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30 Days of Genius

Lesson 30 of 30

Adrian Grenier

Chase Jarvis

30 Days of Genius

Chase Jarvis

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Lesson Info

30. Adrian Grenier

Lesson Info

Adrian Grenier

Hey everybody, how's it going? I'm Chase Jarvis, welcome to another episode of Chase Jarvis Live here on Creative Live. You're tuning into the 30 days of Genius series. Boy if you're new to this series, let me tell you a little bit about it. It's where I sit down with the world's top creatives, entrepreneurs and thought leaders and extract actionable insights that you can apply to your day to day to help you live your dreams in career, hobby, and in life. If you're new to this series, all you gotta do is go to, the number 30, days of genius, click that blue button, then you get one of these badass interviews in your inbox everyday for 30 days. My guest today is an actor, a producer, a director, all-around Hollywood man. He is an advocate for social good, like few others that I know on the planet, and you probably know him also as the star of, boy, Entourage, however many seasons they've had on HBO, and the summer blockbuster that just dropped last summer...

, Mr. Vinny Chase on that series. My guest is Adrian Grenier. Hi, bud. Hey, hey. (alternative rock music) (applause) They love you! How are you? I'm great. Welcome to Seattle. Dude it's been too long. It has been. Way too long. You're in my hood right now, I usually see you in New York. I know, that's right. Or wherever. Yeah actually Sundance or LA or but you're in Seattle and I know what you're doing here, but I kinda wanna save that for a little bit, the thing that we said we were gonna. There's a guest is gonna be making-- I mean, we have a guest. But there's gonna be actually another guest. It's the first time in this whole series that we're gonna have two people on that couch. We're gonna save that to the end, that's the crescendo. In the meantime, welcome to Seattle. Thank you. Jeez, you've been busy. Shit, you've been super busy. I have, yes. So, one of the things that we were talking about before we started rolling the cameras was, before we talk about, I think most people wanna talk about Hollywood, I wanna talk about your advocacy for social good. You've spent a lot of time with organizations like Shift, The Lonely Whale Foundation, but what does it mean in your world to be an advocate? And you're also connected with Dell or something, right? Yeah. What does it mean to be an advocate of social good? What does it mean? (laughs) Well, it's pretty straight forward. You gotta think about people and communities and the planet, and the work you do is to support human beings in the Earth. Do you act so that you have that platform, or because you act you have that platform, therefore you're using it for social good? I guess because I had a good mother who raised me well is why I do that. I've seen a lot of pictures. You take a lot of pictures with your mom, I like that, family guy. I am definitely a mommy's boy. She definitely shaped me and inspired me, and created a sense of ownership and accountability within me. It started with very basic skills like cleaning my room, very simple idea that I think most people would agree with. You have to teach children how to respect their own environment. Except now, our environment is the whole planet, so we have to clean our room together, clean our room. I like it. We're gonna naturally parlay that into family talk, so only child, brothers, sisters? Only child, although I do have, my father has two daughters that I did not grow up with but are still siblings. My family is mostly a chosen one. I've managed to invite some really amazing people into my life and they've become family. Brothers, sisters, siblings, mentors, role models, and I like to live that way, where your family bleeds out into the larger community. You've sent that message, I feel that like your house in Brooklyn, it's a mish-mash of a million- Open door policy, yeah. (laughs) Be careful. People are gonna find your address. Not that open, okay. Not that open. But it's true, I've made a point to create a really open environment where people can come and enjoy my space, because I travel a lot, so I'm never there. I have a great house, and I want people to be able to use it. I don't want it to just be empty, collecting dust, costing me money. I want to actually be able to share it with my friends, family, travelers, entrepreneurs that I come across. It's sort of like Friend B&B. And what's really cool is I'm actually accumulating- Points, points? (laughs) Yeah, I'd be winning if I was. No, it's a guest log. So I make, I don't make, but I highly suggest, and considering the fact that they're staying virtually for free- Virtually? You just charge them a fiver or something? Well no, they have to contribute, they have to- Like clean their room. They have to leave the place nicer than they found it, some certain rules. And one of the rules is they have to leave I video blog, or a video log, I should say log. So instead of signing the guest book, it's a video guestbook. So I have people, like all different types of people leaving little video messages often, thanking me for letting them stay, but just getting to know who they are, why they're in the city, where they're off to. And families and entrepreneurs and artists and all different kinds of people, even some military guys. I spent some time, I was actually on a submarine recently, a nuclear submarine working with the Navy. So I had some of those guys staying at my house. Nice. So just a wide range. And you can ask me why I was on a nuclear submarine a little later, but it's related to the project that we weren't going to talk about. We won't talk about that. I'm looking at the guest that we're gonna have on here in just a second. (laughs) there she is, she's got a great smile. If you could see what we saw right then. (laughs) So actually, related to your house, but different than I would say Hollywood, is the rec room. Tell me about the rec, I know about it, tell the folks at home about the rec room. I've built a lot of little businesses, really, which are all designed to create community, and really to give people the tools to be more of what they are, what they want to be, more human. So they can really start to manifest and articulate the instincts that I think, that I presume we all have, which is compassion and connecting with others and giving back and being creative. So rec room is one of those little businesses, essentially. It's a studio that I built, it's in my home, and I give it to local artists and artists who are passing through to come in and write and record, make a video, and put it up online. And we encourage collaboration, mentorship, apprenticeship, and really just recognizing that the industry, the bigger umbrella, which is the music industry, it's goals are primarily financial. And really you lose the vibe and the reason why we play music, and it's really to communicate and share and connect with others. Yeah, convene, bring people together. Well let's talk about that a little bit because you know the audiences on the other side of this camera, they identify as creators or entrepreneurs or aspirationally thinking about those sort of things. Lifestyle or hobby, or ultimately a career. How important, you said so many words, you just went, "There's empathy and gathering people, convening.". Mentorship was something that you said in there. So how important is mentorship for being a part of, identifying as a creative or making things? I mean, you, I think it's fair to say you build things for a living, whether it's a script, a role, a business. And what role has mentorship, what role do you play? And how has that played a role in shaping you? I mean we learn from each other, we learn about, we learn from other's mistakes, we learn form their experience, their wisdom. And it makes it easier for us to come to better decisions in our own lives, because we don't have to waste a learning curve of having to go through all the mistakes that someone else has made. So it's very important to keep your eyes, your ears open and to listen and learn from others. It just makes your life a lot easier when you're taking information, synthesizing it and then building off it, as opposed to stubbornly just wanting to go through it and learn it yourself. Although sometimes, that's fun to do as well, make your own mistakes, which we all have to do as well. Really for me, it's really important to find a humble approach to your own creative work, your own business work, and to recognize you can't do everything yourself. And you can't scale if you do it alone. You really need to work with others, you need to learn from others, and get excited about that process. It really is a humble act, an act of being humble, but also it's mostly gonna benefit you in the long run. For sure. So anyone you can cite as specifically a great mentor to you or a shitty one? But ideally, we talk about the great ones. (laughs) anybody in particular you want to give a shout out to? If I said you, you'd think I was just saying that. I would. But it's you. Aw man. No, dude, I've been really impressed at how and what you've built over the past several years, it's been really impressive. How well you speak on camera is really, really- This is some shit right here, you guys recording? Oh yeah, we got five cameras. You're my mentor. Thanks. You're not the only one, but you're a good one. I get it, I'll take it, man, I'll take it. I don't necessarily identify the, I don't want to overly stereotype, but I want to sort of make a reference, because I think there is patterns, there are patterns. And Hollywood tends to be very egocentric, there is a lot of, and this is true for just individual, independent