Mocktails Or Messy

Dan Burda: Sipping Stories of Strength & Self Discovery | EP1

January 17, 2024 Ryan Frankowski & Kelly Mizgorski Season 1 Episode 1
Dan Burda: Sipping Stories of Strength & Self Discovery | EP1
Mocktails Or Messy
More Info
Mocktails Or Messy
Dan Burda: Sipping Stories of Strength & Self Discovery | EP1
Jan 17, 2024 Season 1 Episode 1
Ryan Frankowski & Kelly Mizgorski

When you're at a social gathering, your choice of drink can be as telling as the attire you wear. Dan Burda of Studio Raw Elite joins us to discuss the social and personal significance behind our selections of cocktails or mocktails. Our conversation whirls around Dan's affection for the Black Russian, the depth of his family history, and the ways we can ensure everyone's glass is filled with something that suits their journey, be it due to health, pregnancy, or personal preference. We're blending the stories behind our beverages with the authenticity and inclusivity that should be at the heart of every toast.

Transforming a hair salon into a sanctuary that draws parallels with the electric buzz of a nightclub, we traverse the path of overcoming obstacles with strength and grace. Dan shares with us the fiery trials of bouncing back from the ashes of a salon fire, weaving in the heartfelt tale of navigating the loss of a treasured life & business partner. Our discussion is a tapestry of resilience, the nurturing of young talent, and the embrace of self-love, proving that human connections can defy the myth that people are inherently negative yet can be positive forces in our lives.

Wrapping up with a reflection on life's poignant narratives, we celebrate Josh Kroll's triumph over a heart transplant and his career as a firefighter, a testament to living with purpose. We muse over the complexities of growing a business, 'people shopping' for lifelong companionships, and the importance of setting powerful intentions for the future. So, grab your favorite drink, be it a spirited cocktail or a thoughtful mocktail, and join us for this episode that promises to stir your soul and perhaps inspire a new outlook on your own life's story.

Watch on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap6iEYX4wzE

Send us a Text Message.

Mocktails Or Messy podcast
IG: @mocktailsormessy | TikTok: @mockmess
Watch | YouTube Mocktails Or Messy
Listen | Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Featured | #11 of Best Local Podcasts: FeedSpot


Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

When you're at a social gathering, your choice of drink can be as telling as the attire you wear. Dan Burda of Studio Raw Elite joins us to discuss the social and personal significance behind our selections of cocktails or mocktails. Our conversation whirls around Dan's affection for the Black Russian, the depth of his family history, and the ways we can ensure everyone's glass is filled with something that suits their journey, be it due to health, pregnancy, or personal preference. We're blending the stories behind our beverages with the authenticity and inclusivity that should be at the heart of every toast.

Transforming a hair salon into a sanctuary that draws parallels with the electric buzz of a nightclub, we traverse the path of overcoming obstacles with strength and grace. Dan shares with us the fiery trials of bouncing back from the ashes of a salon fire, weaving in the heartfelt tale of navigating the loss of a treasured life & business partner. Our discussion is a tapestry of resilience, the nurturing of young talent, and the embrace of self-love, proving that human connections can defy the myth that people are inherently negative yet can be positive forces in our lives.

Wrapping up with a reflection on life's poignant narratives, we celebrate Josh Kroll's triumph over a heart transplant and his career as a firefighter, a testament to living with purpose. We muse over the complexities of growing a business, 'people shopping' for lifelong companionships, and the importance of setting powerful intentions for the future. So, grab your favorite drink, be it a spirited cocktail or a thoughtful mocktail, and join us for this episode that promises to stir your soul and perhaps inspire a new outlook on your own life's story.

Watch on YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap6iEYX4wzE

Send us a Text Message.

Mocktails Or Messy podcast
IG: @mocktailsormessy | TikTok: @mockmess
Watch | YouTube Mocktails Or Messy
Listen | Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Featured | #11 of Best Local Podcasts: FeedSpot


Speaker 1:

Hi guys, welcome. This is Mocktails, or Messy, and this is Ryan Frankovsky and.

Speaker 2:

Kelly Misgorsky.

Speaker 1:

Today we are going to discuss the importance of navigating Mocktails with drinkers Partying for many years in college graduating to some of us refer to as the weekend warrior. From Friday happy hours to Saturday, sunday, long boozy brunches. Then you can't forget the summertime beach vacations, accompanied with our favorite spicy margaritas. Perhaps it's time to take a pause from the booze. However, that doesn't mean the partying will stop. Will you join us today with a Mocktail, like myself, or would you like to be a little messy with a cocktail with Kelly?

Speaker 2:

Today's local business that we will be showcasing is Studio Raw Elite, located on Babcock Boulevard, and we have the lovely business owner here with us today, dan Berda.

Speaker 3:

Thank you so very much for welcoming me into your 2024 dream. I'm so proud of the two of you and you're in red, white and blue today, which is a beautiful thing to me. Thank you so.

Speaker 2:

Dan, we asked you for your favorite cocktail. What cocktail did you choose to drink?

Speaker 3:

I love the black Russian. The black Russian. My mom recommended to me when I was probably 13 years old, having a drink one night 13?

Speaker 4:

That's a little young.

Speaker 3:

My mom, always said just takes two.

Speaker 1:

So and she's right up till this day. That's pretty young. I mean. I think we could all kind of agree that, living in Pittsburgh, you know there is sometimes those cold winters that you just really want to sit back and throw it back.

Speaker 3:

Yes, this is a soothing drink. You just nip on it and it's like three, four sips. Your social anxiety is like gone. It's like hey, nice to meet you.

Speaker 2:

I love. It Well, hey, Mr Bartender.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, I want to make sure. I want to make sure you guys the mocktail equivalent. Since I'm not drinking, I brought in strike vanilla, not vodka. So basically, this is a non-alcoholic liquor alternative. So, just in case you might be getting pregnant, or maybe just taking a break from the booze, I'm three months postpartum.

