Obi Nwankwo is Serious About This

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Obi Nwankwo is chasing a dream in LA and he doesn’t care who knows. The corporate johnny pencil pusher post grad track got old real fast. He took a step back and said “I want to be a model, I want to be an actor, I want to be on TV.” Jack into his energy field, get juiced as Obi talks his all in or fall in mentality, being a black man in LA, and why you should cherish your name.

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5:00 The idleness hit me. After I graduated I was eating what I wanted to, I was going out whenever I want to-  things that I never got to do in college on a consistent basis. I thought wow, this is amazing. But it was weird because I felt like everything that I was doing wasn’t going towards an upward path of progress. Some people get gratification from that, but I didn’t  so I went back to the drawing board and things that I have always said I wanted to do. Shit, I want to be a model, I want to be an actor, I want to be on TV.

50:30 I can’t say I’ve been in many uncomfortable conversations regarding the color of my skin in LA. That came out frequently in Boston, it would be stressful for me to be in a room full of white people and a rap song comes on, please don’t say the n word.  I’m having a good time and people don’t realize I would stress out about that and that’s that stuff that people don’t really have to deal with. But I had to deal with that and I never really told many people but damn, subconsciously. You’re choking. I went to Boston College, a majority white school, I grew up in the suburbs of a majority white town. A lot of the people I hung out with were white and for years, I’d just be so stressed. I didn’t really notice. I almost became immune to it. It’s something that I just knew I was going to deal with. When I came to LA,  people just aren’t really like that. People are very conscious of what they say around people because LA is one of those cities you never know who people know. Some of the the most unassuming people could be some of the most powerful people like just like john and so it’s like people are just very. People are just more caring and thoughtful of it. Like, no, no one’s this. Ivan. I can comfortably say I haven’t faced much discrimination out here where I did in Boston.

1:10:40 Go into everything you do with energy, put your best into everything you do. You never know what opportunity might come out of something. And any connection you make, cherish that connection because you never know when you might need that person. I’ve got opportunities from like the most random people, the most unassuming people. Always make sure you make a great first impression because a first impression is something that you only get once, so you might as well make it good. It makes no sense to make a bad impression on someone whether you like them or not. If you don’t like someone, treat them well. You don’t want anyone to put bad on your name. Cherish your name and who you are- you yourself as a person.

Produced by Chris Derr and James Newhouse. Music by Chris Hoogewerff.

Scotty Holdridge, Still Here Baby

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Scotty Holdridge- musician, bar manager, gentrifier- showing us he’s got more than enough life in him after getting the fuck out of tech. No agenda, no outline, no gradient, a riff session in every sense of the word. God bless him, Scotty put the ball in my court quite a bit as we talk Trump, music, feeling old, popular trash, SF baristas, the process of life- damn we hit it all. Listen to the way he says “yeah”, it’s legendary.

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5:10 I was moving in and this guy on a fixie was cruising by and he just yells out “City’s not going to gentrify itself.” I’m with my girlfriend, I didn’t hire movers, I have a used bed. This is the least gentrifying thing. I’m the problem? Right. How’s your day going?

49:35 It makes the founding of this place even more remarkable because initially when he got elected it was, oh my God, this guy is just going to… but the checks and balances, all the shit that they set up. And they’ve tried to fuck with it, the Patriot Act and all that. But it still holds up. That’s what’s so brilliant. In a country the size of us, a lot of people have argued it’s going to be too big to govern…still here baby.

60:00 Don’t conform and trust yourself. I wish I would have done that more. 10 years ago doesn’t put me in the best place actually. I was obsessed with getting the “career job.” And it wasn’t to please me it was to please a relationship. Don’t force anything, do it for yourself. If you trust it and you believe in it, you should do it. Defining your success and pursuing that is the way to go about it. You can and you will get anything you want in this life, but it’s never gonna look like the way you thought it was going to be.

Produced by Chris Derr and James Newhouse. Music by Chris Hoogewerff.

Donegal to San Francisco, A Niamh Donoghue Tale

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Donegal to Edinburgh to London to SF, Niamh has an accent, Niamh is restless, Niamh wants to see the world, Niamh is mic’d up. A year ago she moved to The States after never setting foot here, let’s see what the deal is.

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28:45 I think what I struggled with most when I first moved here is I was meeting people all the time and I made some pretty good friends, but you just can’t expedite that process of knowing someone really well. It was almost exhausting.

35:10 What I really thrive off of, what I really enjoy is to completely immerse myself in something else. What I think you miss out on when you’re traveling to places and only staying a month or two, I don’t think you get to see what the lifestyle is like. And different lifestyles are something I find interesting and make me curious.

41:20 Don’t get overwhelmed by it, take it one step at a time. When I had the problems with my visa, I was pretty overwhelmed by it all thinking, you know, is this even worth it? Constantly unsure of what my next step is. I had quit my job but also didn’t have a visa or a passport to actually get here. I didn’t really know what was coming next. I think at the end of the day, if you really want something, you do figure it out yourself, you do find a way. I would just be really open and optimistic about your situation. There times where I genuinely didn’t think I was going to come over here and I was probably going to have to move back to Ireland, which I was devastated about. But thinking right, it’ll work, it’ll work out, it’ll work. Don’t lose hope until it’s literally not going to happen, until you’re dead. Always trying to figure out another way. Anyone who has the opportunity to actually move away should definitely do it. It’s been the best thing for me, personally and career wise.

