Episode 33: Jeremiah Tower
On this week's episode, Harry and Tim sit down with revolutionary chef Jeremiah Tower for one of the most interesting and surprising episodes of How I Got Here to date. Jeremiah walks through his somewhat aimless journey across three continents, including a stint studying architecture at Harvard and a stopover in California on his way to Hawaii to construct underwater hotels. Jeremiah never made it to Hawaii, but in San Francisco he found his calling as a chef, overhauling the industry's obsession with French cuisine in favor of locally-sourced ingredients and a style that came to be known as "California cuisine." In many ways the progenitor of the farm-to-table movement and New American cuisine, he is the subject of a new documentary called "Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent," which traces his gastronomic journey and solidifies what Harry and Tim found out firsthand: it doesn't get much cooler than Jeremiah Tower.
Episode 32: Rick Moonen
Today's guest is Chef Rick Moonen, the "Godfather of Sustainability." Growing up in a large family in Queens, Rick soon became fascinated by the kitchen. He began cooking, and after a few false starts in other fields, graduated from the top of his class at the Culinary Institute of America. But for Rick, food is much deeper than what's on the plate. He wants it to conjure a memory for the eater, and to create a new. He brings this to his restaurant "RM Seafood" at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, where he incorporates the principles of sustainability into every plate he serves. Harry and Tim sat down with Chef Moonen in the Boiler Room at RM as his staff set up for the evening, which set the scene nicely for the interview. A special thank you to Michael Rudzinsky who helped produce this episode.
Episode 31: Dan Duquette
On today's episode, Harry and Tim sit down with Dan Duquette, Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Baltimore Orioles. The interview takes place in a radio booth at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, FL during a Spring Training game between Duquette's Orioles and the Boston Red Sox. Growing up an athlete in a large family, Dan always dreamed of a life in sports. After playing baseball at Amherst, he joined the Brewers as a scout, which led him to his first General Manager job with the Montreal Expos, and eventually to his dream job with his hometown Boston Red Sox. After 10 years out of Major League Baseball, Dan joined the Baltimore Orioles, and has led them to the most wins in the sport over the past five years.
EPISODE 30: Steve Lassiter
Steve Lassiter is a Partner and Senior Vice President at APA, the Agency for the Performing Arts. A Nashville native, Steve soon realized he wanted to enter the rich world of music in his hometown. After working odd jobs growing up, he found himself at 19 working the spotlight up on the rafters of a Charlie Daniels show. Within ten years, he'd be Charlie Daniels' agent. In between, Steve broke through as a talent agent, having to sell himself time and time again to artists and venues, and never looked back.
Episode 29: Jon Meacham
Today's guest is Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former editor of Newsweek Magazine. Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jon Meacham grew up thinking he might be a lawyer or a politician. As a teenager, he was a voracious reader of any and every kind of book; a harbinger for what was to come. Soon after college he entered the world of newspapers and print journalism, as both a writer and editor. His talents were obvious and he soon began to climb the ranks of the editing world after joining Newsweek in 1995. He wrote his first book "Franklin and Winston" in 2003 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for "American Lion," his biography of President Andrew Jackson.
Episode 28: Prentice Penny
Today's guest is Prentice Penny, showrunner for HBO's hit show "Insecure," and host of "Upscale," a new show on TruTV. At just six years old, Prentice's world changed in a single day: he saw "Star Wars" and his parents told him they were getting a divorce. Not only was he inspired by what he saw on screen, but he now needed an outlet to express himself, and turned to creating stories and writing. And really, he has not stopped since. An LA native, Prentice went to the University of Southern California to study film and TV and directed his first film right out of school. After the whirlwind of producing a film at 23, though, Prentice wasn't sure where to turn next, and struggled with trepidation and insecurity. What scared and inspired him the most was the writers' room for a television show, a space he could not gain entry to for nearly a decade. After directing music videos and other smaller projects, Prentice finally became a writer on shows such as "Girlfriends," "Scrubs," "Happy Endings," and "Brooklyn 99" before becoming the showrunner of "Insecure." He now hosts his own show on TruTv, "Upscale with Prentice Penny."
