“I know we only just met, but can I tell you, well…everything?”
This about sums up my early interactions with audio extraordinaire and musician Makenzie Mizell.
I say “early,” though in reality our friendship is still fairly new. We met over the summer and have been working together, gabbing up a storm, celebrating each other’s wins and supporting each other through challenges ever since.
Makenzie cofounded and operates the new women’s podcast network, Period, which I’m gaga for and thrilled to be a part of. She’s as skilled in audio engineering and womanning a network as her heart is huge, which says a lot.
She joined me on the other side of the Girl Boner Radio mic recently to chat about Period and my Girl Boner book, non-competition (especially among gals), sexual epiphanies, what it means to be “good girl,” and, with the help of Dr. Megan Fleming, standing up for our own pleasure. We also took a deep and unexpected dive into body image challenges, past and present, which inspired these ever-so-stoic photos.
I’d hoped to explore Makenzie’s artistry a bit more, but we ran out of time. So I asked her a few follow up questions for the blog, which you can find down below! In the meantime…
Stream the episode on iTunes, Spotify, iHeartRadio or right here:
After the Podcast: A Blog Q&A with Makenzie Mizell
AM: Could you share a bit about your musical journey? When you started, what you love most about songwriting or performing…?
MM: Oh wow. Actually, it’s kind of nice to get asked how I started. I began writing in grade school. My first instrument actually wasn’t guitar. It was the drums. I’d play along to the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack and imagine I was Val. Eventually writing without guitar got kind of impractical, though, so I started jamming with another girl who played drums and we had a little high school girl band.
I love that there’s nothing you can’t do with music. Every feeling I have I can sort out. I’m a pretty shy person but when I perform I’m fearlessly me. I have this theory that women are always talked over or disregarded. When we talk from the stage (or the podcast booth) we have a captive audience and we can just relax assured no one is going to interrupt.
AM: How do you describe your music?
MM: Pop. Just pop. For a long time I was sure I was punk. I’m not. The word I’ve gotten most is “cutesy” so *sigh* I guess that’s what I am.
AM: You moved to LA from small-town Oregon not long ago, with little more than your car and guitar. What do you recall about that decision?
MM: It was 100% practical. I came down here to make music. And I knew getting paid for shows in LA was rare, so I figured if I didn’t have an apartment I could make my savings last longer. I’d already outfitted a minivan to sleep in when my friend/bandmate Savannah and I had done a US tour the previous year so, essentially what you said, I packed my guitar and my dog in my van and headed for LA.
AM: If someone told you when you left Oregon that you’d soon be running a women’s podcast network, how do you think you would have reacted?
MM: HAHA! I’d have died. This is an insane dream come true. My whole life was podcasts before I came down here. I was in a lonely place, dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression, and so I listened when I went on my runs, listened when I shopped at the grocery store, listened as I fell asleep. To now be producing them is greater than I could have imagined.
AM: What’s one common myth about podcasting you’d like to debunk?
MM: That you have to be an expert. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had BRILLIANT women tell me they’d like to start a show but they’re scared they’re not competent. Don’t let the threat of gatekeeping bullies keep you from pursuing your passion.
AM: What’s your biggest dream for the network?
MM: To give back. Our goal is to turn a profit so we can start supporting organizations that help girls around the world. Specifically, I’d like to focus on getting sanitary products to girls who can’t afford them so their periods don’t interrupt their lives.
AM: What advice do you hold closest to your heart?
Start before you’re ready. Perfection is the enemy of progress. Be scared that what you put out there isn’t good enough but do it anyway.