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PIERSON TO PERSON

Brent Pierson

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PIERSON TO PERSON
PIERSON TO PERSON

PIERSON TO PERSON

Brent Pierson

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About Us

Longtime documentary and non-fiction TV producer Brent Pierson talks with a variety of colorful people about everything from living in Los Angeles and working in the entertainment business and other interesting fields to creative expression, pursuing one's passion, and the many nuances of the human condition.

Latest Episodes

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

JOHN T. LANG, Ph.D. is the chair of the Department of Sociology at Occidental College. Professor Lang devotes much of his academic research to the exploration of social relations surrounding the production and consumption of food. (EXTENDED EPISODE: 1hr 14min) EPISODE NOTES: Thanksgiving week is here and food takes center stage in America. So, too, on an extended episode of PIERSON TO PERSON as I talk with JOHN T. LANG, Ph.D. Professor Lang chairs the Department of Sociology at Occidental College and devotes much of his academic research to the exploration of social relations surrounding the production and consumption of food. Our wide-ranging conversation covers restaurant rivalries, fine dining, food trucks, small plates, family food budgets, meal kit delivery services, food TV, chain restaurants, the rise of Whole Foods, the fall of Fresh & Easy, the enduring cult of Trader Joe’s, food worker wages, lobster, caviar, sushi, Pringles, Cheetos, “secret” off-menu items, Yelp, food...

74 MIN2018 NOV 18
Comments
FOOD FOR THOUGHT

ORION THE ARTIST

EANDY GINER kept his passion for rapping under wraps for several years before finding the courage to step forward as his hip-hop alter ego, ORION THE ARTIST. Andy is serious about finding a place for himself in the competitive rap world -- not for fame and fortune, but for a higher purpose. (44:13) EXPLICIT EPISODE NOTES: ANDY GINER is one of the best production sound engineers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. I’d always seen Andy as a mild-mannered guy. Quiet and unassuming, but friendly. Then we became Facebook friends and I discovered, to my surprise, that Andy has a fast talking hip-hop alter ego he calls ORION THE ARTIST – a very different fella than the affable, low-key sound man I’ve been in the field with. Rapping, I’ve since learned, is a big part of Andy’s life and he’s serious about finding a place for himself in the competitive world of hip-hop. Not for fame and fortune, but for a higher purpose. For more information on ORION THE ARTIST and how to downlo...

44 MIN2018 JUN 23
Comments
ORION THE ARTIST

MENSCHES and MENTORS and BABY BEARS, OH MY!

DAN ARDEN is a veteran non-fiction television producer with a reputation of being a very nice guy to work for – some say too nice. But for Dan, creating a positive and enriching experience for his production team is equally rewarding, sometimes even more so, than producing the show itself. (43:37) EPISODE NOTES: I’ve known and worked with a lot of nice and conscientious TV producers over the years, but DAN ARDEN is hands down the nicest and most conscientious. It’s just who Dan is, and reflective of the way he leads his life. For nearly 40 years, Dan has belonged to Soka Gakkai International-USA, a Buddhist peace organization whose members are guided by the core principles of respecting the dignity of human life and the interconnect-edness of self and the environment. And whether he’s producing a series or special for Discovery, Animal Planet, Nat Geo, HBO, NBC, AMC, Showtime, Fox or PBS, Dan strives to create a positive and enriching experience for the people on his production ...

43 MIN2018 MAY 20
Comments
MENSCHES and MENTORS and BABY BEARS, OH MY!

GOTTA HAVE FAITH

EFAITH PRINCE won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her role as Miss Adelaide in the 1992 Broadway revival of “Guys and Dolls.” And while Faith was honored to be recognized for her performance, she says the baggage that came with the win messed her up for five years. (48:04) EXPLICIT EPISODE NOTES: And the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical goes to … FAITH PRINCE. The year was 1992. The show was “Guys and Dolls.” The role was Miss Adelaide. And while Faith was honored to be recognized for her performance, she did not expect the baggage that came with the win: “It kinda messes you up for awhile because it puts you in this league and then people go, ‘Oh, you can’t take that. That’s not worthy of you.’ Suddenly I went from being a character actress to being a leading lady. And it took me about five years to shake all that and go back to my old self and start picking things that I liked and wanted to do.” FAITH PRINCE starred as Miss Adelaide...

