Perennials Podcast
Episode 35: The Psychology of Harry Potter with Dr. Jill Cermele (Live Show!)

Episode 35: The Psychology of Harry Potter with Dr. Jill Cermele (Live Show!)

October 29, 2019

For the first ever Perennials Podcast live show, I sat down with Dr. Jill Cermele, professor of Psychology at Drew University, who teaches a course called "The Psychology of Harry Potter." We talked all about what J.K. Rowling's fantasy series can teach us about growing up, getting wise and trying to live a good life.

What can we learn about identity exploration from the Sorting Hat and Hogwarts houses? How can we laugh at our own boggarts, conjure protective patronuses, and avoid counterproductive magical thinking? What makes some people join Dumbledore's Army while others become Death Eaters? Why is it important for us to see ourselves and others in all our complexity, not as all-good or all-bad?

Find out in today's episode! 

Thank you to Short Stories Book Shop & Community Hub in Madison, NJ for hosting and to Andy Feldman for running sound and mixing this episode!


References made:

You can learn more about today's episode over at the Shownotes page.

Episode 34: Lights Up with Felicia Russell

Episode 34: Lights Up with Felicia Russell

October 14, 2019

In today’s episode, I’m talking with my (nine years younger, nine inches taller) sister Felicia Russell about what she’s learned from ten years in the world of theater. Felicia has performed in nineteen musicals or plays over the course of the past ten years, and has auditioned for somewhere around 40 or 50. Her first public performance was at our town’s talent show when she was five years old, and later that same year she went on her first audition for a local community theater production of The Sound of Music.

I used to watch in awe as my little sister, who was still just a kid, went to auditions and rehearsals with a sense of professionalism, dedication, passion and love way beyond her years. It’s been incredible to watch her relationship to this art form deepen and evolve as she’s grown up.

Today, Felicia is sharing wisdom she’s gleaned from ten years of auditions, rejections, rehearsals, and live shows. Whether you like to be onstage, backstage or in the audience, there's a lesson here for you: about trusting your instincts, grappling with rejection and critique, retaining hope, learning how to care but not cling, the importance of responsibility and respect, and what it means to take something and leave something from each important experience you have.

You can learn more about Felicia and today's episode on the Shownotes page.

Episode 33: Traveling with Anxiety

Episode 33: Traveling with Anxiety

October 8, 2019

Do you get anxiety about traveling? Me too! But that's okay, because we can manage it. Anxiety doesn't have to keep us locked in our homes all the time. In addition to whatever treatment methods we're using to manage anxiety in our everyday lives, there are some basic practices that we can take with us wherever we go. In today's episode, I'm sharing 10 tips, tricks and tools for managing travel anxiety that I used on my recent trip to Montana, complete with stories about irrational obsessing over footwear, an almost-ill-fated camping trip, and the playlists that get me through long flights. 

If you're in the mood to travel, why not come visit lovely Madison, New Jersey for the very first Perennials Podcast live show?? I'll be having a conversation about the psychology of Harry Potter with Dr. Jill Cermele, professor of Psychology at Drew University, at Short Stories Bookshop & Community Hub from 7-9 pm on Friday, October 25. Head to the Facebook event to learn more and RSVP to this free, sure-to-be-super-fun event!

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