God there’s like Zoom and technology and stuff. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in like the 1800s and have to send a carrier pigeon every time I wanted to get in contact with somebody.
Nyge: But imagine how exciting that would be. When you see the pigeon coming back.
Merk: You’re like, “That’s the pigeon!”
Nyge: It’s just,”K” on the letter.
Georgia: Oh my God, that’d be so rude. I’d be heated if I waited weeks for somebody to return my carrier pigeon and it just said, “K.”
Nyge: I would only “K”s on my carrier pigeons. That would be hilarious. But alright. (laughs) Go ahead.
Merk: I would not let any carrier pigeons from you come to my place. Okay, so climate change pigeons a.k.a. people, and third topic?
Georgia: This is kind of funny because it’s been a while. But I used to be really … when I lived in Brooklyn, before the pandemic hit, I was in Brooklyn for several years, and…
Georgia: (stutters) Yeah! Where did that come from?
Nyge: Nah, I was just kiddin’. (laughs) Don’t know what happened.
Georgia: And I was really into the scene there, like I loved going dancing, I loved hanging out with my with my queer friends. We went to a lot of drag shows and I even performed in a drag show one time, which was super fun.
Merk: Were you a drag king?
Georgia: So I prefer drag royalty because that’s more like ambiguous because sometimes I want to dress up more like a drag king and sometimes I want to be really like femme or whatever. My drag persona is an alien. So really like there’s no gender in space. My drag name is Illuminaughty, but it’s spelled “naughty.” You know, honestly, I only performed the one time, so I’ve had a lot of time thinking about this character, but a lot less time actually performing, and it’s kind of a shame because it’s almost exactly a year ago that I performed for the first time. And like, I don’t yeah … This year is not a good year to be getting into performing arts and live drag. So hopefully it’s something that I’ll get to pick up again later, because right now I feel very distant from it. But it’s really fun because I feel like, you know what it was. It’s like the theater kid earlier version of myself got into it, got to come back and play and be really, like, playful and silly. It’s so silly and joyful, I think.
Nyge: All right. Now the real heavy hitting questions.
Nyge: What were your first impressions of each of us?
Georgia: Well, I thought you were super cool, obviously, and just like all around charismatic human beings, I was totally like, “Alright, I get why these two are, you know, hosts of a podcast. They’re clearly charming and funny and smart.
Nyge: Aww, stop!
Georgia: Yeah you’re like, “No stop it!” But really, “More, more!” (laughs)
Nyge: We paid for that.
Georgia: Yeah, yeah, they did. Yeah. I’m expecting a Venmo any second now. And you know what? I have gone on to get to know you both so much better and know that my first instincts that you were both fantastic human beings have been 100-percent confirmed by working with you. So…
Merk: So turning a 180 on this delight, what kind of place does Shrek hold in your heart?
Georgia: All right. Okay, so there’s a story here. There’s another story that, here we are. Here we are again, the Shrekoning. Okay, so something happened in my first interview. And Merk and Nyge know this, but the listeners don’t. I used to do this thing when I was living in Brooklyn, where, when I was on a really long train ride.
Georgia: Did you just say, “Brooklyn?” (laughs)
Nyge: Nah. (laughs)
Georgia: When I was on a really long train ride to entertain myself and other people, I would Airdrop this photo of Shrek to them in the subway car. So it’s a photo of Shrek combined with Mike Wazowski from Monsters Inc. Who’s like the little green guy who looks like a globe with legs. I love him. I used to Airdrop this photo to other people in the car, but I didn’t want them to know it was me. I didn’t want it to come from Georgia’s iPhone. So I changed my iPhone name to Shrek. And so I would send it out and I would look around and start to see people giggling because they would just get this, like, weird ass photo, you know, completely random.
Merk: Shrek Wazowski.
Georgia: Yeah. Shrek Wazowski in their morning commutes, and it was just like endless entertainment for me. I don’t know, it just became a thing. So my phone’s name has been Shrek ever since I went through that phase. What I didn’t know when I logged on to my first YR Adult ISH Zoom interview is that if you go on Zoom on your phone, it automatically updates the Zoom name to your phone name. So this is my first, first, first impression that I was leaving on the team of YR Adult ISH. And I logged on the Zoom call as Shrek. And I didn’t notice for like quite a while.
