082: Arts journalism, podcasting, and RDU on Stage with Lauren Van Hemert

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a podcaster? Does arts journalism interest you? Our guest today is Lauren Van Hemert, arts journalist and podcaster with RDU on Stage. RDU on Stage focuses on theatre in the Triangle area of North Carolina and includes online reviews, videos, and podcast interviews. 

Lauren Van Hemert, RDU on Stage
Photo by @areonmobasher @photobasher

Lauren describes her journey to launching RDU on Stage, the behind the scenes of podcasting, tips for podcast guests, best practices for aspiring arts journalists, and more. Also, you’ll hear some great stories about Lauren’s conversations with William Ivey Long and Kristen Chenoweth!

Lauren Van Hemert is a graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington, where she majored in Journalism with a minor in Theater. Prior to graduation, Van Hemert hosted her own weekly talk show on Public Radio WDNA Miami and worked as a production intern for As The World Turns. A native of Miami, Florida, Van Hemert’s love of theater started at an early age during a New York trip when her father took her to see the revival of ‘Oklahoma,’ ‘The Music Man’ starring Dick Van Dyke, and ‘Peter Pan,’ starring Sandy Duncan. She currently lives in Cary, North Carolina with her husband and two children, where she has been an advocate for arts education in the schools and sensory-friendly experiences. She is a member of The American Theatre Critics Association and host of the RDU on Stage podcast. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram @rduonstage. 

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox!  This episode was recorded at the ASBX home studio. Artist Soapbox theme music by Bart Matthews. 

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Questions FOR LAUREN


Let’s talk about some language. You’ve said that you prefer to be called an Arts Journalist rather than a theatre critic or reviewer. Why is that? 


Would you talk about your Arts Journalism journey?  When was this seed planted for you? After taking a break, how did you circle back to this passion? 

What do you love about the theatre? Why do you want to share it and talk about it and spread the word about what’s happening?

Favorite interviews? How in the world did you get interviews with folks like Kristin and William Ivey Long? 


Let’s talk about RDU ON STAGE!

You mentioned that ‘what you are doing now feels most authentic.’ Why is that? What’s it like to be a podcaster? Why is this podcast important to you? How do you approach your interviews? 

What are some best practices for emerging arts journalists? 

What’s next for you? Anything else?

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