"Always The Journey" podcast episode 7 is online

"Always The Journey" podcast episode 7 is online

 Jason Woodland of "Always the Journey" podcast, Salt Lake City, Utah 2018

Jason Woodland of "Always the Journey" podcast, Salt Lake City, Utah 2018

Jason Woodland of Salt Lake City Utah is a powerhouse of DIY independent personal business, investment, community development, hip hop and graffiti culture, amongst other things...and he has been my friend for 25 years.  He had me on his "Always the Journey" podcast this last week and our episode - #7 in his series - is now live!  We discussed punk rock, public speaking, personal freedom, activism, and a ton more in the span of a fast paced hour.

Please check it out here: http://alwaysthejourney.com/2018/07/15/always-the-journey-ep-7-with-greg-bennick/

 

 

Spoken word show added at the Jugendcafe, Zwiesel Germany Aug 5th 2018!

Spoken word show added at one of my favoritest (yes thats a word, I just invented it, you're welcome) venues: the Jugendcafe Zwiesel Germany, August 5th 2018.

Six or so years ago, local city officials in Zwiesel threatened to shut down the venue so that real estate developers could swoop in and claim the space. A bunch of us wrote letters and made videos strongly asking the city to back off. They did. It was a total victory for a venue with over 30 years of history supporting art and all ages music, and one which many cities could learn from.

"Living Radical Lives in Desperate Times"
8PM, doors at 7PM
www.jugendcafe-zwiesel.de
3-5€ sliding scale

Spoken word, then group discussion and networking!
Come participate!

GERMAN friends, you can read more here:

Das Jugendcafe freut sich, Greg Bennick auf seiner Vortragsreihe durch Europa in Zwiesel begrüßen zu dürfen.

Greg Bennick ist ein amerikanischer professioneller Dozent, Menschenrechtsaktivist, Musiker, Author, Schauspieler und preisgekrönter Produzent. Seine Dokumentation FLIGHT FROM DEATH wurde mehrfach als beste Dokumentation ausgezeichnet. Darüber hinaus ist der in Seattle lebende Greg Bennick federführend an der von ihm gegründeten Hilfsorganisation ONE HUNDRED FOR HAITI beteiligt.

Als Musiker ist er Sänger der Bands, TRIAL, BETWEEN EARTH & SKY sowie der Band BYSTANDER unterwegs.

Greg spielt eine Hauptrolle in dem Film 7SPLINTERS IN TIME, welcher vor einem Monat in den USA seine Premiere feierte.

In seiner künstlerischen Arbeit beschäftigt sich Greg Bennick mit dem menschlichen Bewusstsein, Gefühlen wie Angst und Aggression, Aktivismus und Motivation

Der Titel des Vortrags lautet: LIVING RADICAL LIVES IN DESPERATE TIMES (Vortrag in englisch)

Eine einmalige Chance einen der besten internationalen Dozenten im bayerischen Wald zu erleben.

Der Vortrag beginnt um 20:00.

Voice over / narration complete for WILLPOWER film

Thanks and love to Willpower Running in Europe for having me do voiceover for their new film “The Essence” about Willpower Athlete and ultra marathoner Lisa Mehl. "The Essence" was filmed, edited, and produced by Stephan Wieser and Valentin Rapp Film / Photo. Photography completed at the Zugspitz Ultratrail in Germany. Narration co-written between Chris Zehetleitner of Willpower and me over an excited 24 hours last week.

Watch the full video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Ief9Wba9Mwk. Click subtitles for the German version. And check out Willpower online HERE.

The here and now. Not alone but on your own. Surroundings vanish. Thoughts melt. The people around you fade out, becoming shadows. Your challenge comes into sharper focus. And then there is motion.

This struggle is consuming and liberating at the same time. Suffering is ever-present but also meaningless. Following a given path, created by no one but yourself. Breathing in pain. Exhaling sheer power.

‘Home‘ is not only a physical place anymore. It’s somewhere enshrined in your heart. A goal. A momentary respite along the way. Warmth and solace rise from small gifts. But these are not to be savored too sweetly. You are soon alone again.

All you have to give is being taken, used, exhausted. Redemption remains unclear. It is a dark place. It is a path of opposites. But you love it here. And you have entered this place on your own accord.

In time, everything becomes clear. And amidst the constant motion you realize… “I am a runner.”

