You’ve met the hosts, you’ve met the guests, but what about the producers? Harv interviews the Inappropriate Questions team about their not-so-inappropriate origins. Hear how the project started, how Harv ascended to stardom, and some of our favourite moments from the season!
This week’s episode is all about us! To learn more about the Inappropriate Questions team, check out our About Us page.
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Want to know even more about Inappropriate Questions? Check out our press kit here.
Cindy Long: People are curious and that's great.
Sabrina Bertsch: But there’s some questions you just shouldn’t ask or at least not like that.
Cindy: I’m Cindy Long.
Sabrina: I’m Sabrina Bertsch.
Cindy: And this is Inappropriate Questions?
Sabrina: We’re not sure.
Sabrina: Let’s get inappropriate?
[theme music ends]
Elena Hudgins Lyle: Yaaaay!
Sabrina: And this is why we don't have the mics in front of us usually.
Elena: Don't get your producers to do your lines ever.
Sabrina: Harv, you're in charge.
Harvinder Wadhwa: All right I'm in charge, yes that's fine. But what am I in charge of?
Cindy: So this is a behind the scenes episode.
Harv: Yes, I got that.
Cindy: We’re talking about our project and how we started it and all that.
Harv: So I'm going to give you a peek behind the curtain on how this podcast is made. So we have a dedicated team of producers, so Sabrina tell us what you do.
Sabrina: My name is Sabrina Bertsch, I'm the managing producer for Inappropriate Questions. If you listen to episode two, you'll know that I'm also mixed race and I'm currently a production coordinator at an animation studio. So yeah, I tend to deal with things like all of our paperwork and also some of our random bits, like I do transcripts, I write show notes, I've messed with a lot of our web design but like I take on the “like mom role” in the sense of like I manage our finances, I make sure to pick up food for us, make sure that we’re like drinking water and just like taking care of ourselves in general.
Cindy: Sabrina's like that mom with the never-ending purse. So the other day I was like “oh I don't have this fork to like eat a thing” and she was like “here you go, I have an entire cutlery set in my bag” and I was like “cool, of course you would.” So she's basically the podcast mom.
Sabrina: Okay, okay so I might be organized in real life but Cindy’s the one who's organized in our digital life.
Cindy: That is true.
Sabrina: And she can talk about that.
Cindy: I'm Cindy Long, I do a lot of the editing for the podcast, a lot of technical stuff I guess. I'm queer, I’m a person of colour, I am a video editor for a production company as my like “day job.”
Harv: And then we have Elena and myself.
Sabrina: Elena is also a producer though.
Elena: I’m everything.
Harv: Elena is also a producer.
Cindy: She swings for both teams.
Elena: Oh my god. That’s a bisexual joke.
Harv: So I am the only one who does the least amount of work.
Elena: You just show up.
Sabrina: Gets half the credit.
Harv: Yes, I’m a man, what do you expect?
Elena: Oh wow. The real patriarchy joke.
Elena: So I am splitting the editing duties with Cindy, I think you do most of it but I've taken on a couple large episodes so it sort of evens out.
Sabrina: You also did our music which was huge.
Elena: Yeah, I did the theme song which is pretty fun.
Cindy: We should probably mention Erin.
Harv: Yes, she existed.
Sabrina: She exists currently. She’s still alive.
Cindy: So we had a fourth team member, Erin Guerette, which you hear her name at the end of the credits cause she was a significant part in the development process.
Sabrina: Couldn’t have gotten here without her.
Cindy: Yeah, but Erin did grad school so she took a step back from this for a bit.
Sabrina: She's like off getting her masters and we’re like haha.
Cindy: Masters of Information.
Sabrina: Yeah so she'll know literally everything.
Elena: Which sounds pretty intimidating.
Harv: So let's start with this, how did you guys meet?
Elena: So we met through school is the short answer.
Cindy: Our program is called media production so that probably makes sense why we're making a podcast.
Sabrina: And how we know how to vaguely do all these things.
Cindy: We’re not like biology students.
Harv: I didn’t ask that question yet.
Sabrina: Oh we’re jumping ahead, Harv isn’t a fan.
Cindy: Wow, I’m sorry Harv.
