Humans of Rapid City

There are 73,569 people currently living in Rapid City, South Dakota. Each one of them has an inspiring story to tell. This is Humans of Rapid City.
RSS Feed


All Episodes
Now displaying: Page 1
Aug 3, 2017

It's been a long time since Humans of Rapid City has released any new episodes!  With so many irons in the fire, it's easy to lose focus.  But I wanted to release this great interview with Brian Mathis, who works for Behavior Health Systems in Rapid City, South Dakota.  This episode was also graced by the presence of Thomas Golden.  Brian and Thomas both share a lot of history together, both having served in the Navy and also worked together at the Cornerstone Rescue Mission.  I'll let the interview speak for itself, but we had a great time chatting with one another!

It's my intention to start releasing more episodes as we march on— might not be every week... I'm super humbled and thankful for the following we've had.  Even though we've gone EIGHT months without a new podcast release, we still have had hundreds of downloads per month along with a strong following on Facebook.

Be sure to like us on Instagram too!

Until next time— cheers, Rapid City!  And thank you for listening and supporting this podcast!

Jan 11, 2017

If you've ever been to a theatre production in Rapid City, chances are you've probably heard some mysteriously loud cackling coming from the back of the theatre.  That's Jacob Roman.  He's a local actor here in Rapid City (well, by now he has moved onto bigger things in Nebraska, and eventually Boston, Massachusetts!) who has been in countless productions such as The Rocky Horror Show, The Little Mermaid, Love, Sex and the IRS and many more.  Too many to count.

On this episode, we discuss a lot of fun stage stories we have from our experience in theatre.  Oh how things can go wrong when doing a live show.  We also talk about his experience being the Education and Outreach Director of Cherry Street Players at Black Hills Community Theatre. 

Also, this episode was enlightened by the presence of Tyler Millslagle who provides some much needed laughter.  In fact, all three of us have distinct laughs.  So prepare yourself for a bit of a hot mess of a podcast with a symphony of obnoxious laughs.

Please note that we do not censor ourselves on this podcast, so expect some adult language.  We're only human!


Jan 2, 2017

Nik is a local singer/songwriter whom you may have seen play at various locations around town.  He is also a dedicated family man (who recently welcomed in his second child into the world!) and an all around great guy.  Support his music!  Check out

Dec 30, 2016

I had the opportunity to get two local musicians and educators, Jacqueline Kriebel and Joseph Weseloh, in Studio 1-A along with Tyler Millslagle (you might remember him from our previous episode) to dive into what exactly it takes to be a music educator in Rapid City and what kind of influence you have over children's development, especially when you include the use of music in your teachings. 

Jackie, Joe, Tyler and I are all apart of the cast of The Robber Bridegroom, which is currently playing it's final weekend at the Firehouse Brewing Theatre.  We talk a bit about that in this episode, along with plenty of other non-sequiturs. But Jackie, Joe and I share a unique bond in that we are all making our live band debut in a musical.  We talk about our experience in that show, with music in general and the four of us share our common bond with growing up with music.  Whether we stuck with it or not.

All in all, it was a fantastic time to get to know these two fantastic human beings and definitely look for Tyler to join us on more episodes as we progress!

Dec 23, 2016

Vonnie Houchin is an amazing human being, plain and simple, and also one of the busiest people in Rapid City!  She's always on the go, going from one rehearsal to another, from one meeting to another but always has time to be home with her family.  She is the master of healthy work-life balance and is an inspiration to many.

Vonnie teaches 6th grade at Southwest Middle School, is the music director for First Baptist Church, a very talented pianist and can be found music directing for the Firehouse Brewing Theatre and the Black Hills Playhouse.  Often times she will play for many musical theatre auditions around the area.

Dec 9, 2016

Check out the latest episode with local pipe and tobacco enthusiast, Thomas Golden! We candidly discuss a variety of subjects including Thomas' experience working as Executive Director of the Cornerstone Rescue Mission, his time in the Navy, his struggles with PTSD, being a partial stay-at-home Dad and, of course, all the juicy details concerning his pipe carving.

Dec 7, 2016

This one is a supersized episode.  The first half, I have the pleasure of hanging out with Tyler Millslagle and hearing about his story.  The second half, we "nerd out" over nerdy things.  Fun was had.  Things were learned.  Lives were changed.

Some adult language in this one— sorry, folks!

Thanks for listening!

Nov 29, 2016

Ben and Leslie Villa have the honor of being the first married couple on Humans of Rapid City.  Aside from being two very talented actors in the area, they are also vital members of our community.  Ben is a Personal Banking Representative at Great Western Bank and Leslie teaches Second Grade at Wilson Elementary School.

The lovely Candi Fender also happened to join us in Studio, which provided the insightful questions that Jeff could simply not come up with on his own!

Thanks for listening!

Nov 21, 2016

Elizabeth Heuerman is the owner of Jayde Tree Salon here in Rapid City.  Jayde Tree is definitely not your average salon!  You'll want to check them out once you're finished listening to this episode.

Elizabeth is full of love.  Love, love, love, love.  She is inspired by so many different causes, people and stories around the area— and she returns the favor to the community by being equally inspiring.

Check out Jayde Tree Salon by visiting

Nov 14, 2016

Gregg Hemmen is the pastor of First Baptist Church (FBC) in Rapid City, South Dakota.  Nate Sales servers as the Youth Minister of the same church.  While there may be some bias in this statement (since I am a member of FBC), but they are incredibly influential and down-to-Earth ministers, with very unique way of connecting to people— whether they are Christian or not.  Gregg and Nate remain to be two of the most important people in many people's lives and have changed the way many think about Christianity.

