Vince Vaughn Interview | The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcast) | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Vince Vaughn Interview | The Tim Ferriss Show (Podcast)".


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Intro (00:00)

optimal minimal. I think this altitude I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Can I also use that sort of question? Now what is it? I'm from Pentime. What is it like to be out of this? I'm a cybernetic organism living tissue over a metal anthoscour. Me, Tim, Paris, so... This episode is brought to you by 99 Designs.

Background And Personal Details Of Vince

The 4 Hour Body vs 99 Designs (00:26)

I've used 99 Designs for years for all sorts of graphic design needs. Whether you need a logo, website, book cover, or anything else, 99 Designs was created to make great designs accessible to everyone and to make the process of getting designs much, much easier. So when I first started out, for instance, testing prototype covers and getting prototype covers for the 4-hour body, I want the contest route. That is one option. This is a great solution if you're looking for fast, affordable design work and the ability to choose from dozens of options. It's free. Let's say you need something late night, quick turnaround. Well, people in other time zones, other countries can also help you solve that problem. Since then, I've worked with 99 Designs on a separate path or a different option and that is the one-to-one project service. So in a number of cases, and I'll give you one example, when I wanted to create the cover for my audiobook, The Tower of Seneca, this was a very important project to me, I decided to use their one-to-one project service. And with this service, you can invite a specific designer to your project, agree on a price, and then work together until you're satisfied and they allow you to iterate and provide feedback and all this stuff. And I haven't shared it yet, but we also got some incredibly good, really some of the best illustrations I've ever seen from using this one-to-one project service with a handful of different designers and illustrators. It blew my mind. 99 Designs makes this all very easy and efficient. You can check out The Tower of Seneca Design and other work that I and your fellow listeners for that matter have done on 99designs at And right now, you can get a free $99 upgrade on your first design. Again, that's This episode is brought to you by Trunk Club.

What is Trunk Club? (02:15)

There are two types of men out there. You know who you are. Guys who love shopping for clothes, but are short on time, category A. And those of you who hate it, category B, I am in the latter category. My fashion sense is also probably somewhere between homeless and confused with a dash of lazy added in. Either way, you can take heart and I've used Trunk Club now and have found some of my favorite pieces of clothing that make me look a lot better than I would be able to handle on my own. There are other reasons for that. But you can get clothing that fits perfectly and looks amazing without ever stepping into a store again, thanks to Trunk Club. And they make it very, very easy. And the clothing is handpicked by a personal stylist, your own personal stylist. All you have to do is go to Trunk Type in your measurements, share your likes and dislikes. They'll pick your clothes from more than 80 top brands and ship them right to your door. You keep what you like. You send back what you don't. If you don't like any of it, send it all back. Doesn't matter. And Trunk Club is not a subscription service. This is what appealed to me among many other things. I didn't want to constantly be getting dinged by things or have to deal with the headache of constantly getting boxes. It's not a subscription service. Shipping is always free and you have five days to try on the clothes. So, a couple of points here. Number one, get started today. Go to Trunk Try it out. You get premium clothes, expert advice, no work, no risk. That is a winning combo. I have found some of my favorite espadrilles, shoes from them, bright green. I do like the color green and they actually work. I've had so many compliments on these shoes and more people ask me where I got them than any other pair of shoes I've ever had. More shirts I kept ended up keeping about, I would say, three quarters of my box, which I did not expect to do. So, go to Trunk and check it out. Hello boys and girls. Welcome to another episode of The Tim Ferriss Show.

My introduction to Vince Vaught (04:19)

I am sitting in a hotel room overlooking the High Line in New York City because I was here for something called Vulture Fest. What is that? Well, it is a very important event for the world of television, entertainment, film and so on alongside others like, for instance, the TCAs, the Television Critics Association. And I'm mentioning this because it's related to today's guest. Of course, my job is to deconstruct world-class performers to pick out the lessons and habits and favorite books and so on that you can use in your own life. And the guest today is Vince Vaughn. Many of you know Vince, of course, doesn't need a lot of introduction, but he is one of the most prolific actors, writers and producers in the world. He's acted in more than 30 major motion pictures that have gone on to grow some more than 1.7 million at the box office. He is largely credited for redefining the R-rated comedy with his performance in the 2005 hit Wedding Crashers, which set the record for highest grossing R-rated comedy at the time. And he is and will continue to be. I expect one of the most sought after leading men in Hollywood, his handprints have been put outside the Chinese theater. And I know of many things that are irons in the fire that you will be seeing in the forthcoming months and years with Vince. And one of them involves me. Vince has listened to this podcast. He reached out to me along with his production company Wild West to do a TV show together. And it is out right now starting May 30, 2017. It is called Fearless.

The purpose of Vince and Tims new show (06:00)

That's fear less in parentheses with Tim Ferriss because the objective is to teach you to fear less, not to be fearless. Big, big difference between those two. And I could not be more excited. There are 10 episodes. It is on an incredible set with a live audience surrounding us. We use video. We use images. In some cases, live demonstrations on stage. And as of May 30, you can watch the first episode, which is with David Blaine, master illusionist and endurance artist for free at So check that out for free and for show. You should take a look at this episode of David Blaine. People, meaning you guys have asked me for so long for David Blaine. And now you can see him live performing magic getting into his personal stories at So look for fearless with Tim Ferriss. And you can find it on that homepage and all of the rest of the episodes you'll be able to find as they're released on direct TV. If you have direct TV or want direct TV and you can then stream them on And there is a free trial option that you can check out. So there are no reasons not to take a look. And some of you have asked, for instance, and I've seen these on Twitter in the last couple of weeks, you know, I buy one of your books and give you 12 bucks every three years, but I've had benefits for 10 years. That doesn't seem fair. What should I do? Well, if you want to spend just a few bucks after watching the first episode, I would really appreciate it. And you can check out the entire season of fearless. So that is that we cover so much in this conversation with Vince and get into stories of his early beginnings, how to negotiate his cold calling career, as it were, at least a few jobs that contributed to that. And many of the most important decisions that he made as a producer, as an artist, as a business person, an entrepreneur, for instance. I really had a blast doing this. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And please check out Fearless with Tim Ferriss. You can also find the trailer and other things at And again, the entire episode for David Blaine can be found at As always, thank you for listening. All right. Thank everyone for coming, but we're missing half of the show here. So without further ado, let's bring out Vince Vaughn. I look a lot shorter in person. This feels very intimate and comfortable, the white room with the skateboard ramp. We will be doing a skateboarding demonstration afterwards, which is why we have the curved background. Thank you, everybody, for coming. This is going to be a fun conversation. Vince and I have had a chance to spend a good amount of time together. We will have not heard before. Certainly, many of which I will have not heard before.

How Vince and I connected (09:38)

And I thought we would start with a little bit of context. So this show is something that I have in some form or another wanted to do for a very long time. And we connected initially through the podcast. So I thought maybe if you want to give a little bit of background as to how we connected and how this came together, and then I'll switch gears and we'll go. I'm a fan of Tams, and I really appreciated the books as well as the podcast, his investigations into things and finding ways to effectively get past your trepidation or fears and become able to engage in things in a way that was more fulfilling. So I liked his whole journey and the way that he approached it. So I saw it was like the Warren Buffett of producers and that I really like to just engage in things that I'm excited about or that I really enjoy because you do end up spending quite a bit of time on it. So as a fan and someone that was enjoying it, I reached out to Tams and said, "If this feels like a compliment to what you're doing and still not taking from what you're doing, is there a version of doing this where we kind of record it with people that feels like a good continuation?" And I referenced your TED talks specifically, "The Dealing with Fear." And your vulnerable experience is younger with some pretty traumatic experiences and how that instead of suffocating you or maybe it did at the time, how later in life you were able to readdress those. It's partly the reason that I'm excited to talk to you in front of all these folks because we're going to get into some of those moments for you, certainly. And it's a portion of life that is very often glossed over and that people don't see when they idolize people on the magazine covers and they assume that they're flawless and that perhaps as a result, you as a normal are in some way uniquely flawed and instead wanting to showcase how people can succeed despite the weaknesses and pain that they might have experienced or developed over time. So let's go way, way back and talk a little bit about childhood.

