January 19, 2021
A love of acting and the arts runs deeply in Rhonda’s family. She was born on Sunset Blvd. and raised in the San Fernando Valley; her fondest memories were going to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with her grandmother to see movies. Little did she know her children would grow to love acting as she did! Jonathan Lipnicki was 4 1/2 when he landed his first role as Ray Boyd in the movie Jerry Maguire, holding his own alongside Tom Cruise and Renee Zellweger. He went on to star in the Stuart Little movies, The Little Vampire, and Little Mike. The balance Jonathan maintained as he transitioned to television (Dawson’s Creek), and to films as a young adult, can be attributed to Rhonda always checking in to see if acting was still a passion. In Rhonda’s words, “Jonathan is a gifted actor, but more importantly, he is a kind soul.” Jonathan has two movies coming out soon: “Pooling to Paradise” and “Broil.”
February 15, 2021
EP. 26 — Diane (Beth Stelling’s mom)
What a wonderful way to end the pod. We didn’t get offered another season, but we are so thankful to you for listening, rating and leaving reviews. Who knows? We may find a way to do it on our own… but let’s be real we barely found our way into the Zoom room. I’m so thankful I got the chance from Earwolf to do this podcast with my mom. What started as calling my talented friends’ moms to hear fun stories about their childhood, turned into getting to know the amazing women who made them. The biggest thank you goes to all the moms who came on to speak with us, and of course to my mom Diane for agreeing to host with me knowing nothing of podcasts, let alone hosting one! She brought so much heart and curiosity, as she does all things in life. It’s incredible to have this audio scrapbook for my friends to cherish their mom’s episode recording in the years to come, and in some cases, learn something they didn’t know about them. Lastly a special thank you to Suchithra (Aparna Nancherla’s mom) for taking the time to speak with us in November. Hers was the only episode we lost because of recording error and I can’t express the sadness I have that you can’t hear it because it was such a lovely conversation we will cherish. Sweet dreams!
February 8, 2021
EP. 25 — Joyce (Roy Wood Jr.’s mom)
Joyce is a game changer. Roy called in at the beginning of this episode to suggest we ask his mom about her activism in the Civil Rights Movement, and we’re grateful Joyce was willing to share. Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Joyce went on to Delta State University where she was one of the first Black students to integrate the school. Her enrollment exposed her to innumerable tribulations due to the racism of teachers, students, the entire academic system and society at large. She didn’t succumb to racism and instead fought for her human rights by participating in sit-ins, protesting her grades from discriminatory professors and merely by using the bathrooms in her dorm. Despite these negative forces Joyce still went onto grad school and law school, and continues her remarkable work in the world of academia as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at a college in Birmingham, Alabama. She told us that Roy was a quiet child which worked quite nicely considering he was a toddler when she was in law school. She was influential in Roy attaining his college degree from Florida A&M, and was supportive of his comedy career once he completed his schooling. Listen to Roy’s latest special “No One Loves You” on Spotify or Apple and catch him on The Daily Show or hosting his show This Is Not Happening on Comedy Central.
February 1, 2021
EP. 24 — Kathy (Will Allan’s mom)
It was a pleasure catching up with Kathy Allan, the mother of actor and playwright, Will Allan! Will and Beth became friends in high school through Speech and Debate (Humorous Interpretation) and have kept in touch ever since. Kathy was a legal secretary for 10 years before switching gears to education. She earned her teaching certificate and taught social studies along with working as a theatre coach when Will was young. Kathy directed Will’s first role in middle school and has been encouraging of his journey as an actor ever since; she’s never missed a performance from Bye Bye Birdie at Oakwood High School to The History Boys at TimeLine Theatre in Chicago. Now retired from teaching, Kathy volunteers at RefugeeOne in Chicago, a non-profit agency that creates opportunity for refugees fleeing war, terror, and persecution. Kathy manages the Sewing Lab and has been active in distributing masks made by refugees. Visit RefugeeOne.org to purchase a mask.