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Don't Talk to Strangers Podcast

Author: Tyler JC Whidden

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In Don’t Talk to Strangers, I’ve convinced my friends to come to my big garage and let me ask them questions about the really cool things they do and how they approach their professional/creative lives like a craft. I’ve interviewed writers, singer-songwriters, chefs, actors, lawyers, and an assortment of people I’m lucky to call my friends.
12 Episodes
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In this episode of DT2S, I talk with friend and playwright Rachel Bykowski. We discuss her recent success with several of her plays getting readings and productions around the US, feminism in art, her process for writing, and how she undertook the #100submissions attempt. Rachel and I became friends in graduate school at OU where she wowed us with her talent and her love of shoes. In fact, my 2yo is obsessed with shoes and I can't help but give a nod to Rach. We also talk a lot about her use of #NewPlayExchange and what playwrights she follows like Rachel Bublitz, Chloe Hung, and Diana Burbano. You can find Rachel and many of her plays on New Play Exchange. You may follow her on the Twitter at @RachB713 And you can visit her site at RachelBykowskiPlays.com You can follow me at @TylerWhidden Music by Roger Hoover  
For this episode, I talk with Cleveland playwright David Hansen. We discuss a lot of Shakespeare, directing, the New Play Exchange, toy porn, advice for playwrights, and how we're not savvy enough to be YouTube Famous. I will be directing David's new play "The Way I Danced With You" opening March 21, 2019 at Ensemble Theatre in Cleveland. You can follow David Hansen on the Twitter at @dhansenx You can follow me at @tylerwhidden Music by Roger Hoover   @theRogerHoover  
We're back! I sit down with Cleveland/NYC actor Jeffrey Grover about a million years ago. The day before he came over, Jeffrey just closed his run as Roy Cohn in Ensemble Theatre's productions of both parts of "Angels in America." He's been in a lot of great productions here in Cleveland as well as roles in several big-budget films, and I try to talk him into giving fewer fucks. We talk hocking paper products, finding work as an actor, and working with Amy Schumer on "I Feel Pretty" and Don Cheadle on "Miles Ahead." Also, I encourage two squirrels to kill themselves in my garage. Here is a link to the scene from "Miles Ahead" that Jeffrey talks about. You can follow Jeffrey on Twitter at @Masonhead2014 You can follow me at @TylerWhidden Music by Roger Hoover
For the Season Two premier of #DT2S, I snuck into a bathroom in Michigan (sans microphone) to speak with my good friend and playwright Catherine Weingarten. Cat's new play, A Roller Rink Temptation, closes this weekend at the WOW Cafe with The Dare Tactic Theatre Company in NYC. Schmancy. Tickets at http://thedaretactic.org/ Cat and I talk about her process of writing her plays, growing up in a "Jew-friendly" part of Philadelphia, her campaign to get Facebook to drop the "fat" emotion, and adapting Boccaccio's The Decameron. You can follow Cat on the Twitter at @SarahKaneissexy You can follow me at @TylerWhidden Music by Roger Hoover
In the Season One finale of DT2S, I talk with Cleveland actor David Vegh about how he grew up as Kevin Bacon in Footloose, the one book I would like to have on a deserted island & why, working with Tom Hanks and that guy from Cheers on Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, and how he nearly Wile E. Coyoted himself out of appearing in House. David has been on stage with Ensemble Theatre a few times here in Cleveland and now teaches at Case Western University. He's directing the upcoming production of Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play for Case opening November 10th. @tylerwhidden
This week on #DT2S, I talk with Shakespearean actress Lara Mielcarek who is currently starring in Ensemble Theatre's production of Lisa Kron's Well. Lara got into Bob Dylan at an early age, and her appreciation for words led her to theater. After stints in LA and NYC, she moved to Cleveland and began working with Ohio Shakespeare Festival. She teaches the Bard to inmates of a local rehabilitation center and made me almost want to see a Shakespeare production. For more information: EnsembleTheatreCLE.org OhioShakespeareFestival.com @TylerWhidden
This week on DT2S, we finish our conversation with Chef Robby Lucas. We finish our talk about food artistry, art vs. craft, and whether or not mushrooms should ever be in French Onion Soup. You can visit Robby's excellent restaurant Cole's Public House in Amherst, OH, or online at CorkTreeRestaurants.com. You can also follow Robby on Twitter at @ChefRobbyLucas. You may also follow me at @TylerWhidden.
This week I speak with Chef Robby Lucas about the perils of the restaurant industry, finding art, living on an island, and whether or not someone's putting cat urine in wine. Robby and I go back to my Put-in-Bay, OH days where we worked together a few times, and have been friends for a little more than a dozen years. He now owns and operates Cole's Public House in Amherst, OH which is an amazing place to have a meal. For more information, visit corktreerestaurants.com
This week we talk making art and raising kids with artist Mark Heid. Mark and I go way back and I use the word "great" to describe him far too many times for someone who fancies himself a writer. He's painted such luminaries as former Surgeon General C. Everett Coop and the King of Romania, while also managing to find his work on ebay. We talk about his approach to art, the similarities between our two disciplines, and whether or not Emily Dickinson was full of shit. What we did not talk about was Game 7 of the 2016 World Series which was going on down the street during the interview. Learn more about Mark at MarkHeid.com
I talk with Cleveland theatre director Ian Hinz of Ensemble Theatre about what's wrong with American theatre and how it can be saved. Ian's big on new works and fostering new plays, but he's also a big fan of O'Neill having directed me in The Iceman Cometh in a landmark production, and he will soon get to work on The Hairy Ape. We also discuss why I'm so fucking sick of Shakespeare, and how sports and theatre are a lot alike.
It's the second part of our interview with Freddy Hill. In this episode, we discuss his being on the woodworking reality tv show, #Framework, and his approach to being a "maker." We also discuss how we should be able to fix things ourselves - but I'm not touching electrical - and whether or not you really can take it with you. Find more on Freddy at FreddyHill.com Me at TylerJCWhidden.com @tylerwhidden #DT2S
In Don’t Talk to Strangers, I’ve convinced my friends to come to my big garage and let me ask them questions about the really cool things they do and how they approach their professional/creative lives like a craft. I’ve interviewed writers, singer-songwriters, chefs, actors, lawyers, and an assortment of people I’m lucky to call my friends. For episode 0101, I interview Freddy Hill who I’ve known since college. He went from being a rock star to being a furniture star, making artisan furniture here in Cleveland leading to a 2nd-place finish on the reality tv show, Framework. Also, Freddy’s been getting his ass kicked in Cribbage. By me. Doing the ass-kicking. Visit FreddyHill1976.com for more info on Freddy and his work. Twitter: @FreddyHill888 Instagram: @freddyhilldesigns This is the first of two parts of my interview with Freddy.
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