Zach Mack is a renaissance man from the Bay Area who currently lives in Oakland. Recently deciding to plunge full-time in pursuit of his goals in radio and media, Zach has been producing news stories for various local public radio stations, hosting/creating two standout original weekly podcasts — Dino Pants Radio and The Four Man Rotation — and performing with an improv troupe at the Magic Jester Theater. Throughout our dialogue, Zach drops gems of knowledge accrued through working hard to forward his creative medium. Zach is making moves out here in multiple realms of craft surrounding his interest in radio, and it’s dope that he took a moment to lend his voice to the Collective!
Sometimes its important to just STOP… clear your head, assess your feelings and then act accordingly. Trust your gut but don’t be afraid to seek out advice from people wiser than yourself.
– Zach Mack
Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?
ZM: Born and raised in the Bay Area. A California kid to the core, currently living in Oakland. Its a great city that apparently draws a lot of comparisons to Brooklyn. Would love to live in real Brooklyn at some point though.
What does Reflection and Response mean to you?
ZM: Sometimes its important to just stop… clear your head, assess your feelings and then act accordingly. Trust your gut but don’t be afraid to seek out advice from people wiser than yourself. Last year I made the decision to quit my job to pursue this radio-media thing full time. Its been scary, fun, soul crushing, and inspiring all in one; ultimately I know it was the right decision. That response came after much reflection.
I’m still figuring out what works for me but trying to avoid those safe decisions that you know are comfortable in the moment but that you’ll regret in the long term because they don’t challenge or forward you. I recently received some great creative advice; simply put “Always be making.”
PODCAST: Hella Oaklandish Scamming Grandmas (February 22, 2014)
“Our friend Mr. Todd stops by to showcase his new radio piece Hella Oaklandish and talk about everything from scamming grandmas to bad business proposals.”
What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?
ZM: Right now I’m immersing myself into the world of radio by helping produce news stories for a couple public radio stations. While journalism is pretty new to me I realize it’s a necessary skill for making good radio, even when it’s not totally news based. Alongside that, I am hosting and creating two weekly podcasts. Dino Pants Radio, a fun show with music and banter, as well as a newly formed sports show for the everyday person titled The Four Man Rotation.
PODCAST: The NFL and the N-word (March 19, 2014)
“The NFL looks to ban the N* word. Is this move progressive or misguided?”
Also, I recently began performing in an improv troupe through Magic Jester Theatre in Oakland. What started as a way to sharpen my wit for radio has turned into a full fledged interest. I find improv to be one of the most life applicable activities I’ve ever taken part in.
Who or what inspires you?
ZM: This has been a tough year. Quitting my job and making next to nothing while pursuing my interests without any certainty of the future can take its toll. I try to draw inspiration from wherever I can. Sometimes it’s a compliment from a friend. A good conversation with a stranger. A catchy lyric or a memorable TV moment. A hug from a family member. A funny moment in improv. And of course, a well produced podcast goes a long way!
Recently I had the opportunity to shadow a pretty well known guy at the public radio station I work at. This guy has a presence that will fill a room and getting to watch him work all day and see how good he is at his job was inspiring. My takeaway was this: Don’t just be kind and charismatic, be good at your job. Yes, be kind and charismatic too, just don’t try to skate by on that alone.
Is there anything else you would like the Collective to know?
ZM: Podcasts are the best medium for media consumption! They are free. You can stream them from your phone or computer. From news, to comedy, to sports, cooking, learning a language, your favorite TV show; There is literally a podcast about everything. In fact, there are several. And people are making really great stuff. Listen.
Shout out to…?
ZM: Shout out to people who do things that interest them. And shout outs to Josh, my radio partner in crime, The Four Man crew, The nice people at KQED and Mutiny Radio, The “yes, and-ers” of Magic Jester Theatre, my loving parents, my sister who might be cooler than me, and my amazing friends. And to the LIFESTYLE for taking the time out… Shameless plug, follow Dino Pants Radio and The Four Man Rotation on Facebook and Twitter.
Keep up with Zach, Dino Pants Radio, and The Four Man Rotation at the following links:
- Dino Pants Radio
- The Four Man Rotation
Reflection and Response.