Skip the Repeat

Skip the Repeat

"Skip the Repeat" is a podcast hosted by pianist Kai Talim. It features long form conversations with friends and guests who are the artists, musicians, and creatives at the forefront of their respective fields.

Kai Talim Arts 2 évad 100 rész An Exploration Into the Mind and Lives of Artists, Musicians, and Creatives.
REINVENTORS: John Geating, Aspiring Navy Pilot To Woodworker
74 perc 2. évad 17. rész

In high school, John Geating was dead set on becoming a Navy pilot. But because of a medical disqualification, he was forced to drastically alter his path. Through his numerous pivots, including becoming a janitor, working at a yogurt factory, and becoming a property manager in New Zealand, he’s taken the long road to where he is now. But on his journey, perhaps the most devastating change he experienced was the loss of his dad. Today he is co-owner of the delightful Leeward Furniture.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Jason Sturgill, Record Label Founder To Illustrator
68 perc 2. évad 16. rész

Friendships have been the most important aspect of opening doors for Jason Sturgill. From founding a record label, to a stint in telemarketing, to working at one of the big names in the advertising world, and becoming an illustrator, the serendipity and spontaneity that relationships bring have been central to his pivots. Today his list of clients include Nike, Muji, Teva, and Stumptown Coffee Roasters.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Steven Banks, Saxophonist To Advocate For Diversity
62 perc 2. évad 15. rész

Steven Banks always felt that he was alone. As a classical saxophonist, no one looked like him or had a similar background - a fact that left him with what felt like a huge responsibility to represent all black people in classical music. That feeling fueled him to become an advocate for diversity and inclusion, as well as expanding into becoming a composer. He is the first ever saxophonist to win the Young Concert Artists International Auditions.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat


REINVENTORS: Jeannine A. Cook, Educator To Activist & Bookshop Owner
69 perc 2. évad 14. rész

As a nineteen year old college student, Jeannine A. Cook became pregnant. Initially fearing that her life and dreams were over, she eventually rose to meet those challenges, graduating and becoming an educator. Service has always been central to her ideas about what it means to be a human being - through her pivot and founding Harriett’s Bookshop, she is cultivating the next generation of activists.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Emily & Brian Kellett, Designer/Teacher To Plant Shop Owners
49 perc 2. évad 13. rész

Emily and Brian Kellett first met through friends in Columbus, OH - she was a student studying industrial design and he worked as a freelance designer for a local brewery. Now married, today they’re owners of STUMP, a gorgeous plant shop with locations in four different cities - but they never expected to be here. The real life experience and lessons learned through their many pivots are at work on a daily basis for their newest venture.   

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Vikram Nayar, Investment Banker To Hard Seltzer Entrepreneur
42 perc 2. évad 12. rész

When Vikram Nayar was working in finance, he had no idea that entrepreneurship in the beverage industry was his future. In fact, he had no idea what hard seltzer was - he just knew he desired the challenge and grind of entrepreneurship. Today, he is one half of the twin brothers behind hard seltzer brand, Two Robbers.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Ryan Fitzgerald, Screen Printer To Ice Cream Maker
57 perc 2. évad 11. rész

Ryan Fitzgerald is a man of many many pivots. And through it all, he’s leaned on two things - a sense of adventure and the belief in himself to figure it out. From screen printing to detailing cars to founding Philly’s hottest supper club, he’s taken the lessons from all of his previous businesses to create his newest venture, 1-900-ICE-CREAM.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: DW Burnett, Jazz Drummer To Automotive Photographer
63 perc 2. évad 10. rész

DW Burnett had no idea that his epic road trip from Brooklyn to LA in a Mustang GT would literally change his life. Starting his professional career gigging around NYC as a drummer, he’s found that his pivot to becoming an automotive photographer has taken his passion for jazz drumming to new heights. Today, his list of clients include Audi, McLaren, Road & Track, and Top Gear.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Julia Bullock, Opera Singer To Activist
64 perc 2. évad 9. rész

Through her meteoric rise in the world of music, Julia Bullock’s ultimate mission has been to share openly, share transparently, and share clearly. As one of the brightest opera singers today, she has had her periods of struggle since her childhood in a suburb of St. Louis. Issues of identity, anxiety, and depression eventually lead to her going into rehab - but she regards those periods as a direct influence on who she is today, making an impact beyond her job description, for the betterment of society.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Jim Walls, Forklift Operator To Creative Director
62 perc 2. évad 8. rész

When Jim Walls graduated college, he had no idea that he would one day become a creative director or that he would even work in the advertising industry. He also had no idea that his first job out of school would be as a forklift operator. His career has been a series of pivots rooted in self-belief, eventually becoming Chief Creative Officer at the creative agency, 160over90. Today he is a partner in a new agency, Truth & Consequences.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: BJ Miller, Art Historian To Palliative Care Physician
66 perc 2. évad 7. rész

BJ Miller attended Princeton with the mindset of learning for learning’s sake, without a specific career in mind. That mindset has served him well through his numerous pivots, including the accident during his sophomore year, when he became a trilateral amputee. Today he is a hospice and palliative care physician, teaching at the UCSF Cancer Center and founding Mettle Health, providing a unique approach to palliative care.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Yunice Kang, Photo Producer To Plant Designer
65 perc 2. évad 6. rész

Yunice Kang has never had a career trajectory that she chased or a dream job. Initially studying business, she dropped out after realizing that it wasn’t for her, eventually discovering photography. She became a photo producer in NY, handling logistics for photo shoots. But a few years into starting her own production company, her dad was diagnosed with cerebellum ataxia, a degenerative disease, and she left her career and NY to come home to LA. The time she spent with him had a profound impact on her, and today, she is a plant designer and owner of the spectacular plant nursery in LA, Sanso.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Gurcharan Roopra, Engineer to Wildlife Photographer
76 perc 2. évad 5. rész

