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Wizardwatch

Wizardwatch is a podcast for Harry Potter fans with an interest in human behavior. It features a special guest interview with a fan and two main segments, "Inside the Pensieve" and "Voldemort's Corner". Inside the Pensieve takes a look at how HP has influenced the life of the special guest. Voldemort's Corner explores the cautionary tale of the Dark Lord to shed some light on the "shadow side" of our lives. Each guest chooses a featured wizard rock song and there is always plenty of HP trivia!
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Wizardwatch
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Keep the Magic Alive and Stay One Step Ahead of "You Know Who"!

Dec 16, 2017

Join us for episode #21 with wizard rocker Ashley Hamel.  Ashley has been working hard on the wizard rock music scene and with a Harry Potter themed form of live improvisation that helps muggles turn into wizards!  Just in time for what may be the final episode of 2017, Ashley helps WW transition into a new format.  While "Inside the Pensieve" and "Voldemort's Corner" are retired Ashley still treats us with a fantastic trip into her past with HP and the HP fandom.  

She's wise, funny, and adventurous all wrapped into one no nonsense witch that is someone to keep an eye out for future creative projects.  Ashley takes us through some wizard rock history and areas of magic never traversed before on the show.  The episode wraps up with one of her WR tunes, "Love Cannot Be Sorted".  Despite a number of technical difficulties during the interview and in post production, the episode made it in good shape. 

Stay tuned in 2018 for a new format, new music, and great special guests!  Happy holidays & happy new year to everyone!!  

Nov 20, 2017

   Join us in episode #20 with special guest Becca Preston from Dryden, NY!  Becca takes us "Inside the Pensieve" where she reveals her passion for Harry Potter and some heartfelt stories of stepping out in the world as a fan and admirer.  Becca is a chemical dependency counselor who brings her love of literature and compassion to heal into her work.  We get to hear about Becca's plans for the upcoming "Wizarding Weekend" event here in Ithaca and in "Voldemort's Corner" Becca spins some compelling theories about what may be the motivation behind the dark lord's obsession with power and control.  We wrap this episode up with a lovely live performance by Grace Kendall captured in the rain the second day of Wizarding Weekend.  You won't want to miss this Wizardwatch exclusive!

Sep 22, 2017

Welcome to episode #19 of Wizardwatch.  In this installment we welcome back collaborator extraordinaire, Darlynne Overbaugh, the festival director for Ithaca's "Wizarding Weekend" 2017.  This time through we get a closer look at Darlynne the Harry Potter fan during "inside the Pensieve" as she reveals what spell she would choose if her wand could only cast a single bit of magic.  Darlynne explores the power of listening during Voldemort's Corner and wraps up with a sneak preview of activities at this years's festival.  We hear about the WW listening base across the globe which reaches nearly every habitable continent and stay tuned for an excellent offer from Darlynne to collaborate on a festival idea of your own.  Harry and the Potters take us out with "Dumbledore's Army" for the wizard rock song segment.  See you at the festival! 

Aug 17, 2017

     Welcome to episode #18 of Wizardwatch!  We dive inside the pensieve with wizard rocker, fan fiction writer, and collaborator Grace Kendall.  Grace takes us on a journey into her unique HP experience that spans not just a few different areas of interest.  She may very well be the first Wizard Rock historian and tells of her support of female wizard rock performers you may or may not have heard of yet.     In Voldemort's Corner we explore what it's like to have a productive mind while not over doing things either.  Grace brings us closer to the reality of just how important it is to collaborate and share our interests, and find creative ways to do what inspires us.

    We finish things off with a Roonil Wazlib tune, "Shell Cottage".  This is the first episode that will appear under the new name "Wizardwatch".  The change in name was inspired by the many creators featured on the show and the need to give the show an independent life that can support it's production costs.  If you would like to support the show, donations can be sent in to "Wizardwatch - 105 Williams Glen Road - Ithaca, NY - 14850.  Thanks for listening!

Jul 13, 2017

     Welcome to episode #17 of Potterwatch!  In this latest installment we meet film critic Bryan VanCampen.  Bryan comes along inside the pensieve to share his journey with a passion for movies and how he was first introduce to the Harry Potter story.  Bryan brings a host of talent and interests from creating his own YouTube channel acting in his local Shakespeare company, he keeps a hand in everything creative.  

