Today we’d like to introduce you to Camara Rauen.
Camara, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
One day, my friend and now co-host Light and I were having tea at a cafe. I was telling him about a mental health creative venture I was working on and he was sharing his interest in social impact content. He brought up podcasts and that triggered an idea for a podcast that would focus on conversations about taboo topics, mainly around mental health.
We thought that tea was a good hook. We both enjoy tea and felt it was the perfect beverage for the topics we would be covering. Before we knew it, we began brainstorming guests and topic ideas. Light came up with “MentaliTea” as the podcast name and I followed with our slogan: “Spilling Tea On the Psyche”. To date, we’ve had over 26 episodes and over 24 guests from different fields, discussing topics from Anxiety to Asexuality to OCD to Endometriosis and many more.
We’re wrapping up our second season and preparing for season three. We’ve learned a lot and are planning to expand MentaliTea in new directions as a podcast and brand.
Has it been a smooth road?
We knew very little about podcasting when we started. We began using zoom mics from Light’s company and for the first few episodes, they served us well until we faced challenging sound locations.
We lost one of our favorite episodes early on due to an echo in a recording room. No matter what sound editing tricks we tried, we couldn’t eliminate the echo and had to scrap the episode. We are looking to re-record the episode with that guest but it still hurt to lose a great interview. Now we are recording at different studios around Los Angeles, and that is helping. A favorite is “Comedy Pop Up Studios” in Koreatown.
In season 2, we learned how difficult it can be to balance the podcast with our other ventures. It’s important for us to remember that we are producing a mental health podcast, so our mental health and maintaining a proper work-life balance are important, too.
Please tell us about MentaliTea.
We consider ourselves advocates for discussions around taboo topics in a light-hearted way. In our podcasts, you will hear stories that aren’t often shared in public. We probe into them, and still have fun with our guests and the discussion!
When we say we are spilling the tea on the psyche, we mean that figuratively and literally. We actually drink tea with our guests during the podcast.
I’m proud that we are tackling topics where we aren’t the experts and sometimes don’t have real-world experience with them. We learn about these issues along with our audience.
I feel that what sets us apart from other podcasts is the ability to create a comfortable and safe environment for a mental health discussion and make it a positive experience. Most of our episodes combine humor with deep conversations about the issues our guests have faced, and we all learn and laugh through each episode. The tea is a nice entry point for the discussion, providing a way for us to connect with our guests throughout the podcast.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
For “MentaliTea,” I see the podcast taking on more challenging topics. We plan to conduct in-depth research and add news segments to episodes. We also plan to travel for certain episodes and more creatively showcase the tea on each podcast. I see us developing our own tea blends that support our brand and develop video versions of the podcast, including live shows.
As both Light and I have film backgrounds, we are considering organizing a film festival to showcase people working on films that focus on mental health and taboo topics.
For me, aside from the podcast, I am developing a blog about conquering anxiety with humor and intend to link certain part of the blog to “MentaliTea” episodes, with crossover content. I plan to grow my brand while continuing to work further in the other content that I am involved in with film and the mental health space.
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