What happens when a local mom befriends a reality TV star with weekly phone calls? Listen in to find out, as these two strangers launch a new podcast while their friendship develops and hilarious life adventures unfold. Read on for more!
How many times in your life have you wished you could be a fly on the wall? Listening in on secrets and conversations without actually partaking in the conversation? Thanks to the podcast Imperfect Strangers, you can do just that.
“Imperfect Strangers is a podcast where the listener is invited each week into a private phone conversation between two women, my co-host Melissa and me,” says Imperfect Strangers co-host Amanda Strong. “We are total and complete strangers. Each time we chat, we get to know one another a little better while the audience gets to know us both. It’s perfect for people who love to eavesdrop.”
The story behind Imperfect Strangers goes back to November 2019 when Strong had her own podcast called Your Mom Has a Podcast. Most of her guests on the show were friends or friends of friends, but then along came Melissa, the first guest of Strong’s who she didn’t know or have a mutual connection to.
“I actually first ‘met’ Melissa with the rest of the world in 2000 when she appeared on the cast of The Real World New Orleans,” says Strong. “As the show was airing on MTV, I found Melissa’s blog online called Princess Melissa and began reading along with watching the show. Over the years I enjoyed Melissa’s sense of humor through reading her blog. Turns out, we were in the same seasons of life at the same time, serious boyfriends became husbands, wedding plans turned into trying to conceive, etc. Because I enjoyed Melissa’s transparency and humor about life, about her role as a wife and mother, I thought she’d be a great voice for Your Mom Has a Podcast.”
The two connected and talked about similar issues and obstacles they were encountering, from making mom friends to dealing with social anxiety. After taking a step away from public life, Strong says she was surprised that Melissa agreed to be on her podcast.
A redo turned into a weekly conversation and by the end of Your Mom Has a Podcast, the two knew that there was more to be had in their new friendship. Since then, they’ve gotten to know each other week by week through phone calls. Those conversations became a lot more in-depth as COVID-19 spread and stay-at-home orders were issued.
“Since December we have gotten to know one another week by week through these phone calls when in April, both navigating new roles as home schoolers, activity directors, camp counselors, and short-order cooks due to COVID, we found our voice,” says Strong. “The podcast wasn’t about motherhood, it was about total strangers creating a long-distance friendship and finding connection in the face of a pandemic. Each week we find ourselves marveling in our similarities but then also howling in laughter when we discover hilariously tragic differences of opinion.”
Aside from the roles they have in their podcast, Strong is a graphic designer, wife, and mother of three who lives in Cincinnati. Melissa is a stay-at-home mom of three and wife who lives on Long Island, and just so happens to have been on MTV’s Real World New Orleans.
Strong is a self-proclaimed podcast junkie, but says that she’s never heard anything else in the podcast space like Imperfect Strangers.
“Melissa and I both appreciate candid and honest conversation,” she says. “We like a well-placed profanity. And with Melissa, she basically presented herself to the world with her personality in her 20s and used that experience to go on to host other TV shows including one with Chelsea Handler and tons of public speaking. Talking, storytelling has sort of been her thing, through her writing and locked social media, even after she shied away from the spotlight. We are unafraid to talk about most anything and do so in a way that is a safe space for us each to share our different perspectives without judgement.”
Additionally, when each episode of the podcast goes up, Melissa stays up and posts to their Instagram Stories with a “live” interactive show that supplements what they talk about in the episode.
“This includes blast from the past photos, pop cultural references, parenting tips – anything referenced in the episode,” says Strong. “So when you listen to an episode, you can plug into our Instagram account and catch the story live or watch it in our archive at a later date while you listen.”
Listeners, dubbed Strangers, are also invited to join in on the conversation during their Live Instagram Show.
“Sometimes we just become background noise for them while they carry on together in the chat,” says Strong. “We’ve built this awesome community of new ‘friends’ and we’re all getting to know one another through the show. Melissa and I create and produce the show top to bottom together. So it’s been interesting to not only be getting to know someone on a personal level but also to be working with them too.”
Currently, Imperfect Strangers is halfway through its first season, which Strong says is a huge milestone in the podcasting world. Strong says she and Melissa have been talking about where they go next and are looking forward to seeing how they grow.
“As we look ahead there will definitely be exclusive content, both audio and visual, through Patreon,” says Strong. “A website is in the works as is a Strangers newsletter where subscribers get access to behind-the-scenes aspects of the show.”
You can find Imperfect Strangers anywhere you listen to podcasts each Friday night at midnight Eastern Time. The show is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocketcast, Radio Public and Anchor.fm. They’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. To contact them, you can send an email to askimperfectstrangers@gmail.
The link in the bio on the Instagram account will send you to a place to sign up for their email blast, so that you can stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest with Imperfect Strangers.