Speaker 2:

I will not be getting pregnant.

Speaker 1:

So you're going to be getting messy today, and let me ask you this Dan are you going to get mocktail or messy? I'll get messy. Okay, good, he's a naughty one, dry.

Speaker 3:

January was not on my agenda for January yes.

Speaker 1:

So for the dry January type of individual, or just the ones that are not drinking or haven't been drinking or cannot drink, I'm going to create you a alternative black Russian mocktail. Right now, that's it just for me, but you know, and then I'll make you guys your fancy little cocktail. Okay.

Speaker 3:

Lock it out.

Speaker 2:

So, dan, we are curious about your background. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Speaker 3:

Well, I grew up with a veteran father me and my twin brother and he had a lot of mental illness. My mom taught us to still love a man that most would have viewed as an abusive type of person, but he was a good person. He did die of cancer, but that's how it all kind of started. And as far as my sexuality, I always kind of knew early in the game that I was a little different. One could say it came out. I look at the underwear ads and be like, hmm, that's pretty sexy. So I mean, I just my life started in a very different way. I guess to answer that question, I don't know how you want me to answer it.

Speaker 2:

That was lovely and I think for everybody who doesn't have a twin, we're curious like can you read each other's minds? Is there a special connection there?

Speaker 3:

For some reason, our birthday is 1027, and we'll always look at our phone and different times he lives in Virginia and it's 1027. And we'll snap to each other and I just find that to be a very interesting kind of synergetic moment. Make sure, raise a little eyebrow in life, maybe there is something deeper.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely so what are we mixing here?

Speaker 1:

A little mockto oh.

Speaker 2:

ASMR right here.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, might not sound as good with this ball in here, but then we have the vanilla strike liquor alternative vodka and then we have a little bit of cold brew. So I didn't put the sweeten, because the alternative strike vanilla vodka will give us that little bit of sweetness and I have my drink to death.

Speaker 3:

I love the ice ball.

Speaker 1:

Yes, very nice. Don't you like a nice ice ball?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. It's got weight to it. It's got clingy, clingy, jingle, jangly.

Speaker 1:

You're making me nervous.

Speaker 2:

So is this the mocktail? Yes, this is the mocktail.

Speaker 3:

It's not beautiful pour Mmm foamy, Foamy.

Speaker 1:

Give it a little try.

Speaker 3:

So here's the OG right there, and then the mocktail, which is pretty similar in tone. I would say.

Speaker 1:

Yeah right.

Speaker 3:

I did recently have a sip of the OG, so now we'll try the mocktail. This one's, for you, completely different.

Speaker 1:

Hey, we want you to be honest with us, yeah it's good, it's refreshing. It's just not going to cut it.

Speaker 3:

Healthier tasting for sure. You know, I think anything that I put into my body and my body's natural reactions almost to regurgitate. At the first it's like well there's a strong drink. It's probably my body said don't put it in, you're not a good thing. But this one goes right back easy. What is this all organic?

Speaker 1:

It is actually the strike pod vodka with the cold brew coffee Like it gives you that same flavor of vodka with the fermentation process. However, it's kind of like you just said. It's essentially water with some like fermentation Got it.

Speaker 2:

But we're going for the placebo effect here.

Speaker 1:

Yes, yes, so you know that tingly feeling that you get. I mean, I got to be honest with you. It does really give me it, but I think it's just because you guys have such good energy and I'm just like contact high from it.

Speaker 3:

Thank you, thank you.

Speaker 1:

So this is the real black Russian for you guys. Kelly, you want to give me that?

Speaker 3:

Show us that shake one more time boy Okay. Show us.

Speaker 2:

All right pour me up. Give Ms Poe's part of my stuff one, please Holds up baby Three months now.

Speaker 3:

Is your life, nuts.

Speaker 2:

It's nuts but I love it.

Speaker 3:

I saw the baby in the car Stop it. Oh my god Don't say that it was cabbage patch doll. Oh, thank god, she just uses that to strangle.

Speaker 2:

It's a therapy thing, so Dan tell us why the hairstyling industry? What made you choose this industry, and is that the right term? When I moved, back from California.

Speaker 3:

I moved out there following my dreams, as many, many, many people do, right.

Speaker 1:

We have that commonality. I discovered.

Speaker 3:

It was a very harsh world out there and just when you think you might be attractive or you might be this, you meet six people that even better and just like how the hell is anyone better than? But I went through a very big loss out there and a bad relationship that failed with a pretty nasty bankruptcy situation that was catastrophic and the tune of about $1.3 million. So at 26, 27, I moved back to Pittsburgh and met a guy named Ron that I was kind of going to nursing school and failing out of it real quick and he said you should be hairdresser. I was like what? He's like, yeah, you never shut up and you're real creative. I was like, okay, so I went, I went to the Paul Mitchell school and when I walked in, the teacher had on these thigh high boots and this corset and she was like, yeah, she's like, I like you.

Speaker 3:

I was like I like you. And that was the start of it. And you know, coming back from such a catastrophic moment in California, it was my one reason to wake up every day and honestly not want to blow my head off or just end my life. True, you know what I?

Speaker 1:

mean, I shouldn't laugh.

Speaker 3:

No, you know what you need to laugh. That's what we like about you need to laugh, yeah, and that got me through it too, but it gave me a reason every day to get up and get out and associate and hear everyone else's shit.

Speaker 4:

Everyone has it.

Speaker 3:

So I really fumbled into my career in a very weird ass way and it was the first time in my life I actually felt intelligent. You know, I never felt that way, growing up with test taking. But I'm here, I'm like damn, I'm pretty smart for once.

Speaker 1:

I got to say it is amazing the studio that you created out initially from your basement to a larger studio space. Then you told me there was a fire there and then you ended up moving to this monstrosity loft warehouse like brand new in North Hills.

Speaker 3:

kind of telling us a little bit about that journey from your home to Well, I had a partner when I moved back the one that told me to get into hair and we bought a little house in Shaler and a little room.

