Man Bike World Pt. 1 – Russ McCoy on bears, bikes and his approaching Great Divide tour.

Posted on Jul 21, 2016 | No Comments
Man Bike World Pt. 1 – Russ McCoy on bears, bikes and his approaching Great Divide tour.

Russ McCoy - Man Bike World

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This is a special episode of Odyssey and Muse. This is going to be the first of possibly many little in-between-isodes 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 talk with Russ McCoy of Man Bike World. He was the second person I interviewed for this podcast, episode 2, and he is the first repeat guest.

“It’s 2,745 miles from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico.”

Russ has been on two big bicycle tours and he is about to leave on his third in a few days. But this time he’s changing it up. He will be riding down the Great Divide mountain bike trail and spending a lot of time off-road for the first time. In this conversation, we talk about the differences in mountain biking verses his previous street tours, we dig into his anxieties, which include bear attacks, his philosophy on wearing helmets, last minute bicycle setup changes, and how he plans to update his blog along the way.

“When bears are around, never eat at your camp.”

We’re planning to catch up with him again when he’s halfway through the 2,745 mile journey, so make sure to check back for updates.

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3 Key Takeaways

  1. The Great Divide mountain bike trail is a 2,745 mile run from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. 85% of which is unpaved forest road.
  2. When traveling through bear country, never eat at your camp, never store food in your tent, which includes gum and toothpaste, and hang your food in a tree.
  3. There are sections of the Great Divide trail where you need to be able to carry or collect enough water for 4 to 5 days. Take water purification tablets, a filter and a way to carry 10 liters of water.



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Russ’s Setup

Before he dropped 16 more pounds of weight.


Show Notes (Man Bike World Pt. 1)

Introduction to the Great Divide mountain bike trail [01:04]

Review of Russ’s past bicycle tours [02:06]
Explaining in detail, the Great Divide tour [06:03]
The challenges of the tour [08:04]
What makes Russ anxious about this tour [11:30]
Last minute bicycle setup changes [16:05]
DaBrim and the great helmet debate [20:33]

What drives Russ to embark on these tours [25:01]
Pros and cons of solo touring [26:31]
What Russ is looking forward to the most on this tour and his blogging strategy [29:22]


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Ep 16: Bobby McCall – The Dirty Hooks, leaving a musical legacy and avoiding the charlatans.

Posted on Jun 16, 2016 | No Comments


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Bobby McCall is a singer, songwriter and musician from Las Vegas. He bought a guitar when he was 17 and has been focused on honing his skills and writing music ever since. After parting ways with the band The Ill Figures, he started the gritty rock trio The Dirty Hooks with bandmates Anthony Ratto III and Jenine Cali. They made the decision to write and record the music that they wanted to hear, and in 2012 they released their debut album Electric Grit to critical acclaim.

“Be as weird as you can.”

In this conversation we dig into Bobby’s beginnings growing up in Las Vegas, his path to rock and roll, and his desire to leave a legacy with his work. We get into the formation of The Dirty Hooks, how to avoid the charlatans of the music industry, producing and releasing your own album, and some of Bobby’s philosophies on creating great music and balancing work, life and art.

“We made the music we wanted to hear.”

Remember to check out The Dirty Hooks on Soundcloud and Spotify, and if you really dig them, support your artists by purchasing their album.

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5 Key Takeaways

  1. When finding your voice, be as weird as you can and try to have some hooks in there. You need to be original in some way.
  2. You can’t chase a record deal and you can’t chase a style that’s relevant now, because by the time you get there you will be old news.
  3. Use social media to your advantage, but watch for predators in the music business. There will always be charlatans trying to sell you more likes, listens and air time. These do not get results and they suck your money and resources.
  4. “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson
  5. The only thing you can do is write good music and put it out there. Focus on leaving a legacy.



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The Dirty Hooks

The Dirty Hooks are three petty criminals who crossed paths in a naked city crime circle, & began writing music after sharing a cell in Las Vegas’s very own metro county jail.
(Bobby McCall, Anthony Ratto III, Jenine Cali)

Music Video by Ryen McPherson.

