The Tragedy Academy


Aug. 15, 2022

The Tragedy Academy Library

Summary The Tragedy Academy is excited to present a new regular feature for the show: TA Library. In this episode, TA librarian Jennifer steps out from behind the curtain to talk about what academics can expect from these aft...

Episode page
Aug. 8, 2022

Artem Lobov - The Russian Hammer

Summary Gary brings another inspiring guest to the show: Artem Lobov. A former MMA fighter and boxer, Artem is taking the opportunity of an early retirement to not only protect his health, but explore who he is outside of the...

Episode page
Aug. 1, 2022


Summary Welcome to the Tragedy Academy's very first detention episode! With the teachers away, Jay and Gary get up to more shenanigans and our favorite delinquents have brought some seriously heavy-hitting topics. From Teddy ...

Episode page
July 25, 2022

Sam Suarez a.k.a. High Noon

Summary On the show this week is tattoo artist and actor, Sam Suarez, a.k.a High Noon. A star of Tattoo Nightmares Miami, Sam offers a unique insider perspective into the art of tattooing, as well as how he has translated …

Episode page
July 18, 2022

Vince Murdock - Moyamoya Fighter

Summary This week we're joined by professional fighter and Moyamoya survivor, Vince Murdock. Vince has been handed a lot of setbacks in life: a Moyamoya diagnosis led to brain surgery, injuries dogged his career, and a car ac...

Episode page
July 11, 2022

Bobby Maximus

Summary This episode we welcome professional fighter, Bobby Maximus, to the show. A long-time friend of Gary's, the two first met on the set of The Ultimate Fighter years ago and discuss their shared experience on the show. B...

Episode page
July 4, 2022

Gabe Torres

Summary This week Jay and Gary are joined by an extra special guest: Jay’s father-in-law, Gabriel Torres…and he’s got quite the story to tell. Gabe grew up in Colombia where as a student he was a basketball star. After gradua...

Episode page
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 fri...

Episode page
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 …

Episode page
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 …

Episode page
Feb. 7, 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 …

Episode page
Jan. 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 …

Episode page
Jan. 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 …

Episode page
Jan. 17, 2022

Special Guest: Michael Anthony - Think Unbroken

In this episode of the Tragedy Academy, Jay brings trauma survivor and life coach, Michael Unbroken, on to the show. Michael is the host of his own podcast, “Think Unbroken”, where he invites experts, researchers, psychologists, and therapists to discuss …

Episode page
Jan. 10, 2022

Special Guest: Amir Yass - Just Be Kind

In this episode of the Tragedy Academy, we sit down with Amir Yass, digital creator, and LGBTQ activist. As a queer Muslim man, Amir has faced discrimination from all sides - even from other LGBTQ individuals. This discrimination inspired him …

Episode page
Jan. 3, 2022

Special Guest: Damien Boath - Down Under the Stars

Welcome back to another episode of The Tragedy Academy; today, Jay meets Australian native Damien Boath. Damien shares with us his fascination for deep space and his love his pondering the unknown. Through his discovery of astrophotography, Damien can get …

Episode page
Dec. 27, 2021

Special Guest: Christian Valera - A Superhero's Heart

In this episode of The Tragedy Academy, we meet Christian Valera. Christian runs a YouTube channel where he dives deep into the Marvel and DC universe and details each superhero. Christian used art and superheroes to escape his reality, which …

Episode page
Dec. 20, 2021

Special Guest: Dee McB - Compassion Fatigue

This week on The Tragedy Academy, Jay invites Dee McB. Dee is a zookeeper and lover of all animals, and in this episode, we get into compassion fatigue and growing up with ADHD. Dee educates us on animal behaviors and …

Episode page
Dec. 13, 2021

Special Guest: Aliza Sherman - Mindful Moments

In this installment of the Tragedy, Academy Jay welcomes Aliza Sherman to the show. Aliza is an author, entrepreneur, and web pioneer. She has written 12 books and co-founded Ellementa, a company dedicated to educating women on the use of …

Episode page
Dec. 6, 2021

Special Guest: Max Lemberger - The Greek Chorus

In this episode of The Tragedy Academy, we meet runway model and actor Max Eric Lemberger. Max's journey into acting and the fashion industry came later in life but with double the intensity. He is a true testament to time …

Episode page
Nov. 29, 2021

Special Guest: Alexandra Pacheco - Life's Ladder

In this episode of the Tragedy Academy, Jay welcomes gymnast turned firefighter Alex Pacheco. Alex shares her journey battling with body dysmorphia on top of a slew of other medical conditions starting from a young age. Her story is a …

Episode page
Nov. 22, 2021

Special Guest: Zelda Black - Butterfly Words

Welcome back to another episode of The Tragedy Academy; this week on the show, I welcome Zelda Black to discuss her new book, Butterfly Words. Zelda fearlessly shares her story of growing up ostracized and invites us to look deeper …

Episode page
Nov. 15, 2021

Special Guest: Rachel Macdonald - Supposed to Suffer

On The Tragedy Academy; this week, we welcome Rachel McDonald to discuss her experience living with Endometriosis, a rarely diagnosed disorder targeting only women. Rachel walks us through her painstaking journey of getting diagnosed, the battle to get a prescription, …

Episode page
Nov. 8, 2021

Special Guest: Edison Jakupi - Questionable Behavior

On this installment of The Tragedy Academy, Jay is joined by actor, model, and podcaster Edison Jakupi. Edison is the host of Questionable Behavior, a podcast committed to helping creators elevate their careers and sharing their journey. In this episode, …

Episode page