Celebrating Your Weirdness with Thomas Middleditch
I'm starting this episode laughing for 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 is a writer and actor. You will definitely know him as the star. He plays Richard in HBO hit Silicon and, or hit series Silicon Valley. My guest is Thomas Middleditch. (upbeat music) (audience applauding) They love you. Good day sir.
Enchante es vous?
Oui. (speaking in foreign language)
Ah. That's, I finished all my French (laughs).
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, yeah--
Yes off camera we had a pretty lengthy diatribe.
I was gettin' into it.
We were, we were. We were talking about Canada though. They did change
the national anthem today and you're Canadian.
What are your feelings?
I think that's good.
They changed two words.
Yeah what are the two words? I know sons got turned into ours or us or.
Yep. Something like that.
I just was just listenin' to the old MPR story.
And I think it's great man. Anyone, what are you gonna, why are you holdin' on to that? This is a perfect example,
of why humans hold onto to stupid shit.
You, 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.
But B, what if you're not a son and now you're excluded from the anthem and I know it's semantics but it's important to other people.
And what are you fighting for? Are you fighting for, the old world of sexism?
You want, do you want gender--
But Canada made
made the right decision today, right?
I think it's great.
In the face of all this bullshit that we have here
and a president who's 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 little. Second biggest in the world, to the north that has kinda just been like--
Rocking it (laughs).
You guys are crushing it.
Yeah well we, and it's a very courteous nation. (Chase laughs) It is. I mean a lot of stereotypes are true. They're very nice. There's this, my critique of Canada, (Chase laughs) is there's this sentiment and it's the, it's both the best thing about it. It's the best thing about it but also the reason kinda 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
just do your thing.
No tall poppy's.
Just no tall poppy's right?
But down here everyone's like get out of my way. That money's mine (laughs). I'll get all the money. Everybody wants it.
You're pretty good at that actually (laughs).
Everyone wants to be the money man.
So Canada check. Got to get Canada
on the show here.
Big bottle right now.
Yeah he's makin' hundreds.
Brought my own. No I'm just kidding (laughs).
Super glad to have you on the show. We've had Amanda Crew on the show before.
Never heard of her.
Love her (laughs). Never heard of her. Amanda thank you for the introduction and being an awesome human that you are. Congrats on the show.
One of the biggest successes to come out of television since MASH. (Chase laughs)
We are compared to MASH a lot too which is, I think weird.
So, did you think you were on to something before you started? Again, my, I'll just, I don't watch very much TV. So my wife
likes all the shows.
She is, she is good at watching it--
What TV do you watch?
I, the only show, this is proof.
This is the--
'Cause I have a few amount of shows but I don't,
I have more than one.
I, this is a confession right?
And the only show that I actually make sure to watch in the season specifically is Silicon Valley and that's not bullshit. That's not ass kissing. I went, I was, I would say went, I've been invited to all the premiers just 'cause I know some folks.
Oh yeah, connected.
And the line of you guys lined up on stage all just doing this for 45 minutes in pure chaos
is pretty fucking good. So,
Well that, yeah.
So, did you think that Silicon Valley was gonna be a thing or did you, when you started or?
I never think something that I'm apart of is gonna be a thing. (Chase laughs) It's much safer to think like that. (Chase laughs) 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 has such big muscles.
I yi yi yi. No I mean I, it came about so randomly too. The tale 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 Echeler and Dave Kerensky who have worked with Mike Judge on many a thing and Mike Judge's Beavis and Butthead was coming back to MTV. So were gonna pair these together and as my, as Dave Kerensky and John Echler 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 you'd be great for the lead so we're gonna write it with you in mind. I said yeah right. Sure enough the script came along and Richard's character was initially called Thomas Pickering which I told them was my moms maiden name which is true.
Is this lore?
This is hearsay.
Is this, okay. Total hearsay.
This cannot be confirmed.
Okay, okay or denied.
And then I still had to audition but I did have a leg up and so and so, but even that--
'Cause it wasn't your name?
Yeah. (Chase laughs) But even in that process I thought this is all a joke right?
