Jessica Ryan is a changemaker, creator, and founder at the intersection of the arts and entrepreneurship. She has written for some of the biggest companies in the world including Amazon and GE, directed digital content with Tituss Burgess (Kimmy Schmidt) and Kirstin Maldonado (Pentatonix), voiced spots for Starbucks and Old Navy, performed at Goodspeed & Berkshire Theatre Festival and once sang a jingle for an adult superstore in North Dakota (true story, Annabelle’s if you want to look it up).
Jess is also the founder of Broadway Unlocked, a startup pushing the boundaries of theatre beyond the footlights, creating innovation for any stage. Set at the intersection of the theatrical skillset and entrepreneurship, its portfolio includes The Giveback Concert, Take Me To Coffee, Full STEAM, Storytelling for Leaders and The Salon, among others. The company is at the forefront of innovation in the arts and delivers powerful collaborations, content, products and partnerships across business, cause and culture.
In case you’re not exhausted yet, she’s an ambassador for the Summit community, member of the Zuckerberg Institute and Creator of the #Giveback Concert, as well as this here podcast. @JessicaRyanNYLA
Episode | February 25th, 2020 | 55 mins 34 secs
broadway, entrepreneurship, founders, performing arts, skincare
How do you go from theatre actor to laid-off performer with a major injury and then end up as a skincare entrepreneur with a cult following of broadway stars, high profile makeup artists, pro athletes, and multiplatinum recording artists? If we learned anything on our coffee date with Haus Urban founder Hassan Sayyed, you do it with grace, humor, a whole lot of grit and the all-important science and technology library in Los Angeles. Special thanks to #tm2c listener Avery for introducing us!
Episode | February 18th, 2020 | 53 mins 27 secs
capitalism, sex work, strippers, therapy
Well, this is one of the coolest conversations we've ever had. Janis is a stripper, writer, and sex work affirming therapist living and practicing in NYC and get ready because we are going to learn all the things together today, not the least of which is: what those of us not in the sex industry can take into our lives after listening. Other interesting topics of note: Why it's necessary to talk our financial realities when we talk relationships and what Janis is interested in learning more about and why it has to do with what was in her brother’s sock drawer.
Episode | February 11th, 2020 | 52 mins 40 secs
chef, immersive theatre, merlot, sideways, wine
On February 20th, Napa Valley takes over NYC with Sideways the Experience at the Pecadillo Theatre Company - yes, that Sideways of Paul Giamatti hates Merlot fame. Why's it an experience, you ask? If you're a VIP, your evening includes delicious food from celebrity caterer Mary Giuliani and fabulous wine pairings from Vanessa Conlin, Head of Wine at Wine Access. In honor of their opening, we're sitting down to coffee (maybe vodka?) to talk all things Sideways, what Mary, a graveyard and a Ferris Wheel have in common, how Vanessa went from Broadway performer to wine expert and what the heck BLICCA means, and why it might help you.
Episode | February 4th, 2020 | 1 hr 7 mins
activism, actor, fun home, non-profit, queer
On February 16th at Joe's Pub in NYC, Ring of Keys is celebrating its 2nd Birthday with QUEERING THE CANON, a cabaret concert that flips the songs you thought you knew, and introduces new tunes to our book that tell stories we don't usually hear in musical theatre. We sat down with the co-founder of Ring of Keys, Andrea Prestinario, to talk all things art, activism, building a non-profit as your side gig and why just nearly everything should be BANISH'ED we say!!!!
Episode | January 28th, 2020 | 1 hr 12 mins
cello, classical music, digital media, influencer, social media
Classical Cellist Ken Kubota has hundreds of thousands of people tuning into his JHM Jams every week and brand collaborations every which way you look - but like most stories, the way it all got started is much less glamorous and involved hunting people down in practice rooms, trying to avoid being sued by Julliard and thinking that Instagram was a photo editor. Also on tap: we challenge all the social media creators we know to take the one week "Do Nothing" story challenge.
Episode | January 21st, 2020 | 1 hr 24 mins
composting, podcast, sustainability, zero waste
This was Andrew's last coffee date with coffee pods, thanks to actress and sustainability superhero Meghan Oftermatt- it's all fresh ground and pourover from here! She's like an unstoppable bundle of zero waste wonderwoman who left our heads spinning as she dished out all the advice and made us realize how easy it actually is to reduce your waste and do a little bit to save the planet. Listen up to learn why food waste is so problematic if it isn't composted, why our purchasing power is the strongest way of voting and find out what is better than bees, bats and worms when it comes to sustainability (spoiler alert: NOTHING!)