Speaker 3:

We made studio raw junior in there and I would just bring people in and wait tables at the cheesecake factory and practice on their heads and most times screw it up horribly and still be kind and let me continue. But once people were waiting in the living room, ron was like this doesn't gonna happen at this house. So we started a very small salon, my mom and I, just two chairs and quickly grew a reputation and a little edgy vibe. Obviously naming it raw was edgy and someone that was openly gay and really didn't care anymore about what people thought was also still not quite as accepted now as it was then when I moved back. But it's like someone needed to kick some doors too and I wanted to be in my hometown area as well, and it's helped create a lot of connectivity that is necessary for community to exist, because I think one day the labels should all drop just community Community.

Speaker 4:

Yes.

Speaker 1:

Cheers to that. I love that. I love it too. Cheers, can we do a little cheers?

Speaker 3:

Hell yeah, cheers, cheers.

Speaker 1:

Postpartum baby Take a chug Postpartum, give it a good chug, throw it back. You're not driving.

Speaker 3:

This is part of hairdresser therapy. Drink the alcohol a little bit. Take a breath.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, no, that's good for like three gulps, and then you gotta cool it for a minute, Thank God.

Speaker 1:

Lorraine, and I really love the concept. I think it was the first time I ever saw such an innovative studio experience to getting your haircut, to being able to, like you know, colorist, and then you have like beverages available and it just feels like almost like a nightclub but a dayclub.

Speaker 3:

Well, I wanted to take the vibe of like the WF, rockstar, energy drink and a high-end salon and make love with the three and create an environment that is a getaway, because when you get your hair done it is like an hour-long vacation, or a two or three hour-long vacation to yourself, to get the hell away from everyone. And being in a nice environment is important, which requires to be fed something, to be served a cocktail, a spirit, to be given a nice cozy chair. That's not by a drafty ass door.

Speaker 2:

You know, it's like Make it special, yeah, yeah, and it's actually, even before you did all that, it's always had the same vibes. I've been going for 12 years now. You dyed my virgin hair back in the day.

Speaker 3:

Now she got two kids. Now I have two kids, ain't no virgin, no more.

Speaker 1:

You're so bad.

Speaker 3:

But no, we've gone through a lot of transitions in the last 16 years, and three years into it we had 12 employees going. We burned down one day it was prom day the whole salon burnt to the ground and by the grace of God a salon down the street had gone out of business and we were in that space the next day working.

Speaker 2:

I remember seeing the pictures on social media of the prom girls getting their hair done outside of the studio as it was burning down.

Speaker 3:

Well, it's one thing that my mom has taught me. I told her I now know everything because of you. She goes, yeah, but she said we're not going to miss two days of work, We'll miss one. We're not going to miss two. And you do have. If you want to survive this world, you do need to be strong, you need to be tough and I'm told in this day and age you shouldn't tell people that, but I'm glad I was told that. I said, 42 years old, I'm sure as hell Glad I was taught to be tough. We got through the fire, we rebuilt the building and a year later my partner, Ron, drops dead. We're at our friend's house eating dinner and, 46 years old, he hits the floor and he's dead. And then I lost everything again. You know his family and I. It was unclear as to what our relationship was and what they wanted and basically I had to start over again and you know what?

Speaker 3:

every little ball of coal, throw it into your locomotion and let it chug your engine and go. You know it's like go, keep running, Don't look back. It's the old shit, and studio Ron has evolved ever since. We now have a team of people of 27 that are chugging and young people coming to the table and want to learn and grow, and everyone says, oh, millennials suck, millennials suck, or whatever the new generation is the chickadees.

Speaker 3:

I beg to differ. Give them a chance and an opportunity. We were all assholes at one point in life, right? Ain't that the truth?

Speaker 1:

No you say you're an asshole at one point, but I've never thought of you as a pessimist or negative.

Speaker 3:

I was an asshole before I accepted myself.

Speaker 4:

In a way in high school, when people would say oh, you're a faggot.

Speaker 3:

Oh no, he's a faggot. And I deflect in a way to try to like don't put the attention on me. And I feel in a way of my personality being loud and I just kind of said and I say this to the hair schools when I talk to the kids I said we're all insecure. I said I just figured I'm going to walk into a room, I'm going to just be like hey, hey, hey, look at me, look at me All right, it's out of the way now.

Speaker 4:

Everyone's looked it's over with.

Speaker 3:

You know what I mean. So I was like just jumping the pole. So Other people think I probably need medicated, tranquilized and put in a nun house.

Speaker 2:

No, not me. I don't think that. No, not anymore.

Speaker 1:

Thank you. Well, I do think that that's something that I really relate to you. Like you left LA, you kind of thought that it was going to be your like end all be all. Like you never thought you were going to leave, you thought that that was where you're going to be An actor winning Oscars, and you realized after a while you're like this is just not making me happy.

Speaker 3:

I learned that you don't need to live in Los Angeles to be an actor.

Speaker 1:

That's what.

Speaker 3:

I like every day of your life is an act. You see people like oh, she got it all together. That bitch is an actress.

Speaker 4:

She's now the role. Yeah, think about it, think about it for sure, and I think you got inspired by this one.

Speaker 2:

Oh, absolutely. I mean, I feel like he touched me. I was like 18 when he touched my soul and you've been a role model for me ever since I'm 32 now.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

She hasn't aged a bit. No, you know what.

Speaker 3:

You connect with other human beings in this world and stop saying people suck, people suck, people suck. Stop it, people do not suck. Meet the people that do want to give you the attention and reach out to you and follow through and I can't get together and I can't now. No, no, no, go get together. There are good people and it is. It's a recharge to one another, to COVID's pushed everyone far apart. Human connectivity that's not behind a screen is important. There's energy that recharges us. There is. Come out, come out wherever you are. And now look at you two kids. You're going to have another one soon, probably.

Speaker 3:

Oh, I think you are going to be the father.

