Ep 21: Joanna Kalafatis – Lose the Map on exploring a life of acting and travel blogging.

Posted on Dec 18, 2017 | No Comments

Joanna Kalafatis

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Joanna Kalafatis is an actress living and working in Los Angeles as well as the travel blogger and photographer behind Lose the Map. When she’s not auditioning or acting she spends her time exploring other countries where she stays, eats and drinks with locals to really get to know the culture.

“When your environment changes, it changes you.”

In this episode, we dive into Joanna’s journey into the creative arts, how an accident with a kombi taxi changed the way she looked at her life, what she’s learned from traveling solo, and how to write a captivating travel blog. We also talk about her love of acting, how to stay out of trouble while traveling, tips for moving to LA, and so much more. I had so much fun chatting with Joanna, and I think you will get a ton out of this conversation.

“Traveling for blogging is not the same as lying by a pool with a martini.”

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5 Key Takeaways

  1. Being alone in Japan is something I recommend everyone does at least once in their life.
  2. When you throw yourself into travel abroad alone, you come out more confident and more secure in yourself.
  3. When writing a travel blog, the more you can niche down the better. Write with a lot of personality.
  4. When moving to LA for acting or the arts, have longer expectations and stay at it. It’s a marathon.
  5. “Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” ~Earl Nightingale


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Show Notes (Ep 21)

Intro and latest obsessions [01:25]

Joanna’s work and art [04:58]
What came first, travel or creativity? [07:20]

When did you start traveling alone [10:38]

Letting go of things that go wrong [13:54]
Process for meeting and getting taken in by locals [15:37]

How do you answer the question, “How do I travel more?” [17:33]
Biggest personality/character change from solo travel [18:56]
The blog Lose the Map [22:05]

When did photography take precedence [26:25]

Advice for starting a travel blog [30:02]
What inspires you to take a picture or write a blog post [31:32]
Do you try to get off the beaten path [33:52]
How structured is your travel [35:36]
How do you manage acting and travel [37:55]
How did you get into acting [41:16]

What advice do you have for people moving to Los Angeles [43:69]
How do you overcome the “pick me” mentality that a lot of creatives suffer from [46:20]
Do you have any habits or rituals to help you stay focused or improve your acting/blogging skills [49:57]

Do you have anything you do to stay on top of work while on the road [52:40]
Do you have anything you wish people would ask you about blogging or acting [54:01]
What media do you consume while on the road [57:30]

Who do you think of when you hear the word successful [01:01:58]

How long do you have to be in one place before you have to travel [01:03:32]
Are there any other major fears or obstacles you’ve had to overcome [01:04:47]
Do you have any other projects you are working on [01:10:52]
Final advice [01:10:52]


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Ep 20: Daniel E. Williams – BGSU professor and indie filmmaker on making a study of cinema.

Posted on Jan 2, 2017 | No Comments

Daniel E Williams

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Daniel E. Williams received his MFA in Film from Howard University in 1998 and in 2000 he won Best of Show at the Rosebud Film and Video Festival for his thesis film A Thousand Days a Year. He currently teaches film production at Bowling Green State University, while continuing to independently write, produce, and direct award-winning films. I even had the pleasure of working on his latest project, Autumn Blue, as the 1st AC.

“Cinema is not just a product, it’s a form of cultural expression.”

In this conversation, we dig into Daniel’s upbringing in St. Louis, his path through film school, and his process as an independent filmmaker. We get into Daniel’s thoughts on teaching filmmaking and what mistakes he sees beginning filmmakers make again and again. We talk about filmmaking as a craft, getting to know your equipment before you get on set, methods for improving your creativity and so much more. This episode is definitely worth the listen if you’re considering going to film school or becoming a filmmaker.

“Go to film school if you want to immerse yourself in the study of cinema.”

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6 Key Takeaways

  1. Know what you are saying with your film. You don’t want to be the filmmaker that lacks an understanding of the ideology that is being expressed in your film.
  2. Bond with the equipment before you go on a shoot. The more you know how to use the equipment the more proficient you will be on set. Read the manual.
  3. Be knowledgeable of the history of cinema. Keep your textbooks and use the library. Watch films from the Criterion Collection.
  4. On set, as in life, listen to your conscience. If your inner voice is speaking to you, pay attention.
  5. As the director, even if you don’t make the right choice you have to be confident in that choice. You are the leader and your emotions and moods trickle down to the rest of the cast and crew.
  6. Get away from film for periods of time. Expose yourself to other things, read widely, and experiment with other art forms. These become fuel for your work.


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Hacked Short Film

Written and Directed by Daniel E. Williams. Produced by the BGSU Department of Theatre & Film.

Show Notes (Ep 20)

Intro and where Daniel grew up [01:32]

Growing up in Ferguson [06:20]

Origins of creativity [12:52]
Biggest obstacles to play [18:47]
Interest in filmmaking [20:41]

Going to film school [27:40]

Biggest takeaways from Howard [35:30]

Studying English [39:44]

What stuck with you from grad school [44:01]
Thinking through the theory before making [50:19]
Why an MFA and how did that lead to teaching [54:03]

Teaching philosophy [59:50]

Film as art vs. product [01:07:10]

Strategy for catching up and keeping up with cinema [01:11:02]

What do you do to improve your craft that others do not [01:19:10]

Films and process [01:28:32]
Why still shooting with film [01:34:22]
What beginner filmmakers do that drive you crazy [01:46:47]
Current projects [01:57:26]
Favorite recent films [02:03:56]

More favorites [02:06:26]

Final advice for attending film school [02:16:05]


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Man Bike World Pt. 2 – Halfway down the Great Divide Trail. Bicycles, bears, friends and fires.

Posted on Sep 1, 2016 | No Comments

Russ McCoy

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This is a special mini-episode of Odyssey and Muse where we check in with people that are about to embark on or are in the middle of an adventure around the world. In this episode I catch up with Russ McCoy of Man Bike World. Russ is in the midst of his Great Divide Mountain Bike Tour. I interviewed him back in July just before he shoved off. If you haven’t listened to that episode you can catch up here.

“I saw this little baby grizzly bear cub running across the road.”

Russ began his tour in Banff, Canada and has traveled through Montana, Idaho and is most of the way through Wyoming. In this conversation, we talk about his early encounter with grizzly bears, his misfortunes with bear spray, his new friends on the trail, how his gear and body are both holding up, and about all of the amazing sites seen and experiences had.

“You can’t challenge the rumor. So we were prepared for having no water.”

We’re planning to catch up with Russ when he reaches the end of his 2,745 mile journey, so make sure to check back for updates.

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3 Key Takeaways

  1. If you’re going to be in grizzly bear country, it can pay to have a can of bear spray.
  2. Be careful how you store your bear spray. If you puncture the can it can be bad news for you.
  3. If you’re riding the Great Divide Trail try to stay at Barbara’s Cyclist Only Cabin.


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A Video Post from Russ

Show Notes (Man Bike World Pt. 2)

Introduction and review of Great Divide tour [00:56]

Beginning the journey and the bear spray incident [03:18]

How did your body adjust to the riding [14:05]
Traveling solo vs with others [15:22]
What has the terrain been like [16:28]

How much water would you carry [20:26]
Favorite sites and the treat of forest fires [21:25]

Gear issues [29:08]
Special moments on the ride [32:20]
Experiences using tech to record and connect online [35:07]

Plans for the next few days and the rest of the trip [38:19]


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