Merk: (laughs) Because you had connection issues.
Georgia: At first I couldn’t figure out why y’all were laughing. I was like, “Have I messed up already?” I mean, really, really nice. But I was just like, “Wow, something’s off.” And then I realized that I had logged on as Shrek and I had to explain the whole thing because they were like, “Who is this?” Right? Didn’t you think it was like a Zoom bomber or something?
Nyge: Yeah, it was just black. It was like a black screen at first and it just said, “Shrek is connecting to audio,” you know. (laughs) Just like, “Shrek has connected,” and it was just like a black screen. And I was like, “Yo, what’s happening?” I don’t know. I thought we were on like a hidden camera show or something.
Merk: Yeah, but the way that you played it off, I mean, as mortifying as that moment might have been, it was just a very human moment because you were able to laugh at yourself. We were able to laugh with you. And I mean, that’s the whole deal with adulting, right? We just, we make mistakes and nobody’s perfect. We just keep going.
Georgia: The best part about this story, because I’ve told it to so many people and they’re like, “Georgia, are you serious? Like, what a rookie mistake for a job interview.” And I’m like, “But you know what? I got the job and here I am. And it’s a story of hilarity that me and my coworkers can bond over now.” So, there you go.
Nyge: (laughs) Yeah, really dead on. we were all like, “Oh yeah, she’s cool, she’s witty, she’s funny. Like, this is going to be cool.” And then you just proved us right on all those things in starting off with Shrek. And then. Yeah, like when we had to even pick a person, we were like, “Shrek!” So yeah, no, it was cool. And then our relationship has developed. All those same things just heightened.
Georgia: Even Shrekier than you thought.
Nyge: Even Shrekier than I, than I thought. I wasn’t expecting it. But you know.
Georgia: Well, I’m so grateful to be part of the fam. Thank you for having me on today.
Merk: Thanks for sitting in the hot seat, G. Hope it’s not too sweaty.
Georgia: Just sweaty enough. Thanks. Appreciate it.
Nyge: Okay, we’re back and with another producer on our show whose name you’ve heard us say dozens of times in the course of our four seasons. He’s a storyteller and sound designer who’s worked on shows like Dinner Party Download and Snap Judgment. He’s also only 29, so he’s still adulting too!
Merk: Everybody, it is the Senior Producer of Adult ISH and our boss, so everybody give it up for Davey Kim!
Davey: It’s me! Thanks for having me on y’all. (laughs) Nyge, what’d you have for lunch just now? Because I am starving.
Nyge: Oh, man, you’re going to make me say this on air. It’s … it was a struggle lunch, for sure. I just ate a little bit of turkey in between wheat bread with a little bit of salami with no cheese or anything else.
Davey: Nyge, you know, I hired you because you had a cooking show on YouTube and you don’t come in with any kind of sauce?! Really disappointed.
Nyge: I had mustard and mayonnaise. It was trash.
Merk: No veggies.
Merk: Just … man.
Nyge: We don’t get paid until what, four. Well three days from now, so yeah. Just trying to make it work.
Davey: Yeah, for sure. For sure.
Merk: Okay Davey, so everyone’s only really heard your voice on season three when we did the Tinder Therapy segment where Nyge had us tryna swipe right on what kind of therapists would be good fits for us in our mental health journeys. But we wanted new listeners to get to know you, plus have listeners who’ve been around for more than a hot minute to get the Davey dirt.
Nyge: (laughs) So we’re just gonna ask you some questions about the show from your perspective, what you’ve learned and how it’s helped you with your Adult ISH. ‘Cause you’re basically the person who started this show. You were here before Merk and I came along and yeah, we wanna pay respect to that.
Davey: I appreciate it. I’m looking forward to it.
Nyge: Yeah, no problem. So first question, what was your first impression of us, like me and Merk individually? And then together? ‘Cause you took a big risk pairing us together for the next few years without even us meeting or based off of a vision that you had in your mind. So can you let us know about that?
Davey: Yeah. So you say it’s interesting that you all saw it as a big risk. I actually didn’t see it as a big risk at the time.