Speaker 1:

Wait, we actually talked about this though, oh God, like being like, not like. I don't think your husband wants to hear about that, not like that.

Speaker 2:

But if he ever had a kid I would donate an egg.

Speaker 1:

Damn yeah we can talk about that?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you can have one too.

Speaker 1:

Should we do it together, Dan?

Speaker 3:

I'm going to name my child.

Speaker 4:

Gertrude Kedanyl. Gertrude Kill. Daniel Kill Daniel. Gert Gert.

Speaker 3:

No one will ever make fun of her.

Speaker 1:

So you got to tell me after your partner passed you had gotten involved with a charity of providing you know, opportunities or publicity for organ donation because, Ron, your partner passed away from a heart attack.

Speaker 3:

Right, and can you touch on like that journey there was a lot of confusion and red tape as to when a gay man died at that time. Are they allowed to donate blood tissue organs? Some say, yes, they can donate. There was confusion.

Speaker 3:

There was just confusion that prohibited him to donate things, that yes, once you're dead, you can still donate things your corneas, your skin, there's a lot and I found out that there was this loophole. So we got very loud about it, because my mom always says, instead of being sad about something, do something about it. It's like all right, let's run with this. Here's an opportunity to put a brick in the road for others to walk on. I say you know and we did, and the law was modified because of it, but there is still red tape. There will always be red tape. Rip it down, keep ripping the tape down and go for it. So it connected us to the Donate Life Corps Center for Organ Recovery and Education and I've met so many people since that time. And when someone dies in your life and you're so sad, that person that's dead is put a new person in front of you. Open your eyes, stop being sad, focus on the new person. You'll see them again. You will.

Speaker 3:

I met Morgan Yonee, who survived two double lung transplants. Joshua Crawl had a heart transplant. He's become one of my best friends in life. Poor kid so made fun of me. He was straight as a goat 198%, he says, and all his buddies make fun of me all the time, puts all of it to be my friend in this world. But again, it's a bridge. It's a bridge of people say people don't get along a different size of the fence. Yeah, they do. And he's become one of my closest buddies in life. He was 17 and dying, needing a heart and I got to see this young human being get one and then become a city fireman and go for it in life and start his own little real estate thing now and I mean, look at that, if you need inspiration, I can't, I can't, I can't, I can't.

Speaker 3:

These people out there that have their insides ripped out, replaced, and they're doing it so go, go, go, let's go for it.

Speaker 1:

Let's keep inspiring others. Yes, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so you know, get involved those charities, those organizations. They put you around other like minded people that get you out of bed for the right reasons.

Speaker 1:

Definitely, definitely. And I know, like you, kelly wanted to kind of touch on something about Dan, if he was single or not.

Speaker 2:

I mean, I don't think I'm the one interested because I'm married, but if I wasn't married I'd be interested. Are you dating right now?

Speaker 3:

You know I'm, I have, like I have my intimate moments in life. Right, I'm a single man. I've been single for like three or four years and it's been a great time to discover myself and explore things that I always felt guilty about exploring or trying and being. You don't care at a certain point or age of your life maybe, and it's been fun, but there have definitely been these moments that you start connecting with a certain someone. It's like, oh shit, this is a special person. Where do you go with this? What do you do? Like you know what I mean. So I think we always have one of those going on in our worlds of you know what I mean.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, like a magnet Should we put the picket fence around a house and make some meatloaf, I don't know.

Speaker 4:

But you know what I think intimate friendships are important in this world.

Speaker 3:

Have someone in the now moment, whoever the hell it is, it's seeking it, whatever it's meant to be, and enjoy that. Enjoy that. There's nothing wrong with thinking about five years in one year or whatever, but I'm single.

Speaker 1:

Okay, no. Three years single yes. What was it like before? Because I know that you were married before.

Speaker 3:

So I was married, yep to a guy, stephen.

Speaker 1:

Yes. I think I had a friend, alicia from Pine Richland. That was like pretty close with Stephen.

Speaker 2:

Yes, and I remember meeting Stephen before they even started dating.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but we weren't invited to the wedding. What's up?

Speaker 3:

with that? Well, I'll tell you what the hell is up with that, because it was a public invite bitches.

Speaker 2:

I'm kidding, I'm kidding. We were out of town. No, we were out of town.

Speaker 3:

Stephen was a very special person. Yeah, I love Stephen. And when, after Ron died, it was a very dark period and about three months later I met Stephen, people said how'd you meet him? I said he was holding the door at Ron's funeral. No, I'm teasing.

Speaker 4:

He was looking for you he let me carry the flowers of the car.

Speaker 3:

But no, I met him through the salon actually, and just he led me out of a dark forest. I say he was a beautiful, a Bambi that came in and the sweet human being. But you know, after five years, as I think most reasons, people are drinking too much, as I verb, because maybe your relationship isn't the best. Maybe you're sitting there with your wife and you're thinking you're gay, or maybe you're the wife thinking you're gay, or maybe you're just not in love anymore. Maybe you're having an affair and you're falling in love with that person and you're just not talking out. Kind calm communication can solve so much, and that's what we did. And people are like, oh, I'm going to take your side, I'm going to don't take any sides, like it was just a peaceful separation.

Speaker 1:

That's nice.

Speaker 3:

Like hell. Yeah, you know, if people can't be that way, god bless, god bless.

Speaker 1:

I know, I feel you. I feel you, I mean like just-.

Speaker 3:

Are you dating Steven now. What's going on?

Speaker 1:

Well, I wanted to ask for your blessing.

Speaker 3:

Tell me what's going on. I wanted to ask for your blessing. Please. I'll be the best man. Oh my God, I'm totally kidding, I'm kidding.

Speaker 1:

No, no, no, no, no.

Speaker 2:

You're not supposed to know this, but he's been curious about that story for a long time.

Speaker 1:

Well, because I just all of a sudden, it went from being like oh wow, that's mine, that's yours. Now, was that the mocktail?

