I was recently given the opportunity to ask Ben Hamm, host of The Secret Room podcast, some questions that listeners might want to know. Thanks again Ben, and Pod On!
1. What inspired you to start this podcast?
As a former radio producer I was really excited by the podcast space when it started to gain traction. As it grew in popularity I felt a bit left behind! Then it suddenly dawned on me that I could be a part of it all on my own. I love the storytelling genre and I knew how I could contribute to the space by pushing it a bit further: tell the stories never heard before. That idea became The Secret Room.
2. What is one of your biggest goals for the future of The Secret Room?
Why total domination of the podverse, or course! But seriously I’d like to hire producers to help explore people’s stories in greater detail. We could add texture to the already rich stories we feature if we could complement them by interviewing people involved or impacted by them. Everyone wants the show to be weekly instead of biweekly. So that’s a goal too. It’s a heck of a lot of work though!
3. What has been your favorite secret so far?
Ep 64 “My Daughter’s Famous Father.” It’s the story of a terminally ill young mother in The Netherlands who, on her death bed, has decided to reveal the name of her daughter’s American movie star father. Her decision will violate a non disclosure agreement. The guest and I formed a friendship through the three month interview process, even though we never met in person. I think the impact her story had on me is expressed well in the episode. I recommend it as a starting point for anyone interested in checking the podcast out.
4. Are there any episodes you worried would be controversial? Why?
Episodes 43 and 44 “Married to a Sex Offender” told the story of a family who’s lives have been devastated by the husband’s placement on the sex offender registry. He was placed on it for reasons that were completely unfair. His case points toward the need for serious reform. I was concerned that people would disagree, but I felt it was an important story to tell nonetheless. I was delighted that the audience reacted so positively to the story.
5. Why do you think people choose to tell you their most personal secrets on your podcast, rather then confide in their loved ones?
Guests have told me me they just wanted a place to let their secret out, even if it is anonymously. So many people carry around incredible stories locked up inside that for many reasons they feel they cannot share. The Secret Room gives them an outlet to shout it to the world while maintaining their privacy. When I created the Secret Room I had no idea the important role it could play for people in this regard.
6. Do you have any secrets you have a burning desire to share?
That’s funny, a lot of people ask me that! My answer is give me a place where I can share my secrets anonymously too and you can count me in!
7. Finally, I have to ask you, what is your favorite go-to podcast (other than The Secret Room!)?
I’m still looking for a replacement for Zoe Nightingale, who’s stopped producing her amazing podcast. The first season of Andrea Silenzi’s Why Oh Why was also inspired audio. People should go get those!
8. Anything else you want people to know?
Right now I’m looking forward to the upcoming season from Heavyweight by Jonathan Goldstein. His previous program on CBC called Wiretap was a staple for me and his new show is every bit as good. People who like storytelling podcasts will love it.
The Secret Room
A podcast about the stories no one ever tells.