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Check Out Caleb Johnson’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Caleb Johnson.

Hi Caleb, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My co-host, Theme Park Stud and I (CoasterBro) met in 2008 when we both took on our first summer jobs working the Mamba roller coaster at Worlds of Fun. I was a coaster enthusiast already, and he had just taken the job to work with his friend Jeff from high school. We quickly became friends and eventually, I turned him on to roller coasters and the community.

We started going on regular trips riding a different roller coaster in America during our 20’s with Jeff and our other friend Matt who worked at the park. Through this, we all started to experience different amusement parks and enjoyed talking about what we liked and disliked about them. We would make stupid music videos about our trips and loved being in that atmosphere.

Eventually, Theme Park Stud and I’s love for the parks led to professions. He moved to central Florida and started working for parks like LEGOLAND Florida and Universal Studios, and I moved to Atlanta to work at Six Flags Over Georgia. This gave us a new appreciation for parks and we now frequented parks in the South. We both eventually would leave the amusement park industry and move back to Kansas City. While we were happy to be leaving amusement parks as a profession, I had always wanted to run a podcast and loved the social media aspect of running a podcast. We had always joked about it, but I decided to update a Facebook group and launch an Instagram and TikTok to start gathering a following. Coaster Cuzzies was born! Eventually, it got to an arbitrary number where we felt like we could launch a show.

Our angle was that I would be the roller coaster enthusiast, and Theme Park Stud would be the casual fan. We would take on segments with that angle and interview other creators in the community. We are now about a year and a half into the project with no signs of slowing down. Our listeners, who we also call “cuzzies,” are a great community of people who love to talk coasters with us and talk about their experiences as well.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
We both agreed when we started the podcast that this is going to be more about putting out a show that we have fun making and that the numbers would be secondary. It takes a lot of pressure off, and lets us focus on making fun content that we enjoy and our listeners like to consume!

There have been some struggles along the way. I love to make content and have definitely committed to more platforms than I can handle at times! I’ve found sticking to 2-3 that I like and going all-in on them have been much more enjoyable than trying to be a one-man show who does it all.

Theme Park Stud focuses more on the editing and store side of things. Getting started was definitely the hardest part for us. We knew nothing about sound editing and microphones, so there was a learning curve there. Whenever I run into someone who wants to start a podcast, I always say the hardest part is starting. But really, all you have to do to start is download an app on your phone and start recording. Once you get the first episode out of the way, things get a lot easier!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
We specialize in our podcast but are also well known for our Instagram and TikTok presence in the community. We are most proud of the community we have created. There are a lot of super cool people who reach out to us and interact with our podcast and content. They are excited about a topic we talked about or think our conversations or posts are funny.

We are also proud to have our own voice in the coaster community. A lot of people have the same opinions about parks and roller coasters and can almost be bullies when there is a voice that says differently. We like to have that different voice and talk about things we actually like instead of trying to fit in with the rest. It encourages others to do the same, and we find different opinions in the community a nice change of pace.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I was a really good long snapper for a small NAIA School called Baker University and tried to make it to the NFL. I got to compete with some now retired or veteran NFL players. I kept up too! I also love a White Barn candle. Theme Park Stud is striving for a debt-free life and loves to talk about financial independence. I have no idea what he is talking about when he brings it up, but he’s really into it. That and disk golf.

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