Skip to main content
The BraveMaker Podcast

The BraveMaker Podcast

By BraveMaker Media
Stories, scripts and conversations with creators.

This is a podcast WITH AND FOR filmmakers, writers, actors and brave makers of all kinds. You'll hear actors dramatically read scripts and get back stories behind why and how brave movers and shakers create culture shaping work. It's all about the brave stories behind brave making.

Hosted by Tony Gapastione and Rebekah Amosah with featured correspondents.

Find us on Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Googleplay, Spotify and more.
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Castbox Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo


Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

PodBean Logo


RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


Stitcher Logo


Currently playing episode

5: Brave LGBTQ+ stories in film, music & photography

The BraveMaker Podcast

5: Brave LGBTQ+ stories in film, music & photography

The BraveMaker Podcast

77: Scare Me's writer, director and actor: JOSH RUBEN
LIVE CHAT with actor/writer/director Josh Ruben who debuted his first feature film at Sundance 2020. He is now gearing up for a release on Thursday October 1st, 2020 via (which you can try out for FREE for seven days). Just in time for Halloween. #ScareMe
September 27, 2020
76: A check-in with IRVING RUAN: Comedy writer and BraveMaker podcast host
Irving Ruan is a Chinese American writer, actor, comedian, playwright, and software engineer. His work has been published in The New Yorker, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Funny Or Die, CollegeHumor, and elsewhere. He is a member of the San Francisco Writers Grotto. He  graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in  Computer Science and has studied improv, sketch writing, and satire at  The Second City in Chicago. Irving lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is represented by Danielle Svetcov at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency. We are grateful for Irving's continued hosting on our podcast and highlighting the art of writing and comedy! One of the pieces we discussed on the podcast:
September 21, 2020
75: Documentary crew and stories from THE PRISON WITHIN The  Prison Within is narrated by Hill Harper (The Good Doctor, Homeland,  CSI:NY, Covert Affairs) and author of Letters to an Incarcerated  Brother, which speaks to the current mass incarceration crisis. Director  Katherin Hervey, a former Los Angeles Public Defender and volunteer  prison college instructor, is the first filmmaker to gain access to  chronicle these intimate and revealing sessions inside San Quentin  Prison. People incarcerated for murder inside San Quentin Prison transcend the  barriers of the punitive prison system by working with victims of  violent crime to unearth the root cause of their own violence. Each  character undergoes a radical transformation revealing how every human  being, on both sides of the wall, can break out of their own personal  prisons to stop the cycle of violence. The  Prison Within exposes the devastating impact untreated trauma has on individuals and communities through the powerful stories of survivors of  violent crimes and prisoners incarcerated for murder in San Quentin  prison. The prisoners and survivors come together and participate in the  Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG)—an innovative restorative  justice program enabling prisoners to discover how the trauma they’ve  experienced contributed to their criminality and to understand the  impact their crimes have on their victims. Together, the prisoners and  survivors confront and expose the pain, shame, and rage caused by the  extreme trauma they’ve experienced throughout their lives. We  are asking the audience to set aside what they think they know about  incarcerated people. Most people in prison are first a victim. Anger and  violence stems from untreated trauma. When our justice system excludes  the notion of rehabilitation, it necessarily perpetuates the cycle of  violence by failing to address trauma. And the fallout from untreated  trauma ultimately affects the entire community. This film serves as an  example of how all people can change, how we can evolve as a community,  and the power of connecting to the humanity in others, even those who  have committed harm.
September 9, 2020
74: Filmmaker Darious Britt
Episode 74 is hosted by Krystina Jackson + Tony Gapastione Darious Britt is a Director, producer, screenwriter and actor. He attended film school at the University of Arizona and graduated in May of 2012 with a bachelors in Media production. He  toured his short film “Seafood Tester” to four international film  festivals including the oscar qualifying Aspen Shorts fest in 2012. Darious  created the youtube channel D4Darious, in August of 2013 and it has  since grown to over 140,000 subscribers and over 5 million views in  three years. He  have Toured his first feature film “Unsound” on the film festival  circuit screening at over 20 international film festivals, winning 7  awards including best director at The Pan African Film Festival in 2015. He loves telling stories and helping other filmmakers learn the craft to reach their highest potential as storytellers.” He vlogged the entire journey with his first freature film UNSOUND on youtube. At minute 33 we share a TRAILER to THE SCARLET THREAD can be found here:
