Episode 19: C.C. Chapman, The Advance Guard - From Deep in New Media

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Meet C.C., filmmaker, podcaster, social media strategist and Renaissance-man. If you’re a bit of a web geek or an iconoclast, this is a fun show for you. Suz and C.C.’s conversations range from photography to indie music to great books to Twitter and Facebook. Get C.C.’s strategy for taking amazing portraits and see them here on his Flickr site. C.C. talks about his podcasts, Managing the Gray (about new media and technology), Accident Hash (global indie music review), U-Turn Café (acoustic music sampler) to his vidcast, One Guy’s Thoughts and how he promotes his content. Putting C.C. to the test, he’s asked to play three choices of independent music - his favorite male and female artist from all his podsafe artists and his number one all time favorite indie song. Listen to the show to hear the clips. I won’t spoil the surprise here, but the related links to get to the artists’ work are on the Episode Page of DishyMix on www.PersonalLifeMedia.com and on www.dishymix.com.

Transcript

C.C. Chapman, The Advance Guard – From Deep in New Media

Announcer:  This program is brought to you by personallifemedia.com.

[Music]

Susan Bratton: Hi this is Susan Bratton, your host for DishyMix and welcome to the show today. I have someone I think you’re going to really enjoy getting to know. As I was researching our guest today, C.C. Chapman, I uncovered just a ton of fun things that he’s involved with that we’re going to talk about.

Let’s see we’re going to talk about everything from high school sweethearts to home fries, to Facebook and real estate, to his passion, photography, to indie music. We’re going to get some great clips and tips on the best music out there that is available to us today that we might not be able to find ourselves. And we’re going to talk about a whole new mind. We’ll touch on Thanksgiving dinner, which is coming up and you might be cooking it. And we’ll talk about backpacking and all kinds of other fun things.

[excerpts from interview responses]

“I usually am a very level headed guy. I don’t lose my cool at all. But if I’m stressed, I’ll usually kind of suck myself in, crank up the music and then I’ve been known to just snap randomly.”

“U-Turn Café is coffee shop acoustic music, all acoustic chilled out music, very mellow. No ads whatsoever, just very chilled out music. Everyone I know listens to it and they’re like, ‘That’s what I need.’ So I gotta put it out there.”

“People I’ve met through podcasting, walking down the street, I probably never would have met them. The interaction is different. You cross paths with people from every walk of life, every type of job, creed and color. It’s amazing. I have a very open mind so I’ll talk to anybody.”

“Most of these artists have on their web sites, everyone’s doing it different. Most of them have their CDs on CD Baby. Some have it on eMusic. Each artist is different but if you go out to their website and more often than not, they’ll have links to where you can buy it.”

“I’m telling you, if your listeners buy any one of her CDs, she has this double CD called, ‘Live at Wood Hall,’ that is live. You listen to it and you’re like, it’s amazing. Absolutely amazing.”

[music continues]

Susan Bratton: Welcome C.C.

C.C. Chapman: Thanks for having me.

Susan Bratton: It’s my pleasure. So, you and I have been connecting via Twitter and email. We’re fellow podcasters and we recently got to meet at the Podcast and New Media Expo where you did a keynote in the Podango booth. I wonder if you would just share just a little bit about maybe your top line sentiment about what your keynote was at the show.

C.C. Chapman: Sure. The biggest thing I was talking about was the fact that all these networks have been formed. Last year it was all about people joining networks and who’s on what team and whatnot. What I was really trying to stress was the fact that the power in podcasting lies with the individuals with the actual talent rather than any one network;  the fact that we’ve got to pull together as a community -- whether it’s podcasting or blogging or whatever -- and work together no matter whose team you’re playing on;  and for talent not to forget that it’s their content, they’re creating it. They should control it and protect it. That was the overall thing I was trying to stress.

Susan Bratton: Got it. And for those who are listening and might not know you, C.C. is a filmmaker, a podcaster, obviously. He’s a father and he’s an all around web freak. He’s definitely a tech geek -- that’s near and dear to my heart. He bills himself as either, a new media maven or a freelance new media nomad. That’s definitely true right now. I know you had been working with Crayon for a while and you’re back on your own. What kinds of projects are you looking for right now?

C.C. Chapman: Well it’s funny because I get to tell you something that I haven’t told anybody yet.

Susan Bratton: Oh great! Break the news here!

C.C. Chapman: We’re breaking news here. I was doing the freelance thing. I left Crown and so did another individual named Steve Coulson. We started getting people contacting us to do work. And we said, “Wait a minute! We should so something together here. Everybody’s bugging us.” We weren’t looking to make a big company or anything. So we formed this company called, “The Advance Guard.” Our whole thing is to help companies and individuals plan, create and execute social media and emerging   technologies.

