Making The Most of The Time We Have

Join author, educator, and learner, Annmarie Kelly as she laughs, cries, and kvetches with the writers, musicians, entrepreneurs, and wanderers who inspire all of us to reach beyond our divisions and discover what it means to be wild, precious, and brave.

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We Are All We Need with Bodhi Calagna and Wilson Rodriguez

Bodhi Calagana and Wilson Rodriguez have something in common: a love of sound. Specifically EDM or Electronic Dance Music. In this episode, Bodhi, Wilson, and Annmarie discuss finding acceptance, healing, and refuge in the EDM community.


Episode Sponsors:

Shelter in Place – All of us long for joy, rest, beauty, and belonging—but finding them isn’t always simple or easy. Shelter in Place is an award-winning narrative nonfiction podcast blending open-hearted personal essays and intimate interviews. With musicians' ears, writers' pens, and voices that invite you in, we examine life's timely events and timeless questions. Join us as we search for home in season three: escaping not out of life, but into it.

The songs that Annmarie, Bodhi, and Wilson listen to in the episode:

Above & Beyond Acoustic – "We're All We Need"

Bodhi Calagna – “Never Know”


A Sample of the Artists and Titles Discussed in This Episode:

New Kids on the Block – “Tonight”

Tiffany – “I Think We’re Alone Now”

Black Box – “Ride on Time”

Guns ‘N Roses – “Sweet Child O’ Mine”

Tiesto – remix of “Silence” by Sarah McLachlan

Inward, by Young Pueblo

Atlas of the Heart and Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

Glimpses of Dirty Dancing, Spice World, and The Devil Wears Prada



Follow Wilson Rodriguez:

Facebook: @Wilson Andres Rodriguez and @Anjunabreathe

Instagram: @wilson_andres



Follow Bodhi:

Twitter: @Calagna_Music

Instagram: @calgna_music and @remixyourworld

Facebook: @Bodhi Calagna

Spotify: @CALAGNA

SoundCloud: @CALAGNA

www.remixyourworld.com

Annmarie Kelly:
Wild Precious Life is brought to you by Shelter in Place, a podcast about reimagining life through creativity and community. Is there a word for a friend you've never met? An online soul sister, a kindred spirit. No matter the words I use to describe her, Laura Joyce Davis feels like a friend. Each week on her podcast, Laura shares stories that make me feel like I'm sitting around the coffee table or laughing with my best people. One listener described Shelter in Place as a warm hug. Others have called it binge worthy and wonderfilled, like catching up with an old friend. So if you are longing for joy, rest, or beauty, if you are looking for a show that helps us not to escape out of life, but into it, check out Shelter in Place wherever you get your podcasts.

Annmarie Kelly:
There's something kind of important that I don't think I've ever shared with you guys. I was in my high school show choir. We were called the Encore Entertainment Company, and we sang Broadway tunes and holiday songs and we danced, and generally brought the house down at Rotary club meetings and an assortment of Midwestern high schools. We even won the SeaWorld Show Choir Invitational in the early '90s. I remember because I got to accept the trophy with a big whale on top. I share all of this as background for today's conversation with two EDM aficionados. Before my conversation with Wilson Rodriguez and Bodhi Calagna, I had to look up what EDM stood for. If there are any other show choir kids in the house, it's electronic dance music. As I've mentioned in past episodes, I'm on a bit of a crusade here at Wild Precious Life to talk with folks whose stories are different from mine.

Annmarie Kelly:
We continue that today as we speak across age and time and music genres and connect about the many, many ways in which sound can be a source of strength, healing, and acceptance. So let me tell you about our guests. Wilson Rodriguez is the leader of Anjunabreathe, an online community dedicated to mindfulness and connection among EDM listeners. Wilson is also a social justice advocate and activist who uses his own experiences as an undocumented queer person of color dedicated to creating true safe rave spaces for everyone. Bodhi Calagna is a DJ and music producer and head of Remix Your World, an online coaching portal developed to empower others to achieve their vision and navigate difficult life transitions, whether they are remixing pop and underground artists or headlining major dance festivals worldwide, Bodhi's dance floor is where faith and fable and gods and goddess's meet in a new truthology of sound. Wilson Rodriguez and Bodhi Calagna, welcome to Wild Precious Life.

Bodhi Calagna:
Hi.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Hi, thank you for having us.

Annmarie Kelly:
I'm delighted that you guys are here. So before we get totally started, I need to make a bit of a confession. I am not music cool. I mean, truthfully, the last time I've ever been considered cool was probably sometime in the mid 1980s when I had huge spiral perm and blue eyeshadow. And I pegged my jeans and I looked... I mean, there was a coolness about me, but in terms of music, I'm just not great at music. My first concert was Jimmy Buffett. I saw New Kids on the Block and Tiffany at the County Fair. And I've seen Indigo Girls. What I love, I love music, like Big M music, whether it's cool or not.

Annmarie Kelly:
I just love the way music makes me feel. And I love any opportunity to talk with creative people about their creative journeys and their creative process. So it doesn't really matter to me if you're baking a cake or sewing a dress or creating music, I am interested in the way it works and how the spirit moves you, how you lose track of yourself in space and time and the way that art heals. And I hope it's okay. Does that work for you guys?

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yeah, absolutely.

Bodhi Calagna:
Absolutely. Yeah.

Wilson Rodriguez:
That's exactly how it works for me.

Annmarie Kelly:
Excellent.

Bodhi Calagna:
Absolutely.

Annmarie Kelly:
I just needed to get that New Kids on the Block out there, because I didn't want it to stand in the way.

Bodhi Calagna:
Full Disclosure was my first concert too.

Annmarie Kelly:
Stop it. Donny, Danny, George, and Jordan?

Bodhi Calagna:
Joe was my man. He was my boy.

Annmarie Kelly:
Love it. I mean, I was team Jordan in the beginning and then team Danny as I got older, but I mean, Joey, we all want to be Joey's girl. I love it. Okay. So here on this show, we always start with a version of the same question. I mean, listeners already know who I am, so I want to be quiet and I want to hear the long and winding or the bullet pointed list of you. So Wilson, let's start with you. What is the story of you?