September 3, 2020
73: Documentary Filmmaker Jason Hanasik wants to save LGBTQ+ lives
Watch the BBC film here: It’s  been 30 years since the World Health Organization declassified  homosexuality as a psychological disorder - being gay is no longer  considered something that can be ‘cured’. 'Gay conversion therapy'  attempts to change sexual orientation through psychological, spiritual  and sometimes physical means. It's been widely labelled unethical and  potentially harmful. But so-called gay conversion therapy is still  widely available around the world. BBC  News Arabic has met a doctor in Jordan who’s been offering ‘gay  conversion therapy’ and talked to people who have suffered as a result  of going through this so-called treatment. It  is extremely rare for a doctor offering this controversial practice to  speak openly and this is the first time anyone has covered this issue in  depth in the Middle East. This  film highlights the emotional toll experienced by two young people who,  in a desperate attempt to fit in, undergo ‘gay conversion therapy’.  This film exposes the negative impact of such therapy and we hear  details of what both characters experienced and how the treatment almost  cost them their lives. We  also hear from a doctor who practices gay conversion therapy who  believes homosexuality is a psychological disorder that can be cured.  The film is about two people’s emotional struggle to be accepted and to  love freely despite social stigma and family rejection. A film by Jason Hanasik. Animation by Leah Nichols.
September 2, 2020
72: Hollywood Teen Actresses Izabella Alvarez + Talia Jackson
Live Chat with Hollywood Teen Actresses Izabella Alvarez + Talia Jackson hosted by Tony Gapastione  Most  recently Izabella can be heard voicing the lead spunky character,  'Ronnie Anne Santiago,' in Nickelodeon's "The Casagrandes." The animated  series tells the story of 11-year- old Ronnie Anne after she moves to  the city with her older brother Bobby and her mom, where they now live  with their big, loving multi-generational family, the Casagrandes. By  depicting stories based on Mexican-American and Latino themes, "The  Casagrandes" is a bridge to Latino culture. And will be seen as lead in the in the upcoming CW's "The Republic of Sarah," currently in production. LA Times writes, "Izabella Alvarez, a Rising Latina Star, commands desperation-ridden scenes with skill and maturity." + Talia  Jackson has been auditioning since the age of 7 and didn't get her  first break until August 2018 when she booked the series regular role of  Jade McKellan in Netflix's Family Reunion and Zoe in ABC's Station19.  She booked the series regular role of Dusty Gable on  ABC/Warner/Berlanti/Diablo Cody pilot Raised by Wolves in 2017 but it  didn't get picked up. Talia is also a singer and will release her first  single "I'm not Jealous" in July 2019. Talia  moved from Wisconsin with her mother and brother to Santa Barbara in  February 2009 after a divorce to be near relatives and to pursue her  dreams of becoming an actress and singer. For 10 years she auditioned  and booked 1 small independent film and a couple of commercials but  didn't book a TV role or film that actually aired somewhere. She was  close to giving up on her acting career right before she booked a  starring role in Family Reunion and Station 19 in the same month.
August 31, 2020
71: Charles Yu: Sci-Fi Novelist and TV Writer for Westworld
***Follow BraveMaker's correspondent IRVING on Instagram: INFO ON OUR FEATURED GUEST:  Charles  Yu is the author of four books, including the novel How to Live Safely  in a Science Fictional Universe, which was a New York Times Notable Book  and named one of the best books of the year by Time magazine. He  received the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 Award, and was  nominated for two WGA awards for his work on the HBO series, Westworld.  He has also written for upcoming shows on AMC and HBO. His fiction and  non-fiction have appeared in a number of publications including The New  Yorker, The New York Times, Slate and Wired. His latest book, Interior  Chinatown, was published in January 2020. How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe: Interior Chinatown:   Website: Twitter: ----- Sign up for our email list: Classes:
August 7, 2020
70: Kyra Jones, artist, activist, actor in Chicago
Kyra Jones is a queer Black multidisciplinary artist and filmmaker based in Chicago, IL. Kyra received her degree in Theatre and Gender Studies from Northwestern University. As an actor, she's appeared on Empire (Fox), Chicago Justice (NBC), Kappa Force (Revry), Seeds (OTV) and more. She's the co-creator, executive producer, and star of the award-winning web series,The Right Swipe (OTV). She's currently in pre-production for her first feature film, Go to the Body, a boxing film that tackles sexual violence in the Black community. In addition to her work in film, TV, and theatre, Kyra is also an educator and advocate, working with survivors of gender-based violence. She's represented by Stewart Talent.
August 6, 2020
69: Summer Love with Becky Alex
Teen singer/actor Becky Alex is on the show to talk about her song and music video. Watch her video here: Behind the scenes here:
July 26, 2020
