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By Joseph W Nienstedt
Explore how to get the most out of life through creativity, skill, and self-improvement. I'll be talking with people who have found meaning in their lives by mastering their crafts, overcoming great challenges, or by just being all-around awesome at living life to the fullest. It's about finding passion in the things that you never knew you could be passionate about. From writing a song to running a marathon, or from cooking an amazing meal to painting a masterpiece, discover how seemingly ordinary people are actually quite extraordinary.
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JWN #36 Emily Heller
Emily Heller is a running enthusiast who created her own YouTube channel in 2019 that filled the void of women’s voices in the world of running shoe review videos. Emily’s channel “Run Like Hell(er)” provides an inclusive look at the competitive world of running shoes. As her channel grows, subscribers have become fascinated with her honest & professional approach and have become intrigued with her distinct personality. I also wanted to uncover more about her creative background and career. Even if you’re not a runner, I know you’ll get something out of this conversation about doing what you love and creating something that’s bigger than you ever imagined it could be. Also, yes, Ruby the dog gets some much deserved love during this discussion as well. Youtube: Run Like Hell(er) @runlikeheller on Instagram & @emilyaheller on Twitter You can follow me on Instagram at @joel8x or connect with the show at
October 26, 2020
JWN #35 Solo Show
I start off with a story about an angry customer and how doing the right thing makes everyone happy. I do get a little political during this episode because, well, we’re deep into this nutty election season. I quote Carl Sagan in response to the Trump jab at Joe Biden’s support of science. I also cover Shepard Fairey’s Time Magazine cover, The TikTok challenge that’s bringing awareness to dementia, Sasha Baron Cohen’s new film making waves, the Velvet Underground’s new documentary, & why I think Run The Jewels is making the world a better place. Here’s some links to stories and media referenced in this episode: Carl Sagan on Humility, Science as a Tool of Democracy and the Value of Uncertainty Shepard Fairey’s new ‘Time’ cover tells us to vote How An Obscure Six-Hour Ambient Record Is Terrifying A New Generation On TikTok Rudy Giuliani faces questions after compromising scene in new Borat film The Velvet Underground Documentary, Directed by Todd Haynes, Is Coming to Apple TV+ Run The Jewels Yankee and the Brave Run The Jewels Holy Calamavote You can follow me on Instagram at @joel8x or connect with the show at
October 23, 2020
JWN #34 Pip The Pansy
Music wasn’t always Pip The Pansy's passion, but the need to create and share her art has carried her though some of the worst obstacles the music industry could conjure up. After a rough start in the business, she emerged with her current identity as a more realized version of herself that continues to evolve without compromise. This was such a fun conversation and I had a blast getting to know more about her and her art. You can connect with Pip The Pansy though her website at and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook at @pipthepansy. Check out her music videos on, her music on Spotify, and you can support her on her Patreon page as well You can connect with the JWN Podcast though the show’s website at & follow me on Instagram at @JoeL8X
October 19, 2020
JWN #33 Solo Show
In this solo episode, I start off talking about my return to in-person trail running & racing. I also discuss the amazing Jack White performance on Saturday Night Live (music in this podcast - “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning” by Blind Willie Johnson is in the public domain) and comedian Bill Burr’s monologue. Apple announced some new stuff and I was a bit disturbed by some of the examples of what they envision using a new HomePod or iPhone for. In the news, I talk about the “perfect” TikTok song as determined by artificial intelligence as well as Google’s Frightgeist list of popular Halloween costumes. Don’t forget to support Crystal Wellman’s Unbound Ballet Project at You can follow me on Instagram at @joel8x or connect with the show at
October 16, 2020
JWN #32 Crystal Wellman
Crystal Wellman is a classically trained professional dancer who’s been dancing her entire life. Her persistent need to create art has led to the formation of the Unbound Ballet Project & Collective, which was conceived as a way to collaborate with other dancers during their off season to explore new and daring artistic expressions custom tailored to unique spaces where dance is not usually performed at this level. On this episode we discuss her creative background as well her next project, which she has organized with three other choreographers combining modern dance and ballet styles. Using the opportunity to create without financial compensation, the dancers are performing two free shows at Tradesman Brewery in Charleston, SC with the hopes of bringing the dance to more safe venues in the area. You can learn about Crystal and her Unbound Ballet Project at and follow her & the group at @crystal_kw and @unboundballetproject respectively. Don’t forget to subscribe & share the show. You can reach out to me on Instagram at @JoeL8X and visit the show’s website at