Right now we’re working with Verizon FiOS and St. Martin’s press. We’ve already got people out of the gate. We’re really excited about helping people, not just figure out and do influence or outreach but actually figure out and strategize, work with companies. They may already have an idea but maybe we can go in and ideate with them and come out and say, “We know this space. We play in this space. What if we go this direction?” So we’re very excited and you’re actually the first person I’ve actually told. So it feels good to get it out.

Susan Bratton: Well congratulations. I like it.

C.C. Chapman: Thank you.

Susan Bratton: Is it the Advanced or the Advance?

C.C. Chapman: It’s The Advance Guard.

Susan Bratton: And is that a sports term or a war term?

C.C. Chapman: War term actually. They were the tip of the spear, basically, that went in ahead of time to protect the main troops.

Susan Bratton: So like the early version of the Marines. 

C.C. Chapman:  Exactly. On point. So hopefully, people will bring us in to go in and blaze that trail to help them and try to avoid the land mines.

Susan Bratton: And so pretty much, these are the guys that get killed.

C.C. Chapman: Yeah, so if someone is going to get killed, I guess it’s us. If we’re good, we won’t.

 Susan Bratton: [laughs] I hope not.  I recently referred a piece of business to you in the health care industry.  It sounds like that’ll be right up your alley. Essentially…

C.C. Chapman:  I’m looking forward to connecting with him.

Susan Bratton: Skip Brickley. He was the founder of Ad-Tech. I’m big into Ad-Tech. I was the chair of that conference for many years.

C.C. Chapman: Is there anything you haven’t chaired? You’re all over the place. That’s great!

Susan Bratton: Well IAB, Ad-Tech, now the Association for Downloadable Media, that’s part of my thing. But yeah Skip’s a good guy. He has a good vision for shows and I think being in the health care sector, that’s so huge in the land of boomers. We’re all starting to fall apart. I was twittering today that my chiropractor has told me I have to get orthotics for my shoes.

C.C. Chapman: Uh-oh! [laughs]

Susan Bratton: Because I can’t run! My leg hurts. And she says apparently if she can stabilize me from the bottom up, I’ll still be able to run. And I thought, “Oh yeah. We’re all going to fall apart.” We need this stuff.

C.C. Chapman: Yes, we are. Getting old is not fun.

Susan Bratton: Social media around health care. That’s potentially a good opportunity for The Advance Guard.

C.C. Chapman: Yeah!

Susan Bratton: Good. Well let’s hope that works out for you. So you are really, really involved in a lot of social media. On Facebook, as an example, you have 1,085 friends.

C.C. Chapman: Do I? OK.

Susan Bratton: Yes you do. And I notice that you’re involved in 129 groups and you have listed your house for sale. You recently moved but you haven’t sold your house yet. Is that right?

C.C. Chapman: Yeah. I figured, why not leverage every medium imaginable and tried Facebook.

Susan Bratton: What do you think? I notice you have zero views. Now you have one because I looked at it. But was that your strategy – “just put myself everywhere I can online with my house to try to get it sold?”

C.C. Chapman: Oh that’s interesting that it’s rolled over. I wonder if they roll it over every so often because I know I’ve had two inquiries about the house directly.

Susan Bratton: Oh you have? OK.

C.C. Chapman: People asking, “Hey is it still for sale?” Because I’ve had it up there now for two months.

Susan Bratton: Right.

C.C. Chapman: So I’m not sure if they roll it over or not.  I figured it doesn’t cost anything to post in the marketplace so why wouldn’t I put it up there? And the real estate market is a very strange one now where real estate agents… I don’t know. It’s not like the old days where they were making phone calls all the time.  They just kind of put it out there and hope. So I figured I’ve got to do my part and try to push it as well.

Susan Bratton: Well I would imagine that 95 percent of all properties sold, that the origination of that connection between that buyer and that seller, probably doesn’t come from the real estate agent but comes from the Internet.

C.C. Chapman: Exactly. I would agree. I know when I was shopping for my house, I was just looking online and found it. It wasn’t like an agent did anything for me.

Susan Bratton: So what do you think it will take to trigger the sale of your house?

C.C. Chapman: It’s a horrible market.

Susan Bratton: Is it?

C.C. Chapman: It’s a horrible market. It’s funny because we’ve had a lot of people look at the house, because here in the Boston area, it actually has a fenced-in yard, which is something that a lot of them don’t have -- a good-sized yard. But the problem is, people have the same concerns we did.  It’s a busier street than some people would like. Right now it’s a dead time and the market is tough so we’ll see what happens. But it was one of those life things where we found the house of our dreams and said we can’t miss this, so…

Susan Bratton: And what is it about your new house that made it the house of your dreams?

C.C. Chapman:  Well, our goal was we wanted to buy a house that we could see our kids bringing their kids back to. That was our driving factor. We found this house and it’s surrounded by woods, so I’m happy. It’s in a quiet neighborhood. Our neighbors came over the first day and brought bread and stuff. It was very fun. When we saw it, we said this is it and just knew. My wife and I have always had this philosophy that when that happens you don’t question it.

