A Podcast for the Creative Mind
Brian Gunn & Mark Gunn-Screenwriters-Producers-Episode #272
Screenwriters/Producers, Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn, are cousins who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and attended the same high school and college, where they launched a sketch comedy troupe and began writing together.
They moved to Los Angeles and landed their first job by writing the MTV movie 2gether, a spoof about a fictional boy band. It spawned a concert tour, two top-40 albums, and a TV series created and executive produced by the Gunns.
Since that time Brian and Mark have transitioned from TV into film. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, starring Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine – a modern-day take on the 19th-century Jules Verne novel – was their first widely released theatrical movie. It was a box-office hit, with global grosses of over $330 million.
Recently, the Gunns wrote and executive produced the superhero horror movie Brightburn, starring Elizabeth Banks, which has become a worldwide success. Brightburn delivers an unusual and unexpectedly eerie twist on the superhero genre.
Brian and Mark are currently working on a film project for Warner Bros to star Jason Momoa and John Cena, as well as writing and developing a TV series for Amazon.
Greg Weisman, Writer-Producer-Episode #271
Greg Weisman has been a storyteller all his life. His first professional work was as an Editor for DC Comics, where he also wrote Captain Atom.
Greg was Director of Series Development at Walt Disney Television Animation, where he created and produced Gargoyles. Later, he wrote the Gargoyles and Gargoyles: Bad Guys comic books for SLG, and the Gargoyles and Gargoyles: Dark Ages comics for Dynamite.
Greg developed, produced, wrote, story-edited and voice acted in Sony and Marvel’s The Spectacular Spider-Man. At Warner Bros. he held the same jobs on four seasons of Young Justice, while writing the comics Young Justice and Young Justice: Targets for DC.
Greg was a writer and Executive Producer on the first season of Star Wars Rebels for Lucasfilm and Disney and wrote the spin-off comic Star Wars Kanan, plus Starbrand & Nightmask for Marvel.
Greg’s first novel Rain of the Ghosts was followed by its sequel, Spirits of Ash and Foam. He’s also written two World of Warcraft novels and two Magic: The Gathering novels.
Ron Destro, Writer-Actor-Director-Teacher-Episode #270
Ron Destro is an award-winning writer, actor, director, and teacher. Trained in the US and UK, his mentors have included Royal Shakespeare Company founder John Barton, Oscar-winner F Murray Abraham, TV legend Lucille Ball, painter Pierre Matisse, and teachers at the Iowa Writers Workshop. He received the Kennedy Center New American Play Award for his work, Hiroshima, for which Yoko Ono wrote the original score.
He runs the nonprofit New York and London summer-based Oxford Shakespeare Company, which trains actors and presents Shakespeare plays in historic locations, including Hamlet in Elsinore, Macbeth in Birnam Wood, and Richard III on Bosworth Field.
He’s lectured on the Shakespeare authorship question at Harvard University, Chautauqua Institution and the Edinburgh Skeptics Society.
His new book, The Starre, The Moone, The Sunne, is an Elizabethan murder mystery, the solving of which just happens to reveal the identity of the real “William Shakespeare.” I’ve read The Starre, The Moone, The Sunne and can tell you it’s uniquely entertaining, especially as Ron has written it as if he was an author living in the Elizabethan era. Funny, dramatic, raucous, and filled with an amazing theatrical energy, I highly recommend it to you.
And if you’re into the Bard of Avon, please check out Ron’s excellent book, The Shakespeare Masterclasses, featuring fantastic insights from 13 of the world’s greatest classical actors.
Among some of Ron’s more unusual achievements, he taught Christopher Reeve to smoke, was told by Groucho Marx to give somebody the finger, and nearly ran Michael York off a mountaintop in a toboggan.
Catherine Filloux, Playwright-Librettist-Activist-Episode #269
The award-winning French Algerian American playwright, librettist and activist, Catherine Filloux, has been, for the past 3 decades, traveling to conflict areas writing plays that address human rights and social justice.
Catherine’s new play, “How to Eat an Orange,” will open at La MaMa Theatre in New York City, and her new musical “Welcome to the Big Dipper” (written with composer Jimmy Roberts of, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” fame) will premiere Off-Broadway at the York Theatre in New York. It’s a National Alliance for Musical Theatre finalist.