Vince's childhood (11:43)

I figured that'd be a good place to start. How would you describe your childhood? Where did you grow up? Well, that's age 37. My hair is starting to get lighter again, so we're turning back. And my parents, my parents came from single moms and both came from very economically challenged backgrounds and so they really had a real aspiration to give a better opportunity to their kids and so it was around a great work ethic. And I had an interesting journey in that, originally we started off a very humble means and my father was very self-motivated and was very successful started his own business and did very well and then as I got older we moved into a more fluent area and had exposure to public schools but good schools and all of those kinds of things. But I think it informed me where I had a work ethic and I didn't put a big focus on results meaning finances were never a driving factor, not that I was raised that you had to take care of yourself but being good or working hard at something what was valued. So I think I was fortunate to have, I think you do a lot what your parents do versus what they say so I was fortunate to have good role models in that way. What was your dad's business? What's having business with my dad? Well, my dad, his dad worked in a steel millen on a real road and had a small little 100 acre farm but he worked on the factory and that to keep the farm going and his mom and dad were divorced so he'd go in the summers and work the farm and he was the first in his immediate family there to go to college so he was a salesman he wanted to make a living so he started off with Swift Meat Company and selling stuff and then he ended up in toys so as a kid it was a great profession because we always had a lot of toys he'd have sample toys I'd get in trouble because I'd go get him and start playing with him he'd say you can't touch that that's a merchandise. That's a merchandise yeah but it was odd because they would argue and do business in the way that you would in the industry but the comedic part to me was they were arguing over a ninja turtle. You're going to put those damn ninja turtles on the fucking shelf you know but it was, I always, I found it kind of, it was like I was watching Casino but they were talking about, they were talking about the evil, can evil stunt cycle but he was a manufacturer's rep so it would be sort of an agent they would represent the manufacturers getting them shelf space and you know K-Mart or Toys R Us or different. So he'd be selling to the retailers? Correct correct. What made him good at that? We're going to get into your ability to pitch. No but my dad's sure it's because my dad is, maybe the most honest person he's overly bright but I think he just can connect and relate with people I think he genuinely is empathetic with people. I would see him in deals sometimes like with a house transaction and people put down money and it didn't go through but my dad would always give them their money back. He was interesting that way so I think people trusted him and felt comfortable with him and the long run I think it really panned out for him because he wasn't as focused on that stuff but he, great sense of humor and good sense of humor about himself but I think he was very, is still very engaged with people. One thing that struck me when we very first had dinner this was a while back and this is actually something if you have my friends who have now met you on set when we were filming have mentioned is that you ask a lot of questions which I hate to say it but has been unusual for me in my experience with say entertainment.

Questioning and sincerity (15:19)

And you're very inquiring and I think that helps to build an empathy. Is that something that you developed at home? Did you develop it some other way? I think I was always curious about things and interested in people and I like to learn and be challenged on stuff so I don't mind I like to ask stuff and again as I said my journey with you started really being a fan of what you were doing but I was also, I was very inspired by the background that led to you to this experience because I'm interested in that that some very challenging things led to this beautiful life but there's others who could have had those things and it could have been crushing to them and I find what you do to be in all of branch and give some skills to others to maybe choose the good life and not be defined by the challenges and I think that's empowering to people so I like that. So for the people who don't have the context here the TED talk that I gave that Vince was referring to talked about a number of different challenges I had including a lifelong fear of swimming so I didn't learn to swim until I was in my 30s which is embarrassing for a long island boy.

Swimming (16:43)

I share the story as to what led to that. There are many different components but the this was primary catalyst was a summer camp experience I had when I was a very little kid I was a run and generally stayed away from the playground because that was a danger zone for me that was where you would just get your ass kicked that was my association it was not for play and once summer camp and kids were diving off the stock through an inner tube which looked like fun I did that in a bully of the camp grabbed me by the ankles as I went through and I tried to come up and get air and kept hitting my back on the bottom of the inner tube and just thought I was going to drown because I couldn't get my head above water and ultimately fortunately somebody spotted that who was a counselor and I didn't die obviously I'm here but that led me to never want to swim period even though I was right next to the water and I suppose this is as good a point as I need to ask you about because you and I actually haven't really spoken about this but then later in life you evaluated it differently not being the child emotionally in that moment right later later I had a number of people who were very instrumental in helping me to rethink swimming and also to not denigrate it so I had I had rationalized not being able to swim by dismissing it as that's important and at one point one of my close friends first of all said this is a life skill you need to have for you and for your kids so I'm assigning an open water race to you by the end of this year is your New Year's resolution I was like oh I didn't realize that was up to another person to decide and he's very or he was at the time addicted to stimulants meaning like eight double espresso's a day so I said all right if I'm going to learn the swim which is the scariest thing in the world to me you can't have anything stronger than green tea for a year and if you agree to that I'll do the open water swim and I didn't think you'd do it and he said deal and so that was the stakes and then someone helped me to rethink how to go about swimming in a step-by-step fashion and but it was that initial pain that initial experience that later led to rethinking swimming which then led to rethinking a lot of things and it's led to the show among other things and so for me that very story was a great entry into engaging and hearing yourself and how you dissect things and the people that we're getting up and sharing because I think on some level we all are looking for those things in life how to let go of stuff and how to enjoy things in a more productive way could you talk about your car accident in high school sure yeah it's not something that we've talked

Vinces car accident. (19:38)

about no I'm gonna talk about it much but we were it was after school I had played sports and then I had stopped I had started getting more into acting and it was during the day and I was a passenger and it was raining out and the girl that was driving was swerving on the road being cute I remember saying don't swear don't don't you know stop it but she kept doing it we were going maybe 35 miles an hour and then we hydroplane and I woke up in a ditch my thumb ripped up real bad and I couldn't move my legs couldn't move I had paramedics over me and I had blood all around me I was real concerned my friend I didn't have any idea how I looked I wouldn't track it my friend was real bloody I said Sean okay they said yeah he's alright they got me the ambulance and then they couldn't get a hold of my parents at first because they were work traveling and so I just remember being in a lot of pain there was a moment you didn't know what the ramifications where I had a small compression which turned out to be nothing in my back but and the aesthetic of my thumb being injured I at the time I didn't I mean it's now just a very bad scar on the back side of it and thankfully I have the thumb and can move it but there's a pad that was gone so that was that was challenging because it really made me evaluate the oldest cliché you know without your health you have you don't have anything so I really got the experience of feeling like well what if I can't move around or people go outside and play and things I had taken for granted and then this the anything physical that is different that you're used to in a certain way I think at first it's natural to feel insecure about it and here I was and at that time knowing one to pursue being an actor and entertainer so it was a gift in you know processing things and putting your focus on other things and you started to realize the power of your own inner dialogue as far as what you were creating or not so there was a lot of gifts in it ultimately but at the time it was I feel lucky for it in that it was without real consequences it was a it was a

Role of sports in Vincents life. (22:06)

nice learning gift in a way so just to and we're going to talk a lot about that inner dialogue and self-talk but I want to touch on a few things that are around that same time period and as maybe a preface to that I will say that Vince is one of the most consistently curious people I've ever met which is saying a lot because my job is to interview curious people and to give you an idea we were just backstage getting miked up and he had questions about something called the Marcelo Teen so Marcelo Teen is a choke that's used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by the Michael Jordan slash Wayne Gretzky of grappling his name as Marcelo Garcia so I was backstage choking Vince about ten minutes ago and there were a lot of very nervous looks very effectively yeah it's a good choke very well knows what he's doing and grappling was one of the first things wrestling specifically that we bonded over and could you talk about the role of sports and wrestling to the extent that it's that it had a lasting impact I think it's important I think you know George Washington I think credited ballroom dancing and horseback riding is two of the most important things he did because it gave him confidence physically in grace and you know being a leader I don't know that you can put grace in the body without you know whether it's I took ballet I took played sports I think it's important especially for me being tall it allowed me to have I think more control and confidence in my and my height and so wrestling to me was really a course in resiliency and discipline I would have loved to fight other team sports but it was I was very good at wrestling for whatever reason and I wasn't as accepted in some of the team sports so wrestling is very much a loner sport if you're on a team bus you kind of joke around and laugh on a wrestling bus everyone is dead side partially because they're all dehydrated from cutting weight cutting weight and you're going to get in a fight in front of your school or people you don't know it's like you shake hands and it's like you're you know there's no one missed a block you got you got beat right and you are dehydrated it's odd and that you're growing and yet you're trying to maintain a weight as I mean it's especially when you're doing it when you're younger it's very challenging but I really felt that I got and there's you know you would come out of playing football feeling like you were in shape and then you would go in wrestling and you would realize you're not in any kind of shape because if you just wrestle it's exhausting and then the only other thing you can do is run and in the winter in Illinois that meant hallways and stairs we had a coach that was he got fired he was not fit to be with the kids but I felt like I was well I benefited from having that personality but he was a real problem but I remember I feel like we needed a little more elaboration so people's minds don't go crazy well he was he was he was he had a real anger problem he would hit him okay he was just I got hit this isn't spotlight I just want him yeah he punched me once in the chest after a match he hit the wind out of me he would he encouraged kids hurting each other but is he normal at the time you know he was like the Cobra Kai yeah he was like Cobra Kai it was crazy he had his own emotional issues so we would want to meet like 60 to 60 or whatever it was and he would be angry over the few mistakes and he would it was at some point you just heard the emotion being poured on you remember his sister was an assistant he'd always say get me a tab and an aspirin or an advil go give me my go give me a tab and an advil and then he's keep screaming at us but he would sometimes like there was a you know we would run these he stares and he would say in these hallways it was it was like a spread but he didn't make it under a minute 20 you would add another one right he was intentionally you were going to have the bar move and he was trying to break your spirit he wanted to simulate all his lost what you thought was going to get you there is not and that will you stand right but inevitably the second string heavyweight was number going to make that time so the first time he would do it he'd say okay he'd call the kids name well loud was a Illinois so it was either I think it was I remember the name I won't say it but might have it like Eastern European last name and he said he was late so then the first time you'd run after that there'd be some encouragement come on you could do it but the second or third time kids would start yelling and screaming at him or kicking at him and really physically forcing him was like a bad bad few good men it was terrible and I always had a problem with the third authority anyway and I clashed with him a lot I ended up just showing up at the meets and I was good enough that I could do that I wouldn't go to practices all the time I really had problems with him he did punch me one time in the chassis but he turned out to be someone that created a past that was not truthful he had told us that he made the Olympic team but that it was when the year that we boy caught at it that turned out not to be true you know but anyway I guess the long version of it is I think that I gained more than I lost even with him being challenging in a lot of ways I wouldn't change that experience and you can have a great coach which there are in wrestling and I think in general one of the great attributes of wrestling is constitution and grit the ability to survive painful moments and not take them on in the absolute sense meaning to have perspective on pain. I want to touch on the word grit for a second because there's there are many researchers who've looked at grit and written about Angela Duck riffing one of them there many of them there are many others and also for instance I think it's Carol Dweck who wrote a book called Mindset and she talks about the sort of intrinsic versus extrinsic validation in kids and so you're talking about your dad focusing on process and I think that helps you to develop grit because you don't assume you're a failure if you have an isolated say failure on the mat as long as you're putting