Gurcharan Roopra never went to school for photography. He never imagined that it would become a big part of his life, let alone that he would become world famous for wildlife photography. As a young man, his dream was to become a motorsport engineer, earning a bachelor’s degree in automotive engineering. But when he couldn’t find a job in that field, he pivoted to construction, finding success. Yes, photography remains a passionate hobby - something that is not his main source of income.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Tova du Plessis - Pre-Med Student to Pastry Chef
53 perc 2. évad 4. rész

Tova du Plessis came from South Africa to the United States for an education, pursuing a dream of becoming a doctor. But upon landing in NYC, she quickly found out that life in America wasn’t what she’d imagined it would be. Reconnecting with a past boyfriend studying in Houston, she went to visit him, not realizing that that trip would open the doors to a change of direction, and a whole new life. Today, she is the owner of Essen Bakery in Philadelphia, nominated earlier this year for a James Beard Award, for the fourth year in a row.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Carol Gardner, Creative Director to CEO
38 perc 2. évad 3. rész

While working as a creative director in San Francisco with a beautiful family, Carol Gardner led the dream life. But after going through a traumatic divorce, she was left broken and in heavy debt. At the advice of her attorney who suggested she get a therapist or a dog, she adopted an English bulldog, who became the key to her reinvention. A few years later at the age of 52, she launched Zelda Wisdom, a multimillion dollar company today and one that she remains very much involved in.

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Lucia Liu, Chocolatier to Podcast Host
55 perc 2. évad 2. rész

Lucia Liu grew up in many different places and, as she puts it, was raised “free-range.” Attending the University of Pennsylvania without an expectation to become any particular thing, she explored many different areas as a student.

She’s taken this mindset of being a learner to change directions many times in her career, from working at American Express as a marketing analyst, to becoming a chocolatier, to becoming host of the Rock the Boat podcast, a show about Asian American leaders. 

Follow the show on Instagram: @skiptherepeat

REINVENTORS: Jeremy Turner, Cellist to Composer
59 perc 2. évad 1. rész

As a budding young cellist, Jeremy Turner dreamed of playing in the greatest orchestras in the world. As a senior at The Juilliard School, he accomplished just that: becoming the youngest member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. For the first few years, he was living the dream, collaborating with the best in the business. But slowly, he began to wonder if opera was all there was for him, exploring rock music and tinkering with creating music of his own. At the age of 36, he left the Opera to try his hand at something he had no training in - composition. Today, he is one of the most in-demand composers in the film industry, most recently creating the score for “Chef’s Table” on Netflix.

Follow the show on Instagram @skiptherepeat

How Essential Self Belief And Patience Have Been To My Journey: Heather Marold Thomason - Founder & Butcher, Primal Supply Meats
61 perc 1. évad 105. rész

This is Part Two of my conversation with Heather Marold Thomason. Heather and I talk about what she went through the first time she slaughtered an animal (2:30), the mind-blowing statistic of how many families are fed by one animal (19:10), and the moment she knew she had to open her own shop (27:10). We also discuss how important self belief and patience have been to her journey (38:20) and how this pandemic is not the most difficult obstacle she has faced (46). 

How I Completely Reinvented Myself: Heather Marold Thomason - Founder & Butcher, Primal Supply Meats
60 perc 1. évad 104. rész

Heather Marold Thomason leaps first and thinks later. Heather and Kai talk about her previous life as a dancer and graphic designer (3:40), burning out in college (10:40), and how becoming friends with farmers came to change her trajectory (29:20). They also discuss apprenticing on a farm (43) and how her previous life as a dancer and artist shapes her life now (53:30). 

Be A Part Of A Movement: Danielle Eva Schwob, Composer & Performer
53 perc 1. évad 103. rész

Danielle Eva Schwob loves listening to whole albums. Danielle and Kai talk about being the most adventurously dressed kid in school (3:30), what kept her going through tough times during her first years in NYC (20), and not dwelling on competition (33:30). They also discuss how important being a part of an artistic community is (38) and her new album (41:20). 

Having Confidence And Tolerance: JJ Kirkpatrick - Trumpeter/Composer/Producer
70 perc 1. évad 102. rész

JJ Kirkpatrick loves to work out on traveling rings. In this episode recorded two weeks ago, JJ and Kai talk about his fantastic new single, Ultraviolet (6), the hidden virtuosity of pop music (12:40), and how he incorporates personal health into his life as an artist (23:25). They also discuss the black lives matter protests happening around the world (32:25) and being a frugal guy (59:40). 

The Tip Of The Iceberg: Gabríel Ólafs - Pianist
49 perc 1. évad 101. rész

Gabríel Ólafs loves living in Reykjavík, Iceland. Gabríel and Kai talk about his upbringing (9), loving Pixar and his dream of becoming a film composer (13:50), and the wild story of how he got signed to a record label (22). They also discuss what he thinks of his success at a young age (33:30) and his album, "Absent Minded" (34:30).

The Barista Champion: How Coffee Can Become Something That Matters
25 perc 1. évad 100. rész

Jobs in the coffee industry are meant to be temporary. So the saying goes. But that doesn’t have to be true. In this episode, we talk with Andrea Allen, 2020 U.S. Barista Champion and co-owner of Onyx Coffee Lab about how she got into the specialty coffee industry, cultivating a coffee culture through Onyx Coffee Lab, and why we should all take a chance on a specialty coffee roastery.

The Crew: Who Are Baristas?
30 perc 1. évad 100. rész

Baristas are integral to our specialty coffee experience. But who are baristas? Why did they choose to become baristas? And what do they love about specialty coffee? In this episode, we talk with Chaereen Pak and Seth Wiley, two fabulous baristas about their story.

The Coffee Nerds: What Makes Specialty Coffee Special?
28 perc 1. évad 100. rész

Specialty coffee is special, right? In the coffee community, the answer tends to be an enthusiastic "yes." But what makes it so special? In this episode, we talk with Dave Wong and Alex Levitt, two self-professed "coffee nerds" about their first experiences with coffee, what qualifies a coffee to be "special," and why people are at the center of it all. 

