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Bar Talk: a collection of unscripted conversations from all walks of life

What are the people saying tonight? Sit down with a new pair New Yorkers each week as they catch up at a local watering hole. Frustrations, dreams, conspiratorial musings … the night is young and at The Richardson bar, the world is bigger than ever.

The Idea

Andrew Mullen and I were seated at a bar one night when the idea came to us. As usual, we were discussing literature. The buzz kicked in. We began talking about Literature with a capital L, leaving behind the particulars of our work. We were dreaming, we were philosophizing, we were rambling. Then we abandoned literature altogether and made sure our souls were spent by the end of the night. When we asked for the check, we realized that we were curious about what kind of conversations other people might have once they reached that tipping point. People completely different from us. Would they conform to our stereotypes? Or would the universality of the human condition take over after three drinks? We set out to snatch those conversations and make a collection out of them. One that could come to represent New York City in 2022 and become an anthropological record to be consumed as both entertainment and future reference.

 

If you like our work, you can support Bar Talk on our Patreon. Your contribution goes a long way, as our YouTube videos tend to be ineligible for monetization due to the bar's background music.

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Episodes

Bar Talk Ep. 25: Two Revolutionists Talk Reparations, Eight-Dollar Eggs, Fear Factor Octopus
39:33

Bar Talk Ep. 25: Two Revolutionists Talk Reparations, Eight-Dollar Eggs, Fear Factor Octopus

"When you hear those stories of Black people who've been let out of jail 10 years later because they realize that, "Oh, like you actually were innocent." Or maybe they changed that law. Like those stories we hear. And then they get a payout, like a million dollars. And now you can live your life. But it's like, that's what, 10 years in jail. What is a million dollars to 10 years of my life that I will never get again? And I think about that with reparations. It's like, what is owed is not a dollar amount." Meet UGBA (Ungrateful Black Artist) and Regi Angelou, who set forth a powerful vision of a better future—a future capable of looking backwards to repair and redress the horrors of the past. What exactly does that look like? First off, a system of reparations for American descendants of slavery that incorporates and transcends economic dispensation. Not just financing for homes, business creation, and education, but also a pathway to spiritual restitution—space from it all. Namely, the centuries of damage perpetrated on Black Americans who have never been afforded the opportunity to come down from high alert, and who are now bearing the brunt of widespread gentrification and ever-higher cost of living. As UGBA puts it, the ever-looming question of "Am I being Injustice-ed?" UGBA is a queer poet, rapper, playwright, actor, and activist based out of Brooklyn, NY. His essays and poetry can be found in The Rumpus, The Root, Afropunk, Black Youth Project, The Grio, THEM and elsewhere. He is the founder/host of CEREMONIES—a Brooklyn based monthly Black-Queer artist showcase held in honor of Essex Hemphill—as well as Dark-Skin Support Group, a virtual support network for dark-skin Black Americans in need of a space to discuss the realities of colorism. In the summer of 2018, UGBA premiered his one-man show NEPTUNE, which debuted to rave reviews and sold-out performances and went on to kick-off Brooklyn Museum's acclaimed "1st Saturday" series. In 2020, UGBA was named a "Black LGBTQ+ playwright you need to know" by Time Out NY. Regi Angelou is a Queens-born rapper, revolutionist, and educator. In 2020, she released the single "We, The People" as a rousing call to action in the war against racism and the oppressive American police system. When she isn't the recording studio, you can find her teaching English at an arts high school in Brooklyn. Follow UGBA on IG @call.me.ugba Follow Regi on IG @regiangelou Instagram & TikTok: @bartalkseries https://www.patreon.com/bartalkseries/ 00:00 Teaser 00:18 intro 00:35 Haircut from Hell 02:34 Agave Straws & Killing Bugs 04:01 The Opus of Regi Angelou 06:01 The Most Expensive City in the World 08:25 What I Mean When I Talk About Reparations 14:13 From PB & J and Fluff to Drinking Poison 18:45 Enter the Octopus 23:11 Butter Magazine // What Do You Need? 27:37 Brooklyn Will Hold Biggie Forever 28:20 I Love Me a Quiche // The Price of Eggs, Tho 30:45 That's How Close We Cuttin' It 31:50 Breaking Off A Marriage // Letting People Love on You 34:05 I'm Black in America 35:47 Shout-Outs // "We, The People" by Regi Angelou Intro Song: "Brooklyn" by Glass Vaults
Bar Talk Ep. 24: Two Actors Talk Shakespeare & the Shah, Theater vs. Film, Buster Keaton’s Best Gag
41:03

