Episode 26: Music Maven Jesse Case

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Episode 26 of the Mavens Do It Better Podcast features Jesse Case. Jesse has served as musical director for four revues with Second City, most recently “ A Red Line Runs Through It”  on the ETC stage.  Other projects with the building include  “The Second City Guide to the Opera”  with  Lyric Opera of Chicago (composer/co-writer). He’s  made music and sound for a wide variety of short films, pilots, theatrical productions, web series, and documentaries, and his production credits include a bloated, overindulgent rap album by T.J. Miller for Comedy Central Records.  He is also the composer of the Mavens Do It Better Podcast theme music, voiceover by Julia Francis.  

Jesse and Heather caught up virtually from Alhambra, Illinois and Marina Del Rey, CA. 

Listen in as Heather talks with Jesse about: 

  • How he has made music for decades and how he collaborates with people 

  • Working as the Musical Director for Chicago’s famous, Second City  

  • Collaborating and making music and opening a studio in Alhambra, Il. 

Jesse Case | Website |Twitter | Instagram

Mavens Do It Better original theme music composed by Jesse Casewith voice over by Julia Francis.

Transcript

Heather Newman:  Hello everybody, we are here for another episode of Mavens Do It Better and I am on today, so excited, I'm on with Mr. Jesse Case, who is also the man who created our theme music that you hear, um, before our podcast. So Jesse want to say hi to everybody?

Jesse Case:  Hi everybody.

Heather Newman:  Awesome. So Jesse, are you, where are you today in the world?

Jesse Case:  Right now, I am in beautiful out Alhambra, Illinois, population 678.

Heather Newman:  Oh, my goodness.

Jesse Case:  Well, I know it's the edge of glitzy. As of four months ago it went from 678 to 681. Depending on if you count my dog.

Heather Newman:  Oh, okay. Fantastic. Oh, my goodness. So yeah. And I'm, I'm at home in Marina del Rey today. Anyway, so a little further afoot, but that's awesome. So, um, I know a bunch about you but you know Jesse and I don't know each other that well, but we have some mutual friends. Um, so uh, Mary Jane Gibson and Mike Glazer have a really cool podcast called Weed n' Grub and I loved their music and I was like, who did that? And so we connected through that and so it's been fun getting to know him and, and he's got this really cool background. And so, you work at Second City. Will you tell everybody about that?

Jesse Case:  I do. Yeah, I do. So, I started working at Second City about 10 years ago. Uh, we had, as a music director, which is sort of a, not a, not a good title for what we do because, and part of the reason for that is that there's no, there's no other job like it. So they were just like, oh, what's the closest thing we have to call this position? It is partially music director. Uh, so you're at the piano and you are playing the music. But in addition to that, you're doing a lot of writing, you're doing a lot of sound design, you're just doing a lot of kind of material creation that would normally not be incumbent on a musical director at, say a, a, a movie or a Broadway musical. It's a whole different job in and of itself. It's very niche, very weird. A lot of writing, like I said, a lot of improvising, a whole lot of behind the scenes audio production work, both in music and in sound design. Yeah, it's an, it's an awesome job and I love it. And uh, we have been doing it there for about 10 years.

Heather Newman:  Oh, that's awesome. Well, and so and just so most people know what Second City is, but I, I grew up in the Midwest and went to high school in Wheaton. I think we've talked a little bit about that. So, I'm, I'm very, I'm very familiar with Second City. And will you tell everybody just so if they don't know what Second City is?

Jesse Case:  Yes. And thank you for asking that because we definitely have, we run into this too. I do a lot of um, the majority of my work these days with Second City is with our B2B corporate division, Second City Works and we are constantly reminding ourselves that, you know, even because we are so entrenched in kind of the artistic and comedy community, we forget that occasionally people are like, Who? What? Circuit City, I thought they closed? So yeah, Second City is a comedy theater, we were founded in Chicago in 1959. and a, we have a who's-who of famous alum that have come through and made original content and improvise for our two stages in a, that are both in Chicago. And then additionally we've since then expanded to Toronto where we are making original material, and Hollywood where we have a training center. Uh, there's touring companies, there's Second City Works, which is the B2B arm. There's a training center. We have, we just started a film school, which is crazy. And then um, and all sorts of, we do a lot of theatrical productions as well. We partner with a quite a few people, a lot of Chicago institutions. We will show at the Goodman every year. Um, we work with, we just did a show with Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Every year we go out and we do a show Woolly Mammoth in Washington DC. We do work at the Kennedy Center. We, um, we partner with a company in Japan that does comedy. And the way that comedy and comedy entertainment works out there is much different. Is it quite a bit of a different structure but we work with a company called Morimoto out there. We work with a cruise ship company, uh, out of Shanghai.

