We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelli Ann Pistokache and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelli Ann, what principle do you value most?
You’ve got to keep learning something new, all the time. I’m talking about both for your career and your own personal enrichment. Learning can cultivate hobbies, advance your career, build new relationships, and when you find something you enjoy you naturally want to do more, to know more, to be better. I don’t want to reach a point in which I don’t have something that I enjoy so much that I’m digging for more. When I started my podcast, like nearly every podcaster I’ve heard of, I didn’t know how to do this. I knew how to record audio, but not well. I had no clue how to publish one. Nobody showed me how. I just loved the topic so much that I was ready to figure it out as I go. It doesn’t have to be something big. Sure go back to school or learn a new language, or maybe just take a dance class, learn to sew, or start a podcast.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In 2019, I started the podcast Downstage Dallas. Downstage is a show to talk about live theatre in DFW. In each episode I talk with an actor, director, or one of many others making theatre happen in DFW. The idea came from my own sincere curiosity about live theatre as a profession. I am not a theatre expert. My experience is mostly in community and school theatre. I like to ask my guests the questions that I would have liked to know when I was in high school, the kinds of questions that would have made the profession seem less scary and more attainable. My big dream for the show is that it can be a small part in promoting and cultivating the theatre scene in DFW. Though I didn’t start with podcasting experience my profession is in multimedia production. I’m a producer with experience in live television, streaming, and video marketing production. I’m part of the small team at a production company here in Dallas called Gracepoint Media. We work with clients from performing arts to healthcare. My job includes a lot of scheduling and coordinating projects, writing scripts and storyboards, conducting interviews, but I also shoot, direct, host, and edit as well. I have an all too often tendency to think that I should be accomplishing more. A lot of people do this right? One thing that I’ve often reminded myself, for years I’ve done this, is that the life I have at present is something that a past version of myself would be so thrilled about. That never fails.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
This is my favorite thing. I grew up around DFW, so I’m ready to show off the whole metroplex. First I would insist on driving everywhere. The tour guide cannot be in the passenger seat. If you’re visiting for a week then I suggest we spend some time in Dallas, Cowtown, and Denton, my three favorites. Then I’m going to grill you with questions about what you’re feeling. Do you want to shop? Do you want to be outdoors? Do you like sports? Do you prefer daytime or nightlife? I really have so many questions, and I have suggestions for each and every one. I do have one go-to when the weather is nice. We have to make a trip to White Rock Lake. Let’s go for a walk, for a picnic, or maybe I’ll just drive around the entire perimeter while I point out every singe scenic spot. It’s not like I’ve done that before.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Thanks to everyone who has ever come along with me on one of my crazy ideas. Thanks to my parents who continue to support me when I change my mind and change my plans a thousand times. Thanks to my sister who is my biggest fan, toughest critic, and often my stylist. Thanks to my brothers who always offer to help me move for free, and who drop everything to rescue me in an emergency. Thanks to my best friends for being the best hype women. Thanks to every podcast guest who answered a message from a random girl asking for an interview. And thanks to every employer who has ever given me the opportunity to advance, learn, and write new chapters in my career.