A GEELONG BLABBERTISER INTERVIEW WITH THA MIKE PILOT
By Tory Idiotboxradio
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…….
Mike Pilat is a podcaster and has been for many years. He is also a personal friend of mine, and one whose work I am extremely proud of. I thought it would be worth our while finding out a bit more about Mike’s shows, and one show in particular, a podcast called Full of Sith that specialises in Star Wars.
Tory: Mike, mate I am so stoked you had time to chat to the Geelong Blabbertiser today. Maybe we could get the ball rolling by you telling the good folks of the best town in the planet a bit about yourself; where you are from, what you do for a “real job”
Mike: I am from the city of Reading (It’s pronouced Red-ding), in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the United States of America on the planet of Terra or Earth for those that don’t speak latin, in the Milky Way Galaxy. I have spent my whole life in Reading or the Greater Reading area. I have had all sorts of jobs from pushing shopping carts and bagging groceries when I was 14 to being on the top station in a large U.S. Radio market to working in a Steel mill to designing websites and graphics. Currently I work in Graphics and Information Technology. Over the years I’ve gained a decent amount of knowlegde about almost everything. I’m a jackass of all trades essentially.
Tory: Can you tell the uninformed what a podcast is please? What got you into it?
Mike: A podcast in the begining was more like an audio version of public access television or a pirate radio broadcast. Most people could do it. Should they be doing it? No, but they did it nonetheless. These days it’s depending on the show; it’s more like anything from an FM talk show, to Satellite Radio and even webisodes of videos you could find all over the web.
As time went on, people in the entertainment business realized what a useful tool podcasting was and then jumped on the ship and pushed a lot of the regular joes off the plank. The interwebs is a big place though, plenty of room for the famous and not so famous. I got into podcasting because I had to quit regular radio after being injured in a car accident and I always missed the entertaining aspect of it. It seemed like a good idea at the time and now 7 1/2 years later I think it still is, or maybe it’s not, depending on who you ask.
Tory: I know you have done a heck of a lot of shows mate, I remember some time ago on Obviously Oblivious, I believe it was, that you had worked out roughly how many hours of your life you had given away to creating free content. If you are still keeping count, whats it up to now?
Mike: I have a xml audio archive of every show I was a host on and a few shows I appeared on. So between The Awful Show, The Mediocre Show, Obviously Oblivious and Full Of Sith (the other shows Mike does – find them on iTunes – Tory), this week I will release my 599th, 600th, 601st and 602nd shows. The total time spent is 47 days, 1,128 hours, 67,680 minutes or 4,060,800 seconds. Man if I had a dime for every second i’ve podcrafted, i’d have a sh#tload of dimes. 4, 060,800 dimes to be exact.
Tory: Well thank god for the current strength of the Aussie dollar against the greenback then!
Full of Sith. Tell us about it. How did it start and how the heck did you end up with such an A Team talking about Star Wars. Something our general readership doesn’t know is that I am a huge Star Wars fan, can recite most of Jedi and I would say that I can rattle off a fair deal of trivia too. The amount you and the other guys know about Star Wars makes me seem like someone who has just seen the movies for the first time.
Mike: As most everyone has ever met me can tell you that I love Star Wars, big love for the movies and toys and i’m an avid Darth Vader fan.
Tory: Me, it was always Chewbacca for me. Oh and R2-D2 – weird isn’t it that a little remote control robot can become the face of a franchise. But I reckon the day they don’t somehow have him (it) in it will be a sad one.
Mike: Yeah, I think honestly, the whole saga is the story of R2D2 and what is going on around him. He’s always in the right place, doing the hero thing.
Mike: Family, friends and listeners are always posting Star Wars related stuff on my facebook page or sending me toys or related items they don’t need anymore -
Tory: You lucky bugger, nothing like that for me! Yet (hint lol)
Mike: - Which I’m really thankful for by the way. Anyway, in late October of last year, Bryan Young, author for StarWars.com, the Huffington Post, Big Shiny Robot as well as many amazing books I am a fan of texted me out of nowhere saying he’d love to start a Star Wars podcast with me. It was an honor right off the bat that this well connected guy in that fandom, and a writer I have interviewed and really am a fan of myself asked me to do a show with him… based on Star Wars… DAMN!