First Memories: How We Are Buying More Than Coffee Beans
26 perc 1. évad 100. rész

When we buy a bag of coffee, many of us only see the beans. But to Justin Kagan, owner and roaster of Badbeard's Microroastery in Portland, OR, it's much more than that. For Justin, coffee is about supporting the farmers who grow it and bringing you back to a place deep in your memory - he wants to take you back in time. In this episode, we talk with Justin about his journey in coffee, the impact Mexico had on him, and what he's learnt. 

Start Moving: Gabriela Lena Frank - Composer & Gardener
53 perc 1. évad 99. rész

Gabriela Lena Frank is also a beekeeper. Gabriela and Kai talk about her Creative Academy and the initiative GigThruCovid19 (4:20), the hate crime that happened to her on the way to New Mexico and what was born out of that (16:50), and her spirit of giving back (23:50). They also discuss what she's discovered for herself since moving to a small town in northern California (36:00), and the importance of knowing who you are (50:08). 

Assume Nothing, Expect Anything: Casey Wojtalewicz - Co-Founder of Canyon Coffee & Drummer
56 perc 1. évad 98. rész

Casey Wojtalewicz initially didn't want to move to LA. Casey and Kai talk about being a Peace Studies major in college (9:40), how he became a touring musician once he moved (14:20), and how he got involved in coffee (20:18). They also discuss how he met his partner and co-founder of Canyon Coffee, Ally Walsh (23:21), and the beautiful idea they want to convey through their business (30:30). 

Catharsis Through A Side Project: Anna Phoebe & Aisling Brouwer - Cinematic Instrumental Duo AVAWAVES
68 perc 1. évad 97. rész

Anna Phoebe and Aisling Brouwer changed directions from politics and law. We talk about how this quarantine is going for two touring musicians (6:15), the effect their families had on them growing up (16:03), and what went through their minds when they switched career paths (39:29). We also discuss how they met at the Indian Embassy (52:30) and how what was initially a side project became such an important part of both their lives (1:02:30). 

Being Open To Possibilities: Zsolt Bognár - Pianist & Host of "Living the Classical Life"
59 perc 1. évad 96. rész

Zsolt Bognár adores the city of Cleveland. Zsolt and Kai talk about why Cleveland doesn't suck (4:26), how his show came about from an attempt to make a professional website (30:30), and the hilarious episode with pianist Yuja Wang (37:52). They also discuss being open to possibilities (48:05) and whether he compared himself to his upstairs neighbor, superstar pianist Daniil Trifonov (51:10).  

Being Alive To The Moment: Vijay Iyer - Composer-Pianist & Professor of the Arts, Harvard University
57 perc 1. évad 95. rész

Vijay Iyer didn't know his life could be in music until he was 23. Vijay and Kai talk about watching his parents build an Indian community for themselves while living in a largely white city (6:54), how he created opportunity for himself by playing in the dining hall at Yale (11:28), and quitting his Ph.D. in Physics to pursue music (27:40). They also discuss the subject of self-worth (37:30) and his approach to life and creating (46:57).  

Without That Challenge, It's Kind Of Dull: Joan Tower - Composer, Professor of Music at Bard College
46 perc 1. évad 94. rész

Joan Tower loves dancing. Joan and Kai talk about how growing up in Bolivia was the best thing that happened to her (4:50), the importance of having a sense of urgency (17:07), and her first terrible compositions at age 18 (24:23). They also discuss what kept her going through those first compositions (27) and what propels her to work at 81 years old (33:45).  

How I Got After It: Micah Wilkinson - Principal Trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra
65 perc 1. évad 93. rész

Micah Wilkinson roasts his own coffee. Micah and Kai talk about the value of live performances (10:20), the similarities between professional orchestral musicians and professional athletes (15:20), and not always being the best player growing up (24). They also discuss how he practiced to make leaps and bounds (35:30), and the unbelievable story of how he became Principal Trumpet of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (43:44). 

A Blind Date With A Hundred People At The Same Time: Joshua Weilerstein - Conductor, Host of the "Sticky Notes" Podcast
55 perc 1. évad 92. rész

Joshua Weilerstein has two pet rabbits. Joshua and Kai talk about how carrots are like donuts for rabbits (4:48), growing up with superstar cellist Alisa Weilerstein (12:18), and balancing respect with collaboration as a conductor (18:50). They also discuss managing competition with colleagues (34:07) and his podcast, "Sticky Notes" (37:35). 

One Of The Reasons To Care Is To Wonder If We Should Care: Annie Dorsen - Theater Director & Writer
63 perc 1. évad 91. rész

Annie Dorsen applied to the Yale School of Drama on a whim. Annie and Kai talk about being the daughter of one of the most prominent civil rights attorneys of our time (3:45), feeling lucky to not have jumped into the rat race right away (21), and the impact Europe's contemporary theater scene had on her (24). They also discuss what exactly "algorithmic theater" is (32:20), and what she fears about the rapid spread of information technology (49:30). 

I Don't Know, I Just Did It: Toby Appel - Violist, Chef, Juilliard School Professor
62 perc 1. évad 90. rész

Toby Appel was actually Kai's very first guest on Skip the Repeat. Toby and Kai talk about growing up on a chicken farm in New Jersey (12:12), quitting high school and the Curtis Institute of Music in succession (25:30), and how he first became interested in cooking (39:12). They also discuss his mindset of not being too attached to things (45:42) and his many interests and how those play into his music career (53:04). 

Bring Out Your Suck: David Krauss - Principal Trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
66 perc 1. évad 89. rész

David Krauss is obsessed with espresso. David and Kai talk about what kept him going during the three years of college when he wasn't making much progress (16:15), becoming a father at the age of 25 and how that transformed his mindset towards auditions (24:50), and quitting at one point to cook professionally (30:20). They also talk about the importance of knowing what you can't do and building on that (36), and the moment he won the audition of a lifetime (47:50). 

