Guided by respected journalistic standards, the principle of fairness, the quest for truth, a commitment to social, economic and environmental justice, and an abiding admiration for the independent spirit of the Berkshires, The Berkshire Edge offers in-depth local news reports... Read More ›
Guided by respected journalistic standards, the principle of fairness, the quest for truth, a commitment to social, economic and environmental justice, and an abiding admiration for the independent spirit of the Berkshires, The Berkshire Edge offers in-depth local news reports and features, perspectives on the arts, wide-ranging commentary, and a comprehensive calendar of events – all written, illustrated, and, in some cases performed, with wit, intelligence, insight and humor. Here are a few stories from the Edge this week: 1. The dispute over The Foundry in West Stockbridge — a performing arts venue seeking a special permit and that's next door to a venerable restaurant — continues before the town's Planning and Zoning board. 2. Our feature writer Sheela Clary has been creating a series of stories (Where We Are) about local people and enterprises that epitomize the character of South Berkshire County. This week she wrote about Craig and Gail Elliott, former owners of the Egremont Store in Egremont. 3. We have a profile of Volunteers in Medicine, headquartered in Great Barrington, that offers a broad definition of healthcare —physicians integrating housing, food insecurity, employment, education, in a comprehensive approach to health: 4. Our columnist Carole Owens has begun a series on the origins of “welfare" in the Berkshires — and how it has been a polarizing issue since the county's founding: 5. We should note that during the holiday season we have daily updates on the many events celebrating the holidays, with links to purchase tickets:
Don is an author, lecturer, member of The Berkshire Eagle's Advisory Board, a commentator for NPR's Robin Hood Radio, European editor of the British magazine Port, ex-Time Magazine editor, and a longtime part-time resident of the Berkshires
Don is an author, lecturer, member of The Berkshire Eagle's Advisory Board, a commentator for NPR's Robin Hood Radio, European editor of the British magazine Port, ex-Time Magazine editor, and a longtime part-time resident of the Berkshires
Guided by respected journalistic standards, the principle of fairness, the quest for truth, a commitment to social, economic and environmental justice, and an abiding admiration for the independent spirit of the Berkshires, The Berkshire Edge offers in-depth local news reports and features, perspectives on the arts, wide-ranging commentary, and a comprehensive calendar of events – all written, illustrated, and, in some cases performed, with wit, intelligence, insight and humor. Here are a few stories from the Edge this week: 1. Here's a story that will put a chill in the hearts of administrators of the region's cultural organizations: Are employees of the region's vaunted cultural organizations getting paid equitably? 2. Meanwhile, the Great Barrington Selectboard is reviewing a second proposal to redevelop the Housatonic School building in the hamlet of Housatonic. 3. Ben Doren, the very popular principal of the W.E.B. DuBois Middle School in Great Barrington, has announced that he is leaving. He introduced the concept of “radical inclusion” into the Middle School classrooms: 4. Well, radio fans, we have some dire news about our low power FM station in Great Barrington, WBCR, that's run by a corps of volunteers — it may have to shut down for lack of funds: 5. Finally, if you like jazz, you won't want to miss the Berkshire Jazz Sprawl featuring pianist Brandon Golberg:
Don is an author, lecturer, member of The Berkshire Eagle's Advisory Board, a commentator for NPR's Robin Hood Radio, European editor of the British magazine Port, ex-Time Magazine editor, and a longtime part-time resident of the Berkshires
Guided by respected journalistic standards, the principle of fairness, the quest for truth, a commitment to social, economic and environmental justice, and an abiding admiration for the independent spirit of the Berkshires, The Berkshire Edge offers in-depth local news reports... Read More ›
It seems that the timing was perfect for the growth of the cannabis coinciding with the beginning of Jocelyn Moody's professional career. Her willingness to jump in and learn every facet of the industry, from top to bottom, has opened up a world of possibilities as a marketer, and influencer in the industry. It hasn't been without setbacks. Just when her Instagram following of her photography of cannabis plants was hitting new heights, the platform suspended her account due to community guidelines. Regardless, that experience has made her sharper, smarter and more creative in her approach, while she continues her work with many of the cannabis businesses in the Berkshires. It's a great conversation providing an inside look into the cannabis industry in the Berkshires, and Jocelyn's journey to this point. At 27, the journey has just begun. We also cover: constraints in marketing in the cannabis industry, budtending, pre-rolls, changing the way people think about cannabis, growing pains in the industry, jumping into a frozen lake dressed as cannabis, the vape ban, breaking the grass ceiling, listening to the people who work for you, customer service, cannabis industry program at Berkshire Community College, Jocelyn's Front Porch Photography project, her long career in figure skating and how it has shaped her, mental tenacity, growing up in Dalton, SpongeBob, the power of kindness and more. I hope you'll enjoy my conversations with Jocelyn Moody. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/john-krol/support
Gaea Star Crystal Radio Hour #508 is an hour of powerful visionary acoustic improvisational music featuring the Gaea Star Band with Mariam Massaro on vocals, Native flute, Celtic harp, kalimba, dulcimer, ukulele, acoustic guitar, shruti box and percussion, Bob Sherwood on piano, Craig Harris on congas and Native drums and our newest member, flautist and percussionist Cevher Demirel. Today's show was recorded completely live at Singing Brook Studio in Worthington Massachusetts in the Berkshires in November 2022. The band begins the hour with “Beneath The Brilliant Blue”, a driving, psychedelic piece that begins as a sweet, legato exploration and slowly, slowly builds to a driving, powerful anthem driven by Mariam's inspirational words and melodies. “Let's Try Harder To Keep Awakening” is a lush, swirling cloud of a song built around Mariam's chiming thumb piano. Bob extrapolates the E minor key of the kalimba through a series of dizzying modal shifts as Cevher's rhythmic flute and Craig's bouncing congas hold the piece in context. Shifting into modern electronic textures and ultimately into a crisp blues complete with dashing flute solos from Cevher, the piece distinguishes itself with a casual, playful virtuosity. “Hail To Everything” is deep forest music, dancing Native flute from Mariam, druidic, obsessive piano from Bob and a powerful, compelling percussion underpinning from Craig and Cevher. “Calling You Home Now” is a gorgeous Eastern folk song that unwinds mysteriously from Mariam's chiming ukulele in minor. Shaded, midnight chord changes ride a maddening edge between Indian and Western Classical music and Cevher weaves evocative flute lines through this unsettled, compelling piece that slowly builds to a strange and driving groove. Equally shaded and nocturnal is the darkly charismatic “Spice In Your Life”, another song draped in Cevher's flute and Mariam's winding melodies, the piece ramps up in energy to a sparse, rocking afro-cuban workout with tight, ambitious piano figures from Bob and driving congas from Craig. “Great Transformation” is today's closing piece, a powerful raga with a masterful lyric and melody from Mariam. The weaving of Cevher's flute and Mariam's vocal reaches its zenith on this powerful piece underpinned by the twin drones of Mariam's shruti box and dulcimer. Learn more about Mariam here: http://www.mariammassaro.com
Guided by respected journalistic standards, the principle of fairness, the quest for truth, a commitment to social, economic and environmental justice, and an abiding admiration for the independent spirit of the Berkshires, The Berkshire Edge offers in-depth local news reports... Read More ›
Guided by respected journalistic standards, the principle of fairness, the quest for truth, a commitment to social, economic and environmental justice, and an abiding admiration for the independent spirit of the Berkshires, The Berkshire Edge offers in-depth local news reports and features, perspectives on the arts, wide-ranging commentary, and a comprehensive calendar of events – all written, illustrated, and, in some cases performed, with wit, intelligence, insight and humor. Here are a few stories from the Edge this week: 1. We have a huge fight going on in West Stockbridge between a performing arts venue called The Foundry and a restaurant called Truc's Oriental Express. https://theberkshireedge.com/trucs-vs-foundry-soap-opera-continues-at-contentious-public-hearing/ 2. There's an informal group in Housatonic fighting the Housatonic Water Works. It's called the Housatonic Clean Water Alliance. This week a member of the alliance hired an attorney from Boston, upping the ante in this fight. 3.We had two interesting stories this week as part of our Business Monday line-up: One was the announcement that a store on Railroad Street in Great Barrington is closing after 43 years. And the owner has born witness to the changes in the town. https://theberkshireedge.com/business-monday-byzantium-set-to-close-in-january/ The second comes from our “Personal shopper” Harriet Ziefert who admits to being a scarf-aholic and talks about the scarves she has found at Karen Allen Fiber Arts on Railroad Street in Great Barrington. https://theberkshireedge.com/personal-shopper-finding-scarves-at-karen-allen-fiber-arts/ 4. Our weather guru Nick Diller puts the recent warm weather into historical perspective. 5. We have the second in an ongoing series by Sheela Clary called “Where We Are”, in which she talks to local community people who live and work in the Berkshires about how they feel about their lives here. This installment focuses on three local voices ranging in age from eighteen to forty-one. They were all born and raised in South County. The first installment was published on October 30, and includes conversations with six local people onhow they are doing, what troubles them, and what gives them hope.
Everyone's got Imposter Syndrome. But it doesn't mean you're a fraud. In this episode, Anne & Lau dive into why we are so attached to the sound of our voice and how fixating on that can be a barrier to success. Voice is an essential part of how we are perceived, which affects our personal and professional lives. When you listen to yourself critically, it's easy to get lost in technical details. Your voice is your greatest tool, so stop doubting it. It is an instrument and the vehicle for your craft. So Bosses, love your voice. Embrace it. And if you still need some extra pointers to overcome your inner critic and use your voice to the fullest, listen up… Transcript >> It's time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry's top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS! Now let's welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza. Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast and our business superpower series. I'm Anne Ganguzza, your host, and I'm excited to welcome back to the show Lau Lapides. Lau, hello. Lau: Hello. Hello. Glad to be back as always. Anne: How's your week been, Lau? Lau: Amazing. Busy, amazing, wonderful. Went on vacation. We were talking about this earlier. Went on vacation up to the Berkshires 'cause I'm in New England. Anne: Of course. Lovely. Lau: It was a workcation. Anne: Ah. Lau: Right? I never leave. I never really leave work. Anne: Yes. I try to, but you're right. I don't leave either. Although I will say that I do notify my clients ahead of time that I'm going to be on vacation and may not be as responsive, so we have that. But then there are other opportunities that I make sure that I have my travel gear set and ready to go, so. Lau: Well, you're much better than I am. I don't let anyone know. I pretend as if I'm like still -- Anne: As if you're still working? Lau: -- in my studio. And then I'm in some bathroom somewhere in Lennox, Mass during intermission turning my phone on going, yeah. Okay. So you've got a call back and you've gotta get there, and like I have to turn my phone off. I don't know. I'm not getting reception. I'll talk to you in like an hour and a half. Anne: Oh my God. I love it. Lau: . Anne: So funny. Lau: But you know what? It's our lifestyle businesses, right? Anne: It is. Lau: BOSSes know that's the lifestyle that we live. It's not just a nine to five. It's really what we love, what we do, all the time. Anne: Yeah, yeah. As long as there's a balance. Now speaking of superpowers, I wanted to bring up something this week because as you know, I coach my students, and frequently, and I know that you also are dealing with multiple students as well and people on your roster -- I wanna know if you get this as much as I do. I don't like my voice. I just don't like my voice. And I thought to myself, you know, that's so common actually. I hear that a lot from my students, especially my female students actually that they don't like their voice. And I thought it would be a really interesting discussion to talk about the psychology behind that. And why do you think it is that people don't like their voice? Lau: Gosh, I don't think your podcast is even close to long enough to even answer that. I mean, it could take centuries to answer that. I don't know. I think there's a lot of reasons why. I think first that always comes to my mind is that thing of which got really hot, really, really hot, I'd say in the last couple years, the imposter syndrome became hot and known. It was this unknown thing that really women suffered from, primarily women suffered from. And it was, I think the first one that brought it, believe it or not, that brought it out was Joan Rivers, the comedian Joan Rivers put it in her routine. And then Harvard university said, wait a second. Is that a real thing? Let's do studies on it. And then they spent 10 or 15 years doing studies on people who get hit with it. Right? Anne: Well, I think it's absolutely always been a real thing. It just hasn't been talked about, right? Lau: Yes. Oh, very real. Anne: I'm the first person to admit that imposter syndrome hits me still every day. And I always try to turn it around into a good thing where if you have imposter syndrome, it's motivating you to continually grow and excel. But this thing about voices, I'm gonna say, myself, I even went through it myself so that I can identify when a student comes to me and says, ugh, I just don't like my voice. But I always say, remember in the first place, a lot of times, the reason people get into this industry is because someone has said to them that they have a nice voice and that maybe they should consider voiceover as a career. And I've had people that told me that in the beginning, but after I started studying and started really pursuing it as a career and getting work and then falling into the, oh my gosh, am I ever gonna get hired, that kind of a confidence -- oh my God, I must not be good enough, and that imposter syndrome that really kind of hit me, I started to really criticize my voice. And I used to listen to my voice and say, what doesn't sound -- I wanna sound like this person. I want that rasp. My voice does not have a rasp. It just doesn't. And no matter how hard I try to physically create a rasp, it's difficult and it could hurt my vocal cords. So I gave up doing that, but I gave up kind of coveting other people's voices and really started to understand that my voice needed to be embraced, number one, because how would I ever sell my voice if I couldn't embrace it? And the other thing is I think that maybe people spend too much time listening to the sound of their voice, and that I feel might be the biggest barrier to acceptance because, should we really be listening to our voices in terms of technically, how does it sound? I think really as voice actors, right, Lau, you know what I'm gonna say? Right? As actors, we need to be acting and the concentration should not be on how we sound. Lau: That's right. And I know when I record myself, I can't appreciate hearing myself as I'm recording. I oftentimes will not even wear the cans. I won't even wear the headphones because I want to concentrate on the true connection of what I'm doing here. And if I'm hearing myself -- and I was never an air prompter person anyway, so I, I was never in that realm of having to be proficient at hearing myself as I'm delivering language. So I always deliver with headphones off, and I, I suggest to clients, at least for the beginning phase, don't put 'em on because I want you to make an authentic connection in what you're saying and who you're saying it to, who you're speaking to. And that's, you know, acting basics, right? 101. Anne: Sure. Sure. Lau: But I think you hit the nail on the head in terms of, Anne, talking about I'm not good enough. I won't be accepted. I'm not reaching it. Anne: I don't sound good enough. There's always that. Lau: I think that that's so primal. Anne: Does my voice have what it takes to deliver? No, it's not about your voice. It's about you. Lau: It's about, you. Anne: It's about you. You know what I mean? It's about you and your personality and what it brings to that voice. And I'm, I'm just gonna say about the headphones. Now, when I first began, I was in a construction zone, and I had to wear headphones in my booth to make sure that there were no low vibratory sounds that were coming through. So I totally understand what you're saying about taking the headphones off. But I feel that in all honesty, right, if we have the headphones off, we can still sometimes listen to ourselves. You know what I mean? We're still like, these are amplifying everything that we're saying. So for headphones I'm of the nature that yes, whatever works for people to not be distracted by their own sound. I think that if you're a true actor, you can act with headphones on and with headphones off, so. Lau: Of course, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. It's really how you train. Anne: It's helpful. Lau: Yeah. How you train yourself, what technique you build, that's repeatable for you that doesn't distract you away from what you're trying to do. And I always say to a client, I say it's ridiculous in the sense that if you went to Kraft macaroni, or you went to Nike shoes or you went to Toyota, would they honestly be thinking -- they meaning the advertising company, the people who are creating and producing scripts -- would they honestly be thinking right now as I deliver this to you, this sucks? Anne: Yeah, yeah. Lau: They may talk about it at their wine party, up in Aspen over the weekend that they don't like the product, but in the moment of pitching it, in the moment of selling it in the moment of connecting to the end user, it is the best thing in the world. Not only is it the best, you can't live without it. You really can't. Anne: Absolutely. Lau: And there's some sort of disconnect between the product, that physical inanimate object, that and us, our identity, our physical person, our vocal sound. There's a disconnect that we then become part of that product. We become part of that branding. And so for us to say, I don't know if I'm doing this well, I don't know if I'm good enough. I don't know if, what is in essence saying the product isn't good enough. Anne: Isn't good enough. Lau: The product is subpar, and that's a danger zone for us. We have to be very careful of that because we sell value. We don't wanna sell devalue. We don't wanna devalue our value, and whatever you do privately is something else. Anne: Sure. No, I love how you brought it to the product. Because in reality, remember we are the voice of the product. We are the voice of the company. And no matter what you're doing, even if you're doing, I'm just saying, if you're doing corporate narration, if you're doing explainers, again, you're still working with a product. And if you're not doing that, let's say if you're doing anything else, if you're teaching, right, you're teaching more than likely, right, you become a teacher. And you are teaching either about some product or maybe a concept. And so again, you don't wanna devalue the content that you are speaking of. Lau: Exactly. Anne: And that's such a wonderful example that you brought up. I'm so glad you said that. Lau: Thank you. And you it's interesting, Anne, it seems to be unique to us and our profession, us meaning talent. It seems to be unique quality that we see in many, many people that we don't see quite as much in other industries and other professions. It would be like, ask yourself