Category Archives: Podcast

52. Andy Stoll

The Iowa Idea: Andy Stoll

“Creativity is the synthesis of diverse elements.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down Andy Stoll.  Andy is a serial social entrepreneur and producer and has co-founded six entrepreneurial-focused organizations and currently serves as a Senior Program Officer in Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. His career has focused on building pioneering programs, communities, classes and events to help entrepreneurs and creatives turn their ideas into reality.

Andy’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal and his portfolio of projects includes collaborations with AOL Founder Steve Case, Microsoft Founder Paul Allen, and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

We dig deep into creativity, networks, collaboration, and what it means to innovate and be an entrepreneur in the connected age.

Through Andy’s work in building creative and entrepreneurial ecosystems, Andy has noticed four patterns of the connected age

  • The democratization of creativity
  • The individual has been globalized
  • Networks are replacing hierarchies
  • Geography does not have a monopoly on good ideas

It was an honor having Andy join me on the show. I really appreciated Andy’s stories and perspectives. I thank him for sharing his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Andy

Andy Stoll is a serial social entrepreneur and producer and has co-founded six entrepreneurial-focused organizations and currently serves as a Senior Program Officer in Entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation. His career has focused on building pioneering programs, communities, classes and events to help entrepreneurs and creatives turn their ideas into reality.

Stoll’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal and his portfolio of projects includes collaborations with AOL Founder Steve Case, Microsoft Founder Paul Allen, and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh.

Andy is a sought-after speaker on leadership, creativity, entrepreneurship, communities and travel, and has been a featured speaker at SXSW, numerous TEDx events and more than 50 American universities — including serving as the 2013 Commencement speaker for the University of Iowa’s College of Liberal Arts.

Stoll served as an adjunct faculty member at Cornell College; has taught courses at The University of Iowa; has served as a Global Facilitator for Startup Weekend, and completed a 4-year, 40-country solo trip-around-the-world.

Andy holds two Bachelor’s Degrees in Media Production and Business Management from The University of Iowa and a Masters Degree in Media Cultures from The City University of Hong Kong — he also moonlights as a photographer, sometimes chef and occasional cooking class instructor.

Credits

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

51. Don Smithmier

The Iowa Idea: Don Smithmier

“Culture became everything.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with songwriter, musician, and serial entrepreneur Don Smithmier. As is the case with many guests, we have to talk about Cheap Trick and Don shares his story about meeting the pride of Rockford, IL. Don and I met about 20 years ago when we worked for a pre-IPO educational start-up, Capella University, founded by Iowa native Steve Shank.

Don has had a hand in creating, building, and launching seven startups spanning education, music, and journalism that have attracted $150 million in funding and created more than $1 billion in enterprise value. An active musician and songwriter, Don has recorded 7 albums which included several hits on the national Billboard charts. As a performer, he has shared the stage with stars ranging from Willie Nelson to Miranda Lambert to Cheap Trick.

We dig into the connection between musicians and innovators, as well as Don’s journey as a musician and tech leader. Don shares his insights on building successful corporate cultures, how he has used the Entrepreneurial Operating System, the power of culture, and the importance of values. We discuss creativity within constraint and the importance of collaboration. I appreciated Don sharing Steve Shank’s advice that “nobody gets the full deck of cards in life.” It’s important to understand what cards you possess and what cards you don’t. You have to find those that have the cards you don’t.

It was an honor having Don join me on the show. I thank him for sharing his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Don

A serial entrepreneur, Don has had a hand in creating, building, and launching seven startups spanning education, music, and journalism that have attracted $150 million in funding and created more than $1 billion in enterprise value.

Don is presently the Founder and Executive Chairman of The Big Know, a provider of branded health and wellness education for the Netflix Age. He also leads the Digital Product Studio for West Monroe Partners via their acquisition of GoKart Labs, a Minneapolis-based digital product lab he co-founded in 2009 that was twice listed among Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing private companies.

Don spent the first 14 years of his career as a pioneer in online education with Capella Education Company where he held executive leadership roles in marketing, technology, and business.

An active musician and songwriter, Don has recorded 7 albums which included several hits on the national Billboard charts. As a performer, he has shared the stage with stars ranging from Willie Nelson to Miranda Lambert to Cheap Trick.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and his MBA from the University of Minnesota. He currently serves on the board of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation.

