STEVE BARR

“Over the last 30 years, they (China) have raised more people out of poverty than ever before in the history of the human race, which is amazing. (Most of) the young people in China have such an optimistic view of the future because their life has gotten better every single year.” - Steve Barr

This week’s episode was recorded on location from the 2017 Shanghai Film Festival, but the guest is one of my best friends from L.A. Steve Barr is a writer, producer, and occasional actor who has worked and traveled extensively throughout and between the very different film industries in Los Angeles, China, and New Zealand. His recent credits in one of more of those capacities include Born to Dance, Chronesthesia, Hang Time, and the remake of Pete’s Dragon, in which he had a small but memorable supporting role.

STEVEN HOFFMAN aka "Captain Hoff" of Founders Space

Episode #005 - Silicon Valley with Chinese Characteristics

This week’s show features none other than tech-world legend Steven Hoffman. He is the Founder and Captain of Founders Space, a top tech incubator / accelerator from Silicon Valley that has been very successful in establishing themselves in China and elsewhere around the world as well. 

Steven is also the best-selling author of “Making Elephants Fly”, released first here in China, in Chinese only (!), but rolling out in English worldwide in the Fall. Silicon Valley is technically Steven's home, but he spends more than 50% of his time in China, and his perspective is one you will want to hear. 

He is a highly in-demand keynote speaker and has appeared in front of many millions of people in live audiences and simulcasts online throughout China in just this last year alone, so it is a real treat for me to welcome him to the show. 

BENJAMIN SAPHIRO Episode #004

“The West was built on American steel; China, on bamboo.” - Benjamin Saphiro

My guest for Episode #004 is Benjamin Saphiro. Ben is a poet and painter from the Midlands area of Birmingham, England. He is an intuitive and bold artist, and he brings a very thoughtful, grounded perspective to the creation of his work and to his life. We talk about everything from Abraham Maslow to metaphysics to Black Sabbath. It’s a wide-ranging chat that also somehow manages to go by very fast, too. 

All episodes are available in the usual podcatchers or you can listen HERE, on the site.

CHINAVERSARY

Hey! Thanks for checking out my site, and (hopefully) my new podcast, "Big Fish in the Middle Kingdom". I am writing this on May 20, 2017, and today is my ONE-YEAR "Chinaversary": it's the date I moved, after lots of visits and time spent here, to Beijing from Los Angeles. It was a big move, and a big deal for me at the time, but the weight and (mostly) powerful consequences of that decision grow by the day for me...so I wanted to talk about it with my friends, and as I've done so, lots of what they have had to say has been worth sharing with YOU, hence the podcast.

The very first episode (featuring <7 minutes of me talking about the show and giving enough relevant backstory about myself to launch this sucker) is up and live NOW! You can check it out in iTunes HERE, search it on the Google / Android / Windows-friendly podcast aggregators by show name, or just listen to it online HERE.

Episode 001 is now LIVE!

In this first, short installment, I give an overview of what the show is all about, plus just enough backstory on me to give it all context. 

You can subscribe in iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/big-fish-in-the-middle-kingdom/id1237037187

SMALL POST, BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

Considering what a big deal this is to me, and what a milestone this represents, this will be an incredibly short post:

On May 20, 2017, I am launching my new podcast. 

It has been in the works for a long time; long before I moved to China, in fact. But as of May 20th I will have spent one entire year living here and building a company, so the time is right to finally do this. 

FOUNDATIONS

How does where we are from and where we live and have traveled influence who we are?

The above photo of me was taken in early December, 2007 at sunrise in Carthage, Tunisia. The story behind it isn't as epic as the history of the place itself, but it was a pretty profound experience for me all the same...

PROCESS

Now that the Chinese New Year / Spring Festival holidays are over and people are getting back to work, I have been reflecting on what they meant to me - an American - the way I spent them here myself in Beijing: alone, and far removed physically from the uncertainty and insanity consuming my own beloved country. 

During the break, it’s been interesting to consider how exactly the various rituals of the celebration and the national homecoming here affected me personally, without my even taking direct part in them much this year.

It got me to thinking about Process, and how important it is for everyone to figure out for themselves what they need in order to do their best, in what context they ARE their best, and how to reconcile those personal needs with the needs of the collective, whose demands on our time don’t always sync up smoothly with our own agendas.

A BEGINNING, A.K.A. WHAT IS THIS BLOG ABOUT?

For this first post, let’s start with a confession:

More than anything else I do or have done professionally (i.e. for money) in my entire adult life, for many years I've secretly fancied myself to really be, underneath it all, a writer.

The truth is, though, that it's been many years since I've actively DONE much of it; any that I've shared publicly at least, aside from the random social media screed. Besides the other obvious limitations of that form, there are also issues of sharability, ownership, and permanence to consider.

For a long time now I've been sorting out how, exactly, to rectify this situation, and I’ve decided that this blog is the solution. I operate in a world of bilingual, cross-cultural communications every day, so I know that getting the tone right in this adventure will sometimes be a challenge, but I figure that if I at least state my (good) intentions up front and am candid and clear about things as I proceed, then I can be forgiven the occasional misstep - in theory. Right?