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The Need to Fail with Don Fanelli
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The Need to Fail with Don Fanelli

Author: Forever Dog

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What do all of your favorite comedians, actors, writers, and artists have in common? At some point, they’ve all completely failed. Comedian Don Fanelli sits down with folks at the top of their game to talk about the times their dreams felt more elusive than ever. These hilarious, heartbreaking, and incredibly relatable stories remind us that failure is not only necessary when pursuing a dream, but ultimately the inspiration that keeps us moving uncompromisingly forward. Produced by the Forever Dog Podcast Network.
157 Episodes
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In our final episodes of The Need to Fail, I will be checking back in with my original guests from seven years ago. Next up: Abbi Jacobson (Broad City, Disenchantment) who talks about ending Broad City and the pressures of adapting an iconic movie to the small screen. We also chat about how success hasn't stopped the doubts from creeping in, the missteps with Broad City and how audience feedback helped grow the show, the difficulties writing her book, and what happens with goals when you reach them. 
In our final six episodes of The Need to Fail, I will be checking back in with my original guests from seven years ago. Next up: Josh Patten (SNL) who talks about how things have changed over his eight seasons at SNL. We talk about craft related setbacks & trying to get better at his job, how it took time and experience to look past his analytical approach, not getting any jokes on an episode where his mother came to watch, and balancing the buckets of life.
In our final six episodes of The Need to Fail, I will be checking back in with my original guests from seven years ago. Next up: Josh Ruben (Scare Me, Werewolves Within) who talks about his frustrating journey auditioning for SNL, the star-studded pilot he was cast in that didn't get picked up, his reflections on Sundance, and how his necessity with adapting and being in survival mode in the past is helping him cope with the pandemic today. 
In our final six episodes of The Need to Fail, I will be checking back in with my original guests from seven years ago. First up: Benjamin Apple (The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, The Onion) who talks about how a year after our original conversation, he was let go from Jimmy Fallon. We talk about how the sketch that got him hired on the show did not fair well on national TV, the shame associated with publicly failing, being thankful for the obstacles that made him grow and how he is finally ready to tell his story about growing up in a super religious family.
Edgar Momplaisir (Culture Kings, What Just Happened) gets candid, opening up about his personal demons, regrets, and rock bottom moments. We talk about not fully processing his best friends death, his frustrating audition process for the Daily Show, and not getting onto Maude Night at UCB while writing for a sketch show series. We also chat about funny funerals, religion, suicide and how humans will do pretty much anything to avoid pain.
Episode 149: Anna Salinas

Episode 149: Anna Salinas

2020-07-0701:25:37

Anna Salinas (badcomixbyanna, Sugar & Toys) went from a kindergarten art teacher to an assistant in the Reality TV department of a big agency working with someone who no one wanted to work with. We talk about the origins of her comic, badcomixbyanna, and how she communicated her anxiety and depression for many years but never really confronted it until recently. We also chat about how The Artist Way was a game changer pushing her creativity, helping her to find her voice, and getting her past getting cut from Harold Night at UCB.
Episode 148: Joey Greer

Episode 148: Joey Greer

2020-06-3001:09:29

Joey Greer (Good Night, Alchemy This) got screwed up taking on the business side of Hollywood. We chat about how he applied his degree in theology to his creative pursuits, being sick and tired of feeling like he needed the industry's help to create something, and how he spent 16 hour nights trying to craft his comedy album. 
James T. Robilotta (Leading Imperfectly, TEDx) is now a life coach and public speaker, but it took a lot of ups and downs to get there. We talk about how writing his book was the most polarizing thing he has done in his life, why the brain always feels stupid for letting the heart steer, chewing on his own words about authenticity and vulnerability as his marriage was crumbling, starting the first hip hop improv team in NY - North Coast, and how his whole life he was taught to be kind to other people, but it took 32 years to be kind to himself.
Episode 146: Ellen Haun

Episode 146: Ellen Haun

2020-06-1601:03:24

Ellen Haun (How to Get Away with Murder, Cinderella & The Glass Ceiling) was never cast in a show in all four years at USC. An accidentally dropped headshot ruined her final chance. We also chat about how she moved to NY after two agencies were interested and wound up not getting signed by either, how her riffed monologue wound up in the How to Get Away with Murder pilot, and the importance of garbage drafts.
Michael Cruz Kayne (Late Night with Seth Meyers, High Maintenance) booked an off-broadway Stomp-like show called Hoopz, produced by Disney, and it was quickly cancelled after Michael Eisner saw it. We chat about testing for SNL, searching for validation in the UCB system, and dealing with the loss of his son.
Episode 144: Charlie Todd