artists, like you have to look out for yourself, you have to be an advocate for yourself, and I encourage that. But you have this fascinating, trajectory is not the right word, you have a fascinating sort of mode about you that when you're advocating for yourself or your peers, say around signing a contract for the film Entourage, or maybe even versus... But you're so externally inclusive, empathetic, you've got all these projects that are around the ocean and around... I mean, your home, the pattern you just painted around your home, that is very un-Hollywood. So how do you navigate that or how do you think about it? I've learned a lot of great lessons. And there's something about the Hollywood experience that I was always suspicious of. (laughs) There's plenty to be suspicious of. Yeah. I don't know really why, but at a certain point I said, "I gotta explore this a little bit more.". And it was surrounding my Entourage experience, and finding my own role in the public eye, and what it was like to kind of be a little famous. And becoming famous, by playing a famous guy, about fame, and what's this whole fame culture and celebrity culture? And what's this Hollywood thing that I'm involved in? I started to explore it, and through that exploration, I ended up making a documentary called Teenage Paparazzo. Incredible. And that documentary was essentially an education, it was me learning about what drives this whole Hollywood fame culture, and what it is in me and people generally that strive for celebrity or feel that somehow celebrities have it better than the rest of us, or their living the American dream that we all want. And it was through that process that I came to realize that, first of all, the promise of fame or that celebrity pitch is flawed, it's somehow... I mean, it's a cliche that it's empty, but it's true. At the end of the day, all the things that you receive as a celebrity, all the things you enjoy and indulge in, ultimately don't yield much fulfillment internally. And really, the cure to that is giving back and building community, and also building real relationships, not these fake relationships to characters that are- Para-social. Exactly. In television and media. I learned that term from you, speaking of mentorship. Exactly. (laughs) If you haven't seen, I know probably everyone out there has, but if you haven't seen Teenage Paparazzo, it's a really, it's an amazing arch where you're... Why don't you explain it? What's the short pitch of Teenage Paparazzo? So I deconstructed my celebrity experience through the eyes of a young paparazzi boy, a young photographer who got caught up in the whole Hollywood, paparazzi game. And this was right in the early oughts I guess, the beginning of the internet. Entourage just- Well Entourage was blowing up and tabloids were simultaneously becoming really pervasive on the internet. TMZ had just launched, it was ripe for the film to explore. And I just made a decision that I was gonna pull the curtain back and reveal what it was like from the inside out, and really call the industry out for what it is. Absolutely. Did you take some shit for that? Oh yeah, I did. What does the shit look like? Well there's a lot of media resistance, a lot of... If you look at the media at large, it's like, I read this great book called Mediated by Thomas de Zengotita, and he equates the media at large like The Blob, kind of Stephen King movie The Blob, where the more you throw at it, the bigger it gets. You try and battle it, it just absorbs it and becomes larger. And the only way you can really beat The Blob is a freeze out. I mean, look at Trump, for example. Whew. I know. The more you talk about him, the bigger he gets. The more you want to try and undermine him by saying something, he just gets bigger and bigger and more empowered. The only way to cure this Trump problem is to ignore him and not talk about him, and put your focus elsewhere. I don't remember what we were talking about. It was the sort of concept around Teenage Paparazzo? And were you sort of vilified for talking about the group, the very thing that created your career? I have this experience of revealing all the secrets of the photography industry, and I was absolutely vilified for saying, "This is how much I make, "this is how much I negotiate this, "this is how I would shoot this, "this is my sort of lighting set up.". And this is also early oughts when the internet was just happening. It wasn't even YouTube, it was Google Video. And I was at first totally vilified. Like, holy shit, who's this guy that's turning the industry inside out? Ultimately, it came around for me, but how has it been for you? You know the mushroom theory of power? No. See? This is like school. (laughs) It's keep them in the dark and feed them shit. Okay, I get it now. So the powers that be are very uncomfortable when you shed light on something, when you reveal the truth, because they lose their power. That's what you've done, you've empowered people, you've given them the tools to empower themselves, or to have their autonomy. And I think that's the real American dream. The American dream isn't just letting celebrities live the American dream and we just strive for it. The real American dream is where we're all empowered and we can all have the tools to pave our own way. And I think that's one thing that the internet has done, is given us all an opportunity to see the truth, have the power to connect with one another, collaborate, and forge our own destiny. You mentioned creativity several times, that's what Creative Live is about, that's what the show's about. And there's this simultaneous, the nugget called creativity, which is making things, but then there's all these sort of vehicles and tools that are now sort of upon us that weren't around, even just five years ago. Can you talk about that landscape and about creativity in general for me? I mean, I know it's, I don't want to be too vague, but how do you look at that? Do you create these businesses because now that you have an opportunity and there's no gatekeepers, how do you look at the whole ecosystem of this sort of new level of creativity that we have access to? From the old model of control sort of the power structure that would give a certain few select people the key to have success. And back in the day when actors, there were very few actors that became famous, and the studio machine would control them essentially. And it was this sort of separate thing where they were somehow imbued with holiness, and that's why they became famous, that's why they were revered, that's why they were stars. And that's not true. They were selected by the studios and they were cultivated and built. And because the studios had the outlets, because the studios controlled the distribution system, they could make anybody famous. In walks the internet, throws that all out the window, because now anybody has access to that. And now you look online, and people have made themselves famous and have taken charge for their own careers, and that's more competition. Not only for the studios, but the Humphrey Bogarts of the world. So now we're all competing on the same playing field, and the same is true for me. You asked did I get any shit from the industry when I was making Teenage Paparazzo, and the answer is yes. Because my colleagues would pull me aside and like, "Dude, what are you doing?". You're blowing our program. "Dude, we have it good, we have a good thing here, "let's hold onto it.". And I don't see it that way. I think the internet, we're in the information age, and that's a good thing. And we are more empowered as a people, as a society, and I think that's a good thing, and I want to cultivate that and give support to that, as opposed to trying to be part of this mushroom theory. Sure. So I embrace the competition, and I look to make more community, more collaboration, and that way when you've made it in the old system, it's very insecure, because one little mistake and you fall from grace and you lose everything. And now you're back with the peons, right? Yeah. In the other model, where we're all working together collaboratively, we all have a piece of the pie and we're all helping each other out. And you're a lot happier, you're not as insecure, and it's just I think a better model. Let's go one level deeper there. You mentioned earlier, people striving for, we'll call it celebrity, or let's just more generally call it success, where your peers know your name because you've sort of made it. Whether you're making it in hair and makeup or in design or in acting or making films or whatever, if the goal... You've just said, pretty unequivocally that, "Hey, when you get there and you get to the top of "the mountain, there's fuck all up there, it's empty.". And really the journey is the thing. So for the folks at home are just starting out on their journey, how do you give them, give the folks at home a sense of purpose without, at the end of the... It's not really celebrity, there's no bell you ring. How do you object, oppose, or how do you sort of navigate those two things? Not to say that you shouldn't strive for success or you shoudlnt strive to grow your audience, or you shouldn't strive to share with more people your work. I don't thInk that's necessarily a bad thing, but not to forget why you're doing it. Why are you sharing it with more people, why are you building your audience? And it's not just for the sake of it, it's not just to have more adoration or more attention. It's for, I can't tell you what your purpose is, that's gotta come from you. Your purpose has gotta come form you, I think that's critical. I mean, I can tell you what my purpose is. That's my next question. Oh. (laughs) So what is your purpose? You've done so many different things in different industries. How do you veer, like do you have a mission