Lacey & John Zeiler | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 93

John and Lacey“When I got out of the service industry I ran as hard and fast as I could.” 

Actors Lacey and John talk about first meeting because John was Lacey’s dance captain for a show. John talks about transitioning from a focus on music to a focus on dance and how that all led to him focusing on acting. Lacey shares what it was like to grow up with parents who were heavily focused on making theater and how that made being around strange, creative people seem so normal to her.

Lila“There was a moment of absolute panic.”

Lacey talks about wanting to expose her daughter to people who care about what they’re doing. John talks about overcoming stage fright. And they both talk about how their Sidekick Sunday project has become a way for them to create something as a family and make sure they are doing creative work together on a regular basis.

Check out Episode 7 of Sidekick Sunday here! 

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Mark Ehling | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 92

mark ehling“I’m not that committed to that world of music.”

Writer and filmmaker Mark Ehling talks about transitioning to being primarily a stay-at-home dad. He talks about needing to think about and have an audience in order to be productive as a creative person. And he goes deep on the subject of whether or not most artists can make their living by doing their work.

“I need to get more comfortable with accepting a level of rawness or badness.”

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Eriq Nelson | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 91

eriq nelson 1“I think everybody IS the same.”

Artistic Director of Star Studios at Children’s Hospital Eriq Nelson talks about being an actor, improviser, instructor and using the performing arts to make real human connections. He talks about his work at the Brave New Workshop as well as at Interact Center for the visual and performing arts and he shares what it’s like to be a single dad with joint custody. Plus, he plays a mean flute.

“When they’re there and they’re that sick, we’re their childhood.”

eriq nelson

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Jeff Kamin | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 90

1959721_10152357471345695_1611012516_n“I often times was the only father at the playground.”

Books and Bars creator and host Jeff Kamin talks about going from performing improv comedy and working in Los Angeles to being a work at home dad and creating his own live shows in Minnesota. He also talks about his work producing performance programs at MPR and what it’s like to work with artists and guest speakers. Plus, he shares some of the adventures he gets up to with his sons.

“Don’t look at your Exchange folder over the weekend.”

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Fred Beukema | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 89

“If I’m fooling anybody, it’s myself.”1922_43670723171_636_n

Fred Beukema is an improviser, musician, and engineer. In this episode, Fred chats with Levi about overcoming stage fright and becoming an improviser. Fred shares a bit about how physics, math and music overlap. And he talks about how his performing experience informs his work as an engineer as well as his daily role as a dad.

“A music stand is the best thing ever for someone with stage fright.”

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Lemmo Pew | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 88

“Oh God, I’m an artist, I never feel good about my work.”


Lemmo Pew is a phenomenal web comic artist behind the excellent Blank It as well as Kaleiope. In this episode he sits down with Levi to chat about making art specific for the web. He also talks about what it’s like to collaborate with other artists on projects. And he talks about his love for gaming and game design as well as how he balances his time between daytime work, keeping his creative projects going and being a father to three very young children.

“It’s not a vocation for me, I do it because it’s fun.”


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Kate Kunkel Bailey | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 87


“Having other people coming and going feeds and inspires my art practice.”

Kate Kunkel Bailey is a photographer, a writer, a performance artist and owner of the Fox Egg Gallery. In this episode of the podcast she talks about how she found her self as the owner of a workspace/art gallery in an old storefront. She also talks about the value of being of the community beyond just being in a community.

1384048_571129022924534_2132130687_n“I had just been laid off from a job, I was fresh out of a divorce and my mom was fresh out of surviving breast cancer.”

Kate talks about how she started taking photographs of her mother as a cancer survivor. She shares how her mom becoming the subject of her photographic work led to the project “Of Scars” which has now led to her connecting with a wide array of people who have survived or had some relationship with breast cancer. She also talks about how making photos of her mom had an element of wanting to preserve some part of her mother who had suddenly become much more mortal.

