Art of Failure

Art of Failure

Everyone has a story about failure; even successful people. Listen to frank discussions with artists, executives, entrepreneurs, actors, entertainers, and more, about failures of all sorts and how they turned their failures into successes. AOF provides helpful advice for young people (99 and under) on how to find art in our “failures.” Guests include: William Wegman; Adam Liptak, Kevin Allison (RISK! podcast), Michael Finkel, Beri Smither, Bonin Bough, Christina Sass and Rudy Garcia Tolson, Strauss Zelnick.... Show More

Episodes

Get a peek into the viral sensation, the Museum of Failure. The museum is a collection of over 100 failed products and services from around the world, items like Colgate Lasagna. What can we learn from these products? The museum's founder Dr. Samuel West said the museum provides a unique insight into the risky business of innovation.

We spoke to Dr. Samuel West, a licensed clinical psychologist and PhD in organizational psychol...

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When Kwame Onwuachi was 26 he had already experienced more career highs and lows than chefs twice his age. He worked in the top restaurants, competed on the TV series, “Top Chef,” and opened his own restaurant—The Shaw Bijou when he was 25.  The restaurant was one of the most anticipated openings in the country and it closed after 11 weeks. The press roasted the young chef. How did Kwame recover after such a public failure? In his ...

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When Brian Scudamore was 19 years old he was in a McDonalds parking lot trying to figure out how to pay for college. He saw a dirty pick-up truck advertising a junk removal service. Realizing that he could pay for college by hauling junk, Brian invested $700 in his own junk-removal-service. With that initial investment, he built an unlikely empire: 1-800-Got-Junk. Today 1-800-Got-Junk serves 200 locations across three countries. Hi...

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Why you should always check the fine print before checking out...

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We spoke to Carlos Dengler, an actor, writer, musician and a former member of the band Interpol, which was founded in 1997. Interpol is a post punk revival band that has produced several critically acclaimed albums.

Carlos left the band in 2010 and got his MFA in acting from NYU in 2015. Carlos has also written for n+1 and Seven Stories Press He is also working on a forthcoming memoir with Foundry Literary + Media. The memo...

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Steve was at a casting call when a friend and agent begged him to audition for another commercial. She said it was a national campaign, he'd make a ton of money...it was an ad for Viagra.

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"At Penn, people are so successful in high school and aren’t used to experiencing failure or bouncing back from it,” said Olivia O'Dwyer in a recent article about the Anti-Resume Project. The project’s goal is to normalize failure and promote the idea that “we are more than our resume, our GPA, our internship, or our job. Olivia is a sophomore at Penn and a co-leader on the project. I spoke to Olivia and her co-leader Sophi...

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Nancy Giles is an actress, and a commentator, she was on CBS News Sunday Morning for more than a decade and acted in a number of well-known movies and TV shows, most notably: the TV series, China Beach; and the movies Big and Working Girl.  But before she found success she was a painfully shy kid. Find out how she found her voice.

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Steve’s first acting gig entailed a musket (an ancient rifle), a crowded hall, and the (then) Governor of New Jersey, Thomas Kane. What could go wrong?

In the Mini Failure series Steve talks about heartbreak, school, jobs, failure, success, and why he started this podcast. Episodes will air every other week. We return to our regularly scheduled programing next week where Steve interviews well known guests, next week our guest is Ad...

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Arabian Prince, was a founding member in N.W.A., one of the earliest and most significant gangster rap groups. he original members were: Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube and Arabian Prince. But he left the group after their debut-studio album, Straight Out of Compton, which was a critical and commercial success.

Here, Arabian talks about that decision, musical influences, his childhood and what he is doing right now.

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Steve Friedman always had enviable hair until, one day, he didn't. Are you losing your hair? Have you already lost it? Here, Steve talks about the journey of losing his hair including some tips for those who have just started losing their hair.

We return to our regularly scheduled programing next week where Steve interviews well-known guests, next week our guest is Arabian Prince, one of the original members of N.W.A (Niggaz Wi...

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Adam Liptak is the Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times. Here, Adam discusses his circuitous path towards journalism, how journalism has changed in the age of trump and the supreme court.

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Have you ever been dumped? Our host, Steve Friedman has been dumped. In this new series (Mini Failures) he opens up about his own failures. Episode #1 is about Steve’s attempt to get his girlfriend back after she dumped him.

In the Mini Failure series Steve talks about heartbreak, school, jobs, failure, success, and why he started this podcast. Episodes will air every other week. We return to our regularly scheduled programing next...

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Kevin Allison has one of the most successful live storytelling series and podcasts out there, RISK!, which encourages participants to tell raw, unfiltered stories. But before RISK!, Kevin garnered more than a decade of bad luck and bad jobs.

He became famous in his early 20’s after starring in The State, a hit sketch comedy series on MTV. But when the series ended, he struggled to find the success that came to him through TV.

Start...

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In 2002 Michael Finkel was a young journalist with an enviable career. Then, The New York Times discovered that Michael had created a composite character for a story about child labor and the African slave trade. Michael was fired. He said, “I mean if you want to talk about failure I don't think there's any bigger failure in all of journalism.” How did he recover?

This is a story about Michael but also Chris Knight, the sub...

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At five years old, Rudy Garcia-Tolson's parents gave him a choice: he could have a double amputation at the knee and walk with prosthetics or not and be wheelchair-bound. For Rudy, this was a slam dunk decision. Now at age 30, he is a five-time Paralympic medalist, the first ever double amputee Ironman, and mentor to other physically challenged kids. This week he talks growing pains, getting into sports, and how he's helpin...

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What is it like to be a supermodel? "Beri Smither started working when she was 17, was sent to Paris and was an instant hit. She has worked with photographers Bruce Weber, Herb Ritts, Arthur Elgort, Michael Thompson, Steven Klein, Peter Lindberg and many many more. By her early 20’s Beri was deemed a supermodel and had the world by the tail. However, despite her fame, money and beauty, she still struggled with garden-variety no...

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Bonin Bough is the youngest C-suite executive to have worked in a Fortune 50 company, and he didn't get that far without making a few mistakes. “Failure happens, but how do you maintain the drive and the willingness? I'm relentless. It doesn't matter how we get there, we're going to get it done,” said the marketing guru in this interview with host Steve Friedman. Bough also discusses his philosophy, career and upcom...

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How do you learn to work past doubt? We spoke to Christna Sass, the co-founder and president of Andela. Prior to co-founding Andela, she directed the Program department of the Clinton Global Initiative and advised the President and CEO of The MasterCard Foundation, a $9 billion global foundation working to advance education and financial inclusion for youth in Africa.

Yes, Christina has experienced failure and fear but she has lear...

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Strauss Zelnick is the man behind many blockbusters, everything from Grand Theft Auto to Dirty Dancing. Find out what Zelnick was like before he was a media mogul. It turns out that he wanted to be a musician, then a creative writer. Find out how he beat his personal demons an got to the top of his game.

In this episode, we discuss his latest book, "Becoming Ageless: The Four Secrets to Looking and Feeling Younger Than Ever....

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