TRANSCRIPT Bullseye with Jesse Thorn: Choreographer Twyla Tharp

Twyla Tharp is a legend in the world of dance. She’s danced and choreographed professionally for nearly 60 years. Tharp is 82 and she’s still working just as hard as ever. She has a new show that she choreographed – How Long Blues. When we spoke to Twyla she had just written a book called Keep it Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life. We’re thrilled to revisit this conversation. She’s one of the most insightful, hilarious, and sassy guests we’ve ever had on the show.

Guests: Twyla Tharp




Transition: Gentle, trilling music with a steady drumbeat plays under the dialogue.

Promo: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of and is distributed by NPR.

Music: “Huddle Formation” from the album Thunder, Lightning, Strike by The Go! Team—a fast, upbeat, peppy song. Music plays as Jesse speaks, then fades out.

Jesse Thorn: It’s Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. Twyla Tharp is a legend in the world of dance. She’s put on well over 100 stage shows, dancing in them or choreographing them. She’s won a Tony, an Emmy, an honorary doctorate from Harvard. She choreographed films like Hair, Amadeus, and Ragtime. She put on her first show in 1965, so she has been dancing now for nearly 60 years. 60!

Tharp is 82 now. She’s still working just as hard as ever. She has a new show she choreographed, How Long Blues. It just debuted in New York City. And if that sounds extraordinary to you—well, it sounds extraordinary to us, too. But Twyla Tharp doesn’t think so. When we talked to her in 2020, she said the secret to staying healthy and vibrant is pretty simple. Just keep moving. That’s actually the title of her book. Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life. Twilight talked to me from New York, and she’s a corker! Let’s get into our interview.

Transition: Funky synth.

Jesse Thorn: Twilight Tharp, welcome to Bullseye. I’m so happy to have you on the show.

Twyla Tharp: Thank you very much. Happy to be here.

Jesse Thorn: So, why did you want to write a book about moving, and why did you want to use a definition of moving that is broader than just physical movement?

Twyla Tharp: I think that I’ve been making dances for a very long time, and sometimes people fail to attach dance to movement and themselves to dancers. And it has always been my conceit that dance is movement for everyone. And it happens that dancers are extraordinarily sophisticated and have many, many options that most mortals, regular folk on the street, do not. But that should not cause the audience to disengage from the fact that they too occupy a body.

And so, that in conjunction with an obvious fact—which is the older we get, the harder we seem to find it to move—meant that, you know, put A and B together, you get C. Keep moving.

Jesse Thorn: Did you start dancing before you can remember making a distinction between dance and other forms of movement?

Twyla Tharp: Yes. I think that’s a really good point. My mother was a concert pianist, and as an itsy bitsy teensy weensy, I used to go to her lessons and would just, you know, squirm, do the best I could. Can’t walk yet, but you know, I’m dancing. And I think that we don’t want to forget that’s a capacity we have and a part of our arsenal.

Jesse Thorn: I feel like I have so little confidence in my—

Twyla Tharp: Oh, I don’t want to hear this! Go ahead.

Jesse Thorn: That’s it. I’m just saying, I feel—I have very little confidence in my ability to move in a way that anyone would find aesthetically appealing.

Twyla Tharp: Oh, goody. This is going to be fun. How old are you?

Jesse Thorn: I’m 38.

Twyla Tharp: 38. Have you ever felt any differently? Have you ever felt yourself physically appealing?

Jesse Thorn: (Sighs.) I mean, I don’t feel unappealing physically in general. I feel like I’m fine in that department, but I’m talking specifically in the realm of movement. I felt okay. I played some sports when I was younger, and I felt okay playing baseball—which was the main sport I played.

Twyla Tharp: What spot did you play?

Jesse Thorn: I usually played third base.

Twyla Tharp: Third base, okay. That’s a relatively static point. I don’t want to tell you that, but okay.

(Jesse laughs.)

So, we had limitations even when we didn’t, right?

