Episode 51: Nic Novicki and The Easter Seals Disability Film Challenge

Emily Ladau:                 Hi, I’m Emily Ladau.

Kyle Kachadurian:         And I am Kyle Kachadurian.

E:                                 You’re listening to another episode of The Accessible Stall.

K:                                 What are we going to talk about today Emily?

E:                                 We are going to talk about the 2018 Easterseals Disability Film Challenge and I am pretty pumped.

K:                                 Why?

E:                                 Because we spend so much time talking about media representation on this podcast and how to authentically represent disability in the media. Now today we’re actually going to talk with somebody who puts his money where his mouth is. It’s pretty cool.

K:                                 Are you saying we have a guest?

E:                                 I’m saying we have a guest. Yes, we too.

K:                                 Emily you’ve got to tell me about these things. Anywaywho is it?

E:                                 Surprise. So our special guest is Nic Novicki and Nic, I will turn it over to you to introduce yourself.

Nic Novicki:                  Hey, how’s it going guys? I am Nic Novicki. I am an actor, comedian, producer, also happens to be a little person which motivated me to found the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge, which is a weekend film competition where people make a three to five minute film over the course of a weekend, which has somebody with a disability in front of or behind the camera.

K:                                 Sounds pretty cool. I don’t want to use the ‘I’ word on our show, but what inspired you to start this?

N:                                 Yeah so, well, as I said, you know, I’m a little person so I’m 3’10. I started doing standup, my first week of college, when I was 19, was acting. All-the-while while I was in school, I went to business school, so I took a little bit of a left turn in career choices of entertainment, but I just continued pursuing standup and acting. I was lucky that I got pretty early on a couple of breaks, being on the Sopranos and being on a couple pretty high profile TV shows and film projects. But with that being said, I’m 3’10, so my opportunities were limited in a lot of ways to play the roles that I wanted to play, that, that made me want to be an actor.

                                    I began creating my own content, short films, a web series ways where I could be like the romantic lead or the gangster or whatever I wanted to play. I realized that I had kind of a skillfor producing my own content and really it just empowered me. I just felt like it was such an amazing experience to be able to play whatever role I wanted to rather than to for traditional film and TV auditions to come in. It became a passion for me to just create my own content and to keep going forward and it’s led to a lot of work for me. Five years ago I was like, why aren’t more people with disabilities are creating our own content as I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here that, you and all your listeners know, but as people with disabilities, we represent 20% of the population.

E:                                 Oh we love that statistic.

K:                                 It’s our favorite thing to say on the show.

N:                                 I actually have it branded on my forehead, so that helps. We are part of that 20% and we don’t get our fair share of representation. I’ve been on every iversitycommittee from, you know as an actor, as a producer and really I hear and I know that a lot of people want change, but I just came up with this idea for this weekend film competition, where you just need one person with a disability in front of or behind the camera. We’ve got these amazing incentives, and so really it was my own experiences. This is the longest answer for like what inspired you.

K:                                 No, it’s the best answer.

N:                                 It was my own experiences that really–

E:                                 We are super into this answer honestly. I have 8 million questions approximately, but I think the first one you mentioned that it has to be someone with a disability in front of or behind the camera. I feel like we’re always so busy as a community talking about like, “We need disabled people on camera and we need to be on film,” but there’s also merit to being behind the camera too.

N:                                 Absolutely.

E:                                 Can you talk about that a little bit more and why you incorporate that into the requirements and not just must have a disabled actor?

N:                                 Yeah, no, exactly. As somebody who’s a producer myself. Really, I started to produce out of necessity because I wanted to play the roles I wanted to play as an actor, which is the same thing that got me into writing andthen those became sort of separate careers and in a sense. I looked around, I was like, “Why aren’t more people with disabilities on the other side of the camera too?” I mean the percentages are what they are in terms of representation in front of the camera, less than 2% for 20% of the population.

I think the numbers are probably even a lot lower behind the camera, which is crazy to me because as people with disabilities, there’s no reason why we can’t be script supervisors, editors, assistant directors, I mean really other than being a grip and carrying 600 pound equipment, you know, we can do so much. I think really once you get in, especially as the writing and directing or editing, you’re really just as involved if not more in, in the decision making and the process of getting art out there.

