Stay Relevant: A Podcast by Mike Sobola

Wandering conversations with interesting people in TV production and beyond.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 31, 2016
Jason Nicholls on Producing Reality TV

As a busy DC Freelancer, Jason Nicholls sees most of his action Producing and Directing Unscripted  "Reality" TV.  His credits include series and shows for HGTV, Discovery, Travel Channel and others with shows like Big Time RV, Diggers, and the extremely popular A&E Series Hoarders.

On this episode, Jason talks about the importance of industry friends and just what it takes to Produce Reality TV on a national level.

Sep 29, 2016
Producer/Cameraman Mikael Manoukian

As a Freelancer in the DC Area, Producer/Cameraman Mikael Manoukian has had to be creative to stay relevant in the industry.  At the same time, he's been able to concentrate on live performances, his first love.  This is his story.

Aug 23, 2016
Joke and Biagio on Pitching Your Ideas to Hollywood.

Joke Fincioen and Biagio Messina run Joke Productions-from a fitting location in view of LA's Universal Studios.  Between them, the two have produced hundreds of hours of programming for many well-known networks.  This from a duo who once found that simply getting a pitch meeting was next to impossible.  Now, Joke and Biagio want to help you get your big project sold-and they've created a podcast and e-Book dedicated to doing just that.  "Producing Unscripted" gives specific advice on how to create a reality show and pitch it successfully to the networks-all based on their experience as Hollywood insiders.   On this episode, they talk about their shows, the podcast, and why they want everyone else to succeed.


"Stay Relevant" Episode 22: Hollywood Producers Joke and Biago.

(For their podcast and ebook, go to


Jun 18, 2016
Special Effects Artist & Actor Eric Supensky

He made his name in special effects and was once commissioned to recreate the corpse of Edgar Allen Poe.  Now, Artist Eric Supensky wants to be an Actor.  In this episode, Eric talks about his reasons why, his 5-year plan, and how he's taken a methodical approach to his midlife career change.

This episode: Artist/Actor Eric Supensky

May 18, 2016
 J. J. Madden: The Durable Human

From ABC News Producer to Author. It's been a long road for Author and Multimedia Producer Jenifer Joy (JJ) Madden.  She penned an Internet "Manifesto" on "Living and Parenting in the Digital World" and recently followed it up with "The Durable Human" book.

JJ talks about the book, her life and how she's managed to stay relevant in her rapidly-changing digital profession.

"Stay Relevant" episode 20: Jenifer Joy "JJ" Madden.

May 3, 2016
Travel and Discovery Channel Development Exec. Doug Bailey
If you've ever pitched to Discovery or Travel Channel, chances are, he was on the other end. In his various development roles, he's been personally responsible for hundreds of hours of programming and had his hand in thousands more.
On this episode, Doug Bailey talks about his path to the networks, who to get your big idea in front of, and why your pitch probably needs a sizzle reel to get the green light.
This episode: former Discovery Director of Development and Travel Channel Development Executive Doug Bailey.
Apr 8, 2016
Rob Henninger

Playwright? Actor?  Gaffer?  His early career went through a number of iterations before he settled on “Film Editor”.  From all current indications, it seems Rob Henninger made a good choice.  After starting Henninger Video in the 80's, the business grew exponentially with political spots and network contracts as the catalyst.  On this chat, Rob talks about the new facility in Arlington, VA, what it took to get there, and how he manages to stay relevant in the ever-changing world of Post-Production.  

Stay Relevant: Wandering Conversations with Interesting People.  This Episode: Rob Henninger

Mar 21, 2016
Staying Relevant with Gia Mora: Actor-Singer-Writer and

Maybe former DC Actor-Singer-Writer Gia Mora will celebrate the anniversary of her third year in Los Angeles by booking another appearance on "True Detective". Or perhaps it's another guest spot on "Castle" or even another commercial.  Whatever the celebration, you can bet this one-person dynamo won't sitting around waiting for the phone to ring.  In her "spare time", she's busy with another performance of her original stage act, "Einstein's Girl".  The one-prerson show compares modern-day romance to Theoretical Physics in a well-crafted combination of stand-up comedy and original music.  

Gia talks about "making it" in L.A., what the transition's been like and gives actors three tips on how to succeed no matter where you call home.


Jan 17, 2016
Don Lampasone: From US Army to Freelance & Beyond

The Army sent him from Sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to the deep freeze of Alaska, bought him some gear and told him to make video.  Don Lampasone talks about his early video career in the Army and how he survived a move from DC to Austin and back, still managing to be successful.

This episode: Shooter, Editor and Media Content Creator Don Lampasone on Staying Relevant.