     During Voldemort's corner Bryan spontaneously outlines what type of attitude keeps a maker making.  He shines some light on his own personal journey as a creator and how life can both inspire us and challenge us along the way.  It's easy to see the contrast with the "Dark Lords" tendency to destroy and avoid collaborating.  We round out this episode with a Kirstyn Hippie tune, "Bigger Than Me".  

Jun 1, 2017

Welcome to episode #16 of Potterwatch.  In this episode we have a talk with Matt Maggiacomo the executive director of the Harry Potter Alliance.  During "Inside the Pensieve" we hear about Matt's array of roles he has played in the Harry Potter fandom, including wizard rocker and fan activist.  Matt carries a lot of history from both worlds.  Matt shares his personal story of being a fan moved by how his own story of tragedy, triumph, and friendship follows Harry's.  During Voldemort's corner we look more closely at Matt's experience with the HPA and examine how Voldemort might have approach his leadership role had he the awareness of how to lift others up as a leader.  Finally, we take a listen to one of Matt's wizard rock tunes from the Whomping Willow, "I Believe in Nargles".  

Apr 2, 2017

Join us in episode #15 where Brian Ross of "Draco and the Malfoys" tells stories of the early days of Wizard Rock and gives us a glimpse into his own experience as a Harry Potter fan while "Inside the Pensieve".  Brian and his brother Brad started the band around 2005 and became one of the very first Wizard Rock bands to seriously hit the scene.  They have recorded albums, played all over and even toured.  This has been a big year for the band and Brian has his finger on the pulse of a new generation of wizard rockers looking to keep this genre of music alive and well.  In "Voldemort's Corner" we explore how having fun and making music keeps us in touch with ourselves and our friends.  We feature two Draco and the Malfoys great tunes, "My Dad is Rich" and "I like to Cry".  

Mar 17, 2017

     Welcome to episode #14 where we meet special guest Tamar Shapiro-Tamir from Ithaca, NY.  Tamar is a playwright and avid reader of all types of literature with a lot to say about Harry Potter, folk literature, the theater, and her own personal story.  Whether you are a long time listener or new to the podcast there is a bit of everything in this episode that captures the spirit of PW!  Insidee the Pensieve Tamar displays an exceptional grasp on how our own personal experience is connected to the larger world and how literature is a bridge between the two.

     In Voldemort's corner we explore the darker side of that equation in considering the roots of political corruption when stories out of touch with the real world influence the everyday workings of government.  In that spirit I review Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s text "Where Do We Go From Here" and highlight his psychological acumen.  I was inspired by my visit with Tamar to write another wizard rock tune I call "Cursed Boomerang" that I feature before we wrap up.  Potterwatch will be at the 42nd Ithacon comic book convention on March 25th at Emerson Suites on the Ithaca College campus, come on over if you are in the area!

Feb 15, 2017

Join us in Episode #13 of Potterwatch where we meet Harry Potter fan Chandler Robertson.  Chandler has been a lifelong fan and gives us her perspective from both her childhood and adult perspectives.  We explore the topic of leadership on this Valentines Day episode and take a close look at the major and minor female characters in the series.  During Voldemort's corner Tony reviews "Confessions of a Sociopath" by M.E. Thomas.  A first person perspective on a psychiatric condition that is often misunderstood and as a result leave those who are labeled as such "in the closet" without help.  The book makes us think twice about the origins of immoral leadership, the role between mental illness and choice, and the concept of normality.  Then we take a break from the Dark Lord and tune into the less developed character of Dolores Umbridge.  We wrap things up with the Kristin Hippie tune "Honeydukes" performed by Mary Kate Wiles and Joey Richter.

