Join hosts Ellen Matthews and Dennis Pacheco, two NYC improvisers, as they interview artists, authors, scientists, gamers, actors, therapists, and loads of other fascinating people on their journey toward perfection.
Is it a day, a week, a month of celebrations? Do you have an annual tradition or ritual? Is it a time of somber reflection or a wild bacchanalia? Do you try to ignore it? We hear from listeners and share our own personal stories of perfect birthdays.
If you like the pod, tell your friends! Subscribe! Give us a review and rate us! We might just read your review on the air.
Oh boy, do we get into it this episode! Rude strangers. They’re out there! And sometimes you can’t avoid them. What do you do? Ignore them? Lead with compassion? Do you get aggressive, or do you practice kindness and patience? Folks, we’ve tried all strategies and we’re here to share our real-world takeaways.
Also, listeners write in with their stories of dealing with rude strangers, and we tell them how they did.
If you want to hear your story on the podcast, write to us at PursuitOfPerfectness@gmail.com or follow us on Instagram @PursuitOfPerfectness to find out what our next topic will be.
If you like the show, tell your friends and rate and review us on your favorite podcast app. It would simply be rude not to!
What is coolness? When do you got it? When do you not?
From their rarefied position as two of the coolest average Joes in Podland, Ellen and Dennis peel back the mysteries of cool and reveal how anyone can achieve perfect coolness. Also, listeners of the PoD write in and relate the times in their lives when they felt the most cool.
Hey, you know what else is really cool? Rating and reviewing, liking and subscribing, and telling your friends about the Pursuit of Perfectness! Be cool, man!
It’s time to check in with our New Year’s Resolutions. How are we doing? Perfect? Probably not, and that’s okay!
In this episode, Ellen and Dennis dig in to the mentality of New Year’s self improvement pledges and talk about out how to make those life changes we all want to make—without beating ourselves up when we fall short. Also, our beloved listeners write in with their NYR stories and advice.
Resolve to listen and tell your friends!
Have a comment or question? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @pursuitofperfectness and write to us at PursuitOfPerfectness@gmail.com.
Ever been embarrassed? Yeah, us too! This episode, your intrepid hosts Ellen and Dennis focus on listener input about how to handle embarrassing moments perfectly.
It’s Season 4: Overthinking with Dennis and Ellen! This season will be cozier and more intimate, focusing on stories and opinions from you, the listeners. Each episode we’ll drill down into one topic and share thoughts and advice filtered through the experiences of two average joes who do improv in New York City. Have a question you’d like to ask? A comment you want us to read on the air? Write to us at PursuitOfPerfectness@gmail.com, follow us on Instagram @PursuitOfPerfectness, and find us on Facebook!
This week on the pod we talk “Perfect” Parenting with our friends Mike and Tayler Westervelt!
The Westervelts invite us into their world over a glass of wine (because, according to them, it’s been a DAY). They tell us about raising their two “adorable terrorists” and how they went from warming their daughter’s bath towel to being satisfied with Goldfish crackers for dinner.
We also discuss parenting culture on social media, learn about generational differences in parenting philosophies, and try to guess what Mike and Tayler’s daughters will complain about in therapy when they’re adults.
Parents and nonparents alike will love this authentic, vulnerable, and fun conversation!
Tayler Westervelt was born and raised in the Southwest but has been living on the east coast for the past 11 years. Tayler recently moved to San Francisco with her husband and their two young daughters. She is a professional stay-at-home mom and was never in the pursuit of perfectness until she had her babies.
This week on the pod we’ve got legendary improv instructor and founder of the Magnet Theater Armando Diaz!
Armando talks to us about his improv journey from Chicago to New York, where he became the Johnny Appleseed of New York improv theaters—from UCB in its earliest days, to the PIT, and finally to founding the Magnet (where your intrepid hosts Ellen and Dennis trained and flourished)!
Sure, this is a must-listen for improv philosophy and improv history nerds, but we’ve also got a lot to chew on for everyone else—including ruminations on what it means to come into your own and become an adult. Folks, this is a good one. But don’t take our word for it—listen now!
Armando is widely regarded as one of the best improv teachers in New York City and beyond. His list of teaching credits is a long one: the ImprovOlympic Theater, Victory Gardens Theater, The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, NYU and Michael Howard Studios. He has trained dozens of actors who have performed or written for Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Mad TV, and The Daily Show.
A Chicago native, Armando studied improv under Del Close at the ImprovOlympic, Mick Napier at the Annoyance, and graduated from the Second City Conservatory. He performed in and helped create one of the most popular improvised longforms in Chicago, "The Armando Diaz Experience...." For the last decade, "the Armando" has been performed weekly in Chicago, and is now taught and performed in many other cities including Los Angeles and New York.
In addition to writing and producing short films, Armando wrote sketches for the show Upright Citizens Brigade on Comedy Central, and has performed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
This week we have science writer Luis Enrique Sandoval Del Prado. Luis recounts the story of how a college drama department production of Beauty and the Beast helped him defeat the demon of negative self talk, and we talk more generally about creative expression and how it can help us manage stress.
All that, PLUS Ellen and Dennis do a science quiz Luis wrote about plants! How did we do? How many will you get right? Stick around and find out! (Watch out for the tomato question—everybody’s getting it wrong!)
Luis is a writer for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York. He writes stories about the research and the scientists at the research institute. He has a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Genomics from Washington University in St. Louis, where he studied the genetics of virus infection. He loves theater, improv, Hans Zimmer, being a nerd, making people laugh, frapps, and helping others.
Folks, this week we present our lovely chat with the wonderful Adam Wade. Adam is a 20-time Moth Story Slam winner (18 StorySLAM victories and 2 GrandSLAM Championships). He has toured across North America with The Moth Main Stage, and his stories have appeared on The Moth Radio Hour and The Moth Podcast. He’s also a Storytelling Instructor at the Magnet Theater.
We talk with Adam about the importance of making a connection with your audience–whether that’s 100,000 people in an opera house or five friends at a party. We also discuss the efficacy of consistent meditation, learning to appreciate the people who love you, and the value of being yourself.
This episode we break down our second season, guest by guest and episode by episode, and try to see if we managed to take any lessons away.
Join us (Ellen and Dennis, natch) as we wax nostalgic about a truly fun and rewarding sophomore season. We made friends. We influenced people. We talked about tightening up the intro (and we never did). Dennis offered his half-baked theory about the two types of perfect. Ellen dropped some Aristotle, as she does.
Personally? I think this is a great jumping on point for new listeners!