Every other Sunday, Gulfport resident and musician Laura Shepherd hosts an average of one to two thousand people while performing in her backyard.
Her audience is mainly online, tuning in regularly for The Laura Shepherd Show.
“I just wanted to do something fun,” said Shepherd, who says she started the show last September on a whim.
I don’t know what I was up to at the time,” Shepherd said. “I just thought it would be a good idea.”
Aside from a dozen live audience members, Shepherd’s viewers are tuning in from a Facebook Live feed, broadcasted every other Sunday at 11 a.m. The show is converted to a podcast on Apple Podcasts, and can be viewed on YouTube as well as Facebook.
Shepherd, who films her show on a smart phone, traditionally starts off the show with her original song, “Something’s Gonna Happen – and it Could be Good.” What happens after that is always a surprise, she says.
“My favorite thing about the show is the random coincidences between guests,” Shepherd said.
“They just always randomly connect and help each other out.”
The backyard-based show regularly features a musical guest, a business guest and a non-profit.
“We always learn something on the show,” she said.
With a few exceptions, the show usually sticks to the three-guest formula.
“One time, I was nervous because we didn’t have a non-profit on the show,” Shepherd said, “but someone in the live audience stepped up and actually ran one.”
The chairs of the show have seen guests ranging from Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson to a representative from Florida Skunk Rescue.
In a talk show-style set up, Shepherd peppers guests with questions between her own musical performances and those from musically inclined visitors.
Shepherd and her showtime partner, Treeona Hill, plan to expand the show.
“It is just local people, but it doesn’t have to be,” Shepherd said. “This is just about regular people doing great things.”
For the show’s one-year anniversary on September 8, Shepherd is planning an “away shooting” at a location to be determined. With the online audience growing, said the host, The Laura Shepherd show may soon graduate from a cozy Gulfport backyard, to something bigger.
“If you want to support the show,” Shepherd said, “comment and like our Facebook page.”
Find The Laura Shepherd and her show at facebook.com/thelaurashepherdshow.
Option 2: Laura Shepherd, a Gulfport-based musician, started her Facebook Live stream, The Laura Shepherd Show, last September on a whim. “I don’t know what I was up to at the time,” Shepherd said. “I just thought it would be a good idea.” She stands with recent show guest Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson. The show streams every other Sunday at 11 a.m. Photo courtesy of Laura Shepherd.