COURTNEY SHEA - SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
When he approached her about starting a true crime podcast, she didn’t even know what a podcast was. Three years later and the couple produce the popular The Minds of Madness series out of their basement in the suburbs.
Who: Bek Allen, 41, freelance producer and co-creator of The Minds of Madness Podcast. Tyler Allen, 47, telecom specialist and co-creator of Minds of Madness Podcast.
Relationship status: Dating since 2012
Location: Brampton, Ont.
CONNECTING ON COMMON GROUND
Bek: We met about six years ago. Both of us were going through divorces and we had a mutual friend who had been sort of a support system for both of us, but separately.
Tyler: I was staying at this friend’s house while I was visiting my kids in Ontario. I answered the door and there she was. I was blown away.
Bek: And then he proceeded to follow me around for the rest of the night – getting me food, getting me wine. We connected because we were in very similar situations as parents of young kids. It was great to talk to someone who understands. I saw it as a possible good friendship. And then he said, “I would give anything to be the guy who gets to put a smile on your face every day,” and I thought, uh-oh.
Tyler: Now she’s going to tell you how at the end of the night I tried to kiss her. It turned into an awkward hug.
MAKING THE MODERN DAY BRADYS
Bek: He messaged me out of the blue a few weeks later. I was adjusting to managing a home, never having changed a filter on a furnace or anything like that. He offered to come over and fix things. It got to the point where my kids started lining up their broken toys for him. Seeing him interact with my kids was what got to me.
Tyler: I have two sons, Bek had three daughters, so it was one shy of the Brady Bunch. Our approach was to take our cues from the kids. I only moved in after Bek’s girls said, “Tyler is always here, why doesn’t he just live here?”
Bek: To anyone attempting a blended family, that’s the advice: Take it slow.
HITTING THE AIRWAVES
Tyler: I have always loved old radio – Jack Benny, Orson Wells. When I went to Bek and said I wanted to do a true crime podcast, she said …
Bek: I said this is your project. I didn’t even know what a podcast was and I deal with enough sadness in my day job, producing ads about abused pets, hungry children. I bought him a microphone for Christmas, but that was it. And then he started bringing me his scripts to look over and I just …
Tyler: The show wouldn’t be what it is if Bek hadn’t joined me. It’s been great to experience it together, even if we’re not actually together as much as people might think. She’ll be upstairs researching and writing and I’m downstairs recording. We communicate on text.
Bek: It’s an adjustment working with your spouse. I have taken on a producer role, so I’m having to give Tyler direction and critique.
Tyler: I’m pretty sure that’s not a big change in our relationship.