75. Office Hours w/ Dan & Katie

In Episode 75, Dan & Katie answer questions from the audience about the Metaverse, the cost of higher education, teacher training and experiences, identity, and much more. If you have questions for us to talk about and answer on another Office Hours episode, you can email them to writingremixpodcast@gmail.com.

This episode was recorded on November 15, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode

“I remember teaching [Super Sad True Love Story] and at the time I was teaching it, it was like the near future and now it is basically the present in many ways.”
–Dan Dissinger

“I think about what’s great about writing and fiction is that we get to bring in that humanistic side to and think about what are the ethical and moral questions here, things that sometimes get overlooked.”
–Katie McNey

“All those questions about what is it to be human and what is the human experience about will continue to persist […] so there will always be a need for writing.”
–Katie McNey

“[College] faculty are never prepared [to have difficult conversations in the classroom] because we’re not trained that way in a PhD program. PhD programs only train you in order to write your dissertation and make sure you can get that finished.”
–Dan Dissinger

“You have to think about the type of education you want and the type of experiences you want over what the name on the degree is.”
–Dan Dissinger

“Is going to an elite university really worth it? Are you getting a higher level of education, or is it just this prestige that has been built up over time because it’s about this image that is being created?”
–Katie McNey

74. Pursuing Your Passion w/ Katie McNey

In Episode 74, Dan interviews Katie about her science fiction and fantasy novels, her background in medieval literature, her journey getting into podcasting, and her new role as a book writing coach. Along the way, we talk about witches, fan fiction, medieval dream poetry, and the time she set up a Go Fund Me to send her favorite podcasters to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida.

Katie McNey earned a Ph.D. in English with a focus in medieval and early modern literature from the University of Minnesota. After moving to Los Angeles, she taught in the Writing Program at the University of Southern California for two years before designing her Author’s Dream Mentorship Program and launching her own coaching business. She hosts two podcasts about writing and reading (Writing Remix and Witches in Britches) and is one of the founding members of the Humanities Podcast Network. She also writes speculative fiction and is represented by Kurestin Armada at Root Literary.

You can learn more at katiemcney.com and get in touch on Twitter and Instagram @KatieMcNey.

This episode was recorded on November 8, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode

“Going to grad school was so valuable for me, and I grew a lot and I learned a lot, so I don’t think it was wasted time. But I had always wanted to write [fiction], and so I did…When I was in grad school, I published a trilogy of novels, which was probably an indication of where my real passion was. ” @KatieMcNey

“[At the end of my Ph.D.] I was like, ‘I don’t know how to do these two things: I don’t know how to raise a kid and be in academia.’ And I think it speaks to the dismal state of things, that academics are expected to produce at such high levels that are really not sustainable for a good work-life balance.” @KatieMcNey

“It was just another way of looking at what I can do with this degree that I hadn’t really considered before because…we have such a narrow focus about what [a Ph.D.] means.” @KatieMcNey

“I would literally just write all day long…and I never felt tired or drained. I always felt energized. To me, that was a real indication of something that was important to me or that I was meant to do.” @KatieMcNey

“I just really love world-building. I love how the setting can become like a character.” @KatieMcNey

“I love Sci-Fi and fantasy and cool, weird elements, and I love writing action and fast-paced page-turners.” @KatieMcNey

“A lot of modern fantasy is rooted in medieval literature.” @KatieMcNey

“For me, [inspiration] really comes in stages. I get an inkling of an idea, and I start working on it. And then I read something or see something and I’m like oh that’s a cool element. I like that. And I figure out how to work that in.” @KatieMcNey

“It’s a little bit like painting a picture. You have a rough sketch, and then you add in some colors, and you keep layering and layering, and you get more detailed as you go. That’s how writing works for me.” @KatieMcNey

“I’m both [a plotter and a pantser]. I always have an outline, because I always want to know where I’m going. But inevitably as I’m writing, I end up changing what I’m doing, or in the course of writing, I get a new idea. So I like to allow space for that organic development as well.” @KatieMcNey

“[Writing fan fiction or playing an RPG] is a great place to start as a writer…It’s a great way to try things out where you don’t have to come up with everything from scratch on your own.” @KatieMcNey

73. Confronting Campus Rape Culture w/ Chris Belcher, Stephanie Renée Payne, & Jordan Broberg

Content Warning: Discussion of sexual and domestic violence, please listen with care.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual and/or domestic violence/abuse, you can find support through: RAINN & RSVP (for USC community). More resources available here.

