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Celebrating Your Weirdness /w Thomas Middleditch | Chase Jarvis LIVE

Celebrating Your Weirdness /w Thomas Middleditch | Chase Jarvis LIVE

– (laughing) I’m starting
this episode laughing for a good reason, you’ll
see in just a second. Hey, everybody, what’s up? I’m Chase, Welcome to another episode of The Chase Jarvis Live
Show here on CreativeLive. You guys know this show. I sit down with awesome humans with the goal of unpacking their brains to help you live your dreams, whether that’s career or hobby or life. My guest today, he’s a writer and actor. You will definitely know him as the star, he plays Richard in HBO
hit series Silicon Valley. My guest is Thomas Middleditch. (dramatic percussion and guitar music) (audience applauding and cheering) They love you. Good day, sir. (speaking foreign language) (speaking foreign language) (speaking foreign language) – Ah, that’s, I finished
all my French (laughs). – That’s it, I’m pretty close
to the end of mine, too. – Welcome to the show, man. Thanks for being here. – Thank you for having me. – So, off-camera, we were, before, – Oh.
– Yeah. – Yeah, off-camera, we had
a pretty lengthy diatribe. I was getting into it. – We were, we were. We were taking about Canada, though. – Yeah.
– They just changed their national anthem
today, and you’re Canadian. – Yeah.
– What are your feelings? – Oh, that’s great.
– Yep. They changed two words.
– I think that’s great. Yeah, what are the two words? I know sons got turned
into ours or us or– – Yeah, something like that. – I just was, just listening
to the old NPR story. I think it’s great, man. Anyone, you know, what are you gonna, why are you holding on to that? This is a perfect example
– Right. – of why humans hold onto stupid shit. – Yep.
– You, you’re, if anyone’s upset about
it, and they’re like, “It should be sons ’cause
that’s what we want,” A, the anthem has been changed over time, before,
– Yes. – but, B, what if you’re not a son? Now, you’re excluded from the anthem. And I know it’s semantics,
but it’s important to other people
– Right. – and what are you fighting for? Are you fighting for the old world of sexism?
– Sexism? – Yeah, you want Do want gender… – But Canada made the
right decision today right? – I think it’s great in the
face of all this bullshit that we have here. And president who grows his troll power, grows stronger from dividing
and saying stuff that’s a bit that ruffles your feathers and divisive, and all this kind of stuff
that you just have to shut out. There’s this little country, not so a little, second
biggest in the world, to the north. It is has kind of just being like… – Rocking it. – Sorry here! – You guys are crushing it. – Yeah well we it’s a
very courteous nation. It is. I mean a lot of stereotypes are true. They’re very nice. My critique of Canada is, there’s this sentiment, and it’s both the best thing about it. It’s the best thing about it, but also the reason kind of why I like spending time in America, is there’s this courteous
don’t rock the boat mentality. Just keep your head down, and go to work and you know? Just do your thing. – No tall poppies. – No tall poppies right? Yeah but down here anyone’s
like get out of my way! That money’s mine! I get all the money! – You’re pretty good at that. – Everyone wants to be the money man. – So Canada check. We have Canada on the show here. Yeah he’s making hundreds. – Brought my own syrup. – Super glad to have you on the show. We’ve had Amanda Crew on the show before. Love her. Never heard of her? Amanda thank you for the
introduction and being the awesome human that you are. Congrats on the show. Epic success. – One of the biggest successes
to come out of television since MASH. We are compared to MASH a lot too, which is I think weird. – So did you think you were onto something before you started? Again my I’ll just… I don’t watch her much TV. So my wife likes all the shows. She is good at watching… – What TV do you watch? – The only show… This is the truth. – I have a few amount of shows
but I have more than one. – This is a confession. The only show that I actually make sure to watch in the season, specifically is Silicon Valley, and that’s no bullshit. That’s not ass-kissing. I would say went. I have been invited to all the premieres, just because I know some folks. – Oh yeah connected. – And the line that you
guys lined up on stage, all just doing this for
45 minutes in pure chaos. It’s pretty fucking good. – Well yeah. – So did you think that Silicon
Valley was gonna be a thing, or did you when you started? – No. I never think of something that I’m a part of is gonna be a thing. It’s much safer to think like that. You are in for a world
of hurt in this business, if everything you do you’re like, I think I’m gonna be the
Rock Johnson after this! Who is in my mind I guess, the most famous? – Yeah but I think he’s
the highest-paid too. – He’s the highest-paid. He’s got such big muscles. Yeah yeah yeah. It came about so randomly too. The tail goes, so says the legend, that I came here from New York to LA, to work on an animated show, which I had sold to MTV under the tutelage of John
Elchiler and Dave Krinsky, who have worked with Mike
Judge on many a thing, and Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butt-Head was coming back to MTV. So we were gonna pair these together, and as Dave Krinsky and John Elchiler, were working with me on the show, they said hey we are
working with Mike Judge on this new comedy show, about programmers for HBO, and we think he’d be great for the lead. So we’re gonna write it with you in mind. I said yeah right, but sure enough, the script came along, and Richard’s character was initially called Thomas Pickering, which I told them was
my mom’s maiden name, which is true. – Is this lore? – This is hearsay. – Okay total hearsay. – It cannot be confirmed. – Okay or denied. – And then I still had to audition, but you know? I did have a leg up. – So it wasn’t your aim? – Yeah. But even in that process, I thought this is all a joke right? Because you never believe. You can’t believe. Because this business is about, here do you want cake? And then they smash it in front of you. They’re you fucking idiot, I was never gonna give you that cake. – Over and over. – Look at your face! You thought you were gonna
eat cake today, idiot. That’s what this business is. – So even when I got it
and we’re shooting it, I’m like no one is going to find this. – No one’s gonna pay me. – This is gonna be Mike
Judge’s flop somehow. Yeah but no. Turns out that’s not the case. – It turns out people like it. Super good and I shared just briefly… So I went the original premiere. Tell me if you remember the same way I do. Was actually in Palo Alto. – True. – Which is a very weird
place to have a premiere. – But fitting. – Okay so the people… I also have a start-up in Silicon Valley. So I got it to be a part of that. There we go. – A dorkazoid! – So in the audience… Nice. In the audience were most not
most a lot of the people that you make fun of, in the series, were actual guests, and it was a very small. They were seated at little tables. Yes Elon was there. I think Peter was there, Peter Teal. I was like hang with the peeps. I’m probably the dirtiest
dirtbag invited, however… – You are a notorious scumbag. – And Mike came out before and is like, hey I don’t know how you
guys gonna take this. What I was watching was LA and Silicon Valley get smashed together. There was a red carpet
with step-and-repeat, and no one from San
Francisco knew what to do. For those you don’t know, a step and repeat is that
wall with all the logos on it, where you take pictures like this. – And they call it a step from repeat, is because you step into something, and then you maybe had an interview, or take some photos, and you step and repeat. – For the next network, or
the next camera or whatever. – And all those things, you those clips. It’s a good movie. You get asked the same questions. Yeah yeah yeah. You just sound like that. – So this is happening, but it’s it happening in San Francisco, and Palo Alto is a teeny little, like very expensive suburb, and no one knew, like what is this thing? What to do? I watched all these people
not know how to behave. And it was kinda funny. Then Mike takes the stage, and says I don’t know. I hope you guys like it you know? There’s a lot of, and I remembered then
you played two episodes. – Correct. – And then there was a Q&A
with you guys afterwards. – Correct. – And then after the after
they were interviewing Elon. What do you think? Peter Teal what do you think? And they’re like these guys, we really are out to change the world. We don’t… And I was like, you guys, if they’re making fun of you, that means it’s working! This is like, you celebrate when people
tease and make fun, and they were literally like sort of heartbroken a little bit, that you guys made fun of Silicon Valley! – Yeah you know? That’s worn off now. – Yes and now they’re like… If you see me I got a I got a cameo. – Yeah yeah that’s worn off you know? One point we were the
