We invite you to come along as host Michael Shields whisks you Beyond the Margin, guiding you deeper into the stories told at the online Arts & Cultural magazine, Across the Margin. Listen in as they take you on a storytelling journey, one where you are bound to meet a plethora of intriguing writers, wordsmiths, poets, artists, musicians, filmmakers and unhinged eccentrics illustrating the notion that there are captivating stories to be found everywhere…
Episode 1: A Primer
This is a chance for you, the listener, to learn more about Across the Margin. It’s an opportunity to come to an understanding about our goals and the types of dynamic content we have to offer at the website, as well as what we have in store for you in upcoming podcasts! Episode 1 features three short stories read by the authors themselves, a selection of tales that we are excited to share and feel exhibit the sort of poignant storytelling that makes Across the Margin so great.
Episode 2: The A, B, C & D’s of Science Fiction
We present an ode to the authors who birthed the Science Fiction & Fantasy genre’s such as Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, and Phillip K. Dick. In this podcast, hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson take the listener on a journey through the dawn of science fiction and pointedly, to the present, with a series of discussions and readings which highlight the sophistication and poignancy of the genre. “The A, B, C, D’s of Science Fiction” features an interview with one of our favorite emerging Science Fiction authors, Rajan Khanna, who penned the riveting post-apocalyptic thriller Falling Sky and concludes with a short story, a dark tale that wonders what would happen if The Office met The Twilight Zone. Dive deep!
Episode 3: A Letter to the Internet
Listen in as hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson, with help from two dynamic authors and entertainers, Alan Fox and Chris Campanioni, break down the ways in which we interact with the internet, specifically – social media’s role in defining the way in which we live. In this podcast, ideas that revolve around the cultural norms we witness amongst diverging generations – those born before and after the rise of the Digital Age – are discussed in depth, as well as topics such as online identities, the possibility of intimacy through digital connections, and celebrity and privacy in the Digital Age.
Episode 4: Race & Institutionalized Inequalities in America
With the help of Paul Gutkowski, a veteran social worker in New York City, hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson delve into race and the institutionalized inequalities in America, the responsibilities of everyday citizens in this Post-Ferguson America, the challenges of reducing recidivism, and our broken prison system as a whole. Also, to focus on his other passions, comedy and acting, Paul answers questions about his motivations, his methods, and his goals working in the performing arts.
Episode 5: Unhinged
Brace yourself as hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson let their hair down, and in stepping back from their traditionally themed episodes present an installment of Beyond the Margin simply entitled, “Unhinged.” In this fifth chapter, Mike and Chris delve into all the recent stories and articles at Across the Margin, ruminate on pertinent current events, and even get a little personal – expounding on those things that inspire and fascinate them. Listen in, to the most revealing episode of Beyond the Margin yet!
Episode 6: Aktion P
With the help of John O’Leary, a researcher and writer chronicling the story of three Americans who discovered the holy grail of Mercedes Benz cars, a Nazi-commissioned 1939 540K Aktion P, hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson get behind the wheel of a fascinating car-centric adventure story as they talk with John about one of the most unique automotive finds of World War Two.
Episode 7: The Art of Battle Rap with Iron Solomon
Hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson enlist the help of the prolific lyricist and performer, Iron Solomon, to provide a glimpse into the underground phenomenon that is Battle Rap. Iron Solomon is a wordsmith, one of the most accomplished battle rappers in the history of the sport, and in this podcast he walks Mike and Chris through his background and extraordinary career and in doing so the techniques of the art form are explored, and a world awash with unparalleled wordplay is unearthed.
Episode 8: A Year End Retrospective
In the latest episode of Across the Margin’s podcast, Beyond the Margin, hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson sit down independant of guest and wax nostalgic about another lively year at the magazine and expound on all the stories and articles that affected them deeply in 2015.
Episode 9: To Bern or Not to Bern
Across the Margin, with the help of Dr. Frank Battaglia (Atlantic City for Bernie Sanders), examines the compelling Presidential campaign of the junior Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders. In dissecting Congressman Sanders’ well established credentials and qualifications for the Presidency, the discussion veered towards a slew of myths that swirl about the Congressman, from such topics as his electability, his age, that he is a one-issue candidate, his lack of foreign policy experience, and the misconceptions that revolve around the term “democratic socialism.” In debunking this slew of fallacies, host Michael Shields and Frank ultimately found themselves marveling over the profound opportunity that Bernie Sanders offers the United States, and expounding upon the importance and uniqueness of Bernie Sanders’ passion.
Episode 10: Buried Above Ground
Across the Margin welcomes award-winning filmmaker Ben Selkow into the studio to talk about his latest film, Buried Above Ground, a documentary that embarks on the road to recovery with three post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) survivors. Buried Above Ground is an important film that contributes to reshaping the way our society thinks about mental health issues and helps viewers dispel the myths and misconceptions about PTSD.
Episode 11: ATM Publishing, Seneca Rebel & Writing Your Truth
Hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson discuss Across the Margin’s foray into publishing (ATM Publishing) and the release of their first novel, Rayya Deeb’s Seneca Rebel which is available now! Following this exciting news, Michael and Chris take the listener on a journey Around the Margin, discussing a myriad of noteworthy stories and articles published recently at Across the Margin, and conclude with readings by Tiffany Yu (“Dear Dad“) and Patrick J. Dalton (“Living Remnant“).
