Work of Art: The Mason Gross Podcast

Work of Art: The Mason Gross Podcast is a production of Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, New Jersey. We are a community of nearly 1,200 undergrad and graduate dancers, musicians, theater artists, filmmakers, and visual artists from around the globe. Every other Tuesday, we speak with with some of these artists, discussing what fuels their curiosity, their passion, and their impulse to make.

Read more about our guests below and click the links to download from your favorite podcast platform.

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  • Episode 13: Sana Colter (Music) and Ariana Speight (Dance)

    "For years, being an artist and seeing the number of people who look like me diminish, it was always trying to find where I fit in. I realized over time that what made me unique was the fact that I fit 'out.' I looked different than everyone else, and that was OK. I want to encourage more people not to try to find a way to fit in." - Sana Colter (top)

     

  • Episode 12: Lee Savage (Theater)

    “The skills that any student of the theater learns can be applied to so many different industries. You learn how to communicate. It’s not just scenic design that we’re learning. We’re learning how to tell stories.”

     

  • Episode 11: Windows of Understanding (Art & Design)

     

    “Windows of Understanding are the difficult conversations, the concessions being made, the awareness of certain things we didn’t know before—those are Windows of Understanding.” – Cassandra Oliveras-Moreno (right)

     

  • Episode 10: Vaughn Stavropoulos (Music)

     

    “The mixing of many students at many levels [here at Mason Gross]…you can see what musicians will look like years down the line of having practiced—to see that they once stood where you are. You see the spectrum, from where you stand, to where they’re at, to where the professors are at. It all feels more attainable.”

     

  • Episode 9: Olympia Martin and Francesca Stoppa (Art & Design)

    “A lot of inspiration should come outside of the studio. I think being in one space is not healthy at all for art. That’s why I’m always thankful to have running, because it helps me so much.” - Martin (left)

    “Not having a lot of time is actually better. I work a lot better under pressure and when I’m running out of time.” - Stoppa (right)

     

  • Episode 8: Elizabeth Monkemeier (Music)

     

    "It is really scary to be so passionate about something… Music can be so time-consuming… you have to think about how many hours in the day can you really sanely commit to something and not be scared of something inside of you that says, ‘More, more, more.’"

     

  • Episode 7: Danielle Lessovitz (Filmmaking)

     

    “It’s just a process of wanting to connect and finding that in films and in stories we can sometimes talk about ourselves and our lives and our experiences in a coded way that allows for us to connect with the experiences of others and for others to connect with us.”

     

  • Episode 6: Andrea Pfaff and Sam Spencer (Filmmaking)

    Andrea Pfaff and Sam Spencer

     

    “They had a vibrancy and excitement about life, even though the reason I was there was to talk about how difficult their lives had become. They were still living life. They hadn’t let go.” - Andrea Pfaff (left)

     

  • Episode 5: Allen Shawn (Music)

    “In music, I don’t have phobias. In music, I have a sense of adventure…I take risks… music is an arena in which I can be fully myself, and almost freed.”

  • Episode 4: Valerie Marcus Ramshur (Costuming)

     

    “In that risk-taking is where we’re fully alive—we’re fully alive, we’re fully present, we’re open, we’re wide open to chance and opportunity. I tell my students all the time, ‘Take a risk, get messy, try it, turn left instead of right.’”

     

     

     

  • Episode 3: Young Sun Han (Art & Design)

     

    "Art opens up possibilities of entering into an idea, a situation, or a material from different vantage points that have no rules. So it allows you to unpack things."

  • Episode 2: Rebecca Cypess (Music)

     

    “Performance is more than just historical re-creation--it’s about the creation of new meaning. In any moment, if we choose, we can decide to listen to music, to sing music, to play music in a way that speaks to us.”

  • Episode 1: Christopher Cartmill (Theater)

     

    “Every theater artist has had this conversation with their parents, this theatrical coming out when you say, ‘I want to be an artist.’ ”