68: Légère Creative with Minna Rogers Légère Creative was founded by Minna Rogers to fill the need of rest and introspection in our culture and daily lives. Busy schedules, routines, and living on auto-pilot often causes us to lose sight of ourselves and our creative energies. Each person is gifted with a desire to create and thrive, and we want to honor, nurture, and cultivate that at Légère. Through our programs, participants take the time to slow down and create, to get back in touch with their innermost, creative selves. This provides the opportunity for introspection and rest at a spiritual level, causing a ripple effect to other arenas of life, and creating the possibility of living life more aligned with self and purpose.    The goals of Légère: To use creative arts to facilitate healing and renewal. To provide a safe space to explore creativity and self. To explore mind-body connection. To locate the source of your deepest inspiration and creativity . To connect with others who are interested in looking inward. To provide inspiration and the opportunity for rejuvenation, so participants can return to their lives refreshed.
July 21, 2020
67: Mitchell Street Pictures: The Cortez Family's short film: THE LOST
Our last film selection for our VIRTUAL FILM FEST was: THE LOST, a short film written and directed by Vincent Cortez.  In this interview Tony and Krystina interview the very talented CORTEZ FAMILY who produced and acted in the film.  Find more about the film here:
July 7, 2020
66: WONDER on HBO by Gabriel Furman + Javier Molina
Meet the filmmakers of WONDER on HBO Gabriel Furman and Javier Molina WEBSITE: INSTAGRAM: @wondertheshort / @therealtalkfilms / @gabriel_furman / @everydayisamondayproductions FACEBOOK: /  / TWITTER: @wondertheshort TRAILER: Special Guest Andres from the San Mateo Pride Center, hosted by Krystina Jackson + Tony Gapastione
June 28, 2020
65: Oscar Nominated filmmaker LAURA NIX and her documentary WALK RUN CHA CHA
Oscar Nominated WALK RUN CHA CHA BY LAURA NIX WATCH THE FILM HERE: Paul  and Millie Cao reunited in California after the Vietnam War. Forty  years later, they are rediscovering themselves on the dance floor. Directed by -Laura Nix Laura  Nix is a director, writer and producer working in non-fiction and  fiction. Her most recent work, a short film titled WALK RUN CHA-CHA  (Tribeca Film Festival) launched on New York Times Op-Docs fall 2019.  Her critically acclaimed feature documentary INVENTING TOMORROW, about  teenagers around the globe tackling environmental issues through  science, premiered in US Competition at Sundance Film Festival 2018, was  broadcast on PBS’ series POV, and won awards including the Grand Jury  Prize at Seattle International Film Festival.  
June 28, 2020
64: Agent Tiauna Jackson Tiauna Jackson is a Talent and Literary Agent for The Jackson Agency. Ms. Jackson built her agency from the ground up within the entertainment industry’s most competitive market, Los Angeles. Anchored on Avenue of the Stars in Century City, California, Ms. Jackson built her agency from the ground up within the entertainment industry’s most competitive market, Los Angeles. Anchored on Avenue of the Stars in Century City, Tiauna decided to start her own agency after finding barriers of entry for writers of color, LGBTQ+, and Senior Citizens.
June 23, 2020
63: So you want to get into VOICEOVER? With Michael Schwalbé.
Want to know what it's like to be in VOICEOVER? Michael Schwalbé gave us the goods! Thanks to MDT Agency for sponsoring our work!
June 13, 2020
62: Update from Tony Gapastione + Krystina Jackson. Conversation on racial justice
Update on our ORG! + #BlackLivesMatter
May 29, 2020
61: Shooting Heroin: A film that provokes conversation on America's Opioid epidemic
Writer/Director: Spencer Folmar in conversation with Timothy Mcmahan King and licensed social worker Aimee Noel.
May 22, 2020
60: Childhood on Fire (Documentary by Jason Hanasik)
Filmmaker Jason Hanasik documents a story of childhood trauma. When Nick Hurndon was six years old he and his two older brothers were set on fire by their stepfather in their San Francisco home. Now in his early forties, Nick is a retired Marine and is raising two sons that are about the same age he was when he was set ablaze. This is a film the effects that abuse had on Nick's sense of self worth, and the ways in which one man is interrupting a cycle of violence so that his two sons can thrive. Instagram Nick Hurndon Co-Host Keren Southall
May 17, 2020
59: Beyoncé Mass Founder: Rev. Yolanda Norton
You just need to listen. Thank you to Reverend Yolanda for her creative force. He has curated and music and life's work of Beyoncé into life changing, culture impacting expression of humanity and empowerment for black women.  Rev. Yolanda M. Norton is the H. Eugene Farlough Chair of Black Church Studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Her womanist scholarship explores how Scripture treats foreign women and how this has led to the oppression of women of color who encounter the Bible today. She is also a PhD candidate in Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel and Theology and Practice Fellow at Vanderbilt University. Rev. Norton is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and she holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies degree from Wesley Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Syracuse University. Special thanks for our BraveMaker ambassador: Keren Southall for co-hosting the conversation.