October 12, 2020
JWN #31 Solo Show: We Are The Music Makers & We Are The Dreamers Of Dreams
Bzzzzz Bzzzzz Bzzzzzz…. On this solo episode I talk about the anxiety around trying to make something positive out of 2020, I mourn the loss of Eddie Van Halen and I discuss what attracts flies & causes pink eye. I also figure out what a Snozberry is! In creative news I talk about the legal victory for the graffiti artists of New York’s 5Pointz and an English student’s controversial art installation called “Grounding”. Finally, I discuss the commotion around Pantone’s new color. Don’t forget to reach out to me on Instagram at @JoeL8X and visit the show’s website at
October 8, 2020
JWN #30 Gil Shuler
Gil Shuler began his career as a graphic designer when it was still an analog craft. Having maintained a successful graphic design career & studio through the shift to digital in the 90’s, his ability to design with intent & vision has only sharpened. We sat down for a wonderful discussion about growing up in the rural south, discovering art, & his love of rock n' roll. There's a lot of history of Charleston, SC's independent music scene discussed that is uniquely lowcountry. Gil is celebrating the release of his new art book “Barn Jam Posters”, which is a collection of 180 of his favorite designs for the Awendaw Green’s weekly Barn Jam showcase of upcoming musicians. For art enthusiasts & musicians alike, this collection is a masterclass in design & creativity that showcases a seasoned professional’s intersection between the love of his craft & his love of music. You can purchase his book on his website at & follow him on Instagram at @samplethedog
October 5, 2020
JWN #29 Solo Show: Three Little Birds
Happy Inktober! This is a solo episode and I’ve decided to follow up with what some of my past (and future) guests are up to, as well as cover some other news in the creative world. I talk about what Marcus Cripps (@marcuscripps) is doing this month for Inktober, Cusses singer Angel Bond’s (@bondangelbond) health update after her thyroid surgery, and Babe Club’s (@joinbabeclub) new music video & single Automatic Love. Banksy has some legal struggles over the ownership of his artwork due to his anonymity, and is Twitter’s algorithm racist? Coming up on episode 30, Gil Shuler (@samplethedog) will be my guest to promote his new art book, “Barn Jam Posters” which is available at Please be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform, but if you could leave a rating & review on Apple Podcasts, that would really help grow the show. Get in touch with me on Instagram at @joeL8X & check out for more info.
October 2, 2020
JWN #28 Tim Showers
Tim Showers is a Charleston based pop artist who’s distinct style can be recognized by his bold, dramatic lines and exaggerated details. His color work is often ultra-bright and glowing, while his monochromatic pieces are full of contrast and style. His primary vehicle for connecting his artwork with fans is through comic book conventions, but this otherwise shy and introverted artist has been examining his options during a time when cons aren’t happening. You can find Tim on Instagram at @tmshowers
September 28, 2020
JWN #27 Solo Show: Protect Ya Neck
On this solo episode of the JWN Podcast, I discuss what self care means to me. I break it down into the 3 ways I’m currently taking care of myself: Diet, exercise, & spirituality. I also talk about some upcoming running races & how they’re preparing to hold these events in a pandemic, as well as other current events. You can follow me on Instagram & Twitter at @JoeL8X as well as keep up with the show on our website
September 25, 2020
JWN #26 Angel Bond
Angel Bond has spent her life looking for ways to help other people. Through an unbelievable journey early on in her life that took her around the world, she eventually stopped long enough to find her musical voice on stage performing as the lead singer of the band Cusses. The best word to describe their live show is powerful - It’s something you'd have to see to believe.  What’s even more powerful is hearing Angel’s struggle with her health that has lead her to come face to face with the possibly of not only losing her ability to sing, but other life altering complications as well. Angel is a selfless and kind soul who’s coming to grips with the concept of taking care of herself at a time when the urge to help others is stronger than ever. You can check out Cusses on and follow Angel on Instaragam @bondangelbond. There's also a GoFundMe set up to help her with her medical expenses:
September 21, 2020
JWN #25 Solo Show: Here’s To Shutting Up
On this solo episode I talk about my memories of one extraordinary day getting attached to a musical recording. Specifically, how the Superchunk record “Here’s To Shutting Up” is forever connected to how I navigated September 11th, 2001 in New York City, and why it still emotionally brings me back to that day in Manhattan almost 20 years later.