Episode 27: Mark Schlereth
On today's episode, our guest is Mark Schlereth. Mark is a three-time Super Bowl winner (Redskins and Broncos) and is now a regular on ESPN's NFL Live and on his own ESPN radio show in Denver. Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, Mark knew early on that athletics would be his outlet. Struggling with dyslexia, he found it hard to fit comfortably within the school structure. After receiving walk-on offers from football programs all over the country, Mark chose instead a D1AA program at the University of Idaho because he "didn't know if [he] was good enough." After discovering he was in fact good enough, Mark was forced to retire from football, before his junior year, due to injuries. But after reassessing his desire and ability to handle pain, he made it back, and was drafted by the Redskins in the 10th round. He proved everyone wrong and made the Redskins against the odds as a late round pick, starting halfway through his rookie campaign. From there, Mark went on to win three Super Bowls and become one of the best linemen of his generation.
Episode 26: Jody Gerson
Today's guest is Jody Gerson, a longtime music executive who is currently the Chairman and CEO of the Universal Music Publishing Group. Jody had an early introduction to the music world, frequenting her father's nightclub in Philadelphia, where he hosted acts such as Frank Sinatra and Diana Ross. Soon after college, Jody entered the music publishing world, first at Chappell Music then at EMI. In those early years, she learned that her own sense of taste and ambition was not always welcome, especially as a young woman in the days when the 'Boys Club' mentality reigned supreme. But by simply continuing to succeed and find the best songs and artists out there (such as Lady Gaga and Alicia Keys), she moved up in the ranks, eventually becoming Co-President of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and now Chairman and President of Universal.
Episode 25: Evan Smith
Today's guest is Evan Smith, CEO and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, and former editor of Texas Monthly Magazine. A Queens, NY native, Evan grew up smack in the middle of Watergate and was transfixed by the drama of politics and journalism overlapping. In high school and into college, he thought he would one day enter the political sphere. However, a semester-long program in Washington D.C. soon turned him off of politics and onto journalism. Shortly after joining the school paper at Hamilton College, he caught the bug. After college, he studied journalism for a year at Northwestern, before joining a magazine company in Knoxville, TN. He quickly began climbing the ladder as an editor and soon became fascinated by Texas Monthly. Eventually, he got an opportunity, and within a few years became the editor-in-chief. After ten solid years running the Monthly, Evan moved on to start his own media venture, The Texas Tribune.
Episode 24: Matthew Dowd
On this episode of How I Got Here, our guest is Matthew Dowd. Matt Dowd is a political commentator and longtime political consultant who was the strategic director of the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign. One of eleven children from Michigan, Dowd learned the world of politicking from an early age, and began volunteering on campaigns in his teens after he was captivated by the Watergate scandal. He eventually found himself working in the world of Texas politics, entirely on the Democratic side, until he met then-Governor George W. Bush. He helped run the 2000 campaign, but refused to move to Washington from Austin and took on an informal advisory role until 2004, when he ran the re-elect campaign. After working on Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2006 gubernatorial campaign, he left the political world. Speaking to the New York Times in 2007, Dowd made national news when he broke with the President, declaring the Iraq War and several Bush policies to be failures. The two have not spoken since. Dowd remains in Austin, where he sat down with Harry and Tim, and is a potential challenger to Ted Cruz in the 2018 race for the Senate.
Episode 23: Robert Costa
On today's episode, we sit down with Robert Costa, national political reporter for the Washington Post. By the time Bob graduated high school, he had befriended John Mayer and Maroon 5 and convinced both acts to perform at his high school. Scheming his way into a gig as a concert reviewer for his local paper, Bob took to reporting and establishing relationships like a fish to water. He went so far as to even consider not attending college and going on the road covering these bands. However, he went to Notre Dame (where he did not write for the paper). After a successful internship at the Wall Street Journal and a failed banking internship, he decided to follow his calling and entered the world of political reporting. After becoming the breakout star of the 2013 government shutdown, Bob joined the Washington Post and was the first reporter to write about the seriousness and potential of a "Trump 2016" candidacy.
Episode 22: Ashley Parker
Today's guest is Ashley Parker, political reporter for the Washington Post, until recently of the New York Times. Ashley always knew she wanted to be a writer, starting off from her days at her high school paper in Bethesda, MD. After a few journalism internships in college, she soon got an opportunity to be the assistant to Maureen Dowd of the New York Times and took it. Five years under Maureen led to a full-time gig at the Times, and an eventual spot in the press pool covering Mitt Romney in 2012. Like many of our guests, her success is simpler than one might think: showing up, saying yes, being nice, and out-working anyone and everyone. She now covers politics and President Trump for the Post as of January 2017.