Davey: Yeah, yeah. And I’ll get into that in just a second. But first of all, I think you two were the only two, or maybe there was like one or two other people, that submitted a video audition in the application instead of an audio clip. So pro tip everyone, we’re all in the wrong careers. But the videos made a really strong impression. And I think overall, like what I got is y’all were able to keep a scene alive, no matter what. Like y’all could make a story out of nothing, keep the conversation going. There was never a dull moment in your videos. It was like … I just felt like I wanted to live life with y’all. And for me, like out of all the other hypothetical pairings, you know, the other candidates, which we don’t speak about much here, I actually felt like this was the least riskiest, obvious pairing. So in a way, it was like a blind faith that, like, worked out, you know, and I was thinking about this yesterday in the shower as we all do.
Davey: Yeah. After three years, like, y’all are still genuinely that same person I met through that video. I mean, like, obviously there’s growth. But to me it’s important because I feel like a lot of online personas are fake. I mean, that’s kind of why I’m not on Instagram like that. Y’all know, but y’all are just kind of still that person. And I was just kind of cool to think about last night. But yeah, in terms of individual impressions, I was going to say no.
Nyge: I was gonna say…
Merk: Yeah. Let’s get the real dirt.
Davey: All right. So I was talking … I was telling myself, what should I not … No. (laughs) So I guess Merk, because Merk was probably the first person to actually send in the application, of course. Nyge was one of the last actually. Who’s the … anchor person of like a four by four?
Davey: Yeah. Nyge kind of came in at the end but for Merk, and I still remember your cover letter. You talked about your sister, you talked about RuPaul. You still talk about your sister, you still talk about RuPaul.
Merk: It’s true!
Davey: And I just remember also in your video, you talked about how you applied to RadioActive, which is like an audio training thing three times, and like that showed a lot of heart. And so I really admired that.
Merk: Thank you.
Davey: Oh, yeah. And for Merk, I remember I had two high school senior interns at the time and I asked both of them like, “Oh, what do y’all think about Merk’s audition video? Like the way she sounds?” She’s like, “Oh, she could definitely be on like Disney. On the Disney Channel.” So I didn’t grow up with Disney. I’m like, “Yeah, I guess that’s a good thing?”
Merk: You know what? I’ve actually gotten that quite a bit before. In high school, people were like, “Yo, I can see you on Disney Channel!” And I’m like, “Hey!”
Davey: I was grappling with like, “Is that a good thing?” Because I feel like … It’s a good thing. So eventually it was a good thing. Merk, you know, you were there. And then for Nyge, I remember like you were so well-rounded. You’re working at the Fire Academy, basketball camp. You did gymnastics, both of you did gymnastics. You had your cooking YouTuber thing. You’re into fashion and music. And I felt like, “oh, I think I can learn a thing or two from Nyge.” And yeah, I feel like those are my first impressions. I still feel bad to this day that Nyge’s classmate is the one who was, I think, the second person who applied. And I was really interested in that person as well. But, uh, here you are, four seasons later, making it work. (laughs)
Merk: Well, when YR decided to make a podcast, they hired you to basically be the ringleader of this ship back when we didn’t even have, like, a title or…
Davey: We were really a raft at the time.
Merk: I mean, you being hired led to everything else after that from, as Nigel said, us getting hired, Georgia being on our team, all that. What kind of pressure did this put on you? Especially since this job is the first time you’ve been in a supervisor role?
Davey: True. True. Yeah. So it wasn’t my first time like overseeing a project. Right. But definitely my first time putting a team together on my own, you know, somehow ended up with you two. (laughs)
Davey: Maybe a little bit too sarcastic.
Nyge: But I like that.
Davey: Well, anyhow, after working on a relatively well-oiled national radio show and then literally moving across the street, because my old job is across the street from where Youth Radio is, or what we know as YR Media today, it was definitely a jump in. YR Media has a pretty robust radio program. You know, there are a lot of stuff that’s syndicated to all these other big shows, but not so much in the podcast world where it’s like by and for young folks, young adults. And then like when I got there, I kind of learned that they had already attempted to do a podcast a year or two or three before, and that for whatever reason, it didn’t work out. So like, I was the re-attempt at it. So there was that pressure.
Merk: I don’t even know that.
Davey: Yeah, I found out like a little bit into the job. So I was like, “Oh.”
