Light Hustler: Looking for Light in All the Dark Places

Author Vicki Abelson has worn many hats: she's been an actress, a director, a teacher, a comic, a manager, a (yes I'm still going), fundraiser, a producer, a workshop leader, a private coach and possibly two or three (hundred) other things. The spitball of energy is perhaps best known for being the grand doyenne of Women Who Write, a renowned literary salon that has featured Jackie Collins, Garry Marshall and Marianne Williamson (not to mention previous podcast guests Marc Maron, Michael Des Barres and Mackenzie Phillips), among so many others. But her legacy may change now that she's released her first book, Don't Jump: Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll...and My Fucking Mother, a coming-of-age novel about a gal in a celeb-laden world that's got more than a dash of roman a clef to it. As you may be able to glean from the title, there's also some drug use in there and Abelson's now been sober nearly a decade-and-a-half after a lengthy love affair with pot. In this episode, we discuss going to bars on dates, being "ghosted" in Hollywood and her 14-year book writing odyssey, among many other topics.[did we determine that editors need to upload all photos for their writers now, even the writers who log into the system? I think we decided that was the case for reviews but since we’re not re doing review photos yet, it’s not relevant and the only writer I can think of who does not review inputting is Tracy and I can just put her on the email.

Direct download: Vicki_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11pm PST

Actor Tony Denison is best known for his role as Detective Andrew Flynn in The Closer (now called Major Crimes) but was originally launched into the cultural stratosphere back in the 80s when Michael Mann cast him as a mob boss on Crime Story. Over the years, the former insurance agent has popped up everywhere, from Melrose Place to Walker, Texas Ranger to NYPD Blue, CSI and ER, to name just a few (he estimates that about 80% of the time, his characters are either cops or gangsters). He's also sober over 22 years after struggling with cocaine and alcohol. In this episode, we talk about going from obscurity to the mainstream, learning to be happy with who and not what you are, and following drivers to make amends after a road rage attack, among many other topics.

 

Direct download: APP_-_Tony_V2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:58pm PST

Director Mark Pellington started off directing videos for Pearl Jam, U2, Michael Jackson and Bruce Springsteen, among many other musical icons (his video for Pearl Jam's "Jeremy" is one of the most popular videos of all time and earned him no end of awards). He moved on to films, directing, among others, Arlington Road, The Mothman Prophecies and I Melt With You, the latter a nihilistic drama about four friends who do more drugs than one might imagine possible and end up...well, you need to see the movie but let's just say the ending is darker than dark. Over the years, Pellington dealt with grief and addiction through the bottle (and the chemicals) but is now three-and-a-half years sober. In this episode, we talk about lying to your therapist about your sobriety, the way great art can help people feel less alone and how a Mayo clinic's comment can change your life, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Mark.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:34pm PST

Korn and Filter guitarist Rob Patterson isn't only an incredibly talented musician but also, it turns out, a tech wizard who managed to fix the very recorder used for this interview. His journey to rock stardom started with the metal band Otep but his big break came when he played with Korn from 2005 to 2008. After that, he played with the post industrial band Filter. If we were going to be cheesy we could say that the whole time he was also playing with fire—namely heroin—and he veered in and out of sobriety before quitting for good four years ago. This Massachusetts-reared son of a cellist has also been tabloid fodder for some time, not only because he was engaged to Carmen Electra but also because he's palled around with Charlie Sheen. In this episode, he talks about being a teenage hacker, not doing drugs till your late 20s and how the amount of time someone's sober doesn't mean anything, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Rob_Patterson.mp3
Category:Addiction -- posted at: 12:41pm PST

Author Kristen McGuiness may claim not to be a writer anymore but the facts don't lie: the author of the LA Times bestselling book 5150: The Magical Adventures of a Single Life has also been published in The Fix, among other publications, and these days writes grant proposals for non-profits. She's also nearly a decade sober after a bout with alcoholism which took her from LA to Dallas to New York back to LA. Though she looks like the very picture of innocence, McGuiness hardly grew up in white picket fence land: her father was one of the biggest drug smugglers around (he's in Blow, the book the Johnny Depp movie was based on) and so the family was constantly up and moving whenever the law got too close. McGuiness writes openly about this not only in her memoir but also in a piece for The Fix. In this episode, she discusses the time in her life when she wore pantyhose while working for Mary Kay, how the TV show based on her book didn't sell after they took away her character's alcoholism and speaking at her dad's hearing after a bender that involved trying to hang out with some Texan drug dealers, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Kristen_new_intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42am PST