new kid on the block, but look I give Silicon
Valley some credit, because I mean like turning
most cars into electric cars is changing the world you know? Or whatever you know? I’m now investing in the olds
SV2 in the world of tech. – Ooh you’re angel. – I’m an angel. So I think you know? Some things are trying
to change the world, but it’s funny when
that’s earnestly applied to things like you know? – Payments social media. – Or I mean that is changing the world, but I would have you for the worse. Or you know? We do a joke on it but I can’t remember. It was like weird we are making
the world a better place, through like subliminal hard
drive reacquisition of data via the cloud or something you know? It’s nonsense. – That’s actually the
opening of season one. The with the Kid Rock. – At the party yes a Kid Rock part. – I’ve been at to a
hundred of those parties. K id Rock performs and no one’s
like they’re not even paying attention to Kid Rock, who’s just like… It’s just stops and walks off stage, and the party doesn’t change at all. He was paid handsomely I’m
sure at that time, but yeah. – And for our show. He really got away with it. – So you didn’t think I was gonna be, well you’re like professionally skeptical. Which is just probably
a self-preservation, but here you are. – Here I am, the king of the world. – It took over. It took off. – Downtown LA. Here we go! – Doing a three camera shoot
with someone I just met! (laughing) – Tell me yeah that’s like, is it weird? Like you have to do a bunch of stuff? And this isn’t you know? Required by any stretch, but what part of it is you know? Are the parts that you love, because I think if anyone’s watching from outside they’re like, oh my god you made it! Cool. So what parts of it do you love, and what parts of the don’t you love. – Well perspective
changes pre and post fame. Even though I would call my… I can’t imagine what it’s like for Dwayne the Rock Johnson for example. Wherever he goes he has to have an entourage of security and handlers, and stuff like that, because it’s too much of a splash for him to just walk down the street. So at my level it’s functionable, but you kind of just get
reminded of it from time to time. It is weird. I felt like I was being
groomed a little bit for it, because I would do comedy, the live comedy and occasionally someone
would come up to me like, I saw you at UCB last Saturday. So funny dude! And you know? And that’s great right? You practice being Earnest gracious. It’s just so weird to say, but that’s like a thing that
you actually have to do, because I remember going up to
people that I like and being, I like your work! And if it was anything less
than thank you so much, it was just like thanks man… I’d be like… But even though he’s not. Even that person is totally fine, they’re doing their own thing. But it’s so weird. It leaves you with this
bizarre taste in your mouth. So I try to make a habit of
saying at least thank you, and then I say now get
the fuck out of here you fucking squirrel! You goddamn cockroach! And then I go back to knitting silk. Anyway but so there’s… It’s like the idea. I get why Britney Spears shaved her head, in the sense that… And because again hers was dialed up. But like I’ve got a microcosm of just the idea of walking around, and being known, being spotted, being this, and not being spotted. You walk by someone, and they just take out their phone. You think they’re maybe taking
out the phone to be like, who is that again? I just saw… Or they’re just taking out their phone. They’re doing a text, and you’re like I got spotted, and it doesn’t matter right? But it turns you into
a bit of like a cuckoo, a cuckoo ca. A cocoa caka. A dumb dumb. It’s just it’s weird. There are like privileged
privileges and perks, and there’s also a weird thing like… I’ve learned that Verizon is polarizing. – You’re responsible for net neutrality. – I’m responsible for net neutrality. Nothing to do with the recent election. It’s all me, and I’ve also learned that
people are very tribal about their telecommunications providers. So like people will troll my
comments feed on Instagram, which is the only thing I have anymore, and just be like fuck you, Sprint! And I’m like why do you care? Fucking Cricket Mobile, Cricket Wireless! Why are you passionate about that? – Well go to the things that
you love about the thing, that you’ve created with a
handful of other talented people. I think it’s an amazing series. Again I feel like I’ve lived
this shit that you guys… The story lines, painful! – That’s a credit to the show writers, and Alec Berg who’s now the show runner. Alec Berg is the unsung this show. – And you guys have some… You have some consultants. – We have consensus. We want to try… Every time that I’ve been told, I’m not allowed in the writers room. Because I smell on purpose. I don’t wipe my butt as a Power Move, but I’m told that whenever
they’re sort of stumped you know? For what happen, the solution is always
what would really happen? Like what… So they mind their
consultants for stories, or plausible ways out to the little box that they’ve written themselves into. – But what do you love about it? Clearly it gets created. Do you love the story? Do you love the craft? – Well okay I’ll say this, because I’ll try and attach
it also to other things from that initial question. For anybody who are on
the bottom looking up, the anxiety about your
life in entertainment, never goes away. Before you’re on the
bottom looking up saying, when will it happen to me? And when you get above water, you’re like when will this go away right? – Out of a fear right? Not like I hate it but… – Both man. There are days when you have
to remind yourself that this work has to be work sometimes and, it can’t always be fun. It can’t always be playtime with pals. Like some days are work. Some days, like some projects
some things are just hard, or compromising or you know? Decisions are financially based, as opposed to anything else you know? So things are just weird, and you just gotta go
this is part of the gig, or pull a Daniel Day and be a cobbler. There’s all ways to do it. I don’t know if he’s… I mean but then there’s
also you get exhausted. Like I’m at a weird point where I’m like, I still want to act, and I’ll definitely perform
comedy until I can’t, until my brain is addled, because of all the MDMA
I take but you know? I’m sort of like I would like to try
behind the camera stuff, I would like to try maybe directing. I definitely want to get
back in writing and creating, and stuff like. So it’s just weird. But the show in itself is great. It is. I feel like I went to
Vegas and rolled sixes. Is that a thing? On craps? How do you get a craps 7 on the first go. That’s how you win. – Right and then if you roll
after that then you’re done. – That’s craps. I walked by a craps
table and as someone… I was just walking by, I was someone who’s just rolling. I went craps! Only because I was like
that’s a craps table. Then he rolled it, and it came up craps! And everyone lost their money. And people turn around, and one woman said you can’t say that! What the fuck are you doing? And I was like I’m just
identifying the game. So me noticing from 10 feet away that… – Noticing from 10 feet away
that you were playing a game. – Yeah yeah I guess that’s
not the word to say. You have so many other words. You could say. You could say a dice game by chance! – So you went to Vegas and won? – Yeah I mean not only am I
finally working on a show, it’s on HBO which has been
a bucket list of mine. Mike Judge, Alec Berg, these are the people who are in charge. I work with comedians and actors, that some of them I’ve
known for over 10 years. Actually one of the writers,
this guy Graham Wagner, I worked with him in Canada in Toronto, doing like underground
sketch comedy you know? It’s just… I say that not as a sly to anything else, but sometimes you’re on a comedy, and you’re with people who
are maybe they’re just, because they have timing and that’s great that’s
awesome but I you know? I perform with some of these guys. It’s cool. That’s great. That’s a very fortunate situation, and fortunately people like it, and HBO is kind to us, and they’re very flexible, and they’re good, and it’s great schedule, and we can pursue other things
in the rest of the year. It’s a very very good gig. I don’t think I’ll have
another gig on television like as good as this. – So clearly you don’t take it for granted just by the word you’re saying, and is that the right MO you think? – I think it’s pretty important, but to remind myself for that sometimes. – Okay yeah in your world, and I think that’s… I’m always trying to take the
examples that you’re giving, or any guest, and like it’s so weird there’s
some pretty common themes. Like this thing that you right now, whatever it is, be grateful because you don’t
know what the other side of that same coin is. And specifically in Hollywood, I got to think that with the few, just the odds, it’s got to be tough. – You are always looking