this, if you do this, if you do this, ask yourself this. Would you appreciate going to a doctor's office? And the doctor comes in and says, I don't know if I know how to listen to your heart. I mean, I, I, I don't know if I'm gonna do it well enough. I mean, what do you think? And you'd be freaked out. You'd go running outta that office. You'd go, I don't want this woman or guy touching me. I -- Anne: Yeah, yeah. Lau: Right? If you went to a dentist, and you had to have your tooth drill, like, I don't know if I can, I don't know if you'll like what I do. I'm not sure. I mean, it sounds funny to us, right? Anne: I might make you hurt . Lau: Right? Anne: But you're right. It's so true. Lau: And it doesn't mean either that they're qualified, and it doesn't mean either they're the best at what they do. It just means it is innate within their training, within their experience, within their identity, that this is what they do. This is the product they offer, the value they offer. You're gonna pay for that service and it's as simple as that. Hopefully you won't complain about it. . Right? Anne: Absolutely. Lau: But it's so unique unto us is to take it so personalized and to say, but do you approve of me, but do you like me? So going back to your original question a half an hour ago, like what is the psychology of this whole thing? I think it does really start with us as a human being, as a person. Like where is our self-esteem? Where is our level of confidence? Do we feel good in our own skin? Do we feel ashamed or humiliated in honest connection? I mean, ask yourself these questions as a human being in the world and then try to work with it. If the answer is yes, I have a struggle with this, I have a problem with this, then work with it. Don't work against it. Don't shove it under the rug because it's gonna come out out in your next audition. It's gonna come out in your next reach out. Anne: And I think, honestly, it's again, I love how you just brought it down to that level, but it's also remember you're honoring the copy. The copy has been crafted by someone who has put a lot of thought into it, for the most part we think, right? And that there is a message that needs to be delivered. And you need to communicate that message effectively. Now Lau, when we talk back and forth, I'm certainly not thinking to myself, do I sound okay when I talk to Lau? Lau: It's funny to think that, isn't it? Anne: Right? Does my voice sound -- maybe I should talk to Lau like this. And no, because that just, it's not bringing ourselves. It's not bringing who we are, and you know, we say it over and over again. Bring yourself to the party. Right? Well, your voice and yourself, your voice is not mutually exclusive from yourself. The way you're treating it, if you're listening to it saying it does not sound good enough, then that's what you are essentially doing. You are splitting apart the voice from who you are. And I think ultimately, yeah, you have to be the one that can bring yourself to the party. When we connect as human beings, that's what I care about. I don't care, Lau, when you talk to me, what you sound like, I care about what you're saying to me and what it means to me. And I think by trying to just bring it back onto ourselves where most people might think it's an insecurity thing -- in reality, when you think too much about how you sound, it becomes more of a vanity thing or an egotistical thing, where you're not thinking about the client. You're not thinking about the product or the copy that you should be honoring. You are thinking more about what you sound like on top of that copy. And that's not where your voice needs to be. Your voice needs to be in the act, in the action of delivering that copy to the best of your ability and the most effectively on behalf of that client. Lau: I mean, at the end of the day, it's all about the messaging. We use the fancy schmancy term story and storytelling, but storytelling is about the messenger. What message is being delivered? And what is that stake here? What is the value to the audience of that message? Is it gonna fix their life, fix their health? You know, help them find a pet, and, and help them educate their child, or have a better quality health regimen? It's always something in there for the end user that will potentially better their life. Now I'm not saying that that is, that's not a truism. It doesn't actually do it all the time. I'm saying that that's the claim that is being made in the message. And if you lose the message, you lose the claim. And that is a problem. That can be a real problem. Anne: You say the word value, and that is so important. The value to the client. It's not your value. It's the value that you are bringing to the client. So it goes from a place of how can I help you, the client, not how can I sound beautiful when I say these words? It's how can I help you? And the place has to come from within you and not from just the lips and outward because sometimes when we're listening to what we sound like, that's all we can concentrate on. Lau: Exactly. Anne: And there's no story, there's no message. There's no emotion. There's no point of view. Lau: Exactly. And you brought up a great point there. You know, a number of the roles -- I call it roles, theatrical roles -- but a number of the, the voicing parts that we see in scripts now are not always clean, what we call clean or polished. Sometimes they're dirty sounding. Sometimes they're heavy sounding. Sometimes they're sad. There's a lot of doleful scripts. We see a lot of heavily poetic and weighted scripts about things that are thoughtful or lugubrious, or, you know, you've gotta hit a lot of different kinds of feelings and tones now in scripts that are not always pretty. They're not always perfect. And they're not always lovely sounding. Sometimes they're gritty and gravely and that kind of thing. So that to me reflects life as well. We don't always sound good in life. We don't always -- Anne: Imperfect. Lau: -- say the right thing. Yeah. We're not always PC or whatever. We're just not always right. So the idea of wanting to fix myself all the time, I need to be right. I can't be wrong. Did I get it right, is wrong because there is no right. It's really just according to the vision of the listener, who the listener is and what the messaging is that gives them the value that they're looking for. Anne: Yeah. Imperfect is actually perfect. Lau: It is. Anne: I really believe that. And I think because that connects to people on a very raw and real level, and that's where you get a lot of the casting specs say, make it conversational, make it natural as if you're talking to your friends, make it real. And that is probably the hardest thing for us to do as voice actors. And I think we spend our careers honing that skill of being a better actor and being more real and authentic. And like you said, their scripts are all over the place. Sometimes they're sad and doleful, and we need to be able to be in that moment and create those scenes and react to those scenes. And that is not always a pretty sound. I think one of my favorite corporate narrations that I always play from when I'm presenting corporate narration is a voice actress who, her voice cracks. And it's not a perfect sound. And I think a lot of my students, they feel like they have to be articulate, and I'm like, we're not articulate in the real world. As long as you can understand what I'm saying, contrary to popular belief, you do not need to be articulate because when you're too articulate, then it becomes something that is difficult to listen to. Lau: That's exactly right. And this idea of perfection and this idea of polished is just not where we wanna go oftentimes. It just, in fact, it's the anti that now, it's the opposite of that now. It's like, what's our largest generation now? Our largest generation is millennials in the United States. And so we wanna emulate the demographic to get an empathy factor that, oh, this is me. This sounds like me. This person feels the way I feel. They understand me. Well, I can't sound like that in order to get that feeling, right? It's a more colloquial, more chill, more like laid back, kind of feel to it. And that's hard. I think for the over 40 crowd, like my generation generation Xeer, it's really hard to say, wait a second. What happened to all of our theater acting background? What happened to all of our speech and rhetoric? What happened to, well, it's there, you have to trust it's there, but it's not always applicable to what we're doing in the script. You know what I like to do? Anne, I like to say, change the word conversational and natural, which is throws people oftentimes -- change it to environmental, change it to contextual, because we wanna hear you being somewhere. We wanna hear you involved in something. Anne: Oh I agree with that. Lau: It's not like sound this way. . Anne: Sure. And besides that, I'm always adding in, I wanna hear movement. I wanna hear movement in the scene. It's not you in a monologue. There's so many people that will do the work and say, okay, I'm Anne, I'm talking to my friend Lau, and we're in the kitchen. And they do all that setup work. And then all they do is read the words. And it becomes a monologue to them. Even if they start off talking to Lau, right, they tend to go off, and then they're speaking into the air. And I'm like, if you were on a stage and you were interacting with someone, like you should be with the listener, right, interacting, you would not be necessarily going off on a monologue, 'cause that would be impolite, right? You know, you need to let them in on the conversation. You need to check in on them once in a while. And also when you do that, if you can move in the scene, that makes your audition or your read a whole lot more impactful, I think, than just standing in the same place. Because on a stage you wouldn't stand in the same place typically for too long, right? You'd have some movement. And so that translates to so many things. Right? In the middle of the script, stop and take a look. And where are you? What happened in the scene? Did it change? Did you stand up? Did you walk across the room? Did you look at Lau and see if Lau is shaking her head in agreement or does she have a question? And so I think if you can really set those scenes up, even in something that is written very like dry, and I see this all the time in, in narration scripts, you wanna make sure that that's a more engaging script. You wanna bring that script to life. Well, how are you gonna do that when you're just standing there in the same spot and the energy is only coming out of your lips? Lau: Exactly. It's unnatural. Anne: It's unnatural. We need energy in our hands and our body movement in the scene changes. That I think is just, is so important to bring that to life. Lau: It's, it's so important. And for those folks who are listening in, who have actor training and have trained under the discipline of Sanford Meisner, Meisner's work was based in the concept that all we're asking you to do is act natural under purely unnatural circumstances. So it's, it's really okay. I'm tricking my brain into thinking this is real, even though I know it's not real, whether you're in a theater or a vocal booth or in front of a camera, it couldn't be further from real. Right? But there has to be a piece of you psychologically that stays alive that says I am doing the kind of work that I'm trained to do, that I want to be doing, that I'm enjoying doing. And I give myself permission to fall, to jump, to fail, to make mistakes, to do what real people do in real time. This idea of like, oh, I shouldn't mess up, I shouldn't make a mistake, I should get it right the first or second time -- it's not a natural way to think because natural terms in nature is real time for us. And in real time, we make tons of mistakes and stammer and we stutter and we forget information. Right? Anyone who loves SNL, love that show loved it because of all the mistakes they made. Anne: Those were the funniest. Lau: They were the funniest. Anne: Those were the funniest. Lau: They were hilarious. Right? Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Lau: It's like, you know, we always say, how do you determine the difference between an amateur and a professional? And it's easy. They both make mistakes and quite oftentimes a lot, but the amateur will fall apart. They'll melt down. They won't be able to function. The professional will do a little this and a little of that. Sorry about that. And then move on and use it, use it. Anne: People are so forgiving. They really are. And again, like I said, if all you're thinking about is what you're sounding like and having that perfect voice, and then scrutinizing and, and hating yourself because you don't sound a particular way, think again. Because I was on stage too a long time ago, but also when I used to teach in front of students, right, I would get so excited -- like I was always told that I was a great teacher because I was so excited about the stuff that I was saying. Right? I was passionate. I was enthusiastic. I wanted to share. And that was what made me a good teacher. And I oftentimes would stand up in front of the class. My brain would be going 100 miles an hour, but what came outta my mouth would be gobbledygook sometimes. But they forgave me. I did not speak perfectly. Sometimes I like, oh, wait a minute. I forgot something. So imperfect. I had students who were so much more aligned with me and who really listened to me because I was imperfect. And I was able to admit that and be honest with them. And I never once tried to say, oh, I know more than you. I just wanted to inspire and motivate. Lau: Right. Right. Anne: And that is something I take behind the mic with me. No matter what genre I'm doing specifically though, e-learning, absolutely. I give my heart. Because that is, that is what people connect with. Lau: Yes, absolutely. Anne: But I cannot afford to listen to what I sound like. Or even if I go there a little bit when I'm editing -- so sometimes when I edit, yeah. I get a little tired of my voice. But then again, that's listening to myself and being nitpicking to get rid of breaths and stuff like that. And then it's just becomes tiring because I've been doing it for three hours. So that's different than not liking the way your voice sounds. And so I think you have to just have faith in the fact that you are in this industry, people are hiring you and paying you money for your voice. And that is giving you the validation that, you know what, you're probably doing a pretty good job. Otherwise you may not make any money. You not be able to do that. So. Lau: If you're not being invited back, and you have no bookings, and no one's working with you, then you'll say, oh, I have to evaluate this, what's going on. But you know, you have to psychologically be okay with living in the world of imperfection. You have to live -- certainly in the technical world. It's a tech glitch a minute. You have to be okay with living in the world of mistakes and the mar, the scar. Like the scar makes us interesting. Like, I don't want you to cover it up. I don't want you to laser it off. I don't want you to Photoshop it. I wanna see it. It's interesting to me. It's like your experience, you know? Anne: It's that whole filter thing that's going on now, right? In social media, like are you prettier with the filter or without the filter? Guess what? You're pretty without the filter, you're pretty just as you are. Lau: And you have to measure, you have to see, how am I measuring pretty? Like, what is my measurement for that? How deep do I go with that layer? And I'd like to think as we age and we get a little older and more experienced, we go deeper, deeper, deeper below the surface of the skin. We go like really deep and say, wow. There's a lot of beauty in there that I can bring out that is not aesthetically beautiful. But that, like, I go back to Shakespeare, 'cause I think Shakespeare is everything, and the characters, especially the female characters, but the male characters as well, some of them are really dirty and gritty and ugly and -- but you can't play them until like you're 40 and you understand a little bit about life. You understand a little bit about the grit of experience. Maybe God forbid, you've lost a child. Maybe you've gotten divorced. Maybe you've lost money and then gotten money back. Like these things really can become beautiful lessons and stories in our life that we can share and message versus hide and cover. And I like to think of scripts and copy in that way. It's like, if you're a mom or you took time off, let's say you took 20 years off and you're coming back, don't hide who you are. Don't hide your history. Bring your history to the table 'cause psychologically that's gonna give you a more authentic read in what you're doing potentially. Anne: Yeah. And I'm also gonna say not to give the read that you think people expect of you. Again, what makes us interesting is our imperfections and our flaws. And so I highly, highly encourage and, and recommend BOSSes that you look beyond, like you were saying, beyond the surface, hashtag no filter. Right guys? Like we want those reads. We want those reads that are real and raw and don't have the pretty sound filter put on there. We should have a, a hashtag for that in social media for voiceover, hashtag no pretty voice or -- Lau: That's -- I love that. Anne: You know what I mean? Lau: I love that. And check, we do checks all the time. Check your psychology at the door. Check it. Like not over-analyze. You know, analysis can be paralysis, but, but really check it like, am I okay with not being perfect? And am I also okay with -- oh, here's another one, Anne. Not thinking I'm perfect. Because we don't wanna work with people that are so vain and so arrogant. And so like I did my takes. I'm all done. And if you don't like it, it's too bad. I wanna work with someone who they're 50, 60, 70, 80 years old. And they're like, I'm learning still. I'm exploring. I wanna develop. Can you share something with me? I'm not like done. I'm not finished. I'm not like a final product myself. You know, I'm a work in progress. Anne: Yeah, yeah. I don't think any of us really should think that way anyway. No matter what stage we're at. Right? Always something to learn. Lau: Well, I think it always stops you. It stops your progress and what you could potentially learn and become when you just think that you have it all. You got it all down pat and it's polished and you know it. And that's a big question I get too in coaching, Anne, is like, should I go after this, Lau? Should I go after that? And I said, well, I don't know if you should go after it. Ask yourself the question authentically. How do you feel about it? How are you connecting with it? Where is your voice right now? I mean, I think you're asking the wrong question. I think the questions are really, how do I wanna develop my vocabulary right of knowledge? Anne: How should I go after this? Or let's make a plan to go after this. And I think if the desire is there, hey, it's all part of the journey too. I'm a firm believer that, you know what? I would say to myself, well, I've never gone after animation because I don't know, for me right now, the passion is not necessarily in characters. But I'll tell you what, I'm a character in everything that I do. And I'm a character in medical narration. I am a character in corporate narration. I'm a character in commercial, and it just may not be as animated or cartoon-like, but absolutely we are all actors. We are all characters. Lau: And these days, you know in character work a lot of times, you know, in some of the largest scripts that we see coming through for Pixar and Disney -- Anne: It's real. Lau: They just want real sounds. They want real VO. They don't even want character voices. They make a big note in bold, no character voices. And they said like the leads, these are the leads because we had, you know, A-List Hollywood actors playing these leads. So we wanted to hear who Ray Romano really is, who Tom Cruz really is, who Queen Latifah really is. So that's kind of trickled down, I think in a nice way to the larger population where character now means like, well, who are you? What's the authentic sound you make? That we -- we'll consider that a character. Anne: Absolutely. I love this conversation. Lau: It's inspiring. It really is. Anne: So BOSSes out there, love your voice. Embrace it. Be real. Absolutely. All right. So Lau, I am so excited we had this conversation. I can't wait to have another conversation with you next week. So BOSSes out there, if you would like to make an impact and contribute to the communities that give back to you, find out more at 100voiceswhocare.org. And also a big shout-out to our sponsor, ipDTL. I love ipDTL. It allows me and Lau to connect with you. BOSSes out there, find out more at ipdtl.com. Have an amazing week, guys, and we'll see you next week. Bye. Lau: Bye. >> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at voBOSS.com and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.