Author Sarah Hepola isn't just a writer but the author of the biggest book about addiction since A Million Little Pieces. Hepola's memoir, Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget, has been written about in seemingly ever publication known to man (including ours), clearly striking a chord among the recovery community and beyond. The Texas-based Salon essay editor has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, Glamour, The Guardian, Nerve and Slate, among others, and is as modest about her book's success as possibly only a Texan can be. In this episode, she and Anna David talk about the relative coolness of sobriety, crying every day, whether or not Tinder dating profiles should mention sobriety and if a best-selling book can actually make you happy, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_Sarah_Hepola.new.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm PST

Writer and musician John Albert did not have a standard trajectory to literary success—in fact he says he became a writer by accident when he submitted information about his amateur baseball team, which was made up of a slew of misfit former addicts and rebel rousers, to LA Weekly. That information became a story, that story became a cover story and that cover story became Albert's widely praised book Wrecking Crew: The Really Bad News Griffith Park Pirates. This wasn't Albert's first foray into the public eye: he co-founded the cross-dressing band Christian Death and was the drummer in Bad Religion. Now sober over three decades, the husband and father works for a record company when he's not handling the movie offers Wrecking Crew regularly receives (it's been optioned more than four times by various people, including the late Philip Seymour Hoffman). In this episode, he and Anna David discuss having sex with borderline schizophrenics in rehab, the essay on Sober House he wrote for David's reality TV anthology and being on methadone at the college where your dad teaches, among other topics.

Direct download: _John_Albert_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:15pm PST

TV host, writer and producer Steve Goldbloom has done a lot in his 31 years on the planet: the Canadian (dual citizenship, yo) created the PBS Digital Studio comedy series Everything But the News, where he documented his misadventures exploring the tech scene, and which USA Today named Best Web Series. This was after his stint as a correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. He currently produces a weekly segment on PBS called Brief but Spectacular which is, he says, an interview without the interviewer.

Now he's launching Intimacy with Strangers, where he speaks with various people about intimacy, for Discovery and for this episode, we did something entirely unprecedented: while I interviewed him for the podcast, he simultaneously interviewed me for Intimacy With Strangers. Did this meta double project work? We'll find out when you listen to this podcast while watching the Intimacy with Strangers episode (that's overly ambitious, I get it; also I have no idea when IWS will air). Since he is neither an addict nor a person with serious issues (my diagnosis), we focused the conversation on developing and maintaining healthy relationships. In this episode, we discuss relationships that cause you to stare at the ceiling wondering what's happened to your life, whether or not just a few sessions with a therapist can do the trick and if, when we saw Boyhood and he elbowed me every few minutes, we were on a date or not (TBD).

Direct download: APP_-_Steve_Goldbloom.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:21pm PST

All sober addicts have their stories, some more severe than others. Well, it's safe to say that author and former attorney Joseph Naus checks all the boxes on the "most severe" scale. Born to a heroin addict mother, Naus managed to rise from poverty to become a successful attorney. As this was happening, however, his sex addiction and alcoholism were increasingly controlling his life—causing him to cheat on girlfriends, visit massage parlors and eventually get a DUI. Then came the cataclysmic event that brought him to sobriety: the night when, in a black out, he tried to break into a massage parlor but instead broke into a guy's apartment, stripped naked (thinking he was in the massage parlor) and beat the guy up. He went to rehab and got sober but ended serving time (for attempted murder), was disbarred and has to register every year as a sex offender. Now over a decade sober, Naus chronicled this journey in his memoir, Straight Pepper Diet, and is at work on a second book. In this episode, we talk about the ways people respond when you write about them, how nicotine addiction is as intense as any other and why not to call your ex the minute you get sober to ask if if they want to edit your memoir, among other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Joseph.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:53am PST