Wilson Rodriguez:
So I am originally from Mexico. I moved to Dallas at the age of 15. And when I came here to high school, I realized that... Well, I didn't realize. I had the self-acceptance that I was gay. And I realized how much easier was to be out in Texas or Dallas versus where I'm from, which is really conservative. Because of this, I decided to make the decision to stay the country at the age of 15 undocumented. That later on plays a part on my story. I mean, it still does. So being here in Texas and coming out to my parents at the age of 18, I got sent to conversion therapy. Through my 20s was a basically don't ask, don't tell policy at home. During my childhood in Mexico, I had several traumas which include bullying, sexual trauma as well. And music has always been an important part of my healing journey.

Wilson Rodriguez:
My cousin, when I was in fifth grade, gave me my first electronic CD with a compilation of Paul Oakenfold and I think Paul van Dyk was in it and Tiësto, and all the really classic trance anthems of end of the '90s, beginning of the 2000s. When I moved to Texas, I ended up joining what was like underground clubs for EDM music, as well as pop music, played such a crucial part during my 20s and just to take refuge and what was going on at home. Also, I was going to college. I was president of Onus International of the chapter at my university. So I've always been an advocate and an activist. Later on in my 30s, that's when I had my major rock bottom because of the way that we are taught to deal with trauma, which is to put on a brave face and shove your feelings way down.

Wilson Rodriguez:
It came hitting me in the form... Or it manifested itself with meth substance abuse and a series of toxic relationships. And then I don't know how I just gained the self-awareness. And I think through all of this time, I've been part of the rave community. And I've been going to festivals and that's kind of what kept me alive and what gave a lot of light to the darkest moments of my life. So as soon as I realized that, I packed a few belongs that I had and I moved to New York City. In New York, I had an array of free resources from Buddhist classes to recovery programs. I really dived in in studying how the mind works and trauma and how we react to our surroundings and our subconscious. And start getting the self-awareness that I needed in order to inquire within and question myself why without judgment of that nature. So I knew that it was up to me to take the reins of my life and really change.

Wilson Rodriguez:
And that's when I really dived in into the rave culture. I've gone to a lot of festivals and I had somewhat of a rave family, but having that self-awareness within the community allowed me to really curate my friendships that are the best relationships that I've had to today. They're the healthiest and they have been an absolute part of my self-discovery and healing journey. So then I joined a community in New York called New York Anjunafamily. And within them, I found a beautiful community that has supported me nonstop. In 2019, I realized that people were looking for deeper connection within the Anjunafamily community, more mindfulness, events, and meetups. So I started this Facebook group called Anjunabreathe, which slowly actually rapidly developed into an international community for the Anjunafamily and other ravers.

Wilson Rodriguez:
And what that has transformed itself is into a community of teaching ravers this emotional language in order to name the feelings that are right with music and these events. So it's almost like going beyond the healing of music, but also allowing them to support each other and being vulnerable while sharing what's going on with them and creating a sense of deeper community. So then now I'm starting a new project called Safe Rave Space, which includes a podcast, to highlight people and members of the community and non members of the community and share their leadership stories as well as give a voice to uplift members of the community through equity and diversity, inclusivity, and representation.

Annmarie Kelly:
Bodhi, will you tell us your story? Tell us the story of Bodhi.

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah. Wow. So I grew up in Dubai. So I was born in Louisiana, but moved to Dubai in the first grade and that's kind of where my everything really kind of begins for me. That's where the first points of really starting to fall in love with music, dealing with being an American in the Middle East, dealing with not understanding who I was in terms of gender in a country that highly is against all of those things was kind of where the beginning of me trying to discover and uncover who I was. I definitely had a lot of sexual trauma there as well, but at the same time, it was the place where I really found music to be my savior also. So it's this place where a lot of pain was caused, but I was able to channel it into music.

Bodhi Calagna:
Music is my medicine. It has always been my medicine. And from a young age, from that age, then I knew that music was what I wanted to do. We didn't get a lot of music overseas. We got Casey Kasem come to town every Sunday and that's all we had through American culture. So I would just throw myself in front of that jam box and listen to that every week. And that was the moment when I kind of realized, wow, I want to be a DJ. I was so excited about how he would introduce music and talk about music and share stories about music and count down. And it was just my first kind of like, whoa, I want to kind of do this. And eventually, I started making mix tapes and making my own little DJ things, but it wasn't until later that I found club music once we left Dubai. But I left Dubai in around seventh grade, and that was when I really started to kind of understand who I was sexually, which was different than who I was in gender.

Bodhi Calagna:
And so I realized, wow, I'm gay, I like women. This also is not allowed here, but I don't feel like I am a girl. It was just complete confusion all the way around. So we left Dubai and moved to Aberdeen, Scotland, and that's when I really started to realize, wow, yeah, I'm definitely gay. And so by that, I then just closeted the gender issues that I was facing. I just figured, oh, well, this is it. I'm gay, and so this must mean this this whole time. So how I've been feeling repressed in my gender is really nothing, right? I'm just gay. And so I kind of just squashed and closeted my transness even more. And just going into Scotland, which had much more of a UK influence in music, that's where I found club music. It's actually a funny story. I was in a lip sync contest in seventh grade and I did Guns N' Roses' Sweet Child O' Mine. And it was with the whole school and I won. Yeah.

Bodhi Calagna:
But in that competition, someone did Black Box, Ride on Time. And that was the first time I heard house music. And I just remember watching them on the stage and hearing the sound, these big pianos, these big diva, black vocals on top of this pulsating just house rhythm. And I didn't even know how to handle myself. I was just like, "What the fuck is this music?" And that was when everything shifted for me. I immediately made my mom take me straight to HMV or whatever it was called and find that music and just started buying house music over there. I loved it. And unfortunately, we left Scotland and went back to Louisiana, which was a pretty big shift for me. And so depression really, really, really started to hit in even more, because I was already dealing with my gender and my sexuality, and then just being ripped from a culture where I really started to kind of fit in, which was in Scotland.

