At the intersection of satire and feminism is Reductress, a site dedicated to lampooning the frustrations of the modern feminine experience. Reductress’s latest content offering is the podcast The Reductress Minute, hosted by Rachel Wenistky. The show aims to walk the line between out-and-out parody and a more grounded experience.
Click here to listen to the show.
ART19: With The Reductress Minute you’ve really bridged the gap between parody and reality. Where did the idea for the format come from?
Rachel Wenistky: Our first podcast, Mouth Time, is a full parody and just absolute non-stop insanity. It’s hosted by myself and Nicole Silverberg in character as two loveable but extremely dumb idiots, and it’s pretty much top to bottom weird kooky women’s media parody nonsense. We wanted our second podcast to feel more grounded and more connected to our website, which is why we play ourselves and have comedians read our articles out loud. Format and tone wise, we wanted The Reductress Minute to feel like The New York Times’ podcast The Daily and I think we’ve one hundred percent accomplished that. People tell me all the time that we’re exactly like that podcast and Michael Barbaro is apparently really scared I’m going to steal his job.
ART19: Reductress is a comedy site, but it also points out issues related to feminism and the lived experience of women. How do you bring that same vibe to the podcast?
RW: As a satire publication, I think our pieces are funniest when they’re firmly rooted in reality. Or rather, when they’re deeply relatable in ways that make people say, “wow I thought I was the only one who felt that way.” My sense of humor is often really silly but also, I’m a woman in 2018 America, so even the goofiest jokes are going to be funneled through my reality and specific set of experiences. The podcast, as an extension of the site, just naturally falls into the same voice.
ART19: You’ve spent a lot of your career as a writer, actor, and performer. How different is the experience of hosting a podcast versus performing for an audience? Or the more solitary experience of writing?
RW: Thank you so much for calling me all those things. I’m…amazing? I think the biggest difference is that when you’re recording a podcast, you’re often alone in a room, maybe with one or two other people, so you’re not getting any indication that what you’re saying is funny or interesting. It requires a bit more trust. I like performing live because, as Lady Gaga says, “I live for the applause, applause, applause.” But podcasting does have it’s benefits. Primarily, being able to edit out all the stuff I say that is boring and dumb. Which is honestly a lot of stuff!
ART19: What is the production process for each episode?
RW: I write the episode along with Reductress founders Sarah Pappalardo and Beth Newell, and our associate editors Eva Victor and Taylor Garron. We’ll sketch out our interstitials and choose which pieces we want to have read. Then we record everything at our offices on Monday. We have an amazing editor, Joanna Katcher, who puts it all together and adds sound effects and music cues, and then, miraculously, the episode goes out on Thursday!
ART19: Anything you’d like to add!?
RW: Michael Barbaro, if you’re reading this, I’m comin’ for you bud.