Episode 21: MJ Day
On today's episode of How I Got Here, Harry and Tim sit down with MJ Day, Executive Editor of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. MJ is a special case, having spent her entire career with one company, working from the ground up. After spending a year at InStyle (also part of Time Inc.), MJ became the assistant to the executive editor of Swimsuit. She has now come full circle. MJ credits her hard work, her self-assuredness, and simply being nice. As Larry King told us many episodes back, the secret to success is that there is no secret.
Episode 20: Jon "Boog" Sciambi
On today's episode of How I Got Here, our guest is Jon "Boog" Sciambi, a college basketball and Major League Baseball broadcaster for ESPN. Boog grew up as a baseball player and says the thought of having to stop playing never really entered his mind. And in a sense, he hasn't had to stop. Sending in self-recorded audition tapes led to riding Minor League buses, which in turn led to a spot on the 1997 Florida Marlins broadcasting crew, earning Boog a World Series ring in the process (he won another in 2003). But Boog's story is not without struggle, including a very memorable stint as a donut maker for a grocery store's overnight shift...for one single shift.
EPISODE 19: MIKE BARNICLE
On today's episode, our guest is Mike Barnicle. Mike is an award-winning print and broadcast journalist, and among other things, host Tim Barnicle's father. Mike grew up in Fitchburg, MA, outside of Worcester. While trying to figure out his early career, he also had to figure out his young life, with three children by the age of 24. While working in DC, he made his first connections in the world of journalism, which eventually led him to The Boston Globe, his first bylines and eventual celebrity status in his hometown. His tale is unlike any other we have heard so far, featuring incredible stories that even his own son had not heard.
EPISODE 18: GREGG BELLO
On today's episode of How I Got Here, our guest is Gregg Bello. Bello is a New York-based actor. He has appeared in films such as "G.I. Jane," "The Wrestler," "Noah," and "The Thomas Crown Affair." Bello details his early life and his first forays into the acting world while at Syracuse. He gives unique insight into the life of a working actor in New York City, giving a personal inside look into a much-talked-about world. From going to script readings, to audition after audition, Bello has seen it all. Listen in to hear stories of the ups and downs of the acting world from one of the great guys, Gregg Bello.
EPISODE 17: CHRISTINA WALLACE
On today's episode of How I Got Here, our guest is Christina Wallace. Christina is the VP of Growth at Bionic and the founder of BridgeUp:STEM at the American Museum of Natural History, an educational program aimed at empowering women in computer science and STEM. She is also a contributor at Forbes and co-host of the podcast "The Limit Does Not Exist." Christina's story, from rural Michigan to Harvard Business school and beyond, is an excellent example of a young person "getting there" in their life and career and continuing to push. Christina's story is full of triumph and excellence, but also failure (her first startup did not succeed). Tune in to hear a unique story of perseverance and wisdom from a career in motion.
EPISODE 16: Ed Kane
On today's episode of How I Got Here, our guest is Ed Kane, Boston based entrepreneur and restaurant and nightclub owner. Tune in as Ed tells Harry and Tim how he started off in the business cleaning his family's bar in Quincy, Kane's Place. The first in his family to go to college, Ed went to Harvard, where he was an Economics major. However, he had zero interest in the nightlife/restaurant business. Instead, he entered the developing world of technology. After moving on from his computer business, he joined his brother in the restaurant business, looking to create environments that did not exist in the Boston area. After a trip to Hong Kong, Ed came back and infused Asian culture in future projects such as Shrine, Red Lantern and Empire. His businesses have won many awards and have been named among the Best Places to Work in Boston, an honor Ed particularly cherishes.
EPISODE 15: STACEY SHER
On today's episode, Tim and Harry sit down with Stacey Sher, who has produced films such as "Pulp Fiction," "Erin Brockovich," and "Django Unchained." However, Stacey's journey into Hollywood started in Florida, with dreams of becoming a sports broadcaster. After dealing with the realities of the male-dominated world of sports journalism, Stacey applied to USC's new program on movie producing on a whim. Like so many, she did not even really know what a 'producer' does (and don't worry, we ask for proper definition in the interview). After working on music videos for several years, she found herself in a crowd with Quentin Tarantino who was desperate to read her his next script: "Pulp Fiction." That movie (which nearly did not get made) changed film and the lives of everyone involved. Since then, Stacey has continued to make films with some of Hollywood's finest talents.
