The Tragedy Academy

The Tragedy Academy

The Tragedy Academy Podcast is a show that explores the human experience through the lens of tragedy and triumph. We aim to help listeners grow and thrive by sharing stories of real people who have experienced adversity and success. Hosted by Jay Hicks, a veteran, music producer, and multimedia artist, along with co-host Gary DeFranco, an Emmy-nominated executive producer with 20 years of experience producing non-scripted television, The Tragedy Academy Podcast provides a unique perspective on life's challenges and how to overcome them. Our guests come from all walks of life and share their stories of struggle and triumph. We believe that our past does not define our future and that living authentically and purposefully is the key to a fulfilling life. Through candid and humorous discussions, we explore societal divides and bridge gaps in understanding. We believe that laughter is the best fertilizer for the tree of knowledge, and that's why we bring you stories that will make you think, laugh, and inspire you to be a better person. The Tragedy Academy Podcast is available on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. Subscribe now and join us on this journey of humor and enlightenment as we strive to grow the tree of knowledge together. Be cool and keep learning. This podcast uses the following third-party services for analysis: Podcorn - Chartable -


June 4, 2023 โ€ข 48 mins

In this episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast, host Jay Hicks engages in a powerful conversation with Kristal Klear, the founder of the Rock Paper Scissors Foundation. The episode delves into themes of tragedy, triumph, forgiveness, and love within African American communities. Kristal shares her insights and experiences as an entrepreneur, certified trauma coach, published author, and licensed pastor.

Throughout the conversation, ...

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๐ŸŽ™๏ธWe're back with Part 2 of this enchanting episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast, where Jay and Gary continue conversing with the magical maestro, Dallas Fueston. Journey further into Dallas' unique universe of art and illusion as we explore the depths of creativity, the struggles inherent to artistic endeavors, and the relentless pursuit of the craft.

In this part, we dive deeper into the artist's psyche, tackling their challeng...

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๐ŸŽ™๏ธIn this captivating episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast, Jay and  Gary sit down with Garyโ€™s long-time friend and magical visionary, Dallas Fueston.  Get ready to be captivated as Dallas shares his journey of tragedy and triumph, revealing the intricate world of magic, creativity, and the challenges of blending art with business. 

Step into the extraordinary world of Dallas Fueston, a creative genius who has rede...

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๐ŸŽ™๏ธIn this episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast, hosts Jay Hicks & Gary DeFranco sit down with Dr. Hogan Sherrow, a renowned primatologist and expert in human behavior. Through candid and thought-provoking discussions, they explore the depths of the human condition, drawing insights from Dr. Sherrow's extensive research and experiences studying primates in their natural habitats. Join us as we peel back the layers of the huma...

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๐ŸŽ™๏ธIn this episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast, host Jay Hicks sits down with Keli Kane, a Kindergarten Reading Specialist, Reiki Master, and traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor who shares her story of tragedy and triumph. Together, they discuss Keli's journey, her challenges, and the newfound abilities she discovered due to her injury. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

Join Jay, Keli, and co-host Gary DeFranco as they dive deep into Keli's incredible journ...

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๐ŸŽ™๏ธIn this episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast, host Jay Hicks sits down with Joseph Grable, a talented filmmaker, actor, and podcast host who shares his story of tragedy and triumph. In this inspiring conversation, they discuss overcoming adversity, the importance of mental health awareness, and how to find happiness amidst life's challenges. 

Join Jay and Joseph as they delve into the world of filmmaking, acting, and podca...

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In this episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast๐ŸŽ™๏ธ, host Jay Hicks sits down with attorney Parrish, who advocates for prisoners suffering from medical negligence. This candid conversation delves into the prison system's flaws, its impact on inmates and prison staff, and legal advocacy's critical role in addressing medical negligence.

Join Jay and his guest, attorney Parrish, as they dive into the world of prison reform and the tragi...

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In this episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast, host Jay sits down with Adam Gunton, founder of "Recovered on Purpose," who shares his story of overcoming addiction and finding a life of purpose. Through candid and humorous discussions, Adam and Jay explore the root causes of addiction and the importance of authenticity and purpose in achieving lasting recovery. This episode is a must-listen for anyone struggling with addiction or ...

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In this episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast, host Jay sits down with Jodie Shihadeh, an entertainment attorney who shares her journey in helping artists navigate the music industry. Jodie discusses her passion for working with creators, addressing industry issues, and activism throughout her life. ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ

Join them as they discuss Jodie Shihadeh's incredible journey from playing drums as a teenager to becoming a powerful advocate for...

