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Off The Beaten Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Off The Beaten Podcast is an intimate exploration of Chicago and its people. We are sharing stories fo the people of this amazing city, and in doing so, we are creating new narratives for a city often maligned in popular media. Storytelling is in many ways a universal language; sometimes joyful, sometimes sad, but always enlightening. Join us for the ride!

Off The Beaten Podcast is an intimate exploration of Chicago and its people. We are sharing stories fo the people of this amazing city, and in doing so, we are creating new narratives for a city often maligned in popular media. Storytelling is in many ways a universal language; sometimes joyful, sometimes sad, but always enlightening. Join us for the ride!


United States


Off The Beaten Podcast is an intimate exploration of Chicago and its people. We are sharing stories fo the people of this amazing city, and in doing so, we are creating new narratives for a city often maligned in popular media. Storytelling is in many ways a universal language; sometimes joyful, sometimes sad, but always enlightening. Join us for the ride!








Episode 20 - Pandemic Resources

Hello Friends! With everything going on right now, and with our shelter in place going for at least another 30 days, I thought the best thing now was to offer you some resources and insight to help keep your mind at ease during these tough times. All resources mentioned in the episode are linked below, and if I forgot anything, please let me know and I will be sure to add it. Keep your heads up friends...we got this! If you like this episode, be sure to subscribe, rate and review on your...


Episode 19 - The New Normal with Mary Catherine Roberson

Hello Friends! I'm sure it's hard to accurately express all of the feelings we're all experiencing right now. However, I have no doubt that if we come together, keep our heads up, and stay positive, we can see this through with the grace and dignity that we know we're capable of. It was in this vein that I decided to reach out to Mary Catherine Roberson, former political candidate, activist, mother of 3, and government worker about the new normal as we come to the close of our first week of...


Episode 18 - Off The Beaten Podcast at C2E2

Hello Friends! This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Chicago Comics Convention & Entertainment Expo, popularly known as C2E2 (@C2e2). I had an absolutely amazing time! I met so many new people, made some new friends, saw some old, I can't even say enough good things about the time I had. I felt like a kid again. Also, in this episode, I had the opportunity to talk with David of The Euphoric Tree Fort Gift Company (@euphorictreefort on IG), Francis Almeda...


Episode 17 - The St. Valentine's Day Massacre w/Cris Rodriguez

Hello Friends! This week I had the pleasure to sit and chat with Cris Rodriguez (@grlnxdr2513). Cris is a former EMT, currently working in a hospital in the Chicagoland area. Valentine's Day has just passed, and I reached out on social media for anyone who was interested in talking about the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and Cris answered the call. She'd been watching the docuseries Making The Mob: Chicago and was totally excited at the prospect of talking mobsters and murder. While getting...


Episode 16 - The Divorce Playlist w/ Maria Degillo

Hello Friends! This week I had the pleasure to sit and chat with Maria Degillo. Maria and I met through our 9-5's, and I shortly after one of our first real conversations, I was certain I had to have her on the podcast. She is an amazingly dynamic and colorful personality, much like myself, and I knew we would have some great conversation. Also, she revealed to me that she had a divorce playlist, even though she and her husband were happily married, in the event they should ever get...


Episode 15 - Why Podcasts and How Can You Support Podcasts You Like?

Happy New Year Everyone!!! This episode I decided to take some to address how I developed a love for podcasts, and what has led me to this in my pod creation journey. After noticing that many of my listeners are novices, I thought the top of the year is a great time to talk about why you should be listening to podcasts! Additionally, after being inspired by some of my fellow podcasters, I decided to take some time to offer some ideas on what you can do to support OTBP. After listening, be...


Episode 14 - Music, Roller Derby & Life w/ Amy "Fun Fetti" Litviak

This episode Dion (@Dionsmusica) talks with music aficionado, roller derby girl, and mom Amy "Fun Fetti" Litviak (@kupkake_Amy) In addition to staying active as a "band mom," working full-time, and helping take care of her family, Amy is a member of the Vindicated Vixens Roller Derby Team. Dion and Amy met years ago while enjoying bands in the local Chicago rock music scene, so that's where the conversation begins. From there, Dion aims to learn more about roller derby. Finally Dion and Amy...


Episode 13 - Basking In The Heartland w/ Heather Calvert

This episode Dion (@Dionsmusica) talks with Off The Beaten Podcast Graphic Artist Heather Calvert (@HCAL23). Dion and Heather got together recently for the 1st Annual OTBP Podcast Retreat, in the fun and fabulous Quad Cities. When Dion needed a logo for his soon to be released podcast, and was stressing over the price for a good logo, Heather offered to create it for free. Since then, she has supplied all graphic design needs for OTBP, and has asked for nothing in return. After 4 days of...


Episode 12 - I'm Still Alive!

This episode Dion (@Dionsmusica) talks about a plethora of revelations and thoughts he had while laid up over the weekend with a horrible bout of food poisoning! It was really bad! Dion discusses not only being sick and his subsequent recovery, but also dating and cuffing season. He also shouts out podcasts that he's been listening to over the past two weeks, and a few other topics to boot! Be sure to subscribe. We'd also love it if you took a minute to rate and review on your podcast...