Heather Newman:  I had no idea the expansiveness of the programming. That's amazing.

Jesse Case:  It's crazy. Yeah. And it's, um, I think what we found too, you know, and this is a lot of it is, as we've, the Second City Works part started about 20 years ago and that was really kind of an eyeopener for us. We realize that at the training center, uh, people, a lot of people were coming, in fact, most of the people were there like not because they wanted to go to SNL or because they wanted to do one of our stages, but they just like enjoy the Improv for the sake of Improv. And that was the wakeup call in realizing. Not for me, I wasn't there. Hell, I was in middle school, but for whoever was working there at the time realizing that yeah, like this is the applicability of what we're teaching and the fundamentals behind it are, it is universal. We can, you can, you know, it makes lives better really. And like, I mean, I sound like a hack when I say that and I am, I am a hack.

Heather Newman:  You're a good hack though.

Jesse Case:  Right. Exactly. As far as the core importance of the stuff we teach and the philosophies we espoused, I've drank the Kool-Aid 100 percent.

Heather Newman:  Sure. I mean, I think it's, it's about, it's a life hack, right? In the best sense of the word in that, you know, empathy and being able to think on your feet and be in front of people. You know, it's like, it's like, what's like, Toastmasters has been around forever and you know, it's just. I'm a theater geek, you know, dork myself. I came up in the theater. So I absolutely believe in all of that stuff and it's just, it's cool to see that something that started off as just, you know, maybe that Improv class more for artists, you know, I've, I've seen that like expansion into corporate and how to, you know, bring that into schools and all of that stuff. That's so cool. I thank you for sharing all of that because I had no idea. That's amazing. So

Jesse Case:  Yeah, no doubt. I know we're, yeah, we're, we're everywhere man. It's constantly fascinating work because of that, you know, like we're having a lot of the work we do with clients for example. Um, particularly in the areas of like, ideation, things like that. And then also, you know, just sort of when you're coming up with like, you know, for example, here's a company that does, you know, insert topline corporate thing here. You know, like we have a new strategy this year involving synergy. Can you write a funny song about it? Like in order to do that, you have to, the conversation that you have to have and the thought process that goes into writing a song about something like that. It involves a lot of interesting conversation and a lot of interesting digging paper as it were.

Heather Newman:  Absolutely. No, that's super cool. And so, so you, where did you come up from?

Jesse Case:  I came from, I was, I grew up in Colorado in Boulder. And I went, birth through college. I was at University of Colorado where I actually studied theater, although I'd been playing piano since I was very, very young and moving to Chicago after college relatively quickly found out that uh, what I do was a job to begin with and realized this is like, oh my God, this music, both of the things that I'm interested in, the theater and the music, this is a very sort of applicable blend for me.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, a match made in heaven.

Jesse Case:  So, I took on an internship and then got it, then went and did an ensemble aboard a cruise ship and never looked back.

Heather Newman:  Oh Wow. That's super cool. And how many are you? Um, you're a pianist. Do you play a bunch of other things as well?

Jesse Case:  Yeah, I mean like, yes, I do, but I wouldn't, I wouldn't audition with them.

Heather Newman:  Fair enough. Okay.

Jesse Case:  You can do, you know, like, yeah, I play guitar like your friend's Dad plays guitar. Where it's like he's got it out at the campfire again, oh good.

Heather Newman:  Fair enough. That's hilarious. And I know when we, when we first started talking, I don't know, a few months ago you were telling me about a studio. Do you want to tell everybody what? I mean, having that become real and, and all of the things around that. That's super interesting. So will you tell everybody about that a little bit?

