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Dec 21, 2016

Merry Christmas!

From all of us at the Real Brian Show, a very Merry Christmas! In this farewell-to-2016 installment of the podcast, we bring you yet more Star Wars, plenty of talk about Christmas, and an amazing conversation with Nicholas McCarthy about his experiences as a concert pianist.

In This Episode

  • Buddy the Elf pops in!
  • Christmas & Star Wars with Martin Donison
  • Nicholas McCarthy has a unique handicap for a concert pianist...and yet, WOW!

Wear That Cookie Well

Nicholas McCarthy was born without his right hand, but he was also born with an extraordinary aptitude for piano. If that combination doesn't make sense, you will be astounded by the interview in this week's episode of The Real Brian Show. Brian and Nicholas dig in to the prejudice produced by the inherent handicap having only one hand presents and how the challenges he faced as a young person grew him into exactly who he needed to be as an adult.

More than simply rising to the occasion, or facing adversity head-on, Nicholas's story is one of those rare and unique, and totally authentic, tributes to a calling deep within the human spirit. We can each have a strong desire to do or to be something, but facing the word "No" or experiencing rejection can be a show stopper. Nicholas's skills tickling ivory were too great to allow any form of rejection to get in his way, and it is incredibly inspiring.

The Noise of Negativity

Negativity makes a lot of noise. Nicholas and Brian talk about this noise and how it can seem to drown out everything else around you. No matter how many people tell you something positive, the negatives are what seem to make the most noise. This manifests in a lot of ways. After the 2016 presidential election, for example, the negativity around the results was extremely loud and prolonged. All I remember from the first couple days after the election are the riots. A couple years ago, on the other side of this, Brian and I interviewed Greg Weisman (known for his work on comic-book and animated television series). He brought up the excellent point that when reading reviews about his own work, he can recite the negative reviews verbatim, and yet recall very little from the positive reviews.

Constructive criticism is my bread and butter. The only way to grow and improve is to keep at what you love doing and use the input from others to make adjustments as necessary. But, in the words of my one of my favorite authors, "few of us really have the heart to be in love without encouragement." It is hard to love anyone, or anything, without the encouragement to do so. While it's useful to have people in our lives who tell us the truth, in a more critical way, it is equally important to receive positive feedback. Even more importantly, it is important to listen to and trust positive feedback.

If you aren't getting any positive reinforcement for your endeavor, don't give up yet - make some adjustments. Try a new audience. As for feedback differently. Try to get to the root of why you're surrounded by negativity. Don't let the noise overwhelm you, try to drown it out with a healthy balance of input from the opposing force.


Merry Christmas!
-- Emilee

Dec 13, 2016

Welcome to The Real Brian Show! Because Star Wars: Rogue One will be gracing the big screen this coming weekend, a heavy focus of this episode will be on that upcoming blockbuster. As always, we'd love for you to join the conversation! Please visit our website for details on how to get in touch or leave a comment on this blog post. Unsure what to say? Start by telling us what your favorite Christmas movie is. Mine, you ask? It's a Wonderful Life. Hands. Down.

In This Episode

  • A chat with Han Solo
  • Nitro. Cold Brew. Coffee.
  • It's the most wonderful time of the year.
  • What's your favorite Christmas movie?
  • Welcome, Kyle! Let's talk about ROGUE ONE!
  • The line between being respectful... and flat out fake.

Rogue One

I enjoy the Star Wars story. I enjoy any story that does "world building", by which I mean... establishes a strong framework or foundation for its premise and commits Rogue One: A Star Wars Storyto revealing as much as it can of that world through dialogue, costume and scenery. Star Wars commits, and I appreciate that. I would not call myself a fanatic or an expert, though, which is why I was recently pleasantly surprised to learn of the premise for Rogue One.

