Nausheena Hussain | The Pratfalls podcast

Nausheena 3“I always feel that cousins are your first best friends.”

Nausheena Hussain is immersed in civic life, serving on boards, her local charter commission and as an election judge. She founded Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment (RISE), a leadership development nonprofit, to elevate Muslim women. Nausheena continues to examine why there are so few Muslim women in positions of power and wants to understand what could potentially be holding them back.

On this episode of the podcast, Nausheena talks about starting RISE  in order to transform the way Muslim women engage and interact with their communities. She talks about not wanting to wear the label of “leader” and about the true collaboration it takes to be a working mother and wife. Nausheena also talks about unexpectedly coming into community building work, her time working in the health care industry and the corporate world and why she always wants to learn new things.

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Guante aka Kyle Tran Myhre | The Pratfalls podcast

Guante Bookstore 1 credit“If I had to choose one thing that’s my job or that pays my bills that’s being a poet.”

Kyle Tran Myhre aka Guante is an MC, two-time National Poetry Slam champion, activist, educator and writer. He and/or his work has appeared on Upworthy, MSNBC, Welcome to Night Vale, Racialicious, Feministing, MPR, Everyday Feminism, the Progressive, City Pages’ “Artists of the Year” list and URB Magazine’s “Next 1000” list, and he has performed everywhere from the United Nations to the Soundset hip hop festival to hundreds of colleges, clubs, and theaters across the country.

In this episode of the podcast, Kyle talks about having a High School nickname become his public face. He also talks about using different names in different contexts and the strengths and weaknesses of being known by different names. Kyle talks about making the bulk of his living traveling to colleges and high schools to work as a poet and teaching artist and how he can leverage being brought in as a poet and then create space for dialogue on the content of his work.

Kyle talks opens about race, gender, identity, positionality, power and activism and the role all of these things play in his work. He also talks about completing graduate school and being a thoughtful media activist.

Guante Wall Daniel Rangel 2

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Jared Sherlock | The Pratfalls podcast

MnjspeSp“Alright, magic boy, we’ll give you a chance for a few more minutes.”

Jared Sherlock started practicing magic when he was 8. As an award-winning entrepreneur and a classically trained illusionist, Jared performs for theaters, corporate events and fundraisers nationwide. He’s also toured internationally in Shanghai, China and Hong Kong.

In this episode, Jared talks about how he used magic as a vehicle for entertainment and human connection. He talks about his use of improvisation in the writing process, about collaboration with other writers and performers and about his early days with the society of young magicians.

Jared also talks about the challenges of maintaining a magic practice as a touring performer and how a magician’s set is like a musicians set list. He also speaks about the artistry of magic

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Andrea Swensson | The Pratfalls podcast


Andrea Swensson“I’m really interested in knowing the stuff you can’t find online.”

Andrea Swensson is a music reporter at Minnesota Public Radio’s 89.3 The Current. She hosts The Local Show Sundays from 6 to 8 pm and hosts The O.K. Show podcast. Prior to her work at The Current, Andrea spent many years at the music editor of City Pages, where she founded the award-winning Gimme Noise music blog.

On this episode, Andrea talks about her upcoming new book about the Minneapolis sound “Got To Be Something Here.” She talks about pursing a career as a professional pianist into college and how she lost confidence in playing. Andrea also talks about the writers who inspired her to tell the stories of music and musicians and about her return to playing piano after a decade away.

We also nerd out a bit about Ani DiFranco.


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Lynn O’Brien | The Pratfalls podcast

Lynn O'brien“It felt like I was building myself.”

Lynn O’Brien is a musician, a board certified musical therapist and someone dedicated to being a positive force in the world. She uses multiple instruments and looping devices to create written and improvised songs for audiences large and small. And she writes custom songs for weddings and other private events.

In this conversation, Lynn talks about her comfort with communicating through music. She talks about growing up in a family that volunteered in hospice and that was full of music. Lynn also talks about her journey to becoming a board certified music therapist, the work of balancing a career as a therapist and as a musician and the experience of moving her focus to putting all of her creative energy into making music.

