Chuck Hoffman has been working in Information Technology since 1983. His expertise lies in IT Service Operations which means he manages the team that keeps the enterprise up and running. We discuss teamwork, customer service, problem solving, and how ideas can come out of the most unforeseen circumstances. Given his entire career has evolved in parallel with IT’s development, this episode provides the perfect blend of history in the technology field along with how one can turn negative energy into a positive change that can help others. Recorded in Summer of 2017.
Christopher Zander is a Music Director currently working in NYC. In addition to music directing, he works as a piano accompanist for voice lessons and auditions for musical theatre. We discuss the line that’s drawn between just “doing your job” versus finding moments to contribute and collaborate with the artist you're accompanying. We also explore how your history affects the way you listen to music and if it matters.
For all of us out there chasing our dreams, there’s nothing more helpful then getting advice and gathering encouragement from the most “successful” people out there. And we all have Raji Ahsan to thank for being the one that has the balls to gather it for us. I use the word “successful” in quotes, as you’ll learn from watching his show “Making Brews and Paying Dues” that some of the best ways to endure in your respective field is understanding your own definition of "success". He’s also an incredible actor currently starring in “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” in Miami at the Colony Theatre. I’m so lucky to catch up with Raji - literally on his way to the airport - as we both share a mission to learn from others and discover the bond we all share.
On this special Mother’s Day edition of Can’t Stop, we sat down with my Mom, Kim Hoffman, to discuss how the challenges, communications, and decisions that come along with being a Mother can be explored through principles of creativity. We discovered some of those same challenges in the conversation itself as we were sensitive to the fact that every Mother and her own experience is completely unique to it’s own set of given circumstances. I myself was pleasantly surprised at all of the nuggets of information that came out of this interaction that I can benefit from in my own creative work. I hope you experience the same. If nothing else, you can hear some funny stories about my family growing up with Kim as our powerhouse leader.
Dr. Ethan Fried opens the APDIM Chief Residents Meeting every year and has done so for the past 11 years. His Plenary Session introduces the “Life Cycle of a Chief Resident” and he is faced with the responsibility of exciting over 800 Chief Residents from the medical field about their upcoming milestone in their career. Dr. Ethan Fried currently serves as the Program Director for the Chief’s Residents program at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine at Lennox Hill Hospital. Beyond teaching and presenting lectures to large audiences, his creativity comes into play amongst every student - or learner - along with all patients that he or his learners must treat. We discuss communication, sensitivity, and establishing trust… meanwhile I break that trust embarrassing him during “Name That Sample”.
Madeline Weinstein exploded out of Northwestern University finding herself acting on Broadway in The Real Thing by Tom Stoppard alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ewan McGregor, and Cynthia Nixon. Following Broadway, she worked at the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago on a play written by and starring Tracy Letts. At the time of our conversation, Madeline just came back from the Sundance Film Festival where the film she was in entitled Beach Rats was shown and picked up. We talk differences in approach between stage and film as well as what it means to “listen”. She’s an expert at setting records… even in categories she doesn’t want.
Teresa Lotz discusses her recent writing projects which include musicals and plays. How does one's process change from composing for one musical and then writing script for a play? We talk about the differences in writing partners as well as how her voice has revealed itself over time in social, political, and personal matters. We also tackle how the creative process presents itself to all collaborators in ways that arguably can’t be defined… at least without using vomit metaphors and dance parties.
Matthew WJ Mitchell shares his recent development on his solo show called “Where the Hell Have You Been?” being produced at The People’s Improv Theater (aka The PIT) in New York City. He’s a graduate of the PIT’s improv training program which through his improv teams has brought him across the country in numerous improv festivals. We discuss how crucial it is to connect with others, both on and off stage, as well as the life struggles that all creatives go through. Also, where the hell do ideas come from? We try to figure out what’s going on in Matt’s head as well what was going on in the heads of the World Wrestling Federation’s show-runners in the ‘90s.
Marie Lemon shares her experiences from the National Tour of Elf: the Musical playing the role of Emily. We discuss the challenges and benefits of everything from the performance schedule to collaborating with cast members of all ages and experience, and furthermore, how all of those things affect her creative approach as an actress. We also witness Marie discover how much of her training she still uses to this day even if she doesn't totally realize it.
John Hoffman talks about the final Weekend Nachos show in Chicago and the band's creative process in writing and recording in the past 12 years. We also debate the sensitivities found in analysis and judgement in art school, and how that has fueled some artists and discouraged others. We also find out he doesn't know his favorite movie of all time as well as he think he does.