over your shoulder. That’s how it goes you know? You try and stay in your
lane and run your own race, and not look at what so-and-so is doing, and this and that. It’s impossible, and even if you, even if tomorrow I was suddenly the lead
of a crazy Marvel movie. Say I’m the next spider-man. I would be like, that would
in the middle of filming, I’d be like, yeah but when am I gonna finally work with Wes Anderson or Quinton Tarantino? What is this is it you know? You can find something wrong. You look to the next thing and you’d want, that it’s such a business of coveting. Because it’s not it’s not a
thing where you just show up to work every day, and kind of that. It’s allotted, which sometimes I crave. But also at the same time, at least the anxiety brings
a sort of dynamicism. It shakes up life I suppose. But it’s an interesting world. That’s why a lot of actresses and whatnot, and people in this business
have various different hobbies or other things that brings them passion. That’s what I’ve learned to do for me. It’s like environmental
activism and being a pilot. I’m a private pilot so… Which sometimes don’t go hand in hand. I do carbon offsets. I plant trees as a result. – By gliders? – yeah so you know? – I don’t know. – No that’s cool. I want to touch on those two things. I want to take a little
right turn into comedy for just a second. Right before you’re here we
recorded with Eugene Mirman. He sent us that. And I’m infatuated with comedy, because of it’s in the moment. I think the concept of improv, improv as a sport, risk training, I think it’s an incredible skill. What got you interested in
it and is that you know? Was it comedy and performing
onstage at comedy clubs that got you into, acting in Hollywood? What was your path and
specifically connected to comedy? – Well I was very fortunate. I mean in eighth grade, I had a drama teacher. I’ve always said if I ever
won an award I’ll thank him, but looks like I’m not gonna win one. No but I would always think, my very first drama teacher
I got which was Ken Wilson in middle school, eighth grade. He just saw me. I think he saw like a weird, slightly ostracized kid. He didn’t know to the extent of my baleen. I mean I bullied other kids. – Clearly. – Fucked them up man. All those gays! That was… Yeah those jocks! I was like talking to a
friend I grew up with, and he’s got a kid that goes
to the same school that we go, and he goes you know? Like gay isn’t an insult anymore. I was like what? That was like the big thing as a teen. You can’t get called gay, and the first thing… They’re like no they’re
all super accepting! I’m like damn it! That would have been great? That teenage mind. Gay! Anyway that’s how brains work I guess. That’s a good thing to
talk about on our show. – How brains work? – No it’s like remember
getting called gay? Anyway so… – If you were bullied… – Yeah they saw something. So they put me in a play, and I just had a great time. It was very fortunate to
have all the small towns, to be to have grown up in Canada. I grew up in a very artsy weirdo town. – AKA Nelson. – AKA Nelson. A lot of hippies. A lot of pot smoke. A lot of raves. I’ve been to a fair amount of raves. I know what Jungle and Drum and Bass is. And there’s also, so there’s a lot of like school
theatre that was possible, a lot of community
theatre that was possible. So I was definitely involved in that, and we also had a short
form improv troupe, that we kind of made, and in Canada there’s something
called theatre sports, which is like comedy sports here. It’s a teams of short form games, and there’s a ref, and they have rules, and stuff like that and you know? We would compete. – Decidedly Canadian? – Yes that’s what happens when you have like
well-funded public schools. Is that like there’s arts right? – Surprise! – Yeah and like you can interconnect them, and have all that kind of stuff. Not to say that in America, there aren’t you know? School plays and drama
festival of some kind. But I mean it’s not like
that in every Canadian town. But it was where I was. – Competitive comedy? – Competitive comedy
competitive theatre too. But also super supportive, and it’s like of that age group, where if you get up on stage, people are like stomping
the ground like you did it! Because we you know? That’s all the drama geeks part. Anyway and it was so Ken
Wilson got me into that. So that kind of gave all
that weirdness focus, and I also you got positive reinforcement, because now that people
thought of me as the funny guy, as the actor guy. Within the end of that year, I was friends with all the
kids that were bullying me, which in eighth grade
you’re like I don’t care! I’ll take it. Hey water on the bridge. I’ll forgive it. You know what? You were right. I was gay. I was acting like a real queer balls, but now not anymore. So yeah but then you know? That that translated into you know? Trying to maybe pursue
theater in a more earnest way. I went to theater school, dropped out because I actually
ended up meeting people that were just doing comedy, and I thought oh you don’t
have to go to school? You just go do it? Because you’re in a small town, you go to your guidance councilor. They’re like how do I be
like kids in the hall? They’re like go to college. – Right that’s the answer to everything. – Yeah yeah turns out that’s not true. You just go do it, and yeah. Went to Toronto, went to Chicago. I don’t know you know? How detailed do you want this to be? – I want personal stories. Like to me let’s focus on the
going from bullied to not. Clearly you didn’t transform as a person, but was it like a blossom, like you found a thing
that you connected with, so invite you and your
identity was very clear, or it was a lack of identity, like was it? – I don’t know you know. It’s like a psychological experiment. I think it’s like maybe permission by
your peers to be weird. Because I was always weird, but never but not accepted as that, but then when you’re kind of… Like when it’s expected, and when people have
approved of your weirdness, then it’s suddenly celebrated. I mean I ended… I wasn’t even really part
of like social cliques. I had by the end of it, I was kind of at least
chums with most everybody, and it’s in 12th grade at my school, valedictorian was kind of like a vote. So it’s kind of like a popular thing. You’re looking at your 2000 valedictorian at Bellevue Rogers. – Y2K? – Yeah Y2K. – You’re looking at once
in a thousand years. – Which is ridiculous but you know? It just shows you that sort of, as soon as you’re allowed
to be the class clown, that’s what you were. But my comedy was never really refined. – But did you do something? – I mean up until a certain point, I was like I’m gonna be Jim Carrey! – But did you do something in order to sort of snap into that? Was it a mental state, or did it just happen? Were you cultivating or was
like subconsciously like… Because there’s a bazillion
people who are listening. They’re like I need to figure
out my place in the universe. – I think it’s a collection
of subtle social exchanges. At that age in that demographic. You’re talking about junior
high or high school even, or maybe even earlier. I mean I don’t know if that
could have come before. I don’t know if I’d have
just made these realizations when I was fourth grade. I could have saved
myself years of torment. I have no idea. I wish I could give you the answer, to sort of like here’s how you
skirt out of being bullied. It sucked, but it’s not like
I wish I’m glad it happened, but it certainly taught
me some things about life. Like I’d ever want to
do that to other people, and I hate it, I hate seeing it, and I don’t like it when people do that, or corporations or entities. It’s unsettling to me, but yeah I mean it’s an exchange of… It’s like I very very
specifically remember a moment being in that first, in that one play, which is you know? Like it’s a play that I’m
sure no one’s ever heard. It’s called I’m a fool. I’m sure no one’s ever heard
of it cuz it’s a play of public school can afford to
like get the rights to. If they even have rights
that you pay for right? But in the beginning of it
there’s this little exchange that me and the director, aka the drama teacher sort of worked on, where I like peek up the curtain, get scared by the audience, do this whole like physical bit, and you know? Supportive middle school to high school drama geeks loved it you know? And the exchange of laughter reaction. I do this, I get this response. I remember very specifically, the very first moment, looking out, get surprised,
laughter sitting there you know? Behind the curtain, before I go back again. Being like what was that? That was crazy. Oh yeah tingling craziness. And I’ve been in little things before, but it never was that, and I think that clicks
something within me you know? Within my own mind, of oh I have the ability. Oh I can do this. Oh as long as it’s in
a situation where like, it’s a performance, now it’s okay. Or like I can fall on my
face and it’s a good thing, as opposed to something to be ridiculed, because it’s part of the thing, whatever. There’s a confidence and