Bodhi Calagna:
And so it just kept going more and more into music for me, but I can remember going into school in Louisiana and asking my friends, "Where can I buy house music?" And they're like, "What the heck is that? Is that music you listen to at your house?" And I was like, "No, where is this?" So it definitely became pretty hard at that moment, but in the grand scheme, then I found hip hop because we weren't really having whole lot of that and became a dancer. And dancing became kind of my refuge with the music. And I became a resident break dancer for teen clubs in Louisiana. And eventually, becoming that dancer and getting to know all of those DJs, I eventually had the courage. I was like, "Well, I want to go from dance floor to DJ booth." It just felt like a natural progression for me. That love of DJing from Casey Kasem mix tape days.

Bodhi Calagna:
And so I became a DJ at 16. I started, I had a great amount of mentors and just kept honing my craft as much as I possibly could, throwing everything I could into it. It was everything I wanted to do. I wasn't great in school. It was very hard for me. I left school and I got my GED and I was like, "This is what I want to do. I feel like this is my safe space." It was great to have teen clubs as a kid because it gave me the access to what club culture kind of felt like. There was no alcohol at the time. These were all epic clubs that would lose their liquor license and then they would just turn them into teen clubs and you would get everything that you needed. And so I just threw myself in the club culture. And then finally, I had the courage to come out. It was underground raves that I was going to, and just the inclusivity that Wilson speaks about, that [inaudible 00:17:37] culture was what kind of really brought everything to me of like, wow, there's something here.

Bodhi Calagna:
And it felt okay to kind of be queer and then finding other bars and finding myself through that. And eventually just landing my first residency and just kept going and going. But eventually I had to leave Louisiana. There came a point where if I was going to really take this seriously, I couldn't just stay in Louisiana. I had to go somewhere where there was more of a club culture. And so I left and I went Miami and did everything I could to break into that. I got in on the radio, won a DJ competition, became a radio mixer and just kept growing my career as best as I could. And eventually, it just kind of took off after years of points. I'll save you from all the little details, but eventually it took off and I became quite known and started traveling and playing all over the country and all over the world. And in that, there was a lot of happiness, but there was also a lot of darkness still.

Bodhi Calagna:
And part of that darkness was my gender, still really struggling with who I knew that I was inside and not resonating with female. And it just kept growing and growing. And the bigger the gigs got, the more in a box I also kind of got put into like the circuit scene. And musically, it kept getting smaller and smaller. And I kept feeling like I was just getting just crushed and caved in not only emotionally, but musically. I felt that. And I hit a pretty bad rock bottom. And it was to the point where I was going to end my life. And I knew that I had to really make a change or it was just going to keep getting worse and get darker and darker. And so I ended up packing everything up and moving out here to Colorado to kind of seek help and know that I was going to find the care that I needed, the therapists, whatever. I just trusted.

Bodhi Calagna:
I kept hearing, "Go to Colorado," in my meditation over and over again. And by that time I had already begun my own personal spiritual journey that started when I started DJing, actually. It was kind of simultaneously, but there was healing work that still hadn't been done from my sexual abuse, from my gender. It had to get resolved or I was going to end it. And through that transformation, there was a moment after a gig that was really the worst point that I can remember. Standing at a gig and playing at like 8:00 in the morning, packed circuit party and feeling so empty inside, just staring out at the audience and the lasers. And here I am on stage supposed to be this person that's giving all this energy to this room and just feeling so empty inside. Couldn't even find the space within to play the next record.

Bodhi Calagna:
I was just on autopilot. And I just kept hearing myself saying, "I can't do this anymore." And I went back to the hotel room and that's when the download came of, I'm either going to remix my life or I'm going to take it. And I had to make a really big change. So out of that moment is where Remix Your World, which is my private practice, grew from. And so from years of studying and healing and doing my own thing, 10 plus years later now, I'm a hypnotherapist, life coach, psychedelic guide, and I've transformed my darkness into light. And now I get to help others do the same. And I still make music from a much better place. And two years I'm celebrating coming out as trans, finally. Finally, I had the courage to do that and I've been just loving life as much as possible right now. It feels really good.

Annmarie Kelly:
For both of you, you both talked about trauma and you both used the word refuge for the music and the music scene that you found. So I'm wondering if you can take us to what that looked like and felt like. So, Wilson, you were moving through trauma and using music as kind of life raft. Can you remember a time in your earlier life when the music was a form of healing that you were holding onto?

Wilson Rodriguez:
What really started the healing was relating to more emotional music. I was able to gravitate towards Alana Morrison and Sarah McLachlan. And through Sarah McLachlan, even though I was still listening to electronic music in the background, what really initiated for me was a remix that Tiësto did of Silence. And I heard that for the first time and I felt it deep in my soul. The music, the vibrations, the echoing, the angelic, nostalgic, hollowing, voice of Sarah McLachlan through this piercing cold beats. It just took me to a place where I have never been before. And through lyrics from Cascade, [inaudible 00:23:06] Above & Beyond that really speak... I think one of the things about electronic music, the [inaudible 00:23:14] ethos that comes with it, and the fact that rave started as the reject people that needed to find a safe space in order to party outside the norm really made an influence on the music that was coming from this movement.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Taking refuge once I started with my meth problems, which I thought I was never going to have, and really hitting rock bottom, hearing that music and those messages in the songs is what gave me hope that things will get better. And once things start getting better, they were the reassuring of the things that were getting better. And the community of it was what gave me the safe space and the acceptance in order to accept myself and start loving myself for who I really was. We always say that we take refuge in permanence, but the only thing that has been permanent for me has been the music.

Annmarie Kelly:
I love that. Bodhi, this is for you. I hear Wilson talking about both the distraction and acceptance of early music and the refuge of later artists and songs. Do you have a similar story, or do you remember finding refuge earlier? You were in Dubai, so you would've only had the Casey Kasem. What's the story of your earliest memories with music and then how that has changed over time?

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah. So I love sound. So sound was my first love, whether it was cartoons and Bugs Bunny and the Merry Melodies tone, those moments of whistling, those intros, sound and melody, as earliest as I can remember, it was just something that just always made me feel alive. I just loved it. But music, it was an escape also. I definitely relate to that, because I also would have these moments when it's by myself in my room, listening to whatever I'm listening to pretending I'm on stage. I was more in the rock and playing the male roles, air guitar, and doing everything that I could to just feel the music. What was fascinating about Dubai, though, was I loved the Call to Prayer. And it was probably the first point for me into mysticism.

