Hamish Downie’s Five Questions with Michael Chan and Nightingale Nguyen of ‘Talking With Our Mouths Full’

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all for your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.


 

 

TGG: Thank you both for agreeing to be interviewed for my column. Can you both introduce yourselves and the podcast?

Talking With Our Mouths Full is a community podcast that showcases the beauty of Toronto’s diversity through its food and its people. Every other Tuesday, we introduce you to a wonderful place to eat (that’s preferably locally and independently owned) and sit down with a guest or two for a lovely chat.

Nightingale:
I’m co-founder of non-profit organization, Bridging the Gap in Motion. Our mission is to combine humanitarian efforts with film to archive the experience. We build positive relationships with the Haitian communities and our Canadian youth.
I am also very active in other community causes and on the side I’m an actor. I also love mangoes.

Michael:
I’ve been an actor for 14 years, a Realtor for 17 years, and a nerd since I can remember. I have the best wife in the multiverse and a Super Duper daughter who’s an absolute handful. My best friend is the biggest troll you’ll ever meet and lives his life one one-liner at a time. My second best friend has a thing for masks. Sometimes, I wonder if he’s trying to tell me he’s a spy for the government. Oh, and I like to eat.

TGG: What was the impetus for starting the podcast and how has it evolved?

Michael:
I’ve always been a fan of radio, especially radio dramas. For the longest time, I thought that form of art was basically dead. Then, a few years ago, I was introduced to the world of podcasts when a friend recommended ‘Welcome to Night Vale’, which to this day is still my favourite podcast. From there, I started listening to as much as I could, beginning with just dramas, and then expanding to various forms of fiction and non-fiction. After being interviewed on my friend Jaemeel Robinson’s podcast ‘True Currency’, I realized that I really wanted to have a podcast of my own. So, I reached out to some friends and eventually started having brainstorming sessions with Nightingale at The Black Canary Espresso Bar in Silver Snail Comics. After much work, we settled on having a food and pop culture podcast where we introduced people to places to eat while chatting. If you listen to our first few episodes, that’s exactly what we were. But, things started evolving after Nightingale introduced me to Tea Base, which is featured in Episode 12. Night is quite the trailblazer when it comes to community work and activism, and that interview with Christie Carriere opened my eyes to using the podcast for a greater cause. From then forward, we decided to switch gears and become more community-oriented. We started interviewing people for every episode. We doubled down on featuring not just locally owned, but independently owned businesses. And, all that work has led us to today where we’re trying to show the entire world why diversity is beautiful. Why diversity is good. Why diversity should be embraced. Everyone has a story. Everyone’s story is amazing. If we could, we would interview every single person in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area because the world should – no, needs to – hear what they have to say.

TGG: (Me excluded) Who or what have been your favourite guests or food so far?

Nightingale:
Guest: Jessica Chan
Food: Wuhan Noodles

Michael:
This is such a difficult question for me to answer because every single guest has been amazing to talk to and we’ve eaten so much amazing food. If we’re talking about the most fun I had with a guest, though, it’d have to either be Katisha Shaw or Camille Blott. There was an incredible positive energy in both of those conversations that’s hard to beat. As for food, the most interesting for me was Cafe D Taj since up to that point, I had never had Bangladeshi food before. I can’t choose a favourite, so that will have to do. Ha ha!

TGG: What’s next for the podcast? (A little bird tells me you might be doing radio plays)

Michael:
We’re nearing our 1 Year Anniversary, which is incredibly exciting. We’ve come a long way and done a lot of good work, so we’re going to be celebrating with a special episode featuring the entire TWOMF team. We’ve been looking into ways to add fun bonus content and one of the things we’re exploring is maybe doing some short radio dramas. They’re like micro short films, but all audio. We may add them to episodes or release them on social media. We’ll probably figure it all out after we’ve recorded some content. Something more concrete I can mention is that we’re looking into bringing back some previous guests for follow-up interviews. An example is Sifton Anipare from Episode 11, who has a novel coming out called ‘Yume’. We’re likely going to have her back once the book has been released to talk about it.

TGG: Sifton also did an interview with us for ‘5 Questions’ so please seek it out in our archives. Now, where can we listen to the podcast? And where can we catch both of your acting works?

You can listen to our podcast on all podcasting platforms such as

Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/show/7uwLgA3x4me63ZmVix8V0j?si=j7sQ9eD9SMGxLed6My94tA

Google Music :
https://play.google.com/music/m/I5aqwvopzbp5bo7fosxja4zmwau?t=Talking_With_Our_Mouths_Full

Apple Podcasts –
https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/talking-with-our-mouths-full/id1474404291

Pocket Casts – http://pca.st/61CJ

or on our website at:
https://talkingwithourmouthsfull.podbean.com

Nightingale: You can find my recent work posted on Instagram (@night.nguyen) and:

Wuhan-Toronto Short:

Media Coverage:

Michael:
I’m on Instagram and Twitter as @michaelcwchan
I have a website at www.michaelchan.ca
Please check out ‘SWITCH’, the short film I made with Timothy Ng and Jessica Chan that has been Officially Selected at 3 film festivals. It’s on Youtube:

I would also love for you to watch Season 19, Episode 1 and Season 20, Episode 1 of Mayday, which I’m in.

TGG: Thank you Michael and Night!


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