Cindy: So I guess where like this project came into being is that in our last semester of third year, we had to start developing a project that we would do for our thesis project.
Sabrina: So Cindy and I came up with the idea of Inappropriate Questions. Even though it was something that was like very backburnered and we weren't sure we were going to do it and we thought about doing a lot of other things.
Cindy: But we, like I think that something drew us to it. Like we kept coming back to it and being like “we actually really like this” and like the more we talked about it, the more we were like “okay maybe this could be a thing.”
Harv: And then where did Elena come in the picture?
Sabrina: Yeah so Cindy and I pitched this idea and we were lucky enough to get it accepted so we had to actually build a bigger team. So that's when Elena and Erin came into the picture and we worked together through that class.
And we spent that time developing this project figuring out what do we want to do, what episodes we want to tackle, how would we do all of this, where are we gonna find people and it helped us really think about the actual process of making it which I think set us up well for the future in some aspects.
Cindy: And then we didn't continue through with this as our thesis project because I think we all just had different interests. We really love this project but we were like “we can do this like outside of school too, like it might even be better to do it outside of school.”
Elena: And we did. Honestly like, it's been...I've had so many other projects in my life just fall off and die because we cared but we didn't really care enough to see it through and I'm just so proud that we. we really stuck it out.
Sabrina: Yeah we lovingly call this our “more than passion project” because we put a lot more than just passion into it. A lot of our time, a lot of our energy—just both of those things.
Cindy: I mean it's 9:43 on a Friday so I feel like that just sums up.
Sabrina: Yeah, she means at night not in the morning. [laughs]
Cindy: Yeah, true.
Elena: To back it up just a little bit, how did you guys even come up with the concept of Inappropriate Questions?
Sabrina: I had just come back from exchange and I was also catching up with Cindy during this conversation and I mentioned how when I was abroad I got a lot of questions about my ethnicity and sometimes from people that I knew and sometimes from strangers and it bothered me a lot. So basically this project was just a way for me to complain to more people [laughs].
Cindy: All of us on the team are part of different like minority groups so a lot of these kind of came from personal experiences. So for example like me as a gay woman, being asked by like family and friends like whether I have a boyfriend or why not or when I would get one. Or like another one for example, is that none of us on the team really drink very much so we sometimes get asked like “why don't you drink” so that episode was kind of inspired by that.
Elena: But yeah there's a lot of questions that we've been exposed to just living our lives.
Cindy: I think everyone at some point in their life has probably been asked a question that like meant more to them than the asker thought it would
Elena: Right and honestly like my envisioning is just that people who have been asked these questions like no matter how it's impacted them, no matter what community they’re from, really can just hear themselves in some of these guests, right, and feel like ohl my god this could be my friend and they're talking about something I relate to and this feels familiar, this feels soothing, this feels nice to be, you know, almost validating in a way to hear your experiences represented in this way.
And then for people who don't, you know, who maybe ask these questions or who don't know why these questions are inappropriate or just don't have experience with these questions, they can be like “okay I'm not being called out, I'm not being attacked, I'm not being roasted” you know.
Our ethos is more welcoming and like yeah we understand that most of the time when you ask these things, you're not coming from a bad place but we still think that you should hear what people on the receiving end of these questions have to say.
Sabrina: Yeah exactly, I think one of the things we really tried to acknowledge is that people make mistakes and that's fine but the thing about mistakes is that you should try at least to learn from them. So that's what we want to do is to help people understand the like just because you did something the past and no one was like “hey you probably shouldn't do that” that doesn't mean that your behaviour can't change, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn't be trying to better yourself, to be a better person for those around you.
Cindy: I mean I guess it's also a good point to bring up that like we've had a lot of you know whether it's guests or whether it's people we've talked to about this project say that “I don't think that's inappropriate” like or you know if they're like, if they're mixed and they get asked about their ethnicity they're like “I don't mind” and we're like you’re right. Like that's not what we intended to set out to do like our podcast is called Inappropriate Questions but it's not like every single question here is for sure wrong, you should never ask them
Cindy: Like we ask all our guests at the end, like you know is “should you ask it” and like a lot of them say like you know in certain contexts like yeah like.
Harv: Context matters.
Sabrina: Yeah it usually comes down to context.
