Recover Girl

Filmmaker Christina Beck's looks may be deceiving: a picture perfect blonde, Beck grew up in the San Fernando Valley and quit high school to became a punk rocker scenester after a crazy night out in Hollywood seeing the band The Cramps. An all-girl rap band called Toe Jam followed, as did acting roles in numerous Penelope Spheeris movies, including Suburbia and The Boys Next Door. Now she's acting in something even more personal: Perfection, a movie she also wrote and directed. Perfection deals not only with substance abuse (the mother character imbibes plenty) but also narcissism (the mother character's got that covered) and self-harm (Kristabelle, the character Beck plays, uses self-harm as a way to cope with those other two factors). Now sober, Beck talks about her month of doing heroin in London, blowing off the high school sorority for the punk rock scene, her own experiences with self-harm and the 10-year journey to get Perfection to the screen, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_CHRISTINA.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Comedian and writer Bill Dixon (who's, by the by, performed in our storytelling show) had a childhood destined to melt the heart of the hardest souls. His parents met in rehab, his dad took off and his mother—after a long struggle with hardcore alcoholism as well as bipolar disorder—killed herself when he was 12. Miraculously, Dixon managed to come out of those formative years and become an incredible Hollywood success story, writing on and producing Hollywood Game Night with Jane Lynch, being featured on HuffPo, The Today  Show and Fox News, among other well-known places, and running a popular LA comedy show. He's also over a decade sober, after alcoholism so severe that he actually came out of a blackout and realized he was dating someone he didn't know (as he jokes, when your parents meet in rehab, you're destined to become a comedian as well as an alcoholic). In this episode, we discuss planning your shares in AA meetings, whether or not peanut butter is a condiment or a food and what happens when the Dad you haven't spoken to since you were little suddenly starts re-posting your Facebook photos, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_DIXON_v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am PDT

Author, counselor and Buddhist teacher Noah Levine is a legend in the Buddhist community—not to mention the recovery one (not to mention the world). The 45-year-old author of Dharma Punx and Refuge Recovery, among other works, got sober at the ripe old age of 17, after multiple incarcerations and a youth filled with suicidal ideation. While in juvie, his dad—famed Buddhist teacher Stephen Levine—suggested that Noah try meditation. Thus began the younger Levine's journey, which saw him training with Jack Kornfield, establishing the Against the Stream meditation society and crafting a program that combines Buddhist principles with recovery. (Along the way he got a Masters in counseling.) His program, Refuge Recovery, is now a treatment center but all sorts of rehabs and groups use the principles he writes about in their programs. Levine currently travels the globe, speaking, holding retreats and leading groups. In this episode, we talk about how not to attach to outcomes, thinking about death at the age of five and not working too hard, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_NOAH_LEVINE.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:24am PDT

Writers Nick Reiner and Matt Elisofon, the cowriters of the new addiction and recovery drama Being Charlie, did more than their fair share of research in order to create a compelling, convincing story: the two met when they were roommates at Promises rehab and, after bonding over the usual rehab stuff (that is, making fun of other residents), they started channeling their newfound time and energy into a script. Originally something they wrote for TV (though they confess they truly never thought it go anywhere), Being Charlie eventually got into the hands of Nick’s director dad Rob (When Harry Met Sally and The Princess Bride, among many others). Originally, Rob was just giving the boys notes; eventually, he signed on to helm the project. The story, which focuses on the troubled son of a movie star-turned-politician (played by The Princess Bride star Cary Elwes), was strongly influenced by young Reiner’s own experience (he’s been to 18 rehabs, starting when he was 14 and has had bouts of homelessness you wouldn’t associate with a denizen of Hollywood). In this episode, we discuss the most epic fights the cowriters have had, the ways 12-step has and hasn’t helped them and how the movie isn’t actually The Nick Reiner story, among many other topics.

