Chris Amar is that rarest of breeds - an optimistic and yes, happy, attorney. A fairly recent transplant to Pittsburgh, Chris has always had a passion for helping people - from his early days as a middle-schooler in Boston working with that city's homeless population to his efforts on behalf of his current clients. We talk about the writers that have stimulated his curiosity, take a slight dive into American history, analyze his short horizon lines, participating in democracy and how vacations sneak up on him. He has an infectious personality with empathy being central to his DNA.
Larry Richert is the consummate professional and a staple of the Pgh television and radio scene for decades. Despite the ungodly hour he starts his day, he always brings warmth, a great sense of humor and a sincere humility to his profession. He takes none of what he has accomplished for granted, reveals his secret desire to become a voiceover for movie trailers and discusses how radio - despite the broadcast description - it's really a one-to-one, intimate medium.
She has the old-school agency stories from Mad Men delivered with an accent closer to Mad Max. She is the one-of-a-kind Ann McFadden. In this episode, Gordon talks with Ann about her improbable career that began in Australia and continues today as a hall-of-fame creative director.
Tom M Johnson is a fairly recent west coast transplant to the city of Pittsburgh. A native of East Los Angeles, Tom has been a compelling editorial and advertising photographer for decades and has had his work featured both nationally and internationally. We talk about his earlier paths as a ballet dancer and model – both of which provided much needed empathy in his work on this side of the lens. Tom discusses his perspectives on favorite cameras, the beauty of imperfections, why quiet surprises resonate most and how most of his work is a form of portraiture. And while he is drawn to the rich Pittsburgh textures on display in our myriad neighborhoods he also articulates why the beaches of his youth don’t suck. It’s an engaging dialogue with a man who daily absorbs the world around him with an eclectic and discerning eye.
Doug takes us inside Wall-to-Wall Studios to discuss their design processes along with his own personal practice that often fuses his myriad and considerable graphic design skills with his passion for politics, family and particularly, music, which has lead to a variety of great collaborations with bands that he has admired.
Jeff Carpenter will challenge you. His mission is to challenges the norms of what a "theater experience" can be by taking all of your senses on a journey of immersion, adventure and mystery. The founder of the Bricolage Production Company talks about his beginnings as an actor, how he came to form Bricolage in Pittsburgh, the partnership with his wife Tami, who is the Producing Artistic Director of Bricolage and an accomplished actor in her own right, and how he sees the cultural arts community in Pgh evolving.
David has been a veteran of the Pgh advertising industry for 30 plus years and he has seen and heard it all. He outlines his process of working with colleagues of all stripes, particularly writers. He takes us through agency life with a keen eye and sharp wit - including his perspective on the Ketchum heyday and subsequent fall. An engaging and truly funny man, he also takes us on his quest to become a New Yorker Cartoonist and the tenacity required to pursue that path.
Teresa has been a reporter her entire career and she takes us down the path of how she tells good stories and how this skill has led her from beat business reporter to the business editor at the Pgh Post-Gazette and how she has navigated both of these disciplines that need each other but often are at odds with one another.
Chris Pratt reluctantly accepts the moniker of writer, despite his prodigious body of work. He and Brian discuss his creative process, personal path and reputation (admittedly,at times, earned) of being a bit “dark” but how that is not necessarily the case anymore.
Pittsburgh is no longer a shot-and-a-beer city thanks to people like our guest Michael Anderson. Michael and Gordon spend a Happy Hour discussing the burgeoning cocktail culture and being a bartending brand.
It’s the age-old story of a Brooklyn-born drama teacher who stumbles into the computer science program of a major university and pioneers an entirely new field of study. Don and Brian talk baseball, teaching digital natives and existential phenomenological psychology. Yeah, that’s right, existential phenomenological psychology and baseball.
Almost all successful products are design with empathy for the human experience. Brian and Erin talk human-to-human about how observation and curiosity can be just as important as engineering when it comes to modern design. And while she has traveled the globe she still finds Polish Hill in Pittsburgh to be the best place to call home.
Made in Pittsburgh doesn't mean what it used to. A lot of the economic growth is coming from the craft sector. Adam and Gordon talk glass blowing and the dynamics of connecting artist entrepreneurs with capital and markets.
We kick off our podcast careers visiting with stand-up-comedian-turned-brand-strategist Dave Popelka. Brian and Dave trace the meandering path that covers his educational paths, his stand up, his brief Brookstone career and how he broke into the advertising world without much of an idea of what he was getting into. All he knew was that “these were my people.”