This episode features a conversation with theater director Kevin Houle. Kevin gets into how mentorship impacted him, how becoming a father a little later in life gives patience, and how similar directing actors can be to getting a 2 year old to do what you want.
Boxy Mouse was inspired by a bonafide mouse named Jasmine in the winter of 2007. Since then, the approach at Boxy Mouse Design Studio (and laundry room) has been to learn how to create all manner of art-like things based on Boxy Mouse and other various Boxy characters. Nearly every item, from the buttons and stickers to screen prints and paintings, are produced by hand in-house. Rampant speculation surrounds the studio — there’s even a rumor that a collective of mutated “painting monkeys” are on staff.
Boxy Mouse is street art, graphic design, entertainment, surprise and joy all contained in a small image. The creator and figurehead behind the Boxy Mouse empire sat down for a podcast conversation about how he came to be an artist and what Boxy Mouse means to him. Hear about confidence development, the question for perfection and why creating moments of unexpected joy are so valuable and important.
Mary Jo Pehl is a writer, comedian, and she also wrote for and played Pearl Forrester on the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000. She’s been a part of both Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax, stared in the game Darkstar: The Interactive Movie, and is the star of the upcoming new television show RenFest. Mary Jo’s book “Emplyee of the Month can be found here: http://amazon.com/dp/1466378026/
On this episode of the podcast, Mary Jo talks about starting out as a stand up during the 80s comedy boom. She talks about growing up in Circle Pines Minnesota and how her upbringing shaped the way she thinks about herself and her work. Mary Jo talks about the various jobs she had over the years, both creative and less so. She shares stories of coming up in comedy with Joel Hodgson and Frank Conniff, with whom she would eventually collaborate on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Mary Jo talks about how her writing changed after her mom died. She talks about trying to write truthfully without causing pain for the people she loves. Mary Jo also talks about the challenges of making a living from purely creative work and about how much her audiences, fans and readers have come to mean to her over time.
Malik Watkins, better known by his stage name MaLLy, is an independent hip-hop artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Active since 2007, MaLLy has cemented his place in the Twin Cities music scene with a strong discography boasting three critically acclaimed albums—The Passion, The Last Great…, and The Colors of Black—along with several well-received EPs including Free on the 15th and Strange Rhythm.
MaLLy has toured nationwide with Atmosphere on their “Welcome to Minnesota” tour in 2012, and with Brother Ali on his “Home Away From Home” tour in 2014. Other notable live performances include shows alongside underground hip-hop luminaries such as Souls of Mischief, Blue Scholars, Watsky, and Evidence, and two appearances—one as a performer (2011) and one as co-host with Brother Ali (2012)—at Soundset, the largest Hip-Hop festival in Minnesota. MaLLy continues to work on new music, as well as participate in community-oriented organizations dedicated to the arts, creativity, and entrepreneurship such as Giant Steps and Kulture Klub Collaborative.
On this episode of the podcast, MaLLy shares the story of where his name came from, talks about being comfortable using humor on stage and why many hip hop artists take themselves very seriously. He talks about the early music he was exposed to by his mother, the time he spent learning how to make music before he shared it with anyone and how his relationship to fear has drive his work and life. MaLLy also talks about the stereotypes and perceptions held about hip hop artists and opens up about his personal journey to make music as a way of making positive connection in the world rather than chase after fame or attention.
Desdamona is an international award-winning artist, who has taken her distinct lyrics, sounds, and artistic style to audiences from Minnesota to Hawaii to Puerto Rico to Germany, gracing some of Hip Hop and poetry’s most illustrious stages. She has worked in over 200 schools throughout the Midwest, conducting workshops and as artist in residence. She has also worked in residencies and workshops in colleges, universities, prisons, and juvenile detention centers. Desdamona is one of the founders of B Girl Be, the first international festival celebrating women in Hip Hop. She has been named “Best Spoken Word Artist” by the Minnesota Music Awards five times.
Desdamona talks about how her activism and advocacy comes through in her work rather than overtly talking about it. She talks about her own writing process as well as how she guides students in their creative work. Desdamona also talks about the ways she approaches collaboration and how she thinks about finding collaborators.