Jan 27, 2017

Welcome to episode #12 of Potterwatch.  In the first episode of 2017 we invite Erica Cotraccia from Ithaca New York to the show.  Erica is a chemical dependency counselor who has been a long time Harry Potter fan who appreciates the way that reading good literature can ease the mind and set us off on a good start to the day.  Erica explores her early experiences with reading the series as a child as well as how she incorporates re-reading the series as part of maintaining mental health.  In Voldemort's corner we take a look at "The Mindful Brain", written by one of the foremost contemporary researchers in the area of mindfulness, Daniel Siegel, who gives us a window into how being attuned to ourselves and others promotes neural integration and therefore, well being.  Is it possible that the way JK Rowling develops her characters taps into our capacity for imagination empathy that promotes neural integration?  Well, you can be the judge of that and while you are contemplating the answer take a listen to a great techo Harry Potter tune, "Expecto Patronum" by the Goblins From Mars Trap!

Dec 4, 2016

Join us for episode #11 where we meet the CEO of Lumos, Georgette Mulheir, in Carnegie Hall.  Potterwatch made a trip to NYC to meet with Georgette just prior to the screening of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" on November 13th.  This was a fund raising event for Lumos supported by J.K. Rowling who is the founder and major supporter of the organization which seeks to eliminate the institutionalization of children in several countries by 2050.  Georgette's passion for helping children and families shines through as she tells the Lumos story with details of the most unfortunate circumstances that children of orphanages and other institutions needlessly endure in our modern times.  Lumos works on both micro and macro scales to provide comprehensive support to countries who have the highest rates of institutionalization and who also have the resources within their grasp to change their way of providing care.  The bottom line is that institutionalisation is bad for the developing brain and mind of a child.  Georgette reveals some common myths about orphanages and inspires us to get involved.  Along the way we explore some of the science that supports Lumos' efforts in Voldemort's Corner and wrap things up with a Wizard Rock tune, "Necessity" by Oliver Boyd and the Rememberalls.  

Nov 12, 2016

Join us in episode #10 of Potterwatch as Darylnne Overbaugh returns just days after the Wizarding Weekend event in Ithaca, NY.  Darlynne and Tony share their stories of the weekend Harry Potter inspired event and get into some tough HP trivia.  Find out what special effects showed up at this second annual festival and get a chance to win a special gift box of sweets!  We skip Voldemort's corner this time because it was just too much fun to go there.  Tonks and the Aurors wrap things up with "Diagon Alley" a great wizard rock tune that fit the occasiion perfectly!

Oct 19, 2016

Join us for episode #9 with special guest Darylnne Overbaugh shares her passion for Harry Potter and gives us a sneak peak at Ithaca, NY's second annual "Wizarding Weekend".  Darylnne is the owner of "Life's So Sweet Chocolates" and creative director of the Wizarding Weekend where in 2015 10,000 people attended what was intended to be a small HP style trick or treating event.  Darylnne reviews the events of the four days (not all of which are festival days) and shares her HP story along the way.  She has some interesting insights about Voldemort and community (or his lack of...) and brings the joy of being a fan to life!

Oct 12, 2016

This is episode #8 where sleight of hand magician James Warren returns to share his experience of reading the entire Harry Potter series since he appeared in episode #3 of Potterwatch.  Jim eagerly offers his joy of the books and plainly reveals that he indeed has become a fan.  Jim reads directly from the books to share the insights he found and adds a wonderful quality of being read to in this episode.  He offers more of his own thoughts about theology & religion as expressed in his own book, "Compassion or Apocalypse" as he likens the hero's journey of Harry to that of Jesus.  In Voldemort's Corner, Jim confronts the tension between Harry and Voldemort as both vie for their own way of solving conflict.  We take a hard look at whether or not the Dark Lord shows any signs redeeming impulses in what appear to be absolute power plays.  The show wraps up with the classic, "Save Ginny Weasley" wizard wrock  tune by Harry and the Potters.

Aug 8, 2016

In episode #7 we take a break to reflect on the origins of Potterwatch.  Join me, Tony Cotraccia as I review where the inspiration for the podcast came from.  I'll also highlight how the ideas for each segment came about and talk about my musical inspirations as well.  I outline some goals for Potterwatch and ask you for feedback.  I round things off with my very own (and very first) wizard wrock song, "Wizard Friends".  

