Jonathan Mitchell – Talking Truth

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Jonathan Mitchell - Talking Truth
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Strap on your headphones and get ready for this “movie for your ears”—this week we’ve got Jonathan Mitchell, creator and producer of one of our favorite podcasts, The Truth, which just celebrated its tenth year. We get into Jonathan’s history in public radio and the early days of podcasting, experimental electronic music, the process of breaking a Truth episode, and we even get into Jonathan’s new hobby: DIY stop motion animation!

Episode Guest

Jonathan Mitchell

Jonathan Mitchell is the producer of The Truth Podcast, an anthology fiction show that’s celebrating its tenth year. He has been an audio producer for 25 years.

Jamie Rivera – Love the Burn

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Jamie Rivera - Love the Burn
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This week we welcome our BFF Jamie Rivera to the pod! Jamie’s a performer and teacher at Magnet Theater, as well as an amateur toy photographer. What’s amateur toy photography? Give this episode a listen and find out!

We discuss the challenge of embracing hobbies deemed “juvenile,” the perfect way to receive a compliment, and learning to love the burn of Scotch (and the burn of making art)!

Check out Jamie’s toy photography on Insta: @jamrivfigs, and his tweets @mr_jamriv. Interested in signing up for one of Jamie’s improv classes? Or seeing him perform live? Check out magnettheater.com for both!

Episode Guest

Jamie Rivera

Jamie Rivera is a performer and teacher at the Magnet Theater as well as an amateur toy photographer.

Rob Penty – Minimizing Risk

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Rob Penty - Minimizing Risk
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This week improviser, storyteller, and writer Rob Penty talks perfectionism and how it’s really about minimizing risk. Then, Rob and the Perfectionists somehow do a “sober drunk history” on psychological experiments. If you’re looking for a fun convo about hypochondria, OCD, Catholicism, and mindfulness meditation, you’ve come to the right place. Folks, if this one don’t have it, you don’t want it!

You can find Rob performing monthly on The Little Big Show at the Magnet Theater. Read his writing at www.actuallyitsrobpentydotorg.com. Rob’s ebook was designed by Carly Monardo and laid out by Nick Jaramillo.

Episode Guest

Rob Penty

Rob Penty
Rob Penty is an improviser, storyteller and writer from Brooklyn.

Jessica Coyle and Richard Krysztoforski – Celebrate Little Milestones

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Jessica Coyle and Richard Krysztoforski - Celebrate Little Milestones
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We’re back, baby!!! Join us as we kick off Season 2 with our friends Jessica and Richard, hosts of our sister podcast “Made Up Talk Show” (also on the Let’s Hear It Network). We discuss the journey of starting a podcast from scratch and how to deal with the successes and failures along the way. We also talk ADHD and rejection-sensitive dysphoria. Let’s get into it!

Episode Guests

Jessica Coyle

Jessica Coyle
Jessica Coyle is an ESL professional, improviser, world traveler, and servant to guinea pigs.

Richard Krysztoforski

Richard Krysztoforski
Richard is an internationally trained improviser, comedian, and professional development expert. His creative projects are focused around building community and rejuvenating outdated modes of creation. Most recently he founded the Let’s Hear It Network, an independent artist-owned podcast network (the network Pursuit of Perfectness is part of!). You can find out more about him at rjk.nyc.

BONUS Episode: Made Up Talk Show

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
BONUS Episode: Made Up Talk Show
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Hold on to your hats, folks—it’s a crossover! This week, as a special BONUS, the PoP Pod crew is thrilled to present this episode of Made Up Talk Show, guest starring our very own Ellen Matthews and Dennis Pacheco!

Made Up Talk Show is a comedy improv podcast on the Let’s Hear It Network (the very network Pursuit of Perfectness is a part of!) in which guests bring in little known (i.e., completely fictional) podcasts. This week Ellen and Dennis bring in an obscure (again, completely made up) talk show about unconventional couples called How Did These Get Met?

The Perfectionists had a blast improvising wild characters and situations with the hilarious Jessica Coyle and Richard Krysztoforski. We hope you enjoy it! And hey, check out Made Up Talk Show!

Episode Guests

Jessica Coyle

Jessica Coyle
Jessica Coyle is an ESL professional, improviser, world traveler, and servant to guinea pigs.

Richard Krysztoforski

Richard Krysztoforski
Richard is an internationally trained improviser, comedian, and professional development expert. His creative projects are focused around building community and rejuvenating outdated modes of creation. Most recently he founded the Let’s Hear It Network, an independent artist-owned podcast network (the network Pursuit of Perfectness is part of!). You can find out more about him at rjk.nyc.

Season 1 Finale – Leave Bill Buckner Alone!