Jesse Thorn: Even as a 13- or 14-year-old, maybe my lateral movement was not my strong suit?

Twyla Tharp: Right. You’re not out there being shortstop or something, are you?

Jesse Thorn: But I did a fair amount of dancing in the arts high school that I went to.

Twyla Tharp: Okay. Okay, good. What kind of dancing?

Jesse Thorn: Afro Haitian, jazz and hip-hop. I never did any classical dance. I can’t—I wouldn’t know what to do if you asked me to do plie.

Twyla Tharp: Okay. Well, we’ll just put that to the side. Not important. So, as you’re doing all of your jazz and your hip-hop and your Afro and your Haitian and your Tahitian and so forth, how are you feeling about this?


Jesse Thorn: It was an interesting experience, Twyla. Because I don’t not enjoy dancing. I wouldn’t say it’s a great passion of mine, but I don’t not enjoy it. But I definitely was in a context where I was the worst of my peer group or close to it.

Twyla Tharp: Uh-huh. Right. So, you’ve always been self-conscious whenever you think you’ve been dancing. You’ve never just up and bopped around for your own pleasure?

Jesse Thorn: Well, I must have. I mean, like when my preschool teachers played “Jump for Your Love” by the Pointer Sisters, which I remember them playing a lot.

Twyla Tharp: Uh-huh. Very good.

Jesse Thorn: Great song. I think we did dancing. I don’t remember being self-conscious then.

Twyla Tharp: Right. And self-conscious is not necessarily a bad thing if you just translate it into self-aware. So, that if—you know, we can realize that quite frankly, get real, nobody is really looking at you. So, you might as well figure out how you feel about it and just go there. And also, I am sorry. 38, man, is only beginning.

(Jesse chuckles.)

So, you better get it together to start doing—what do you do every day, physically speaking?

Jesse Thorn: Type.

Twyla Tharp: Oy, that’s it? You’re kidding.

Jesse Thorn: I walk my dogs. I play with my kids.

Twyla Tharp: For how long? What kind of dog? How long are the legs on this dog?

Jesse Thorn: (Laughs.) Well, that’s the thing. My dogs are getting up there. And one of them goes about, I’d say 250 yards, and then she just sits down.

Twyla Tharp: So, this is it for you in exercise?

Jesse Thorn: Right now, yeah.

Twyla Tharp: What do you mean right now? How long has this been?

Jesse Thorn: This has been since my third child was born, which is about two and a half years ago.

Twyla Tharp: Understandable. Understandable. But we must push back against reality, and we must create our own space. Otherwise, you know what? You will die. So, make up your mind.

Jesse Thorn: (Chuckles.) How did you feel, when you were very young, about the organized dancing that you did? You know, tap dance classes and stuff when you were young. Right?

Twyla Tharp: I did it all, man. And I loved it all. Because I was taken with the possibility of doing something very, very well, whatever it was. And I was fortunate in having support in the family for that aesthetic, but also in having a relatively facile body that would do a lot without having to suffer a huge amount of training. And so, it was a relatively, for me, healthy step to push in the direction of whatever the form was—whether it was tap dancing or classical ballet or whatever—to try to become that thing. Which, of course, we never really accomplish. And becoming that thing alters as we age, but it is not lessened as we age. It just is different.

Jesse Thorn: We’ve got more to get into with the fiery Twyla Tharp after the break. Stick around. It’s Bullseye, from and NPR.



Transition: Thumpy synth.

Jesse Thorn: Welcome back to Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. My guest is Twyla Tharp. She’s a dancer and choreographer who’s worked on hundreds of shows and movies. One of the greatest choreographers ever. She’s 82 years old and still doing it. She just debuted a show she choreographed in New York City. She’s working on even more. When she and I talked in 2020, she had a new book called Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life. Let’s get back into our conversation.

Can you give me an example of a way that you explored what your body could do when you were a kid? Like, something that you wanted to do and had to work to achieve, or something that you found unexpectedly?