Creating Magic Out Of What Some Consider Trash: Thu Pham - Co-Owner & Head Roaster of Càphê Roasters
58 perc 1. évad 88. rész

Thu Pham loves slow jams. Thu and Kai talk about her family coming from Vietnam as refugees (3:18), how she found the educational organization 12PLUS and how it gave her life a purpose (27:20), and how in the world she ended up becoming a coffee roaster (35:35). They also discuss the reason she focuses on coffee beans from Vietnam (43:45) and how she wants to contribute to a new Kensington, a place many consider the "Heroin Capital of the East Coast" (50:30).

We Have Nothing To Lose: Joep Beving - Composer & Pianist
39 perc 1. évad 87. rész

Joep Beving is very, very tall. Joep and Kai talk about how he spent one year in music school before he quit (6:40); the growing sense of alienation he felt from reality and how his friend's death changed everything for him (13:45); and the shock of discovering his homemade album had reach 85 million streams (21:40). They also discuss what exactly "reality" means to him (30:20) and the idea of presenting truth through social media (33).  

How to Create Win-Win Situations: Anthony Roth Costanzo - Opera Singer & Producer
45 perc 1. évad 86. rész

Anthony Roth Costanzo loves hosting people for dinner. Anthony and Kai talk about his fitness company, Epulse (6:20), the insane story of how he became the first non-Asian person to perform in Japan's Kabukiza (21), and how starting out in community theater made him realize the importance of relationships (30:40). They also discuss how to create win-win situations and how he got Tilda Swinton and Raf Simons to collaborate with him (39). 

What My Kids Have Taught Me About Writing: Kirsten Kaschock - Author
62 perc 1. évad 85. rész

Kirsten Kaschock loves helping her students find their path. Kirsten and Kai talk about the enormous student debt issue (12), how being an artist is directly connected to self-education (16), and why she was embarrassed to talk about her numerous degrees for so long (22:10). They also discuss novels revealing their path (37:50) and art as a way of life and not necessarily a way of earning a living (55). 

Think: What Is Success To You?: Daniel Kellogg - Composer & President of Young Concert Artists
73 perc 1. évad 84. rész

Daniel Kellogg loves time-lapses. Daniel and Kai talk about his friendship with Chris Brubeck, son of legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck (9), how he ended up at the Curtis Institute of Music (23:50), and the wild story of how he became President of YCA (28:25). They also discuss the opportunity to shape who society thinks classical musicians are (37) and the toxicity of "success" (51). 

You Don't Think I'm Doing The Right Thing? Well I do: Paola Prestini - Composer, Co-Founder/Artistic Director of National Sawdust
60 perc 1. évad 83. rész

Paola Prestini loves to box. Paola and Kai discuss the time she applied to Interlochen, a boarding school far from home, without telling her mom (12:05), struggling in her 20s to figure out how to make a career out of being a composer (16:06), and being motivated by doubters (21:50). They also talk about the one meeting about National Sawdust that changed her life (36:50) and not listening to people's opinions (46). 

What I Gained From Punk: Maria Shaplin - Lighting Designer
61 perc 1. évad 82. rész

Maria Shaplin never thought lighting design could be a career. Maria and Kai talk about being part of the punk movement and what she gained from it (6:50), what made her stay in theatre after a humiliating moment (8:40), and the concept of selling ourselves in the performing arts (16:15). They also discuss privilege and realizing class consciousness as a child (33:30) and the hilarious and unfortunate events surrounding a prop dynamite (54:40). 


Growing Faith Through Hip Hop Dance: Kyle Clark & Dinita Clark - Choreographers and Dancers
70 perc 1. évad 81. rész

Kyle Clark and Dinita Clark are the founders of Just Sole! Street Dance Theater Company. They discuss with Kai how they were introduced to dancing through Saturday morning house cleaning (5:30), never thinking about dance as a profession before college (14), and how a one-off hip hop class changed their life (21:30). They also talk about their struggles after graduating (37:15), being driven by faith (38:30), and how they guide their students through obstacles (50:45). 

Rapping is My Way of Talking Back: Miyachi - Rapper
47 perc 1. évad 81. rész

Miyachi is trained in classical piano. Miyachi and Kai discuss his transition from classical piano to hip hop (3:30), being from the Upper West Side and what that means (8:25), and how his rough year in an upstate New York college convinced him that he needed to change his life (13). They also talk about how he stumbled into his unique style of rapping in Japanese and English (18:15), their purpose as Asian American entertainers (27), and how his friend's death propels him to this day (39:15).  

Notice the Signs Around You and Take the Leap: Shannon Maldonado - Founder & Owner of YOWIE
61 perc 1. évad 80. rész

Shannon Maldonado is a Cancerian. Shannon and Kai talk about how she put pressure on herself to succeed from an early age (14:25), how losing her first job at Tommy Hilfiger almost immediately after getting it was a valuable lesson (23:40), and the process of getting into the consumer's mind to design for them (31:40). They also discuss how YOWIE started as a Pinterest board (37:15) and what gave her the confidence that YOWIE would succeed (51:10). 

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Changing the Narrative of Vietnam Through Movies: Tony Bui - Film Director
58 perc 1. évad 79. rész

Tony Bui loves classical music. Tony and Kai talk about growing up in Silicon Valley and how his father's video stores ignited his passion for film (8), how his first trip back to Vietnam changed his life trajectory (17), and what he wanted to achieve for Vietnam through his film, Three Seasons (30:40). They also discuss where his self-belief came from when faced with obstacles in making the first film shot entirely in Vietnam after the war (38) and their shared admiration for Anthony Bourdain (49). 