statement? Or what are you living by these days? So I'm a college dropout, and when I was in my early 20s, I recognized that I was not making the most of my college years. Because I still hadn't gotten the partying down yet, so I was still trying to perfect that. Spending money on college, and instinctively realized that I was gonna be in debt that I didn't really want. And then ultimately, I wasn't learning enough because I wasn't really maximizing my time there. So I dropped out. I took the hard road around, and since then... And really dropping out, I realized that if I'm not gonna learn in school, I need to learn on my own. So that's when I started to read a lot of books and apply myself personally to just make sure I was keeping my brain exercised. So I guess my purpose in life is just to always learn, because I never quite finished college, and I just wanna make sure that I'm always... And I think that institutional education is fine and dandy and great in its own way, but the thing that it does that I don't like is it limits or it reduces learning to the institution or to the four walls, and I really think that we need to recognize that learning is lifelong goal, a lifelong experience. And even after you leave school, you've still gotta be learning. So I guess my purpose, my goal is to always be learning and evolving my brain. Now we just finished sort of attacking Hollywood a little bit, but now I wanna like go into it a little bit. I'll never work again, don't air this season. We're about to ruin Adrian Grenier's career. Nobody in Hollywood watches your show. Of course, I know, I know, except the last ones that sent me letters asking me to make a show for them. That being said, I think there's still a little bit of a black box around Hollywood. How do you get into it? What do you do, what's it like when you get there? And rather than talking generally about it, let's talk about your specific experience. I don't know if people... You came out of nowhere for me. I mean, I know you had The Devil Wears Prada, you had all these little things, great little pop up cameos and this and that, then all of a sudden you had your own show. What was that like? Was it good, bad, ugly? Was it incredible? You're like, "I've made it.". I am not the right guy to give advice about how to make it in Hollywood. Why not? Because I just got lucky. I could give you advice on how not to do it and how to be an ungrateful, rebellious prick, but I can't tell you how to play the game right, because I've always just been doing things my own way, for better or for worse. I got lucky a couple times, and that really saved me from myself. The truth is, I was in Mexico trying to make a documentary. I was trying to sneak into Cuba, this was many years ago before you could just go there, trying to sneak into Cuba to make a documentary about Cuban hip hop. And I got a call, and they're like, "There's this show Entourage, "you should come audition for it, you're perfect.". And I was like, "Nah, I'm busy.". So were you modeling at the time because- Modeling? I mean, no one calls, no one just says... Matt, have you ever gotten a call from Hollywood saying, "Matt, there's this awesome show that's coming up?". No, you haven't, he's shaking the camera 'No'. So you had to be in the world of- Well yeah, because ever since I was in junior high school, because I wasn't particularly sporty, because I was a mama's boy, because I grew up with a single mom, only child, I didn't do so well in the sports area. You're coming around, you're skiing, snowboarding. I mean, I have natural athleticism, but it wasn't cultivated by a father figure, you see? I get it. But at the time, I didn't do so well in sports, so I ended up doing a lot of theater, which I quite enjoyed. Clearly you were good at it. And so I had agents who were constantly seeking me out to put me in auditions and such. So that's a little backstory. When I was there. So you were a part of the machine. Well I was being invited into it. Got it. And I would always skip auditions or do something to mess up the audition. Whether it was subconscious or just rebellion, I don't know, but eventually I got this opportunity to audition for Entourage. So you're in Mexico, you get a phone call. I was in Mexico, and I resisted. I finally saw reason, and I was like, "Eventually this machine will turn its back on me and "I won't have these opportunities anymore.". And by the way, I had maybe $1,000 to my name, which I was planning on spending all on the documentary and then figuring it out later. But instead I got a strong talking to by my manager who said, "You gotta do this, "and if you don't, find another manager.". And so I went, I auditioned, and I really just got lucky, man, I got the part. I don't know, it could've easily not worked out that way. Was it written that it was a guy from Queens that went to LA? Or when they found you, did they write there was this guy from Queens who?... No, they, Doug Ellin, who created the show, was very deliberate about hiring authentic New Yorkers, or people from the east coast. Excuse me, that was gross. (laughs) How good is your sound equipment? (laughs) So because I was from the east coast, that helped, but I think it also helped the rapport amongst the guys, we had that New York swagger, the vibe, so we got each other. I think that's the reality with a lot acting work. Eventually, it starts to become strategic, where you're leveraging power or leveraging your celebrity or your fame or your popularity to get other parts. You build- Like in the show, like there's a meta thing going on in the show, right? Absolutely, yeah. There's a reason why you see the same big actors in all the movies, because they're building an audience, they're building an awareness factor, and they help get movies made. Because the people making movies want people to go pay for tickets and go into the theater, so there's a business aspect to it. But in a lot of ways, if all things are equal and there's no favoritism, and there are two people auditioning for the same role, they could both be great and maybe have different interpretations, but eventually, the decision has to be made. And a casting director or director or producer is going to make a decision, potentially for arbitrary reasons. Or maybe it is like, this person has more Instagram followers, so we're just gonna go with that guy. That's crazy, right? I think the same is true for photography, and my experience is the same. As soon as you start telling stories about making, the behind the scenes thing, it was like, "Oh wow, this person, they can reach as many people as "the campaign can.". That's a really interesting thing. But you're here to acknowledge that. Yeah. And I guess I'm not giving any real like insight, just it's natural. But I think a lot of people get frustrated that they aren't given the shot or they don't get the part, and they somehow take it personally. Don't take it personally. And that's why I say when people ask me, "How do I make it in the movie industry?". I say, "Well, you got a camera, "at least you have a smart phone, "so you have access to a camera. "You have yourself, you're the vehicle. "So go out and make something, go out and do it.". Step one, make something. Step two, repeat step one. Right. Do you feel like, did you make enough stuff to get noticed? Were you in the limelight enough to be able to get noticed? Because you sort of just presented something that was a little bit different than that? Did you take your own advice or did you go back to like, "I was lucky, I wasn't making a lot, "but I just happened to land this part."? Well I would've always been satisfied making documentaries, so I had that going for me. (airplane whirring) Do you wanna wait for this plane, how does this work? No, I like the plane, the plane is nice, we're going for it. There are planes in life. There are planes. And burps. Planes and burps, that's the title of the episode, planes and burps. I guess I've been lucky enough to find satisfaction, contentment with not a lot, so I would've been happy just making documentaries. So you get a call from Mexico, you get on the show. Most people don't know what it's like to be on a show, the show basically, if it sucks, like four weeks in, they're like, "You're done, thank you very much, "everyone go home.". But your show didn't suck. It didn't suck. (laughs) It didn't suck, it had traction. Was it the chemistry, was it Doug, was it the concept? It was all of that. It has to be, right, in order to sort of make it? Yeah, it was the synergy of a lot of different things, but it was in his ... People were curious about this whole celebrity thing, and then you had the core essence, the emotional essence of the show, which was brotherhood and companionship, and that was nice to see. And then you had some pretty things to look at. You know, cars, all the materialism that we're so fascinated with in our capitalist culture. It was a very recipetic approach to creating a show. 100%, and it was well-written. For sure, the dialogue, unbelievable. How much of the dialogue is your versus Doug's, and the writer's? I mean that's the thing. A lot of people feel that the show is improvised or that it's a reality show. Yeah. (laughs) But it was scripted, 100% of it was scripted, very few lines were improvised. And so it was both the writing that felt authentic and real and off the cuff, and then the acting, which somehow we were able to just lock in and click in that rapport so that we could make it feel real. How was it playing? And the way we shot as well, hand-held. Oh for sure, really, I loved it. How is it playing someone who, no disrespect, you've said this to me, "It was weird playing someone who was "way more famous than I am."