Today we welcome Anne Libera and Kelly Leonard on the show for an especially fun and playful look at the world of improv comedy! Anne and Kelly are world class improv instructors and ambassadors who have a long history at The Second City, the world’s first ever on-going improvisational theatre troupe. The Second City has turned out notable performers like Tina fey, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers. Topics revolve around improv as it relates to mindfulness, creativity, cognitive reframing, authenticity and more. We also learned a lot from this interview about how improv can be used in everyday life, and we still get a kick out of the story we improvised involving the destruction of Purple Popsicle Man! We thank those listeners who take a moment to leave an honest iTunes review – it helps us hone our craft!
“Kelly Leonard is the Executive Vice President of The Second City and The President of Second City Theatricals. He has worked at The Second City since 1988 and has overseen productions with such notable performers as Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Steve Carell, Adam McKay, Seth Meyers, Rachel Dratch, Amy Poehler, Jason Sudeikis, Keegan Michael Key, Rachel Dratch, Amy Sedaris and a host of others. Mr. Leonard co-founded Second City Theatricals, the division of the company that develops an eclectic array of live entertainment all over the world. Recent productions include “The Second City’s A Christmas Carol: Twist My Dickens” with Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles and “The Second City Guide to the Opera” featuring Renee Fleming and Patrick Stewart with Lyric Opera Chicago. Mr. Leonard also brokered the deal that brought The Second City to the high seas where the company maintains full time ensembles aboard six Norwegian Cruise Line Ships. Mr. Leonard lives in Chicago with his wife Anne Libera and their children Nick and Nora.” Blurb taken from secondcity.com
“Anne Libera has worked with The Second City since 1986 and has taught in The Training Center since 1991. Her book, The Second City Almanac of Improvisation, is published by Northwestern University Press. For The Second City, she directed The Madness of Curious George and Computer Chips and Salsa, the Theatre on the Lake productions The Second City Goes to War and The Second City Looks at The Windy City, as well as touring company productions that have appeared all over the United States, in Edinburgh, Scotland and Vienna, Austria. Outside of Second City, her directing credits include Bunny, Bunny for Illinois Theatre Center and Stephen Colbert’s one man show Describing a Circle at Live Bait. She has been an artistic consultant to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and is on the part-time faculty of Columbia College. She has reviewed theater on WGN radio and written for the NPR news quiz show Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. Anne serves on the governing board for Gilda’s Club Chicago.” Blurb taken from secondcity.com
In everyday conversation, we use the word “narcissist” to describe our ex-lovers and the jerks we encounter on the subway, but what does it really mean? On this episode of The Psychology Podcast, Scott has a fascinating discussion with Kristin Dombek about the “new narcissism”, in which everyone is a selfish narcissist– except ourselves. In this episode, we take a close look at how the label narcissism is used in psychology and popular culture, and how its increasing use may be a product of our modern times. We also discuss the guilt and fear associated with being labeled a narcissist, we talk about the differences between narcissism and psychopathy, and we cover an assortment of other topics including science journalism, how often we act out of character in a day, and the possibility of a “selfie apocalypse!”
In this raw and uncut episode, Mark Manson imparts his wisdom on the art of not giving a fuck. According to Manson, the key to living a good life is “not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important”. In this interview, we learn about this unique art form, and all of the counterintuitive ways that giving less fucks in your life actually frees you up to get more of what you truly value. You’ll learn how the acceptance of one’s negative experience can itself be a positive experience, the benefits of suffering, the futility of searching for happiness, the ways that emotions are overrated, and how to distinguish between good values and unproductive values. You’ll also be inspired to learn that you are not as special as you think you are, and that you are wrong about everything. As if that wasn’t motivating enough, you’ll also learn to accept your mundane existence, and the inevitability of death. This was a fun, wise, and at times, rather profound, interview. Note: In the spirit of Mark’s message, this entire interview is uncensored and unedited, which means that Scott shows extreme vulnerability in a way that he hasn’t before in past episodes. Fuck it.