Bar Talk Ep. 24: Two Actors Talk Shakespeare & the Shah, Theater vs. Film, Buster Keaton’s Best Gag

Tehran, 1979. You’ve spent the day teaching workshops to Iranian theater troupes, but now you’re all at a local bar, sipping strong brew and trading war stories. Do they ever perform Shakespeare here, you wonder aloud. Nobody responds. Did you say something wrong? “You see, brother,” one of them finally answers. “We can’t do plays,” he says, “about the death of kings.” You walk home a few hours later to your hotel, which overlooks the bulwark of the American embassy. Revolution is in the air. Meet Omar and Roger, two actors whose sprawling careers in film, theater, and education come straight of the history books. Whether it’s teaching abstract art to young Egyptians in the wake of Nasser’s dictatorship, or an old family yarn about the arrival of Indian blood on the Sinai peninsula, or Buster Keaton hamming it up in a deep-sea diving suit on the lam from a tribe of cannibals, Omar and Roger have heard the artist’s call. And of course, they know how to light up an evening with lore! Put your hands together for Episode 24. Roger Simon is an American theater and film actor, producer, and director. He is best known for his roles in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) and Love in Kilnerry (2022), and has directed performances at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Dublins’ Abbey Theatre, Edinburgh Festival, the Lincoln Center, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), and the Juilliard Opera. For the last 45 years, he has taught acting, writing, and directing classes at his celebrated workshop, The Simon Studio, at the American Theater of Actors in Manhattan. Omar Bakry is a painter, filmmaker, and playwright. Born in Sweden, raised in Egypt, he attended the Faculty of Fine Arts (Cairo University) before moving to New York in 2007 to study directing at the School of Visual Arts and the New York Film Academy. In 2014, he and his wife started Timewormz production company. Their films include Aggression (2008), His Man (2014), and Abdo and Saneya, a silent, black-and-white saga following the journey of an Egyptian peasant couple who comes to New York in hopes of finding a cure for their infertility. Follow Roger on IG @thesimonstudio Follow Omar on IG @omarbakryart It's hard times out there, folks. If you've traveled the interwebs recently, you probably know, the world is ending. For the low low price of a cup of coffee, you can live on the bright side of the coming armageddon and link up with the Bar Talk crew in the Patreon afterlife, where everybody is your friend and nobody goes thirsty. Come on down! Instagram & TikTok: @bartalkseries https://www.patreon.com/bartalkseries/ 00:00 Teaser 00:14 Intro 00:29 Mentor or Mentee? 00:53 Life as a Schoolteacher in Egypt 04:07 When the Army Took over 05:05 What Do You Feel You Are? 06:23 Shakespeare in Tehran 10:00 Nasser’s Egypt 11:37 Roger vs. Peter Stuyvesant 14:16 How Did You Find Me? 16:18 The Simon Studio, est. 1978 22:55 Bar Brawl: The Artist vs. The Human Being 25:15 Indian Blood in Egypt 27:10 Writing This Role For You, I Knew You Could Do Anything 31:25 Abdo & Saneya 33:05 Film vs. Theater 34:23 Tennessee Williams, Anton Chekhov, and Edward Albee 36:00 The Genius of Buster Keaton 40:47 Shout-Outs Intro Song: "Brooklyn" by Glass Vaults
Bar Talk Ep. 23: Two Childhood Friends Talk Mothers' Dreams, Joy v. Happiness, Becoming Millionaires
40:55

Bar Talk Ep. 23: Two Childhood Friends Talk Mothers' Dreams, Joy v. Happiness, Becoming Millionaires

