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in the

Illuminating Creativity in Crisis



In The PODLIGHT is a podcast that explores the post-pandemic landscape of the entertainment industry.


We aim to engage in captivating conversations surrounding the challenges faced by creatives today, including issues related to representation, artificial intelligence, union strikes, streaming platforms, and the ever-evolving economics of entertainment.

With a combined 40 years of experience in film, television, theatre, Grant Kretchick and Caroline Liem's unique vantage point as educators and industry professionals, both in front of and behind the camera, enables them to curate a thought-provoking compendium of insights from influential figures within the entertainment industry. In a post-pandemic era, they delve deep into the current state of entertainment, offering valuable perspectives, exploring the profound impacts of the ongoing social justice movement, shedding light on how these transformative changes are shaping the industry's future. Join them on this enlightening journey In The PODLIGHT.


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Grant Kretchick

Producer | Host

GRANT KRETCHIK is an Associate Professor in The School Of Performing Arts at Pace University where he created and heads the school’s BFA Acting program. He has also served as Associate Director and Executive Director of the School. Kretchik has appeared Off-Broadway as well as in film and television. His projects have premiered in festivals around the world including Cannes, Austin, Mumbai, Santa Fe, Boston LGBT, Honolulu, London. His latest project, America, which he executive produced, has been seen at Rosebud, Julien Dubuque and Women’s International Film and Arts Festival, Glendale Film Festival, Awareness Festival, Sapporo Film Festival (Japan) and The Moving Image where it received nominations as Best Narrative Short and Best Editing. Kretchik assisted director Michael Grief on the first national tour of Next to Normal. Other directing credits include: The Parade at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival; Scottish Spermat the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (world premier), Zoofest and Just for Laughs in Montreal, Canada. Kretchik has worked as both director and an actor at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. As an actor, he has appeared Off-Broadway in The Servant of Two Masters, Einstein, I Knock at the Door andPictures in the Hallway. Film/TV: Law & Order, Guiding Light, As The World Turns, Broken, Man on the Moon, and When Harry Tries to Marry. Kretchik is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Kretchik is a contributing expert for Backstage magazine and has contributed chapters and interviews to: The Ultimate Musical Theater College Audition Guide: Advice from the People Who Make the Decisions (Oxford University Press), Acting for the Screen: Moving Towards a Career (Taylor &Francis/ Routledge Press), Reframing Acting in the Digital Age: Nimbly Scaling Actor Training in the Academy (Taylor & Francis Group, Informa UK Limited Press). Grant Kretchik holds a MFA in Acting from The New School University.

Caroline Liem

Producer | Host

Whether casting for green screen adventures, voiceover for animation or award winning and nominated feature and television, the excitement found in collaboration, raising underrepresented voices, and creating the perfect ensemble of artists continues to challenge in the most delightful way. Based in Los Angeles, CAROLINE LIEM has brought her considerable training and talent to numerous studios and networks including Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Sony, Warner Bros, Netflix, Nick Jr, ABC, CBS, NBC, The CW and Fox. Before there was American Horror Story, there was Popular, the first show Caroline cast with producer Ryan Murphy. Following this experience, Caroline worked with a myriad of prominent producers and directors, including Lauren Shuler Donner (X-Men franchise), David S. Goyer (Blade trilogy), John Ridley (12 Years A Slave) and Jon Turteltaub (Disney’s The Kid). Collaborating with Walt Disney’s casting department, Caroline worked on Gone in Sixty Seconds, Pearl Harbor, and Gangs of New York. Earlier in her career, Caroline cast the multiple award-winning late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! Later, she added video games including Assassin’s Creed III and Far Cry to her varied and eclectic work. Additional credits include X-Men 2, Blade Trinity and Rust Creek. Having a diverse and rich background as a musician, singer, actor and casting director has provided a firm foundation and distinct network of professionals in both film and television. Caroline served as Vice President of Casting Society, as well as Vice President of Advocacy, leaning in to shine a light and elevate global voices on both sides of the camera. Look for her latest casting collaboration, the teen comedy I Woke Up A Vampire on the Family Channel. And she is currently producing a film, a love letter to the rom-com. She is the co-creator of the Pace University’s LA Intensive and has shared her expertise in navigating the industry and the audition process as faculty with several of Pace’s performing arts BFA and BA programs including the Acting, Dance, Film, International Performance Ensemble, and Musical Theatre programs. When she’s not meeting and working with terrific talented artists, you’ll find Caroline tending to her bamboo garden, eating vegan Indonesian food, and meditating with her favorite Tortie, Flake. She holds an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a BA from UCLA.

CRIS GRAVES is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker who has worked across platforms from film to television to online content and Podcasts. Her work has spanned the globe as a producer/director, filming in some of the harshest and most remote areas on our planet. Cris’ credits include The Amazing Race, Whale Wars, and Living Undocumented. Lately, she’s worked in the true crime space on both television and podcast platforms. Cris is also an award-winning narrative filmmaker, and her projects have screened in various film festivals including the Cannes Film Festival, Oaxaca Film Festival, and Hamilton Film Festival to name a few. Her feature film script Alone Girl was a semi-finalist in three categories of the Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition 2019 as well as earning a spot on The Bitch List 2020 and was in the top 10% of the 2020 Nicholl Fellowship. Also in 2020, Cris was chosen as one of 25 screenwriters to watch by the Austin Film Festival. She has also launched her own podcast called Blissful Spinster to document her journey as she gets her first feature film made. Blissful Spinster is small but mighty holding a top 10% globally rank on Listen Notes. On a more personal note, Cris is the youngest of six and a proud Gen-Xer who was born in 1970, in New Hampshire but soon found herself being moved to Mexico City, Mexico at the tender age of one, where she lived until she was almost 19. This makes Cris, what some term a “third culture kid”… it also means she never quite feels like she fits in… no matter where she is, Cris is a perpetual fish out of water, and she loves it. It means she is in a constant state of learning and curiosity…and that is a beautiful place to be. Now that she is of a certain age, Cris has turned her curiosity inward, and she is writing scripts to direct that explore how, she, a single woman in her 50s (with cats!) fits in the world made to disregard her place in society… don’t worry she makes comedies! Even more about Cris at

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Cris Graves

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