The Better Podcast with Joe Towne

The Better Podcast with Joe Towne

By Joe Towne

A podcast inspiring us to be and do better. Conversations that help us individually - and collectively - develop healthier relationships with our mind, our craft and the world. We hope these conversations will be an invitation to: Acknowledge what we are doing well; Recognize where we are seeking to do better; Identify and examine what is in our way; And Spark new conversations between us all!

Episodes

Joe Towne with Liza Katzer on Learning to Trust Your Voice

Joe chats with Liza Katzer about her path to becoming an Emmy-winning producer of Ted Lasso: from the hustle of working at Management 360 and UTA, to making movies at Disney to making the leap into comedy and becoming VP of Development at Doozer (working with Bill Lawrence and Jeff Ingold) Liza shares insight into how Ted Lasso came into being, what it has taught her and why it is having the impact that it is having. Joe and Liza also talk about the intersection of sport and art: how athletes can learn vulnerability from artists, and a team mentality can help artists to realize they are not alone, they are a part of a greater whole. Ultimately, they explore how she deals with the disappointments that are inevitable within our industry, how embracing pivots has supported long-term success as well as how finding her voice and listening to her gut led her to this moment. Who is Liza? Liza Katzer is an Emmy-winning producer for her work on Ted Lasso, which won the award for best comedy series in 2021.  She was also recently named one of the Hollywood Reporter's 35 Under 35 Up and Coming Entertainment Executives to Watch. She is a Southern California native from Palos Verdes Peninsula, who started her career with a series of summer production jobs for the E! Channel while studying at Northwestern University.  After graduating, she moved to LA and worked at United Talent Agency, before moving to The Walt Disney Company to work for both the Feature Studio and then International Local Language Production.  She joined Bill Lawrence at Doozer productions as an assistant when he signed his first overall deal with Warner Bros and worked her way up to Vice President.  Her first producer credit came when her project LIFE SENTENCE was ordered to series at the CW.  Since then, she has continued on to produce WHISKEY CAVALIER for ABC, and HEAD OF THE CLASS for HBOmax.  She is set to co-executive produce the two upcoming apple series BAD MONKEY and SHRINKING, and will continue to Co-EP TED LASSO.  She has a slate of projects featuring female and diverse voices in development, and has produced a number of pilots and presentations for various networks and streamers. TWITTER: @LizaKatzer INSTAGRAM: @lizab15 LINKS TO UPCOMING PROJECTS: Jason Segel to Star in ’Shrinking’, Apple TV+ Comedy Series from 'Ted Lasso’s Bill Lawrence & Brett Goldstein https://deadline.com/2021/10/jason-segel-star-shrinking-apple-tv-comedy-series-ted-lasso-bill-lawrence-brett-goldstein-1234855380/ Vince Vaughn to Headline ‘Bad Monkey’ Apple TV+ Drama Series from Bill Lawrence https://deadline.com/2021/08/vince-vaughn-bad-monkey-apple-tv-drama-series-from-bill-lawrence-1234810854/ Head of the Class’ Reboot Gets HBO Max Premiere Date, First Look Image & Clip Featuring Robin Givens https://deadline.com/video/head-of-the-class-reboot-gets-hbo-max-premiere-date-first-look-image-clip-featuring-robin-givens/ Clone High- Two Seasons of the Animated Comedy at HBO Max https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/clone-high-mindy-kaling-scooby-doo-spinoff-pete-davidson-animated-comedies-a-go-at-hbo-max-4130831/ Current Favorite Quote: "Let go and let god”
02/12/212h 6m

