Light Hustler: Looking for Light in All the Dark Places (general)

Eddie Pepitone is the subject of The Bitter Buddha, the critically acclaimed documentary about his life, and is also occasionally a part of his stand-up act. As a comedian and actor, he’s been on WTF and Conan repeatedly, as well as on The Last Comic Standing, The Sarah Silverman Program, Happy Endings, Flight of the Concords, 2 Broke Girls, It’s Always Sunny and so many more.

In this episode—which is from the Light Hustler live storytelling show in Los Angeles—he (hilariously) talks about why having commitments in AA is silly, how love went out a long time ago and so much more.

To find out if you should be sharing your story, go to www.lighthustler.com/quiz.

Direct download: Eddie_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Amy Dresner is a former professional stand-up comic, having appeared at The Comedy Store, The Laugh Factory, and The Improv. Since 2012, she has been a contributing editor of the online addiction and recovery magazine TheFix.com. She’s also written for the Good Men Project, The Frisky, Refinery 29, and has been a regular contributor to Addiction.com and PsychologyToday.com, where she has her own addiction blog entitled “Coming Clean.” Her first book, My Fair Junkie, was released in 2017 and is now available in paperback.

In this episode (from the Light Hustler live storytelling show in LA), Amy talks about one of her visits to the psych ward—explaining what group therapy was like, what other residents had as goals for the day and the fellow patient who was smarter than the doctors, among other things.

To find out if you should be sharing your story, go to www.lighthustler.com/quiz.

Direct download: Amy_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Kristi Coulter holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. She is a former Ragdale Foundation resident and the recipient of a grant from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Her work has appeared in The Paris Review, The Awl, GlamourVoxThe Mississippi ReviewLongreads, and elsewhere. Her debut essay collection, Nothing Good Can Come from This, was published by MCD Books/FSG Originals in August 2018. She lives in Seattle, where she is working on her next book. 

We talked about Nothing Good Can Come From This, being a high-functioning alcoholic and what happens when a story you write goes viral, among many other things.

To find out if you should be sharing your story, go to www.lighthustler.com/quiz.

Direct download: kristi_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Dr. Jamie Marich is an EMDR bad-ass. Sure, that's a kind of crazy way to identify someone but it's what our medical consultant (and previous podcast guest) Dr. Josh Lichtman (not to mention everyone else) says about her.

Her are her stats: she travels internationally teaching on EMDR therapy, trauma, addiction, expressive arts, yoga and mindfulness while maintaining a private practice in her home base of Warren, OH. She is the founder and director of The Institute for Creative Mindfulness, developer of the Dancing Mindfulness practice and co-developer of the Yoga Unchained approach to trauma-informed yoga. She is also the author of five books on trauma recovery, most recently EMDR Therapy and Mindfulness for Trauma Focused Care (with previous podcast guest Dr. Stephen Dansiger).

She's also over 16 years sober.

If you’re asking yourself at this point, “What in God’s name is she talking about and what is this EMDR thing,” EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and while it doesn’t tend to involve much eye movement anymore, it is a form of trauma therapy that helps people to reprocess their past.

If you ever go to my Facebook page, you may have seen me sharing lately about how I've started doing EMDR. It's been changing my life so I was thrilled to be able to interview one of the world's leading experts on the topic. This episode is a can't miss, folks. Who knew talking about trauma could be so fun?

Direct download: jamie_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Today’s episode features a very special guest: me. Since I’m releasing episodes that contain stories from my live storytelling show and I perform in this show, sometimes these episodes are going to feature—well, me.

The story I tell here is about the journey I took from two-pack-a-day smoker to the most self-righteous ex-smoker the world has ever seen. If you want to feel better about your own self-righteousness, I highly recommend giving this a listen.

Direct download: Anna_smoking_copy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Gayle Saks-Rodriguez has been a writer since filling her fourth grade diary with such perfectly crafted sentences as: “Ricky is getting confirmed tomorrow. Since I’m Jewish, I’m not really sure what it does. I should congradulate [sic] him though.”

She has graduated to being published in places like The Fix, The Huffington Post, Thought Catalog and Salon and has appeared on HuffPost Live. Now she's working on her memoir, You Ain't No Soccer Mom, about her work with female inmates and at an all male sober living. She was also a contributor to Light Hustler's first anthology, Darkness Before Light: 12 Writers on Addiction, Sobriety and Recovery.

In this interview (which originally took place over Facebook Live), we talk about being the only contributor to the anthology who's not in recovery, shelving one book proposal to work on another and her experiences in my coaching program for writers, among many other topics. We also—spoiler alert—had a lot of fun. Listen here.

Direct download: gayle_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Dr. Lauren Casey has a fascinating story. The international recovery coach, award-winning author and public speaker specializing in sex industry work, women’s health, substance abuse and trauma hasn’t just learned her area of expertise by studying.

Now sober, Casey is a former high-end escort who found sobriety and then, to her utter surprise, found herself falling in love with a prisoner she began writing in prison. They’re still together decades later and now Casey has a book coming out about her entire story. I’m proud to say that she wrote the proposal for Breaking the Chains: Drugs, Millionaires and the Prisoner Who Set Me Free in my All the Write Movescoaching program and that the book will be released by Zephyr Bookshelf in 2019.

This episode is from one of my Facebook Live interviews and it’s a juicy one.

Direct download: Lauren_Casey_episode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Brian Finkelstein is a writer who has been nominated for two Emmys. He is also a regular performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and is a host/storyteller for The Moth. You can read his story “Perfect Moments” in the Moth’s first book, 50 True Stories.

He has performed eight solo shows in a variety of venues, from the HBO/US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen to the Summer Nights Festival in Perth, Australia and New Zealand. Brian’s told stories on public radio shows including Good Food, The Business, UnFictional, Marketplace and many more.

At the Light Hustler storytelling show, he told a story about wild nights at a Brooklyn speakeasy called Kokie's where you could buy cocaine, a roommate named Babyface, dating a Muslim girl and quitting hookers, among many other topics.

Direct download: Brian_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm PST

Ken Garr is a graduate of Second City who has performed at The Laugh Factory, MGM Grand and Hollywood Improv, among many other places, and has been seen on Hulu, Playboy and Funny Or Die. His comedy album, So I’m Sitting in Jail, is now available on the DASH Radio app.

In this episode from my live storytelling show, he talks about competing in the Special Olympics, feeling all your feelings in sobriety and burying an idea three levels into someone’s head, among many other topics.

Direct download: Ken_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST

Today’s episode features the one and only Ally Weinhold.

Ally is a Los Angeles-based comedian, writer, and alcoholic. She hosts a monthly stand up show at Bar Lubitsch, called Awkward & Aggressive and recently co-produced a pilot called Murder Roommates with her sketch team, BadAssKnitties, and WhoHaha.

This story is about the time she realized she needed to get sober and so she did the most logical thing she could think of to bring on the spiritual experience that she thought getting sober would require: she took a bunch of acid.

Want to know what happened next? You best listen.

Direct download: Ally_Done.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PST