Perhaps the seasoned Star Wars fan could discern from the trailer, but alas, I could not. The story of Rogue One actually takes place between Episode III and Episode IV, which I find fascinating. It is the first in what is being called an anthology of Star Wars films. Here is a good premise:

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" takes place before the 1977 original film, "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope." In "A New Hope," Princess Leia hides the plans to destroy the superweapon, the Death Star, inside her droid, R2-D2. "Rogue One" will follow the team of rebel fighters as they attempt to find the plans for the Death Star. Spoiler: We know they eventually end up in Leia's hands, but this is our in-depth look at how it happened.
via BusinessInsider

After hearing Brian and Kyle discuss and anticipate the movie, I am even more excited to see it on Saturday!


Our culture spends a lot of time worrying about image. Yes, worrying. (Worry (v): to give way to anxiety or unease.) We worry about the way we look and, even worse, worry about the way others look. Like most things in life, attention to appearance has extremes. Either we care so little about the way we look that we disrespect others by the way we dress or we care so much about the way we look that it becomes our sole focus.

Personally, I've always had issues dressing myself. I'm not incredibly girly and most of what I know about doing my hair has come from desperately seeking out YouTube how-tos. But I've learned a lot over the last couple years and a little goes a long way. After learning how to assemble the various components to looking nice, it's not as much of a chore anymore to put myself together for a party.

As with so much in life, I do believe that managing image comes back to balance. Brian reminds us that the way we put ourselves together is how the world sees us. As much as it is an impression of ourselves, it's also an opportunity to make an impression. Even though we're treated differently by what people see on the outside, the motivation for putting on nice clothes and making ourselves presentable should be to respect others instead of elevating our own stature.

A couple things change when I dress up, and I wonder if you feel the same way. First, I behave differently. I'm not as reckless in "nice clothes". I walk differently and I'm more careful. I like to walk on low walls, swing around poles and jump over fences... but I tend to not do those things when I'm more dressed up. And that is typically a good thing, because the way I am dressed usually lends to itself to how I should behave. Second, I'm more aware of my surroundings. Because I've taken the time to get dressed up, I notice others, I notice details, and I enter into that world... instead of keeping it at a distance or operating outside of it.

The final touch to every outfit should be a smile. When I was in my first year of college, I was not in a good place (emotionally) and wasn't afraid to let my bad attitude show. But one day, after my nutrition class, this girl comes running up to me and gets in my face, demanding to know what my problem with her is. I stare at her, blinking rapidly (as I recall), trying to figure out who this girl was. Turns out, she was in my nutrition class and thought I'd been glaring at her the entire period. I apologized, because my glares were not meant for her, I had never seen her before as far as I could recall. But she definitely opened my eyes to how my attitude affects those around me.

Since then, I've worked really hard to finalize every outfit with Happiness. It can be challenging, but putting on a smile affects my psyche as much as it affects those around me. I didn't need a YouTube video for that ensemble.


Nitro cold brew coffee, it's all the rage! Thought for Food has a great demonstration of what the process entails.Nitro Cold Brew

What's the big deal
Two words: stronger, crispier, creamier. Nitro cold brew brings out the taste and texture of the brew without sacrificing caffeine levels. As the name suggests, it's coffee that is literally infused with nitrogen bubbles, which is what produces that creamy taste. In coffee shops it's kept in a keg, pressurized, and drawn from a tap when ordered.

So that is what the big deal is!


Dec 7, 2016

Welcome back to The Real Brian Show! We've got a great line-up for you in this episode as we talk about racism, and its more general ancestor - bullying. Racism is just one of the hot-button social issues that plagues our society. The cause and effects are deeply rooted into our society, but that doesn't make them untouchable. In fact, it makes them even more tangible.

In This Episode

  • Welcome to CJ Thunder (aka Carl)!
  • Super secret hot cocoa recipe...
  • Racism: what are it's roots?
  • Experiences with bullying.
  • How do we fight bullying?
  • Chewbacca joins the conversation
  • More from Lee Stephen, including comments on adversity, advice for aspiring writers, and some big truth bombs.


