This episode was originally released on the Pratfalls of Parenting podcast on June 12, 2016.
This episode features a conversation with theater director Kevin Houle. Kevin gets into how mentorship impacted him, how becoming a father a little later in life gives patience, and how similar directing actors can be to getting a 2 year old to do what you want.
“I want people to think, oh look at that thing someone made. I like that thing.”
Boxy Mouse was inspired by a bonafide mouse named Jasmine in the winter of 2007. Since then, the approach at Boxy Mouse Design Studio (and laundry room) has been to learn how to create all manner of art-like things based on Boxy Mouse and other various Boxy characters. Nearly every item, from the buttons and stickers to screen prints and paintings, are produced by hand in-house. Rampant speculation surrounds the studio -- there's even a rumor that a collective of mutated "painting monkeys" are on staff.
Boxy Mouse is street art, graphic design, entertainment, surprise and joy all contained in a small image. The creator and figurehead behind the Boxy Mouse empire sat down for a podcast conversation about how he came to be an artist and what Boxy Mouse means to him. Hear about confidence development, the question for perfection and why creating moments of unexpected joy are so valuable and important.
“I don’t feel I’m as much of a character onstage now, I feel it’s coming from an authentic place.”
Mary Jo Pehl is a writer, comedian, and she also wrote for and played Pearl Forrester on the television show Mystery Science Theater 3000. She’s been a part of both Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax, stared in the game Darkstar: The Interactive Movie, and is the star of the upcoming new television show RenFest. Mary Jo’s book “Emplyee of the Month can be found here: http://amazon.com/dp/1466378026/
On this episode of the podcast, Mary Jo talks about starting out as a stand up during the 80s comedy boom. She talks about growing up in Circle Pines Minnesota and how her upbringing shaped the way she thinks about herself and her work. Mary Jo talks about the various jobs she had over the years, both creative and less so. She shares stories of coming up in comedy with Joel Hodgson and Frank Conniff, with whom she would eventually collaborate on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Mary Jo talks about how her writing changed after her mom died. She talks about trying to write truthfully without causing pain for the people she loves. Mary Jo also talks about the challenges of making a living from purely creative work and about how much her audiences, fans and readers have come to mean to her over time.
“There’s more that we can do than we think we can.”
Malik Watkins, better known by his stage name MaLLy, is an independent hip-hop artist from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Active since 2007, MaLLy has cemented his place in the Twin Cities music scene with a strong discography boasting three critically acclaimed albums—The Passion, The Last Great..., and The Colors of Black—along with several well-received EPs including Free on the 15th and Strange Rhythm.
MaLLy has toured nationwide with Atmosphere on their “Welcome to Minnesota” tour in 2012, and with Brother Ali on his “Home Away From Home” tour in 2014. Other notable live performances include shows alongside underground hip-hop luminaries such as Souls of Mischief, Blue Scholars, Watsky, and Evidence, and two appearances—one as a performer (2011) and one as co-host with Brother Ali (2012)—at Soundset, the largest Hip-Hop festival in Minnesota. MaLLy continues to work on new music, as well as participate in community-oriented organizations dedicated to the arts, creativity, and entrepreneurship such as Giant Steps and Kulture Klub Collaborative.
On this episode of the podcast, MaLLy shares the story of where his name came from, talks about being comfortable using humor on stage and why many hip hop artists take themselves very seriously. He talks about the early music he was exposed to by his mother, the time he spent learning how to make music before he shared it with anyone and how his relationship to fear has drive his work and life. MaLLy also talks about the stereotypes and perceptions held about hip hop artists and opens up about his personal journey to make music as a way of making positive connection in the world rather than chase after fame or attention.
“I try to make my actions do the advocacy, instead of just talking about it.”
Desdamona is an international award-winning artist, who has taken her distinct lyrics, sounds, and artistic style to audiences from Minnesota to Hawaii to Puerto Rico to Germany, gracing some of Hip Hop and poetry’s most illustrious stages. She has worked in over 200 schools throughout the Midwest, conducting workshops and as artist in residence. She has also worked in residencies and workshops in colleges, universities, prisons, and juvenile detention centers. Desdamona is one of the founders of B Girl Be, the first international festival celebrating women in Hip Hop. She has been named “Best Spoken Word Artist” by the Minnesota Music Awards five times.
Desdamona talks about how her activism and advocacy comes through in her work rather than overtly talking about it. She talks about her own writing process as well as how she guides students in their creative work. Desdamona also talks about the ways she approaches collaboration and how she thinks about finding collaborators.
You can purchase Desdamona’s latest album “No Man’s Land” and a lot of her other work at desdamona.bandcamp.com