Live Talks Los Angeles

Penn Jillette in conversation with Matt Donnelly at Live Talks Los Angeles, Aug. 11, 2016, discussing his book, "Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales." For more info on Live Talks LA -- upcoming events, videos and podcasts -- visit www.livetalksla.org

Direct download: LTLA.Penn_Jillette_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:21pm EST

Thomas Friedman​ at Live Talks Los Angeles​, Dec 9, discussing his book, "Thank You for Being Late: Finding a Job, Running a Country, and Keeping Your Head in an Age of Accelerations. (Farrar, Straus and Giroux​)"  He gave a talk and was then interviewed by David Lazarus​ of the Los Angeles Times​.  For more info on Live Talks Los Angeles -- upcoming events, videos and podcast -- visit our website www.livetalksla.org  and subscribe to this podcast.

Category:general -- posted at: 5:15pm EST

Michael Nesmith in conversation with D.A. Wallach at Live Talks Los Angeles, April 27, 2017, discussing his memoir, "Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff." For more info on Live Talks Los Angeles -- upcoming events, videos and podcast -- visit www.livetalksla.org or follow this channel on YouTube.

Direct download: LTLA.Michael_Nesmith_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:12pm EST

Andy Cohen in conversation with RuPaul at Live Talks Los Angeles, Dec 1, discussing his book "Superficial: More Adventures from the Andy Cohen Diaries." Talk took place at Barnum Hall, Santa Monica. For more info on Live Talks Los Angeles -- upcoming events, videos and podcasts -- visit livetalksla.org or subscribe to this podcast

Direct download: LTLA.Andy_Cohen_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm EST

Lisa Napoli in conversation with Frank Buckley discussing her book, "Ray & Joan: The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away"

For more info on Live Talks Los Angeles -- upcoming events, videos and podcast -- visit our website, www.livetalksla.org and subscribe to this podcast.

Lisa Napoli was among the first journalists to cover the digital age as a staff reporter and columnist for The New York Times and its CyberTimes. She then appeared as an on-air technology reporter and columnist for MSNBC and as a host and reporter for public radio’s Marketplace. Her first book, Radio Shangri-La, chronicles her time in and around the Kingdom of Bhutan, where she was invited to help start a radio station at the dawn of democratic rule. For four years, she covered arts and culture for the acclaimed public radio station KCRW. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she currently lives in Los Angeles, where she leads an award-winning cooking group for homeless women on Skid Row.  

Ray and Joan is about many things: mid-20th century US cultural history; post-WW2 emergence of fast food culture; addiction and its impact on the family; addiction treatment (the early days of, in particular;) philanthropy that precedes the grandeur of Buffett and Gates; the no-nukes movement of the 80s; the San Diego Padres; the mass media’s influence on all of the above, and, most importantly of all, the complexity of marriage.

When Lisa went to cover the fate of a crumbling peace sculpture in front of the Santa Monica courthouse for radio station KCRW, she didn’t know she’d spend the next five years tracking down the story of Joan Kroc, one of the greatest and little known philanthropists of the twentieth century.  The heiress to the McDonald’s fortune had anonymously funded the 26-foot tall mushroom cloud by Paul Conrad, titled Chain Reaction, at the height of the no-nukes movement.  Lisa knew just two things about Joan: that she had given a landmark posthumous gift to NPR, and that at one point she’d run the baseball team she’d inherited from her late husband.  But she found it curious that a woman who lived in San Diego would come to fund a polarizing artwork nowhere near her home. When Lisa went in search of a biography, she couldn’t find one—so she decided to write one.  Soon, she disccovered: why no book yet existed about Joan; that writing about Joan meant writing about Ray, and learning about the roots of the fortune that the third wife of the founding chairman of McDonald’s ultimately gave away.

Frank Buckley is an anchor of KTLA Morning News. Frank joined KTLA in June 2005 from CNN where he had been a national correspondent. Frank is also host of the “Frank Buckley Interviews” podcast.

Frank’s reporting experiences have taken him around the world and have included assignments covering the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, politics for CNN, frequent reporting from the White House during George W. Bush’s presidency, natural disasters in Japan, the Los Angeles riots, the Hong Kong handover, the OJ Simpson trial and countless other stories in Southern California and across the U.S.

Prior to KTLA and CNN, Frank reported for Los Angeles station KCAL-TV, WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, N.C., and at KESQ-TV in Palm Springs. He has also written for the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit News.

 

Direct download: LTLA.Lisa_Napoli_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00pm EST

Andrew McCarthy in conversation with Pico Iyer at Live Talks Los Angeles, April 5, 2017, discussing the writing life and his novel,
"Just Fly Away."

For more information on Live Talks Los Angeles -- upcoming events, videos and podcasts -- visit www.livetalksla.org and subscribe to this podcast.

Direct download: LTLA.Andrew_McCarthy_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:55pm EST

Kelly Oxford in conversation with Busy Philipps at Live Talks Los Angeles, April 26, 2017, discussing her collection of essays, "When You Find Out the World Is Against You: And Other Funny Memories About Awful Moments."  For more info on Live Talks LA -- upcoming events, videos and podcast -- visit www.livetalksla.org or follow this channel on YouTube.

Direct download: LTLA..Kelly_Oxford_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:53pm EST

Brad Stone in conversation with Jeff Berman at Live Talks Los Angeles, Feb 8, 2017, discussing his new book, "The Upstarts: How Uber, Airbnb, and the Killer Companies of the New Silicon Valley Are Changing the World."

For more talks like this at Live Talks Los Angeles -- upcoming events, videos and podcast -- please visit www.livetalksla.org or subscribe to this podcast

Direct download: LTLA.Brad_Stone_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:51pm EST

P. J. O’Rourke in conversation with Adam Felber at Live Talks Los Angeles, March 22, 2017, discussing his upcoming book, How the Hell Did This Happen? The Election of 2016.
 
The talk took place at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA.

An essential take on the stranger-than-fiction (and stranger-than-fact) 2016 presidential elections from a quintessential voice on American politics and culture

P. J. O’Rourke has written eighteen books on subjects as diverse as politics and cars and etiquette and economics. Parliament of Whores and Give War a Chanceboth reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. He is a contributing editor at the Weekly Standard, H. L. Mencken Research Fellow at the Cato Institute, a regular panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me, and a columnist for The Stansberry Digest investment letter. 

This election cycle was so absurd that celebrated political satirist, journalist, and diehard Republican P. J. O’Rourke endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. As P.J. put it, “America is experiencing the most severe outbreak of mass psychosis since the Salem witch trials of 1692. So why not put Hillary on the dunking stool?”

In his latest book, P.J. brings his critical eye and inimitable voice to some seriously risky business. Starting in June 2015, he asks, “Who are these jacklegs, high-binders, wire-pullers, mountebanks, swellheads, buncombe spigots, four-flushers and animated spittoons offering themselves as worthy of America’s highest office?” and surveys the full cast of presidential candidates including everyone you’ve already forgotten and everyone you still wish you could forget.

P.J. offers a brief history of how our insane process for picking who will run for president, concluding: “Consistency is not a hallmark of American politics, but exceptions are made when the constant is stupidity. Today’s primaries are as stupid as they’ve always been.” He takes us through the debates and key primaries and analyzes everything from the campaign platforms (or lack thereof) to presidential fashion sense, rising from the depths of despair to come up with a better way to choose a president (starting with a road trip). Following his come-to-Satan moment with Hillary and the Beginning of End Times in November, PJ reckons with a new age: “America is experiencing a change in the nature of leadership. We’re getting rid of our leaders. And we’re starting at the top.” How the Hell Did This Happen? answers the key questions of a presidential election where both candidates were running against the most formidable of opponents—themselves. 

Adam Felber is an American political satirist, author, radio personality, actor, humorist, novelist, television writer, and comic book writer. Felber attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and graduated as an English major in 1989. He has lived in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in Los Angeles, California.

He is a regular panel member (and occasional guest host) of the NPR radio quiz show, Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!. Felber is the author of the novel Schrödinger’s Ball, which uses as a conceit the concept of Schrödinger’s cat.[1] He has also written for several television shows including Real Time with Bill MaherTalkshow with Spike FerestenArthurThe Smoking Gun, and Wishbone.

Felber also wrote the second Skrull Kill Krew limited series for Marvel Comics in 2009 as part of the Secret Invasion event.[2]

Felber’s mother is the late romance novelist, Edith Layton.

Direct download: LTLA.P.J.ORourke_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:18pm EST

Reza Aslan in conversation with Gotham Chopra at Live Talks Los Angeles, March 92017 --  a conversation and featuring clips from the new CNN Original Series, Believer with Reza Aslan.
 
The talk took place at the theatre at United Talent Agency in Beverly Hills, CA.
  
 
 
This event is presented in association with CNN. 
 
Believer with Reza Aslan is a CNN Original Series that follows best-selling author and scholar of religions Reza Aslan as he immerses himself in customs and faith rituals around the globe. In the six-part spiritual adventure series, Aslan explores Ultra-Orthodox Judaism in Israel, Scientology in the U.S., Hindu asceticism in India, Vodou in Haiti, Santa Muerte in Mexico, and an apocalyptic doomsday cult in Hawaii. The hour-long series premieres Sunday, March 5, at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
 
Reza Aslan is an internationally renowned writer. His books, including his #1 New York Times Bestseller Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, have been translated into dozens of languages around the world. 
 