The famous quote from Eleanor Roosevelt oft comes to mind when talking about adversity and bullying: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Also the old adage: "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Quotes and sayings, like these ones, might encourage us to take the power away from a bully, but they do little to acknowledge the fact that bullying does hurt.

Brian and Carl face the issue of racism with compassion. Words matter because we wield them in very specific ways in order to illicit a range of emotions from other people. We use them to manipulate, to incite fear, to wound. We use them to make someone fall in love with us, to tell someone how much we care, or to communicate difficult news in a delicate way. The conversation in this podcast addresses the fact that the people wielding words for evil purposes may, in fact, be hurting themselves. Instead of fighting fire with fire, fight back with an attitude of how you wish the other person had treated you.


We face adversity when bullied. Whatever brand of bullying you've received, whether it is racism, like Carl, or discrimination, like Brian, that period of suffering is actually called adversity. My dad always used to say that our character is revealed the most when we are under adversity, because it's only when we're under pressure that we're truly challenged with wielding the tools most intrinsically important to human life.

I've been learning a lot about compassion in the last couple months, learning how to see suffering in others and find the patience to listen and hear the struggle they face. But compassion is about so much more than acknowledgement and patience, it's about the endurance of those qualities. Compassion feels to me to be the intrinsic opposite of bullying and, as such, the greatest weapon that can be wielded.

If adversity comes from times of struggle, and let's specifically target bullying since that is the topic of discussion here, the opposing force of struggle is peace or surrender. Carl made a great point about hitting a bully with kindness, in that showing a bully that you are unperturbed by their attack makes them more likely to back down. Retaliating with hurtful words or a punch to the face reinforces the attack from the bully, inciting the very response they want. They want to cause pain, because seeing others in pain is the fastest way to feel less of one's own.


The banner image for this episode is taken from Howard Center, an organization that desires to enrich the lives of those in need.

Nov 30, 2016

Welcome back to The Real Brian Show! We've got a great lineup for you today, including special appearances from author Lee Stephen and Jedi Master Yoda.

In This Episode

  • Thanksgiving is over. Now... Christmas!
  • Coffee & tea recommendations.
  • An amazing "unleash your superhero" moment!
  • TV News: DC Shows crossing over this week, Arrow's 100th Episode
  • Tony drops in to talk video games and review the new sci-fi movie Arrival
  • A general observation of people ignoring driving and traffic laws!!
  • Lee Stephen joins! Want to know the inspiration for his books?

My Own Harmony

trbs-002-guidelines"...The code is more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules." -- Captain Barbossa Pirates of the Caribbean

In this week's episode of The Real Brian Show, there are a couple conversations about rules. It's interesting the way all these conversations came together, because it really draws out the dilemma we see on a broad scale in modern culture. On the one hand, we have rules that are meant to protect us. Laws that are put in place to try and get everyone on the same page, such as traffic laws. Stop lights, stop signs, speed limits, they're put in place to try and make people cautious and aware of the fact that they're driving a several hundred pound metal contraption that could instantly cause their death if mishandled.

On the other side, there are rules put into place that sort of establish a "status quo". They define how things can be done, but do not produce the same outcomes for everyone. When you disobey a traffic law, it puts your own life and other lives at risk and effectively breaks an operational paradigm. But when you disobey a law like, oh, how to record an audiobook, it can lead to ground-breaking success.

Lee Stephen joins Brian in this episode for a conversation that will really have you thinking about the value in leaving rules behind in favor of paving your own way. When it comes to finding a niche, finding success, Brian has done nothing but fight against the status quo! And we desperately need people like Brian and Lee to defy those odds in order to continue to produce good, new, unique content.

Part of the problem between the two sides of rule-breaking I've outlined, I think, is semantics. The English language has been rendered inert in so many critical aspects of conversation that we don't, and thus can't, reserve words for their pure intent. We use "monsters" to describe spiders and politicians; we use the phrase "who's your daddy?" to assert dominance or to literally ask who our father is; and we use "rules" to refer to instructions, guidelines, figures of speech, technique, or laws. In order to really understand what people mean, we have to have conversations. Which is not a bad thing, but it's hard to get those conversations going and, then, hard to get deeply ingrained idealisms to separate after years and years of coagulation.