Author Jason Smith is not a writer who languished in obscurity for years as he tried to make sense of his journey through addiction to recovery. The Northern California based former teacher only started writing a mere year ago because he was on an ankle bracelet due to some legal trouble (more about that in a sec) and was trapped at home. He loaded some of his stories onto Medium (a fabulous site but one where most posts get lost and ignored) and the rest is history. People started reading them. Lots of people. A book deal followed and that book, The Bitter Taste of Dying, is now being hailed as one that leaves the reader "gasping for breath." While Smith's writing is undeniably gripping, he also had a lot of rich history to pull from: he went from trying pills in high school to losing his virginity to the hottest girl in his class that very day. And you could say he spent the next chunk of his life chasing that high, from continent to continent, job to job, high to high. In this episode (where we're joined by Danielle Stewart!), we discuss attractive sponsors, sex inventories and doing fentanyl in space, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_Jason_Smith.ad.mp3
Category:Addiction -- posted at: 9:07am PST

Best-selling author and therapist Dr. Allen Berger is a wonder to behold. Not only is he nearly 45 years sober (though he looks no older than 45) and one of the more articulate dudes out there but he's written many of the classic books about recovery, including 12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery, 12 Smart Things to Do When Booze and Drugs Are Gone and 12 Hidden Rewards of Making Amends. He also has made a series of audio recordings that analyze Bill Wilson's 1956 letter on emotional sobriety and videos while maintaining a very full private practice. But a million times more impressive than any of this is the guy's manner and way of articulating the nuances of addiction and recovery while opening up about the 60+ truances he had in school, shooting barbituates while in the navy and how losing his dad at an early age still causes him to choke up today. In this episode, we discuss the way he practices therapy (in particular his use of the shuttle technique), why procrastination is always about perfectionism and the ways he still doesn't support himself during his fourth decade of sobriety, among many other topics.

Direct download: _APP_Allen_Berger.mp3
Category:Addiction -- posted at: 9:18am PST

Mortified creator Dave Nadelberg is the guy behind—yes—Mortified, a "cultural phenomenon" (per Newsweek) that consists of a live show in cities around the world (from Austin, LA and New York to Amsterdam, London and Guadalajara), two books, a TV show, a documentary and now a podcast. The Mortified concept, in short, is this: people take diary entries, letters and any other ephemera from their childhoods and read them on a stage (the books featured collections of some of them, the TV show had Nadelberg going through personal artifacts with celebrities, the documentary documented the entire project and the podcast consists of recordings of live shows accompanied by interviews with the performers). As the guy who created a project that gives adults a chance to connect with their old selves while taking the shame out of previous, potentially ludicrous, thoughts and feelings, Nadelberg is a thoughtful soul. Though he's not an addict, he's worked through his own share of issues over the years, all of which we get into here. In this episode, we discuss male sluttiness, why therapy doesn't need to take place in an office with a shrink and how sex is psychological, among other topics.

Direct download: APP_Nadelberg.ad.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:55am PST

Vice writer and editor Mitchell Sunderland is what they mean when they talk about wunderkinds and also what they mean when they talk about human miracles. Okay, so the wunderkind fact: he's 23 and already the Managing Editor of Broadly, Vice's forthcoming women's interest channel. Now for the second part: he grew up in Florida which, according to him, is traumatic in itself. He comes from a family where his mother would fall asleep at the wheel while on Ambien. She also breastfed him until he was five. Then, last year, he discovered that the man he'd always thought was his father was not. So there's been some stuff to work through.

It wasn't all disastrous though; Sunderland's brilliance, humor and charm saw him through and he became the party throwing king of his high school, charging the jocks who'd once been mean to him $10 a head as an entrance fee. But things came to a head after he spent his junior year of college in England and Sunderland, inspired by previous podcast guest Alexis Neiers, ended up getting sober the day he was hired at Vice. In this episode, we talk about the ridiculousness of trying to get sober in England, why New York parties aren't as decadent as Florida ones and thinking people intervening on you are calling because they want to have a threesome, among other topics.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to it on Soundcloud or Stitcher. Find Mitchell Sunderland on TwitterTumblrInstagram and Vice. Mitchell Sunderland photo by Matthew Leifheight.

Direct download: APP_Mitchell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:31am PST

Reel Recovery Film Festival creator Leonard Buschel has become an advocate for recovery in ways that no one else has—by creating Reel Recovery, which screens movies relating to addiction in Los Angeles, Manhattan, San Francisco and Ft. Lauderdale, among other cities. Every festival features live Q&A's with either well-known recovery advocates or people involved with the films; previous participants include Ben Stiller (for the screening of Permanent Midnight), Ed Begley, Jr. and Duran Duran's John Taylor. In his 20+ years of sobriety, Buschel has also created Writers in Treatment, which helps anyone who works with the written word into rehab, and hosts the annual Experience, Strength and Hope Awards. In this episode, we talke about forgoing the Rockettes in order to smoke pot, so-called casual crack smoking and how finding a treatment center with an 800 number can help launch you into recovery, among other topics.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to it on Soundcloud or Stitcher. Find Leonard Buschel on Facebook and Twitter.