then the word gets out. Oh you know who’s funny? This guy you know? And it’s you know? And yes I say it’s like a
series of little exchanges that sort of happen because… You may be able to argue that it happens even
in adult life you know? Where someone’s like, I’m pretty wacky! And they think they’re pretty funny, but the exchange hasn’t happened, and it’s not agreed upon. So instead of being a funny person, they’re actually kind
of an obnoxious person. And speaking is a post-school, I’ve had to comedically
break into Toronto, Chicago, New York, and LA. All those different scenes. Each one progressively a tiny
little bit more like that, but you know? Like having to prove
myself in various improv and stand-up communities, and you kind of have to start over again, and that’s the thing. It’s like people can
hear that you’re good, but you have to show them, and they’re not going to
just give you the chance just right off the bat. You always have to prove yourself, and the big thing is, I think the thing that falls
under the Moxie category, not the talent, not the looks, not the genes, but the Moxie category, is not letting that intimidate you. The idea of like just accepting it. That’s how it goes and
welcoming the challenge almost. Over the years I’ve looked at auditions
at a totally different way. I used to dread them and hate them, and I think it’s not like
they’re not my favorite thing, but instead of just sabotaging
myself by under preparing, and this and that. Now I view them as kind of like
it’s the buzzer beater shot. Like this is clutch time, and I’m good enough to win it at the buzzer beater right you know? You have a little bit of success in that, and you’re kind of like great. You view them as a challenge, and I’m gonna beat the challenge. That’s such a different outlook, and it helps so much. So I don’t know. You can’t get phased by
adversity in entertainment. Now you could probably argue that in other industries as well. In fact you probably have to welcome it. And I don’t know. – Was there anything that flipped in you? I mean sorry. Clearly something flipped, but is there… What do you ascribe to the flipping, or is it just maturity, or did you make a conscious decision, like this is what I want to do. Like I’m big about sort
of setting intention, and if you don’t you’re sort of like working the tide and that’s
a though place to be. – A couple of things. Yeah I think in this
business you have to have, a little or a healthy dose of delusion when you’re first starting out. I’m a big adversary of delusion. Like I don’t like religion. I don’t like all these things that alter what the reality is. However if you’re the little guy looking up at this huge mountain, to be a working actor, and dare you say even a famous actor, or a famous comedian, or you want to be known and recognized for whatever
the cool thing you want to do, that’s very difficult. There’s a lot of other
people that want to do that, a lot of people that are
maybe worse than you, or different than you, but are ahead. Whatever right? There’s just this… There’s obstructions. So you have to look at the odds. When C-3PO is telling Han Solo the odds. Never tell me the odds right? You’re oblivious to them, and you think even if
it’s a million to one, you’re the one right? And throughout time that confidence gets chipped away into the reverse, but when you’re starting out you know? That’s kind of what you need. It’s just that the delusion a bit. It’s what helped me go
from small town in Canada, to just like packing my bags to Toronto, packing my bags to Chicago, initially coming as an illegal. Uhho I say we need to build
that wall on the other side. That’s right danger. And freaks like me coming
in taking your jobs! – So when you go from… – And then New York. – Yeah so you go bigger to market, and bigger markets. Was it the same? Like certainly you have to prove yourself at each one of those things. – Oh but confidence immediately… I mean look. When I went from Toronto to Chicago… By the way in Toronto I was
not accepted into second city, and I was like arrogantly
furious with them. Like they’re wrong! And then I auditioned a
second city in Chicago, and I got in, and I was like cool. I’m moving to Chicago. I’ll be on the main stage
in maybe six months, and probably on SNL within a year easy. Like I thought that was 100% guaranteed. Naturally that did not happen. I eventually did test for SNL. But that was quite so many years later. I did not get on the show. – As evidence by the old IMDB page. But you know? Humility is a big thing, and not only did those things not happen, and various elements of success
took a lot longer to happen, but I was I guess in hindsight, I was quite the arrogant little prick, because at one point one
of the improvisers at IO, ImprovOlympic, sat me down, and was like you know? It’s not good to be an
asshole and you know? They gave me this big story, and I walked away like fuck you! What do you know? And then you know? – A couple years later you’re like… – No no you know? Epiphany you have to look you know? Being a good human is
about looking inwards, and having hindsight, and I don’t know perception. So you know? I did try and take that lesson to heart. Yeah but. – You connected the dots. You went from Toronto to Chicago, Chicago to New York. – New York I tell you, in New
York that was the biggest dip I’ve ever had in confidence. Because I went there because they got like a
holding deal you know? For people don’t know Holdings
is essential in a network, like pays money to be like you’re only gonna audition
for us this season. That’s one way of it, and so that’s why I got a holding deal, and then this the season
that I moved there, there was a writer strike. So he got my money but
I didn’t do anything, and I was just completely unemployed, and honestly took a babysitting job. Just that’s something to do, and I had no friends. And I wasn’t involved at UCB at that time. So I was just doing… My only friend was this
two year old little girl and her mom, and I would occasionally go to these underground comedy spots, and do very like Kaufman-esque
alienating comedy, that I was like, I think I’m doing something cool, but most people aren’t laughing, and that was it, and I was going absolutely crazy, and New York’s one of those towns, where some people go
there and they’re like, it’s a hell of a town! Here I am! My home finally! And they have a cigarette extender, and I was not that. I was like it’s so much. There’s people everywhere, and I don’t know anyone, and when you’re lonely that
constant reminder of like, get out of my way prick! It’s you know? It’s a real yeah. It’s a real kicker and that you know? That was when I first started
having anxiety attacks, and be calling my mom crying
and stuff and you know? There’s been many times
throughout the year, of contemplating not doing this anymore. Trying to do something else. All that kind of stuff, but serendipity has a way of potentially coaxing
you back onto the path, but I have my own philosophy about that, if we want to get into that. – Yep we do. We do, that’s why we’re here. – Okay. – Yes you better sip some water. – I need a hit of the this sparkling water as evidence
of my blooming fame. – He’s got the whole bottle. I only got a glass. – Yeah and I’m not
gonna give you any more. – No yes please. – Okay. – So the philosophy, to be clear where we’re about to go, is your philosophy on serendipity. – Well sure yeah okay. So there are things you
can’t control right? You can’t control your looks. And that sucks. – And the weather? – Yeah but in terms of your career right? In this thing, in any of this thing. You can’t control it. Well you can control your looks, but I guess you have to spend money on it. But say you didn’t want to. Sadly enough you know like
that matters casting whatever. Like if you’re fucked up, it’s gonna be harder to look… Harder to be a lead. Not impossible but you
may be the Hunchback when they finally do Notredame. Just it sucks. That’s what it is. That’s the biz kid. If that fucks you up, if you’re like fuck that guy! Then you’re not in the right business. You have to look at it objectively. And I don’t say that as someone who considers themselves
a very handsome man. So there’s things you can’t control. There’s talent which I do believe
is natural but cultivated, and then there’s gumption, which is an acquired skill, but inherent, and then there’s serendipity. Now serendipity is, I don’t know this is from someone who
doesn’t subscribe to fate. I don’t think there’s preordained destiny. I don’t think our lives are
being writ in the cosmos. We are random things, and all that happens is a consequence of things
that happen before it. So how do you deal with that? So serendipity is essentially, it’s essentially a
fancy word more or less, for coincidence I would say. So there’s this unknown
thing that happens, and I think you increase the odds of the good things happening