Spoken word show announced for July 22nd in Southampton England

I am heading back to Europe this July for a series of spoken shows. And since I can't just say Europe and have that include England any longer thanks to silly Brexit, I am posting this show separately than a Europe announcement. Ideas on supporting and changing the world from three different speakers in one night:

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New online interview explores on "7 Splinters in Time" on Idioteq.com

My friend Karol Kaminski at Idioteq asked me some questions recently about the upcoming sci-fi thriller "7 Splinters in Time". This is an interview with an unspoken inspiration from the filmmakers amidst it. One thing often unsaid about the film is that director Gabriel Judet-Weinshel and producers Ty Walker, Edoardo Ballerini, Isen Robbins and Gil Holland worked for nine years on it. And not just a linear nine years, but a nine years of figuring out how to get the movie completed and ultimately completing it brilliantly.

How many of us commit to a project over such a long period of time, even when a clear end point isn’t apparent? They did. And that inspires me immensely.

The film will be out in July in select theaters and on July 13th via Video on Demand.

Upcoming screenings:

Monday July 9th NEW YORK CITY - 7pm at Anthology. Details available soon. Wednesday July 11th LOS ANGELES - 7PM Laemmle Music Hall Beverly Hills

Read the interview here!

Spoken word show tomorrow in support of Jonah Matranga in Oakland CA

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Bay area friends: I am doing a spoken word set tomorrow (Saturday) about vulnerability and innocence and how we need both to survive and thrive. The show will be in Oakland CA in support of Jonah Matranga who is celebrating the 20 Year Anniversary of Far's 'Water and Solutions'. The show is 21+ so as always with 21+ shows, I will do an informal set outside the show beforehand for anyone who can't get in because they aren't old enough to drink. Message me if you're interested and we will make a plan.

For everyone else: https://www.facebook.com/events/130236141184667/

JONAH MATRANGA JONAH ON FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/jonahmusic JONAH ONLINE: http://www.jonahmatranga.com

THE PAUSES The Pauses on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thepauses The Pauses online: http://www.thepauses.com

$13 in advance | $15 at the door

Doors: 3PM Pauses 5:40-6:20PM Greg Bennick Spoken Word 6:20-6:45PM Jonah Matranga 6:45-7:30PM

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How to capture an audience's attention...

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When speaking to 400 elementary schoolers about picking one thing they think is cool, practicing it every day and becoming better at it, and then sharing it with the world, even if they are the only one who thinks it’s cool...always balance a chair on your face. It really helps clarify what you’re trying to say.

The Poetry of Punk book out now in Europe

Smart friends doing cool things chapter #43: my friend Gerfried Ambrosch in Austria spent seven years working on his book The Poetry of Punk which was just released this past week. It explores the significance and passion of punk/hardcore lyrics from all sorts of angles.

Gerfried included previously unseen photographs of the '90s/early 2000s punk/hardcore scene, and exclusive interviews with members of Minor Threat, Propagandhi, Youth of Today, Dead Kennedys, Kid Dynamite, Paint It Black, Fugazi, Catharsis, Black Flag, Fall of Efrafa, Active Slaughter, Trial, Petrol Girls, Pettybone, Anthrax (UK), Good Riddance, Inner Terrestrials, Shelter, Arboricidio, and a number of punk activists.

I wrote the foreword to the book. Check it out and get your smart on.

https://www.routledge.com/The-Poetry-of-Punk-The-Meaning-behind-Punk-Rock-and-Hardcore-Lyrics/Ambrosch/p/book/9781138502345

Cornish College of the Arts grants me a Distinguished Alumni Award

When I was told at the end of my junior year in college that I was likely to be expelled from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle for a lack of academic and creative focus, I never would have dreamed that in 2018 I would be honored with the college’s Distinguished Alumni Award...but tonight at Benaroya Hall in Seattle that’s exactly what happened.

Here’s photos of the bio and award. I told the graduates about the four rules which guide my life in hopes that the rules guide theirs too.

1. Don’t die. 2. Keep creating. 3. Contribute to the world. 4. Never have a day job.

Deep thanks to the Cornish faculty, Board of Trustees, President’s Cabinet, and Academic Council for what is an incredible honor.

PS So great to see Trial, Between Earth & Sky, XBystanderX (and 7 Splinters in Time) printed in the program. Punk rock for the win.

The Rumble: Speaking in Chicago

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Flying home today from The Rumble in Chicago. It was amazing to be back there after so many years. The entire set was filmed for a mini documentary on my spoken word being put together by LA film director / poducer Dan Elswick.

