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IIRY Podcast: 32. Rev. D. Maurice Charles. “To resist absurdity is to live.”
On why "you don't have to feel what someone else feels to do the right thing" and creating a society that makes space for all of us.

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In my conversation with the Rev. D. Maurice Charles, the first African American chaplain at the University of Chicago, he shares how he was called to the ministry; his family heritage of slavery and survival; his scholarly work in religion and violence; why denying the existence of systemic bias is damaging to BIPOC and oppressed […]

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IIRY Podcast: 31. Kenji Bunch. “The willingness to fail in public is so important.”
A chat with composer and musician Kenji Bunch, about taking creative risks, being a bi-racial Asian kid, and saying "yes" to everything.

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In my conversation with composer and musician Kenji Bunch, we discuss the value of listening to all music with respect and curiosity; why he draws parallels between his eclectic approach to music and classically trained food chefs; why improvising and playing in non-classical styles can be really difficult for classical musicians; what it was like […]

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IIRY Podcast: 30. Karen Rile: “You can actually change your life very quickly.”
A chat with writer Karen Rile, about parenting, flexibility, and how deliberate practice yields huge results.

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 In my conversation with writer Karen Rile, we discuss her experience of parenting four artistic children and her interest in musicians; how flexibility and creative courage led to her founding Cleaver Magazine, a successful literary magazine; why creative writing and small amounts of deliberate practice create a vast foundation for a successful life; and […]

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IIRY Podcast: 29. Byron Au Yong, PART 2: “Shouting comes from having no choice.”
A chat with composer Byron Au Yong, about activism, representation, and why we can't avoid our painful experiences.

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In my conversation with composer Byron Au Yong, we discuss his works, “Stuck Elevator,” “The Ones,” and “Activist Songbook,” a trilogy that addresses what Americans fear and ways out of oppression; why representation matters and the importance of figuring out alternatives to dominant systems that oppress people; the practice of small, daily activism; and why […]

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IIRY Podcast: 26. Blair McMillen: “It’s okay to be vulnerable.”
A chat with pianist Blair McMillen, about performance anxiety, perfectionism, and why process is more important than product.

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 In this conversation with pianist Blair McMillen, we discuss how to manage stage fright and performance anxiety; why being a part-time musician can be a healthy option; why we should talk openly about what a musician’s life is really like; and why he wishes classical music could be more about process than product. Subscribe […]

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IIRY Podcast: 22. Dr. Nadine Kelly: “I am an eclectic, nerdy black woman who is a late bloomer.”
A chat with Dr. Nadine Kelly, retired pathologist and yoga instructor about leaving medicine to follow her happiness and why we need to be nicer to ourselves.

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In this conversation with retired pathologist and yoga instructor, Dr. Nadine Kelly, we discuss how she decided to pivot from her career as a physician to becoming a yoga instructor who specializes in helping mature women; why it’s important to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable; and why we need to be brave enough […]

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IIRY Podcast: 21. Shannon Wilkinson: “You are valuable because you exist.”
A chat with life coach, Shannon Wilkinson, about when perfectionism becomes toxic; why "taking a breath" improves our ability to problem-solve; and why cultivating your creative courage may be the best thing you can do for your career right now.

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In this conversation with life coach, Shannon Wilkinson, we discuss how we turn to perfectionism to protect ourselves and “stay in the tribe”; how perfectionists may be struggling acutely with the uncertainty of the pandemic; why “taking a breath” and making things “ridiculously easy” is crucial to opening up our ability to problem-solve; and why […]

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IIRY Podcast: 18. “It’s a weird time to try to reinvent yourself.”
A chat with Nick Photinos, innovative cellist and founding member of Eighth Blackbird, about career transformation and the importance of preserving our mental health during this time of pandemic.

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 In my candid conversation with innovative cellist and founding member of Eighth Blackbird, Nick Photinos, we discuss career transformation during the pandemic; how we attach our sense of worthiness to the things we create; and how this time of pandemic and quarantine can be best used to ask ourselves “why am I making music?” […]

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IIRY Podcast: 17. “Don’t beat yourself up.”
A chat with Alexandra DiPalma, audio producer, editor, consultant and teacher, about pushing past perfection and why we really shouldn't put pressure on ourselves right now.

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In my conversation with audio producer, editor, consultant and teacher, Alexandra DiPalma, we discuss how podcasting can help you push past perfectionism and get your voice heard; Alex’s hit podcast, Food 4 Thot, one of the first queer podcasts; and why not putting pressure on ourselves is so important in these times of quarantine and […]

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IIRY Podcast: 14. “We didn’t think, ‘we’re gonna master virtual rehearsing and share it with the world.'”
A chat about virtual music-making and the Covid-19 pandemic with Laura Usiskin, cellist, educator, entrepreneur, and member of the Bayberry String Quartet.

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In my conversation with performer, educator, entrepreneur, and cellist of the Bayberry String Quartet, Laura Usiskin, we discuss how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected the performing arts; the Bayberry String Quartet’s journey towards Bandlab virtual rehearsing and their plans to share their process with the world; and why it’s important to be patient with ourselves […]