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Grade A Nation
55 minutes | Feb 1, 2023
E178: Nothing Too Serious -- Painting from Miniature Las Vegas with artist Daniel Matthew York!
On this installment of Grade A Nation, Chris Thomas chats with artist Dan York about his delusionism paintings. What is delusionism, you ask? The paintings are certainly unique; some folks will call them funny, others might call them provocative, while even a few others will potentially label them deranged nonsense. Dan wouldn’t have it any other way! We discuss his upbringing, artists and comedians he admires, his opinion on critics, the art scene in Nashville compared to other cities, his love of buck-toothed women with large breasts (or at least his love of painting women that way), and the potential future of art given the blockchain, NFTs, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Daniel Matthew York – if that is his real name – is one interesting cat! To learn more about Dan York’s art, go to https://danielmatthewyork.com/
98 minutes | Jan 22, 2023
E177: Turning a Negative into a Positive -- Interviewing 80s Music Stars with Robbie Burgess!
Robbie Burgess lost his father and attempted to take his mind off the grief by starting an online music station. While struggling to make it financially viable, he wanted to press on and interview the musicians that made the 80s music so memorable to him with a podcast show. Robbie’s passion for music came about at a very early age. His parents split up when he was one; going along to his dad’s gigs in a country music band immersed Robbie into the music world. A self-proclaimed music fanatic, Robbie talks Queen, Phil Collins, Steely Dan, Wang Chung, Duran Duran, Prince, Talk Talk, Tears for Fears, and so many more incredible artists. He also provides great tips for those looking to play the drums or to start a podcast of their own! Somehow, we also cover Benny Hill, Page 3 Girls, J.K. Rowling, the risks of a cancel culture world, and how loathsome the band Oasis happens to be (in our view). We run the whole gamut. To learn more about The 80s Rewind Show Podcast, go to https://www.the80spod.com/
85 minutes | Dec 21, 2022
E176: A Teen Mom Triumphs Over Abuse and Divorce!
Original Summary - On this installment of Grade A Nation, we have the opportunity to hear the amazing life story of Marie Mosley. Marie had a difficult childhood which led to rough circumstances in her teenage and adult years, but she was ultimately able to persevere. We discuss: -Her dad passing away from diabetes when she was five years old, living in a shelter after a building fire, then losing one of her sister’s and a niece when she was just twelve years old. -Feeling like God hated her and challenges of feeling like there was a cloud hanging over her head. -Her support system while experiencing all of this hardship. -How getting pregnant at 13 and having a baby at 14 years old revitalized her relationship with her mom. -Not being exposed to sex education in her teenage years and not having interest in sex, but feeling peer pressured into doing it. -Seeing the positive in toxic times. -Experiencing physical abuse from the father of her children. -What it was like being a parent while she herself was still growing up. -The father of her children being unfaithful throughout their relationship. -The turmoil of the dynamic with the father of her children leading her to contemplate taking her own life. -Why she stayed in such a dysfunctional relationship with the father of her children for so long. -Abusing drugs and alcohol leading to tension with her children at times. -Having her own side relationship where she found happiness and inner peace. -Giving the father of her children multiple chances despite all of the problems. -How the father of her children would be psychologically abusive to them. -Despite his flaws, how her children still have love for her father. -Her thoughts on whether God sent her into a path of infidelity to save her from hurting herself. -Being a hands-on mom with her children ultimately experiencing so much success. -Losing her mother during COVID but being able to have a beautiful celebration of her life in a massive church. -Finding a new partner, personal fulfillment, and breaking the tumultuous cycle! -How her life experiences helped her in guiding the lives of students as a school counselor. -Why a pretty divorce is ultimately about feeling good about yourself again. To learn more about Marie Mosley and her book, go to https://www.theprettydivorce.com/ Background on Episode - A heartwarming conversation that felt cathartic!