Can you see where some people get the wrong idea about rule breaking? We teach kids, at very young ages, to sit still, listen to the teacher, don't talk when you're not supposed to, don't argue when you're supposed to be listening, and to regurgitate information on tests. Then, 15 years later when they throw their hats in the air, move on from college into the real world, they're suddenly supposed to have a mind of their own, come up with their own ideas and challenge the status quo.

We want people to obey the laws that keep them safe, but the code of conduct... it's just guidelines. Personally, I believe that because we don't use a lot of words the way they're meant to be used, and abuse educational institutions for behavioral correction, we lose a lot of structure in being able to communicate to kids, when they're most impressionable, the difference between the laws of physics and the laws of the road or the laws of the classroom. p = mv... do you disagree? Preventing children from behaving like children, preventing riled up little boys from behaving like the bundles of energy they are, we're raising a generation of kids who want to break rules. And that mindset permeates the barriers of physics, of the classroom, and of the road.


Nov 23, 2016

We are so happy to be back with an all-new episode of The Real Brian Show and are so thankful you're joining us once again. If you're wondering why this episode is labeled #1 (or 001, depending on where you're looking), don't worry... you haven't gone crazy. Or maybe you have, I won't judge. Brian used the first seven episodes of The Real Brian Show's initial launch to regroup, reassess, and reconfigure a few things, and he'll tell you all about it within the first five minutes of the show. So don't worry, you are in the right spot!

In This Episode

  • Start. Stop. Start again. What happened to the Real Brian Show?
  • A look ahead at conversations that need to happen in the post-2016 election era.
  • Agendas on television and why they're not our cup of tea.
  • An amazing conversation with nutrition-happy John Lee Dumas!

The Phoenix Rises

Appropriately, the phoenix in Greek mythology describes a creature which rises from the ashes of its predecessor. Part of the legend of this creature is that it first must die in a huge show of combustion before it can rise again. I wouldn't go so far as to say this "bursting into flames" happened to Brian before this mini relaunch, but the great part about legends is that they are interpretations and analogies to real life. Regardless, it is a great reminder to us all that even when something seems to fail or stall or not quite feel right, all of the essential components are very likely there, ready to arise from what was left behind.

And so we're back at it! In this week's episode, Brian tells us a little bit about why he started, stopped, and restarted the show; he gives an interlude for the upcoming American holiday; he talks about some topics he's looking forward to addressing in upcoming episodes; finally, John Lee Dumas joins Brian and they talk about John's foray into sustainable dietary habits, then John's pre-podcasting years and what led him to start EOFire.

Let's Talk

The post-2016 Presidential Election era has been a dark and icky place. Personally, I took a break from social media for a full 10 days because it made me sick to read tweets and Facebook posts. The hate and blind rage that was coming out of people, particularly ones I would have never expected it from, was bringing me down. I physically felt a huge weight on my heart, and I didn't like it. But ignoring the posts and tweets will not help me in the long run; there is a larger issue that needs to be addressed.

Whether you hate the results of the election, don't care one way or the other, or are absolutely thrilled, we have the same mission as we've always had: live and work together. In my own opinion, I would go so far as to say that it is time we wake up and remind ourselves that the government will not save us. We cannot rely on laws or policy or elected officials or lobbyists to change the minds and hearts of the people around us, we must be that change. We must embody the absolute best of mankind in spite of what the government is doing, in spite of who your neighbor voted for, and in spite of the cogent fear that has gripped our nation.

