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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.

128 Episodes
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Episode 125: Lance Rubin

Episode 125: Lance Rubin

2020-01-2101:42:52

YA author, Lance Rubin (Crying Laughing, Denton Little's Deathdate) was dropped by his acting agent and manager on the same day... which led him towards a career he did not plan for. We talk about the internal and external struggles that made the business side of acting difficult, how being on the other side of casting helped him realize why he sucked at auditioning, and the tools he uses to stay focused to write while raising two kids.  This episode is brought to you by Better Help! Get 10% off your first month at www.betterhelp.com/fail! CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 124: Brett Davis

Episode 124: Brett Davis

2020-01-1401:15:37

Brett Davis (The Podcast for Laundry, The National Lampoon Radio Hour) takes us through many performance failures over his career, one which lead to a full on fist fight between his writing partner and some drunk audience members. We chat about the only episode of The Special he decided not to air, why he decided to end his public access show, feeling like a home-schooled comic and not going the traditional route, and the amount of pressure he puts on himself before every show.  This episode is brought to you by Honeybook! Go to TryHoneybook.com/fail for 50% off your first year! CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 123: Larry Owens

Episode 123: Larry Owens

2020-01-0701:08:52

Larry Owens (A Strange Loop, High Maintenance) got rejected from his top three acting school choices and as a playwright from Yale. We talk about the daily setbacks during his Steppenwolf training, how you must fail during a monologue in order to perform it correctly, and why he turned down the chance to star in television show to perform as the lead in an Off-Broadway musical.  CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
In Part 2 of our conversation with Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe (Greener Grass, Adam Ruins Everything) we cover all things film festivals. We chat about getting rejected from Sundance four times before getting in, the ceremonious turned unceremonious conference call when they learned their pilot was a no go, and how they tackled filming 17 locations in 19 days for their Greener Grass feature.  THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY HELIX! Get up to 125 dollars off at HelixSleep.com/FAIL CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe (Greener Grass, Buzz) were going through a dry spell in Los Angeles, so they walked on a treadmill next to each other at the gym, simultaneously watching Twin Peaks. In Part 1 of our conversation we talk about how Jocelyn helped create her own team and indie show after not getting onto a UCB Harold Team which eventually worked out to her advantage and how Dawn had one foot out the comedy door and was going to move to San Francisco before getting an opportune phone call from two of her future teammates. We chat about what it was like to start over in Los Angeles after crushing it in New York, what motivated them to create their Greener Grass short and why they eventually decided to start directing their own projects.  CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 120: Paul Welsh

Episode 120: Paul Welsh

2019-12-0301:17:12

Paul Welsh (Brooklyn99, Crazy-Ex Girlfriend) was flown out back out to NY after he moved to LA and crushed his Daily Show audition - and didn't get it. We chat about why it took him multiple attempts to get onto a UCB Harold Team, how he dealt with a failed pilot he co-wrote, and how a short film he made, whose script got him his agent, got into zero festivals.  CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
In our final One Year Project, guest Dan Black (Comedians of Wrestling Podcast, Adam Ruins Everything) feels like he goes backwards in his career some years. Like when he had to go back to work as a temp CPA and participate in a company wide intro to improv workshop after having improvised for years. The first part, recorded in 2018, Dan talks about how the barriers of working a corporate CPA job for many years turned him off to the business side of showbiz, how he manages his expectations, and how it felt watching Jimmy Fallon leave during the opening of his one man show. Part 2 (1:31:47) covers the unexpected opportunity that popped up, that put his 2019 goals on hold. j THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY HELIX! Get up to 125 dollars off at HelixSleep.com/FAIL CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Langan Kingsley was one job away from having to temp again. In Part 1, recorded in 2018, Langan had written on two shows and filmed an Adam Sandler movie, but was looking into the abyss of 2019 with nothing on the horizon. We chat about how her failures are related to fear, the cosmic promise she made if she ran into Amy Poehler, and how things usually happen for her when she loses all hope. Part 2 (47:43) covers her journey through 2019, where the job she thought she interviewed well for she didn't get and the job she didn't interview well for, she got.  CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Our second installment of the One Year Project follows James III's (Astronomy Club, All That) into the unknown of 2019. Part 1 was recorded in December of 2018, where James was coming off of a good year but had nothing on the horizon. We talk about his imposter syndrome, the fear of getting into comedy, the genesis of the Black Men Can't Jump in Hollywood podcast, and the difficulty of balancing individual goals with group goals. Part 2 (58:30) picks up in 2019 where things were slow for a bit but rapidly picked up all at once. We talk about pitching, selling, writing, and acting in Astronomy Club's new Netflix series, being rejected from a writing job he was perfect for, and why he thinks he should go to therapy.  CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Brandon Gardner is in the trenches as he a journeys through fatherhood, conflicting script notes, and the search for representation. In the first of our One Year Projects (inspired by Gardner himself), Part 1 was recorded in the fall of 2018 and covers Brandon's quick ascension through the ranks of UCB NY, the anticipation of becoming a father, and the struggles with trying to get representation over the years. Part 2 (1:29:40) recorded one year later, follows up on his movie script, state of representation, and what it is like trying to juggle the daily responsibilities of fatherhood with an uncertain career. CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Lauren Ashley Smith (Black Lady Sketch Show, The Rundown) failed to get into a top MFA acting program two years in a row. But she never would have started writing if she did. We talk about how her day job as a producer helped prepare her to be a head writer, why it is a pleasure and privilege to fail, and the last minute packet change she made that got her hired at The Rundown (without having an agent or manager). CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 114: Jack Dolgen