Bryan knows more about Star Wars than mostly anyone in this world. We talked about a possible 3rd host and he mentioned Consetta Parker who is the publicist for Rancho Obi-Wan (worlds largest star wars collection), James Arnold Taylor (the voice of Obi-Wan on the Clone Wars) and Cat Taber (Padme on the CLone Wars). I actually had her on my list of people i’d love to interview on Obviously Oblivious, so I jumped at the chance to meet her. We got together on Skype one night and had immediate chemistry. We ended up talking for like 2 hours about Star Wars and our love for it and as always Star Wars immediately brings people closer.
Mike: A few weeks after that we recorded our first show and never looked back. I know more than most about Star War, but Bryan, Consetta, Bobby Roberts (Welcome To That Whole Thing podcast and our Rumor Control host) and Travis Johnson (my friend and in studio fact checker) put what I know to shame. Fortunately for my my years broadcasting is what I bring to the show. That host personality, my extremely high standards for production, sound and everything else, I certainly don’t feel insecure with what I know. I will say this, you don’t need to know everything about Star Wars to listen. If you want to hear genuine, intelligent and positive human beings talk about something they love and still learn something at the same time then this show is for you. My Star Wars knowlege has increased 100 fold since we started. So many listeners have said the same and thank us for it daily.
I learn at least 1 or 2 new things every show, have my mind blown during our discussions, have had changes in opinion on some things about the movies I disliked and already interviewed and met some amazing people in the Star Wars galaxy since we started. Hell I got to go to LucasFilm in February for the season finale of the Clone Wars. We even spent a whole day at Rancho Obi-Wan with Steve Sansweet and recorded a show in the museum, which is a first for not only me, but for ANYONE!
Tory: That is utterly awesome Mike! Do you have any of the original toys from your childhood? I remember the first toy I had in the 70′s was a stormtrooper. My god I used to run around the yard with that thing smashing it into mud and water as we fought the good fight. As my collection increased I had those figures in one of those Darth Vader carry cases – do you remember them? The ones that looked like Darth’s head. My god man those bad boys rocked.
Mike: Every toy I had from those days were stolen off the back of a moving truck when we moved from my childhood home to where my parents live now. This was 18 years ago and I was living there with them and when I couldn’t find them I nearly wept. These toys were more than toys, they were an extension of me and my childhood and I have been chasing them ever since. I’m happy to say I have replaced mostly everything. I have the original AT-AT back, the ST Walker, Tie Fighter, Tie Bomber, the Millinium Falcon and so many other things included the Darth Vader and Millinium Falcom figurine carrying cases. I’ve found so many good deals on Craigslists, Flea Markets and yard sales. Recently I found a Vader case for my 7 year old Daughter Anyah. It had no figures in it but she’s been collecting them herself the last few years, she’s a big fan as well. It’s a nice hobby to share with her, going to different dirt malls looking for some great finds. Plus its daddy/daughter time that has brought us even closer and gives us memories we’ll never forget. Star Wars does so much for so many. The only thing I have yet to replace is the original Imperial Shuttle.
Tory: The show has certainly received some attention from those higher up the food chain in Star Wars land. Can you tell the readers some of the stuff you are now privy to and maybe some of the cool stuff you seen or been given?
Mike: Again, with Bryan and Consetta’s connections it gave us immediate recognition and legitimacy in that community. Talking to Steve Sansweet a few times and meeting him, becoming friends with a man i’ve looked up to almost my whole life, that’s amazing. Talking to James Arnold Taylor, Cat Taber, Ashley Eckstein (Ahsoka Tano on the Clone Wars) and so many writers, and people who run huge websites like Rotten Tomatos or Newsarama is really cool.
