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Nothing off limits for Newport Beach resident on her podcast

Newport Beach resident Nikki Chase in her home studio.
Newport Beach resident Nikki Chase in her home studio. Chase has started an irreverent podcast, Adult Chicken, about maneuvering through life’s obstacles.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)
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Authentic. Raw. Funny.

These are just some of the words that Newport Beach resident Nikki Chase said her friends have used to describe her podcast.

It’s autobiographical, in the most intimate way.

“Most of my stories are just my experiences,” Chase said. “I bring up my childhood … and I had forgotten that half of this crap has happened in my life, but it relates to a current subject.”

The podcast is called “Adult Chicken,” and even that has a story. That’s a code word for marijuana that the single mom uses with her two special needs children, daughter Bootsie, 19 and son Sandler, a 15-year-old.

Each was born with an unbalanced translocation of chromosomes 2 and 8.

“They’re cognitively delayed, they’re intellectually disabled, both hearing impaired,” Chase said. “They’ve got the laundry list of special needs.”

A few inspiring rubber chickens are part of Nikki Chase's podcast studio in Newport Beach.
A few inspiring rubber chickens are part of Nikki Chase’s podcast studio in Newport Beach.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Neither goes to school, so they’re around their mother constantly. That’s why Chase records her Adult Chicken podcast weekly at 4 a.m., in a studio in her living room. She records video with her phone and episodes are on YouTube, but the audio version is also available on popular platforms.

Chase speaks on a wide range of topics, from her interesting childhood to later domestic abuse. After packing up and leaving her native Colorado in the middle of the night, the family landed in Tacoma, Wash., where they stayed for about a year, and where Chase said she developed a stalker.

A common theme of her podcast is getting past life’s obstacles, and Chase has had plenty of those.

“Life has just not been anything like what I anticipated or imagined, not by any stretch of the imagination,” said Chase, 49. “It’s absolutely insane.”

She and her two children settled down on the Balboa Peninsula nearly 13 years ago. Soon after that, she met Sarah Calvert, who has become one of her best friends.

“It’s been in discussion for a while,” Calvert said of the Adult Chicken podcast, which is now up to 26 episodes since Chase launched it in April. “I’ve been encouraging her. She just has the best stories. They’re the kind of things you can’t really make up. Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes. And her way of handling things, it’s just really inspiring.”

Skateboarding also plays a role in the story. Sandler picked up the sport, and later so did Nikki. It has given her younger child an activity, and her older child a place to hang out — and possibly scope out teenage boys. They frequent the Volcom Skate Park in Costa Mesa.

Nikki Chase broke her ankle and was in a boot for five months, but now she’s back to skateboarding.

Newport Beach resident Nikki Chase with her 15-year-old son, Sandler, in her home studio.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“It goes hand in hand,” she said with a smile. “Podcasting and skating are kind of like the yoga for ... people who can’t calm down.”

Chase said she hasn’t had guests on her podcast yet because “I’ve got to run out of my stories first.” One exception is Episode 25, in which Sandler is a special guest.

Chase said that skateboard legend Tony Hawk found out about the episode, and he sent Sandler a nice message on his Instagram.

Leslie Orrell, who used to work with Chase at a jewelry store in Colorado, has kept up with her former colleague through social media. Orrell, now an elementary school teacher in Mississippi, has become an avid listener of the podcast.

“I got hooked,” Orrell said. “Some of those stories, I knew her at some of those times in her life, but didn’t really know what was happening. I didn’t know the backstory. She just really gives you her raw, honest, unfiltered opinion. Even though I haven’t lived it, I get it.”

Chase warns that the podcast has some adult language and is not for children.

It’s unfiltered, just like her life. And the Adult Chicken podcast is gaining fans across the country.

“It’s funny, because you see how you can reach people,” she said. “I’ve heard from people I haven’t thought of for 30 years. They say, ‘Nikki, I heard your podcast.’

“And I’m like, ‘I hope I didn’t talk about you.’”

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