Jon Ferguson talks about how his desire to move and imagine and create caused expulsion from school but its what propels his work as an artist in adulthood. He shares how his early creative experiences as an adolescent listening to a walkman on road trips and imagining scenarios, chases, rescues, romantic stories – all to a soundtrack informs how his work interacts with set and sound as well as words. Also, Jon talks about how his negative experiences as a young student make him nervous about sending his son to school. And how becoming a parent raises money concerns that sometimes push a focus on making art to the side.
Tina North talks about being the mother of a young graphic artist and how her work has influenced his connection to the arts, “when he was in utero, I was in a show.” What it’s like to grow up with a father who is a working musician and a mother who is a makeup artist and how that made her less likely to wear makeup day to day. Also, the creativity of owning and operating her own business, Moss Envy.
Raised by a professional dancer and a rock drummer, Rick Ausland has been performing percussion and tap dancing since he was a child. Rick is a tap dancer, teacher, choreographer, bucket drummer, audio and video editor, magician and theater and event producer. Rick got his start performing live as a street performer alongside his brother Andy. In 2004 Rick and Andy created Buckets and Tap Shoes, a high-energy blend of music, dance and percussion that has performed all over the world.
In this conversation, Rick talks about how he got into dancing and percussion. He also talks about how he makes money, why comedy matters to him and how he discovered a passion for creating experiences for audiences. Check out Rick’s big event coming up on October 31 by going to spiritforward.info
In this episode, Saymoukda Vongsay aka Mooks talks about being a refugee, nicknames, transitioning from being a poet to a playwright and why she’s totally fine with always being labeled a Lao artist.
Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay is an award-winning Lao American poet, playwright, and cultural producer. She was born in a refugee camp in Nongkhai, Thailand and currently lives in Minnesota. She created the REFUGENIUS brand and identity in 1993 when she decided to pursue ART as a career. REFUGENIUS is a portmanteau of REFUGEE and GENIUS.
Vongsay’s work has been highlighted by The New York Times, American Theatre Magazine, City Pages, Vita.MN, Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, WCCO, Minnesota Public Radio, KFAI, Candy Fresh, TPT’s TV Takeover and Giving Thanks programs, the U of Minnesota’s Immigration History Research Center’s Immigrant Stories project, and more.
David Roth is a writer and editor living in New York City. He has written for many different things for many different outlets, from sports trading cards to print advertising material to magazine features. David has written and edited for a host of different online and print venues, including SBnation.com, Slate, the New Republic and Vice Sports. David co-createdThe Classical, a sports website funded through Kickstarter and which he started with some other writer/editors in late 2011.
In this conversation, David talks about why he loves watching and covering sports, what the Olympics mean to him, what’s profound about the show American Ninja Warrior and what it’s like to be a journalist who didn’t go to journalism school. He also talks about setting goals and finding fulfillment while trying to keep the lights on.
Paul Riedner was a deep-sea diver in the U.S. Army who served in the Middle East. He’s currently the Executive Director of Veteran Resilience Project, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Minnesota veterans get free access to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. Paul also makes the Resilience Project podcast that helps veterans share their stories.
On the podcast, Paul talks about growing up in Red Wing Minnesota and then going to teach in China. He talks about his constant search for knowledge and discovery and the role that played in his deciding to enroll in the U.S. Army during the Iraq war.
Paul talks about what he’s learned as a deep-sea diver, what serving in Iraq taught him about the financial and emotional costs of war and about why there is a such a disconnect in the United States between veterans and a public that has largely not served. And Paul talks openly about the work of moving a veteran from PTSD down a path towards healing trauma and getting back to being of service.
Here is the Hector Matascastillo episode of the Resilience podcast Paul mentioned –http://www.resiliencemn.org/hector-matascastillo-on-the-crucible-courage-and-community/
On this podcast Molly Mogren Katt talks about anxiety, getting out of one’s comfort zone. She talks about how facing your fears regularly alters how you think about fear and think about doing things that scare you. Molly shares how committing to a year of doing one thing every day that scared her meant a few big obvious things and then a lot of discovery about the small fears we all are guided by every day.
Just weeks away from giving birth to her first child, Molly talks about trying not to think too much about how her life will change and whether she’ll be prepared or not. Molly also talks about the one time she did something that scared her and it didn’t turn into a beautiful experience.
The daughter of a flight attendant and a hippy-turned-real estate developer who toured Europe in a Volkswagen bus, Molly arrived on earth with an undeniable sense of adventure. From hiking the Antarctic Peninsula, to outrunning a hyena in South Africa and even driving a street-legal monster truck through Des Moines, Iowa—Molly never turns down an opportunity to do something crazy. She worked as Andrew Zimmern‘s right-hand (for nearly eight years!); they’ve co-written three books together and she co-hosted a weekly podcast called “Go Fork Yourself.” These days, Molly is a freelance writer and blogger, full-time. You can see her work in Delta Sky Magazine, Food & Wine, Eater.com,Minneapolis | Saint Paul Magazine, to name a few. Her latest project, Hey Eleanor!, chronicles Molly’s experiences living outside her comfort zone and making every day an adventure.
Nathan Tylutki’s new business cards actually say “Renaissance Man.” This is as close as he can come to describing his career. Nathan is an actor with a masters degree in sociology. He’s fully trained in law enforcement and created a one man show called Nayrotica. Nathan’s an activist with a history working in fundraising.
On this episode of the Pratfalls podcast, Nathan talks about wanting to do creative work while engaging in social justice work. He talks about deciding to quit his job while living in New York City because he wasn’t feeling fulfilled and how that led to him returning to Minnesota. Nathan talks about sobriety and how it unlocked his ability to be present as an actor. He also talks about vulnerability, the feeling of not being good at your job, looking for fulfillment and his relationship to money.
“Although I fly the flag for ‘yes, and’ it’s okay to say no.”
Madde and Levi have known each other for a number of years. Which is part of why this episode is full of silly bits and goofy nonsense. But Madde also talks about relationships, making work, living in new cities and where she is in her life. Madde also talks improv theory, working in education and shares a bit about her new project “Down & Out.”
Madde Gibba is a New York-based actor and comedy writer who most recently could be found slinging funny haha’s on the high seas with Second City Theatricals. She is a contributor to the online satirical magazinereductress.com and regularly writes and performs all over the country. Originally from Minnesota, she has performed at Tony Award-winning theaters such as The Guthrie and Children’s Theater Company and is an alumni of the country’s oldest satirical comedy theater Brave New Workshop. In addition to the stage, Madde co-hosted Mike and Madde, a weekend arts and entertainment radio program on MyTalk107.1, and was featured in a small role in the critically-acclaimed indie film Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter (appearing at SxSW and Sundance Festivals in 2015). Madde has toured the US with her original sketch comedy shows, Comedy Sportz, and her improvised rock concert Madde Gibba: Does Not Play Well With Others–which has appeared at both the Chicago Improv Festival and New York Musical Improv Festival.
Katie Sisneros is a founding editor of The Tangential, a PhD student in English literature at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, the voice of Totinos on the internet and a live event host. She is a Minneapolis transplant from Nebraska where she earned two English degrees at UNL before deciding to one-up herself at the U of M. She orders whiskey diets but won’t return it if she’s served a whiskey coke, and usually manages to get about 35% of the questions on Jeopardy right.
On this episode of the podcast, Katie talks about internet trolls, spending her entire life thus far as a student, why personal relationships are challenging for her, how she manages her time and what it means to have a powerful and inspiring mother.