Process vs. intrinsic vs. extrinsic validation (27:45)

in the process that allows you to persist which I think relates to a lot of your career but I want to talk about maybe not the beginning of your career because it's different but shitty jobs when you were young because one other person that had for instance on the podcast Chris Saka who I've watched go from having a tough time affording a place in Truckee which is like a mountain cabin to being on the cover of the Forbes Midas issue and it's a now well-known billionaire investor and one of his criteria for evaluating people to

Learning from shitty jobs / selling orphans (28:23)

invest in is have they had shitty jobs or not like he likes to see people who have had shitty service jobs so I was a busboy and got abused on Long Island for a long time are any particular do any particular jobs come to mind I had a few of them younger and service industry and that but the one that was I changed perspective on as a God holder was it seemed great at the time but I've shared it before but was to tell a marketing job I was old enough to drive a car I was 16 it was the summer time we were always encouraged you know working so I got a job I thought it was a great job because I sat behind this desk and I would read this you know form and insert names and I kind of make it my own and I like competition and it felt as such than that we would all be in a room together and it was an odd setup looking back it was a guy anyone 15 years older than you seems old that's just how life is so he felt old to me although he was probably younger than I am now but he had a very young much younger girlfriend and she would bring him soup and they'd sit in the back office it was an odd arrange but we would sit at this table and and we would sell and the name would be on the board now what we were selling was the point that came in question years later because it was a nondescript building in Waukegan Illinois referred to as Wauke easy Illinois but we were selling tickets to the Lake County Sheriff's Police Rodeo so the fact that the police were throwing a rodeo would really have one suggest it was an authentic thing because the police were throwing a rodeo right I don't know if the police even knew about the damn rodeo and there was there was a family package that was twenty dollars which got you for and then there was an orphan would you like to send an orphan I mean who doesn't want to send an orphan to an event it was a time when the rodeo wasn't questioned the treatment of anything like that so I was very good at selling orphans so I'd say the family and my family's not going to make it I said but would you like an orphan to go for five dollars you can give an orphan a chance to go well I don't know how many orphans there were in Lake County but they I mean thousands of them so I was feeling great like I'm selling these tickets to the rodeo to the Sheriff's rodeo and a nondescript building in Illinois but I got good at calling people you know make them laugh connect to them in some way and then emotionally hit them up for the orphans if they said no to the other package and that was an interesting one because years later at 16 I took it at face value and years later I evaluated you know in those moments when you're your mind wanders I started a question was there ever a rodeo and who were these orphans and maybe I was taking money from people on a fixed income that didn't feel good you know what what was so the boiler room some JT Marlon aspect aside do you remember any of the script that you that you had to read or so and so home I'm Vince Von Korn from Lake County Sheriff's Police rodeo and it was something along the lines of every you wrote police are throwing a rodeo in celebration this the families and I can't make a family package for it what would you like to send an orphan for just five dollars an orphan can go and enjoy the after as if like some orphans were going to come out you know the ones have to stay inside the place concept I'm a you know it's crazy that you didn't evaluate but I remember seeing as a competition and I did very well I think I want tickets to Madonna or something for selling out but anyway we we give her a sitting outside and every week there was a turnover so the bottom 20% would go and there'd be a new 20% and some of the people doing the job were older than I was and I was kind of excited and there was a little bit of the factory mentality of people who weren't so happy or excited and I learned that they had a different perspective because they were like the job really met something to them and they didn't they didn't want to be in the bottom 20% of the of the board and then I saw kind of the you know turning on each other and that kind of side of things as well third place set a steak knives that's right fourth place you're fucking fire that's right one of those situations that's right I don't know if you knew this my first job out of college was smiling and dialing I had to sell via the phone in Silicon Valley is a big data storage systems and my seat was stuck in the fire exit I couldn't even back my chair out there like no that's your office what was your pitch what was that what was your pitch oh the pitch well the pitch my pitch was a little bit different although because we didn't have orphans that definitely

Journey Into Professional Acting

First job out of college (33:11)

sweetens the deal but it was really doing my homework on the front end because I had to try to guess of selling to CTOs and CEOs these large data storage systems to places like American Airlines or National Geographic Survey I think that's the acronym and massive at the time was like a hundred gigabytes oh my god getting a buy for fifty dollars or hundred dollars at fries now but I would ask them I'd say I read about you I'm calling out of left field you don't know who I am I'm not I'm not gonna try to make up a story but I read an article in IT news monthly about how you did A, B and C and I found it fascinating I know you're probably busy but I was wondering you know are you you I assume you're using like a Solaris system for your A, B and C and if I'd done my homework they'd be like I am that's a good guess and then I'd say look I have to run to a meeting of course I didn't have a meeting like I have to run to a meeting something like that I would love to just send you a quick email you can feel free to ignore it if you if you're too busy but I'm working with the startup I think some of the technology could be really good for you and pick up artists yeah the pickup artists approach to the CTO's picking up CTO's I'm really busy but exactly false time constraint no yes no and we're gonna talk about your phone calls a bit more soon but the if you did you really believe in what you were selling I did I did I did there came a point later where I didn't towards the tail end where I realized wait a second like we're promising things like the sales team is promising things my friends were mostly in the engineering group because I had to understand the tech to sell the way that I wanted to sell and then a lot of the folks on the sales team were selling stuff that had been promised from the higher ups that the engineers were saying they couldn't deliver and I said wait a second in tech that's called vaporware and I was like wait a minute I'm not okay selling vaporware that's not good at all and that's when I started plotting starting my own thing sure because I just didn't feel good about it sure is it true that you became class president because you were academically disinclined but felt that they would have to graduate you if you were class president there's a lot of truth in that statement disinclined might be a strong a garbage but at a young age I had I developed a real problem with central one way of doing anything and I found myself conflict with it my entire academic we want to call it a career so yeah I didn't I didn't put a real value I always try

Academic disinclination. (35:48)

to think for myself and so there were some teachers who I quite enjoyed and would get a lot out of it and there was others that I just really didn't engage with and I for some reason gave myself permission to speak my mind and I was always I think empathetic in that I had a lot of different experiences and friends with different groups and I was on all sides of it so I got along with everybody and I was very bored with school I didn't enjoy it I had younger when I was very young I did well on a IQ test and yet I was not paying attention I just wasn't didn't was bored and I remember they took me to a psychiatrist they said oh we think he might have learning disabilities and I was really afraid and I at the time I didn't vocalize it but I was maybe six but I thought that at the other side of this there was a fear that they could take me from my family so I remember like overly talking in a way that I was an expert on everything I was saying and that I knew the answers to things and I for whatever reason in my young mind I felt like I had to really nail this or they were going to take me away and it came back that I was borderline hyperactive but that's motion kit boys I think like you can't sit still you're not listening and so I had that kind of thing in me so I always love to read and I always love to learn and I just didn't like the process of memorizing and taking tests I never enjoyed it and I didn't enjoy stuff that I found to be ineffective and I felt ethically challenged with playing the game as if like if I didn't believe something why am I writing it should I not be investigating a principle that sound why am I catering to an individual who isn't presenting a good argument and why would I just you know try to get their approval and play the game versus really investigate it which would lead to confrontations and I got in a lot of trouble I would cut school and those kinds of things as well and so ultimately yes I was nervous I had to graduate high school my parents said you got to graduate high school and it was less I mean I had it was more about there were certain requirements I didn't meet I hadn't taken enough years of math or or the foreign language wasn't interesting the way they were teaching foreign language I didn't like that we're saying to Gooster for three years and no one could speak damn Spanish so I just didn't enjoy the process of it so I thought if I if I'm senior class president the senior class president will speak at graduation and I was very opposed to anything class president I didn't like for whatever reason I didn't like that kind of thing it was not I didn't most kids who were running for student counselor thought this is gonna look great on my application to an Ivy League school I don't know why but that kind of bothered me so anyway I thought I got to do this because I got to give a speech and they'll have to they'll have to pass me I my senior year I couldn't miss any classes they didn't pass me I would not have graduated the idea of not moving to California and pursuing what I wanted to do which I knew and the idea of having to go to summer school was a real concern of mine so I did run for class president and I did win class president in doing so I did get better grades my senior year and I think some of it was perception interestingly enough because I was the class president I found my grades to improve with very little effort well you don't want to be the one teacher who ends up flunking the class president yeah but it was just like a thing you look president or dilemma with the other teachers yeah interesting look back at your rationale right it was like oh this would position me in a way that would check mate work to pass these classes work work perfectly yeah when did Dell close enter the picture and could you describe for people who that is well I started taking I knew that I enjoyed acting and so I started I live close to Chicago which was a great place for training because it wasn't as if you were going to be on stage and go to a pilot or a better professional opportunity it was really just about the training so that was excellent I took a workshop I think it was called the actor