Jesse Case:  Sure, well yeah. The reason, I bet that there's been a hanging question in the air I imagine, which is like, what is this dude doing in Alhambra, Illinois? Population 678 or 81 depending on when you ask. And the reason is that we, um, we moved, Alhambra is about four hours south of Chicago, so I commute up fairly regularly and my job involves a lot of travel anyway. Uh, and primarily the reasoning for moving down here specifically was uh, my wife and I just had a baby about a year and a half ago and having a baby with no family around is a tall order. So this is where my, this is the area where my wife is from. It's about 40 minutes north of St. Louis and um, yeah, and part of the reason for buying way out was to get a bunch of land and part of the reason for getting a bunch of land was to have a barn on the land. And part of the reason for having a barn on the land was to convert the barn into a music studio.

Heather Newman:  Let's put up a show!

Jesse Case:  Yeah. It was pretty, you're right, exactly. So we have that. We have a beautiful house now with the, with five acres that's surrounded by what seems to be a thousand acres. I don't actually. So here's what I realized about myself is I don't know what an acre is. Like, I mean, I know literally the, this is how much of a city boy I am. I know that an acre is a thing. I can't physically in my brain imagine it. Like I can imagine fifty feet, you know what I mean? Like, Oh yeah, I can estimate that. I cannot estimate distance so this could, you know. So I'm surrounded by what appears to be a 100 million acres and I know that my specific land is five acres because that's what they told me and it's on the lease. And uh, yeah and outback is a 50 by, there you go 50 feet, 50 by 70 foot whole barn, machine shed that we just laid down concrete on yesterday as a matter of fact. It's the basis for the control room in the rear of the music studio, which I will use both as its sort of own separate business, and then also kind of just to, as an ancillary benefit to the type of production work that I do both for a Second City and independently, namely podcasts with theme music.

Heather Newman:  Absolutely. Well and that makes sense. I mean if it's, if you're four hours away from the city and you need to do stuff, having your own studio out in the. Yeah, I mean that completely makes sense. Oh my goodness. When do you think you're going to be ready to, I mean I'm sure you work at home anyway, but like when do you think it's going to be ready to rock it out from there when you're having people come in and stuff? You going to have a big old launch?

Jesse Case:  No, I don't think so. I think, so this has been interesting. Basically what I'm doing is on the surface a really bad idea and the reason it's a really, and the reason it's a really bad idea is because the entire model of how you record music is changing very, very rapidly. And it's changing because the value, the quality of recording that any random joe can get in their basement of their house is going up exponentially and the cost of doing so is going down exponentially. The reasoning why somebody, a musician or anybody else who might 10 years ago have gone to a studio is no longer a reason. Where you, like a lot of the stuff that you can do at home, you can, is stuff that a studio would normally do. So it's a, it's a, it's a rapidly changing business to say the least. So my, I personally use this, like I have two advantages. One is that I have enough personal use for a studio that it sort of, it makes sense for me to do some type of expansion and locate myself in better digs just intrinsically. And then B, I have like a, I have another job which is working for Second City so I can effectively subsidize the studio as the model grows. Um, so what this has allowed me to do is kind of explore the business as I build it, which has been really interesting. And uh, uh, yeah, and also sort of horrifying because the more you explore the studio business in particular, the more you realize, hey, it's like nobody's building studios anymore. Little studios that do exist are on like, they're all on fire sale mode. They're all like, please, please, please come record here. We'll give you half off or whatever. I don't know the. Yeah, it's an interesting. It's an interesting business to be a part of and it's an interesting thing to be doing at this particular moment in musical history. So which is all a very long way to answer the question. I it, I don't think I'm gonna do like a full on opening because I think that the physical location of the studio is subsequent to the studio as a brand and subsequent to the studio as a, as an online location, a digital location.

Heather Newman:  Gotcha. Can you share the name of the studio with everybody?

