Light Hustler: Looking for Light in All the Dark Places
AfterPartyPod: Amos Pizzey

Musician and entrepreneur Amos Pizzey is a one-man powerhouse: the son of women's refuge movement founder Erin Pizzey, Amos ended up joining Culture Club at the age of 14 (!) before then landing his own Virgin Records deal. Over the years, he's worked in various capacities with Madonna, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and George Michael, among many others—in the process becoming perhaps the most fabulous bon vivant in the world. But underneath that drinking, cocaine-using and MDMA-taking persona lurked a man who was desperately seeking the sort of spiritual connection he'd first experienced as a youth. The founder and creative director of Talenthouse—a company which creates content with brand partners such as Rihanna, Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga and more—Pizzey is passionate about bringing success as well as enlightenment to the masses. In this episode, he and I discuss quitting drugs while continuing to drink, what part the neocortex and limbic brain play in alcohol and drug use and how to get the entire world to embrace the principles behind the 12 steps, among many other topics.

Direct download: Amos_Pizzy_pod.Nick.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10pm PST

AfterPartyPod: Bennett Yellin

The co-writer of Dumb and Dumber, Bennett Yellin is far more than a guy who can make the masses giggle until they burst. The writer of a slew of other comedies, Yellin may have gotten on the map when Dumb and Dumber became a sensation but he was actually bottoming out on crystal meth while his comedic talents were entertaining the masses. It wasn't until he got sober, cleaned up his past and started living life on a pink cloud that he got that career back on track. The long-awaited Dumb and Dumber sequel is coming out this fall, while Yellin enjoys his 12th year of sobriety and anticipates "marching forth" (his sober anniversary is March 4th) next year. In this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David discuss why it's not a good idea to date your drug dealer, what it's like to be a lazy meth head and being an Orthodox Jewish addict, among many other topics.

Direct download: Bennett_pod_smaller.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:36pm PST

AfterPartyPod: Mike Carano

Podcaster, photographer and best observational living comedian who's not a comedian Mike Carano has shared his unique personality with the public in myriad ways: through his photographs of comedians, his five-minute YouTube videos, his Loveline After Disaster show and his podcast, Miscellaneous Adventures From The World of Mike Carano—where listeners can hear him talk to them as he runs errands and drives around. Carano has opened up about his battles with booze and anxiety before but in this episode, he and AfterParty's Anna David get into the minutia of recovery: how they feel about medication, relapse, swearing, going to Disneyland (as Carano had just gone there with Dr. Drew) and much more.

Direct download: Mike_Carano_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:59pm PST

AfterPartyPod: Stefani Wilder-Taylor

Writer, comedian, podcaster, TV host and all-around delight Stefanie Wilder-Taylor is one of the greatest lessons out of there for those who like to booze to the point of unmanageability and don't see any problem with it. The author of Sippy Cups Are Not For Chardonnay andNaptime Is The New Happy Hour was the role model for partying moms everywhere—until she realized drinking was more than a fun pastime for her. Now sober, the author of several more books, the star of Parental Discretion With Stefanie Wilder-Taylor on Nickelodeon and the co-host of the popular For Crying Out Loud podcast, Wilder-Taylor uses her oh so charming powers of persuasion to show moms (and others) that sobriety is just as cool, if not more so, than being the hip, partying mom. Here, she and AfterParty's Anna David discuss writing books, being outed as an alcoholic by The New York Times, how many times we've each been fired and so much more.

Direct download: Episode_43_Stefani_Wilder_Taylor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:24pm PST

AfterPartyPod: Mark Ebner

Author and journalist Mark Ebner puts the F in fearless reporter. Not afraid to get his hands dirty, the guy who took on Scientology has gone on to publish seven books—including the New York Times bestselling Hollywood Interrupted, which he co-wrote with the late Andrew Breitbart. What I didn't know until he told me (during this interview!) is that, after 23 years sober, he made the choice to start smoking pot. This wasn't some sudden brainstorm of course but a decision he came to after a scooter accident left him hooked on painkillers and he used medical marijuana to detox. Though this isn't a common path for anyone who had multiple decades of sobriety (or recommended!), Ebner explains in this interview how he's able to smoke pot non addictively—and I have no reason to doubt him. Not only do he and AfterParty's Anna David unpack that fascinating turn of events here but they also get into Narconon (the Scientology "addiction recovery" program), the ways his sober friends have reacted to his pot smoking, how they only see each other as dueling talking heads on shows like E's Secret Societies of Hollywood (she's in this even though she's not in this teaser) and the hell of writing books for a living.