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LIVE episode! Randall Goosby - Violinist
51 perc 1. évad 78. rész

Randall Goosby is half black, half Korean. Randall and Kai talk about his love for Halloween candy (6), their respective mothers' surprising connection (7), and how meeting his mentor Itzhak Perlman changed his life trajectory (11). They also discuss his thoughts on his own racial identity growing up (21:30) and the biggest part of his support system: his mom (26). 

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I Love What You Do, How Can I Help?: Andrew Yee - Cellist of the Attacca Quartet
45 perc 1. évad 77. rész

Andrew Yee makes beautiful latte art. Andrew and Kai talk about being half Chinese and their family history (1); Andrew's mom's hearing loss and being able to play music for her (3:40); and how they fell in love with coffee (12). They also discuss their unique approach to jobs (15) and what drives them in music and beyond (29:40).   

The Pilot Light That Never Went Out: Emily Ting - Filmmaker
52 perc 1. évad 76. rész

Emily Ting knows lots about plush toys. Emily and Kai talk about her mother's decision to come to the States and bring her kids (6:11), the decisions that led her to film school (13:50), and the truth that she learned at NYU (20:50). They also discuss her spending ten years working for her father's toy company in Asia, which inspired her newest film (22), and how her perspective on what it takes to be a filmmaker shifted after that move (44). 

LIVE show:

The Key to Fulfillment is Right Under Your Nose: Michele Lockhart - Founder & CEO, Nosh Bars
53 perc 1. évad 75. rész

Michele Lockhart loves to ski. Michele and Kai discuss working as a civil and environmental engineer and feeling stuck (9), how much Michael Pollan's works have influenced her life (10:10), and how Nosh Bars was never intended to be a business (18:20). They also talk about discouraging moments and what kept her coming back (30:07), and lessons that she's learned from operating Nosh Bars (43:24). 

Trust Yourself, Something Else Will Come Out of It: J'Nai Bridges - Mezzo Soprano
31 perc 1. évad 74. rész

J'Nai Bridges can still ball out on the court. J'Nai and Kai talk about being from the beautiful Pacific Northwest (3), how basketball was at the center of her life growing up (7:28), and the incident that changed everything for her (8:05). They also discuss how she came to terms with rejection as a part of the music business (27:30). 

Join us for a Live taping of Skip the Repeat on November 14th in NYC!

The Power of Knowing: John Holiday - Countertenor
50 perc 1. évad 73. rész

John Holiday knows he is supposed to be a good human being. John and Kai discuss how the church was a big part of his upbringing (10:02), how his grandmother influenced his style and personhood (14:25), and what made him so sure that he was a countertenor, despite starting off college as a tenor (23:30). They also talk about the reason he waited until his 25th birthday to come out to his grandmother (26:15), and the important lesson he shares with all of us dealing with toxic relationships (36:25). 

You Are More Than Enough: Daniela Mack - Mezzo-Soprano
53 perc 1. évad 72. rész

Daniela Mack does not do backup plans. Daniela and Kai talk about her being Argentine American (4:20), what made her go to Louisiana State University, perhaps not the most famous school for opera (17:45), and what kept her going in those moments when she wasn't winning auditions (24:22). They also discuss being in a marriage with a fellow opera singer and how she's grown from that (37:30), and what she would tell a younger version of herself (50:07). 

You Owe It To Yourself To Believe: Cheryl & Kyra Ellzysmith - Owners of Loyalty Leather
50 perc 1. évad 71. rész

Cheryl and Kyra adore their Great Dane, Beau. They talk to Kai about what brought them to Philadelphia (2:40), the fantastic story of how they first met on New Year's Eve (7:50), and how being gay has influenced their aesthetic (27:00). They also discuss the idea of pursuing a passion while being employed full-time (39:55), and how meditating every day turned their life around (42:10). 

Living The No Bullshit Life: Conor Hanick - Pianist
35 perc 1. évad 70. rész

Conor Hanick studied Chemistry and English in college. Conor and Kai discuss growing up in Iowa City (2:30), what went through his mind that led to him deciding to focus on music (5:00), and the leap of faith he took in moving to NYC after graduating to practice (10:15). They also talk about how he supported himself during that year (18:15), and his mindset in pursuing the one thing he just couldn't live without: music (29:30). 

What To Do With People's Expectations: Joshua Roman - Cellist
40 perc 1. évad 69. rész

Joshua Roman just came back from a silent meditation retreat. Joshua and Kai discuss why he went and what he learned (1:30), what he's noticed about people since he's been back (5:30), and what he was like growing up in Oklahoma City (9:15). They also talk about why he left the Seattle Symphony just two years after becoming the youngest ever Principal Cellist in its history (24:30), and how he wants to deal with people's expectations post silent meditation retreat (35:10). 

Rolling With It: Noreen Murdock - Executive Director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic
54 perc 1. évad 67. rész

Noreen Murdock runs everyday at 5:30AM. Noreen and Kai talk about her most recent adventure in Scotland (1:07), how she gets her running in every day (17:22), and the most challenging thing leading PYP (21:35). They also discuss the time she slashed her own salary in half at the Salem Chamber Orchestra (29:40) and how she went from being a musician to an arts administrator (37:47). 

Resiliency and Improvement Every Rehearsal: David Hattner - Musical Director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic
64 perc 1. évad 66. rész

David Hattner is a big fan of The Beatles' newly remastered, "Sgt. Pepper". David and Kai discuss his advice for graduating seniors in his orchestra (13:25), the challenges in having a high turnover of musicians each year (29:30), and the things he strives for at every rehearsal with PYP (33:30). They also talk about how he decided to pursue conducting as his artistic path later than is typical for conductors (40:45) and what the moment he got the PYP job felt like (54). 

