Elizabeth McQueen | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 118

mcqueen_2“There is the parent that I want to be and there is the parent that I am.”

Musician Elizabeth McQueen talks about taking new babies on the road as a touring musician and what it’s like to transition to staying in one place. She shares great stories about trying to entertain young children while traveling constantly. Elizabeth also talks about how important support from family, friends, and colleagues is in making her life work. She also opens up about getting to raise girls as a feminist in a society that isn’t always kind to women.

“The travel was hard, but the kid rearing was probably easier in some respects.”


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Chris Lynch | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 117

Chris Lynch 2“I don’t think parenting get’s in the way of being an artist at all. It’s the having to earn a living that becomes challenging.” 

Musician Chris Lynch of the band the Shiny Lights talks about playing strange accordion gigs and how they can pay off in surprising ways. He shares why he always keeps a day job rather than putting all of his energy into being a touring musician. Chris also talks about how parenting hasn’t really cut into his creative work and rather how it informs the creative work he does. And he speaks openly about trying to parent a very energetic son.

“I always thought I would have unlimited energy.”

Chris Lynch 1

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Diana Saez | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 116

Diana Saez eyes“Having kids has really forced me to be thoughtful about what I want to do and where I want to go.”

Writer and comedy maker Diana Saez talks about never really feeling like an official, professional grown up and the strange feeling of actually reaching grown-up status and finding it actually gratifying. She talks about whether or not being a professional comic can leave space for being in a relationship or being a responsible parent. Diana also talks about the desire to still make things but do it fully on her own terms and in her own way.

“I have comedian friends who are on national TV and still can’t pay their bills.”

Diana Saez profile


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Matt Allex | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 115

Matt Allex is happy“I don’t turn down a gig unless I’m already booked on another show.”

Matt Allex is a comedy writer and performer, a podcast co-host and producer, and a founding member of Fearless Comedy productions. In this episode Matt talks about figuring out that performing comedy was a thing that a person could do as a job and realizing it was something he wanted to do. He talks about the balance of having a full-time day job, being a parent, and trying to produce and perform live on stage on a very regular basis. Matt also talks about adopting his children and how his divorce is currently impacting his relationship with his teen daughter and adolescent son.

“For me, the gestation period was auditioning my children.”

Matt Allex is sad

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Benny Solberg | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 114

Benny Solberg

“I don’t think either of us thought about what it meant to start an ice cream business in our mid-30s with kids.”

Benny Solberg of FrozBroz craft ice cream sits down to chat about trying to decide whether or not to turn a fun project into a new, full-on career. He also talks about the amazing passion of serious ice cream fans and how easy it can be to let someone else convince you to keep growing an idea. Plus, Benny talks about his past as a musician and about wanting to get more music making back into his life. And he has a lot to say about balancing young children, a full time day job, and a desire to keep doing creative work.

“It’s not that I can’t be a real musician, but I gotta get a real job and provide for this child.”

FrozBroz ice cream

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Jon Stark | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 113

jon stark 1

Comic and writer Jon Stark talks about not inviting co-workers to come watch his early years at stand-up comedy and about trying to separate his comedy life from his professional corporate life. He also talks about the open and supportiveness of the Twin Cities comedy community. Plus, Jon talks about his journey from playwright to actor to stand-up and how it’s all coming together as he puts together his first personal one-man show. And Jon talks about raising two kids and trying to keep creative work in his life while also supporting his family with a day job. Jon also gets really open talking about his lifelong struggle with repression, food addiction, sex addiction, and battling the stigmas attached to mental illness.

jon stark 2

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Amanda Lovelee | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 112

Amanda Lovelee “My work may be visually all over the place, but conceptually it all looks the same.”

Public Art St Paul‘s City Artist in Residence Amanda Lovelee talks about allowing for social justice to inform her work without making that overtly what it’s about. She shares how she went from being a photographer to creating participatory, inter-disciplinary work. And she talks about the difference between her work as Public Art St Paul’s city artist in residence and her own artistic work. Plus, Amanda talks about how much her son informs her work and how much her work informs her parenting.

“I make work that brings people together.”

Urban Flower Field

Urban Flower Field

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Mac Wilson | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 111

mac_wilson“Knowing when to do a real deep dive is a skill. You can’t share an anecdote for every song you play.” 

Mac Wilson talks about working a full time day job at Hamline University while maintaining a second job as an on-air host for MPR’s The Current. Mac talks about trying to get six hours of sleep at night even while working all day and hosting a radio show until 2 in the morning. He also talks about the nuances of knowing when to talk about a song and when to let the song speak for itself.

“They know that after they’re in bed I go and am on the radio all night.”

mac wilson

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Peter Clowney | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 110

peter clowney“What I really want to teach my kids is less focus on whether you’re best in the world at something and more on sticktoitiveness.” 

American Public Media Managing Director of National Content, Arts & Ideas programming Peter Clowney talks about his struggle with perfectionism and how different his son’s temperament is from the way he was as a child. He shares the joys of having a genetically related son and an adopted daughter and seeing how differently they approach the world but also how the connect with one another. Peter also talks about moments when the demands of his work made him feel like a sub-par parent and ways that his parenting experience informs the way he connects with colleagues or external collaborators.

“I learn a lot from the way my kid doesn’t really worry whether his teacher likes him or not.”

Peter talks a lot about getting into radio out of college and how different the landscape is now for people wanting to work in radio. He describes discovering at the first radio station he worked, WHYY in Philadelphia, that his curiosity and desire to tell people’s stories were rewarded with more work and more opportunities. And he shares how the deadlines that come with working in public radio really helped to beat the perfectionist out of him.

Stay Puft peter clowney

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Davis Senseman | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 109

Davis Senseman“Business owners, they’re kind of like kids.” 

Attorney Davis Senseman talks about how her decision to study law was heavily influenced by how much shorter law school would be over pursuing a phD. She talks about how stage fright kept her from performing but how presenting in front of groups as an attorney has become so common that she doesn’t have performance anxiety anymore. Davis talks openly about splitting with her partner, the mother of one of her boys, and how that separation was similar to dissolving a business partnership. Plus, she talks about how she has to communicate with teachers at the start of each school year so they understand how many mothers her sons have.

“It’s a really good deal to have a kid half of the time.”

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