April 17, 2020
58: Writer Mia Mercado
Mia Mercado is a humor writer based in Kansas City. Her work has been featured in  places like The New Yorker, the New York Times, Washington Posts’s The  Lily, New York Magazine’s The Cut, Bustle, McSweeney’s, and Hallmark  Cards. Her debut collection of funny non-fiction essays Weird but Normal  explores the contradictions of being a person, sharing the awkward,  uncomfortable, surprisingly ordinary parts of life. Weird but Normal  comes out with HarperOne on May, 19, 2020. Order Mia's book "Weird But Normal": Mia's website: Mia's Twitter: Mia's Instagram:
April 13, 2020
57: American Actress + Voiceover Artist: Keren Southall Find our episode : Jedi Douche Meet Markus Robinson
April 2, 2020
56: Jeff Lieber: Screenwriter, creator + TV Showrunner
TV showrunner and show creator JEFF LIEBER. Originally from Chicago, now in LA, Jeff co-created LOST and his most recent credits include episodes of Charmed, Lucifer, The Originals, Impulse and NCIS: New Orleans... to name a few.  Follow him on Twitter if you want to write TV!  He's always sharing tips and once we get out of shelter in place he's gonna come up to the Bay to be with us!
March 30, 2020
55: Filmmaker Rajiv Shah
Hope you are all staying well during SHELTER IN PLACE and taking care of yourself.  Enjoy Ragiv's story and meet him online live: April 7th or 8th, 2020.  To sign up go to BraveMaker.Org and subscribe to our email list. Follow him: IG Twitter IMDB
March 28, 2020
54: Krystina Jackson: a brave story in a wheelchair
Krystina is a force. More on Lisa Keating , Bay Area photographer: MDT Talent Agency
March 25, 2020
53: Writer/Director Danish Renzu + Actor Suraj Sharma
Episode 53 is up! We had to postpone our film screening with these two--but we get them on our podcast. Great guys who have lots to share.  Recorded on ZOOM via NYC + LA.  Find them online:  Danish on Instagram Their movie: THE ILLEGAL Suraj on Twitter If you liked the film LIFE OF PI, actor Suraj Sharma talks about working with (one of) the 500 pound tiger from the film!
March 17, 2020
52: Morely: The Los Angeles Street Artist
On Instagram Website Facebook
March 16, 2020
51: Response from Tony on COVID-19 and Burden Film
So much going on right now in our world regarding Covid-19/Corona Virus. We're sad to postpone our March and April events in order to flatten out the virus growing.  This podcast also includes a short response about our February 2020 film screening Burden. It created a lot of conversations which is what we had hoped for, but we never want to increase the hostility and aggression for people of color and specifically the black community in this experience. Take a listen. MUSIC by: Want to DONATE? Look over our FISCAL SPONSEES
March 15, 2020
50: Henry Alford on writing humor for The New Yorker and the art of interviewing
As interviewed: Irving Ruan Henry Alford is a humorist and journalist who writes for The New Yorker, the New York Times, and Vanity Fair. His stories have also appeared in Spy magazine, the New York Times Magazine, GQ, Vogue, The Village Voice, McSweeney's, Harper's, the Los Angeles Times, and The Paris Review. He is the author of five books Including How to Live, which won the James Thurber Prize for American Humor, and his most recent, And Then We Danced. Website: Twitter: Henry's writing in The New Yorker: Bruce Springsteen Interview for Vanity Fair: --- MUSIC at the end of the podcast by Neil Swany
March 6, 2020
49: Director Andrew Heckler + Producer Robbie Brenner of BURDEN
Tony met director Andrew Heckler and producer Robbie Brenner (Oscar nominated for Dallas Buyer's club)  at Sundance in 2018. Burden is an award winning film, Audience Award and it is premiering in the Bay Area 2/24/2020 before it rolls out at the end of February and March nationwide. Andrew's IG
February 24, 2020
48: Rick Negrón is SF's King George in HAMILTON
If you love theatre, especially Broadway theatre and the genius of Lin-Manuel Miranda, you'll love all of Rick's stories.  Rick Negrón has worked on two of theatre's greatest hits: In the Heights and Hamilton. He was selected to perform both of these shows in Puerto Rico which was quite the full circle experience because he was born and raised in that very place. He plays the role of KING GEORGE III with quite the swagger. Don't miss it! His website: Rick on IG Rick on Twitter TICKETS FOR HAMILTON SF: Rick talks about his brother-in-law's New York walking tour:
February 22, 2020
47: SF's Hamilton Actor: Brandon Louis Armstrong
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Brandon Armstrong struck gold when he booked a role touring as DONKEY in Shrek the Musical.  Take a listen to how he was hand picked by Lin-Manuel Miranda to perform in Puerto Rico (after many, many auditions). He is now a resident of San Francisco. He plays Hercules Mulligan and James Madison at the Oprpheum Theatre on Market St.  Find him on IG
February 19, 2020
46: Actress + Master Creative: Kathyrn Smith-McGlynn
I (Tony) met Kathryn connected on Twitter after I saw her at ACT's WAKEY WAKEY co-starring with actor Tony Hale.  Go see it! You have ONE MORE WEEKEND to see it in San Francisco, Valentine's weekend. Follow her work! She's also on the show DEPUTY on THURSDAY NIGHTS. IG Twitter
February 14, 2020
45: The podcast about underwear with Abby Sugar