Bodhi Calagna:
There was something so mystical and ethereal around a language that I had no idea what they were saying, but I was so drawn to the fact that whatever it is... And it is haunting. When you listen to the Call to Prayer, it is haunting, but it feels it will bring something out of you. And I was just so drawn to like, what on earth is making that person feel that deeply when they're singing that? And that was a first kind of moment into like, what is God then? Because for me, I wasn't raised religious, but that was a turning point for me of like, what is this God they're speaking of? I want to know what that devotion feels like.

Bodhi Calagna:
And that devotion became music for me. I became devoted to music and it became my spiritual practice, but I didn't know that that's what was happening until I look back and I'm like, "Whoa, it became literally the love of my life." It was my medicine and escape and all the things and presence, everything. And every girl I've ever been with since then was like, "Nobody will ever hold a candle to music. I don't know why we try." I'm like, "Well, okay." At least now I have an amazing partner that understands that and she doesn't try. So it's great.

Annmarie Kelly:
The way that you guys talk about experiencing music within yourselves when you're... I mean, the word you used was refuge before, but I hear words like medicine and healing. And also, Wilson, you spoke to this idea that it was by joining this community that you realized the help that was available to you. And I think, Bodhi, you also spoke to this. That when we've gone through trauma, that yes, one solution is to just keep on keeping on and just put it over there and put it in a box. And it's just right there and it's on the shelf and we're just going to keep on keeping on, but then there are those inflection points. For a lot of people, truthfully, it was this pandemic, right? But there were losses, there were moves, there were... Those inflection points happen and here comes the box again.

Annmarie Kelly:
And it's all coming out. And if you're not in a safe space to look at all that, there's nowhere to go. So, Wilson, I'm thinking about you with addiction. One of the things I was taught growing up about rave culture, whether that's true or not, I wasn't allowed to go because it happened in an undisclosed location late at night and you had to wear neon and everyone was eating drugs. And so I was not allowed to go, right? I [inaudible 00:28:35] to sneak out. And so this was the mythology of rave culture when I was coming up in the world. So I'm wondering, Wilson, how did you move through addiction within rave culture, which is sometimes associated with addiction? So how did you come to it, and then how did you get out of it?

Wilson Rodriguez:
What I found in my early 20s is that I was using ecstasy, because I've always had problems with self-numbing. So through ecstasy, I figured out that I could have this fast intimate relationships with people and sexual experiences in order to substitute the lack of intimacy that I was having at home. I didn't really try other substances until I got in a toxic relationship where someone manipulated me for a year and kind of cultivated things and broke me down. When he offered meth, I was like, "Sure, why not?" And being with someone who's even more hurt than I was with no sense of limitations, it was like pouring fire through gasoline. A year and a half later, I went EDC Vegas. And the thing is that I've been to shows and festivals, whether they've been using substances, because I go there for the music. I don't go there for the drug experiences.

Wilson Rodriguez:
And I went to EDC Vegas and I was crashing down from not doing meth. And what I realized is that as long as I was not super close with him, my meth use was not as strong. And I went in and I did the full whole festival sober. It was so hot. I don't know if you know what EDC Vegas is, but basically, for the ones that don't know, it's a festival that used to happen in the middle of June in the middle of the desert in the Speedway and is from sunset to sunrise. I had not laughed so hard in a long time because meth is not a fun drug to do and it takes away a lot of the joy and the light out of you. And I realized all of a sudden who I was. I was this goofy, queer, glitter, ball of joy that had gotten lost in the path.

Annmarie Kelly:
I'm glad that you have found that safe space, that you're safe with yourself and safe knowing who you are and that you found laughter again. I do think when you've gone without laughing for a long time and then when you finally do, and you're like, "What is that feeling?" And you're like, "Oh wait, that's happiness." That's a big thing. So then, Bodhi, did you experience... I mean, you described what I'm going to call gender dysmorphia, and that's not me trying to put words in your mouth, but you described what sounded to me like a gender dysmorphia, being trapped in a body that didn't feel like the right one that you wanted. While you were within the rave scenes and while you were doing the music, did you witness some kind of the radical acceptance that Wilson is talking about? Did you find inspiration there, or did you also find like... It just magnified this feelings of trapped in your body? What was your experience there?

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah. I didn't really have the moments of seeing myself in those scenes. It's interesting. I would see other trans folks or maybe other cross dressers or things where it would feel like, is that someone that's like me? It would bring a lot of those questions, but I didn't see a lot of me in those scenes. My early rave days, I had just kind of come out. So I was more in this like, oh, this has been my problem the whole time. I just needed to finally be out. I just kind of went back in the trans closet more after that. It wasn't until really within the last five years that I really started to feel like, you know what, this is ridiculous.

Bodhi Calagna:
It's okay now. And being in relationship with a person and a partner who always knew me as me, who knew me as this and gave me the space to be even more of me always. On my first date with my partner, when she asked me pronouns and I said she, she was like, "Really?" She knew before I knew, almost of like, wow. And she had never really referred to me as she. She always referred to me as they. She was very used to trans communities. And her accepting of that of me and feeling like, oh, wow, this really actually does really feel good. It gave me the space to finally be like, "Whoa, here we are." And there was one moment in particular, I guess, about four years ago when I was getting out of the shower and she was in the bed just watching me get out of the shower. And she saw me look at myself in the mirror and I just collapsed because of my chest.

Bodhi Calagna:
And it was the first moment when she really saw like, "Babe, this is deep. This is really deep. Come here." And she just held me and was like, "It's okay if you want to transition." Because other partners that I had kind of just in passing talked about it with, there was always an issue. And with Sway, it was my partner's name, it felt really, really safe. And so I would say that that more than anything was really the catalyst for me to feel like, okay. And I knew from whether I was going to festivals or circuit parties or raves, whatever, I felt accepted for whoever I was in any of those moments. There's a joke in the Anjunafam that's like, there's no fam at the Anjunafam, and it's the truth. And I've been clubbing since 92 and I have been in spaces all over the world. And that community is unparallel to anything I've ever experienced. It's such an openness. And yeah, I never had to worry. I'm like, "Well, Anjunafamily will love and accept me. So it's all good."

