Some people think I’m from Canada or the midwest, maybe because I sunburn with the best of ’em, but I’m a SoCal native– and wildly proud of my story-rich, bone-dry stomping grounds. I’ve spent the bulk of my career here writing, producing, reporting, editing, and sound-scaping for podcasts and public radio.
My most recent project is the fictional podcast The Sea in the Sky, which I wrote and created. To my happy surprise, Audible named it one of the Top 10 listens of 2020, alongside work by Neil Gaiman, Mariah Carey (!!), Isabel Wilkerson, and Brit Bennett. The space-and-sea saga follows a marine biologist who travels deep into the waters of a distant moon– and then reports her findings back to Earth via audio “dispatches.” The story reckons with discovery and anxiety, faith and queerness, old regrets and new horizons. There’s also a talking tubeworm.
For most of the last decade, I produced the irreverent national culture (and cocktails!) show The Dinner Party Download, which meant booking top-flight talent (fave guests: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Cameron Esposito, Steve Martin), writing zippy scripts, editing into the wee hours, and trying not to mispronounce all manner of fusion dishes. DPD taught me the joys and rigors of audio production, and how delicious a well-crafted interview can be.
Before that, I cut my storytelling teeth as an intern-reporter with the much-loved show Off-Ramp on L.A.’s NPR affiliate KPCC. My features took me high and low: I panned for gold in the San Gabriel Mountains with modern-day prospectors; recorded person-on-the-street stories in WeHo on Election Night 2008, when both Obama and the anti-gay-marriage Prop 8 prevailed; and danced tango in the Valley at a multigenerational midnight milonga. True story: my voice gave out before their feet did.
(And yes, I love alliteration.)
Now I help develop, produce, and book shows across the podcast pantheon. That’s my bread and butter (the food metaphors never stop). Occasionally I’ll also throw my producer engine in reverse and serve as a publicist — helping interesting people land appearances on interesting shows. For instance: Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman, the bestselling authors of Big Friendship. You’ll find info/testimonials about my roles and hiring me here.
I also write poetry, middle grade fiction (yes, #kidlit!), and spec scripts for a kids’ animated TV show that a farsighted studio with “the means” should absolutely produce right now, for the happiness of children everywhere and the general betterment of humanity.
A while back, I studied English at Duke University and double-minored in History and North Carolina-style BBQ. When I’m not writing or working with sound, I’m probably spraining my ankles playing basketball.
Ping me, if you like, at jackson dot inquiries at gmail dot com.