88 minutes | Dec 8, 2022
E175: A Beautiful Mind! Bill Ottman --- CEO and Co-founder of Minds
Grade A Nation has the honor of welcoming Bill Ottman on to the podcast. Bill is the CEO and co-founder of the social networking app called Minds. Bill is definitely a polymath with keen insights into a lot of different things, which makes him a Grade A podcast guest! We discuss: -Acquiring the Minds.com domain name and the chaotic domain name market -The purpose of Minds as a social platform, with an emphasis on free expression and creator monetization -Minds integrating with the decentralized relay protocol Nostr that can eventually bring about interoperability between a variety of social media platforms to create a broader community of conversation -Minds attempting to facilitate commissioned work in a way different from platforms like Cameo -How Minds might be a viable option for small and medium-sized content creators to develop a larger following -Trying to overcome the skepticism people have about Web3 projects -Preparing oneself for a potential severe collapse in economic markets if that were to occur -The crypto market having long-term benefits in that it is not being propped up, which allows for authentic correction -Energy and financial independence being forms of national security -Willingness to work with Elon Musk and Twitter -Thoughts on mass media portrayals of himself and Elon Musk as enabling those that are politically on the far-right, and whether Twitter has saboteurs from the inside -Why the decisions of people like Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg have undermined an honest and free exchange of ideas -Views on why Hive and Mastodon are darlings of the mass media in recent times -How deplatforming makes radicalization worse -People assuming he is a conservative extremist simply for appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience and Tucker Carlson Tonight -How being a CEO has been a process of personal growth -Whether TikTok should be removed from markets like the U.S. -The inability for artists to stop similar works being created with advances in technology like AI -Concerns for society moving forward -Predictions on the 2024 U.S. presidential election And actually quite a bit more in this extensive and entertaining conversation. To learn more about Minds.com --- go to, you guessed it, https://www.minds.com/
89 minutes | Dec 2, 2022
E174: The Biktarvy Playhouse Theater Presents the Mike Cotayo Comedy Cavalcade!
On this four year anniversary edition of Grade A Nation, Chris Thomas chats with Mike Cotayo. There is a famous joke about Mike: "a comic, a social worker, and an escort walk into a bar, and they're all Mike Cotayo." Okay, enough kidding around! Mike Cotayo is a great comic that has done it all and seen it all. From flying through a windshield in a car crash at 18 months old to getting HIV in a West Village sex club, Mike has a ton of life experiences to incorporate in his stand up material. We cover Mike's: -lack of confidence in himself growing up because of the inability to use his left hand and hatred of being treated differently due to having a disability -stand-up comics that he idolized from an early age -riding the Staten Island Ferry as a young man hooking up with other men and getting a thrill in encounters with total strangers (don't call him the Staten Island Ferry Fairy....show some respect) -experiencing assault without consent while on a Holocaust museum field trip -what made him interested in social work and his assessment of how he did as a social worker -smoking crack; just say no folks! -his thoughts on why he was engaging in behaviors he would tell his social work clients not to do -how after contracting HIV he decided to pursue his stand-up dreams -having success as a stand-up that became almost too much to handle due to the arrival of panic attacks -sometimes identifying as gay and sometimes identifying as bisexual over the years -grieving after the passing of his mother and his love for family -whether he can see his dad being with another woman in the future -a brief stint as an escort -his sometimes self-destructive tendencies in his comedy career -getting props from his peers in stand up comedy -falling in love with a married woman that is a mom and having her leave her husband for him, only for the ex-husband to end up living in their basement (I smell a My Two Dad's reboot in the works) -being an extra on SNL and his comedy goals A spectacular conversation with an honest and funny man! Go to https://www.funnymanmike.com/ to learn more about Mike Cotayo.
77 minutes | Nov 26, 2022
E173: A Jack of All Trades -- Chatting with Playwright, Actor, and Musician Jack Canfora!
Jack Canfora chats with Grade A Nation about his various pursuits over the years. Although Jack has accomplished quite a bit, his heart is in writing plays and the live theatre. On the show, Jack and Chris Thomas talk about: -Jack's passion for the written word and the musical nature of English -which genre of music matches Jack's voice -how to approach writing and editing in a way that accentuates your strengths -why being paralyzed by depression in his twenties might have inhibited Jack's progress as an actor -what it means to be a natural born pessimist and the challenges of raising children when you don’t always have an optimistic mindset -actors Jack would like to work with…apologies in advance to Carrot Top -his parents supporting Jack's career choices despite the fact they did not share as much interest in literature -becoming enamored with The Beatles as a young man -writing plays with dialogue not reflecting Jack's New York upbringing and also with an awareness of the challenges women face -crafting language to sell a product that is not Jack's own -the pluses and minuses of being a ghostwriter for non-writers that can’t write but still have something to say -making a living as a writer by diversifying the projects one works in -avoiding writer’s block and keeping the professional juices flowing -New Normal Rep creating podcasts as an approach to democratizing theatre -why the arts should not be considered a luxury item and should be prioritized in education -the thrill of observing a live audience reacting to one’s creative work -the background of Step 9, an audio drama podcast based loosely on a true story about a woman who receives contact from a man trying to make amends that violated her thirty years ago -how to integrate a bit of humor when artistically discussing serious subject matter -whether theatre might appeal to younger generations of today -the ways in which theatre might capture society in a way that film or television might not -a cool opportunity to watch a play online from New Normal Rep! Check out more about Jack Canfora on his website https://www.jackcanforawriter.com/ or his personal blog https://thewritingonthepaddedwall.com/ . See the New Normal Rep in action at https://www.newnormalrep.org/
57 minutes | Nov 22, 2022
E172: California Girls are Open Books (But Not Always with Open Legs) - OnlyFans Star and Podcaster Adelia Acker!