Twyla Tharp: I grew up on a farm. I grew up working in a drive-in theater. All of these things provide, with labor, wonderful results. I was gifted with many kinds of lessons as a child. And one of my favorite images of myself at work as a four-year-old is I got a little pair of pointe shoes—which really I shouldn’t have had. But I had them anyway, and would put them on and would pull my little red rover wagon with comic books down to the drugstore where I could exchange them for other comic books. And I made very certain that everybody would see me running down on my toes as a four-year-old.

(Jesse chuckles.)

So, from that point of view, my metaphor already was that I was a dancer—not a kid pulling a wagon with cartoon books in it.

Jesse Thorn: Did you think then that you were going to be a dancer for your entire life?

Twyla Tharp: I didn’t think I was. I was.

Jesse Thorn: Were you always sure of it?

Twyla Tharp: I’ve always moved. From the time that—as I said, I was with my mother playing music—from the time I could move, from the time I could stand, from the time I could balance, I’ve always been in movement. Would I attach the word dancer to it? Not necessarily, but it would never occur to me that I wouldn’t be moving and creating ritual in movement.

Jesse Thorn: What do you mean by that?

Twyla Tharp: Well, for example, when my family moved from the Midwest to Southern California, we moved into a rather arid place and there was—there were snakes. And there were tarantulas. And there were rattlesnakes. And I had a cat. The cat was being approached by a rattlesnake. I picked up a hoe. I hit the snake on the head. I draped it over a tree branch and started doing a dance—to triumph over the power of the snake.

(Jesse cackles.)

Fortunately, my father came and saw what was happening and got the snake before it came to, otherwise my dance might not have been able to materialize and—shall we say—grow onward.

Jesse Thorn: So, when did you think, Twyla, that it was possible to be a dancer—not just as a way of being in the world, but as a way of earning your daily bread?

Twyla Tharp: I have never really thought of it, fortunately, as being a way of early earning my daily bread. I’ve thought of it always as being something that I had to do and made the most sense to me to do and which would allow me to be most productive and give the most of what I had to our culture. And that either I would, you know, be able to support myself or not. But it was never about making money.

Jesse Thorn: Did you have an idea when you were in college of what kind of dancing you wanted to spend your life doing?

Twyla Tharp: No. No, I have studied many different forms of dance, and as a, you know, young college student, I was hellbent on experiencing as many different forms and shapes of dance as I could possibly access. Obviously, or maybe not obviously, but New York City in the ’60s offered a phenomenal range of dance styles, techniques, intentions, necessities. And I tried to expose myself to as many of these as I possibly could just to know what could be done, what was possible. And then when I decided that I would—for an assortment of reasons, some good, some bad—start out trying to make my own dances, the only groundline I had was to try to find a starting place I had not already seen nor experienced.


Jesse Thorn: How old were you when you auditioned to be a Rockette?

Twyla Tharp: I auditioned to be a Rockette probably when I was about 21, maybe 22. Something like that.

Jesse Thorn: What did you think it was going to be like? What led you to audition?

Twyla Tharp: Well, at that point, I was having to pay some bills. So, I was taking classes, and some very famous dancers from the New York City Ballet would be in class. And they’d have a—(chuckles) it’s a one o’clock class, twelve o’clock class—and they’d have on like three pairs of eyelashes. And I’d say, hey, why’ve you get on three pairs—?

“Because we gotta get back to the show!”

They were supporting themselves at the City Ballet—and we’re talking principal dancers here—by taking a job at Radio City. That’s what paid their bills.

Jesse Thorn: So, what was it like when you auditioned?

Twyla Tharp: Well, you know, I did my best. I did quite well. I had very strong technique. They were impressed. Good legs, good proportions. So, as I say in the book, I was called to the table in the front of the room. “Young lady, your fouettés—which, they were excellent, very good. But could you smile?” And as you can tell from my tone of voice, I’m not always up for smiling. And that’s the way it is. I don’t—in other words, to me, dancing is not pretend. Dancing is real. So, I walked out. Because I knew I couldn’t pretend to smile when my body was doing 48 fouettés to the left with a double every third one. This is no fun! This is work. So, I was supposed to make it look fun. I don’t think so.