Make Dell close roll around in his grave. (40:13)

center Shakespeare and dance and I'm in a gentleman in that that said you'd be very good at improv you might like improv and I'm a member of a group called the improv Olympic and I knew of second city and I said oh I thought maybe I'd go take classes second city said well this guy Dell close who started second city has since left he's felt that it's become more written sketch oriented and he started this thing called the Herald in which it's true improvisation you learn a set of skills you'll take suggestions from the audience and you will incorporate the games that you play and hopefully crack create a linear story structure that has an ending with the things that are set up in the beginning pay off and so I wasn't old enough to be in these bars but they put me on stage very quickly was a woman I think she still runs it named Sharna they were very nice to me I went down and maybe after two or three weeks they put me on stage and I started performing and it was really a writer's workshop a lot of great writers have come out of that same system because you're seeing others do it you're having to think ahead of how you're going to match this up and so he was a very interesting guy I wasn't I had taken a few classes with him I didn't get to know him intimately but he would always say there's nothing funny about comedy and you know was you know the stories you hear about him kind of you know being intense about it was very true but it was great exposure at a young age to be given the permission to actually perform and to do it and to do it live in front of an audience is

Theres nothing f funny about comedy. (42:05)

it true I read that on the first day of classes he gave he would say there's nothing fucking funny about comedy yeah to the students or does that sound like something that he would know he did he would say that and I wasn't with him as much he had he would come in and there was classes I took with him but it was an interesting point of view that you're not there to yuck it up and signal to people that were having fun the comedy on some level can be an over commitment to the absurd so something that is an extreme point of view and your absolute commitment to that could be comedic right so I like that as a foundation on some level that you were you were taking things seriously to some degree or putting your weight behind it if you would and what's what's separated when you were watching whether it's fellow students or people who were more advanced the good improv people from the great improv people well there's there's different body types and there's different energies well I mean that in the way of some people you know this in life too right like Jackie Gleason had this or Farley had

What differentiates good improv actors from being great (43:00)

it and I don't mean about size it's just a presence and then others are more intellectualized or you know thought out so there's more than one way to the waterfall there's not one size fits all but and you may you know you could draw from I think I think one of the great ways to learn is watching others you don't learn from being isolated you really only learn from watching others and then application to by doing it you can't learn I think in fact it's impossible to learn from just just writing down what someone else is saying but so it was great in the life sense to draw from others and to take from them but I didn't see it much different than method acting and that ultimately was about listening you had to be present in the moment for what the other person was providing because if you responded without hearing it it killed the commitment from the audience to believe it so if you said I'm an astronaut one of the first lessons is yes and so I would accept what you do and add to it but if you say we're astronauts and I say no we're not we're cowboys then the audience is now disengaged because there's no believability but if you say we're astronauts and I say yes and we also train horses how are we going to do this I've continued the creation of the imagination so in collaborating I think listening is is paramount because you you want to be working together to create a reality so let's talk about listening to yourself and this relates to moving west so you've done talent shows you had a as I understand a national commercial spot Chevrolet that's right and thank God you're tall enough to be put on stage so I wouldn't get arrested immediately if you've

Becoming a working actor (44:42)

been you know a little guy like me and how did you decide to go west because for instance I've heard different trains of thought related to this I remember hearing a very well-known stand-up comedians say to another stand-up comedian who's just getting started don't move to New York or LA until you're good like those are the big leagues that's where you're gonna have people in the audience who matter like get good in the hometown and these falling places and then move to the big city you went from what you were doing in Chicago and then moved west what was the internal conversation like how did you think through that there was a different mindset at the time I think in general with young actors and that you know I don't know that I ever thought I would make a lot of money doing it or I didn't have I didn't define successes like all make a lot of money or starting a movie and make it to me it was more I really loved enjoying this if I could be good in the scene I'd like that and if I could get a chance to there was nothing in my mind's eye that was separate meaning a commercial or a television show anything that would be performing and making a living doing it felt like a good idea so I had had a level of success in Chicago I my parents didn't want me doing a thing professionally like that so I was 18 but then I got an agent that's a other story but I got this agent and I started booking the national commercial I mean silly things like Sears Robuck had a universal weight machine and I would you know one of the demonstrators of how to use it you know and in Indiana farm insurance commercial different stuff so I felt like I was working a lot and I had trained quite a bit I took it very seriously and I had had trained a lot every chance I had I was taking classes and reading so when I went to Los Angeles I really had a point of view that I belonged so maybe to your friend's point I at that age although of course there was a lot more to learn and but I gave myself that permission and I felt the opportunities would be greater out there and I don't know what's in a young man's mind for how they land on things other than it felt like a better opportunity and that's where I was putting my chips anyway and I think then the telemarketing or the sales stuff did help because I was able to call agents with confidence and suggest that they should sign me and they remember them saying we don't work with unknown people we only work with like well-known people as an agent at ICM and I said well no one at my age is that well-known I said I feel really like I'm ready for this and I persisted enough that she recommended me to a girl she knew who used to be an assistant and it was like it was next to pink's hot dogs it was a small little office I got in and but it was a great I had opportunities to audition so so you meet with this former assistant next to pink's hot dogs yes and what what do you say in the first meeting I was just like I'm here I was I was just there to be an actor I was there to work and I was very self-assured and the fact that I would work hard and do it and I signed up for classes and I think they just thought okay this kid seems like he's serious but I think it's important to know that no one talked about like the friends I had younger there wasn't as many there was three networks at the time and then Fox came around but there wasn't as much opportunity I guess and people were really invested in studying and we talk about movies or books and you know exploring there wasn't a focus on making it or certainly not on leveraging celebrity in a way of selling I've never done a commercial or I don't think there's if people do that there's nothing wrong but I saw that very different I never wanted to be in that so it was really just you know acting imagination exploring you know it's not that there's anything real about it other than the fact that it's a joy that you have but there wasn't any sort of financial component to it in fact you probably weren't going to make a lot of money if you were going to go into acting and I think that served myself and my friends that there was really a focus on getting better and learning about this and it really is a gift sort of going in and learning about yourself ultimately which I think in life is sort of what you come to realize as you get older is really what the journey is how do you make ends made during that time I was very fortunate that the Chevy commercial and it was literally I never talked I caught some car keys and then they would put that in different clips $60,000 I would made off that in a year and other commercials I had that made a lot of money so I was financially way ahead of the game and I lived very frugally and then I started working and you know you'd get residual checks and money coming in so I was very fortunate that I that I was a working actor at a very young age when I say working I mean not well known but able to to work and show able to pay the bills yes I've heard from a reliable mutual friend that you used to call for instance Disneyland and clubs to get comp tickets and tables uh early on yes what did how did those go what was the strategy well I had some influences younger

Getting the hook-up at a way too young age (50:06)