Jesse Case:  I would if I had it. I've got a couple of thoughts. Okay. So I will say I was really, really down with Alhambra Audio. Alhambra, of course being the name of the town there we're in. And for those of you who don't live in the immediate area of Alhambra, you may think of the Alhambra, of course, being a beautiful red castle in Granada. Yeah, right? That's, you know, that's hundreds of years old and untold acres large, I don't know, don't ask me. And uh, and you know, and that's of course, that was my image. So like the imagery that the word Alhambra conjures up to me is, is of that and is really, really cool to associate with the brand and the studio. If you live around here, if you live in the immediate area and certain parts of St. Louis, Alhambra means something completely different. And Alhambra is the small town's small town. Alhambra is the small town that small town people go, hey, that's a, that's a pretty small town and they make fun of it for being such a small town.

Heather Newman:  Right. Well you could paint the barn red, right?

Jesse Case:  That's true. I don't know if it would, I don't know if it would overcome years of bad branding by the area. Like, you know, red paint itself. So it's interesting, you know, this is part of a whole area, like you think of, what's the one that everybody knows? Cairo is one. Where like, uh, what's the, there's a Lebanon here except you pronounce it Leb-nun. It's about 20 minutes away from here. There's this whole like triangle in this, uh, in this immediate vicinity where they just decided to take a bunch of like European and Middle Eastern names and mispronounce them and make them, then that's the name of the town now. And it's a fascinating thing to me, like both how just like why anyone would do that, but also then like the subsequent psychological effect of the name. Like these people have a completely different reference point for the word Cairo than everybody else. It's just an interesting, like it's interesting how like you can change the, watching the context of the thing change.

Heather Newman:  Oh yeah. Well I was podcasting yesterday with a buddy and he was talking about going to Haarlem and uh, you know, going to eat there and how he was kind of like known as the American there. And I knew what he was talking about because I know his life and I knew that he was talking about Haarlem in the Netherlands, not Harlem in New York City. And I made sure to clarify that because those are very different places, although the, they share a name for a reason, you know, like New Amsterdam, New York, all that stuff. But it was very funny. I was like, uh, everybody, uh, we're talking about Haarlem in the Netherlands.

Jesse Case:  Right, you've got to clarify, you're talking about Haarlem. Yeah, never would have known. And then the whole like, it's interesting because then the whole context, the entire conversation changes because of the name of the word, the or the feeling of the word rather

Heather Newman:  Completely. Yeah. No, it's, it's funny like that. So, you know, I, I think it's so cool. It's so, that's really exciting. And I was thinking about you and you know, when working with you, you know, building the music and stuff, which was really fun. And it was also, it was one of those where I was like, oh my God, he, he's, I'm like, like we're sort of chasing each other because both of us travel a lot and are busy and we nailed it and got it done which was awesome. It was really fun to do that with you and come up with. And is that, is that sort of the process of like, well I, you know, I said I kinda, I love the song Baby I'm a Star, I like funk, I like, you know, some nice bass and all of that and then you know, you and I going back and forth with each other. Is that like, that must be from that, like I love riffing on that kind of thing with my, you know, my technical clients and my artist clients too like, I dunno what, what jazzes you about that the most? You know, like,

Jesse Case:  Oh, I love it. Well first of all I bet you thought you were being like vague. And no, you're like, the fact that you were able to articulate that you liked bass, you know what I mean, that puts you above 90 percent of people who like talk about music. And it's interesting because music is one of those things people know they like it, but they don't know why they like it. Oh I love, I love this song. But if you really unpack like this specific element of why you like that song. And then also, of course, like the specific cultural context, the specific personal context of that song for you, it becomes this entire thing. So it's interesting to make it for somebody, make it to order as it were, because you really have to, you have to learn how to listen to people. The Improv background helps with that obviously. But yeah, you really have to, uh, you have to understand when, when somebody means they like, oh, I want, I want this a little louder. No, no, you don't. You want it more exciting or you want it more, you want more. And then, okay, how do I excite this? Maybe I'll add cymbals, you know what I mean? But nobody would have the language to articulate like, this needs more cymbals or this, you know, the tempo needs to slow down, you know, like all of these, all of these technical changes, these small minutiae of the actual details of the composition of a song have direct emotional consequences to the people listening. But that gets completely lost in translation. So translating that is a fun challenge.

Heather Newman:  Sure. And that's, I mean that obviously is what you do really well. It's like, let me introduce the high hat, you know, or whatever.