Underwear for all shapes, sizes + preferences. That's Play Out Apparel. A non-gendered place to get the underwear you've always wanted. (Have you heard about Athleisure? You have now!). What is the story here? Ask Abby Sugar: Entrepreneur, fashionista and LGBTQ+ advocate. From NYC but currently living in the Bay while attending Palo Alto's Founder's Institute. She'll also be at BraveMaker's 2/24/2020 event. She's open to get connected with you and talk! IG + Twitter
February 14, 2020
44: Emmy/Oscar nominated producer Diane Quon from Sundance
Recorded in Park City, Utah FROM SUNDANCE. Tony and Diane talked about meeting in Chicago at the Blue Whiskey Film Fest, her Oscar/Emmy nominated and Peabody/Sundance winning film MINDING THE GAP as well as her two full length documentaries at South By Southwest this March, 2020--AND ALL THE WORK IT TAKES TO MAKE MOVIES! Follow Diane on Twitter Her short film CLIFF SUPERFAN See her production group Blue Whiskey Film Fest
February 1, 2020
43: From Sundance with filmmaker Jim Cummings
Jim Cummings and Tony Gapastione sat down in a hallway, yes a hallway and just talked. And it's all recorded for our listening pleasure.  Jim is very accessible. Say hi on Twitter: Watch his short film THUNDER ROAD: See his production company here and look up the films BEAST BEAST, THE BETA TEST AND THE WEREWOLF **Thanks + shout out to Jeremy Hersh and Twitter for making connections that create stories that become films.
January 29, 2020
42: The SNL writer + Peabody award winning Claire Friedman
Another great interview from correspondent IRVING RUAN! @irvingruan  Claire  Friedman is a staff writer on Showtime’s Desus & Mero. Previously  she wrote for Saturday Night Live, in which she won a Peabody award for  as well as an Emmy nomination. Her comedy has been published in the New  Yorker, McSweeney’s, and The Harvard Lampoon. Claire  was born and raised in New York City. She attended Hunter College High  School, Harvard College, and Harvard Business School. She lives on the  Upper West Side, where she spends her free afternoons wandering through  Zabar’s in a full sweatsuit. Website: Twitter:  Instagram: @clairegfriedman Desus & Mero Season 2 premieres on Showtime February 3rd. SNL's "This Is U.S." sketch: Claire's piece in The New Yorker, "Deleting Instagram, Installing Instagram: The Vicious Cycle":
January 29, 2020
41: Joy Hoover + The Cupcake Girls in LAS VEGAS
Joy Elizabeth Hoover is MAKING CHANGE +  CUPCAKES IN LAS VEGAS.  From her  INSTAGRAM:  She's a life + mama founder + ceo | @cupcakegirlsorg @localforall podcast | @humanswhogiveashit ambassador | @lululemon social impact coach 👇🏼
January 24, 2020
40: Writer Caitlin Kunkel
Interviewed by BraveMaker correspondent IRVING RUAN (listen to his BraveMaker interview ep 20) Caitlin Kunkel is a writer and satirist. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, The New Yorker, McSweeney's, among others, and she's a co-founder of the Satire and Humor Festival as well as The Belladonna Comedy. Along with the other Belladonna editors, in 2018 she published the gift book, "New Erotica for Feminists: Satirical Fantasies of Love, Lust, and Equal Pay." She created the online satire program for The Second City and teaches and gives talks around the world. Caitlin's Website: Satire and Humor Festival: The Belladonna Comedy Publication: New Erotica for Feminists: The Second City - Writing Satire for the Internet: Class Instructors: Riane Konc: Brooke Preston:
December 17, 2019
39: Actor Niles Fitch
You might know him from playing YOUNG/TEEN RANDALL PEARSON on NBC's "This is Us" But he also stars in the new film directed by R.J. Daniel Hannah called:  Miss Virginia starring UZO ADUBA (out now). Follow him on IG This guy is a rising start. Catch him on a new film March 2020 on Disney+. Listen to find out more. 
December 6, 2019
38: Director R.J. Daniel Hanna (of Miss Virginia)
His film starring Uzo Aduba + Niles Fitch + Matthew Modine is coming to BraveMaker 12/5/19! Get tix: Follow him on IG Twitter
November 22, 2019
37: Comedian Gianmarco Soresi (from NYC to LA)
Tony met Gianmarco in NYC! Follow this funny guy with a great ITALIAN name: IG: Twitter:
November 21, 2019
36: Mark Willis was in BLACK PANTHER
And he won a SAG AWARD for BEST STUNTS.  Cool story. Never give up. Wakanda forever.  Mark is also a TARGET MODEL + RECENTLY was seen playing Basketball in a scene on SHAMELESS.  Find him on IG: Twitter
November 18, 2019
35: Actor Sullivan Jones is on Broadway
Currently  (as of Nov 2019) Sullivan is in NYC in SLAVE PLAY but he's originally from the Bay Area! You can also find him on: Wu Tang: An American Saga. Follow him on the Socials:  Twitter  + Instagram  +
November 9, 2019
34: Actor Adam Campbell
Friendly, witty and British--this is: Adam Campbell.  You might have seen him on a show called GREAT NEWS playing Greg, the young executive producer of the cable news show "The Breakdown."  It did two seasons on NBC and now can be streamed on Netflix.  Or you might have seen him in an episode of Drunk History.  Or you might have met him at the SAG AWARDS (That was me, Tony).  He's now voicing a character in the new animated film I'm working on called: PICCOLO.  Enjoy our conversation.  Adam tweets to his six friends every leap year (let's help him grow his followers).
November 5, 2019
33: Actress Loretta Devine
