GTPulse: Wake Up Your Thoughts with Cold Shower Podcast
Taylor Cramer recently killed his first buck. He posted a video on his Instagram of the emotional and vulnerable moment after. With a thin layer of tears in his eyes and a shaky voice he talked about the weird feeling that came with the killing. This was a side of hunting I had never seen before; no ego, no masculinity, all emotion. Taylor is interested in these kinds of moments and feelings that make up the human experience and he showcases them through his local creative project Cold Shower Podcast.
“You wanna structure it so there’s some type of understanding for the listener. There’s some topics like grief or homelessness or addiction that the average listener maybe has not read into,” Taylor said over a cup of coffee.
The idea for a podcast had been on Taylor’s mind long before he moved to Traverse City. After he and his wife Abbey Cramer graduated from college, they moved to Cheboygan to start their careers and lives as a newly married couple.
“We were there for two years, we bought a house and everything. We always knew of this area, we would vacation here. It always seemed like a mystical dream world over here and we thought eventually, when we’re 50 we could end up here. We saw that there was an opportunity to be here through [Abbey’s] job, and I was covering this remote territory in northern Michigan and just asked if I could keep the job but move to the Traverse City area and they said yeah. We jumped at the opportunity.”
Taylor procrastinated starting the podcast and cited living in Cheboygan as the reason. Living in a small town can make finding guests and promoting a new creative outlet challenging, but when the two moved to the Grand Traverse area Taylor’s excuses for not starting the podcast disappeared.
“There’s enough interesting people to talk to, there’s no reason not to.”
The idea for Cold Shower was to talk about topics that can be uncomfortable or difficult to talk about, in a way that feels relaxed and relatable. He was interested in allowing people a space to talk about their points of expertise, or their lives.
“I like to cover topics that are conversations people can’t have, maybe they don’t have someone they can talk about it with. Or conversations people don’t want to have, these are the topics that are easy to avoid.”
He hopes that this deeper look into difficult topics like grief or personal challenges will help listeners to look deeper into themselves and be able to either understand or relate, and that the relatability or understanding will lead to making beneficial changes in their own lives.
I often reference how hard it is to be an adult and make new friends as well as how hard it is to move to a new town and make new friends. Taylor began the podcast with his brother as the first guest. Basketball is a big sport in Taylor’s family and his brother had played professionally in Europe, however, he needed to get people on the podcast consistently and that meant meeting new people in the community.
“I read about Christie Minervini in Northern Express and reached out to her because she was talking about the homeless population and the work that she does with them. I thought, ‘I can have a conversation with her.’ So I emailed her. Come to find out she’s a pretty prominent member of the community around here. She referred me to people, Chris and Nick Loud, that I’ve become close friends with. One guest referred me to another guest and it just kept going. I kept meeting interesting people.”
Cold Shower features other local creatives on the show, as well as topics like personal growth, challenges, health and much more. He has gradually made a recording studio out of his basement and is nearing 70 episodes. Taylor has grown used to recording, but he’s still aware that some of his guests are not. Taylor has a bachelors in social work which has helped sharpen his skill in understanding people and being comfortable with difficult conversations. He asks thoughtful, interesting questions and gives personal experience for context so his guests feel sure in their answers.
“I understand that just because I’m not nervous for the conversation doesn’t mean they’re not. It’s up to me as a host to make them feel comfortable.”
Taylor hopes to grow the podcast and reach more people, and he loves the journey that Cold Shower Podcast has taken him on so far. He gains a lot of joy and fulfillment out of spotlighting people in the community and talking about topics that can be both difficult and beneficial, which is where the name Cold Shower comes from.
“Every person in this room I could have an hour long conversation with. I just know that I could. But, they don’t know that they’re interesting enough to do that. Sometimes you have to sell people what they have to offer. I like validating people and making them feel like they have something to say.”
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