Chipping Away: Lori Lindsey - Former US Women's National Soccer Team Player & Studio Analyst for the Philadelphia Union
65 perc 1. évad 64. rész

Lori Lindsey loves malted milk balls. Lori and Kai talk about how important this year's World Cup win was for the United States (1:58), her brief foray into Hollywood and how being away from soccer made her realize how much she loved it (7:30), and fighting for equal pay in soccer (26). They also discuss being gay and the difference in treatment from teammates on men's and women's teams (44:10) and the powerful effect having a gay mom had on her (48:30).  

Putting Things in Perspective: Timothy Chooi - Violinist
67 perc 1. évad 63. rész

Timmy Chooi is a very proud Canadian. Timmy and Kai discuss what Canada means to him (7), what it's like inside Finals week at the Queen Elisabeth Competition (23), and how he really felt after his performance at the Finals (33:30). They also talk about the confusion he felt about his identity when he was younger (48:40) and whether he will keep doing competitions (1:04:50).  

Owing Much to Stubbornness: Ken Kubota - Cellist, Founder & Producer of JHM Jams
72 perc 1. évad 62. rész

Ken Kubota takes promises very seriously. Ken and Kai discuss the tumultuous start to his life as a Juilliard student (15:45), how JHM Jams went from a class project to his dream and self-therapy (24:36), and stubbornness and where that comes from for him (37:50). They also talk about cutting sugar out of his diet (48) and how we can callus our mind (59). 

The Literal Five Minute Key to Productivity: Sumire Hirotsuru - Violinist, Writer, Social Entrepreneur
69 perc 1. évad 61. rész

Sumire Hirotsuru never imagined she'd write a book, and yet, here we are. Sumire and Kai talk about how her life has changed since the book's release to rave reviews in Japan (2:55), the unexpected story of how the book came about (4:05), and the origins of her five minute method (38). They also discuss whether she had a career in mind going into Harvard (21) and the danger of assuming that things are impossible (34:40).  

Stop and Consider What Actually Matters: Alex Torra - Co-Founder & Resident Director of Theatre Group "Team Sunshine Performance Corporation"
82 perc 1. évad 60. rész

Alex Torra is Cuban. He's also an adopted Venezuelan. Alex and Kai discuss the origins of his powerful twenty four year undertaking, "The Sincerity Project" (1:40), being repulsed by power plays and how he balances that with being a director (24:30), and what made him go away from religion (33:30). They also discuss the history of Cuban-American relations (42:20), and how the knowledge that he is adopted influences his current and future works (1:02:30). 

Driven By the Desire to Give and To Learn: Andrew Ousley - Founder & President of Unison Media
85 perc 1. évad 59. rész

To say that Andrew Ousley is a fan of Maria Callas would be a grave understatement. Andrew and Kai talk about the powerful influence his parents have had on him (7), choosing a major in college based on learning and not job security (22), and how volunteering at a cat shelter played a role in him getting a job at EMI Records (36). They also discuss his concert series The Crypt Sessions (50) and his burger recommendations in NYC (1:22:40). 

Bodybuilding & Helping the Youth: Joseph Conyers - Assistant Principal Bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra & Executive Director of Project 440
65 perc 1. évad 58. rész

Joseph Conyers is obsessed with winter storms. Joe and Kai talk about bodybuilding and the benefits of working out (1:30), growing up around the church and how spirituality plays into his life now (14:50), and why he finds the weather so fascinating (20:50). They also discuss Project 440 and how he sees music as a way to help the youth (37:50), and the changes they want to see in the classical music industry (55). 

Yoga & Meditation for Happier Music-Making: Elena Urioste - Violinist & Co-Founder of Intermission
74 perc 1. évad 57. rész

Elena Urioste is a big fan of cats. Elena and Kai talk about the time she may have accidentally stolen a cat (6:22), how yoga became an integral part of her life (21:30), and the importance of having a beginner's mindset (32:07). They also discuss what made her co-found Intermission (39:25) and what she hopes to do about the toxic environment that's bred by competition in the classical music industry (1:04:45).  

Viktor Valkov - Pianist & Assistant Professor at the University of Utah
47 perc 1. évad 56. rész

Viktor Valkov loves rock music and EDM. Viktor and Kai discuss him being in a rock band in Bulgaria (9:40), what life in America has meant to him (10:50), and what he has learnt about himself through teaching (26:20). They also talk about Viktor losing his mother at the age of 16 and what that meant (35:10), and the importance of realizing that time waits for no one (40:58). 

Lawrence Brownlee - Operatic Tenor
33 perc 1. évad 55. rész

Lawrence Brownlee is a big time Ohio State Buckeyes fan. Lawrence and Kai talk about whether singing gospel music influenced his operatic singing (7:40), how the world's obsession with body image has influenced his own image as an artist (10:35), and the surprising way he met his wife (19:20). They also discuss what keeps him motivated to keep working out when he is jet lagged (17:15), and whether he ever imagined he would have the career he has cultivated when he was a student at Anderson University (27:30). 

Matt Dine - Freelance Culture Photographer for The New York Times & Principal Oboist of American Ballet Theatre
68 perc 1. évad 54. rész

Matt Dine comes from a family of artists. Matt and Kai talk about what made him fall in love with the oboe (11), the episode that changed his life (26:40), and how he found his second career (31). They also discuss what allowing people to take photos during concerts might do for the classical music industry (46:40) and what he's learned about musicians by becoming a photographer (53). 

Dan Visconti - Composer & Artistic Director of Astral Artists and Fifth House Ensemble
75 perc 1. évad 53. rész

Dan Visconti is a composer, but he did not know that when he entered college. Dan talks to Kai about his weird path as an artist (13:50), what he learned from working jobs alongside his pursuits as a composer (30:50), and being vulnerable as an artist (57:50). They also discuss problems with music schools (20:20) and whether there will ever come a time when the works of composers still living will comprise the majority of the "core" repertoire (48:20). 

