Kenny Blumenfeld | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 121

Kenny Blumenfeld 1“When I’m afraid of something it means something big. It means I find something fascinating.”

Kenny Blumenfeld’s bio starts “There once was a boy who was terrified of thunderstorms…” Kenny is a weather expert, a weather researcher, a science communicator, a documentarian, storyteller, and writer. Kenny talks about unschooling, parenting after divorce, and sharing his sons’ love of rollercoasters. He also shares his journey from his early fear of weather to becoming obsessed and learning everything he could. Plus, he talks about the surprising accuracy of the tornado in the original Wizard of OZ movie.

“My mom would shriek when there was lightening.”

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Gina Sampaio | Pratfalls of Parenting ep 120

Gina Sampaio 2“Ever since I was young I wanted to be a mom and I sort of knew whatever else I would do would probably come later.”

Writer of the Sister Serendip blog and performer Gina Sampaio talks about being a stay-at-home mother of five. She talks about how she and her husband started out adopting one child and ended up adopting three children after giving birth to two biological children. Gina talks openly about the highs and lows of maintaining a relationship with her adopted children’s biological family and about being misquoted in the press. She also shares how being a victim of sexual assault impacts how and when she talks about complicated topics with her kids. Also, she’s really funny and great at telling stories.

Gina Sampaio

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Hillary Frank | Pratfalls of Parenting Ep 119

Hillary_Frank_thumbnail_1_©richardfrank“I would hate for people to think of it as a ‘mommy’ podcast.”

The Longest, Shortest Time podcast creator and host Hillary Frank joins via the magic of Skype to chat about how she first recorded audio pieces into a cassette recorder with the help of Radio Shack and how that led to her producing work for This American Life. She talks about the not always beautiful magic of childbirth and shares how being home with a new baby made her want to create the show that has now become her full-time job. She also talks about being intentional in not creating a “mommy” podcast or a show that is just for and about parents.

“My day starts with driving her to preschool and some question inevitably leads to when are you going to die.”


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Shanan Custer | Episode 1 Rereleased

Shanan Custer hostsThis is a special rerelease of the very first episode!

Shanan Custer talks about being a comedy writer, actor, director and mom. Childhood adventures are revisited, confessions are made, and creative parenting secrets are revealed.

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Special thanks to Anna Weggel for Pratfalls of Parenting theme music

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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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