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In this episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast ๐ŸŽง, Jay Hicks and Gary DeFranco sit down with Cam F. Awesome ๐Ÿ˜Ž, a former heavyweight boxing champion ๐ŸฅŠ and comedian ๐ŸŽค who shares his story of embracing adversity with humor ๐Ÿ˜‚. In this episode, he shares his unique perspective on life and offers insights into how humor can help us cope with tragedy and overcome adversity.

In this episode, we explore the power of humor in overcoming a...

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From Detainment to Domination: The Incredible Story of Surviving 14 Days in Beijing prison

In this episode, we chat with Chancellor Jackson, an author, coach, and entrepreneur who shares his harrowing experience of being arrested and detained in Beijing for 14 days. Join us as we discuss his journey, his book, and how he found the strength to overcome his adversity.

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

๐Ÿ“Œ How Chancellor's traumatic experien...

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The Power of Self-discovery, Authenticity, and Parenting a child with Autism - Interview with Sasha Rogers

In this insightful interview, we chat with Sasha Rogers, a fitness counselor, coach, and mother of an autistic child, about self-discovery, the power of authenticity, and her experiences parenting a child with autism. Sasha shares her journey of overcoming personal and cultural barriers and the importance of supporting and conn...

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Inside the Magic Mushroom with Rev. Gabriel Castillo

Introduction: In this episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast, hosts Jay Hicks and Gary DeFranco sit down with Gabriel Castillo, a spiritual teacher and facilitator of plant medicine ceremonies. Gabriel shares his personal journey of healing from childhood trauma through plant medicine and discusses the benefits and risks of using psychedelics for healing purposes.

Engaging and enti...

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March 6, 2023 โ€ข 57 mins

Finding Hope in Tragedy with Audrey Hope

In this episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast, hosts Jay Hicks and Gary DeFranco sit down with Audrey Hope, a healer and addiction specialist with over 20 years of experience. Together, they explore the power of hope in the face of tragedy and the importance of staying true to oneself in the midst of life's challenges. Through personal anecdotes and insights from years of working with addict...

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    "Exploring Mentalism, Martial Arts, and Self-Discovery with Jon Pritchard"

    On this episode of The Tragedy Academy Podcast, hosts Jay Hicks and Gary DeFranco are joined by special guest Jon Pritchard, a professional mentalist, ๐Ÿฅ‹martial artist, author, and coach. Jon shares his journey of self-discovery and how he has balanced his stage character with who he is. He discusses the importance of utilizing one's authentic self and the id...

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    "From Raves to Riches: How Jon Grauman Went from Promoting Raves to Selling Luxury Real Estate"

    In this episode ๐ŸŽ™๏ธ of the Tragedy Academy podcast ๐ŸŽง, listeners are treated to an inspiring conversation with Jon Grauman ๐ŸŽค, a former rave promoter turned real estate mogul. Jon shares his incredible journey to success, which is a testament to the power of resilience, determination, and hard work. ๐Ÿš€

    Throughout the episode, Jon offers va...

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    In this episode of The Tragedy Academy, Jay and Gary sit down with Alissa Musto to discuss her life experiences and how she has overcome adversity with candor and humor. ๐Ÿ’ฌ A child of musicians, she could read music before words. A Harvard Grad and former Ms. Massachusetts. She opens up about her journey and shares her insights on resilience and perseverance. ๐Ÿ’ช As well as her emotional recollection of leaving her frie...

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    Welcome to The Tragedy Academy, where our guest Joe Legolvan shares his journey of overcoming personal tragedy and transforming his life into a successful real estate investor, entrepreneur, and mindset and life transformation coach.


    In this episode, we have Joe Legolvan, a father, multimillionaire real estate investor with over 100 doors, owner of four businesses, and a mindset and life transformation coach specializin...

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    Welcome to episode 78 of the Tragedy Academy, where we explore the stories of those who have overcome great struggles and come out on top. This week, Jay sits down with Susan Gold, a woman who has turned her own personal tragedy into a successful career as a producer and talent broker. Susan shares her inspiring journey of using her ability to discern where people are best applied, honed from her own trauma, to make a name for hers...

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    January 23, 2023 โ€ข 67 mins

    In this episode of The Tragedy Academy podcast, host Jay Hicks interviews Anthony Hyland, the focus of the new docu-series "Clout." The series details Hyland's personal struggle to clear his name after false allegations of sexual assault were made against him. The episodes provide a raw and emotional examination of the impact of these false accusations on Hyland's life and the lives of those around him, as well as an exploration of...

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