The Podcast w/ Benson Thai
By Benson Thai
I am Benson Thai. I'm a writer, filmmaker, musician, and now: podcaster. This podcast was conceived in the spirit of my favorites like WTF with Marc Maron and The Nerdist/ID10T with Chris Hardwick. I try to have conversations with people so I can feed my curiosity, foster human connection, and get out of the house.
Koby Nelson Returns
Koby Nelson sits down with Benson in the Hartt School recording studio to talk about Benson's recent splurge on gear, how Mac Minis should be called MacNuggets, how farming and sound engineering are definitely the same thing, how hot the studio is, and Koby engineering the session instead of Benson!
February 27, 2022
Zach Haines Returns
Zach Haines sits down with Benson in the School of Communication podcast studio at the University of Hartford to talk about the script Benson has yet to write, how sci-fi movies are his pizza, the new crop of horror directors, and the audio class he and Benson are teaching in fall 2021!
February 20, 2022
Sarah Badlissi is a classical guitarist and graduate of the guitar program at the University of Hartford's Hartt School. She sits down with Benson to talk about movies shot in Massachussetts, film scores, and going to Brussels for graduate school! Then she plays Gulli Bjornsson's "Rock-Covered Plateau."
February 13, 2022
T.J. Thompson is a jazz pianist, educator, and director of instrumental music at The Taft School in Watertown, CT. He sits down with Benson to talk about going to Guitar Center, teaching during a pandemic, titling instrumental works, H. Jon Benjamin's "jazz" album, and their experiences learning to read music and train their ears!
February 06, 2022
Phoebe Casciani Re-Returns
Phoebe Casciani returns to the podcast to talk about her plans to move to Florida, Wes Anderson, standing desks, and how Zodiac is a much better David Fincher movie than The Curious Case of Benjamin Button!
January 30, 2022
Carol Kaplan Returns
Carol Kaplan returns to the podcast to talk about DIY projects, how she became Executive Director of the Farmington Valley Arts Center, and running the FVAC during a pandemic!
October 31, 2021
Michael Yurgeles Returns
Michael Yurgeles returns to the podcast to talk about interesting Connecticut residents, parallel universes, Nicolas Cage, and how his kids call him and his wife by their first names!
October 24, 2021
Julie Pereira (artist) sits down with Benson to talk about studio environments, how art takes up space, LeVar Burton Reads, hearing their own voices!
October 17, 2021
Bill Haygood is the facilities manager of the Five Points Center for the Visual Arts. He sits down with Benson to talk about his life as a tradesman, and the nature of the arts, and whether art really means anything!
October 10, 2021
Jimmy Ji Returns
Jimmy Ji returns to the podcast to talk about his brief stint in corporate work, their filmmaking journeys, GAS, and possibly expanding his video production company!
October 03, 2021
Sue Berg Returns
Sue Berg returns to the podcast to talk about the new Five Points Art Center, her retirement from teaching, boxed water, and biodegradable art!
September 26, 2021
Dr. Jack Banks is an Associate Professor of Communication and Director of the University of Hartford's School of Communication. He sits down with Benson to talk about pandemic life during the school year, the new podcast studio, if Benson should be considered a creative, and hams!
September 19, 2021
Nathan Dembik Re-Returns
Nathan Dembik returns to the podcast to talk about Ellen, jazz cigarettes, doxxing James Taylor, The Butterfly Effect, The Sugeshank Redemption, and O.J. Simpson!
September 12, 2021
Johanna Dunphy is an actress and adjunct professor of drama at the University of Hartford. She talks with Benson about how they met, teaching drama remotely, theatrical minimalism, art that pushes people's buttons, and they do some yoga at the end!
April 11, 2021
Amanda Walling Returns
Dr. Amanda Walling returns to the podcast to talk about Benson's new lighting setup, how mattresses are part of the Deep State, Thomas Pynchon novels, how Benson's hobbies are incompatible with minimalism, historically dubious footnotes, and her upcoming role as Interim Chair of the English Department!
March 28, 2021
Justin Tkachuk Returns
Justin "Chuck" Tkachuk returns to the podcast to talk about The Karate Kid, life in quarantine, how Benson scored a PS5, units of measurement in Canada, and how to get a signed portrait of the Queen!
March 14, 2021
Samantha Nikitas is a recent graduate of the University of Hartford's English Secondary Education program. She convenes with Benson to review their first unreleased session from February 2020. Then they try to have a "normal" conversation about if time exists, the pandemic, affairs with chiropractors, free erections, and Benson's curriculum!
February 28, 2021
Gabriella "Gabi with an 'i'" Navas is a recent graduate of the University of Hartford's English program. She talks with Benson about how they met, life in quarantine, grad school applications, their identities as writers, Gabi tries to convince Benson he's talented, and they officially become friends through toilet humor!
February 14, 2021
Abe Hefter is an Applied Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Hartford. He talks with Benson about his podcast project, guitars, the time he interviewed Jeff Beck, and if podcasts can be too niche!
January 17, 2021
Bryan Sinche Returns
Dr. Bryan Sinche returns to the podcast to talk about how terrible 2020 is, teaching and learning remotely, picking up instruments, and what it means to do anything important!
January 03, 2021
Ciara Herget Returns
Ciara Herget (still pronounced KEER-uh HUR-giht) returns to the podcast to talk about driving, weird family trees, the history of names, memoirs, religion (again!), and almost blinding her right before recording!
December 06, 2020
Simone Marie is a singer, songwriter, and graduate student in Jazz Studies at the University of Hartford's Hartt School. She talks with Benson about their mutual friend Andrew Wilcox, taking classes in the age of COVID, the challenges of songwriting, and recording her debut EP Just the Beginning!
November 22, 2020
Cosmos Sunshine (musician) talks with Benson about middle names, gear, their journeys as guitarists, and recording his most recent album The Way Is Clear!
November 08, 2020
Kristi Flagg (singer-songwriter) talks with Benson about hopping around the country, studying musical theatre, songwriting, and the making of her debut studio album Brave New View! Note: at the time of recording this episode, Brave New View was scheduled to be released on October 10 but was subsequently pushed back to October 20.
October 25, 2020
Koby Nelson is an audio engineer and an artist teacher/adjunct professor of Music Production and Technology at the University of Hartford's Hartt School. He talks with Benson about gear, analog vs. digital, DAWs, Mac vs. PC, and his podcast Self-Signed Artist!
October 11, 2020
Andrew Wilcox Returns
Andrew Wilcox returns to the podcast to talk about life and school during quarantine, his graduate program at UMass Amherst, classes about production, wanting to make records, and training their ears!
September 27, 2020
Felice Magistrali (singer, songwriter) talks with Benson about life in quarantine, making records, social media, stage names, the challenges of songwriting, and releasing her new single "A Little Taboo"!
September 13, 2020
Adam Sekuler is a filmmaker, curator, educator and programmer based in New Orleans, LA. He sits down with Benson at the University of Hartford to talk about Mexican Catholicism, getting into foreign films, working with filmmakers like Barry Jenkins and the Safdie brothers, and his feature-length documentary Tomorrow Never Knows!
May 10, 2020
Nathan Carr Returns
Nathan Carr returns to the podcast to talk with Benson about overloading on math courses, application anxieties, the pitfalls of perfectionism, and they decide Nathan will begin a rap career under the name Dynamic Wanderer!
May 03, 2020
James Brino is a mechanical engineering student and president of the Student Government Association at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson to talk about busy schedules, not majoring in music, researching ribbon microphones, and engineering live sound!
April 26, 2020
Phoebe Casciani Returns
Phoebe Casciani returns to the podcast to talk about the evolution of home video, falling asleep at the movies, film majors who know nothing about film, the relationship between still photography and cinematography, and connecting with people via the podcast!
April 19, 2020
Listra Mitchell-Simmons is a student majoring in English at the University of Hartford. She sits down with Benson to talk about doing research in Trinidad and Tobago, the relationship between ethnicity and identity, and what it's like to be on the podcast!
April 12, 2020
Andrew Wilcox is a pianist majoring in Jazz Studies at the University of Hartford's Hartt School. He sits down with Benson to talk about being a recovering jazz snob, forming deep connections with music, and not taking themselves too seriously!
April 05, 2020
Dr. Benjamin Grossberg is an Associate Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson to talk about nearsightedness, standardized testing, what makes for a good podcast, and people walking out on interviews!
March 29, 2020
Ciara Herget (KEER-uh HUR-giht) is a student majoring in English at the University of Hartford. She sits down with Benson to talk about working menial jobs, minority representation in media, and their relationship to religion!
March 22, 2020
Shane Smallshaw Returns
Shane Smallshaw returns to the podcast to talk about short boys and tall girls, almost dying in December, his new job, the state of the podcast, and building computers!
March 15, 2020
Ben Ide is a librarian and the Head of Library Resource and Metadata Services at the University of Hartford's Harrison Libraries. He sits down with Benson to talk about accessibility on campus, being recovering dropouts, and books vs. the information they contain!
March 08, 2020
Kate Lori is an actress, classical soprano, and voice teacher based in Torrington, CT. She sits down with Benson in her studio to talk about ear training, vocal pedagogy, attending graduate school at NYU, and the time she briefly died!
March 01, 2020
Timothy Alexandre Wallace
Timothy Alexandre Wallace is a pianist, composer, and former proprietor of Studio 59 in Torrington, CT. He sits down with Benson to talk about winter colds, other artistic pursuits, improvisation, and musical copyright lawsuits!
February 23, 2020
Tyler Moulton is a graphic design student at the Maine College of Art. He sits down with Benson to talk about attending school in Maine, Star Wars, movies they've seen recently, his vaporwave album, and podcasts about sound!
