Rocket Science: Theo Dasher

On Korean BBQ, Wu-Tang, Belle Isle, and Poetry Podcasts.

Theo is VP, Innovative Deployment at Alyvant, a new pharmaceutical commercial model whose mission is to better connect patients with therapies that benefit them.

If you listen to music at work, what do you listen to?

I don’t typically listen to music while I’m working. Focused, productive work has its own rhythm of sorts. I tune out the background noise in the office and try to settle into a nice flow state.

However, when I do listen to music at the office, these days it’s pretty much Wu-Tang Clan all the way. The 25th anniversary tour was this year, so I’ve been doubling down.

What’s been your best read of 2019?

My co-worker recently recommended a fantasy series called Runelords by David Farland, and he gave me the first book. What he didn’t tell me at the time was that there are something like nine of them. He only subsequently said, “You know, this is part of a series. You have to read the rest.” 

Not my typical genre, but I ended up appreciating the magic system. I appreciate how fun and video game-like it is. Runelords is kind of like the PG version of Game of Thrones. It was a nice break from the more serious reading that I do.

What’s a city you’ve never been to, but would like to visit?

I’d love to go to Seoul. I love Korean barbecue. That’s a big part of it. And I love Soju. That’s another big part of it. Basically, I wanna eat my way through Seoul.

What’s an obscure area of knowledge that fascinates you?

I love airplanes. I don’t know if that’s obscure. But I’ve always thought that I would become an aeronautical engineer, so I read biographies of other aeronautical engineers. I go to air shows all the time. I have aerodynamics textbooks too. I’ve just always thought that aeronautics and aerospace are fascinating.

As much as I love airplanes, I actually get airsickness. Interestingly, my maternal grandfather is now 90 years old, but when he was a little kid he also thought he was going to design airplanes. So, there’s something about my lineage and how all the kids take to airplanes.

What would you say is the most beautiful part of Michigan?

I don’t know if I can tell you which part is most beautiful, but I’m from Detroit, and I’m disposed to think that the city is beautiful in its own special way. There’s so much great architecture there. What I probably appreciated most was the Detroit River and Belle Isle, which is right between Detroit and Canada. 

Detroit is actually north of Windsor, and there’s a distillery on the Canadian side. If the wind is blowing from the right direction, you get the smell – the aroma of the hops coming up over the river. Wonderful. If the wind is blowing from the wrong direction, you get the smell of the incinerator.

Beyond Michigan, I’ve really started to appreciate the national parks. I just came back from the Grand Canyon. My current read is The Wilderness Warrior, which is about Teddy Roosevelt’s conservation efforts. In the next ten years of my life, I could maybe see myself visiting all the national parks.

You just got the green light for season one of your podcast. What’s it about?

I think it would be really interesting to find regular people and ask them to read poetry for the podcast. 

The idea is that you meet somebody at a café or something – a bus driver or waiter or anyone you happen to meet – and you select a poem for them to read for your podcast. So, you have different voices, kind of like the People of New York series.

What’s in your podcast rotation right now?

It’s called The Secret History of Hollywood. Really interesting. The first of the series is about the Warner brothers and some of the actors that came through the early Warner Bros. Studio. So, it’s full of mystery and tension. Later series go into the cinematic depictions of Sherlock Holmes, early horror movies, and all kinds of other stories.

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