Students to Watch: Fourth-year RTA student empowers women in podcast

Fourth-year RTA student Taylor Reynolds co-hosts Best Practice with classmate Kaylyn Jung, a podcast fostering mentorship between creative female entrepreneurs.

“Most of our listeners, myself included, are still in the early stages of our careers and our mentors mean everything to us,” says Reynolds. “The mentorship dynamic is perfect for conversation because it’s all about asking questions and absorbing as much information as possible.”

Reynolds produces the podcast alongside fourth-year classmates Kassi Bellamy, Kaylyn Jung, David Sutrin, Holly Hudson, Kate Wilson and Adrienna Bailey. They funded the first season by campaigning for $5,000 on Indiegogo.

As a budding photographer, Reynolds wanted to find an inspiring community of women to help motivate and guide her. Jung and Reynolds had never hosted a podcast before, but this endeavour has led to an open space for young, creative women.

Taylor Reynolds started the podcast for women to discuss their work. (Robyn Bell/Ryersonian Staff)

“I wanted to create a space where women could have these honest conversations about their work, how they got their start and obstacles they’ve faced,” she says. “Ultimately, I wanted to create a project that would break down the walls within the industry, to inspire conversation and to not romanticize the hard work along the way.”

Reynolds noticed the media industry has a huge issue of representing the female voice by up-talking and overusing qualifiers and vocal fry. (Known as the millennial version of up-talking, vocal fry was popularized by the Kardashians and is when a person’s voice gets creaky and raspy.)

“It’s important to represent female entrepreneurs and creatives in media because clearly things haven’t evolved enough and in radio specifically, things need to change.”

Although they’ve recorded at Ryerson’s Allan Slaight Institute, a few episodes were recorded with Breather, an Airbnb-like app for workspaces. They recorded an episode in New York City featuring Jessica Foley, a photographer and marketing director, and Jessi Frederick, an art director and model. In addition to the podcast, Best Practice publishes a zine for each episode to add a visual component. They’ve featured visual artists such as Joy and Rose Broadbent, Ness Lee and Ryerson fashion design alumna Mary Young.

“We wanted a way to give context to the conversations as well as highlight the amazing work these women are doing. Our zine works to add an extra element to the listening experience, connecting the artist to their work – the hustle to the end product.”

Best Practice plans to host more live panels for season 2. Their first live episode was a wrap on the first season, which they aligned with RADmag’s sixth issue launch.

“It was amazing to see our listeners engage with the guests and each other, and it makes for a really cool live energy in the episode recording,” she says. “We’re always looking to find ways to push that sense of community and empowerment beyond our screens and a live event is a great way to achieve that.”

Reynolds and her team are currently planning for season 2. Their first season focused on women working in visual mediums, and they want to shift the focus to activism, in light of United States president Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban, Black Lives Matter and the Toronto Women’s March.

“We’ve seen such an amazing swell of activism both globally and in Toronto over the past few months, and there are definitely a few women whose stories we want to share.”

 

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