E:                                 Well, challenge accepted and now I’m totally going to jerry-rig my power wheelchair to carry 600-poundequipment. So I can be a grip.

K:                                 I’m glad you have that recorded so I can hold her to that.

N:                                 I want to be part of that challenge where I’m just like a, “Hey, I just randomly have this heavy… it’s not even my couch, but can we hook this to the back of your–”

E:                                 I could see that going really well and making great content for YouTube or going terribly and breaking my wheelchair.

K:                                 Still making great content for YouTube.

N:                                 Yeah, either way, it sounds like it would get a lot of hits.

E:                                 That’s it. That’sour, that’s our film challenge idea right there. Part one.

K:                                 Out In a Wheelchair, youre going to win an Oscar.

N:                                 Exactly.

E:                                 How does the film challenge actually work?

N:                                 Yeah, aside from needing to be one person with a disability in front of or behind the camera, you, if you want to enter the film challenge, what you have to do is a register. You’ll go to disabilityfilmchallenge.com. Our registration ends on April 11th. All you have to do–

E:                                 We’re going to put all the links in our description for you, not to cut you off, just wanted to let you know, people will have a way to find it.

N:                                 Yes, please, please. If you have any questions and you’re like, I don’t want to listen to you talk for four hours, you can reach out anytime. Go to disabilityfilmchallenge.com, there’s info at disability film challenge and I will respond to you. That’ll get forwarded to me and I will definitely… I’m very responsive on social media. In order for you to register, you have to go in and you will go to displayfilmchallenge.com. Hit the ‘Register Now’ button. You’re going to get sent over to film freeway and basically from there you will sign up for a new project.

You’ll create a new project or add a new project and you’ll be officially registered for the film challenge. You’ll pay a registration fee. We have all kinds of promo discounts, Sag-aftradiscounts, you know student discounts. Reach out or let us know if you’re wondering if you would fall into a category that they may be at a discount.

                                    Basically, once you’re registered for the film challenge, which our registration ends on April 11th, now typically you wouldn’t hear from us until morningof the first day of the challenge, so that Friday morning. We close the registrations off on the Wednesdayand then Friday morning you’re going to get an email with the assignment which includes the genre, themes you have to incorporate, props and locations that need to be incorporated into your three to five minute film, so that we know that your film was done over the course of a weekend.

                                    Now this year we’re actually giving two extra days for you start working on your theme and your location. So we are going to announce those, and I believe this is actually the first time we’re announcing that. this is an exclusive little plug on the podcast about these exciting new extra days to start thinking about your projects. So, but the end of it is, look, you have your 55 hours to write, shoot, edit, and submit a three to five-minutefilm that has somebody with a disability in front of or behind the camera. We have different categories for our winners. We have bestfilm, which is sort of like the academy award for Best Picture, best filmmaker, which is like the best director award and best actor, and that’s pretty self-explanatory. Beyond that, we also have an awareness competition.

                                    After the film challenge takes place, it ends because all your films are due on Sunday night, Pacific Standard Time, you’ll have those 55 hours to write, shoot, edit, and submit your film. Then we take all of those films and we get them professionally captioned through 3Play Media, which is an amazing company that is able to provide captions so our deaf community can listen and be a part of all these films. Then we put all the films up on our Facebook page and our YouTube page, and then three days later, once we have everything professionally captioned the awareness award competition begins. That is a two-week competition that starts on the Wednesday after the challenge and an ending two weeks later. During that competition, each individual team has two weeks to get the most likes, shares, views, and press for their films.

                                    The cool thing about it is that really goes along with our message to really change the way the world views and defines disability because they’re going to be able to see people in unique circumstances and also just see disability films where frankly, the storylines aren’t about disability, it just happens to be somebody in a wheelchair or somebody that’s a little person.

