Clear+Vivid with Alan Alda
By Alan Alda
To listen to an audio podcast, mouse over the title and click Play. Open iTunes to download and subscribe to podcasts.
Learn to connect better with others in every area of your life. Immerse yourself in spirited conversations with people who know how hard it is, and yet how good it feels, to really connect with other people – whether it’s one person, an audience or a whole country. You'll know many of the people in these conversations – they are luminaries in our culture. Some you may not know. But what links them all is their powerful ability to relate and communicate. It's something we need now more than ever.
||CleanAnn Patchett on Novelists and the Sources of Empathy in Story||Ann Patchett is a best selling author with an uncanny ability to write amazing characters, who capture our imagination and hold us in their emotional grip. Alan Alda talks with Ann about her approach to writing and how empathy influences both her stories and her personal life.||8/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanBringing Together Enemies - Part 1: The Middle East||Author and activist Letty Cottin Pogrebin reflects on the modern state of feminism and the #MeToo movement – and how she’s brought people together in the Middle East through experiences that change their understanding of one another. (In Part 2 of these conversations on “Bringing Enemies Together” Senator George Mitchell discusses bringing peace to Northern Ireland.)||8/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanIs Empathy Good or Bad? A Conversation with Paul Bloom||Yale Professor Paul Bloom doesn't think empathy is such a good thing. He's even written a book about it called, The Case Against Empathy. However, he does have an interesting theory about what he calls rational compassion. Paul and Alan Alda discuss their views for and against empathy and find out that they have more in common than they thought.||7/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanRenée Fleming and the Healing Power of Music||Surprisingly, Renée Fleming has been using her iconic voice to help scientists discover how music heals us. Alan talks with Renée about their mutual interest in science, her new starring role in Carousel, and what it's like to really be present as a performer.||7/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanJudge Judy on How to Figure Out Who’s Telling the Truth||Every day, 10 million Americans watch Judge Judy on TV. Her style is direct and to the point. Her job is to know how to quickly separate fact from fiction. She talks with Alan about justice and what it's like for a judge to have such an impact on the lives of others.||7/16/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanKate Bowler and How to Handle the Worst News of All||Alan talks with Kate about the awkward, funny, and often misguided, ways people approach the subject when they know someone is seriously ill. New York Times Bestselling author and Duke University divinity professor, Kate Bowler tells Alan how stage 4 cancer led her to write a humorous, and graceful book about communicating with someone who’s received the worst possible news.||7/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanItzhak Perlman on the Spontaneity and Connection of Performance||In this delightful and spirited conversation, Alan Alda talks with his good friend the world-renowned violinist, Itzhak Perlman. They explore the power of spontaneity in both music and acting, and what happens when a musician talks to the audience.||7/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitSarah Silverman and the Joy of Enjoying People You Don't Agree With||Alan Alda talks with comedian Sarah Silverman about how she befriended someone who was hateful toward her on Twitter, and how her new series on Hulu challenges her to connect with people that she doesn't agree with. Her question to us is “Can Americans put down their "porcupine needles" and really listen to one another again?”||7/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanClear + Vivid™ with Alan Alda - Official Trailer||Clear and Vivid is a series of Alan Alda’s spirited conversations with people who know how hard it is, and yet how good it feels, to really connect with other people – whether it’s one person, an audience or a whole country. You'll know many of the people in these conversations – they are luminaries in our culture. Some you may not know. But what links them all is their powerful ability to relate and communicate. With his unique blend of humor and insight, Alda explores the ways we can connect better with one another in every area of our lives. Something we need now more than ever. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Stitcher. Visit AlanAlda.com for more details. Follow Alan on Twitter @alanalda and find us on Instagram and Facebook @clearandvivid. Launches July 10th!||5/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
I must first admit I am very biased, because I work on this podcast. However, having the opportunity to listen to these episodes has been a great pleasure of my life. The conversations with today’s great luminaries are enlightening to say the least. As chaotic and stressful as the world is today, listening to a powerful, positive, and sincere podcast has really been encouraging. Alan’s insight and wisdom transcends into this medium wonderfully. He is able to guide the conversation into something meaningful, educational, and unique each time. I highly recommend. When they are over, you will want to listen to them again — or at least, that is how they leave me feeling. Please enjoy.
I have loved every artform you engage in. You are a masterclass...in class. Can't wait for all the interesting conversations. xo
So Far, A Delight
Based on my first impressions--this show is a delight! I love the intro (& outro) music, and the whole core concept of the podcast--of learning more about connection and communication from a masterfully kind and wise connector and communicator.
Loved these insights from Sarah Silverman and Alan's conversation together:
Sarah: "I can tell you what I've learned doing this [Hulu] show. No one changes their mind from you yelling at them. Or giving them, even, facts. It makes them dig even harder. Not just 'them'--ALL of us!"
And: "Our point was, we just wanted to connect--they were very worried they were going to be judged--and we wanted to NOT judge."
And: "But I mostly just want to love them, and for us to have our 'porcupine needles' down, you know?"
And this, from Alan: "That's the thing that really got me, that made me really want to talk to you, the exchange you had on Twitter [with a person who called her the 'c' word]... This ability to see beyond the troublesome thing they say."
Sarah: "We're more alike than we think."
Alan: "One of the things that I think I've discovered about communicating is what you're talking about, which is when you find some bond, some commonality between you, some way in which you both realize you're very much alike, quite apart from anything that has to do with how you're not alike or how you view things differently--but if you see that commonality, it becomes a lot easier to talk. You don't think, 'this person doesn't know how to think, this person doesn't know the facts'--you tend to listen a little more. [...] But this searching for some kind of common thread between you is a way--maybe, maybe!--a way to make empathy happen on both sides." And: "I learned from the stage that I'm changed by the other person, if I'm really listening to the other actor... And that turns out, I think, to be what happens in life... [Excitedly] I really think in life, that you're not really listening unless you're willing to be changed by the other person. It's a crazy thing to say, it's really radical [because of the crazy things people will say to you]... [But] the possibility of change [is what matters]--somewhere in this person's tirade is something that could change me for the better--what is it? What could it possibly be?"
And maybe the funnest comment of all:
(Alan) "I actually try to work on my empathy, and then I get good at it and get smug."
There are too many meaningful moments (they discuss neo-nazis, the prez, not judging non-liberals as "them", the #metoo movement & louis ck--and more!) for me to capture them all... It feels like a show I've been looking for a long time--a sort of "Mr Rogers' Neighborhood" for grown-ups. :)
After listening to this first episode, I'm feeling rather hopeful and encouraged about my own ability to expand my own ways of being with others, by practicing being less defended & practicing being a more curious and open-hearted listener. (I'm thinking of utilizing Alan's advice as almost a sort of mantra, by silently asking myself, especially in challenging moments--"What is this person saying, right here and now, that could possibly change me for the better? What are they revealing, with their words or in their way of being, in this moment, that could somehow expand my heart, or even just my understanding, even a little bit?"
Intrigued to try it out and see what happens. I'm very grateful this exists and looking forward to future episodes with interested hopefulness.