A monthly glimpse into Kirt Jacobs’ stories of inspiring individuals
Kirt Jacobs is always on the lookout for guests for his show, “MoxieTalk with Kirt Jacobs.”
He combs social media and local news for folks who are making headlines in Kentucky and nationwide. He keeps his eyes and ears open when he attends events and meets new people. Even a polite conversation with the person in the next seat on an airplane can inspire Jacobs to ask that person to appear on a future episode of his intimate interview show.
“It’s a feeling I get,” Jacobs said. “I see and feel that and I go from there.”
Inspiring viewers takes preparation
But there’s a lot of work that goes on after Jacobs decides who’d he like to interview for MoxieTalk, a half-hour program available online at moxietalk.com and on MetroTV, WBNA21 and KET. It takes preparation for both Jacobs and the interviewees, a small crew of eight to 10 people to film and edit the one-on-one interviews that make MoxieTalk unique, and a continuous eye on what happens to guests after their interviews so he can keep MoxieTalk’s archived interviews up to date when a person retires or passes away.
First, Jacobs does a lot of online research to find potential guests who have both “moxie” and an interesting life story from which someone could learn. The people who appear on MoxieTalk help Jacobs achieve his mission for the show: to inspire, educate and engage the human spirit one guest at a time.
After a guest accepts Jacobs’ invitation, he sends the person the questions that he’ll ask. He gives them the questions about two to three months before the actual interview.
“It’s a richer, more robust answer if you have time to think about it,” Jacobs said. “On the taping day, everybody knows what they’re doing. There are no surprises, there’s no ‘gotcha.’ It’s not Jerry Springer. It’ll never be.”
Jacobs wants his guests to feel comfortable during the interview, which dives into introspective questions about a person’s life story. He intentionally schedules filming on Friday afternoons, a day when folks are decompressing from the work week and are preparing for the weekend. And there’s no audience during MoxieTalk interviews: just Jacobs, the interviewees and a small filming crew.
“I try to create a situation where the viewer is a fly on a wall,” Jacobs said. “You’re watching two people have an enjoyable give and take.”
What begins as science becomes art
Though Jacobs researches his guests ahead of their MoxieTalk interview, there are still moments when a guest shares an interesting piece of their life Jacobs hadn’t anticipated.
“Thirty percent of the guests reveal something about themselves that is very enlightening,” Jacobs said. For example, Tom Jurich, vice president and director of athletics for the University of Louisville, discussed losing his father in a sudden car accident, which hadn’t come up in Jacobs’ research.
Then comes the hard part of bringing MoxieTalk to the screen — editing robust, sometimes hour-long interviews down to 30 minutes. For every 10 minutes of video there is usually two hours or more of post production work, Jacobs said. Finally, the interview airs within six months of the original taping.
“I’ve really gotten it down,” he said of the MoxieTalk production routine. “It’s a science, but you have to make it look like an art.”
“MoxieTalk” is now on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and you can search for previous episodes by category and watch them on the show’s website: moxietalk.com. Some of the episodes are available as a podcasts that are accessible through the MoxieTalk website. Jacobs plans to make more interviews available as a podcast over time, so stay tuned.
Know of a suitable guest that you feel has Moxie and a story worth sharing? Please e-mail your guest suggestions to: [email protected]