Speaker 4:

That's not a cocktail, that's yours now. He's lucky, he's cute.

Speaker 1:

He's lucky, he's cute. You guys are, or I should say, dan, you're making me nervous, why? You know, you just are like, kind of truthfully, you are like a star Pittsburgh he is a star.

Speaker 2:

He's got that main character energy.

Speaker 3:

You're so kind he's paying you to say this. No we're stars.

Speaker 1:

We are Even my friend from college. He was my college roommate.

Speaker 3:

He's like.

Speaker 1:

I'm getting my hair done at Studio Rods because I-.

Speaker 3:

You know what that's incredible to hear. I will say that after 16 years, it's wild to hear that and it sounds cool to hear that.

Speaker 1:

Thank you, Like that's wow, and we're genuine when we say that, like, you inspire us, that you can be your own star and you don't have to be, like, trying to hide it, like you know what you can be your authentic self.

Speaker 3:

It's such a beautiful person, but people can't, and that's why people are mental illness. That's why people are so, so fucked up right now, and if they could just release everything and be them, they wouldn't be as fucked up. I'm here to say it takes a lot of courage, though I said it's courage, heart and a brain. From the Wizard of Oz, I thought as a kid what stupid gifts. I don't want to dirt these shoes, except six inches taller.

Speaker 3:

But courage, heart and a brain are what get you through life and I think a lot of people don't have the courage, sadly, to just be them, be your authentic self.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I can relate.

Speaker 1:

No, I think it's up to you, Kel so you're just you're a man of many ventures.

Speaker 2:

I know now that you're dabbling in real estate and rentals now Can you tell us a little bit about that, If?

Speaker 3:

you ever love playing Legos as a kid? I highly recommend getting into real estate. I absolutely love it. It's so much fun. It's something to do. A lot of people watch Netflix. I said I'm not watching other people's stories, I'm creating mine.

Speaker 4:

And I encourage others to do that too. Amen to that, thank you. I hope you enjoy your life Start your own.

Speaker 3:

But it's cool. Everyone do what you want. It's so much fun. I left my town home after Ron died. I bought a town home and my mom's like sell it. I said I'm going to keep it. She's like don't ever do that. I did and now I have. I have eight rental properties.

Speaker 2:

Is that the only thing that your mom said? That you didn't listen to, cause she has great advice.

Speaker 3:

I'd probably be much richer in life if I listened to my mom. That's okay.

Speaker 1:

Well, where do you, where would you say you spend like maybe a little bit too much? Is it travel? Is it clothing?

Speaker 3:

Is it dinners? You know what I really grew up with a very tight budgeted family, I mean we weren't broke. We were very bottom of the road, mid to the road, I mean it was. It was definitely a struggle and but they gave us the best life. I was still into Catholic school and everything, but we were taught how to save, how to pinch a penny, how not to blow your money, how to be responsible and thank God, I was taught that I still wonder where my dad put on my communion money. Son of a bitch for.

Speaker 3:

I stole it.

Speaker 4:

I'll bless you, but I'm glad I was taught that, because where do I communion money go?

Speaker 3:

Mom, dad, I'm gonna use drugs. Prostitutes, no doubt.

Speaker 1:

Your dad not your dad oh that's right. Yeah, Mr, but you know it's.

Speaker 3:

I, I was kind of trained that way, so I really I have to say I'm pretty good and spend to my where do I spend it too much? Real estate.

Speaker 1:

That's a good thing to be.

Speaker 3:

I saved $193,000 and bought my last property and didn't get a 8% loan. Oh wow, Because I didn't spend it on alcohol and all the other stuff.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Expensive prada bags, the world navy clothes and guess what? Like now it's sitting.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 3:

And I'm proud to say that because anyone can do it. I don't have a college degree. I failed out of college after three months. I have a pot to piss in two or three times in life, yeah, so just get off your ass and work.

Speaker 1:

We're impressed by it because you know we definitely want to lead in that direction. I think if you are too busy spending it on Netflix, your time maybe you should utilize it in a better direction.

Speaker 3:

Hey, I think we all know the answer. I don't really watch much Netflix at all, really, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Do you have any shows that you watch, or are you more inspired by HGTV?

Speaker 3:

No, I'm probably very hated or something by some people because I put my life and my world out there to show people. Here's what you can do to help. Here's what you can do to get involved in. Here's a person that you might mind helping get their liver transplant. Yes, and I really don't Sometimes that little intimate, special someone that I was telling you about. We'll watch. What is it called Schitt's Creek? Ooh, I have fallen asleep every episode. I do always look at the mom and think of him alone every time. Oh yeah.

Speaker 3:

But, it's just a nice lawling bed kind of show. Who's your favorite?

Speaker 1:

character.

Speaker 3:

That mom. Oh yeah, catherine O'Hara. Mira, mira, mira I don't know, I love her crazy wigs, myra, myra I think we all are her inside and away. Yes, right.

Speaker 1:

You know I really relate to Alexis.

Speaker 3:

Which one's that? The daughter? Ok, with the pretty eyes.

Speaker 1:

No, just like she's, the dentist Does that man dye his beard that she's in. I feel like he has to.

Speaker 3:

It's so just for men.

Speaker 4:

It's so long, it's so dark.

Speaker 3:

I would not sleep with him, all right, I would, and her and her.

Speaker 1:

Oh wait, how about the bisexual guy?

Speaker 3:

Oh my, I'll screw him.

Speaker 1:

Oh my, I'd screw coffee in here too. She is. She's got a vibe. She's got a hot vibe With a wig, with the multiple wigs. Yes, well, I was going to say the thing that I love best about you, dan, is you are so diverse with your friend group, with like you are like. How many different personalities like do you have? Like, do you gravitate towards one type of individual? Is it just optimistic?