'Cause you never believe.
You can't believe. 'Cause this business is about here do you want cake?
And then smash it in front of you. (Chase laughs)
They're like you fuckin' 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 when we were shooting I'm like this is--
Is this real?
No one's gonna finance this.
No one's gonna pay me. Everybody's--
This is gonna be Mike Judge's flop somehow, yeah. But no. Turns out that's not the case.
Turns out like super good.
And I've shared, just briefly. So I went to the original premier. Tell me if you remember the same one I do, was actually in Polo Alto.
Which is a very weird place to have a premier.
100, but fitting.
Okay. So, the people, I also have a startup in Silicon Valley.
So I got to be a part of them.
What a dweeb.
There we go. Look at me.
A dorkazoid. (imitates buzzing)
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 audience. I remember we were seated at little, like little tables.
Elon Musk was there.
Yes, Elon was there. I think Peter was there, Peter Keel. It was a, yeah I was like hangin' with the peeps.
Yeah yeah (laughs).
I was probably the dirtiest dirt bag invited.
Yeah. But you are
a notorious scumbag.
When, and Mike came out before. He's like hey I don't know how you guys are gonna take this. I hope you love it. 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 of you
who 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 and repeat because you step into something and then you maybe had an interview or take some photos and then you step and repeat, step and repeat.
For the next network or the next camera or whatever.
Yeah. The next like,
and all those things, those clips that you see of people. It's a good movie. Oh I, I, you get asked the same questions and yeah I, I. It just sounds like that.
It just sounds like your first time.
I, I, I, I, I, I.
So this is happening
but it's been happening in San Francisco or even Palo Alto is a teeny little, like very expensive suburb. And no one knew like what is this thing, what to do. Watching all these people not know how to behave and it was quite funny and then Mike takes the stage.
And says, I don't know I hope you guys like it. There's a lot of, and I remember then you played two episodes.
And then there was a Q and A with you guys afterwards.
And then after the after, they were interviewing Elon. What do you think? Peter Keel 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, your 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.
I, that's one off now.
Yes. And now they're like--
I think they're all for it.
Haven't you seen me? I got a cameo.
Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah that's far enough. I think, at one point we're in the New Kid on the Block but look, I give Silicon Valley some credit 'cause I mean like turning most cars into electric cars is changing the world.
I'm now investing in an old SV2. In the old, in the world of tech.
Oo. You're an angel.
I'm an angel. So I think some things are trying to change the world but it's funny when that's earnestly applied to things like social media or
I mean that is changing the world but I would argue for the works.
Or we do a joke on it but I can't remember. It was like, we were making the world a better place through like subliminal hard drive re-acquisition of data via the Cloud or something. It was like nonsense.
That's actually the opening of season one.
Like when did the Kid Rock?
Yeah at the party, yes. A Kid Rock thing.
I've been to 100 of those parties. Where Kid Rock performs and no one's like, they're not even paying attention to Kid Rock who's like gets, just stop and walks out. The party doesn't change at all.
It was paid handsomely I'm sure at the time but,
And for our show too. He really got away with it gah.
So you didn't think it was gonna be, well you're like professionally skeptical.
Which is probably a self preservation. But here your are.
Here I am king of the world.
It took over.
Downtown LA. If you want to, bring the camera and shoot.
Here we go.
With someone I just met (laughs).
What, tell me yeah that's like, how, is it weird? Like you have to do a bunch of stuff and this isn't required by any stretch but, what part of it, are the parts that you love? Because I think if anyone's watching from outside they're like oh my God you made it. Everything's cool.
Right, right, right.
So, what parts of it do you love and what parts of it 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 'cause 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 'cause I would do comedy, live comedy and occasionally someone would be, come up to me like oh I saw you at UCB last Saturday. So funny dude and that's great right?
You practice being earnestly gracious
which is 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 like I like your work and if it was anything less than thank you so much, if it was just like thanks man, I'd be like (imitates crying). Bute even when he's not.
I love you're work, yeah.
