By Steve Molter
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Five Questions is a weekly portrait and conversation series hosted by Steve Molter. Its goal is to explore the oneness of humanity by asking life's bigger questions. Questions that focus on the way a person thinks, the way they feel, and their core values.
||ExplicitFive Questions: Maria Molteni||Maria Molteni is a prolific multimedia and performing artist, educator, organizer, and artist-in-residence with the City of Boston whose work has been featured across the globe from Croatia to Colorado, from the Philippines to Pennsylvania, from Brooklyn to Boston. Maria and I met up at her fabulously creative workspace/home in Boston, and had a wonderfully inspiring conversation full of laughs and insight about inventing spaces for teaching art, her paralyzing fear of taxidermy, radical vulnerability in love, The Shakers, and the imbalance of power between men and women and its direct effect on her life and career. The most memorable and touching part of my meeting with Maria happened when the mics were unfortunately turned off. After recording, before taking photographs, Maria and I continued our chat. I shared my feelings of guilt that come up regarding the difficulties women go through in the world, and that I think about the things that I have done in the past that may have been inappropriate. Thankfully, nothing came up along the lines of what's being reported in the media, but the fact that I may have looked too hard at a woman, or asked one too many times for sex, or done anything that negatively affected a stranger, a date, a girlfriend, or a partner without knowing, weighs on my conscience. Maria was kind enough to listen, and offer me thoughtful words of insight, comfort, and truth. I'm sure I've made mistakes. But taking responsibility for them, owning them, and correcting my course is something I have been focusing and will continue to as I progress in life.||3/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFive Questions: Karen Jerzyk||Karen Jerzyk is a photographer whose trademark is photographing elaborate scenes in abandoned buildings. Her work is often wildly colorful and dynamic and creates a sense of surrealism and chaos with meticulous detail. Karen kindly invited me to her studio where she was designing a set for her latest work. The place was full of antique pieces, dismembered mannequins, old paintings, and photography gear. We chatted about not fitting in, struggling to find artistic voice, favorite filmmakers, and her father's battle with cancer and its affect on her work. Oh yeah, and she answered Five Questions. Meet Karen.||3/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitFive Questions: Carl Shane (Kal Marks)||Carl Shane is the frontman, primary songwriter, and guitarist for the Boston-based band Kal Marks who's new record, Universal Care, came out on February 23rd. Kal Marks has been called "the loudest band in Boston" by NPR and are on a nationwide tour as you read this. I caught two Kal Marks performances in the span of a couple of weeks and felt compelled to get Carl on Five Questions. He kindly obliged and we linked up at his apartment on a bitterly cold night in January. We talked about panic-attack-inducing anxiety, collaborative songwriting, regrets in the wake of lost love, being on tour with a drug addict, and how conversations with friends are so precious. And yup, he answered Five Questions. Meet Carl.||3/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFive(ish) Questions: Terry Marshall||Terry Marshall is deeply involved in social justice. He is the founder and strategy architect at Intelligent Mischief, a creative action design lab using culture, narrative and design to hack social change. Terry also founded Streets is Watching and the Hip Hop Media Lab. He is an affiliate trainer and consultant for the Center for Story-based Strategy (CSS), a Beautiful Trouble trainer, co-founder of The BlackOut Collective and sits on the board for Center for Artistic Activism. He's also an extremely personable and warm-hearted person. After a few missed attempts at meeting up in New York, Terry and I finally linked up at a Ula Café in Jamaica Plain and chatted about getting lost in Cuba with no money and little Spanish, how he go involved in social justice work, fighting back against systematic racism, going to a Sunni Muslim school as a child, observing human behavior, his comic book geekness, and how boring death is. And he totally answered Five Questions. Meet Terry.||2/27/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFive Questions: Kimbra||Kimbra is an award-winning, world-touring musician from New Zealand who's new record Primal Heart is out April 20. She's won a bunch of awards (Grammy, ARIA, APRA, New Zealand Music Awards, etc) and worked with well-known peers (Brian Wilson, Queens of the Stone Age, The Roots, Childish Gambino, Skrillex, Gotye, The Dillinger Escape Plan, among others). She's also a super kind, thoughtful, and amiable person, which, in my opinion, is the most important part of this whole paragraph. Kimbra and I hopped on the phone for our conversation and she invited me to photographer her at her tour kickoff at The Paradise Rock Club in Boston. We talked about moving around the world, anxieties around growing up in the limelight, finding a mantra, and how love is all around us. And yep, she answered Five Questions. Meet Kimbra.||2/20/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFive Questions: Betsy Schneider||Betsy Schneider is a photographer and filmmaker who explores and documents transformations of individuals and families over time and place. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is featured in collections at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, and the Museet for Fotokunst in Denmark. In her most recent work, she photographed and filmed thirteen-year-olds across North America on a Guggenheim Fellowship. This work entitled "To Be Thirteen" will be a major exhibition originating at the Phoenix Art Museum in May of 2018 and it will be accompanied by a book and a feature length film "Triskaidekaphobia". I met Betsy when she was a guest speaker in a photography course I took at MassArt taught by Rania Matar. I was immediately drawn to Betsy's openness and her ability to discuss the multiple layers of her approach to her work and ideas, and found her photography expressive, touching, and memorable. Betsy invited me to her home studio near Boston where we talked about parenting through divorce, the meditative state of driving cross-country, failure's impact on her approach to life, and what it means to age. And, yep, she answered Five Questions. Meet Betsy.||2/13/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFive Questions: Jasha Klebe||Jasha Klebe is a film and TV composer, former professional gymnast, and a childhood opera singer. Some of his highlights include The 84th Annual Academy Awards, Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom, Diana: In Her Own Words, and BBC's Planet Earth II which he co-composed with Jacob Shea, and has worked closely with one of my personal favorite composers of all time, Hans Zimmer. Jasha invited me to his home studio in West Hollywood and we chatted about collaboration, what it feels like to leave home with a mission, parallels between sport and art, how being in love with music makes him a little bit crazy, and the motivation of creation. He was also kind enough to give me a bottle of wine which was absolutely delectable. And of course I asked him Five Questions. Meet Jasha.||2/6/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitFive(ish) Questions: John Walsh||John Walsh is a storyteller, an illustrator, and a father. He was selected as one of ten Artists in Residence by the City of Boston for 2016/2017. In this program, artists are supported as agents of reflection, collaboration, and activism, whether through process-oriented practice, direct community engagement, and/or as leaders of system-wide change projects at Boston Centers for Youth and Family and other City agencies. I linked up with John at his place in Boston and we hit it off right away. John is the definition of the term "salt of the earth" as you'll hear in our conversation. We talked about telling stories of interest, the joy and change that comes with being a parent, the drive to continue pursuing art, and how failure and success show up in art and life. Oh, I almost forgot, he also answered Five Questions. Meet John.||1/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFive Questions: Adam Wasserman||Adam Wasserman is a Flywheel Sports Lead & Master Instructor in New York City. We first met wayyy back in the late-90s at the University of Rhode Island where we attended the theatre program together as acting majors. Many moons went by and both of us took very different paths in our lives before we linked up again. But after years of pursuing our dreams, moving around the country, following the never-ending pull to grow, and becoming very different men than when we met, Adam and I fell right back into line as friends. Adam and his dog Bella were kind enough to let me crash at their place for a few days when I was wrapping up a course in New York. I was super fortunate when he agreed to be a guest. We chatted about panic attacks, taking responsibilities for our actions, adoption, knowing when to ask for help, and of course he answered Five Questions. Meet Adam.||1/23/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||CleanFive(ish) Questions: Victoria McDougal||"I was always a big worrier. My whole life I was always stressed about things. Stressed about going to the dentist and whatever doctor, always worrying about things. But [going into back surgery] was the first time in my life that I was completely fine. Because I knew it was going to help. And I was in so much pain, every day of my life. I was in so much pain. I would take naps all the time because it was just fatigue. It was hard to think. It was a lot. And when I woke up from surgery—obviously I was groggy and out of it and in pain—but I immediately felt better. I could breathe. I never realized that my breathing was impacted, but I woke up and I was like, 'Oh my god, I can breathe.'"||1/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||ExplicitFive Questions: Mia Schaikewitz||"I still have the journal that I had when I was fifteen. I wrote an entry that was basically, 'I want to die. I can’t imagine being in a wheelchair all my life.' I’m so glad I have that. And my handwriting was even horrible, chicken scratch, that’s how depressed I was. Seeing that is crazy. People have asked me if I can relate to that girl. There’s part of me that’s in there, but then there’s a side of me that sees it as just the circumstance. Even though those were valid feelings, I can see now how life plays out in the sense that there’s a core you that can go through anything and those circumstances will overflow. It’s just like water. You can be on top of the water, under the water, you can be feeling like you’re drowning. Then at the end of the day it’s still you there figuring out that this is a s**t storm. Then, wait, there’s land. And you can see the water from a different perspective."||1/9/2018||Free||View in iTunes|