In Episode 73, Dan is joined by Writing Program faculty Chris Belcher & Stephanie Renee Payne, USC alum Jordan Broberg, and two current USC students to talk about rape culture at USC and beyond. This episode is in response to an email sent out to the USC community on October 20th, 2021 about drugging, sexual assault, and rapes occurring at the Sigma Nu fraternity house.

Chris Belcher is a writer and professor. She completed a PhD in English at the University of Southern California, where she now teaches Gender and Sexuality Studies and in the Writing Program. Under her working name, Natalie West, she edited the acclaimed anthology We Too: Essays on Sex Work and Survival. Her memoir, Pretty Baby, will be published by Simon & Schuster’s Avid Reader Press in July 2022 and is available to pre-order here.

Jordan Broberg is an American actor, director, poet and playwright. Her primary concentration is in the theatre, but she has crossed all mediums and has enjoyed every minute doing it. Broberg is a 2019 magna cum laude graduate of the USC School of Dramatic Arts and she thoroughly enjoys the exploration of off-kilter, vibrant and unparalleled ways to tell stories. From stage-managing Off-Broadway, to finessing her way to production assisting for Aaron Sorkin, Broberg has worn every hat. She is a SAG-Eligible actress and a proud member of Includiance, a new production division of Schmengie Inc. that has partnered with GLAAD to increase the representation of LGBTQIA+ in commercial spaces. She has just released her first book titled, “I Forgot My Parachute This Time – A Collection of Poetry In Three Acts,” which can be purchased online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book retailers. Please visit iforgotmyparachutethistime.com for more information. Her theatrical/film work is located at jordanbroberg.com.

Stephanie Renée Payne teaches writing in both the freshman and advanced writing seminars at the University of Southern California. Payne’s special topics include experiential and collaborative learning using the city of Los Angeles as an extended campus in her Food & Culture course in the Advanced Writing seminar. Payne’s aim in collaborative and experiential learning is to foster within her students a consideration of the self, the intersection of self with the other, and the self and the other within multiple environments to produce thoughtful, rich, and probing writing that is relevant in a 21st-century context. Payne writes non-fiction and fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals and commercial print publications. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

This episode was recorded on November 4th, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod.

Texts & People Mentioned in the Episode

“Thinking about […] the years and years and years of silence around the Tyndall events and the even just month of silence that failed to protect students from Sigma Nu, this sort of time lapse between when they knew that reports had been made and then when they alerted students through DPS—as problematic as that was […] that seems to me that nothing has changed.”
–Chris Belcher

“I think that as a female on a college campus even before all of this has come out was already terrifying enough.”
–USC Student

“I don’t know how this is gonna sound, but just how I feel is that the institution of USC is very much, ‘Don’t get raped’ as opposed to ‘Don’t rape.’”
–Jordan Broberg

“Why would you put the burden on the staff to take care of the students’ trauma […] instead of putting the burden on the perpetrators or putting the burden on the system?”
–USC Student

“The University is constantly looking for individual responses to systemic problems.”
–Chris Belcher

“What was really interesting to me is [how Greek life] depersonalizes the criminal acts, which is what they are, they’re not even acts of misconduct, they’re criminal actions, so I was curious about the house being fined rather than the individual or individuals involved.”
–Stephanie Renée Payne

“Maybe this is just from my experience, but I feel like reporting it, speaking it, acknowledging it is a way, at least for me, of finding freedom […] but when an institution doesn’t hold individuals accountable what that to me is saying is your freedom doesn’t matter.” –Jordan Broberg

“I did talk a little bit with some of my friends that are way more involved with fraternities and sororities than I am and hearing about the rushing process and the bidding process, and how these institutions try to make it seem very [inclusive], but in reality it’s really hard for BIPOC or people from low-income backgrounds to join these organizations.”
–USC Student

“For rape culture to change, people have to be afraid to rape, people have to be afraid to be associated with rapists.” –Chris Belcher

“It’s because of these stupid institutions and stupid systems that exist, especially in the United States, that cause a lot of females, and not even just females, just most sexual assault survivors to silence themselves in the fear of being stepped on by the patriarchy, because anyone under the patriarchy is in the wrong.”
–USC Student