Joe Towne with Anthony Sparks on The Celebration of What’s Possible

Joe chats with Anthony Sparks about coming up in the theatre: at Williamstown, at the Public Theatre and for five years in the Off-Broadway smash hit Stomp! The lessons he learned, both on stage and auditioning out in the world, inspired him to take a more active role in the projects he would choose to be a part of and later create into existence. Anthony shares insight into the purpose of his art: whether it’s a solo show, show running and collaborating alongside Ava Duvernay for Oprah Winfrey, or creating his own shows for Blumhouse TV. Ultimately, we hear his Why, and his deepest vision for how he is trying to shape the images we collectively see on our screens as a means of transforming the world. Who is Anthony? Anthony Sparks hails from Chicago’s South Side and has worked in television over the last 19 seasons. A strong advocate for diversity and inclusion in television, theatre and film, Anthony is the longtime Showrunner, Head Writer, and Executive Producer of the critically acclaimed OWN/Warner Bros. Television drama, “Queen Sugar”. Queen Sugar, created by filmmaker Ava DuVernay and executive produced by Oprah Winfrey, is currently airing its 6th season. Anthony has been a key writer and producer with the show since its inception. In addition to Queen Sugar, Anthony is also currently an Executive Producer on the highly anticipated HULU limited series, Iron Mike, about the controversial life and times of Mike Tyson. Sparks is also developing several new series with Blumhouse Television, where he recently signed an overall First Look Deal, and also with Endeavor Content. It was also recently announced that Sparks will create, showrun, and executive produce a scripted drama inspired by the Detroit Youth Choir, which rose to prominence on America's Got Talent in 2019. Anthony is writing and developing this show for the Disney+ streaming network. Anthony holds a BFA degree in theatre, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American Studies & Ethnicity, all from USC, the University of Southern California. Anthony received the Jack Nicholson Award, LeVar Burton Award, and Doolittle Associates Award while an undergraduate at USC and the Anna Bing Arnold Fellowship while pursuing graduate work at USC. Dr. Sparks is also a cutting-edge scholar of media, performance studies, and African American politics and culture. He has consulted and written for Disney Imagineering and when time allows, he mentors and teaches screenwriting and cultural studies at Cal State Fullerton, Occidental College, and USC. Anthony Sparks is based in Los Angeles, where he is married to actor-director and USC School of Dramatic Arts professor and Associate Dean, Anita Dashiell-Sparks. They live in Los Angeles and are working hard to raise their three young children. WEBSITE https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1092388/ INSTAGRAM: @sparks.anthony TWITTER: @SparksAnthony Show Notes: -Ava Duvernay https://www.oprah.com/inspiration/ava-duvernay-queen-sugar-and-female-directors -Gina Davis Institute on Gender in Media & Documentary ‘This Changes Everything’ https://seejane.org/about-us/ https://www.netflix.com/title/81110773 -Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) https://surj.org/ -Queen Sugar https://www.oprah.com/sp/queen-sugar-s6.html
18/11/211h 46m

Joe Towne with Noa Kageyama on the Discipline of Play

Joe chats with performance psychologist Noa Kageyama about his musical journey starting with training with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki as a young musician to learning how to practice as a teenager and getting his undergraduate degree from Juilliard. He shares what studying with an olympic sports psychologist taught him about navigating performance anxiety and the insight that prompted him to learn the secrets of peak performance while getting his Doctorate in Psychology. Ultimately, whether standing on a stage at Lincoln Center, or in a classroom in front of the next generation of world class musicians, Noa shares insights about effective practice, the building blocks of confidence and so much more to inspire us on our journey as lifelong learners. Who is Noa? Performance psychologist Noa Kageyama is on the faculty of The Juilliard School and is a performance coach for the New World Symphony in Miami, FL. A conservatory-trained violinist with degrees from Oberlin and Juilliard before pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology at Indiana University, Noa now specializes in working with performing artists, teaching them how to utilize sport psychology principles and more consistently perform up to their full abilities under pressure. He has conducted workshops at institutions ranging from Northwestern University, New England Conservatory, Peabody, Eastman, Curtis, McGill University, and the U.S. Armed Forces School of Music, to programs such as the Starling-Delay Symposium, The Perlman Music Program, and the National Orchestral Institute, and for organizations like the Music Teachers’ National Association and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Noa’s work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, Musical America, Strings Magazine, Strad, and Lifehacker. He maintains a private coaching practice and online mental skills courses, and authors a performance psychology blog and podcast called The Bulletproof Musician. website: bulletproofmusician.com facebook: facebook.com/bulletproofmusician instagram: @bulletproofmusician Upcoming projects: I’ve begun offering live classes for music professionals and educators as well as for amateurs and lifelong learners. More info at: bulletproofmusician.com/courses Noa’s (current) favorite quote: E.E. Cummings — 'It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.' Notes: Anders Ericsson on Larry King: on the science of expertise https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gn3f8sEb8Y Dr. Suzuki https://suzukiassociation.org/about/suzuki-method/shinichi-suzuki/ Julliard https://www.juilliard.edu/ Sports Psychology https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-sports-psychology-2794906 Daily Writing Practice (don’t break the chain/atomic habits) https://jamesclear.com/stop-procrastinating-seinfeld-strategy Sports Psychology for Dummies https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8318638-sports-psychology-for-dummies Grit-Angela Duckworth https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance?language=en
28/10/211h 38m