Episode 12: ATM & The State of The Union
Hosts Michael Shields and Chris Thompson sit down to discuss the current state of affairs at the magazine, delving into its most recent articles and stories and examining the spectacle that is our present-day political climate as we head into the home stretch of the 2016 US Presidential Election. As the episode unfolds, Mike and Chris dive into the present electoral cycle and explore the prevailing idea that today’s voters are being faced with choosing between the “lesser of two evils” as their choice for Commander in Chief. In consideration of the crazed and adequately corrupt systems deeply entrenched in the United States political system, America’s shortcomings are mulled over and in doing so a measure of hope for the future in technology’s ability to bring us together is, by some means, unearthed.
Episode 13: Rayya Deeb’s Seneca Rebel
Beyond the Margin proudly introduces you to Rayya Deeb, author of Seneca Rebel – the first book released under Across the Margin’s publishing imprint, ATM Publishing. Throughout this podcast, listeners are afforded the opportunity to get to know Rayya, as the discussion courses through her history in screenwriting, her many influences that forged the path towards Seneca Rebel, and much, much more. Opening the door into the expansive world of Seneca, Rayya outlines the novel’s premise, delves deep into its subtleties, reveals the man responsible for Han Solo, discusses the benefit of the Save The Catwriting process, and even hints at what is to come as the Seneca franchise expands.
Episode 14: Unhinged, Take Two
Michael Shields welcomes former-co host (and veteran Across the Margin co-editor), Chris Thompson, into the studio for a reunion to discuss all the changes in Chris’s life. In one of the most revelatory podcasts in the history of Beyond the Margin, Chris expounds upon the motivations underlying his move to the West Coast and his experiences during his road trip across the United States (with his father as his co-pilot). Mike and Chris, holding little back, leave no stone unturned discussing many of their formative moments in life, topics such as the ills (and benefits) of emerging technologies, the National Emergency that is a possible Donald Trump presidency, a visit to the Studebaker Museum, Louis CK’s most recent performance at Madison Square Garden, and much more. From quips about “Al Gore Truthers,” horseless carriages, a yearning for a return to the days of town criers, and the remote locations of college towns, listeners are offered another episode in the “Unhinged” series, where Mike and Chris sit down with no agenda and allow the conversation to take them where it may.
Episode 15: Jonathan Marcantoni
Novelist Jonathan Marcantoni is welcomed to the podcast to talk about his three novels (Traveler’s Rest, The Feast of San Sebastian, The Kings of 7th Avenue) which all deal with issues of identity and corruption in both the Puerto Rican diaspora and on the island, and his forthcoming novel, Tristiana. Jonathan, formerly the Editor in Chief of Aignos Publishing, begins a new venture this October with the launch of La Casita Grande, an imprint of Black Rose Writing that specializes in Latino and Caribbean authors. Michael and Jon dig into the reasons for this change in Jon’s career, the style he chooses to champion (“Visualism”), and his undying love for Diego Velázquez’s 1656 painting Las Meninas and how it has impacted his writing. As the discussion progresses, Jon delves deep into the many atrocities and hardships facing Puerto Ricans in their quest for Independence
Episode 16: Mitch Lucas – The Consummate Interview
Michael Shields welcomes Mitch Lucas into the studio to wax nostalgic about a mutual love of film and comedy. Mitch Lucas is a New York-based director and comedian from Bristol, Tennessee. His short films (Shogun of the Upper East Side, etc.) and sketches have been featured on Funny Or Die (“Cash for Pizza” / “The Reunion”) and festivals around New York City. Mitch has performed long-form improv since 2012 at the People’s Improv Theater and currently he can be seen on Saturday nights at 8pm with his house team Gypsy Danger. In this podcast the expanse of Mitch’s influences are dissected, from his early days in Tennessee, unto his later years In Pennsylvania, Kansas, and finally New York City. Mitch digs deep, and throughout this consummate discussion of his life and career, he reveals a terrifying moment from his youth, the exact date of the greatest day of his life (July 2nd, 1984), his affinity for the work of aquarist Takashi Amano, how a photograph by Leon Levenstein drew him to New York City, and much, much more.
Episode 17: Brian Sachson & ATM’s Election Roundup
Host Michael Shields welcomes into the studio Brian Sachson to discuss his work in film, the 2016 election results, and much, much more. Brian, the co-owner of Eclectic Productions, has been involved in the film and television industry in New York City for the past fifteen years and has most recently conceived and produced the series Motor City High on Complex, the award-winning short The Backup Singer, and the feature film Four Bottles, which is currently in post-production. In this podcast, Michael and Brian dig deep, exploring the influences that have shaped Brian’s career while commiserating about the results of the election and contemplating upon what this may mean for the country. Brian’s extensive experience traveling around the world and his passion for film production, this podcast highlights, has lead to his belief that film, and the shared passions of individuals, can bring people together and solve even the most daunting global problems.