“Are we educat[ing] our boys the way we educate our girls […] It’s about ‘girls be careful,’ but it’s not about how we should tell the people in fraternities and sororities they should start acting like a human
–USC Student

“I didn’t receive the email [about the assaults at Sigma Nu] as I am an alumni, but if I were to receive an email that talked about making sure what I wear isn’t provocative, I would bet my life that there is no dress code for modesty when it comes to any of the events that Greek life profits off of.”
–Jordan Broberg

“As a college student and a woman, I feel like my weekend activities should not be limited because of the actions of criminals.”
–USC Student

“What my students have brought to me is that they feel, especially my sorority students, that fraternity men are the most educated on campus, that they absolutely understand the parameters of their actions, that they absolutely understand standards that are put forth. However, what students have brought to me is that there are no consequences whatsoever. One of my students said you can get kicked out [of USC] for plagiarism easier than [for] raping someone.”
–Stephanie Renée Payne.  

“I think the point of race and protectionism and wealth and the culture of white male dominance is very much entrenched not just in the Greek system, but on our campus.”
–Stephanie Renée Payne

72. Life After the Ph.D. w/ Dr. Steven Mentz, Dr. Meghan P. Nolan, Dr. Melissa Rampelli, & Dr. Daniel Dissinger

In Episode 72, Dr. Steven Mentz of the Saint John’s University English Department interviews three SJU Alums about what academic, writing, and teaching life is like after the Ph.D. This was a special episode for Dr. Mentz’s graduate theory course, and some of these questions come straight from his students.

Steve Mentz is Professor of English at St. John’s University in New York City, where he teaches Shakespeare, the environmental humanities, literary theory, and poetry. His recent publications include the book Ocean, part of Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons series, and the collection of essays, A Cultural History of the Sea in the Early Modern Age (2021). He is currently writing an Introduction to the Blue Humanities for Routledge Publishing. He tweets @stevermentz and blogs at The Bookfish.” Follow the link for a full bio.

Meghan P. Nolan, MFA, MA, PhD is an Assistant Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center at State University of New York, Rockland. She is a Persona Studies scholar and multigenre writer who focuses on fragmented perceptions of self-hood and written identities through academic works, fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is the author of the poetry collection, Stratification (BlazeVOX Books, 2008); her essays have recently been published in Persona Studies, ThreadThe 100 Greatest Detectives, Exquisite Corpse: Studio Art-Based Writing in the AcademyTransnational Crime Fiction, andMean Streets: A Journal of American Crime and Detective Fiction. 

Melissa Rampelli is Assistant Professor of English at Holy Family University where she teaches courses in British literature and first-year composititon. She is currently at work on her book manuscript, Plots of Pathology, and her article “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters and the 2008 Recession” is forthcoming in the Winter 2021 issue of Modern Language Studies. Her research interests include nineteenth-century British literature and culture, the history of psychology, gender studies, medical narratives, and the novel. 

Daniel Dissinger is an Assistant Professor in the Writing Program at the University of Southern California. He earned his PhD and MA from Saint John’s University as well as an MFA from The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University.  Dan’s dissertation examined the early, pre-On the Road novels of Jack Kerouac and the reflective writing properties of the “Duluoz Legend.” Dan’s poetry has been published in a variety of journals, and his first chapbook, tracing the shape…, was published by Shadow Mountain Press in 2012. He is the co-host/co-creator of both Writing Remix Podcast & The Nostalgia Test Podcast. Dan co-created The Humanities Podcast Network, which hosted their first-ever International Humanities Podcast Symposium October 2021.

This episode was recorded on July 27th, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

Texts & People Mentioned in the Episode

“The job of a graduate student is to figure out the question and then answer it.”
–Steven Mentz

“For me the seeds are still in [my] dissertation […] it’s just branched off in five different directions”
–Meghan P. Nolan

“It’s been like really amazing to kind of be almost like an archivist in many ways.”
–Dan Dissinger

“Academic work, in the broader sense, is all about creating communities.”
–Steven Mentz

“When something bugs you like that, then I know to pursue it.”
–Melissa Rampelli

“I was always curious how, you know, you see scholars on their fourth or fifth book and you ask them, ‘How did you get these ideas?’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, it came from the previous book.’ And I think until you actually get that moment you can’t really appreciate how that can organically happen.”
–Melissa Rampelli

“Academic work emerges out of the […] coming together of different discourses.”
–Steven Mentz

