Katie Krawczyk is Chief Executive Officer and Partner at 19 IDEAS, a marketing, PR, and web development company she started with her husband, Dan Gigante. Katie qualifies as a genuine Buffalo Boss Babe, but if you ask her (or Denis), she’s simply the boss. Denis and Katie talk about growing up in the eighties, life in the burbs (Katie was born and raised in Hamburg, NY), taking risks, playing the game we need to play vs. playing the game we want to play, and finally… choosing the life we’ve lived. The question arises, just how much of our lives can be considered a choice? Well… how much responsibility can you handle? Katie will inspire you to accept more.
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Avi was born in Jerusalem as a wave of hope was cresting. Hope in a peace that had drawn closer than anyone dared to imagine. Hope felt so strongly by Avi’s parents, his middle name is Shalom. Over the next twenty years Avi and his family found themselves in Cleveland, Chicago, Phoenix, New Jersey, Manhattan… and finally… Avi found his own personal Shangri-La… Fredonia, NY, where he attended college, discovered nature amongst the charms of small-town life, and had his first psychedelic experience.
Denis and Avi talk about where hope yet lies this quarter century since his birth. Could it be the promising results emerging from psychedelic research? And yet Avi hastens to qualify every statement he makes about psychedelics with attention to honesty and critical thinking. He’s careful to point out the small study samples, and he humbly admits that his own experiences are highly subjective. Details, caveats, conditions, and contingencies are generously supplied. His candor reveals a wider ratio of risk to benefit than one is likely to hear from the growing throng of psychedelic enthusiasts. Denis found Avi’s rational exuberance for inebriants nothing short of… sobering.
Garrett Shea wants to bring poetry to pop. And if a song happens to save a life, that isn’t too shabby either (stay tuned to hear THAT story and song at the end of the episode).
As a proud Villa Maria student, Garrett majored in Music Industry. There he connected with Grammy nominated producer Anthony Casuccio who produced Garrett’s first album with the band, Breckenwood. If you listen to their two albums you can not only hear loads of growth in his recording and song craft, but also a shift from pop-punk to just… pop. The pull of pop eventually led Garrett away from the band four years ago. He continues to write and record original songs, while having a blast in his cover band, The Red Letter Kings.
Garrett talked about that “switch” that needs to go off in his mind and heart before he is able to release a new song to the public. It took him over a year before he was willing to put his song, Travel On up on Spotify.
Dave began his career as a dog trainer [The Art of Dog], with mentor Josh Moran, who Denis interviewed in Episode 3. Dave and Josh have a podcast, Philosophers and Madmen, which focuses on dog-training and world-renowned dog-trainers.
Dave and Denis talk loads about BJJ. As they explore Dave’s life journey from childhood it became clear that Dave’s path led not only to dog training, but human training. Eventually they arrive at Dave’s recent strides in self development, and their conversation turned to the role of psychedelics in becoming more whole.
In this Sunday Shit Show edition of the The Lens, Denis practices Inner Authority, a tool that helps you get in touch with your shadow so that you can speak to an audience. Do you want to be real? Do you want to be brilliant? Do you believe that gaining the attention of your audience actually matters? This tool will tip the scales in your favor.
Also… Denis moved!
Shari Berman’s movie, My Life as Abraham Lincoln, is a journey with a woman desperately trying to unravel the tragic mystery of her own mind. It’s also a joyous love letter to the films and film genres Shari most enjoys. Shari also directed Sugar, a rock-and-roll movie about middle-aged women making the most of what could be their last moment to shine (even if it’s only on “MILF-at-Loser-Tube-Dot-Com”!). Denis marveled at the film’s bass-player, June Millington, a kick-ass guitar player from the all-girl band, Fanny.
Shari is pulling her next production together, Pink Mist. For starters, it has muslim immigrants, neighborhood bullies, a yiddish ghost and a tween amputee. Denis is looking forward to seeing where this all goes, and how Shari will weave her sense of humor into the tale. Shari is producing Pink Mist with actor/producer Michael Cuomo. She highly recommends Michael’s film, Happy New Year. One of the lead roles will be played by Lynn Cohen, who is also well known for her character Mags, from the Hunger Games. Shari’s husband, Chris Benker will be the director of photography.
Shari edited the web series, Switch, a dramatic exploration into the real life experiences of people who work in BDSM dungeons.
Denis attended The Horizons Conference: Perspectives on Psychedelics. There he met with other enthusiastic attendees, most notably Kalindi Iyi, Hamilton Morris, and Roberta Russell. He also got to hear accomplished speakers share their research findings on the therapeutic applications of MDMA to treat PTSD, DMT for treatment-resistant depression, and psilocybin to treat cocaine addiction. Michael Pollan was a highlight. Pollan’s in depth, solemn, and almost ‘mainstream’ treatment of psychedelics in his book, How to Change Your Mind, was the inspiration Denis needed to attend this conference and seek out other therapists who are bringing entheogenic experiences to the folks who need them.
Myron is a renaissance man. A devoted full time engineer, and part time music writer, producer, and charismatic leader of the band, Those Idiots. If you find yourself in Buffalo the day after Easter, prepare to encounter a parallel universe in which everyone is Polish, armed with pussy willows and squirt guns, and willing to FIGHT… for your RIGHT… to POOOOOOOOOLKA! Denis and Myron talk about immigrants, millennials, creating the digital future of Ukraine as the Soviet Union crumbled, and how to be popular with help from harmonicas.
Myron also talks about the tragic night music saved his life.
In this episode of the Sunday Shit Show, Denis gets his Hospital Bill. It was absolutely shocking. He also talks about the Rust Belt Adventure Cottage that will rise from the ashes of what his wife claims is a buffet of human flesh for rat-mites and other assorted vermin.
Hovel of wretched parasites? Or the happiest place on earth? We'll let airbnb decide.
Reading Adrian's novel, Down Sterling Road was an emotional experience for Denis. They talk about Adrian's writing, and growing up in a small town in 1970s Canada. Adrian also shares the tools (from the book, The Tools) that help him move forward and strengthen his commitment to writing.
Adrian’s next book, a collection of linked stories, comes out this October and is titled, The Ambassador of What. You can learn more about Adrian, his writing, teaching, and coaching at his website, https://adrianmichaelkelly.com/