From LOS ANGELES-- Tony and Loretta have worked together before on 1440 and Counting and Neighbor (Tony's two short films available on Amazon Prime). While on set recording voice-over for a new animated project called PICCOLO, they sat down and chatted about Loretta's career from four years on Broadway in Dream Girls, to winning in an Emmy for Grey's Anatomy as well her live performance in Los Angeles happening this week. They also reflected on their first meeting at the airport in San Francisco.  Loretta is the best.  Follow her on Instagram And binge her show FAMILY REUNION ON NETFLIX or catch her on this season of Black-ish on ABC. 
October 25, 2019
32: Actress Izabella Alvarez
Actress Izabella Alvarez is a rising Latina star (according to the LA Times).  She's had roles in: Shameless.  Westworld. Splitting Up Together (and more)... AND had a leading role in one of BraveMaker's favorite feature films: COLLISIONS! Now she's voicing the lead character RONNIE ANNE SANTIAGO in Nickelodeon's THE CASAGRANDES. (and she's only 15 years old!).  Congratulations to this brave talent! Find her on all the socials: Her show:
October 23, 2019
31: Filmmaker Liz Manashil
Liz Manashil is straight up filmmaker GOLD.  Podcast co-host of MAKING MOVIES IS HARD + writer/director of two feature films: Bread and Butter and now Speed of Life (screening Thursday November 14th in Redwood City)--(and new mom of baby boy)--- Liz Keeps it real. Take a listen to her process of making micro-budget films, casting diverse body shapes, and creating a canon of 5-6 films she's proud of (before she dies!).  Tickets here to see her DAVID BOWIE inspired sci-film in Redwood City: SPEED OF LIFE IG Twitter
October 16, 2019
30: Filmmaker Avril Speaks
Producer of the now released film: JINN + upcoming HOSEA IG: Twitter:
October 7, 2019
29: Tony's digitial comedy series: Church Biz
They say write what you know. I (Tony) know the church world. I've had this unique perspective being both an ordained pastor and filmmaker. I love it and I often roll my eyes at it. I have to poke fun at myself and the institution that I have been a part of for most of my life. It formed me and messed me up. We have good hearts, but we are also ridiculously stubborn, privileged, irrelevant, offensive, racist, power hungry, awkward and down right wrong. (If we would only admit it we might be able to do more good in the world, which is why most of us pastors get into the "biz" to begin with. Oh well, it's been good fodder for my screenwriting. I still believe in the church and value my faith in God...but I also think we need to laugh and pick it apart. So...Here ya go.  Let me know what you think. Want to help me produce it?  Email
September 30, 2019
28: Artist + Cartoonist: Jeremy Nguyen
From BraveMaker correspondent Irving Ruan: I had a super energizing interview with Jeremy. We talked about his  experience at art school, how much he struggled to make ends meet as an  artist when he first moved to New York (e.g. sitting on top of a milk  crate and using a table left on the sidewalk for his studio), and his  beginnings submitting cartoons to The New Yorker magazine. In  short, we went deep on the artistic journey and how he dealt with an  avalanche of rejections.  His Instagram: His Twitter: His website: His Waldo cartoon that we talked about at the end:
September 24, 2019
27: The Edge of Success (A film about teen mental health + suicide)
Sensitive + Strong Content! Listeners strongly cautioned.  Thank you to filmmakers Liza Meak + Kathryn Basiji: The film: (click above for resources and discussion guides). Check out these partner organizations! SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFE-LINE: 1-800-273-TALK [8255]
September 21, 2019
26: Filmmaker Daniel Karslake (Living in Berlin Germany)
Daniel is a filmmaker exploring  sexual identity , gender formation + religion in his newest film. We will host in October 2019. Find Dan on all the Social Medias: FILM SCREENINGS:  Tuesday 10/15/19 in Novato Ca Wednesday 10/16/19 Redwood City CA Tickets here:
September 17, 2019
25: Actor Jesse Garcia
Actor Jesse Garcia is on the podcast. Not only did he star in one of our BraveMaker film DARLINGS---the feature screening of Collisions. He's starred in and led other TV shows like Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series (and you'll be seeing a lot of Jesse in 2020 on certain amount of unannounced streaming shows! Stay Tuned)---but he acted in a BROADWAY PRODUCTION of Pee-wee Herman's show! If you listen in on this episode--you'll hear podcast host Tony Gapastione try to do his best impression of PeeWee's iconic laugh, (which sounds a lot like Tony's real laugh). 🤣 Follow Jesse on Instagram Watch Jesse's short film THE PRICE WE PAY
September 14, 2019
24: Our very own Evan Ajuria + his new platform: Grindstone
Evan is our resident photographer, web designer + BraveMaker! A very passionate, committed and driven guy...and he's a HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT--take a listen to his story and see what motivates him! Looking to get odd jobs done around your house? Need some extra labor for moving or landscaping from a non-professional yet hardworking student? Want to connect with teens and help them find work? He's got a solution for you.
September 9, 2019
23: Bay Area's Austin Scott is on Broadway!
Austin plays HAMILTON! What a great humble guy! Check out his story and follow him in IG!
