Rory Powers is the co-creator of weekly comedy podcast This Paranormal Life. As a video producer and host at IGN, Rory Powers is best known for the popular IGN series Prepare To Try. He also writes and performs in UK pop act teamRKT. This Paranormal Life launched in 2017 and has been downloaded 380,000+ times across 50+ countries. From Georgia, USA and growing up in Northern Ireland, Rory Powers is now based in London. I’m a big fan of This Paranormal Life, the show is a weekly delivery of paranormal hilarity. Please enjoy my interview with Rory Powers.
Can you please introduce yourself and your podcast, This Paranormal Life.
My name is Rory Powers and I’m one of half of This Paranormal Life, a comedy podcast that lightheartedly tackles some of the worlds biggest paranormal mysteries.
I’ve known my co-host Kit since we were kids. We grew up in a relatively small fishing town which meant you had to make your own fun. When we eventually moved to London, creating a comedy podcast was always something we were interested in, and after 12 years of trying to make each other laugh, it came pretty naturally.
What are you reading at the moment?
Err, it’s a little uncharacteristic but at the minute I’m actually reading What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School by Mark H. McCormack. (Sort of ironic because I probably also could do with learning what they DO teach you at Harvard Business school.) I’m not particularly into the hardcore business building side of it but there’s a lot of great stories and interesting advice in there.
What inspired you to pursue a career in investigating the paranormal?
It’s still a little strange for me because despite literally spending a chunk of my week investigating the paranormal I still don’t really consider myself to be a genuine paranormal investigator. For me the show is all about the comedy, the paranormal focus is just fuel for that engine.
Do you read as much as you’d like to?
I don’t do anything as much as I’d like to, even reflect on how much more I’d like to do things.
As a paranormal investigator, you are of course impenetrable to fear, but what’s the scariest book you’ve ever read?
When I was younger, one of my favourite authors was Anthony Horwitz, who wrote a lot of popular young adult novels. He also had a series called Horowitz Horror which was a collection of stand-alone short horror stories compiled into one book. There’s still a few of those stories that stick with me today.
Rule of the Bone by Russell Banks. It’s a Catcher in the Rye style coming-of-age story and one of my favourite books as a teenager. I think I’ve read it 3 or 4 times now. There’s something about that book that I find very hard to tear away from.
What book have you recommended the most to friends and family?
When it comes to book recommendations, I’ve always been more of a receiver than a giver. Almost all of my favourite books have been recommended to me by friends or family.
Do you have any inspirations in the world of podcasting that you aspire to?
One definite inspiration in the podcast world is the ‘If I Were You Show’ by comedians Jake and Amir. I grew up watching Jake and Amir performing comedy sketches on the internet and they really helped me shape my own sense of humour. Hopefully, I can reach their level one day but at the minute those guys are comedy masters and I’m just a… … See? There would be a joke there if I was as funny as Jake and Amir.
What’s your favourite genre of book?
My favourite genre of book is definitely fiction. I did a lot of script writing at film school so for me, reading a good fiction book feels like getting lost in a film.
What do you think a world without books would be like?
Ironically you can read a book to find out; Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury is actually one of my other favourite books. If it’s anything like that, we should be more grateful to have them around.
Is there an author whose writing you’re such a fan of, that you’ll read everything they release?
Not that I know of. It’s the same with music. I connect more with songs then bands just like I connect more with a book than a writer. That being said, maybe I’m still searching for the right writer.
What book do you feel humanity needs most right now?
There’s a lot of great books already in existence the world needs right now, but How Not to Be an Asshole – For Dummies would be a nice addition.
What is the book that you feel has had the single biggest impact on your life? What impact did it have?
I think one of the books that’s had the biggest impact on my life is the Naked Truth by Leslie Nielson, a fictional autobiography by the actor. Leslie Nielsen was my favourite actor growing up and one of the reasons I got into comedy (or at least convinced myself I got into comedy.) It was the first book I ever read that made me laugh out loud, I didn’t even know books could make you do that! After he died I thought I would go back to his autobiography and re-read the story of his life but of course, 90% of the book is completely made up. It made me think… This guy had a chance to document his incredible life story and instead he took the opportunity to try and make people laugh. Something about that really stuck with me.
In your expert opinion, who wins in a fight – Spring Heeled Jack or the Vampire Beast of Bladenboro?
100% the Vampire Beast of Bladenboro. Sure, Jack can jump and ALLEGEDLY shoot fire but against the raw power of the Vampire Beast* he doesn’t stand a chance.
*Definitely not just a bobcat
I never really got into the Harry Potter books but The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien is always going to be on my reading list.
What books or subject matter do you plan on reading in the next year?
As I said, I typically enjoy fiction but recently have been branching out more into biographies and nonfiction…boring, I know. Hopefully, I can find a good balance between the two. In fact, I should probably check out that How Not to Be an Asshole- For Dummies book too. It never hurts to brush up.
Can ghosts read?
Ghosts can read, yes. Sometimes minds, always books.
If you were to write an autobiography – what would it be called?
I would call it Sick Puppy, because you’d never want to ‘put it down’.