with your gumption, to give you an example. From Chicago to New York, I was contemplating going back to Canada, doing something else, because I was like I like improv. I love doing it here. People have liked my improv you know? I think this career’s
about getting bread crumbs. If you stop getting
bread crumbs you’re like, am I maybe not doing the right thing? I was getting bread crumbs, but it was to what end? Like I’m an illegal. Like I just got my visa, but like that only pertains to one job. When you when you get a visa, you can only do the one thing, and if it’s not enough money, or like this is really
what I want to live like? This is hard. So what am I gonna do? And then second city had these… This is kind of like a long story. Is this too much? – No it’s kinda why we’re here. – Okay but let me know if it’s boring. (laughing) I tend to ramble. – No you’re a comedian. – Yeah but I’m not being funny. (goofy noises) Okay and so… So second city had this contract with Norwegian cruise lines, where they had their second city act on these cruise ships right? – I see where you’re going. – Yeah so I took one of those gigs. A to have that experience, and I’m so glad I did. Four months at sea. One of the most absolutely
surreal experiences, and we could just talk
about that for a bit. Debaturous, weird, surreal, lonely, happy. It was bonkers. I’ve since contemplated, god it would be cool to do
like another four months, but you can’t. I can’t. – Good premise for show. – Maybe. – Yes. – No no no I mean bad. Don’t write that. Here we go. – If they beat me to it
what are you gonna do? – So you’re at sea. – I’m at sea, and so I start being at sea. The first week I’m at sea, the rumor is Lorne
Michaels and Seth Meyers are coming to Chicago to see people that would
maybe even be on SNL. I’m like are you kidding me? I’m stuck here on this fucking thing. Are you fucking kidding me? So I make a huge stink to
the annoyance of anyone, who is in charge of
second city at that time. Beth Cookman thank you. And they agree to like
figure out a schedule, where I could fly myself out. So I like flew from
Bermuda back to Chicago, was on a few shows that they saw, and did all this kind of stuff. Okay as it all happened. This all is stagnant for so long, until it the four months that
I’m away on a cruise ship. So as that’s happening, a manager Kirsten Inst,
who is now my manager, was looking for kind of funny weirdos to be a part of like a
Sierra Mist campaign, and asked Beth Beth
Cookman at second city, hey do you know anyone who’s
like generating content? This is before YouTube was a thing. No one had like fucking
channels and stuff, and I had a bunch of shorts that were on there directed
by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, who just did Skull Island, and TJ Miller, and maybe a
couple other come you know? Chicago comedians, and we would stay up
till 4:00 in the morning doing these shorts, because we all had day jobs, and we just were like, we had to hustle! We had to have the work. I think we had to make stuff, and we did shorts with dead pigs. All I can say is I dumped a dead pig body in a dumpster at one point. That sticks with me anyway. Anyway she asked that. Hey he’s doing stuff! My name comes up because it just so happens
I’m doing stuff like right? And then she sees my things and goes, oh yeah this kid is. So then again I like land at New York, I walk off the boat, meet with her, hey do you want to sign with me? Yes I’d love to. Great let me get all these… Let me get an agent for you. Cool. Got a new agent. This was at William Morris before it became William Morris Endeavor, to prove that the agent to
prove that I just done a good move by signing to this agency. He needs me to prove himself right? That’s what always happens. I’m with an agent. They go all right. And suddenly you’ve got like four months of shit to do right? But that’s just so they can be like, look how big news we are. – We need big stuff real quick! – Look how crush city we are. But he’s in… Fred’s great. So I’m not taking him down. Any who… So that’s all happening. In between I’m preparing
to get to test for SNL. Like I guess they like me. They want to bring me on. They want me to audition. Like really audition you know? So I’m on the cruise
ship working on my stuff showing my friends these
character auditions, and they’re like it’s good! And I’m like okay. I’m like you’re wrong. I know it’s and whatever of course. I’m always right. And then what am I trying to say? Okay so I go off the boat. I go audition. I go test for SNL. They’re all it’s such a bizarre process. Here’s the summary. They come to you. They say people aren’t gonna laugh. Don’t take that personally. And then they keep you waiting for awhile, and you go on, and some people come off
being like oh my god. That was tough. I had a great time. People laughed, I had a fun time. Someone was like stay by the phone. It didn’t happen. But like it’s a bizarre experience. It’s tense, it’s weird,
you see people break, and also it’s a bizarre
situation where you like, here’s this character. You do it. Here’s this other character, and usually it’s happening
to people who are kind of relatively young in their comedy careers. So it’s all that more scary. Any who, the agent gotten by just
doing shorts remember? See all the things that we get the things? Now he’s proving to himself
to me that he’s a good agent. In the overnight that I’m there
to test SNL before I have to go back on the ship. He sets up a bunch of general
meetings where you just go into these casting directors, ABC, CBS, whatever, and meet them. Like I’m this guy. I’m this guy. They’re usually very dull, very inconsequential, it feels like, and you chitchat about nothing, and then you go home, and you go like why did
I put my foot out there? That was so stupid. But I just happen to have
the skateboard helmet attached to my bag, which is part of the costume
piece for auditioning, from one of my characters
in the SNL edition. Every single one. What’s that? I go oh it’s my thing, and for some reason, because I thought the
SNL thing went so well, I was in super confidence mode, and I was like want me to do
my characters and impressions? – No! – Taken in another light, that could have been so awkward. That could have been such a fail, but it wasn’t! They loved it. They’re like oh my god, wait
stop, I’m gonna record it. And then I you know? And that’s how I got that
holding deal that brought me from Chicago to New York City. – Wow. – The point is, you just have to do. The doers, you can’t stop them from doing. They make things, but you don’t, you almost don’t make it for the… You make it to make it, and what comes out of it
is a serendipitous almost. Does that make sense? – For sure. You don’t do the work. There’s zero chance. If you do the work, you still might fail, but if you don’t do the work, there’s literally no
chance to go anywhere. – Exactly and there’s no harm in saying I’m gonna do this work, because there’s an angle, and that’s a thing that
people want to see. That’s fine. That’s very tactical. That’s great, but the fact
is you’re doing it right? There’s a lot of people especially
when I was starting out, I was surrounded with a lot of people who would go and lament that
nothing’s happening right? Now things are different. Now I’m rubbing elbows with fancy fucks. I exclusively have a celebrity bottom line that I hang out with. No I’m joking but… Just wanted to make it clear. – You’re here to be crystal clear. – What are these, SLRs? – That’s right hundreds! They cost hundreds. – I’m a hundredair! But when you’re you know? When you’re in amongst
the kind of you know? The guys on the bottom rung, you see a lot of people who sort of lament that
things aren’t happening, but you go what are you doing? Nothing. – They say nothing. – That’s too passive. You cannot be passive. You can’t. You be passive now. I’m finding I have the other
situation where it’s like, now that I’ve got this I have
to be more choosy with things, and I have to get reminded
by my reps to be like, don’t take everything! You have to be choosy now. It’s weird. It’s a weird feeling. – So clearly it feels unnatural. When it feels unnatural is
that healthy or unhealthy? What if you had that same… I guess it just… It doesn’t make them want you. That’s why you have a manager. – Yeah it’s healthy because I you know? If I’m honest, although as much
as I want to work you know? You do it. You have a good run of multiple years back
to back of solid work, there gets to be times
where you’re like… I could take a break for a second. And you’re FOMO kicks in and says, no you shouldn’t take a break. But it’s okay. – Yeah but there’s also
life is in seasons. We live in season. It’s dark for a reasons, because you’re not supposed
to stay up all the time. We don’t see very well in the dark. – 100%. You do know… At a certain level you do no good to your
career by doing bad work. By doing anything you increase the chances of just sort of like I don’t know, just becoming awash in
sort of mediocre shit, and yeah I don’t… Maybe some people like that. Somebody who is just
like in it for the money, and for the recognition whatever. I hope to leave a body of
