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Startup partnering with Dennis Quaid wants to make podcasts like a ‘movie for your ears’

Actor Dennis Quaid may be synonymous with Hollywood classics like The Rookie, Wyatt Earp, and The Right Stuff, but the star is branching out by partnering with a new podcast-based media startup called Audio Up. It features his own interview show, The Dennissance, and aims to take the world of podcast “from black and white into technicolor.”

“I had barely listened to a podcast before,” Quaid said to Digital Trends Live. but after famed record producer T Bone Burnett introduced him to Audio Up partner Jared Gutstadt, he quickly became a fan of the medium.

Gutstadt noted on Digital Trends Live that forming the company was a result of “learning by failing in other parts of media.” The idea of Audio Up started with him shopping around an album of his own, but he quickly found it was more of “a soundtrack to a story that hasn’t been written yet.”

He soon approached Quaid with the notion of creating a “movie for your ears” which he then pitched as an “elevated concept album to iHeartMedia.” Quaid was on board.

The movie star likened an Audio Up story to a radio play from the 1940s, when people would sit around listening and using their imagination.

Gutstadt said he envisions Audio Up as a company that takes podcasts beyond “the bedrock of two mics” by combining music, reportage, and in-depth storytelling. One of the featured podcasts will be Quaid’s own interview series, The Dennissance.

“I have other interests outside of acting,” Quaid said, explaining that his research into acting roles led him to meet and become friends with baseball players, pilots, politicians, journalists, and people “from all walks of life.”

The point of the podcast is to bring on people with whom Quaid has an established rapport so he can “really get into more personal talk — get under the skin.”

Quaid rattled off a list of interviews already done for the podcast including country music stars Billy Ray Cyrus and Tanya Tucker, actor Billy Bob Thornton, and cyclist Lance Armstrong. One of the more intriguing episodes is about Billy Bush, the former Access Hollywood television anchor.

Bush may be best known for his taped conversation with President Donald Trump during which the then-reality television star used derogatory language about women and Bush could be heard laughing.

The tapes were leaked years later during the 2016 presidential election and Bush was subsequently put “in Hollywood jail” as Quaid described it. Quaid said Bush talks about the incident on the episode.

Quaid’s goal with the podcast is to produce stories with people “at a time when they may not have something to sell … to find out how they fared, where their story is now.”

As Gutstadt put it, Quaid is personal friends with many of the guests but is “able to wear a different hat” while interviewing them.

Audio Up podcasts and The Dennissance are available wherever podcasts are distributed, including Apple and Spotify.

Correction: An earlier headline on this story misstated Dennis Quaid’s role at Audio Up. Quaid is a partner in the startup.

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