K:                                 I think you need that thoughbecause part of acceptance is not having the whole plot revolve around your existence. Also as two people who don’t know much or anything about films other than how to watch them, 55 hours doesn’t seem like nearly enough time to make anything. Like I just… that in itself is so crazy to me. That’s intense.

N:                                 No, it’s not. I’ve done these before myself. I’ve done numerous film challenges and really as a writer, I know Emily you’re such a prolific writer. When you have a deadline, it forces you to get stuff out and sometimes you’re like, “Whoa,” you’re more blown away and impressed by what you ended up with, with the finished product when you have a very short timeframe because it sort of takes away your fear or you overthinking things. It forces you to get everything done in a certain period of time. Specifically for a disability film initiative, it’s great because you’re not asking people to volunteer months of their time.

                                    Now typically people at work on a short film, sometimes they work for half a year. I mean, for something that there’s no chance of money really coming from it, you know?

E:                                 Well I know often [0:13:14 inaudible]drama too, I mean having that really short time period when you said deadlines and writing, I relate to that so much because I once pitched an article on the story of… I want to say it was Kylie Jenner posing in a wheelchair.

K:                                 Oh my God with her own golden wheelchair thing.

E:                                 When I pitched the story about it, and I was all riled up about it, and then my story got accepted and I was like, oh my God, I now have like 12 hours to turn this story around.

N:                                 It’s crazy. I think that’s really, as an artist, you know, as a writer, as a director, as an actor, there’s a certain sense of adrenaline that kicks in. Really, that’s why we’ve seen so many people continue to work together outside of this weekend is because you become part of almost like a family where you guys are you’re working together. You’re like, “Who’s getting the food? Who’s going to make the eggs, who’s going to… you know, I need to deliver this paperwork, I need you to sign this release, we have our location only for an hour. We got to really get everything done.” It’s the same thing with your piece, you know that same… sometimes that could take you weeks or I don’t know. I mean you know way better than me from that side, of writing but-

E:                                 Oh I absolutely work better on deadlines, and undera little bit of pressure, that it helps immensely. Also, I’m not writing for a competition. This really ups the stakes a having it be a competition format and then also, shows that disabled people can be part of the same types of pressures in producing media aseverybody else because I know that media production is a high stakes field.

N:                                 Yeah.

E:                                 There’s often this doubt that a person with a disability is capable of taking part in such a highstakes, high adrenaline, fast-pacedworld and I really see this as negating that stereotype.

N:                                 Absolutely. What’s interesting is in a lot of ways it set up similar to TVwhen you’re working on a TV show, you know, each episode’s shot in a week. So if you’re a writer, you have like a day to turn in a new giant. Not a three to five-pagescript but like, you know, you’ll have almost a day to do a full draft of an episode because if you’re on a weekly schedule and the same thing with the actors. You’re getting scripts the night before complete new changes. The hardest thing… and the biggest drawback in general for people with disabilities, I know for myself as an artist is, when you’re not getting enough at-bats, you don’t have enough experience.

                                    As a little person or as a disabled actor, you’re going up against, the nondisabled actors that are auditioning three times a day and if you’re getting an audition once every two months, you’re not going to be as a looser, you know, ready for it. This gives you more experience of professional experience and what it’s really like, honestly, working inTV.

E:                                 We’re both processing this right now because we’re really into it.

K:                                 Yeah, no, it sounds like an episode of Chopped almost.

N:                                 It really ends up becoming that sometimes. What’s so crazy is I’ll get these emails and phone calls, and these things that are just… it has such an amazing impact on people. That’s really the biggest surprise that’s come from the film challenge. Honestly,when I first came up with it, I was like, I want to see some awesome films that feature people with disabilities and that really get a disability out there and I think it’d be a great way for one weekend for this to happen. I really had no idea the snowball effect that would come from it or just what an impact it would have on different people. Like I’ll get these emails from people they’re like, “It changed my life,” and I just,  things where you’re like, “Wow.”