Susan Bratton: You just went for it even though there were huge risks.  On last week’s show, Scott Hoffman who is the president and COO of Blue Lithium said that his advice for anyone is that when something feels risky, just go for it. You won’t regret it.

C.C. Chapman: Amen. I agree fully.

Susan Bratton: So clearly you have the ability to pull the trigger on things that feel risky but feel right.

C.C. Chapman: Yep.

Susan Bratton: So what are you going to do? You’re carrying the mortgages on two houses right now?

C.C. Chapman: Yeah everybody was like, “You’re insane! You’re carrying two mortgages. You quit your job. You’ve got kids. What are you doing?!” It was just one of those things. Life is too short. You’ve got to be happy and I mean, you’re always going to have money problems unless you don’t have to worry about anything. So, I’ve got a great wife and she’s really supportive and she supported the decision. Things are going OK. We’re not eating ramen noodles yet so it’s OK.

Susan Bratton: So how does stress manifest for you when you’re really uneasy about things? You put yourself in this pinch, right?

C.C. Chapman: Oh yeah!

Susan Bratton: You decided to do it but there is still stress that comes with it even though you’re in control of the decision. What happens to you when you get stressed out? What do you do?

C.C. Chapman: I usually get really quiet. I get really quiet and then I snap really easily.  I usually am a very level headed guy. I don’t lose my cool at all. But if I’m stressed, I’ll usually kind of suck myself in, crank up the music and then I’ve been known to just snap randomly. I try to avoid stress because it’s so unhealthy. I try to avoid it. I usually do pretty good. I’m usually a pretty mellow guy most of the time.

Susan Bratton: Well after the break we are going to listen to some of your top music recommendations. In preparation for the show today, I asked you to come up with two of your favorite artists and your most favorite pod safe, indie music. We’re going to play those when we come back from the break but before we do, I wanted to really talk to you a little bit about the various products, if you will, that you create.

You have Managing the Gray, which is a podcast for your new media and technology side of the love and passion that you have for that. You also do Accident Hash, which is where you do your independent music reviews. And then you have U-Turn Café and you have One Guy’s Thoughts. So you’re really producing -- those are a little spottier in production, is that right?

C.C. Chapman: Yes. That’s a polite way of putting it.

Susan Bratton: [laughs] But how often are you putting out Managing the Gray and Accident Hash?

C.C. Chapman: Accident Hash, I try to get out a minimum of once a week. Managing the Gray is every two weeks. That’s the schedule I try to roll on. For a while there, I was doing Accident Hash three days a week and it just got way too stressful and the quality started suffering so I moved it back down to one. I don’t really have a set schedule, like I record on this day.

And Managing the Gray has always been about being very specific, very targeted. I wanted to make sure I was passionate about whatever I was talking about. Music, I could play whenever I want.

At the PME, I got yelled at so much about U-Turn Café that I’ve got to get one out soon because everybody seems to love it. You have to be chilled out and mellow to do that show to the utmost. So, I’ve got to do one pretty soon.

Susan Bratton: And tell our listeners what U-Turn Café is.

C.C. Chapman: U-Turn Café is coffee shop acoustic music, all acoustic chilled out music, very mellow. No ads whatsoever, just very chilled out music. Everyone I know listens to it and they’re like, “That’s what I need.” So I gotta put it out there.

Susan Bratton: Well and interestingly enough, you chose some acoustic selections for your favorites that we’re going to play in the second half of the show.

C.C. Chapman: It was funny. You asked me to pick my favorites, which is like picking my favorite kid. I lean towards the acoustic stuff when it comes to favorites because I really appreciate the singing/songwriting aspect of music.

Susan Bratton: So you have these podcasts. About how many listeners do you get to Managing the Gray and Accident Hash?

C.C. Chapman: I am so not a stats guy. Everyone can’t believe that I never look at stats. I honestly haven’t looked at the statistics on them in a long time.  I mean I know Accident Hash has been around since 2005 so it’s got a lot of listeners and it really exploded. Managing the Gray keeps going up every time I put on a new episode.

Susan Bratton: Got it.

C.C. Chapman: Managing the Gray has probably got a few thousand globally and Accident Hash has got a lot more than that.

Susan Bratton: OK well that’s good. How do you really promote yourself? You are a social media vet -- I’d have to say -- with a 1,085 connections in Facebook and thousands of listeners to your podcast. What do you really think it is that you did that created that?

C.C. Chapman: Everyone tells me it’s about my passion. I think I’m just a very transparent, passionate guy. I’ve been blogging for so long, with six years this summer. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I will help anybody. When I talk about the community, I mean it because I really want to see everybody move forward. Playing the connector is a role that I absolutely love. I love being like, “Hey, you need to meet so and so and so and so needs to meet you,” and doing that. I think there’s not enough of that. So I think people connect with that.