Direct download: Ebner_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:16pm PST

AfterPartyPod: Craig Gass

Comedian Craig Gass is known for his ridiculously spot-on celebrity impressions (seriously, his Gene Simmons is so accurate that Gass actually accused Gene Simmons of being the fake on Howard Stern). In addition to numerous Stern appearances, Gass has been on Sex and the City, King of Queens and numerous celebrity roasts. Growing up in all deaf family, Gass honed his skills because he learned to speak from watching TV. Later he became a big time party guy with a penchant for cocaine. Here, he and AfterParty's Anna David talk about those nights Gass turned down ladies at clubs so he could party in back rooms, how good it feels to be sober and paid for your craft and what people who are struggling with addiction can do, among many other topics. Plus: celebrity impressions galore!

Direct download: Episode_43_Craig_Gass.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41am PST

AfterPartyPod: Natasha Vargas-Cooper

Writer Natasha Vargas-Cooper has accomplished more in 30 years than some do in a lifetime. After graduating Summa Cum Laude from UCLA with a double major in history and public policy, she started being published in such places as The New York Times, Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine and GQ, among many others. Her book, Mad Men Unbuttoned, was praised as "a well-versed primer" by The New Yorker and "likely to become a trivia-lover's bible" by The New York Times. Oh and in her spare time, she created the popular LA storytelling show Public School. But over the years she was doing all this impressive stuff, her drinking was also increasing and a DUI helped her find recovery. Now sober a couple years, she and AfterParty's Anna David discussed where alcoholism ends and dysfunctional relationships begin, medications to help with depression and other mental disorders and how to end toxic friendships, among many other topics.

Direct download: Ep_42_Natasha_Vargas-Cooper.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:24pm PST

AfterPartyPod: ANT

The comedian ANT may have legally changed his name from Anthony but that is hardly the most unique fact about him. The veteran of Last Comic Standing (six of the show's seven seasons) is also a TV show host who puts those milquetoast hosts to shame by delivering genuine, laugh-out-loud moments—during his years hosting Celebrity Fit Club, on all of his many TV appearances (on shows as varied as Tyra Banks, Best Week Ever and The Tonight Show) and on Howard Stern (where he's a frequent guest).

But his outspoken extroversion kept many from realizing that he had a horrific drug addiction which led to homelessness as well as to members of the Hell's Angels urging him to cut down on his meth use (you'll have to listen to the episode to get that whole story). Here, he and AfterParty's Anna David discuss the time he thought he was being intervened on so he fessed up about his addiction, the methods he uses for staying in the moment in sobriety and how his Greek Orthodox upbringing influences his spirituality today, among many other topics.

Direct download: Episode_41Ant.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:58pm PST

AfterPartyPod: Laura House

Comedian and TV writer Laura House has starred in MTV's iconic Austin Stories, written on Blue Collar TV, The George Lopez Show, Samantha Who? and Mom and been called one of the funniest female comedians out there by none other than Louis CK. And she's been sober for over six years while also becoming a certified meditation teacher and raw food expert. Yep, her repertoire is vast: this is a girl who knows how to bring the funny to meditation. Other Laura House accomplishments include wowing the crowds at storytelling shows (including Anna David's True Tales of Lust and Love, which she performed in more than any other writer or comedian), publishing essays in several anthologies (including the aforementioned True Tales of Lust and Love book) and being featured on Comedy Central. Here, she and David discuss sending a video of a drunken, slurry set to a big manager, various ways the alcoholic brain doesn't seem to work right and how to work through disappointment in sobriety, among many other topics.

Direct download: Laura_House_podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58am PST

AfterPartyPod: Amber Tozer

Comedian Amber Tozer is so much more than a comedian. Sure, she's performed stand-up all over the world, been featured on Last Comic Standing and stars in the hit web series nitTWITS but she's also written on the Emmy-award winning show Mad and taken time off from comedy to work with autistic children. Want more? She had an advice columns on Laughspin, has written for HuffPo, has appeared on The Mental Illness Happy Hour and much more. Here, she and AfterParty's Anna David talk about how her moment of clarity involved driving on the Bay Bridge drunk and waking up the next morning fully accepting that she was an alcoholic and needed to do something about it. We also delve into what it was like to grow up with alcoholism (her father and grandgather on her mom's side), drinking before Last Comic Standing and what she's learned in her roughly six years of sobriety, among other topics. 

Direct download: AMBER_TOZER_pod.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PST