WELCOME TO THE SHOW
My name is Steve Owens and I meet a lot of people; sometime in my travels, sometimes in my own home town. Several times (quite by accident), I have stumbled into what I consider to be fascinating stories. So after way too many got away, I decided to start recording them. Some of these conversations will be fascinating ONLY to me. Some will be fascinating to you too. In the end, I guess this podcast is just an excuse for me to get to travel, meet, and talk to more people. So if you are so inclined…
Walk with me, down Fascination Street!
Jonathan Cilia Faro
Take a walk with me down Fascination Street as I get to know Jonathan Cilia Faro. Jonathan is a professional opera singer; more specifically, a tenor. In this episode, we chat about his growing up in Sicily, listening to opera, and why. We also talk about how he honed his singing skills, and what brought him to the United States. (Spoiler alert, he came to the U.S to follow “The American Dream”. Jonathan explains why he is grateful to be an American citizen, and what America means to him. We discuss some of his recent singing projects, including working with Alan Parsons, Gary Chapman, and Donny Most. Plus, we get into his upcoming show alongside comedian Brad Stine: Spirit of America, on November 12th, at the Fisher Center in Nashville, TN. Along the way, we talk about how and why Jonathan became known as ‘The Mob Chef’, and why he enjoys cooking so much. He often appears on television programs and talk shows Cooking and singing at the same time! Jonathan has a new album out called Romantico, and he lets me play one of his newest releases, a duet with Vanessa Campagna!
***PLUS, THERE IS A GIVEAWAY!!!
Take a walk with me down Fascination Street as I get to know Stewart Anstead. Stewart is an artist, more specifically a painter. He has produced some of the most beautiful and unique pieces I have ever seen. Some of his art is inspired by automobile racing, some is inspired by iconic athletes; but all of his pieces are themselves inspiring. In this episode, Stewart takes us on a journey of finding that thing in life that pulls you, that part of you that won’t be ignored. He shares with us the path that led him from California’s North Bay (Chico) to Utah (BYU), and the artistic steps along the way. We discuss the artistic value he sees in brands like: Nike, Converse, lettering, and even the human hand. Of course, we talk about such greats as: Warhol, Klimt, Picasso, Pollock, Banksy, and Bob Ross. Stewart’s art is hanging in many homes & businesses, including The San Francisco Giants back offices, and comedian Adam Carolla’s home. His art features the likes of: Paul Newman racecars, Shelby American, Secretariat, Rudy Ruettiger, Madison Baumgartner, and tons more. Stewart has an inspiring story, and I thank him so much for sharing. You can actually commission an Anstead Piece of your own, as he gives his contact info toward the end.
Take a walk with me down Fascination Street as I get to know Jeremy Swift. You may know Jeremy from Downton Abbey, Apple TV’s Ted Lasso, or the Wachowski Siblings’ epic Jupiter Ascending. But you may not know that Jeremy is arguably a more talented musician, than he is an actor.
Just kidding. He is superb in both endeavors!
In this episode, we chat about how he came to be an actor, and some of his first roles. I mean he toured with a cabaret troupe that played shows in various prisons! Holy Moly! Of course, we discuss some of his experiences on the previously listed projects, and a couple of others. I ask him what it is like to work with his wife on set, and he spills the beans on Ted Lasso season 4!
Jeremy also shares the story of why he chose to get his Sag / Aftra card, and his upcoming film: “Descendants 4: The Rise of Red”.
Next we get into music. Jeremy started playing music at a very early age, and we definitely dive into that aspect of his creativity. Jeremy shares stories of his punk phase, seeing The Sex Pistols live, and his thoughts on the “Oi!” movement of the late 70’s. Jeremy has a new album out called “Songs of Escape and Endless Night”, which is catchy as hell. We discuss a couple of the tracks from that album, and he lets me play my favorite song from it. Jeremy shares his love for David Bowie, building synthesizers with his dad, and Christo Fernandez working on Jeremy’s new album.
Follow Jeremy Swift everywhere.
See Jeremy Swift in everything.
Listen to Jeremy Swift on Spotify.
Welcome to a special episode of Fascination Street Podcast! I’m thrilled to have Johan Svenson, one of the insightful minds behind “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” on Peacock & Bravo joining us today. As we sit down with Johan, we’ll embark on a fascinating journey through the world of art, design, and the art of letting go.
Drawing from his expertise, we’ll explore the intricacies of set design and how it enriches our visual experiences. Johan’s insights will provide a unique perspective on creating immersive environments that resonate with audiences.
We’ll also dive into the innovative landscape of Johan’s FabLab store, discussing the exciting projects and technologies that shape modern creative endeavors. Johan’s experiences will shed light on how this space contributes to the ongoing evolution of design and craftsmanship.
Switching gears, our conversation will take us across the seas to Missouri, where Johan will share insights about the unique Womon Town. This intriguing concept challenges traditional financial models and offers a fresh perspective on economic empowerment.
Of course, our conversation wouldn’t be complete without delving into the core philosophy of “The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning.” Johan’s expertise in decluttering and organizing will provide valuable insights into creating harmony in our spaces and lives.
Join us as we explore the intersection of creativity, design, and personal growth with Johan Svenson, a true visionary in the realm of art and decluttering. This episode promises to be an enriching conversation that will inspire you to approach your surroundings and life with a fresh perspective.