Plus, I’m really approachable. I love meeting new people from every walk of life. I always talk about the fact that these people I’ve met through podcasting, walking down the street. I probably never would have met them and interacted with them but through new media, you cross paths with people from every walk of life, every type of job, creed and color. It’s amazing. I have a very open mind so I’ll talk to anybody.

Susan Bratton: So I think that it is partly because you do do a lot of events and you’re out there and you’re posting your thoughts. I think you’re right about the transparency. It seems that new media allows us to be very transparent. We’re allowed to express ourselves.

I want to go for a break now and when I come back, I want to talk about Twitter a little bit. It seems like we talk about this on every show. I must just be obsessed with it.  But, let’s go to a break and when we come back, we’ll pick up on Twitter and we’ll talk about some of the movies, music, books, things that you’re loving and I’m loving right now.

So stay tuned and we’ll be right back.  I’m your host Susan Bratton and you’re with C.C. Chapman.

[radio break]

Susan Bratton: We’re back and this is your host Susan Bratton. We were talking with C.C. Chapman. He’s a new media nomad. When we left for break, we were talking about promoting ourselves, our companies, our brands through new media and social media.

I wanted to talk a little bit about with you, C.C. about Twitter. I think pretty much everyone who’s listening has at least gone to twitter.com and checked it out. You’re a big twitterer. When do you twitter? How do you decide to twitter? Why do you do it? What do you get out of it? I want to know that.

C.C. Chapman: It’s funny because I fought twitter in the beginning -- not fought it but I remember when I first saw it, I was like, “Yeah so what's the big deal?” It wasn’t until a month later that I really got into it. It’s funny. I twitter whenever I… I brain dump to it because it’s so easy. I can just dump 140 characters about anything. And sometimes it is about nothing, it’s just random stuff. But what I get out of it is, I love that I get this peek into people’s lives of what they’re doing, see where they are in the world, what’s troubling them today, what’s making them happy.

It’s also my little focus group. When I was buying this house, I put out, “Hey guys, is there a Lending Tree for home insurance?” Everybody instead said, “No. But here’s who I like and here’s what I like and what I use.”  I ended up making my decision a hundred percent based on that because I had one company keep coming back from everybody and I said, “Well if it works for my friends, it’ll work for me.”

That’s what Twitter excites me with, just the fact that I can peer into people’s lives and I can share a little bit of mine with them and people react. It’s a really weird little community and it keeps growing every day which gets even more crazy.

Susan Bratton: I love that. Now I can’t track everybody that I’d like to track and I’m sure that you have some favorite people whose twitters you really like. Who are your top two favorite twitterers?

C.C. Chapman: The first one that comes to mind is new media Jim, who I actually met yesterday for the first time, face to face in Washington, DC. He is a camera man for NBC.

Susan Bratton: OK.

C.C. Chapman: Whenever Brian Williams goes out on location, it’s usually Jim filming him.

Susan Bratton: Nice.

C.C. Chapman: So when you see, “Landing on the ground in Iraq with President Bush” as a twitter, that’s pretty cool.

Susan Bratton: No kidding.

C.C. Chapman: He’s just a really nice guy. Boy, another person. He’s the first person that comes to mind. Umm, probably Chris Penn would be another one whose twitter is cspenn. Chris Penn hosts a financial aid podcast. He’s a buddy of mine here in Boston but he’s always out there helping people and he’s always got nice little tweets to make you think about stuff in good lengths. So he’s the second one that comes to mind.

Susan Bratton: Nice. I would say my two favorites are eve 11, which is Evelyn.

C.C. Chapman: OK.

Susan Bratton: Eve 11. She’s kind of a soft, astrological, world peace; very insightful person and her twitters are masterpieces, many of them. I was driven to call her this week and say, “Hey. I see that you live locally. Let’s get together and go for a hike.” Now I haven’t been able to execute on that invitation yet but I’m really looking forward to connecting with someone I would have possibly never met by being really impressed with the depth of 140 characters that she can create.

C.C. Chapman: Cool.

Susan Bratton: I’d say my number two is Scott Simpson from Apple. He is just a renegade crazy, funny, manic twitterer.

C.C. Chapman: Nice.

Susan Bratton: [laughs] And he draws the most amazing conclusions. I think we should ultimately have some kind of “most collected twitters” or something like that.

C.C. Chapman: Yeah!

Susan Bratton: So I want to move to our indie music.

C.C. Chapman: OK.

Susan Bratton: You, in Accident Hash, are constantly surfacing new things that we might like to know about. 

C.C. Chapman: Yep.

Susan Bratton: And I asked you, as you said, it was like picking between your children. I asked you to have your single most favorite male artist, your single most favorite female artist and your number one song. And we’re going to play those for our listeners now. Which one would you like to start with first? Tell us who it is. Tell us a little bit about what you like about them and then we’ll play it. We’ll roll the clip.