Even if that person's 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 I get the fuck out of here. (Chase laughs) Squirrel. You goddamn cockroach. (Chase laughs) And then I go back to knitting silk. (Chase laughs) Hell. Anyway so there's just shit. It's like the idea, I get why Britney Spears shaved her head. In the sense that, or, and 'cause again hers was dialed up but like I've had
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's that again? I just saw,
what's his name? I saw, or they're just taking out their phone.
They're doin' 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 coo coo. A coo coo, a coo coo ca ca. (Chase laughs) A dumb dumb. It's just, it's weird. There are like privileges and perks and there's also a weird thing like, I've learned that Verizon is polarizing (laughs).
You're responsible for internet neutrality Thomas.
I'm responsible for internet 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! I'm like, why do you care? Fucking Cricket Mobile! Cricket Wireless! Who? Why are you passionate about that?
Well go to the thing that you love about the thing that you've created with a handful of other talented people. I think it's a,
it's an amazing series and I, again I feel like I've lived the shit that you guys, the storylines.
Right, right, right.
That's, but that's a
You really did.
credit to the writers and Alec Berg who's now the show runner. Alec Berg is the unsung hero of this show.
And you guys have some, you do you have some consultants. I've had some--
We have consultants.
We want to try and every time that I've been told I'm not allowed in the writers room mainly 'cause I smell on purpose. (both laugh) I don't wipe my butt as a power move. But (laughs) I'm told that whenever they're sort of stumped for what to happen the solution is always what would really happen? Like what would, what?
So they mine in 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 like the craft? Like what do, what--
Well, okay. I'll say this. 'Cause I'll try and attach it also to other things from that initial question for anybody on the bottom looking up. The anxiety about your life in entertainment never goes away. Before you're on the bottom lookin' up sayin' when will it happen to me? And when you get above water you're like when will this go away (laughs)?
Out of a fear right? Not like you hate it
Out of a--
but like it's gonna, this is temporary, it's fleeting.
There are days when you have to remind yourself that this work has to be work sometimes
and it can't always be--
Remember why you started?
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, decisions are financially based as opposed to anything else. So things are just weird.
And you just got to go this is part of the gig. Or pull a Daniel Day and be a cobbler. There's always 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 I (laughs), I'm sort of like I would like to try behind the camera stuff. I would like to try maybe directing or I definitely want to get back into writing and creating and stuff like that so it's just weird. But the show in itself is great.
Is is, I feel like I went to Vegas and rolled sixes. Is that a thing?
I think it's--
On craps? How do you get a craps? Seven on the first go?
I think you--
That's how you win.
Yeah, right. And then if you roll after that then you're done right?
Then it's craps. I walked by a craps table and as someone was, I was just walking by. As someone was 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 you were Satan.
And people turn around and one woman said you can't say that. What the fuck are you doing? And I was like, I was just identifying the game. (Chase laughs) So embarrassing.
Noticing from 10 feet away that you were playing a game.
Yeah, yeah. Well I guess that's not the word to say.
There's so many other words. You could say oh a dice based game for chance.
So you went to Vegas and you won.
Yeah. I mean not only am I finally workin' 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 'em I've known for over 10 years. Actually the,
one of the writers Guy Graham Wagner, I worked with him in Canada in Toronto doing like underground sketch comedy. It's just, I say that not as a slight to anything else but sometimes you're on a comedy and you're with people who are maybe there just 'cause they have timing and that's great, that's awesome.
But I perform with some of these guys.
It's cool. That's great. It's a very fortunate situation. And fortunately people like it. And HBO's kind to us
and they're very flexible and they're good and it's a 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 as good as this.
So clearly you don't take it for granted just by the words you're saying
and is that
the right MO you think for, is it and think about--
I think it's pretty important.
Yeah, think about just--
I have to remind myself of that sometimes.
Okay. Yeah and in your world and I think that's, I'm always trying to take the example that you're giving or any guest and like it's so weird. There's some pretty common themes. Like this thing that you have right now whatever it is, be grateful 'cause you don't know what the other side of that same coin is.
And specifically in Hollywood I got to think that with a few, just the odds, it's got to be tough.
You are always looking over your shoulder. That's how it goes.