Don't give up THE dream, but build your competencies so you can pursue MANY dreams: Gerald Klickstein, Author of The Musician's Way
64 perc 1. évad 52. rész

Gerald Klickstein believes in change. Gerald and Kai discuss the moment he realized he could make a difference in higher education (7:30), his ideas for what students, especially in undergrad, should be learning (10), and a mindset problem specific to classical music (31). They also talk about why music schools have such a hard time changing their curriculum (48) and the thoughts that might be running through the minds of teachers most resistant to change (45).  

Bella Hristova - Violinist
63 perc 1. évad 51. rész

Bella Hristova used to be a gamer. Bella and Kai discuss her time playing World of Warcraft (1:45), what Bulgaria is like (13:40), and her relationship with her mentor, Ida Kavafian (26). They also discuss finding her long lost brother (32:30) and her fierce love for her two cats, Schmoopy and Uni (40:05). 

Bruce Adolphe - Composer, Educator, Author
68 perc 1. évad 50. rész

Bruce Adolphe can dance. Bruce and Kai discuss losing both his parents by the age of nineteen and how that affected him (9:30), how his foray into neuroscience has enhanced him as an artist (16:39), and what exactly it is about new works that is so exciting (34:13). They also discuss his Off the Hook Arts Festival (36:18), and how his fifty-three year old parrot Polly has shaped his life (1:00:16).

Julia Rubio - Executive Director of Astral Artists
64 perc 1. évad 49. rész

Julia Rubio's last name means "blond" in Spanish, but she is neither blond nor Spanish. Julia and Kai discuss her upbringing in Kalamazoo, Michigan, near Ann Arbor, where Kai went to school (3), what risk taking looks like in the classical music industry (22:50), and the parameters the industry places on its artists in an age of self expression (27:15). They also talk about Astral’s unique auditioning process (19:40) and the lessons she has learned from raising two sons (55:45).

Zlatomir Fung - Cellist
63 perc 1. évad 48. rész

Zlatomir Fung is a big time cinema fan. Zlatomir and Kai discuss his upbringing, including his time in Oregon (3), what he has learned about himself from doing competitions (19:30), and dealing with the expectations others place on him (29:30). They also discuss his love for chess (11), his autoimmune disorder (33), and how he views himself racially (54:45).  

Donald Nally - Conductor of The Crossing
60 perc 1. évad 47. rész

Donald Nally believes in the power of counseling. Donald and Kai discuss how important transferring to the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music was for him (11:50), the mistakes he made as a young conductor (19:30), and how counseling has played a pivotal role in his evolution as an artist (22:30). They also discuss his hilarious Grammy winning moment (46) and making an impact on the world as an artist (53).  

Stephen Tyson Jr. - Rapper, Educator, Co-Founder of JusListen Entertainment
72 perc 1. évad 46. rész

Stephen Tyson Jr. aka Ellect, has it on good authority that the Earth is indeed round. Stephen and Kai discuss growing up in rural Pennsylvania (6), how being the only black child at school influenced him as a person (9:30), and being waitlisted at his dream school (18:30). They also discuss the infamous feud between him and the rapper B.o.B about his uncle Neil deGrasse Tyson (35), and why he felt the need to create a collective (50).  

All music heard on this episode are the works of Stephen Tyson Jr. Listen to the full tracks here.

Tim Mead - Counter-Tenor
71 perc 1. évad 45. rész

Tim Mead is a proud ginger. Tim and Kai discuss how he began singing (9:40), why he doesn’t keep in touch with anyone he met before the age of 19 (11:30), and his time at Cambridge, where he studied Musicology (24:30). They also discuss the event that changed his entire outlook on his career (40:45) and his mindset towards critics and reviews (58).

All music heard on this episode is from Tim Mead’s newest album, Purcell: Songs & Dances, a collaboration with Les Musiciens de Saint-Julien on the Alpha label. Purchase the album here.

Anne Ishii - Executive Director of Asian Arts Initiative & Owner of Massive Goods
76 perc 1. évad 44. rész

Anne Ishii is fluent in French. Anne and Kai discover they share a rare background story (8:23), and talk about her experience growing up as an Asian American with that complex background (9:53), and how she found gay erotic manga and what drew her to Gengoroh Tagame’s work in particular (48:56). They also discuss the history of the Asian Arts Initiative (58:30) and the directions she wants to take the organization (1:05:08).

The Skivvies - NYC Undie Rock Duo
75 perc 1. évad 43. rész

The Skivvies are a band made up of singers/actors/musicians Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley. They perform stripped down mashups of covers and originals in their underwear. They talk to Kai about their first acting jobs in New York City (21:48), the survival jobs they worked as they pursued acting (40:42), and how they became The Skivvies (49:10). They also discuss the obstacles that they've encountered as a band (61) and how taking off their clothes on stage affects them (1:08:00).

David Devan - General Director & President of Opera Philadelphia
77 perc 1. évad 42. rész

David Devan is obsessed with suits. David talks to Kai about growing up figure skating (8:40), what drew him first to opera after college (17:22), and the exciting idea behind Opera Philadelphia's Festival "O" (31:30). They also discuss the company's attitude towards commissioning new work (51) and a new opera about two women with Alzheimer's (1:08:30).     

Jonathan Coopersmith - Chair of Musical Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music
83 perc 1. évad 41. rész

Jonathan Coopersmith will never turn down a good challenge. Jonathan talks to Kai about a particular choir teacher in high school (17:50), the students at Curtis and a fascinating letter he makes them write (26:26), and how the composer George Crumb influenced him as his teacher (41:40). They also discuss his ventures in technology (47) and how Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein became his mentors (1:14:30). 

Stanford Thompson - Trumpeter & Founder/Executive Director of Play On, Philly!
83 perc 1. évad 40. rész

Stanford Thompson and his family spend every Thanksgiving in a different city. Stanford talks to Kai about how he hated practicing when he first started the trumpet (9:40), the moment he realized that his dream didn’t involve playing in an orchestra (17), and the effect President Trump has had on his organization, Play On, Philly! (48:42). They also discuss what he learned from spending time in Kenya (56:15) and the personal loss that made him grow up early in life (1:09:51).