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

50. The Mads

The Iowa Idea: The Mads

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with comedians Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff wrote and performed on the Emmy nominated, Peabody award-winning TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Trace played Mad Scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester and Crow T. Robot, while Frank played the lovable bumbling evil henchman “TV’s Frank.” Today Frank and Trace continue the tradition of MST3K style movie “riffing” live.

We discuss their journey into comedy, writing, and acting. I appreciated how Trace and Frank talked about the importance of iteration and collaboration as they honed their craft, especially when Frank noted he learned slowly at how to be a good comedian. From an innovation perspective, I enjoyed hearing how they’ve been able to pivot their live show in a time of the pandemic. We also talk about the earnestness and authenticity that can be found in “bad” movies.

As my friend Bill would say, I hope you’re wearing steel-toed shoes because we’re dropping a lot of names in this episode.

It was an honor having Trace and Frank join me on the show. I thank him for sharing his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About The Mads

THE MADS

Comedians Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff wrote and performed on the Emmy nominated, Peabody award-winning TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Trace played Mad Scientist “Dr. Clayton Forrester,” and Frank played his lovable bumbling evil henchman “TV’s Frank.”

Today Frank and Trace continue the tradition of MST3K style movie “riffing” LIVE.  It’s pretty simple: two guys armed with microphones, a boat load of jokes, a less than good movie, and you, the audience.

FRANK CONNIFF & TRACE BEAULIEU

FRANK CONNIFF is a comedy writer and performer who began his TV career writing for the Peabody Award-winning Comedy Central series Mystery Science Theater 3000, where he also played “TV’s Frank,” the bumbling, yet lovable mad scientist sidekick.  He then went on to be a writer, producer and actor on the ABC TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch and was a writer and producer on The Drew Carey Show on ABC, The New Tom Green Show on MTV, and the satirical series O2BE on the Oxygen Network, where he was also a cast member.  He was head writer of the animated Nickelodeon series Invader Zim, and also was a writer and producer for the Air America radio network, where he provided material for on-air personalities Rachel Maddow, Marc Maron, Lizz Winstead, Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, and Randi Rhodes. He was a writer and performer on Viewpoint with John Fugelsang on Current TV, and on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on the FXX network, and he also writes and performs on The Jimmy Dore Show on Pacifica Radio. He is a former co-host of the Sirius XM radio show, Tell Me Everything. In his spare time, he writes, produces and directs original musical comedy radio plays for his scripted podcast, Podhouse 90, and writes and performs in “Cartoon Dump,” a monthly stage show in NYC.

TRACE BEAULIEU is a comic actor, writer, and performer. He was a founding member of the Emmy-nominated, Peabody Award-winning, cult hit show, Mystery Science Theater 3000. In addition to writing, occasionally directing, designing and building sets and props, Trace performed the puppet character Crow T. Robot, and mad scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester. He repeated these roles in the 1996 film version of the show, MST3K: THE MOVIE. Trace wrote for ABC’s America’s Funniest Videos for nine seasons. He played a recurring character on Freaks and Geeks, and has had cameo appearances on The West Wing and Arrested Development. For six years, he toured with the original cast of MST3K in a live movie riffing show, called CINEMATIC TITANIC. His most recent acting work includes the voice of A.R.T. the robot on Paul Feig’s OTHER SPACE, Dr. Sam Lodgpole on the web series VERMIN and Jonah Ray’s creepy uncle Pete on HIDDEN AMERICA season 2. His voice can be heard on the Adult Swim series TIGTONE.

Links

Frank’s Latest Book – https://www.amazon.com/Youre-Ruining-Dystopia-Everyone-Conniff/dp/0578786125/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2I4LNJXFGYEBL&dchild=1&keywords=you%27re+ruining+the+dystopia&s=books&sprefix=You%27re+ru%2Cstripbooks%2C180&sr=1-1

The Mads Live – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-mads-the-brain-from-planet-arous-live-riffing-with-mst3ks-the-mads-tickets-126141595909

Credits

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

49. John Richard

The Iowa Idea: John Richard

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with filmmaker John Richard. John is a documentary filmmaker and photographer living in Iowa City, Iowa. After receiving a degree in Environmental Science and working at the Daily Iowan newspaper, John worked as the assistant to photographer Danny Wilcox Frazier until taking a full-time position at the Iowa City Press-Citizen. During this time, he began making short films, including Presenting Mister Lincoln, for Slate.com and has had work featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Guardian, BBC, Wall Street Journal, among others.

John was the director of photography on the Iowa PBS documentary City of Literature, which served as an inspiration for this podcast.