I had a friend that lived in a trailer park and he his mom he didn't have it was I remember the first time I went to his house there's two babies in the cribs it was a trailer park he had and his grandparents at home and they used to charge him a quarter to shower which I found odd but I come to realize that the mom had like 15 or 16 kids all by different uh fathers and so I don't know that they put a huge value sadly on these kids and he would he was a he would survive he would find ways to eat or do things uh to survive and so I was fascinated he could walk into places by feeling like he belonged there he would go in a grocery store and he would just start to make a sandwich and eat it and talk to the people why he did it and they wouldn't bother him and he would he would he would talk to the security guard as he left and it was interesting to me and we would buy liquor this way other kids would go and spot bear and have the you know the sailors or whoever was in the neighborhood sometimes you'd get it sometimes you wouldn't but he would buy like uh you know I would do this later in life but it was a game to me I think younger I thought it was like could you get away with this but we would buy like a loaf of bread some mustard but then underneath the shopping cart we would put bottles of vodka and bear we weren't even old enough to be buying the booze and you talked to everyone and you'd go through the chuck outline this is before things would be and you'd buy your bread and your baloney and you would cart out you know at 18-19 years old the vodka underneath so uh as it pertained to Disneyland it was uh an actor I won't name his name but he became very well known and successful but uh I knew that the head casting director for Disney I knew his name because I had auditioned for stuff at Disney so I called the park on Saturday and said I'm an assistant for this casting director and I have a bunch of young actors who were starring in a movie you know we weren't well known ever oh wait a minute so you're the assistant for the casting director who's not at work because it's a Saturday that's right it was a Saturday no one had cell phones and I knew his name would be on the list of people and I said I work for so and so I'm his assistant and there's a movie starring a bunch of actors we want them to spend some time together and we want them to come into the park and uh they would say well uh what's your name I say my name they say you're not on the list I said I'm his personal assistant I'm not on the list but I think his name should be on it and then I'd overly like spell it for them and they would say yes they say well we're not sure and I said well let me give you the list of names and I named like really well-known actors like really really well-known actors and I said they would love to come in so of course they would accommodate and then in the course once they said yes and it was approved I would then at the end say I'd give one name which was my real name right uh which wasn't well-known and then at the end once they approved it they were going forward I would then say you know what put it under the unknown person's name because the other one probably won't want to deal with stuff but at that point they had already agreed so we would go and get passes and go into the park and go on the rides and go around and it felt like you know that you're looking at it now as you're older it doesn't feel good but younger there was but younger getting it was something fun about getting into a bar when I wasn't allowed to I liked performing more live on stage when I wasn't supposed to be there it was provocative to me getting alcohol seemed fascinating or get anything where I felt that I was not supposed to be doing it I was drawn to and this seemed interesting to me because it was like getting in and it was innocent on some level but yes we used to do that we used to also do a lot of crank calling and I would crank call this is before UFC was real popular we used to crank call like karate studios or these places and I would make it like I was a troubled youth who'd gotten fights and I had real issues and I beat up everyone I ever fought and I said I really need to focus this and train and they'd kind of be uncomfortable and I would tell some really crazy stories and then I would always suggest because I was interested in the reaction and then I would always suggest that I want to join and I want you to put me in fights but I need to respect you so I'm coming down to fight you we need to lock ourselves in a room and maybe your tricks are going to work I call tricks and I would say I'm an emotional dragon I live in a place that's whatever so I would try to create a scary scenario and sometimes they would say well you need to fight some of my underlings and I say I'll chew through your underlings I'm fine give me one underling and then I want you because if you're going to teach me I need to know that you can handle what I call a real fight and I used to do it and we would be crying but sometimes I had one guy really snap get your ass down here he really did have emotional things I was like I'm bringing my ass down there and I would call just to see the response I had one I used to do that was fun with some actresses that I worked with we would be bored on location and so there would be these late night which there's still is you know record and tapes you could buy or a set of steak knives or some ab workout thing or what have you and they would always say these are you know whatever so I would call and in a really long process I would ask a lot of detailed questions right is this and has it been tested or are these standard hits I think these are extraordinary hits these sound tremendous and does it come with this and is there nothing and I could tell the person's like oh god will this guy buy it so right at the point when I was going to make the purchase order the actress would pick up the phone and say herb are you ordering something off the damn TV again get all no no I'm talking to get off the phone you don't have to know my business I work two jobs and herbs by aren't we have a pile of things that Herb doesn't use and I got to pay for these things and he better so we would create a dynamic for the person who was selling where they had invested a lot of time were they going to lie and sell to Herb or were they were going to listen to the distressed wife who was paying for all of the stuff and it was different every time sometimes they would say yes man he is ordering again and sometimes they would go along with us no I'm just a friend and we're talking but we were we were just bored and so we were using improv for evil I guess you'd have been a fantastic psychology professor you were as I understand it rejected for certain roles because of your height is that true I mean that leading leading men at the time or that the roles they were casting for or maybe the people you'd be featured with would be shorter

Learning not to internalize rejection (56:45)

and the issues there that that ended up being an issue in the early days I think whatever you're getting rejected for they find a reason to say it you know I think when I was going up for roles younger and I was so much taller than people they would say that and I'm sure it played a role into it but I think it's important whatever you're doing that you don't get voice to things that you're not able to change you would have to use it in a way to find ways to do stuff it's all neutral ultimately even if it doesn't feel that way on some level at least for the purposes of approaching stuff but you know look at the end of the day it's just a lot of rejection it's the nature of it so I had not turned on probably a thousand to one for the times that I would audition or more and it wasn't always consistent the reasons why but all you knew was that you weren't getting a chance to participate and so you would have to go back to the lab and try to get to a place of being more and more undeniable and when you are going through all these rejections of course at a certain point it just becomes second nature to not flinch as much when you get turned down for something but if you were giving advice to say an up-and-coming actor who has some degree of talent but is getting rejected and they're really just feeling like they're getting punched in the face by the world what would you say to that person?

Dealing with rejection (57:57)

Well I think I looked at it mathematically at a certain point which was I started just focusing my entire day on perfecting my craft so I was either watching a movie reading a book on stuff doing monologues taking classes and ordering products from infomercials. Orting products from infomercials came later that was a dessert that was a treat for him that got a chance to work but I would deny myself other things I couldn't go do this I couldn't travel until I earned it so I would deny myself certain things that I would want to do and say you haven't earned that yet which I find to be a good motivator and then what I did was if I would screen test for a movie that was a big opportunity that would have been life-changing it would have given me an opportunity. What is screen testing? I'm just as an idiot I'll ask. Screen test would be you're close there's a couple people for a role and now they're going to film a scene from the movie with you and perhaps the already casted actor or just pair people together and in screen testing they would just see who mixes and matches or how do you do on camera how do they feel you come off and I had a couple of those maybe four or five for good opportunities and when you don't get it so you could go through seven or eight auditions to get to this point is between you and two or three other people and when you don't get it your day the next day doesn't change meaning you still are going to get asked to go in for five lines on a television show or something smaller there is no advancement as far as opportunity you you were just a person with the same credits you had so there was a lot of time spent to get to that and energy to get to that moment and if it didn't pan out there was no change in how some you were no more castable as a known entity than what you were so what would happen is when you would get that close and it wouldn't happen at first I would get down and I would take four or five days and I would just not do anything and I'd say oh this is I'd lose my energy and then I started to realize that the week I took off was really two weeks that it was a week of not getting better and it was a week of getting worse and I said now I've given myself two weeks less to improve at the things I'm in control of and I started looking at it like a percentage game the more I worked on things my percentages would go up and what I realized later was it gave you a confidence to feel like you belong there it gave you permission to perform in situations that didn't feel comfortable because you had felt good about what you had brought to the table and so I would suggest that you find a process where you're able to I think it's important to allow yourself to feel disappointed I think it's important that you don't turn off those feelings but it is also important to how do you do that as quickly as possible that to then become a productive again and start doing the things that are going to give you a better opportunity for what you want the same could be said for a relationship it hurts your feelings it's but how much time is the effective in mourning and processing it I really believe no time is not good you need that moment to accept it but the sooner you can get back to doing things for your own growth and the things you're in charge of I think your chances of having the things you want in your life become greater I think also from what I've observed in you and other people who've done really well in their respective fields is that having an opportunity to be exposed to micro failures in some environment like wrestling like auditions inoculates you in such a way that you develop a tolerance for rejection and that allows you to capitalize on opportunities much more effectively later because you don't take the two weeks off right correct and it allows you to improve so but then we have the problem on the other side which I don't know if you've experienced it you see it with boxers a lot but once you have a level of success can you maintain a motivation right to have the approach that you once had right when the immediate needs are not there a strong sure how have you done with that because you're in a place right now that I find I suppose I've taken what was a liability or what I viewed as weakness for a long time meaning an ADHD like scattered attention where I would move from interest to interest I'd get very hot on something then very cold and then shift interest and I viewed that as a bad thing being a jack of all trades master of none and at some point asked myself what if I turned what if this weakness could be a strength you know what if this bug could be a feature how would I describe it and it's like okay you know if I could make a career as a professional dillotot what would that look like and by doing that I allow myself this sort of intravenous hit of excitement even though on a macro level my career has has improved over time I'm continually becoming a novice. Does that make sense? I'm always going back to white belt and I think that gives me a certain hunger that allows me to be both excited and also not get too inflated ahead any bigger than it already is. So in something like a podcast which is the continuation of the same thing although you're exploring different people how do you stay is it that the the people are different and the opportunity to investigate is different but how do you stay focused on that knowing that your nature is to. So the podcast has been an anomaly I thought I would maybe do six or ten episodes and I mean the way I choose projects and I think this is in some respects pretty similar to how you look at a lot of things but I will ask myself which of these say five projects will allow me to develop new skills and relationships that could last beyond the project even if it even if it fails and that was the goal with the podcast so I wanted to format it in such a way work on it in such a way that I could for instance listen to audio and get rid of really annoying verbal ticks that I had like using the word pretty good pretty interesting pretty this pretty that I use that adverb is this throw away for everything it drove me insane but I didn't realize until I listened to my own audio and the short answer is and I think we have actually a good clip to to elaborate on this a bit is scratching my own itch so for each of the podcast guests I have on it's because I have an intense personal interest in something they are good at or have figured out where I feel I am weak or weaker so if I'm having say relationship issues and having trouble thinking through them I'll go to an ester pro if I'm having some type of a weight training issue and I want to get stronger I might go to like a Charles Pollockman or a Pollock sets woman and it's an intensely personal interest for me that drives each of the guests and that gives me the variety within something it could be viewed as as uniform I'm going to ask you about how swingers came to be because it seems to tie into frustration but first how much of that was worth a word script how much of that was improv a lot of that was improv and it's in the moment we had a production crew we did that movie for two hundred fifty thousand dollars and I think our sound guy normally had done porno movies and you know we were doing the stuff and taking it and I think they were judging us a lot like oh god you're these fucking guys saying money again and so when I did that I looked I caught I think a crew member that was maybe like kind of like snooze fest it was late and so I use it as if it was patrons at the bar and I responded in the moment as if like I'm the fucking asshole for trying right like I'm the fucking asshole in the place for celebrating my friend's gross right so it was but it was all connected it was the intention was obviously there and then you would play around with it and how did how did swingers come to be I mean of course I'm sure there are many many different aspects to it but why did that movie happen well there's a you know I think everyone remembers I think whenever you work on a movie people always remember their contributions greater in success and feel your people always make it like god I've tried to warn them right but swingers really came about because there was an auditioning for lots of parts that I felt weren't truthful or connective to what was going on there was not they were being written that's why I think it's important for young people both musically and writing wise whether it's film or books or whatever to have a voice because it's unique to