48 MIN2018 APR 21
Comments
GOTTA HAVE FAITH

MINDBODY AND SOUL

BLAKE BELTRAM is co-founder of MINDBODY, the largest provider of cloud-based business management software to the boutique, beauty, health and wellness industry. The publicly traded company serves clients in over 130 countries worldwide. (52:42) EPISODE NOTES: It’s been 20 years since BLAKE BELTRAM sat in my living room tinkering with a software program that he had recently created to help yoga and pilates studios manage their daily business. I should have paid more attention. Turns out, Blake’s nascent software was the seed that grew into a mighty oak called MINDBODY. The publicly traded company is now the largest provider of cloud-based business management software to the boutique beauty, health and wellness industry serving clients in over 130 countries worldwide. Headquartered in San Luis Obispo, MINDBODY was co-founded by high school friends Rick Stollmeyer and Blake Beltram. Many thanks to the Blue Dot Sessions for the music featured in this episode royalty free through Creat...

52 MIN2018 MAR 23
Comments
MINDBODY AND SOUL

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

EJEFF COPELAND is an author, screenwriter and non-fiction television producer whose close friendship with Andy Warhol superstar HOLLY WOODLAWN (immortalized in Lou Reed's biggest hit song "Walk On the Wild Side") dramatically impacted his professional and personal life in ways he never expected. (46:40) EXPLICIT EPISODE NOTES: Andy Warhol made her famous. Lou Reed immortalized her in song. And JEFF COPELAND wrote the book that chronicles the extraordinary journey of a 15-year-old runaway who, as Reed croons, “shaved her legs and then he was a she.” As Jeff tells me in his PIERSON TO PERSON episode WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, he distinctly remembers the first time he laid eyes on the drag queen who would so dramatically impact his professional and personal life. JEFF: “I spotted this androgynous being, and I couldn’t figure out if this was a man or a woman. I turned to my friend and asked, ‘Who is that?’ And he said, ‘Oh, that’s Holly Woodlawn. She’s an Andy Warhol superstar. Don...

46 MIN2018 MAR 4
Comments
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

#ELIZABETHTOO

ELIZABETH COOPER SMOKLER has spent 40 years working as a Hollywood makeup artist, primarily on TV sitcoms such as Roseanne, The Ellen Show, Reba, Blossom, The Larry Sanders Show and Who’s the Boss? It’s been a wonderful career – except, that is, for all the sexual harassment she’s had to deal with in the process. (50:53) EPISODE NOTES: Not long before allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein jump-started an ongoing dialogue on sexual harassment in Hollywood, I talked with veteran TV makeup artist ELIZABETH COOPER SMOKLER about her experience working with lecherous celebrities. ELIZABETH: “These are people with a lot of power that nobody ever says ‘no’ to. Or, very rarely. And they’re wealthy and entitled, and you’re in their personal space. You’re touching their face, touching their neck and so it can be a challenge at times because people take that as an opportunity to cross boundaries. That was a huge problem in my life.” Elizabeth has spent 40 years making actors up, p...

50 MIN2018 JAN 7
Comments
#ELIZABETHTOO

BONUS MATERIAL - ELIZABETH COOPER SMOKLER

ELIZABETH COOPER SMOKLER does Brent’s makeup as if he’s going to appear on television to give him a better understanding of how she goes about her craft. (15:00)

15 MIN2018 JAN 7
Comments
BONUS MATERIAL - ELIZABETH COOPER SMOKLER

DEMON DRUMMER FROM EAST LA

MACEO HERNANDEZ is a professional Taiko drummer whose passion for the ancient Japanese form of percussion began in the 7th grade. Despite having no rhythm or musical experience, young Maceo was determined to play Taiko, leading him on a life-changing journey to Japan and inspiring a documentary film. (51:11) EPISODE NOTES: MACEO HERNANDEZ was in the 7th grade when he experienced an epiphany while listening to a Japanese Taiko group performing at a family friend’s wedding. MACEO: “You could really feel the impact and the vibration of these Taiko drums. And it just blew me away. I went up to them and helped them load these drums into their car. I just wanted to touch and feel these drums. I knew then I wanted to play these drums, even though I had no rhythm. I never drummed in my life. I never played an instrument. But the Taiko drum drew me to want to play it, even though I didn’t know anything about it.” Having a Mexican-American teenager dedicate himself to the ancient Japanese...

51 MIN2017 OCT 14
Comments
DEMON DRUMMER FROM EAST LA

YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU

LLOYD GORDON is one of the top estate liquidators in Los Angeles. Nearly 30 years in the business, Lloyd stages and presides over estate sales in some of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods. He says just because an item is valuable doesn’t mean it will sell. (50:26) EPISODE NOTES: Next year LLOYD GORDON will celebrate his 30th anniversary working as an estate liquidator in Los Angeles. It’s not something the exuberant song and dance man set out to do. But a funny thing happened to Lloyd on the way to a musical theater career – he made a real name for himself staging and managing estate sales in some of the city’s toniest neighborhoods. As Lloyd tells me in his PIERSON TO PERSON episode YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, when he first started liquidating the earthly possessions of the recently departed he did not feel good about himself: LLOYD: “I felt a little bit like a creepy undertaker -- no offense to undertakers. But then a friend of mine said, ‘You know, what you’re doing...