Sam and Emma host Heather Digby Parton, contributing writer at Salon.com and proprietor of the blog Hullabaloo, to round up the week in news. First, Emma and Sam run through updates on Elon Musk's assault on now-former Twitter staff, surging US employment numbers, Democratic polling in Georgia and Pennsylvania, and the San Francisco Police's “Quiet Quitting” trend ahead of the recall of Chesa Boudin, before diving into Trump's recent announcement of his “very very very [probable]” 2024 presidential run. Digby then joins as she dives right into the state of polling heading into the midterms, walking through the contrast between how much better polling is now than one year ago and the stagnancy that they show in comparison to expectations around the Dobbs decision, also touching on the continuing trend of US political polling becoming more and more out of touch with actual voting. Next, she, Sam, and Emma reflect on the progressively pessimistic and dubious media coverage of the Democratic party, beginning with the coining of the “liberal media” term in the Nixon era, and continuing through to the constant bashing of Democratic chances and tactics that we see today (as in the coverage of Hillary's emails). Wrapping up, they tackle Biden's late but useful pivot towards pinning inflation on corporate greed, look at Tim Ryan's recent statement on January 6th in front of a Fox audience, and what action to take heading into the midterms. And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma discuss Elon Musk's swift destruction of Twitter's moderating abilities, and the potential impact of a payment-based verification service heading into an election. Mike Lee publicly announces his fight against social security, Chris from Fairfax discusses his town's campaign for rent control, and Gabe in the Berkshires discusses ballot questions in Mass. Kowalski explores upcoming ballot measures in Nebraska, Kayla in CA discusses the drama in LA city council races, and Joe Rogan says it actually wasn't his fault for spreading transphobic misinformation, plus, your calls and IMs! Check out Digby's work on Salon: https://www.salon.com/writer/heather_digby_parton Check out Digby's blog: http://digbysblog.net/ Become a member at JoinTheMajorityReport.com: https://fans.fm/majority/join Subscribe to the ESVN YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/esvnshow Subscribe to the AMQuickie newsletter here: https://am-quickie.ghost.io/ Join the Majority Report Discord! http://majoritydiscord.com/ Get all your MR merch at our store: https://shop.majorityreportradio.com/ Get the free Majority Report App!: http://majority.fm/app Check out today's sponsors: Sunset Lake CBD: sunsetlakecbd is a majority employee owned farm in Vermont, producing 100% pesticide free CBD products. Great company, great product and fans of the show! Use code Leftisbest and get 20% off at http://www.sunsetlakecbd.com. Kamikoto Knives: Kamikoto is now running a Black Friday Sale. You can get an additional 10% off with code MAJORITY at https://kamikoto.com/MAJORITY Thanks to Kamikoto for sponsoring this episode! HoldUp Bags: HoldOn plant-based compostable kitchen/trash bags: Get 20% OFF with code MAJORITY at https://holdonbags.com/majority Shopify: Scaling your business is a journey of endless possibility. Shopify is here to help, with tools and resources that make it easy for any business to succeed from down the street to around the globe. Shopify powers over 1.7 million businesses - from first-sale to full-scale. Shopify gives entrepreneurs the resources once reserved for big business - so upstarts, start-ups, and established businesses alike can sell everywhere, synchronize online and in-person sales, and effortlessly stay informed. Go to https://shopify.com/majority for a FREE fourteen-day trial and get full access to Shopify's entire suite of features! Follow the Majority Report crew on Twitter: @SamSeder @EmmaVigeland @MattBinder @MattLech @BF1nn @BradKAlsop Check out Matt's show, Left Reckoning, on Youtube, and subscribe on Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/leftreckoning Subscribe to Discourse Blog, a newsletter and website for progressive essays and related fun partly run by AM Quickie writer Jack Crosbie. https://discourseblog.com/ Check out Ava Raiza's music here! https://avaraiza.bandcamp.com/ Check out the Marin DSA here: https://marin.dsausa.org/ The Majority Report with Sam Seder - https://majorityreportradio.com/
Have you ever drawn so slowly that you actually saw the ink soak into the page? Massachusetts art therapist and author Amy Maricle shares the benefits of slow, mindful drawing for artists and non-artists alike. The author of Draw Yourself Calm and numerous online videos, Amy pulls on her experience as an art therapist to show us how to tune into the moment by being aware of our senses as we slowly, intentionally move the pen around the paper. Amy explains how slow drawing helps to diminish our anxiety and reveals what movement makes us feel good. Amy ends our conversation with a short, guided art meditation so you can experience the benefits of slow drawing for yourself. Find Amy: Amy's Website: www.mindfulartstudio.com Amy's Instagram: @amymaricle Amy's Facebook: mindfulartstudioAmy's YouTube Channel: Amy Maricle Mentioned: Draw Yourself Calm, Amy Maricle (read )Sark, Succulent Wild Woman: Dancing with Your Wonder-full Self (read) The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron (read) Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, Elizabeth Gilbert (read) Snowfarm, New England Craft Program, Berkshires, Massachusetts (learn) Amy's "Inchie" art challenge (watch) Pigma Micron pens, Black 01 (buy) Jump to Amy's Guided Slow Drawing Meditation @ 55:38 Find Me, Kristy Darnell Battani: Kristy's Website: https://www.kristybattani.com Kristy's Instagram: kristybattaniart Kristy's Facebook: kristybattaniart Music:"Surf Guitar Madness," Alexis Messier, Licensed by PremiumBeat.comSupport the show
Auditions can be as nerve wracking as a performance, but the best way to come out on top is to be prepared. Anne & Lau are audition experts. When you break it down, an audition is a sample of your performance, and bosses, we know you know how to perform! The best way to start an audition is with copy you feel confident reading and that showcases your acting chops. Making genuine connections with the other actors in the space and casting directors is what keeps you on their mind long after the read ends. Confidence goes a long way in audition settings. Do not shy away from live auditions, and having your 10 favorite scripts on hand will make the impromptu auditions feel more manageable. Want to learn more? Tune in for the full scoop… Transcript >> It's time to take your business to the next level, the BOSS level! These are the premiere Business Owner Strategies and Successes being utilized by the industry's top talent today. Rock your business like a BOSS, a VO BOSS! Now let's welcome your host, Anne Ganguzza. Anne: Hey everyone. Welcome to the VO BOSS podcast and the business superpower series. I'm your host Anne Ganguzza, and I'm excited to bring back the one and only Lau Lapides to the show. Thank you, Lau, for joining me. I'm so excited to talk to you today. Lau: I'm thrilled to be here as always, thrilled to be here, Anne. Anne: Well, Lau, it's been a week. Lau: And I feel like it's been a month with how much our -- how busy our lives are, right, Anne? Anne: I know, right? Lau: I mean, it's like so much. Anne: But this week you were a part of me besides the podcast, besides the podcast. So I'm very excited to be working with you as an agent. And so you did something that I have never experienced before. You called me into a last minute audition. And I said, oh, okay. I didn't have any script. You called me into a Zoom room. And I was like, okay, is that gonna just be me and the casting director? Oh, that's so lovely for Lau to think of me like that. I'm really excited. Okay. Sure. So I joined the Zoom session and there were like, whoa, quite a few people on there. And I didn't have a script. I didn't know what was gonna go on, what was happening. Let's talk about this audition that you called me into and your process for these things. Lau: You were such a good sport. 'Cause you could have said no, I know it's not in your vocabulary to say no, but -- Anne: It's so true. Lau: -- you could have. It would've been totally fine if you said no, but I was really pleasantly surprised to see that not only you, but everyone in that room said yes to coming in the room. Now I'll set it up for you since today we're talking about auditions. This was a little bit, I would call it unorthodox. It was a little bit unorthodox the way we set this up, but that's kind of my middle name and I'm alright with that. I go with that 'cause I like to have a little fire, a little fire in life. So the premise of this audition was that our friend and producer coming in from Switzerland, Lamar Hawkings -- amazing man, amazing, who is very, very close friends with my colleague Joanne Yarrow that I work with at my studio -- invited him in to say, hey, you are doing amazing projects. I mean my friend, Joanne -- who I have to introduce you to, she's fabulous -- she's the voice now the American voice, of La Occitane campaign that he handles. And so I'll send you that. It's awesome. So I'm like, Ooh, we have a wonderful agency, MCVO. We have a wonderful membership base at the studio, talent inner circle. Why don't I invite some of our really great people with great voices to come in and do a private audition for Lamar? And he was completely up for it. He said, I would love that, Lau. I'm looking for new talent. I'm doing a new animation soon. I'm doing commercial campaigns. I'm doing this. And that. He's very, very busy. He's in Switzerland, but he's actually from the states, originally from Texas. And I said, great, let's do it. So we set it up for yesterday. Now here's the thing. A bunch of the people knew that the audition were coming because they were in the studio base, the talent inner circle studio base and had RSVPed that, yes, I want to attend this. I'm able to, I've been screened. I'm accepted in, and I'm coming in. Great. But then I had a number of open slots that I said, I've got to get more MCVO people knowing about this and coming in because this is a legit audition, and it's a live audition. It's something I really love to do and love to host. Anne: That was so different for me. I mean, I felt like I traveled into LA and went to an in-person audition again almost. Lau: Exactly. That's exactly what happened. And fun fact from the background, 'cause no one ever sees what's going on in the background, I was on vacation. I was up in the Berkshires. Like literally I'm at lunch with my husband, and I'm texting like a wild woman. He said, what are you doing? I said, you know, I'm working. It's always a work vacation for me, a workcation. I said, I'm getting more talent to come in and know about this audition, who don't know, from MCVO, and I'm texting you, and I'm texting Jay Michael Collins, and I'm texting Terrell, and I'm texting Carol, and I'm texting this one, and I'm texting Mike Pollock. And all of a sudden, all these people are saying yes and jumping in, and I didn't even have time to tell them what it was. I didn't even have time to say anything. Anne: That was absolutely the thing. And I'm like, whoa, wait a minute. And I'll admit to you, BOSSes out there, I got in the room and I didn't have copy. And I thought, am I missing something? And thank goodness that Lau, you gave me a little bit of information and said grab some commercial copy or we have some. When I got in there, I didn't see it. Maybe it was there and I just didn't know where to look. So I got off and I thought, oh, well that must look horrible. . Lau: No, not at all. Anne: I went to go grab copy. And then I came back in and then it was like, what two people left to go? So I made it just in time. Lau: And then Carol Alfred, who is facilitating, right, one of our coaches, she's texting me, ah, Anne Ganguzza is on. And then she goes, she left. What she left? Where'd she go? And I'm like, Anne, where are you? I thought maybe you were having a technical issue or you had to go and do something. Anne: I went to go find some copy because I didn't wanna be called on and then say, I don't have copy. You know what I mean? So I went to go grab some. Lau: Right. And now, you know, very rarely when we do this kind of audition, we always have copy on hand for cold reads. I know some talent don't prefer to do a cold read. So we say, we'll bring something you wanna bring that shows you off, but. Anne: I was ice cold I was ice cold, but I said to myself, okay -- and BOSSes, listen, when your agent asks you to come in and audition, it's a sign that they believe in you, number one. And that they would not have asked you to come into an audition if they did not feel that you were worthy of doing an audition. And there was no way that I was going to disappoint my agent. Lau: Oh, and I appreciated that so much. And some of the others that came in, it was hilarious. I'm gonna save some of the texts that were like, hey Lau. Uh, that was great. What was that? Where was it? Anne: Yeah, exactly. What just happened? Lau: What happened? It was, you were like, you were in some matrix. There was, there was some vortex that came through like a storm, but I gotta tell you, and this is good for your listeners to hear, every single person who came in that thought they were unprepared or didn't have copy or weren't sure what they were doing did a fantastic job. And it just reminded me what pros we all are when we get in a room. Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Lau: We have passion. We love what we're doing. There's this super connected quality of being in a room with other talent, 'cause that's unexpected as well to be in a room with other talent like that. Anne: I was gonna say absolutely. One of the other things was, oh my God. And everybody else is listening to me. It's not just the agent, the casting director. It is like 50 people in the room. I don't know how many people were in the room, but there were more than one. There was quite a few people listening. And I happened to just come in really quickly with J. Michael Collins who was reading. And then that's when I said, I don't have that copy. And so I skedaddled outta there. And fortunately you had said, just grab any copy. And I said, okay. So I went and I grabbed some copy and it was, my read was ice cold. But again, like I said, BOSSe so important to know that when your agent gives you an audition, it's because they have the faith in you that you're gonna be able to execute. And I think that that is the one thing that really saved me. And I will admit to you, BOSSes, when you're thrown into a situation like that and you're not quite sure what's happening, you're kind of running on adrenaline, and it's a little scary, I'm just gonna say, not knowing what's happening. But I think it was a wonderful lesson for me, even as long as I've been in this industry, just to trust in your agent, trust in yourself, have faith in the process and just go forth and execute. And what's the worst that can happen? I mean, well, I thought of a billion things like, I was like, when I was done, I was like, I'm not quite sure how that went, but he said, nice job. So I'm okay with that. Lau: Yeah. And I gotta tell you, Anne, that enabled me to what I debrief with him -- we're debriefing on Tuesday -- I can now go down the list and say, do you remember this person? You remember this? You had a visual, not only in sound, you had a visual. You had more than one read on a lot of people as well. you had a character read, you had a commercial read, this, that. And to be able to really discuss the performances for particular projects that he's working on -- so it's never just like this one hit wonder and go. It's always like, Ooh, I like the quality of this person, that person. Can I call them back? And I see, hear their demo? Can I, whatever; it's just like an introduction to you. Anne: And that I think is brilliant in reality, because like you have introduced your roster to a potential client and the visual, yes. Now, you know, of course I'm sure there's a bunch of people in their studios going, well, this is an audition over Zoom. And then the engineers in there will be going, I don't know if Zoom is the best quality, but honestly I think that any good casting director is gonna know from your performance, whether it's in your studio or through Zoom or whatever, they're gonna understand. And they're gonna know a good performance when they see one. Lau: Absolutely. And this particular producer, from what I know of his background, well, he has a very rich history of live performance and theater and media. Anne: And that aligns with it. Lau: He gets it. He gets that, because I had people who were in cars and bathrooms, in their workstation. They were, I mean they were coming in from everywhere. So his business brain, I'm sure was saying, oh, they're busy people. They're not just sitting in a spot waiting for me. They're working, they're running, they're traveling, they're on vacation. They're this or that. I'm thankful that they took the time to come in so I could see their work for projects. Anne: And that means a lot too, I'm quite sure. And especially again, like we're always trying to make in auditions -- and I love this episode because this is becoming so much more than just a normal audition type of episode, where we give you the tips and the tricks -- because the experience of this one was so different, and it really, I think can teach us how to make ourselves memorable in a multitude of ways, not just knowing the conditions, right, of the audition. Number one, you called us in cold or you called certain people in cold, and that can resonate well with whoever's listening for that potential client. And also again, there's that visual, and it is like the in person auditions that -- God, I used to go in and it was great. I'd see everybody in the lobby. Now the difference is that I would audition in front of just, you know, it was just me. And it wouldn't be everybody else listening to my auditions. So that added a whole other level to -- it was almost like a workshop. But in reality, if you tend to get nervous in these experiences that could even potentially make you more nervous. So again, having the ability and the privilege to be able to make that kind of impression on a potential client, I think is wonderful. And Lau, you're one of the few people I know that do this. And so I think it's a wonderful thing, even though I had no idea what it was when I was doing it, but , but now I know. Lau: Do we ever, right? Anne: But now I know. Lau: Therein lies the educational value when we talk about professional development is it really one audition or is it as you called it, Anne, an opportunity to build a relationship with a wonderful producer, who's gonna have a lifetime of stuff. That's I think it's the latter, really. It's never just one audition for one thing. It's always like, hey, you're cool. You're a cool, dude. You're a cool dudette. I like you. Right? I like your vibe. And that's where if I were to say to your listeners and also to my audience that came in, many of which were coming in from the studio membership, we're at different stages of the game. I would say one of the things I want you to really consider and remember is that when a producer meets you live, they wanna see a little bit of who you are. They wanna catch your personality and your energy and your persona a little bit. So especially him, especially Lamar. So don't be afraid -- you don't wanna take up a ton of time, but don't be afraid to just chill a little bit and have a little bit of that conversational feel to what you're doing, because you're really meeting a real person in real time. It's a great opportunity for them to know a little piece of your actual personality versus I'm just a voiceover talent and here's my read. No, I'm Anne, I'm Lau. I'm J, and this is what I'm doing and I'm, I'm traveling and I'm whatever, that's cool. People like that. It's the goal of how do I make you feel? Am I gonna make you feel comfortable or am I gonna make you feel uncomfortable? Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I like the fact that you had the ability for everyone to kind of listen to everybody else's auditions. I, at the time though, because I was hunting down copy, and then I literally had another session that was coming up like after five minutes, I couldn't stay for a long time, but what I did stay for, I really enjoyed. And I heard people doing all different types of copy, and I thought, wow, this is really kind of cool. It felt to me like a combination of a showcase and an audition, an in-person audition. Lau: That's what it turned into that's and if you want to, I'm happy to send you the replay because we record those sessions and we hold those for archival purposes. If you want it -- Anne: That's wonderful. Lau: -- you could do the whole thing. It lasted about, I wanna say two hours, like a solid two hours. Anne: Wow. Lau: And we had a rotation of people coming in and out, which was amazing. I think we landed on about 30 people with the folks -- Anne: That's fantastic. Lau: -- who couldn't come, couldn't make it, no showed, new people jumping in, 30, like yourself, some of the country's top talent were there. And I was like, oh my God. We were like representing the country's top talent. I was so proud, so proud of everyone and not just the talent for what they delivered, but the kind of people that came in the room and were kind to him. No one pulled a fit. No one was a diva. No one was making excuses. That's all stuff, when we talk about auditioning, that you wanna steer clear of is like rule number one, I didn't wanna land my problems onto you. Anne: Sure. Absolutely. Lau: Anyone who's had theater training knows that they teach you in conservatory, leave your trash at the door, right? Don't take it into the workspace. Don't worry. It'll be there when you leave; you can take it with you when you go out, you know, but try not to bring your stuff in with you because you wanna come in as an open slate, a pallet of possibilities. You know, we had talked about solving a problem, filling a need, but it's more than that. It's like, does this person have likability factor? Anne: Sure, sure, absolutely. Lau: You know, would I wanna hang out with them? Anne: And you know, what's so interesting is one of the reasons a lot of people get into voiceover is because they wanna almost like hide behind the microphone and not necessarily show who they are or show their face. And so this kind of just threw that on its side. Lau: And that was great. Anne: Yeah. And that again gives such a good impression, I think, just gives it a whole different dimension to the audition so it's not just the voice, but also the, the person and the personality. And I'm the biggest fan of -- look, people wanna connect with people and not just a logo or a voice. And I really feel that that is, is effective in our profession, that if we can connect with our clients as people, that really, really does a lot to, I think, really secure and, and enhance and, and make us memorable to one another. Lau: It's huge, Anne. I'm so glad you brought that up, the visibility factor, because I could have easily said, hey, take your visuals out. All I need to see is your name or your picture, whatever. Just voiceover's fine. Get people off the hook so they don't have to put on the makeup and the lipstick, but I didn't want that. I wanted them to have the ability, and many of them wanted to come on to be seen as people, and also to see the diversity of our crowd, like our people were coming in literally from all over the world, and everyone had a different look, a different age, a different feel, a different background. I think that's important in terms of having cultivating a community that is both educational and professional level. I just think it enriched everyone else to see the level of talent that was there, that the bar was very high. Age range ranged from like teens to probably 70, and every kind of background. And I think that's very inspirational for people to feel like I'm included. This is inclusive. Like I don't have to sound or look or be someone else. I'm me. And that's who I am. Anne: Right. Correct. Lau: And I think everyone did a fairly accurate job as to their brand, their quality because they felt as comfortable as they could feel in a room full of great people. Anne: Yeah. Yeah. Well that was it too. I mean, the fact is, is that I think it was a wonderful experience. Even if let's say I never get cast, the fact that I had the experience for just introducing myself to a potential client in this way has given me more, I'm gonna say confidence and really more confidence in terms of, well, auditions can be anything. Right? Be prepared. It's almost like, oh, I did a quick improv session there. So, you know? Lau: Exactly. And I think, I think COVID changed it to some degree where you don't have to be in an office. You don't have to be in someone else's studio. Your studio is the world now. It's really the world. You could be in your car. You could be in a bathroom. You could be anywhere potentially meeting someone, recording, whatever, the possibilities are endless. It takes me back to even before COVID, Anne, when, when we saw interviews like corporate interviews start to happen in Starbucks. That was one of the big coffee shops that I hear someone behind me, oh, they're having an interview. I'm gonna be quiet. That was a new thing. I don't know when that started. I wanna say maybe 10 years ago or something, that was a new industry standard that you didn't need to be in an office to have an interview. You could have an interview at Starbucks, and it's now kind of the same for us. Like we could do an audition anywhere. We could be in the mountains and do an audition, which is exciting to me. Anne: Yeah. I really love the additional opportunity to connect. So let me ask you a question then. So this is not the first one that you've done or is it the first one that you've done, first audition like this? Lau: Live? Anne: Yeah, live. Lau: In this way? Anne: Yes. Lau: I have done a number of these before. Not recently. This is the first one I've done recently with someone of this caliber in terms of a producer coming in from Europe, someone that I have the inside scoop on who's producing particular campaigns that I'm interested in and animations that I'm interested in for the agency, getting into that genre, that field. And I like it. I mean, I just personally, as Lau, just as a person, I yearn for that improv energy. I yearn for that feeling of like, yeah, let's just meet. All right, a number of people know, they're RSVPing, they're coming in. But then others may not know; they're coming in now. It's like real life. It's like a party, right? You invite your guest list. but then the guests may bring someone, the guests may invite someone else, da, da, da. It's like an authentic experience of what happens in real life when people are coming together, and they're meeting, and they're showcasing their work. So when we talk about showcases, it's not all premeditated ABC. It's like life networking is life. You don't know who you're gonna sit next to on the plane. You don't know who you're gonna be next to in the elevator. You don't -- and I would say, be careful, ladies and gentlemen, when you go in the restrooms, like be careful what you say, be careful what you do because your whole world is your oyster now for meeting producers and producers can also be mom and pop shops, people who are producing their own podcasts, what have you. You wanna always treat everyone respectfully and equally as the stars that they are in their own world, because you may be collaborating and working with them. Anne: Yeah. Good advice. What other tips would you have then in terms of not just this type of audition, but auditions in general that you've seen? Because you certainly are outside the box I think when it comes to the opportunities that you're affording people, which is a wonderful thing. Lau: Thank you so much, thank you. I would say, and, and just thinking back on that experience, some of the things that I would want to change and shift for some of the talent coming through. One is, and this is like an actor's rule, always have material that is great for you, that you love and feel comfortable with ready to go. It's like, whatever you wanna call it, your demo material, your portfolio material, whatever. Have your strong suits ready to go. And it might even be an audition or two that came in last week that you did a great job. It might be a recent booking. You just have to make sure of course you either have permission to use the script or it's in house. It's not gonna be used for commercial purposes. Or just re-craft it enough so that it becomes your own and you know, it's yours. It's good. It's something you feel comfortable doing. It's where your suit lies. I would have that ready to go. And I would have at least a half, a dozen, 30-second pieces ready to go for something live when it happens. It may happen rarely. But when it happens, it happens. Anne: Yeah. That's such good advice because I literally, like I mentioned, I didn't have it. I went and grabbed something that I -- thankfully I have a large pool of copy that, you know, because I work with, with people with copy. So thankfully, and I found something that I was comfortable with. So that's really wonderful advice. Now I'm gonna make sure that I have a few pieces set aside for if that were to happen again, absolutely. Any other tips? Lau: Yeah. And I have another tip too, and this is like the actor in you. So when we talk to VOs, we say, do you consider yourself an actor? Surprisingly many VOs will say, I'm not really an actor. It's not really what I do. I voiced this. That's what I do. I always like to use the word actor because I don't necessarily mean just acting values in the character. I mean, in your life. So like all the world's a stage, right? You're acting like a pro, you're acting like a coach. You're acting like a producer. You're acting in those role like just like an acting chair of a department or, you know, an acting politician, how we would use that term. So you're acting, so don't forget your actor values. What I mean is like some of the folks that came into the room, I noticed they had to let you know that they were in a rush, or they just stole a break, or they barely made it because they couldn't get outta work, whatever. Let that go, like play the role. The role is I'm coming into this session, and I'm totally ready for this session. And I don't know what's going on in the background. There's a bunch of chaos in the background. I don't know what's going on in the background. I'm acting as the professional in this moment, knowing I'm only gonna be here for how however long I'm here. And then I go back to -- remember, I said, leave your stuff at the door? I'm gonna go back to that. That's hard for people to do, Anne. I think that there's this confessional thing in people that they feel the need to tell you the truth about everything. They wanna tell you how difficult their day was or that their tire has gone down. And I barely made it here, and oh my God, my kid and the baby sitter didn't show up. And I always say, leave it at the door because it's not pertinent to the people that are bringing you in. It's just a waste of time, really, for them. You and I talk about energy a lot, karma, like stars aligning. I really do believe in that. I think things happen for a reason. And I don't want you meaning, not you, but the listener, I don't want you guys to ruin your karma by sticking wrenches in it of things that are happening, whether they're your choice or whether they're just happening to you -- don't bring it into the space because it can't do anything positive for your audition or for your exchange in the rapport building. It just can't. It's like an obstacle that you're putting in the way, and you're qualifying something and using it as an excuse. And you don't wanna fall into the victimization compartment. Anne: Sure, absolutely. Lau: You never wanna fall into that. You wanna fall into the place where it's like, hey, I'm gonna bring you what you need. In fact, I could hire you. In fact, I could hire people for you. In fact, I could do this for you. You wanna be that person that they come to to fix the problem. They don't wanna be the person who creates problems that they don't have, If that makes sense. Anne: Oh, that's wonderful advice. Absolutely. Lau: Yeah. So I would leave that. I would leave that outside of the room, and then one more thing. as the tech queens that we are, tech meaning coaching tech, I want that warm up. Some of the folks didn't warm up, and I could tell exactly who they were, who just did not do the vocal warmup because I know the quality of the reads that they could typically do, and they were rushing into it. Whereas others came in, they were already in a session. They were already recording. They were already vocally warmed up. They were ready to go. I could tell the difference. I don't know if you could tell the difference. I could tell the difference. Anne: I could tell the people who were absolutely ready. You know what I mean? And were like, bam, they had their material and they just -- Lau: They were right there. Anne: -- they just executed. Yep. yep. So yep. I could tell. Yeah. Yeah. Lau: So that readiness that's like being on the bench, you know, as a sports player in the game -- Anne: You're ready to go. Lau: -- you're not in the game yet. You're really not there, but you're visible to the crowd. You're on TV. You're getting ready to get selected. And there's that state of readiness that you have to have so when they look at you, it's like, boom, I'm in the game. I'm ready. There is no transition time that you should need to go through. It really should just be there, present, and delivered. And that's hard. It's -- I make it sound easy. It's not it's transitions like executive functioning skill transitions a lot of people find difficult in life, is how do I pivot from this, to this? To this, to this, without any clutter in the middle of it? Anne: Yeah. I do have a question. Something that I thought, just because again, I wasn't there for the entire time, but I did hear people slating, which I think is fine, but people were slating with other talent agencies as well. And I wasn't quite sure about that. I thought why -- you invited me in, so I wasn't gonna necessarily say what other talent agencies were representing me. Oh, okay. So I was really thrown by that one and I thought should I say other talent agencies that represent me when you invited me in so generously and I just said my name? For me, it didn't seem right. But what are your thoughts on that? Lau: Yeah. And, and now, you know, in retrospect, yeah, for this one, there was no right or wrong. It was totally clean, totally open and that would be the protocol, you're right. That would be the actual protocol because there was an educational value to this workshop, I allowed and wanted to people to slate what they have on their plate to have a high ethos, to show a high ethos for themselves. And because we're not exclusive anyway. We're freelance. But I hear you. Anne: Well, because of the invite, it was just, for me, it was like, well, I could say other, and to be honest with you, I just, that threw me. And so I just said my name, 'cause I wanted to be respectful of you who invited me in as an agent. So. Lau: And actually just post, just for listeners to know behind the scenes, 'cause they would never know this or see this, when we have a meeting and we debrief, and we talk about talent behind their backs, in a nice way, I'll make it clear that if he wants to move forward with anyone, he would do it through MCVO. Anne: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Lau: He would. It would be only in the case of like they're not with MCVO. They're exclusive with someone else. I handpick them to come in. Okay. That's fine. Other than that, everyone's with MCVO or in the tick membership. And so I'm like, so we're kind of representing everyone here. So he would use us as the agent and as the liaison to help with the step by step of everything, if he wanted to really call someone back. Anne: Yeah. Then I would say, just my contribution to this episode would be if you are in that position and your live slating and, and auditioning, I would say respectfully with the agent that invited you to that, you should at least have that agency unless it's been otherwise disclosed that you can mention other agencies that you are represented by. Lau: Absolutely. Anne: Just my thoughts on that. Wow. Well, I wanna say thank you, Lau, for that experience. It's always a pleasure learning from you and talking with you every week. So I really appreciate it. It's been a wonderful conversation. Lau: Oh my pleasure. All the time. I can't wait for the next one. Anne: All right. So guys, BOSSes, I want you to take a moment and imagine yourself being a part of making a difference in our world and giving back to the communities that give to you. Find out more at 100voiceswhocare.org. And a big shout-out to our sponsor, ipDTL. You too can network like BOSSes, like Lau and I, and find out more at ipdtl.com. You guys, have an amazing week and we'll see you next week. Bye. >> Join us next week for another edition of VO BOSS with your host Anne Ganguzza. And take your business to the next level. Sign up for our mailing list at voBOSS.com and receive exclusive content, industry revolutionizing tips and strategies, and new ways to rock your business like a BOSS. Redistribution with permission. Coast to coast connectivity via ipDTL.
