(Just one moment)

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An Opera Singer and a Comedian Walk Into a Bar Ep 1: High/Low Arts Education

An Opera Singer and a Comedian Walk Into a Bar is a new segment of the Artists ont he Verge podcast. It features your host, opera-singer-turned-experimental-performer Ema Katrovas, talking to comedian-and-TV-writer turned-novelist Nicholas Anthony. We’ll be having conversations from across the high/low art divide with the goal of being honest about what a life centring art – high or low – actually looks like.

In this first episode, Nick and Ema end up talking about an artist’s education and the different forms it takes on the high and low part of the spectrum. They also talk about the fertile soil which was the open mic at Acme, a Minneapolis-based club where Nick did stand up for the first time, do a little detour on the matriarchs in Ema’s family and living under communism, and we talk about how sometimes it’s necessary to totally reinvent yourself – as Nick and Ema have both done, on some level.


Recorded in Prague, Czech Republic, in July 2023

Featuring: Nicholas Anthony and Ema Katrovas

Recorded and edited by Ema Katrovas

Theme song is “Stars” by Janis Ian (performed by Ema Katrovas and mixed to sound like a bar)

Links to stuff mentioned in the conversation:

The “just do it” Shia Le Beauf video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-sfG8BV8wU

Acme – the Minneapolis comedy club: https://acmecomedycompany.com/

Steve Martin, Born Standing Up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_Standing_Up

Patricia Hampl (the writer who traveled to communist Czechoslovakia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patricia_Hampl

Patricia Hampl’s “monodrama” which Ema performed in: https://schubert.org/event/spotlight-on-patricia-hampl-writing-my-way-into-music/