September 18, 2020
JWN #24 Jason Eisenberg of Holy City Tattooing Collective
Jason Eisenberg grew up in Charleston, SC at a time when tattooing was still illegal. It wasn’t until 2006 that the ban on tattooing was lifted in the southern state, but by that time Jason had already mastered the craft. Today he owns & operates Holy City Tattooing Collective, which is one of the most respected tattoo shops in the south.  He took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about skateboarding, punk rock, tattoos, and running a successful business as a creative.  You can find Jason on Instagram at @jasoneisenberg73 & his shop at @holycitytattooingcollective & check out their website at
September 14, 2020
JWN #23 Solo Show: The Guitar is Dead… Long Live the Guitar!
On this week’s solo episode of the JWN Podcast I’m excited about the prospect of going to see live music once again. I discuss the downfall of one of the world’s most famous guitar manufacturers, and discover a little bit of information about the Podlasie Province in Poland.  I also reference this post on Reddit if you’re interested in looking into that further.
September 11, 2020
JWN #22 Babe Club
Jenna Desmond & Corey Campbell began their musical partnership as members of the indie rock band Susto. After touring extensively they decided to part ways with Susto and begin their own project, which became known as Babe Club. Mixing their influences of 70’s new wave & 90’s alt-pop, their alluring melodies are fused with powerfully evocative and existential lyrics, yielding songs that explore self-realization, honest emotions, friendship and themes of love. As they prepare to release their debut EP “Remember This Feeling” Jenna & Corey sat down with me to discus how they got their start in music and how they came together in life and in creativity. You check them out at where you can pre-order the new record, or purchase their current single on Bandcamp. Keep up with them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets with their handle @joinbabeclube
September 7, 2020
JWN #21 Solo Show: The Longest Week Ever
This podcast is legally allowed to drink in the USA! Happy 21st episode!! This is a solo show, and I start off getting into a POD-WAR with rival podcast In Yo(ur) Shoes With Amy & Kelli!  I talk about some of the things that happened during what I'm calling the longest week of the longest month of the longest year, aka the last week of August 2020, including a story of almost ruining a photo job that I should have been prepared for. I also discuss David Blaine's Ascension stunt, and why I appreciate his stunts. Connect with me at and on Instagram & Twitter at @JoeL8X
September 3, 2020
JWN #20 Seth James DeMoor
Seth James DeMoor is a YouTube creator who found his niche by doing something he was passionate about. When he started his daily vlog, it was more of a lifestyle channel that struck a chord with people & started growing when he began documenting some of his trail runs in the scenic mountains of Colorado. As he was honing his skills as a storyteller with his camera, the running community started showing up every day. This pushed not only his creative skills, but his running abilities as well. Last year he represented the USA in the World Mountain Running Championship in Argentina. This year, he won his first Golden Trail Marathon at the Pike’s Peak Marathon. The day after his big win, his YouTube channel surpassed the 100K followers mark. He’s had a great week! You can check out his daily vlog on his YouTube Channel, and follow him on Instagram & Twitter at @sethjamesdemoor. You can check out his running stats on Strava & he also runs a private Facebook group called DeMoor Global Running that supports a friendly & supportive running community.