Direct download: APP_Leonard.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25am PST

Writer Amanda Fletcher is more than just a sober warrior. A breast cancer survivor who also manages to remain cheerful about having broken her neck and worn a cervical halo for four months, Fletcher is a brilliant and hilarious writer who has also been a crucial part of the AfterParty editorial team. In addition to being a 2012 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, Fletcher is a breathwork practitioner who teaches writing in the recovery community, was a flash fiction finalist for the Orlando Prize and has performed for Tongue and Groove, the Dirty Laundry Lit and Roar Shack reading series. Sorry, not done here. Her writing has appeared in The Writer’s Tribe Review and The Orange County Register as well as on this very site. And hey—as part of a new format we’re trying out for the podcast, our last guest, fellow AfterParty writer Tracy Chabala, joined us for a three-way conversation. In this episode, we discuss being hung over from nights of over sharing, getting hooked on meth and whether or not we all get what we deserve, among many other topics.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to it on Soundcloud or Stitcher. Find Amanda Fletcher on Facebook and Twitter

Direct download: APP_Amanda_060215.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:45pm PST

AfterParty contributor Tracy Chabala not only writes a good, um, 85% of the stories that are now appearing on the site but her work has also appeared in The LA Times, The LA Weekly and Salon. She holds a Masters in Professional Writing from USC and is working on a memoir about her journey through the sausage fest of fine dining kitchens (based on her history as a pastry chef). Among the topics she's covered on the site are escaping from a scary rehab, life in a mental ward and being 13th-stepped. If anyone is a testament to surviving most anything and then thriving, it is this girl. And—surprise!—this episode featured a special guest: Danielle Stewart, who appeared on the podcast so long ago that the sound was terrible and who has written even more for the site than Tracy (she's also an AfterParty editor and all-around problem solver around here). In this episode, we discuss getting 13th stepped and then being the 13th stepper, drinking Kombucha in sobriety and speaking openly about being in AA, among other topics.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or listen to it on Soundcloud or Stitcher. Find Tracy Chabala on Twitter and her own site.

Direct download: APP_Tracy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:21am PST

Journalist, author and editor Richard Rushfield is a man of many hats and even more opinions—most of them about relationships. A contributor to Vanity Fair, author of three books and former editor at The LA Times, Gawker, Buzzfeed, Yahoo and more, Rushfield is now the Editor-in-Chief of HitFix.

As AfterPartyPod veers into a direction of focusing not just on recovery from addiction but also on developing healthier relationships, Rushfield came in to school me (and you) on how to both find and then maintain romance. He claims that he comes by this knowledge by having worked on the TV show Blind Date as well as by his friendship with author Robert Greene (author of The Art of Seduction, among many other bestselling books). But the spin he gives is all Rushfield-ian (he is, it's worth mentioning, married to the brilliant and lovely journalist Nicole LaPorte and they have two kids). In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David discuss ways to seem desirable (ask to borrow someone's phone and then leave them sitting there while you go use it), whether or not we know if we're interested in someone immediately (according to him, yes) and why women need to talk less, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_Rushfield.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:27am PST

Radio host, actor, TV personality, author and artist Shadoe Stevens possesses one of the most recognizable voices in the world, having hosted American Top 40 from 1988-1995. He was also the announcer on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and has been the voice of numerous award shows, including the Emmy's and the Grammy's. Oh and hey, he also created three top radio stations, including KROQ. Other hits along the way: being a regular on Hollywood Squares and guest starring on Beverly Hills 90210, Baywatch and The Larry Sanders Show, among many others. There's also a spate of children's books and a career as an artist, not to mention a happy marriage and three kids. Though some of the success came early on, Stevens attributes the majority of it to his 30 years of sobriety—an anniversary that was documented last year on Oprah's network. In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David talk about the people in the bushes that talk to you when you're on coke, the large amygdala all addicts seem to have and believing that every job is the last one before the universe comes in at the last moment and saves the day, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_ShadoeStevens.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:52am PST

Model, actress and Celebrity Rehab star Amber Smith is far more than just a pretty face (and words can't describe how) spectacular body. Rather than perpetuating the image that seemingly ever model alive does by pretending that her life is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside, Smith took the courageous step of appearing on Celebrity Rehab and showing the entire world that she was a full-blown opiate addict. This, after she'd appeared in the Sport's Illustrated swimsuit issue and on the covers of VogueElleCosmo and Marie Claire as well as in such seminal films as L.A. Confidential and American Beauty.