In thinking about this topic a lot lately, I was reminded of a scene from Prince Caspian, the book by C.S. Lewis from from The Chronicles of Narnia. In this book, the Pevensie children return to Narnia after having been away only a year in their world, but many, many years have passed in Narnia. Power has changed hands many times, corruption has seized surrounding kingdoms and that corruption is now threatening Narnia. In the Narnia the Pevensies knew, the animals were considered "talking beasts". They were fully conscious and communicated with all manners of life. What was more, they were an essential part of Narnia's composition. However, in Prince Caspian, Lucy (the youngest), is confronted with a black bear, whom, of course, she tries to speak with. The bear growls and charges at her. He is not a talking beast. She's so surprised by this behavior that she is nearly mauled by the bear. But she's saved by Trumpkin, the cynical dwarf, who responds to her confusion by saying: "Get treated like a dumb animal long enough, that's what you become."

There are extensive studies about treating criminals like criminals, addicts like addicts, and how it severely implicates the recovery process. I think the same principles are relatable here. We cannot become the hate that we fight so desperately against, and in order to avoid becoming that hate we have to both stop spewing it and stop labeling others. Maybe you think it's easy for me to say "be love, not hate", but I firmly believe that the things worth fighting for are often the things that are hardest to fight for.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, show love this holiday season! This doesn't mean ignoring issues or placating the people who don't believe the things you believe, but it does mean being respectful and being willing to have tough conversations without erupting with anger. If you think you're on the verge of letting everything come spilling out, just stay away from the carving knives.


Sci-Fi November is almost over, but it's not too late to squeeze a little science fiction in. What science fiction mediums are you consuming? Books? Television? Films? Let us know! Leave a comment in the blog or send us an email:


Oct 18, 2016

In continuing on the tradition of there being never a dull moment on The Real Brian Show, YouTube comedian and emotional life coach JP Sears (and his creative muse) join Brian this week!

In This Episode

Awaken with JP

  • Meet JP Sears, the character
  • The real JP Sears emerges!
  • Nerding out about creativity
  • Using humor to help, not to hurt.
  • Avoidance creates deeper wounds.
  • JP talks about WHAT holds us back from unleashing our own superhero
  • What's next for JP?

Awaken with JP

Comedy, in its classical conception, was designed as a means to relate humans as social beings rather than the privatization of some of life's most basic elements. By holding up a hypothetical mirror, and reflecting the perceptions of idiocy or awkwardness through the lens of culture, an almost healing awareness is drawn. It is incredibly fascinating to me that comedy's origins can be found in Aristotle, from whom we derive our notions of Western philosophy. From the same man who gave us writings on everything from physics to ethics to poetry, we also get an understanding of comedy dutifully representing man's below-average participation in the mundane life.

Mundane, of course, is a matter of perspective. But the brilliance of comedy is its ability to turn something mundane into a caricature. Where comedy is most effective is where it can imitate something naturally while drawing attention to the aspects of it which are ridiculous. JP and BrianMundane can be quite funny; dry, sarcastic humor, for example. Many of my favorite sitcoms, including The Office, Parks & Recreation and The I.T. Crowd are all concerned with very mundane everyday life situations that are told in caricatures.

JP Sears falls into this category as well. While we wouldn't consider him, or his material, mundane, he deals with a lot of topics that are just everyday life sort of things. Embracing humor and incorporating that into his professional life has only increased his sense of worth and his ability to reach out and touch on very core, fundamental concepts in everyday life.

A Balance Of Humor and Logic

The conversation Brian and JP Sears have is such a great representation of the balance between humor and logic. Using humor to first expose some of the ridiculousnesses of life and culture, they follow it up with a real discussion about how some of these ridiculousnesses can actually hold us back from releasing our own superhero. From avoidance, which increases tension, to a lack of vulnerability, which increases avoidance, sometimes our lives don't have enough to diffuse the things that make it so serious and so seriously difficult.

How many times have we heard not to take ourselves too seriously? The advice celebrities give, when asked about how to make it to where they are, its always something like, "Don't take yourself too seriously!" It doesn't mean we can't take our dreams or goals seriously; it doesn't mean that we can't be ambitious or focused. Taking ourselves less seriously means being able to distinguish between what is common and what is ridiculous. It means being vulnerable about the hard things in order to let go of their domination over our psyche.