Take a walk with me down Fascination Street as I get to know C.J. Pierce. C.J. is the founding guitarist for the platinum selling rock / metal band, Drowning Pool. In this episode, we chat about how the band formed, and how they got their first record label contract. Then we talk about the insane success of their first album, Sinner, which was certified platinum six weeks after it was released. Then we touch on the mega-hit ‘Bodies’, and how it keeps popping up in popular culture. It was featured in a recent episode of Queen Latifah’s television show The Equalizer (on CBS), and it was just used by Shaquille O’Neal in his latest rap single release. Obviously, we discuss Ryan McCombs’ return to front Drowning pool, and their latest tour. The SNAFU tour begins in early September, and is a national tour featuring: Drowning Pool, Saliva, Adalita’s Way, and Any Given Sin. Drowning Pool’s newest album, 2022’s Strike A Nerve, was not handled very well by their at the time record label, so C.J., explains their decision to become an independent band. Lastly, we each share a Pantera story or two, as C.J. is friends with some of those guys. He is kind enough to let me play the title track from the newest album: Strike A Nerve, and I it is as Drowning Pool as it could possibly be! Go see them on The SNAFU tour!
Take a walk with me as I get to know Bobby Amaru.
In this episode, I sit down with the talented Bobby Amaru from the rock band Saliva. In this exclusive interview, we dive into the band’s new music as Bobby shares insights into the band’s latest album, Revelation. We discuss their SNAFU tour, and how they’ve navigated the ever-changing landscape of the record business. Discover the inspiring journey of Bobby writing music sober, and the creative process that has led to some of Saliva’s most powerful and meaningful new tracks. We also talk about why he got sober, and the secret to Saliva’s staying power. Tune in to this episode for a captivating conversation that offers a unique perspective on the music industry and the personal stories that drive it.
Aleeza Ben Shalom – Podcaster / Jewish Matchmaker (Matchmaker, Matchmaker / Netflix: Jewish Matchmaking)
Aleeza Ben Shalom.
Take a walk with me down Fascination Street as I get to know Aleeza Ben Shalom. In this episode, we chat about her growing up in Philidelphia, before convincing her husband to move to Israel. Then we talk about how she became a dating coach, and a matchmaker. We discuss both of Aleeza’s published books: ‘Get Real. Get Married’ & ‘Virtual Dating’, plus her forthcoming third book ‘Date ‘Em ‘Til You Hate ‘Em’. I ask Aleeza to explain many of her catch phrases (Aleeza-isms), and then we talk about her podcast. It’s called Matchmaker, Matchmaker, and she co-hosts the love advice show with the Rabbi Yisroel Bernath (The Love Rabbi). Finally, we dive deep into her experiences on the Netflix reality dating show Jewish Matchmaking. She gives us some behind the scenes secrets, her thoughts on a couple of the cast members, and how she came to be part of the show. This episode has one of the most unique endings of any episode I have ever done. It ends with Aleeza giving me (and you) a personal blessing!! How cool is that!
Harmonie Krieger – Podcaster / Life Coach / Reality Show Star (Life with Harmonie / Netflix: Jewish Matchmaking}
Take a walk with me down Fascination Street as I get to know Harmonie Krieger. In this episode, Harmonie and I chat about her being an entrepreneur as a kid and starting her own party planning business. Then we discuss confidence and vulnerability, and her pop-up marketing business ‘Pop Your Shop’. She tells me about the time she was on Joe Rogan’s Fear Factor; and some advice that he gave her years later, when she ran into him. Then we discuss ‘Life with Harmonie’, which is a website, a podcast, and a community where likeminded individuals can help each other grow spiritually, and with their own personal improvement. Harmonie and I take a slight detour where we discuss the positive potential effects of micro dosing psilocybin mushrooms. **Neither of us is a doctor, we are not advising anyone to do this. We only discuss HER experiences, and benefits. Finally, we discuss her time on the Netflix reality show Jewish Matchmaking. She tells some fun behind the scenes stories, as well as how she thinks she came off on the show, and why she agreed to do it in the first place. Harmonie was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to check out her new podcast!
Take a walk with me down Fascination Street as I get to know Pamela Schuller. In this episode, Pam and I chat about her growing up with one of the worst diagnosed cases of Tourette Syndrome on record, and how that helped her develop an unparalleled resilience. Pam shares fun stories from Jewish summer camp, experiences as a comic, and how she became a diversity & inclusion keynote speaker for businesses, and organizations. Pam tells a couple of stories about being a comic with a serious disorder, and then we jump into her experience on Netflix’s Jewish Matchmaking. Did Pam already know the matchmaker beforehand? Maybe. Was Pam kidnapped at Jewish Summer Camp? Definitely. Pam was a lot of fun to talk to, and she was kind enough to not judge my ignorance about Tourette, and answer all of my dumbo questions about it. Look for Pamela everywhere, go see her stand up, hire her as a keynote speaker, and of course check her out on Jewish Matchmaking!
Take a walk with me down Fascination Street as I get to know Stuart Chaseman. Stuart is a singer / songwriter in the Chicago area, as well as a cast member from the recent Netflix reality series: Jewish Matchmaking. In this episode, Stuart and I chat about his music. We discuss his previous album: Next Exit Brigadoon, and then dive into what made him want to become a songwriter in the first place. We talk about his newest record: Secrets, lies, & Alibis; and discuss the creative freedom that songwriters enjoy. We take an odd detour to talk about a recent news story where Stuart somehow caught the attention (and ire) of Ben Shapiro; and Stuart shares his thoughts on the matter. Finally, Stuart and I chat about his experience on the Netflix reality series: Jewish Matchmaking. I have tons of questions about his time on the show, and he is open and honest with all of his answers; including why he decided to be on the show, what he hoped to get out of it, and how he thinks he came off. Stuart does let me play a song off the new record, and I highly encourage everyone to check out the full album.