In the podcast, we discuss their history in ministry and how they hope to shape the church as they continue serving the community of Rapid City.  We also discuss the stigma that sometimes is attached to those who serve God and how Gregg and Nate are both breaking those boundaries in our community.  While this podcast focuses on God and ministry, our intention is to not come across as trying to "sell" our listeners on Christianity, or First Baptist Church, but rather discuss how Gregg and Nate are shaping the way Christians interact and help the community of Rapid City.

Disclaimer: This is an early recording in our production timeline and the sound levels may be unbalanced.  We have corrected the issue since then, but just know that you may have to adjust your volume accordingly.  Sorry about the sound balance issues!

Nov 7, 2016

Seraphim Theatrical Entertainment is a local theatre venue which also offers educational courses for actors of any age or experience.  It was started just about two years ago by Bridgett Hill and Stephen Farruggia, who are local theatre artists in the area.

Bridgett J. Hill is a graduate of the renowned Rogers and Silverman School of Fashion Design at Kent State University with a degree in Conceptual Fashion Design. She also has intensive schooling in theater and dance. During her fashion design studies, Bridgett lived in Florence, Italy and traveled throughout Europe partaking of the cultures, art and history. She has been involved in many shows as an actress, dance choreographer, as well as costume/ hair-make up designer. For film, photography and runway productions, Bridgett stays active as a model, dancer or make-up artist. Bridgett also designs and creates custom costumes and recently worked to wardrobe the Founding Fathers Black Hills Sculptures. It is impossible to pinpoint her greater talent when it comes to either dancing, costuming, designing, acting or whatever else she decides to do. Her high energy, delightful instruction and expertise in these areas make her a wonderful asset to Seraphim Theatrical Entertainment. Since re-entering the acting community after moving to Rapid, Bridgett has been in countless productions starting with Meredith Wilson's the Music Man (ensemble) and jumping right into Hansel and Gretel (where she first met Stephen). She next portrayed Elaine in Arsenic and Old Lace with BHCT. At the Firehouse Brewing theater she played Little Sally in Urinetown (one of her most beloved roles to date) and Carol in Laughter on the 27th Floor. With Acts Production of Hairspray Bridgett played Tammy and was a valuable member of the dance ensemble.In BHCT's Dinner Theater production of Perfect Wedding she also portrayed Julie, the cheeky chambermaid. Most recently, you may have seen her in Jeeves In Bloom, carrying out the whimsical character of Madeline Bassett. Bridgett Designed and Made costumes for Stephens production of the Little Mermaid as well as choreographed the dance numbers. 

Stephen Farruggia has been teaching and coaching kids and adults for many years. He is a state licensed Paraprofessional, attended Liberty University for childhood education and psychology, and was the local community theater's Education and Outreach Director until he stepped away from the position to start Seraphim. He brings a theater resume of over 50 shows in which he has been an Actor, Director, Lighting/Sound Tech, Stage Manager, Producer and even a published Playwrite. Stephen also has experience in front of the camera as well and has been involved in numerous commercials, and Indie Films. His first love however is live theater. His inspiration and passion for the stage and the performing arts shows in every class he teaches and play he's involved in, which makes Seraphim Theatrical Entertainment a dream come true and a perfect fit for his talents.  A few productions Stephen has been involved in are Jeeves In Bloom, where he played Bertie Wooster, The Nerd as Axel Hammond,A Flea in Her Ear as Roman Turnel, A Midsummer Night's Dream as Puck, Prince Charming in Roger and Hammerstein's Cinderella, and Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, name a few. He has also Directed numerous recent productions including The Little Mermaid, The Bully Plays, Holmes on the Range, A Christmas Carol, Brother's Grimm Spectaculathon, Boy's and Ghouls, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. His comic directorial genius was showcased well in BHCT's dinner theater fundraiser production of Perfect Wedding. 

Jul 11, 2016

Joanna Lawler is a dear a friend of mine who is an incredible human being to have living here in Rapid City, SD.  Originally from Minnesota and then Pierre, South Dakota, Joanna found her passion for theatre a very young age.  As a young woman, she appeared in the Guthrie Theatre's annual production of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.  From there, she went on to do a multitude of theatrical productions in Pierre under Pierre Players.  Eventually, when she began her career as a Public Defender in the city of Rapid City, she finally decided to get back into the theatre world after being a long time supporter of the local theatre scnee and she landed the emotionally complex and VERY challenging role of Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie (opposite yours truly).  From there, she continued the theatre exploration around town and was recenrtly featured as the lead femme-fattlale role in The 39 Steps at Serpahim Theatrical Entertainment.

Do forgive us, as we were dirinking quite a bit of Witer's Tears whiskey (proudly available at Boyd's Wine and Spirits), so some of this may be either incoherent or only entertaining to those who know us.  Well, regardless, Joanna Lawler is a human of rapid city and a wonderful one at that.  I was pleased to have her as our second guest on the show.

In this episode we discuss mostly our expereinces together in theatre, the artform itself, her background as a public defender, fine whiskey and... well, eveything else could possible be categories as a "Seinfeld" type show where it's all about nothing.  Regardless, it was a fun podcast to record and a lovely evening spent with Public Denfender extreaordinaire, Joanna Lawler.

Thank you so much for being on the show!  Cheers!

Jun 8, 2016

Kim Lathe is a local photographer, designer and just an incredible artist.  You can check out her work at  She also has a very compassionate heart for the homeless in Rapid City— as she serves as a volunteer at the local Hope Center.  She's just an awesome human being, and I am honored to have had her as our first guest on the show!

Kim is always available for hire, so please check out her website if you are interested or have a photo project in mind. Check out all of the details of her photography projects and collections by visiting

Thank you so much for being on the show, Kim!