Joe Towne with Pamela Sheldon Johns on the Joy in Small Pleasures

Joe chats with award winning author, chef and travel guide Pamela Sheldon Johns about her journey through kitchens and vineyards from Southern California to Tuscany. She shares what she learned from adventures working alongside Wolfgang Puck, cooking Italian Food for Julia Childs and being cooked for in the Italian countryside soaking in it’s rich history. We go on to explore what Italian Grandmothers, and artisanal food producers can teach us about our own relationships to food and very real conversations about the impact that both Climate Change and a Global Pandemic are having on the foods we have come to love. Ultimately, they talk about how food can become a celebration of life itself, the things we can all do to become more mindful travelers and why things just taste better when you are on Italian Soil. So, who is Pamela? Pamela’s background includes a Master's Degree in Education/Administration from the University of San Francisco and a 30-year career that has included teaching, food styling, catering, cooking school administration, and food writing. After ten years working with disabled high school students (teaching them to cook and work in food service jobs), she moved into the world of fine cuisine, first with Chef Joachim Splichal and later managing Ma Cuisine, the Cooking School of Ma Maison in Los Angeles. In 1992, she started her own cooking school at Jordano's Marketplace in Santa Barbara, bringing in local and international food authorities or classes and events. At the same time, also began working as the representative of an Italian culinary program (at Tenuta di Capezzana, and later Cantina Avignonesi), traveling to Italy two or three times a year, for two to three months at a time. While in California, she was nominated to be a lifetime member of Slow Food and started the first convivium in Santa Barbara. She was the leader of the American Institute of Wine & Food at the local level and on the international board for several years. She was the Food Editor of Santa Barbara Magazine and a columnist for the Santa Barbara News-Press, and had a program on KEYT (ABC affiliate) and a radio show on KCBX (NPR affiliate). In 1996 Pamela created Italian Food Artisans, her culinary travel business. Pamela holds wine and food workshops in several regions of Italy: Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, Campania, Liguria, Sicily, Puglia and Basilicata, Abruzzo, Veneto, Sardegna, Marche, and Piemonte. A dual citizen in the US and Italy,  Pamela lives full-time with her familly at her organic farm, Poggio Etrusco, in southern Tuscany. The holiday apartments/bed & breakfast, cooking school, and tours have been touted in Bon Appetit, Travel and Leisure, Cooking Light, on CNN, Wall Street Journal, and more (some links below). Pamela is a certified Olive Oil Sommelier and is currently working on her AIS (wine sommelier) certification. Pamela@FoodArtisans.com Facebook @ItalianFoodArtisans.PamelaSheldonJohns Instagram @pamela_sheldon_johns info@Poggio-Etrusco.com Facebook @PoggioEtrusco Instagram  @poggioetrusco Show Notes: Italian Food Artisans regional culinary workshops and Italian itinerary planning www.FoodArtisans.com Poggio Etrusco organic farmstay and cooking school www.Poggio-Etrusco.com Slow Food https://www.slowfood.com/ Carol Dweck-Mindset: The Psychology of Success https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/44330/mindset-by-carol-s-dweck-phd/
21/10/211h 44m

Joe Towne with the Webb Sisters on the Space Between Rhythm and Flow

@mejoetowne @thewebbsisters Joe chats with the marvelously talented Webb Sisters about what they learned about collaborating with some of the world’s top musicians and producers and what it feels like being on stage with thousands of people watching night after night. They talk about cultivating excellence in and around performance, the relationships that can change the trajectory of our lives and internal struggles that emerge around the very dream jobs we work so hard to bring into being. Ultimately, the Webb Sisters share that the obstacles themselves —from self doubt to performance anxiety and people pleasing can also become our best teachers. Who are Charley & Hattie? “The sublime Webb Sisters” was how Leonard Cohen introduced Charley and Hattie on his international comeback  tour. Charley and Hattie joined Leonard for this 6 year global adventure on the road, becoming well known for  their close harmony sibling vocals and unique instrumentation, of harp, mandolin and guitar. Starting at the beginning with their first major label release 'Daylight Crossing’, they burst onto the UK music scene  via Mercury Records receiving 'Single and Album of the Week' on itunes and BBC Radio 2. An album of strong  melodies, led by Hattie’s harp, Charley’s rhythmic guitar and drenched in their signature harmonies; Tom  Petty said: “their own records are incredible, they will blow your mind”. Whilst on the road with Leonard, The Webb Sisters recorded and released their album ‘Savages’ and EP’s ‘The  Other Side’ & 'When Will You Come Home', produced by legendary producer Peter Asher. Their song 'Baroque  Thoughts' went on to win The International Music Award for 'Best Adult Contemporary Song'. The sisters joined Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to sing with them on their 40th Anniversary tour in 2017,  singing with Tom on his final 50 concerts. Hattie and Charley recorded with The Lumineers on their record ‘III’,  performing with them live at The O2 Arena in November of the same year. Then collaborating with Wesley Schultz  for his recent solo album ‘Vignettes’. Their distinctive vocal sound has contributed to live performances with; and recordings by the likes of Sting, The  Avett Brothers, Glen Hansard, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell, Marketa Irglova, Damien Rice and Elvis Costello. The Webb Sisters received the 2019 Maynooth University Ireland Award for Arts and Culture. Instagram: @thewebbsisters Facebook: @thewebbsisters Twitter: @thewebbsisters Website:www.thewebbsisters.com ALBUMS: https://www.thewebbsisters.com/music-2/ UPCOMING SHOW DATES: Keep an eye on their website for upcoming tour dates! Show Notes Hattie and Charley Webb (performing live with Leonard Cohen) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_XcMAGZjuY Spotify Playlist for this episode: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6KUZfiWpN4WZun7PQel9B8?si=VIVierW-Se-1cC-uX-_x3w&dl_branch=1 Leonard Cohen https://www.leonardcohen.com/ Tom Petty https://www.tompetty.com/ Colin Kaepernick https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/sports/colin-kaepernick-nfl-protests.html
16/10/211h 48m