Importance of unique voices in the arts (01:06:55)

the culture at that time and I think things that resonate in the culture are more important than setting out for a large global thing I think is I think sometimes you can have things become larger but if it starts whether it's boys in the hood or something that feels like it's trying to explore the now is very viable it's true for startups too I mean all the biggest startups that people would recognize here almost all of them started with that right a need it's the same thing that he was saying of frustration there's something so it felt like

Identifying a cultural need (01:07:14)

for me I had lived in Los Fiel as the old punk rock bands started playing live swing music and writing original swing music I had always had an interest in old swing music and big band music and country music and I still listened to it when I was older and so when this kind of came about you could go to a live venue and hear original songs by a 14 piece band it was fantastic and it was just what was going on it was nothing we created it was the environment which we lived in which to your point was started so you're seeing a need and a cause and right so I said to John I said that we can't sit around and wait for someone to write something you know we should go write something and I started a good my journey I write something and in two weeks John had the story inside of him which was leaving a girlfriend behind and moving to this unique world of and me sort of being a guy that showed him around to these bars in these places and we became focused on getting that movie made we had nothing really he had an agent I didn't but we would go and sit in this coffee shop the one that was in the movie and in our minds we would play out it was almost like visualization we would play out how to get past obstacles how would be received and I think this is interesting in life you mean obstacles to making getting getting the movie made and at the time we had read the book the fountainhead which is you know the I had read it earlier John had read it which is defiant and it's a pursuit of one's artistic goals meaning you don't compromise you you stay truthful to what you're exploring and so we were very young and very much wanting to not change things there were suggestions to make the movie if there was a girl that was part of the group because they wanted to hear a girl's perspective and I thought these guys had a girl's perspective they wouldn't act this way you know this is about this is about young men when you're outside of high school or college for the first time how do you go up and meet someone when you don't have a comfort zone with them you know so it was really exploring that time it was counter it wasn't a health video it was more what was going on so we were rejecting of these things and anyway and we finally the glime in came on to direct the movie there was a journey for us to play the parts which ended up happening but my director come on to finance the movie we couldn't get the movie made there was lots of we used to do live readings and every time we do a reading it played huge but and the way that they would handicap things they would suggest what's the audience for it you know there's a problem in Hollywood in that it's gone so Wall Street meaning it's so quarterly everyone needs to drive towards their return it's like the car industry it used to be an engineer would get the corner office and it's the Harvard guys get the office it's the finance guys you know which but the predictivity is that the cars perhaps suffer sometimes in in our industry you know it's the IP that's going to break through but that can be challenging when there's a cultural things that are trying to break through and that they can a lot of times they resonate because people are connecting to self-growth you know the stages of one's life whether it's in a Campbell way or a Carl Jung way it's the same evolution of facing your fears and the nature of letting go of ego and those things and the stories are exploring those in some way so we Doug came on he had the money to make the movie he directed it he actually shot it he was a cinematographer and I think it was the perfect combination there was conflict at the time of you do it but I think if you would have changed any of those elements you wouldn't have had what you had Doug brought a great he had not hung out in these neighborhoods or vindivagous in these ways and he did a great job with the camera it felt documentary style as if you were there and it became a key ingredient in a way to receive a movie like this John did a phenomenal job of taking something personal and putting in a structure and drawing on the things around him and I think it was like a band where it just worked so it was pure it was something that we were passionate about it was from our lives our childhood and it was exaggerated with an awareness obviously for comedy but it truly is sort of about in this case it's letting go of rejection of a girl and giving yourself permission to feel like you're viable that someone could love you first you start off saying how do I learn tricks to trick someone and at the core of that is suggesting that you yourself wouldn't be loved right that you it would have to be some manipulation which is such a terrible place to work from I think what made swingers so different than a lot

The story will find a way (01:11:44)

of the pickup stuff later was swingers was really kind of self empowering you know it he rejects Trent stuff sort of in the end he kind of connects to someone by being his true self he doesn't try to be something different and it's through going inward and finding his way that he evolves to his next stage which is now he's connecting someone from a truthful place and so it was to the point that you showed with the clip at Blake it was a frustration and what was available and then where are the stories from our age and the motivation to to create those were there any points where you felt the movie wasn't going to get made or you doubted the movie oh god it was every day we thought there was money there was an arms dealer at some point that was gonna invest I don't know okay I'm not gonna hold on no no I don't we take we take meetings that we take meetings at the agency and talk they you know we none one who we had done the Rudy and whatever but then we'd leave and the agent be like they're an arms dealer I think I don't know but here's the point they're gonna give you a check I don't know so but none of them came through until finally Doug made the movie and you knew Doug prior I did not know Doug I met him through John but I think everyone how did you guys convince him to do it I think he came to a read through or friend of his suggested the script and he saw the value of it and wanted to participate yeah and so there was if there was times we made the movie wanting to go to film festivals in this case Sundance was real popular and we got rejected by Sundance and the mission was sort of to get into Sundance and it felt to me that perhaps the the male point of view in an unapologetic way that was very authentic to what these guys journey was was not in sync necessarily with what the festival was doing so or that the movie so it was interesting to have had as part of our plan be given a no and that was another resilient moment where at that point it's like Dorothy right you had to not put a value on the wizard and go within again and say well why am I telling this and why do I believe and it was forcing us to reaffirm approach the edit even from a greater strength of truth of conviction of what we were doing and ultimately it became what it became I like to say that we knew it but we were naive enough to believe that if we were we experienced this we found a value in it and it just so turned out that there was lots of people maybe not living in a swing centric neighborhood you know it was like when people would read the script

Views On Storytelling And Relationships

Overthinking what the audience will want (01:14:45)

they would say why can't you put in grunge music or you know hip-hop music or things that were popular to suggest that an audience would be more engaging but we said no it's not interesting to us this is a unique community and I think the uniqueness is actually what made it translate and then swing music became how to surgeons afterwards but I think by not overthinking what people want by experiencing in the same way that he's saying realizing from a personal place what you're frustrated about or what you feel like there's lacking sometimes that is a great catalyst to creating that very niche thing you know and then it gets into the fabric in a very different way well I think also that as soon as you start designing something for an audience this has certainly been advice I've received from successful writers you stop looking at your own pain you stop looking at your own needs and you start making something for an imaginary figure in your head and you start veering away from a place of honesty where you know something is concrete and if I look at for instance but then you're putting satisfaction in someone else's hands which is very dangerous versus did you attain what your goals were knowing that your goals might change and I say goals I don't mean perception or results I mean the execution sure which goes back to the schooling and learning in the same way for me am I exploring what I believe in versus trying to please someone definitely now I'm a Kurt Vonnegut on my favorite writer certainly is talked about this a lot I want to give a few other ill-grace you see his youtube thing with the fall rise story it's great he explains the stories and kind of a fall rise which would be Cinderella and he does a real nonchalant I recommend it there are few other examples of this I think in your career and you have such a filmography we we we can't possibly go through all of them but you mentioned music so I want to ask I just a fact checking question which is later of course you created Jurassic Park did you come on Steven Spielberg's radar because the Jaws theme music was in Swingers yes and you needed clearance that's incredible yeah it was odd but I had never younger I was real defiant what I wanted to do and but I loved Spielberg's movies and I went into Jurassic Park and did that and then really liked him I found him to be very generous with his knowledge he I took meetings he would talk about western movies I'm a fan of westerns and we would just sit as two fans and dissecting things and I found him which I think is very nice in someone in his position allowing my opinions and taking them in and turning them around and then coming back I felt it was playful and I found him as a person that was obviously knowledgeable to still be including in a young man's conversations in film and that was a great quality of his that I think was I enjoyed that connection and those conversations with him what else did you of course you've learned a lot from observing people on stage saying improv and elsewhere what else did you pick up from Spielberg or learn from him well that was really you know in that movie really that was my biggest thing was his ability to not create a separation to nobody wanted but at the same time be engaging with others and yeah I just admired the tone in which he did things that was in