? Is that interesting and weird and cool or is it messed up? Because you literally played the George Clooney of- I'm happy for advancing his career and what's he's reached, what he's managed to do in his career. And as I said, I'm happy with where I'm at, so I'm not mad at him. (laughs) Not hating on Vinny, of course. I don't remember who said it, there's a quote, maybe your audience can help me find out. Maybe it was a quote I invented, I'd like to think. And I'm going to bastardize the quote, my own quote, but it's something about a writer, a character in a book can only be as smart as the author. Because the author reaches the ceiling of intelligence, and he can't write a character any smarter than that. So when you have really highly intelligent characters in books, you know that the author's pretty damn smart. You get where I'm going with this? I do, I do. (laughs) I get it. So let's talk. Before we go into, I think we're both very, very excited to talk about, and your beaming smile over there. Yes, you have a beaming smile. We're gonna tear the roof off. Let's talk a little bit about you personally, because I think a lot of folks at home are like, "What can I do today?". And you've already said make stuff. You got a morning routine? What are some of the things that you feel like contribute to your day to day happiness, day to day success as a creative? I'm trying to think of a positive thing to say about my morning routine. Nighttime routine. Yeah, I'm ashamed to say that I go straight for my phone. (laughs) I think that's like generally shunned upon these days, but I do. You know what it is? That I'm just really excited and motivated to get to work. I don't know. But I do exercise. Take care of yourself. Yes, absolutely, you have to do that. How about, do you have a creative, is there something that you do every day to be creative? Is that requirement? Like before you go to bed, you've got a journal, write a scene, play a riff? How much of a part of your daily routine is making something? I don't have a routine, and that's the truth. That's alright, that's what we wanna know, we want the truth. I travel a lot and things are always changing. I have several different projects with different people, sort of working them. I just have this sort of flow where I don't sweat any one detail I guess. For me it's just a matter of patience, having patience, and knowing things will have their life and they'll evolve or they'll devolve, often. And just to, it's sort of a zen thing for me, just to let things have their incubation time, their period, and not to sweat the small stuff. So there's this friend of mine named Brene Brown, I don't know if you know her work, she's a researcher, talks about vulnerability, she's like ... and really inspirational woman. She talks a lot about gold plated grit, where it's so in vogue to be vulnerable, like, "Oh yeah, I had this hardship, "and then I was right back on top.". Is there some things that you could tell me or the folks at home or both of us that, "Yeah man, I've been in some shit, it's been really hard. "There was a time where I was broken, tired.". Can you talk about that in a really, in a way that is something that people wouldn't have thought possible? Quite honestly and vulnerably, I don't feel like I've succeeded in anything ever. (laughs) Wow. How's that? That spin is real. And I think that I have a friend who's company is worth billions of dollars, and he talks about having more fear and sort of bad gremlin voices in his head now than ever before, when he was a month from insolvency in the same startup. I think that's a very real thing to say. Well connected to what I said earlier about wanting to always strive and learn, and that learning experience is constant and forever, it's the same with creativity or entrepreneurship, where you're just somewhere on the learning curve, but you're still on the learning curve, and if you ever reach the top of the learning curve, you're probably gonna get bored and do something else. So I haven't been successful in any project I've done, in any business I've started, because I'm still on that curve. And that's not a bad thing, I don't need success, I just need to constantly be evolving towards- Is it the work? Then you feel good about the work? Is that the buzz that you get? Because if you haven't achieved success, you're still waking up and putting in the hours, is it the act of making, is it the act of building that you really are drawn to? I mean, absolutely, yes. And knowing that your contribution is what helps the collective, you're giving of yourself to the world, and it's supporting you back. So I'm just being of service, doing my part, waking up humbly and just pushing the cogs. What a guy, what a guy, right? What a guy. I wanna shift gears now. Is there anything you wanna say about the work that you're doing these days before we start talking about The Lonely Whale? Because I know we covered a lot of ground. I wanna say one other thing. Talk about How To Make Money Selling Drugs. First you buy some drugs, and then you sell it for more money than you bought it for. And then you repeat. And then you make money. Great. Oh no, you mean the documentary? The documentary called How To Make Money Selling Drugs. Oh okay, I got confused for a second. Yes. So I produced a documentary called How To Make Money Selling Drugs, and it was yes, partly about the industry of making money selling drugs, but it was also about sort of the... Totally got distracted for a second. That plane that flew over? (laughs) It's also about the failed war on drugs, and how our laws, they're built to try and protect us from drugs themselves and make us fearful of them, and help protect us from the criminals who sell drugs. But ultimately have failed us because they're worse than the drugs themselves, they're worse than the criminals. Because they impoverish us and they- Imprison us. Imprison us. Disproportionately amongst black males under the age of 30. And they do nothing to actually solve the medical problem, which is addiction, they do nothing to prevent drug use. So we just have to think of a new way to address people and why it is they turn to drugs in an unhealthy way in the first place. I loved the film, I thought it was great. Playful, all the sort of on screen animations. Branson has been a part of this, he's been on the show, part of this 30 Days of Genius series. And he is just, I don't know if you've noticed lately, he is super outspoken. We filmed with him just recently in New York, and he was going to the UN the next day to basically to go all in on how f'ed up our view on drugs is. Well it's gaining momentum, thankfully. Yeah, in Washington where we are right now, weed is legal. Well it's about time. I certainly personally advocate for decriminalization if not legalization entirely. But certainly an alternative to prohibition. And it's becoming less and less taboo because I think people have the information now, and people are recognizing that the drugs aren't the problem, it's the policies. And we need to invest less in SWAT teams and imprisonment and more in education and inspiration, because people who have goals in life, people who have opportunities, they don't do drugs, because they're too busy building their dreams. Instead of smoking to find their dreams another way. We probably should get onto the main event here, but I loved the film, I thought it was interesting, I was happy to promote it. Our views are aligned there entirely. So you see yourself producing a lot more films? Well it's funny you should say that, because it's a great segway. Again, I'm always learning. After each documentary I make, I become a virtual expert, not an expert, but I know a lot more than I did, and it's a way for me to explore a subject and to understand it better. After How To Make Money Selling Drugs, I started talking to a friend of mine about this documentary called 52: The Search For The Loneliest Whale In The World, and my friend Lucy who was producing it, invited me on to help her produce that film. And I said, "I would love to, under one condition. "You let me build out a larger platform around the film.". Because one thing that I've learned over the years is in order to be more autonomous and independent as a documentary film maker, you really have to act like a studio in a lot of ways, and you have to start doing all the things that a studio would do and building all these ancillary products and content and merchandise. And with this film about a particular whale, I thought we had a great opportunity, and here's why. The whale, his name's 52, and he is known as the loneliest whale in the world, because he was discovered back during the cold war by the US Navy to speak a different frequency than other whales. So he's been calling out his whole life without receiving a response. And knowing that whales are sentient and highly social, just like humans, we can only imagine that he'd be a little bummed out and lonely. Nobody else out there returning my calls, I've been calling. And whales live to 100+ years old? They do, they do. And he's floating out there in the abyss of emptiness of the ocean, the vastness, without any companionship. And they're certain that they've tracked this whale, that he's the only whale, or she is the only whale. Is it a he, do they know that? He's a he. Only males sing. One of the things you learned in making a documentary about whales. That's one of the things, yes. And I'm still learning. So what I did, I started to build up all these other sort of ancillary verticals, these other touch points to the ocean through this symbolic hero character, The Lonely Whale. And also wanting to have a call to action, so not just making the film to tell the story of the lonely whale, but also at the end of the film being able to direct your energy when you do feel that empathy and compassion for the whale and his plight, which is the plight of all. Yeah, there's a