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Show Notes (Ep 16)

Growing up in Las Vegas [01:50]

How Bobby got into music and his first guitar [07:22]
The first band [10:26]

How The Dirty Hooks came to be [17:00]

The Sound of The Dirty Hooks [23:35]

Playing the baritone guitar and favorite effects [27:55]

How the writing duties are split for the band [32:36]
The strategy for the Electric Grit Release [35:01]

The Dirty Hooks social media strategy [41:31]

Music festivals and the Vegas scene [43:09]

The making of a music video [47:33]

Plans for the next album [50:53]
The work / life / art balance [56:06]

Current musical influences and other likes [01:00:09]

Final advice for musicians [01:03:49]


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Ep 15: Vic May – Success as an actor in LA, get an agent with a beard, and keep making stuff.

Posted on Jun 7, 2016 | No Comments

Vic May

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Vic May is from, Anamosa, Iowa. He grew up in a creative family where he was encouraged to pursue his desire to act in theater. He graduated from Simpson College, then lived in Chicago, acting in the Red Tape Theater and other venues before moving with is wife Mackenzie to Los Angeles, where they currently reside. Some of his recent work includes acting in a Geico / Vikings commercial, modeling for the Centura Health Pioneer Campaign, acting in the movie Trafficked with Ashley Judd, and producing and staring in the short film Adrift.

“Grow a beard to get an agent.”

In this conversation we dig into the details of moving to LA and some of the mistakes Vic sees his fellow actors make. We talk about Vics methods for preparing for a part, how to get an agent with a beard, why having a script locked before a production begins is important, how to make progress and stay sane while constantly being rejected, what it’s like to be on the set of a Geico commercial, nightmare acting stories, and much more.

“Just stick with it.”

I also want to point out that I just saw on twitter that Vic and his team are in the process of raising finishing money for their film Adrift, which we talk about in detail during this podcast. So if you like this man, and want to see him succeed, go to the Kickstarter page here, and help him get this project to the finish line. And if you need a little more motivation, Vic is about to become a father, so help a dad out!

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6 Key Takeaways

  1. Biggest mistake when moving to Los Angeles is to only stay for a short period in hopes of finding work. It takes time to build up a network and make progress in the business. You must be patient and always be doing something (take classes, setup meetings, go to auditions).
  2. When looking for an acting class, audit as many as you can for free, and find a teacher that matches your style of learning and pushes you to grow.
  3. The script you receive for a production is often a direct reflection of how the shoot will be run. If it is terrible (poor grammar, typos, incorrect formatting, etc.) then the production is likely to be disorganized. Unless you are new to LA and desperate for work, steer clear of these.
  4. Make sure that your script is locked (finalized) before you go on to location to shoot. This will help avoid heated arguments and costly last minute changes to the shooting schedule. Also, keep the on-set boozing to a minimum.
  5. When preparing for a role, first get off the book (memorize the script). If you have time, try journaling from the perspective of the character as a way to get in their mind during a difficult scene. Find what you want from the other character in the scene and figure out how they would respond to your actions.
  6. You get told no a lot as an actor. To stay in a positive mindset, take some control by talking to friends about creating and then create something with them (a scene, a short, a skit). Meditate and clear your mind by getting out in nature or surfing.



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Adrift is a short horror film set entirely on a sail boat in the middle of the ocean. With no witnesses to the murder of his wife, Vincent’s paranoid mind takes over while alone at sea.


Show Notes (Ep 15)

How Vic got started working with Sean Cruser and Burning Shade Productions [04:24]

Growing up in Anamosa and early start in theater [11:22]

Move to Chicago to pursue theater acting [19:07]

Moving to Los Angeles – pitfalls and advice [25:39]

Advice for finding the right acting classes for you [35:44]

Production horror stories and how to determine if a project is worth doing [38:47]
Vic’s process for preparing for roles [52:52]
Auditioning and growing a beard to get an agent [57:58]

Working on commercials [01:07:59]

Overcoming rejection as an actor [01:18:47]
Vic’s likes and influences [01:22:55]

New and up-and-coming projects Vic is working on [01:27:20]

Final advice for filmmakers [01:29:42]

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Ep 14: Marquette Jones – Get your movie made, win at grad school and crack the film festival.

Posted on May 18, 2016 | No Comments

Marquette Jones

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Marquette Jones is from Youngstown, Ohio, not far from where I grew up. She’s an alumna of NYU’s graduate film program, but before becoming a filmmaker, Marquette was a public interest attorney in Oakland, California.

Her work includes her most recent film, Forgiving Chris Brown, along with Round on Both Sides, Tunk, Heroes Wanted and Streets 2 Suites. She has also produce many other projects from short films, to commercials and PSAs for the Women in Film program.

