Mak Grgic

MikeyPod 316 | Guitarist Mak Grgić

It would be difficult to summarize the impossibly prolific world of guitarist Mak Grgić in one paragraph. He is an accomplished classical guitarist who has performed all over the globe, a builder of communities, and an entrepreneur and educator. Our conversation here was just perfect for the beginning of the year, especially this year. We discussed the intrinsic value of art, moving forward through obstacles, and, of course, his music. This is an episode not to be missed!

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MikeyPod 315 | Author Lotus Kay

Lotus Kay is a teen writer who has been published in Thrive Global,  Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine, New Leaves, Light of Consciousness, and Voya: Voice of Youth Advocates.  She is a recipient of a grant from Jane Goodall’s Roots and Shoots program for her work creating an educational campaign called Bears for Cares to educate youth about endangered species and wildlife. We talked about her work, what inspired her to start speaking up for animals, and how you are never too young (or too old) to start pursuing your creative dreams!

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MikeyPod 314 | Writer and Actor Tom DeTrinis

From the moment Tom DeTrinis and I began chatting on Skype, I knew this conversation was going to be a good one! Tom is a an angry actor/writer/director/producer who has been at it since 8. From TV shows like Community and 90210 to camp theater in LA and NY, he has brought his personal point of view to everything he works on. We talked about the things that mutually piss us off, but also about how Tom’s work makes an effort to heal and move forward through it all. His latest show, Making Friends, is running now online with the IAMA Theater Company, and you should go check it the moment you finish this podcast!

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MikeyPod 313 | Comedian Melinda Hill

If you like comedy, therapy, and #poignancy, then you’ll love today’s conversation with award-winning comedian, actress and writer, Melinda Hill. She uses laughter as medicine in Inappropriate, her new comedy special about moving from trauma bonding to trauma mending. Melinda and I hopped right into the deep end of the pool with our conversation and covered creative process, her podcast, and the value of sharing things on stage that most people would never tell a soul.

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MikeyPod 312 | Artist, Author, and Professor Sharrell D. Luckett, PhD

Sharrell D. Luckett is an award-winning artist, author, and professor who was introduced to me by my longtime friend and frequent collaborator Adam Fitzgerald. With just a glance at her work, I knew she would be a fantastic guest for the podcast. Digging more deeply, I discovered a magnificent poet, musician, and speaker whose work explores issues of race, performance, gender, weight and self-esteem. In today’s conversation we explore her book, Black Acting Methods: Critical Approaches, through her own experience as a student and educator. I feel so honored to have been able to talk with Dr. Luckett this week!

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MikeyPod 311 | Activist and Rescuer Jill Carnegie

Jill Carnegie serves as Campaign Strategist for the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, and as a participant in the group’s efforts for a number of years, I have worked closely with Jill in many different capacities. This last year was my first to focus on triage for rescued birds, which gave me a more complete picture of the tremendous amount of work that goes into this rescue year after year. Jill and I discuss the evolution of this work that brings together so many facets of New York City activists, some of our experiences, and go deep into the “why” that keeps her fighting for this cause.

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Eric Obenauf

MikeyPod 310 | Author and Publisher Eric Obenauf

Like many of us, Eric Obenauf found himself weighing his options after the 2016 election here in the United States. Was it time to leave the country, or was it more important to stay and create the type of community he believed in? He and his wife Eliza settled on the latter and the result was Two Dollar Radio Headquarters in Columbus, OH, an indie bookstore and vegan cafe that serves as the perfect extension of Two Dollar Radio, their acclaimed family-run book publisher.

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Marie Cisco

MikeyPod 309 | Theater, Film, and TV Producer Marie Cisco

I had such a great time chatting with theater, film, and television producer Marie Cisco on this week’s podcast. In addition to her incredible creative output, Marie is the originator of a public Google document entitled “Theaters Not Speaking Out,” a remarkably thorough list of theaters who did not speak out against injustices toward black people after the murder of George Floyd. We talked a great deal about the importance of this document, her forthcoming Black Joy Project, the evolution of creativity during COVID-19, and even chat a bit about Goddess Kali.

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Maneetpaul SIngh

MikeyPod 308 | Podcaster and Video Producer Maneetpaul Singh

In what might be the most unique path toward inviting a guest to be on the podcast, I first ran across Maneetpaul Singh‘s tech YouTube channel while I was researching a new office chair at the beginning of the pandemic. His review convinced me of my new chair (Autonomous Ergo Chair 2, if you’re curious) and to subscribe to his channel. When I heard about his new podcast, The Sikh Influence, and its mission to highlight Sikhs from around the world who are doing what they love, I knew he’d be a perfect guest for the show!

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Known for finding and showcasing talented, yet to be discovered artists and creators, Michael Harren’s podcast, MikeyPod, takes the listener on inspiring journeys of true—and often remarkable—stories of the courage, passion, and struggles many have faced while bringing their visions to life.

In production since 2005, MikeyPod invites you to pour a warm drink, grab a notebook (in case inspiration strikes!), curl up with your favorite blanket or four- legged family member, and prepare to be moved by conversations about how artists use their creativity to quite literally change the world.

Listeners can enjoy unique episodes recorded from the road! Highlights of which include Michael’s time spent living at Koinonia Partners commune in Georgia; his artist residencies at animal sanctuaries across the United States; and documenting the fight to save the life of Frances Newton.

Michael is a Brooklyn-based composer, performer, piano teacher, and activist Michael Harren combines elements of classical composition with experimental electronics and storytelling to create hypnotic, boldly intimate works, reminiscent of Laurie Anderson, Peter Gabriel, and Dead Can Dance.