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

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

Jenny Bee – Mental Health in Art

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Jenny Bee - Mental Health in Art
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This week the Perfectionists (I’ve decided that’s what Ellen and Dennis are called–it’s canon now) welcome motion graphics designer and storyteller Jenny Bee to the studio to talk about mental health in art. We get into how school and work cultures wrongly glorify sacrificing our bodies to get ahead.

Mentioned in this episode:

Kelly McGonigal’s TED Talk on stress: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/looking-up-with-dr-deepika-chopra/id1519100248?i=1000482856868

Episode Guest

Hannah Chase, Perfect Patient

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Hannah Chase, Perfect Patient
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Health writer and wonderful human Hannah Chase gabs with the perfectionists (aka Ellen and Dennis) about being a perfect patient, advocating for yourself, and people pleasing–and we learn what a mustache does for your resting neutral face.

Check out our Instagram for more fun with mustaches and wigs! @pursuitofperfectness

You can find Hannah’s writing at hannahchase.medium.com where she mostly writes about chronic illness.

Episode Guest

Hannah Chase

Hannah Chase
Teacher, improviser, feminist, adventurer.

Greg Matthews

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Greg Matthews
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Ellen and Dennis have their first guest, and it’s–spoiler alert–Ellen’s brother! Greg Matthews is a data scientist and visual artist, an improviser, a fledgling standup, and a father. He talks about which of these things fill him with anxiety and how he copes, plus he shares some cool data art. You can find Greg’s art at statsinthewild.com and on our instagram @pursuitofperfectness.

Episode Guest

What’s It All About?

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
What's It All About?
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In this inaugural episode, Ellen and Dennis introduce the concept of perfectionism and the specific shapes it tends to take in their lives and in the broader culture. They also talk about what the show is, what the show isn’t, and what’s coming up in the first season.

Season 1 Trailer

The Pursuit of Perfectness
The Pursuit of Perfectness
Season 1 Trailer
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Hosts Ellen Matthews and Dennis Pacheco introduce The Pursuit of Perfectness, a podcast for perfectionists and people who are just a bit too hard on themselves. New episodes every Thursday.