Join Bravo Critics, Arielle and Ricky, in this episode as they discuss season 10 of the Real Housewives of New York in this special series of Bravo Critics. -First stop on the season 10 journey is the amazing Halloween party with special guests like Britney Spears and Lady Gaga -Tensions start very high between a lot of the bestie pairs. We start the season with Sonja vs the other girls and Bethenny vs Carole -We tackle the ongoing fight between Sonja Morgan and Dorinda Medley and discuss if divorce is worse than death -This season has so many great trips, including the Hamptons, the Berkshires, Puerto Rico, and Colombia -Luann hits a major roadblock this season with her struggle with alcohol and finds herself in a lot of hot water -Colombia goes down in real housewife history as one of the most unhinged cast trips and maybe the most dangerous too!
Dorinda Medley is still making it nice. Gibson Johns interviews the longtime "Real Housewives of New York City" cast member following a whirlwind weekend at BravoCon 2022 about all things Bravo, "Real Housewives," "Ultimate Girls Trip" Season 2 and more. They also discuss Ramona Singer recently calling the future "RHONY: Legacy" a "loser show," why Dorinda and Jill Zarin are still not in a great place, some of the most iconic moments at Dorinda's home in the Berkshires, Blue Stone Manor, and her partnership with Amazon devices and Ring for Halloween.
The arts have been a cornerstone of reenergizing communities like Pittsfield and the Berkshires over the last two decades and The Berkshire Art Association has been a driving force. Board members Marybeth Eldridge and Mark Tomasi explore the positive impact of BAA over the years from Sheeptacular to the current exhibit RE:FRESH, now on view at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts. We also take a deep dive into arts education, choices for young artists and expanding upon the array of career opportunities available. We also cover: the impact that high stakes standardized testing has made on arts education in the public schools, the evolution of graphic design, painting on peanuts, Storefront Artist Project, downtown and other live/work artist spaces, the legacy of Mary Rentz, and others made a series of large public art projects possible in the mid-to-late 2000s and setting the stage for a round of public arts projects in the city. I hope you'll enjoy my conversation with MaryBeth and Mark. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/john-krol/support
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Let's draft off the energy of Yom Kippur. We are back in person on Shabbat morning. Please join us for coffee, conversation, and community as we discuss a Norman Rockwell Sukkot. One of Norman Rockwell's classic paintings—it commands its own room in the Norman Rockwell Museum in the Berkshires—is a family Thanksgiving feast entitled Freedom From Want. Follow this link. A family gathered happily together. A turkey ready to be gobbled up. Fine china. Fine stemware. Big smiles. Warmth. Home. Safety. Security. Plenty. There is only one problem. The year of the painting is 1943. America is in the middle of World War II. After Pearl Harbor. Before Omaha Beach. By the way, the Holocaust is happening. How are we to think about this family's feast in the middle of World War II and the Holocaust? Is their celebration of plenty the right move morally, or the wrong move? What impact should the war and the Shoah have had on their feast? Should they have feasted as if World War II and the Shoah were not occurring (which seems to be the case)? Look at the easy smiles on their faces. Should they have canceled their feast due to the sorrows of the world? Should they have had their feast, but done some readings to acknowledge the war and the Holocaust that were both happening that very day? This theme—how do you do daily life when the world is in tumult—is a recurrent theme for Norman Rockwell. A companion painting, also a classic, entitled Freedom From Fear, shows parents putting children to bed, domestic tranquility, parents grounding their children in the serenity of home and hearth, while the father holds a newspaper that has headlines about the war. Follow this link. Roll the film forward to 2022. Roll the film forward to Sukkot which begins Sunday night. If we sit in our Sukkah smiling and enjoying our festival meal, eating our fine food, drinking our fine wine, making pleasant conversation, is that a problem given the problems of the world? As just one small example, the New York Times Daily catalogues the infinite misery engulfing Pakistan as a result of biblical-like floods that are causing death, devastation, and hunger on a massive scale. How do we think about enjoying our holiday when there is so much pain in the world? What do Jewish sources teach us about navigating this tension between the world in grief and our world as sanctuary from the world in grief?
Bike Report… Here is a slightly more scripted version of my 2 day ride across Massachusetts. I scheduled it as a 4-day adventure. This is one of those things that you learn from doing long or hard or ultra-type events. Give yourself some buffer time. I have always violated this rule. Partly because my life has always been busy, or I have convinced myself that it was, and I had to rush to get to events and then rush back. I have always tried to not be that guy who talks too much about this stuff at work. I realized early on that this is my obsession, and the rest of the world may or may not give a shit. I've been more than willing to talk about it in depth when asked, or in this purpose-built forum for that outlet, but I have always taken pains not to be THAT GUY in the office. As a result, most of the people I've worked with know vaguely that I train all the time, but seldom have the gift of knowing exactly what or when I'm doing an event. That vagueness allows work activity to crowd around the events and I find myself running a marathon in the morning and jumping on a plane in the afternoon. I think it also fits that egoistic self-image I have had of being the indestructible man that can pop in and out of events that other people can't even fathom. Even my acts of humility are ego-centric! There are advantages to not buffering time around an event. If you show up just in time for the event it doesn't give you time to think too much about it. You can get much more adventure in the day by not being prepared and not knowing the course, etc. Just show up doesn't fit many peoples' brains but I enjoy the adventure of it. If you jet off after the event you don't have time to wallow in your misery. But the disadvantages of this cramming in events, especially big events, are manifold. You can make mistakes that you could have avoided by being just a bit more prepared. Like, for instance, not thinking about how the temperature drops below freezing in the mountains at night. And, most regretfully, you don't really get a chance to let it sink in. Many of those races I've run are just blurry memories of a fast weekend spent somewhere doing something hard. I've found that no matter how good shape you're in, a multi-day event will mess with your thinking ability. It's best to take a day off after because you're going to be useless anyhow. For this ride, I took 4 days off to ride around 250 miles in 2 days. I enlisted my wife to crew for me. I suppose this is one of the advantages of having a long-term relationship. You can just casually drop something like this… “Hey, take Friday and Monday off we're going out to Western Mass and you're going to follow me while I ride across the state for 2 days.” And that doesn't end the relationship. … Day one was Friday. We got up and I took Ollie down to the local kennel when it opened at 9AM. This was Ollie's first time being kenneled – so it was a bit like first day of school for your kids. I had a pang of sadness driving back to the house in my truck with the passenger seat empty. I had done my best to make sure all my stuff was organized. We drove out a pretty section of Rte 2 west into the Berkshires and the Mohawk Trail. Western Mass is a pretty place. All hills and farms and little; towns. Those same little towns that you'll find in Vermont or New Hampshire. A bit of a tourist trap but really pretty without being entirely off the map. We took the new truck with my bike in the back. I prepped my bike earlier in the week. I washed it and cleaned the chain and derailleurs as best I could. It's a messy and dirty job. It requires using a degreaser and a toothbrush. Kids, this degreaser chemical is very dangerous. Remember to wear rubber gloves and safety glasses when you're cleaning your bike chain. Once you get it all sparkly clean then you can rub a little bike grease back into the chain and sprocket. This really helps the efficiency of the drivetrain and keeps the shifting action clean. You can ride on a dirty chain, but it will slow you down and eventually something will break. I wore my old Northface water backpack. I think it holds more than a liter. It has enough room to carry my tools and food and whatever else I need comfortably. That old pack is like a second skin for me. I've worn it in many, many ultras. For tools I carry a small pump and a multitool. In my underseat pack I carry an extra tube, levers and a patch kit. I had one bike bottle in the cage on the bike for just water. I actually found this bike bottle by the side of the road after the local triathlon. It was perfectly new from one of the local bike shops. You may think I'm crazy, and you'd be correct, but I washed it out and it's fine. I prepped up enough 24 oz water bottles with Ucan for the ride and put those in a cooler with ice. I made some protein smoothies too, for emergency meals, extra fuel if needed and recovery. Smoothies are a good source of clean calories. The 24 oz bottles of Ucan mix I stuck in the back of my bike shirt on both sides for the ride. This provides clean fuel with some electrolytes. This sounds like a lot of stuff, but it was all the result of what I had learned in my training over the summer. I knew I could get 4+ hours of hard work in the heat with that set up. A liter or so of clean water in the pack. A full bottle of water in the cage and 2 X 24oz bottles of fuel mix in my shirt. That may sound uncomfortable to carry, but it really isn't bad on a bike. You've got the mechanical advantage and can carry a lot of stuff comfortably. I stopped at a grocery on the way out and bought a handful of Cliff bars and other packaged edibles. I also had my favorite pitted dates in a baggy. All this fuel went into the back pack. Then there was the electronics. I decided to use Google Maps with the bike route option selected. This meant I would have to have my phone with me, and it would have to stay charged. This is a challenge because having the maps open for navigation all day long drains your phone battery very fast. Especially when you're riding through the mountains in the middle of nowhere. Yes, it also uses a ton of data. If you don't have an unlimited plan, don't do this at home kids. Where to put the phone? While I was training, I started out putting the phone in a plastic bag in my backpack. But that is a pain in the ass because you have to stop and get it out of the pack to use it. So I bought a fairly inexpensive handlebar mount for it. It's basically a stretchy rubber cage that I attached right in the center of the handlebar. In this set up the phone is inches from my face and easy to access. If it rains you can put the phone in a plastic bag before you put it into the holder. That plastic bag makes it harder to use the touch screen, but for my ride both day were sunny, so I mounted it au naturel. Next question was how to keep power in the battery. This worked out way better than I expected. I bought a pair of those charging bricks from the internet. I didn't know how long they would last. I had a plan to swap the charge brick out for a fresh one if needed in the middle of the ride. I put one in the under-seat pack with the cable running along the frame tube up to the phone. At first, I thought I'd have to zip tie the phone cable in place, but I was able to snake the cable around the top tube in such a way that it was attached to the phone and the battery pack with no slack. That worked great. I didn't know if this pack would give me 30 minutes of juice or 30 hours of juice. That's why I got two. I figured I could hot swap them out when I met Yvonne during the ride. But as it turns out I had nothing to fear. Even burning all that data with the GPS and radio on the whole time the charge pack kept the phone at 100%. To cap this all off I had my Mifo ear pods. These are little, wireless ear pods, that I trained all summer in. They fit snuggly in the ear and had both the stereo headphones and a microphone for talking. It was a great set up. I listened to podcasts and audio books all day. I had my phone right in front of me so I could even skip commercials! I could also make and receive phone calls without even slowing down. And the Google maps lady was instructing me with turn-by-turn voice commands the whole time, so I wouldn't get lost. It was awesome! Besides that, I wore normal bike Chamois shorts with underarmour sport undergarments. I lathered up all the risky bits and my under carriage with Squirrel's Nut Butter. I had this left over from my last ultra. It works great as an under-carriage lube. I also wore a knee sleeve on my left knee, which is the one that was giving me trouble. I wore my Garmin 235 watch but did not use the chest strap. I don't really need to know my heart rate with that much precision when I'm riding. It never gets anywhere near max. That was my set up. Was I nervous? No, not at all. I was confident I could do it. It wasn't that much of a stretch. I was happy to be off on an adventure. To be spending some time out of my home office with my wife. Friday we got out to North Adams in the afternoon after a casual drive on a nice day. We had a nice lunch. We drove around North Adams, Williamstown and Williams college. We had an early dinner and I set the alarm for 5:00 AM. … Saturday morning I got up with the alarm and made a cup of coffee. The sun wasn't going to come up until closer to 6:00. Making room-coffee in the dark I mistakenly had a cup of decaf before I realized my mistake. I loaded up all my stuff and woke my wife up to drive me to the starting point. … I'll cover the ride itself in a subsequent episode. … Continuing with my bike report. Let's pick it up at Day 1 of the ride. This is the one part of the ride that I had done some actual research on. My original plan had been to find the marker for where Massachusetts, New York and Vermont touch in the western corner of Massachusetts. But, on Googling the map I saw that the point was actually back in the woods a good distance with no real road access. And it looked like the access trail was on the Vermont side which added significant miles to the trip. Given that I was riding my mountain bike I could probably find a way to make that work; but consulting the map again it would make the trip very long. It would add some unknown trail miles right out of the gate and I didn't really think I'd have the time to go up and plot the route. To avoid that little bit of drama and the extra miles, I looked around the map to see what the closest town was to that point. I discovered that Williamstown was right there in the upper corner and had a hotel I could use points at. So, I booked that. This was probably about a month out. Then I started looking at potential bike routes. I did this by using the bicycle option on Google maps. It's a swell tool, Google maps. If you choose the bicycle option it will keep you off the highways and find any available rail trails. The first pass route, starting from the hotel was 256 miles, which seemed doable in 2 days. Unfortunately Gooogle Maps also provides the elevation profile. You have to understand that Massachusetts is relatively flat state. We've got rolling hills. Lots of rolling hills. But we don't have any mountains. Any real mountains. As it turns out our tallest mountain is mount Greylock. Mount Greylock is only 3489 feet tall. As it also turns out Mount Greylock is in Adams Massachusetts. Adams, as it turns out is just to the east of Williamstown. I had, in my hubris created a route that had me climbing the highest point in the state first thing in the morning on the first day. I have not doubt I could do it, but it caused some consideration. I decided that it might be a good idea to start on the top of the mountain ridge. Which, in fact would shave about 20 miles off the ride. That seemed like a reasonable thing to do. My race, my rules – as McGillvray always says. I really wanted to get out and drive some of the route, but did not really have the bandwidth. An opportunity arose, like they sometimes do, when my running Buddy Frank suggested we go for a motorcycle ride one Friday afternoon a couple weeks before my scheduled ride. I took him up on it. On a brilliant August afternoon we rode the length of Route 2 out to North Adams and Williamstown. I checked out the hotel. We did a bit of poking around the towns. My plan was to ride as