Episode 18: ATM, A Year End Retrospective
The head editors at Across the Margin, Michael Shields and Chris Thompson, sit down to wax nostalgic about another lively year at the magazine. As 2016 (finally!) draws to its close, Mike and Chris dig into a year where Across the Margin launched its publishing imprint, ATM Publishing, and released its first book, Seneca Rebel by Rayya Deeb. Simultaneously, the magazine released a generous helping of articles and stories, numerous podcast episodes, and pioneered new avenues for getting its stories out into the world. Beyond the Margin’s latest podcast commences with a passionate discussion amongst the editors regarding their choices for the Top 50 Albums of 2016, dissecting what it takes to earn the top spot on the countdown and focusing on works by David Bowie, Car Seat Headrest, A Tribe Called Called Quest, and Kevin Morby. Mike and Chris then discuss Across the Margin’s popular series, Twenty Years Later, expound upon the plethora of superb fiction published throughout the year, and even pre-empt the Oscar buzz by discussing a few of their favorites films in 2016, plus much, much more.
Episode 19: The Singularity
Host Michael Shields attempts to unravel the mysteries surrounding The Singularity, a moment in time that American author, computer scientist, inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil describes: “Within a quarter century, nonbiological intelligence will match the range and subtlety of human intelligence. It will then soar past it because of the continuing acceleration of information-based technologies, as well as the ability of machines to instantly share their knowledge.” To navigate the ins and outs of this technological wonder, Michael employed the help of frequent Beyond the Margin contributor Brian Sachson and this episode’s secret weapon, Rurik Peterson. Rurik has worked in Information Technology for over twenty years across a number of different industries including education, entertainment, and healthcare. He has worked in all aspects of technology from desktop support to systems administration and is currently focused on cloud-based solutions. Rurik is also a part-time actor, writer and filmmaker. Having struggled to balance his logical, rational, and nerdy facets with an emotive and creative artistic side, Rurik is a true renaissance-man and knowledge junky, and the perfect person to help as Beyond the Margin explores the idea of a world dramatically altered by technology.
Episode 20: Micah White (Interview) & The End of Protest
Host Michael Shields conducts an interview with Micah White, a lifelong activist who co-created Occupy Wall Street, a global social movement that spread to eighty-two countries, while an editor at Adbusters magazine. His essays and interviews on the future of protest have been published internationally in such noted publications as The New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Poder (Brazil), and The Los Angeles Review of Books. He has been a featured guest on major network television shows such as Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect, the BBC’s Newsnight and The National, Canada’s flagship nightly current affairs broadcast. Widely recognized as a pioneer of social movement creation, White has been profiled by The New Yorker and The Guardian, and Esquire has named him one of the most influential young thinkers alive today. In this podcast Michael and Micah discuss the failings of the mass mobilizations that are occurring throughout the United States today and Micah offers his ideas on how protestors and activists can more effectively channel their passion, time, and energy. In a discussion that examines the impact of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, the idea of rural activism and mental environmentalism, and that dives into climate change and its role in the future of protests, Micah White’s insight and ideas aren’t simply profound, but ultimately inspiring and downright hopeful.
Episode 21: The Refugee Crisis & America’s Cold Shoulder
Appalled by the Trump Administration’s lack of empathy for those in need of urgent help, host Michael Shields and Beyond the Margin regular Brian Sachson explore President Trump’s failed attempt at halting the flow of refugees into the U.S. and the impetus that underscored this unsuccessful executive action. Opening on the global stage, Michael and Brian dig deep into the worldwide refugee crisis, assessing the authentic threat (or lack thereof) refugees entering the United States pose while expounding on the rigorous vetting process they must endure to gain entry. To help illustrate the decency and goodwill of refugees throughout the world and the depth of their struggle, this episode of Beyond the Margin includes an interview with Kim Proal, a volunteer who works in conjunction with the Norwegian-based NGO, Drapen i Havet (“A Drop in the Ocean”), that provides aid to Syrian refugees in Greece. In this podcast’s second act, Kim walks the listener through the refugee camps she has worked in, providing insight and understanding into the daily lives of those she helps and in doing so she draws attention to the continuing struggles of those she grew close to, people Kim describes as “the the kindest, most generous humans” she has ever met.
Episode 22: Spanning the Globe with Timothy Konrad
In the latest episode of Beyond the Margin, host Michael Shields, with help from BTM regular Brian Sachson, dig into life as a ski bum and the profound benefits of a livelihood brimming with travel in an interview with Timothy Konrad, Founder and CEO of Unofficial Networks. Unofficial Networks hails itself as a “ski bum’s guide to outdoor news and entertainment” and is an increasingly popular outdoors website with a focus on skiing and snowboarding. In addition to his work with Unofficial Networks, Tim advises on strategic growth and development at gCaptain, currently the world’s largest online maritime publication, and produced the cult-classic ski-film G.N.A.R. The Movie. He also works in association with SkiDUCK, a volunteer based non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of disadvantaged and financially underprivileged youth through teaching and sharing the joys of skiing and snowboarding. In this latest outdoors-themed episode, Mike, Brian and Tim delve into the pacifying effects of a life spent deeply immersed in nature, expound upon the astonishing expanse of The Dolomites in Northern Italy, and Tim, ultimately and impactfully, provides an answer to the question: Where can one go to embark upon the ultimate ski adventure?