Direct download: Nick_Reiner__Matt_Elisofon.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:15pm PDT

Author and musician Joe C. is more than a bit of a legend in recovery circles. Sure, he's been sober for over four decades but that's not why he's known. He's known because he manages to question 12-step without ever attacking it—and he does it in a way that speaks to many. The author of the daily reflection book, Beyond Belief: Agnostic Musings for 12 Step Life, Joe also runs Rebellion Dogs, a site which includes his radio show, blog posts and information about his various conferences across the globe where he shares his wisdom. In this episode, we discuss coming to AA at the age of 14, New York vs. LA vs. San Francisco recovery and how the word "yellow" (not to mention the word "agnostic") means different things to different people, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_JOE_C_031016_100.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23am PDT

Author and musician Rob Roberge has been prolific for quite a while (five books, guitarist and singer in the band The Urinals, teaching at various universities) but it's his newest work that's got people seriously buzzing. Liar: A Memoir chronicles his journey not just through addiction but also through rapid cycling bipolar disorder. Written in the second person in a non-linear fashion, Roberge says he wrote the book this way because it's how he could best show how his mind works. In this episode, we discuss opiate addiction, manic writing jags and whether or not some books are meant to be written but not released, among many other topics.

 

Direct download: Rob_Roberge_Podcast_1_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:49pm PDT

Actor Danny Nucci may have played characters who were killed off in three major movies of the 90s (Eraser, The Rock, Titanic) but in real life he's surviving and thriving. Now starring on the ABC Family drama The Fosters (playing Mike Foster, a character who happens to be in recovery), the Italian-Austrian is also 26 years sober. Over the years, he's acted in a bunch of TV movies, a slew of movies and most every TV show on the planet (Growing Pains, Family Ties, Snoops and Just Shoot Me, to name a few). In this episode, we talk about the way recovery is like The Karate Kid, avoiding road rage and how to deal with customer service people without having to later make amends, among other topics.

Direct download: APP_Danny_Nucci.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am PDT

Screenwriter Jeff Roda is not someone who's going to be bragging about his accomplishments. You will, in fact, have to attempt to drag them out of him—and you still won't be successful at learning much. Everything about what he's done career wise must be gleaned through Google. And here it is: he's written screenplays for DreamWorks, Paramount Pictures and New Regency Films, and television pilots for the WB, CBS and Media Rights Capital. He was a producer on Love Liza starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathy Bates, has written three Black List scripts and he is currently developing his pilot When I'm Sixty-Four for HBO. He's also either 12 or 13 years sober, according to him (it was determined that it was 13) and has a lot to say about developing emotional maturity, becoming invisible as you age and isolating (the conversation is a lot more hilarious and uplifting than it sounds, swear). In this episode, we talked about reminding your hairdresser of her uncle, Eve Plumb (that's Jan Brady to you and me), long-term sobriety and whether or not his friend Andrew is a figment of his imagination, among other topics.

 

Direct download: APP_Jeff_Roda.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm PDT

Musician, writer and political activist Jack Grisham is a man of many names and even more lives. Perhaps you know him as Alex Morgan or James DeLauge? Maybe you're familiar with him because he's the lead singer for the punk band T.S.O.L. or perhaps it's through his book A Principle of Recovery: An Unconventional Journey Through the Twelve Steps? Or could it be that you know his name from when he ran for governor in 2003? Okay so we've established it: he's an interesting guy. He's also over 27 years sober after a, well, disturbing youth well documented in his book American Demon. In this episode, we discuss why his favorite review called his book "mean-spirited," how only unpeaceful people talk about peace and whether or not he was hypnotizing me during the interview, among other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Jack_Grisham.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am PDT

Sobriety coach and interventionist Bob Marier has suddenly became the face of sober coachery (a word we just made up). See, coming to represent a fake word is what can happen when you're hired to work with Toronto mayor Rob Ford, especially when you're accused of kicking a Ford heckler. But Marier had been working behind the scenes long before he ended up on the cover of every Canadian paper and his journey to top sober dog was hard-earned: after destroying three noses and grinding his teeth down from snorting more coke than can possibly be imagined, he had a fairly dramatic OD, smashing into a glass table and spending weeks in a coma. It was only after seeing a video from his hospital bed of his mom begging him to get help that the then 39 year-old sought help; now he's over 12 years sober and the subject of a Vice doc. In this episode, we discuss people who talk in platitudes in meetings, boiling Fentanyl patches into pills and how Ford is one of the best people Marier's ever met, among many other topics.

Direct download: APP_-_Bob_Maier.mp3
Category:Health -- posted at: 2:40pm PDT