Grab your passport and come on a Teaching in the Arts trip around the world!
How’s that for a grabber?
Eric Williams is the Director of the MFA Program in Communication Arts at Ohio University. He’s also made a career out of his passion for travel. Going back to his sophomore year of college when he went on the Semester at Sea Program https://www.semesteratsea.org/ to a recent trip with his students to Ecuador, Eric has been able to combine filmmaking with travel and education. On the podcast we cover all of this, plus his time in Kiev, his work in Virtual Reality, and the MFA in Communication Arts. I want to be one of those lucky MFA students, and have Eric’s job.
Eric in Ukraine in 2006.
It was a great chat. Listen here:
On the Podcast! John Otterbacher: Teacher, Filmmaker, Curious Guy!
John Otterbacher joins me on the Teaching in the Arts podcast as we discuss the journey from adjunct faculty member to full-time faculty member. Plus, talk about John’s films Riff Raff and Moving Parts, and his love of White Castle veggie burgers.
I’ve known John for more than a decade and have seen his growth as both a teacher and a filmmaker. The conversation was a real eye opener for me- I learned a lot about what makes John tick- a curiosity about how things work. We talk a lot about it.
The lesson of the day is what makes a good adjunct faculty member. And, I have a shameless plug for my new Allbirds shoes.
Teacher Man in action, thanks to John.
JulieAnn Graham, dancer, movement instructor, teacher of the fundamentals!
That’s my friend JulieAnn Graham! We talk about teaching movement courses in the Columbia College Chicago Theater program. We also discuss just how hard it is to be a freshman in college. But wait there’s more! After the interview, Juliann said, “we’re done? I wanted to talk more about that! So we fired it back up and you get some bonus material.
I have known “Jules” for a long time, but this is the first time we really got into the weeds about teaching. She is so passionate about teaching, I wish we were filming the conversation so you all can see her in action.
I also answer an email about my influences as both a filmmaker and teacher, and the Lesson of the day is some advice for soon to be Freshman. Short version: eat well and try to get some sleep.
Teaching in the Arts has tenure! Actually, we have John Philbin, my first guest who is a tenured faculty member. John and I talk about the GVSU Summer Film Project, John’s journey from Oak Park, IL to New York, L.A., graduate school at Southern Illinois University, and finally tenure at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, MI.
The Summer Film Project at GVSU will celebrate 25 years next year, and John has directed almost half of those films, and be sure to check out Lucky Jay, his award-winning web series. https://www.gvsu.edu/vma/film-and-video-summer-films-220.htm
At the end of the interview I say to John, “Let’s get lunch!.” This is a post-lunch picture of us outside of Wishbone, fast becoming the Teaching in the Arts apre-podcast eatery. We also had a drink- John a Bloody Mary, me a Mimosa.
Yuri Lysoivanov from Flashpoint Chicago: A Campus of Columbia College Hollywood
This is Yuri and me late last Friday night. I was shooting a project for a client and staying at a suburban Chicago hotel. When I recorded the podcast, I forgot to get a photo. Lucky for me, Yuri was kind enough to find me. This explains the yellow hotel lobby feel, and the bags under my eyes.
Great talking with Yuri- a fascinating guy, and damn good teacher. We talk about Yuri’s journey from Belarus to the United States, about differences between the Russian and U.S. education systems, Berklee College of Music, and our own approaches to Teaching in the Arts. And, as graduation season is upon us, the Lesson of the Day is about graduation speeches.
Loyola University Chicago Students Marisa Dickens and Asha Lodhia
Marisa Dickens and Asha Lodhia were in my Intro to Production class this spring at Loyola. After grades were posted and they were no longer technically my students, I wanted to have them on to talk about being a student in the arts.
This was an interesting class for many reasons- I haven’t taught an Intro Production class in a decade, I had non-majors (Asha is a Finance major, film minor) in the class, and I had a really compressed schedule to teach camera, sound, lighting, editing, and have them produce decent projects.
We had a nice chat, and near the end they talk about the Peter Hawley Experience from the student perspective.
See the films they made in my class here:
And listen here:
Perry Harovas, VFX Guru, The Kentucky Derby, and Time for me to Get a Drink!
That’s Perry Harovas in a sound studio at World Wrestling Entertainment Headquarters in Connecticut. Perry does animation and VFX for WWE, but I know him from when we were colleagues in Chicago at Flashpoint Media Arts Academy. Perry was the founding chair of the VFX program the
We talk about his Greek heritage, how Star Wars was a huge influence, his high school Latin teacher, and what it was like to start a college. It was a great chat, and good to see him again.
At the end of the podcast I talk about one of my favorite non-teaching in the arts things- the Kentucky Derby. I am working on a documentary on horse race announcers, and the Derby is a highlight for me each year. More on my doc and links later.
I also talk about “It’s time for me to get a drink.” People ask me, what’s the drink. Often it is a Martini, but Teacher Man likes to mix things up. The traditional Kentucky Derby drink is a Mint Julep, but I passed and had a Margarita, up and chilled, the way I like them. It was Cinco de Mayo After all.
Andrea Bunch from the Old Town School of Folk Music
Look at those scarves! It was cold in Chicago last Friday when Andrea Bunch from the Old Town School of Folk Music came by for a chat.
Andrea has been at Old Town since 2001. We discuss her journey from Iowa to a doctorate from Northwestern University, and stops in between at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, and USC in Los Angeles.
Andrea teaches Yoga, Guitar 1 – 4Ever, Pop Divas Ensemble, Women’s Acoustic Ensemble, The Decemberists Ensemble, ‘80s and ‘90s Ensembles, and The Here & Now Ensemble.
We also discuss her bands Congress of Starlings and the Heart cover band, Little Queens. Check out Congress of Starlings here http://www.congressofstarlings.com
Joe Pollock was my student during the summer of 1996 at Columbia College Chicago, and he was the first student I selected to be my teaching assistant.
Joe has taught K-12 Art, and is now teaching film and graphic design at the college level in North Carolina. Joe was a student of Peter’s in 1996, and later his teaching assistant. They talk about Joe’s journey from Chicago to L.A. to Wisconsin public school teacher, and now Teaching in the Arts in North Carolina.
We also get to the bottom of the Jerry Lewis shoot we talked about in episode two. It was great catching up and talking with him.