Jun 6, 2016

     In Episode #6 we welcome Kristina Thelen a Harry Potter fan and the owner of "Amuse" a modern cottage industry shop.  Kristina was an organizer involved in an extraordinary experience involving what started out to be a small gathering of Harry Potter fans and turned out to be a community wide event for nearly 10 thousand visitors.  The event called "Wizarding Weekend" happened in October of 2015 in Ithaca, NY and has spawned what will now be an annual event anchored in "Pressbay Alley" an enclosed boulevard of small shops.  Listen in as Kristina bears witness to the Harry Potter inspired "mass activity" and learn about what it's like to be a modern day cottage industry owner. Kristina explores the art and business of being a "maker" and organizing commerce around the love of creating and supporting fellow makers.  In Voldemort's corner we will explore the culture of commerce in it's light and dark forms and consider a Harry Potter critique of doing business in contemporary times.  Kristina brings her laughter, wisdom, and joy of being a fan, mother, businesswoman, and spouse to Potterwatch in a way you won't want to miss!  

May 10, 2016

In episode #5 we welcome Izzy Chang and Greta Cotraccia to the show.  This is the first time two fans and friends appear on the show together to share their excitement and passion for Harry Potter.  Izzy and Greta cover a lot of ground as they reveal what it is like to cosplay as house elves, engage in "cross house dialogue", and negotiate the line between conformity and rebellion.  During "Inside the Pensieve", listen in as they share their experiences at Geekycon from 2015 and reveal how their Harry Potter experience has connected them across the country.  In this, our longest episode yet, be prepared for a serious walk through "Voldemort's Corner" where these 13 year olds explore the nuances of power and love with light heartedness and intense analysis that is sure to keep you well entrenched in the dynamics of the story.

Apr 23, 2016

In Episode #4 we welcome Emma Shaw from Ithaca NY!  Emma is a dedicated volleyball player and Harry Potter fan well into her junior year of high school.  She dives right into her experience with organized sports and gives us all some helpful insight into the value of working together as a team and how important communication is to achieving individual and group success.  During "Voldemort's Corner" I take a look at a chapter from "The Archaeology of Mind" by Jaak Panksepp.  Jaak has begun what is now known as "affective neuroscience" which is the study of basic neurological circuits of the brain that motivate our behavior.  In this chapter he discusses the role of the RAGE circuit and provides a nuanced look at the many levels of processing in the brain that contribute to aggression.  I highlight his insight into dominance behaviors that Emma identifies in Voldemort as she imagines what he would be like on the volley ball court!  We end up with a rousing wizard rock song, "Song for the Death Eaters" by Harry and the Potters.

Mar 7, 2016

In episode #3 professional magician and author James (Jim) Warren goes on a daring challenge to be the first special guest interviewed who has not read the Harry Potter series.  We mix up the format early with this one and provide Jim with an opportunity to share his experience with literature that dovetails nicely with the HP cannon and has roots deep within the western world of stories.  Jim has been looking for an excuse to begin the series and prior to the airing of the show after his interview he had already completed book one and was quickly on his way to "Chamber of Secrets".  In this episode Jim discusses his passion for philosophy which led him to write a book about French philosopher Rene Girard.  As a result there is no book review by Tony and no need.  Jim provides an exciting look a the concepts in his book "Compassion or Apocalypse", while just being his self and clearly expressing how his life has been changed and understood by reading.  We will have Jim back on the show when he has had a full course of the HP experience to hear more about his life as a professional magician!

Jan 14, 2016

In episode #2 our special guest is Harry Potter fan Matt Schwab from Winnipeg Manitoba Canada!  Matt discusses how HP has influenced his perspective on friendship and the challenges of staying connected.  He chose "Lupin's Tale" by Oliver Boyd and the Rememberalls as his featured wizard rock tune and answers all of the HP trivia with precision and wit.  The featured book for "Voldemort's Corner" is "The Anatomy of Human Destruction" a classic psychological autopsy on the character of Adolph Hitler written by the infamous psychologist Erich Fromm.  

Dec 28, 2015

In episode 1 of "Potterwatch" we interview Sophia Cotraccia from Ithaca, NY.  She is a HP fan who has some great insights into HP, her life, and her favorite characters.  This debut episode includes segments such as, "Inside the Pensieve" where our special guest explores how HP has influenced their own life, "Voldemort's Corner" where we shine some light on our "shadow side" by considering the cautionary tale of the Dark Lord, and "Wizard Rock" tops it off with one of Sophia's favorite wizard rock songs.  

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