                                    Yeah, there is a certain element of chops where people are like, “Oh.” You’ll get like panickemails or phone calls with like really a questions, and for me, I’m not a judge. I’m just there to help people and I’ve been there and every pretty much aspect of the film and TV business in terms of working in front of the camera, behind the camera. I’m literally from picking up trash on film setsto acting, to directing, to producing, to writing, so really doing everything other than editing. I can relate to people, but yeah, it can be a littlehigh stakes, high pressure.

                                    With that being said too, the interesting thing is that with all of the stakes and all of the pressure that’s in with the film challenge, I don’t think there’s ever been as supportive of a community. I mean there are people like, why are people trying to help other teams. Now they’re in competition. I mean, we have some serious prizes this year. The winners are going to get mentored by Universal Pictures executives, Dell Computers, Adobe packages, Creative Suite, Nike gift bags, a meeting at CBS. These are real game changer-type things. I mean, a screening at Bentonville Film Festival-

E:                                 I have a question about that. The high stakes certainly motivatespeople to participate. Now I’m wondering how do we make this representation happen without all of these stakes attached to it, because the one thing that I always think about is, how do we take an amazing project and apply it to the rest of mainstream media. I know that a lot of these prizes that people are winning have that exact intention to connect the film producer, director, actor, creators, scriptwriters, etc. with a mainstream outlets. How do we get that same type of recognition and comradery and support for disability representation happening all the time and not just in a weekend challenge? What’s the next step?

K:                                 It’s a million dollar question, myfriend.

N:                                 Yeah. The biggest step is for people just to continue doing the work. I don’t think the… there is a certain pressure cooker involved in it and the incentives really help get people to sign up, but they really get more people to sign up for the first time thanevery year. It’s like an addiction. People enter the challenge and they all year round like ready for the next challenge. They could be doing projects all year round and some of them do, but the biggest thing is that they’re getting experience and they’re getting their teams.

The biggest asset is who your network is, in terms of like, if you’re going to be able to continue to do your next projects, can you put together a web series? We’ve had those come from the film challenge. I always tell people, and I always encourage people to keep going. Keep going all year round and just continue to… because the biggest issues isjust a lack of experience. Is what the big hurdle is honestly for our communitythat we need to get into some of these things, their programs at the major networks and studios, these diversity initiatives, we’re competing against other diverse groups or just for some of these programs that people are working all the time. They just have more experience.

E:                                 I bet that Kyle will feel the same way. We talk a lot about picking your battles and also about how people tend to exist inside this disability bubble or this vacuum of disability. Quite frankly when it comes to talking about media representation, what ends up happening is that people get very worked up about it, but don’t take that next step necessarily. Whereas with you not only did you take the next step, but you’re now fostering a program that encourages as many people as possible to take that next step and I love what you said about doing the work.

K:                                 Yeahand it’s funny because we felt that when we made this podcast too, like why isn’t anyone talking about this? That turned into why don’t we talk about this and that’s how it all got started. It’s totally, yes.

N:                                 Yeah, and you’re amplifying the community. They’re listening to you giving… in a sense,you’re giving yourselves to platform, but beyond that,you’re, Emily you’ve written for every major article. You’ve done the work… well, I don’t know.

K:                                 She’s modest. She’s written for everybody.

N:                                 Yeah. I’m saying… but then being able to have somebody from Nebraska that’s like, “Well, how do I do things, and you know, being able to have a voice, so for people to hear. The big thing is we want to see ourselves and hear ourselves and it’s fun to be related to just as a random side my wife is a little person too. I was at some event, an inclusion event and somebody in a wheelchair was a development exec for Netflix, and I followed her in the elevator and I was like, “My wife works in development for Mattel. You guys should become friends,” becausewe… It just happened yesterday, so I did an intro email.

E:                                 Oh I’ve done that too. I followed Tabby [0:24:16 crosstalk]into a freight elevator once.

N:                                 I literally, I was like, “I just like…”

E:                                 Honestly,I think that that embodies what we need to be doing and I recognize that being out there so much is not always accessible to everyone with a disability at all times. I just think there’sso many ways to put yourself in the mix of people who are really working towards representation rather than just complaining about it on twitter.