Annmarie Kelly:
Wilson, will you tell us some more about the Anjunafamily?

Wilson Rodriguez:
So I think it had to do a lot with how Above & Beyond present themselves in concerts or in shows. As soon as you go and the energy is absolutely different. And the lyrics that they had, I mean, they were speaking about global warming since the early 2000s and writing songs about it. The songs are really deep and emotional, yet you dance to it. When you go into their show, the things that you would expect is them communicating through little messages that they write on their laptop and they appear on the big screen to this is the right time to tell someone that you love that you love them, look around you and make a new friend. We are a family, we're all in this together. They have this beautiful song called We Are All We Need. God, I'm getting emotional. They usually have somewhere in the show that says, "Life is made of small moments like this." So then really curating that kindness, empathy, and compassion really showed whenever they curated the artists to join their music label and-

Annmarie Kelly:
I love that idea that we are all that we need.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yeah.

Annmarie Kelly:
I forget that. Don't you forget that we are all that we need?

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yeah.

Bodhi Calagna:
That album was a turning point for me with my suicide. There was a point when I knew exactly what I was going to do, how I was going to do it. I was going to drive myself off of a cliff, make it look like an accident. And that album and that music, when they were doing Trance Around The World then before group therapy, I would just listen to it over and over again as I was driving up. And every time I would get up to the mountain, I just couldn't. They just kept me going to pass over and over again. And I am a thousand of stories of like that for people within Anjuna. It's incredible what they've done because of that, because the love, the message and the togetherness that they want, they're not afraid to talk about the darkness in a light uplifting way. I've always said it's like they are the grateful dead of electronic music. Yeah, it's incredible. You'll have to go to a show so you can see it.

Annmarie Kelly:
I'm incredibly intrigued. Can we listen to a little bit of... I think there are going to be some listeners who've never heard house music. So let's play something. Who wants to pick what would make sense to play some of...

Bodhi Calagna:
Go ahead, Wilson.

Wilson Rodriguez:
I think that in order to start, I mean, even it's not house, it's trance. I think since we were just talking about it, I think we should play We Are All We Need.

Bodhi Calagna:
We Are All We Need. Yeah.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yeah.

Bodhi Calagna:
I was thinking that too.

Wilson Rodriguez:
I don't know if it would be easier to listen to the message on the acoustic live version that they do, because they also do this acoustic tours where they transform their music from electronica to violins and pianos and guitars. And it's mind blowingly beautiful.

Annmarie Kelly:
All right. Let's hear that one first. And then we've had a request from the audience that we also want to hear, a Bodhi Calagna original. So we are taking requests and dedications. This one's going out to Brian [crosstalk 00:39:23].

Bodhi Calagna:
Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.

Annmarie Kelly:
All right. We'll listen to a little bit of it and... Okay. Everyone there?

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yes.

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah.

Annmarie Kelly:
All right. We're going to go 3, 2, 1, go. That's beautiful. Oh, man.

Bodhi Calagna:
Oh yeah, you have no idea. You will not get out of our show with a dry eye. And I challenge anybody that says that they can.

Annmarie Kelly:
That's beautiful. No, I've never heard that before. That's exquisite. We'll figure out a way to link that to the show notes so people can... Now that's going to be a mantra for me all day today, this idea that you are enough. We have this notion that we need something else other than what we have, that somehow you're not enough for you or for the world or for what you want to be. Oh, that's gorgeous. Thank you for sharing that guys. What were we listening to for folks who didn't hear? Let's try to put it in words.

Wilson Rodriguez:
So it's a trance music done in a like orchestra way, more into classical with strings and piano and several instruments with the live vocals of the person who composed the song. Her name is Zoe, and it was taped at the Hollywood Bowl. So if you want to, it's on YouTube. You can type in Above & Beyond, Hollywood Bowl and look at the whole concert. If you feel that you don't like electronic music and you feel that the message of the songs are kind of diluted by the hard beats, this is a great way of being your first step into what electronica music's message is without feeling overwhelmed by the music. And then once you hear this, you can compare the original version versus the acoustic version. And I think a lot of artists are doing that now with their music. They usually have an acoustic alternative of their biggest hits. Civilized just released, I think, an EP with like 10 or 11 songs with a quartet of strings only for his songs.

Annmarie Kelly:
Okay. Let's listen to another one. Can we listen to a Bodhi Calagna original here?

Bodhi Calagna:
Oh, sure. Just play me after Above & Beyond. That's great.

Annmarie Kelly:
You know what, though? You are the company you keep here, so that's okay. Exactly. We're going to put you-

Bodhi Calagna:
Sorry. And I've got transgender dreams. Wilson knows. I've coined that phrase. Wilson knows my transgender dreams.

Annmarie Kelly:
I'm looking at our mix tape here. What would make sense to play after that one? Or that you just want to switch gears and play...

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah. You could play Never Know, which is one of my... I'll put it in the chat. This is one of my most recent, which is actually on JTX label, who is an [inaudible 00:42:39] artist. And so you can listen to a little bit of this.

Annmarie Kelly:
Okay. We're going to all open up our mix tape. Okay. So everyone have it?

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yes.

Annmarie Kelly:
Okay. 3, 2, 1, go. So, again, that's amazing. All right. So maybe tell us what we heard, and then I'd also like to know... I mean, I composed an original song when I was nine. It was called the Pink Pony Polka. It was not a polka, no. And all I did was take the five or six piano chords I knew and I broke them open and played the equivalent of, I think, Heart and Soul, but with different...

Bodhi Calagna:
Nice.

Annmarie Kelly:
Anyway, it was not a polka. So that is the extent to which I know how to create a song. So tell us what we heard and then how do you make that?

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah, so it's called Never Know. It's a melodic house track and it's all done through... I do everything in the box, which means I do everything in the computer. I don't have external synthesizers. So I have synthesizers that are in the computer and do everything inside the computer. I started it a couple of years ago, and it was one of those tracks that kind of got shelved and sat. And then I kept coming back to it. And sometimes that's what happens with songs. It's like you work on it a little bit, and then you hit a moment when you're a little frustrated and so I kind of back off and then you go back and forth.