Episode 114: Jack Dolgen

2019-10-2201:26:24

Jack Dolgen (Emmy winning writer/songwriter for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) was striving for something that was externally motivated instead of internally driven. So when there wasn't immediate interest from record executives in his first solo album, he quit music altogether. He chats about how his need to be great crippled him into multiple failures, the serendipitous moment that got him back into music, and the creative environment, philosophies, and songwriting process for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.  CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 113: Megan Koester

Episode 113: Megan Koester

2019-10-1501:01:58

Episode 112: Nate Fernald

Episode 112: Nate Fernald

2019-10-0801:20:18

Nate Fernald (The Late Late Show, The Pete Holmes Show) developed a name for himself in Chicago but ate shit for years after moving to New York. We talk about his praised SNL packet that led to nothing, deflating meetings with managers, his creative nighttime routine, and what it was like to spend years designing book covers for romance novels.  CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 111: Geoff Garlock

Episode 111: Geoff Garlock

2019-10-0101:42:52

Geoff Garlock (Orchid, Panthers, UCB) talks about the ups and downs of his multiple bands, from touring nightmares to record label drops. We talk about his journey into comedy, how therapy and Capes Coaching challenged his punk way of doing things, and how his songwriting and sketch writing methods have changed over the years.  This episode is brought to you by Helix Sleep. Go to helixsleep.com/fail for up to $125 off your next mattress with promo code: FAIL CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 110: Marcy Jarreau

Episode 110: Marcy Jarreau

2019-09-2401:33:26

Marcy Jarreau (Brooklyn 99, A Funny Feeling Podcast) spent over a decade improvising but just couldn't gain any traction professionally and was ready to quit. We talk about how she dealt with being cut from house teams, flying in from her grandfather's funeral for a callback, and how she finally managed her personal demons.  CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 109: Charles Rogers

Episode 109: Charles Rogers

2019-09-1700:58:56

Charles Rogers (Search Party, Fort Tilden) had a short film that was for sure going to get into a ton of festivals... until it didn't. We chat about how Season 2 of Search Party was the hardest creative experience of his life, the source of the characters he writes, and of course we talk about a Lisa Kudrow manifestation fail.   CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Jason Mantzoukas (Big Mouth, John Wick 3) talks about all the gut-wrenching ups and downs of an NBC show he created that was never released and the silver lining postscript. We chat about what it was like to get positive performance feedback from peers and audiences but not from the industry, the point in his career where he decided to stop acting and auditioning, the importance of being allowed to perform in a bad show for a year, and how grateful he was to the casting director who told him he would not work for a long time.  CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 107: Scott Aukerman

Episode 107: Scott Aukerman

2019-09-0301:40:40

Scott Aukerman (Comedy Bang Bang, Between Two Ferns) felt like the golden boy of comedy in his early years but quickly got a showbiz education. We chat about how it took him over three years to get hired on Mr. Show, how producing his live show Comedy Death Ray helped sustain years of countless TV shows and movies he had written never being picked up, and how he was so broke at one point that his car was repossessed twice, he was on the brink of foreclosure and he was being denied an overall script deal because he was so behind on union dues.  CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
Episode 106: Noah Segan

Episode 106: Noah Segan

2019-08-2701:25:29

Noah Segan (Looper, Knives Out) regrets being a little too picky early on in his acting career. He chat about the pilot he didn't book, the first time he made up reasons why he shouldn't get a job, how finding the desperation in his characters can make them the most dangerous, and how he looks at every major setback as an opportunity to come back.  CONNECT W/ THE NEED TO FAIL & DON FANELLI ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/theneedtofailhttps://twitter.com/donfanelli AND PLEASE SUPPORT TN2F ON PATREON FOR BONUS EPS & MORE: https://www.patreon.com/theneedtofail SUBSCRIBE/RATE/REVIEW TN2F on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. THE NEED TO FAIL IS A FOREVER DOG PODCAST http://foreverdogproductions.com/fdpn/podcasts/the-need-to-fail
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