The Tragedy Academy

The Tragedy Academy

The Tragedy Academy is a show created to bridge societal divides in a judgment-free zone using candor and humor. Welcome to class… Each week at the academy we look at society through a microscope, dissect human nature, and clown around without risk of getting sent to that special desk in the corner. Adjunct professors and student teachers drop in to teach us about life from a different point of view. Pass us a note on social media and let us know what subject you’d like to hear about next. Or teach us something new. See you, next class… Be cool. Keep learning.

Episodes

February 7, 2022 63 min

This week on The Tragedy Academy, Jay welcomes back musician and executive producer, Gary DeFranco, for a very special episode: The Tragedy Academy’s season finale! This is TA’s last episode before taking a short hiatus to come back even bigger and better. Jay covers some of the highlights from the past two seasons, lessons that have stuck with him the most, and sends out a huge thank you to everyone who has supported him on this j...

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This week on the Tragedy Academy podcast, Jay rolls out a very big welcome for the talented multi-disciplinary artist, Katie Chonacas (aka KYRIAKI). Not only has Katie acted in numerous productions with A-list stars, but she also recently released a book of poetry and her debut album, Dreamland 1111. Jay and Katie dive deep into her musical inspirations, her revolutionary work creating NFTs and the future of art in the block...

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This week on the Tragedy Academy, Jay introduces Ben Dykstra, a.k.a. The Rolling Dragon. Born with Spastic Cerebral Palsy, Ben hasn’t let his disability limit his potential. Ben is a talented voice actor with tireless perseverance in a field that can be tough to break into. Ben is also in the midst of developing a new podcast that would highlight the stories, voices, and talents of the disabled. Tune in to hear Jay and Ben d...

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In this episode of the Tragedy Academy, Jay brings trauma survivor and life coach, Michael Unbroken, on to the show. Michael is the host of his own podcast, “Think Unbroken”, where he invites experts, researchers, psychologists, and therapists to discuss healing from trauma and childhood PTSD. Michael himself is no stranger to this healing process. Growing up with two abusive parents, Michael was trapped in a nightmare familiar to ...

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January 10, 2022 43 min

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In this episode of the Tragedy Academy, we sit down with Amir Yass, digital creator, and LGBTQ activist. As a queer Muslim man, Amir has faced discrimination from all sides - even from other LGBTQ individuals. This discrimination inspired him to affect change and begin a series of panels that address biases within the queer community. As host of "The Take On" podcast, Amir continues his work tackling the big topics w...

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Welcome back to another episode of The Tragedy Academy; today, Jay meets Australian native Damien Boath. Damien shares with us his fascination for deep space and his love his pondering the unknown. Through his discovery of astrophotography, Damien can get a tiny glimpse of what is out there waiting for us to explore!

Key Points:

🇦🇺 Asking an Aussie

🍊 Florida’s weird reputation

🌌 Astrophotography

❤...

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Summary: In this episode of The Tragedy Academy, we meet Christian Valera. Christian runs a YouTube channel where he dives deep into the Marvel and DC universe and details each superhero. Christian used art and superheroes to escape his reality, which later blossomed into a love for film and creating. His story is one of self-exploration and self-discovery; through years of being raised by movies, he takes a peek into the outside w...

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This week on The Tragedy Academy, Jay invites Dee McB. Dee is a zookeeper and lover of all animals, and in this episode, we get into compassion fatigue and growing up with ADHD. Dee educates us on animal behaviors and touches on how her nurturing personality contributes to compassion burnout. 

Key Points:

😪 Compassion fatigue

💨 ADHD

❤️ Nurturing

🦧 The difference between the four great apes

🐒 Howlin...

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thetragedyacademy.com

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In this installment of the Tragedy, Academy Jay welcomes Aliza Sherman to the show. Aliza is an author, entrepreneur, and web pioneer. She has written 12 books and co-founded Ellementa, a company dedicated to educating women on the use of cannabis for wellness. In this episode, Aliza shares the most critical turning point in her life – the passing of both her parents. She unveils the grief behind death...

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In this episode of The Tragedy Academy, we meet runway model and actor Max Eric Lemberger. Max's journey into acting and the fashion industry came later in life but with double the intensity. He is a true testament to time having no boundaries and an inspiration to those who have a dream to chase but think it's too late for them.