Many of John’s films explore aspects of Iowa history and culture such as 19th century Danish immigration in, The Simple Gift of Walnut Grove, and the first movies to ever be shown in Iowa in, Saving Brinton. His current film project, a collaboration with Aaron Woolf, is about the Iowa Mountaineers, a mountain climbing club from Iowa that had a tremendous impact on the way that Americans relate to the outdoors.

We discuss John’s journey into filmmaking, as well as his documentary style and process.  I appreciated the opportunity to hear John discuss the collaboration with Andrew Sherburne and Tommy Haines, as well as the details about bringing the film Saving Brinton to life. If you haven’t seen Saving Brinton, please check it out. It’s a moving story about Mike Zahs’ quest to save the Brinton film collection. The Guardian described Saving Brinton as an “absorbing, heartwarming tale.” We dig into John’s current project and talk about the history of The Iowa Mountaineers, as well as John’s research which has includes going through more than 40,000 Kodachrome slides.

It was an honor having John join me on the show. I thank him for sharing his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About John

John Richard is a documentary filmmaker and photographer living in Iowa City, Iowa. After receiving a degree in Environmental Science and working at the Daily Iowan newspaper, John worked as the assistant to photographer, Danny Wilcox Frazier until taking a full-time position at the Iowa City Press-Citizen. During this time, he began making short films, including Presenting Mister Lincoln, for Slate.com and has had work featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Guardian, BBC, Wall Street Journal, among others.

Many of John’s films explore aspects of Iowa history and culture such as 19th century Danish immigration in, The Simple Gift of Walnut Grove, and the first movies to ever be shown in Iowa in, Saving Brinton. His current film project, a collaboration with Aaron Woolf (director of King Corn) is about the Iowa Mountaineers, a mountain climbing club from Iowa that had a tremendous impact on the way that Americans relate to the outdoors.

Links

John Richard / Bocce Ball Films http://www.bocceballfilms.com/

Aaron Woolf / King Corn – http://www.kingcorn.net/the-filmmakers/aaron-woolf/

The Iowa Mountaineers – https://www.iowamountaineers.com/

The Iowa Mountaineers, Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/iowamountaineersfilm/

Credits

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

48. Nate Staniforth

The Iowa Idea: Nate Staniforth

“The tricks are irrelevant.”

 In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with magician and author Nate Staniforth.

Nate is a magician, writer, speaker, and star of the Discovery Channel’s hit series Breaking Magic. In 2018, Bloomsbury Publishing released Nate’s memoir Here is Real Magic, which I highly recommend – it’s such a great read! For over a decade Nate has toured the U.S. as one of the busiest working magicians in the nation. As a speaker, Nate has lectured about his work at Oxford University and spoken about wonder, creativity, and curiosity for groups and organizations including Google, Tedx, and the Mayo Clinic. He lives in Iowa City.

We discuss Nate’s journey into magic and his search for wonder. We dig into how he approaches his craft and his quest for continuous improvement. Nate shares the tension that a performer feels to share their work with the world and the desire to protect their work from the world.

I appreciated Nate’s thoughtfulness and insight as we dug into these topics; and his advice to learn at least one really great magic trick as a way to better connect with others. In our conversation, we peek into Nate’s process and approach with inventing new tricks, or as he describes “solving an impossible problem” and his approach to performing a new show, and why ideas are so important in the process.

It was an honor having Nate join me on the show. I thank him for sharing his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Nate

Nate Staniforth is a magician, writer, speaker, and star of the Discovery Channel’s international hit TV series Breaking Magic, which has aired to over one hundred million viewers in more than 100 countries. In 2018, Bloomsbury Publishing released Nate’s hit memoir Here is Real Magic worldwide, and for over a decade he has toured the U.S. as one of the busiest working magicians in the nation. As a speaker, Nate has lectured about his work at Oxford University and spoken about wonder, creativity, and curiosity for groups and organizations including Google, Tedx, and the Mayo Clinic. He lives in Iowa City.

Links:

Here is Real Magic on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/163286424X/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/natestaniforth/

Credits

Episode produce by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

47. Kim Casko

The Iowa Idea: Kim Casko

“Take your time to figure it out.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Kim Casko. Kim is President and CEO of the Iowa City Area Business` Partnership, serving nearly 800 member businesses throughout Johnson County and beyond.