August 31, 2020
JWN #19 Solo Show: The James Baldwin Episode
“I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.” - James Baldwin This solo episode is my reaction to the current events during the end of August of 2020 when this was published. I took a deep dive into the conversations & speeches given by the late James Baldwin & how they are still so important & relevant today. Warning: This episode contains strong language & stronger emotions. Some of the material used in this podcast comes from the following: “The Struggle of the Artist” Appearances on the Dick Cavett Show An Interview with Mavis Nicholson James Baldwin's National Press Club Speech
August 29, 2020
JWN #18 John Kenney of The Royal American
John Kenney is one of the owners of The Royal American, a dive bar located in what was once an iron forge that’s now the center of the downtown Charleston, SC independent music scene. Before creating a home base for original musicians, he was a world traveling musician himself as the guitarist for the DC rock band Rotoglow. His journey so far has led him to becoming a father figure of one of the most inclusive music scenes in the south. From punk rock to hip-hop & country to pop, the only rule to playing the Royal American is to be original and be good. Follow John on Instagram at @john_r_kenney and The Royal American at @theroyalamerican or visit their website at
August 24, 2020
JWN #17 Solo Show - Am I Being Abducted By Aliens?
On this episode, I talk about my upcoming birthday plans courtesy of my wonderful wife Amy. I also wonder why we're all not freaking out about the Pentagon telling us they have actual spaceships built off of this world, and then I share the story of my own UFO sighting. I also talk about a marathon I signed up for earlier this year that just got canceled, but more importantly the fundraiser I was doing which is still going on despite the cancelation. If you'd like to support my fundraising efforts for St. Jude Children's Hospital, just visit to donate. I'll have to run the race next year (if I don't get abducted by aliens first).
August 21, 2020
JWN #16 Proton Factories
Proton Factories started his artistic career as a graffiti artist, but transitioned into painting & printmaking after being convicted as a gangster by the Charleston Police Department. This kind & gentle soul with a criminal record makes artwork that mirrors his positive, upbeat personality, featuring reimagined pop culture characters from comic books, movies, cartoons, video games, and more in a simplified, whimsical style. We had such a fun time during this discussion about his artistic journey and his joyfulness is truly infectious - I know you’ll finish this episode with a smile on your face. You can check out Proton Factories on his website at or follow him on most social media at @protonfactories Art is not a crime.
August 17, 2020
JWN #9 Mike Cavallaro
When I first met Mike Cavallaro back in the 90’s, he was known in the underground music scene as Johnny X, guitarist for New Jersey punk rock legends Sticks & Stones. MIke's imagination, determination, and artistic skill has led to long successful career of cartooning, animation, & creating graphic novels. He’s worked for the biggest names in the business, from DC & Image comics to MTV & Cartoon Network. Mike is currently working on the Nico Bravo graphic novel series, which he’s created, written, & drawn. The first book Nico Bravo & The Hound Of Hades was featured on the NY Public Library best of list for 2019. The next book in the series, Nico Bravo and the Cellar Dwellers is due out on August 25th. Check out for info on how to purchase Mike's work, & find him on Instagram at @mikecavallaroart & Twitter at @Mike_Cavallaro
August 17, 2020
JWN #15 The Seed of Inspiration or How I discovered Richard Brautigan (w/ Special Guest Tömmy Röckstar)
I give my friend & former bandmate Tömmy Röckstar (@tommyrockstar on Instagram) a call to talk about how I discovered the beat poet & author Richard Brautigan. The book Trout Fishing in America was the inspiration for one of the songs we wrote, but the story of how I was introduced to the author's work is where the story gets interesting.