“[Writing] process is different depending on your situation and what kind of person you are.”
–Meghan P. Nolan

“I think it’s an interesting thing to think about in the academic life, there are things you think you’re supposed to be doing, then the things you want to do, and then there are expectations on both sides and you’re kind of like balancing this really weird ecosystem.”
–Dan Dissinger

“I also think academics and students and graduate students are really susceptible to the kind of panoptic paranoia, that you always think you’re supposed to do one more thing or one more project you can take on.”
–Steven Mentz

“The culture of academia is like a culture of overwork, and I think it’s important to know that and set up some human boundaries.”
–Steven Mentz

“The purpose of a critical review, even a review that says, ‘Hey, we’re not going to publish this right now’ the purpose is always to make the piece better.”
–Steven Mentz

“One of the other things I say to younger writers is this; you may think you have it written the way that you want it, but really ask yourself is making this change going to change the entire piece because if not, just make the edit. Don’t fight it. Stop fighting it, stop arguing over every minute detail.”
–Meghan P. Nolan

71: Punching Up w/ Christian Cintron

In Episode 71, Dan talks to comedian Christian Cintron about creating uplifting comedy, processing trauma through stand-up, and punching up instead of down.

Christian Cintron is a jack-of-all-trades, master of fun. He’s a writer, comedian, actor, and spiritualist. His work has appeared in Hollywood.com, Queerty, The Authentic Gay, and Ranker to name a few. He’s also a regular contributor to Backstage.com about comedy. He’s a graduate of The Second City: Hollywood, iO West, and Vassar College. As a Nuyorican, he’s committed to social justice and making the world a better place. 

You can find Christian on Twitter @StandUp4YourPower and online at standup4yourpower.carrd.co and linktr.ee/standup4yourpower.
You can purchase the first book/lesson of the Stand Up 4 Your Power book series on Amazon. (Link: https://www.amazon.com/Stand-Your-Power-intersectional-self-improvement-ebook/dp/B09HJ9JC7T

This episode was recorded on July 19th, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

CW: mental illness, generational trauma, genocide, abuse, rape, suicidal ideation

Texts Mentioned in the Episode

“You don’t have to lose your edge to make comedy that’s uplifting for the masses. It should be about something deeper.” @StandUp4YourPower

“Having someone understand what I’m saying is one of the most important things to me.” @StandUp4YourPower

“I personally believe that rhetoric is stronger than grammar–and more important. I think grammar is part of gatekeeping in society.” @StandUp4YourPower

“That’s sort of the weird rub of college, that you learn a lot of skills that don’t always serve you…I wish that college was a little more integrated.” @StandUp4YourPower

“For me, writing is more the way a sculptor cuts away at rock.” @StandUp4YourPower

“Writing is best when it comes from a place of being healed.” @StandUp4YourPower

“The deepest [writing] is the most universal. But sometimes that’s the most specifically you.” @StandUp4YourPower

“Do you have a relationship with yourself out in the world or do you have a relationship with the world inside yourself? I think what we don’t realize as human beings, and where there’s a lack of empathy, is that everyone has a world as complex inside them as you do.” @StandUp4YourPower

“Wouldn’t a pandemic that affects the entire planet usher in a new age for humanity?…There is a collective trauma, there is a collective eye-opening, there is a collective awareness, there is a collective enlightenment. We cannot pretend anymore.” @StandUp4YourPower

“I’ve always been more concerned with being respected than being liked.” @StandUp4YourPower

“I didn’t realize how angry I was until I started doing stand-up in drag.” @StandUp4YourPower

“Stand-up is shadow work.” @StandUp4YourPower

“If you’re going to take a shot at anyone, they should be the first ones laughing.” @StandUp4YourPower

“I think inspiration is misunderstood. Inspiration is energy from something higher than us…but the writing still needs to come from you.” @StandUp4YourPower

“Part of the need to attack other people is the hurt inside.” @StandUp4YourPower

“I feel like world peace would be installed if the final level in Call of Duty was to process your issues.” @StandUp4YourPower

“Say it because no one else can say it.” @StandUp4YourPower

“Some of my writing has been informed by the times that I didn’t write…I think we get so stuck on having a voice. Your voice is kind of always going to be there, but you might not always have something to say.” @StandUp4YourPower

The inaugural Humanities Podcasting Symposium will open new conversations between podcasters in the Humanities, guided by the aims of the Humanities Podcast Network. The event will gather instructors, scholars, and independent creators working in the Humanities, and build support for those who are interested teaching with podcasts and/or making their own podcasts. It will be free to attend and open to all.