Kim grew up in New York and lived in four different states before moving to Iowa. Prior to joining the Business Partnership in fall 2016, she worked in both the private and public sectors – serving as an information technology consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, career advisor at the University of Maryland, change management director at the University of Illinois, and organizational effectiveness manager at ACT.

We discuss her journey into community leadership. We talk about leadership and crucible moments that shape us as leaders, as well as the importance of self-care and resilience. We also talked about EOS, the entrepreneur operating system, and how Iowa City Area Business Partnership used EOS to help guide their recent rebranding efforts.

I appreciated Kim using the lens of a Steve Jobs’ quote – “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

It was an honor having Kim join me on the show. I thank her for sharing her time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Kim

Kim Casko is President and CEO of the Iowa City Area Business Partnership, serving nearly 800 member businesses throughout Johnson County and beyond.

Kim grew up in New York and lived in four different states before moving to Iowa. Prior to joining the Business Partnership in fall 2016, she had various careers in both the private and public sectors – serving as an information technology consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, career advisor at the University of Maryland, change management director at the University of Illinois, and organizational effectiveness manager at ACT.

She is passionate about individual, team, organizational, and community development – anything that has to do with development and growth! Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in management and psychology from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Northwestern University in Illinois.

Kim resides in Iowa City with her husband, John, and adorable dog, Rocky. She enjoys anything food related, sitting on her front porch, and planning (with lots of spreadsheets and flip charts!).

Links:

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

46. Kenn Goodman

The Iowa Idea: Kenn Goodman

“That one year off turned into the rest of my life.”

 In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Kenn Goodman. For the past 30 years, Kenn has been an important part of Chicago’s indie music scene. Known for his bands The Service and The New Duncan Imperials, he formed his independent label Pravda Records in1984; and has played with everyone from Tiny Tim to Eddie Vedder.

We discuss his journey into music and running an independent record label, including his first professional gig, as a high schooler, working for an Elvis impersonator. I was first exposed to Kenn (aka Skipper) in the early ‘90s catching The New Duncan Imperials. Those were can’t miss shows where the band would rip the roof of the joint. I appreciated Kenn talking about the depth of The New Duncan Imperials universe, especially the lengths they’d go to get press in advance of shows during a pre-world wide web era. I appreciated Kenn’s insights regarding the pros and cons of the recording industry over the past few decades.

It was an honor having Kenn on the show. I thank him for sharing his time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Kenn

For the past 30 years, Kenn Goodman has been an integral part of Chicago’s indie music scene. Known for his bands The Service and The New Duncan Imperials, he formed his independent label Pravda Records in1984 and has played with everyone from Tiny Tim to Eddie Vedder.

THE IMPERIAL SOUND is a swinging pop band with roots in 1970’s AM radio, Chicago soul, and first-rate songcraft. Kenn Goodman (keyboards) and Rick Mosher (guitars and vocals) have been partners in a variety of musical ventures, from the Chicago-based Pravda Records store and label to the legendary trash-rock trio The New Duncan Imperials, for many years. Their latest incarnation, as the founders of The Imperial Sound, puts them at the center of a group of seasoned musicians with years of experience and a drive for self-reinvention.

Kenn played his first Hammond at 15. He was in the recording studio with his high school band Starfire when he got hooked on the warmth and richness of the Hammond sound. By 17 he’d outgrown Starfire and began touring with an Elvis impersonator band, The Keith Miller Band and TCB. He toured with them throughout the midwest until forming a new wave band BB and The Guns his first year at Northern Illinois University.

It wasn’t until recording The Service’s first full-length album “America’s Newest Hitmakers” in 1986 that he got his hands on another Hammond. He took full advantage of it. In particular, the opening track “Time Was” and “The Trouble Begins” spotlight Kenn’s love for that sound. They recorded their follow up album “George’s Duty-Free Goulash” with Butch Vig at Smart Studios in Madison, WI.

In 1990 members of The Service formed The New Duncan Imperials where Kenn became bassist and keyboardist. New Duncan Imperials recorded 8 albums and toured extensively thru Europe, Canada, and the U.S., and contributed music to beer commercials, television shows, and movie soundtracks.

Kenn currently plays with The Imperial Sound, Expo ’76, The Renaldo Domino Experience, and The Goldstars. He’s the musical director for Renaldo Domino and Motown artist Andre Williams. Kenn also plays the B-3 with soul legend Archie Bell and on countless studio recordings. His catalog of music appears in film, television, and commercials.