August 30, 2019
22: KVON: The most famous HALF PERSIAN Comedian This guy! He's funny and generous. Free tickets to the first 20 people who reach out to him. ==== Wanna follow our programmer and assitant director RHOBERTINO? Join us OCT 16th for an amazing documentary FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO
August 13, 2019
21: Tony's Feature Film: THE THORNS WE LIVE WITH
Rebekah + Tony talk about the process of getting his feature film THE THORNS WE LIVE WITH of the ground.  In this podcast we share a 22 minute dramatic (table read) reading with actors. Please note there is a sensitive scene that deals with suicide and adult language.  For more information on the film or to invest:
August 10, 2019
20: Irving Ruan: Writer
The unconventional route to comedy and creative writing. Short film: ANDI Starring Irving as the AGENT.
August 1, 2019
19: River Gallo: Actor + Filmmaker + LGBTQ+ Advocate
Another interview with our BraveMaker podcast correspondent Jon Fusco who sat down with RIVER GALLO. River [pronouns he/his] is a GLAAD award-winning Salvadoran-American filmmaker, actor, writer, model and intersex advocate with interACT. His work explores the dynamics of personal and confessionary storytelling, and media's healing abilities through re-envisioning minority narratives. He is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Experimental Theatre Wing and the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts MFA program.  "Ponyboi," his USC thesis which he wrote, co-directed, and acted in, is the first narrative film created by and starring an out intersex person in the history of cinema---produced by Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson. This year River received the ‘Rising Star Award’ at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards. He was named one of the “Most Exciting Queer People to Follow in 2019” by Out Magazine and made PAPER Magazine’s list of “100 People Taking Over 2019”.
July 29, 2019
18: Filmmaker Nick Borenstein
Welcome Jon Fusco who joins the BraveMaker team as podcast correspondent! Nick Borenstein: Nick is a writer, director + dancer. 
July 26, 2019
17: Jeremy Ray Valdez : actor/writer/producer/photographer
He's known as Detective Alex Sanchez (#DetectiveHottie) in CBS' Bold + The Beautiful but he's also my (Tony) buddy.  Enjoy our chat from TWIST (cafe) in Los Angeles (Hancock Park).  Follow him on INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE TWITTER
July 26, 2019
16: Katya Constantine: YouTuber & Content Creator
During a visit to Spain, Rebekah sits down with friend, YouTuber, & Content Creator Katya Constantine.  They talk of Katya's experience growing up in Spain, finding her Niche, finding the power of YOU (being yourself), shutting down your negative voice, and all about being real with procrastination and anxiety.  Follow Katya on her social media channels:  Instagram and Twitter: - kat_constantine Youtube: Katya Constantine
July 9, 2019
15: Singer/Songwriter Becky Alex
Teenager.  Singer. Songwriter. Actress. BraveMaker Music on SPOTIFY Instagram SUMMER LOVE Music Video Behind the Scenes of SUMMER LOVE
June 15, 2019
14: FEST RECAP witih Rebekah + Tony
Well, our first ever SUMMER FILM FEST is complete! Now, let's recap! A few references: On the Corner of Ego + Desire film by Alex Ferrari Dragon Theatre GENDER SHORT PLAYS Melanie Victor's Actor's Lounge Podcast to DOUBLE your donations!
June 6, 2019
13: Alex Ferrari of INDIE FILM HUSTLE
This guy.  Just make your films. No excuses.
May 31, 2019
12: Kevin O'Brien AT THE END OF THE DAY We could have called this segment FILMMAKERS IN CARS TALKING ABOUT MOVIES. Listen to find out why. Florida filmmaker Kevin O'Brien + Tony Gapastione chat about the making of At the End of the Day, Screening SUNDAY JUNE 2nd 10am at Century 20 theater. Kevin calls his film a story about the tension between the LGBTQ+ community and the evangelical church. A very BRAVE film. A very BRAVE filmmaker.  Follow KEVIN on Instagram
May 31, 2019
11: Tricia Russo: Miracle Cancer Survivor, Filmmaker + Mom.
Tricia not only survived cancer but made a movie about it. When her stage 4 breast cancer metastasized  to her brain she was faced with even more obstacles to overcome. She wanted to survive and she also wanted to become a parent with her husband Matt. Once she started pursuing that dream through surrogacy she had to answer the question: what if she wasn't around to meet her child? So she started filming the journey and rest is history. Love Always, Mom is a love story to an unborn child.  We hosted Tricia and her film Monday May 13th, 2019. But this interview was recorded December 2018.  Say hi on Instagram Link for the film and screenings ==== THE BRAVEMAKER FILM FEST KICKS OFF THIS FRIDAY MAY 31ST, 2019! TICKETS HERE:
May 28, 2019
10: THE GUY + Jon Fusco
Welcome JON FUSCO to the BraveMaker family. Jon's debut short film THE GUY will premiere on the west coast with us on June 2nd at 630pm in the Redwood City, Ca, Century 20 theater. Tickets here. Recorded January 2019 in the cold of Sundance,  Park City Utah, Jon and Tony dish on all things filmmaking, festivals and podcasting.  Check out Jon's FILM articles  Indie Wire See the kickstarter to THE GUY; his film here. Follow him on IG Twitter: 3 Short film podcasts  by JON How to make a short pod 2 production Editing
May 4, 2019
9: The sky turned green and the grass turned blue