I'm very excited about the response to my set this past weekend and appreciative of all the work that Shane Merrill and friends put into booking the fest.

Photos by K.B. Imaging. Kyle selectively chose to photograph moments without stage dives during my spoken set but I assure you there were hundreds.

Just back from Haiti and it was truly INCREDIBLE

It is always important to remember the constant beauty experienced in Haiti along with the struggles.

This is Madame Papo. She lives in Bas Pinal, a small community a few kilometers from the center of Ranquitte. One Hundred For Haiti put a roof on her house last year.

I met her yesterday for the first time. I asked what she thought of her new roof. "Trè kontant". Very happy.

I just got back from Haiti and my mind is spinning from all the stories I heard and the people I met over the last week and a half. I've posted a compilation of all of my Facebook and Instagram posts from the last week into one post at www.onehundredforhaiti.org.

This trip was different than in years past. In 2017 and now into 2018, people donating whether once or signing up as recurring monthly donors allowed us to do so much. I constantly saw how many people had been positively affected by all of us coming together.

I'm inspired for the rest of 2018. Plans are forming along the lines of development, job creation, safe water, new roofs, and more. Thank you for all the support so far and into the future xo

LEARN MORE about our work here: http://www.onehundredforhaiti.org/haiti-trip-spring-2018/

A great moment of human connection across language in Haiti

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A truly great moment in Haiti just now. I went for a long walk this afternoon with the Mayor of Ranquitte Magistrat Edelin Philippe to discuss ideas for future water projects, putting new roofs on damaged houses, and other exciting ideas.

While in the jungle looking at water sites we were caught in the middle of a torrential downpour and took refuge under tall trees for half an hour and got absolutely soaked from head to toe. Everything drenched. We sloshed back to town. A guy gave me a ride on his moto bike to where I’m staying at a sort of rural compound.

I walked through the gate and the older gentleman who does security here, sitting under a tiny shack, looked at me standing there, drenched from head to toe, covered in mud and scrapes from slipping on rocks, backpack dripping. As we shared a glance in which he seemed to wonder, “Why are you outside in this insanity?” He asked in Creole, “Koman ou ye? (Hows it going?)” and I replied as if nothing at all was out of the ordinary, “Anfom (I’m great!)” and we both lost it laughing.

Laughing about shared experiences across languages is a dream on the earth. The whole world becomes instantly smaller.

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Bystander: my new band, signs with Safe Inside Records and announces global labels

We are excited to announce that BYSTANDER has signed with Safe Inside Records from San Diego, CA. We love the idea of working with a newer label and all the potential that comes with it. When Burt Jenkins from Safe Inside first heard the songs, he immediately put a game plan together for us should we choose his label. His excitement about the band matched ours. Please be sure to follow them so you can get any updates on the band including songs being debuted and 7" information, as well as information about other bands on their label. THANK YOU to everyone who has emailed, messaged, or texted us about how they're looking forward to hearing this. There have been many of you. It means a lot.

But wait, there's more...

Because we want to ensure as many people have access to our upcoming release as possible and to help those of you outside the US avoid paying too much for it as an import, these amazing additional labels will also be releasing our record in your part of the world.....

7” VINYL:

EUROPE Goodwill Records

MEXICO / LATIN AMERICA SPREADING THE HARDCORE REALITY WWW| STHR https://www.facebook.com/shxcr/

CASSETTE RELEASES:

EUROPE Kick Out The Jams (Partial benefit for One Hundred For Haiti)

UKRAINE / RUSSIA / BELARUS Reason Records https://m.vk.com/reasonrecordshc

GREECE / BALKANS / TURKEY World's Appreciated Kitsch Records & Booking

"7 Splinters in Time" film premiere in San Jose CA

Four years ago film director Gabriel Judet-Weinshel called and asked me to act in his debut feature film 7 Splinters in Time (formerly titled as OMPHALOS) about a murder mystery solved across time. I flew to New York City for a month. I was to play an eccentric, out of work juggler, with a tendency to speak like a psychotic maniac yet somehow make sense sometimes. Hmm: #typecasting I was starring next to the insanely talented Edoardo Ballerini (Boardwalk Empire), veteran star Austin Pendleton (A Beautiful Mind, Searching for Bobby Fischer), and powerhouse Emmanuel Chriqui (Entourage, The Mentalist).

The last four years have seen Gabriel work endlessly on the edit, the special effects, the musical score. He is the definition of an artist, just consumed by and in his work, no matter what the roadblocks he faced and there were many.