EPISODE 14: Mike O'Malley
On today's episode our guest is Mike O'Malley, actor, writer, and creator of "Survivor's Remorse" on Starz. Mike, like many young New Englanders, dreamed of one day playing for his beloved Boston Red Sox. When that dream burned out, he turned toward acting in high school and college. Without much training or experience, Mike immersed himself fully in New York City after school with painstaking hard work. After a few bit roles, he first gained fame as the host of Nickelodeon's "GUTS." His first major break became his first failure: "The Mike O'Malley Show," a Seinfeld style sitcom that lasted two episodes. Dejected, Mike only worked harder and became more determined. Since then, Mike has starred in shows such as "Yes, Dear," "Glee," and films such as "Sully." Mike has also created his own series, "Survivor's Remorse," on Starz.
Episode 13: Diane Paulus
In this episode of How I Got Here, Harry and Tim sit down with Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus, currently the Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard University. Diane traces a path that began near Lincoln Center in Manhattan, where her artistic fire was stoked at a young age as a dancer in the New York City Ballet. After graduating from Harvard and Columbia, Diane cut her teeth in the world of experimental theater, gaining notoriety for her unusual, avant-garde musical interpretations of classic plays, most notably "The Donkey Show," a disco version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Since taking over the ART in 2009, Diane has taken several musicals to Broadway, including "Waitress," "Hair," "Finding Neverland," and "Pippin," for which she won the Tony Award for Best Director.
Episode 12: Oscar Nunez
In this episode, Harry and Tim sit down with Oscar Nunez, best known for his role as Oscar Martinez in "The Office." Born in Cuba and raised mostly in New Jersey, Oscar set off on an eclectic series of careers before eventually finding his niche in comedy. Oscar studied fashion at FIT in New York, which he discovered quickly would not work. He then became a dental technician, which provided him with a consistent job, though it was ultimately unfulfilling. Acting on a long-standing desire to be a comedian, Oscar began taking improv classes in New York. And since then, Oscar has lived the life of a working actor, struggling for roles while also taking part-time jobs, such as selling hot dogs from a cart. After moving to Los Angeles and receiving part time roles in "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Reno 911," Oscar got a call from his agent about an audition for an adaptation of the smash-hit British comedy "The Office." Oscar got the role and never looked back.
Episode 11: Larry Lucchino
In this episode, Tim and Harry sit down with Larry Lucchino, one of the most influential baseball executives of all time. Larry traces his path from his childhood in Pittsburgh to Princeton (where he was on a Final Four team with Bill Bradley), and from Yale Law to his first job out of law school: working on the Watergate investigation alongside Yale classmate Hillary Clinton. Larry then quickly became a star in the legal world, working alongside Edward Bennett Williams as the chief counsel to the Washington Redskins (where he earned a Super Bowl ring). Larry then entered the world of baseball, with the Baltimore Orioles, and did not look back. He built Camden Yards in Baltimore (forever changing the future of sports stadiums) and Petco Park in San Diego with the Padres before moving on to the Boston Red Sox, where he saved Fenway Park and helped bring three World Series rings to Boston. Larry is the only known person with a Final Four watch, Super Bowl ring and World Series ring.
Episode 10: Willie Geist
In this episode, Tim and Harry sit down with Willie Geist, inside his office at 30 Rockefeller Center. Willie is the co-host of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and hosts the Sunday "Today Show." In one of the most fun episodes yet, Willie covers his days growing up in New Jersey, working as a pizza delivery guy in the summers and dreaming of becoming the next Conan O'Brien. Of course, that did not happen, and Willie learned his first lesson in show business. He then became a television producer, working behind the camera, until not only the show he worked for--but the entire network--was cancelled. At 30, he was at crossroads, and decided he wanted to do everything he could to be on camera, and the rest is history (though it's still being written).
Episode 9: Kenny Aronoff
In this episode, Tim and Harry sit down with Kenny Aronoff, one of Rolling Stone's "Top 100 Drummers of All Time." Like so many musicians of his generation, Kenny describes watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show as a seminal moment, one that pushed him into music. Playing in bars by the age of 13, Kenny never looked back. After learning the trade at Indiana University's famous music conservatory, Kenny turned down two coveted orchestra jobs in favor of the rock and roll life. His breakout came with John Mellencamp, playing on such hits as "Jack and Diane" and "Pink Houses." As a session man he has played with everyone from BB King, to Bob Dylan, to John Fogerty, to the Rolling Stones. His book "Sex, Drums, and Rock and Roll" is available now.