work that I’m proud of, and that’s hard. That’s very hard to do when you just sort of take everything. So it shifts. – So this is serendipity. You have very clear philosophy about, if you’re not doing the work, it’s not gonna happen. – You increase your odds. That’s all it is. You’re just increasing your odds. I would come up with a
great Vegas metaphor, but I think as evidenced
by me going craps! I don’t do that very well. – I’ll cut you off. I’ll save you the pain. – But my metaphore is very stupid. I think of oneself as an octopus. And I know this is not
how octopi hunt or work, but you’re floating in the ocean, and you’ve got eight little tentacles, and you’re floating around, and if you’re not using
all eight tentacles, you don’t have a higher chance of slurping on something and eating. But that’s not how octopus’ hunt I know. – For real it’s different. But conceptually it works. – Conceptually why can’t you just picture an octopus like swimming… – If your arms aren’t out, you’re sure not gonna get anything. – If you’re only using three arms, you’re kind of a bad octopus. You’re not a good one. – You can really use that with any animal. – Octopus is the only one that you can kind of use that with. Trust me I’ve done a lot of research. – Yes eight is the magic number. – Eight is the maximum
amount of appendages any creature can have. – So a squid is not… – How many do squid have? – Like 40. – Fuck. – Good research! – It’s more like a jellyfish really, to take the floating analogy. But it’s more fun to be an octopod. – Octopoddy. – Octopodtrite. – So I think I generally
subscribe to that, and I find that that’s a pattern, if we can look at human behavior. That’s a pattern. That creates or helps create success. In your world that increases
your odds of serendipity, or it’s hard work whatever, the thing is… What about when you’ve done that work, and it goes shitty? How do you keep the headspace? Because it’s a requirement. Now I’m not saying it’s easy, but clearly you’ve done it. You did it. You did the hard work long enough to, like as you said, I won’t say success. We’ll say fame. We’ll say there’s some thread. You’ve been working for
a few years straight, and that’s pretty good in your world. – Well that’s in that world. Yes where I’ve had success. I want to walk a line here, because… I think I’ve encountered people that have that delusion right? The delusion that we talked about it. They have it in fucking spades. And if I evaluate their
place in the industry, I would, if they really
wanted my honest opinion, I would say I think you’d be a lot happier doing something else. I don’t think it’s ever
going to happen for you the way you want it to happen. The current climate in
the entertainment industry with so much streaming, so much internet, so much TV. There’s a larger chance that
you can just kind of at least get a few gigs, to be in the game, but there’s… And conversely it’s different
side of the same coin. Someone could say hey kid I don’t think you should be in the game. They don’t listen to them, and they prove that person wrong. So I also want to hammer
home the idea of like, fuck the haters right? However you know? I’ve just seen people
latch on to this idea of what they think the dream is. They’ve got no encouragement from any… From any success to say
from life to that person. You’re doing it right. And their reason and their
perception of what it is at the top of the mountain
is just not even correct. That it’s kind of like… And then they live a frustrated life, and an anxiety riddled life, and a life that’s a bit angry, and you’re like… You’re not even happy! You don’t even like this. And you’re not even clear on the things that you should be liking. So that’s why I say that. But hardship’s a part of it. How to bounce back from it? I don’t know. I guess it’s so much… It’s so weird. I feel like I’m so much more
fragile after all this stuff. – Wow. – In early 20s, like nothing could have
kept me away from it. But now if I suffered some blow, I’d be like okay I’m gonna do
something else for a while. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just like at peace. Maybe because I know too much you know? It’s like I know well that would be fun. Everything has to be more tactical, and you involve people, and they help. I don’t know, but maybe I’m not answering your question. Maybe you need to repeat it. – No. – It’s on brand? On brand for the show? – The brand of you and
me asking you questions. You talked about two of the things. You talked about environmental activism, and you talked about flying. The environmental activism, we talked earlier how easy
it is to go down a dark hole. – It’s not good. – Yeah outlook dangerous. Is there some organizations
that you’re part of, that you are excited about, and is there some stuff you
want to share about that? I know you’ve made some investments. We talked about that. – You know? I think in this particular climate here, with these United States, at least for the next three years, it’s going to be very hard to look to government to
solve our issues right? So it’s gonna be private sector, and it’s going to be donation based, primarily in the… By means of education, and litigation to be honest. That’s why I like groups
like Sierra Club, and NRDC. I do others, but they’re larger entities that honestly, tackle a problem with awareness
and taking shit to court. Which is super. All we can do now is stall as
much as we can until we get someone who actually believes
in science and facts and doesn’t lie to us every single day. – Yep and organizations in particular? – NRDC and Sierra Club. Those are those are good ones. Because it’s overwhelming. You could do rain forest
protection effort, The River People, Greenpeace, you can do a lot. There’s great organizations out there, but I always find when I say, hey donate. Be a monthly member to something, a lot of people’s responses are, that’s easy for you to say. You’re a fucking Verizon guy right? And they’re right. I do Scrooge Mcduck into a
swimming pool full of gold coins. But they’re chocolate. I’m not gonna bring my fucking nose! It’s guilt. But I break it down into in terms of like, I always try and say like… If you want to save about
20 bucks a month for that, that’s like two cocktails here in LA. Like if you can’t sacrifice two cocktails for like the greater good. I only go to exclusive Hollywood fancy… – I was thinking it was pretty cheap! – Oh really? LA kids come on. – Enjoy yourself! – Yeah or like four coffees right? Whatever four lattes, and you know? If you can’t sacrifice
that for like greater, cause like I don’t know you have to look, maybe look at your true altruism, if you can, especially if you claim to
be an altruistic person, but that’s minor you know? But it helps the premise
being if everyone did that, we’d have a lot more money to battle entities like the Koch brothers, who loved… They side with the
villain in Captain Planet. That’s who they identify with. But it becomes overwhelming
so I just you know? Those are good ones that I like to kind of plug, but you know? You do things outside of that you know? I sometimes use my social
media platform for… I really only have Instagram anymore. I think Twitter’s the worst
thing that ever happened to like our consciousness as a whole, and I hate Facebook, and so I deleted them all, even though Instagram is
kind of the same thing. So I’m a hypocrite. Who isn’t you know? You have a little bit of vocality. I also think it’s important
to change your own habits. Again if you can’t change your own habits, how do you expect other people to do it? I’ve given up nearly all meat. Occasionally I’ll have fish, and like at Thanksgiving
I’m gonna have Turkey, but outside of that I keep it down. – Is that Canadian Thanksgiving? Or is that American Thanksgiving? – I can be both. I love myself… – Oh that’s an extra turkey. – Yeah yeah you know? Whatever you know? I’m just saying it’s Flexitarian. It’s not 100%. Because if you do the
100% rule and you fail, you end up hating yourself, and then you fall off the wagon, because you hate yourself so much. But turns out cows they
fart a lot of methane. They shit a lot of untreated sewage. They wallow in their own shit. Then you go down this whole route of like, man it sucks. We’re pretty awful to critters. – So walk the talk. – Walk the talk. And not everyone has
Hollywood caca level of money, snowflake dollars let’s
call it but you know? I do try and you know? I’ve made some investments, like solar desalination, and electric airplanes, and I do carbon offsetting when I’m flying my own airplane you know? Spread it around. I drive a bolt. It’s the every man’s Tesla. And yeah walk the talk. But uh it’s pretty… My view on it, when you really get bogged down
in the scientific facts of, here are everybody’s projections, and then you look around and see, this is what everybody’s doing, it does not line up, but my view on the whole thing is, I’m gonna go down swinging. If I have the mentality of, I’m gonna get to Hollywood