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Andy Sturdevant | The Pratfalls podcast

Andy Sturdevant“The good news is that I don’t think I would have done much differently.”

Andy Sturdevant is an artist and writer living in Minneapolis. He has written about art, history and culture for a variety of Twin Cities-based publications and websites. Andy also writes a weekly column on neighborhoods, art, history and architecture in Minneapolis-St. Paul for MinnPost. His first book, Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow, was published by Coffee House Press in 2013.

In this episode of the podcast, Andy talks about the times when he feels like a writer and the times when he feels like a fine artist. He talks about studying painting in college and wanting to be a filmmaker. Andy also shares stories of creating weird projects with his siblings while growing up and how his parents encouraged them all to be creative and strange.

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Sam L Landman | The Pratfalls podcast

Sam Landman“I was tired of being the grumpy op-ed guy.”

Sam L. Landman is a digital copywriter by day and an actor, playwright and ne’er-do-well by night. He’s half of the comedy duo known as Pommelhorse and as an actor he’s worked with various theater companies around the Twin Cities including Loudmouth Collective, Park Square and Torch theater. He spent years on his Regret-A-Day blog and in 2015 wrote a one act play every week and posted them on his One Act A Week tumblr.

In this episode of the podcast, Sam talks about his one act a week project, recovering from a heart attack, how he reacted to unemployment and how much wanting to think of himself as a writer drove him to write more. Sam also talks about letting jealousy fuel his productivity, how he chooses who to collaborate with and why he loves the nerdy things he loves.

Sam also talks about the distinction between theater performers and comedy performers, how he thinks about stand up characters versus characters in a play and what his marriage means to his work.

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Zach Coulter | The Pratfalls podcast

Zach Coulter“Most people are waiting for someone to tell them what to think about everything, and so, why wouldn’t I just tell the people that I’m interacting with that they should think this is awesome?”

Zach Coulter is a writer, comic and digital project leader and web developer.

In this wide ranging conversation Zach talks about spending years developing himself as a stand up comic. He talks about the process of writing, collaboration and reading an audience. He also talks about still thinking of himself as a comic but transitioning to a focus on working in digital storytelling and design.

Zach talks about deciding to start a family and how that led him to evaluate where he could but his creative drive and ambitions and still be present. Zach also talks about wanting to find ways to constantly learn new things, his confidence about becoming a father and the idea that each person is writing his or her own story with various plot lines that can go surprising places.

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Amanda White | The Pratfalls podcast

Amanda White“Here’s a piece of gum and a paperclip, make a set and make this all happen.”

Managing director at Mixed Blood Theatre, co-founder and co-artistic director of DalekoArts, actor, producer and all around artistic person Amanda White is this week’s guest. Amanda takes us on a journey from her early love of singing and acting as a young girl in Iowa to her years spent making theater and art in Chicago and New York. She talks about what a person truly learns through a theater arts education, how financial restrictions can lead to amazing creative choices and everything can be a part of one’s art practice.

“I think that work life balance thing is such an adorable conversation.”

Amanda also talks about the true power of the artist administrator, what a community can really get from an artist or arts organization and how an organizations internal culture impacts the culture outside the organization. She talks about being a part of big moves at Mixed Blood theater, how DalekoArts decides what to produce and who to work with and highlights how not separating any parts of one’s life makes the quest for work/life balance a non-issue.

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Lindsi Gish | The Pratfalls podcast

lindsi gish“No job description fits what I am.”

Lindsi Gish spent many years working in the nonprofit sector. She’s a self-described problem solver, digital enthusiast, Jane-of-many-trades, and extrovert who dislikes public speaking.

She’s been part of the digital strategy team of a global PR firm, working on accounts such as the United States Postal Service, Red Stamp, and (a project of Twin Cities Public Television and 3M). Prior to that, she ran all-things digital & communications for Second Harvest Heartland, one of the nation’s largest food banks under the Feeding America umbrella.

Lindsi has spent the past two years building Gish & Co, where she helps nonprofits and small businesses with digital and traditional communications and marketing.

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