What's the difference between happiness and joy? Do you remember the first time you felt them? Meet Ashly and Damola, two childhood friends who grew up going to school together in Washington Heights, back in the days of $2 Uber rides, and have carried the torch of friendship ever since. Both raised by immigrants, they are keenly aware of their parents' struggles and their dreams for their children, all while trying to express their own distinct visions of the good life—happiness and joy, soft life and success, fame and fortune. Folks, it's episode 23, and it's time to tackle the big questions! Ashly currently works as programming coordinator at music video juggernaut Vevo, where she also founded and leads the Black Resource Group. In 2022, she obtained her MBA from Pace University. After starting his career as a neurosurgical operating room nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Damola now works as a nurse care manager for community-based health care initiatives. On a day off you'll find him behind the camera @thedamzvixion or working the turntable mixing music. Follow Ashly on IG @gottaloveashly Follow Damola on IG @thedonxdamz It's hard times out there, folks. If you've traveled the interwebs recently, you probably know, the world is ending. For the low low price of a cup of coffee, you can live on the bright side of the coming armageddon and link up with the Bar Talk crew in the Patreon afterlife, where everybody is your friend and nobody goes thirsty. Come on down! Instagram & TikTok: @bartalkseries https://www.patreon.com/bartalkseries/ 00:00 Teaser 00:13 Intro 00:29 The Costco Incident 01:49 A Single Mom's Journey 03:11 Fifty-Two & Free // Damola's Mom 05:30 Now You're Coming Back to Me // Never Coming Home 08:51 Happiness vs. Joy 13:41 Ashly's First Memory of Happiness 16:13 Damola's First Memory of Joy 19:10 Amnesia and Making that Major Change 21:01 Let's Get Down to Business School // A Mother's Dream 24:10 Seeking a Soft Life // Little Things Like Laundry 27:55 Catching Cabs in the Bronx // Not Catching the Train 30:05 Setting Your Soul on Fire 33:19 I Want a Happy Child over a Smart Child 36:06 The Future is Bright as Fuck 40:39 Shout-outs Intro Song: "Brooklyn" by Glass Vaults
Bar Talk Ep. 22: Two Brand Creators Talk Flying Jets, Landing a Star Role, Silencing the Haters
41:44

Bar Talk Ep. 22: Two Brand Creators Talk Flying Jets, Landing a Star Role, Silencing the Haters

Lights, camera, action, wassup! It's a new year folks, and it's time to embrace our best selves—our aspirational selves, all heart and boundless potentiality. New runways to walk, new planes to fly, new chances to show up for our friends. Meet the high-flying Gatsby and Lola, two trailblazing entrepreneurs both in the midst of taking on a new dream. Whether it's house-hunting in Hollywood Hills, swimming with the pigs of the Bahamas, or winning a star role in a big-time commercial, Gatsby and Lola are watching reality rise to meet the dream. It's episode 22! The night is young, the year is new, and the world is bigger than ever. Gatsby is a Pop and R&B artist out of Brooklyn, New York. A self-made man and the survivor of a challenging childhood, he's always striven to make a name for himself and to break free of the crippling self-doubt of his youth. At the age of 20, he obtained his multi-engine pilot's certificate and founded a successful private aviation company. His name is his mission: embodying the hustle, lifestyle, and elite swagger of a modern-day Jay Gatsby. Lola is a model and brand creator with over a decade of experience in the beauty industry. Originally from Martinique, she moved to NYC as a teenager and attended Le Lycée Français de New York in the Upper East Side. Inspired by the models around her doing their make up, she decided to become one herself and started working as a hair model on the side in addition to her full-time job as a make-up artist. She has since starred in advertisements for brands such as Ciroc, Patrick Starr, and Coach. Follow Gatsby on IG @johnalexgatsby Follow Lola on IG @realestlola It's hard times out there, folks. If you've traveled the interwebs recently, you probably know, the world is ending. For the low low price of a cup of coffee, you can live on the bright side of the coming armageddon and link up with the Bar Talk crew in the Patreon afterlife, where everybody is your friend and nobody goes thirsty. Come on down! Instagram & TikTok: @bartalkseries https://www.patreon.com/bartalkseries/ 00:00 Teaser 00:17 Intro 00:33 A Time of Transition 01:27 Recording an Album in LA 03:19 House-Hunting in the Valley 08:54 She Called My Mom 10:40 The Baby at the Rave 11:45 Does the Guy Pay the Rent? 18:42 Swimming with the Pigs 19:49 Santa's Pilot's License 22:38 Confession Time / Lola's Big Win 27:25 Pop the Champagne & The Way-Out-There Dream 30:09 The First Time We Met / You'd Rather Be You 33:05 The Bi-Coastal Life 34:50 What I Love About NY / Driving Down the West Side Highway 36:12 The Drunchkies & The Cookies from SoHo House 38:32 This Challenge, This Right Here, How Can I Lift You Up? 41:28 Shout-Outs Intro Song: "Brooklyn" by Glass Vaults #transition #recordingartist #househunting #nassau #commercials #modeling #makeupartist #newyearnewme #lightscameraaction #sohohouse #bartalk
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