Praise be for podcasts during isolation – they make us feel like we’re hanging with interesting friends that keep our minds active (in between snacking fits). Our newest obsession is the What Do You Believe podcast — equal parts practical knowledge and inspiration, that brings together guests from multidisciplinary fields (think wellness, astrology, event production, actors, and so on), who are also dedicated to being of service through their activism. We spoke with its creators, Andréa Marcucci, a former advertising exec and agent who worked as Head of Sales at Ridley Scott and Associates in New York and London and is now certified transformational life coach through CFT, and Francesca Vuillemin, a brand partnership strategist who has produced everything from award shows to magazine events to global commercial shoots, to get the inside scoop on their newest project
Tell us about What Do You Believe. What was the “aha moment” for launching the platform?
Andréa Marcucci: During my coaching certification program two years ago, my father passed away of stage-four pancreatic cancer. It was a tough few years of him being very sick and many moments of asking myself, “What am I doing with my life?” At that time I had a startup and the grind of it all made me feel more detached from the reality of watching someone I love suffer so much. I had a “calling” to become a coach (long story). My dad passed away during the program and I had a spiritual experience (even longer story) and it was clear the time had come to change my direction. My desire and intention was to put meaningful conversations online and to be of service in some way to a broader audience.
Andréa you’ve had an inspiring career path and transformation in film and production. How did that set you up for today?
Andréa Marcucci: I loved that business, it fed me for a long time! I loved working with so many incredible filmmakers, artists and creatives and the ingenuity that they bring to each project. So much work and effort goes into commercials and ads. People work really long days and sometimes it feels as though it will never be done in time, but it does – all because of teamwork. I was super lucky to witness and be a part of the business on such a high level. I think the respect of the artist is something that I took with me and the guests that I interview are now the artists, and we are creating and crafting a conversation, which is its own piece of art. Our life is our greatest masterpiece, why not share it?
Francesca, we first met at our event with BCBG and fell in love with all you do (you’re a model, strategist, energy reader, unicorn, you name it) — what do you love about the podcast space?
Francesca Vuillemin: I feel like when we met it was like one of those cartoons with rainbows and sparkles popping out of speech bubbles! I fell in love with the podcast space 6 years ago after I listened to a TED Talk series on “Overcoming Challenges.” Also, as a multitasker, I LOVE that you can be shaving your legs or doing laundry and simultaneously learning or experiencing an epiphany — that is AMAZING!
How did the two of you meet?
Francesca Vuillemin: We instantly recognized each other as being from the same soul tribe and it was very much a fated meeting. A mutual friend had invited me to Andréa’s place to attend an 8-hour meditation that helped me through one of the toughest times of my life. When the opportunity presented for Andréa and I to finally meet, I thanked her for literally changing my life.
Andréa Marcucci: When I met Francesca it was an instant draw and I knew we would not only be friends but work together one day. It took the pandemic for it to happen, she’s the silver lining in all of this!
How do you identify a good podcast guest?
Francesca Vuillemin: During our virtual brainstorm meetings that usually involve white chocolate and Yerba mate, names will come up and the moment we both get the chills, we reach out to the guest. The chills or truth bumps are our barometer that we use to gauge whether or not we are headed in the right direction.
What’s the most interesting answer you’ve heard so far in response to your opening question “What do you believe?”
Andréa Marcucci: I love this question so much because each response is a look into that person’s soul, what makes them tick and get out of bed in the morning. I love each guests’s insight but off the top of my head, Lilian Ore’s (speaker, educator, GCW founder) response of having a spiritual belief system to get you through the toughest of days was a favorite – we are experiencing a lot of tough days right now! I also love when our guests talk about how we are all a connected, collective energy. And that we are at our strongest together, as a whole.
Who are your dream guests and why?
Francesca Vuillemin: Yuval Noah Harari (author of Sapiens, Homo Deus, and most recently 21 Lessons for the 21st century). At the end of each book or article, I feel even more inspired to be of service in the philanthropic space and create social impact.
Andréa Marcucci: He’s seen it all, so who better to ask than Mick Jagger! Greta Thunberg for inspiring many generations as a young woman in an old soul. And my 86 year old mother for her wisdom…although we disagree politically as a society we often don’t hear the elderly’s POV.
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8. What should listeners be excited for coming up?
Andréa Marcucci: We are excited to release the episode about how to lead with your heart during these stressful days, a humanitarian point of view and how news outlets are reporting the facts during this time of interconnectivity.
What Instagram accounts or podcasts are you obsessed with?
Francesca Vuillemin: @goatsofanarchy and @BOF
Andréa Marcucci: NPR News Now, TED, a new podcast called Rabbit Hole by the NY Times, @jayshetty, @adamgrant, @flatironpilates and any IG account that teaches me how to do difficult yoga poses and stand on my head.
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