much of the bike route as possible on the way back home. Frank had to bail but I was able to trace the route up out of Adams on an old 2-lane highway, 8A. I knew that where 8A met 116 would be about the peak elevation and I rode to that point on my motore cycle. Let me tell you it was not an encouraging route. It was a few thousand feet of steady climb, some of it quite steep, on roads with no shoulder. Bad roads too, beat to crap roads. And in places the Google route actually routed me through some old hilltop farms on a dirt road, which was quite scenic and everything but not good for making time on a bicycle. That reconnoiter of the climb up and out of Adams over the steepest, highest ridge in the state sealed the deal for me. I made a mental note to have my wife drop me off at the high point. I mean it wasn't that I thought I couldn't do it, it just seemed unnecessary to the project. If that climb had been in the middle of the ride, or even at the end, I would have been more optimistic about it. But given I was planning on a century a day, I didn't want to burn all my matches in the first hour. … Going into the ride I had trained over the summer. Basically 3-4 rides week with one of those being along ride on the Saturday. I managed to get my long ride up to somewhere around 70-something miles. I also got some good data on nutrition and fluid consumption, especially in the heat of the summer. A couple of those long rides were really hot days This is how I figured out that I could carry enough to get through 4-5 hours on a hot day before I needed a pit stop. On a cool day I could ride all day on the same water and fuel. Back to the route. Since I was shanghaiing my wife into this adventure I thought I should at least consider making things palatable. Looking at the possible routes and where we would end up at the end of the first day I realized that it was close to Foxboro, which of course is the home of the New England Patriots, who my wife loves. And the Hotel at Patriot's Place, it turned out, was another I could use points at. Now it was coming together. Looking at the revised route, with the new start point and the planned end point, that gave me about 120ish miles for Day 1. That seemed reasonable. Next I had to figure out how long that would take me. Since I was riding my mountain bike I wouldn't be able to go as fast. I knew form my training I was averaging around 15 miles an hour. Doing the math on that would give me a 8 hour day. But, in training, I knew the routes and was pushing pretty hard. I didn't want to push that hard on the ride, because I had a long way to go and didn't want to burn out. If 15 was the top end guesstimate, what was the worst case? I figured if I really got in trouble and slowed way down, I'd still be able to manage 10 miles an hour. That would give me a 12 ish hour day. Which was still within the daylight hours. I definitely didn't want to be out on the roads exhausted in the dark. I wasn't as concerned about the second day. I knew that part of the ride was pretty flat and when I got onto Cape Cod I would know where I was. I would be in familiar territory. … On the morning I got all my stuff packed up and ready and loaded into the truck. She wasn't super happy about being woken up at the crack of dawn from her comfy hotel bed to drive me to the drop off. She got exceedingly less happy as we wound through the old farm roads and up the mountain. Finally as she dropped me off I was bubbling with excitement. I was nervous and happy and ready to roll. She was in a foul mood. From her point of view, I had just driven her into the middle of nowhere and abandoned her. I had to stop her and give her a speech. Something like “Listen, your role here is to support me, not to bitch at me.” Which seemed to bring her around. And I was off… It was cool, in the 60's and after 6:00 AM when I finally launched. The first sections flew by. Literally. Because I had started on the top of the ridge there were these long downhills where I was probably holding 30 miles per hour for miles at a time without touching the pedals. Of course what goes up must eventually come down and there were some good size climbs as well. For those climbs I took it easy, stayed in the seat and used my gears to conserve energy. My strategy on this first day was to not do anything stupid. I had looked at the maps and tried to find some really obvious places for my wife to meet me. I settled on a grocery store in North Hampton that was about 25 miles in and then another grocery store in Worcester about 77 miles in. That would give me 3-4 hours of riding before each pit stop. I wrote all the stop addresses and approximate distances and times out for her – which if you know me, is probably the most organized I've ever been for an event. I usually just wing it. That first 25 miles was wonderful. Lots of downhill, some interesting back roads. The traffic was light. I took it easy and enjoyed myself. Pulling over when I needed to, pull over and staying hydrated. The ear buds and the phone worked like a champ. The phone stayed fully charged and the nice lady from Google was reading turn by turn directions into my ears. I had my phone right in front of me on the handlebars and could sort through podcasts and fast forward when I needed to skip commercials. This is where my first logistical mistake got me. With my wife needing to go back to the hotel to check out, she couldn't catch me for the first stop. I had just assumed that with me being out on the road for 8-12 hours she would be able to leisurely follow along and take side trips as she wanted and still have plenty of time to catch me. But this first morning with here having to go back to the hotel and me flying down the hills there was no way she was going to make that 25 mile stop. It was ok. I had her on the phone through the earbuds, so we weren't lost or panicking, I was just going to need to push through. I had my wallet and my phone with me, so I probably wasn't going to die. At the same time as this stop got aborted another wonderful thing happened. I found the Norwottuck Rail trail that runs 11 miles from North Hampton through Amherst on a beautifully maintained trail. Amherst is where the University of Massachusetts is. The trail has a nice bridge over the Connecticut River. It was a joy to be spinning along on a rail trail. They even had porta-potties. I stopped and ate some food and enjoyed myself immensely in this section. It was now mid-morning. And it was starting to heat up. The next section through the hills towards Worcester was challenging. Lots of construction. Lots of hills. More traffic and bigger roads without much tree cover. The day peaked out around 95 degrees and sunny. It was hot. As I was grinding the hills in the heat I realized I wasn't going to have enough fluids to make it to the next stop. I was losing too much sweat in the baking heat. My energy was good but I was getting dehydrated. With another 40-50 miles to ride and another long day coming I uncharacteristically pulled over to a gas-station convenience store. I bought a liter of water and a Gatorade. They were ice cold. I drank all the Gatorade right there and it was mana from heaven. My feet were falling asleep from all the climbing. I was soaked with sweat. My butt was sore. Back on the bike feeling hot and tired and a little bit nauseous I cranked through the city hills to where my wife was waiting in the parking lot of a big grocery store. I drank some more water, filled up my fluids and swapped out two more bottles of UCann. I was beat. I took my shoes off and let my feet air out a bit. It was a welcome respite. Knowing the evils of spending too much time in the aid station I bid her adieu and mounted back up for the final push of the day. But, I did feel a bit refreshed. The last chunk was a bit of a grind. I had another 40-something miles to push. At least the sun was starting to go down, but I was worn out. Two things happened that made the day longer. The first one was I lost one of my earbuds. I was screaming down a hill and felt it coming loose. I tried to grab it with one hand. I thought I had caught it and trapped it in my shirt. But I couldn't brake with one hand . By the time I was able to slow down and stop it was gone. I dis a desultory search along the length of the shoulder of the road on the hill, but it was gone. It wasn't a total loss. I still had the left one and could still here the navigation and everything else. It actually was kind of nice because with only one I could hear the noises around me better. The second thing was a detour. I was watching the map click down. I knew I was under 20 miles form my destination. All of a sudden the road was blocked! There was a detour. And as I followed the detour, of course the map was screaming at me. So I had to stop and zoom in and out and see how to backtrack around the detour to get back on route. It ended up adding 6+ miles to the day. Which doesn't sound like a lot, but it happened right towards the end for maximum emotional impact! Finally, as I was turning into the back parking lot of Patriot's Place in Foxboro, I heard a noise. That noise was the loud leaking of a punctured rear tire. That's right. Less than a mile away from the hotel I picked up something in the back tire. I road it until it went flat and called my wife. And I called it a day. I was tired, sore and hot. There was no way I was going to change a flat tire by the side of the road for the priviledge of riding ½ mile to the hotel. I stopped the Garmin at 127.78 miles, 10:03 total time for an average speed of 12.7 Miles per hour. Yvonne came and rescued me. We took some pictures. I cleaned up. We went out for dinner in Patriots place – Pizza and beer. I slept well, wondering what it would be like to get back on the bikein the morning for another full day of riding. Outro… So that's where I'll leave it. I'll pick up on Day 2 in the next episode. To take you out I'll give you an update on where I'm at. Right now I'm freezing. It got cold today. It's the first day of autumn here in New England. I'm a cold weather guy, but it takes a few weeks for your body to adapt. And it's dark when I get up in the morning. Winter is coming! Fitness-wise I still tread the crooked path. I started a body-building campaign 3 weeks ago, on the first of September. It was going great. Really was. I felt strong. My balance felt good. My legs had some bounce in them. I would recommend this beginner body building program. A question you might ask is what's the difference between weightlifting and body building. That's a good question. Both involve lifting weights. Body building is lifting weight to shape the muscles. Which I didn't really get until I started doing this program. Think about it like shading in a picture that makes a feature stand out. Body building is weightlifting for muscle growth in specific places. Which, on my old body, doesn't' make a hill ‘o beans of difference, but it's kinda fun to see the muscles changing shape in a very short period of time due to this focus. Kinda fun. But that fun came to an abrupt end last Friday when I was pulling a dumbbell off the rack at an odd angle and threw out my back. I know you're getting that schadenfreude felling, aren't you? You thinking, “I know that idiot was going to over-do it and hurt himself.” Yup. I'm that idiot. But in my defense I wasn't actually doing a weightlifting exercise at the time, I was pulling the weights off the rack. So at least a week off. Couldn't straighten up for a couple days. Lots of pain. A trip to the chiropractor, who by the way is on a first name basis with me. What does it say about us that our doctors are always excited and happy to see us? Speaking of which my physical bloodwork didn't turn up anything awful but… But… They did add a note to tell me that my cholesterol doubled in the last year. Not running + shitty diet = bad cholesterol. I immediately went on a plant-based diet. I needed to anyhow. I was just too have and it's not healthy. My plan is to restart my body building next week. To take it back to day 1, because I was only 2 weeks in, and lower the weight, focus on the form. At the same time the Dr. wants me back in 90 days to check that cholesterol. I will eat plant-based until then and most-likely lose 15-20 pounds in the process. And next week, drum roll please, I meet with the knee Doctor. Maybe he'll have some new ideas. I tell you what, this cool weather makes me want to head out into the woods on a run. If all those things come together just right … I might end up being a mediocre old guy. I'll take it. As we say it's all frosting on the cake at this point. The warranty has expired and there's no expectations except opening your eyes and smiling in the morning. Smile baby, And I'll see you out there. … Day 3… Hello again friends. Let's wrap this race report up. If you haven't been following along, this is the third in a series of recaps for the 250 bike ride I did this summer across Massachusetts. I budgeted 4 days for the trip with 2 days of riding bracketed by a day of buffer on both ends. This is Day 3 of the trip and Day 2 of the ride. As I recapped last time Day 1 of the ride from Savoy Mass to Patriots Place in Foxboro ended up being 127.7 miles based on my Garmin. It was a challenging hot day through the back roads and hill towns of western Mass that took me just over 10 hours. I did not stop my Garmin at any point, so that 10:15 includes all the breaks. I have learned that whenever I stop my watch at a break I inevitably forget to turn it back on. I hit a detour and had a flat at the end that slowed me down a bit as well. After dinner on Saturday night I changed the tire and tube of the flat. I had 2 extra brand new tires with me. As I have recounted earlier, I was riding my Mountain Bike. I bought some small block tires with a less aggressive tread. These were not road tires, per se, but they were closer to road tires. But by the time I got to this ride they had worn significantly from all the road training. Especially the rear tire, where I picked up the flat. I decided to swap out the whole tire and tube for new. Partly because it was easier than monkeying around with the old stuff, partly because it was time. I left the front old front tire on. It was in better shape and I didn't see a need to do the work in my tired state or to introduce more variables at that point. I cleaned up the bike a bit. Put some more lube on the chain, got all my gear ready to go for the next morning, set the alarm and slept like a rock. Both of the hotels we got for this trip were newer properties and really nice. No problems at all. Nobody gave me a hard time dragging my dirty, smelly self and my big bike through the hotel. As a matter of fact, there was a wedding going on at the Patriots Place hotel and my wife saw Rick Hoyt. I did not go in and say ‘hi' but apparently one of the Hoyt clan was having a wedding reception in the hotel. Day two I had about 120 miles on the plan. My first pit-stop planned was at a Starbucks 40 miles in to meet Yvonne. I had scheduled 3 stops into this day thinking that I might need them. I'd need to get across southeastern Mass from Foxboro to the Cape Cod Canal. I'd need to get over the Canal. From there I would find my way over to the start of the Cape Cod Rail Trail that runs from Yarmouth all the way up to Wellfleet, where I'd meet my wife again and have just a short push up top Provincetown to the end. When I got up in the morning it was cool and foggy. I felt good. Part of the unknown about this trip was how it would feel to get back on the bike on that second day. Turns out it felt fine. On this day Yvonne didn't have to get up to drive me anywhere, I departed from the hotel and made my way out through the parking areas of Gillette Stadium to get back on route. I had the same set up with my phone mounted on the center of the handlebars and wired into a battery pack under the seat. I had my one remaining left ear pod in with the nice Google Maps lady giving me the turn by turns. I had purchased an audio book for the ride called “Team of Rivals' about Abraham Lincoln's presidency and cabinet. There I was peddling easy in the cool morning mist through the back roads of southeastern Mass learning all about Salmon Chase and Edward Stanton. Fascinating stuff. The geography of southeastern Mass is different from the northern and western parts of the state. It's mostly flat and near the coast. There are cranberry bogs and small cites. I rode through Bridgewater in the early part of the day which is a, how shall we say, ‘working class' part of the state. I got yelled at for jumping a 4-way-stop. And he was right. We Massholes are very particular about some things, 4-way-stop rules being one of them. There was a fair amount of road construction in this section where I had to deal with the sticky new road and the prepped, grated gravel. Some of the back roads were a bit beat up. My legs felt fine. I was able to keep my nutrition going fine. My butt and feet were okay. All systems go. Answering that question of ‘how would that second day feel?' I felt fine. I was also able to spend more time in the aero position which helped me relax. I met up with Yvonne at a Starbucks in Wareham. She managed to get there ahead of me! I fueled up and had her order me an iced coffee. She came out with a hot coffee, which was fine, but I just got off the bike from riding 40 miles and really wanted an ice coffee. After much waiting on the Starbucks brain-trust, I finally got my iced coffee, but I wanted to get going so I put it into one of my bike bottles which was an awesome treat as a rode the next few miles. As I got closer to the canal I was on some busy roads through Wareham and had to pay attention to not get run over by tourists. The next big unknown for me was how I was going to navigate the canal. Google maps seemed to think it was possible. I would find out. The Cape Cod Canal is a waterway that cuts straight across the base of the arm of Cape Cod from south to north. It was created 100 years ago so that ships wouldn't have to go all the way around Cape Cod the long way. It is about 17 miles long running from Buzzards Bay in the south up to Cape Cod Bay in the north. For the purpose of our narrative the canal cuts right across our route. We have to get over it. There are two big Army Corps of Engineer bridges over the canal. The Bourne and the Sagamore. These are old-style high bridges to allow ship traffic to go under them. They are two narrow, highspeed lanes in each direction with a high sidewalk on one side. They were not designed for bicycle traffic. Back to the story. Again the Google Maps did a great job of finding rail trails for me to follow. It popped me out on the southern end of the canal and onto the canal trail. This was another one of those cool discoveries for me. It turns out there is a beautifully maintained bike trail that runs the length of the canal on both sides. This was about 50 miles into the second day, and it was late morning by the time I hit the canal trail. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. Lots of people and families were out on the trail. It routed me up the west side of the canal under the Bourne Bridge and all the way up to the Sagamore, where, apparently I'd be making that crossing. I had to get across one busy road to circle around the back and up onto the raised sidewalk of the bridge. This sidewalk is raised up above the road surface by a tall granite curb. There is no railing. So you are a couple short feet away from the screaming metal hellscape of 4 narrow lanes of highspeed traffic. The signs said to walk your bike. I did not. But I did stop at the apex of the bridge arch to take a video with the boats way down below in the peaceful canal. One funny thing was that the sidewalk was covered with pennies and other coins. As far as I could determine people were throwing coins out the window of their cars over the sidewalk and railing into the canal. Like a big wishing well, I guess. I think this custom goes back to the Romans paying tribute to the water gods. The pennies that didn't make it over the railing gathered up on the raised sidewalk. I wonder if there's a notice for boats in the canal to be wary of high-velocity coinfall? Once I got over the bridge it was a quick button-hook back down to the canal trail on the other side. It was starting to get hot again, but the trial was beautiful, paved, wide, and of course porta-potties! Yay. The next bit of road was the dicey-est part of this day's ride. After I got off the rail trail I had to navigate Rte. 6A which is an old, windy, narrow highway with no shoulder and a lot of disappearing shoulder that dropped off into sandy nothingness. I met Yvonne again at another coffee shop around 70 miles in and was in very good spirits. The ride was going well. I felt fine. And I now knew everything there was to know about 19th century American politics. AND I was about to get on the Cape Cod Rail Trail which was home territory for me. This 25 mile stretch of paved rail trail was where I had been training all summer. Or at least on those weekends when I was down at my house in Harwich. But, I had to get over to the rail trail in Yarmouth from the coffee shop on 6A where I met Yvonne. This ended up being harder than I thought. First I had to deal with 6A again and then I had to cut across the ‘Arm' of the Cape from north-ish to south-ish to pick up the trail. One thing most people don't know about Cape Cod is that it is quite hilly in the interior. Not hilly like Colorado or even like where I live but lots of pesky little rolling hills. And finally it turns out Google Maps is confused about where the western trailhead for the trail is. The maps routed me to the middle of nowhere with no trails in sight. Luckily I knew generally where I was and was able to route to a landmark next to where I knew there was a trailhead in Dennis. But, it wasted a lot of time and energy. Once on the trail I was on easy street for a couple hours. It was still a hot day but the trail has great cover and it's easy going. Which was good because I was into the 90's mile-wise and was starting to feel the cumulative tiredness of riding for two days straight. The next and last stop was at the Wellfleet trailhead at the north end of the trail. This would put me about 100 miles in and just a short push up to P-town. What happens here is that the rail trail ends and you have to get back on the roads to get the final bit up. This was probably the low point of my ride, if there was a low ride. I was pretty tired and looking forward to the end. As I pulled in and met Yvonne she somehow was under the impression that this was were I was going to stop. She got mad when I told her, no, I'm going up to P-town. Not a great point in the journey to get in a fight with your crew. She went off in a huff. I climbed back on and cranked my tired legs up 6A again towards the end. You can use back roads to kind-of zigzag around rte. 6A at this point but I was too tired to mess with it and mostly stuck to the big road. Which sucked. It was hilly and trafficky with no cover and my legs were trashed. In this section I was battling a bit. Finally I got onto the access road that runs along the bay up into the town. This was a pretty, flat section with the ocean on your left. It's funny how the big miles at the beginning of the ride seem to fly by but those last few seem to take forever. It was here that I walked a hill. What happened was, I was coming down a slight hill into an intersection with the intention of using my momentum to get up the other side, but a car cut me off and I had to come to a complete stop. I couldn't convince my trashed legs to grind up the other side, so I took a break and pushed the bike for a little bit. Before long I was getting into Provincetown proper. Now, one thing I had not thought about was how difficult it would be to get through the center of P-Town on a Sunday afternoon. P-Town in August is a bit like Carnival. It's a 200 year old fishing village that has thousands of party-ers dumped into it. Tiny roads filled with stop and go cars, tourists, scooters, it was Bedlam. And here I am, fairly wobbly on my big mountain bike trying to navigate it all without crashing. And then I was turning out onto Macmillan Pier. I rode all the way out to the end and hit stop on the watch at 123.73 miles and 10:15 for an average pace of 12.1 MPH including all the stops. My wife called me, which was good because I thought she may have abandoned the project and gone home. In fairness to her it was a pretty big ask, and probably not the best use of her weekend. She wasn't able to get into the downtown and was idling at a parking lot a few blocks away. I got some bonus miles riding over to her. We threw the bike in the back and took off back down the Cape to Harwich where our house is. All-in-all I was pretty pleased with myself and the ride. In terms of difficulty, it really wasn't that hard, but it was the right adventure for me at this point in my journey. We stopped at our house just long enough to shower and change and got back on the road. Yvonne was sick of travel and wanted to get home. I wouldn't need that 4th buffer day after all. Turns out we got turned around trying to short cut across the suburbs back home, but we got there eventually. And we slept in our own bed that night. The next day I felt fine. No hangover at all from the riding. I could have easily gotten back on the bike for another day. I did have some saddle burn that took a week or so to heal up. Overall, I find bike riding to be easy in the endurance sense. My heart rate stays low, even in these long, hot, back-to-back rides. It's a good workout, but it's never hard. I never felt like I was at the edge. Maybe that's what I need at this point in my life? Who knows. So that's it. Two days, 250 miles. 127.7 in 10:03 on the first day and a slower 124.73 in 10:14 on the second day. Found some new trails. Had an adventure. … So what's going with me? Well, it's taken much longer to get over throwing my back out than I would have liked. I tried to restart the weightlifting last week but it was too soon, so I'm taking this week off as well. I'm feeling quite sad and broken around this latest setback. Not being able to do something, anything to stay fit, makes me squirmy. I suppose it's another good lesson in resilience, but who among us takes their foul-tasting medicine well? My company shut down travel for the rest of the year which means I've been trapped in my home office looking at the walls far too much. I feel a bit like a recluse. Without the daily run or the daily workout it makes the walls close in. I guess it's time for me to take up some new hobbies, like competitive lawn bowling or pickleball. It's all very confusing and transitional for me to be sliding into my 60th birthday on this dust ball not knowing what the future holds. I had my follow up appointment with the knee Dr. and he was not very encouraging. I've got an MRI tomorrow and then a follow up. I really miss running on these cool fall days. Ollie-Wollie the killer collie is doing fine. We get out for our walk everyday. He's 3.5 now and getting much less crazy everyday. I've got no races or projects on the calendar except the Mill Cities Relay in December. I am planning on restarting the body building campaign as soon as my back lets me. And, depending on what the MRI reveals maybe I can work some light running in over the winter. … At this point I guess I have to tell a story. My company requires us to use two volunteer days a year. On the surface this is a great thing. In reality it's hard for me to find and plan something important to volunteer for during the work week. I have friends that work at homeless shelters or habitat for humanity and all sorts of other charities, but for some reason I find it hard to coordinate with official charities. Last year I used my two volunteer days doing trail maintenance in the local trails that I run. Basically I hiked the trails, picked up trash and cut/moved deadfall. I always discover that I have to use these days about this time of year when time is running out. This year I decided to take a Friday off and pick up trash on the roads around my house. I figured I could clean up those roads that I used to run every day. It always bothers me to see the trash along our beautiful New England roads. I don't understand why people can't just keep it in their cars until they get where they are going? So, last Friday I took a volunteer day. It was a bit harder than it should have been because my back was still really sore and I couldn't bend over or lift very well, but a deals a deal. I went to a section of road near my house which is part of a 5-mile route I've run 1,000 times. It's an old road. In this section I targeted, it runs flat through a swampy area and there are no houses. With the dry weather this summer the water table is low, and thus more of the swampy parts are accessible. I drove my truck over there and parked about midway in the section. I took out a couple big black plastic trash-can liner bags and got to work. It felt a bit strange being by myself out walking and picking up trash on a Friday during the day. I didn't know if maybe someone would report my ‘strange behavior' to the local authorities who would come and chase me off for not having the proper permits or something. I began filling my bag with cans and bottles and bags and wrappers that I could get to. It was maybe a ¼ mile stretch. I stayed off the shoulder as much as I could to stay out of the road and away from cars. There isn't that much traffic here, but it's an old road with narrow shoulders and I didn't want to cause anyone to swerve. When I got to the end of the road I crossed over and turned around to walk the other side. A strange thing happened when I was midway down the other side. A passing car slowed down and pulled over. The driver rolled down his passenger window to talk to me. “Here we go!” I thought to myself. I've offended someone or something. The guy leans over from his driver side and shouts out the window at me, very earnestly, “Thank you! Thank you for what your doing!” He was incredibly earnest. Apparently somehow moved by me dragging a trash bag of beer cans down the road. He may have said some other praiseworthy things before driving off. Frankly I had my (one) headphone in and was listening to a compelling science fiction story. I really didn't know how to respond. I guess I probably smiled and nodded my head in acknowledgement. I finished up that side of the road and completed the circuit back up the other side to my truck. Collecting two bags of miscellaneous cast-off refuse. When I sorted it out the next day, I found that the majority was recyclable. I even got some money for returning the cans and bottles. The lesson here is that you think that what you are doing is a small and, maybe, even a meaningless act in the grand scheme of things. I wasn't feeding the hungry or helping the homeless or solving world peace. But, what I did on that day, that small action, apparently had a large impact on a fellow traveler. I always use the metaphor of ripples in a pond. Every act we take, no matter how small, crates ripples that spread out in ways unknown to us. Make that act an act of kindness and it will spread kindness. Make that act an act of helpfulness and it will propagate helpfulness. Even small actions change the world. Thanks for staying with me on this bike narrative thing and I hope you enjoyed the narrative. With any luck I'll see you out there. Chris,
Perfection. Often sought after, rarely found. The 72 Dolphins were the exception to the rule. Marshall John Fisher's book breakdown the iconic team and the ethos of the city they played in. Links from the show:* Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972, and the NFL's Only Perfect Season* Marshall's site* Connect with Marshall on Twitter or Facebook* Subscribe to the newsletterAbout my guest:Marshall Jon Fisher was born in 1963 in Ithaca, New York, grew up in Miami, and graduated from Brandeis University. After working various jobs (sportswriter, tennis instructor, temp secretary), he moved to New York City, where he received an M.A. in English at City College. In 1989 he moved to Boston and began working as a freelance writer and editor.From 1995 to 2002 he wrote on a variety of topics for the Atlantic Monthly, ranging from wooden tennis rackets to Internet fraud, and his work has also appeared in Harper's, Discover, DoubleTake, and other publications, as well as The Best American Essays 2003. He wrote three books with his father, David E. Fisher, including Tube: the Invention of Television and Strangers in the Night: a Brief History of Life on Other Worlds, which was selected by the New York Public Library as one of the twenty-five Books to Remember of 1998.In 2009, A Terrible Splendor was published. The Washington Post wrote, “Fisher has gotten hold of some mighty themes: war and peace, love and death, sports and savagery…. As the match enters its final set, all the narrative pieces lock together, and A Terrible Splendor becomes as engrossing as the contest it portrays.” The Wall Street Journal found the book “rich and rewarding,” and the San Francisco Chronicle called Splendor “enthralling…a gripping tale…. Wedding the nuances of a sport to broader historical events is a challenge, but Fisher pulls the task off with supreme finesse, at once revealing the triumph and tragedy of a remarkable tennis match.”Marshall's novel, A Backhanded Gift, was published in 2013. Next he completed another novel, Nabokov's Advantage, about the great writer (and his future wife) in 1923, when he was just a promising young poet eking out a living teaching tennis and English in Russian Berlin. In July 2022, Abrams Press published Fisher's next nonfiction book, Seventeen and Oh: Miami, 1972, and the NFL's Only Perfect Season.Marshall lives in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts with his wife, Mileta Roe (a professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature at Bard College at Simon's Rock). They have two sons, Satchel and Bram. Get full access to Dispatches from the War Room at dispatchesfromthewarroom.substack.com/subscribe
Berkshires Jazz presents an evening of big-band jazz, with saxophonist-vocalist Grace Kelly and the UConn Jazz Ensemble on Sunday, October 9 at The Stationery Factory in Dalton, Massachusetts.