Merk: “You seek me for salvation.” (laughs)
Nyge: (laughs) You’re the anchor now.
Davey: What is in relationships where you’re like, seconds? Dirty seconds. What is it? Sloppy seconds.
Merk: Oh you’re not a sloppy second!
Davey: Thank you. But yeah, there was a lot of pressure but honestly I feel like I’m always under pressure, TBH. Maybe it’s because I’m just a bit of a workaholic and I always feel like I’m not doing enough.
Merk: You. Oh my gosh. You do so much though!
Nyge: I think everybody feels like Davey doesn’t do enough. (laughs) If you’ve asked anyone who has worked with Davey…
Davey: Wow. I know which one of you is like the left angel and the right devil. So it’s clear today.
Merk: I wanna be the good one.
Davey: But I think it’s really in like the last year of working with y’all, like pressure makes diamonds, whatever. That’s cute. But something that I’ve been trying to focus more on this year is not the pressure, but. Let me just kind of put it in an example. Like yesterday was a bit of a difficult day for all of us. The audio quality on one of your tracks, it just didn’t work out. Was no one’s fault, you know? And I tried fixing it. And…
Nyge: You know, this was actually my track, everybody. It was my fault. (laughs)
Davey: For everyone listening, it was actually the segment you just heard before this one. Okay, so having said that, I had plans to do other things I wanted to get done for the day, but I got nothing done. And there was this pressure, “Oh my gosh, the quality is not good enough.” And then my brain did all these, like, mental loops where I felt like I was not good enough. “I should have been more involved.” So I kind of buckled a little bit. But by the end of the day, like, I had to kind of shift in, like kind of change my mindset. Like tomorrow, my COVID circle friend is about to come over so we can go pierce his nose, because apparently there’s a safe way to do that during COVID.
Davey: Pressure out, you know. And so, yeah, there was pressure. But honestly, I think a lot of it was just from myself, I don’t know about y’all, but like, I’ve never really been the kind of person who cares about awards and podcast reviews and critiques, even though it’s important, you know. So like, if anyone’s listening, if you want to interview Merk and Nyge, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Merk & Nyge: (laughs)
Davey: But I think our team has learned to kind of work with that pressure in a healthy way.
Nyge: To talk a little bit more about that part. It’s interesting for me because for jobs that I’ve had in the past, I’ve gotten hired because they know, like, I can do the job well and it’s going to be like a limited amount of training and whoopdie whoopdie whoop, then I have limited interaction with my supervisors and I just do my job. And because it’s like, “I could do it already.” But like with this job, we were hired so much off of like skills that we already had too but also, you just saw a lot of potential. And those early days here, it was just like you had to train us like so much.
Nyge: Inside and out.
Davey: I think I’ve blocked that part out. Is that what you felt? I was going to ask if you felt like I put too much pressure on y’all.
Nyge: You know, for me, it’s been situations definitely where it’s been like just a lot. We all had, like, a lot of pressure on us for different things. But like even to this day, I was at your house like last week for a number of hours, like still getting, like, training before work. And, yeah, it’s a lot that goes…
Davey: That was a good time, you know, some good pho we had.
Merk: It was nice seeing you guys in the meeting at a safe distance from each other. Yeah, I think that I’ve learned so much from you and I know you’re like, “Don’t have to give me the compliments,” and stuff like that, but we’re giving credit where it’s due. Something I’ve really taken away from, like working with you and just observing you is your work ethic. You do work so hard and it’s kind of amazing for me to hear that you feel like sometimes you’re not doing enough because I mean, we’ve all talked about imposter syndrome and how we felt that before. But to me, I’m like, “Yo, he knows how to do all this stuff and like, I’m trying to get there,” and for you to still be in that position, but to still feel that way, it really does humanize you. And I appreciate that.
Davey: Yes, I am human.
Merk: You are human! But I mean, like I do think that you put on this tough front sometimes. And maybe it’s because you are our supervisor and it’s like you have to make sure our ship is still sailing.
Merk: Even if you’re like, “Oh, shoot. But I got a hole in my boot, you know?
Davey: Totally. That’s … I’m gonna have to Google that one later.