Speaker 3:

You know what I've learned? Every type of individual can have there's a there's. Although they're different types, they can have the same insides.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, which is kindness, which is empathy, which is motivation. I have found it in 80 or 90 year old people, I found it in special needs people. I found it gay by trans questioning, queer you name it Black, white, red, yellow and everyone in between of the rainbow that there's just kindness, that exists in all types of people. And if you just realize that we're all, in a way, just a human being, not even an age that we need to connect, everyone wants to be accepted, everyone wants to be heard, no matter their age and I'm sure the older we get, I can feel it at 42. You do become less recognizable, you become less current, less hot, less this and that.

Speaker 4:

So you know it's, but you know when you applaud the other people instead of hating them or judging them, but that applaud them and guide the young as well and connect them like we all wish.

Speaker 3:

Maybe we were connected at that time of our lives. Do it do?

Speaker 1:

it.

Speaker 3:

This is our opportunity.

Speaker 1:

Well, and when you say 42, I think that we need to celebrate that kind of like. I mean, this is still like in today's world. Can you imagine? Like what our parents or grandparents looked at? 42?.

Speaker 2:

First, now 40 is a new 30, right, yes, yeah.

Speaker 3:

And it's a new 22.

Speaker 1:

And you got to say like it's like if you work out, you eat healthy, is like you don't have to be lined up with your biological age and your physical age.

Speaker 3:

Well, we were really the last generation to 40 plus to not have grown up with a fan, so we really do have a lot of skills that I think that they do not have, that they need that we need to somehow transition into.

Speaker 4:

In a way it's.

Speaker 3:

it's just two different types that grew up at two different times of life. Right yeah, I don't remember my grandma or mom running around in like Fung the Kings you on your Instagram page.

Speaker 1:

I do love a song.

Speaker 3:

I was gonna say this Mike sums it up right here.

Speaker 1:

What are you insinuating? What are you insinuating?

Speaker 3:

We know what he's insinuating Polish boys, everybody Look it up, Look up the theory.

Speaker 2:

I married a Polish boy, by the way, oh what?

Speaker 1:

you got to say to that, yeah, kelly has a thing for Ryan's.

Speaker 2:

I do. I didn't mean to have a thing for my cousin Ryan. Don't introduce him to me.

Speaker 3:

Don't tempt her Life wouldn't care.

Speaker 1:

Oh my God, you can't imagine.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so, dan, you are multi talented as well. You also sing. Yeah, could you sing us a little something? Could I sing?

Speaker 1:

you Now, don't blow out the speaker or the mic. All right we want to hear a little at this. Okay, how about a little healing song? We love a good heal.

Speaker 3:

Some glad morning when this life is all.

Speaker 4:

Fly away to home on God's last show. I'll fly away. I'll fly away, oh glory. I'll fly away when I die, hallelujah, bye and bye, oh, fly away.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 3:

Mr.

Speaker 1:

Dynamo. I love you.

Speaker 3:

All those people that are sad that someone had passed. They're flying high now. Get your shit together and put bricks in the road. Let's do it, baby.

Speaker 1:

I love this Dust yourself off and try again, whatever that is. So where's your next trip? Where are you going on vacation? I know you like to hit it off.

Speaker 3:

I got this sweet friend in Miami. Her name is Mary and she's done exceptionally well in life.

Speaker 4:

It's really cool to have a friend this point of her life.

Speaker 3:

She's a little bit older than me. That has done so well to tell me on my edge you can do well. You can do so well that you own a four bedroom condo in Miami on the top notch beach. So that is always opened and it's always a fun place down there. So I'm possibly possibly March time.

Speaker 1:

Anyone wants to come? Yeah, we might have to fight ourselves.

Speaker 3:

They even do podcasts for a balcony. Oh, yes.

Speaker 4:

Oh, all of us, what oh?

Speaker 2:

10 years ago, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Pretty good in that dress Right now.

Speaker 2:

I'm afraid I'm going to be start like lactating on camera because I'm nursing right now and the baby is not here. I could just feel the baby crying right now.

Speaker 1:

Oh my God. I know she's like inching at the bit to like bring the baby in the studio. I said not yet, Not yet.

Speaker 3:

You probably get like super famous Um breastfeeding on camera if you're like I was so wrong or so right. Can you do that? I can, I'm sure you could, oh yeah.

Speaker 1:

I mean we're drinking. Yeah, baby's got a drink. Baby drink, that's a good point Baby drink.

Speaker 3:

Yes, okay, so I also maybe showing us who's boss at.

Speaker 1:

We're drinking, why can't he drink? Okay, dan, I really want you to do a little stand up special. We just got to find out where the location is. I mean, you're always cracking a good joke. I never know what's going to come out of your mouth.

Speaker 3:

You know, I sometimes people. I say, why do you always say such crazy stuff? And I said, well, Mr Rogers always told me to live in the world of make believe.

Speaker 4:

I've just never left.

Speaker 3:

You know, it's amazing the things that you can tell people like. I mean I'm sure everyone prayer remembers having a funny uncle or grandma, aunt, neighbor growing up. That just fascinated you how funny they were and you laugh and they say a lot of. It is deflecting your own personal shit, making people laugh and I found that to also be a thing growing up that I would become funny when I was being made fun of and then really throw them off. But you really do discover the humor. The other day I shaved a girl's head and I was cutting her hair and came time to she was going bald, just 28, 29 and very bad cancer at the sarcoma, the breast whole family was there.

Speaker 3:

It was it was actually a beautiful gathering and said do you want to watch? She's like I'm not sure. And so she just said whatever, so she's sitting there and everyone's kind of watching. And I said well, I said do you, did you ever know that I got divorced? She's like yeah, I always want to happen. I said yeah, one day, like one of my clients was like do you know that? Like your husband's been having sex in your house and stuff, and I was like what? And the whole family was like I said there's like I'm so sorry. I said I'm upset, I wasn't invited, but it was.

Speaker 3:

it was funny, though, and like it threw her off and threw off in the moment and I just think that that to make people smile or laugh and laugh about the shit that you've gone through.