and be a famous asshole, then I’m going to do what I can, because that’s better
than just saying like, fuck it let the world burn. I think. It helps me live better inside. – Beautiful. Flying. – Flying. – Is there a part of… Why fly? I mean I don’t know. – Why fly? Why not man. Here take this. I’ll teach you how to fly. – No that’s a very… – Why fly? – You’ve got your private pilot’s. I know people have planes here. – Yeah people have planes. I sort of got into aviation, early 20s. I mean I got into it A through my love of history
and military history, and learning about like World War two, and like Spitfires, and Messerschmitts and stuff, and then getting into like simulators. Like I’ve a very robust joystick
simulator set up at home. Yeah and then eventually
saying you know what? I’m gonna do this for real. I wish I’d had gone into
it like five years earlier, because if I’d have been
15 and into aviation, Canada has an entity
called the Air Cadets, which is kinda like Boy
Scouts for the Air Force. Not to say that I would have joined, but I could have got
some time up in the air, and like I don’t know, experienced it. But yeah I got my license. Had to overcome a lot of motion sickness. Could only go for like
ten minutes at a time before like having to settle down. And now yeah it’s incredible. It’s so fun. The United States it’s a
great place to fly you know? A lot of opportunity for private
pilots to just get in their plane and go somewhere. There’s a lot of small airports around. Being in the southwest is perfect. There’s like, it’s nearly never– – A bad flying day. – A bad time for weather wise. – What about the costs? I think there’s a lot of folks at home. My understanding is that it’s actually more affordable than you think, and so people have… It’s actually doable, but again affordable let’s
just acknowledge that there’s a very broad spectrum
of people listening to show. – Exactly. – So just keep that in mind. – I will try and take it out of… – It just sounds fancier. Yeah I think it sounds fancier
than it actually it is, so maybe you can shine
some light on that for us. – Okay no problem. Depending on where you are, LA is always gonna be more
expensive than butt fuck nowhere. Not to take away from butt fuck nowhere, but you’re looking at like… A good chunk of money to learn how to get your
pilot’s license you know? You have to invest probably
around minimum 10,000 bucks, which is a lot. That’s just being honest. – And you can invest it
over what period of time? – However long it takes. – There you go. – I got my pilot’s license in a year, but there’s people that
take that you know? Pace themselves over
multiple years to take it. You can buy your own plane for
the price of a car you know? $20,000 / $35,000. I would strongly recommend
that you do that the A&P does a lot of work to it. But there’s also this whole
category in the United States called experimentals, and if you have a well-made professionally built experimental, you can save yourself some money. Too many people depend on
me for their livelihoods. – You’re responsible? – I would buy a certified aircraft. You can also do shared ownership. You and some friends, or you can buy a share in an already existed sort of pairing, and buy, and everybody’s owning this one aircraft. They’re also flying clubs, where you just essentially, you maybe pay a monthly, or you rent it kind of, but at the member rate. Those are different in the sense that you have to schedule it. They’ll probably do some online schedule where you book it for a weekend, and that’s totally fine if
you can’t afford an airplane. I tell you it is pretty
sweet to just be like, I want to go here today! And you drive to the airport, you take it out, you start it up, and you go. That’s very very fun. But it’s not insane. If you look at, if you just look at
million dollar aircrafts, which there are plenty, and go how can I afford that? Yes that becomes insane. But go on controller, or trade a plane, and you’ll see there’s plenty of planes that are not that much. – So why fly? Go back to the original question. What is it? Is it freedom? Is just is it is an escapism? Is it joy? Is it travel? – I like a lot of it. I like a lot of it including
the going through checklists, and switching things, and starting it up, and checks and all that. I like that even. I like the look of planes. I like the propellers and the sounds, and the history, and all that. I like the radio jargon you know? Like Whiteman Tower November
9 or 5 Foxtrot Delta you know? – Whoa do that again. – With India at the North hangers ready for taxi to runway one two. Go ahead Whiteman Tower, 905 Foxtrot, Delta taxi,
taxi one two via alpha. I like all that stuff. I love it! – What just happened? – I know exactly! When you’re first learning
it you’re hearing the radio. I have idea what anyone is saying, and then you get used to it. You can pick out everything. I kind of like the rules. I love rules, and the charts, and the airspace, and that kind of stuff. I’m okay with it! And there is nothing… There’s something pretty cool about just getting up in the air. It’s different than driving you know? You’re dealing, all the axis right? – Three-dimensional. – It’s 3d dude! And you can go any way. You can go places. I mean I went to Zion National Park. I would have never gone… No not for lunch, but for like a few days, and I would never I probably
wouldn’t have gone there, if I had to drive the eight hours, or whatever it would have taken. Maybe longer. I don’t know, but I did and it was absolutely beautiful, or I’d go up to San Francisco, next time Silicon Valley goes. I’m gonna fly there, and there’s just there’s nothing cooler. I shot a Verizon spot at
San Bernardino Airport. I flew to work. I taxied up. I got a fucking van. I got driven to set. I can’t express to you
how baller that felt. – As baller as having a whole
bottle of Santilla Crue. – Not as baller. That’s premium. No I was like taxiing to the thing. I was like squealing alone in
my cockpit at like you know? 6:00 in the morning. It was cool. And there’s scary situations. I just recently got
caught in some turbulence, and was bumping all around. – Wind shear, wind shear. – Wind shear. That’s a real thing. I learned that almost the hard way, and you know? Bumping around in the airports, and like kind of making a sketchy landing, where you could slide over the place, or making a greaser, and you just slide on in, and your Navy it they. – Navy it? – Because in the Navy… – Yeah I get it. – Or a grease because I like the greasy. Anyway you know get in there. Some days you’re really good at it. Sometimes you get behind, and it’s a little frustrating, but some days you’re really good at it, and that feels good too. – It sounds very involved to me, which is like, is there a lot of licensing, and rules… – And systems? – Yes systems, and
aircraft, and equipment, and you’re in danger. There’s risk. Are all of these things? Personal question. Feel free to ignore it. Except you have to answer it. Is this a thing that is just
very very comprehensive? Excites a lots of parts of you. It’s involved, and is it related to your profession? Is it a way? It’s like all this thing that will just… I can just get in here and get lost in it? And it’s sort of a beautiful? – I can get lost in it. I would say maybe there’s some qualities that overlap in terms of profession, but to me, I view it as escape. – Yeah well that’s actually what I mean. So not like… And I can just get in here and I’m like… There’s all these charts, there’s always a new license, there’s always another
airport to discover, a new place to fly. – Yes it’s an opportunity to daydream, yeah and live the daydream, because I’m a bordering video game addict. At times I would say full-blown addict, and now it’s a little
bit more under control, and that was always an
escapism that I really liked. It’s a solo world that you can go. Maybe you have friends, but you don’t even see them. You just hear them. And I love video games, but the downside to video games, is that you have this experience, but it only exists… It’s done when you stopped. You don’t have anything tangible. It’s a memory. And probably because you play so much, it’s not even a clearly defined memory. But you know? Having a passion that is more tangible, is a much more visceral experience. For a while I got into woodworking. I’m by no means Nick Offerman, but I made a few pieces, and it was really exciting, because you did this thing. You listen to podcasts as you’re making all the measurements. At the end you got a table or something, it’s really cool. It’s neat. I think it’s you know? To only do acting, or to only do comedy, especially comedy. Comedy you’re supposed to be a mirror. Art is supposed to be a
mirror upon which life gets reflected back onto itself, and if you haven’t experienced life, or other elements of life, I don’t know how you can be a deep artist or commedian right? Like what are you gonna comment on? You can’t just do bits about comedy. That’s boring okay you know? You have bits about relationships, or life, or various things. Not that I’ve got 40 minutes