Nyge: Very Disney on the brainwork. No, I like that. Since Merk was getting into some takeaways that she’s gotten from working with you, I think it’s only fair if we get into some takeaways that you got from, not even just working with us, but Adult ISH. So what are some big takeaways Adult ISH has given you, whether it be something a guest has said, something that you learned working with us, anything?
Davey: Yeah, I think there’s two things that come to mind immediately. And it’s literally because of Adult ISH that I started [doing]. It’s retirement and therapy. Both things growing up, and even honestly like two years ago, seemed so foreign to me. It seemed like it was one of those things that other families, wealthy families do. Because, you know, like I don’t think my parents have a concept of either. And, you know, luckily I was able to finish paying off my school loans. So I think it was only something I was recently able to start investing.
Nyge: Glad we got you to do that, even though I don’t think we’ve done that. (laughs)
Merk: But we’ve done, maybe not the retirement part as much, but mental health. I mean, we talk about it like every episode.
Davey: So, working on it. I think my big takeaway would just be water.
Nyge: Water has been my thing. Like the night before I proposed, Abe, my friend who I live with, he was yelling out into the backyard, [when I was] in the the hot tub or whatever. And I’m just like just soaking in the hot tub. And he was like, “Yo, like … you good?” And I was like, “Yeah. I’m water.” And he was like, “You’re what?” I was like, “I’m water.” “You’re what?” And I really just screamed, “I’M WATER!” (laughs) Well, just like floating in the hot tub. And that’s what I’ve had to be in so many situations. It took me a long time to really learn to handle big situations, like what happened with my mom early in my life. Like, I wasn’t like water. I wasn’t able to adapt.
Davey: Mmhmm. Yeah. I feel like that’s a bit different for me in that I’ve had to adapt from a very young age, you know. Talking to my therapist, she says I’m a survivor and basically I’ve been independent since my senior year in high school. And I know you two know a bit that I’m really good at taking care of myself financially, physically stability, you know, by overachieving. And I feel like I’m not so good at slowing down and giving myself room to, like, make mistakes and reflecting and ultimately growing from it, you know? Does that feel similar or are you a step ahead of me?
Nyge: I don’t think it’s ahead or behind at all. I think I think I’m like … I think it’s like almost parallel, it’s the opposite end of the coin. Like I grew up in a fairly wealthy family, like my parents both, have done very well for themselves. Like, my dad was a very successful draftsman. My mom was a very successful court reporter. And I grew up having a lot and being taken care of, like very much. So up until around the age of 17, when I felt like my whole world fell apart, then I had to learn to do all of that, just like on an accelerated course, and that me not being able to correctly, like, maneuver in that situation because I never had to do it before. That created some bad habits because, you know, when you have to learn to do things on the fly, you kind of just put some Band-Aids on some things. And then later on, when you move on to other things like marriage and stuff like that, a couple of those Band-Aids start appearing again. Like, “Oh, shoot. Like, I forgot to fix that with my dad.” And so that’s something that I’m focusing on right now. And that’s something that this show and the two of you have helped me do a lot.
Merk: And on the note of, like, having to take care of yourself, I think that you guys met me at a point in my life when I just started learning that, “Oh, I can take care of myself and I want to take care of myself,” because, yeah, I grew up pretty privileged, too. And I mean, listen to our last episode when I tell you that I didn’t know how to [do stuff] like cooking, setting up wifi, because everything else was done for me. But it’s kind of wild that we’ve been working for about three years together because I feel like while I am the same person, I have learned so much about myself. So last question here. How different would you say you are from when you started three years ago? And what are you proud of?
Davey: Like personally, professionally?
Merk: Personally speaking.
Nyge: Who cares about professional stuff? Pfft.
Davey: I mean, sometimes there is no difference in those lines, at least I feel like in our line of work.
Nyge: Yeah, facts.
Davey: Um … I feel like there’s so many things. As Nyge said, I’m almost 30, there’s like some small things, like I feel like I’ve focused more on my health, like I didn’t even really, like, drink water before this job.
Davey: And yesterday I spent, I kid you not, yesterday I spent 30 minutes Googling water enhancers. You know, those drops that you could put in water so I could drink more water?
Merk: Be water.
