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This just in: You can build a beautiful life – a lesson from Marc Maron and James Taylor

James Taylor

James Taylor

I was hypnotized by Marc Maron’s recent WTF podcast episode in which he interviews James Taylor, one of my favorite musicians. Taylor’s life has been a winding road that was often dark, twisted, and lonely. To hear his smooth and comforting voice, the voice I first heard as a young teenager and can never get enough of, that harrowing journey isn’t always apparent.

This interview, the most raw and honest I’ve ever heard Taylor give (and as a huge fan I’ve heard many!), often left me teary-eyed and profoundly grateful that he is still with us and still making music. Now 32 years sober, Taylor is in love and making us fall in love with his music all over again via his new album, Before This World. His music and the people in his life, including friends and family, helped him make that climb out of the depths and into the light. Taylor and Maron reminded us that change, growth, and healing are difficult, but possible.

With his trademark familiarity and humility, Maron makes guests comfortable enough to share the stuff that hurts. I felt like I was in that garage in Los Angeles where Maron conducts most of his interviews, and that after we’d all go out and get a coffee. This is the gift of listening to podcasts and personal interviews. It’s an intense exercise in attention, connection, and awareness that’s so personal that it transports us. It’s a meditation of sorts, an opportunity to leave our own cares and worries behind, that helps us to better understand and appreciate another person’s experience and journey. And for this gift, I’m tremendously grateful to Taylor and Maron.

Listen to this interview at

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post,,, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at and Instagram at


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