great connection between the sort of loneliness and lack of connection that we all feel, despite being more connected. Where's my phone anyway? (laughs) More connected than ever before, but to be in a sense lonely. That's a beautiful narrative, for sure. Yeah, and this all ties into everything we've been talking about. Community building and connecting with others to solve the world's problems. And also it's our disconnect and our ignorance that really has created a lot of the environmental issues. If we felt what the whale was going through, if it wasn't so far and vast and out of touch, out of mind, but if we were really connected to the fact that that whale's our, that's our brother. Our brother, yeah. And he's out there swimming with all the plastic. And by the way, those are our oceans. So we are on parallel paths with the planet. The wants and needs of marine wildlife and the whale are our own. We want connection, we want companionship, we want a healthy, clean environment. We want a clean room. So this whale has really given us an opportunity to start to communicate these ideas on a level that people understand. So just like How To Make Money Selling Drugs, we spoke the language of the people. It was plain language, it was pop language. It was like a lot of talking heads, we had fun with it, we wanted to talk the way people talk. Nothing was censored or omitted, and it wasn't this sort of didactic, intellectualized documentary. It was just a cool film. So we're doing the same thing with the oceans and with this whale we have an opportunity to dip into and connect on a very plain, human level. One of the ancillary things, then, for building out around this particular character- Is the foundation, The Lonely Whale Foundation, which is really designed to connect people, and then bond them with the oceans. Give them an opportunity to connect with the whale and the oceans in general so that they have that empathetic relationship so that they can make better choices for the oceans. Sweet. Are we ready? And we're ready. The best smile in show business. (laughs) One of the reasons why I'm here in Seattle is to visit the fantastic, wonderful, great Dune Ives, who we've recently just brought into lead the charge at The Lonely Whale Foundation, and she's our executive director. Why is she over there shaking her head? Come on out here, come on, come on. Hug it out, hug it out. Across the table here, come here. Nice to see you. Good to see you. Great part of the Seattle community. So I came up to see Dune because we've recently just started working together, and so we have a lot of things to do to sort of hand over this project, and also really start to define our goals. I mean, I'm a media guy, I tell good stories perhaps, but one thing that I really needed is somebody who's been there, who's had the experience, who knows about philanthropy and has the relationships to really build that coalition so we can do effective work. And so in walks Dune Ives. (imitates drums) So you got the stage. You've been a part of the Seattle community for a long time. Actually, we have a mutual friend, Megan, who's maybe, is Megan coming? I don't know if she's coming yet, let's make sure she's not locked out somewhere. How in the hell did A, you guys get connected? I mean, I know you separately from you, but now you guys are sitting here, and I love it. Fate. Fate, fate connected you. It must've been fate. (laughs) But what attracted you to the project? I left my last gig in January, and wanted to take some time to really see what it is I wanted to do and who was out there that I was really compelled to work with. We have a mutual friend in New York and we were talking one day and she said, "Oh you've got to meet Adrian.". And I think she actually said it like, "You've got to meet Adrian.". Everyone does. (laughs) And I said, "Okay, who's Adrian, who is this guy?". And she talked about,"He just started this "lovely little foundation and really wants to do big things. "So meet him, see what you think.". And in the first moment that I spoke with Adrian, actually the first email I got from you, I was like, "This is a different kinda guy, "he's really nice, really informed, really grounded.". And then when we first spoke over Skype, just really connected with him on an, I think, really deep personal level. That here's this guy that lives and breathes everything that you just heard in the interview. I mean, truly, to the core of who he is, he's compassionate, he's real- Just pretend he's not here. Right. No, I said that earlier, I already admitted compassion. I'm so real. So real. Just compassionate, and everything he said about his house in Brooklyn, I showed up there. I think I rolled in around two o'clock in the morning, Adrian comes in, he's like, "Hey, let me show you my house. "Let me show you my house, let me show you the rec room.". So I immediately felt like this is somebody that I can absolutely go to the ends of the Earth with. We have a lot of work to do on behalf of 52, and to improve ocean health as quickly as we possibly can, and so that really matters a lot to me. It's hard to turn away from the narrative of 52, isn't it? You hear the story. Seriously, I don't remember when you laid it on me, but I was like. First time I heard it- The heart strings, they're so real. And actually a mutual friend, I remember telling Megan about it, she just walked in the room here, and she was like, she loves whales, and she was like, "How can I be involved?". It's such a compelling narrative. Well we had several conversations about it, too. Many. And I think now, through Dune, we can finally work together, because she knows how to put the pieces together. I get it, and I'm here. We said earlier that creative life can be power for good and if you guys need a platform for a global broadcasting, we're happy to provide it, whether we're raising money or awareness or whatever. Mi casa, su casa. You've got the keys to the kingdom now. He's like, "Alright, where we going?". They keep trying to hand them to me and I keep saying, "Not quite yet, not quite yet.". Not quite yet. But I mean, there's a whole bunch of creativity behind it obviously, you're making films, and you've got art installations, you've got... What's in store for this and how could people get involved? We're really starting first with K-6 curriculum, really providing kids and teachers with tools on how to connect, not just with the ocean and with 52, but quite honestly, how do you connect with scientists? We've got a great partnership with Oceana, a great organization in this space, and they're lending us their scientists so the kids can connect with them and really understand, why are they on the boat for weeks on end? What are they doing out there, searching for what, and what are they finding? Really compelling, and we're going to be building that out over the course of the rest of this year and into 2017. Outside of that, what you're gonna see from The Lonely Whale Foundation are some very creative partnerships. You mentioned Branson earlier, very connected to his team. Hopefully shortly after this airs, you're gonna see a big announcement come out with Adrian and Branson. Oh great. About a global ocean health challenge. Were you in New York last week? (laughs) It's gonna be really exciting, we'll follow up in the Fall with a- It's huge. I also wanna connect you guys with a guy named Mike Horn, which is the world sort of foremost, I think we've talked about Mike before, he's sailed around the world seven times, he circumnavigated the arctic circle, first guy to solo into the North Pole in Winter, swam the Amazon, like just crazy shit. Sounds like our kinda guy. Yeah, and he's like, "I'm gonna personally go out there and grab that "big pile of plastic and tow it to the plant.". I mean, he's a crazy guy, so we'll connect him. But it's partnerships, that's one of the ways. How about an individual contributor level? What are the ways that the folks at home that are watching this, I think there's, to put a pause on that for a second, the folks at home A, they wanna learn from you guys about what it's like to live this life. There's actionable sort of insights you've talked about with mentorship, but there's also a desire to get involved. You mentioned community so many times. So let's give the folks at home an opportunity to plug into something. How would you recommend they take action? I think the first thing that everybody should do is to friend The Lonely Whale. Go to team lonely whale, go to any of our social handles and become a part of our community, because we have a lot to learn from everybody else. What they do, what their passionate about, how they're taking action. And we're committed to sharing that across all of our channels and through all of our partners so that their story becomes inspirational for others. That's a huge part of what we wanna do in building this global community of ocean health advocates. And quite honestly, the virtual pod for The Lonely Whale. He needs one. That's maybe why you're up in Seattle, too. We've got whales galore, we've got them. We do. We have whale galore. We have whales that have a lot of environmental issues associated with them. Through the lines of The Lonely Whale, and by developing this global connected audience, and learning from them and bring inspired by them, we really felt strongly that this is the missing piece. All these organizations that have been fighting the good fight for a very long time, and yet our oceans are still degrading. And I think honestly it's because we as a global citizenry haven't stepped up yet. We haven't found a way to connect with the ocean. Every time you look at, it looks fine, doesn't it? It's blue, or blue/green, or kinda gray. It's blue and it's always moving and it's really pretty, yeah. It's always moving, it's hard to understand