What Favreau learned from Spielberg (01:17:49)

just a very open-minded tone or was it confidence in that it was not pushing down to others right there was his where the yeah I think he would ultimately make his decisions but without the imposing right or the struggle of it given that the most frequent question from my fans on twitter and facebook was something related to speed or comfort we have to watch a clip from wedding grashions all right so the reason I wanted to show that just aside from just shits and giggles because I want to show it that became at the time the highest grossing r-rated film of all time and I've heard about conversations of earning the rating and why do you think that film did so well I think we worked from a similar place of swingers at the time I had rejected most after Jurassic Park I didn't do a lot of studio movies and I just I was offered some but I was just more gravitating towards these independent movies and then we got to and then when Todd Phillips who's still a friend who I like quite a bit Todd offered me old school the studio said I don't we don't think he can be funny he had done mainly dramatic stuff younger and and old school felt like a great thing to me because I felt like we were doing something authentic but I also could really excuse me buy into it in a way that felt like this is awesome this is fun and so I sort of got my wings in a way that I could do more commercial fear but it was going to be something that I was really excited about so we got to do crashes there was a concept and an idea the director David Dopk and I had done this movie Clay Pigeons with younger and I liked him quite a bit but Owen is a terrific writer I mean he wrote a lot of the Wes Anderson stuff with Wes younger and he just very has a very interesting take on things and we have similarities and differences but we just approached it and started to just write like in the course of a month like we just sort of changed the structure and the writing of the script with the director we all just would sit and write and change it so very much so in the spirit

The story-telling spirit behind Wedding Crashers (01:20:41)

that you and your friends would do something not worrying whether it was going to be liked not worrying whether the studio would say it was okay and I remember first being on the set saying some of the things I was saying and I was like I can't believe no one stopping me or no one saying you can't say this but I think the difference here was we weren't earning our R I had no intention of being shocking for shocking sake if you look at that scene and you go back to the early statement that there's nothing funny about comedy I think what makes that thing interesting is funny is he is has absolute unapologetic convictions about some things that might contradict each other and his point of view is surprising so he is infuriated that he was jacked off under the table he blames his friend for putting him in the circumstances right like that would be a terrible moment to have happen by a very attractive younger girl but in his mind this is a horror that no one should should have and yet at the same time an older woman's breast to fondle them would be absolute bliss that would be joy and that would be an exceptional moment and then he kind of puts himself in that moment like a child like an already like sense memory right like in his mind what he builds it up as and so I think the commitment to those points of view and how they lay up against each other and then the team players like you're mocking the very concept of like what's a healthy work environment and yet it's applying very much so to sexual encounters in a house so my point being that I think we really just try to define dysfunction friendship that feeling of you love someone a lot of friendship but you're like a married couple you have real issues and problems and they conflict and we were only looking to pursue this and I didn't know that it would make money or what it would do there wasn't a lot of you know there was some art movies that had done well old school did good and then you know of course there was something about Marion of course the stuff we grew up on or I'm aging you more than me but you know that the animal house and these things that again of that time we were really just looking to hit the guitar chords in an honest way for what we found to be fun and then it turned out to be a larger success. See you've you've had many different milestones and landmarks throughout your career two of them I think are certainly swingers winning crashers the next clip I'd like to show and then I'm gonna I have a question about all three is the breakup.

How John views relationships. (01:22:58)

So this movie was very successful. What do you think made it different? Well I had an idea I had never done a romantic comedy and then I after that I fell into the trappings of some of these and there was a lot of good in the approach to this movie and one thing that I should have held stronger to but to that point was I had I was off of these romantic comedies and it wasn't my life experience. I found that like a lot of people of my generation and I think maybe with evaluation too strongly I was really committed to focus on my career and that a relationship was something that you could be in love or have feelings but you had to get yourself into a certain place career wise which is just not necessarily always the case or true but at that time I had never thought about what would make a marriage work or being with someone but I would you know have feelings and investigate and be with people but I was fascinated by because I had this experience happen where you could be really drawn to someone and very much connected to them and not just physically but there was something going on where you were really drawn to them and at the same time there was things about them that were very much so in conflict with things about yourself it was it was not a match and there was always lessons I would look at it more in a spiritual way or conscious way or psychology way what is it that's playing out in this way so I thought sometimes you have to really love someone your skill set's

What he learned from The Break-Up. (01:24:07)

not there there isn't there and so you clash and you burn out the relationship you burn out the love and now you can never return to it you've damaged it to the point where there's no going back and now you're a better person if you were to meet today you'd have a chance but you can't meet today and you're not going to be with that person and there was an oddity in that moment to me I love this person enough to stick around and learn this lesson and now I can't go forward with them and it was more authentic to me in

The Break Up. (01:25:05)

my experience at the time that you don't end up with someone you love a lot because of your flaws but at best you could learn and be a better person and then go out there and meet a person again knowing that in life sometimes the love you feel younger has strong as it is it doesn't return in the same ways because you've gone through that experience you felt those rushes before so it's an interesting interesting journey so in that movie I wanted them not to end up together and I had two great young writers they hadn't done a lot Jeremy Garalick and J Lavender I had this concept I want to do something in Chicago because I was from the area and I wanted to set up this odd couple in an apartment that you would see their flaws and differences and you know underneath it see the hurt like the scene at the door that proceeds it he wants to go in it's not that he's absent of feeling and he doesn't know how and he's too afraid and play that out in a way that's comedic but dysfunctional and totally different you know it wasn't a traditional comedy throughout you know kind of reversing the first half being heavy and then being light and getting what you wanted so that was the that was the intention and I think again maybe the the why of it which I think is what people respond to was I was personally interested in understanding when you destroy someone you love a relationship with someone you love you know what is the dynamics and leaving they both leave in a better place but there's an nostalgia that not for us not for this moment. So the reason I wanted to show these three clips specifically and talk about some of the earlier cold calling and someone is that what I found so reassuring and also tactically practical about looking at your career is number one you don't get in life what you deserve you get what you negotiate so you should be you should become good at negotiating whether that's having the luck or a misfortune to have certain jobs say that put you on phones or just reading books like Getting Past Know, Secrets, Power, Negotiating, there are a number of decent ones. That'd be point number one point number two is that on a very reassuring note you don't have to be what many people conceive of as or let me rephrase this you don't have to create brand new worlds that are utterly different from the one we live in to create something unique and successful. When I look at some of the most important creative decisions you've made the projects that you've selected they have they appear to have two things in common one is you're scratching your own itch I mean you've turned down I know this from conversations with you I mean a lot of very what people would consider lucrative opportunities to focus on things that you personally want to do to satisfy some need or want of your own and secondly that you can be or be seen as very very original by simply being honest and having the voice and I don't mean that in a cliched way I mean that if you simply tell the story of a bunch of dudes who are completely irresponsible and many levels being dudes say in the case of wedding crashers because that hasn't been say told in a very unfiltered way just by definition you've done something very very unique they can stand on some merit and then let's say breakup having the ending you wouldn't expect and all of these issues that are conversations that probably everyone in this room has had some plan or another you can in fact create something that is not only successful but original because of that and I remember early on being told because I was having so much trouble writing my first book and I would read I would draft a few chapters maybe kind of slapstick stupid three stooges because I thought I was supposed to be funny then I'd throw it out and then I tried to do something serious it would be really pedantic and boring and I'd throw it out and one of my friends said it's not that hard to have a voice you just have to be honestly yourself like embrace your weird self and display that and then you're consistent and then you are sort of the one and only version of yourself that you can be yeah that's a journey that we all learn of tone Mel Gibson who's one of my favorite filmmakers and I worked with him on Hacksaw and without knowing it the old Warner Brothers when it was a family they had a mission statement for their movies that was slightly different but it was entertain educate and then Mel would say elevate so if you just entertain people you keep it fun and engaging educate they're learning about something right through the course of the movie and

Insights And Suggestions

Leaving a different kind of footprint. (01:29:30)

elevate you leave feeling inspired that you could do something and one other thing was um enlightened but similar as a road map and I think that's important like in going to do dramatic stuff like it doesn't have to be the dark keys of the piano always in earnestness it feels false in a way so I think being able to be light or have fun in writing and then when you want to make a point or have it hit you give yourself permission it feels like to to go within and go within and out tones so I want to just in the the time that we have left just a whole lot just a few minutes ask a few questions that I like to ask everyone I interview and I don't think I've asked any of these of you personally when we've been talking about Marcellatines and so on before are there any particular books that stand out for you as favorite books or books that you've reread or gifted to other people?