Aslan’s first book, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, has been translated into seventeen languages, and was named one of the 100 most important books of the last decade by Blackwell Publishers. He is also the author of Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in a Globalized Age (originally titled How to Win a Cosmic War), as well as editor of two volumes: Tablet and Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East, and Muslims and Jews in America: Commonalties, Contentions, and Complexities.
 
In addition to his continuing role as a Consulting Producer on the acclaimed HBO series The Leftovers, Aslan is also the host and Executive Producer of the television program Rough Draft with Reza Aslan, which premiered on Ovation in February.  He served as an Executive Producer on the ABC drama, Of Kings and Prophets. 
 
Aslan received his Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University (Major focus: New Testament; Minor: Greek), a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University (Major focus: History of Religions), a PhD in the Sociology of Religions from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa.
 
Aslan is a tenured Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside and serves on the board of trustees for the Chicago Theological Seminary and The Yale Humanist Community, which supports atheists, agnostics, and humanists at home and abroad. A member of the American Academy of Religions, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the International Qur’anic Studies Association.


Gotham Chopra
 is a filmmaker, author, and entrepreneur.  Most recently, along with NFL icons Tom Brady and Michael Strahan, he created and launched the original documentary series The Religion of Sports, which was just renewed for a second season and will air later this year. He’s also currently working on TV projects with both LeBron James and Ronda Rousey. Chopra’s past TV credits include multiple ESPN projects and his critically acclaimed documentary Kobe Bryant’s Muse, which was the highest performing sports documentary ever on the Showtime Network. Gotham is also behind the feature film Decoding Deepak about his father, spiritual guru Deepak Chopra. As a former journalist, Gotham reported from countless warzones and interviewed a wide range of global leaders – from President Clinton to the Dalai Lama giving him a unique worldview. Gotham’s varied experience in journalism, publishing, and entertainment had him identified by Newsweek Magazine as one of the “most powerful and influential” South Asians worth watching. Gotham currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son and is passionate about his hometown of Boston’s sports teams

Direct download: LTLA.Reza_Aslan_Pod._Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:13pm EST

Jami Attenberg in conversation with Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney at Live Talks Los Angeles, March 21, 2017, discussing the writing life and her new novel, All Grown Up.
 
The talk took place at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA.

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Middlesteins comes a wickedly funny novel about a thirty-nine-year-old single, childfree woman who defies convention as she seeks connection.

Jami Attenberg  is the New York Times bestselling author of five novels, including The Middlesteins and Saint Mazie. She has contributed essays about sex, urban life, and food to The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and Lenny Letter, among other publications. She divides her time between Brooklyn and New Orleans.

“Jami Attenberg’s sharply drawn protagonist, Andrea, has such a riveting, propulsive voice that All Grown Up is hard to put down, but I urge you to resist reading it in one sitting. Both the prose and the author’s knowing excavation of one woman’s desires, compromises, strengths, and fears deserve closer attention. Like Andrea herself, this novel is beautiful and brutal, intelligent and funny, frank and sexy.”—Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times best-selling author of The Nest

“Hilarious, courageous, and mesmerizing from page one, All Grown Up is a little gem that packs a devastating wallop. It’s that rare book I’m dying to give all my friends so we can discuss it deep into the night. I’m in awe of Jami Attenberg.” —Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Who is Andrea Bern? When her therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she’s a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it’s what she leaves unsaid—she’s alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh—that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have an entirely different idea of what it means to be an adult: her best friend, Indigo, is getting married; her brother—who miraculously seems unscathed by their shared tumultuous childhood—and sister-in-law are having a hoped-for baby; and her friend Matthew continues to wholly devote himself to making dark paintings at the cost of being flat broke. 

But when Andrea’s niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. Will this drive them together or tear them apart? Told in gut-wrenchingly honest, mordantly comic vignettes, All Grown Up is a breathtaking display of Jami Attenberg’s power as a storyteller, a whip-smart examination of one woman’s life, lived entirely on her own terms.
 
Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Nest,which has been translated into more than 25 languages and optioned for film by Amazon Studios with Sweeney writing the adaptation. She has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. The Nest is her first novel.
Direct download: LTLA.Jami_Attenberg_Pod._Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:10pm EST

Colm Tóibín in conversation with Scott Timberg at Live Talks Los Angeles, May 22, 2017, discussing the writing life and his upcoming novel,
House of Names.
 
The talk took place at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA.

Colm Tóibín is the author of seven novels, including The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary, and Nora Webster, as well as two story collections. Three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York. He previously appeared at Live Talks Los Angeles to discuss James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room.  Watch the video.

In House of Names, Colm Tóibín brings a modern sensibility and language to an ancient classic, and gives this extraordinary character new life, so that we not only believe Clytemnestra’s thirst for revenge, but applaud it. He brilliantly inhabits the mind of one of Greek myth’s most powerful villains to reveal the love, lust, and pain she feels. Told in fours parts, this is a fiercely dramatic portrait of a murderess, who will herself be murdered by her own son, Orestes. It is Orestes’ story, too: his capture by the forces of his mother’s lover Aegisthus, his escape and his exile. And it is the story of the vengeful Electra, who watches over her mother and Aegisthus with cold anger and slow calculation, until, on the return of her brother, she has the fates of both of them in her hands.

“I have been acquainted with the smell of death.” So begins Clytemnestra’s tale of her own life in ancient Mycenae, the legendary Greek city from which her husband King Agamemnon left when he set sail with his army for Troy. Clytemnestra rules Mycenae now, along with her new lover Aegisthus, and together they plot the bloody murder of Agamemnon on the day of his return after nine years at war.

Judged, despised, cursed by gods she has long since lost faith in, Clytemnestra reveals the tragic saga that led to these bloody actions: how her husband deceived her eldest daughter Iphigeneia with a promise of marriage to Achilles, only to sacrifice her because that is what he was told would make the winds blow in his favor and take him to Troy; how she seduced and collaborated with the prisoner Aegisthus, who shared her bed in the dark and could kill; how Agamemnon came back with a lover himself; and how Clytemnestra finally achieved her vengeance for his stunning betrayal—his quest for victory, greater than his love for his child.

Scott Timberg is a Los Angeles-based arts and culture writer. A former Los Angeles Times and Salon staffer, he writes these days for The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Paris Review online, LMU Magazine, and the New York Times. Timberg edited, with Dana Gioia, the anthology The Misread City: New Literary Los Angeles (Red Hen). He’s the author, most recently, of Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class (Yale University Press), and runs the accompanying ArtsJournal blog CultureCrash. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMisreadCity. 

Direct download: LTLA.Colm_Toibin_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:59pm EST

Charmaine Craig in conversation with Jane Smiley at Live Talks Los Angeles, May 10, 2017, discussing her novel, "Miss Burma."
 

The talk took place at the William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Station Arts Center in 
Santa Monica, CA.

This event is part of our Newer Voices Series.
— Q&A with Charmaine Craig

Charmaine Craig is a faculty member in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside, and the descendant of significant figures in Burma’s modern history. A former actor in film and television, she studied literature at Harvard University and received her MFA from the University of California, Irvine. Her first novel, The Good Men (Riverhead), was a national bestseller translated into six languages.

Jane Smiley is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres,which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, Golden AgeSome Luckand Early Warning, the volumes of The Last Hundred Years trilogy. She is also the author of five works of nonfiction and a series of books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature.

Miss Burma is a beautiful and poignant story of one family during the most violent and turbulent years of world history. Miss Burma is a powerful novel of love and war, colonialism and ethnicity, and the ties of blood.

Miss Burma tells the story of modern-day Burma through the eyes of Benny and Khin, husband and wife, and their daughter Louisa. After attending school in Calcutta, Benny settles in Rangoon, then part of the British Empire, and falls in love with Khin, a woman who is part of a long-persecuted ethnic minority group, the Karen. World War II comes to Southeast Asia, and Benny and Khin must go into hiding in the eastern part of the country during the Japanese Occupation, beginning a journey that will lead them to change the country’s history. After the war, the British authorities make a deal with the Burman nationalists, led by Aung San, whose party gains control of the country. When Aung San is assassinated, his successor ignores the pleas for self-government of the Karen people and other ethnic groups, and in doing so sets off what will become the longest-running civil war in recorded history. Benny and Khin’s eldest child, Louisa, has a danger-filled, tempestuous childhood and reaches prominence as Burma’s first beauty queen soon before the country falls to dictatorship. As Louisa navigates her newfound fame, she is forced to reckon with her family’s past, the West’s ongoing covert dealings in her country, and her own loyalty to the cause of the Karen people.

Based on the story of the author’s mother and grandparents, Miss Burma is a captivating portrait of how modern Burma came to be and of the ordinary people swept up in the struggle for self-determination and freedom.

Direct download: LTLA.Charmaine_Craig_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:51pm EST

Sherry Lansing in conversation with Stephen Galloway at Live Talks Los Angeles, May 1, 2017 discussing his book, "Leading Lady: Sherry Lansing and the Making of a Hollywood Groundbreaker."

The talk took place at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA.

