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The Tragedy Academy

Recent Episodes

June 27, 2022

Matthew Scheall

Summary Jay and Gary are joined in the studio by musician and rapper, Matthew Scheall. Matthew came to music a little later in the game, not starting his journey until college when he was inspired and encouraged by close frie...

June 19, 2022

Ellie Neidhart

Summary To kick off the third season of The Tragedy Academy, Jay and Gary are joined by Ellie Neidhart, the wife of late WWE legend, Jim The Anvil Neidhart. Jay and Gary are able to geek out over their shared childhood experi...

June 19, 2022

The Tragedy Academy 2.0

Summary Welcome to The Tragedy Academy... 2.0! In this episode get the scoop on what we have in store for our relaunch. Jay sits down with our new co-host, Gary, to talk about this new era of TA - from new team members to new...

February 07, 2022

Lessons Learned - Season Closer

This week on The Tragedy Academy, Jay welcomes back musician and producer, Gary DeFranco, for a very special episode: The Tragedy Academy’s season finale! This is TA’s last episode before taking a short hiatus to come back even bigger and better. Jay covers some of the highlights from the past two seasons, lessons that have stuck with him the most, and sends out a huge thank you to everyone who has supported him on this journey. You also don’t want to miss out on the final reveal of all the exciting changes taking place at TA during the break, including new faces and new directions!

January 31, 2022

Special Guest: Katie Chonacas - Kyriaki

This week on the Tragedy Academy podcast, Jay rolls out a very big welcome for the talented multi-disciplinary artist, Katie Chonacas (aka KYRIAKI). Not only has Katie acted in numerous productions with A-list stars, but she also recently released a book of poetry and her debut album, Dreamland 1111. Jay and Katie dive deep into her musical inspirations, her revolutionary work creating NFTs and the future of art in the blockchain. Be sure you don’t miss out on this episode, and don’t forget to check out Katie’s podcast, She’s All Over The Place!

January 24, 2022

Special Guest: Ben Dykstra - The Rolling Dragon

This week on the Tragedy Academy, Jay introduces Ben Dykstra, a.k.a. The Rolling Dragon. Born with Spastic Cerebral Palsy, Ben hasn’t let his disability limit his potential. Ben is a talented voice actor with tireless perseverance in a field that can be tough to break into. Ben is also in the midst of developing a new podcast that would highlight the stories, voices, and talents of the disabled. Tune in to hear Jay and Ben discuss everything from perspective and authenticity to the Metaverse and bonobos.

About the Host

Jay Hicks Profile Photo

Jay Hicks

Host / Owner

I lived most of my life imprisoned in my mind, a slave to past experiences and choices, as well as anxiety over the future. Seemingly random memories and worries trapped me: Will I be successful? Am I successful enough? Does she love me? Will people admire me? Do people hate me? Am I the way that I am because someone made me this way? Someone told me I'm no good, does that mean it is true? I experienced shame over past bad decisions or was overly prideful with no need. The list of mental agonies is endless.

Looking at this box created around my life, I can see that I had succumbed to an onslaught of past and present thoughts. I had forgotten entirely about NOW. I wasn't grateful for today, the moment, family, friends, existence itself. I will not break down my construct and inner demons, but I want to give some insight and share my thoughts around what I believe is missing from humankind today.

I never learned how to be thankful and present now. I was taught to focus on the perceived problems from my past experiences or my need to prove something to imaginary adversaries. For myself, it has been a journey to this point - not good, not bad, just experiences as they all define who I am today. Without them, I would not see this need to be grateful in my own life. This realization is what drives my work, my creativity, my mission.