Jesse Case:  Yeah. You sort of figure out how to like, what they mean when they say, uh, let's say this thing or that thing. You know, it's um, yeah, it's, it's, a lot of people I feel like deal with that in their own way though. You understand what you do really well, but your, you know, your client for example, doesn't. And you have to learn how to, how to listen to what they mean, you know, and not to what they say.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Yeah. And funnily, my friend Matthew, we were talking about, you know, clients where it's like clients don't necessarily know how to be clients, you know? Like you, you have to extrapolate, you have to sort of get into the minutia. Really truly helping them get to what they want because a lot of the times, you know, they say they want one thing, but then there's like this goal of like, but I really want to be a, you know, like I have to check a box or I want to be a Rockstar or this or that or the other thing. And you're like, wait a minute, you just asked me to write a blog, you know? And so I think that that transversus any industry or anything you're doing, you know what I mean, it's just you happen to be doing it in music. I happen to be doing it in technical marketing for a lot of the time, you know, so, but it's sort of same, same I guess, but yeah.

Jesse Case:  Yeah, 100 percent. Well, and more importantly, you know, the skills that are required to do it well are the same.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. So, and so for you, like where do you go for inspiration or just to take? It seems like you're probably inundated with that all the time, but like do you actually unplug and go, I don't want to listen to music right now. I don't want to talk like, you know what I mean? Like do you, are you like, are you a golfer or you know, do you do anything like that? That's

Jesse Case:  Right, right. Yeah. No. People tend to be surprised at how little music I listen to. Which is like, it's interesting like that we have one of the, um, a well-regarded director in Chicago, Mick Napier is known in the comedy circle for never watching any comedy. Or you know, very, very vocally not liking it, which I can fully appreciate because like, when you're inundated with it all day, it's sort of, it's hard to like, uh, so it's, yeah, it's hard to like take it in. You need to like a, you need a break from it. And also part of that is just straight up, like I have a, I have a one and a half year old.

Heather Newman:  Right. You have a big distraction.

Jesse Case:  And another one on the way, and like you just don't have time.

Heather Newman:  Oh, my goodness. Congratulations! Yay. Okay.

Jesse Case:  Thank you. Yeah, it's due in April. We're really excited. We have this whole like huge country house now. We've got to start filling it with children. That's the American way for Christ's sake. Just like, don't, yeah, functionally it's a matter of time, but then also just like you need to get out. What's? Let me think here. There's a quote that I like, um, or maybe it's not even a quote, but it's advice and I don't know who it's from or how it goes. So apologies for the massive paraphrase here. That the sentiment of which is something along the lines of if you want to be a really good artist, you have to find a thing that's not your art. It might be Hemingway actually now that I think about it, you know, because of course he was off hunting and traveling and you know, like, you know, drinking in Europe more than he was writing. And as a result his writing was really good. Or like Charles Bukowski played the track is another one. You've got to have a thing that keeps you from doing that. And I like, I don't quite have it. And I've always sort of struggled with getting one. Like when I, and I know intrinsically that I could use one because I definitely like get my head really far up my own ass when it comes to making, making music all the time and like not really having, having space from it, but I, I think, I think what it might be since moving out here is lawn care.

Heather Newman:  Lawn care.

Jesse Case:  Well I have, I just thought after living in a condo and then, and before that another condo and before that an apartment and before that, you know, a house with a bunch of college students. My entire adult life like I have, I've never really had like land and then suddenly now I have like five acres. All of which is theoretically mow-able. So I bought a riding mower and I got to say just like the sheer act of like of knocking that thing down, and trimming up the hedge, and like, and watering the garden and all this kind of like, the physical stuff, you know, like it has been very satisfying. So I think I might've found like my drinking in Europe.

