David LaMotte is an award-winning songwriter, speaker and writer. He has performed over 2,500 concerts and released eleven full-length CDs of primarily original music, touring in forty-eight of the fifty states, as well as extensively in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He is a peacemaking advocate and the founder of Peg Partners - a non-profit that supports schools, libraries and music programs in Guatemala. He is the chair of the AFSC Nobel Peace Prize Nominating Committee and the author of three books, "S.S. Bathtub," "White Flour," and "Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness."
This episode, David joins the podcast to tell stories behind some of my favorite songs and his creative process. He talks about how his new book, "Worldchanging 101," came into being and how he and his wife, Deanna, developed Peg. We nerd out about Biblical interpretation and theology and of course involve you, the listener, in the conversation by answering your social media questions.
The President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians performs magic on the Cringe podcast and discusses the illusion of aggressively polarizing politics. Joe M. Turner has been seen on Good Morning America, Nightline, and CNN Headline News. He is the president of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, but before that, he was named him Greater Atlanta’s Magician of the Year by the International Brotherhood three times. He is a columnist for Genii Magazine and has performed Off-Broadway in Monday Night Magic – the longest-running magic show in New York City. He is a member of the Academy of Magical Arts, the Society of American Magicians, the Magic Circle in London, and the first Georgia magician to play all three showrooms in the Magic Castle in Hollywood.
Joe and I disagree about a number of topics politically, theologically, and artistically in real life, but this episode we talk about how the theatrical arts like magic can help people overcome the urge to be vitriolic and engage in healthy communities of dialogue where we can learn from each other. Plus, Joe will read your mind by performing an interactive illusion here on the podcast that you the listener can participate in!
Dr. Marcia Y. Riggs is the J. Erskine Love Professor of Christian Ethics at Columbia Theological Seminary. This episode, Dr. Riggs joins the podcast to discuss helpful ways that people of faith can process and respond in the wake of the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Riggs is interested in the relationship between social oppression and socio-religious ethical praxis, ethical discourse that bridges the gap between womanist religious scholarship and the church`s practice of ministry, the moral foundations for public policy, and the church's role in social justice ministry. She is the Founder of an applied ethics non-profit center called Still Waters: A Center for Ethical Formation and Practices, Inc. Still Waters' mission is to provide education in conflict transformation theory and practices, particularly focusing upon the intersection of religion and violence.
Kathy Fisher from the band, Fisher, joins the Cringe podcast! If you have the soundtrack to the 1998 movie, “Great Expectations," then you have Fisher on your phone or iPod as we speak. Their single, “I Will Love You,” made them the most downloaded band on the internet. That’s not hyperbole – that’s an empirical, calculable fact.
During this episode, Kathy and I go track-by-track, listening to some of my favorite Fisher songs both on their new album, "3," and from the back catalogue, and Kathy shares the stories behind how they were written. I wasn't sure if Kathy would be into talking about the Bible or theology, but she was totally into it, and it's great. We talk in depth about the music that she and her husband, Ron Wasserman, have written for television, film, and the EDM scene. Kathy also explains to Marcel van Grandpa what "EDM" means.
The Real Live Preacher gets ready to Cringe. Gordon Atkinson is the blogger behind the popular RealLivePreacher.com (now GordonAtkinson.net). He is the author of the book by the same name and gives us a sneak peek at the forthcoming second edition. This episode, Gordon talks about writing, creativity, the emotional challenges and processes of his life in ministry, and his decision to finally leave it behind. We also talk in-depth about the Real Live Preacher blog, his fictional character, Foy Davis, as well as what he thinks about "The Last Temptation of Christ." Plus, find out why Gordon nearly became the first guest to get the podcast slapped with a parental advisory sticker!
Author, theologian, and professor, the Rev. Dr. Martha Moore-Keish, joins the Cringe podcast to talk about the question, "What's the deal with prayer?" Why do we pray? Why is it important? Is it important? Is prayer about trying to change God somehow? Is prayer about changing ourselves? Or is there something else going on? During this episode, we also discuss the theology of Stephen Colbert during Lent, her lifelong fascination with India, and the challenges and joys of teaching as a seminary professor. She also finally answers the most elusive mystery at the heart of our theological quandary: Why does a theology professor raise chickens?
The mad scientist of comedy and magic, Mike Bent, joins the Cringe Podcast! Mike Bent has appeared on HBO, Showtime, ABC, NBC, CBS, Comedy Central, and A&E. He was voted Boston’s Best Children’s Entertainer by Nickelodeon, was called one of the world’s best children’s magicians by the Magic Castle in Hollywood. He’s been on the cover of MAGIC Magazine, and he was called “one of the most creative and imaginative people in magic”...by the White House! This episode, we talk about how magic has the potential to be a legitimate art form for communicating real ideas as well as being entertaining...but why so many magicians often get it wrong. I talk about my constant struggle to resist doing magic tricks during worship services, and Mike Bent explains why a youth pastor once called him the devil!
Is community theater important? That's really the question at the heart of this episode's conversation with Eric Bultman, professional actor, director, and executive director of the Sumter Little Theater in Sumter, South Carolina. When it comes to storytelling, what does community theater offer us in a media culture that with alternatives like Broadway, film, and cutting edge television like "Breaking Bad?" Is it possible that community theater is able to create life-changing impact in the local communities that larger entities such as film and Broadway don't...and even can't? That's the question that Eric and I explore in this episode - how local communities can discover their own stories in the theatrical text and how narratives define, shape, and even transform our identities.
Fans of Warner Brothers Animation will recognize Celeste Green as the co-creator of "Gotham High." Based on the DC Comics character, Batman, "Gotham High" was an animated series created by Celeste Green and Jeffrey Thomas. The series was ready to receive the green light from DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation until a sudden changeover in studio management shelved all animated projects at that time. Since then, the concept artwork from the project has gone viral, appearing in online film publications such as Gawker, io9.com, ComingSoon.net, and SuperHeroHype.com.
Celeste is also the former president of the Lyric Music theater and serves as the executive director and co-founder of Cast Aside Productions in Portland, Maine. What's more important for artists? Achieving fame and recognition through the admiration of fans? Or finding authenticity, sincerity, and honesty? Can you have both? Are they mutually exclusive? How do artists find that balance?
In this episode, we explore these questions and more, including her experience working with Warner Brothers, our mutual experience as students at Emerson College (which also happens to include a Batman project!), and her own sense of theological exploration through web comics and graphic novels.
Featuring Patrick Girts as the Joker
Welcome to the first episode of the Cringe podcast! As we move into the 2014 season of Advent, I sit down with my very first guest, the Rev. Dr. Walter Brueggemann. Dr. Brueggemann is one of the most influential scholars and theologians of the Old Testament alive today...
The conversation covers a wide range of topics from the emotional processes that may have been going on behind the writing of the Old Testament, "The Power of Myth" with Joseph Campbell, Neil DeGrasse-Tyson and the Cosmos, and perhaps most importantly, how art and storytelling can create space for covenant and fidelity between the storyteller and the listener. I ask the questions that I've always wanted to ask him...and you have the opportunity to do the same! During the conversation, we take questions from e-mail, social media, and Facebook. Special thanks to Dr. Brueggemann for participating in this conversation and for sharing his time with all of us.