creativity

How writing my Emerson Page novel trilogy saved my life—my conversation with Dr. Ed Freeman on The Stakeholder Podcast

In June 2022, I had the great good fortune to speak to my professor, mentor, and dear friend, Dr. Ed Freeman from the Darden School, on The Stakeholder Podcast.  

Link to the podcast episode: https://stakeholdermedia.libsyn.com/christa-avampato

Ed and I chat about:

  • how writing my Emerson Page novel trilogy saved my life
  • my live storytelling shows, screenwriting, and passion projects
  • my love for history, being a NYC tour guide, and how I got a tattoo live on stage
  • how product development helps me as a writer, and how being a writer helped me as a product developer 
  • living through difficult times and mental health challenges through creative work
  • my multi-faceted and varied career
  • making a living through a creative life
  • business and product development
  • building a better, more sustainable world

Ed is a treasure. He’s been one of the greatest influences on my work and life. He recently won University of Virginia’s highest honor: The Thomas Jefferson Award. Ed’s pioneering work on stakeholder theory changed the way we think about business and how businesses all over the world make decisions to create value. 

If you’ve ever used the word “stakeholder,” you can tip your cap to Ed. His writing about sustainability and stakeholder theory is what put UVA’s Darden School on the map for me, why I applied, and why I was honored to attend and graduate from the school with my MBA. He changed my life in incredible ways and I’m forever grateful for him. Thanks to Ed and producer, Ben Freeman, for having me on the podcast as a guest. 

creativity

For the love of pizza and fun

It’s almost the weekend so here’s something fun. I was interviewed for the They Had Fun podcast. Hear how my ability to wax poetic about New York City pizza in The New York Times sparked my friendship with the host, Rachel Josar, why my pandemic was a little extra, and the fun I had on The Drew Barrymore Show. It’s been a long 2 years for all of us. Let’s have more fun together!

Listen to the episode here or wherever you get your podcasts.

The Fat Max… with Ed Gavagan They Had Fun

On this week's episode, storyteller and contractor, Ed Gavagan, tells us about hitting rock bottom in NYC but finding a little hope after having some fun all by himself in Soho!See Ed's story from the Moth, Drowning on Sullivan StreetCheck out Ed on InstagramHave fun like Ed? Donate to Cheyenne Botanic GardensCarl Andre's sculpture featured in the storyfind us at They Had Fun & on Instagram
  1. The Fat Max… with Ed Gavagan
  2. I Think They Really Thought I Was Pregnant… with Jen Toth
  3. At That Point, Poland Spring is Our Best Friend… with J Hype
  4. Just Say Yes… with Laura June Kirsch
  5. The Limo Would Be Parked Right In Front Of The Post Office… with Richie Weeks
creativity

A Year of Yes: The most personal interview I’ve ever given is now live on the How Humans Change podcast

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 10.19.44 PMIf you want to really know me, listen to this interview. The big question for me in this lifetime is, “Does everything matter or does nothing matter?” A few months ago, I gave the most personal interview I’ve ever done. My friend, mentor, and storytelling hero, John Bucher, introduced me to Josh Chambers and Leiv Parton, hosts and producer of the podcast, How Humans Change. My interview is now live. our wide-ranging conversation includes career, science, sustainability, the health of the planet, biomimicry, dinosaurs, product development, therapy, curiosity, change, the economy and capitalism, time, technology, work, culture, implicit bias, life-changing moments, storytelling, writing, poverty, trauma, writing, my book, mental health, strength, resilience, therapy, fear, courage, my apartment building fire, how my plane got struck by lightning, and so much more. Despite these dark topics, there is a lot of light, fun, laughter, and healing in this interview. It’s the most personal interview I’ve ever given, and some of the details I reveal about my personal path and past I have never discussed publicly before now. I hope you enjoy the podcast episode and that it inspires you to live the best life you can imagine.

creativity

In the pause: My live on-screen interview on Cheddar

Screen Shot 2017-12-27 at 5.34.04 PMI’m so excited to share that I’ll be doing a live on-screen interview about my young adult fantasy book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, on Friday at 1:30pm Eastern on Cheddar. You can tune in at Cheddar.com, cheddar.twitter.com, and www.facebook.com/cheddarlive/. I’ll post the link to the interview on Friday afternoon once I have it. Thanks for all your support on this journey with special thanks to publicist extraordinaire, Dan Fortune.

