Beginnings

On today's episode I talk to writer, stand-up and union organizer Nato Green. Nato lives and was raised in San Francisco, and the city's progressive atmosphere pervades everything he does. Nato wrote for Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on FX and toured nationally with Kamau & Janine Brito as "Laughter Against the Machine". He's the creator of Iron Comic, the Iron Chef-spoofing comedy game show, and was named San Francisco's Best Comedian by the SF Weekly, Huffington Post, and CBS. He also hosts a comedy segment on NPR's All Things Considered, and his first comedy album, The Nato Green Party, was released by Rooftop Comedy, and can be found online wherever comedy albums are sold!

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Direct download: Beginnings_-_Nato_Green.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41pm EDT

On today's episode I talk to musician Elaiza Santos. Originally from Queens, Elaiza is the lead singer of the amazing chiptunes pop band Crying, who have two EPs out on Run For Cover Records, both of which are very much worth your time. Elaiza also records music on her own - originally under the name Whatever, Dad -  and currently as 100%, which is wonderful bedroom pop in the K records tradition.

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Direct download: Beginnings_-_Elaiza_Santos.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:12am EDT

On today's episode I talk to playwright and TV writer Sofia Alvarez. Originally from Baltimore, Sofia graduated from Juilliard for playwriting. She is a member of the Ars Nova Playgroup and Primary Stages Dorothy Streslin New American Writer’s Group, and her work has been seen everywhere from Primary Stages to Ars Nova to The Rattlestick. As a TV writer, Sofia has written for USA's Sirens, and currently, she writes for the FX comedy Man Seeking Woman.

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Direct download: Beginnings_-_Sofia_Alvarez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21pm EDT

On today's episode I talk to Suki Kim, a novelist, investigative journalist and the only writer ever to go live undercover in North Korea to investigate and write a book from the inside. In 2002, she travelled to North Korea, where she witnessed both Kim Jong-il’s 60th Birthday celebrations as well as his death, and she later wrote a number of pieces for Harper's about the country. Suki is a recipient of a Guggenheim, a Fulbright, and a George Soros Foundation Open Society fellowship. As well, her first novel, The Interpreter, was a finalist for a PEN Hemingway Prize, and her aforementioned book of investigative literary nonfiction, Without You, There Is No Us: Undercover Among the Sons of North Korea's Elite is a  New York Times bestseller.

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Direct download: Beginnings_-_Suki_Kim.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:52pm EDT

On today's episode I talk to musician Barbara Manning. Barbara is prolific songwriter originally from California, where she spent part of her childhood on a commune. While attending Chico State University in 1983, Manning played bass with the seminal jangle-pop band 28th Day, and since then she's recorded a number of albums under her own name and has played with and fronted a number of amazing bands including World of Pooh, SF Seals, The Go-Luckys!. She's collaborated with everyone from Jon Langford of The Mekons to The Magnetic Fields' Stephen Merritt, and her albums have been released by some of the best indie labels around including SubPop, K Records, Matador and Teenbeat.

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Direct download: Beginnings_-_Barbara_Manning.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:02am EDT

On today's episode I talk to Cole Escola. Cole is a comedian, actor, and writer; one of the 2014 OUT 100; as well as one of Time Out New York's Top Ten Downtown Cabaret Performers. He was the co-creator, writer, and star of the lo-fi cult-hit TV show Jeffery & Cole Casserole, which ran on Logo for two seasons, and also originated the role of Bridget Everett's fetus in Rock Bottom. Cole currently plays Billy Eichner's nemesis Matthew on Hulu's Difficult People, which is now in it's second season!

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Direct download: Beginnings_-_Cole_Escola.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:12am EDT

On today's episode I talk to storyteller Adam Wade. For the past thirteen years, Adam has been a fixture in both the New York City storytelling and comedy scenes. He is the winner of 20 SLAMS at The Moth, including two GrandSLAM Championships, and has toured across North America with The Moth Main Stage. In addition, Adam's Time Out Critic's pick solo show The Adam Wade from NH Show has been running since 2010, and his first album Adam Wade: The Human Comedy was just released last year!

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Direct download: Beginnings_-_Adam_Wade.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:17am EDT

On today's episode I talk to writer/directors Charles Rogers and Sarah-Violet Bliss. Charles and SV broke out with their film Fort Tilden, a satire of Millennial Brooklyn, which won the Grand Jury Award at SXSW 2014. Since then, they've written on the first season of Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer revival, and are the co-creators of the forthcoming TBS series Search Party starring Alia Shawkat.

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Direct download: Beginnings_-_Charles_Rogers_and_Sarah-Violet_Bliss.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:29am EDT

I used to do bonus episodes of the show somewhat regularly called "Field Guides" where I'd talk to people about the actual steps they took to create a project or about a specific topic around the theme of creating things for a living. Like, I talked to Abbi and Ilana about how they actually made the Broad City webseries (back before it was even a TV show!) - and the idea is to try and demystify making TV, videos and other creative things on a professional level. Today on the show I talk to Terence Gray, the founder and executive director of the New York Television Festival, and Ian Thake, the director of programming for the festival. Founded in 2005, The NYTVF is a pioneer of the independent television movement, connecting its community of artists with leading networks, studios, agencies, production companies, and brands. Terence, Ian and I get in deep about the origins of the festival, how somebody starts a festival in the first place, as well as thoughts and tips on indie TV and the television development process!

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Direct download: Beginnings_-_NYTVF.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55pm EDT

On today's episode I talk to Wes Miles of the indie rock band Ra Ra Riot. Originally from New Jersey, Wes has been playing music for most of his life. Ra Ra Riot formed in January 2006, playing at houses and venues around the Syracuse University campus. After recording a demo, they started to attract attention, eventually getting signed to Barsuk Records, who's released all four of their albums The Rhumb Line, The Orchard, Beta Love, and their latest Need Your Light (all are very worth your time!). On the side, Wes has released an album with former-Vampire Weekend-er Rostam Batmanglij under the name Discovery. It is also awesome!

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Direct download: Beginnings_-_Wes_Miles.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:20pm EDT