Sabrina: That’s our next slogan. Context is everything.
Harv: Share some of the interesting moments you had while making these podcasts.
Elena: Hmmm. One of my favourite moments is actually about finding our cohost, that's you Harv. We reached out to people, I put a call out on Facebook and your daughter Rymn reached out to me and said “oh my gosh my dad loves podcasts, Elena you need to get him on.” And so we had a series of interviews and you were one of six I think. And then Harv comes up and...
Cindy: He was our first interview.
Elena: He was our very first interview and I think, I can't remember how soon into this interview this was but he insulted Sabrina like jokingly which is very like soon he was like “I can tell Sabrina's the mean one” or something like that.
Sabrina: Like I probably said something mean like if we’re being fair.
Elena: He was just roasting us like through the whole thing.
Harv: Oh I was roasting, I thought I was roasted.
Sabrina: No, no, you did the roasting.
Elena: Did we roast you? What did we say?
Sabrina: I probably fought back.
Harv: Oh, I don’t know.
Sabrina: But I distinctly remember Harv at the end being like “you don't need to do any more interviews like I’m it.”
Sabrina: And he was right but we did them anyway.
Harv: That part I remember, I said you guys we’re wasting your time.
Sabrina: He's not wrong.
So yeah like I said before, Elena actually composed our theme song and in the early stages of this, you fully sent us like a voice message on Facebook and you were like typing this “guys you’ve gotta listen to this I have an idea for theme song,” you send a voice message and it’s just like do do doo do do. And I was like “what?”
Elena: You sound like Baymax from Big Hero 6, fa la la la la.
Sabrina: I just didn’t know.
Sabrina: And it turned into this track that I think all of us really love.
[theme song ends]
Harv: So circling back on the experience of this, making this podcast, what other challenges you faced?
Sabrina: Finding time.
Cindy: Yeah, so when we first started this we were like in our last year of university. We had a full-time internships, on top of classes, on top of finishing our thesis projects and it was a time.
Elena: I think the biggest thing that I've learned is, I know it's gonna sound cheesy but teamwork. You know, the greatest thing is you know we've definitely gotten frustrated with each other we've definitely argued over a lots of different little things because when you're a small team balancing a project with lots of details, it can get hard but we've never really lost it with each other. Like I can't even remember a time when I really went over my top or that any of you really went over your tops, because we've reined it back in and we've been immediately like we're tired, we’re whatever. We’re so understanding of each other and we work together so well that it's, it's kind of a miracle.
Cindy: I think we, we know that we're all equally passionate toward our goal and toward what we want this project to be. Because I feel like in group work for me, a lot of times it's frustrating when you care more than someone else or you know like but we know that we're all dedicated to this and that any you know, you know disagreement we have, we all want the best for the project and we know that like you know it's not we don't take it personally right when we like disagree on things. We know, it's not like “Elena is a terrible person because she like this piece of music.”
Cindy: It’s like no, we all have opinions.
Harv: Elena’s a terrible person because she's a terrible person.
Cindy: Yeah, exactly.
Elena: Get it right!
Harv: Okay, what I have experienced, I have a couple years more experience than you.
Elena: Oh, okay.
Harv: The work will always get done. It is the relationships that last. So when I heard the word friends and I didn't see any air quotes so that means you guys are friends outside this podcast? Or you just pretend to like each other?
Sabrina: So the best way to describe us, our friendship group, is that we have one chat on Facebook that's just like us talking as friends and then we have to have a separate serious one because we tried to do it all in one chat and it was like “oh no we're talking about like tag yourself memes but then also guys I booked the recording for this day.”
Elena: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Sabrina: So like it wasn’t working and we had to separate things out.
Cindy: I feel like people should know that our our funny one is, the chat name is, Raising IQs One Podcasts at a Time.
Sabrina: And our serious one is literally called Serious (I)Qs only.
Elena: Serious questions, ha ha.
Sabrina: Yeah, we a put a lot of thought into our name game.
Harv: Now that you guys are going to have tons of time, what's next?
Elena: Yeah sleep is so next.
Sabrina: It’d be nice to hang out with my friends as friends and not.
Harv: Okay three days of sleep, a week of friends.
Elena: Only one week of friends.