N:                                 Well, I agree 100%. That’s what I like about you guys as you really are going that same… you know like, “Look, we’re doing our podcasts, we’re writing, we’re doing this or we want to keep being proactive in things. Really that’s going to be the next biggest step for us as a disability community is for us to utilize DSLR cameras, iPhones, basic editing equipment on our own computers. There’s no reason why you can’t have your voice be heard from Nebraska or Iowa or North Dakota. You could be part of the conversation and it’s challenging to find your audience, but it’s challenging for everybody.

E:                                 Also I’m wondering, so we’ve talked a lot about the challenge, but in terms of your personal perspectives, because I’m really interested to hear, not only does representation require having disabled people both in front of and behind the camera, but it also requires an accurate portrayal of the disability experience. I’m sure you probably know where I’m going with this. How do you feel about nondisabled actors portraying disability?

Then I guess on the flip side of that question, how do you feel about your own career? Do you feel that you have been pigeonholed at all into playing certain roles because of your stature and your disability? Because I know you mentioned that, you can play the romantic lead and you can play the gangster and things like that when you’re in charge but what happens when you’re not in charge and we go back into the real world for a minute and think about all the ways in which Hollywood is representing disability?

N:                                 Here’s the thing, when you have somebody with a disability, that is, that is portraying their own disability on screen. It’s going to be more authentic. I mean, there’s no way around it. That even comes sometimes when people write for disability characters, they will like overthink so much. I’ve honestly had discussions with writers in TV and stuff where I’m like, “Look, how much of the script could possibly be about me not being able to reach things in my house? This is like crazy. Like you adapt to things pretty quick.” It’s like, “Hey, can you reach that for me?”

The biggest issue for me is when you have somebody playing a little person or a person in a wheelchair that’s really like further down on the cast list, so they’re not really selling the movie.

                                    It’s not Harrison Ford that’s going to be bringing purchasing power for overseas markets, but the fourth lead is a wheelchair actor and you can’t have a wheelchair actor play that role. It’s got to go to somebody who’s not even really that famous, like that to me is just them not giving enough of a break to people with disabilities. Really, part of it is us as an audience. We’re 20% of the population. We got to go out to the theaters. We got, when we do show authentic portrayals, we’ve got to figure out how to mobilize and go, “Hey, we are getting behind this.”  As a whole, the community seems to have really done that around Speechless, which is awesome. For myself, I’ve also… I can’t lie, sure I find it’s a constant battle, where you’re like, I just don’t want to play this type of role. I don’t want to play that type of role.

                                    To me, I have my own set of morality,ofdo I find this interesting, is this the thing that I really don’t want to do and then I turn it down or is this to me, is this fun? Is there something about this role that I can bring something special to it or myself to it or can I alter it? There are times that I would have loved to just me as an actor to just go in and just go for regular role where I’m like banker number six rather than like, it’d be a whole story about like the first time a lady ever dated a little person or the this is happening with the kid and the kid is little. I’ve done—

I’ve played somebody’s having a kid that wanted somebody with a little person. I played somebody that a mother scenario and they were all great. But I think just again, sometimes as people with disabilities specifically as actors, we just want to play regular people, interesting three dimensionalcharacters.

K:                                 Peter Dinklage just had a part in that movie, three billboards outside ebbing, Missouri. He was just a guy. He was just some guy.

N:                                 You’re talking about somebody who’s… I don’t think roles aren’t written for a little person anymore for Peter. They’re written for just an interesting person, from a guy that works at a bank who is a ladies man or has a hard time being with ladies. It’s not specific about his height anymore. He’s proven himself that he’s really frankly, if not adequate or at the same level as everyone else but better. With his awards, with his performances. He’s the tour to force, and I worked on a play, that I was in the play after him, but he was a part of this show called Mabou Mines Dollhouse, which is really probably one of the most amazing creative experiences for myself.

                                    It was a show, an Epson Play that’s all about belittling women and it was little people and we played all the male characters. We never addressed our height ever, but it was just symbolic aboutus belittling women. He started that role, and it toured for about 10 years going into national theaters all over the world, but he was really just amazing. Such an amazing actor and just hearingstory after story about how great he is as an artist. It’s just, it’s inspiring.