Episode 11 - Throwing Shade w/ Sarah Chung: Paralympian Judoka

This episode Dion (@Dionsmusica) talks to Sarah Chung (@jdognasian). Sarah is a Paralympian Judoka, having competed in the 2016 Rio Paralympic games, as well as a musician, and recent Adler University graduate. Sarah and Dion met this summer while both marching in the Lakeside Pride Marching Band. Dion said the minute he learned that Sarah was a Paralympian, a fact which she was reticent to divulge, we had to have her on the show. The conversation covers everything from Sarah's...


Episode 10 - Bonus: Reflections on Veterans Day w/ Dion

This episode Dion (@Dionsmusica) spends some time reflecting on his thoughts on Veteran's Day, and takes some time to recount his time in the Illinois Army National Guard and his 2008 deployment to Afghanistan. If you are a veteran, or have veterans in your life, this is one not to be missed. Also, though he had trouble remembering the name while recording, the base that Dion refers to in Afghanistan was PRT (Provincial Reconstruction Team) Sharana. Be sure to subscribe, rate and...


Episode 9 - Reppin What You Love with Francis Almeda

This episode Dion (@Dionsmusica) talks to Francis Almeda (@almedagrill), founder of Reppin Pins. Reppin makes pins that represent what you love, and does it in amazingly stylish fashion! After a few weeks of back and forth emails, we were able to finally pin Francis down (get it?) and talk all things pins. We've been a fan of Reppin for a few years now, so we were super excited to talk about the business, how it started, and what the future may hold for the Chicago based company. Francis...


Episode 8 - Public Service Announcement

This week Dion (@Dionsmusica) offers up an important public service announcement. But first, he quickly talks about the ongoing Chicago Teachers Strike, and some frustrations he's faced dealing with criticisms of Chicago and CPS. Be sure to check it all out! Follow OTBP on IG: Follow OTBP on Visit the OTBP website: Send Dion A Tweet: Follow Dion on IG:...


Episode 7 - Let's Talk About The Chicago Teachers Strike!

This week Dion (@Dionsmusica) talks about the upcoming Chicago Teachers Strike. Dion is a former educator, a former Chicago Public Schools teacher, and a former Chicago Teachers Union member, having taught 4 years in a public school setting, 2 of those in Chicago. We didn't think it was fair to ask a teacher or a parent to put themselves in a compromising position, so Dion felt comfortable talking the strike, interspersing his own personal knowledge, being a part of the 2012 Chicago Public...


Episode 6 - Mad Unicorns Are Damn Tasty w/ Sara Towle

This week Dion (@Dionsmusica) chats with Sarah Towle, (@Unicornsarat) owner of the local jam company Mad Unicorn Eats! Dion met Sara in the concession line at Riot Fest. They hit it off immediately, bonded over a burning need for food, and when he learned she was a new entrepreneur running a jam company, it was only a matter of time before we had her as a guest. Dion and Sara talk jam, music, and Chicago. Also, following the outro, check out a sneak clip that was taken while Dion was...


Episode 5 - Started From The Bottom, Now We're...Where?

This week Dion McGill (@Dionsmusica) chats with classical vocalist, born and bred Chicagoan and all around ray of Sunshine Beena David (@BeenaBeenaBeena). Beena stopped by and we talked about a range of topics, from being a classical singer, to the keys to a healthy and happy marriage. Beena was very open and transparent, and offered tons of great insight into a plethora of topics. Also, here is a video of Beena singing the national anthem for a Chicago Bulls game. Enjoy! Be sure to RATE...


Episode 4 - Becoming A Rockstar w/ Lance Ayers

This week Dion McGill (@Dionsmusica) chats with multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and vocalist Lance Ayers to talk growing up Chicago, as well as the evolution of his music career. Lance is the lead vocalist and songwriter for the Chicago Band The Circle View (@thecircleview). The Circle View is a captivating band charting new territory in the modern rock genre. The quartet hails from Chicago and hypnotizes fans with their amazing ability to combine melodic, eye-popping hooks, with a...


Episode 3 - Riot Fest 2019 Recap From Both Sides Of The Bar

Hello friends! Riot Fest is an annual 3-day music festival based in Chicago, Illinois at Douglas Park. Riot Fest specializes in rock, punk, alternative rock, and hip hop. The festival is known for booking reunions, guest performances, and full album performances. First started as a multi-venue festival in Chicago in 2005, Riot Fest has since become an outdoor festival starting in 2012, later expanding to Denver and Toronto. This week Dion McGill (@Dionsmusica) chats with musician and...


Episode 2 - All Politics, All Day with Sam Adeleke

Hello friends! This week DION (@Dionsmusica) chats with Obama Foundation Civic Leadership Corps fellow, activist, and entrepreneur OLUWASEYI SAM ADELEKE (@prgrssn). The conversation covered so many bases, including: Puerto Rico, immigration, the current American political culture and systems, racism, black culture, the Obama Foundation Civic Leadership Corps, how America stacks up compared to other countries, "Real" Chicago, Toxic Masculinity, Sam's apparel business Progression with the...


Episode 1 - The World Naked Bike Ride & Polyamory

Episode Notes Hello friends! Welcome to the first Episode of Off The Beaten Podcast! This week DION (@Dionsmusica) chats with admin assistant and college friend SARAH DIPRIMO (@iowatater), who was visiting the glorious city of Chicago to see New Kids on the Block. The pair intended to talk about the World Naked Bike Ride Chicago edition, and the conversation proceeded on to NKOTB, sexuality, sex, relationships, and ultimately polyamory. Shout outs to SECONDHAND CURVES (@secondhandcurv1)...