Favorite books (01:30:18)

Benjamin Franklin's autobiography is I think the most compelling of books in that he's very right so I think originally to his son it's not his biography it's his telling of it and he was such a prolific person and I think what's interesting in similar ways that I enjoy you and what you do he talks about his process he invented the pros and cons list the public library the fire department and was very prolific in science obviously electricity the catheter bifocal flippers but then musically he in languages he spoke many languages there is a falsity that you're one side of your mind or the other they they really are connected and he would explore process very much so of how did like in language he was learning Italian he had a chest opponent that was very equal and so they would play in the loser the winner got to assign a very rigorous homework assignment in the language so would force you to release the focus on chess and then if you lost you were actually learning something that was valuable so just systems and things that he would do and how he would approach things where he would be somewhat vulnerable so it was encouraging that a process could lead to changing your circumstance so that makes perfect sense to me because I've again we I've heard stories don't know if they're true about early days in LA when you make calls to prospective agents and you'd say I'm in I'm visiting town I want to weigh all my options before making a decision and you sort of you had a way of presenting yourself in such a way that would hopefully become a self-fulfilling prophecy which I think is very useful I think it's a very valuable strategy and it makes me think of I read it this in Walter Isaacson's biography of Franklin but he made his real money in printing right as you know and one thing that he used to do even though he was he had employees and everything was under control is he would get a barrel and fill it full of all of these like print supplies and walk up and down the street and then go back in like take a rest drink his tea because he wanted everyone around to see how busy and successful than Franklin the paper right right to to then propagate more business which in fact worked so that makes I think that's important skill set is calling people that you're not comfortable with and getting access and figuring out how to do that if you don't learn how to reach out you've given yourself permission many times prior to even writing where you would call someone because you were fascinated and you'd be surprised if done in a way that feels good how people are willing to sit because if they're doing these things a lot of times they're engaged in process themselves I used to teach a a class in high-tech entrepreneurship and I would assign as a as a prize a round trip ticket anywhere in the world to the student in the class who could get a hold of and get a response from the most difficult to reach person and we had people get responses from Warren Buffett from former presidents it was amazing and I've even heard of some people so you don't need a class to do this but you can put together a betting pool with a group of friends and say all right everyone's going to put in 100 200 bucks whatever is enough to like sting if you lose it a little bit and then compete to get a response from the hardest to reach person. Going back to Franklin with the Juno you know he would have the club where people would get together and they would do similar types of things so it's an it's a skill you know it's something to definitely work on because and nowadays I think with the internet and stuff we all have so much wealth just information it used to be so hard to get a book now you can get information on anything so I think getting the information is interesting but getting the skill sets like active literacy being able to stand up and give a speech being able to write your ideas I think those are all things that are good to spend time on because whatever your passion is they'll they'll help you in that because it ultimately you may need to connect or get a job or do something you know that skill sets helpful. Well I might be misattributing this kind of like every internet quote is attributed to Abraham Lincoln but I remember hearing this relates to maybe a separate podcast we can have on education and your thoughts on that but at one point I want to say Henry Ford was being interviewed and the interviewer asked him some factual question and he was stumped he didn't know the answer and the interviewer somewhat condescendingly said oh any fifth grader is memorized that fact and he said that's why I have a library so I don't have to memorize facts but I know where to find them and I think that in lieu of a library sure you have the internet but even more valuable when you develop the ability to reach out to people and have conversations that make you uncomfortable and expand that sphere of comfort you can find any information that you sort from the horse's mouth right and I think but seeing someone like yourself it gives permission to feel like you could do it because I see someone who starts from a place of being drowned by a bully and emotionally you connect to that you're you know putting a sense of memory with a terrible experience to then realize that whatever my personal dialogue is about seeing how it goes you know one great thing about failure is you realize it's not as bad as your mind makes it out to be it's crisp the fear is more crippling than the actual consequences the consequences a lot of times feel almost relieving in a way because now you've faced it you've gone through it and that kind of takes that away from you yeah no it's amazing how also over time the more you you don't address your fear and meaning if you take some large fear you break it down into the smallest possible steps let's say for swimming for me is even just putting my face underwater for a period of time right so forget about swimming forget about learning how to breathe just putting your face underwater and then when you finally have the incentive like this bet that I had with my friend or rather this mutually assigned nears resolution with the deadline what was that with the deadline yeah with the deadline when I actually sat down and found a method of swimming called total immersion which I recommend everybody which was introduced to me by Chris Saka who also had difficulty swimming and he said I've the answer to your prayers it took me a week about 10 days to go from zero laps in a pool to like 40 laps at workout as meditation it was an incredibly it was an it was incredibly easy compared to the mental monster that I had created for myself that's what's fascinating is how much of it is the woods that we've created yeah versus the actual path to the destination so if you had a billboard this is more a metaphor than anything else but you could put anything

What would John put on a billboard? (01:37:11)

on a gigantic billboard to get a message out to millions of people what would it be I probably wouldn't say anything because I don't like to give advice to people because I feel like you can show people the way but but they have to find their own way but maybe it would be to learn how you learn and to learn yourself you know and accept yourself learn who you are and learn to accept and love yourself I think is a big part of life because within that you might find your interest and give yourself permission to explore like the Campbell quote to follow your blister and then also learning how you learn is getting quiet and learning how to engage in things for example your swimming situation finding a way to approach it where you are going to enjoy it and versus taking some sort of a course that someone says you have to do it this way there's always more than one way to the waterfall that would be a long billboard could just be a mirror is there anything just enclosing any recommendation or ask of the people in this room or the people listening to this for

Alan's closing suggestions. (01:38:36)

the audience any recommendation ask or otherwise you'd like as parting words parting words oh man I don't know I just feel that you know being engaged in life is a good thing and trying it stuff is a good thing and then really doing your own evaluations for what how you feel about what you're you're doing is important and I think connecting with people's good and laughing and having downtime and taking the pressure off and just being daydreaming you know being present not not always driving towards something sometimes I think learning comes from letting the mind rest and doing nothing as well one thing I've really observed from you that touches on a lot of those checkboxes is in many of your interactions I've seen I mean with me and others is if you want to be interesting be interested you ask a lot of questions so maybe focus on holding forth and holding court less and asking more and better questions that's a more articulated version of it yes you know be engaged in learning from others and watching them for sure more than feeling a need to pose where you're at now well then I personally just want to thank you for helping to make fearless a reality I want to thank you truly and for coming in and playing I think you do a tremendous job and there's been a lot of good that have come into my life what you do and I know to others as well and I hope that continues so thank you for your inspiration and for your vulnerability I appreciate it ladies and gentlemen it's fun thanks brother thank you hey guys this is Tim again just a few more things before you take off number one this is 5 bullet Friday do you want to get a short email from

5-Bullet Friday. (01:40:33)

me would you enjoy getting a short email from me every Friday that provides a little more soul of fun before the weekend and 5 bullet Friday is a very short email where I share the coolest things I've found or that I've been pondering over the week that could include favorite new albums that I've discovered it could include gizmos and gadgets and all sorts of weird shit that I've somehow dug up in the the world of the esoteric as I do it could include favorite articles that I've read and that I've shared with my close friends for instance and it's very short it's just a little tiny bite of goodness before you head off for the weekend so if you want to receive that check it out just go to four hour that's four hour all spelled out and just drop in your email and you will get the very next one and if you sign up I hope you enjoy it. This episode is brought to you by Trunk Club there are two types of men out there you know who you are.

Trunk Club. (01:41:33)

Guys who love shopping for clothes but are short on time category A and those of you who hate it category B I am in the latter category. My fashion sense is also probably somewhere between homeless and confused with a dash of lazy added in either way you can take heart and I've used Trunk Club now and have found some of my favorite pieces of clothing that make me look a lot better than I would be able to handle on my own and there are many reasons for that but you can get clothing that fits perfectly and looks amazing without ever stepping into a store again thanks to Trunk Club and they make it very very easy and the clothing is hand picked by a personal stylist your own personal stylist all you have to do is go to Trunk type in your measurements share your likes and dislikes they'll pick your clothes from more than 80 top brands and ship them right to your door you keep what you like you send back what you don't if you don't like any of it send it all back doesn't matter and Trunk Club is not a subscription service this is what appealed to me among many other things I didn't want to constantly be getting dinged by things or have to deal with the headache of constantly getting boxes it's not a subscription service shipping is always free and you have five days to try on the clothes so a couple points here number one get started today go to trunk try it out you get premium clothes expert advice no work no risk that is a winning combo and I have found some of my favorite espadrilles shoes from them bright green I do like the color green and they actually work I've had so many compliments on these shoes and more people ask me where I got them than any other pair of shoes I've ever had and more shirts I kept ended up keeping about I would say three quarters of my box which I did not expect to do so go to trunk and check it out this episode is brought to you by 99 designs I've used 99 designs for years for all sorts of graphic design needs whether you need logo website book cover anything else 99 designs was created to make great designs accessible to everyone to make the process of getting designs much much easier so when I first started out for instance testing prototype covers and getting prototype covers for the four-hour body I want the contest drop that is one option this is a

Mentioned Entities

99designs. (01:43:37)

great solution if you're looking for fast affordable design work and the ability to choose from dozens of options risk free let's say you need something late night quick turnaround well people in other time zones other countries can also help you solve that problem since then I've worked with 99 designs on a separate path or a different option and that is the one-to-one project service so in a number of cases and I'll give you one example when I wanted to create the cover for my audiobook the tau of Seneca this was a very important project to me I decided to use their one-to-one project service and with this service you can invite a specific designer to your project agree on a price and then work together until you're satisfied and they allow you to iterate and provide feedback and all this stuff and I haven't shared it yet but we also got something incredibly good really some of the best illustrations I've ever seen from using this one-to-one project service with a handful of different designers and illustrators it blew my mind 99 designs makes this all very easy and efficient so you can check out the tau of Seneca design and other work that I and your fellow listeners for that matter have done on 99 designs at and right now you can get a free $99 upgrade on your first design again that's

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