how we're impacting it negatively. So we ask people to share the story. There are very simple things that you can do. You can say 'No' to straws. Say 'No' to straws. Say 'No' to straws, you can say 'No' to plastic bottles, you can say to sustainable seafood. Very simple thing you can do every single day. But we wanna carry that and we wanna share it broadly, and we wanna engage people. So you're gonna see a lot of activations come from us. And one thing that I've always understood is there's panacea, there's no one solution. There are as many solutions as there are humans on the planet, and we all have to participate, we all have to do our part and bring ourselves to the solution. I've always been rebellious, as I've mentioned before, so I never liked when people gave me a prescriptive list of things to do. And also when people do that, they do it, then they check out. This is about changing your perspective, folding it into your lifestyle so that it's in your heart, it's in your mind everyday, all the time. Not just like, "Okay, I did that and I'm done.". I gave $20 and I'm done. No, no. We're building, we're giving a whale who had no friends a global community of friends. And then everyday we're going to support him in his everyday plight. So folks can go up to, they can sign up, they can stay connected with us, they can teach us, and we can celebrate. You've already done a bunch of activations, too. You've done some art shows, you've got the film. What are some things that people can go see for a little bit more context, because I love the narrative, I think it's just such a powerful narrative. And I would love to sort of connect the narrative with some things that you've already done so that it will help people understand where all this is going. The education program is in development with our partners in Chicago at the Academy For Global Citizenship, it's a charter school, amazing. And their mascot is a whale, so it's perfect. Perfect. Did you know that whales are global citizens, just like humans? They're the only, well besides maybe birds, the only other species that can travel the entire globe, and they do through the seas that connect the entire planet. And they can also communicate around the world. So they have a very sophisticated system of communicating, where they can actually call out under water through the trenches, and because of the temperature and the depth and the density of the water, their frequency will travel the entire globe and they can relay messages to each other around the world. So even if you don't speak the language, you can like pass it on for Freddy? Absolutely. It's extremely sophisticated, and a lot of it we still don't understand. But they're a lot like us, a lot like us. Anyway, I digress. So we have the education program that we're building, and then of course the film that's in development, and we have a virtual reality experience that was made possible by Dell. Yeah, let's talk about that for a second. I think it's interesting. Were you at SouthBi? We must've missed each other. SouthBi, VR, it was just VR or Snap Chat. (laughs) Those are the two things. But what kind of VR experience are you guys designing? I've been Dell's social good advocate for the past year, and we just renewed our agreement, and I'm going to continue for the next year. And we're doing actually a couple of things with them around Lonely Whale, but the first thing we did was build the virtual reality experience. It gives people an opportunity who can't necessarily go out and dive with whales or people who are land locked, living in the middle of the country, have an opportunity to see what it's like out in the middle of the ocean swimming with the whale. And you get a brief introduction to some of the things that whales face everyday, like ocean noise pollution, which a lot of people don't know is becoming an increasing problem, amongst other things, plastic pollution and acidification. But ocean noise pollution is doubling every decade, and it's man-made, because of increased shipping traffic and military experiments, and of course oil exploration. We're creating this cacophony of noise which is actually disrupting the communication systems of whales. And one of the reasons why scientists think our particular whale, the lonely whale, 52, is speaking at a different frequency, because he's trying to call above or below that ocean noise. So this virtual reality experience is not just VR, it's not just immersive visually, but it also uses theater seating, which gives you a 4D experience, it spritzes you, you can feel the fish swimming around your body. Actual fish? Yeah, they have little- You really feel it. They have little sensors that push and prod and poke you while you're going through it, so it's a fully dynamic, immersive experience. Wow. So that's a thing. There's the Dell activation, the film, which is in development you mentioned. And also Dell has agreed, because of Lonely Whale and because we have sort of a mutual exchange, where I'm helping them achieve their legacy of good goals by 2020, trying to be a net positive corporation and good corporate citizens. I'm helping them achieve those goals, they're also helping me achieve the goals for The Lonely Whale Foundation, one of which is figuring out how to include ocean bound plastic and upcycle it into their products so that we can include... Plastics is bound for the ocean in their products room. Fascinating. So is there some, let's pretend that he's not here for a second. Are there some things, as you were setting out to sort of take the reigns of this foundation, are there some things beyond what Adrian was just talking about that you would want people to know? Like what's a takeaway? We've already talked about where to send them,, there's all the social handles that you mentioned. Is there anything that is like... Where do you see this thing going? Are we just gonna spend all our time and energy fixing the ocean, which is a lifelong mission I'm sure. Or how wide do you see this going? You're already talking about films and advocacy and recycling plastics, and I don't really see an end to this. What's possible, what's the outer edges of what you're building? Great question. I don't know that there are necessarily are outer edges that we're thinking about right now. We know that we need to galvanize a massive people, around the world, not just the United States, but all over the world. And how do you do that best? Through art, through film, through music? Which we haven't talked about, which maybe that's the next subject that we can talk through. And education, all towards creating empathy, not just for the ocean, but for each other. And that's I think one of the reasons why I was so compelled to join Adrian and the foundation. So many environmental organizations are focused on animals and they're focused on the direct action, and it's so important to do, and the policy change, and yet still at the end of the day, you can walk away from those experiences and not talk to your neighbor or help your neighbor out. And not look across the street and wonder how that family is really overcoming the tragedy that they just had in their life. And that really is what it all comes down to, is if we care deeply about each other, then we will care deeply about the ocean, we will care deeply about these marine animals. And so how do we do that through the lens of The Lonely Whale in addition to saving the ocean? Which we need to do. Yeah, and this is one of the reasons I was very excited to talk about this particularly. We wanted to spend part of the program talking about lifelong learning and a lot of the things you already articulated. But of all of the things that you could be involved in, you're watching the show because you're passionate about creativity and entrepreneurship and taking action, doing something instead of doing nothing. And here is this incredible, you know the power of story, and this incredible narrative, and to be able to plug in via film, via music, via community, these are all things that are core values for us at Creative Live, and I know core values for you or you wouldn't be watching this show. The hope is that this is like a one to one, I love the mission, the vision, and now through all these different things, through the film, through community gathering, through innovation, entrepreneurship, we haven't talked about music. We're gonna have a separate meeting after the camera... You should come down and sit in this chair right here, just make yourself more comfortable. You're standing back there. We're gonna have a little meeting after the show. But how do you activate around music? Cause I'm a music freak. I don't know, are we allowed to talk about that yet? No maybe not. I don't think we are. We can kinda scoot around it. (laughter) We can scoot around it. This is so cutting edge, we're ahead of their press cycle here. If you look at empathy at a core, and how do you unlock empathy in a human? You can unlock in a number of ways, through smell, really through the senses. And you think about some of your- We opened the fridge earlier today and had some empathy through smell. (laughter) Who wants to clean this up? If you think about some of your most cherished memories as a kid, you'll back to those memories because of sight, because of smell, and because of sound. Yeah, that's very Proustian, the smell, you smell like a carnival, I remember, like oh my gosh. It takes you right back, right? It takes you right back to the corndog. Corndog, I love corndogs. (laughs) I don't think we've done well enough as an environmental community is really connect through music. Art and visuals, sensory explosion definitely tugs at the heart strings as well, but how do you connect with somebody in a way that makes them wanna dance, it makes them wanna sing, it makes them wanna celebrate? So music is the great connector. It allows us to mourn, it allows us to celebrate, it allows us to create community. And so how do we really invoke that in a way that Roger Payne did in 1970, when he unleashed to the world the song of humpback whales? And that created the Greenpeace Save The Whale Movement, and that helped protect the humpback whales and raise collective consciousness about the importance of sounds in the ocean and marine mammals. And music is the easiest language to understand. Transcends. We can all speak, no matter what language we speak. By the way, our- (drumming) Our whale has been singing, whales sing. In fact, when we first discovered that whales were singing, back during the Cold War, and that was finally a revelation for the public. When we as a public realized, acknowledged that they were also communicating and singing beautiful songs, it was the first time that we wanted to save them, it's the first time we connected with them. Yeah, it's not just this beast up there, like oh big, scary, dark thing. It's the vehicle for empathy. 