Speaker 3:

Tell people about it, they're like holy shit, like you know what I mean. It is funny, it is comical. I mean I've discovered that laughter is the best policy. When my dad was dying of cancer, he loved to laugh about it instead of cry about it. So the one day we walked into his room and Stephen was walking in with me and God bless this young man. He came every day to visit my dying father.

Speaker 4:

And we walked in. I said, well, dad, he was my partner. I got divorced from.

Speaker 3:

And you sleep with him.

Speaker 1:

No okay, no, no, no, no no.

Speaker 3:

But I said Dad, you're never gonna believe this. Steven has like a football pole. It's a pole of what day you're gonna die he goes what. And he was like Steven's, like what, but my dad loved that crazy odd-ass shit, you know, but it does like when people come in and say what's new, what's going on, I have to tell the same story 17, 18, 20 times a day. So I always like to add a few extras in there.

Speaker 1:

Now, do you get your humor from your dad? Definitely, sounds like it, definitely.

Speaker 3:

He used to walk up to people at the grocery store and say, excuse me, where's Anita Drive? I don't know, sir, make her right out of the parking lot. You're gonna go two streets down on Denny and then a right on Anita. It's right there. And they'd say, oh, okay, he's like all right, bye, and I just walk away and I'll be like so I mean, obviously I learned that at a young age, you know I was like why did you do that?

Speaker 1:

Like wait, I actually didn't get the joke.

Speaker 3:

He's gonna need to have another cocktail. Oh, you're in dry January, huh, I am.

Speaker 1:

I'm sorry, and I'm not even trying to call it. I probably just did. I was just so distracted with your you know, physique beauty, handsomeness.

Speaker 4:

Get the hell out of here.

Speaker 1:

So tell me what I really do want to understand this, Anita Drive.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, no, he would walk up to a random person and just be like do you know where Anita Drive is? Like no, he'd be like, okay, well, you're just gonna make her right out of here, make a left on the next street and Anita Drive's right there. So now you know. And they'd be like, oh, okay.

Speaker 4:

Do you get it? Yeah, I do, does it I?

Speaker 1:

do. Okay, that was good, I think I just I really was distracted. The ADD kicked in.

Speaker 3:

Oh no, I just got a fresh haircut.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's what it is, that's the fresh haircut. But I do have to ask you because this is something I struggle with, especially coming back to Pittsburgh, even though we've revitalized and we've gotten much more liberal in certain ways, you know as like a bisexual male or gay if you want to call it because I've been in two relationships with men in the past, but I do identify as bisexual, had a couple flings with women after the last relationship. So in some ways, like I struggle with like being myself, because you know there's certain people that kind of view you as like oh, you dated, you know, emily and Allison and Kelly, and now all of a sudden you're dating Brian and then Mish, and it's like they can't really understand like they're like were you lying to us the whole time? Were you not being your true, authentic self? And I really don't know who? My true, authentic?

Speaker 3:

self is. I would say then what the fuck do you think? I know you were lying. My answer to that for me is, since you want to know the answer.

Speaker 2:

Right, you weren't lying you dated me. Yeah, I know you weren't lying.

Speaker 3:

She's foolish, she likes foolish.

Speaker 1:

And like, and then you even get like my gay friends from New York and LA. They're like, oh, you're just not comfortable coming out fully and I said, well, I'll be for all intents and purposes, I will identify as gay if that makes you happy. But you know, when you really dig deep and you're just trying to like, be yourself, like I just admire you, who are like hey, this is who I am Like I almost want to be loud and proud and be like you either like me or don't and like we're going to establish the awkwardness and I'm just like, I'm trying to kind of everyone is so so, so caught up on what is your label.

Speaker 4:

What is what?

Speaker 3:

is exactly what you are, and I don't think anyone totally knows that. That answer. Right, I really don't, and I mean I think we're, I mean you think you're not maybe attracted to certain type. Then you look at a certain type and you're like why am I looking at this? So I mean, what, who cares? I think there's just so much focused on that. Just you're feeling it, go with it.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 3:

Right, You're not, don't go with it and just be. You know, be in the moment of it. Yeah, I think it comes with me you look at all the people that are all like you need you're not fully out and you look at maybe their five or 10 year relationship. Holding the pumpkin at Sorgals together with the Starbucks cups in their perfect little life. Exactly, and we've been in that perfect little picture of a four. It's usually not so perfect, so maybe what they're identifying for you.

Speaker 3:

This is what you're supposed to be. It's like I. I don't feel that, I feel outside of maybe, that that script that we're always told to follow Right. Love who the hell you on.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and you don't feel like Pittsburgh, pennsylvania or, as some people refer to it, pencil tucky is on who the hell's saying that. They're just people in like the big city. It does sound a little sexy right, but they're they're thinking like Pennsylvania is conservative and Pittsburgh is conservative and it's not as accepting as like New York, LA, San Francisco, Chicago.

Speaker 3:

You know what's so fascinating about these areas? And we all look at like God bless, I'm not judging anyone but so many people like 70 age, 60, 70 that like you look at, you know in your heart they're probably gay, They've probably lived their whole life being someone. They're not in this relationship. That just let's be real, you know visually to me. I just you know. So it's like I do. I think this is like a big bigoted area and shit no. I don't focus on anything. I don't do that crap.

Speaker 4:

No, I really don't.

Speaker 3:

If there's like five people like, hey, I love you, I'm like cool, let's focus on yeah, it is amazing. One asshole that says something throws you off and it's like. It's like you know what Fuck him. He probably wants this ass. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Or those tits or that cock. You know, uh huh, fuck you. And thank you for your input. You know, and it's don't fucking put a dent, my damn Mercedes bastard. And you know, I really do feel the people that are really casting out are the ones that really we've made it a lot further in the journey of self-discovery of who we are. I really feel those people are so like give me a fucking break. You pull all that bullshit, her, her, her off. That is an act. There you go. Life is an act, yeah.

