Retrospective: Tim Manley

Watch a short video clip of this episode above or hear the full interview below.

I’m going to make my art (whatever that might be) with everything that I’ve got and make it matter to me and really really hope that that means something to other people. And the strange thing—at least that I’ve experienced—is that almost every time that I let out more of myself or I make my work more ‘me’ . . . it almost always means that more people connect with it. Almost always.
— Tim Manley on Retrospective: The Podcast
Tim Manley is one of my favorite people with whom to talk, write, and share a storytelling stage. His honesty makes you feel at home just listening to him, and his generosity nudges you to ask him a good question. And then another. 

On November 5th, Tim's new book, Alice in Tumblr-land: And Other Fairytales for a New Generation comes out. Join us for this conversation about: 

  • Changing careers and going all-in with creative work
  • "Millenials" and Tim's own journey through his 20s
  • Not apologizing for one's work (despite the temptation to do just that) 
  • Having an unconventional drawing education
  • Finding work that sits well with your soul, and
  • The benefits of looking at your accomplishments through the 5-Years-Ago Lens.

Click the player below, or listen and subscribe in iTunes. Find previous episodes of Retrospective here.

Tim Manley is the writer and illustrator of Alice in Tumblr-land: And Other Fairy Tales for a New Generation (Penguin Books). It is based on his tumblr, Fairy Tales for Twenty-Somethings.

Tim is a Moth StorySLAM winner, mentor with PEN American Center’s Prison Writing Program, and a former English teacher at School of the Future in New York City. He has officiated eight weddings, one of which was Beatles-themed. 

Retrospective: Phil Gazley

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In this episode, meet Phil Gazley, an anti-human trafficking educator who works with communities and law enforcement agencies around the world. We talk art, culture, creative integrity and more:
  • How to prevent human trafficking by focusing on other things, and what he's seeing right now
  • What anti-trafficking activists can learn from independent artists
  • The power of artists to influence culture philosophically
  • A middle road between academia and business created by independent art and soul care
  • Commercialization and philosophical integrity
  • Creating a culture of invitation and working on a grassroots level

Phil Gazley works on anti-trafficking efforts, developing coalitions and partnering with government groups, law enforcement agencies and NGOs. You can support this work here.


Click the player above to listen.

Hear more great conversations with artists, authors and visionaries on Retrospective. You can also subscribe in iTunes.

Retrospective: Dr. Christiane Fröhlich

What I learn from my research is that conflict, regardless on what level—whether it’s international, national, local or interpersonal—it always comes down to the stories we tell each other . . .
— Dr. Christiane Fröhlich

Christiane Fröhlich studies how narratives and stories affect conflict, from a personal level to a global level, and her work informs and influences national politicians, educators and decision-makers in Germany. 

In this episode, Christiane shares about:

  • seeking peace close to home
  • navigating a post-war personal family history
  • completing a PhD thesis as a new mother
  • building an urban community, and
  • pioneering a career as a freelance conflict researcher

Dr. Christiane J. Fröhlich holds a PhD in sociology from Marburg University, as well as a Master of Peace and Security Studies and an M.A. in English, History and Psychology from Hamburg and Warwick Universities. From 2004 until 2011, she worked for the Protestant Institute for Interdisciplinary Science in Heidelberg, most notably as co-editor of the annual German Peace Report. She is a fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Peace Studies at Osnabrueck University, and specialises in discursive conflict transformation and resource conflicts, currently with a regional focus on the Middle East.

Retrospective: Micaela Blei

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"I was a classroom teacher for so many years, and feeling like I wasn't allowed to be an artist because I was a classroom teacher. And people would ask me, 'Are you an artist?' And I would say, 'I'm a classroom teacher.' So I'm growing into being able to say, 'I'm a scholar and I'm an artist and I make things and do these other things as well.' . . . I'm allowed to have these other pieces of myself." --Micaela Blei

In this episode of Retrospective, scholar, artist and educator Micaela Blei shares:

  • what working with children has taught her about being herself
  • what storytelling on stage and having a conversation have in common
  • what she tells vs. the image Georgia O'Keefe gave her for what stays "in the vault"
  • how her work and studies now weave all her interests together, even as she creates what's next

MICAELA BLEI is a storyteller, teacher, writer and scholar. She's appeared onstage at the Moth, the Story Collider, Told, BTK Band and in elementary classrooms across New York City. Micaela is working on her PhD in Educational Theater, and she's also currently creating a story/performance for young audiences about New York City and a big, strange museum heist.


Click the player above to listen, or listen in iTunes.