Key Points:

💪 Acting at 69

🏡 Becoming an at-home dad

🔍 Getting disc...

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The Tragedy Academy

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In this episode of the Tragedy Academy, Jay welcomes gymnast turned firefighter Alex Pacheco. Alex shares her journey battling with body dysmorphia on top of a slew of other medical conditions starting from a young age. Her story is a testament to what can happen when you fight for what's right no matter how much you're hurting inside.

Key Points:

🪙 Shifting social currencies

💃 Getti...

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Welcome back to another episode of The Tragedy Academy; this week on the show, I welcome Zelda Black to discuss her new book, Butterfly Words. Zelda fearlessly shares her story of growing up ostracized and invites us to look deeper and empathize with the misunderstood. We get into the importance of being authentic and holding space for yourself and others around you.

Key Points:

🦋 Book: Butterfly Words

🤯 Walki...

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Summary: On The Tragedy Academy; this week, we welcome Rachel McDonald to discuss her experience living with Endometriosis, a rarely diagnosed disorder targeting only women. Rachel walks us through her painstaking journey of getting diagnosed, the battle to get a prescription, and the hurdles she had to jump through to get a Hysterectomy.
 

Key Points: 

⚕️ Endometriosis

🏃‍♀️ Getting through everyday life

🤛 Battle to get ...

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Ep 102: Edison Jakupi - Questionable Behavior

Summary: 

On this installment of The Tragedy Academy, Jay is joined by actor, model, and podcaster Edison Jakupi. Edison is the host of Questionable Behavior, a podcast committed to helping creators elevate their careers and sharing their journey. In this episode, Edison invites us into his world of warfare and diligence. As a Kosovo refugee, Edison details a life of struggle. Now being o...

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In this episode of the Tragedy Academy, we meet SFC Brandon Lloyd (Ret). Brandon is a multi-deployment combat veteran who has gained the willpower to overcome his PTSD that developed from the battlefield and childhood trauma. Brandon's story is one of courage and mental fortitude. He is a shining example that persistence, acceptance, and introspection are vital to conquering whatever life throws at you.

Key Topics Discu...

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In today's episode of The Tragedy Academy, Jay welcomes actor, author, and former attorney Kirk Nurmi. Kirk has written numerous books on topics from the famous trial of Jodi Arias To pursuing a purposeful and fulfilled life by defending your greatness. Learn how he has taken on this treacherous journey of unfulfillment and feeling strayed from his Passion. Join us as he shares his moment of enlightenment and the transi...

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In this episode of the Tragedy Academy, we welcome Mirko Castagna to the show. Mirko is a recovering nicotine addict; he was a smoker for over 20 years, starting at 14. He shares his battle with addiction and details the most challenging parts of his journey and how that affected his mental health. With a new perspective, Mirko shares what it looks like for a person who restarts their lives at 33.

Key Points:

🧠 Reeduc...

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October 11, 2021 70 min

Summary:

On this installment of the Tragedy Academy, writer, actor, and speaker Janet Conroy Quirk is in the studio. Janet is an advocate for the plus-sized community and is co-founder of National Plus Size, a directory that connects people with plus-friendly businesses. In this episode, we dig into the stereotypes surrounding plus-sized people and break antiquated ideology by providing real-world experiences, perspectives, and solu...

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Today on The Tragedy Academy, I welcome Ryan Cooper, entrepreneur and author of the book Fuck It: Why Not Me. In this episode, Ryan wears his heart on his sleeve, walks us through the inspiration behind writing his book, and shares his experience growing up with a bipolar mother and later diagnosed with the same mental illness. Ryan's story is one of adversity and anguish yet, through perseverance, he can come out the o...

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September 27, 2021 54 min

Summary:

In today's episode of The Tragedy Academy, Jay speaks to Jaymes The Face Anthony. Jaymes is the host of the YouTube show Jaymes Kickback, where he interviews celebrities, influencers, and artists to showcase their art and get to know them personally. Jaymes brings us on his self-discovery path and how he went from a sheltered child to live his most authentic life.

Key Points:

🎬 Origins of Jaymes kickback

🧐 ...

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