MikeyPod 319 | Author and Activist Stewart Mitchell

I have followed Stewart Mitchell‘s activism and social media presence for quite a while now and been inspired by his seemingly tireless energy to show up for human and non-human rights. Then, I realized that he is an author with two books under his belt, a poet, a dad, and the founder of a new arts and activism initiative called V.O.I.C.E4Change, a human rights/animal rights advocacy group that centers activism around performing arts. Oh, and did I mention that he sits on the board of Voters for Animal Rights?

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MikeyPod 318 | Pianist Yael Weiss

Israeli-American pianist Yael Weiss is the curator and performer of 32 Bright Clouds: Beethoven Conversations Around the World. Through this commissioning and performance project, Ms. Weiss has commissioned new works from 32 countries of conflict and secluded areas spanning the globe. Our conversation about the project was fascinating on its own, but Yael’s purpose and inspiration goes much deeper than a desire to share great music. Indeed, she is connecting communities and cultures all over the globe. This is an absolutely magnificent conversation that I am so proud to shre with you here.

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MikeyPod 317 | Composer Joseph C. Phillips Jr.

I am so honored to present this conversation with composer Joseph C. Phillips Jr. about The Grey Land, his monoopera which explores universal themes of humanity and identity through the intractable triumvirate of race, class, and power in American society. Our conversation began with the origins of the piece and broadened into a discussion about the white centeredness of the classical music world, and what that has cost both artists and audiences. I’m so excited for you all to hear this!

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MikeyPod 316 | Guitarist Mak Grgić

Mak Grgic

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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