Kevin Townley at The Marlton Hotel

“O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”

Why it’s Kevin Townley’s cozy zone, published today, October 16, 2018, in celebration of his birthday. On March 10, 2017, Kevin and I lounged in the resplendent lobby of The Marlton Hotel, where I was drenched with Kevin’s kindness and wisdom. Drawing from his artful life as a singer, actor, writer, and mediation teacher, Kevin illuminated his personal mindfulness and creative practices inspired by Susan Piver, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and Robert Olen Butler.

AND we devised a stellar project for The Cozy Zone Foundation: “Filmed Stories Studios,” a colossal, immersive soundstage that generates fantastical filmed stories (movies).

Here’s Kevin’s bio from MNDFL, the meditation studio that catalyzed our triumphant reunion:

Kevin Townley is a writer/performer, and has been studying Buddhism since 2010. He currently practices with the Sokuko-Ji Zen community under the guidance of Kyoun Sokuzan. Kevin completed the Interdependence Project’s teacher training program in 2012. He works alongside Susan Piver to support her online community, The Open Heart Project. He is passionate about exploring the interplay of meditation and art-making while encouraging others to bring their own innate humor and insight to their meditation practice.

ALSO You should probably visit Kevin’s IMDB page and this stylish article in Time Out New York

Thanks for listening!

Penelope McCourty in Number Six

I had the honor of chatting with Penelope in her cozy Crown Heights apartment on September 16, 2017. Listening back to the audio, I was reminded of my own rawness and of Penelope’s generosity and creative curiosity.

Penelope and I met at The New Victory Theater where I was lucky enough to get some professional development dance training from her. As a mover, Penelope possesses an easeful power and effortless grace. As a human, she is kind, candid, and super fun! Here’s her bio:

Penelope McCourty has 20+ years’ experience as a facilitator of creative process and community sharing through the art forms of dance and performance. She has worked artistically and administratively with several locally and nationally known dance companies and community arts organizations. As a performer, she has worked with local and touring companies including Marlies Yearby’s Movin’ Spirits Dance Theater, Spoke the Hub Dancing, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, the Shakespeare Theater Company, Stephen Koplowitz and Reggie Wilson/Fist and Heel Performance Group. Her choreographic work has been presented at St. Mark’s Church, Joyce Soho, Chicago’s Links Hall, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, DIA NYC, BRIC, DanceSpace, Towson University and San Francisco State University. Penelope received the 2014 NYU/Steinhardt School Exemplary Teaching Artist Award and the Elders Share the Arts Visionary Artist Award for her work as an arts educator. She currently lives in Brooklyn and is the middle and upper school dance teacher at The Berkeley Carroll School in Park Slope. She also teaches residencies and professional development workshops through New Victory Theater, Park Avenue Armory’s Artist Corps, Elders Share the Arts and Madison Square Park.

Please enjoy our conversation about ego, body image, being honest, and our project for The Cozy Zone Foundation: “Seer.”

Ben Weber in the Reckoning Room

Cozy Zone with Ben Weber is back! Diving in deep with this podcast and art making, Ben sends his latest dispatch from the Reckoning Room, a creative space in his new Kensington, Brooklyn apartment. Ben takes us on a tour, processes his feelings, and presents an inaugural podcast performance. Enjoy #cozyzone friends!

Also, go buy Lisa Locascio’s book Open Me, available wherever books are sold on August 7, 2018.

Photo by Johanna Campbell Case

EPISODE 55: Daniel Goldman at Colectivo Lakefront

Ben and Daniel Goldman (Scientist) have been friends since Kindergarten. They went to Hebrew school together. They played Magic: The Gathering together. And, when they got their Learner’s Permits, they spent a lot of time hanging out at Colectivo Coffee in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Last Christmas, Ben and Daniel got together at Colectivo Lakefront like two machers and chatted about performance art, pranks, and ribosome science. Enjoy!

Listen to the Episode 55 Opener

EPISODE 55: Opener

Cozy Zone with Ben Weber is back!

In the opener to Episode 55: Daniel Goldman at Colectivo Lakefront, Ben gives an update of what he’s been up to during his 8-month Cozy Zone sabbatical, outlines his “Cozy Zone Cozy Code” and offers a circlesong called “Mira One” made on Loopy HD.

Mentioned in this episode:
Risk Gallery & Boutique
Park Slope Food Coop
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Rhiannon 

EPISODE 54: Jon Marballi in Madison Square Park

Jonathan Marballi is an actor, comedian, and improviser living in Los Angeles. He has appeared on House of Cards, Broad City, and Inside Amy Schumer.

Jon and I met while rehearsing the play “Manuscripts Don’t Burn” which we performed on Governors Island in Summer 2011. We also collaborated on a strange bit of downtown theater called “Falcore” about wealthy psychos living in the center of the Earth.

We recorded our episode at Madison Square Park, on November 16, 2016 to laugh off the election, talk about relationships, contemplate coziness, and devise a project for The Cozy Zone Foundation.

Jon co-hosts the podcast Mad About Mad About You, an episode-by-episode conversation about the glorious and under appreciated hit NBC sit-com “Mad About You” and the time in which it was made (the 90s!), hosted by a couple of real Reis-guys.

Jon’s Twitter: @jonnymarbles
Jon’s Instagram: @jonnymarbles
Jon’s YouTube 

Enjoy this special condensed version of Cozy Zone with Ben Weber.

EPISODE 53: Stephen Sheffer in Prospect Park SIDE E

Stephen Sheffer is an actor, a writer, a singer, a doer, and a tall, sweet handsome. I had the privilege to cozy up to Stephen in Prospect Park to talk about our child artist selves, the outdoors, and fear.

Photo: Production still from LES SALTIMBANQUES, directed by The Price Brothers

Enjoy these tracks!

TRACK 1: Intro Themesong by Danny Townsend
TRACK 2: Circlesong “Max First” by Ben Weber
TRACK 3: “FrameWerk” by Stephen Sheffer and Ben Weber, A Project of The Cozy Zone Foundation
TRACK 4: What’s Your Favorite Color?
TRACK 5: What’s Your Favorite Thing About Yourself?
TRACK 6: Fear and Anxiety
TRACK 7: Improv!
TRACK 8: Musical Sounds
TRACK 9: Outro by Ben Weber
TRACK 10: Outro Themesong by Danny Townsend