But there she was on Celebrity Rehab, sharing about and recovering from her 16-year struggle with painkiller abuse, after which she appeared on Sober House and Sex Rehab. Now that she's sober, Smith has dedicated her life to helping others (check out the speakers bureau she's established with previous AfterPartyPod guest Jason Wahler) and developing healthier relationships. In this episode, she and AfterParty's Anna David talk about friendships with controlling women, high school trauma and being taken advantage of as a model, among many other topics.

 

Direct download: AfterPartyPod_Amber_Smith.mp3
Category:Addiction -- posted at: 10:16am PST

This one was a long-time coming. Dr, Drew Pinsky, the board certified internist/addiction medicine specialist and one of the kindest men in the world, graces the podcast this week. The co-host of Loveline since its 1984 inception, Pinsky currently hosts Dr. Drew On Call on HLN; previous gigs include hosting Lifechangers on the CW and, of course, producing and hosting Celebrity Rehab and its off-shoot shows. He’s appeared on roughly a million other shows, including Dawson’s Creek and Big Brother, written bestselling books and even had asteroids named after him (yep; Google it). But far more important than his massive array of accomplishments is what he’s done for the recovery movement—a role that has earned him more than his share of controversy. In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David talk about how a bullshit meter is crucial when working with addicts, the anxiety he used to suffer from and the queen of GHB (nope, it wasn’t me), among many other topics.

 

Direct download: APP_DrDrew_v3.mp3
Category:Addiction -- posted at: 11:54am PST

TV host, podcaster, mini mogul and wunderkind Kevin Pereira isn’t only potentially the sweetest man alive but also one of the more accomplished. He started working in tech at the age of eight (!) (not a typo) (not a child labor situation—listen to the episode and you’ll get it). He joined the G4 network as a PA and eventually rose to host of Attack of the Show. He and AfterParty’s Anna David met when she joined the cast as the relationship expert in 2006 and worked together for the next three years. Since then, he has hosted the syndicated quiz show Let’s Ask America and launched his ever-popular Pointless podcast in 2012. That pod is one element of his Supercreative production company, which has a number of other podcasts as well as some highly entertaining web shows (exhibit A: The Real Housewives of Horror). He’s currently hosting TruTv’s Hack My Life and doing about a million other things—including being a guest on this podcast. Faithful listeners will note that Pereira is a unique guest as he’s not an addict discussing his recovery but a guy (excuse us, a wunderkind) who has experimented with drinking and drugs and is open to talking about his feelings around that. In this episode, he and David discuss a bender that caused him to barely make it to New York to host a show sans any clothing, buying cocaine for all your party guests, how to prepare for a night of Ecstasy and their good old Attack days, among many other topics.

Direct download: Kevin_P_podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:54pm PST

Author and musician Mishka Shubaly isn't only the author of seven bestselling Kindle Singles. (If you don't know what these are, Google Kindle Singles, where you'll also learn that almost all the publications who have written about them, from The New York Times to The Atlantic, focus on Shubaly. This is because he's been the most successful Kindle Single author of all time). His writing is fierce, honest and funny—not an easy trifecta to pull of—and much of it focuses on alcoholism and sobriety. While Shubaly's path to recovery is controversial, he's never shy about saying it works for him but doesn't suggest others follow in his wake. In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David talk about how the world is trying to make him into a hippie, why taking mushrooms doesn't interfere with his sobriety and how his non 12-step-ness never stops him from recommending it to others, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_Mishka021815_new.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:53pm PST

Relationship expert and licensed Marriage, Family and Child counselor Dr. Pat Allen has been a legend in the psychology field for over three decades. She's the author of the longtime bestseller Getting to I Do (now in its 32nd printing and about which, she jokes, sells so well because women are so initially horrified by its "50s mentality" that they throw it away and later have to buy it again). She's written numerous other books, appeared repeatedly on Oprah, Geraldo, Blind Date and many more and is also a certified addictions specialist. In her twice-weekly Los Angeles seminars, she walks women and men through her communication techniques that result in romantic unions. She's also been sober from drugs and alcohol for several decades and abstinent from sugar for 11 years. In this episode, she and AfterParty’s Anna David talk about how she started drinking at the age of five (!), ways women can be "men" in the workplace and "women" in their personal lives and marrying a man who used her own courting techniques on her, among other topics.

