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Story Babble

Mark Arnett & Brian Nissen: writers, producers, actors

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Story Babble

Story Babble

Mark Arnett & Brian Nissen: writers, producers, actors

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About Us

Solid Advice About Storytelling (mingled with nonsense)

Latest Episodes

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Suzanne O'Dell

Mark’s daughter, Suzanne, has thought a lot about the stories she tells herself...about herself. Sometimes they hurt. Sometimes they help. Can better stories change your life?

34 MIN19 h ago
Comments
The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Suzanne O'Dell

Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle

We haven’t run out of Ridley’s yet. Mark Ridley is the founder and owner of Detroit’s famous Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle. Think of your favorite comedian. He or she has played the Castle at one time or another. Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres. Tim Allen got his start there. The list goes on. Mark gives us a peek at how the world of stand-up comedy works.

41 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle

An A List Lyricist: David Zippel

Lyricist, David Zippel has worked with a lot of big names in Hollywood and on Broadway. Alan Menken, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Larry Gelbart, and Marvin Hamlisch to name just a few. His credits include City of Angels, The Goodbye Girl, Hercules, Mulan and The Swan Princess. And yet he took the time to talk to little ol’ Storybabble. You’ve heard his stuff. You know how talented and clever he is. You’ll pleased to know he’s as nice as he is witty.

33 MIN2 w ago
Comments
An A List Lyricist: David Zippel

Mike Ridley: Michigan Man

Mark and Brian talk to another member of the prolific Ridley clan. In a family that boasts actors, jazz singers, impresarios, and filmmakers, Mike is the touring balladeer, Michigan’s “Michigan Man”. To see his weekly Facebook concert is to see a man who loves music and people in equal measure. And they love him right back.

34 MINMAY 4
Comments
Mike Ridley: Michigan Man

Are you breaking the most important writing rules? Lou Florimonte

Probably more than any person, Lou Florimonte influenced Brian Nissen's acting and writing career. Once a professor at the California Institute of the Arts, Lou is now retired and living in California. He took the time to talk to Brian and Mark about the three most common mistakes a writer can make. This is a Master Class taught by a master of his craft. Enjoy.

47 MINAPR 27
Comments
Are you breaking the most important writing rules? Lou Florimonte

Is the Corona virus killing your creativity?

Filmmaker Aaron Meyers is stuck inside just like all the rest of us. But unlike Mark and Brian he’s trying to stay busy. He’s got some tips on how to sharpen your skills in the age of Corona.

18 MINAPR 16
Comments
Is the Corona virus killing your creativity?

Frank Ridley, a.k.a. Gil Fulbright the honest politician

Mark and Brian talk with Frank Ridley, Brian‘s cousin, who has appeared in numerous movies, TV shows, and even in an opera or two. But perhaps his most memorable role has been Gil Fulbright, a 2016 fake candidate for the US Senate. The so-called Honest Politician campaign was a viral phenomenon, drawing attention to the undue influence of money in politics.

31 MINMAR 31
Comments
Frank Ridley, a.k.a. Gil Fulbright the honest politician

Picking a villain for a pandemic movie

Hollywood has made a lot of disaster movies. Lifeboat, Tidal Wave, Towering Inferno, Outbreak, Titanic and Contagion just to name a few. Mark and Brian talk about why a tidal wave or a superbug are not always the villain. Also, we ask Thomas Grier, aka NostraThomas, what to expect next from the Coronavirus.

24 MINMAR 20
Comments
Picking a villain for a pandemic movie

Is your dialogue too “on the nose”?

Do you cringe when a protagonist says something like, “I have to keep fighting until I overcome every obstacle.”? We feel your pain. Mark and Brian discuss why it hurts and how to fix it.

28 MINMAR 8
Comments
Is your dialogue too “on the nose”?

Walter White vs. Mrs. Maisel

Who’s the best TV protagonist of the last decade? Mark and Brian discuss the virtues and failings of a faulted protagonist, and why we should care about them.