Episode 23: DJ Trackstar of Run the Jewels (Interview)
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In the latest episode of Beyond the Margin, host Michael Shields conducts an interview with Gabe Moskoff, better known to fans and the hip-hop community as Trackstar the DJ. Trackstar is best known for his prolific mixtape work and as the touring DJ (and unofficial third member) for Run the Jewels (RTJ), the rap supergroup composed of El-P and Killer Mike. Trackstar has performed at hundreds of venues and dozens of festivals all over the world, including Madison Square Garden, Coachella, and Glastonbury Festival. Along with longtime collaborators Run the Jewels (which has never performed with another DJ), DJ Trackstar has also appeared on Late Night with David Letterman (twice), Conan O’Brien, the NME Awards, the BBC, and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Trackstar has released over one hundred and fifty mixtapes, including collaborations with Royce da 5’9, Big Boi, Killer Mike, El-P, Lupe Fiasco, Hot97’s Peter Rosenberg, Pete Rock and Camp Lo, amongst others, and he is the man behind the popular RAP FAN clothing line. In this podcast Michael and Trackstar converse about their shared love for hip-hop and traverse through Trackstar’s notable career, eventually coming upon the remarkable story of how he first came to know Killer Mike, forging a relationship which ultimately led to his becoming the touring DJ for Killer Mike and then Run the Jewels. Disclosing what it is like to be the “non-famous guy” amid the RTJ phenomenon, and expounding on what an unbelievable experience it has been to be taken on such a remarkable ride, Trackstar offers up a unique perspective of a true hip-hop and rap fan who is authentically living every hip-hop junkie’s dream.
Episode 24: Attack on the Fed with George Guidotti
Across the Margin welcomes in studio George Guidotti, a seasoned and enlightened software executive who has advised and served registered investment consultants and financial professionals throughout his lengthy career. George guides host Michael Shields, who wades deep outside of his comfort zone and into murky financial waters, to discuss the mystifying inception, and potentially dubious intentions, of The Federal Reserve of the United States. Utilizing George’s vast knowledge of the inner workings of the banking industry, the duo digs into The Federal Reserve from the bottom up, discussing what in fact The Federal Reserve is, why it was conceived, and its benefits and numerous imperfections.
In a conversation that begins lighthearted, where the practice of meditation is lauded, and that ends equally blithesome with a hopeful discussion about humans’ innate desire to unite, what occurs in the meat of this podcast is an in-depth, and often eye-opening, discussion about greed and misconduct. Utilizing and critically dissecting author (and “far-right conspirator”) G. Edward Griffin’s weighty novel, The Creature from Jekyll Island, which promotes undisclosed theories about the motives behind the creation of the Federal Reserve System, this podcast attempts to get to the bottom of the innermost, and often obscure and controversial, workings of arguably the most influential institution in the United States. Join in as Beyond the Margin takes dead aim at the way money is employed and manipulated in the United States (as well as much, much more!), in an “Attack on the Fed!”
Episode 25: Into The Heart of the Gamba Forest
Across the Margin introduces you to the exciting and eclectic world of GAMBA. GAMBA stands for Generating Authentic Momentary Boundless Art, and is the brainchild of founders Melissa Hunter Gurney and Christopher Carr. Melissa is a Brooklyn-based independent writer as well as a high school English teacher in public schools reaching from Miami, San Francisco, Venezuela and now Brooklyn. Although she defines herself as a writer, she dabbles in painting when the characters she creates in her novels and stories drive her to the brush. Her written work (which she describes as “fiction because there is no truth”) explores the multi-faceted aspects of being a woman and an artist in today’s world and can be found in various independent magazines including The Opiate, Those That This, Pank, At Large Magazine, Brilliant Short Fiction and Across the Margin, where we featured her story, “Whiskers Beyond the Pot.” Christopher is a medievalist and the quintessential Brooklyn indie artist. He’s a photographer, an emcee, and the founder of Brooklyn Wildlife (an event planning/creative firm specializing in indie/alternative art and music). Christopher uses his photography as a way to gain insight into various aspects of culture that others may never experience or be exposed to. Aspects that while not immediately apparent, are real, legitimate and nonetheless meaningful. Christopher has been an independent hip-hop musician for the past fifteen years as well as a beatmaker, poet, event host and promoter, while at the same time playing various roles in the creation, production and presentation of music. As a creative partnership Melissa and Chris founded GAMBA Magazine, GAMBA Z’s Artist Residency and GAMBA Forest (an art gallery and event space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn).
In this podcast host Michael Shields makes a visit to the GAMBA Forest to learn more about Melissa and Christopher’s art and inspirations, as well as the bountiful and diverse events held in the Greenpoint, Brooklyn art space. Michael, Melissa and Christopher dive into the early days of GAMBA Magazine (including the charming story of how the founders met!), the challenges of combating norms in art and life, motivations and process in creating, Christopher’s recent life-altering bike accident and much, much more.