Why are humanoid robots creepy? Why do ghosts always have unfinished business? Do all animals have a mind? Does our consciousness persist beyond our physical bodies? Might cryonics help us live forever?! These are some of the great mysteries of the human condition we address with Dr. Kurt Gray. It’s a fun and interesting philosophical episode, where we consider a range of topics related to having a mind and moral responsibility. Fair warning – this episode contains some adult content as we engage in some quirky and interesting moral considerations.
“Kurt Gray’s investigates the mysterious inner lives of animals, machines, and human beings. His research finds that minds are a matter of perception—how else can we make sense of people treating their cats like humans, and treating homeless people like objects? Such “mind perception” is immensely important because entities seen to have minds are afforded moral standing while those without minds are merely “things.” Mind perception can help explain why people believe in God, debates about gay marriage, and how good deeds make us stronger. Mind perception also forms the essence of morality, as judgments about right and wrong seem to hinge upon whether people see harm to other minds.” Blurb taken from kurtjgray.com
On this episode of the Psychology Podcast, we interview Pulitzer prize winning author Charles Duhigg about his latest book Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business. Charles has a real strength for communicating scientific research through fun/entertaining narratives, and elucidating how to be more effective in our everyday lives. We discuss research related to motivation, decision-making, teamwork, focus, prioritization and more – all via interesting anecdotes varying from championship poker, military training and airplane disasters. This interview features some very practical science and several harrowing stories. Enjoy and feel free to leave a review on iTunes – it lets us know what you enjoy and helps us refine our craft!
“Charles Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter for The New York Times and the author of The Power of Habit. He is a winner of the National Academies of Sciences, National Journalism, and George Polk awards. A graduate of Harvard Business School and Yale College, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two children.” Blurb taken from amazon.com
Dr. Joy Lawson Davis is a career educator with over 30 years of experience as a practitioner, scholar, author and consultant. Her current work, a topic that is near and dear to the show, involves increasing equity of access to gifted education programs. In this episode, we talk about the racial inequalities that plague our nation’s gifted education programs, and we discuss work being done to create equal opportunity. Other topics include: the current evaluation criteria for “giftedness” and how it can be improved, the importance of bringing all of the shareholders to the table for these discussions, the anti-intellectualism of our modern era, and several alternative ways of identifying giftedness in school. It’s a personally meaningful episode as Scott and Joy recount their own experiences with our non-inclusive education protocols. We hope you enjoy the show!
“In addition to local district and university experiences, Davis served for five years as the Virginia State Specialist for K-12 Gifted services. A graduate of the College of William & Mary Dr. Davis holds both master’s and doctorate degrees in Gifted Education. Davis has conducted workshops, been a long-term program consultant, and served as a keynote speaker and distinguished guest lecturer across the nation, in South Africa and the Caribbean. Diversity Education and Gifted Education are her areas of special expertise. As a highly sought after speaker and vocal advocate for increasing access and equity in gifted education, Davis is often called upon by other scholars, parent advocacy groups and other organizations to share and provide feedback when related matters come to the attention of the general public through mass media. Dr. Davis has published numerous articles, technical reports and book chapters. Dr. Davis’ award-winning book: ‘Bright,Talented & Black: a Guide for families of African American gifted learners’ is the first of its kind on the market to specifically address the advocacy needs of Black families raising gifted students. Davis is currently the Special Populations columnist for the NAGC publication: Teaching for High Potential and serves on the Gifted Child Today advisory board. Dr. Davis served a two year term as chair of the NAGC’s Diversity & Equity Committee and is now serving her first term as an at-large member of the NAGC Board of Directors. -Blurb taken from nagc.org
Sean Desai is the defensive quality control coach for the Chicago Bears and works with some of the world’s greatest athletic competitors. In this episode, we discuss his player development model, known as D.I.C.E., which emphasizes the importance of Direction, Instruction, Collaboration and Empowerment. We talk about what it’s like to work in the NFL, the nature of coach-player relationships, and Sean imparts some practical advice to individuals hoping to become high-level athletic coaches. Other topics include: evaluating potential, key characteristics of mental toughness, striving for greatness and more. Football fans, leaders, coaches and teachers will appreciate Sean’s insight into developing peak performance. Note: The audio quality is a bit rough toward the beginning (we’re sorry!), but smooths out, and we think the content is top notch!