Our featured guest will be Latif Nasser of WNYC’s Radiolab.

The conference will take place virtually over Zoom (link will be provided closer to the date). You can register to attend in advance on Eventbrite.

Sessions will include:

  • Roundtable discussions about different elements of Humanities podcasting, including questions about tone/style/form/aesthetics, audience, interview techniques, accreditation, peer review, open access, and more
  • Roundtable discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the podcasting space
  • Technical workshops for educators interested in starting a podcast
  • Topic-focused workshops for creators who have podcasting experience
  • Flash presentations of existing Humanities podcasts

Please register now to attend the symposium, and receive updates about sessions and presenters.

This event is sponsored by Public Books and the Humanities Podcast Network.

70: Contending with Misinformation w/ Danielle Mastrogiovanni

Episode 70 was part of the 2021 Big Rhetorical Podcast Carnival, “Contending with Misinformation in the Community and the Classroom.” In this episode we talk to Danielle Mastrogiovanni about the intersectional issues misinformation creates for students, teachers, and administrators.

As Supervisor of Humanities for New Brunswick Public Schools, Danielle Mastrogiovanni collaborates with district and building leaders to design curriculum and provide professional development around culturally responsive practices for teachers throughout the district.  Additionally, she has helped to spearhead the district’s Education Empowerment Alliance, a collective of teachers and administrators who are working together to dismantle oppressive practices typically found in schools and reshape the trajectory of public education. 

With over two decades of experience working within the context of urban education, Danielle holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education from Naropa University, which grounded her teaching practice in the belief of basic goodness and propelled her to integrate contemplative practices into traditional public education settings. Additionally, she holds an M.S. in Elementary Education from Brooklyn College with a minor in Cultural Studies, as well as an Ed.S in Educational Leadership from Seton Hall. She is currently studying district-level systems that can be used to promote educational equity and is completing her dissertation on Culturally Responsive District-Level Leadership.In addition to her professional accolades, she considers being a mother to three tween-age sons to be both her biggest challenge and greatest accomplishment.

This episode was recorded on August 12, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode

“I’m actually the daughter of a lifelong educator who warned me against going that route [into education] because she said that I would probably get fired.” @DMastroG4

“I realized my contributions could be a little bit bigger than just self-serving.” @DMastroG4

“The other really important piece, I think, is that real belief that everybody is basically good. Because if everybody is basically good, then we’re going to work towards equity because we believe that everybody deserves the same access and opportunity and everybody’s story deserves to be told and heard, everybody’s perspective deserves to be represented.” @DMastroG4

“It’s really important to know what you’re contributing.” @DMastroG4

“When you study culturally responsive leadership…critical self-reflection is one of the four components. It’s so important. But it’s so left out of every teacher or leadership program.” @DMastroG4

“What I was asked to teach [in middle school] was not necessarily reflective of the experiences of my students…There was one perspective and it was the white, Eurocentric, male conquerer perspective.” @DMastroG4

“For my students, who were at that time 99.9% African American, it was really important for them to identify that their story or their voice wasn’t there in order…to get them invested in how important and powerful their voice was.” @DMastroG4

“I think that’s the context we’re in now: there’s all this information, and students are being asked to sort out what’s real, what’s not real, think critically about things. But if we don’t give them all the pieces, how can we ask them to think critically and to form their own decisions about information?” @DMastroG4

“Some people chalk it up to: well, that’s human nature. Everybody wants to survive. Yeah, no. That’s not human nature. That’s misinformation.” @DMastroG4

“I think students at this point are feeling like they know more than their teachers.” @DMastroG4

“There’s no need to keep re-teaching incorrect history. It just doesn’t make any sense.” @DMastroG4

“I realized that [teachers] couldn’t combat misinformation because they were also misinformed.” @DMastroG4

“I’m not afraid to say I don’t know anything.” @DMastroG4

Humanities Podcasting Symposium Registration

A free, virtual program of discussions and workshops about using podcasts for teaching, learning and scholarship in the humanitiesRegister here.