Episode 26: The Climate March & 100 Days of Trump
On the eve of both the 2017 People’s Climate March in Washington D.C. and the day marking Trump’s 100th day as President of the United States, host Michael Shields is joined by frequent co-host Brian Sachson (and later on, in the second half of the podcast, is joined by Across the Margin cohort Christine Roden!) to wax political and discuss their motivations for attending the People’s Climate March, and then subsequently dig into their views surrounding the pros and cons of protest marches in general, all while stressing the need for action in the face of our planet’s looming environmental ruin.
In an episode which is divided into two parts, the first half recorded prior to the march in D.C., and the second half recorded post march in Baltimore, MD, President Trump’s first 100 days in office are analyzed, the president’s achievements (or lack thereof) are examined, and the administration’s incompetence and the inherent danger of mixing policy making and ignorance are placed directly in the line of fire.
Episode 27: The Boundless Wonders of Jordan
The 27th episode of Beyond the Margin features an interview with Omar Banihani, Marketing Manager at the Jordan Tourism Board. In his current role, Omar handles the design and implementation of consumer and trade advertising campaigns, as well as forming strategic trade marketing partnerships to increase travel to Jordan. As the tour guide for the podcast, Omar shines a bright light on the lands of Jordan, opening up the listener’s eyes to the extensive marvels (both natural and manmade) and the rich, vibrant culture of an oft-misunderstood country.
While digging into the history, the people, and the boundless wonders that await a tourist in Jordan (particularly, the City of Petra!), we get to know the country through the personal experiences of Omar, a man who now considers both Jordan and the Unites States home, and who can specifically expand on the dual experience of being a Middle Easterner in the United States and an American in the Middle East.
Episode 28: A Bit Of Housekeeping (Six Months Across the Margin, 2017)
This episode delves into all the happenings at the magazine the first half of 2017. Expounding upon all the fiction, non-fiction, poetry and more that can be found Across the Margin, Michael and Chris steer the listener towards a few of their favorite stories published this year, including deeply affecting pieces by Cameron Finch (“We Are Not Made Of Glass”), Christina Rosso (“Exposure”), Miriam Hamilton (“Manosphere”), Donald Hubbard (“Ridge”), Roger Gude (“Leon Is Going To Die”), Patrick Dalton (“Anatomy of Shadows”), Bonnie Wilkins Overcott (“You Can Do Anything to Them”) and William Lucas (“Reunion”).
Indulging their passion for music, Michael and Chris also dig into several articles that are a part of ATM’s Twenty Years Later series, celebrating albums by Radiohead, Yo La Tengo, Elliott Smith, and Nick Cave, and then later hinting at their selections from ATM’s forthcoming article regarding the best songs of 2017 (so far!). So dive deep, and join us on a journey that travels both Beyond and Across the Margin, with an episode that includes not just one, but two, special announcements concerning the future of ATM.
Episode 29: Climate Change, Two Ways
In an episode separated into two distinct halves, but dedicated entirely to the science of climate change, host Michael Shields interviews two prominent and passionate meteorologists who have made the study of climate change their life’s work. The first half of the podcast features an interview with John Morales, the renowned Chief Meteorologist at NBC6 in South Florida. John (@JohnMoralesNBC6) is a three time Emmy Award winner and the longest tenured broadcast meteorologist in South Florida. He is one of a select few broadcast meteorologists elected to be a prestigious Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and has earned an AMS Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advance of Applied Meteorology. In 1997, John participated in Vice President Al Gore’s White House conference on global warming and climate change and John had the opportunity to return to the White House at the invitation of President Barack Obama in 2014 for the release of the National Climate Assessment because of his fabled contributions. His passion for communicating the risks associated with climate change is resolute, and in this podcast John expounds upon the reasons for and the risk associated with the global concern, and he also discusses multiple scenarios where climate change is affecting Planet Earth at this very moment.
In the second half of the podcast, Michael takes the time to hear the other side of the argument concerning the issue of climate change with help from veteran meteorologist Joe Bastardi (AccuWeather, WeatherBELL). Joe (@BigJoeBastardi) is one of the most prominent skeptics within the growing movement to curb climate change. He has famously clashed with Bill Nye on the topic, and he can be seen regularly sharing his opinions on CNN and Fox News. His viewpoints are steeped in his meteorological studies, and his suspicion of man-made global warming has made him a hero of the right, and a villain by those on the left. Michael and Joe’s discussion is expansive and allows for those who have yet to be exposed to the argument in opposition to what has become the consensus across the globe about climate change to better comprehend the division in understanding.
Episode 30: Rass Kass & El Gant – The Jamo Gang Interview
In this episode host Michael Shields, as well as oft-co-host Brian Sachson, spend time with two remarkably gifted emcees, Ras Kass and El Gant. Ras Kass is a true hip-hop pioneer, a remarkable wordsmith who throughout his fabled career has remained socially conscious. His intellectual approach to hip-hop has earned him immense respect from his peers and fans as one of the best lyricists of all time. He is a member of the hip-hop supergroup The HRSMN along with Canibus, Kurupt, and Killa Priest, and is a member of the group Golden State Warriors with Xzibit and Saafir. El Gant is an incredibly talented New York-based emcee who established himself by appearing on the full length LP The Originators with the legendary hip-hop group and production duo The Beatnuts, and by touring with the best in the business, including Jay-Z as well as appearing on records with many of hip-hop’s most notables.