Jesse Thorn: How do you feel about that attitude now?

Twyla Tharp: Oh no, you would have to do it. If you’re getting the check, that’s part of your job. (Chuckles.) No. As a director, obviously, acting is a different thing. But for me as a youngster, as a dancer, I was not acting. I was expressing what the body could accomplish. I went to college premed. Because I wanted to understand what the body could do. And I found that the study involved in becoming a physician was so intense, and in many ways I felt I could actually study the body better in a studio.

Jesse Thorn: How’s that?

Twyla Tharp: Because I could ascertain how the body and the mind interact and how one commands the other, and sometimes the other commands the one. And why is that, and how is that? And I think psychology in tune with anatomy is obviously engaged in that enterprise, but I’ve spent hundreds of thousands of hours investigating that question.

Jesse Thorn: Early on—early in your career, that is—you were choreographing dance that was not set to music. Why did you want to do that?

Twyla Tharp: Because I, from my musical studies as a youngster, knew that—know that—people respond. Audiences are more comfortable verbally and with what they hear than with what they see. They’re much more unfamiliar with judging and gauging just from what they see. So, if I put a dance phrase on a happy piece of music, everybody is going to have one response. Take the exact same movement, put it on a quote “sad piece”, they’ll feel totally different.

So, my intent for five years was to study what movement alone could convey. And that you cannot do when music accompanies, because there’s a blend there, there’s synopses. There are connections that will taint the experiment, if you will.

Jesse Thorn: That must have been hard.

Twyla Tharp: It was very hard, and we loved it. It was—we were very, very difficult.

(Jesse laughs.)

We were not lovable.

Jesse Thorn: There wasn’t a lot of Rockette-style smiling going on?

Twyla Tharp: Nooo. No, no. Basically, we had a very famous deadpan. And that’s basically what we did. We considered expressiveness to be a betrayal of the physical reality. You might want to quote that. It’s pretty good.

Jesse Thorn: (Laughs.) I mean, it’s a nice piece of business. I’m not sure that expressiveness doesn’t exist within physical reality, though.

Twyla Tharp: Perhaps. But you know what I’m saying. So, I’m being a little sarcastic and a little—you know, we were young. And we were being very, very extreme, and we were carving out an area for ourselves that nobody else wanted, basically. And we were able to launch from that point, but that became an identity. And then you can either go with it or go against it.


Jesse Thorn: What did you learn you could do or not do that was different from the dancing that you had been doing to that point? Which I assume was primarily set to music.

Twyla Tharp: No, not necessarily. I mean, I’ve been a student of dance from the time, you know, of a tiny, tiny child. And a lot of the time you practice exercises, and it has nothing to do with music. It has to do with the rhythm of the body. So, it was nothing strange to drop the music sometimes. Sometimes we used it in the studio. We just didn’t perform with music.

Jesse Thorn: How did it play differently without the music?

Twyla Tharp: Well, you—first of all, people—if there are junctions, points in the movement where there are unison, for example, as done without music, audiences really do wonder, “How can they do that?” Because they don’t understand, or they’re unwilling to grant the intelligence of the body and want to believe that it’s the mind that controls it. And if there’s no sound coming, how does that work? It baffles them.

Jesse Thorn: I’m baffled right now, Twyla.

Twyla Tharp: I’m sorry about that. You will have to go out and run with no earphones on for at least half an hour, and then you’ll know what I mean.

Jesse Thorn: (Chuckles.) Why did you stop doing that?

Twyla Tharp: Because I had a child and needed to buy diapers, and I knew that people would pay me much more money if I were more entertaining.

Jesse Thorn: Do you like being entertaining?