You can purchase Desdamona’s latest album “No Man’s Land” and a lot of her other work at desdamona.bandcamp.com
Lucy Michelle is a musician, songwriter, and illustrator. She’s the frontwoman of gypsy-pop outfit Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles, a raucous and eclectic six-piece. Lucy is part of the quartet Little Fevers, who put out their debut album “Field Trip” in 2015. And Lucy’s incredibly personal solo album “Heart Race.” Lucy has also been a graphic designer and illustrator for over a decade.
On this episode, Lucy Michelle talks about getting pigeon-holed into the cutesy folk singer category. She also talks about why the singer/songwriter label doesn’t sit well. Lucy also talks about deciding to teach herself how to play guitar and the difference between working with long-time collaborators and working with new partners.
Lucy also gets into the real costs of making and releasing albums, the experience of playing shows as a very pregnant person and what it was like to be a new mother back on stage. She also gets into how she deals with stress and manages not to freak out when life feels overwhelming.
This episode was originally released on the Pratfalls of Parenting podcast on June 19, 2016.
Huge theater’s Butch Roy talks improv tech artistry, why he loves to mop his theater, and how he’s made juggling boring for his sons. How did a punk-rock high school misfit become a father at 16 and end up running his own theater? Find out in this episode of Pratfalls of Parenting.
Lindsey is a trial attorney who brings trained advocacy to the courtroom and wider activism throughout her community. Her personal advocacy against institutional sexism and rape culture first reached a broader audience following a viral Craigslist Missed Connection written to a catcaller in September 2013. In June of 2014, I began filming street harassment in the Twin Cities and launched Cards Against Harassment, which was picked up by buzzfeed and led to me making appearances on Good Morning America, WPR, and other national and international media outlets. Lindsey enjoys speaking and leading workshops on campus violence, rape culture, street harassment, and gender bias.
In this episode of the podcast, Lindsay talks about how growing up with a father who was a Sheriff and mother who was a school teacher impacted her sense of justice. Her parents called her Sergeant Lindsey because she had a vocal objection to anything she viewed as not just. Lindsey also reveals that real life trial attorney work is less hot people hooking up than depicted on television. And she talks about some of the gender issues in legal work.
Lindsey also talks about how learning how to argue well in relationships is critical to survival. Lindsey talks about her work as an online activist and how avoiding personal attacks or harsh language in her activism helps keep the focus on the issue and not let her get minimized. She also talks about getting online threats that make clear and specific references to her real life.
“Growing up my heroes were Gonzo and Pippi Longstocking.”
Maria Bartholdi is a multimedia producer with a reputation for wearing many hats. From videography and editing to field production and writing her work always has a strong storytelling sense with an emphasis on crafting emotional, unique, and visually stunning pieces. She has won multiple Emmy awards for her work in television production. Maria is also regularly found performing improv comedy live onstage and she hosts the wildly successful weekly podcast about Magic: The Gathering. Plus, she speaks Welsh and can do a perfect impression of R2D2 screaming.
On this episode of the show, Maria recites a poem from memory that she wrote in 3rd grade. She talks about why the thought of being normal always terrified her. Maria also talks about dealing with anxiety, why she’c comfortable being in control and deciding in early adulthood to have a stable income and reliable job while still pursuing her weird interests.
Plus, Maria shares her game of trying to think of the oddest thing you could say to a stranger that would make them have to leave the room.
Ali Elabbady is a writer, a producer, a DJ, Greenroom magazine marketing man, a hip-hop head and a supporter of all things creative large and small. He works with Public Functionary art gallery, started the Background Noise Crew, writes for Reviler, and can be seen throwing his hands up at shows all around the Twin Cities.
On this episode of the podcast, Ali talks about starting out as a dj wanting to learn trick dj moves. He talks about getting into radio broadcasting and the pressure Muslim families put on children to become doctors, lawyers or engineers. He talks about his work with Greenroom magazine and why writing about and hgighlighting musicians and artists brings him so much happiness. He also shares his love for De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising along side The Simpsons Sing the Blues. Plus, Ali talks about building genuine relationships and why he doesn’t need to be in the spotlight.