100%. And it really did, it sparked the Save The Whales movement, which was one of the first environmental movements of our modern time. So singing, music, all of that is definitely going to be part of our mission to build that in our community. I think celebration, too, and delivering a positive message, because we do get so mired and, oh my gosh, there's so many things to worry about in this life. Yeah, ice caps are melting, there's the election, which is- Coral reef's just went to hell in a hand basket in Australia. And yet, there's also a lot of positivity that we can help project. So I really would love to see your viewers, I would love to see all of you out here share with us your art, your photos, your music, your song, your dance. You can do that through The Lonely Whale platform. And that's a way for us to get the word out about it and really create a passion that exists- I will tell you, I have yet to miss on telling the story of the loneliest whale and having someone not go, "Holy shit. "How can I, what can I do?". I know, I just got chills. It's also about honoring and appreciating our whales unique voice. A lot of times people are like, "How do you know he's lonely? "Maybe he's chilling, maybe he's just like this "rugged individualism and he's just like going "out there all on his own.". He's Rambo, it's the whale Rambo. But that's true, too. There's a lot of people out there who are doing things their way, they have a unique voice, and they may feel a little bit different, but that's okay, too. So we do encourage people to also share with us their unique voice, their artistic voice, which might be a little bit weird and out there, a lot of people may look at you sideways, and maybe they don't understand it quite yet. I've been there. But share it with us, and we'll understand you, be part of our little weird family. A friend of mine James Victoria is a great designer. He's got this quote that says, "Whatever made you weird as a kid is "what will make you great as an artist.". And I think that's like leading into that individualism. I think it's a really nice sort of jexxed position to the loneliness and the connectivity. Like go ahead and let your individualism fly and be out here. Super powerful. I'll put this everywhere I can for as long as I can, and this show will live on for a very long time, we'll know, we'll be able to pay attention. Is there anything else you wanna tell us about The Lonely Whale? We've got all the .orgs, anything else that you wanna tell us about The Lonely Whale before we bounce? From my side it's stay tuned for some incredible ways to connect. I think when this airs, we're gonna be in the process of announcing some very exciting initiatives and ways for people to really get involved. I love these scoops. I'm not like a reporter, but I get the scoop. You did. Can I get one other scoop? This is the first time we've ever come out as partners, like it's official now. Sweet. No going back. Yeah, there's no going back now. Just forward. Speaking of music, you've got another music thing coming. Did you want to talk about that at all? The Skins? Yes. I always wanna talk about The Skins. I always wanna talk about The Skins. I don't even know how many years ago it was, you said, "Dude, you have to check this out.". And I think you just sent me a wave file or something on my phone. I was just absolutely rocking. Describe the skins. I mean, I really wish I could share- The thing? I just can't share the music right now, because they're working on a really, really special EP that is destined to come out sometime in June most likely. I mean, weeks. We're airing this thing the 30th of May. You've asked for the last slot to be as close as possible. Maybe the 29th or 30th of May. So I would just suggest to of course follow @LonelyWhale,, but also, and @TheSkins, because they are going to blow your mind. I mean, you knew them when they were yay-high. (laughs) he was like, "I'm managing a band.". I'm like, "You're a fucking movie star, "what are you doing?". He's like, "No, I'm serious, I'm managing a band. "they're incredible, you have to check them out.". And sure enough, it was awesome. You know when you've discovered talent, and I fell in love with them the first time I saw them. And they were still very young, so they hadn't, nobody had corrupted them yet, so I was able to, because I don't need the money, to make money out of management. I could literally just give them good advice and hopefully guide them in the right direction without any selfish interest. So now, many years later, they've evolved into this really incredible band who are gonna release their first EP. And it really is truly special when they first, when you saw them on the show many years ago, they were playing a very particular kind of music and they have evolved into something that's truly special. Does the EP have a name yet? No name it's got nothing, it's so fresh and new. This is the scoop, two scoops. You know what you should do? What's that? Maybe you should show a link, put a link to their old stuff. Last time when you were on the show- The show. When you were on the show, we showed I think the music video, a little bit of it maybe. But maybe we'll link to a video or something like right in hereish maybe, in here. And then when the EP comes out, then we can update it with a little link so that they can get a side by side comparison. Copy that. It's gonna blow their minds. It's gonna blow their minds. Mind blown. Mind blown. And how old are they now? I don't wanna like hang, because it's really about the musical talent, not their age, but it is a unique contrast between someone, their much younger. They're still young, they got a lot of life in them, they've got a big future ahead of them. But what was really cool is they're all from Brooklyn, they all come out of Brooklyn, three of them are siblings, so they grew up together and they have that, I don't know what it is, they just lock in. I guess maybe it's because they have that sibling understanding. I had the distinct pleasure of dining in LA, he was like, "You should come have dinner with us.". And it was like, first of all, I felt so connected to these people. I've got a young nephew, I don't have any kids, but it was like I was at a table of my peers, and they're like 16 and 17. They're special cats. And I always say they're post-modern, they're post-racial, they're post-gender, they're post-genre. Post-genre. Yeah, I mean their music is so cutting edge and next level. We should stop, we're over selling it at this point. I don't know if you can oversell it. (laughter) You know what's funny, is you have the same experience that everyone does. They are just really special, amazing people. And I think that translates into their talent and their music and what they're communicating. But when they go on tour, because they're as of yet, still poor musicians, and they're on tour, they share a room and they take the mattresses off and they sleep on the box springs. They're slumming it like most musicians have to do in their early days. So I try and ease their suffering, so I call up friends in cities I know they're gonna be in, and I say, "Okay man, here's the deal. "You're gonna let this band, The Skins, stay at your house. "There's five of them plus the road manager and the driver. "And they're gonna stay at your house, "and you're gonna call me the next day and "you're gonna thank me.". And my friend's like, "Okay.". Without fail, everyday the next day, they call me up, "Thank you, oh my God those kids are so cool, "they're so amazing.". Alright, they got a home in Seattle and in San Francisco, they got both of my places. They're staying with you. Sure. Cool. You got it. Hey wait, I've got a basement. I want one or two of them. (laughs) We're gonna split them, awesome. Well let's put a bow on this thing. I wanna say thank you, both, very much for your time. And it's our goal to get your word out there. Thanks for the creativity and inspiration for all that you both do. And we know where to follow you, we know all that stuff, so I won't ask you to recite it. Any final words? Should I sign them off, we're good? That smile, that beaming smile. Lonely Whale. Gang sign, gang sign. Gang signs. Lonely Whale. Pod sign. Pod. It's the pod. I gotta try and get this. Is the left hand is the whale? Lonely Whale, LW. In the house. Thanks a lot, signing off another one of these videos. Actually this might be the last video, so I don't know if I can say this, but you can get another video tomorrow. This might be the last one in the series, we don't know. Check it out, 30 Days of Genius on Creative Live. Thanks so much, I'm Chase, and you know these folks, these are the fancy pantses. So have a great one, signing off. (upbeat music)