Grade A Nation is joined by content creator Adelia Acker, who has an OnlyFans account with hundreds of thousands of followers as well as a podcast called That's OFfensive about working on the platform. Adelia has experienced a lot, including: -being kidnapped to go to rehab for smoking weed by her parents -growing up in a controlling and conservative Christian household with a dismissive father -feeling a lack of confidence about herself that led to body image concerns and an eating disorder -having fun times every weekend at the University of Arizona, but still feeling like she wasn't good enough -setting boundaries with her parents, her brother, and friends for her own wellbeing -having disturbing and dark dreams -getting nauseous while around little kids -making a ton of dough on OnlyFans -having mold poisoning for several years -being celibate for a year by choice -- a volcel if you will And that is just a small sample of her experiences and thoughts covered in our talk. Adelia is super honest and engaging. The original chat was about a half hour longer, but Adelia was cursing like a sailor. We'll likely see the unedited chat be available someplace in the future! To check out the latest on Adelia Acker, go to https://www.itsdeelz.com/
51 minutes | Nov 14, 2022
E171: Diamonds are Forever with Jewelry Concierge Kat McCoy!
Best Kept by Kat McCoy is a jewelry consultation and sourcing company that tries to take the anxiety out of the jewelry purchasing process. Chris Thomas talks with Kat about how Best Kept was created and how it operates as a concierge service. Areas covered include: -why her experience growing up in wealthy Greenwich, CT doesn't mean she unable to connect with a diverse collection of people -how she developed an interest in jewelry from her grandma and her grandma’s sense of style -what it was like working at Ernst & Young immediately out of college -moving on to SocialCode creating partnerships with other technology companies -whether the influence of growing up in a family of entrepreneurs made her comfortable transitioning to starting a business as a solopreneur -working with the startup accelerator Tacklebox to get her jewelry business idea fully idealized through mentorship and group feedback, and what people on a budget can do to execute a business idea -the sometimes isolating nature of solopreneur work -how she acquired an in-depth knowledge about jewelry over time to help people find a gift for someone else or to build up their own jewelry collection -how she reacts when receiving a six-figure jewelry order…hint: it involves a lot of breakdancing (okay, maybe breakdancing is exaggerating a bit) -building a reputation where people trust you when doing business -why buying jewelry is often seen as so stressful and how her concierge service can help people from all sorts of backgrounds find a meaningful piece of jewelry -whether there is ever a truly “perfect” piece of jewelry and how jewelry can be seen as an investment -being a hands-on parent while simultaneously being a hands-on business person Interested in starting a business? Interested in learning about jewelry? Interested in addressing the work-life balance challenge? If the answer to all of these is no, get your head examined, because these are all Grade A topics! To learn more about Best Kept by Kat McCoy, visit https://www.bestkept.com/
55 minutes | Nov 8, 2022
E170: From Catholic School to Pornhub Award Winner – Serenity Now with Serenity Cox!
In this fun-filled installment of Grade A Nation, Chris Thomas chats with adult content creator Serenity Cox, who has just exploded on the amateur scene through posting on Pornhub, earning over 200 million views and over 200,000 subscribers to her channel in short time. Serenity was awarded “Favorite Newcomer” at the 2022 Pornhub awards, as well as Pornhub Model of the Month for April 2022. She is a rising star, but you wouldn’t guess it with her down-to-earth and personable approach. We discuss: -Serenity attending Catholic school and how that might have sparked interest in the naughty side of life -Working at a cigarette booth in a supermarket while attending college -How her adult content was discovered by her colleagues at her full-time work, and how she responded to the gossiping hens chattering about her -Why both her and her husband have an exhibitionist side to them -Her love of threesomes, and some reflection on whether her love of threesomes is tied to not getting enough attention from others growing up -How she lives a hot wife lifestyle and what that lifestyle entails -Why her husband is not a cuckold -Whether or not she would spend sexy time with Justin Trudeau if he were to ask -Her mad accordion playing skills And a whole lot more. This is Serenity’s first ever podcast interview, so it is a big privilege to take her podcast virginity! To see more of Serenity (and you would be foolish not to want to), check out her OnlyFans page: https://onlyfans.com/serenitycox
120 minutes | Nov 7, 2022
E169: The Missionary Man (But Not in That Position With Another Man)?