Aviva Romm, MD is a midwife, herbalist, and Yale-trained MD, Board Certified in Family Medicine with Obstetrics. A practitioner, teacher, activist and advocate of both environmental health and women's reproductive rights and health, she has been bridging the best of traditional medicine, total health ecology, and good science for over three decades. She's a long-time home birth pioneer and birth activist. Her company's philanthropic arm, DharmaMoms, provides funding for organizations working toward reproductive justice and birth equity in high risk obstetric communities. She's also a world renown herbalist, and author of the textbook, Botanical Medicines for Women's Health, as well as 7 other books, including Hormone Intelligence, an instant New York Times Bestseller, which explores the impact of the world we live in on women's hormones and health, and brings us a new medicine for women that is at once holistic and natural, while being grounded in the best science and medicine have to offer. Her podcast, articles, books, and online programs help women take back their health and her innovative professional programs are educating a next generation of health practitioners. Dr. Romm lives and practices medicine in the Berkshires and New York City. You can connect with Dr. Aviva via Instagram. @dr.avivaromm Related Episodes: Ep 252 - Healing Autoimmune Disease with Dr. Erin Donaldson Ep 189 - Chris Kresser on HPA Axis Dysfunction and the Stress Response If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating or share your feedback on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every week. Disclaimer: This podcast is for general information only, and does not provide medical advice. I recommend that you seek assistance from your personal physician for any health conditions or concerns.
Join Bravo Critics, Arielle and Ricky, in this SUPERSIZED episode as they discuss season 9 of the Real Housewives of New York in this special series of Bravo Critics. RHONY season 9 takes Housewifery to a whole new level. -A season like RHONY season 9 deserves an epic supersized episode and that's what we are delivering! -We say goodbye to the amazing Jules but we welcome the newest RHONY cast mate and roommate to Sonja Morgan, Tinsley Mortimer. She is THE IT girl! -Things are "Not well, b*tch" between Dorinda and Sonja and as much as we hate to see it, we sort of love to see the drama. -Lu is getting married to Tom, for better or worse. We break down all of the drama in their relationship and with the women's concerns for the relationship -We discuss the friction between Bethenny and Ramona and we MENTION IT ALL! -Not only do we get an annual Berkshires trip, a fun side trip to Vermont, but we also get to go to Tequila, Mexico with the CHAMPIONS of drinking. -The cast trip to Mexico brings all so many amazing moments and we are unpacking all of them!
It's rare to see Curtis Janey without big smile and projecting high energy when you see him out and about. He works the nightshift as a supervisor of an award-winning environmental services team at Berkshire Medical Center, which gives him time during the day to do what he loves to do in our community. Whether it's putting in the work to help save and grow the Unity Church of the Berkshires on Elm Street, or serving as the president of Kiwanis Club and organizing this year's Park of Honor for veterans and those who serve the community. Curtis was a US Marine for a dozen years, serving in Desert Storm before settling in the Berkshires to raise a family with his late wife, Susan. We cover a lot of ground in this episode including: growing up in Brockton as one of 11 siblings, going to a high school with 6,000 students, his early days singing, and later as a staple singing the national anthem at Wahconah Park and at other venues, that time he met Susan at a camp in Old Orchard Beach and a fateful sunburn that brought them a little closer, this nation's failure in helping veterans readapt to civilian life and failing to address astronomical suicide rates among returning veterans, the devastating loss of his wife Susan a decade ago and how support from friends and the community helped support his family through such a difficult time, Curtis' spirituality, the power of power naps, leadership, humility in managing people and much more. I hope you'll enjoy my conversation with Curtis Janey. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/john-krol/support
On the night of September 1st, 1969 a rural area of Massachusetts was rocked by upwards of 40 UFO events. Multiple people were abducted in clear view of witnesses, cars were forced to pull off the road due to massive hovering crafts, this s*** gets wild! SUBSCRIBE! Don't forget to subscribe so you can catch future shows. PLEASE RATE & REVIEW:
Micah Mortali and I discuss how nature immersion, rewilding, survival, ancestral skills can support our circadian rhythms, and proper release of melatonin, regulate our nervous systems and ease the impacts of trauma. We talk about the impact of technology on our psychies and that of our children, especially teens, the minimum unnegotiable outdoor time a human needs each week (so start tracking) and I share my personal experiences learning from Micah and how they helped me through some tough dysregulated times. Micah's life's work is about helping modern humans reconnect with their deeper, truer selves through mindfulness, rewilding, and immersion in the natural world. Micah is a lifelong student of the world's great spiritual traditions whose undergraduate work was in comparative world religions. In his 20's, he was a wilderness counselor and outdoor educator with young adults, guiding back country expeditions on both land and water. For the past 17 years, Micah has been leading retreats, trainings, and programs at Kripalu. Micah was the Director of the Kripalu Schools for 7 years, and it was during this period that he was inspired to create the groundbreaking Kripalu School of Mindful Outdoor Leadership and write the book Rewilding: Meditations, Practices and Skills for Awakening in Nature published by Sounds True. Mich is a lifelong archer and in 2022 launched Mindful Archery at Kripalu and began work on his next book which will focus on archery as a spiritual practice. Micah holds a master's degree in Health Arts and Sciences from Goddard College. He is dedicated to the idea that human beings are a self-aware expression of the living earth, and that our future depends on awakening to this reality, and remembering how to communicate more effectively with the systems that govern life on this planet. He lives with his wife and kids in the Berkshires, where he enjoys getting out into nature, listening to the Earth, and sitting by a crackling fire or a laughing brook as often as possible. Website Kripalu Instagram Your support is deeply appreciated! Find me, Lara, on my Website / Instagram You can support this podcast with any level of donation here. Opening and Closing music: Other People's Photographs courtesy of Daniel Zaitchik. Follow Daniel on Spotify.
Joe Durwin is an author of "These Mysterious Hills", Blogger, and Journalist out of Pittsfield Mass. Joe also does historical research on homes in the Berkshire area.Tom Warner is an author of "Beyond The Stars". Tom is also a painter, poet, and artist. Tom Warner is currently working on a documentary of himself along with another couple of projects. Tom is a return guest from my past Bershires series that was on the Unsolved Mystery series released through Netflix. The Berkshire episode has been viewed over 150 million times. The hottest TV show on in 2020.Tom Warner:"Beyond The Stars" Bookhttps://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Stars-Tom-Warner-ebook/dp/B08KFMMGC1/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2I8AWN77OVL8W&keywords=tom+warner+beyond+the+stars&qid=1663000340&sprefix=tom+warner%2Caps%2C102&sr=8-1Tom Warner Watercolorshttp://www.tomwarnerwatercolors.com/about.phpJoe Durwin:These Mysterious Hills - Wordpresshttps://mysterioushillsdotcom.wordpress.com/author/tmysterioushills/Do you have a paranormal story to email@example.comMusic: Energetic MusicArtwork: Cheryl Heath
Dylan and Connor are joined by David Gow (The Lip Sync Fables). A special Friday episode brings our new bestie obsession David Gow to the pod. Listen in as we discuss why redheads need more Novocaine, summers in the Berkshires, the everlasting grip of Beyonce's Renaissance, David's web series The Lip Sync Fables, the alumni of Pepperdine University, Paul Mescal in A Streetcar Named Desire, the plot of Shakespeare's Measure for Measure, David's love story with boyfriend Kennedy Kanagawa, his friendship with Billy and Catherine Cohen, how to fix the Drag Race finale format, Uptown Garrison, and MORE.Follow David on InstagramCheck out The Lip Sync Fables on Youtube!Follow DRAMA. on Twitter & InstagramFollow Connor MacDowell on Twitter & InstagramFollow Dylan MacDowell on Twitter & InstagramEdited by DylanGet your DRAMA merch (t-shirts, stickers, and more) HERE!SUBSCRIBE TO OUR PATREON HERE! Bonus episodes, Instagram Close Friends content, and more! Please subscribe on Apple Podcasts, rate us 5 stars, and leave a kind review!
Paul Mark was eight years old when he was first inspired by the world of politics when then-presidential candidate Michael Dukakis shook his hand. Then, it all got incredibly personal when his late father lost his job, which led to some tough years ahead without many things we'd all consider as basic needs. While he volunteered for political campaigns in his teens, it was his work and the union moved that "changed his life" and paved the way for his years of leadership in the Massachusetts Legislature. I've known Paul for a dozen years or so, and in this interview, I heard many stories I hadn't heard before about his journey to his current run for state senate. Now the Democratic nominee for the state senate district encompassing Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden counties, we cover a great deal of ground in this interview, including: the economic impacts of cancelling student debt, not falling into a rut politically on Beacon Hill, the fight for better wages for working families, the financial barriers for those running for federal office, Citizens United, affordable housing, enrollment challenges at Mass. College of Liberal Arts, the growth of population through immigration to the Berkshires, the Fair Share Amendment (Question 1), and more. I hope you'll enjoy my conversations with Paul Mark. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/john-krol/support
After two productions with my young company of players I decided that I needed a whole lot more training in order to raise the caliber of performances to a whole new level. I enrolled in a month-long intensive workshop with Shakespeare and Company in the Berkshires. This class was not only an extensive education in Shakespeare directing and acting techniques, but it made me a more complete and present human being. I will be forever grateful! I have a Patreon page! Please check it out. If you make a small pledge you'll get to see photos and clips from my journals and hear a bit more about some of the stories. This is a fun way that I can share visuals with you. Check it out HERE. Or at patreon.com/dianathebard If you want to hear more on any particular subject, or if you want to ask a question or simply connect, you can find me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/dianathebard or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
Join Bravo Critics, Arielle and Ricky, as they discuss season 8 of the Real Housewives of New York in this special series of Bravo Critics. -This season of RHONY we meet the new housewife, Jules Wainstein. We also say goodbye to Heather 'Holla' Thompson and Kristen Taekman -Sonja debuts her idea for Tipsy Girl Prosecco, is it too close to Bethenny's Skinny Girl brand? Is it a cheater brand? -This season takes us back to the Berkshires and this is possibly one of the most iconic trips to Blue Stone Manor. This is when "Make it Nice" was born! -Please tell us it's not about Tom - we are talking all about the Tom situation with Luann and his past with both Sonja and Ramona. -Finally, we discuss our MVPs for the season and why they are our MVPs
Dorinda Medley is an Entrepreneur and TV personality. She is a long time member of RHONY and recently RHUGT season 2 based at her home Blue Stone Manor in the Berkshires. She is very involved in her favorite charities and in 2021 released her auto biography Make It Nice. Born in the Berkshires in Massachusetts, Dorinda graduated from college and arrived in New York City, working in the showrooms of Liz Claiborne. She met her first husband and followed him to London to start a family and eventually her own cashmere company, DCL Cashmere. Many high-profile London clients like Princess Diana and Joan Collins became acquaintances, and soon, Dorinda left her mark on London society. Ten years in London also brought her a daughter, Hannah, a divorce, and a wish to return to New York to figure out life in the city as a single mom. In 2005, Dorinda met and married financier Dr. Richard Medley, a former Washington power broker and respected speechwriter to congresswoman and vice-presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, and together they worked on fund-raising for charitable causes with the likes of Bishop Desmond Tutu, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Secretary Madeline Albright, and President Bill and Secretary Hillary Clinton. After the tragic loss of their beloved Richard in 2011, Dorinda and Hannah found strength in each other and in their loved ones to overcome the radical changes of losing a husband, friend, companion, and father figure. Through perseverance and support from her close friends, Dorinda climbed right back to the top of New York society. Dorinda is always directing her energy and focus into her home, family and friends, church, social engagements, and love for pop culture. In 2019, Dorinda reignited her passion for teaching aerobics, creating and touring with her interactive workout class Dorobics to great success. She continuously gives back to her favorite charitable organizations like Ali Forney Center, Born This Way Foundation, Prevention, Joy.J Initiative, Ronald McDonald House, NYLovesKids.org and Gabrielle's Angel Foundation. Dorinda's passion for entertaining was deeply enhanced with the purchase of Blue Stone Manor, a nine-bedroom Stanford White estate in her native Great Barrington. With a recent flood at the estate, Dorinda was forced to renovate and restore the historic property to get it back to its former glory. Nothing gives Dorinda more pleasure than a weekend or holiday spent with great company, home-cooked meals, and the festive, personal touches she is known for. She enjoys the theater, the beach, the mountains, fabulous parties, a great dirty martini, and all types of fashion—both high-end and high-street—and considers all of her pieces collector's items. Hiya Vitamins: Get 50% off first order of children's vitamins. (deal not on website, so go to this url) www.hiyahealth.com/Inmyheart Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Lara and Carey have a chat about The Anarchists, discuss all things Anarchapulco and delve into Carey's deepest wook nightmares. Meanwhile, on the SEASON FINALE of Ultimate Girls Trip: Ex-Wives Club, the peaceful vibes from Blue Stone Manor's Christmas In September are tested (again) by Martini Medley. Jill steals Brandi's MVP of Alienation trophy and Phaedra possibly converts the women to Christianity.You can hear this episode ad-free and get access to bonus VIDEOS and HUNDREDS of bonus episodes when you join the SUP Patreon! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Carey and Lara talk about the new season of The Bachelorette and society praising straight men for being just a little gay. Back in the Berkshires, Dorinda delivers a Christmas In September spectacular to atone for her martini terrorism. Phaedra (kind of) opens up about her clandestine love life and Vicki fears death's scythe once more. Plus, a bombshell revelation about Denise Richards drums up latent gay desire (and panic) amongst the ladies. P.S. - You can hear this episode ad-free and get access to bonus VIDEOS and HUNDREDS of bonus episodes when you join the SUP Patreon! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
After a week off from podding, we're BACK to discuss Lara's Martha's Vineyard adventures, and the beckoning calls of New England. Meanwhile, Carey has finally given The Bear a chance--for the betterment of himself and those around him. Back in Great Barrington, on Episode 5 of Real Housewives Ultimate Girls' Trip, Dorinda's nocturnal terrorism continues to send shockwaves through the crew, Phaedra drops a (love) bomb, and Vicki returns from the Netherworld ready to "Whoop it up" at last. P.S. - You can hear this episode ad-free and get access to HUNDREDS of bonus episodes when you join the SUP Patreon! See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.