Improvisationally Speaking the Podcast

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Episode 11: Improvisationally Speaking with Jack Tucker of SpaceX


Let’s say You work for NASA… and you are in charge of the rockets. Specifically, keeping all the rockets and teeny-tiny rocket pieces that are under development in one place, and all of the rockets and teeny-tiny rocket pieces that are fire-tested and ready to fly astronauts into space, in another place. Your single-most important task is to schedule both unique sets of parts to pass through the same shops and machines so that you achieve both your engineering development needs, and your customer-focused launch schedule…all while making sure the two piles remain accounted for and separate. Your ultimate failure is someone, in a mad fervor to meet a deadline, accidentally grabbing one of your test rocket bits, and slapping it onto a launch vehicle that is carrying real people, or a company’s critical satellite, into space. In this ultra-high stakes environment, what would you do to ensure mistakes weren’t made? Now it’s time to meet a man whose job, and concern, is exactly this.

Jack Tucker began his space career as a Structures Engineer on Delta IV rockets before transitioning to a Systems Lead with the Atlas V, and finally, Chief of the Space Launch Systems Team with the USAF before transitioning from the military to assume the role of Manager of Master Scheduling with commercial space exploration company, SpaceX. He is also the founder of NewSpace Ventures, an amazingly popular online spreadsheet that allows Space Enthusiasts, Technologists & Entrepreneurs to share, discover, and discuss leading edge space technologies, products and companies with the aim of spurring excitement, generating ideas, and furthering commercial space entrepreneurship.

In the incredibly competitive, potentially dangerous, and hyper-dynamic environment of commercial space exploration, Jack is the ‘keeper of the clock’. Decisions he makes can mean the difference between the kind of success that creates legacy and goes in history books, and the kind of failure that destroys lives and dreams.

In such an environment, does improvisational thinking have room to exist? Let’s find out…

Episode 10: CAPTAIN ENCOURAGEMENT (a.k.a. Nicholas Domingo) Saving the World One Compliment at a Time


As a kid in school, Nicholas Domingo was a little overweight, his teeth weren’t perfect, and he didn’t feel very good about himself. A target for bullies, Nicholas grew angry and violent. Fast forward a few years, he found himself on a self-destructive path, handling his rage through cage match and street fighting. It took a brain aneurysm and the death of a best friend to finally come to a turning point in his life.. and turn he did! Herein lives the story of an angry child turned real-life Superhero whose mission is to change the world through the healing power of empathy, love and kindness for all!

Episode 9: Catch Frank Abagnale if You Can


Frank Abagnale is the man whose life inspired the movie ‘Catch Me If You Can, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Tom Hanks, and also the subsequent Broadway musical hit of the same name starring Norbert Leo Butz. As a young man, he was considered the world’s greatest con man, and after serving 5 years in prison, was offered a chance to turn his life around and pay it back by working for the FBI as an undercover agent, a teacher and lecturer, which he has been doing now for over 40 years. In this episode of Improvisationally Speaking, Frank talks about what it took to pull off the things he did as a young man, and how improvisational thinking, self-resourcefulness, and creativity have helped him to become one of the best crime fighters out there.

Episode 8: Live Yes And with Travis Thomas


Travis Thomas is a published author, national speaker, performance coach & trainer, and a nationally performing improv-comedian. He took his first improv class at age 25. As Creator of the company, Live Yes and, Travis works with teams, from non-profit to Fortune 500 corporations, inspiring them to see how a ‘YES AND’ mindset can be transformative. He also is a founding member of the Jove Improvisation, a professional improv troupe based in Palm Beach FL. On this episode of Improvisationally Speaking, Travis shares his life story, and the power of Improvisationally thinking in life and business. You can also listen to the podcast here:    

Episode 7: How Improv Principles Drove Mark Chenovick To Succeed Where Others Failed


Mark Chenovick, executive director of the Second Story Repertory Theater in Redmond, WA took a folding theater company with $107,000 of debt, and turned it into a prolific and profitable theater. The journey was the both most difficult and the most rewarding professional undertaking for him. Learn how sticking with the improvisation principles of Yes And, and positive thinking/action gave him the energy, inspiration and business savvy to accomplish the unimaginable.

Episode 6:Ben Kurland Is a Fixer, Improvising on the Fly


Ben Kurland, co-founder of BillFixers LLC, a company that negotiates on behalf of consumers to lower their bills without all the hassle of having to call customer service. This is a group of expert negotiators who contact their customer’s service providers and negotiate better deals at lower prices. Taking advantage of promotional rates, customer loyalty discounts, special packages, and additional credits, they improvise, negotiate and often work a bill down to a fraction of the original amount.

Episode 5: The Art of Education With Jeff Duncan-Andrade


Dr. Jeff Duncan-Andrade, founder of Roses In Concrete, a community school that serves black and Hispanic, inner-city youth in Oakland CA, giving them an educational opportunity that rivals it’s wealthy suburban private school counterparts. With classes in dance, music performance and arrangement, and athletics, in addition to the core curriculum. Jeff is a national keynote speaker and his council is requested by education departments across the country who are trying to build a more just, equitable education system for all.

Episode 4: Mike O’Brien’s Principles – Based on Improvisation


Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien has a tough but rewarding job. As a council member, it is his job to serve his constituency and to do what he knows in right. But sometimes doing both of these at the same time is impossible. How does he communicate effectively and effect the kind of change he is charged to bring to the city of Seattle while being under the microscope of the public eye? This discussion reveals some of Mike O’Brien’s methods, and they are surprisingly based on the principles of improvisation.

Episode 3:The multi-faceted Tessa Frost

Improv Alive proudly presents: Improvisationally Speaking the Podcast: Episode 3 with special guest, DC Lobbyist & Singer/Song writer, Tessa Frost.

Episode 2: The Unpredictable Nicoletta Crisponi


Have you ever fantasized about quitting the career you know—leaving the security and the comfort of a predictable life that you may lead and following your bliss…doing what you’re passionate about, knowing that your basic needs like food and shelter and clothing will be met…somehow? Meet Nicoletta Crisponi, who did just that..

Episode 1: Connect with Chris Schembra


Chris Schembra is a leading expert on empathy and the art of human connection. He is the founder and chief question-asker of the 747 Club, a marketing, consulting, and advisory company which awakens empathy within people in an organization. Since its inception, the 747 Club has awakened over 2,000 leaders, sparking over 60,000 relationships. As a part of his family’s Hilton Head Island Performance Group, they have trained and empowered close to one million executives, sales people, athletes, and students on how to achieve excellence and gain the competitive edge. He mentors startups at Techstars, serves as a social influencer for Dell and American Express, and is a contributing writer to Arianna Huffington’s new corporate and consumer wellness platform, Thrive Global. He’s a busy guy, but sat down to spend some time with Improvisationally Speaking.