E:                                 Kyle joked at the beginning, like we don’t want to use the ‘I’ word inspiring, but I feel like people like you give us reason to be inspired in the right way, inspired in a hopeful sense and also feeling like it is possible to promote change in what can sometimes feel like a stagnant industry when it comes to you diversifying.

N:                                 Yeah.

E:                                 I’m inspired in the best possible way talking to you about this because there’s so much potential here. I’m literally sitting here like thinking about how can I be a part of the film challenge? How could I even possibly do this?

N:                                 Enter. Let’s get you on the podcast officially entering the… Come on we gotateam right here.

K:                                 Now there’s pressure on it. No, I think Emily’s right, all that and plus you put your money where your mouth is, which is like, that’s something we admire.

N:                                 Well, I’ll use the ‘I’ word and say that honestly, the community I feel like inspires me and really the specifically the people in the films, that do these films, it makes me like, “Gosh, that’s a great story or man, I got to write my own thing or I got to do this,” or you start getting really… The cool thing is that we get to see people of all different disabilities entered.

Everybody has a different interpretation of what the genre or the theme is, some people… We get all different levels of filmmakers. We’ll get people that are USC graduates that are professional filmmakers that have production companies that do commercials and music videos and they do this professionally, and then we’ll get a family where they’ll have somebody with their son has down syndrome. We have a family that enters every year and it’s a family project for them. The kid is so cute and amazing and they just do it–

E:                                 That’s adorable, but not in a condescending way, like I love that it’s [00:34:25 inaudible].

N:                                 No. He’s a kid, I would say he’s cute if he didn’t have Down syndromeif he was… I’m actually going to be talking at his school, he got bullied. I’m going to his school to talk for about him being a part of the film challenge. The kid is awesome, and what’s so cool about the film specifically, that the family does every year is, they really get personal about like… their film last year it wasn’t nominated as a finalist but I thought it was great.

It was all about, it was called The Saint and it was all about how everyone thinks that he is like a saint or an angel, and they’re like, “No, he’s not. Stop calling him that, he’s not perfect. He’s not this.” It allows certain people to tell their point of view and let their inner stuff come out. That’s a specificabout their experience dealing with their son or their family, the sister….

                                    It’s just interesting that we get to see such a wide variety of films and in the interpretations of it. Some are more heartfelt summer, just like raunchy and funny, the only caveat is that everything has to be something that you could watch on, network TV. So it can’t be like HBO, like nudity and that kind of stuff, because we want ultimately to get more sponsors honestly and get more big production companies and studios to get behind this and not only get behind this but get behind disability, because if they featured it on their platforms and this goes into mainstream media these films, that’s going to lead to more opportunities.

Frankly,it already hasopportunities for people to get hired as actors or writers, well more actors, honestly. We’ve gotten more actors, we’ve gotten some directing jobs and a lot of editing jobs have come from it, but it’s just, it’s just inspiring though to see like what people can do in a weekend and especially, it’s even more inspiring for me and I keep using the word that you don’t want me to use. I’m sorry.

K:                                 It’s totally fine. I was just being facetious.

N:                                 No, I’m kidding.

E:                                 We just want it to be used for the right reasons.

N:                                 It’s just cool like when people get, get their voice, show their stories that I haven’t seen. When I’m seeing disability on screen for the first time or a story and I’m like… and they can do it in a way where it’s not like it’s just honest and unique. It’s like inspiring where I’m like, “Man, I’ve got to step my own game up on my own projects.” Yeah, you see certain things and you’re just like, “It’s just awesome.”

E:                                 Kyle and I do this thing at the end of every episode, where we have final takeaways.

N:                                 Yeah.

E:                                 Basically what we want the listeners to leave with and while I’m sure that the A number one thing is register for the film challenge, which I will certainly let you reiterate, I don’t want to steal your thunder there. What would yourfinal takeaway be? If you had to leave the listeners with one thing.

