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The Tragedy Academy
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 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!


This week on The Tragedy Academy, Jay welcomes back musician and executive 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!

Key Points

🤔 Reminisce on episodes past
🐶 Underdogs
👊 Bullying
😊 Gratitude
🎉 BIG Changes Coming…

[3:17] - Jay explains that this episode will be a little different, beginning with some of the highlights of the season. First, he mentions the incredibly important lesson that he learned from guest, Brandon Lloyd. A veteran dealing with PTSD from his war experiences, Brandon explained that comparing trauma is not helpful. Jay’s conversation with Brandon led him to the realization that while we may all experience different traumas, they still have similar damage and we all carry similar burdens.

[11:02] - After Gary mentions being inspired by a fighter who is trying to enter the professional ring later in life, Jay asks why we seem to like the underdog so much. Gary believes this comes from our own experiences as underdogs in various areas of our lives.

[13:22] - Jay argues that you need confidence that you’ll succeed before you have achieved success. Gary agrees, elaborating that fear of success can be the biggest hindrance to people achieving their dreams. Instead of external forces putting up roadblocks in your path, sometimes you can be your own biggest enemy.

[20:51] - Jay pays tribute to his dear friend, Garrett Dano, for inspiring him to start the show. Jay really broke down after he lost Garrett to suicide. The realization that Garrett felt he could not turn to Jay for help is part of what inspired Jay to tackle topics such as trauma and mental health on the podcast. Gary agrees with Jay that it can be impossible to tell from the outside that someone is struggling, which makes projects like The Tragedy Academy that open up with conversation all the more important.

[32:32] - Jay and Gary take on the topic of cyberbullying. Gary notes how different things are today than when he was in school. The conflict was often resolved through quick physical fights, whereas now physical fighting seems to be obsolete. In contrast, today’s victims of bullying are subjected to harassment 24/7 through social media and the internet. Jay is only half-joking when he says he would prefer physical pain that fades with time to constant jabs of mental and emotional hurt from cyberbullying.

[41:25] - Both Jay and Gary agree that an easy way to learn if a person is someone you want to associate with is to pay attention to how they treat others. Anyone who treats those in service positions poorly clearly values some people more highly than others and Gary and Jay have no time for this kind of thinking.

[45:31] - To wrap up the episode, Jay gives thanks to everyone who has made Seasons 1 & 2 of The Tragedy Academy possible. Gary announces that he will be joining the show, and Jay talks about all the exciting changes coming up in TA’s future.

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

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