Direct download: AfterParty.Pat_Allen.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:18pm PST

Actress, comedian, solo show performer, writer and healer (yep, you read that right) Katie Rubin is no ordinary hyphenate. Not only has she toured the country with her one-woman shows and performed repeatedly on the stage but she also coaches performers in stand up and solo show making and has done numerous commercials and voice-over jobs. And then there's the healing work, where she offers clearing sessions, access consciousness and more. So how did she get to the point where she could offer this, you ask? Well, at seven years of sobriety, she hit a wall. None of the tools she'd learned that were supposed to help her worked anymore. Then, through a Byzantine set of circumstances, she ended up studying Sufism at a school in Northern California for three years. In this episode, she and AfterParty's Anna David discuss what it means to move from your head to your heart, how she knows who's calling her before she looks at her phone and why she should be the female Jon Stewart, among other topics.

Direct download: AfterParty.KatieRubin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:47am PST

Comedian Ritch Shydner isn't exactly just a comedian. Yes, he's appeared on The Tonight Show, Letterman and Leno a bunch of times. Sure, he's had HBO specials. Yep, he played Al Bundy's coworker on Married With Children. And of course he's been a working comic for decades. But there's a bunch of other stuff: writing gigs on Roseanne, Titus and The Jeff Foxworthy Show. A book on comedy. And the you-need-to-go-watch-right now documentary I Am Comic where he's the star and folks like Sarah Silverman, Nick Kroll, Jeff Foxworthy, Roseanne and Margaret Cho have cameos.

And now for the substance abuse stuff: Shydner boozed it up for years, dabbling in drugs too, and only stopped when he saw that all the drinking and drugging was sabotaging his comedy career. He got that career back but then, years into sobriety, decided to give up the stage so he wouldn't have to always be on the road away from his family. I Am Comic focuses on his decision to get back on the comedy circuit—a decision that allowed him to get off the meds he'd been on for a decade-and-a-half. In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David discuss how cops used to drive you to concerts instead of arresting you for drunk driving, the best way to perform for a Rasta audience (hint: smoke out and then just laugh on stage) and getting heckled by Sean Penn, among other topics.

Direct download: AfterParty.Ritch_Shydner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:31am PST

Writer Ethlie Ann Vare is a woman of many hats: a prolific TV and film writer, she's also the author of Love Addict: Sex, Romance and Other Dangerous Drugs, as well as 10 other books. Her popular blog AttentionDeficitDisorder expands on much of what's in Love Addict—namely, her own experiences with sex and love addiction, her recovery from it and information for potential SLA's out there. Have we mentioned that she's also been a rock critic for Billboard, Variety and The Hollywood Reporter as well as an E! TV talking head, not to mention the fact that she's a serious historian? Oh and guess what? You can get answers to your sex and love addiction related questions on that aforementioned blog of hers. (Teaser: she's also going to be answering some questions soon enough on AfterPartyChat.) In this episode, she and AfterParty's Anna David discuss bottoming out on love addiction, the time she spent in jail for drug dealing, the husband that got her into that and much, much more.

Direct download: APP_Ethlie_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:38pm PST

Musician Aaron Akins has opened for Bob Hope, contributed to various projects for Russell Simmons Television and performed everywhere from a festival in Jakarta, Indonesia to the House of Blues on the Sunset strip. He's also performed at the Vatican and at the annual Music Cares benefit. But if there's anything Akins likes talking about more than his singing (and acting) career, it's his passion for recovery. This is a guy who firmly believes that healthy thinking is the direct result of a connection with a Higher Power—and isn't shy about telling people as much. In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David discuss what it's like to be constantly surprised by alcoholic thinking, suddenly becoming convinced your sponsor hates you and how a police chase can convince you to give sobriety another try, among other topics.

Direct download: APP_AaronFinal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:48pm PST

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