Cindy: I feel like what Harv is trying to get at is, will I be hired for a season two?
Harv: You’ve got it, you’ve got it!
Sabrina: We can never replace you, Harv.
Elena: There are so many more questions I'd like to explore maybe that's something we can talk about here is.
Sabrina: Yeah like there's so many groups we haven't talked about, there’s issues that we want to get into that we haven’t had the chance to explore and not everything needs to be split into something like a race or religion, ethnicity or sexuality or anything along those lines, like we've been talking about doing an episode about grief and like how does that work?
Elena: Yeah I really, I was thinking about that today about like my kind of bucket list episodes if we’re to do a season two and that is, that was a big one for me is, uh, people kind of police the way you grieve will be like you know there's a pressure to grieve a certain way or to grieve the way other people or other people around you are grieving when you're going through that kind of time and uh no, please don’t.
Sabrina: Yeah and I think you could be interesting to talk about things like depression or anxiety which are, people are becoming a lot more like public about them and there's a lot less like “shaming” about them nowadays but there’s still stigma.
Cindy: We definitely wanna we wanted to cover like some Indigenous questions if possible because we definitely wanted to try to do that for season one.
Elena: I'd love to cover more LGBT topics I think asexuality is something that's really misunderstood and being aromantic.
Sabrina: Pansexuality is also up there.
Elena: Yeah for sure like—
Harv: Wait, what’s that?
Sabrina: See and Harv has much more to learn.
Elena: Pansexuality is kind of related or seen as similar to bisexuality, so it's being attracted to people regardless of gender, right? t's like you can be attracted to anyone of any gender.
Sabrina: Harv is skeptical, he's like I don't understand and that’s fine.
Cindy: But he will! I think we should first go back and actually answer the question about whether we’d make a season two and you know timelines of when that would happen.
Elena: Yeah, yeah.
Cindy: I think we all really would want to.
Cindy: We just don't know when because we're all so busy with our full-time jobs and... but it'll hopefully happen, we’ll see when.
Harv: I genuinely did not realize, I of course understood the amount of editing that is required, but right from social media to planning to booking the studio, all the scripting, all that, this is amazing amount of work. So if I may ask one last question here.
Harv: Just for this podcast, in an average week, how much time do you put?
Cindy: Depends on the week.
Sabrina: This week alone, how many hours did we put?
Sabrina: It's basically like a part time job like if we’re being realistic about it.
Elena: Twenty hours on our worst weeks.
Harv: So obviously you love this otherwise spending even five hours a week is too much on anything and here you're talking about twenty hours a week.
Sabrina: Yeah I think it goes to show that like when you care about something, when you're interested in something like you will make the time for it because it's important to you. And I think sometimes when you want to tackle a project, you're like “oh do I really have time to like do all these things” and it's like...
Cindy: You make the time.
Sabrina: Yeah we've made time.
Harv: But I I can assure you are raising IQ on point at a time.
Sabrina: So close.
Cindy: So close, Harv. One podcast at a time.
Harv: You are raising IQ one podcast at a time.
Cindy: Woo. I feel like Harv’s like this is my audition to join your group chat [laugh] I now deserve to join it.
Elena: This is not our final bonus episode, we have one more coming out. So...
Sabrina: Maybe more, who knows?
Elena: So we need content for this next episode.
Harv: So guys, I need a job so please submit.
Elena: Send us your questions specific to an episode or a guest.
Harv: What you would want us to do in season number two, what you want us to ask guests, what kind of guests do you want?
Elena: You can pry into Harv and I’s lives. Send us your questions about the show on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or via our email and Harv and I will answer them on our next bonus episode. We're going to have Harv’s daughters Rymn ask us the questions so it’ll be a fun time.
Harv: And subscribe to this podcast first.
Sabrina: Yeah, no if you’ve spent your whole time listening to this, I really hope you’re subscribed to this podcast.
Cindy: If you haven't caught up with all our episodes, they’re on our website at iqpodcast.com.
Sabrina: The cool cats behind Inappropriate Questions are Cindy Long, Elena Hudgins Lyle, Erin Guerette and myself.
[theme music ends]
An inappropriate question is like thinking you set your alarm for 8 AM but you actually set it for 8 PM.