Episode 8: David Hume Kennerly
In this episode, Tim and Harry sit down with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer David Hume Kennerly. Listen in as Dave recounts his incredible journey in photography, from shooting the Ali-Frazier title fight, the Vietnam War, and refugees in Calcutta--a stretch that won him the Pulitzer Prize--to working as Chief White House Photographer under President Gerald Ford.
Episode 7: Nicolle Wallace
In this episode, Tim and Harry sit down with Nicolle Wallace, former White House Director of Communications under President George W. Bush and longtime political consultant and commentator. Nicolle traces her path from Northern California, to Berkeley, to working for the Oakland A's, and eventually to Florida, where she worked for Governor Jeb Bush. Nicolle's time as Governor Bush's Press Secretary led to her involvement in the recount in 2000, and eventually took her north to Washington to work for the President after his re-election in 2004. Throughout this journey, Nicolle consistently said "yes": taking on challenges and seeing what came of it. Nicolle now lives in New York City and is a regular on MSNBC and NBC.
Episode 6: Jon Favreau
In this episode of "How I Got Here," Tim and Harry sit down with Jon Favreau inside his Los Angeles home. Jon is known for his time as President Barack Obama's chief speechwriter from the time Obama entered the Senate until the beginning of Obama's second term in the White House. In the interview, Jon details his beginnings in the world of politics after graduating from Holy Cross, as an entry-level staff member on the John Kerry presidential campaign in 2004. Jon traces his quick ascent up the political ladder, all the way to becoming a star White House staffer just a few years later. Jon's story is still being written as he carves out his post-White House life: Jon hosts a podcast of his own "Keepin' it 1600" and is a consultant in Los Angeles.
Episode 5: Ken Burns
In Episode Five of How I Got Here, Harry and Tim sit down with documentarian Ken Burns in a surreal location: the small, stove-heated cabin in Walpole, NH where Ken edited his very first film, Brooklyn Bridge. Listen along as Ken recounts his journey from these humble beginnings, handling "brittle film" in the cold New Hampshire winter, to the top of his field. Known the world over for his unique historical documentaries, such as The Civil War and The War, Ken Burns has a fantastic story of single-minded persistence and determination, with the usual dose of luck mixed in.
Episode 4: Maria Shriver
In this episode, Tim and Harry sit down with Maria Shriver inside her Los Angeles offices. In her life, Maria has worn many hats -- award-winning journalist, First Lady of California, activist, author, & mother. Tune in as Maria details the tools she has used to thrive in her many roles. Listen in on an engaging conversation chock full of great advice for young people setting out in their careers and those looking for renewed motivation alike.
Episode 3: Doris Kearns Goodwin
In Episode Three, Tim and Harry sit down with Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin inside her Concord, Massachusetts home. Doris, dubbed "America's historian-in-chief" by New York Magazine, is best known for her book "Team of Rivals," upon which the film "Lincoln" was based. Listen along as Doris discusses the challenges of making her name as a woman in the male-dominated fields of academic political science and history. Doris traces her unique path that began in Brooklyn in a neighborhood where only one woman had a career and finds a home at the side of President Lyndon Johnson as Johnson composed his memoirs. Out of the memoir process at the LBJ Ranch came a book of her own, and the rest, as Doris herself will tell you, is history.
Episode 2: Larry King
Tim and Harry sit down for an interview with perhaps the most well-known and prolific interviewer in television and radio history, Larry King, inside his home in Beverly Hills. Larry details his boyhood in Brooklyn, listening to the radio and dreaming of a life behind the microphone. He tells of his radio debut in 1957, and his rise to becoming the most well-known personality in Miami, with his all-night radio show, a daily newspaper column, and a gig as the Miami Dolphins commentator. Larry then recounts his move to the national stage in Washington D.C. with Larry King Live on CNN, and wraps up with the tale of his third act in Los Angeles, with reflections on an unparalleled career and life mixed in along the way.
Episode 1: Tom Brokaw
In Episode One of How I Got Here, Tim and Harry sit down with the iconic Tom Brokaw inside his office at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. From his roots as the son of a third grade dropout in Yankton, South Dakota, to his academic dismissal at the University of Iowa ("I went off the rails"), Tom Brokaw had many stumbles before his eventual climb up the journalism ladder. Follow along as Harry and Tim trace Mr. Brokaw's path from Atlanta, to Los Angeles, to covering Watergate in Washington D.C. and all the way to the anchor desk of NBC Nightly News.