Produced by Chris Derr and James Newhouse. Music by Chris Hoogewerff.

Annalise & Ben, Married and Open

For Annalise and Ben, marriage doesn’t mean the end of other sexual partners or exploration of sexuality. They share the intimate details how they make it work- who knows, maybe you can too.

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12:35 I became more comfortable with myself and my own sexuality. I became comfortable saying out loud to myself and to other people that I’m actually bisexual. And I am attracted to women as well as men. And I think that to hide a part of yourself that is true is really difficult. It evolved out me just accepting my sexuality and letting Ben as my husband know that “hey I am attracted to women as well. And this is actually something that I need to explore in order to feel completely whole.” 

26:10 It’s very important that we at least trust each other’s sexual partners. If for whatever reason the situation was that we couldn’t physically meet the other person first that’s okay as long as we explain who they are and talk about them and they’re a trustworthy person. For us it’s full communication about everything at all times. Some couples have a policy of don’t ask don’t tell. That could work for some people but for us it’s full communication about everything and every time- zero secrets. 

59:30 I would just open the conversation and not feel like the subject is taboo because there are so many people since we’ve opened our marriage that are either interested or they’re in a similar boat but they just don’t talk about it because they’re nervous of being judged. My advice is just to be open and to live your life how you want to live your life and celebrate living and do what you want to do without hurting anyone else.

Produced by Chris Derr and James Newhouse. Music by Chris Hoogewerff.

Pat Daly, Doing Pretty Good

Pat Daly mic’d up at 2am- coming at you late night style, late night theme, late night people. The reckoning of high school bullies everywhere, Daly cracks open his machinery to show us how he ticks- talking friendships, cyber security, and the future.

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2:00 There are some people you can be so close with that even when you don’t want to see anybody, they’re the people you kick it with.

9:10 The biggest misconception from consumers about security is that because you are not a high profile person, you are not a target for a cyber attack. That’s not how these work in a lot of cases these are not targeted attacks. It’s an email that gets sent out to thousands of email addresses. It’s an automated program that’s pinging the internet for a specific software version or a specific type of device that has a known vulnerability. People think of it like someone’s going fishing with a fishing rod they’re not going after them, they’re going after the big tuna, but it’s more like your tossing a net in the water and whatever comes up comes up.

45:05 Learning is easy, anyone can learn, you just have to do it. It’s hard work, it’s a lot of time, but if you strip that away, it is the easiest thing. Time and focus. That’s how you learn.

Produced by Chris Derr and James Newhouse. Music by Chris Hoogewerff.

Justin Dunn Goes All In

Justin Dunn, the kind of guy who sits back, observes, learns, watches people make the mistakes- then plays his hand. He talks sustaining himself on poker full time, his foray into the cannabis industry, and why he does his own thing.

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26:10 Straight up experience. I’ve been through the trenches of not knowing when to leave. Going broke. Asking people for loans that I know at Blue Lake, trying to get it back. Sometimes it works and that’s why you do it again. You just gotta cut that out completely and be comfortable enough with yourself, “I’m not playing at my best, I could play tomorrow.” Poker never ends so there’s always tomorrow.

59:30 It’s like going through a maze. You could experience all the paths and know where they lead. As opposed to just picking the right path all the way to the middle, where you haven’t experienced the maze fully.

1:12:50 If you start going off the beaten path you’re going to get beaten. You’re going to get beaten until you get your shit together. If someone’s always telling you what to do, they you’re always going down their path. You’re going down the clear cut way that’s already been experienced.

Produced by Chris Derr and James Newhouse. Music by Chris Hoogewerff.

Mackenzie Angell, Call Him Mac Attack

Mac Attack let’s it all hang out. Along with live mixing on the show, he talks to me about his new music label Fuzzy Puddles, a rising event in LA he helps put on every month called Bass Waffles promising FREE WAFFLES and FAT BASS, and the art of not selling out.

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9:15 I haven’t finished as of now. It’s on the back burner, but it’s not a huge priority at the moment. I started off doing Critical Theory and Social Justice. It was a mouthful and a nightmare for me personally. Great, great subject matter, but the forum and the people that were participating in it, especially at Occi, some of them were just a little too much. Arguing things for the sake of arguing them and making everyone walk through a laser grid. “Bro, I’m not PC, I’m Mac, bro.” It was a circle jerk of people jerking themselves off with their own thoughts. It was not a loving environment for promoting forward thinking. It was reprimanding you in an oppressive way, which is exactly what you’re learning about, oppression, and being in that environment was like that. No one’s voice was actually being listened to. Everyone was just speaking to hear themselves talk. I just couldn’t take it. 

38:10 If you’re not doing it, if you’re not actually spending the time to move towards those goals, then you don’t really want them. What you want to do is what you’re spending your time doing.

43:45 We have enough of a little mini wave going and artists associated with us that have their own little waves going that people want to be a part of it. It’s dope because at first we were working so hard and even our own friends didn’t really have that much faith in us in the beginning. We had to fucking convince and convince people to come to shows and drag our friends out five minutes to a free show that’s down the block. “Come listen to your homies suck.” You could hear the noobness and the lack of skill and the lack of sound. We weren’t confident up there at all, and you could see that. It wasn’t really fun to be around. It’s hard to support that if you don’t really want to get behind it. Now two years later, we’re doing pretty well. We’re throwing a dope monthly event with two other event companies, the Table Productions and Synaptic events.

Produced by Chris Derr and James Newhouse. Music by Chris Hoogewerff.