paola mardo

I’m a podcast host, writer, and producer who knows a thing or two about Tiki bars.

I am based in Los Angeles by way of Manila, Kuala Lumpur, and the San Francisco Bay Area. As a 1.5 generation Filipino American, I’m driven to tell stories about community, culture, and how we find home and our place in the world.

I am the host, writer, creator, and producer of Long Distance, a documentary podcast about stories in the Filipino diaspora and an inaugural member of the PRX Google Podcasts creator program featured in The New York Times Podcast Club’s 2019 Picks, Bello Collective’s Outstanding Podcasts of 2018, and Apple Podcasts New and Noteworthy. From the Filipino farmworkers who started the Delano Grape Strike to what it’s like to be 1.5 generation, the show investigates and uncovers little-known pieces of history and culture. As an independent podcast, I lead all aspects of production, marketing, business development, sponsorships, and the Long Distance Radio Club Patreon community. I also host, write, and produce the companion short documentary video series Long Distance TV.

As an independent producer, I report and produce stories for radio and podcasts like a love story about undocumented high school sweethearts reunited 40 years later and the deep, dark world of Tiki bars and where they really come from. I produce, edit, sound design, mix and consult on pilots, podcasts, and other audio storytelling projects. My clients include KCRW, Hulu, Lantigua Williams & Co., The Los Angeles Times, Stitcher, Western Sound, Wondery, and USC Institute of Creative Technologies. My written work has been published on Buzzfeed, PRI and (the old) LA Weekly. I also perform at live storytelling shows, moderate panels, and lead workshops. You can read all about that here.

I got my start at Sony Pictures and Annapurna Pictures where I worked on films like The Social Network and Zero Dark Thirty, traveled the world with Spider-Man and the Smurfs, and organized an alien beauty pageant with Will Smith and Pitbull. Along the way, I made my first podcast F This Weekly and was accepted into the Transom Workshop, Third Coast’s first Radio Residency, and USC Annenberg’s School of Journalism as the Sony Pictures Fellow.

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