The inaugural Humanities Podcasting Symposium will open new conversations between podcasters in the Humanities, guided by the aims of the Humanities Podcast Network. The event will gather instructors, scholars, and independent creators working in the Humanities, and build support for those who are interested teaching with podcasts and/or making their own podcasts. It will be free to attend and open to all.

Our featured guest will be Latif Nasser of WNYC’s Radiolab.

The conference will take place virtually over Zoom (link will be provided closer to the date). You can register to attend in advance on Eventbrite.

Sessions will include:

  • Roundtable discussions about different elements of Humanities podcasting, including questions about tone/style/form/aesthetics, audience, interview techniques, accreditation, peer review, open access, and more
  • Roundtable discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the podcasting space
  • Technical workshops for educators interested in starting a podcast
  • Topic-focused workshops for creators who have podcasting experience
  • Flash presentations of existing Humanities podcasts

Please register now to attend the symposium, and receive updates about sessions and presenters.

This event is sponsored by Public Books and the Humanities Podcast Network.

69. Practicing Mindful Entrepreneurship w/ Lloyd Cambridge

In Episode 69, Dan Dissinger talks to the founder of Progress Playbook, Lloyd Cambridge about practicing mindfulness to be a better entrepreneur and person, community building, and supplementing the gaps in higher education with experiential project-based learning.

Lloyd J. Cambridge is the founder & CEO of Progress Playbook, a small business training and economic development consultancy.  Lloyd partners with government agencies, nonprofits and small businesses nationally to design customized learning experiences and inclusive growth strategies that support entrepreneurs in starting and scaling businesses locally and beyond. Progress Playbook’s clients includes but is not limited to NYC Department of Small Business Services, City Harvest, Brooklyn Children’s Museum, The Actors Fund, New York City Housing Authority.   

Prior to starting Progress Playbook, Lloyd was the Director of NYC Business Solutions, and prior to that, he was an underwriter and credit analyst at JPMorganChase for their middle-market division. Lloyd has supported over 10,000 entrepreneurs and business owners throughout his career and has shared his expertise on entrepreneurship and business development with organizations like Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the Small Business Administration and New York University.  He earned his B.S. in Economics from NYU and is an Alumni of the Coro Leadership network.

This episode was recorded on July 23rd, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode

“My passion and joy is really helping people to create what they believe should exist in the world, helping them to create a living for themselves, to add value to the world and really being able to do that through entrepreneurship.” –Lloyd Cambridge

“As a business owner, you want to really identify what you’re good at and just do that.” –Lloyd Cambridge

“A lot of entrepreneurship is around adjusting people’s mindset around different topics, and [relationship to] money is one of them.”
–Lloyd Cambridge

“When it comes to entrepreneurship, most people want to jump right into finance, or they want to jump right into business planning or jump into sales and marketing, but the first thing you need to focus on is you.” –Lloyd Cambridge

“[Progress Playbook] starts with, what do you want to have, but then the second question is who do I need to be?”
–Lloyd Cambridge

“So everything in business or life I think is about practice […] You set the intention and then you build habits, and through routines you get better and better and stronger and stronger.” –Lloyd Cambridge

“You’re essentially living life from the inside out when it comes to business.” –Lloyd Cambridge

“Your business will never grow beyond your personal development.” –Lloyd Cambridge

“I’ve interviewed a ton of entrepreneurs myself and many of them say that the hardest part is changing yourself.” –Lloyd Cambridge

“Everybody’s an artist.” –Lloyd Cambridge

“You never burn bridges, because your employer can become your customer.” –Lloyd Cambridge

“What does local prosperity look like, not only from an economic standpoint, but just like socially?” –Lloyd Cambridge

“I think the purpose of business is to add value to people.”
–Lloyd Cambridge

“[Empathy] is my secret sauce. That allows me to be innovative.”
–Lloyd Cambridge

“Customers make their choices based off of their value system.”
–Lloyd Cambridge

“If you want to grow as a person become an entrepreneur, because it’s going to force you to grow.” –Lloyd Cambridge

“Nobody is self-made […] you need community in order to grow.”
–Lloyd Cambridge

Progress Playbook

Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Progress Playbook is a business training and service platform that designs customized experiences that help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses in NYC and beyond.

We are on a mission to equip entrepreneurs to design the business, life and world they love.