C.C. Chapman: All right. Well let’s play David McMillen first. David, I played on Episode Three of Accident Hash way back in the day and since then David and I have become really good friends. He’s just got this southern twang going on, plays guitar, plays piano and his songwriting is just so raw and emotional. That was an easy one. When you said favorite male artist, it was him without a doubt. He’s got a great voice that I can’t wait to share with your listeners.

Susan Bratton: Beautiful guitar work in this song. The song is called, “Move Like the Morning.” Let’s hear it.

[music: “We’ve been running next to midnight on the shadows of what we wanna see. My generation sings in memories. We wake up to kiss the day. And now her lips are speaking silences about the things that matter to us most. Like the dreams that drift among us now on the crying Eastern Coast. I wanna move like the morning with beginnings on my face. I wanna move like the morning. …Put me back in place. Put me back in place today...]

Susan Bratton: Well that was fantastic. How can someone find this -- you tell them. They can also come to dishymix.com. I’m going to blog the link so you can get David’s song as well as our next two artists’ as well. But what’s another avenue that people have, to go download this music?

C.C. Chapman: Well if you want to just listen to it, music.podshow.com: the podsafe music network, is a great place. Most of these artists have on their web sites -- everyone’s doing it different -- most of them have their CDs on CD Baby. Some have it on eMusic. Each artist is different but if you go out to their website, more often than not, they’ll have links to where you can buy it. I know David sells them directly as well. He goes through some small indie store that I can’t think of off the top of my head but I know they’ve got buy links on his website.

Susan Bratton: All right well we’re going to link to it. We’ll be linked from the episode page it’ll be linked in the episode description. It’ll be linked everywhere on the blog, dishymix.com, so no problem there. And now tell us about your favorite female artist.

C.C. Chapman: Allison Crowe is just this amazing woman, young lady -- well she’s not a young lady anymore -- woman, who her voice, the first time I heard it just stopped me dead. There are not many people who have voices that do that. I’m a sucker, a sucker for female vocalists. She put out a Christmas album, that when I heard Silent Night, I thought I was going to cry. She does amazing covers. She does an amazing cover of Bobby McGee that of course we can’t play so I picked another one of her tracks called, “Sea of A Million Faces.” She’s from Canada, an absolutely amazing woman.

Susan Bratton: Well let’s roll that clip right now.

[music: “I pulled a knife on myself today. I don’t know what I was thinking. All of these words trapped inside my head.  I feel like I’ve been drinking. And I know you don’t want to see me this way... In a sea of a million faces I feel so alone. I only have you to hold on to so please don’t go, don’t go.]

Beautiful. Yeah. The first time I heard that, it gave me goose bumps. It made me think, “I need to get all my chick music out and play it all again right now!”

C.C. Chapman: I’m telling you, if your listeners buy any one of her CDs, she has this double CD called, “Live at Wood Hall,” that is live. You listen to it and you’re like, there’s no way a woman can sing this raw. It’s amazing. Absolutely amazing.

Susan Bratton: Love it. Well I’m definitely going to pick up that CD as my next purchase, which will happen right after DishyMix. [laughs]

And so drum roll please, last but not least, your podsafe song!

C.C. Chapman: Oh! This is so, so hard. I went with my gut. I decided to pick the first song that came to mind when you asked me. I toiled over this! These guys have become really good friends. The band is called Now is Now. They’re from Portland, Maine and their lead singer’s name is Mitch Alden. He has the most amazing outlook on life. His wife is a forest ranger and a fire fighter and he plays music. There’s a song called Paintbox. It’s off their last album. I fell in love with it and then actually found out later that it was the first song he ever wrote ever and I just think Paintbox by now is an amazing track. So that was my favorite podsafe song.

Susan Bratton: All right, well let’s take a listen.

[music: … “A little girl so innocent and ignorant and quaint on a mission to find a cure for boredom on that day. Searching through the attic with intense anticipation, looking through those toys with extreme determination. Suddenly through that tiny window she did see, a beautiful horizon shining with tranquility. There is a paint box so simple in the eyes of you and me. Oh but on the inside, are colors of a world that’s meant to be. No black or gray of any sort to show a dying day. No red to show the blood of a wounded man in his dismay -- just colors of a world in plain serenity.  Living in this happy world we're playing musically. Painting a world of colors. Painting a world of peace...”]

Susan Bratton: Nice. I found that incredibly approachable.

C.C. Chapman: I so badly want to make a music video for that. I’ve always said that to him.

Susan Bratton: Really, and what would be in it?

C.C. Chapman: I want it to be like a mini movie true where you see the girl, she gets abused then she grows up. I can picture like an art gallery and all these paintings that she did and sketches. Her father comes to the show. It would be very cool. It just needs a good budget to do it right.

Susan Bratton: Well you’re very much a renaissance man. You love your music. You’re a cook, a photographer -- beautiful, beautiful pictures on Flicker. I’ve stolen a few and put them in to my albums for ADM, of course attributing you.