I just learned that the film was accepted and is having its world premiere on March 3rd 2018 in San Jose CA at the Cinequest Film Festival. Most of us in the cast and the wickedly talented crew will be there in attendance. Its a total victory for Gabriel as an artist and his unique vision.

Word on the street, from the festival coordinators: "Omphalos succeeds in providing an unparalleled take on the ‘sci-fi-thriller’ as it packs in plenty of suspenseful twists, an intriguing romantic narrative, and consistently ravishing visuals while channeling through intricate themes of youth, love, and identity." Boom!

Saturday March 3rd at 3Below Theaters & Lounge (288 South 2nd Street), 7:15PM and then throughout the following week both at 3Below and at the Century 20 Redwood City at different times.

https://tinyurl.com/Omphalos2018

Just added as PRODUCER to "Holding These Moments" documentary

I have been brought on as producer to help with coordination and completion of the upcoming "HOLDING THESE MOMENTS" documentary on legendary hardcore band BANE. The film is being directed and edited by Dan Elswick and Ricardo Cozzolino. Here's what we currently need:

- TEXAS footage/ photos from ANY of the Texas shows from the final tour

- NEW ORLEANS footage/photos from the final tour

- ANY pre-2000 images or footage

- ANYTHING from shows overseas, ever

Important if you have any of the above: only send footage that you shot yourself or images you took yourself. Its important for the final film product so that all the rights to images and footage are accounted for and solid. Please send any footage or photos to banedocumentary@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram: @holding_these_moments

Or of course on Friendster, MakeOutClub, or MySpace.

GDA Podcast on connecting with audiences!

Thanks to my good friends at GDA Speakers for featuring me on their podcast recently where we discussed how I got into speaking and performing, and how/why its so important to really connect with and communicate with audiences.

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This is a world-class group of people interviewing me on how to be world class for the audiences to whom I speak and the clients we all serve.

https://www.gdapodcast.com/podcast-episodes/ep-39-greg-bennick-change-management-expert-juggler-humorist

Changing the World Without Having a Clue

Tonight at Minnesota State University, my keynote to the students was VERY well received: 120 students attended and then afterwards I held a three hour question and answer session informally which let students ask direct questions about how to put their thoughts and passions into action. The basic idea is that we all have the capacity to change the world if we just start to see cluelessness as a virtue rather than as a detriment. We can all start somewhere if we just choose to make it happen.

COLLEGES: Inquire about how to bring this keynote and discussion to your campus!

I see you. I am here.

I just had a truly genuine human interaction.

I was walking from my loft to the train, about a mile or so. I usually take a back way, along the tracks, by some spray painted walls and broken chain link fences. Just now as I was walking that path, about fifty yards ahead I saw a guy in tattered clothes climbing out of the bushes. He was collecting his things on the ground. My brain went into self protection mode as I got close. I knew the pitch was coming. I was a few feet away when he stopped me.

"Excuse me," he said, launching into what I assumed was the pitch for money, "Can I ask you something?" I stopped and turned to him, "Yes?" He immediately started in with the pitch, with the rushed cadence of someone who has been denied so many times and who knows they need to get all the important words out as quickly as they can. "Well I've been having a hard time and I've been staying out here and I am wondering‚ I don't know what to do‚ if you could help because I need help and I was wondering..."

I cut him off, slightly impatient for him to get to the point so that I could catch my train. I was ready for him to finish the pitch so I could say, "No‚ I don't have any cash on me, sorry my friend‚" and walk on. I said, "I do need to get to the train. Is there something specific you needed?" I was trying to prompt the end of the interaction.

He took a deep breath and said, "Well I'm not sure if I should just stay out here again and walk around for a few days, or just go to jail and turn myself in because the drug of my addiction makes it hard to be around people when I try and stop. And maybe it's not safe for them and I think I should just turn myself in at the jail or else just walk around and try to avoid people for the next couple days...what would you do?"

There was no money pitch. He was literally just asking for advice. The look on his face was truly desperate, sad, exhausted. I took a deep breath too and my whole tone changed. My whole world changed. I told him, so I could establish common ground, that someone very close to me was an addict and that I wanted to hear more. The look on his face in that moment. I don't have words for it. He realized he was being listened to.