Bodhi Calagna:
And this finally came through COVID and I was looking for vocals that I wanted to kind of feel like what I was going through about either coming out as trans or not. And so the vocals say, "Does it hurt your soul? And will you ever know?" And that was just this thing of like, God, do I come out? Do I not? And I just kept coming back to it. This hurts my soul. So how am I ever going to know if I don't? Right? So that's how the vocals were kind of chosen for that. And that got me to kind of finish it and there it is.

Annmarie Kelly:
And Bodhi, because you mentioned it, would you be willing to talk a little about this transition? Because it is, as you said, recent.

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah.

Annmarie Kelly:
I'll just keep my question open-ended, which is just how is it going?

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah. It's going really good. It was difficult for a lot of reasons, obviously. When I finally decided like, okay, I'm doing it, I remember coming out and I came out quite publicly on Facebook very, very publicly. And the response was overwhelmingly amazing. And it was almost like, holy shit, this was so much better than coming out as gay, which shows how amazing it's been that we've come, right? Granted still so much farther to go in the trans world and trans communities, but there was so much love and acceptance. That was really amazing. I was blown away. And then COVID, we hit into lockdown. And going through that during lockdown without your friends and hugging people, there definitely became a dip of like... I felt like I was riding a high from the acceptance for a while.

Bodhi Calagna:
All gigs were canceled. And then towards the end of 2020 around October, I crashed. That was after top surgery. I went ahead and went and had top surgery that year. I figured, well, I'm not touring. I might as well do this if I have an opportunity. And so that was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my entire life. The most painful experience, but then finally it was like, thank God. Yeah, absolutely. I am so much happier. Now it just feels so much better. I started DJing again. And that depression that I had when I was DJing before COVID had allowed me the space to just find myself again and the space to transition, that now when I DJ, it is completely different because I'm in my body. I feel so much more authentic to who I am. It's been really great. And that doesn't mean that there's still not stuff that comes and ups and downs. And getting misgendered can sometimes be triggering or sometimes friends and family that refuse to try, that shit still happens.

Annmarie Kelly:
I'm sorry.

Bodhi Calagna:
But I've met amazing people. And the friendships that I do have, have gotten much stronger because I've been a lot of my friends and community's first trans person. So I get to serve as this person for them to kind of work through their stuff around it also, and them to fuck up pronouns and them to ask questions about not being non-binary and all of those. Yeah, it's going really well. And I feel alive and happy and the best that I've ever felt in my body.

Annmarie Kelly:
I'm so glad. I'm so glad for you. Okay. Question about the rave community. Can we do any daytime raves for middle aged moms? I'm asking for a friend. So like-

Bodhi Calagna:
Daybreaker.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yeah, I was going to say Daybreaker.

Annmarie Kelly:
In between dropping off to soccer practice and, say, picking up for musical rehearsal. Is there a window of time? Is there a 3:35 rave for [crosstalk 00:48:40]?

Bodhi Calagna:
There is actually called The Get Down.

Annmarie Kelly:
All right. Where is that?

Bodhi Calagna:
It's called The Get Down. They started in New York and it's actually a sober afternoon get down party. And I think they're going to start doing it in different parts of the country as well, but yeah, The Get Down.

Annmarie Kelly:
All right.

Bodhi Calagna:
Daybreaker would be another one, but it is in the morning.

Annmarie Kelly:
[crosstalk 00:49:01].

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yeah, you have to wake up at 6:00 AM.

Bodhi Calagna:
You have to wake up at 6:00 AM.

Wilson Rodriguez:
And then go to yoga class. And there is a dance party afterwards, but what's... I mean, they even open for Oprah's tour when she went and interviewed Lady Gaga and Michelle Obama. That's how she opened her, I guess not show, but her talks, was through Daybreaker. And I've been lucky enough to attend some of them. All these day breakers usually happen in really locations. Locations where you feel transcendental. They have anything from Sophie Tucker to house and deep house and trance music. And every time it's different. In the middle of it, while you're dancing, they start making you do mantras. And Daybreaker, Radha, I think, she's a partner. And she came in with this idea through the burner community. And it's so inclusive. They have amazing dancers and people in glitter and fans and floors and people open you up. So Daybreaker, if you have the chance to, it's pretty cool.

Bodhi Calagna:
They're really fun. I've DJ'ed the ones here.

Annmarie Kelly:
Excellent.

Bodhi Calagna:
So, yeah, they're in a lot of different cities. You can look them up.

Annmarie Kelly:
Okay. So I'm thinking, for you guys, maybe we'll do... We'll just rotate. We'll do a rotation. Bodhi, I think we'll start with you.

Bodhi Calagna:
All right.

Annmarie Kelly:
And there's just some quick multiple choice here. So I'll ask you a few and then I'll ask Wilson and then we'll go back and forth. So, Bodhi, dogs or cats?

Bodhi Calagna:
Both.

Annmarie Kelly:
Coffee or tea?

Bodhi Calagna:
Both.

Annmarie Kelly:
Mountains or beach?

Bodhi Calagna:
Both. I'm non-binary. I live in the middle.

Annmarie Kelly:
All right. Wilson, how about you? Dogs or cats?

Wilson Rodriguez:
I love them both, but not to have.

Annmarie Kelly:
Coffee or tea.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Both.

Annmarie Kelly:
Mountains or beach.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Both.

Annmarie Kelly:
Listen to this. This is a new record.

Bodhi Calagna:
Wilson's my soulmate.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yeah.

Annmarie Kelly:
I like this. All right. Bodhi, back to you. Bagels or donuts?

Bodhi Calagna:
Gluten free donut.

Annmarie Kelly:
Oo, what flavor?

Bodhi Calagna:
I'm going to go like cinnamon with some sort of ice so that it feels like a cinnamon roll, but it's really a donut.

Annmarie Kelly:
I like it. Wilson, bagels or donuts?

Wilson Rodriguez:
That one depends. If I'm not in New York City, I guess donuts. But if I am here, then both because bagels here, I've never tasted bagels like this before.