Ras Kass and El Gant have teamed up with producer J57 to form the group The Jamo Gang, and to commence this podcast, Ras Kass and El Gant reveal the origins of the project and let us know what we can expect once the EP is released (Listen to the first single, “Here We Go Again,” featuring featuring Mobb Deep/Alchemist affiliate Big Twins here!). While this episode dwells in the realm of hip-hop, it also delves into many weighty political topics, focusing in on the Trump administration’s ills, the delicacy of race relations in America, the recurrence of acquittals of police officers charged in unjustified killings, and much, much more. So dive in as Beyond the Margin marries the political and the musical, while introducing an exciting new project by two of hip-hop’s veteran wordsmiths.
Episode 31: The Game of Thrones Episode
Beyond the Margin welcomes to the studio Across the Margin’s own GOT Guru, Geoffrey Golia, and writer and Thrones buff Krissy Trujillo, to dig into all things Game of Thrones. Geoffrey has been Across the Margin’s Game of Thrones expert for the past two seasons, utilizing his profound expertise to deconstruct and make sense of the episodes. He is the host of the trivia night A Trivia of Ice and Fire: Presented by the Upjumped Sellswords and the foremost GOT authority you will likely encounter not named George R.R. Martin. Krissy has contributed articles to Across the Margin centered around film (“For Your Consideration: La La Land”), television (“My Dearest Gilmore Girls”), the LGBTQ community in America (“Safe Spaces”), and of course Game of Thrones (“Queen of the North”).
On this episode Michael, Geoffrey, and Krissy meticulously dissect the Season & premiere (“Dragonstone”), consider a handful of fan theories and their plausibility, propose where they feel the series may be heading in its final two seasons, and much, much more. Jumping off topic to conclude the podcast, Michael asks Geoffrey to let the listeners in on his day job, where he works at Getting Out Staying Out, an incredible Not-for-Profit that works to reduce recidivism in New York City and aid men aged sixteen to twenty-four at Rikers Island Correctional Facility to become productive members of the community (learn more about GOSO here!) Join us as Beyond the Margin explores a world rife with backstabbing, dragon fire, and where the night is dark and full of terror…
Episode 32: The David Carl Interview
In the latest episode of Beyond the Margin, host Michael Shields welcomes into the studio actor and comedian David Carl. For the past five years, David has been writing and performing his own solo work with Michole Biancosino as co-creator and director. Currently, you can catch David in Trump Lear every Saturday at Under St. Mark’s Theater in New York City, and you can also find him playing the part of Gary Busey (Pappas!) in Point Break Live. His performance of David Carl’s Celebrity One-Man Hamlet was a breakout hit of the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival, receiving an extended run at Baruch College and an award for “Overall Excellence in Solo Performance.” In 2015, David and actor/comedian Katie Hartman created a dark musical comedy called David and Katie Get Re-Married, and in October 2016, David played Donald Trump at Laugh Boston in Trump Takes On Boston after playing him for a year in Road to the White House at the People’s Improv Theater. These projects all run in tandem with all the film & television, music, and voiceover work that David tirelessly pursues.
During the podcast, Michael And David dig into the origins and the ins-and-outs of Trump Lear, discuss Carl’s early acting career and his journey into and through the New York comedy scene, and as the podcast progresses, David opens up about the challenges and thrills of his craft, the side jobs rife with life lessons that enabled his artistic career, and the motivations and the vigor required to impersonate huge personalities such as Donald Trump and Gary Busey. So dive deep in another installment of Beyond the Margin, with an episode that offers both laughs and a weighty insight into a cunning comedic mind.
Episode 33: Game of Thrones, Take Two
In the latest episode of Beyond the Margin, host Michael Shields welcomes back to the studio Across the Margin’s own GoT Guru, Geoffrey Golia, as well as writer and Thrones buff Krissy Trujillo. This trio, ATM’s GoT squad, once again, digs deeply into all things Game of Thrones in the wake of Season 7’s tension-filled finale. Back due to popular demand following Beyond the Margin’s GoT-themed Episode 32, which prepped viewers for the commencement of the 7th season, this latest episode recaps the season and explores some of the more dramatic and jaw-dropping developments in Westeros.
In this episode, Michael, Geoffrey, and Krissy provide a shared insight into the world of Game of Thrones and discuss the deeper and underlying meanings of the events that transpired now that Winter has finally arrived. The GoT squad put forth their thoughts, predictions, and hopes for the next (and final) season, as well as addressing the abundance of critiques and grievances that the seventh season of Game of Thrones was wrought with. So, buckle in as Michael once again obsesses over Euron’s boat, Krissy’s enduring love for Sansa is reaffirmed, and Geoffrey’s fascination with Jaegon’s gluteal muscles comes to light, as Beyond the Margin takes you through a fitting end to Game of Thrones’ seven week takeover of Across the Margin.