Twyla Tharp: I love being entertaining! I’m a very good entertainer. I grew up on cartoons. My parents, as I said, owned a movie house. And I grew up working in the movie house from the time I was eight until I went to college. And my most important experiences in the movie theater, of course, were the musicals, but also the cartoons. Because cartoons have a very fast logic. The sound effects are extremely well utilized in relation to the action. And as I said, they’re fast. You have to keep ahead of your audience. Not too far, just enough.

Jesse Thorn: Do you like to dance at a party or a—?

Twyla Tharp: No, I don’t go to parties.

Jesse Thorn: What about a wedding? You must go to weddings.

Twyla Tharp: No, I don’t go to weddings. Although I have been to one or two weddings, and do love the fact that dancing happens here. Because it’s obviously—it’s a very sincere expression of joy.

Jesse Thorn: Did you participate in that expression of joy?

Twyla Tharp: Well, it depends on the person involved. You know, there are many circumstances. Shoes would be amongst some of the circumstances.

Jesse Thorn: What kind of shoes are we talking about?

Twyla Tharp: Well, you’d have to have comfortable ones is my point. In the days of attending weddings, I think I was probably wearing high heels, and they do have their restrictions. So, I’m not a trained social dancer. That I do not pretend to be. And when I’ve worked on projects that required that element in, say, the film, I’ve studied it and can produce it. But it does not come naturally to me. I never went to a high school dance. I was practicing at home.

Jesse Thorn: Wow! Now talk about things that sound hard. That sounds hard to me, but was it hard for you, or did it feel right?

Twyla Tharp: No, I think that I have been for—I mean, whatever the word shy means, I have had my share of that. I’ve also had my share of very, very dedicated and disciplined parenting. And social behavior was not on the agenda.

Jesse Thorn: (Chuckles.) Are you glad for that? Or do you wish the mix had been a little different?

Twyla Tharp: No, I’m not glad or sad. We all have our own backgrounds. We all have our own lives, and it’s to us to maximize that. I mean, in other words, people often ask me, “Well, didn’t you rebel against your lessons?” And the answer is no. I tried very hard to learn from these people as much as I could, not to fight them.

Jesse Thorn: We’ll wrap up with Twyla Tharp in just a minute. When we come back from a quick break, I will ask her if she’s afraid of dying. It’s Bullseye from and NPR.



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Transition: Chiming synth.

Jesse Thorn: This is Bullseye. I’m Jesse Thorn. I’m talking with dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp.

Are there things that you miss doing that you can’t do any more, physically?

Twyla Tharp: Well, which answer would you like? The one that says, “I will find something new here”, or the one that says, “Of course, anybody who has been able to jump six feet off the ground is going to miss it when they can’t”? But there is always the remembrance of what that was, and there’s always the moving in that direction and the sense that, okay, physically I’m not going that extra five feet. But look how grand that one foot is! Wow!

Look, I always said—okay, I was a very—I had many skills as a dancer. And I felt that I was in some ways outside the human realm, that most people would not have any sense at all of where I was physically. And I used to wonder what will it be like when I don’t have this facility anymore? When I am a—forgive the word—regular mortal? When I’m more a normal body in movement, what will that feel like? And ultimately, the big question, what is the one single movement you have left?

Jesse Thorn: (Beat.) Oh man, this isn’t a rhetorical question?

Twyla Tharp: Which one?

Jesse Thorn: The one movement you have left.

Twyla Tharp: No, you keep doing your movement every day. And as time goes by, you will find what one you have left. That’s not rhetorical, that’s exponential.

Jesse Thorn: What was the first time you got hurt badly?

Twyla Tharp: I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had very, very few injuries. I had an injury on a Foreman film with a group of extras. I was dropped one time from a difficult partnering move. And I have broken a couple of metatarsals, and I’ve torn a rotator cuff. This is not a big deal for moving as long and as much as I have.

Jesse Thorn: When you choreograph, do you imagine the movements in your own body? Or are you imagining the—you know, the dancers who are in front of you making those movements?