Links:

www.pravdamusic.com

www.newduncanimperials.com

www.theimperialsound.com

www.expo76.com

https://leestavall.com/

Additional music in the episode appears courtesy of Pravda Records, cleared by their CEO, Kenn Goodman.

  • The Quarry performed by The Imperial Sound featuring Kathy Ruestow
  • Jägermeister performed by The New Duncan Imperials
  • Hugs and Handshakes performed by The New Duncan Imperials

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

45. Vivianne Castillo

The Iowa Idea: Vivianne Castillo

“Don’t let anybody take your voice away. Speak your truth and see where it lands.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Vivianne Castillo. Vivianne is a User Experience Researcher with 8+ years of psychology and research experience spanning multiple contexts, cultures, and industries whose work and opinions have been written about in Slate, Fortune, Huffington Post, and ELLE Magazine. Prior to becoming a User Experience Researcher, she worked primarily in the arenas of human services and counseling, where she tackled issues like shame, empathy, vulnerability and compassion.

She is also the Founder of HmntyCntrd, an online course and community aimed at helping UX Professionals learn how to lean into new conversations around deeper human-centered issues, so they can understand how to craft equitable, inclusive experiences, know how to navigate UX topics that don’t have easy or obvious answers, and transform the status quo of what it means to be human-centered in our professional & personal lives.

We discuss her journey into UX research, the important work she is doing with HmntyCntrd and her academic background in theology. We dig deep into the importance of being humanity-centered vs human-centered; why selfcare is essential for UX practitioners, and the need for genuinely inclusive and supportive experiences. Vivianne shares the importance of building foundational skills, vulnerability, as well as cultural humility. I appreciated Vivianne’s framing regarding cultural humility, human-centered design, and true diversity and inclusion efforts.

It was an honor having Vivianne on the podcast. I was first introduced to Vivianne’s intellect and insight when I read the introduction she wrote for a design ethics book. Since then we were able to meet at a conference and I love her powerful and thoughtful voice on Twitter and LinkedIn. Check out the links to some of her talks in episode description. I thank Vivianne for sharing her time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Vivianne

Vivianne Castillo is a User Experience Researcher with 8+ years of psychology and research experience spanning multiple contexts, cultures, and industries whose work and opinions have been written about in Slate, Fortune, Huffington Post, and ELLE Magazine. Prior to becoming a User Experience Researcher, she worked primarily in the arenas of human services and counseling, where she tackled issues like shame, empathy, vulnerability and compassion.

She is also the Founder of HmntyCntrd, an online course and community aimed at helping UX Professionals learn how to lean into new conversations around deeper human-centered issues (e.g. the role of identity, privilege and power in design, the misapplication of empathy, and coping with compassion fatigue and trauma in UX) so that they can understand how to craft equitable, inclusive experiences, know how to navigate UX topics that don’t have easy or obvious answers, and transform the status quo of what it means to be human-centered in our professional & personal lives.

Ultimately, Vivianne will tell you that her work is driven by her desire to impact businesses and organizational ecosystems as a means to elevate the humanity and dignity of everyone — yes, everyone.

Links:

Website: HmntyCntrd

Twitter: vcastillo630

Instagram: choose.courage

Talks: Ethics & Power: Understanding the Role of Shame in UX ResearchThe Siren Call of Self-Neglect

Podcasts: Design Observer | S7E4: Vivianne CastilloSelf Care As A UX Researcher,

Articles: Why Self-Care Matters in UX ResearchSelf-Care is for UX | Medium SeriesVivianne’s Medium Writings

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

44. Chemda

The Iowa Idea: Chemda

“One minute at a time.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Chemda. Chemda was born in Israel and has lived in New York City since she was 4 years old, currently residing in Queens. She is a talk show host, writer and singer. She hosts the What’s My Name show, co-hosts as ‘The Girl’ of Keith and The Girl (KATG), a daily, award-winning comedy talk show with comedian Keith Malley. Navigating her life after having a football-sized tumor removed from her chest and getting divorced in the same year, she created OMAT – one minute at a time (https://store.keithandthegirl.com/products/omat-club). OMAT is designed to turn negative patterns into positive habits.

We discuss Chemda’s creative journey, including recording over 3,300 episodes of Keith and the Girl, being featured on the cover of The Village Voice, and dig deep into the development of OMAT. I appreciated her insights on taking care oneself and focusing on self-improvement – changing ourself, rather than trying to change others — especially the power of asking important questions and living an examined life.