Episode 34: Trevor James Zaple’s Interstitial Burn-Boy Blues
In this episode host Michael Shields conducts an interview with author Trevor James Zaple to delve into the latest release from ATM Publishing, Interstitial Burn-Boy Blues. Illuminating listeners as to the unique, but strangely familiar, world of Trevor’s novel, and elaborating on the propulsive plot and the extraordinary characters to be found within, this episode of Beyond the Margin acts as a primer for those curious about the wild, thought-provoking ride that is Trevor’s latest release. Throughout the podcast, Michael and Trevor discuss the various inspirations behind Interstitial Burn-Boy Blues, which range from Bruce Springsteen, Aristotle, and authors John Steinbeck and Margaret Atwood, and they also unpack some of the weightier themes present in the novelette, from income inequality and American restlessness, to vigilante justice, climate change and beyond. Dive deep, as Beyond the Margin takes you on a journey through the impending American West, a land crippled by war and environmental ruin in an episode that acts as much as a preview to Trevor’s exciting new book as it does a warning about the devastating effects of climate change (or as Margaret Atwood describes it — “everything change!”)
Episode 35: Tribe, Tragedy & Community with George Guidotti
In its latest podcast, Across the Margin welcomes back in studio George Guidotti, a seasoned and enlightened software executive and sage mind. In the previous episode featuring George, he and Beyond the Margin’s host Michael Shields critically dissected author G. Edward Griffin’s weighty novel, The Creature from Jekyll Island, which promotes undisclosed theories about the motives behind the creation of the Federal Reserve System. Once again using an enlightening book as the source material for the podcast, in this episode George and Michael delve deeply into Sebastian Junger’s Tribe: On Homecoming & Belonging, a book that examines human’s innate attraction to tribal societies and explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved in today’s divided world.
Expounding about the depth of knowledge that can be found within Tribe, this podcast features discussions about the benefits of close-knit communities, the ability within humans to thrive amid hardships and during tragedies, the reasons people have emigrated from civilized society to tribal communities throughout time, the need for purpose in life, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the community soldiers find when at war, the catharsis involved in giving, and the need to re-convince people (specifically in the United States) that their interest have more in common than they have in conflict. George and Michael even find the time to discuss the hope that can be found in British philosopher Alan Watt’s work. So dive deep, as Beyond the Margin explores human beings eternal quest for meaning and connection in life.
Episode 36: Psychedelic Integration with Katherine MacLean
In this episode of Beyond the Margin, host Michael Shields welcomes in studio Katherine MacLean, a research psychologist with expertise in studying psychedelics and meditation. Katherine is the founding director of the Psychedelic Program of New York where she leads trainings in psychedelic harm reduction. A true and passionate psychedelic ambassador, Katherine has worked with MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies), The Center for Optimal Living, and the Brooklyn Psychedelic Society in order to further psychedelic research and offer patients a safe place to receive treatment and education. Her Ted Talk, entitled “Open Wide and Say Awe,” details the ways in which psychedelics allow for deeply enriching experiences with long lasting improvements in well-being, greater confidence in making life changes, and reductions in psychedelic distress.
In the podcast Michael and Katherine discuss Katherine’s extensive research background and experience with psychedelics, the reasons for, and benefits of, psychedelic integration, the stigmas surrounding psychedelics, RAFT meditation (a process she originated), microdosing, “openness to experience,” the potential benefits of psychedelic use, and much, much more. So dive deep as Beyond the Margin examines a tool that could possibly, and profoundly, enrich lives, with one of the foremost experts on the topic.
Episode 37: A.B. Lugo’s Spanish Coffee: Black
In this episode of Beyond the Margin, we welcome into the studio author, poet, and award-winning actor and playwright A.B. Lugo to discuss his latest release Spanish Coffee: Black, No Sugar (LCG Press, 2017). Joining in on the podcast are Jonathan Marcantoni, publisher and co-founder of LCG Press, who edited and published Lugo’s latest book, as well as author Patrick Dalton — fashioning the podcast as an author’s roundtable centering on A.B.’s deeply engaging and affecting book.
Digging deep into the origins of Spanish Coffee, we learn that A.B.’s book was composed amid an extremely trying time for the author. Deciding to confront the deaths of his parents only months apart from each other, A.B., to cope with his grief, dedicated himself to writing a poem for each week of 2016, his first year without his parents. From birthdays, holidays and anniversaries, to the waves of social strife, upheaval and tragedy affecting the world, A.B. recounts his thoughts and feelings throughout the year, and what is birthed from such a gut-wrenching endeavor is a story about grieving, an exploration of what comes afterward, and ultimately, a beautiful written and heartfelt book of poetry. Join in as Beyond Margin expounds upon the brand of poignant art all too often born against the backdrop of personal loss and formidable pain.