Bodhi Calagna:
It's the water. Same with the pizza.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yeah.

Annmarie Kelly:
Is it the water?

Bodhi Calagna:
It is. The water that they make the bread in.

Annmarie Kelly:
That doesn't make any sense.

Bodhi Calagna:
I'm telling you. It is.

Annmarie Kelly:
All right. We're going to have to table that. We'll do some science research. All right. Bodhi, early bird or night owl?

Bodhi Calagna:
I'm an early bird.

Annmarie Kelly:
How about you, Wilson? Early bird or night owl?

Wilson Rodriguez:
Both. There is times where I can train myself to be an early bird and I really enjoy it, but naturally I think I'm a night owl.

Annmarie Kelly:
Bodhi, how do you be an early bird and be a DJ? Isn't that in the rules somewhere?

Bodhi Calagna:
So Monday through Friday, I'm up at 6:00, 6:30. And then the weekends, I flip it, because I like to be in the cycles of the sun. That works for me. So disco naps, you just learn how to work it and... Yeah. When I was younger, I was definitely a night owl, but yeah, I love being up early now.

Annmarie Kelly:
That's interesting. All right. Wilson, are you a risk taker or the person who knows where the band-aids are?

Wilson Rodriguez:
I think I'm both. I am a risk taker, but sometimes I was a stupid risk taker where I just hit myself against the wall so many times and I just know where the band-aids are. And also, I like to take care of people. So I am usually rave dad trying to make sure that people are okay. So I always carry rave bands... I mean, rave band-aids with me.

Annmarie Kelly:
Oh my gosh. Rave dad. Is that a thing? Does rave dad have like a fanny pack? [inaudible 00:53:15] rave mom [inaudible 00:53:16] fanny pack and hydrate people?

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yeah. You have to-

Annmarie Kelly:
Or juice boxes.

Wilson Rodriguez:
... make sure that they're okay. You grab a fanon. If they're overheating, you go ahead and fan them. If they're lost-

Bodhi Calagna:
Sunscreen.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Sunscreen. You always have gum with you. Make sure that your friends are okay. Make meeting spots. It's like coordinating the whole group.

Annmarie Kelly:
I love this idea. All right, rave dad. And Bodhi, are you a risk taker or the person who knows where the band-aids are?

Bodhi Calagna:
I'd probably be both. Yeah, definitely both.

Annmarie Kelly:
Nice.

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah.

Annmarie Kelly:
Bodhi, what is something quirky... These are short answer now. So it's still no points, but whatever. What is something quirky that folks don't know about you? Likes, loves, pet peeves.

Bodhi Calagna:
Oh God.

Annmarie Kelly:
And Wilson, same for you.

Bodhi Calagna:
So start thinking.

Annmarie Kelly:
So likes, loves, pet peeves, quirky. You can think ahead.

Bodhi Calagna:
Quirky things about me. Oh God. Wow. I'm blanking.

Annmarie Kelly:
Well, I don't know if it's quirky because a lot of what you do... I read that you were hypnotist. Is that a thing?

Bodhi Calagna:
I am. I'm a hypnotherapist.

Annmarie Kelly:
I don't know that that's quirky, but-

Bodhi Calagna:
I don't think it's quirky, but yeah, I'm a hypnotherapist. I think before people would've only thought of me as the DJ, and now people are realizing, oh, wow, I'm actually a practitioner and a healer. And that sucks. So that would be something that most people don't know about me unless you dig deep. A pet peeve of mine, though, is secretly, I can't stand it when people ask two questions in a row without giving you the chance to answer the first.

Annmarie Kelly:
Oh my God, wait. We have to rewind. I'm sure I did that 17 times today. I'm taking a note. One question at a time.

Bodhi Calagna:
It's okay, but if you ask two questions in one question, that's fine, but when you ask a question, you start to answer and then that prompts another question before... That's what I'm talking about. That's a pet peeve.

Annmarie Kelly:
All right. We're shutting that down. I like it. All right. Wilson, likes, loves, pet peeves.

Wilson Rodriguez:
I think depending on where you meet me, especially because of Anjunabreathe, a lot of people know me online, especially since it took off during the pandemic. But people who know me and they know me in the scene, they know that I'm a lot of fun to party with. I talk a lot about personal development and self-awareness, but I am a big ass goofball that loves to wear makeup and glitter, has its fans, it's always fanning around like silk fans and poi and just being goofy. I was a mascot in my high school. So I love to entertain and be this queer, goofy, funny ball that makes a lot of inappropriate jokes and references for sure. And has a really loud laugh and snort when I laugh as well.

Annmarie Kelly:
I love it.

Bodhi Calagna:
I love that.

Annmarie Kelly:
What was your mascot? What high school mascot were you?

Wilson Rodriguez:
Mustangs, but it looked like a badass donkey that was just left to dry. It just looked like a donkey pinata. It was so bad and it smelled terrible too. It was like putting 10,000 dirty socks on you.

Annmarie Kelly:
Wow.

Wilson Rodriguez:
And it was also Texas weather. So when you had football games and like a hundred degree weather with this thing that... Yeah.

Annmarie Kelly:
That's hot.

Wilson Rodriguez:
I loved it because I was goofy and I was able to move my hips like Shakira and still be anonymous within it, but... Yeah, it was really hot and really smelly.

Annmarie Kelly:
Well, but a safe space. I didn't thought about that. The safe space in there.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yeah, because I was able to be myself with the anonymity. So I was able move as feminine or as masculine as I wanted without having to face any criticism because I was just entertaining people.

Annmarie Kelly:
I like hearing about that. All right. This one is favorite book or favorite movie. Bodhi, we'll start with you. You could do both if you want, since some of your answers were both. Book or movie?

Bodhi Calagna:
I mean, Jesus, I listen a lot of audio books, but I would say-

Annmarie Kelly:
Me too.

Bodhi Calagna:
... my favorite... Well, let's go favorite movie then because that might be easier. Oh God, that's not easier too. Wilson, do you know yours?