During this sometimes combustible chat on Grade A Nation, Chris Thomas chats with Matthew Karchner, a man who founded the non-profit ministry known as Castaway Ministries. Matthew operates the ministry out of Cambodia. Raised in the United States, Matthew has struggled for many years with his sexual identity, and also experienced drug dependency for many years. He now identifies as "ex-gay" and works with the youth in Cambodia discussing what he views as the risks tied to LGBTQ life and the value of the Bible. Whether or not you initially agree with Matthew's work or his point of view, listen to the episode with an open mind and come to your own conclusions. During the interview Matthew discusses: -growing up in a religious family -his perspective on gender roles -initial relationships with other men -being dishonest at work while masking drug addictions -why he feels his work is of value and has a purpose -falling romantically for a woman and marrying her -marital and community strife while in Cambodia By the way, the number "69" being featured in the number of the episode is purely coincidental!
63 minutes | Nov 2, 2022
E168: Avoiding No Nut November with Mystery Vibe CEO Dr. Soum!
On this installment of Grade A Nation, Dr. Soumyadip Rakshit (not pronounced how you think, get your mind out of the gutter) joins the program. Dr. Soum is the co-founder and CEO of sexual health company Mystery Vibe. He discusses the science behind where sexual health issues often stem from and how vibrating devices can improve not just sexual pleasure but also reduce physical pain. We discuss: -earning a PhD in biometrics and doing research using technology combating against terrorism -moving from the management consulting world of a firm like Deloitte into the realm of sexual health devices -if friends and family were supportive in his efforts to get Mystery Vibe started -the importance of blood flow in the body -what the research and development process is like when developing sexual health devices -thoughts on why some parts of the world still view talking about sexual health as taboo -the value of sexual health products winning mainstream awards in areas like design -the challenges of trying to keep sexual health accessible regardless of economic status -whether men are embarrassed buying vibrating devices -why Oprah Winfrey or Kim Kardashian promoting Mystery Vibe might not be as valuable as words of recommendation from respected doctors A stimulating conversation to say the least! To learn more about Mystery Vibe products, go to https://mysteryvibe.com/
48 minutes | Oct 29, 2022
E167: Enjoy the Silence with Authors Leigh Marz and Justin Zorn!
On this installment of Grade A Nation, Chris Thomas chats with Leigh Marz and Justin Zorn, authors of the book, “Golden: The Power of Silence in a World of Noise.” The book approaches noise and silence in a sophisticated manner that should get people thinking about how the extent of noise and silence in one’s life can play a role in personal well-being and work performance, among other aspects of life. We talk about: -where the book fits within studies of human psychology -the concept of justice including a democratization of silence -whether there is a danger in certain cultures embracing silence to an extreme extent -how people selectively tuning out others that think differently can be a potentially counterproductive type of silence -the value in removing the stigma tied to hyperacusis and autism where individuals have noise sensitivity -how shared communal experiences, even at a noisy rock concert, can potentially allow people to tap into a valuable form of internal quiet And lots more on this fun-filled discussion of complex subject matter. Every Grade A Nation interview is a winner in some way, but this one stands out! To learn more about Leigh and Justin’s book, check out: https://www.amazon.com/Golden-Power-Silence-World-Noise/dp/0063027607/
68 minutes | Oct 24, 2022
E166: Definitely Not Fake News with Yasmeen Hassan!
On this installment of Grade A Nation, Chris Thomas talks with Yasmeen Hassan, former local TV news anchor and recent co-founder of communications consulting firm H CUE. Areas covered include: -moving around quite a bit as a child and how that prepared Yasmeen for her work in television -starting work in broadcasting behind the scenes as a producer, and what are the aspects people may not appreciate about what goes into getting a news broadcast together -her vivid memories of the first time doing a field report -managing both work as an anchor and a producer while trying to avoid burnout -why trust in the media has declined in recent years -comparing work in media markets like Phoenix, Chicago, and Las Vegas -what it was like covering the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting, and the troubling lack of information about the motive of Stephen Paddock -making the transition from television news to consulting organizations and working professionals on how to craft effective messages -how Winston the dog became a TV news celebrity The chat gives a great glimpse into all the sacrifices and hard work that go into a career in broadcasting! To learn more about Yasmeen's consulting firm H CUE, go to https://hcue-llc.com
66 minutes | Oct 22, 2022
E165: Get into Night Routine with Steve Maher!
