Local podcasters have zombies on the brain
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Dec 03, 2013 | 1652 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Walking Dead Girl
Jasmine Aivaliotis got the chance to meet Norman Reedus, the television actor who plays Daryl in “The Walking Dead.” The meeting took place at the Walker Stalker convention Nov. 1-3 in Atlanta. Courtesy photo
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MOUNTAIN HOUSE — The Governor is trying to take over the prison, Rick is fighting insanity and a virus is turning the sick into zombies.

Welcome to the world of “The Walking Dead” television show — and the subject of a local father-daughter podcast.

Mountain House residents Jasmine Aivaliotis, 16, a junior at Kimball High School, and Michael Aivaliotis, her father, are the hosts of the weekly “The Walking Dead Girl.”

The podcast — a downloadable audio program that people can play on a computer or mobile device — has about 700 listeners worldwide, said Jasmine Aivaliotis. The Facebook page of the same name has more than 6,000 likes.

“We’re having fun doing it,” she said. “We adore ‘The Walking Dead.’”

Each week, father and daughter review the latest episode of the AMC television series that combines horror, drama and adventure. The show follows a group of survivors, led by sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes, in a post-apocalyptic world dominated by zombies.

The podcast, created this summer, has given the Aivaliotises a chance to do something together about an enthusiasm they share.

“We wouldn’t be able to do it if we weren’t passionate about the show,” Michael Aivaliotis said.

He once produced a podcast about his software profession, called “VI Shots,” so the know-how and equipment were ready in his home office.

A fan of podcasts, Jasmine Aivaliotis said she was influenced by the popular “This American Life” podcast, which is also a weekly National Public Radio show.

Realizing they had the means, the father-daughter team published the first “The Walking Dead Girl” podcast June 23.

Each week, they spend about three hours preparing to record their hourlong podcast.

They first watch “The Walking Dead” with the rest of their family Sunday night. Then they watch “The Talking Dead,” a live talk show that analyzes the latest

episode with special guests, often including cast members. They finish up by viewing the week’s episode a second time and taking detailed notes.

Michael and Jasmine Aivaliotis record their weekly podcast in a home studio decorated with “The Walking Dead” posters, autographed cast photos and snapshots of themselves with the actors at a Nov. 1-3 convention in Atlanta.

Sixteen cast members recorded audio introductions for the podcast, Jasmine Aivaliotis said.

“It was crazy fun,” said the 16-year-old, noting that the highlight of the convention was meeting her favorite actor, Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes.

She has performed in some Kimball High stage productions and said Lincoln encouraged her to keep her acting dreams.

Mementos of the convention in the Aivaliotises’ studio include a replica samurai sword signed by cast member Danai Gurira, who plays the sword-swinging Michonne.

With the midseason finale for “The Walking Dead” scheduled to air Sunday, Dec. 1, the father-daughter commentators are eager to talk about the outcome of an expected showdown between Grimes and a villain known as The Governor.

“At the end of the day, we say what we feel,” Jasmine Aivaliotis said of their unscripted show. “Sometimes we don’t agree, and that makes it interesting.”

For now, the show is a hobby, but when it stops being fun or “The Walking Dead” ends, they’ll stop, too, Michael Aivaliotis said.

To listen to “The Walking Dead Girl” podcasts, go to http://thewalkingdeadgirl.com, which also links to the Facebook page.

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or drizzo@tracypress.com.

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