Twyla Tharp: Six of one, half dozen of another. I can work both ways. If I want a movement that is going to set a standard, which we will all address, in order to allow the audience to see one thing tried in many different ways, I’ll do it on myself. If I’m working with a specific dancer, there’s no way I can imagine what they do other than to suggest, “Try this, try that.” I may think I occupy their bodies. I tease all the time about the body snatchers and the peapods, and I go in, and I become— And in some ways I can become very close to—I can feel what a dancer’s body can do, can probably do, can maybe try. But ultimately I can only do what that dancer can do. So, it becomes about presenting them with the right launching pad to go in a direction where, you know, something can be discovered.

Jesse Thorn: Is part of what you’re doing like what an editor does? Which is to say, recognizing and forming the special things about the performers that you work with?

Twyla Tharp: No, it’s not editing. It’s—I’m not sure that I can find you a comparable here. Because it’s not as though they come in with the material done and show it to me, and I say, “Take this out, put this in.” They don’t have the material. So, it has to be derived.

Jesse Thorn: Do you think differently about choreographing work that is intended significantly to entertain and work that is intended significantly towards some other aim?


Twyla Tharp: Like what?

Jesse Thorn: Something without smiling.

Twyla Tharp: (Chuckles.) Very good. I understand about audiences. I’ve spent a lot of time—I’ve watched tens of thousands of shows as an audience person. And I appreciate that position and communicating to an audience. And I don’t see it as selling out to work towards delivering something that can communicate to other people and have meaning. I often say, “If the audience doesn’t leave our concerts, our shows, feeling better, we failed.” And it’s that simple, and I do believe that.

On the other hand, I can also work in a mode where I’m going for the absolute. And everyone is free to watch it, but you know what? None of that watching counts. Only myself and the person engaging in that activity can say it was done. It doesn’t matter what someone else says. I can work that way as well.

Jesse Thorn: Can you give me an example of a time when you worked in that way, in that latter way?

Twyla Tharp: Of course. I mean, the first part of the career was totally engaged in that fashion. And when we bring back any of the old reps, something like The Fugue, it’s totally about showing the audience—allowing the audience to see what we believe is right. And I’m always amazed when audiences love The Fugue, because I think they’re going to walk out on it or be bored or whatever, and they’re not. They are engaged by the enterprise, by the commitment, by the dedication, by the sincerity of the search.

Jesse Thorn: What are you searching for? What does it mean “what is right”?

Twyla Tharp: If you have an ear and you listen to, say, a chorus, you will hear if a voice is out of tune. You will give me that, right?

(Jesse agrees.)

Same thing is true of movement. You’ll have to give me that.

Jesse Thorn: Alright. So, it is a sense that the movement is in some way harmonious with itself?

Twyla Tharp: That it’s correct. That it’s righteous. And you want me to be able to describe to you exactly what that is, you would have to see it.

Jesse Thorn: Right. (Chuckles.) Yeah, I mean, we’re doing our best. It’s a radio show, you know.

Twyla Tharp: Ohhh, you know what? I love radio. And why do I love it? Because it allows people to use their imagination. I grew up on radio. There was no TV. That’s great. So, if you would like to imagine, we could imagine a dance. We could imagine forces coming from the right, forces coming from the left. We could imagine them colliding. That might be a good thing, but probably not. So, we can imagine them crossing. How close should they cross? As close as possible. We can imagine that, right?

(Jesse agrees.)

That would be a righteous thing if that were a part of the overall intention of the work.

Jesse Thorn: Do you feel, at this point in your life, more interested in trying something that you haven’t done before, or getting better at something that you’ve done pretty well but could be better?

Twyla Tharp: Both simultaneously.

Jesse Thorn: How’s that?

Twyla Tharp: Think about it. Repeat your words, and think about doing them both simultaneously. Something new and doing something better. They can be done simultaneously.

Jesse Thorn: What are you most excited about doing that is both of those things right now?

