Ron Piccolo

This episode was recorded on February 6, 2017, on WPRK FM. Listen to the whole conversation in the player above, or click on the links below to go to a specific segment of the show!

Stetson. Rollins. University of Florida. Ron Piccolo may be from the northeast originally, but he’s a Florida guy now, and Orlando in particular. With more than a decade teaching at UCF and Rollins, he’s had an opportunity to shape minds young and old (including mine).

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Made Ron a present for being on the show. Just a piano part I had laying around, no big whoop.

Writing is a big part of what he does, so we spent a lot of time talking about the process he goes through to get published and stay relevant. And helping him through that is playing the piano.

That led to a conversation about his other education: SAK Comedy Lab. Along with the improv classes, he spent some time tickling the ivories there, participating in the scenes musically.

Ron was one of my favorite faculty members during my MBA (and all of college, for that matter), and I wanted to learn more from him. He was gracious and generous, and I think I did. Hopefully, you will to, or at least get a laugh here and there.

0:00 – Starting us off on this show is a little game we play every week, All Work or No Play.

7:06 – “He didn’t get hit with any cosmic rays. He can’t elongate or turn invisible. I was a little disappointed.

10:49 – “Barnum & Bailey Xtreme. Well, that’s about 20 years too late because that’s a catchphrase that we don’t ever use anymore.

13:55 – “To me it has to be predominantly songs for it to be a musical.”

17:06 – “Can you list all of those out in case I ever want to goad you into a fight?

21:07 – “Know how the system works so you can get around it.”

23:09 – Research papers and the academic writing process. Competition is fierce for getting published.

27:24 – “Are you writing them thinking they’re going to last for 10 years?

30:04 – Ron works with a few of the nonprofits in town, and he recounts how he got involved with the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness.

39:01 – Pop quiz for Ron. The teacher becomes the quiz taker. Learn the secrets of sleeping better and Black Sabbath. Seems like those wouldn’t go together.

44:08 – “And then we’re going to come back with some Herbie Hancock, also a pianist of ill repute. Sorry, not ill repute, What’s the word I’m looking for. Excellent repute?

45:32 – “That is my favorite part. Try and memorize a song and know it cold in terms of the melody, harmony, and all the chord changes. And then try and figure out how to make it my own.

46:08 – These are the best of the bad. Business ideas. Patent pending.  

48:08 – “At first I thought the solution would be, bear with me here, more silos. Silos on silos, Inception style.

53:19 – “But I don’t have necessarily the budget to do that. Or do I? I don’t. I do not.

57:10 – “Every time there’s a recommendation that people get on the same page or spend more time together, I’m like, ‘Well, maybe not. Maybe they’re better off when they’re not on the same page.’

1:00:07 – Ron is a music man. Not the Music Man. How noise and music helps him work, and what he did at SAK Comedy Lab.

1:03:21 – “Sometimes you can really change the scene with the right kind of riff.”

1:06:16 – “Everything’s already been said before. Just not everybody has had the chance to say it.

1:08:44College talk. For Ron it meant Stetson, Rollins, and UF.   

1:11:58 – “I had to stop what I was doing. Turned 30, went to grad school, and never looked back.

1:17:22 – “Here’s my thought on this. You are a marketing undergraduate, or even marketing in grad school, and you’re finding yourself competing for jobs. You’re not going to win the job because of your marketing.

1:20:17 – “I’d be one of those folks who’d say people should study abroad after college. Finish your four year degree and then wander around for a while.”

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