Episode 38: Rodger Kamenetz’s Natural Dreamwork
In this episode of Across the Margin’s podcast, award-winning poet, author and teacher Rodger Kamenetz ventures Beyond the Margin to discuss a subject he has devoted his entire life to: dreams. Kamenetz, a prolific and bestselling author of ten books, is best known for The Jew in the Lotus, which follows the story of rabbis making a holy pilgrimage through India to meet with the Dalai Lama. His account of their historic dialogue became an international bestseller, prompting a reevaluation of Judaism in the light of Buddhist thought. But of all of Kamenetz’s works, the one that drew in Beyond the Margin host Michael Shields was The History of Last Night’s Dream, a novel that delves into a mysterious inner realm and suggests the idea that dreams are not only intensely meaningful, but hold essential truths about who we are.
When The History of Last Night’s Dream was released in 2007, Oprah Winfrey interviewed Kamenetz on her “Soul Series” program, professing, “What’s so exciting about this book is that it talks about how there’s a whole other life that we are living when we sleep and that our dreams are there as offerings and gifts to us if we only recognize what the dreams are there to teach us.” Building off this idea, Rodger and Michael discuss Rodger’s work and their shared passion for dreams, his journey to becoming a dream guide and expert, the study and practice of Natural Dreamwork (“The Wild Medicine!”), the fallacies of dream interpretation, the healing power of dreams, the function and potential of images, the link between poetry and dreams, Rodger’s forthcoming release which is influenced by his dream work (a taste can be found now at Across the Margin!), and much, much more. So journey Beyond the Margin and come face to face with the extraordinary life-changing power of dreams.
Episode 39: Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams
In this episode of Across the Margin’s podcast, prolific science-fiction author Philip K. Dick’s work is celebrated via a discussion centered on the exciting new anthology series now streaming on Amazon titled Electric Dreams. Electric Dreams is a series based on the writings of Philip K. Dick1, and in order to fully discern all the splendor Electric Dreams has to offer, Beyond the Margin host Michael Shields enlisted the help of one of the executive producers and writers of the series (as well as The Man In The High Castle), Kalen Egan. More than just one of the creative minds involved in bringing Electric Dreams to life, Kalen also works with Electric Shepherd Productions, a production company that works in partnership with Philip K. Dick’s daughter, Isa Dick Hackett, and is dedicated to stewarding and adapting Dick’s vast catalog for television and film projects.
In this podcast, Michael and Kalen discuss the lengthy process and intricacies behind the spawning of Electric Dreams, as well as the extensive band of creative talents involved in such a dynamic collaboration. As the podcast progresses, Kalen expounds upon an episode of Electric Dreams that he penned with his writing partner Travis Sentell, titled “Safe and Sound” (based on the short story “Foster, You’re Dead!”). Through describing the weighty social, political, and philosophical themes of the episode, Kalen highlights the depth of substance and insight that one encounters when working intamtely with Dick’s source material. So join in as Beyond the Margin unveils all the wonders that Electric Dreams has to offer, an anthology series that acts as a tribute to the genius and legacy of Philip K. Dick.
Episode 40: The Power Of Myth With George Guidotti
In its latest podcast, Across the Margin welcomes George Guidotti, returning for his third trip Beyond the Margin. In a previous episode, George helped host Michael Shields critically dissect author G. Edward Griffin’s weighty novel, The Creature from Jekyll Island, which promotes undisclosed theories about the motives behind the creation of the United States’ Federal Reserve System. Following that, George and Michael came together for an episode in which they dove deeply into Sebastian Junger’s novel Tribe: On Homecoming & Belonging, a book that examines humanity’s innate attraction to tribal societies and explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved in today’s divided world. Now, they are back with another book-centric episode, this time exploring writer Joseph Campbell’s deeply insightful and affecting book The Power of Myth.
The Power of Myth deals with the universality and evolution of myths in the history of the human race and the place of myths in modern society, and in this podcast Michael and George address the book’s greater themes while exploring the importance of myths to humankind, nature’s connection to humans as depicted in myths, “The Hero’s Journey,” and much, much more. Join in, as the past, present and future of mythology is assessed, in an episode that acts as a tribute to, and an investigation into, Campbell’s brilliant and enlightened worldview.
Episode 41: Mass Appeal’s Rapture (Netflix) and Word Is Bond (Showtime)
Beyond the Margin explores the making of and significance of two hip-hop related productions, Word is Bond and Rapture (Mass Appeal Productions), with an interview with director and hip-hop icon Sacha Jenkins and director/producer Ben Selkow. In an episode taped in the recording studio at Mass Appeal’s offices in lower Manhattan, host Michael Shields had the opportunity to discuss with Sacha and Ben the soon to be released eight-episode Netflix series Rapture. The must-see series is an inside and deeply personal look into the lives and careers of a bevy of hip-hops’ brightest shining stars such as Nas, 2 Chainz, Just Blaze, and Logic, to name a few. Following a discussion about Rapture, Sacha guides listeners into the intricacies of Word is Bond, a documentary he directed that doubles as a love letter to hip-hop lyricism. It’s a film that takes aim at a specific aspect of hip-hop culture, keying in on the poetry that has continuously and purposefully glided over beats as hip-hop music exploded into the mainstream. Join in and dive deep with us into the world of hip-hop, in an episode that not only takes a look behind the scenes of two profound and important hip-hop productions, but allows for the art form’s nuances, genius, and social impact to be more fully understood and appreciated.
Episode 42: Coming Soon…