Jas Morrell - Tattoo Artist & Owner of Spirited Tattooing Coalition
71 perc 1. évad 39. rész

Jas Morrell is a tattoo artist and owner of Spirited Tattooing Coalition in Philadelphia. Jas talks to Kai about what makes his tattoo shop different (3), his experience growing up without much of an idea about his identity (12:50), and the moment he came out as queer (16:10). They also discuss how he first got into the tattoo industry (27:40) and the aspects of the shop that have changed with the election of Donald Trump as President (45:20).

JJ Kirkpatrick - Trumpeter, Composer, and Producer
62 perc 1. évad 38. rész

JJ Kirkpatrick has been surrounded by great educators all his life. JJ gives tribute to the late Roy Hargrove (2:50), talks to Kai about what Thara Memory meant to him (6:30), and what got him to turn his life around after a troubling middle school experience (19:20). They also discuss how he ended up at one of the most prestigious music schools in the country (30) and his up-and-down time there (34:45). 

Raphael Xavier - Breaker/Dancer & Multifaceted Artist
92 perc 1. évad 37. rész

Raphael Xavier teaches at Princeton. Raphael talks to Kai about his school experience, beginning with the time he ran for class president while being a graffiti artist (8:55), how he yearned for fame and material wealth as a young adult (17:15), and how he used his career as a photographer to fuel another passion: dance (23). They also discuss the spine infection that turned his life upside down and the journey he took halfway across the world that became the path of resilience (33:30) and the anger and sadness that is poured into his art (1:09:00).

Jennifer Montone - Principal Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra
69 perc 1. évad 36. rész

Jennifer Montone is very proud of her students. Jen talks to Kai about how her sister influenced her decision to pursue the dream to become a musician (4), the central role performance psychology has played in her career (22:50), and the accident that changed the course of that career (30:45). They also discuss the stigma musicians feel when they decide to do something different (42:40), and what she has learned from being the mother to two small boys (1:02:30).   

Nick Canellakis - Cellist, Artistic Director, Filmmaker, and Actor
62 perc 1. évad 35. rész

Nick Canellakis can’t guarantee that there are going to be more episodes of his show, “Conversations with Nick Canellakis”. But he also can’t say that the last episodes of the show have been produced. Nick talks to Kai about what it means to be an artistic director (3:40), his show (6), and how pursuing other passions enhances one’s artistry (15:45). They also discuss the importance of doubt in crafting a career out of the art form you love (38). 

Crawl Forward
7 perc 36. rész

When our purpose is taken from us, how do we move forward? In this week's short story from a past Skip the Repeat guest, Raphael Xavier, Breaker/Dancer & Multifaceted Artist, tells us the story of what it took for him to crawl out of his hell: a spine infection that threatened to leave him paralyzed and sent him into a deep depression. 

Celebrate Yourself
3 perc 34. rész

Yes, you read that right. In this week's short story from a past Skip the Repeat guest, Jennifer Montone, Principal Horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, tells the story of how as a society, there is an expectation for us to disregard our accomplishments and how that is counterproductive.  

3 perc 32. rész

Momentum is highly underrated. In this week’s short story from a past Skip the Repeat guest, Nick Canellakis, cellist, artistic director, and filmmaker talks about his approach to goal setting. He talks about what he gains the most satisfaction from in life and his mindset to achieving it.  

Nothing Is Given
5 perc 30. rész

You know the artists that we look up to and make us wonder if we can ever reach their level? They all started like us. In this week's short story from a past Skip the Repeat guest, Jake Goldbas, drummer, musical director, and educator, tells us something really surprising: he didn't make his high school jazz band freshman year. This story is about what he decided to do after he hit that obstacle and what he learned from it. 

Second Fiddle: A Different Perspective
5 perc 28. rész

When we see a string quartet, why do we automatically compare the first and second violinists? It's habit. In this week's short story from a past Skip the Repeat guest, Bryan Lee, violinist and member of the Dover Quartet, tells the story of the time a mentor of theirs suggested that he play second, what a hit to the ego that was for him, and how he overcame that. 

Think: Why Do You Complain?
6 perc 26. rész

Have you ever noticed that there's a lot of complaining happening? In this week's short story from a past Skip the Repeat guest, Mary Javian, Chair of Career Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, talks about the culture of complaining in the classical music world, why it happens, and what we can do about it. 

Who Gave Us Those Rules?
7 perc 24. rész

Tattoos are controversial where Yura Lee and I come from, Korea and Japan respectively, and in the classical music world. In this week’s short episode from a past Skip the Repeat guest, we unpack her thoughts before she got her first ink, anxiety about whether she would be accepted by the industry or not, what she learned afterwards, and why we will never know until we take that plunge.

Changing Paths
6 perc 22. rész

As artists, there’s a particular stigma against changing careers away from our art form. In this week’s short story from a past Skip the Repeat guest, Sarah Williams, New Works Administrator at Opera Philadelphia, tells her story of the moment she felt something shift within her as she was entrenched in her career as a singer, and why that stigma is so damaging.  

I Want To See What Happens
8 perc 20. rész

Mr. Jim Cotter knew that he probably wasn't good enough to work at the BBC World Service. But that didn't stop him. In this week's short episode, the host of "Articulate" tells us of the mindset he had in picking up and calling the BBC, and gets to the heart of this question: when we have something that we want to attain, why do we stop ourselves? 

Time Off
7 perc 18. rész

Taking time off for a lengthy amount of time is traditionally frowned upon by musicians. But for Mr. Camden Shaw, it’s an absolutely essential part of his artistry. In this week’s short episode from a past Skip the Repeat guest, the cellist of the Dover Quartet tells us why he takes three weeks off every year and how pursuing his passions outside of music helps him grow both as a human being and a musician.  

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