of private pilot material. (laughing) – Oh he kills that private pilot rutine. – Wait till I get on my FAA rant. Hilarious. – Well you’re close to the
end of that water you know? I’m gonna let you off the hook. You’ve been both really gracious, and giving advice, and also sort of walked
around it a little bit. Is there anything like, there are a lot of people
who watch and listen. – A lot of people? 2,000 subscribers? What’s the number? – We’re in the 25 to 30
million download range. – Potatoes, potatoes and peanuts. – But conceptually, like
you’ve both been really willing to give advice on some pretty things, and you’ve also been reluctant. So what? – Oh have I? – A little bit, a little bit. – I thought I’ve been yappering. – Well to each his own. But is there any like… You have a thing. You’ve done some great stuff. Is there a sort of a theme, that if you’re talking to other folks, just pretend that there are
a lot of people listening, who are looking for some
piece of inspiration, to help them get over
the next sort of hurdle, and you’ve talked a lot about
like don’t be too optimistic, because you’re about to get… – That’s my well… You have to be also at some time. How do you measure expectations, but while still being
expecting that you want it? Expecting that you’ll get it. – Beleiving in yourself. – Confidence and expectations. That is a great question. If I had the answer to that, I’d be a much happier individual, and I wouldn’t need to take my daily lamotrigine as
previously discussed! – You’re buying time here. That’s great. I’m watching the sketch comedy in action. – My hilarious comedy routines. How do you? I think everybody’s figuring that out, but in terms of what’s going on lately, you gotta have some
confidence in yourself. I mean truth be told, I love a good self deprecation, and I love to wreck it, and I love to point out
faults in my performance. That’s a favorite pastime of mine, but in the end, I think if you ask me, if it’s just me in the room, I think I’m pretty good. – You’re by yourself now. – Yeah I think I’m pretty good. I think there’s room for improvement, but I welcome, the challenge is to improve. I think it’s a mentality switch
as we talked about earlier, of seeing those challenges, and welcoming that, because either you will
learn from their failure, or you will fucking beat the challenge, and that will feel very, very good, but if you see these
challenges as operative… Guaranteed opportunities for failure, it’s very hard to stay above
a little water on that. There’s an arduous path
you’ve chosen for yourself, and there’s been plenty
of times even lately, where I’ve been backstage. I did this I hosted Blizzcon recently. It was a fucking mess. And I remember I was like, I don’t want to do this anymore. Midway through I was like this is bad! And you know? But in the end you know? It’s a challenge, you’ve learned you know? You can’t all be batting a thousand. Baseball metaphor. But you know? That’s not gonna shake me. That’s not. In my mind I deserve to be here, and in my mind, I think those challenges are fights, little fights that you do, that with my warrior mentality, I shall vanquish! But you know? You gotta, you’re gonna have downs. You’re gonna have dips. I mean Jesus you know? Like shed many a tear, wrung
many a hand over this business, and over my place, not only within this business, but life. I mean life gets me down a lot lately. That’s another fun thing
about getting older, is you just have more perspective, and your cone of vision sees more, and you just go, oh God I wish I could unsee. I wish I had tunnel vision again, because this sucks! You take a wider swath of the world, and take it all into account. It’s a bummer. But you also get that way
within the career you know? Whatever visualization, sometimes I see it as a ladder you know? You climb each wrung, climb each a little bit of success, and that’s now that you’re higher up, you see more, or you see where you once were, and all the things that you
thought you needed then, are inconsequential you’ve realized. I’m off topic. – This is beautiful. It is. It’s how to live in the state
that we’re all attached to, whether we acknowledge it or not, and especially if you’re
trying to do something that scares you, which we encourage everyone to do, because that’s part of the you know? The obstacle is in a way. – Yeah yeah, and everybody is
in the pursuit of happiness. Everyone’s trying to get
their happiness and you know? A lot of my pursuit of happiness has nothing to do with this career. I mean it’s… Marriage is a bitch! Like it’s great, and it’s hard. Like just that is enough. That’s a full-time job right? So kids, I can’t even imagine. Fuck that shit! I plan on removing my testicles tomorrow. – I have no kids. – My man. Well you know? I don’t know, maybe who knows? If there’s a mistake. – For what it’s worth it’s not required. – Oh really? Shit I gotta cancel the appointment. There was like 5,000
down payment which sucks. – Not refundable. – Nonrefundable. The doctor’s a bit of a shyster. Yeah but there’s all these other things, but everyone’s in the
pursuit of happiness, and it goes back to some of
the stuff I touched on earlier. If this thing is genuinely
year, after year, after year, not getting me happy, not getting me happy, not getting you happy, whatever your pursuit is, I mean there’s something to
be said for determination, and there’s something
to be said for insanity. And some people… Some people do the thing they thought they were
meant to do on the weekend. I daydream about me being 15 years old, signing up the air cadets, and being a fucking
Kiowa helicopter pilot. I daydream about that! – That’s killer. – I daydream about that! I also daydream about 1940, me being like part of the Spitfire squad, and defending the Cliffs of Dover. I can do that virtually on the weekend, and I can do the other
thing on the weekend, because I did this thing
that now affords me to right? You don’t always have to be
the professional race driver. You can be a CPA, who has a reasonably priced GT, that he races in the open circuit. You may not be absolutely 100% passionate about the thing that
you kind of have to do, but take it from me, who got the thing that he wanted. It’s the dream. I’m living the dream. Some days suck. Not every day I’m jacking
off in a fucking orgy, and everybody’s paying me
more money than I can imagine, and agents are like what part in Hollywood do you want you know? Even in the thing that I’m happy, there’s arduousness. There’s days you go I can’t
believe it’s normal to work minimum 12 hours in this business. I don’t have a life. I get to do this thing, but I always stopped performing
was started at 8:00 p.m. But here I am. It’s 5:00 in the morning and
I’m trying to do a scene. What the fuck is this shit? It’s so weird, and plus you meet people who are terrible. I’ve met terrible terrible people. Awful people, mean people, inconsiderate people. You meet trolls in this
business, terrible troll. People that make you go God
humanity is dark and you know? And you all kinds of damaged, and look at all the broken
pieces that are falling off you. It’s crazy. My point is you got to
find your happiness, and as long as you don’t have
to fuck people over to get it, it’s very worthwhile persueing. – There’s no better end
to an interview than that. (laughing) Thank you so much for being on the show. – Of course. – I really really appreciate it. – I hope I didn’t crawl
up my own ass just now. – No you crushed it! It was amazing. The folks at home, thanks Thomas, really appreciate it, and I’ll probably see
you again maybe tomorrow. Bye! (relaxing synth music)

13 thoughts on “Celebrating Your Weirdness /w Thomas Middleditch | Chase Jarvis LIVE”

  1. How could chase just go on with the interview and not giggle himself to death when thomas said OCTOPODITRIDE πŸ¦‘πŸ¦‘πŸ¦‘

  2. I loved this interview. I always enjoy Thomas Middleditch in his roles, but this really shows how down to earth he is. Hilarious, candid and awkwardly normal. Awesome.

  3. That was one of the best interviews I've ever seen haha. Great job to both of you! That was insanely real, and yet inspiring. Thank you thank you!!

    I think the main overarching theme is that we have to learn to live with dualities in life, which is confusing/counter-intuitive because our minds naturally categorize things into a black and white framework. It's important to be a bit delusional and shoot for the stars, and yet you also have to be realistic with yourself and be able to admit when you've failed or come up short with something. Learning how to flow with the ups and downs and understanding that you can't have good times without the bad is important. And also realizing that true/ultimate happiness isn't a tangible place you will ever truly reach because it is a mindset that you have to learn to constantly work towards and attempt to sustain whilst evolving.

    Annnnnd I'm yappering like Thomas now, hahaha. Thanks again, great stuff guys <3

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