He told me about his addiction and where he was in his life. We talked about options. We talked about staying away from jail because the police are not friends of African American men, the homeless, or the drug addicted. We talked about how he was doing everything right by considering the safety of those around him. We talked about how good it was that he was trying to get sober even if the path seemed impossible. We talked about places he could walk to downtown to ask about safe places to detox and hopefully sleep safely. It was one of the most genuine conversations I've been a part of in forever. I just hope it was helpful.

At the end of our talk I told him again that he was doing everything right by trying to get sober and to keep himself and those around him safe. He looked at me and said thanks and added, "I'm trying. I can't do it alone."

As I turned and walked away he was looking out across the tracks, considering his options.

This isn't a post about me. It is a post about all of us. Its a post about being so wrapped up in getting to a train, one that runs every five minutes, that I would have been willing to ignore and deny another human being who was in a desperate place, before he even had a chance to finish his first sentence and connect. How jaded have I become, and how self absorbed. I think about the greeting one encounters in Africa when a person will greet another by saying, "I see you‚" and the response to having that said to you is, "I am here." 

Connection, at the most basic level. Seeing one another. Being here. And how simple it can be to reach across the closest of distances‚ that is‚ if we don't make those distances so far by being wrapped up in our own seemingly-so-important absolute bullshit.

I see you. I am here.

My only regret is that I didn't ask his name, the guy by the side of the tracks who is trying to get sober in a way that keeps those around him safe, and who was at the point where he was willing to ask for help from a total stranger. What a hero.

A true creative revolutionary: David Bowie

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David Bowie was a constant presence and challenge for me. Twister of reality, exposer of awe. A true creative revolutionary. I've always thought that an artist is at their best when they cause us to take pause and reflect on the world, seeing it in a new way as a result of their influence. Bowie was that artist. Any time I encountered his work I was always left mystified. I only saw him twice. Once on "The Glass Spider" tour in 1987, with Peter Frampton on guitar, a tour that saw him onstage roving over a multi-layered detailed set which was criticized as self-indulgent at the time by reviewers. For me, that set served as a metaphor for the many ways he existed in my mind.

No one could pin down David Bowie. He was here and not here at the same time. There was no space and moment specific to him. To see Bowie was to feel as though you had experienced a transcendent encounter, something larger than life. The presence of someone who had thousands of aspects to his personality yet was constantly himself no matter what aspect was shining through at that one moment. Bowie was relentless, unavoidable, untouchable. Just when you thought you might know him or that you were onto his true persona, he shifted gears and left you in wonder once again. I saw him a second time on the "Outside" tour he did with Nine Inch Nails in 1995. It was the first night of the tour in Connecticut, and while I heard the show got better as the tour went on, Bowie wasn't at his best this night (though he did play some very obscure songs and covers: "Joe the Lion" and a Jacques Brel cover of "My Death".

I remember walking out with my friend Al past the sound board, and a group of well dressed men in suits and ties stood there beaming with pride. Everything about them said that they were the financiers or producers of the tour. As we passed, one looked directly at Al and asked "How'd you like the show?" Al, not wanting to offend, said softly "It was very nice". We joked for years that had he said "Well...it wasn't quite Bowie's best night" that the entire tour plan would have been altered within minutes, maybe including the firing of NIN and giving Bowie the run of the night in every city he visited (which would have been a terrible choice, as the best part of the night was Bowie and Trent Reznor onstage together).

But it was exactly that, the choice to tour with NIN, regardless of how that particular show went, which makes the night stick out in my mind. I've thought about it for years now. Here was Bowie, almost 50, taking the risk to introduce himself to a much younger demographic by having the foresight to tour with Trent Reznor. And that's what made Bowie so incredible. Foresight. Vision. It was like he could see into the future and make choices that we would realize decades later were so ahead of the time in which they had taken place.

Every step of the way, David Bowie challenged us. He was always one - or ten - steps ahead of us in terms of image, fashion, style, sexuality, creativity. He had an entire generation asking if he was a man, a woman, and alien, neither, none, or all of the above? He twisted and toyed with time and space when we were in the midst of wanting to root ourselves in the here and now. He constantly made choices which made us reflect not only on what had been, but what might be in the moment, or what might come next if we were willing to take the risk along with him.

A constant presence in so many ways. My world looks different having encountered David Bowie throughout my life. There was no way it could not. His vision and genius was a challenge for each of us which forced us to reconsider how we experienced life when we stepped into his version of reality along with him.

And what a reality it was. I hope we all hold onto even a little bit of the magnitude of creativity, the depth of risk, and the expanse of wonder that David Bowie brought into the world.

Rest in peace, truly, to one of the all time greats.