Joe Towne with Kevin Carroll on the Magic of Reframing Our Journey

@mejoetowne @kckatalyst This week I’ll be chatting with the Katalyst of Creativity, the Philosopher of Play, the Instigator of Inspiration himself -Kevin Carroll. Aka KC. Kevin’s journey has led him from the playgrounds of Philadelphia to the soccer fields of Germany, across Nike’s campus and onto the floor of the United Nations. His ability to show humanity to itself with a wide open heart and a curiosity about our connection is one of the reasons that Ted has asked him onto their stage multiple times. He has been an Alchemist to so many, but how he alchemized his own journey is the source of his magic. More about Kevin- Kevin is an author of four highly successful books published by ESPN, Disney Press,  McGraw-Hill and A Kids Book About. He has helped turn creative ideas into reality for  organizations such as Nike, Starbucks, Adidas, Walt Disney, Target, Proctor & Gamble,  Columbia Sportswear, Mattel, the National Basketball Association and many others. Kevin has dedicated his life to advancing education, sports and play as a vehicle for social change and success. He was honored to address the United Nations as part of the  UN Year of Sports for Development and Peace in 2005 and is an ongoing advisor and  active supporter for many global social innovation organizations. Kevin was named by  SUCCESS magazine as one of 19 “SEERS – changing the world!” Twitter & IG: @kckatalyst LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevincarrollkatalyst/ Website: https://kckatalyst.com/ SHOW NOTES Joseph Campbell, “The Hero’s Journey” - https://billmoyers.com/content/ep-1-joseph-campbell-and-the-power-of-myth-the-hero%E2%80%99s-adventure-audio Where the Wild Things Are - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19543.Where_the_Wild_Things_Are TEDX Talk-The Power + Magic of Matriarchs - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wiXpVamxxoU Rules of the Red Rubber Ball by Kevin Carroll - http://www.randomhousebooks.com/books/24490/ Aspen Play Summit (Kobe and Kevin) - https://youtu.be/JkGCJP471NE Smudging Link - https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/smudging# The Primacy of Movement Book by Maxine Sheets-Johnstone - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17601160-the-primacy-of-movement Kids Book about Belonging by Kevin Carroll - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/52383763-a-kids-book-about-belonging 3 Things that went well Practice with Martin Seligman-  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOGAp9dw8Ac Dr. Seligman explains the Three Good Things Exercise and how it promotes happiness. Language - https://www.discovermagazine.com/mind/how-learning-a-language-changes-your-brain Content Warning: The Topic of Abandonment 39:51-42:46
07/10/211h 56m