C.C. Chapman: Yes you did.

Susan Bratton: That was so funny! You got mad at me. I was literally in the middle of uploading my pictures and writing the descriptions and you were like, “I think you stole my pictures, Bratton.” And I’m like, “Dude, I had a meeting!”

C.C. Chapman: That was so funny. I was like, “Wait a minute, that’s my picture with Chris McDonald! I know it is!”

Susan Bratton: It was such a good picture of Chris McDonald with the green feather and the sneakers.

C.C. Chapman: I know. It was priceless. I saw him sitting there and said, “May I take a picture?” He just kind of just shook his head like “Oh man, here comes C.C.”

Susan Bratton: Exactly. Well, you do an amazing job. What I was amazed about first of all was that you were aware that I had uploaded an image before I was even complete. It was uploaded but I was still typing in all the descriptions. You knew I had ripped off your image before I was even done.

C.C. Chapman: Well that was just sheer luck. Flicker is really cool. They give you an RSS feed for your contacts’ photos. I check them a couple of times a day in my RSS reader. I just happened to be checking them so it’s all timing.

Susan Bratton: Funny. That was amazing.

C.C. Chapman: I must have known. I must have sensed it.

Susan Bratton: You must have felt like there was some pulling happening or something. Yeah, those were great shots. You are really good at taking anything but really; the pictures you take of people are extraordinary.

C.C. Chapman: They’re my favorite.

Susan Bratton: How do you do that? What is it that you do to capture their personality? They absolutely sparkle. Your pictures of people are amazing.

C.C. Chapman: Well that’s what I love, too. So many people go, “Uh I hate cameras!” So I take a picture and they’re like, “Wow that was a good photo!” Two things: One, I’m just at ease and they’re at ease.  I usually take it when they’re not paying attention, which helps. Or, also, having a good camera, I can take a couple of shots right in a row and then they react.

It’s also not being intrusive. I have a lens where I’m not standing right in their face and saying, “Oh can you stop and pose for a picture?” I hate people posing for a picture. I just say, “Hey can I take your photo?” Or, I just take it and then ask.

They’re my favorite photos to take actually -- pictures of faces, specifically.  I’m a real sucker for faces. I hate people who put way too much factor in what the perfect beauty is and stuff. I hate that. I think everybody has got some beauty in them. 

Susan Bratton: Absolutely.

C.C. Chapman: I love taking photos of people. It’s my favorite thing.

Susan Bratton: You know, you would really like this thing I do when I go to my trippy workshops. There’s this thing called Hand on Heart. I’m in California and I like self- improvement workshops.

C.C. Chapman: Yep.

Susan Bratton: You know, personallifemedia is all about transformation, right?  And so, I do a lot of these workshops and they have this thing where you take the whole group of people. There are 60 people, you split into two groups of 30 and you create two rings around each other, one facing out, one facing in. Then each person steps the opposite direction so that you get to actually stand and look in the eyes of every single person.

C.C. Chapman: I’ve done that before. It’s really awkward for some people to do that.

Susan Bratton: Ohh! I can’t think of anything better. You get to hold their hand. You have one hand on your heart, you’re holding their hand and you’re looking into their face. And you have the permission to actually look right into their eyes and to look at their face up close.

C.C. Chapman: Right.

Susan Bratton: And I’ll tell you, it’s probably one of the most favorite things I do in the whole world. Because, like you, I’m in love with the person and who they are and what they look like so much, that it’s like a massive treat for me to have the permission to really have a moment to look in someone’s eyes and view their face and see the texture of their skin and to watch their face soften and connect with you for a second and to be just another human in the moment.

C.C. Chapman: Yeah and you don’t ever get that walking around the streets, ever. I grew up in New England. I’m a life-long New Englander, except when I moved to DC for a few years. I’m the type of guy that walking down the street I’ll just say hi to you, “Hey Good Morning!”

Susan Bratton: Me too.

C.C. Chapman:  People down there are like, “Whoa, what’s this dude doing?” It’s amazing how people get freaked out by stuff like that.

Susan Bratton: They do. So the opportunity to have that connection, I think what you’re doing is you’re finding that through your photography.

C.C. Chapman: I’m having fun doing it. I’m so glad that people are reacting to it so well. It makes me extremely happy.

Susan Bratton: Well you are very creative. You have a lot of design sense. Is the right brain the creative…?

C.C. Chapman: Yes, the right brain is creative.

Susan Bratton: You’re a very right brain person. Like you said, you don’t even know the stats of your own shows because you don’t give a shit about the numbers.

C.C. Chapman: I don’t. But I do have this weird side where I do use my left side because I have a degree in Business. So, it’s a very strange mix.

Susan Bratton: But what you’re doing is leveraging the emotion of business.

C.C. Chapman: Yes, very much so.