68. Building Your Story w/ Tanya Gough

In Episode 68, Dan Dissinger talks to the founder of StoryBilder, Tanya Gough, about breaking the rules for the sake of creativity, curating the first-ever Shakespeare on film catalog, and teaching English in Japan pre-internet.

Tanya Gough has been an ESL teacher, a retail store owner, a corporate digital marketer, and a freelance content strategist, intelligence researcher, and web developer. Today, she is the founder of StoryBilder, a creative writing platform for new and aspiring writers. Tanya also writes middle-grade fantasy fiction and science-infused fantasy short stories for adults.

This episode was recorded on July 10th, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode

“Everything we give you is breakable, and we encourage you to do so.” –Tanya Gough

“[StoryBilder] gives you ideas, we don’t give you rules.”
–Tanya Gough

“I’m very big on people breaking stuff and making it their own.”
–Tanya Gough

“There is no creativity and there is no growth as a creator unless you can push boundaries and you can test things and do unusual things […] that’s how you create something that’s new.” –Tanya Gough

“I think there have been a number of times in my life where opportunity has sort of overlapped [with] experience or subject matter expertise and every once and a while it turns into something that’s just really unusual and kind of cool.” –Tanya Gough

“Before I [created the Shakespeare on film catalog] Shakespeare on film was something that a few people did exceptionally well and had a reputation for, but for the most part it was not something you could do legitimately. I remember even for me when I was in grad school, I would have loved to do a Ph.D. on Shakespeare on film but I didn’t really sort of feel like there was really that much opportunity and I was kind of dissuaded from doing it.” –Tanya Gough

“As a side effect of having Poor Yorick, I was able to start encouraging and influencing the way people were teaching Shakespeare.”
–Tanya Gough

“We have this weird thing in North America where it’s kind of assumed that if a teacher is good at their job or if they like their job that they’re doing it wrong.” –Tanya Gough

“I just find it a very weird disconnect in our society that people don’t respect and honor teachers the way that they’re supposed to or that they should.” –Tanya Gough

“At least for me, there’s some advantage in doing this kind of work as an outsider or as an outlier because it gives me a lot of freedom to sort of break the rules and do things on my own terms, and hopefully if I’ve done them well then I can create some new benefit for people.”
–Tanya Gough

“I think the blending of things that are familiar and also things that are not familiar is how we learn to be creative.” –Tanya Gough

StoryBilder

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StoryBilder is a writing platform that bridges the gap for new and intermediate writers. Supporting writers through flexible narrative frameworks, a library of adaptable story assets, and integrated, experiential education layer, StoryBilder is built to foster creativity no matter what or how you write. StoryBilder is scheduled to launch this Fall 2021.

67. Learning to Adapt w/ Spencer Frankeberger

In Episode 67, Dan Dissinger talks with to Actor, Director, and Board Certified Music Therapist Spencer Frankeberger about adaptability in Music Therapy, how being scared of improv is the best reason to do improv, we discuss systemic ableism in standardized testing from the bar exam to the GREs, and this all somehow ends up in a deep conversation about whether or not theme parks can be a genre.

Hi! I’m Spencer Frankeberger. I’m an actor, improviser, board-certified music therapist, award-winning director, award-winning musical theatre producer, theme park enthusiast, and word nerd based in Los Angeles, straight outta Florida and a graduate of iO West, The Second City Hollywood, and ComedySportz LA.

I live my life like the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding daily as a goofy Greek-American, but that’s not all. I’m also a board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) and am conversational in American Sign Language.

And to top it off, I think I’m the only living human who can say he has been hit in the eye with a baseball, is a board-certified music therapist, finds the art of tattoos fascinating, even though he never wants one, and is the biggest theme park enthusiast who lives vicariously through theme park design, Youtube ride POV’s, and random trivia facts about amusements. spencerfrankeberger.com Follow Spencer on
TikTok | Instagram | YouTube

This episode was recorded on June 26th, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

People and Texts Mentioned in this Episode

“[Music Therapy] is using music as a therapeutic goal to reach a non-musical goal.” –Spencer Frankeberger

“[With music therapy] adaptability is key, which makes me think of the idea of improv and writing.” –Spencer Frankeberger

“Music is creative. What I’m doing specifically is finding creative ways to use this music in my sessions that are relatively structured for the goals that I need to reach or assess.” –Spencer Frankeberger

“I love exploring where work comes into play and where life comes into play and where I can combine the two.” –Spencer Frankeberger