Class Description

There's a common misconception that artists have a monopoly on creativity. But the very act of making something - shooting a photograph, designing a product, thinking critically, or building a business - is a creative one. These small actions come from our unique inner impulse to create.

This is what Richard Branson, Jared Leto and Arianna Huffington have in common. This is what makes Brené Brown, Tim Ferriss and Mark Cuban successful. They're all world-class achievers, but more than anything, they've used their creative impulse as both fuel and compass. It has allowed them to push on when others haven't, overcome obstacles thought impossible, and build a life of habits that sustain their mindset. And they'll be the first to tell you that their accomplishments are built on learned skills available to anyone.

In this free video series, you'll learn about the big thinking and breakthroughs that allowed these geniuses to break the mold. They'll share their successes and failures, and turn them into actionable insights for you. Join renowed photographer and CreativeLive Founder Chase Jarvis as he interviews 30 of the brightest minds of our time: 

Richard BransonArianna Huffington     Mark Cuban
Sir Mix-A-LotSeth GodinJared Leto
Marie ForleoGary VaynerchukLeVar Burton
Tim FerrissDaymond JohnRamit Sethi
Gabrielle Bernstein     James AltucherKelly Starrett
Lewis HowesKevin KellyBrian Solis
Austin KleonBrandon StantonSophia Amoruso
Brené BrownNeil StraussTina Roth Eisenberg
Gretchen RubinElle LunaAdrian Grenier
Kevin RoseStefan SagmeisterCaterina Fake

The goal of this interview series is not to turn everyone into a super-achiever. 30 Days of Genius is lightweight and helpful, designed to help you recognize your passions and achieve your goals. Watch in the morning or during a break at work, when you're in need of motivation or thinking of your next move.

Here’s how to sign up

  1. Click the blue button above, sign in. It’s free.
  2. Watch your inbox for an interview with a new genius every day for the next 30 days. You'll get the first video the day after you sign up.
  3. Watch the videos daily, or at your own pace - whenever you want insights or inspiration.
  4. Repeat. (And share this series with anyone you’d like)



Ratings and Reviews

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I have watched all 30 days so far and the first thing that blows me away is how Chase interviews all these different people, totally relaxed and he listens to everything they say and finds a question that relates so clearly to the subject being talked about. He also brings in quotes and snippets for other people, how he remembers all this stuff is just amazing. This is what I have taken away from the first 5 interviews. Mark Cuban started the series theme with the concept: you can start from nothing and become something by way of the HUSTLE. Although it sounded like whatever he touched turned to gold immediately, there was a huge amount of hustle that went with it to get it all going. Seth Godin was down to earth and lead with "happiness is a point of view", so do something today that will make tomorrow worthwhile being there. Be prepared to fail to succeed. Marie Forleo the Jersey girl made good. Her dad told her to do what you love. So she set out to do just that. It didn't happen over night, loads of job frogs kissed, until the life coaching vibrated through her life with the help of intuition and she was set on her path to success. Navigate passed those that will drag you back or down was another insight from Forleo. Using the concept from her Mom, ‘everything is figureoutable’, stood her in good stead all her life. Having a close community to help you is essential. Stop whining and just do it. Read Cameron Herold's double double, lean into your future. Tim Ferriss, the whirlwind learning man, using the simplistic steps to learn anything is the Ferriss way to go. you want to be a Tango champion, go to Argentina and learn from the best. Hard work has its place but control it. Another Ferriss phrase is 'what would this look like if it were simple', following this concept takes the complexity out of what you are doing and leads to you accomplishing the task you are undertaking. Celebrate the small wins and you accomplish the large ones. Meditation makes one more effective. Play at creativity to keep creative. Don't retreat into the story of the voices. Arianna Huffington, what Greece as a country could do with to get itself out of the slump. Remember you are not your job, don’t stifle your creativity. You don’t have to burn yourself out to succeed in life. The obnoxious roommate the keeps you awake and hurts your creativity. Sleep is not only life affirming but also imperative for the brain to reboot and spam filter.


I just paused this course to take a breather, overwhelmed with how people are willing to share advise, stories and insight....such powerful ones to help each other!!! I think the world is an amazing place and these times are the best that we could be in...yes sometimes life is tough but we have so many great people and so many people doing such great work....i love and admire Chase Jarvis and what he has done with creative life!!! Thankyou Chase, this is just wowwww!!!!

Alicia Amundson

Loving this course! Amazing insights from such a great range of people. Much gratitude to Chase, the Creative Live team and all of the guest speakers for the opportunity to learn in a way that's fun, interesting and inspiring. Thank you!