A popular song right now is Let It Go by James Bay. Other than it's catchy rhythm and great vocals, I'm drawn to the lyrics.

But now we're slipping at the edge
Holding something we don't need
All this delusion in our heads
Is gonna bring us to our knees

So come on, let it go
Just let it be
Why don't you be you
And I'll be me?
watch / listen

The song isn't necessarily about taking oneself less seriously, but it does have a lot to do with facing situations honestly. There comes a time when we realize that the way we've been living doesn't work anymore, and that lends significantly to what humor helps to alleviate. It helps us take an honest look at what life is like, take it a little less seriously, and deal with the problems at hand.


Oct 11, 2016

The movie-quoting, wrestling-calling, classic humor loving Jason Bryant joins The Real Brian this week to talk about how his passion and commitment to investing in his inner nerd led him to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

In This Episode

  • Movie quotes are just so dang quotable!
  • Turning everything into politics makes us too uptight.
  • Jason's fun, personal fact has to do with his daughters...
  • The saturated book market and listening at 2x speed.
  • What is Jason's super power?
  • Getting geeky for stats.
  • How the opportunity for 2016 Rio came up.

Announcing at the 2016 Olympics

Today I released an episode for Golden Spiral Media's Stuff I Learned Yesterday podcast about the idiom "pie in the sky". Jason's description of the journey that led him to being an announcer at the 2016 Olympics in Rio struck me as one of those things we think of being wonderful to contemplate while, at the same time, having it in the back of our minds that it is never going to happen. And that is basically what the idiom means: nice to think about, but unlikely to be realized. My purpose in discussing the idiom on Stuff I Learned Yesterday is to draw out the fact that by using idioms like pie in the sky in order to express our feelings about something, we limit ourselves from going after what we truly want.

Here at The Real Brian Show, we're all about going after what you want in spite of the odds. If your vocabulary is riddled with negative words, stop and take a hard look at your situation! What is it you really want? What obstacles stand in your way of obtaining it? How can those obstacles be broken down so that this "nice to think about" achievement can become a reality? Whatever your inner nerd is going crazy over, don't be afraid to see where that passion may lead.

In this episode of The Real Brian Show, we make it very clear that we won't discriminate one what anyone can nerd out about. Jason is all about wrestling and goes to great lengths to hone his craft. Recently he's developed a database where he can store stats and query it for information few other announcers have. In doing so, he sets himself apart from the crowd while also satisfying a curiosity he has for all things wrestling.

Jason's pursuit of his passion and unashamed commitment to nerd out about wrestling has opened the door to some incredible opportunities. Some of the opportunities are unexpected, but Jason never lifts his foot off the accelerator! It's such great fun to hear about his love for wrestling, the confidence it provides him, and how finding this niche gives him total freedom to embrace his inner nerd.

Did You Know?

trbs-005-jason-ed-alivertiIn April of 2016, Jason was presented with the Ed Aliverti Golden Microphone Award. The award is "given annually to honor a public address announcer who has excelled in the craft and made a major positive impact on the wrestling community."


Oct 7, 2016

Happy Superhero Friday! What makes a Friday "Superhero Friday"? The short answer is that, honestly, we don't really need a reason. The long answer will be discovered by listening to this first installment of The Real Brian Show's Friday edition. Tune in for more information!

In This Episode

  • What is Superhero Friday?
  • Little bit about Brian, his wide variety of interests and how he hopes that wide variety will appeal to you.
  • Let's be collaborative with Spotify!
  • Brian explains what he means by "unleashing the Superhero within".
  • How can we change the world by being Superheroes? Here's an idea!

Gloriously Heinous

Far be it from Brian to utilize an episode title that actually has something to do with what he's talking about, right? When thinking up naming conventions, for just about anything other than something programming-related, I'm always intrigued by what ultimately ends up becoming such an iconic part of that entity's identity. Friends and the convention of "The One With..." or "The One Where..."; One Tree Hill used song lyrics or song titles; The Blacklist uses the names of the individual on the Most Wanted List that Red Reddington wants the FBI to hunt down that week.

