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Jay Bakker: Preacher and Son of Televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Podcasts | 0 comments

Jay Bakker: Preacher and Son of Televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye

Susie Meister interviews Jay Bakker, son of disgraced televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. After becoming some of the most famous televangelists in the world, Jay’s parents’ ministry imploded amidst sexual and financial allegations that left Jim and jail and his parents divorced. Growing up in the shadow of this scandal had a huge toll on Jay who became an addict and eventually went to rehab.

Jay Bakker is now a pastor of his own church, and takes a completely different approach to faith from his famous parents. In this interview he opens up about his own faith, why he struggles with his beliefs, and how he got clean and changed his life. He also talks about how he is often criticized (still!) by the church, and the pain he feels when his family is attacked. He also discusses his beloved mother, the late, Tammy Faye, and how their relationship evolved over the years. He is open and honest in this raw interview.

jim and tammy faye susie meister piece

 

The Food Babe Vani Hari: Best-Selling Author and Creator of FoodBabe.com

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Podcasts | 0 comments

The Food Babe Vani Hari: Best-Selling Author and Creator of FoodBabe.com

I got to interview Vani Hari aka The Food Babe, and I was thrilled and honored to talk to this activist and author. Recently named one of TIME Magazine’s 30 Most Influential People Online, Vani Hari is a food advocate and blogger. She has a massive online following and has successful convinced dozens of restaurants and food manufacturers to change the ingredients in their products. She fights against GMOs, transparent ingredient labels, and removing chemicals from our food. Her book, The Food Babe Way is a New York Times #1 Best Seller.

Since our interview, she was the subject of a scathing Gawker article about her and her blog. She has been vilified by many as a hack, fear-monger, charlatan, and worse.  She takes the criticism in stride, and is clearly having an impact in the food industry. Her critics call her anti-science, but she fights back in her own article and she is more popular than ever.

In this interview, we talk about her work with the food industry, how she manages to eat clean, and what’s next for her.

 

Nolan Lebovitz: Horror Filmmaker Turned Rabbi and Documentarian

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Podcasts | 0 comments

Nolan Lebovitz: Horror Filmmaker Turned Rabbi and Documentarian

Susie Meister interviews Nolan Lebovitz, who produced horror movies like Tortured, but is now a a rabbi and is making films about the Bible. His first film, Roadmap Genesis is being released this year, and we discuss why he left the horror movie genre, and turned to God. He talks about his awakening, and how he has found meaning in his Jewish faith. He talks about science vs. faith, and how he thinks the two are compatible. His film features Mike Hukabee, Alan Dershovitz, and Ken Ham and many others discussing why the book of Genesis can guide our lives and lift our culture up. Check out the documentary’s website here for more on the film and where you can see it.

 

Jenna Kim Jones: Comedian, Podcaster, and Mormon

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Podcasts | 0 comments

Jenna Kim Jones: Comedian, Podcaster, and Mormon

Susie Meister sits down with comedian and podcaster Jenna Kim Jones to talk about her career, comedy, and religion. They discuss Jenna’s work on The Daily Show, and why she made the move to Los Angeles. She discusses her faith and how her conservative life has lost her jobs in Hollywood. We find out whether she will in fact be the next host of America’s Funniest Videos after her petition to do so went viral. She also talks about her podcast, Sorry Not Sorry, and why her husband is a great complement to her zany personality.

 

Ed Begley Jr: Actor and Environmentalist

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Podcasts | 0 comments

Ed Begley Jr: Actor and Environmentalist

In this episode of The Meister Piece, I talk to one of Hollywood’s nicest guys, actor and environmentalist, Ed Begley Jr. I met him at the house of Phil Rosenthal (creator of Everybody Loves Raymond), where instead of bringing wine or food, Ed brought his own line of green cleaning products as a host gift.  In the interview, we talk about simple things we all can do to help the environment, his reality show “Living With Ed,” and how his new house, which is completely off-the-grid-is coming along. He describes how he manages his busy acting schedule with his desire to eliminate his carbon footprint. He talks about his famous competition with Bill Nye the Science Guy to live a green lifestyle, and says why Bill has the upper hand. Find out what Ed keeps in his electric car and more. Check out his site here for more on his tips to living green and keep an eye on his new home.