Twyla Tharp: Well, this is a question that I often get asked, usually towards the end of an interview, “What’s next?” And I always have a stock reply, which is that I don’t talk about it. Because there are a number of reasons. One, it’s going to change radically before it actually happens. I would have lied to you. Secondly, we can talk about something, or we can do something. So, I don’t talk about that which is to come. But basically, because I have a general sense, I have an intention, I have an energy, I have a drive, I have a desire, I have a love. I have people with whom and for whom I want to work. But the specifics will come to pass in real time.

Jesse Thorn: You work primarily now almost exclusively as a choreographer. You don’t perform as a dancer very much.

Twyla Tharp: Ohhh, that’s so untrue!

Jesse Thorn: Is it?

Twyla Tharp: I dance every day in the studio! How do you think these guys know what to do if I don’t show them?

Jesse Thorn: (Chuckles.) I said work and perform, Twyla.

Twyla Tharp: Listen, man, listen to me! Every rehearsal is a performance. Every performance is a rehearsal.

Jesse Thorn: Are you afraid of dying?


Twyla Tharp: What kind of question is this? We’re doing a—we’re doing here a seminar on a book called Keep It Moving. We are not going to die!

Jesse Thorn: (Chuckling.) Thank goodness, because I’m super afraid of dying!

Twyla Tharp: Well, you know what? Go out and try it once or twice, and then you’ll get over this fear.

Jesse Thorn: (Laughs.) Twyla Tharp, I’m really grateful to you for taking all this time to be on Bullseye. Thank you very much.

Twyla Tharp: Thank you!

Jesse Thorn: I’m sorry that—I’m sorry we did so much talking and so little doing.

Twyla Tharp: Well, alright. You can make up for it starting right now!

Transition: Bright, upbeat synth.

Jesse Thorn: Twyla Tharp. Wow, right? Her book is Keep It Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life. It’s great. Twyla’s company is also embarking on a 60th anniversary tour all over the country. It’s great. It’s just called Twyla Tharp Dance. We’ll have a link to dates on the Bullseye page at

Transition: Jazzy synth with light vocalizations.

Jesse Thorn: That’s the end of another episode of Bullseye. Bullseye is created from the homes of me and the staff of Maximum Fun, in and around greater Los Angeles, California. Although! I was glad I was in the office the other day, because the social media person for Judge John Hodgman—another show I work on—Nattie Lopez stopped by. She was staying with her dad in West Covina, and guess what? They didn’t have anything to do, so they made chocolate chip cookies, and then they brought them to the office. And I ate a bunch of them.

Our show is produced by speaking into microphones. Our senior producer is Kevin Ferguson. Our producers are Jesus Ambrosio and Richard Robey. Our production fellow at Maximum Fun is Danielle Huecias. We get booking help from Mara Davis. Our interstitial music is by DJW, also known as Dan Wally. Our theme song is “Huddle Formation”, written and recorded by The Go! Team. Thanks to them and to their label Memphis Industries. Go check out The Go! Team; great freaking band.

Bullseye is on Instagram. Find pictures from behind the scenes and staff recommendations, all kinds of fun stuff, @BullseyeWithJesseThorn. I think that’s about it. Just remember: all great radio hosts have a signature signoff.

Promo: Bullseye with Jesse Thorn is a production of and is distributed by NPR.


About the show

Bullseye is a celebration of the best of arts and culture in public radio form. Host Jesse Thorn sifts the wheat from the chaff to bring you in-depth interviews with the most revered and revolutionary minds in our culture.

Bullseye has been featured in Time, The New York Times, GQ and McSweeney’s, which called it “the kind of show people listen to in a more perfect world.” Since April 2013, the show has been distributed by NPR.

If you would like to pitch a guest for Bullseye, please CLICK HERE. You can also follow Bullseye on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. For more about Bullseye and to see a list of stations that carry it, please click here.

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Maximum Fun Producer

Maximum Fun Production Fellow

Video Editor

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