Catherine’s play, “White Savior” is nominated for The Venturous Play List. Her many plays have been produced around the U.S. and internationally. I’ve read her play Lemkin’s House and can tell you it’s an intense and engaging exploration of the politics of genocide through the surreal landscape of the mind of Raphael Lemkin, the man who invented the word genocide.
Catherine’s also the librettist for four produced operas, including New Arrivals, Where Elephants Weep, and The Floating Box. Her works have been played on Cambodian national TV, on Broadway on Demand, and chosen for Opera News Critic’s Choice. And her opera, “Orlando,” is the winner of the 2022 Grawemeyer Award--the first opera by a woman composer and woman librettist in the history of the Vienna Staatsoper.
Catherine has traveled for her plays to countries including Bosnia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Morocco, Northern Ireland, and Sudan and South Sudan on an overseas reading tour with the University of Iowa's International Writing Program.
Catherine received her French Baccalaureate in Philosophy with Honors in Toulon, France, and is the co-founder/co-director of Theatre Without Borders.
Dr. David Sharp, Writer-Performer-Spiritual Teacher-Episode #268
My guest today, Dr. David Sharp is a writer, performer, and spiritual teacher. Through his business, Power for Life Now, David produces and presents workshops, retreats, videos, music and performances for personal and spiritual growth.
David is an ordained Presbyterian minister and has worked as a pastor, university lecturer, and seminary professor.
As a performer, David has sung, danced, and acted on Broadway, television, and film and has been a talk show host.
He’s written for numerous publications and is an award-winning author with four books published including: Annie Ruth’s Truths, Power for Life, I’m a Black Man, Who Are You?, and Voicemaster. I’ve read Power for Life and Annie Ruth’s Truths and highly recommend David’s excellent writing to you. His books are easy reading pleasures with positive, upbeat messages. He’s also recently finished writing a new musical and is soon to publish an illustrated book of poetry.
David and his wife, Dr. Jeannine Goode-Allen, run in-person and virtual retreats called “Live Your Dreams” and have recently completed building the Good and Sharp Studios, a campus for spirituality and the arts in Boulder, Colorado.
David’s a graduate of the University of Southern California, where he was a Drama major in the School of Performing Arts. He’s also earned a Master of Divinity degree, a Masters in Special Education, and a Doctorate in Ministry.
For the record, David and I have been friends for a very long time having met and worked together while we were both Drama students at USC.
By the way, David and Jennine have very generously offered a free gift to anyone listening to this podcast, it’s a roadmap to your creativity. To find the link to receive your free gift, please check out David’s episode here at storybeat.net.
FREE GIFT: https://goodandsharpstudios.lpages.co/10-ways-to-tap-into-creativity/
Amy Genser, Artist-Episode #267
The noted Connecticut artist, Amy Genser, has been creating mixed-media artwork for more than 20 years. She opened her studio after receiving her MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, where one class in paper making changed the arc of her career.
Amy uses paper, paint and other materials to explore her fascination and obsession with texture, pattern, and color. The natural world is a clear source for Amy’s work. She’s fascinated by the flow of water, the shape of beehives, and the organic irregularity of plants, flowers, rock formations, barnacles, moss, and seaweed. Her pieces bring to mind aerial landscape views, satellite imagery, and biological cellular processes.
Amy’s work can be found in hospitals, corporate offices, private collections and museums worldwide. Her latest project was developing a site-specific installation for the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts. She had a vision of her work coming to life beyond the walls and becoming sculptural. Her multiple award winning installation, “Shifting,” is a result of her exploration.
Amy’s work is astonishing to look at, brimming with a vibrant kinetic energy, and always breathtakingly beautiful.
Steve Cuden is a great interviewer
Cuden is knowledgeable and effectively uses his knowledge to draw out his subjects. But he never shows off. He never makes it about himself. And he doesn’t do nasty.
Cuden knows his stuff
A great podcast with compelling guests. If you want to look into the creative process and understand story -- this podcast is for you.
Interesting guests, great questions
Interesting guests, great questions. Steve Cuden knows the process and is able to lead his guests through the interviews with his well thought out questions.