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Season 1 Finale - Leave Bill Buckner Alone!
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What was it all about? Dennis and Ellen take a fond look back at Season 1 episode by episode and prepare to come roaring back in just three little weeks for an even bigger Season 2. Join us, won’t you?

Amanda Rothman – Therapy, Shame, and Kung Fu Movies

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Amanda Rothman - Therapy, Shame, and Kung Fu Movies
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This week the wonderful Amanda Rothman joins Ellen and Dennis to talk drama therapy, our need to take care of others (including, sometimes, our therapists), and how shame is a driving force behind perfectionism. They also go off on a tangent about The Matrix for … way? … too long? Is this officially a kung fu movie review podcast now? Maybe!

You can find Amanda Rothman on Psychology Today. Hire her!

Xave Padin – Perfect Acting, Rubbish Comedy

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Xave Padin - Perfect Acting, Rubbish Comedy
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Actor, improviser, and founder of Rubbish Comedy Collective Xave Padin joins the Perfectionists (Ellen and Dennis) to talk about the gift (and curse) of word-perfect script memorization and what it took to create a new comedy collective founded on equity, representation, and integrity. All that, plus Xave gives Ellen and Dennis the gift of a brand new podcast intro.

You can find out more about Xave and Rubbish Comedy Collective at rubbishcomedy.com.

Episode Guest

Xave Padin

Headshot of Xavier Padin
Xavier (he/him) is an actor, improviser, teacher, character performer, and overall comedy loving producer born in the boogie-down Bronx. He has trained as an actor at USC and Mesiner studios in New York, as a comedian at The DC Improv, WITDC, Magnet, and UCB, and as a human being in Puerto Rico, Washington, DC, and South Carolina. In NYC, Xavier has performed improv, characters, and sketch comedy regularly since 2016 for the UCB Theatre and the Magnet Theater. During the day he dons a tie (top button unbuttoned, of course) in Corporate Communications for the fed. But at night, the magic happens when he gets to work with brilliant teams of creatives — bringing cultural exploration and comedic ideas to life in a classroom and in front of an audience. Xavier began his pursuit of passion in comedy while in SC in 2009 and, later in DC, he became a house performer and popular teacher with the Washington Improv Theater. He’s since gone on to teach and coach thousands of amateur and professional performers in classes or corporate settings up and down the east coast. Xavier has produced shows and festivals in DC, Jersey and New York since 2010 and loves the absurd and authentic life moments that comedy creates for audiences, students and performers alike. Xave genuinely loves the people he gets to perform with like family. They include his Latinx improv team CHUCHO, his sketch comedy mates in The Executives (at Magnet) and The Bonus Features (at UCB) and his silly pals in the Chicago-created, NYC-refined storytelling/improv show “The Armando Diaz Experience,” on Saturday’s at the Magnet Theater. It goes without saying, but he’ll say it anyway, Xave loves Rubbish Comedy. Xavier is also really into pro and amateur wrestling, BJJ, and movies — watching them, analyzing them in an academic sense, and even performing in them! He is currently represented by CESD.

Robyn Chapman – Self Compassion and Cults

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Robyn Chapman - Self Compassion and Cults
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The Perfectionists (Ellen and Dennis) get their very first live-in-the-studio guest, and what a get she is! Robyn Chapman is the editor of American Cult, a comics anthology about religious cults in America. She talks with Dennis and Ellen about the importance of self-compassion and how Kristin Neff’s book Self-Compassion helped her get through a particularly hard time. Then they discuss cults throughout American history and determine once and for all whether or not improv counts as a cult. (The answer may surprise you!)

Robyn runs a micropress called Paper Rocket. Find it online at paperrocketcomics.com.

Episode Guest

Robyn Chapman

Author photo of Robyn Chapman
Robyn Chapman is an editor, a publisher, and (sometimes) a cartoonist. She is the proprietor of Paper Rocket Minicomics and has had many different jobs in comics. She spent five years at The Center for Cartoon Studies, initially as their first fellow and later as a faculty member. For a time, she worked at Brooklyn’s best comic shop, Desert Island. She is the editor of the nonfiction comics anthology American Cult, which she co-published with Silver Sprocket in 2021. Currently, she is an editor at First Second.

Abby Russell – Sit Down, Shut Up, and Do It

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Abby Russell - Sit Down, Shut Up, and Do It
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Abby Russell is a content producer in the video game industry. The perfectionists (Ellen and Dennis, natch) have a delightful chat with Abby about Twitch streaming, comedy writing, and the high stakes (low stakes) world of improv.

You can find Find Abby on Twitch, Twitter, and Instagram. Her handle is @ybbaaabby on all the things.

Episode Guest

Abby Russell


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Comedian and game person on the internet. Rolling Stone once called her a "YouTuber."