More about Cheddar:
Cheddar focuses on covering the most innovative products, technologies, and services transforming our lives. The programming is available on Sling TV, Amazon, Vimeo, Twitter, Xumo, Pluto TV, and 60 percent of smart TVs in the U.S. They also stream live on Facebook and on Twitter’s homepage during certain hours. Certain Cheddar hours also air on Fusion, the cable news network available in over 60 million homes.

Other past guests include Ford CEO Mark Fields, CBS CEO Les Moonves, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, Thrive Global Founder Arianna Huffington, T-Mobile CEO John Legere, New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley, Hearst Magazine CMO Joanna Coles, Twitch founder Justin Kan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Tory Burch, Tony Robbins, Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, DJ Khaled and more.

Here are links to recent interviews with Will.i.am, SNL’s Kenan Thompson and Lea DeLaria. Check out their sizzle reel, too.

creativity

In the pause: My feature on the Lit to Lens podcast

Over the weekend, I caught up with Erik and Will as a guest on their fantastic podcast, Lit to Lens. We talked about agents, my journey as an author, and publishing by book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, with a small press. Check it out!

 

creativity

In the pause: I’m on the Reading With Your Kids podcast

Emerson at the MetReading With Your Kids podcast just published their interview with me about my book, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, and the importance of young adult literature. Thanks to host Jed Doherty for the feature! Listen to this episode by clicking here.

creativity

This just in: I need your audio stories

I need your audio stories
I need your audio stories

As part of my audio storytelling class, I need to capture a wide variety of stories. Nothing too complicated – just 3-5 minutes about an interesting aspect of your life. A place you’ve visited, a dream you have, or an experience that altered how you see yourself and your place in the world. Got one? Let me know. I’d love to talk to you, and record it!

creativity

This just in: My first audio storytelling class

Audio storytelling
Audio storytelling

Last night I took the first in a series of three audio storytelling classes. I’ve been kicking around the idea of a podcast and this is my chance to learn some of the basics before diving in. The first class was about the art of the audio interview and this is what I learned:

  1. When putting together audio, think about what you have and you need from your interviewee. For example, they may be able to do a perfectly fine introduction of who they are without you having to introduce them to your listeners.
  2. As a follow-on to point one, don’t ask an interviewee his or her name. Instead, ask him or her to introduce themselves. You’ll learn a lot more from that kind of answer and it’s more interesting to your listeners.
  3. Do a pre-interview to identify one or two burning questions that will get the main interview started.
  4. With audio interviews, you want to start out with a broad set of details and then zero in on one of those specific details to go deep into a story. You actually want to go down the rabbit hole – that’s where all of the good stories are and take full advantage of surprise twists and turns.
  5. Do whatever you need to do to make your interviewees comfortable so that they feel they can be open and honest with you. To that end, let them know you’re going to ask a lot of questions and they have every right to tell you that they don’t want to answer anything you ask. It’s your job to ask questions; it’s their job to decide what to reveal.
  6. Silence is golden. Don’t try to fill dead time. Let it lie and you’ll see that they will fill it.
  7. Don’t verbally agree with an interviewee as it mucks up the audio recording. Instead, shake your head, smile, etc. to encourage him or her.
  8. Some technical points: PCM Recorder is a fantastic app to use for audio recording and it’s free; our smartphones have great audio recording capabilities so use them; the mic of a mobile phone is at the bottom so when you hold it up to an interviewee make sure the bottom of the phone faces him or her; have the mic about a fist away from the interviewee’s mouth to get the best sound quality; always make sure to check your audio quality before conducting an interview.

I can’t wait to continue to share what I learn in the next two classes! Got questions? Send ’em on over and I’ll do my best to get the answers for you.