Episode 144: Charlie Todd

2020-06-0201:08:45

Charlie Todd (Improv Everywhere, Pixar IRL) tried for years to get Improv Everywhere on TV with lots of ups and downs along the way. We talk about how he wound up in handcuffs after an Improv Everywhere prank gone awry, seeing a network steal and produce one of his show ideas a year after he pitched it, being told by an agent how his show was a used car that he could not sell, and how this pandemic has been a gut check moment for a company that thrives on live human interaction.
Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything, You Don't Live Here) sold her first book at 18. It was the best and worst day of her life. Straddling a life between writing and medical school, Robyn overcomes trauma, book flops, book cancellations, theft, and a slew of other setbacks on the road to becoming a best selling author. Robyn talks about how she got through it all, shares some writing tips and tricks, and reveals the latest leap of faith she took during the pandemic. 
In Part 2 of our conversation, Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show, Klepper) talks about filling in as host of The Daily Show when Trevor Noah was sick, the joys of getting your own TV show and the gut-punch of it being taken away, and the life changing experience of being arrested. Jordan also takes us behind the scenes of life as a Daily Show correspondent, what he learned about mindset from The School of Life, and talks about the time his boat capsized in the gator-filled bayou while covering a story.
In Part 1 of our conversation, Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show, The Opposition) talks about his decade of ups and downs in Chicago, what led him to NY, and auditioning for The Daily Show. We chat about how frustrations led to Jordan creating his own popular sketch show in Chicago, how after a failed audition, he wound up eating at the Universal CityWalk Food Court overlooking the red carpet of a Fast & Furious premier, and why getting the Daily Show was the best and worst day of his life.
Julie Buxbaum's (Tell Me Three Things, Admission) worked on her third novel for over two years, after giving birth to her first child, and made the painful decision to shelve it because it was capable but not exciting. We talk about her transition from attending Harvard Law School to becoming an author, her continuing self doubts, her routines that make writing less precious, and the importance of recognizing the difference between procrastination and frustration.
Episode 139: Sam Pancake

Episode 139: Sam Pancake

2020-04-2801:30:18

Sam Pancake (A Million Little Things, Arrested Development) got the dream call that he was getting his own TV show - but the deal was so bad he had to walk away, which actually opened up unforeseen acting opportunities. We talk about battling his addictions, his rock bottom moments, and his road to rehab and recovery, as well as what he learned about auditioning while working in commercial casting.FOLLOW THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI:https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelliTHE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST:https://foreverdogpodcasts.com/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 138: Amy Spalding

Episode 138: Amy Spalding

2020-04-2101:23:13

Amy Spalding (We Used to Be Friends, The Summer of Jordi Perez) secured a literary agent, but it took another three years to get her first book published. We talk about the benefits of having a day job she excels at, burning her childhood novels in a family bonfire, the dangers of only participating in things you are good at, and why boredom is important for creativity and how the modern world is robbing us of it.FOLLOW THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI:https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelliTHE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST:https://foreverdogpodcasts.com/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Mark McConville (SuperEgo, Talking Tom & Friends) went to college to study music and was denied after his audition freshmen year. We talk about the formation of SuperEgo, the value of intention, landing a job at Disney after working 16 hour days at Starbucks and a retail store, and the importance of creating your own work.FOLLOW THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI:https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelliTHE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST:https://foreverdogpodcasts.com/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 136: Paige Weldon

Episode 136: Paige Weldon

2020-04-0701:08:40

Paige Weldon (Heathers, The Late Late Show with James Corden) had a humor website she co-created hacked and destroyed. Five years of writing and artwork from herself and her friends went down the drain overnight. We chat about how messing up in her Heathers audition probably helped book her the role, the difficulty of working meditation into her routine, being sick and having two days notice for her Late Night stand-up debut, and how agreeing to perform at a Laffy Taffy joke contest helped her get booked for James Corden.THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY BLUE CHEW!Try BlueChew for FREE just go to bluechew.com and enter promo code: FAILFOLLOW THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI:https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelliTHE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST:https://foreverdogpodcasts.com/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 135: Hal Lublin

Episode 135: Hal Lublin

2020-03-3101:17:06

Hal Lublin (The Thrilling Adventure Hour, The Venture Bros.) flew himself out to NY to audition for Boom Amsterdam, positive he was going to get hired. He did not. We talk about how he wanted to quit the industry after his mother passed away and what brought him back, how he heard the possible worse thing you can hear from a casting director when he auditioned for Disney, and he shares some very helpful advice for people looking to break into the world of Voice Over.FOLLOW THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI:https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelliTHE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCASThttps://foreverdogpodcasts.com/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
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