Sherry Lansing has worked in the motion picture business for almost 30 years where she was involved in the production, marketing, and distribution of more than 200 films, including Academy Award winners Forrest Gump (1994), Braveheart (1995), and Titanic (1997). Throughout her film career, she earned a reputation as a trailblazer, a visionary leader, and a creative filmmaker.  In 1980, she became the first woman to head a major film studio when she was appointed President of 20th Century Fox.  Later, as an independent producer, Lansing was responsible for such successful films as Fatal AttractionThe Accused, School TiesIndecent Proposal, and Black Rain.  Returning to the executive ranks in 1992, she was named Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures and began an unprecedented tenure that lasted more than 12 years (1992 – 2005), during which the studio enjoyed enormous creative and financial success.

She founded The Sherry Lansing Foundation (SLF) in 2005, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer research, health, public education, and encore career opportunities.  Among the SLF’s initiatives is the EnCorps STEM Teachers Program, founded by Lansing to transition corporate professionals and military veterans into top quality California public school math and science teachers.  Lansing is also a co-founder of the Stand Up To Cancer initiative, which funds collaborative, multi-institutional cancer research “Dream Teams.” 

She serves on the  University of California Board of Regents, as a trustee of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles, where she co-founded the Scholarship Fund for deserving “Littles Sisters and Brothers.”  In December 2004, Lansing was appointed to the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.  

Lansing additionally serves on the boards of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, the Carter Center, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the W.M. Keck Foundation, the Lasker Foundation, and the Pacific Council on International Policy.  She also serves on the Executive Committee of Friends of Cancer Research and is Honorary Chair of STOP CANCER, a nonprofit philanthropic organization which she founded in partnership with the late Dr. Armand Hammer.  

Lansing graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northwestern University in 1966.  

Stephen Galloway is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who serves as the executive features editor for The Hollywood Reporter. Among his honors, he was named 2013 journalist of the year at the National Entertainment Journalism Awards.

He has interviewed a who’s who of Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Denzel Washington, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and George Clooney. He also created the Reporter’s acclaimed roundtable series, featuring the likes of Clint Eastwood, Peter Jackson, Quentin Tarantino, James Cameron, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.

In 2014, he was named the Cosgrove Visiting Artist at Loyola Marymount University, where he continues to host the interview series The Hollywood Masters. Born in the United Kingdom, he holds an M.A. from Cambridge University and is a graduate of the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies.

Direct download: LTLA.Sherry_Lansing_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:26pm EST

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in conversation with Bill Walton at Live Talks Los Angeles, May 24, 2017, discussing his book, "Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court."
 
The talk took place at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s 50 years of friendship with Coach John Wooden — brought together by the game of basketball — formed one of the most enduring and meaningful relationships in sports history.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. Since retiring, he has been an actor, a basketball coach, and the author of several New York Times bestsellers. Abdul-Jabbar is also a columnist for Time magazine, writing on a wide range of subjects including race, politics, age, and pop culture, and his essays and columns have also appeared in the Washington Post, in the Los Angeles Times and on Esquire.com, among other publications. In 2012, he was selected as a U.S. Cultural Ambassador and in 2016 Abdul-Jabbar was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award which recognizes exceptional meritorious service. 

In 1965, 18-year old Lew Alcindor, who would later change his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, left New York City to play basketball for Coach John Wooden at UCLA. It was the beginning of what was to become a 50-year long relationship that ended with Kareem sitting at his 99-year old coach’s bedside on a June evening in 2010, holding his hand, just before he died. This is the story of their enduring friendship, both on and off the court. 

On the court, Abdul-Jabbar led UCLA to three national champions, and was named the Outstanding Player in the NCAA for each of those years-a feat that has yet to be matched in college basketball. Wooden coached UCLA for 27 seasons and won more NCAA championships than any other coach in history. 

Off the court, they transcended their athletic achievements to gain even wider recognition and tremendous national respect. They came together at the height of the civil rights era, and Coach Wooden made sure that every player on his team got the same opportunity and was treated equally. Even when Kareem controversially adopted the Muslim faith, and changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wooden was there to support him. 

Abdul-Jabbar will intimately reveal the lessons Coach Wooden taught from putting your socks on right, to the philosophies in his famous “Pyramid of Success”, and how they shaped his life, and more generally take you back to the basics of what a coach should be. 

Part memoir, and part inspirational, Coach Wooden and Me is filled with untold stories about the famous pair; private correspondence; exclusive interviews with other teammates and coaches, friends, and even family, on Coach Wooden’s impact; and much more. 

Bill Walton was NCAA player of the year at UCLA from 1972 to 1974, when UCLA set an NCAA record eighty-eight consecutive-game winning streak. A former NBA Champion and MVP, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and selected as one of the NBA’s Fifty Greatest Players ever. He has also had a successful award-winning broadcasting career with ABC, ESPN, NBC, MSNBC, CBS, Turner, and Fox, among others. He currently resides in his hometown of San Diego with his family. Visit his website.

Direct download: LTLA.Kareem_Abdul-Jabbar_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:19pm EST

Jack Kornfield in conversation with Dan Siegel at Live Talks Los Angeles, June 6, 2017, discussing his upcoming book, "No Time Like the Present: Finding Freedom, Love, and Joy Right Where You Are."

The talk took place at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA.

Jack Kornfield, PhD, is one of the best known, most respected meditation teachers in the world. A psychologist and founder of two of the largest Buddhist Centers and communities in America, he is one of the key teachers who introduced mindfulness to the West. His books are classics, selling well over a million copies, translated into twenty-one languages. Jack has taught at major universities and medical schools including Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, and Berkeley, teaches weekly classes to 400 at Spirit Rock, and to large crowds nationwide at retreats, conferences, and events. To learn more, please visit his website or the Spirit Rock website. 

“One of the great spiritual teachers of our time.”
— Alice Walker

“Jack Kornfield is a wonderful storyteller and a great teacher.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh, author of Creating Peace

“A consommé of goodness, heart, laughter, tears, and breath, nourishing and delicious. Rich in hope and deep wisdom for these revved up, rattling times.”
— Anne Lamott author of Grace (Eventually)

“With its incomparable blend of deep wisdom, evocative stories, and powerful meditations, No Time Like the Present is the fruit of a lifetime of spiritual teaching.  Jack Kornfield’s message is we don’t have to wait. Love, peace, freedom… it’s all available right here, in this very heart.”
— Tara Brach, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

Internationally beloved teacher of meditation and mindfulness, Jack Kornfield, reveals that you can be happy now, this minute, with the keys to inner freedom.

In his first major book in several years, the inspiring author of the classic A Path with Heart, Kornfield, invites us into a new awareness. Through his signature warmhearted, poignant, often funny stories, with their Aha moments and O. Henry-like outcomes, Jack shows how we get stuck and how we can free ourselves, wherever we are and whatever our circumstances. Renowned for his mindfulness practices and meditations, Jack provides these keys for opening gateways to immediate shifts in perspective and clarity of vision, allowing us to see how to change course, take action, or—when we shouldn’t act—just relax and trust.

Each chapter presents a path to a different kind of freedom—freedom from fear, freedom to start over, to love, to be yourself, and to be happy—and guides you into an active process that engages your mind, heart, and spirit, awakens your spirit, and brings real joy, over and over again. Drawing from his own life as a son, brother, father, and partner, and on his forty years of face-to-face teaching of thousands of people across the country, Jack presents a stirring call to be here, in the power of the now, the present, as we work through life’s passages. His keys to life will help us find hope, clarity, relief from past disappointments and guilt, and the courage to go forward.

Dr. Daniel J. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, where he also helped to establish the Mindful Awareness Research Center.  He also heads up the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions, and communities. Dr. Siegel’s books include three New York Times bestsellers: Brainstorm, and, with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D, The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline. As a lecturer, he’s spoken before King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at Google University, and TEDx.  He recently appeared at Live Talks Los Angeles for his book, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human. Watch the video.

Direct download: LTLA.Jack_Kornfield_Pod.mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:14pm EST

Ben Falcone in conversation with Melissa McCarthy at Live Talks Los Angeles, May 21, 2017, discussing his memoir, "Being a Dad Is Weird: Lessons in Fatherhood from My Family to Yours".
 
The talk took place at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA
 
Ben Falcone is a film director, writer, and comedic actor. He made his directorial debut in 2014 with Warner Bros.’ feature film Tammy, which he also wrote and starred in alongside real-life wife Melissa McCarthy. Falcone’s upcoming projects include the feature film Life of the Party (New Line) which he co-wrote with McCarthy and will direct. The Boss is Falcone’s recently released directorial effort which he also wrote and produced with McCarthy, who starred in the film. Falcone was last seen in Fox Searchlight Pictures’ feature film Enough Said alongside James Gandolfini and Julia Louis-Dreyfus for Director Nicole Holofcener, and in Jason Bateman’s directorial debutBad Words. Falcone also recently guest starred on FOX’s comedy hit New Girl and in NBC’s A to Z.Currently, he can be seen as a regular on the television series Nobodies(TV Land) which he executive produces.
 
Falcone’s additional feature film credits include The Heat, Identity Thief, Spy, What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Bridesmaids. 
 
Melissa McCarthy received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Megan in the hit comedy Bridesmaids, directed by Paul Feig and produced by Judd Apatow. She also received BAFTA, Critics’ Choice, and SAG Award nominations for this role and won the MTV Movie Award for Comedic Performance of the Year. 
 