Joe Towne with Lino DiSalvo on the Art of Embracing Risk

@mejoetowne @LinoD This week I am chatting with the ever-inspirational Lino DiSalvo.  A creative artist across multiple disciplines with an overflowing optimism that is nothing less than infectious- we talk about how sometimes we are being prepared for a future that we can’t see just yet. And only upon reflection can we see how things may be guiding us towards something bigger. Who is Lino? Lino DiSalvo is an Italian American animator, film director, writer and producer. Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Franklin Square, Long Island. Lino's Parents immigrated to the US from Castaldacca, a small town in Sicily, Italy to pursue the American dream. As a child, DiSalvo was a fan of the early animated feature films from Disney and then, as a teenager, became inspired after seeing The Lion King in 1994 deciding that’s what he wanted to do. With the encouragement of his parents, he left for Vancouver, BC to pursue animation at the Vancouver Film School. After graduating from VFS he joined Walt Disney Animation Studios. DiSalvo spent almost 17 years at Disney and served as Head of Animation on Frozen. His other credits include supervising animator on Tangled and Bolt; and animator on Meet the Robinsons, Chicken Little, 102 Dalmatians and Reign of Fire. He served as Creative Director for Paramount Animation before joining Paris-based, ON Animation Studios (producers of 2016's The Little Prince) as Head of Creative. Lino is currently Developing an Animated feature about Monsters, Wizards and Magical spells inspired by Italian folklore and draws heavily from his cultural heritage. DiSalvo has also also voiced the characters of "Vinnie the Pigeon" in Bolt, "Gristletoe Joe" in Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice, and "Robotitron" in the upcoming Playmobil: The Movie Twitter @LinoD IG @linodisalvo - Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/want-to-be-happier-science-says-do-these-5-simple-things-every-day.html - Atomic Habits by James Clear https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits - ”Where did the Commute Go?” https://hbr.org/2020/12/where-did-the-commute-time-go - Plussing https://design.org/the-power-of-plussing-in-critique-and-creativity/ - Yes And https://www.fastcompany.com/3024535/yes-and-improv-techniques-to-make-you-a-better-boss - Lino https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1863341/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 - Tangled https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0398286/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 - Bolt https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0397892/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 - Frozen https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294629/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 - Playmobil https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4199898/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 ON Animation https://www.onanimationstudios.com/en/ Vancouver Film School  https://vfs.edu/
30/09/211h 27m

Joe Towne with Yogi Roth on the Power of a Dream

@mejoetowne @yogiroth This week I’ll be talking with the always inspiring Yogi Roth. Yogi is a friend. A mentor. A storyteller above all. When we collaborate, I am better because of it. So who exactly is, Yogi? Yogi Roth is a storyteller: seeking and uncovering the humanity in sports around the globe. A Pac-12 Networks college football analyst, Award-Winning Filmmaker, Scholar, New York Times Best-Selling Author, accomplished Coach, Motivational Speaker, Media Personality, Host and World-Traveler. Yogi began his storytelling career after coaching football at USC, co-authoring the New York Times best-seller Win Forever with Pete Carroll. As a media personality, Yogi has been a host/college football analyst for ESPN, Fox and the Pac-12 Network. In 2017, he co-hosted the podcast Season of Sam with current NFL quarterback Sam Darnold. Yogi is the host of a new show titled THE IT FACTORY: Pac-12 Football with Yogi Roth that can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks or listened to on all podcast platforms. He has also hosted the Elite 11 for the last thirteen years. Yogi, who gave a TEDx Talk at the TEDx Austin Women’s Conference, has spoken around the globe alongside brands such as Nike, World Surf League, USC and the University of Washington. In 2018 Yogi spoke at the SXSW Festival addressing masculinity in sports. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Yogi went on to receive his master’s degree in Communications Management at the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism (Magna cum laude) at the University of Southern California. Content Warning Timecodes: Some graphic detail about the Holocaust, 7:00-11:20. SOCIAL HANDLES www.yogiroth.com IG: Yogiroth Twitter: @YogiRoth RESOURCES Yogi’s Ted Talk @ TEDx Austin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hz8B2wV_KU8 Secret Project mentioned during the episode: THE IT FACTORY - Pac-12 Football with Yogi Roth on www.Pac-12.com/insider and via Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-yogi-roth-show-how-great-is-ball/id1097508442?mt=2 Learn and Remember (Holocaust Website for support and allyship) https://www.ushmm.org/remember/holocaust-survivors/resources The Sixth Stage of Grief (book) https://grief.com/sixth-stage-of-grief/ Screamfree Parenting (book) http://screamfree.com/ Pete Carroll’s Pyramid of Success https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/323062973242910947/ John Wooden UCLA bball coach pyramid (inspired Pete’s pyramid) https://www.thewoodeneffect.com/pyramid-of-success/ 'Win Forever' by Pete Carrol https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/306479/win-forever-by-pete-carroll-with-yogi-roth-and-kristoffer-a-garin/ Juju dance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTsq3-cyOEY
22/09/211h 3m

In the Pursuit of Better

Joe Towne invites you on an adventure to explore what Better means. It starts here, with a glimpse into the inspiration and motivation behind these conversations in a short message from our host Joe Towne. The journey of this show will be to chat with some of the world's best creatives and wise humans and apply it to our exploration of craft, daily routines, our closest relationships, health and wellness and the cultures we work and play in. Overall, the mission to help inspire us all to be just a little bit… Better. It all starts with one question: what does better mean to you?
10/09/212m 57s
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