“Sean Desai is in his third season as a defensive quality control coach for the Chicago Bears after being hired by the team on January 28, 2013. He is entering his tenth year as a coach at the NFL or collegiate levels. On the field, Desai will continue to work with the Bears linebackers on defense while also assisting the special teams coaches.” Sean also had his Ph.D. in educational Administration. Blurb taken from chicagobears.com
Four time bestselling author (and human guinea pig) A.J. Jacobs gets us laughing, and thinking, about the benefits of lifestyle experimentation. In this episode, we discuss A.J.’s courageous journey to learn everything about the world via reading the entire encyclopedia Britannica. A.J. talks about his book Drop Dead Healthy, where he spent months pursuing perfect physical health. We learn from his experiences following the bible (as literally as possible) for an entire year, and much more. Topics include: The importance of gratitude, what it’s like to win the lottery, the benefits of running electricity through the brain, and the differences between being psychotic, psychopathic and sociopathic. It’s an especially eclectic and playful episode that provides deep insight into what it means to live well. We hope you have as much fun listening to the episode as we had recording it. And feel free to leave a review on iTunes if you’re feeling compelled (it’s a big help to our cause and thank you in advance)!
Who am I? Am I just a product of nature and/or nurture? What does it mean to live a life of meaning and happiness? On this episode of The Psychology Podcast, Dr. Brian Little helps us explore these existentially significant questions. We discuss whether or not the self is an illusion. We shed light on the effects of genes, societal influences and personal projects on personality. The conversation includes Brian’s experiences with influential psychologists such as George Kelly. Other topics include: the Big Five Model of personality, authentic living, identity change, and the good life. Brian has been described as a mix between Robin Williams and Albert Einstein, and we can see why after our discussion – it’s a fun and philosophically poignant episode featuring one of the legends in the field. Enjoy the show!
“Dr. Brian Little is an internationally acclaimed scholar and speaker in the field of personality and motivational psychology. He is a fellow of the Well-being Institute at Cambridge University, where he also lectures in the Department of Psychology and the Cambridge Judge Business School. He is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at Carleton University. Little has taught at Carleton, McGill, Oxford, and Harvard Universities. He was elected as a “Favorite Professor” by the graduating classes of Harvard for three consecutive years. He lives in Cambridge, England, and Ottawa, Canada.” Blurb taken from amazon.com
On this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we interview bestselling author Ryan Holiday about the timeless life-advice he gleaned from researching his latest book: Ego Is The Enemy. Ryan shares insights from great individuals that eschewed the spotlight to put their higher goals above their desires for recognition.We talk about the importance of talking less and doing more. Our conversation covers the human drive to live a meaningful life and the dramatic shifts in worldview that takes place when astronauts view earth from outer space. We discuss the well-being benefits of integrating behavior with personal values and we commiserate over feeling existentially compelled to squeeze every last drop of productivity from each moment. It’s an interesting look at the foibles of egoism; anyone interested in contemplating what it means to live a good life would do well to give this episode a listen. Enjoy the show!
“RYAN HOLIDAY is a strategist and writer. He dropped out of college at nineteen to apprentice under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, and later served as the director of marketing for American Apparel. His company, Brass Check, has advised clients like Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as many prominent bestselling authors. Holiday has written four previous books, most recently The Obstacle Is the Way, which has been translated into seventeen languages and has a cult following among NFL coaches, world-class athletes, TV personalities, political leaders, and others around the world. He lives on a small ranch outside Austin, Texas.” –Blurb taken from http://www.amazon.com