Davey: So that’s a small thing. But I am taking care of my life. Yeah. Yeah. I started running, trying to cut out some bad habits in my life right now. And then I think another … there was a TED Talk video I saw like two or three years ago. And I think it was about like the magic of not giving a … Am I allowed to curse on the show?
Merk: Do it, man.
Davey: Oh, wait. I should know the answer to this. Yes. The magic of not giving a fuck has been important because I tend to kind of feel guilty about a lot of things, everything all the time. And gosh, what a waste of energy.
Merk: I just want to say thank you for all of the ways you subtly do that from you wearing hair clips in your hair to you wearing your pink floral shirt sometimes. To you just, like, asking us, “Hey, I’m about to get this new beanie and I haven’t gotten a beanie since like my childhood. Can I get your advice on this?
Nyge: (laughs)That was a funny thing, too, because like that was like before work had started and I saw this message and I was talking to Brandi on the phone like and I was like, “Oh, shoot. Like, hold up. Davey just Slacked us. One second.” I logged on and I was like … Tsk. (laughs)
Merk: Oh my gosh!
Davey: Thank you for your help.
Nyge: But yeah, no, I want to say thank you also. It’s something that you have brought up earlier when you were talking about like a situation that happened like yesterday, even beyond that, something that you didn’t mention was like you came on in our morning meeting today and brought like a totally different energy to that whole situation. And I think that’s the stuff that makes you a great leader, is that you come back in and then address it in a different way. And then we look back on it differently. It didn’t make me feel like, “Oh, man, like you’re not allowed to make mistakes,” because then that could spiral out like, “I have to be perfect all the time.” Yeah, but like the way that you approached it this morning, was just like super super dope. And so thank you for being you Davey.
Davey: Thank you.
Merk: You’re also really kind and giving too. You write handwritten notes and you give gifts.
Davey: Nyge just went like, “Eh?”
Nyge: No I didn’t! I didn’t mean to do that at all. You bought me pholast week. The week before that you bought me an Ike sandwich.
Davey: Oh yeah.
Nyge: You gave me my phone charger that I have right now. You gave me this recorder that I’m recording on right now.
Davey: I want that back though.
Merk: “I just didn’t give him birth.” That’s the only thing you didn’t give him. (laughs)
Nyge: “You gave me life.” (laughs)
Merk: Well, I hope y’all enjoyed learning a little more about the team that brings you Adult ISH, produced by YR Media, a national network of young artists and journalists creating content for this generation.
Nyge: Thank yous go out to our producer Georgia Wright who you can follow on Twitter @georgiafrets, and our Senior Producer Davey Kim whose past audio work and photography you can see at daveykim.com.
Merk: Shoutout to Davey for actually getting the domain for his name back when he was in middle school.
Davey: Yup. And Merk, have you made your website yet?
Merk: No, I haven’t yet, but it will be available at werkwithmerk.com! I got it. I just haven’t done work on it.
Nyge: That’s crazy foresight to do that in middle school.
Davey: It was those GoDaddy commercials they really got me in middle school. (laughs)
Nyge: I remember they would always have those [ads] on like the Super Bowl. And I thought it was somehow related to like gambling or like sports or something. And I was like, “What this is how you get a website?”
Davey: Yeah, I still hate myself for signing up with them, but…
Nyge: Oh no, I for sure got my like clothing line thing, for our website, off of GoDaddy.
Davey: GoDaddy? Yeah.
Nyge: (sings) You are not, you are not alone. (speaks) Anyway, thanks also to our Executive Producer Rebecca Martin who’s @rebm on Twitter and our sound engineer Galnadgee Joe-Johnson, whose lo-fi music you can check out on spotify at stanley ipkuss.
Merk: Davey, looks like you have something to say?
Davey: Oh you know, just that … We’re also proud to be members of Radiotopia by PRX. An independent listener-supported collective of some of the complementary shows in all of podcasting. Find them at radiotopia.fm.
Merk: Can you guys believe we’re just TWO episodes away from our Season 4 finale!
Davey & Nyge: NOPE!
Davey: Merk, have you seen our rundown? We have holes!
Merk: I mean we’re doing alright! Hey, I tried. I tried.
Davey: Thank you, Merk.
Nyge: That being said, Davey, go get some lunch and we’re going to see all y’all later.