N:                                 My one thing would be, okay, register for the film challenge. Honestly, I don’t think there’s a better opportunity for someone in the disability or even non-disability world in terms of opportunities to get going in the entertainment industry. We talk about all these prizes and that this leads to all these opportunities for people, but really this is a supportivegroup and at the end of your film challenge, you’re going to have your own film.

That would be the second takeaway. Get yourself out there, get disability out there. Take your film and submit it. Some of these films have been submitted to 40 film festivals around the world, been flown to festivals, to Australia, to Europe, and I’ll go here, go there, keep going, keep making your own content. Don’t stop on this weekend film challenge. Take your team and continue to go make another short. Do a web series. Turn your idea into paper, but my biggest takeaway is a set a deadline and keep going.

                                    For those of you that aren’t necessarily interested in entering or making your own content, the second takeaway would be, supportdisability in the media. When it’s told through an authentic lens, we need more eyeballs. We need more clicks. We need more views on YouTube for these interesting stories. When there’s cool OP ads about disability and people being vulnerable and really showing authentically their experience, they need more eyeballs. We’re 20% of the population and we need to really amplify each other more and get more involved in everything that’s a positive portrayal of disability.

K:                                 We’re happy to help with that.

E:                                 Oh yeah. I need a take away from you Kyle, although I don’t know how you can say anything [00:40:00 inaudible].

K:                                 Yeah, I can’t top that except for this guy is really cool and we should have had him on a while ago.

N:                                 It’s an honor. You guys are awesome. I love that. I loved hanging out with you guys in Newyork. In caseyou don’t  I’m in Los Angeles

E:                                 You didn’t even tell the story of how the heck you enededup on this podcast. Yeah, I feel you should totell that story before we wrap up from Kyle’s perspective.

K:                                 Formy perspective, this is my perspective of that. Here we go. I had an event across the street from where I bumped into you guys andI was going to be–

N:                                 New York Times building, I’m going to brag for you guys.

K:                                 New York Times building because it’s totally fancy. Emily was my person to go with because we needed to fill the room. It was a big deal for my job and then Emily was like, “Oh, come to the coffee shop, I’m here with some really cool people.” I was like, “Okay,” that was it. Then Emily was like, “This is Nic, this is Kristen, there from the film festival thing and we got to do this.” I’m like, “Okay.” I was ambushed, but I mean that in the best possible way because this is amazing and–

E:                                 Yeah, we’re doing it from across the country.

K:                                 I have never had a morepositive ambushing.

E:                                 Just the power of making connections.

N:                                 Oh, well, isn’t that nice? I want a hug.

K:                                 I would give you one, but I’m a bit too far away.

N:                                 For meit was awesome to like… I’m from New Haven, Connecticut. I live in Los Angeles now, but that’s where I I’m, I’m an east coaster by blood by comedy. We had this meeting and I was there with people from CK&D, Kristen who is amazing and we were having some, some meetings regarding their… from Easterseals, Southern California where I’m on the board. We were meeting about some Easterseals stuff and trying to get more people from the film challenge.

She had told me about you. I already knew everything about you. I’d read your articles. I was a fan. I was like, “Yes, this is awesome.” We go in and meet. It was a great like east coast thing because it’s like right next to portauthority, like a coffee shop, you get some good New Yorkers, people coming in that want like a coffee, aka can I use the bathroom. You get some of those kindof–

K:                                 It was a good New Yorkie experience when you put it that way. Yeah, there weresome very New Yorkie characteristics about it.

N:                                 It was a great New York, experience.

E:                                 The best possible turnout.

N:                                 It was, and hen right after you guys left, I ran into Christine Bruno from inclusionof the arts and somebody else [0:42:48 crosstalk].

E:                                 Anyways, I wanted you to tell the story of how you ended up on the show in the first place for those people who have stuck with us. On that note, I feel like we can totally wrap this show up. Thank you so much for being with us Nic. This was amazing and I feel empowered to go out and do stuff now. I’m really, really grateful. All right. Thank you so much for listening everybody.

N:                                 Thank you so much for having me on. You guys are the best.

K:                                 We’ll see you next time.

E:                                 Bye.

K:                                 Bye.

N:                                 Bye.