It was an honor having Chemda on the podcast. I thank her for sharing her time and insights. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Chemda

Chemda was born in Israel and has lived in New York City since she was 4 years old. She currently lives in Queens. She is a talk show host, writer and singer.

Chemda hosts the What’s My Name show, a themed talk show.  She also co-hosts as ‘The Girl’ of Keith and The Girl (KATG), a daily, award-winning comedy talk show with comedian Keith Malley. Chemda’s first published book, What Do We Do Now, was released March, 2010 and went into its second printing within one week of its release. Written with KATG co-host Keith Malley, the book offers comedic yet sincere relationship advice. The book can be found anywhere books are sold.

Chemda made her first professional appearance in 1995 on well-known reggae artist Dr. Israel’s second album. Since then, she was the lead singer and choreographer for Mighty Dub Katz; featured on Comedy Central aside comedian Jeff Ross; and teamed up with Rhys Fulber (formerly of Front Line Assembly) for Conjure One as writer and singer, with songs featured on ESPN and EA Sports’ FIFA 2002.

Along with recent European tours, Chemda completed a US/Canadian tour as the sole vocalist for Conjure One, performing in venues such as Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC and Irving Plaza, NYC. She has recorded vocals for the follow-up album to Conjure One entitled Extraordinary Ways.

Chemda is a singer/songwriter on the album Patterns of War as part of dubstep band Dreadtone International. She recently finished recording the album for the rock-musical Viva Patshiva, and she continues to write and collaborate with various artists around the world.

Check out Chemda’s holiday album, Christmas Classics by The Girl and right now, you can download her original song Surrender at a ‘pay what you want’ price here. You can also purchase voodoolulu’s Meooow Royale, which features Chemda on vocals.

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).

43. Shonali Bhowmik

The Iowa Idea: Shonali Bhowmik

“Write it down.”

In this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, I sit down with Shonali Bhowmik. Shonali is a proud multi-hyphenate — she is a musician, actress, comedienne, filmmaker, and writer. She currently co-hosts her own live variety show podcast series called We Don’t Even Know. She is the leader of the indie rock band Tigers and Monkeys for which she is the songwriter, singer, and guitar player. She is a member of the popular comedy collective Variety Shac, with Chelsea Peretti, Heather Lawless, and Andrea Rosen.

We discuss Shonali’s early interest in music and her path from Nashville, to Atlanta, to law school, to that of a creative in New York City. Also, a little extra for experts, listen for Shonali’s doorbell playing Fur Elise – even her doorbell exudes positive vibes. Her life and approach align with the key themes of the Iowa Idea – creativity, craft, and persistence.

It was an honor having Shonali on the podcast. I thank her for sharing her time, her insights, as well as her positive and affirming energy. I hope you enjoy the episode.

About Shonali

Shonali Bhowmik is a musician, actress, comedienne, filmmaker and writer. She currently co-hosts her own live variety show podcast series called We Don’t Even Know. She is the leader of the indie rock band Tigers and Monkeys for which she is the songwriter, singer, and guitar player. She is a member of the popular comedy collective Variety Shac, with Chelsea Peretti, Heather Lawless, and Andrea Rosen.  Shonali was the host of the Shac’s popular Upright Citizen’s Brigade live show.  She has also created television pilots for the Adult Swim and IFC networks. She wrote and directed the short film, Sardines Out Of A Can which was screened in 6 cities across the globe including Madrid, Spain; Bangalore, India, and won best romantic comedy short at the Bare Bones International Film Fest 2014. She has her own independent music and comedy record label called Little Lamb Recordings.  She was one of the leaders of Ultrababyfat who was featured in David Cross’s tour DVD Let America Laugh. Shonali has released eight albums including her solo full-length release 100 Oaks Revival and those with her rock n’ roll outfits, Tigers and Monkeys, and Ultrababyfat. Tigers and Monkeys’ newest album Saturday Destroyer was released in September 2018.  Shonali can be seen in the feature-length romantic comedy, Isn’t It Romantic which was released in February 2019.

Shonali’s Websites

www.shonalibhowmik.com

www.tigersandmonkeys.com

www.wdekpodcast.com

Variety Shac YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCP_wP07uxZmKjAMBawBRhoQ

Credits

Episode produced by Spark Consulting Group (www.inspiredbyspark.com) in Iowa City, with support from Executive Podcast Solutions (https://www.executivepodcastsolutions.com/)

The Iowa Idea Podcast music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).