Podcasting Papa: 30 Seconds With Michael Kennedy, Host & Co-creator of "Dad Time Out Show" Podcast by Donna John
What happens when four Northern California dads hiding from 12 kids get together? A fun, informative podcast about parenting called Dad Time Out Show that's taking the airwaves by storm. With a mic in one hand and a diaper bag in the other, Michael Kennedy is one of those dads adding his wit, personal experiences and stories, and captivating announcer's voice to the popular and fast-growing podcast. Dad Time Out talks about all things fatherhood and was recently named in the top 10 dad/fatherhood podcasts in the U.S. Michael is also a much-adored, popular contributor for 30Seconds.
Michael has worked for more than 20 years in the entertainment industry as a professional announcer and emcee working with shows ranging from the Oscars® to the Video Music Awards®, the Super Bowl®, Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice®, the NFL and everything in between. He made the decision early on to stay freelance so he could be a present and mostly stay-at-home father to his three children.
Michael was full of interesting questions for Elisa Schmitz during her interview on Dad Time Out, so we thought we'd return the favor so we could get to know more about this entrepreneur and involved, hard-working dad.
Q. How did you come up with the idea for Dad Time Out?
A. "After we had our first child (we now have three) I made the choice to go freelance and focus on being a stay-at-home dad. I found a strong community of like-minded dads online at first on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, blogging sites and 30Seconds. Then I made the leap and went in person a few of the Dad 2.0 annual summits.
"Being in rooms and breakout sessions with so many fathers of all types trying to move the needle forward in so many positive and different directions to be better overall parents and change the fatherhood narrative was inspiring. I’ve always had a show and writing background, so I decided to try and take a turn at the wheel and develop an optimistic parenting podcast with real dads discussing real life and real issues."
Q. Tell us about Dad Time Out and the other dads you work with.
A. "We are four dads all from the entertainment industry in some form. One is a singer and venue owner, one has a small record label and one works for Disney. We came together through mutual friends in Los Angeles.
"We have 12 (at last count) kids between us, varying in ages from 4 to 20, so we have a giant cross section of range and cast a wide net on age groups in particular when discussing parenting and topics we want or need to talk about."
Q. How do you support and lift up dads? How can 30Seconds (and others) help you do that?
A. "We try to support and shine lights on all sorts of parenting and every form of fatherhood. One of our taglines is, 'We’re not experts but we listen to them,' so we take parenting books, articles, research and data from all types of sources and discuss them at length while also trying to enact them in our daily lives if we feel they warrant some attention. We then report back on how it’s going with our families, so it’s kind of an ever-evolving parenting education to reality back to education topical wheel that turns throughout the show. One week we may be talking bullying, the next it may be self-care, the next it may be raising 'thrivers' and so on and so on.
"This is why a place like 30Seconds is such a valuable resource for us. I call it our 'daily parenting newspaper,' as you feature experts on all levels and cover or have insight into so many of the topics we would be discussing anyway."
Q. You travel a lot with your family. Tell us about your family travel in the time of COVID.
A. "My wife and I were sitting on our back deck one extremely hot mid-pandemic summer afternoon and we just looked at each other and said, 'We have to get out of here,' as we were going stir crazy like most of the country/world. We decided there was enough great wide open in the U.S. that if we could be extremely cautious, maintain distances, be diligent in our strategy, we should just mask up grab the sanitizer, wipes and go.
"So that’s exactly what we did. We had those 'old school' road trips like most when we were kids, so away we went. We are as close to Clark and Ellen Griswold as you can get. We basically packed up the family truckster, picked a few national parks and just see what happens in between and along the way. Our breakthrough trip was close to a month, and we just returned recently from a three-week run through Montana and Idaho. We can both work from the road mostly, so that freed us up as well. We haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on our list."
Q. What made you want to interview Elisa for your podcast?
A. "I have always been a big fan of both the 30Seconds website and concurrently Elisa. Not only is the site wonderful, but people like Elisa practice what they preach. I love her involvement with the site and encouragement on a daily basis, which I feel is very authentic in the way that she truly wants people to have a great and learned experience through the articles and stories, but simultaneously she carries a very altruistic vibe with the tribe while supporting all writers and contributors.
"When you add in her tremendous backstory, family, education and entrepreneurial expertise, it was a no-brainer. In our new series of The Dad Time Out Conversations (which is a branch of the main Dad Time Out Show), I wanted to interview people that inspire us, but also roll their sleeves up to make things happen while trying to make the world a better place. Elisa was at very the top of our list and we were lucky to have her."
Listen to Michael's full interview with Elisa Schmitz where she shares tips for aspiring entrepreneurs like Michael's daughter, Keira. Keira made a special appearance on the podcast to pitch her Etsy shop, Keira's Cool Crafts, in 30 seconds! To learn more about the Dad Time Out podcast, find them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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