Susan Bratton: And I noticed on your Facebook page, there were two books you were reading and they both looked very good to me. One was, “A Whole New Mind,” by Daniel Pink. And it’s all about; his premise is this idea that analytical skills are becoming less valuable. In the 21st century, it’s the right brain skills that are going to become the thing that people want and need and view from a business perspective. You’re reading that because it supports your talent? Or, how did you find out about the book?

C.C. Chapman: I actually think I was just on Amazon looking at some other book and it came up as a recommendation. When I saw the title, I was like, “Oh I need to read this!”

Susan Bratton: Mm-hmm.

C.C. Chapman: It really is a good book because it’s talking about how the fact that -- you know in the old days -- the old days, it’s not even that long ago -- you had to get an MBA. That’s what you had to do to be successful in business and it’s what everybody looked for. Everybody marched to a certain order and whatnot.

And now, I didn’t realize, they were talking about the fact that MFAs are getting to be extremely popular in business because it shows you can think outside the box. It’s talking about how these generations coming up now are scaring the bijeezes out of the old timers because they’re like, “Whoa these people have free thought and free will. They’re thinking different. They’re thinking outside the box.

The case studies in it and the examples are great. I like the style. I’ve never read any of his books before. I don’t know if he has other ones either now that I think about it. It’s a really good book and it definitely makes for good conversation on airplanes. People are always looking at it going, “What is that book,” because it actually has a hole in the cover shaped like the head.

Susan Bratton: Oh funny. And then the other one that you had on your Facebook page looked really interesting to me too. It was “The Ten Faces of Innovation,” by Tom Kelley. What’s that one about?

C.C. Chapman: I just started that. I cracked it open and looked at it. It sounded really cool. I was looking for books on ideation and ideas and how people come up with that because I was doing more of that. I wanted to read about how other people did it.

When I found out that there were actually books written on this, it kind of surprised me. I was like, “Really? You can write a book about innovation?” It’s mainly case studies, a lot of case studies and a lot of examples and pretty pictures -- lots of glossy colored photos. So I’m looking forward to actually reading it but I can’t talk too much about it yet because I just haven’t jumped into it.  Not enough time for book reading unfortunately.

Susan Bratton: I understand. Well, that is a beautiful opportunity for me to give a plug to one of my sponsors. I can’t resist. And I know, being a podcaster, you’re fully appreciative of it.

One of my sponsors is Audible. Anybody who is listening and is interested in getting one of these books that CC is reading, for free, can go to audiblepodcast.com/dishy. If you go to that landing page and you sign up for their audible listeners’ program, you get a free download of your choice. I guess they have over 40,000 titles. So, I looked and both of these books are in Audible. So, if you wanted to get it for free, you can.

It’s a book of the month club. Essentially, you get one book credit for $14.95 a month. You can download any book from the program of the 40,000 titles and a lot of times, the books cost more on an individual basis like 20 or 25 bucks but your $14.95 credit can get you that book. Then you have that book downloaded and if you’re somewhere, caught somewhere and you don’t have anything good to read, you can listen to your book on your iPod or your iPhone or what have you.

So if you want to support me and support my sponsor go to audiblepodcast.com/dishy. Sign up for the audible listeners’ program and get your free book.

Thanks for letting me do that C.C.

C.C. Chapman: Oh no problem. I totally understand. I’m just glad they let you do a host endorsement rather than a 30 second spot. That’s great.

Susan Bratton: We do both actually.

C.C. Chapman: You do? OK. Well that’s cool but at least they let you.  I know some advertisers were scared of that but I think it’s so much more -- you connect with your listeners. You know how to say it.

Susan Bratton: Yeah, you say, “Hey thanks for supporting my show. If you want to read this book, why not get it on books on tape,” kind of thing.

C.C. Chapman: Bingo.

Susan Bratton: So the last thing that I want to talk about in your Renaissance man, the second half of DishyMix -- we’ve talked about music, we’ve talked about books, we’ve talked about photography and we’ve talked about interesting twitterers -- the last thing that I really want to end with is that, the other thing that I know you like to do is I know you like to cook. Your wife is a high school sweetheart. You’ve been together for years but it sounds like you’re the cook in the family, is that right?

C.C. Chapman: Yeah we’ve been together 18 years and I do all the cooking whenever possible.

Susan Bratton: Well I saw, God knows where, that Thanksgiving dinner is one of your favorite things to cook. It’s mine too.

C.C. Chapman: Wow, you dug deep! I like it.

Susan Bratton: It is mine too. I pride myself on my turkey gravy like nobody’s business.

C.C. Chapman: Ooh.

Susan Bratton: I make the world’s best turkey gravy. But, I really want to talk about why you like to make it and what you like to make well because Thanksgiving is coming up.

C.C. Chapman: Yep.

Susan Bratton: This show is airing just before that. We’re all starting to think about, uh-oh what are we going to pull off for Thanksgiving with our busy lives. So, give us, for your last delivery to our DishyMix listeners, your best Thanksgiving dinner cooking advice.