Episode | January 14th, 2020 | 49 mins 57 secs
composers, musicals, new work, podcast
Ever been curious how musicals get written or what a composer loves in their actors? Get. Into. This. Coffee. Date. Because, oh god, we got nerdy AF with Larson Award-Winning Composer Andy Roninson, trying to figure out what parts of song structure affect why we do or don't like a song, whether a perfect rhyme actually matters (and also wtf is a perfect rhyme anyway), and what we're supposed to do when malaise hits and we'd rather play video games than make something.
Episode | January 7th, 2020 | 34 mins 47 secs
coffee dates, mentorship, new work, off-broadway, playwrighting
Hot on the heels of our 90 day review of the process of making a podcast from scratch, we bring you a coffee date with the very person who was responsible for the original idea of Take Me To Coffee! When a waiter from Cleveland, OH asked his guest Jess if she'd go to coffee with him (ballsy!), she never imagined it would eventually lead to this podcast, and he never imagined the play he wanted advice for would be about to open Off-Broadway. This is a special bonus episode that (we hope) reminds you to ask for help and never take no for an answer.
Episode | December 31st, 2019 | 57 mins 27 secs
community, content, podcast, technology
Just in time for New Year's Eve and all the reflection that goes with it, #TM2C turns 3 months old and Jess & Andrew step into the hot seat for an episode that's real talk about making a podcast. From ups to downs, surprises, equipment lists and secrets about this little podcast that could, join us for a peek inside the show and how if we can do it, so can you!
Episode | December 24th, 2019 | 54 mins 51 secs
branson, illusions, live shows, magic, touring
Magic is one of those things that has always been done a certain way, and Reza is completely smashing that out of the water. From his residency in Branson, Missouri, to touring the US, Reza has built every piece of his empire from scratch and - like so many of our guests - he is completely re-imagining what a live magic show should be. From what it's like to never have a day off for five months, to why there aren't more women leading magic shows, it feels like we barely dipped our toes into the life of this amazing man.
Episode | December 17th, 2019 | 49 mins 40 secs
acting, broadway workshop, child star, gender identity, stage parents
For over 12 years, Broadway Workshop has been training young actors and giving them a professional experience that has sent kids like Andrew Barth Feldman (Dear Evan Hanson) and Micaela Dimond (Cher Show) straight to Broadway, not long after their time with founder Marc Tumminelli. You can tell how much these kids love him by the hilarious and massive amount of questions we got on Instagram for this week's coffee date. And we even got a few great ones from the parents, so there's lots to learn for everyone!
Episode | December 10th, 2019 | 1 hr 5 mins
blogs, fitspo, instagram, sexual purity
Andrew and Jess finally picked their jaws up off the ground after this crazy episode with actress and writer Mattie Jo Cowsert, who leads them through her childhood of evangelical upbringing, sexual purity and what it was like to have a complete identity shift when she moved to NYC. This coffee date is a horrifying, hilarious, complicated look at the expectations put on women in evangelical cultures and what's it like to turn that experience into content.
Episode | December 3rd, 2019 | 1 hr 13 mins
#givingtuesday, hamilton, social impact, survivors
TW: Sexual Assault. Eight years ago, Antuan Raimone (Hamilton) and Jess Ryan set out to raise money for Crime Victims Treatment Center. Antuan had survived childhood sexual violence, and CVTC provided free services and therapy to Antuan and many of their other friends, saving their lives. Over the course of the next few years, they both realized that people have a hard time speaking up about this topic. Today's episode is devoted to sparking a conversation we all need to have - a frank, moving and brave conversation that we hope will answer a lot of questions and inspire you to speak up along with us.
Episode | November 26th, 2019 | 59 mins 16 secs
classical music, instagram, julliard, viola
We love things that go together. Turkey and stuffing. Kid and Play. Viola and Instagram. Wait, Viola and Instagram? Sounds weird, but it's totally not when Drew Forde aka That Viola Kid is around. In this coffee date, we go deep on what it takes to be a live performer at the top of your craft and harness social and digital content, what the tradeoff is when you don't follow the traditional path and why dating is tough when you're labeled an 'influencer'.
Episode | November 22nd, 2019 | 15 mins 10 secs
classical music, content creation, teaser, viola
BIG NEWS ya'll! We're moving your coffee date to Tuesday starting next week. We didn't want to leave you without any inspiration during the move, so here's a little amuse-bouche of next week's episode for your listening pleasure. Drew Forde aka That Viola Kid and Jess talk about the trade-off when you're a live performing artist who gets insta-famous for your digital content. Anyone else struggling with this? @ us and let us know!
Episode | November 14th, 2019 | 54 mins 46 secs
We got some great questions from listeners for this episode with actor Danny Pudi (you might remember him from a little show called Community?). We find out what made Danny laugh the hardest on the set of Community and what his dream role is - but we also talked about when Hollywood's going to finally write that screenplay for Danny about a half Indian, half Polish dancer growing up in Chicago. C'mon H-town, we want to see that!