It's not just TV shows. Podcasts do it, too! RadioLab usually makes a pun out of the episode's main topic. The Golden Spiral Media podcast for Under the Dome used fake newspaper headlines (the podcast was much better than the show). The Nerdist keeps it real simple and just puts the name of the person they're chatting with in that episode as the title. But to each his own! Episode titles need to be unique to the show they represent and, if nothing else, we here at The Real Brian Show will swear to you that our episode titles will be unique. I may have even helped formulate some...

The First One

Superhero Fridays, we hope, will largely be utilized to celebrate Superhero moments. This world is so filled with negativity and the nay-sayer attitude that it felt necessary for someone to produce a podcast centered around the intrinsic opposite of that force. In these Superhero Friday installments, you won't just get a healthy dose of positivity, you'll hear about how Brian and others are enjoying life and then be encouraged to do the same. From entertainment to coffee to interesting experiences out in the real world, we hope to provide you with a well-rounded ride into the world of positivity.

Most importantly, in order to provide that well-rounded ride, we need your input. We want to know what you've seen and experienced that has impacted you. How have you seen people unleash their superhero? How have you unleashed your superhero? We are so eager to celebrate those individuals who want to make the world a better place by feeding into it, not just draining it for all it's worth. If you have an experience to share, please record an audio clip or send us an email:

This is a SAFE SPACE

We've all got a nerd inside us... eager to let loose. This is a safe space! No matter what is at the center of your nerdy heart, we accept you because you are you. We promise not to discriminate about your nerdy passions and, as such, ask that you show the same courtesy to us and to those who contribute! Both Brian and I are all for healthy, constructive discussions, so when you engage with us, please keep it respectful and we will do the same.


Support the Show

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Oct 4, 2016

In this installment of The Real Brian Show, we’re pleased to present an interview with actress Amy Gumenick! To learn more about Amy's roles, please check out her IMDb page!

In This Episode

  • Sweet tooth triggers
  • Attending conventions
  • What does Amy nerd out about?
  • Amy shares how living in a world of imagination encourages her to give back
  • It’s hard to stay grounded, how does Amy do it?

Amy Gumenick

This week’s interview with the lovely and talented Amy Gumenick will have your mouth watering from beginning to end. While the conversation starts off about sugar, and what really makes Brian's and Amy's sweet tooth ache, it develops from there and we uncover another truly remarkable gem in the sea of Hollywood actors.

trbs-003-cupidI love conversations around how people approach their craft. Whether it’s discussing approaches to development with a fellow programmer, or the writing process with a fellow writer, or listening to my grandpa tell stories about how he dealt with projects while he was in the lathing trade, hearing someone talk about their passion bridges a lot of gaps between what we don’t know and what we assume we know. Few of us know, truly, what the life of an actor is like, but we can assume much. Listening to Amy describe her approach and how she uses the resources around her in order to inform the roles she lands is very illuminating.

One of the points she makes is something I think is applicable in many walks of life, at least one that I am going to consider utilizing. Amy says that when she lands a role, she spends time journaling about the character, filling in that character’s backstory and thinking through personality traits or mannerisms. Then, when she goes to work, she sets that journal aside with this background information established, but opens herself to the direction and input of the directors and writers.

I’m not an actor, as many of you may know. I’m an application developer and a writer. It might not seem immediately obvious as to how I can implement Amy’s approach, since it’s very relevant to how to embody another personality and take direction after developing that backstory, but I think it is very similar to how many companies approach goal-setting. trbs-003-mary-winchester When your manager or boss has you sit down and forecast goals, there’s an intentionality around that practice that draws awareness to the position you hold, how you are able to make meaningful contributions to the company, all while simultaneously pursuing the tasks that will bring you the most satisfaction.

