Friday, January 13, 2017

"Every Speaker Has A Story" Podcast ShowNotes: Episode 4, "Superheroes"

by Steven S. Vrooman

Whew! Finally made it out of 2016 and finished another episode:

When I started sharing this podcast via social media, people from all over volunteered to be on the show. Meeting new people as part of the interview process and learning what they are all about is one of the joys of making this show.

Usually I look over their stuff, their website, some video, etc. before we start. You know, homework. Well, December is the end of the fall semester for professors, and it comes with a huge amount of work. I had an interview scheduled with Jayc Ryder, and since he was going to be travelling, this was my only shot to get him recorded before the new year. So, I went in blind.

He's a psychic. Like, he can connect with spirits and see the future kind of thing. 

Blew me away! This is what I get for not doing my homework! Jayc was a great interview, and I never got to ask him whether or not he already knew I wasn't going to be prepared or not, but the whole thing got me thinking about people with various different kinds of special abilities, physical, mental, performative, emotional. It turns out I had already interviewed people like this already, and as 2016 turned into 2017, I met quite a few more. 

Their stories are really cool, and I hope you enjoy the show. 

Here they are, the so-far unnamed team of superhero speakers in this episode:

1) The Psychic! 

Jayc Ryder (@JaycRyder) is a psychic investigator who uses his abilities in individual consultations as well as in web design and motivational and business speaking.

He was a top finisher in the extremely popular Ukranian television show Bitva Ekstrasensov (Battle of the Psychics):

He has a new book, and you can find more information at

2) The Strongman!

You met Eric Moss (@strongmanmoss) in the last episode and read about him in the ShowNotes. Here he is performing the feat he described in this episode:

3) The Mad Magician!

Joe Fingerhut (@joefingerhut) is a magician and unicylist who does motivational speaking for young people. Here he is doing one of the signature tricks he talks about in the episode:
He has a book for teens called Permission to Play, and you can find out more about him on his website at

4) Batman!

Okay, maybe he's not the real Batman, but Sean (Tucker) Harley (@SH_Tucker) is close enough.

He is a UX Designer, a singer, a writer and, most importantly to me, a podcaster whose The Spark and the Art podcast (@SparkArtPodcast) is what inspired me to start podcasting in the first place. He interviews people about their creative process. His show is a great meditation for creative people in all sorts of enterprises.

Give one of his episodes or songs a listen, and check out his children's book, Going to the Zany Zoo, at (it is also on Amazon Music Unlimited here). Here is a video for one of his tunes:

5) The Illustrator!

Although she's not interviewed in this episode, our surprise mystery guest is my partner in awesome, Michelle Johnson (@mj_flowergirl).

Doodled Blooms

In the episode I mention that she's the one who discovered and then told me about Tucker's podcast while drawing images for her coloring book, Doodled Blooms: A Hand-Drawn Coloring Book of Fantastical Flora for Everyone, and I thought you might want to take a look at it on Amazon. Here's a preview of it made by Tabby May Art (@TabbyMayArt):

6) Wonder Woman!

You met Mary Shahan (@mjsbootin my very first episode. She's a life coach and motivational speaker who uses her experience to teach people about wellness.

You can find out about her and see her in action is that episode's ShowNotes.

7) The Brainiac!

Dr. Phil Ruge-Jones (@markstoryteller) was a Professor of Theology and my colleague at Texas Lutheran University for many years until recently, when he stepped off into the world of full-time storytelling.

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He performs biblical narratives, including the entire book of Mark, from memory, in a process he describes in the episode. Here he is performing Chapter 9:

8) Omega Woman!

LaTarsha Holden (@HoldenLaTarsha) is a pastor, speaker and advocate, who I've called Omega Woman because it sounds like the most fantastic of superhero names. It is also the name of the organization she founded, Omega's House, which served homeless women and children.

Her book is called How I Re-Built My Life. You can find more information about her at, and you can see her tell the story of her heroic transformation from a homeless mother of six to the success she is today in a documentary about her life:

A big thank you for all of the heroes who taught me so much in this episode!

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