C.C. Chapman: Crank the music. Christmas carols. It’s the first day I can play Christmas carols in my house. Christmas carols are not allowed before Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving Day, you play Alice’s restaurant and Christmas music while you’re cooking. Drink lots of good wine while you’re doing it.

Susan Bratton: Oh yeah.

C.C. Chapman: I love Thanksgiving Dinner because usually your family is always there. I’m a big family guy. This year with the new house we’re having the in-laws and my parents down for Thanksgiving. I love cooking for huge groups.

We have to get together now that I know you make gravy because what I’m known for is my mashed potatoes.

Susan Bratton: Oh yeah.

C.C. Chapman: So I’m thinking we got a little connection going on there.
We’ve got to try it because I’m a huge gravy fan. Nobody in my family likes gravy but I still make it every year just for me.

Susan Bratton: Maybe you don’t make good gravy.

C.C. Chapman: They just don’t eat it. Oh wow! You just threw a hook in! Wow! [laughs]

Susan Bratton: C.C., they’d like my gravy.

C.C. Chapman: I like gravy but I mean I make the works and about eight million pies because everybody likes a different type of pie in my household. There’s nothing better than cold pie the next morning in my book.

Susan Bratton: Do you make the dough from scratch, the crust from scratch?

C.C. Chapman: I don’t.

Susan Bratton: You just use the shells.

C.C. Chapman: I cheat. I cheat. Yeah, Pillsbury is a good friend of mine.

Susan Bratton: I like that. Now what’s your secret for mashed potatoes? How do you make the best?

C.C. Chapman: Oh! red mashed potatoes. You cook ‘em.

Susan Bratton: Red bliss, smashed?

C.C. Chapman: Red bliss, you mash ‘em up -- none of that blender junk. You mash ‘em up. I roast a whole clove of garlic in the oven for an hour with olive oil on it. Squeeze that in, put a little Parmesan cheese, black pepper, heavy cream and then you mush it all together.

Susan Bratton: Hmmm.

C.C. Chapman: And they’re so good. My kids won’t eat mashed potatoes any other way. It’s funny.

Susan Bratton: Oh, that really sounds delicious and you’re incorporating the red potato skins in it, right?

C.C. Chapman: Yeah, oh of course.

Susan Bratton: So it’s smashed potato.

C.C. Chapman: Yes.

Susan Bratton: Yeah. That sounds really good. I just tried a recipe for mashed potatoes that was the red bliss smashed with cream cheese…

C.C. Chapman: Mmm.

Susan Bratton: …Melted butter and then I put fresh chives in it.

C.C. Chapman: Ooh!

Susan Bratton: And that was pretty damn good too.

C.C. Chapman: It’s like a mashed baked potato almost.

Susan Bratton: It was like a mashed baked potato. You can only have about two tablespoons of that because it’s so unbelievable fattening! But that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.

C.C. Chapman: Oh yeah. Thanksgiving is not a day where you’re counting calories otherwise you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Susan Bratton: You gotta go for it. Well that is great. I promise our listeners that I will blog your smashed potato Thanksgiving recipe. When your show goes up, we’ll make sure we have that for everybody.

C.C Chapman: OK. I’ll give it to you, yeah.

Susan Bratton: And they can get that plus all the links to the great music. And you know what would be really nice? Could you send us to a few of your favorite indie holiday carol albums or something like that?

C.C. Chapman: Oh sure. Easily!  I can definitely do that.

Susan Bratton: OK good. That’ll get us in the mood to make those smashed potatoes.

C.C. Chapman: There you go.

Susan Bratton: Perfect. Well, it’s been so fun to talk to you. I feel like we’ve kind of done the C.C. Chapman - Susan Bratton “coffee talk” [in NY accent] [laughs].

C.C. Chapman: Yeah this was a blast. Thank you so much for having me on.

Susan Bratton: It’s my pleasure. I had a really good time with you C.C. Thanks for sharing all of your great fun stuff. Congratulations and good luck with The Advance Guard.

C.C. Chapman: Thank you very much.

Susan Bratton: I know you will be successful because you are in absolutely the sweet spot.

I’m your host Susan Bratton. You’ve been learning about C.C. Chapman, a terrific guy, a new media nomad. Now support him with The Advance Guard if you need some social networking and next generation media influence strategy.

So, the only other things I have to tell you are that there will be transcripts of the show on my website at personallifemedia.com. If you have any comments, you can email me [email protected]. You can call me and leave a voicemail we’d be happy to air it on the show 206-350-5333 and you’re always, always welcome to post a comment on my blog at dishymix.com.

I hope you’ll dig up some of C.C. Chapman’s great podcasts and shows and blogs and enjoy yourself with that too.  I look forward to connecting with you next week and I’m going to go eat some lunch because those mashed potatoes made me very hungry. Have a great day and thanks for tuning in to DishyMix.

[Music]

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