August 15, 2020
JWN #14 Jerry Jacobs
Jerry Jacobs is a singer, songwriter, and audio engineer who hails from Music City, USA. Before planting himself in the heart of Nashville, he grew up right around the block from where I call home in Charleston, SC. Jerry has been creating and performing music as far back as he can remember and posses a do-it-yourself work ethic that has enabled his non-stop passion for all aspects of the music business. Whether it be mastering the ins and outs of audio engineering to commanding an audience with a powerful and energetic stage show, his love of the craft of songwriting has allowed him to adapt to any situation and find a way to use life’s struggles as opportunities to keep growing as a musician and explore the different sounds and styles that make up his career. You can find Jerry at his website and on Instagram & Twitter at @jerryalanjacobs
August 10, 2020
JWN #13 That time Carson Daly used me as his wingman...
This is a Solo/Bonus episode of the show. I talk about being happy due to another busy week of photography work and getting excited to go swimming at the new aquatics center in my town. I also talk about what has been doing for independent musicians, and how I found a new artist on there that I like called The Ophelias that you should check out. From there, I talk about how I started working at MTV and share a couple of stories from my time there. I have about 4 years of stories from there, so this is just a tease.
August 8, 2020
JWN #12 Ashlee D. Manos
I reached out to Ashlee because I was curious about acupuncture and she was referred to me by multiple trusted friends. Ashlee is a Licensed Acupuncturist, Diplomate of Oriental Medicine, has a Master’s of Science, she’s a Licensed Massage Therapist, Yoga Teacher, and a Certified Holistic Birth Doula. She’s basically spent her whole adult life seeking for ways to make people feel better through the healing arts. Ashlee is the daughter of an NFL football player and grew up in Georgia, so whatever stereotypical misconceptions you might have about an alternative practitioner can be put to rest. She has such a strong independent and caring spirit, and she’s used that passion to travel the world while seeking new ways to care for people. I conducted the interview with Ashlee prior to seeing her for my first acupuncture session, and at the end of the episode I give an honest reaction to my treatment. You can find out more about Ashlee's work & retreats at her website and follow her on Instagram at @mahaholisticwellness. Background music courtesy of
August 3, 2020
JWN #11 Solo Show + PoySha (& La Croix)
This is a bonus show where I talk about what’s been on my mind lately. On this episode I do make a phone call to my friend Shawnda, aka @PoySha to ask for some advice. I also talk about an embarrassing high school dance, Limoncello La Croix, & Stanley Kubrick.  But wait, there’s more - I also beg! Well, sorta…  If you could go give the podcast a rating and/or review on your preferred podcasting platform, that would really help this podcast. If you could share your favorite episode with your friends that would really help spread the word, and if you know someone that would be a good fit to be on the show, please contact me via Thanks for listening and I hope you enjoy the show!
August 1, 2020
JWN #10 Carla Oakerson
Carla Oakerson began her career in comedy while attending law school by working the door at The Comic Strip in New York, but her boss wouldn’t let her get on stage at the time. She was fully immersed in the world of stand-up comedy seeing every type of act imaginable - She even met her future husband at the Comic Strip. Years later, Carla would sneak off to take comedy classes and now her comedy career has become her passion (on top of being a defense attorney & a kick-ass mom). You can find her on Instagram at @carlaoakerson, Facebook at & Twitter at @carlaesq
July 28, 2020
Episode #8 Pandemic Pool Party Podcast!
A small group of my friends (four of us total) have been getting together weekly at a private pool at our friend’s condominium complex for dinner. It’s a safe place to be outside, socially distant, yet still be social. Tonight I decided to include Colleen, Shawnda, & Meghan (instead of just doing a solo show) as I feel out different ways to approach this podcast. There’s lots of bug sounds, birds, and general outdoor noise, but it helps paint the picture. I bring up a revelation about myself and put it out there in the world. We discuss the various things we’ve been adding to our new normalcy and I conclude with a story of not-so-instant Karma. I started out naming the solo shows with half numbers, so this episode would have been episode #5.5, but some of the distribution channels for the podcast were getting confused and the shows were coming out out of order. So, since this is technically the 8th episode, I decided to number it accurately before it gets out of hand.
July 21, 2020
JWN #5 Sondra James
Actor Sondra James may be best known for her roles in movies like the 2019 Oscar winning film Joker, Woody Allen’s Crisis In Six Scenes, or her repeated guest spots on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, but before that she spent over 35 years pioneering the world of voice acting doing ADR recording, which is the art of replacing background dialog in movies & TV. After a long career in the business, she found out later in her career that not only do people think she’s naturally funny & “adorable”, but that she’s as natural on screen as she is in a sound booth. As she explains, she was kind of taken aback to be considered “adorable” at first as she still has a young spirit, but she uses that to her advantage and plays it up for the camera. Sondra's a legend in the business and I hope you enjoy this insightful discussion into the world of professional acting. You can find Sondra on Instagram at @jamessondra
July 16, 2020
JWN #4 Katie Thompson
Katie Thompson is an independent artist, author, creative consultant and public speaker. As a disabled mother of two, she's also the wife and partner to master woodworker and furniture maker Joseph Thompson. Recently she’s emerged as a fundraiser & advocate for the Charleston, SC chapter of Black Lives Matter. Katie is fierce and compassionate creator who has overcome the most difficult obstacles in her life by leaning into her creativity and using her skills and unwavering dedication to accomplish her goals. She has parlayed her communications superpowers to help others despite battling a host of medical issues stemming from a teenage spinal injury. I know you will enjoy this discussion. You can check out her journey, including her “Women of Woodworking” project at and follow her on social media at @ktkozar
July 13, 2020
JWN #3.5 Solo Show (or 2nd Breakfast)
A show in-between the shows where I reflect on the previous guests and elaborate on things that were said during those interviews about art and live performance. I discus my unplanned negative vision board & share stories about getting laughed at in a super market for not being able to walk and shouting inappropriate lines in an eighth grade school play. Please send me feedback at or hit me up on Instagram & Twitter. Also, if you could leave a review of the podcast I'd truly appreciate it. Things are off to a great start so far and I'd love to keep it going, thank you for listening.
July 10, 2020
JWN #3 Patrick Arnheim
Acting saved Patrick Arnheim from flunking out of Princeton High School in New Jersey. He ended up studying acting at New York City’s esteemed Circle in The Square Theater School and went on to a successful career working in TV, movies, commercials & voice-over before taking a step back after over a decade to help care for his father down in Charleston, SC. Since his move down south, he’s reignited his passion for stage acting with the help of the Village Repertory Co. and has starred in dozens of productions, including plays such as Bent, Junk, & The Elephant Man. You can keep up with Patrick on Instagram at @patrickarnheim
July 8, 2020
JWN #2 Marcus Cripps
Marcus Cripps is a talented artist who just published his first comic book "Cat Bite: The Ghost of Gamblin", which he co-wrote with his equally talented partner Amber Vasquez. Marcus drew all of the artwork in this unique take on the classic western where the cowboys are all cats. We discus growing up in rural South Carolina as an adopted son of a truck driver who loved to skate, and how he sparked his passion for art as a way to get noticed by girls in high school. You can pick up a copy of Cat Bite here: and you can follow Marcus on Instagram and Twitter @marcuscripps
July 3, 2020
JWN #1.5 Solo Show
This is an “in-between” episode where I reflect on the conversation from the previous episode, talk about what’s coming up on the podcast, and discuss what’s going on in the world and in my life. I also play the full song that the podcast’s intro and outro music comes from.
July 2, 2020
JWN #1 Mandy Baughman
Mandy Baughman is a Yoga Teacher who’s path in life brought her to Charleston, SC where she built upon her life experiences with a genuine sense of curiosity and creativity to co-create “I Am Rituals’, which is a Yoga and meditation-based offering built on core values designed to inspire growth on and off the mat. She was also my first Yoga teacher who inspired a skeptical guy like me to make Yoga a part of my life, and I wanted to showcase her beautiful mind with you. Connect with her at
June 26, 2020
JWN Podcast Trailer
Introducing a new interview podcast focused on finding the things that people are passionate about and how they live life to the fullest. 
June 19, 2020