Heather Newman:  Mowing in Alhambra

Jesse Case:  Mowing my lawn. Right, exactly. It's interesting too, like you know, you run a, what we find in when we're going in, uh, as, as Second City to a corporate environment is that a main challenge that people run into, especially when they call us in, is that people are treating their jobs as just jobs and in order to establish like a kind of a healthy culture, you want to maintain and establish some emotional buy-in with your company. You know what I mean? Like obviously work life balance is important too. And there are certainly people who, you know, like work too much whether they like it or whether they're forced to or what you know, but I think in terms of that pure, like emotional buy-in to the job that you're doing and the company you're doing it for that seems to be like kind of a pain point when it comes to the type of problems we're called into solve. Artists have the exact opposite problem which is they become their job. Like Oh, I am an actor or I am a musician and you have no separation. So when it comes time to do like what I'm doing, for example, which is build a business or build a brand, if you're too close, it's too hard to do precisely because you're too emotionally caught up and the stakes become too high. You become afraid to fail and you become afraid to really put yourself out there in the way you need to and you become a, you become afraid or in my case, like unwilling to take a proper mental break and go do something else. And so, it's interesting in our work when Second City and corporations collide because we're coming at the same problem from opposite ends of, from opposite extremities.

Heather Newman:  That's interesting. Yeah. No, I think, and I think the world seems to be, you know, there's so much content, there's, everybody's a writer, everybody's a life coach. Everybody's got five things you should do in the morning to make it awesome or whatever. You know what I mean? It's like you can't, but then, that's not a bad thing. But I do think that sort of like empathetically driven and culturally diverse and all of belonging and all of those things, something that I speak a lot about in the tech community, like I think that's everything and everyone and I love it that Second City is, you know, has that programming, you know, and that you are, that people are, that corporations are going, we need you. You know what I mean? Because I think that yeah, people do, you know, it's like that that Dunkin Donuts commercial from forever ago, you know? It's like the dude gets up and he's like, time to make the donuts and then he goes to work and goes back to sleep then says it again and again. And it's like you don't want that to be your life, you know?

Jesse Case:  Right. Exactly, yeah. You have to have like, you know, the prevalence of like mission statement and things like that, sort of create an at-large emotional context that helps people get on board with whatever you’re manufacturing or doing for other people and that sort of thing.

Heather Newman:  Well, and maybe to wrap up, do you have any words of wisdom for other folks who are looking to kind of do what you do and get into the world that you're in? Things to think about.

Jesse Case:  Ahh, keep at it. Nope. Hold on. That's good. See, that's the thing is like, that's, you know, just like every bit of, not every bit, but a large majority of the advice that I have received and unfortunately have doled out to people is often just like, hey man, just keep on, keep on plugging away. Good luck. I think there's something to. So I believe in the idea of making your own luck. I believe that that's something that happens, that's a very real thing that happens to people. When you get lucky, it's because you made it happen for yourself. And especially in my line of work where you know, you are often at the behest of other people asking you to work. Being lucky is very important. Uh, you know, what luck boils down to is being at the right place at the right time. That's if there's a definition of luck, that's what it is, someone who is able to be at the right place at the right time. So in that I think there's a, there's a little bit of a life hack which is, both of those things are to a certain extent within your control and you can, you can figure out where the right place is for you. In my case, apparently it's Alhambra we're going to see. And then as far as being there at the right time, the trick is just to do it as much as possible. If you're doing it all the time, you have partially cracked the code as it were.

Heather Newman:  Yeah. It's like I, yeah, I completely agree with you. I think sometimes it's about showing up, you know and, and sort of being at that right place and the right time or making a decision to even if you don't feel like it, to go to that networking thing or the, you know, somebody invites you to something and you know, and always be networking always be. I mean people are like the hustle hard, you know, that whole sort of Hashtag and stuff. But that's true, you know, it is about the hustle and about being there and just doing, doing what you love over and over and over and over again. Right? Like Olympic swimmers become Olympic by what? Swimming. You know what I mean? A lot.

Jesse Case:  Just swimming a whole bunch. Just only swim and you'll go to the Olympics.

Heather Newman:  Well, all right. There's more to it than that. But you know what I mean.

