Q+A: Mallory Kasdan, MILK Podcast

The "MILK" podcast? Yes -- it is a play on MILF, only it's clean, and connects Moms we would all Like to Know to celebrate their successes and share their stories of creativity, triumph, and activism. We sat down with Mallory Kasdan, host of this popular podcast, author of Ella, and professional voice actor for television and radio to hear her story and find out how she does it all.

Mallory in her studio
Mallory in her studio

Tell us about the MILK Podcast. What is it? What inspired you to start MILK?

MILK podcast stands for Moms I’d Like to Know. It’s mostly a funny thing I thought of a long time ago when I was doing a lot of reading when I first became a parent. I would read women authors like Jennifer Egan and Dani Shapiro and I realized how much of their work was informed by being a mother. I just started paying attention to more artists and woman who I admire who happened to be mothers. So, I started calling them Moms I’d Like to Know (MILKS).

I decided to start inviting some of those women who I admire when I could get them into my home studio. I had the set-up because I do voiceover work for commercials and my husband is an audio engineer for film and television. I have done some radio work in the past and I was really excited to try podcasting because I love podcasts and it felt like a natural fit. My focus is on how to continue being a person in the world – doing the things you love while being a parent, which is not easy to do because it is distracting to have kids.

Some of the things I talk about on my podcast is how life as a mother is not always #blessed. It’s hard, it’s challenging, but it’s also hilarious, and fun. We should be real and honest about what goes on and what it looks like to be a mother. So, I wanted to shine the light on those awesome women in the world who are also parents. That is where MILK was born.

How has MILK changed since it started? How has it changed your life, especially as a mother?

I have done about 18 episodes now. Mostly, it has changed in that it started mainly with people I knew – friends of mine who I thought were interesting. It was very familiar and easy. But I’ve done a few lately where I haven’t known the people I am having on. It’s more of a challenge for me because it’s more of a real interview. But I like knowing people and I like having friends of mine in the studio. It’s a great chance to catch up with a friend. Its great because I get good time with people I really like. Hopefully if my listeners like me, they will like the people I like and the conversations we have.

As a mother, it’s helping me prioritize because I have a lot going on – three different things that I do and two kids who go to different schools. My goal last year was to get this podcast up, so I would do an episode every two months. This summer my goal was to build a website for my podcast. I could meet these goals because I was focused on it.

We like living in Dumbo because it is an interesting place to be. There’s always something interesting and kind of crazy happening. That is how I approach life and parenting – life is crazy, kids are crazy, adults are crazy, the city is crazy. But we all like to laugh and be a part of it. That’s how I deal with it and thrive on it. I would encourage you to find what makes you happy and raise your kids in it.

Tools of the trade
Tools of the trade

Can you give us an idea of what it’s like behind the scenes of the MILK podcast?

I am a one-woman band. I do everything from figuring out who my guests are going to be, to recording them in my studio. I do a lot of the editing but my husband helps me polish and finish it. He is my tech support. I also do all the social media to promote it. It’s very fun. When I am behind the scenes, I must stay motivated because this is what I want to do. I know that I must keep doing it, hoping people would like it and get something out of these conversations.

Behind the scenes here, everyone is shouting. The mornings are crazy, dinnertime is crazy, kids are noisy, we are all very talkative people. However, when my kids are at school and I have guest in the studio, it’s relaxed. We can have a nice conversation where we are able to think without being distracted.

What is your favorite place in DUMBO?

I love the park because it is so beautiful, and it is so democratic – everyone can enjoy it. John Street part of the park is basically like our backyard. My kids play soccer there and it’s like an extension to our house. I love being at the park when its quiet, like early in the morning or late at night. I like feeling like you’re alone on the streets. You can walk down a block and feel alone, which is hard to come by in New York City. That’s why I love being here.

It’s been interesting living in Dumbo for so long because it has changed so much. Everything has gotten intense and become like a fancy place. But it is an exciting place to be. All the businesses are great. I love the shops. I love the girls at Superfine. I love knowing Natchie at the gift card store. I love Westville. Dumbo is the best place to be. I am never leaving.