The Podcast Host

March 24, 2021
Abi Shorter

A podcast setting out to define what love feels like. Made by and for college students.

That’s the opening pitch for DefLove, the new podcast by Abi Shorter ’24, an acting, film TV, voice-overs, and commercials (FTVC) major. As the host and founder, she’s got her hands full—but that’s exactly how she likes it. “I’ve been itching to make something for months. I constantly have to be creating or I’ll burst,” she told us.

Initially, she had quite a few projects planned, but COVID-19 forced everything to a screeching halt. “I’m tired of grieving,” Shorter said of the temporarily shelved works. She needed a new creative venture, and it was a talk with a friend that sparked her idea for the podcast. “Neither of us really knew what love was,” Shorter explained. “I had my idea of it—I was in love at the time actually—but it’s not the sort of thing you can receive confirmation on. It’s somehow different from that crush feeling, but how do you know when you’ve reached it? Can you?”

From there, she planned to start the podcast off with two stories from her own personal experiences with love. The script turned into a “forty-page monster” in only a few nights. Talk about motivation! “I took inspiration from the podcast Alice Isn’t Dead with the narrator structure, mushed a few separate events together, and approached my roommates with the text,” Shorter told us. (They’re acting majors. Very helpful.) They recorded everything on their phones as voice memos, and after editing it all in one five-hour sitting—geez!—the podcast was ready to be launched. “It truly is a passion project,” she said.

It’s that level of passion and dedication to the craft that truly elevates Shorter’s work. But then, she’s always been fueled by her creativity. “I love telling stories in ways that hit someone in the face,” Shorter told us. While she had plenty of experience in the theater, having put up a play she wrote herself, ultimately, she chose to pursue film instead. “There’s a humanity to acting for film because it’s mimicking reality. I’m fascinated in the real because that’s where stories happen.”

“I love telling stories in ways that hit someone in the face,” says Shorter.

She took her time choosing a college once she knew what she’d be majoring in. It was a decision that happened fairly quickly thanks to her experience during the process. “Other schools just emailed me to check my portal,” Shorter told us. “By the time their program head actually reached out to me, I’d had a Zoom call with [Pace] FTVC students and realized it was where I wanted to be.” She emphasized how “chill” everyone seemed even in those initial virtual meetups, which was another big selling point for her. “I came from a program where the air in the room would change every time the program head walked in, so it’s nice to feel like our instructors are actual people and not god-like entities in stiff button-downs.”

So, what’s next for the DefLove podcast? “I don’t really have an end goal in mind,” she said. “I just give my all to little projects like this because it’s where I find my life. If the podcast makes even one person happy and believe in their ability to love just a bit more, then it will have achieved its purpose.” We’re excited to see where it goes from here! If you’re interested in getting involved in DefLove, whether to share your own story or lend your voice acting talents, please email Shorter or DM the podcast Instagram account.