Jesse Case:  There is something to that. I think one of the ways that like, uh, I think Improv is magic, which is what I said earlier and, I should say, every time I say that Second City writes me a check for $15. So like, yeah. So thank you for this opportunity for personal enrichment. I do like, improvisers, uh, often call themselves professional listeners, which I think is, you know, speaking of hack-ville, but I think it's, I think it's true in that the best improvisers are always, always the best listeners and especially for me, I'm next often next to the stage improvising, underscoring, and that is a listening exercise all on its own. And one of the things I've noticed is that at events that I don't necessarily want to be at but do have to be at for personal enrichment, not gigs of course, but you know, like um, things that are more, uh, the things that I'm doing for more personal enrichment, I guess, the way that I get things out, get something out of that particular event or that particular, you know, personal interaction or whatever it is by adding value to it. And you know, they talk about it in social media marketing, like if you want to, the way to get followers is to add value. Like, you don't want to just be up there like promoting your next show or whatever you want to be like either making them laugh, which was a lot of like a lot of the comedians that I work with, that's their primary model for getting followers or you know, or like retweeting interesting people or adding in a significant way to the conversation or giving advice, content marketing, that kind of thing. And in a personal interaction, a very, very cheap and easy way to add value is by being a good listener because people find, people find a lot of inherent value in just being listened to and being asked more questions. And I think that that's definitely been something that's sort of helped me. Especially too, as I started a business of my own and suddenly realized that my theater degree didn't give me any education. My new thing has been like, oh, I'm at corporate gigs, like, you know, I'm in the corporate world all the time. I'm in, you know, as like a, as an invited guest and uh, and a comedy DJ. But like I'm, I'm there nonetheless. There's a lot of extra listening that I can do here and there's a lot of value I can, I can get, aside from just, you know, the value of performing comedy for a living.

Heather Newman:  I love that. I think that's another awesome life hack. Thank you for that. I always say in marketing, does it, does it entertain or does it educate? And if it does both, we are winning. You know? So that's super cool. Well, awesome. You're amazing. It's so nice to talk to you and um, I love what you do. It's super cool and I'm so glad we had Mike and Mary Jane to connect. So you should check out their podcast Ween n' Grub. Super awesome. And people can, I mean go to Second City and see shows, just look up at Second City dot com, right? Not the, it's just Second City dot com?

Jesse Case:  Yeah, just Second City dot com. New website coming out early this year too, I think.

Heather Newman:  Oh, nice. Okay.

Jesse Case:  Yeah, in early 2019 their doing a revamp of the website which will be cool. I mean, I haven't seen it. It might be, it might be trash. We'll see. I bet it's good.

Heather Newman:  Oh, come on. It's going to be awesome. And cool. Well, in the show notes, we'll put all the ways that people can get ahold of you and follow what you're doing and everything and I just thank you for being on. It's so nice to hear your voice and talk to you. So thank you for that.

Jesse Case:  Thanks for having me. This was fun.

Heather Newman:  Yeah, absolutely. All right folks, well this was another episode of Mavens Do It Better with Jesse Case and you'll get to hear his fabulous music here in a moment to take us out. So have a great day and thanks everybody.

Heather Newman

Creative Maven, 8710 Graton Road, Sebastopol. CA 95472, United States

Heather Newman is an award-winning marketing maven, technology entrepreneur and an epic connector that brings many worlds together. She has extensive experience marketing products and services for Enterprise businesses, startups and emerging markets. Heather builds plans and processes that are nimble, human and different. She is an adept storyteller and is passionate about growth for both employees and the corporate bottom-line. Heather hails from the arts and the bulk of her career has been working with the largest technology companies in the world (Microsoft, Google, Amazon, NetApp, Hewlett Packard, and Dell). Her nineteen years of experience working at technology companies and building global high-tech marketing strategy has driven millions of dollars of revenue and multiple award-winning campaigns. She has led global marketing teams for many technology companies including AvePoint, IT Unity & KnowledgeLake. Heather was a part of the original Microsoft SharePoint Marketing team. During her tenure, she helped launch multiple versions of the product, build the SharePoint Partner Ecosystem and conceived of and produced the first three Microsoft SharePoint Conferences. Creative Maven has produced thousands of global marketing campaigns and events. Currently CM is focusing on go to market strategies for Microsoft and its partners as well as a new site sister site launching in 2015 called Marketingfixer.com. Heather also serves as Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Content Panda, an innovative technology startup looking to actively disrupt how content is delivered inside software.