“You don’t get to escape your life unscathed.”

1526572_10151822783130976_105289777_nKate talks about the experience of going through a divorce as a mother and how co-parenting is different from married parenting. She also shares a bit on what it’s like to be in a blended family raising step-siblings and navigating the various relationships that fill up her house. She also talks about some of the obvious and not so obvious challenges of running her own business, working as a freelance artist, and raising an active family.

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Elly Grzesiak | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 86

Head over to the “Funporium!” Kickstarter campaign right now to support Elly’s and a bunch of other talented people’s work!

1376536_10201344799636584_1330144014_n“I’m Canadian so I kind of like the small town feel of Minnesota life.”

Writer and producer Elly Grzesiak talks about going from studying and working in the field of Astrophysics to writing theater and being a puppeteer. She shares how she avoided pursuing doing the creative works she loved because it didn’t seem like a real career. And she talks about how her daughter’s early medical issues informed some of her creative work.

YoungWritersSeriesGRZESIAK“Greatest frustration ever when dealing with crime procedurals is when you’re told to dumb down the science.” 

Elly talks about how effective it’s been for her to work from home as a writer, which allows her to be more available to her daughter. She also talks about the unusual nature of writing on shows that are produced other places and how that has allowed her to write without much interruption from notes or production challenges. She also talks about wanting to foster a return to film and television production in the Twin Cities.

1781883_10202072756235044_1865812360_n“If you’re working on Children’s shows, you go a little bit wonky after a while.”

Elly talks about her new project, Funporium. She shares how it was a pet project that she kept ignoring for more regular work but it kept finding it’s way back on the top of her to do list. She talks about how exciting and powerful it can be to pull together really talented people and just let them work without trying to make them fit typical ideas about who or what should happen on television shows.

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Leann Olsen | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 85


leann olsen“I really wanted to see my own creations.”

Proprietor and creative force behind Geekiana, Leann Olsen talks about how her dad’s print making business led her into the art and craft of shirt and apparel making. She talks about finding ways to execute other people’s designs rather than her own and how that drove her to focus on doing her own thing. And Leann shares how she decided to just make designs she loved that connected to arts and culture she loved.

image13geekiana“My dad started screen printing when I was really young and that’s what got me started.”

Leann talks about what it’s like to run a business with her stand-up comic husband. She shares the struggles of owning and operating her own business while working a full time day job. And she talks about how powerful it can be to see people wear and appreciate things she’s made.

“I that period of uncertainty where I go, ‘is anybody going to get this?’”

Leann talks about developing a fan base for her designs at conventions like CONvergence. She talks about the power of connecting with like-minded individuals as customers as well as just lovers of sci-fi and fantasy things. Leann also shares what it’s like to see her kids develop an interest in making their own things and being able to foster and support those desires.



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Thomas Boemer | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 84

sanguinic_1391193237_cornertableboemer“I realized then that there’s a process that my brain just latched on to.”

Executive Chef and co-owner of the Corner Table, Thomas Boemer talks about the multi-faceted nature of his job. He shares how important it is to him to be a part of a teaching kitchen as well as the close relationship between the kitchen and the front of the house team. Chef Boemer also shares the origins of his desire to cook with what he calls “the fried chicken story.”

ows_137106642612937“Being a woodworker made me a much better cook and a much better chef.”

Thomas talks about the five years he spent away from the kitchen working as a cabinet-maker and woodworker. He talks about the parallels between cooking and woodworking and how much creativity and expertise drives his passions. And Thomas talks about the relationship he has with whatever ingredients he’s working with.

“We try to build in as much flexibility as possible without ever sacrificing the dish.”

Chef Thomas talks about the collaborative nature of working in a kitchen. He’s also shares how that translates to parenthood. He talks about having a son with food sensitivities and allergies and what that’s like as a parent as well as a professional chef. And Thomas talks about his focus on the local in his kitchen as well as how his relationship to ingredients extends to the people who grow them.

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