 

Christians and Fifty Shades of Grey w/ Dr. Kelsy Burke

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Podcasts | 0 comments

Christians and Fifty Shades of Grey w/ Dr. Kelsy Burke

Susie Meister interviews Dr. Kelsy Burke a professor of sociology at St. Norbert College who studies sexuality, gender, and Christianity. They discuss the backlash to Fifty Shades of Grey among evangelicals, and why they are warning Christians to avoid the film. We discuss sexuality among evangelicals, how they navigate their fantasies, and why viewing Fifty Shades of Grey is seen as sinful.  We also talk about Kelsy’s research more generally and she describes the websites where Christians go to discuss their concerns, desires, and theology within the framework of their sexuality in an effort to navigate the murky waters of what’s pure/impure for their marital bed.

 

Alex Borstein: Star of Family Guy, MADtv, Getting On

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Podcasts | 0 comments

Alex Borstein: Star of Family Guy, MADtv, Getting On

I will never forget when I saw the notification from Twitter, “Alex Borstein is now following you!”  How could this woman, who I have idolized for years, even know who I am. I messaged her and thanked her for following me. SHE SAID SHE THOUGHT I WAS FUNNY. Now I was going to have to tweet knowing that Alex Borstein might see it. I still can’t handle it.

In this episode of The Meister Piece, I interview the hilariously funny actress, who is best known as the voice of Lois Griffin on Family Guy. Borstein, who also appeared on MADtv, is now starring in HBO’s Getting On. She talks with me about comedy, acting, and even religion. She is characteristically hilarious and up for talking about anything.

 

Rob Fusari: Grammy Winning Hit Maker Who Discovered (and Later Sued) Lady Gaga

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in Podcasts | 0 comments

Rob Fusari: Grammy Winning Hit Maker Who Discovered (and Later Sued) Lady Gaga

Susie Meister interviews Rob Fusari, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter, music producer, and performer. He is famous for writing Destiny’s Child hits, “No, No, No” and “Bootylicious,” Will Smith’s “Wild, Wild West,” and Lady Gaga’s “Papparazzi.” He is most famous for discovering Lady Gaga and collaborating with her, and ultimately embroiled in a $30 million lawsuit with the songstress. He now goes by the name 8bit and is taking his talents to the stage as a member of duo, Cary NoKey. Fusari talks about how he wrote his hits singles, how he knew Lady Gaga was a star, and how he stays positive in the midst of lawsuits and negativity.

 

Dr. James Fallon: Neuroscientist and Author of Best-Selling Book, The Psychopath Inside

Posted by on Feb 10, 2015 in Podcasts | 0 comments

Dr. James Fallon: Neuroscientist and Author of Best-Selling Book, The Psychopath Inside

Host Susie Meister interviews neuroscientist and author of The Psychopath Inside: A Personal Journey Into the Dark Side of the Brain, Dr. James Fallon, who discovered accidentally that he has the brain genetics of a psychopath. Fallon describes what it was like to discover his own genetic predisposition of psychopathy, and why he believes he turned out to be a successful, non-violent, family man instead of a monster. Fallon also discusses how psychopaths operate in and see the world, and why these genes have been useful historically. Meister and Fallon talk about serial killers and the brain makeup that contributes to these behaviors.

 

Shirley Phelps-Roper: Westboro Baptist Church Member

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Everything Else | 0 comments

Shirley Phelps-Roper: Westboro Baptist Church Member

I interview Rachel Phelps Hockenbarger a couple of years ago, and found the experience so fascinating I was eager to do it again. I know many people don’t think we should give the Westboro folks any more attention because of their provocative signs and pickets of military funerals, but I see them as an interesting microcosm within American religion that can shed light on the way Americans believe and behave with regard to theology.

Shirley is outspoken about her anti-gay ideology and picketing the funerals of fallen soldiers and other prominent figures. The church’s signs, which say things like, “God Hates Fags,” make headlines for their decidedly unChristian rhetoric and tone. Phelps-Roper opens up about the church, their community, and dwindling congregation. She describes how the church has changed since their founder and patriarch, Fred Phelps Sr. died last year. She also discusses why she believes we are in End Times, and the perils of hell for those who don’t repent.