Overall the trip to San Francisco, LucasFIlm and Rancho Obi-Wan are on the top of the list. Interviewing Sam Witwer (Darth Maul on the Clone Wars, Aiden on the USA version of Being Human and the voice of Star Killer in the Force Unleashed 1 and T, not to mention his roles in Smallville, The Mist and many other movies) has to be a the top moment thus far. To hear this guy geek out over Star Wars for almost 2 hours was outstanding. The fact he has that much love for it and spends time with fans and lovers of something so important to him… yeah, that rules. We do hear about many things before they happen and i’m not at liberty to talk about such things. I’m a man of honor and I have nothing without my word and I won’t reveal any of that. Just know, when we do find something out, we’re immediately texting each other and finding the best way to bring it to the listeners. We want the best for them because if not for them, we wouldn’t be doing what we do. It does feel good and makes me feel special to be so trusted with insider information.
Tory: Could you tell everyone about the Mike Vader shirt (I still want one by the way lol)
Mike: 2 years ago, maybe more, Eric Tomorrow, the main host and creator of the Mediocre Show wanted to release a special t-shirt of me for the listeners (the Mediocre Nation). One of our real life friends Raheem (RD Design Company) came up with the “Pilot” shirt, depicting me as Vader. It was so bad ass, they were a limited run. I need a new one, so do some listeners and my wife and Daughter, maybe Eric would open them up again for our merch store if enough people asked for them. You should email him for sure if you’re interested.
Tory: Like myself, you are a tattooed gentleman. Tell the readers a bit about your ink, your Star Wars tattoos, who did them and all that kind of good stuff.
Mike: I got my first tiny little tattoo when I was 17, away on a trip with my friends. When I got home I realized having big arms and a tiny tattoo looked ridiculous, I added on to it and have been getting them since. I actually worked in a Tattoo shop for about a year before we decided to try and have a family and I took the more stable job to make sure I could provide for my wife Ariana and our daughter Anyah.
I have anything from transformer tattoos, to the smile face logos for The Awful Show, my daughter’s name on my chest inside of a heart to Toothless from How to train your Dragon with my daughter with him, to my AT-AT, Death Star and Renegade Squadron tattoos and so many others.. I’ve had Alex Miller (Alex the Tattooist from Mediocre Show notoriety). You can check his work out at AlexMIllerTattoo.com. I’ve also had some close family friends who own their own shop near my home (Gotham City Tattoos) do some as well. That’s where I also used to work. I love my Toothless Tattoo, Anyah’s name and my AT-AT tattoo. It’s always funny explain to people why I have @@ on my arm, you can see the moment they want to slap their own forhead and say, “Duh!”
Tory: What is planned for future episodes of the show? Where do you guys see it headed? Are there any plans for video?
Mike: I feel that besides good quality, content and hosts, a good show should always be evolving and trying new things. It keeps it fresh, and it’s easy to fall into lazy habits of doing the same old thing. I have no idea where the show is heading or what we should expect; if it keeps going this way, it will be one of the most recognizable shows available.
We just want to bring the listeners the best of us and what we can provide to them. If we stopped growing I’d still love doing this show with my friends. It’s great talking Star Wars and not having people around you roll their eyes. I think everyone should have many passions in their lives, Star Wars and everything in that galaxy brings so much good to this world, that’s a great interest to have because there are great morels involved. We’d love to have video content and I truly believe we will in the future.
Right now, we’re getting so many interview requests and banging out so many shows as well as my other shows, things have to calm down a bit. There aren’t enough hours in the day I tell you. I can promise you this, keep listening and keep your eyes open for new things, we’re always working on something and there are so many big things on the schedule already! We have so many well known guests scheduled and a lot on the horizon!
I would like to mention that all my shows are also streaming 24 hours a day on the MediocreRadioNetwork.com which is nearing the end of a new rebranding and redesign. It should be relaunching in a week or two and it’s really going to be a great place for not only shows I am on, but many other great ones that are part of the network!
Tory: Cheers mate. I appreciate you taking the time to have this chat and I hope that our readers are inspired to seek out your programs.
Mike: Thanks Tory.
If you would like to listen to any of Mike’s shows you can either type the show name into the iTunes store or follow these links:
@thamike @oopodcast @fullofsith on twitter
Tory “Midichlorians” Idiotboxradio