50 MIN2017 SEP 23
Comments
YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU

Latest Episodes

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

JOHN T. LANG, Ph.D. is the chair of the Department of Sociology at Occidental College. Professor Lang devotes much of his academic research to the exploration of social relations surrounding the production and consumption of food. (EXTENDED EPISODE: 1hr 14min) EPISODE NOTES: Thanksgiving week is here and food takes center stage in America. So, too, on an extended episode of PIERSON TO PERSON as I talk with JOHN T. LANG, Ph.D. Professor Lang chairs the Department of Sociology at Occidental College and devotes much of his academic research to the exploration of social relations surrounding the production and consumption of food. Our wide-ranging conversation covers restaurant rivalries, fine dining, food trucks, small plates, family food budgets, meal kit delivery services, food TV, chain restaurants, the rise of Whole Foods, the fall of Fresh & Easy, the enduring cult of Trader Joe’s, food worker wages, lobster, caviar, sushi, Pringles, Cheetos, “secret” off-menu items, Yelp, food...

74 MIN2018 NOV 18
Comments
FOOD FOR THOUGHT

ORION THE ARTIST

EANDY GINER kept his passion for rapping under wraps for several years before finding the courage to step forward as his hip-hop alter ego, ORION THE ARTIST. Andy is serious about finding a place for himself in the competitive rap world -- not for fame and fortune, but for a higher purpose. (44:13) EXPLICIT EPISODE NOTES: ANDY GINER is one of the best production sound engineers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. I’d always seen Andy as a mild-mannered guy. Quiet and unassuming, but friendly. Then we became Facebook friends and I discovered, to my surprise, that Andy has a fast talking hip-hop alter ego he calls ORION THE ARTIST – a very different fella than the affable, low-key sound man I’ve been in the field with. Rapping, I’ve since learned, is a big part of Andy’s life and he’s serious about finding a place for himself in the competitive world of hip-hop. Not for fame and fortune, but for a higher purpose. For more information on ORION THE ARTIST and how to downlo...

44 MIN2018 JUN 23
Comments
ORION THE ARTIST

MENSCHES and MENTORS and BABY BEARS, OH MY!

DAN ARDEN is a veteran non-fiction television producer with a reputation of being a very nice guy to work for – some say too nice. But for Dan, creating a positive and enriching experience for his production team is equally rewarding, sometimes even more so, than producing the show itself. (43:37) EPISODE NOTES: I’ve known and worked with a lot of nice and conscientious TV producers over the years, but DAN ARDEN is hands down the nicest and most conscientious. It’s just who Dan is, and reflective of the way he leads his life. For nearly 40 years, Dan has belonged to Soka Gakkai International-USA, a Buddhist peace organization whose members are guided by the core principles of respecting the dignity of human life and the interconnect-edness of self and the environment. And whether he’s producing a series or special for Discovery, Animal Planet, Nat Geo, HBO, NBC, AMC, Showtime, Fox or PBS, Dan strives to create a positive and enriching experience for the people on his production ...

43 MIN2018 MAY 20
Comments
MENSCHES and MENTORS and BABY BEARS, OH MY!

GOTTA HAVE FAITH

EFAITH PRINCE won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her role as Miss Adelaide in the 1992 Broadway revival of “Guys and Dolls.” And while Faith was honored to be recognized for her performance, she says the baggage that came with the win messed her up for five years. (48:04) EXPLICIT EPISODE NOTES: And the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical goes to … FAITH PRINCE. The year was 1992. The show was “Guys and Dolls.” The role was Miss Adelaide. And while Faith was honored to be recognized for her performance, she did not expect the baggage that came with the win: “It kinda messes you up for awhile because it puts you in this league and then people go, ‘Oh, you can’t take that. That’s not worthy of you.’ Suddenly I went from being a character actress to being a leading lady. And it took me about five years to shake all that and go back to my old self and start picking things that I liked and wanted to do.” FAITH PRINCE starred as Miss Adelaide...

48 MIN2018 APR 21
Comments
GOTTA HAVE FAITH

MINDBODY AND SOUL

BLAKE BELTRAM is co-founder of MINDBODY, the largest provider of cloud-based business management software to the boutique, beauty, health and wellness industry. The publicly traded company serves clients in over 130 countries worldwide. (52:42) EPISODE NOTES: It’s been 20 years since BLAKE BELTRAM sat in my living room tinkering with a software program that he had recently created to help yoga and pilates studios manage their daily business. I should have paid more attention. Turns out, Blake’s nascent software was the seed that grew into a mighty oak called MINDBODY. The publicly traded company is now the largest provider of cloud-based business management software to the boutique beauty, health and wellness industry serving clients in over 130 countries worldwide. Headquartered in San Luis Obispo, MINDBODY was co-founded by high school friends Rick Stollmeyer and Blake Beltram. Many thanks to the Blue Dot Sessions for the music featured in this episode royalty free through Creat...