February 16, 2020
Nathan Dembik Returns
Nathan Dembik returns to the podcast to talk about nosebleeds, Star Wars, their favorite movies of 2019, audiobooks, and guitaring!
February 09, 2020
Steve Kaplan is a lawyer, artist, and the husband of early podcast guest Carol Kaplan. He sits down with Benson in his studio at the Farmington Valley Arts Center to talk about woodworking, transcribing the memoir of a nonverbal person, and Martin Scorsese's The Irishman!
February 02, 2020
Justin "Chuck" Tkachuk is a student majoring in English Secondary Education at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson to talk about almost being deported, the fireplace channel, getting excited about reading, and finding passions later in life!
January 26, 2020
Dr. Erin Striff is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Hartford. She sits down with Benson to talk about growing up in California, living in Connecticut, playwriting, the art of acting, and grading the podcast!
January 19, 2020
Dr. Amanda Walling is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Hartford. She sits down with Benson to talk about long commutes, semicolons, homosocial relationships, accidental album titles, and her appearance on the podcast!
January 12, 2020
Dakota Nanton is an experimental filmmaker and visiting professor of film at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson in his office to talk about whether cinema exists without audiences, growing up in Utah, and Jonathan Glazer's Under the Skin (2013)!
January 05, 2020
Zach Haines is a filmmaker and professor of film at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson to talk about cameras, New German Cinema, Mac vs. PC, growing up in New Jersey, and having Benson as a student!
December 29, 2019
Nathan Carr is a student majoring in Economics at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson to talk about almost becoming a podcaster, the complexities of complexity, and having a great relationship with his roommate!
December 22, 2019
Dr. Ines Rivera-Prosdocimi is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Hartford. She sits down with Benson to talk about the baggage that comes with art, literary analysis, and her newborn son!
December 15, 2019
Crosby Adlard is a film student at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson to talk about long movies, artistic alienation, and the lack of enunciation in modern music!
December 08, 2019
Dr. Mark Blackwell is a Professor of English at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson to talk about pickled foods, leaving STEM fields for English, origins of artistic compulsion, and the merits of literary analysis!
December 01, 2019
Dr. Robert Beck is a Professor of psychology and department chair of behavioral/social sciences at Northwestern Connecticut Community College. He sits down with Benson in his office to talk about correcting people's English, teaching psychology, the fragility of human memory, and Darren Aronofsky movies!
November 24, 2019
Shane Smallshaw is a film student at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson to talk about their time at the university, LGBTQ cinema, video game movies, live-action Disney remakes, and masturbating to Brokeback Mountain!
November 17, 2019
Dr. Julie Sochacki is a Clinical Associate Professor of English and Program Director for English Secondary Education at the University of Hartford. She sits down with Benson to talk about doing yoga, earning a law degree, secretly publishing cookbooks, and her podcast The Resilient Teacher Project!
November 10, 2019
Donovan Cox is a professor of philosophy at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson at the Forbes Library in Northampton, MA to talk about grunge music, teaching philosophy, and his complicated journey to earn a doctorate!
November 03, 2019
Michael Yurgeles is a photographer, educator, and Executive Director of Artwell Gallery. He sits down with Benson to talk about Vivian Maier, Gregory Crewdson, their time in photography classes, and brushing past RISD alumni like Seth MacFarlane and members of Talking Heads!
October 27, 2019
Tracy Walton is a musician, record producer, and the owner of On Deck Sound Studio in Northfield, CT. He sits down with Benson to talk about getting into music, engineering/producing for other artists, songwriting, and meeting each other through Music in Common!
October 20, 2019
Rick Dubois is a physics teacher at Torrington High School in Torrington, CT. He sits down with Benson to talk about teaching, being a coach, having Benson as a student, and Peter Jackson movies!
October 13, 2019
Dr. Bryan Sinche is an Associate Professor of English and Chair for the Department of English and Modern Languages at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson to talk about device addiction, staying productive, reading vs. listening to books, and his journey to becoming an English professor!
October 06, 2019
Nathan Dembik is a student majoring in Economics and Finance at the University of Hartford. He sits down with Benson to talk about their relationship to the arts, playing guitar, reality TV, and Neil Young impressions!
September 29, 2019
Carol Kaplan (artist) is the Executive Director of the Farmington Valley Arts Center in Avon, CT. She sits down with Benson in her office to talk about pickles, found object art, meeting him as a photography client, and choosing music to play with company present!
September 22, 2019
Sue Berg (artist) is a professor of art at Northwestern Connecticut Community College. She sits down with Benson at the Farmington Valley Arts Center to talk about graphic design, web design, digital video, and using a mouse backwards!
September 15, 2019
Jimmy Ji (videographer) sits down with Benson to talk about podcasts, early YouTube, video games, movies, growing up as a Pakistani-Korean, and his career as a freelance videographer!
September 08, 2019
Phoebe Casciani (photographer) sits down with Benson to talk about photography, film vs. digital, their relationship to the arts, and her getting married!
September 01, 2019