“Have a plan and work your plan.”

When she is not busy writing, producing, or directing, Marquette indulges her obsession with color through her ever-growing nail polish collection.

In this conversation we get into everything. When it comes to filmmaking, we learn her thoughts on grad school – the good and the bad, her strategy for submitting to film festivals – they are detailed, how she writes, directs and staffs up for her films, and some writing advice she received from Spike Lee himself.

“Fund your film with a fish fry.”

We talk about her winding path from law degree to a creative career, her advocacy for women in film, and we even learn about her desire to read minds as a child. There is a ton valuable information and Marquette is a joy to listen to.

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6 Key Takeaways

  1. At grad school take advantage of the community and the equipment. Don’t wait be assigned a project. Make as many things as you can.
  2. When staffing up for a production, only hire people you don’t have to watch.
  3. Your eyes should be on the thing after the thing. Always be prepared with your next project. You must be ready when opportunity strikes.
  4. When writing ask yourself, “What would really happen in this situation?” Use music to put yourself into the mood of the characters. Write a draft from each characters perspective.
  5. Movies made by women filmmakers make up a small percentage of what makes it to theaters. Support your women filmmakers. Listen to Marquette’s podcast Directing Magic.
  6. The film festival circuit gives you something to talk about and promote on social media. Being accepted legitimizes your film, brings awareness and attracts potential support for future projects.


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Forgiving Chris Brown

Forgiving Chris Brown is a dark comedy short that follows the follies of “Rihanna”, “Halle” and “Tina”. These stylish girlfriends hope to heal their battered hearts through the old-fashioned way – Revenge.


Show Notes (Ep 14)

The ins and outs of Directing the NYU thesis film, Round on Both Sides. [03:11]

How to handle the pressure while directing. [09:50]
Early days in Ohio, reading minds, and budding creativity. [19:29]

Law school to film school. The realization. [22:35]

What Marquette didn’t learn from NYU, but should have. [27:38]
Working with and learning from the legend, Spike Lee. [38:09]

Lessons learned from moving to Los Angeles. [45:58]
The roles of marketing and self-promotion in your success as a filmmaker. [53:15]
Experiencing the icky side of LA as a woman filmmaker. [59:27]

The making of Forgiving Chris Brown. [01:21:16]

Mastering the film festival circuit. [01:34:12]

Final questions, likes and advice for filmmakers. [01:48:54]


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Ep 13: Hannah Nicol – Wanderlust, traveling Southeast Asia and benefits of liberal arts.

Posted on Nov 10, 2015 | No Comments

Hannah Nicol

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Hannah Nicol is an assistant director of international student affairs, teaches ESL classes at a university level, and spends all of her spare time traveling and dancing.

“I can do anything for a year.”

In this conversation we go into her early life growing up in Nigeria, the last 4 years she’s spent living in China and traveling Southeast Asia, how her liberal arts degree challenged her old worldview, her love of salsa dancing as a way to connect with others around the globe, and her desire to continue traveling the world and eating new and amazing foods.

“If you’re 20 and healthy, travel the world.”

If you want to hear more shows like this, rate us on iTunes and let us know.
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5 Key Takeaways

  1. Salsa dancing is a great way to connect with others while traveling alone. There are festivals located all around the world.
  2. Keep some kind of record of your experiences. Carry a small journal with you when you travel. Later in life you will be able to look back at all that you have done.
  3. Going to college can open up the world to you and allow you to think freely. Especially if you grew up in a closed family or culture.
  4. The world is not as mean as we think it is. People are generally kind and willing to help you.
  5. Travel doesn’t have to be expensive. Pay attention to frequent flyer programs, and avoid the touristy areas.


Show Notes

Intro / Trip to Cambodia [00:31]

What took Hannah to Southeast Asia – Fulbright and beyond [02:59]

How Hannah became interested in education and growing up in Africa [10:24]

Cultural norms and global awareness [21:47]

Travels through Southeast Asia [26:02]

Favorite experiences from traveling in Southeast Asia [33:44]

Connecting with others through [37:56]

Work life as university teacher in Hong Kong [42:42]
Benefits of health happiness and travel first [46:03]
Journaling to capture memories and create positive focus [52:35]
Obstacles and fears in a life of travel [58:54]
One month yoga training in India [01:03:58]

Habits and rituals / exercise for happiness [01:09:02]
Major life influences [01:12:22]

Favorite books [01:20:38]

Final advice [01:25:52]



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