Episode 9 is an adult conversation. NSFW or young children.  Diana Kelly, author of THE SKY TURNED GREEN AND THE GRASS TURNED BLUE. DIANE'S STORY.  About the Story: When Diane’s lover and friend, Jack, comes out  seven years into their relationship expressing his well-kept secret  desire to transition from male to female, Diane’s world turns upside  down.  With little information to help answer the question ‘do I stay or  do I go’ Diane searches for direction on her own. Navigating the murky  waters of the unknown that accompany the challenges of Jack’s changing  persona, she is guided by love, loyalty, and a willingness to  sacrifice.  In this true story, Diane  provides  her personal and intimate view into gay the lesbian community in her attempt to gauge what impact  Jack’s changes might have to their relationship and to her own authentic self.
May 3, 2019
8: Bias conversations with filmmaker Robin Hauser + justice advocates
Race + gender biases. We all have them but what do we do about them? We were honored to host a San Francisco filmmaker and her film that challenges us to confront our hidden biases and understand what we risk when we follow our gut. Through exposing her own  biases, award-winning documentary filmmaker Robin Hauser highlights  the nature of implicit bias, the grip it holds on our social and  professional lives, and what it will take to induce change. After the film we had a dialogue with leaders who are also doing work in the race space:  Ana Avendaño + Andre Henry (full interview with him on ep 7).  You will also meet BraveMaker's first FISCAL SPONSEE Samah Damanhoori who is making an animated film on her experience of liberation from her oppressive past. More on that soon. 
April 29, 2019
7: Andre Henry the anti-racist instigator
Anti-racist educator, writer, and activist ANDRE HENRY joins the BraveMaker PODCAST.  Find him on Instagram: Dig in, listen and get activated.  Want to sign up for Andre's HOPE AND HARD PILLS? Want to become a patron of his work and financially support him?
April 25, 2019
6: The power of connection & collaboration with DIPTEE THAPA
The  second interview of our Spain sessions with multimedia artist and designer Diptee Thapa.  Join us as we talk about the power of connection  and collaboration, her life as a spiritual teacher, using obstacles to increase creativity and so much more.  Diptee Esa's Photography ENJOY MUSIC BY SMXF (in our outro!) Have original music to share? Email your selections to and we'll find a way to promote you!
April 8, 2019
5: Brave LGBTQ+ stories in film, music & photography
Our first ever PODCAST recorded LIVE WITH AN AUDIENCE... at BOX in Redwood City, Ca.  NOTES & links from our panelists in this conversation : Nicolas Jara Matt Nightingale Matt's TEDx Talk Erin Ashford: Photographer San Mateo Pride Center Join us for our next event MARCH 25, 2019. BIAS DOCUMENTARY at Century 20, RWC. *Suicide prevention LIFELINE* 1-800-273-8255
March 1, 2019
4: In Spain with fashion designer Sheena Karegi
Rebekah went to Spain for three weeks and this is the first of her interviews. Enjoy a conversation with Sheena Karegi and the  ups, downs and changes of a designer's life. Go behind the scenes and hear how she BRAVELY rediscovered her creativity. ENJOY MUSIC BY CLOUD5 (in our outro!) Have original music to share? Email your selections to and we'll find a way to promote you!
February 8, 2019
3: I'll Push You : Filmmaker Terry Parish
500 Miles. 2 best friends. 1 wheelchair.  That is I'LL PUSH YOU an incredible documentary by filmmakers Terry Parish and Chris Karcher. This interview co-director Terry Parish came to the BraveMaker office before our monthly screening to share about his journey. For more on Terry's creative agency see: For more on the film or to order: Use code: BraveMaker for a discount. Oh ... What are the odds that when we screen a film set in SPAIN Rebekah would actually BE IN SPAIN. Take a listen! PS. February film screening is FEBRUARY 22ND 7PM IN REDWOOD CITY at Box Inc! Live music and LIVE PODCAST RECORDING with special guest Matt Nightingale and Director Nicolas Jara screening his film GUARDIAN. This event will feature an in-depth LGBTQ+ discussion. It is sure to be an eye-opening event.
January 20, 2019
2: Get to know BraveMakers: Tony & Rebekah
Storytellers.  Filmmakers.  Drive-thru tellers.  Tony & Rebekah interview each other and share their creative journeys.  Rebekah on IG Tony on IG Questions, comments, or composed music? email: Post/respond on social with: #bravemakerpodcast JANUARY 19TH FILM SCREENING IN REDWOOD CITY 2019 BraveMaker video
January 7, 2019
1: Richard Levien and his film: COLLISIONS
The very first episode of the BraveMaker podcast hosted by Tony Gapastione & Rebekah Amosah. Scripts, stories & conversations with creators. Filmmaker Richard Levien won the audience award at the Mill Valley Film Festival October 2018 with his touching coming of age immigration story: Collisions. His film stars Jesse Garcia (currently filming Netflix's Narcos: Mexico and the El Rey Network's From Dusk Til Dawn) and Ana de la Reguera (also of TV shows like Narcos, Amazon's Goliath and Power). He had all star cast of two amazing children as well. Listen in to hear the journey of bravely making this movie and telling this story. He did a private screening for BraveMaker on 12/17/18 in Redwood City.
December 15, 2018