52 MIN2018 MAR 23
Comments
MINDBODY AND SOUL

WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

EJEFF COPELAND is an author, screenwriter and non-fiction television producer whose close friendship with Andy Warhol superstar HOLLY WOODLAWN (immortalized in Lou Reed's biggest hit song "Walk On the Wild Side") dramatically impacted his professional and personal life in ways he never expected. (46:40) EXPLICIT EPISODE NOTES: Andy Warhol made her famous. Lou Reed immortalized her in song. And JEFF COPELAND wrote the book that chronicles the extraordinary journey of a 15-year-old runaway who, as Reed croons, “shaved her legs and then he was a she.” As Jeff tells me in his PIERSON TO PERSON episode WALK ON THE WILD SIDE, he distinctly remembers the first time he laid eyes on the drag queen who would so dramatically impact his professional and personal life. JEFF: “I spotted this androgynous being, and I couldn’t figure out if this was a man or a woman. I turned to my friend and asked, ‘Who is that?’ And he said, ‘Oh, that’s Holly Woodlawn. She’s an Andy Warhol superstar. Don...

46 MIN2018 MAR 4
Comments
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

#ELIZABETHTOO

ELIZABETH COOPER SMOKLER has spent 40 years working as a Hollywood makeup artist, primarily on TV sitcoms such as Roseanne, The Ellen Show, Reba, Blossom, The Larry Sanders Show and Who’s the Boss? It’s been a wonderful career – except, that is, for all the sexual harassment she’s had to deal with in the process. (50:53) EPISODE NOTES: Not long before allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein jump-started an ongoing dialogue on sexual harassment in Hollywood, I talked with veteran TV makeup artist ELIZABETH COOPER SMOKLER about her experience working with lecherous celebrities. ELIZABETH: “These are people with a lot of power that nobody ever says ‘no’ to. Or, very rarely. And they’re wealthy and entitled, and you’re in their personal space. You’re touching their face, touching their neck and so it can be a challenge at times because people take that as an opportunity to cross boundaries. That was a huge problem in my life.” Elizabeth has spent 40 years making actors up, p...

50 MIN2018 JAN 7
Comments
#ELIZABETHTOO

BONUS MATERIAL - ELIZABETH COOPER SMOKLER

ELIZABETH COOPER SMOKLER does Brent’s makeup as if he’s going to appear on television to give him a better understanding of how she goes about her craft. (15:00)

15 MIN2018 JAN 7
Comments
BONUS MATERIAL - ELIZABETH COOPER SMOKLER

DEMON DRUMMER FROM EAST LA

MACEO HERNANDEZ is a professional Taiko drummer whose passion for the ancient Japanese form of percussion began in the 7th grade. Despite having no rhythm or musical experience, young Maceo was determined to play Taiko, leading him on a life-changing journey to Japan and inspiring a documentary film. (51:11) EPISODE NOTES: MACEO HERNANDEZ was in the 7th grade when he experienced an epiphany while listening to a Japanese Taiko group performing at a family friend’s wedding. MACEO: “You could really feel the impact and the vibration of these Taiko drums. And it just blew me away. I went up to them and helped them load these drums into their car. I just wanted to touch and feel these drums. I knew then I wanted to play these drums, even though I had no rhythm. I never drummed in my life. I never played an instrument. But the Taiko drum drew me to want to play it, even though I didn’t know anything about it.” Having a Mexican-American teenager dedicate himself to the ancient Japanese...

51 MIN2017 OCT 14
Comments
DEMON DRUMMER FROM EAST LA

YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU

LLOYD GORDON is one of the top estate liquidators in Los Angeles. Nearly 30 years in the business, Lloyd stages and presides over estate sales in some of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods. He says just because an item is valuable doesn’t mean it will sell. (50:26) EPISODE NOTES: Next year LLOYD GORDON will celebrate his 30th anniversary working as an estate liquidator in Los Angeles. It’s not something the exuberant song and dance man set out to do. But a funny thing happened to Lloyd on the way to a musical theater career – he made a real name for himself staging and managing estate sales in some of the city’s toniest neighborhoods. As Lloyd tells me in his PIERSON TO PERSON episode YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU, when he first started liquidating the earthly possessions of the recently departed he did not feel good about himself: LLOYD: “I felt a little bit like a creepy undertaker -- no offense to undertakers. But then a friend of mine said, ‘You know, what you’re doing...

50 MIN2017 SEP 23
Comments
YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU