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The Tragedy Academy

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The Tragedy Academy is a show created to bridge societal divides in a judgment-free zone using candor and humor.

Welcome to class…

Each week at the academy we look at society through a microscope, dissect human nature, and clown around without risk of getting sent to that special desk in the corner. Adjunct professors and student teachers drop in to teach us about life from a different point of view. Pass us a note on social media and let us know what subject you’d like to hear about next. Or teach us something new. See you, next class…

Be cool. Keep learning.

About the Hosts

Jay Hicks Profile Photo

Jay Hicks

Host / Owner

Florida native Jay Hicks is a veteran, music producer, podcaster, graphic designer, and the owner and creative mind behind The Tragedy Academy Podcast. Jay has held many careers, from digging septic drain fields to being a Financial Services Solution Architect Manager for one of the nation's largest consulting firms. Jay has experience producing and engineering podcasts, voice-overs, promotional videos, and advertisements.

Why?
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 on 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, and my mission.

Gary DeFranco Profile Photo

Gary DeFranco

COHOST

Cleveland native Gary DeFranco is the Emmy nominated Executive Producer of UFC's The Ultimate Fighter and Discovery Channel's Street Outlaws and has produced over 500 television episodes for major networks (ESPN, Fox, Discovery Channel, Playboy TV, Spike TV, Bravo, Travel Channel). DeFranco is a recording artist, music producer, podcaster, graphic designer, and the owner and creative mind behind Max Glow Media/Design/Records. Gary has 20 years of experience producing non-scripted television, feature-length documentaries, music videos, and commercials. As the producer of shows like The Ultimate Fighter, Street Outlaws, Playboy Shoot Out, and UFC Next Level, DeFranco has seen it all and has brought that wealth of knowledge to The Tragedy Academy.