Speaker 3:

Those are some of our best actors.

Speaker 1:

That's true.

Speaker 3:

That it is such an act of ridiculousness. I mean, it's like my, my, my straight buddy that he gets made fun of by these guys and I'll look at their life.

Speaker 4:

Oh, Josh.

Speaker 3:

I wanted him for hanging out with me calling him gay and shit and I'm like I look at that, I think you're jealous of this kid.

Speaker 1:

Exactly.

Speaker 3:

He's younger, he's more attractive, he's hardworking, he's going for it in life, he's friends with a gay person. So what Right? He's throwing events, raising money for people and shit. What the hell are you doing? Oh yeah, nothing. So shut up.

Speaker 1:

Exactly.

Speaker 4:

He reminds.

Speaker 1:

cheers to Josh Crow. I met him what was it? At brunch the other day, and he just is such an inspiring guy, from heart transplant to firefighter to like, and then he was just so comfortable in his own skin around us, Courage Little.

Speaker 3:

Queens Courage, yeah, it's courage. It's courage to be friends with people that people are going to judge you for being friends with. Yes, and he lives his life in a way, and he opens up to me about his reality of living or dying with his situation. What the expectancy is of people with transplant.

Speaker 4:

Sadly.

Speaker 3:

Morgan Yone's now gone. She died in 23.

Speaker 4:

I'm sorry, that was a hard hit.

Speaker 3:

She's here, though. She's here. You know she is, she is, but like it is. It is wild when you see those people that know that maybe their timeline is a little shorter. They're living it oh yeah, there are some people like Josh that are living it, even when he's probably not telling you that he's tired of shit From all those meds they're on and crap. Of course they're still living it. And like to me I'm like every day I roll. I'm like fuck, I gotta get up. I'm like I'm good, yeah, let's do this.

Speaker 3:

Let's make something of the damn day.

Speaker 1:

So let me ask you this what is your next venture? Another property? Is it going to be another business? I feel like we need to get you on the podcast regularly. You're bringing us like through the roof and energy.

Speaker 2:

You're brilliant.

Speaker 3:

Oh, I love you.

Speaker 1:

And we're not being bullshitters. You know we're still Pittsburghers, We'll be, real.

Speaker 3:

Thank you. Well, with my studio, I've discovered quite a number of individuals, young in their careers, now joining us, three over this past year that have all trained through our nine months. That are now entering the floor, and I've hired three more. Oh wow. So we're starting to train a lot of people there, and I'm discovering that possibly we should start, maybe a little skull.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 3:

And I'm sure that we can train people, because we have created so many careers at that salon and it is hard. Through the years you grow people, you grow them a big book and then like I'm leaving and it's like I thought you would all be there at my 75th anniversary clapping. You know, and it's hard because you see them out in public, it's like, oh, and you know it's a business thing, you need to separate it and go your way. Go your way. I wish you well.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

And be kind through the process, but it's a business thing. You need to focus on your, your next route. So with my business, definitely growing out the real estate, growing it, relationships, still people shopping.

Speaker 1:

Oh sounds exciting, People shopping is fun.

Speaker 3:

You need to shop a person for at least one year. One right for anyone's moving shit in. Maybe leave a jockstrap, a toothbrush, a douche bottle, a jock wait, that's it Kelly.

Speaker 1:

do you know what that is?

Speaker 2:

I don't need to know, it's fine, but yeah, um, I think you know.

Speaker 3:

Every year I do step into my year with a mindset of where I'm heading. Yeah, and I ask everyone when I do their hair. I said what's your 2024? Either word, mantra, reason to get out of bed, what? I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. Everyone says it. I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know. I've really learned a lot about people taking care of so many people a day. I take care of 12 to 20 people in one day and I talk to them. I do connect with people. That's why I'm busy. Some people don't like that. It's cool. I connect and you learn a lot about people who doesn't like that.

Speaker 1:

What kind of individual?

Speaker 3:

Very, very, very, very introverted Maybe or maybe one that didn't have someone that knew how to speak to someone that's more introverted that you can't open up. And I discovered that with some of the people that have come into my salon that I would have visually looked at and thought, oh, this is going to be awful. And I had the most deep conversation the point I had tears in my eyes with someone that I normally probably would not have talked to. It was pretty cool.

Speaker 2:

That's incredible.

Speaker 3:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, we're running out of time.

Speaker 1:

Oh shit Dan you're brilliant.

Speaker 2:

You're not only smart, but you are funny. You're the whole package, honey.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for being so kind and having me here and just starting your dream. I mean again two more people here that are they're going for it in 24. And this young man is coming back from a hardship right now. So send him love. He is, give me it, thank you. And his sweet brother was with him the other day and I'm proud of you. I'm proud of you, I love you Best sound and video ever and all of you for watching or making it to the end of this. Thank you for believing in them.

Speaker 1:

Kelly, thank you so much for inviting Dan into the studio today. Dan, thank you so much for joining us. I know you had a long commute and we just appreciate you Took the helicopter baby.

Speaker 1:

Oh, wow, what is a fancy one, okay, all right. Well, you guys will see Dan at Studio Raw Elite and you need to book it with him, because he is the best of the best, but his team is really incredible as well. I look forward to getting my locks a little faded, trimmed all the the whole nine yards, and then Kelly will actually be there in two weeks to get her highlights re-hashed out. Okay, okay, cheers, cheers, thanks, dan.

Speaker 3:

Will you listen to Mocktails or Messy with Kelly and Ryan, which will be Mocktail and which will be Messy? Stay tuned.

Speaker 1:

Damn. That was good If you could listen to Spotify, Google podcast, Apple and Buzzsproutcom.

Importance of Navigating Mocktails and Cocktails
Hair Salon's Evolution and Personal Journey
Exploring Relationships and Personal Growth
Financial Advice and TV Show Discussion
Conversations About Love, Humor, and Identity
Living Life With Courage and Purpose
Dan's Hair Styling Appreciation and Plans