We invite you to come along as host Michael Shields (and frequent co-host Chris Thompson and / or Brian Sachson) take you Beyond the Margin, guiding you deeper into the stories and articles that call Across the Margin home. Listen in as we take you on a storytelling journey, one where you are bound to meet a plethora of intriguing writers, wordsmiths, poets, artists, musicians, 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 as he walks Mike and Chris through his background and extraordinary career, 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
Michael Shields 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
Michael Shields welcomes to the studio novelist Jonathan Marcantoni 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. So 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. So come along and join us for another trip Beyond the Margin and into the heart of GAMBA.