Based on the conversation Amy has with Brian in this episode, the threefold outcome of goal setting truly seems to be how she approaches all walks of life. From surrounding herself with people who will remind her of who she is and why she’s doing what she’s doing (instead of drawing her deeper into the culture that corrupts good intentions) to working with kids in order to draw out the vivid imagination in others which she never let go of herself as a kid, Amy is a nicely well-rounded and well-adjusted actress.

Wild Imagination

In addition to being well-rounded, though, Amy fits very nicely into the nerd world. She describes growing up with a wild imagination that would create elaborate worlds with all sorts of characters, becoming so corporeal in her mind that she even now reflects on those stories and characters and wonders about them. Most “creators” (i.e. artists, writers, the like) know exactly where she’s coming from. I get to know the characters in my stories so well that sometimes I think about them like they are real. It’s a great problem to have! (As long as we can draw the line, right?)

A huge thank you to Amy for coming to chat on the show! Please, please check out her work and send your own thank-you on Twitter or Facebook (all links are below). Remember, getting a chance to chat with folks like Amy is increased every time you share the show and spread The Real Brian Show love!


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Oct 4, 2016

In the first interview from The Real Brian Show, we're excited to present an interview with Garrett Wang and Megan Elise!

In This Episode

- Working on the set of Star Trek: Voyager
- Exerting superiority can limit opportunities for others
- Relationship advice
- What do Garrett and Megan geek out over?
- Garrett and Megan talk about their inner superheroes
- Disarming others with your own personal brand of superhero
- Negative reactions have a negative effect
- How we're treated dictates how we act
- Encouragement from Garrett and Megan
- The counseling side of bullying

Meet Garrett Wang

What better way to start off the interviews featured on The Real Brian Show than with Garrett Wang (Star Trek: Voyager) and Megan Elise! Since the day Brian met Garrett Wang at DragonCon, all I’ve heard from him is how awesome Garrett is and how down to earth Garrett is. So it is very appropriate that we kick off interviews with an actor from Brian’s favorite show (Star Trek) and an actor that embodies some of the rarest characteristics in Hollywood.
When asked, Garrett will tell you that he left Hollywood many years ago. But he’s far from left the public eye, and that is definitely to our benefit. Getting to tap his memory bank for some history and behind the scenes on Star Trek, with raw and unfiltered expositions on working with the cast and crew of the show, is something we don’t hear very often. He’s not shy about telling things the way they are, and how so much of Hollywood is dictated by behavior.

For example, we have all experienced a situation in which we were prevented from doing something we either thought we had a particular expertise in or merely had an interest in attempting because the person (or people) in charge of a project asserted their own superiority. Whether this superiority is legitimate or self-perceived is beside the point; projecting this superiority on others limits opportunity. It’s often a power play designed to maintain control, so that they do not cede any ground over which they might have expertise.

This projection of superiority has two negative side effects, one to the person projecting it and the other to the person being projected upon. When we treat others as superior, it reaffirms their own notion of superiority and feeds this behavior. It spreads, then, almost like wildfire, in its ability to consume everyone in its path.

The real and candid conversation Brian, Garrett and Megan have about this detrimental attitude both brings awareness to angles of it that aren’t really talked about, anywhere, and also dives into how we can actively counteract the behavior. trbs-002-t-jeffersonOne such methodology is, to paraphrase, disarming others with your own personal brand of superhero. How we are treated dictates how we act. Negative treatment produces a negative response; but negativity is a cyclical problem whose cycle can be broken!

It can be difficult to be the positive force in the midst of a sea of negativity. Personally, I resort to silence, instead of either a positive or negative reaction. While my null reaction, though, does not necessarily exacerbate negativity (it sure can, however), neither does it diffuse negativity. I am challenged to rise above my passive aggressive response and find something characteristic of me in order to be a positive force against negativity.

A huge thank-you to Garrett and Megan for their time! And for being awesome, proud geeks! Please be sure to give them a shout out on Twitter (links below) and thank them for being on the Real Brian Show.

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LinksGarrett Wang, Megan Elise, and The Real Brian

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