“[Improv] scared me the first time I did it.” –Spencer Frankeberger

“I think that improv is a great intercrossing of everything because it allows me to kind of pick and pull certain aspects of improv and put it in whatever career path I’m going in, but also whatever thing I’m doing at that moment.” –Spencer Frankeberger

“Every single person learns and processes in a different way.”
–Spencer Frankeberger

“[Standardized testing] is setting certain people up for failure, because their brains are not adapted to that specific type of exam.”
–Spencer Frankeberger

“Things that I can’t do, I’m a lot more fascinated by and have to find a way to discover vicariously how to incorporate that idea.”
–Spencer Frankeberger

“I talk about theme parks as if it’s a genre.” –Spencer Frankeberger

“For me, theme parks are like my Star Wars.” –Spencer Frankeberger

66. Unpacking Cultural Anthropology w/ Sydney Laws

In Episode 66, Dan Dissinger talks with recent graduate of USC’s Film and Television Production program Sydney Laws about how Black stories are represented in media, cultural anthropology, and Storytelling versus Story-breaking.

Sydney Laws is a very proud ATLien and recent graduate of USC’s Film and Television Production program. She defines herself as a creative, particularly a filmmaker, who finds her current interests at the exciting and often-overlooked intersection of storyteller and cultural anthropology. Her main focus is on marshalling ethnographic insight into the creative realm in an attempt to influence the interpersonal nature of society and shape broader social structures. Though her current projects are nonfiction, Sydney typically enjoys crafting fiction and fantasy stories to actualize this goal. She currently works as Associate Producer at The Skin Deep, an interactive studio focused on human connection and, what Sydney deems, a ‘true feat of visual anthropology’. 

This episode was recorded on June 25th, 2021. Because we recorded via Zoom, there may be occasional audio hiccups. Our theme song is “4 am” by Makaih Beats. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and Stitcher and follow us on Twitter @WritingRemixPod

People and Texts Mentioned in the Episode

“I currently find myself, at least storytelling wise, at the intersection of filmmaking and cultural anthropology.” -Sydney Laws

“If I dream about a story, and that’s coming from an alternate reality, [and] I’m bringing it into this reality, it feels exactly like you’re breaking it in here.” -Sydney Laws

“[Cultural anthropology] I love that word […] about a year ago or two years ago, I didn’t know the term for what it was I was consistently doing throughout my life, and then when I found it, it was like being in love for the first time.” -Sydney Laws

“I would like to be [Zora Neale Hurston] in the film realm, being able to use ethnographic insight to inform the creative realm.”
-Sydney Laws

“The first image of a Black person in this country, many times, was in shackles. So if that was the first thing that anyone in this nation saw, how do you think 400 years from now we’re going to be seen?”
-Sydney Laws

“Most of the things that I have written about in my films has been about, not even in my film class, it’s been in a literature class, it’s been in a history class, so if we’re banning critical race theory, it’s laughable […] it’s so ingrained in every part of who this nation is.”
-Sydney Laws

“[Birth of a Nation] led to the KKK being reborn and then all of this racial violence […] especially in the 1920s when you see the height of lynching […] particularly Black men being lynched […] and it’s all because of this image that was created in 1915 with Birth of a Nation.” -Sydney Laws

“It’s really nice to see yourself on screen […] but it’s much more than that, it genuinely comes down to a matter of life and death for a lot of people when you actually look into how it impacts the mind.”
-Sydney Laws

“You are at the whim of someone else’s imagination, constantly.”
-Sydney Laws

“I’m acutely aware of how the mind works given all of this history, so how can I tell the stories I want to tell, but tell them in an authentic and accurate way that’s also going to be putting humanity at the forefront and going to be ensuring my safety.” -Sydney Laws

“Is it possible for a film to actually hold a sense of double-consciousness?” -Sydney Laws

“It’s a tactic, honestly, this idea that Black stories and minority stories aren’t relatable […] That means that Black love is something that is not relatable and it leads to Black people [being] something that is not relatable and it’s just another tactic to further this divide.” -Sydney Laws

Call for Contributors
Humanities Podcasting Symposium
October 15-16, 2021

The Humanities Podcasting Network is inviting expressions of interest for our first annual symposium on academic podcasting. Please use this survey to indicate which kinds of event(s) you’d be interested in organizing and to briefly describe your proposed topic. The deadline for submissions is July 15, 2021.