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Samantha Berman - Registered ER Nurse and Voice-Over Artist

Season 1, Ep. 19

Today we are joined by the multi-faceted, empathetic Samantha Berman. Samantha is a Registered Emergency Room Nurse, as well as a Voice-Over Artist, but has had many other successful careers as a dancer, musical theatre performer, and even dabbled in baton twirling! In this episode, we talk about her unique career path, Samantha’s special niche as a dancer, and mental health in theatre. Most importantly, we talk about Samantha’s experiences as an ER nurse during the pandemic, her feelings on the way the pandemic was handled in the US, and how Los Angeles as a city prepared and dealt with Covid-19. We also discuss the struggles of working with difficult families, people refusing to wear a mask (or even accept they had Covid), and how front line workers went from being lauded as heroes to being treated sub-human post-pandemic. We get in to the psychological trauma COVID-19 caused (one of Laura's favorite topics!), Samantha’s personal experience with therapy, and how being a voice-over artist is a great escape from the stresses of Nursing. Finally, Samantha shares how she feels about fulfilling her purpose in life before we all answer the question of the day! You don’t want to miss this one, so tune in to hear all about how Samantha has always found the greatest happiness in helping others and so much more!

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McCord Henry - Recovered Alcoholic, Substance Abuse Advocate and Marathon Runner

Season 2, Ep. 23
McCord Henry is a hotel, food and beverage management director, a recovered alcoholic, advocate for alcohol addiction awareness, and the founder of Living Recovered and Scripted Wit. After graduating from the College of Charleston, McCord moved to LA, where he slowly developed what would become a debilitating addiction to alcohol. While attending a wedding in 2014 his family conducted an intervention and he agreed to live in a sober living house for 9 months. However, the sober living house didn't seem to focus on the real problem at hand and within a year, he was off the wagon and no longer able to maintain being a “functional alcoholic.” After losing his job due to passing out on the clock and a week-long bender, he finally reached out to his brother who sent him to the ER. McCord hasn’t picked up a drink since. McCord shares with Laura and Todd the hardcore realities of alcohol addiction and the physical and emotional side effects of being an alcoholic. During his recovery, McCord became aware of his distaste for the “anonymous” aspect of Alcoholics Anonymous and the idea that he would forever live in recovery. That perspective ultimately led him to create the philosophy of Living Recovered and a desire to be open and honest about his alcohol abuse. McCord has since been compelled to give back to the rehab facility that saved him and other alcoholic awareness groups by raising money running the biggest marathons worldwide. McCord shares with Next Page how he is able to successfully run the Food and Beverage Program at the Pendry Hotel, create wine lists without taking a sip, and how his Instagram account Scripted Wit came to life through his love of quotes. McCord’s story is not only inspirational, but one of extreme triumph over hardship and addiction. The three of them also discuss the pros and cons of dating while sober, learning to navigate the world without alcohol and how the support of his family and friends helped him out of the darkness of addiction. Don’t miss this week’s episode with McCord, who shows us what it means to truly recover!Links:InstagramFacebookScripted WritPartnership to End AddictionMcCord’s StoryHaymarket CenterPenn North Recovery Center in BaltimoreBoston MarathonBaltimore MarathonChicago MarathonThe Pendry Hotel 

Frank Meeink – Former neo-Nazi, Trauma Survivor, Author and Advocate

Season 2, Ep. 22
This week, Laura and Todd return with a powerfully moving and at times unbelievable story of triumph with their first guest of Season 2, Frank Meeink. Frank is a former white supremacist, who by the age of 17 had become one of the most notorious skinhead gang leaders on the East Coast. We hear about how Frank’s violent and neglectful childhood in South Philadelphia primed him to hate, while addition made him easy prey for a small group of neo-Nazi recruiters. At the height of his membership, he had his own public access talk show, called the Reich, he appeared on Nightline and other media outlets as a spokesperson for neo-Nazi topics and regularly recruited members of his South Philadelphia neighborhood to join the movement. Frank lays out in plain terms how his traumatic upbringing ultimately led to his participation in neo-Nazi “missions,” where he and his fellow skinheads terrorized, beat and kidnapped Jewish, black, gay and other minority group members. One of those missions landed him in prison by the age of 18. While in prison, Frank’s belief system was challenged by his friendship and comradery with African-American teammates from his prison football league and after being released, his employment by a kind Jewish antique’s dealer. Soon afterwards, Frank defected from the white supremacy movement and began speaking on behalf of the Anti-Defamation League as well as appearing on NPR, CNN, and other news outlets as a spokesperson against the neo-Nazi movement. He is also the author of the book “An Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead,” in which he details his experiences being recruited by and ultimately escaping the clutches of White Supremacy. Laura and Todd also speak with Frank about discovering he was in fact Jewish, his religious journey and how he recently “came out” to his Synagogue about his troubled and violent past as a white supremacist. Today Frank helps others to escape the neo-Nazi movement and speaks to groups all over the world about police reform. We were absolutely BLOWN away by this raw and at times very emotional discussion with Frank, who epitomizes trauma recovery and is living proof that no matter how lost someone may be, there is always hope of finding your way back to the light.Autobiography of a Recovering SkinheadWikipedia Page on FrankTranscript of His Speech in front of CongressTrafficking Hate PodcastWho Do You Hate – Frank’s Intervention of a RacistSpeaking Out About White Supremacists on CNNHuffpost – Can a Skinhead RecoverAnti-Defamation LeagueHarmony Through Hockey