Episode 24—Brin-Jonathan Butler Takes Us to Cuba!


“You don’t know when you’ve kicked up the hornets’ nest until they’re all on you.” Brin-Jonathan Butler.

“The decision itself was the villain.” Brin-Jonathan Butler

Written by Brendan O’Meara

Brin-Jonathan Butler returns this time to talk about his wonderful memoir The Domino Diaries: My Decade Boxing with Olympic Champions and Chasing Hemingway’s Ghost in the Final Days of Castro’s Cuba.

In this latest episode, we really drill down on his book and his time in Cuba. It “closed a door on a decade,” as Brin says.

The experience was, in some ways, a gamble. But the reasoning was simple because it allows him to lead a life worth writing about, as he says.

So I hope you enjoy this episode. Also, be sure to listen to our Round 1.

I ask that you subscribe to the podcast (working on getting it in the Android store. For now it’s on iTunes), subscribe to my monthly newsletter, and to share the podcast with folks you think may enjoy it.

How to Handle Dejection, a lesson from Parks and Rec creator Mike Schur

Written by Brendan O’Meara

Amy Poehler wrote in her book Yes Please, a book with great insight into what it takes to be an artist, that after shooting an episode during Season 5, Parks and Recreation earned an Emmy nomination for best comedy.

They lost.

Poehler wrote:

We were upset because as we know, no matter how much you think you don’t want the pudding, once people start telling you that you might get the pudding it makes you want that pudding bad.

Awards, by and large are B.S. Then again, sometimes you win. In fact, Ron Swanson, the famed P&R character perfectly played by Nick Offerman said as much in an episode I cannot remember.

What did show runner and show creator Mike Schur do in response to the disappointment of his craft’s highest honor? Poehler writes:

Instead of being upset, Mike said, ‘I’m going to go write the scene where Ben proposes to Leslie.’

And if you’re a fan of the show, you know it’s one of the most beautiful scenes in the show’s run. Makes me weep every time I see it…and I’ve seen it probably five times.

So you didn’t win an award. What did you do? Did you mope? Or did you fight back by writing the best damn scene you’ve ever written?

I thought so. Now get to work.