33 MINFEB 28
Comments
Walter White vs. Mrs. Maisel

Latest Episodes

The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Suzanne O'Dell

Mark’s daughter, Suzanne, has thought a lot about the stories she tells herself...about herself. Sometimes they hurt. Sometimes they help. Can better stories change your life?

34 MIN19 h ago
Comments
The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Suzanne O'Dell

Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle

We haven’t run out of Ridley’s yet. Mark Ridley is the founder and owner of Detroit’s famous Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle. Think of your favorite comedian. He or she has played the Castle at one time or another. Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres. Tim Allen got his start there. The list goes on. Mark gives us a peek at how the world of stand-up comedy works.

41 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle

An A List Lyricist: David Zippel

Lyricist, David Zippel has worked with a lot of big names in Hollywood and on Broadway. Alan Menken, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Larry Gelbart, and Marvin Hamlisch to name just a few. His credits include City of Angels, The Goodbye Girl, Hercules, Mulan and The Swan Princess. And yet he took the time to talk to little ol’ Storybabble. You’ve heard his stuff. You know how talented and clever he is. You’ll pleased to know he’s as nice as he is witty.

33 MIN2 w ago
Comments
An A List Lyricist: David Zippel

Mike Ridley: Michigan Man

Mark and Brian talk to another member of the prolific Ridley clan. In a family that boasts actors, jazz singers, impresarios, and filmmakers, Mike is the touring balladeer, Michigan’s “Michigan Man”. To see his weekly Facebook concert is to see a man who loves music and people in equal measure. And they love him right back.

34 MINMAY 4
Comments
Mike Ridley: Michigan Man

Are you breaking the most important writing rules? Lou Florimonte

Probably more than any person, Lou Florimonte influenced Brian Nissen's acting and writing career. Once a professor at the California Institute of the Arts, Lou is now retired and living in California. He took the time to talk to Brian and Mark about the three most common mistakes a writer can make. This is a Master Class taught by a master of his craft. Enjoy.

47 MINAPR 27
Comments
Are you breaking the most important writing rules? Lou Florimonte

Is the Corona virus killing your creativity?

Filmmaker Aaron Meyers is stuck inside just like all the rest of us. But unlike Mark and Brian he’s trying to stay busy. He’s got some tips on how to sharpen your skills in the age of Corona.

18 MINAPR 16
Comments
Is the Corona virus killing your creativity?

Frank Ridley, a.k.a. Gil Fulbright the honest politician

Mark and Brian talk with Frank Ridley, Brian‘s cousin, who has appeared in numerous movies, TV shows, and even in an opera or two. But perhaps his most memorable role has been Gil Fulbright, a 2016 fake candidate for the US Senate. The so-called Honest Politician campaign was a viral phenomenon, drawing attention to the undue influence of money in politics.

31 MINMAR 31
Comments
Frank Ridley, a.k.a. Gil Fulbright the honest politician

Picking a villain for a pandemic movie

Hollywood has made a lot of disaster movies. Lifeboat, Tidal Wave, Towering Inferno, Outbreak, Titanic and Contagion just to name a few. Mark and Brian talk about why a tidal wave or a superbug are not always the villain. Also, we ask Thomas Grier, aka NostraThomas, what to expect next from the Coronavirus.

24 MINMAR 20
Comments
Picking a villain for a pandemic movie

Is your dialogue too “on the nose”?

Do you cringe when a protagonist says something like, “I have to keep fighting until I overcome every obstacle.”? We feel your pain. Mark and Brian discuss why it hurts and how to fix it.

28 MINMAR 8
Comments
Is your dialogue too “on the nose”?

Walter White vs. Mrs. Maisel

Who’s the best TV protagonist of the last decade? Mark and Brian discuss the virtues and failings of a faulted protagonist, and why we should care about them.

33 MINFEB 28
Comments
Walter White vs. Mrs. Maisel
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