McCarthy recently starred in The Boss which she co-wrote. In 2015 McCarthy starred in the hit film Spy for which she received a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Comedic Movie Actress, as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination, and Critics’ Choice Award nomination. In 2014 McCarthy starred in St. Vincentopposite Bill Murray and in Tammy which she co-wrote with her actor/writer husband Ben Falcone. McCarthy’s previous film credits include The Heat, Identity Thief, This is 40, The Hangover Part III and Ghostbusters. She will next star in Life of the Party which she co-wrote with Ben Falcone and wrapped production on the Fox Searchlight film Can You Ever Forgive Me?
 
McCarthy’s additional feature film work includes The Back-Up Plan, Life As We Know It, Pretty Ugly People, Just Add Water, The Nines, White Oleander, Pumpkin,and Go.Additionally, she starred in John August’s short film God, as a young woman having a gossipy phone conversation and short-lived spat with the Almighty, and also appeared in The Life of David Gale, starring Kevin Spacey.
 
On television, McCarthy starred as the clumsy culinary genius Sookie St. James in Gilmore Girls and Dena in the series Samantha Who? McCarthy won an Emmy Award and People’s Choice Award for starring as Molly on the hit CBS comedy Mike & Molly and has directed several episodes. She has also received Emmy nominations for guest hosting Saturday Night Live, which she has hosted multiple times. McCarthy recently returned to Stars Hollow for the Netflix reintroduction of Gilmore Girls. Currently, she can be seen making guest appearances on the television series Nobodies (TV Land) which she executive produces along with husband Ben Falcone.
 
Being a Dad Is Weird: Lessons in Fatherhood from My Family to Yours is a funny and intimate look at fatherhood that combines stories about his own larger-than-life dad and how his experiences raising two daughters with his wife, Melissa McCarthy, are shaped by his own childhood.
 
Ben Falcone isn’t a big shot movie star director at home. There, he’s just dad. In this collection of stories, Ben shares his funny and poignant adventures as the husband of Melissa McCarthy, and the father of their two young daughters. He also shares tales from his own childhood in Southern Illinois, and life with his father—an outspoken, brilliant, but unconventional man with a big heart and a somewhat casual approach to employment.
 
Ben is just an ordinary dad who has his share of fights with other parents blocking his view with their expensive electronic devices at school performances. Navigating the complicated role of being the only male in a house full of women, he finds himself growing more and more concerned as he sounds more and more like his dad. While Steve Falcone may not have been the briefcase and gray flannel suit type, he taught Ben priceless lessons about what matters most in life. A supportive, creative, and downright funny dad, Steve made sure his sons’ lives were never dull—a sense of adventure that carries through this warm, sometimes hilarious, and poignant memoir.
Direct download: LTLA.Ben_Falcon_Pod.Mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm EST

Sen. Al Franken in conversation with Chelsea Handler at Live Talks Los Angeles, July 8, 2017, discussing his memoir, "Al Franken, Giant of the Senate." For more information on Live Talks Los Angeles -- upcoming events, videos and podcast -- visit www.livetalksla.org.  The talk took place at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA.

Senator Al Franken has represented Minnesota in the United States Senate since 2009. He was first elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2014. 

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, by Al Franken is the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that. It’s about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect.

In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

It’s a book about what happens when the nation’s foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it.

It’s a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast.

Before entering politics, Al spent 37 years as an award-winning comedy writer, author, and radio talk show host and has taken part in seven USO tours, visiting our troops overseas in Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. He’s been married to his wife, Franni, for 41 years-many of them happy. They have two children, Thomasin and Joe, and three grandchildren. Senator Franken graduated from Harvard College.

Has Al Franken become a true Giant of the Senate? Franken asks readers to decide for themselves. Visit his Senate website.  More about Al Franken on his website.

Chelsea Handler is host of “Chelsea” on a Netflix, a global on-demand talk show with segments from around the world that tapes in front of a live audience in Los Angeles. It features conversations with celebrities, dignitaries, and surprise guests on topics like international cultures, alternative lifestyles, education, health, sports, parenting, politics, and more.   Prior to that she hosted E!’s top rated “Chelsea Lately” for eight years.
 
Handler’s five best-selling books include My Horizontal LifeAre You There, Vodka? It’s Me, ChelseaChelsea Chelsea Bang BangLies That Chelsea Handler Told Me, and 2014’s Uganda Be Killing Me, her fourth nonfiction title to debut at No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list.

 

Direct download: LTLA.Al_Franken_Pod.mix.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:06pm EST

This talk took place on June 19, 2016 at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica and is part of the Live Talks Los Angeles series.

Twenty Five years ago, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins came onto the literary scene—just back from World War II—and opened the door on a Los Angeles that had not been part of the signature Los Angeles noir novels written by the masters, Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald.  Walter Mosley’s books on Easy Rawlins and his neighbors and friends touched a nerve; his deft capturing of the conversations, the deep connections and frustrations of his characters made his books both critical and popular successes.

Since Devil in A Blue Dress set Easy out on his first job of detection,  Mosley has published close to 50 books across genres and formats.   His characters’ popularity and the critical acclaim his books drew opened doors for another generation of writers of color, not only in the mystery field but in other genres as well. 

At this quarter century mark, Mosley is being recognized for this series’ deep cultural importance and impact by his award of Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America organization.  With the publication of the new Easy Rawlins, Charcoal Joe, we look forward to celebrating the anniversary of the Easy Rawlins series as well as the wider intellectual and political scope of the writer himself. 

Walter Mosley’s indelible detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new detective agency and a new mystery to solve. Picking up where Rose Gold left off in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, Easy Rawlins finds his life in transition. He’s ready to—finally—propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he’s taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and has, together with two partners, started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy’s friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe’s friend’s son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Rufus tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see his nephew exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour was literally found standing over the man’s dead body at his cabin home and the racially charged motives behind it, that might prove to be a tall order.

Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and a life in shambles on the ground around his feet.

Karen Grigsby Bates is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for NPR News, where she covers race, ethnicity and culture and how they each affect several aspects of American life.  In addition, Bates often reports on authors and their work for NPR shows, especially Morning Edition.  She’s been a reporter and substitute host for the Tavis Smiley show, and a correspondent for Day to Day.  In her spare time, Bates has written several books, including two mysteries featuring reporter-sleuth Alex Powell.

Direct download: LTLA.Walter_Mosley.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:05pm EST

This talk took place on July 7, 2016 at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica and is part of the Live Talks Los Angeles series.

Terry McMillan is the bestselling author of Waiting to ExhaleHow Stella Got Her Groove Back, A Day Late and a Dollar Short, and The Interruption of Everything and the editor of Breaking Ice: An Anthology of Contemporary African-American Fiction. Each of Ms. McMillan’s seven previous novels was a New York Times bestseller, and four have been made into movies: Waiting to Exhale (Twentieth Century Fox, 1995); How Stella Got Her Groove Back (Twentieth Century Fox, 1998); Disappearing Acts (HBO Pictures, 1999); and A Day Late and a Dollar Short (Lifetime, 2014). McMillan fell in love with books as a teenager while working at the local library. She studied journalism at UC Berkeley and screenwriting at Columbia before making her fiction debut with Mama, which won both the Doubleday New Voices in Fiction Award and the American Book Award.
Visit her website.

In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young’s wonderful life–great friends, family, and successful career–aren’t enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes in her life, quitting her job as an optometrist, and moving house, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. Like Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back, I Almost Forgot About You shows what can happen when you face your fears, take a chance, and open yourself up to life, love, and the possibility of a new direction.

Lisa Napoli is a career journalist who has worked at The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and has covered arts and culture for KCRW.  She’s the author of the book, Radio Shangri-La, about her time in and around the kingdom of Bhutan, where she went to start a radio station at the dawn of democratic rule.  She is the author of the upcoming book, The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away, to be published November 2016. She is the proud recipient of the 2014 Halo Award from the Deutsch Family Foundation for a monthly volunteer cooking group she leads at the Downtown Women’s Center on Skid Row.

Direct download: LTLA.Terry_McMillian.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:55pm EST

This talk took place on September 25, 2016 at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica and is part of the Live Talks Los Angeles series.

Susan Faludi is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and the author of the best seller Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, and Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man. Her most recent book, The Terror Dream: Myth and Misogyny in an Insecure America, was an unflinching dissection of the post-9/11 American psyche in the media, popular culture and in political life.  Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Nation, among other publications.

In the Darkroom is an absolute stunner of a memoir―probing, steel-nerved, moving in ways you’d never expect. Ms. Faludi is determined both to demystify the father of her youth―‘a simultaneously inscrutable and volatile presence, a black box and a detonator’―and to re-examine the very notion and nature of identity.”―The New York Times

In The Darkroom is Susan Faludi’s most personal book to date—an extraordinary inquiry into her family saga. When the feminist writer learned that her 76-year-old father—long estranged and living in Hungary—had undergone sex reassignment surgery, she felt compelled to confront a past she knew little about and a person she had long put aside. How was this new parent who identified as “a complete woman now” connected to the silent, explosive, and ultimately violent father she had known? What did this mean for her as a feminist and daughter? If who we are is most profoundly forged by who our parents are, what did her father’s metamorphosis say about her own identity?  Faludi chases that mystery into the recesses of her suburban childhood in Westchester County, New York, and her father’s many previous incarnations: American dad, Alpine mountaineer, swashbuckling adventurer in the Amazon outback, Jewish fugitive in Holocaust Budapest, commercial photographer who had built his career on the alteration of images.

Lisa Napoli is a career journalist who has worked at The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and has covered arts and culture for KCRW.  She’s the author of the book, Radio Shangri-La, about her time in and around the kingdom of Bhutan, where she went to start a radio station at the dawn of democratic rule.  She is the author of the upcoming book, The Man Who Made the McDonald’s Fortune and the Woman Who Gave It All Away, to be published November 2016. She is the proud recipient of the 2014 Halo Award from the Deutsch Family Foundation for a monthly volunteer cooking group she leads at the Downtown Women’s Center on Skid Row.

Direct download: LTLA.Susan_Faludi.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:27pm EST

This talk took place on June 8, 2016 at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica and is part of the Live Talks Los Angeles series.

This event is part of our Newer Voices Series where we feature debut authors and authors with one or two books whose writing we’d like to draw more attention to. Free tickets are available 7-10 days before the event.  We encourage purchasing advance tickets that include the book and a reserved section seat.

— “And Our Fiction Special Tonight Is…,” New York Times, Oct. 31, 2014
— “Stephanie Danler talks about her much-buzzed-about debut novel,” Time Out New York, Mar, 15, 2015
— “Restaurant Toil Serves O.C. Novelist Well,” Orange County Register, Jan. 7, 2015

Stephanie Danler is a writer based in Brooklyn, New York. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the New School. Sweetbitter is her debut novel.

“Stephanie Danler arrives on the literary scene with a fully-fledged, original voice that’s wry, watchful and wise beyond its years—acutely attuned to the pleasures of the senses and to the desperate stratagems of self-invention among young urban seekers. Sweetbitter is a stunning debut novel, one that seems destined to help define a generation.” —Jay McInerney

You will develop a palate. A palate is a spot on your tongue where you remember. Where you assign words to the textures of taste. Eating becomes a discipline, language-obsessed. You will never simply eat food again.

These are the words that introduce us to Tess, the twenty-two-year-old narrator of Sweetbitter—and you will never again read a debut coming-of-age novel as stunning as this one.

Shot from a mundane, provincial past, Tess comes to New York in the stifling summer of 2006. Alone, knowing no one, living in a rented room in Williamsburg, she manages to land a job as a “backwaiter” at a celebrated downtown Manhattan restaurant. This begins the year we spend with Tess as she starts to navigate the chaotic, enchanting, punishing, and privileged life she has chosen, as well as the remorseless and luminous city around her. What follows is her education: in oysters, Champagne, the appellations of Burgundy, friendship, cocaine, lust, love, and dive bars. As her appetites awaken—for food and wine, but also for knowledge, experience, and belonging—we see her helplessly drawn into a darkly alluring love triangle. With an orphan’s ardor she latches onto Simone, a senior server at the restaurant who has lived in ways Tess only dreams of, and against the warnings of coworkers she falls under the spell of Jake, the elusive, tatted up, achingly beautiful bartender. These two and their enigmatic connection to each other will prove to be Tess’s most exhilarating and painful lesson of all.

Stephanie Danler intimately defines the crucial transition from girl to woman, from living in a place that feels like nowhere to living in a place that feels like the center of the universe. She deftly conjures the nonstop and purely adrenalized world of the restaurant—conversations interrupted, phrases overheard, relationships only partially revealed. And she evokes the infinite possibilities, the unbearable beauty, the fragility and brutality of being young in New York with heart-stopping accuracy. A lush novel of the senses—of taste and hunger, seeing and understanding, love and desire—Sweetbitter is ultimately about the power of what remains after disillusionment, and the transformation and wisdom that come from our experiences, sweet and bitter. 

 
 
Direct download: LTLA.StephanieDanler.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm EST

This talk took place on September 20, 2016 at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica and is part of the Live Talks Los Angeles series.

Simon Sinek is author of the global best seller, Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t. Sinek is also best known for popularizing the concept of Why in his first Ted Talk in 2009.  It has since risen to the third most watched talk of all time on TED.com, gathering 27+million views and is subtitled in 43 languages.  Visit his website at  www.startwithwhy.com
 
Simon Sinek is an optimist, and believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together.  That is the simple theme behind his upcoming book, Together is Better. 
 
Grammy Nominated singer/songwriter Aloe Blacc  performs the song “Together is Better Than One” at the close of this event as well as a few more of his hits.
 
Together is Better is a celebration of that simple, human idea that we are better when we help each other than we are when we work alone.  Too often, we avoid asking for help when we need it or refuse to accept it when it’s offered for fear that it will make us look weak or put us or our job at risk.  Too often, we keep self-doubt to ourselves instead of turning to someone we trust for inspiration.   
The journey to finding the life you love is never quick or easy. Still, more and more of us are setting off in search of a better way. While each of us is living a different story, many of the challenges and victories along the way are the same. 
 
In Together is Better, Sinek has combined some of his favorite quotes, amazing illustrations, storytelling, and commentary in this delightful tale of three kids who go on an adventure to find a better place for everyone.  
 
In the simplest way possible, this book reminds us all what it means to be a leader, the courage it takes to ask for help, and the value of working together.  It is a book that illustrates the need for leaders to foster environments in which trust and cooperation can thrive. 
Direct download: LTLA.Simon_Sinek.Aloe_Blacc.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:29pm EST

This talk took place on October 31, 2016 at the Bootleg Theatre inLos Angeles and is part of the Live Talks Los Angeles series.

Shep Gordon — in his storied career as a talent manager, agent, and producer — has worked with, and befriended, some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, from Alice Cooper to Bette Davis, Raquel Welch to Groucho Marx, Blondie to Jimi Hendrix, Sylvester Stallone to Salvador Dalí, Luther Vandross to Teddy Pendergrass. He is also credited with inventing the “celebrity chef,” and has worked with Nobu Matsuhisa, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Roger Vergé, and many others. 

“Reality has never seemed to important in the 50 years Shep and I have been working together.  When we need something to happen, Shep just works his magic to simply MAKE it a reality.  I’m still not sure how he does it—he just has that natural ability to create scenarios and relationships that help to get you where you need to go.” –Alice Cooper

“The amazing, incredible, unlikely-but-true story of the man who’s done everything, been everywhere, and was at seemingly every important moment in musical and culinary history. He’s a one-man history of cool. And through it all, he’s somehow managed to remain a mensch. Shep Gordon is a legend.”–Anthony Bourdain

Supermensch is an eye-popping peek into entertainment industry from the magnetic force who has worked with an impeccable roster of stars throughout his storied career.

In this engaging memoir, the charismatic entertainment legend recalls his life, from his humble beginnings as a “shy, no self-esteem, Jewish nebbisher kid with no ambition” in Oceanside, Long Island, to his unexpected rise as one of the most influential and respected personalities in show business, revered for his kindness, charisma—and fondness for a good time.

Gordon shares riotous anecdotes and outrageous accounts of his free-wheeling, globe-trotting experiences with some of the biggest celebrities of the past five decades, including his first meeting with Janice Joplin in 1968, when the raspy singer punched him in the face. They Call Me Supermensch is a sincere, hilarious behind-the-scenes look at the worlds of music and entertainment from the consummate Hollywood insider.

Alice Cooper pioneered a grandly theatrical brand of hard rock that was designed to shock.  Drawing equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock, the group created a stage show that featured electric chairs, guillotines, fake blood and boa constrictors. He continues to tour regularly, performing shows worldwide with the dark and horror-themed theatrics that he’s best known for. 

Alice has been touring consistently, year in and year out, averaging over 80 concerts annually, both within the USA and internationally, with his band which features the three guitar attack of guitarists Ryan Roxie, Nita Strauss, and Tommy Henriksen, plus the rhythm section of drummer Glen Sobel and longtime bassist Chuck Garric.

 

 

Direct download: LTLA.Shep_Gordon.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:57pm EST

This talk took place on June 7, 2016 at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica and is part of the Live Talks Los Angeles series.

Sebastian Junger has spent decades of his life reporting from conflict zones worldwide. He is the New York Times bestselling author of War, The Perfect Storm and A Death in Belmont. Together with Tim Hetherington, he directed the documentary Restrepo based on his embed in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. It won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and an Academy Award nomination. He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and has been awarded a National Magazine Award and an SAIS Novartis Prize for journalism.

Maximilian Uriarte enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2006 at the age of nineteen and served for four years. During his first deployment to Iraq in 2007 he served as an MRAP turret gunner and dismount of India Company’s Jump Platoon in the Zaidon region southeast of Fallujah. He deployed to Iraq again in 2009 as a billeted Combat Photographer and Combat Artist. In 2010 Uriarte created the popular comic strip Terminal Lancewhile still on active duty. The strip is now published in theMarine Corps Times and has grown immensely in popularity, with over 490,000 Facebook followers and one million unique hits per month at terminallance.com. Uriarte has a bachelor’s degree from California College of the Arts.

Combining history, psychology and anthropology, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging  picks up where War left off—specifically with the problems Vets face when presented with the irony that there are elements of battle that they, counterintuitively, miss. These positive feelings come from the innate human preference to live in small groups defined by clear purpose. This connection has been lost in modern society, and regaining it may be the key to our psychological survival.

Tribe explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. Junger explains the irony that—for many veterans as well as civilians—war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. Tribe explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today’s divided world.

Decades before the American Revolution, Benjamin Franklin lamented that English settlers were constantly fleeing over to the Indians-but Indians almost never did the same. Tribal society has been exerting an almost gravitational pull on Westerners for hundreds of years, and the reason lies deep in our evolutionary past as a communal species. The most recent example of that attraction are combat veterans who come home to find themselves missing the incredibly intimate bonds of platoon life. The loss of closeness that comes at the end of deployment may explain the high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder suffered by military veterans today.

Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, Tribe explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that-for many veterans as well as civilians-war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. Tribe explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today’s divided world.

A vivid and moving look at war and PTSD, The White Donkey follows young Marines as they experience the ugly, pedestrian, and often meaningless side of military service in rural Iraq. The White Donkey tells the story of Abe, who enlists in search of a greater purpose. He quickly realizes that his expectations don’t match reality. Abe gets more than he bargained for when his journey takes him to war-torn Iraq.
 
A visually striking and emotional story, The White Donkey will resonate with military and civilian readers alike—readers of nonfiction like Phil Klay’s Redeployment, fiction like Kevin Powers’s The Yellow Birds, and graphic novels illustrated in a compelling style and containing a powerful message. The book explores the war of active duty as well as the war veterans face upon returning home.
Direct download: LTLA.Sebastian_Junger.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:31pm EST

This talk took place on May 19, 2016 at the Gensler in downtown Los Angeles and is part of the Live Talks Business Forum which is part of  Live Talks Los Angeles.

Rachel S. Moore is the President and CEO of The Music Center in Los Angeles, the 3rd largest performing arts center in the United States.  She was a former dancer with the American Ballet Theatre’s corps de ballet under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov, the Executive Director of ABT from 2004-2012, and CEO of ABT until 2015. The Music Center includes Walt Disney Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Mark Taper Forum, the Ahmanson Theater and is the home to resident companies the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Center Theatre Group, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. At the Music Center, she is responsible for all dance programming, programming in the newly opened Grand Park, and education programming.

In The Artist’s Compass, she describes her path to becoming an artist, from artist to CEO, and offers a road map for other artists seeking a successful, sustainable, lifelong career.  Her book is part memoir, part real world guide as she shares insights into the world of performance artists—dancers, singers, musicians, and actors—and offers strategies for success in a tough, competitive world.

Moore, a dancer from Davis, California, was invited to join the American Ballet Theater at the age of seventeen. After completing high school at eighteen, she became a professional dancer for six years before injury brought her dancing career to a premature halt. With a BA from Brown University and a master’s degree in arts administration from Columbia University, Moore reentered the world of performing arts in a series of executive positions. Many artists focus on their craft and ignore the business element of their career; Moore explains that this mistake is costly.  The performing arts world is increasingly focused on business and in order to thrive, or even survive, artists must become knowledgeable about their goals, the industry, branding themselves, establishing a network, and communicating effectively.

Ted Habte-Gabr is Founder and Producer of Live Talks Los Angeles.

Direct download: LTLA.Rachel_Moore.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm EST

This talk took place on June 21, 2016 at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica and is part of the Live Talks Los Angeles series.

Patric Kuh is the restaurant critic for Los Angeles Magazine and the author of The Last Days of Haute Cuisine: The Coming of Age of American Restaurants, which won the 2002 James Beard Award for writing on food. His new book is Finding the Flavors We Lost: From Bread to Bourbon, How Artisans Reclaimed American Food.
 
“Kuh artfully tells a food tale… As a chef, I am inspired by Kuh’s desire to give convenience and mass production a run for the money with a tasty vision for the American table. This book made me hungry!” (Alex Guarnaschelli, executive chef at Butter and author of Old-School Comfort Food: The Way I Learned to Cook)
 
We hear the word “artisanal” all the time—attached to cheese, chocolate, coffee, even fast-food chain sandwiches—but what does it actually mean? We take “farm to table” and “handcrafted food” for granted now but how did we get here? In Finding the Flavors We Lost, acclaimed food writer Patric Kuh profiles major figures in the so-called “artisanal” food movement who brought exceptional taste back to food and inspired chefs and restaurateurs to redefine and rethink the way we eat.

Kuh begins by narrating the entertaining stories of countercultural “radicals” who taught themselves the forgotten crafts of bread, cheese, and beer-making in reaction to the ever-present marketing of bland, mass-produced food, and how these people became the inspiration for today’s crop of young chefs and artisans. Finding the Flavors We Lost also analyzes how population growth, speedier transportation, and the societal shifts and economic progress of the twentieth century led to the rise of supermarkets and giant food corporations, which encouraged the general desire to swap effort and quality for convenience and quantity.

Kuh examines how a rediscovery of the value of craft and individual effort has fueled today’s popularity and appreciation for artisanal food and the transformations this has effected on both the restaurant menu and the dinner table. Throughout the book, he raises a host of critical questions. How big of an operation is too big for a food company to still call themselves “artisanal”? Does the high cost of handcrafted goods unintentionally make them unaffordable for many Americans? Does technological progress have to quash flavor? Eye-opening, informative, and entertaining, Finding the Flavors We Lost is a fresh look into the culture of artisan food as we know it today—and what its future may be.

Antonia Lofaso joined Joe Bastianich and Tim Love in the second season of CNBC’s ‘Restaurant Startup,’ as a consultant and the show is now in its third season. Best known for her role on Top Chef Season 4, Top Chef All Stars and Top Chef Duels, Chef Antonia Lofaso is one of America’s most loved chefs. Most recently, Lofaso has gone from television personality to business owner and is currently executive chef and owner of Black Market in Studio City, California and Scopa Italian Roots in Venice, California. With a lifelong passion for cooking, Lofaso chased her dreams and has managed to balance her busy career with being a single parent. She shares her secrets and tips in her book The Busy Mom’s Cookbook re-released in paperback and can be seen as a frequent judge on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen.

 
 
Direct download: LTLA.Patric_Kuh.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:22pm EST

This talk took place September 14, 2016, at the William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Arts Station, Santa Monica, CA as part of Live Talks Los Angeles series. 

Maria Semple is the author of This One Is Mine and Where’d You Go, Bernadette,which has been translated into eighteen languages. Her TV credits include Beverly Hills 90210, Mad About You, Saturday Night Live, Arrested Development, Suddenly Susan, and Ellen. She graduated from Barnard College with a degree in English. Today Will Be Different is her third novel.

Today Will Be Different is so unique, so smart, so funny, so beautifully humane, so utterly of our times, it’s astonishing. I’ve scribbled exclamation points and underlined passages on almost every single page so I can go back and savor. I’ve started quoting it as if it’s already a classic—which, no doubt, it will be.”  —Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl and Dark Places

Artistic madness, brilliant satire, inventive plotting, and most of all heart. Today Will Be Different takes all the best parts of her national bestseller from 2012, Where’d You Go, Bernadette and kicks it up a notch. Set in Seattle, New Orleans, Aspen and New York City, the book is a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, famed animator of a beloved TV show, mother of Timmy, her precocious makeup-wearing son, and wife of the star Seattle Seahawks hand surgeon, Joe. Early on in the day, a graphic memoir, a real illustrated story within the story, resurfaces from her past and threatens to reveal a buried family secret. 

Gigi Levangie is the New York Times bestselling author of six novels. Her novel, Maneater, was made into a Lifetime miniseries, The Starter Wife was made into a USA Emmy-Award winning miniseries and series, starring Debra Messing. She wrote the original screenplay for the Julia Roberts blockbuster, Stepmom. Many of her screenplays and pilots have been optioned by NBC, ABC, Sony, and more. Levangie spent eight years as the head of television development for the legendary NBC head, Fred Silverman, where she began writing for film and tv

Direct download: LTLA.Maria_Semple.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:56pm EST

This talk took place September 14, 2016, at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA as part of Live Talks Los Angeles series. 

Award-winning journalist and author Lisa Ling takes her audience on a gritty, breathtaking journey across America, immersing herself in communities that are unusual, extraordinary and sometimes dangerous. Each episode gives viewers an inside look at some of the country’s most unconventional segments of society.

In season three of This is Life with Lisa Ling, Ling goes inside the cage with female fighters, attends a wedding behind bars, and learns to code with Silicon Valley teens. She explores legalized prostitution, investigates the ravages of America’s heroin epidemic, and uncovers state laws that allow rapists parental rights.  In Los Angeles she gains unprecedented access to America’s largest jail, and in Philadelphia, takes a 360-degree look at how technology is changing the landscape of law enforcement.

Ling is also the host of an upcoming digital series, This is Birth, where she explores how healthcare legislation, income inequality and cultural shifts are changing how people have children in America. Before coming to CNN, Ling was a field correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show and contributor to ABC News’ Nightline and National Geographic’s Explorer. She has reported from dozens of countries, covering stories about gang rape in the Congo, bride burning in India and the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, among other issues that are too often ignored. Ling got her start in journalism as a correspondent for Channel One News where she covered the civil war in Afghanistan at 21 years of age.  She later went on to become a co-host of ABC Daytime’s hit show The View, which won its first daytime Emmy during her time at the show.  Ling has also served as a special correspondent for CNN’s Planet in Peril series and is a contributing editor for USA Today’s USA Weekend magazine.  In 2011, her acclaimed documentary journalism series, Our America with Lisa Ling, began airing on OWN. 

Ling is the co-author of Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood and Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home, which she penned with her sister, Laura.  

In 2014, President Obama named Ling to the Commission on White House Fellows.

Michaela Pereira is the host of HLN’s new three-hour daily news program Michaela. Live from CNN’s Los Angeles bureau, the show airs from 10am-1pm ET/7-10 am PT.  She joined CNN in 2012 and was the co-host of New Day with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.  For nine years, Pereira was the co-host of KTLA Morning News.

Beyond her broadcasting achievements, Pereira is active in several community organizations working with at-risk children and teens. She served as a member of the board of directors for the Long Beach Boys and Girls Club; an advisory board member of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), supporting children in foster care; and co-chair of the advisory board of Optimist Youth Home, providing services for troubled youth.

Direct download: LTLA.Lisa_Ling.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53am EST

This talk took place August 29, 2016, at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA as part of Live Talks Los Angeles series. 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA’s all-time leading scorer and a Basketball Hall of Fame inductee. Since retiring, he has been an actor, a basketball coach and the author of eleven books, many of them New York Times best sellers, including What Color is My World?, which won the NAACP Image Award for Best Children’s Book. Abdul-Jabbar is also a columnist for Time Magazine and The Washington Post, writing on a wide range of subjects including race, politics, age and pop culture, and his essays and columns have also appeared in the Huffington Post, in the Los Angeles Times and on Esquire.com, among other publications. In 2012, he was selected as a U.S. Cultural Ambassador. 

Since retiring from professional basketball, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has become a lauded observer of culture and society. He now brings that keen insight to the fore in Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White. He uses his unique blend of erudition, street smarts and authentic experience in essays on the country’s seemingly irreconcilable partisan divide – both racial and political, parenthood, and his own experiences as an athlete, African-American, and a Muslim. The book is not just a collection of expositions; he also offers keen assessments of and solutions to problems such as racism in sports while speaking candidly about his experiences on the court and off.

Timed for publication as the nation debates whom to send to the White House, the combination of plain talk on issues, life lessons, and personal stories places Writings on the Wall squarely in the middle of the conversation, as many of Abdul-Jabbar’s topics are at the top of the national agenda. Whether it is sparring with Donald Trump, within the pages of TIME magazine, or full-length features in the The New York Times Magazine, writers, critics, and readers have come to agree on what The Washington Post observed: Abdul-Jabbar “has become a vital, dynamic and unorthodox cultural voice.”

Jim Hill has been a fixture on CBS 2 in Los Angeles for more than 30 years. He appears on the station’s weekday 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts and also hosts the weekend editions of “Sports Central” – Southern California’s most comprehensive sports newscast. In addition, he co-hosts “LTV,” the Los Angeles Lakers pre-game show on KCAL 9, where he joins Lakers legend James Worthy.

Hill, who played defensive back in the National Football League, draws upon his experience as a player, his talents as a broadcaster and relationships with top athletes and coaches to deliver his award-winning sports reports.

 

Direct download: LTLA.Kareem_Abdul-Jabbar._mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:50am EST

This talk took place October 17, 2016, at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA as part of Live Talks Los Angeles series. 

Julissa Arce is a writer, speaker, and social-justice advocate. She is the cofounder and chairman of the Ascend Educational Fund, a college scholarship and mentorship program that assists immigrant students, regardless of their immigration status, ethnicity, or national origin. Julissa is also a board member for the National Immigration Law Center and for College Spring. Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street, working at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch. Visit her website.

America Ferrera is an award-winning actress and producer who is perhaps best known for her breakthrough role as “Betty Suarez” on ABC’s hit comedy, Ugly Betty, for which she was recognized with a Golden Globe®, Emmy®  and Screen Actors Guild Award®, as well as ALMA and Imagen Awards. 

Ferrera currently produces and stars in the new NBC workplace comedy, Superstore, in it’s second season.

What does an undocumented immigrant look like? What kind of family must she come from? How could she get into this country? What is the true price she must pay to remain in the United States?

Julissa Arce knows first hand that the most common, preconceived answers to those questions are sometimes far too simple-and often just plain wrong.

On the surface, Arce’s story reads like a how-to manual for achieving the American dream: growing up in an apartment on the outskirts of San Antonio, she worked tirelessly, achieved academic excellence, and landed a coveted job on Wall Street, complete with a six-figure salary. The level of professional and financial success that she achieved was the very definition of the American dream. But in this brave new memoir, Arce digs deep to reveal the physical, financial, and emotional costs of the stunning secret that she, like many other high-achieving, successful individuals in the United States, had been forced to keep not only from her bosses, but even from her closest friends.

From the time she was brought to this country by her hardworking parents as a child, Arce-the scholarship winner, the honors college graduate, the young woman who climbed the ladder to become a vice president at Goldman Sachs-had secretly lived as an undocumented immigrant. In this surprising, at times heart-wrenching, but always inspirational personal story of struggle, grief, and ultimate redemption, Arce takes readers deep into the little-understood world of a generation of undocumented immigrants in the United States today–people who live next door, sit in your classrooms, work in the same office, and may very well be your boss. By opening up about the story of her successes, her heartbreaks, and her long-fought journey to emerge from the shadows and become an American citizen, Arce shows us the true cost of achieving the American dream-from the perspective of a woman who had to scale unseen and unimaginable walls to get there.

Direct download: LTLA.Julissa_Arce.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:20am EST

This talk took place September 26, 2016, at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA as part of Live Talks Los Angeles series. 

Jay McInerney’s first book, Bright Lights, Big City, sold to Random House for $7500, and, when published in 1984, catapulted him into the ranks of literary sensation.  Since then, he’s written six other novels, a collection of short stories, and three collections of essays on wine. A student of Raymond Carver and a former fact-checker at The New Yorker, McInerney wrote a wine column for the Wall Street Journal for four years. He lives in New York City and Bridgehampton, New York.

David L. Ulin is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, and the author of Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, which was shortlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. He is the former book editor and book critic of the Los Angeles Times.

McInerney’s first novel in ten years unfolds across a period of stupendeous change—including Obama’s historic election and the global economic collapse. In Bright, Precious Days, he revists his characters Corinne and Russell Calloway, who are living the dream life in New York City.  They find themselves — and their marriage — tested more severely than they ever could have imagined, as Russell, an independent publisher, encounters an audacious, potentially game-changing opportunity, and Corinne, devoted to feeding the poor, faces a man with whom she’d had an ill-fated affair in the wake of 9/11.  

 

Direct download: LTLA.Jay_McInerney.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:53am EST

This talk took place October 18, 2016, at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA as part of Live Talks Los Angeles series. 

Jane Alexander has appeared in 75 films, including Testament, Kramer vs. Kramer, All the President’s Men, The Great White Hope, Brubaker, The Cider House Rules, Sunshine State, Feast of Love, and Terminator Salvation. She has performed in more than 100 plays, among them The Great White HopeThe Visit and The Sisters Rosensweig, appearing on Broadway, London’s West End, and in regional theaters from Atlanta to Los Angeles. She has received, in addition to a Tony and two Emmys, an Obie, a Drama Desk Award, and a Theatre World Award, as well as being inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. She is an impassioned wildlife proponent and conservationist, and former chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts.  In 2012, she received the Indianapolis Prize’s inaugural Jane Alexander Global Wildlife Ambassador Award. She lives in upstate New York and Nova Scotia with her husband, the award-winning director Ed Sherin.

Terrence McNally, a strategic communications consultant who helps organizations tell better stories, hosts a weekly interview show on the Progressive Voices Network on TuneIn and a monthly podcast with Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. All podcasts can be found here.  For 17 years he hosted an interview show, Free Forum, on KPFK.

Wild Things, Wild Places: Adventurous Tales of Wildlife and Conservation and Conservation on Planet Earth, Jane Alexander writes of her steady and fervent immersion into the worlds of wildlife conservation, how she’s come to know the scientists throughout the world–to her, the prophets in the wilderness–who are steeped in this work, of her travels to the most remote and forbidding areas of the world as they try to save many species, including ourselves.

Direct download: LTLA.Jane_Alexander.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:49am EST

This talk took place September 8, 2016, at the the theatre at United Talent Agency in Beverly Hills, CA as part of Live Talks Los Angeles series. 

Dr. Daniel J. Levitin is the author of three #1 bestselling books: This is Your Brain on Music, The World in Six Songs and The Organized Mind.  He is also the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience at McGill University in Montreal, where he runs the Laboratory for Music Cognition, Perception and Expertise. 

Larry Vincent is the founder of UTA Brand Studio and serves as Chief Branding Officer at UTA. Over the last two decades, Larry has worked with globally beloved brands including Barbie, Disney, MasterCard, Microsoft, the NFL, Oakley, Playstation, Fisher-Price, and the Four Seasons. He is an award-winning writer and speaker whose last book, Brand Real, was selected by strategy+business magazine as one of the best business books of 2012.

Misinformation is a bigger problem than ever before as we’re bombarded with distortions, pseudo-facts and jibber-jabber, all masquerading as the truth.  It’s nothing new—especially when it comes to politicians— but we’ve created more human-made information in the last five years than in all of human history before then. And right along with it has come a proliferation of errors, lies, and manipulations that cross social and educational classes like never before. How do we separate the wheat from the digital chaff?

Levitin’s new book, A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age is an indispensable and funny primer on how to recognize misleading announcements, graphs, and written reports, and how to think critically about the stories and statistics we encounter on a daily basis.  

 

Direct download: LTLA.Daniel_Levitin.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:13am EST

This talk took place September 8, 2016, at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica as part of Live Talks Los Angeles series. 

Dr. Daniel J. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, where he also helped to establish the Mindful Awareness Research Center.  He also heads up the Mindsight Institute, an educational center devoted to promoting insight, compassion, and empathy in individuals, families, institutions, and communities. Dr. Siegel’s books include three New YorkTimes bestsellers: 
Brainstorm
, and, with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D, The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline. As a lecturer, he’s spoken before King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at Google University, and TEDx.

Paul Zak‘s two decades of research have taken him from the Pentagon to Fortune 50 boardrooms to the rain forest of Papua New Guinea.  All this in a quest to understand the neuroscience of human connection, human happiness, and effective teamwork.  His academic lab and companies he has started develop and deploy neuroscience technologies to solve real problems faced by real people.

Paul is the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology and Management at Claremont Graduate University.

His latest book, Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High Performance Companies, uses neuroscience to measure and manage organizational cultures to inspire teamwork and accelerate business outcomes.  His 2012 book, The Moral Molecule: The Source of Love and Prosperity, recounted his unlikely discovery of the neurochemical oxytocin as the key driver of trust, love, and morality that distinguish our humanity.    

What we mean by the term “mind” has traditionally been the province of philosophers, but what might neuroscience teach us about it? How does the mind differ from consciousness? And how do we know who we really are? In Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, Dr. Siegel explores the nature of the who, how, what, why, and when of your mind—of your self—from the perspective of neuroscience. Mind is the essence of our true nature, our deepest sense of being alive, here, right now, in this moment. How science explains this most perplexing of topics is truly one of the most exciting journeys into knowledge we can take. 

Direct download: LTLA.Daniel_J._Siegel.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:00am EST

This talk took place October 26, 2016, at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica, CA as part of the Live Talks Los Angeles series.

Carole Bayer Sager is an Oscar, Grammy and two time Golden Globe winner.  For five decades, she has been among the most admired and successful songwriters responsible for lyrical contributions to over 400 songs.  She recorded three solo albums and with Marvin Hamlisch and wrote the hit Broadway musical They’re Playing Our Song. She has collaborated with some of the greatest composers and musical artists of our time, including Bette Midler, Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Carole King, among many others. She is a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and was awarded a Star on Hollywood Boulevard.  

Interviewing Carole on the Live Talks stage is her friend, musical powerhouse and 11-time Grammy Award winner Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, who’s written and produced more than 26 number-one hits.  His triple-platinum breakthrough album, Tender Lover, launched him into international superstardom in 1989. Last year’s Return of the Tender Lover was his first solo album in seven years. 
 
From Whitney Houston to Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin to Mariah Carey, Babyface has worked with an encyclopedia of the greatest artists of our time. His most recent productions include collaborations with Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Ledisi, Colbie Caillat, Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande.  The prolific music man counts more than 150 top 10 R&B and pop hits, 42 R&B No. 1 hits and 51 top 10 pop hits (including 16 No. 1’s). His Grammy-award winning duet album with Toni Braxton, Love, Marriage and Divorce, was released in 2014. 
 
Babyface and Carole recently teamed up with songwriter Bruce Roberts on the Hillary Clinton campaign theme song, Stronger Together, sung by Jessica Sanchez. Babyface boasts an honor few other celebrities can: A stretch of I-65, which runs through his home town of Indianapolis, was named for him in 1999.
 
In her memoir, They’re Playing Our Song, Carole Bayer Sager shares the remarkably frank and darkly funny story of her life in and out of the recording studio, from her fascinating (and sometimes calamitous) relationships to her collaborations. There are tales of her two most significant collaborations (both of which were romantic) — Marvin Hamlisch, with whom she wrote Nobody Does It Better; and for 10 years she wrote songs and was married to Burt Bacharach, during which time they wrote That’s What Friends Are For which raised over 2 million dollars for AIDS research.  This book will fascinate anyone interested in the craft of songwriting and the joy of collaboration.  It’s also a deeply personal account of how love and heartbreak made Bayer Sager the woman, and the writer, she is. It reveals an unexpected side of Carole, a deeply personal account of a frightened and insecure woman finding her way. 
Direct download: LTLA.Carole_Bayer_Sager.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:54am EST

This talk took place October 13, 2016, at Barnum Hall in Santa Monica, CA as part of the Live Talks Los Angeles series.

Bryan Cranston won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of Walter White in AMC’s Breaking Bad. In 2014 he won a Tony Award for his role as Lyndon B. Johnson in the bio-play All the Way. In film, Cranston has won two Screen Actors Guild Awards and received an Academy Award nomination for his leading role in Trumbo. Among his numerous television and film appearances, he was nominated for a Golden Globe and three Emmys for his portrayal of Hal in FOX’s Malcolm in the Middle.

Jay Roach is the director of All The Way, based on the Tony-Award winning play by Robert Schenkkan. Bryan Cranston reprises his role as President Lyndon B. Johnson alongside Melissa Leo, Anthony Mackie and Frank Langella. 

Roach was awarded a total of four Emmy’s for his directing on the made for television movies Recount in 2008 and Game Change in 2012. As a director, his most recent film, Trumbo, stars Bryan Cranston as Dalton Trumbo, one of Hollywood’s blacklisted screenwriters in the 1940s. The film, which also stars Elle Fanning, Helen Mirren and Diane Lane, was released by Bleecker Street on November 6, 2015.  In addition, Roach is known for directing movies such as Meet the Parents, Meet the Fockers, the Austin Powers trilogy and The Campaign.

Along with directing, Roach has also spent time as a producer on a number of moves including 50 First Dates, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Borat, Little Fockers and Sisters.

In his riveting memoir, A Life in Parts, Bryan Cranston traces his zigzag journey from his chaotic childhood to mega stardom by vividly revisiting the many parts he’s played, on camera, including: astronaut, dentist, detective, candy bar spokesperson, and off–paperboy, farmhand, security guard, dating consultant, murder suspect, dock loader, son, brother, lover, husband, father.
 
Cranston chronicles his unlikely rise from a soap opera regular, trying to learn the ropes and the politics of show business on the fly, to a recurring spot as Tim Whatley on Seinfeld, finding himself an indelible part of popular culture. He recalls his run as the well-meaning goofball, Hal, on Malcolm in the Middle, gives a bracing account of his challenging run on Broadway as President Lyndon Johnson. 
 
He also dives deep into the grittiest, most fascinating details of his greatest role, explaining how he searched inward for the personal darkness that would help him create one of the most captivating performances ever captured on screen: Walter White, chemistry teacher turned drug kingpin.
Direct download: LTLA.Bryan_Cranston.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:44am EST

This talk took place September 19, 2016, at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica as part of Live Talks Los Angeles series. 

Alan Cumming is an award-winning actor, artist, writer, activist, photographer, and raconteur. He has won an Olivier award for his work on the London stage, and a Tony for his work on Broadway; he appeared in all seven seasons of The Good Wife on CBS for which he received multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. He is currently touring a cabaret show Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs and recently released an album of the same name. He is the author of novel Tommy’s Tale and the New York Times best-selling memoir Not My Father’s Son. He last appeared at Live Talks Los Angeles to mark the publication Not My Father’s Son.

Annabelle Gurwitch is the author of The New York Times bestseller I See You Made an Effort, a finalist for The Thurber Prize for American Humor Writing 2015. Other books: You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up and Fired! The former co-host of Dinner and a Movie on TBS, her acting credits include television shows like Boston Legal, Dexter, Medium and Seinfeld and critically acclaimed appearances on stage Off-Broadway and in regional theaters. Her writing appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times, O Magazine, More, The Los Angeles Times and NPR. Her theatrical adaptation of I See You Made an Effort hit the road for a national tour in late 2016. She most recently is the author of a new memoir Where Ever You Go, There They Are released in 2017.

Put David Sedaris and Glenn O’Brien in a blender and add a dash of New York and Hollywood gossip, and you wind up with Alan Cumming. In You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams: And Other Stories, Alan Cumming takes the reader on a wild journey of pithy and cheeky fun, presenting his real-life stories of debauchery during late night Hollywood parties, behind-the-scenes anecdotes, and hilarious yet poignant memories of his life, family, and friends. In this new book, he recounts hysterical and sometimes embarrassing encounters, from awkwardly entertaining Elizabeth Taylor at Carrie Fisher’s birthday party to being on a movie set with Helen Mirren and being mocked for wearing Croc sandals to making a friend’s day by chasing down Oprah at a glitzy gala for a prized photograph with her. These forty-five stories are humorous novellas, each featuring memorable photographs—many simply snapshots taken by Cumming—that document or illustrate the tale told.

Direct download: LTLA.Alan_Cumming.mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:32am EST

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