Annmarie Kelly:
Okay. It can be one that you like. It doesn't have to be favorite. We don't have to put it on the mountaintop. It could just be one that you enjoy. But, Wilson, you can cut in line if you know.

Wilson Rodriguez:
So I think one of the books that made me feel heard and seen for the first time within my spiritual journey and personal development was Yung Pueblo's Inward, because it put very small digestible poems, the steps of growing self-awareness. And the book that I am reading right now, which I am taking my time, even though it's kind of easy to read and making so many notes and giving me so much language and aha moments is Brené Brown's Atlas of the Heart, where she shows-

Annmarie Kelly:
I wondered if you were reading that. When you talked about the language of emotions, I was like, "Oh my gosh, the 89 emotions in Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown." Yeah.

Bodhi Calagna:
So good.

Wilson Rodriguez:
So this has been my companion lately. A lot of my healing and language and studying have been from Brené Brown, from books, podcast, whatever she has done and people that she has presented has been a daily class for me. It has helped me also help others and give them the language and resources for them to kind of understand, because she does it in such a digestible and relatable way.

Annmarie Kelly:
Totally. The idea that most people can list, what, four or five emotions. You can do happy, sad... I don't know if [crosstalk 00:59:13] emotion.

Bodhi Calagna:
[crosstalk 00:59:13].

Wilson Rodriguez:
Anger. I think it was happy, angry, joy, and-

Bodhi Calagna:
Sadness.

Wilson Rodriguez:
... anger. Yeah.

Annmarie Kelly:
And that she lists, again, 89. And I sat with that list. I actually used it in a class I taught in January and I put it in front of students and said, "How are you feeling? Circle all the words that apply." And just reminding us that we contain multitudes, right? We are all of these different feelings and there's no such thing as feeling happy every single day, right? How are you feeling in diagnosing it and being able to name it? I think all of us grew up with this fear that if you named the thing, it somehow gave you power over you. It's just the opposite. If I name it, if I talk to you about my envy or my fear, if we name it, it gives us power over it. And we then can say, "This is where I'm at right now." And you're in charge of driving that emotional car. She's such a gift. I love that you love her.

Wilson Rodriguez:
And I think one of the most important takeaways for me was that feeling resentment and envy and all this negative emotions, it needs to be normalized because you feel that if you're feeling them, that makes you a bad person when in reality it doesn't. It just makes you human.

Annmarie Kelly:
I love that idea of letting envy point you in the direction that you want to go. If you envy someone who's successful in this kind of way, oh look, that's something I would like for myself. Now I have a direction to go or... Yeah. That's really interesting. All right. We stalled for a long time for Bodhi because we [crosstalk 01:00:54].

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah, no. Well, I mean, I could piggyback on that book and Dare to Lead, any Brené Brown, all of them. I'm also reading that one as well right now, but I'm also reading James Fadiman, The Psychedelic Explorer's Guide right now, which I'm really enjoying, which is about really creating safe spaces and containers of the work that I do within psychedelics for folks in journey work. And movie, secretly quirky as well, one of my all time favorites is Dirty Dancing.

Annmarie Kelly:
Well, nobody puts baby in the corner, so-

Bodhi Calagna:
Nobody puts baby in the corner.

Annmarie Kelly:
... I carried a watermelon.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Yeah.

Annmarie Kelly:
That movie actually holds up.

Bodhi Calagna:
I will watch that over and over. If that is on the TV, I will watch it over and over. Same with the Rocky series and same with Sex and the City. Those are the three that I will just... Doesn't matter how many times I've seen them. If they're on, I'll just keep watching them.

Annmarie Kelly:
I'm like that with The Devil Wears Prada. I can't look away.

Bodhi Calagna:
Oh, [crosstalk 01:01:49] great one.

Annmarie Kelly:
I don't care about clothes at all. I wear like a black T-shirt and black [inaudible 01:01:55].

Bodhi Calagna:
So good.

Annmarie Kelly:
I don't care about... but I love that movie. I can't not watch it.

Wilson Rodriguez:
I don't think I have a favorite movie. I think anything like classic Disney and also Devil Wears Prada, Spice World, I think it's a cold classic.

Annmarie Kelly:
All right. Last one. Let's see. We'll start with Bodhi. If we were to take a picture of you really happy and doing something you love, what would we see you doing?

Bodhi Calagna:
I'd probably be DJing. Yeah. Like with some big epic moment playing one of my favorite tracks. I'm like... Probably. Yeah.

Annmarie Kelly:
That's good.

Bodhi Calagna:
Yeah.

Annmarie Kelly:
How about you, Wilson? If we were to see you really happy in doing some something you love, what would we see you doing?

Wilson Rodriguez:
I think it would be either through body language or speaking, creating a safe space for people and making them feel heard and seen, where they can have some kind of aha moment or self-awareness with them.

Annmarie Kelly:
That's so beautiful that you took a lifetime of struggling to be heard and seen and turned that into, and I'm not going to let that happen to anybody else. That darkness has become your light. What a gift you are. What a gift you both are. Thank you, Wilson Rodriguez and Bodhi Calagna for coming on the show today. And thank you for talking across distance and division and coolness and uncoolness. And I don't know, it can be easy... I'm a middle aged mom of three who hasn't been dancing in 100 years, but I think it's really important to step out of our supposed lanes and to talk with people who, I don't know, someone would assume you have nothing in common with and discover that not only do you share books and movies and ice cream, but you share wonder and bedazzlement with music and art and creation.

Annmarie Kelly:
And thank you for trusting this space with your beautiful stories. Thank you for making it a safe space for sharing of yourselves and your time and your music. I'm looking forward to linking to all of this so that people out there can know you and hear you and feel heard by you. So Wilson and Bodhi and everyone who's listening, I'm wishing you love and light wherever this day takes you and be good to yourself and be good to one another. And we'll see you again soon on this wild and precious journey.

Bodhi Calagna:
Thank you so much.

Wilson Rodriguez:
Thank you for having us.

Annmarie Kelly:
Wild Precious Life is a production of Evergreen Podcasts. Special thanks to executive producers, Gerardo Orlando and Michael DeAloia, producer, Sarah Willgrube and audio engineer, Ian Douglas. Be sure to subscribe and follow us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

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