On this installment of Grade A Nation, Chris Thomas talks with Steve Maher from the band Night Routine. We discuss a lot, including: -big city life in Boston, Chicago, New York, and Denver and living internationally in Uruguay -what it was like working for a roommate matching service -transitioning to pursuing music and how to make a viable living as a musician -operating frugally when touring by sleeping in housing provided by fans that hopefully won’t hold you captive against your will -dream gigs and the nightmare shows from hell -maintaining friendships with bandmates -the evolution of Night Routine musically -how people have received the band: the good, the bad, and the indifferent -the importance of trust when doing business -side work in podcasting and how the podcast industry is like the music industry We clearly run the gamut of topics, so this show is a must listen! You know what else is a must listen? Night Routine’s music…they have a real cool vibe that fuses together pop, soul, and rock that is worth getting better acquainted with. To learn more about Steve Maher and Night Routine, check out: https://linktr.ee/nightroutine
78 minutes | Oct 1, 2022
E164: Hot for Teacher! The Lovely OnlyFans Creator Sarah Juree
OnlyFans content creator Sarah Juree describes the scary experience of a blogger targeting her in an effort to get her fired from her work as a 5th grade STEM teacher. We discuss what it is like to be at the center of mass media attention, including all the cyberbullying she has experienced. Sarah talks about her challenging upbringing and hardships of being a single parent looking for a new partner. Despite the dark periods, Sarah approaches things with a cheery outlook and this interview is sure to brighten your day! To learn more about Sarah's work, check out https://onlyfans.com/love_misssarah_unlocked
46 minutes | Sep 30, 2022
E163: Mr. Slade Gets You Off on the Dance Floor!
Chris Thomas talks with Mr. Slade, a recording artist based in Canada. We cover his rough childhood where he experienced bullying, how his time at a school for the arts allowed him to blossom creatively and personally, as well as his musical roots in glam rock, 80s hair metal, and 90s alternative. Mr. Slade shares how intoxicating an energy-filled live crowd can be, career goals and worries, and why he hopes his creative work can change stereotypes people might possess. The mutual love Chris Thomas and Mr. Slade have for Duran Duran is addressed in detail! To learn more about Mr. Slade's work, go to https://open.spotify.com/artist/2TqQ9VJggVOUwAGXYt19QL?si=7tIfRh5DQjOlYQ3MW2jZ1Q
53 minutes | Sep 28, 2022
E162: Online Dating Success for Men...from a Woman's Perspective!
Chris Thomas has an excellent chat with Cavil Helm, author of the short book, "A Man's Guide to Tinder as Written By A Woman: A Quick and Easy Guide to Making a Great Profile." Cavil talks about how being homeschooled led her to get acclimated to the digital world at an early age, as well as how her own extensive experience with online dating helped her in developing the book. Cavil's thoughts on love, prejudice, self-esteem, and the future of dating are all covered here, making for a top-notch conversation on Grade A Nation! To learn more about Cavil's book, check it out on Amazon now: https://www.amazon.com/Guide-Tinder-other-Dating-Written-ebook/dp/B0B5CHYPHQ
32 minutes | Sep 13, 2022
E161: Making Connections Through Music -- Needle Music CEO Mikhael Porter
Mikhael Porter, co-founder and CEO of the social media platform Needle Music, discusses how the idea of a digital community oriented around music came about during the COVID-19 pandemic. Why music serves as a special means of bringing people together and the features of Needle Music not seen elsewhere are key areas of our discussion. If you are a music fan or someone looking for an alternative social media platform to connect with others, this is one conversation you do not want to miss out on. To learn more about Needle Music, check out https://www.needlemusic.co.
64 minutes | Aug 29, 2022
E160: Learning about Livestreaming app Leam with founder Alex Bystrov!
Alex Bystrov, founder of a unique livestreaming app Leam, discusses with the Grade A Nation how content creators can create closer connections to supporters they have cultivated online with Leam. Alex talks about his background in web development and design, how he has tackled self-doubt tied to perfectionism, which type of content creators will most benefit from Leam, and how creators on Leam can earn money through tokens from the Voices governance protocol. We have a neat conversation that should excite creative people of all backgrounds, regardless of your background knowledge of cryptocurrency, NFTs, or Web3 innovations. To learn more about Leam, go to https://leam.xyz/
40 minutes | Aug 12, 2022
E159: Singing with Soul! A Chat with Singer-Songwriter Amy Evans
Amy Evans visits to chat about how growing up in Portland, Oregon influenced her as an artist, why Adele is one of several artists she admires, if it is ever possible to turn off the noise of a musical mind thinking about new ideas, her spiritual upbringing, sharing parts of herself in her art, and her new funk fusion EP called Babybird! Amy has a beautiful voice and her music bridges a variety of genres seamlessly. Check out her soulful music and learn more about her at https://www.evansamy.com/
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