You try and stay in your own lane and run your own race and not look at who so and so's doin' and this and that. It's impossible and even 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 Quentin Tarantino, what is this? This is, you know? I'd,
you'd find something wrong. You look to the next thing and you want that. It's such a business of coveting and 'cause it's not,
it's not a thing where you just show up to work everyday and kinda, that, it's allotted.
Which sometimes I crave.
But also at the same time,
at the least the anxiety brings a sort of diatonicism (laughs).
Shakes up life I suppose.
But it's an interesting world. That's why a lot of actors and what not and people in this business have various different hobbies or other things that bring 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. (Chase laughs) I do carbon offsetting. I do. I plant trees as the result but yeah.
Then fly gliders (laughs).
Yeah. Yeah so,
Oh my goodness.
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.
So right before you
were here we recorded with Eugene Merman. He says hi.
And I'm infatuated with comedy because of it's in the moment. I think the concept of, improv is like, improv as a sport or as training I think it's an incredible skill.
What got you interested in it and is that, was it comedy and performing on stage at comedy clubs that got you into acting in Hollywood? What was your path and specifically connected to comedy?
Well, I was very fortunate, well I mean, I'm eighth grade I had a drama teacher. I always say, I've always said if I ever won a reward I'll thank him but, looks like I'm not gonna win one. No, but I'd always thank my, the 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 bullying. (laughs) I meant I bullied other kids. (Chase laughs)
Clearly (laughs). Fucked 'em up man, all those gays.
That was, yeah all those jocks. (Chase laughs) I recently, 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 you call, they're like no they're all super accepting. I'm like goddamn it (laughs). That'd have been great. Wouldn't that've been great? I hate at that teenage mind. Gay.
That's how brains work I guess. That's a good thing to talk about on a show.
How brains work?
No, just like remember gettin' called gay? Anyway (laughs).
Well, so if you were bullied and your--
Yeah. He saw something. So they put me in a play and I just had a great time. I was very fortunate to of all the small towns to be, to have grown up in Canada I grew up in a very artsy weirdo town.
AKA Nelson. Lot of hippies, lot of pot smoke. Lot of raves. (Chase laughs) Been to a fair amount of raves. I know what jungle and drum and base is. (clears throat) And well there was also, so there was a lot of like school theater that was possible and a lot of community theater that was possible. So I was definitely involved in that and we also had a short form improv troop that we kind of made and in Canada there's something called theater sports which is like comedy sports here. It's like teams of short form games and there's a ref and they have rules and stuff like that. And we would compete reasonably and provided
decidedly Canadian? Like is this a thing?
I think it's Canadian.
Is this a thing?
Yeah it's what happens when you have like well funded public schools is that like
there's arts (laughs). There's arts.
Yeah and like you can like interconnect them and have,
oh like it's not to say that in America there aren't school plays and drama festivals of some kind.
But I mean
So there was--
maybe it's not like that in every Canadian town but it was where I was.
But basically competitive comedy basically.
Competitive comedy, competitive theater too. But also super supportive and it's like that age group where you, if you get up on stage people are like stomping the ground.
Like you did it, right?
'Cause we were, that's all the drama geeks part. Anyway, and it was, so Ken Wilson got me into that and 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, I'm 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. Thank you for accepting--
I'll forgive you.
I'll, I'll totally--
Yeah. Water under the bridge.
I'll forgive it.
I'll forgive you.
You know what you were right I was gay.
When you punished me in those days--
I was actin' like a real queer balls. But now I'm not anymore. So, yeah. But then that translated into 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 just go to your guidance counselor like how do I be like kids in the hall? They're like go to college.
Right, that's the answer to everything basically right?
Yeah. Yeah (laughs). Turns out that's not true. You just go do it and yeah.
Went to Toronto, went to Chicago. I didn't, yeah, I don't know. How detailed do you want this to be?
I want personal stories. I like, like, to me let's focus on the going from bullied to not bit and clearly you didn't transform as a person. But was it like a blossom? Like your found a thing that you connected with so it's about you
and your identity was very clear or was it a lack of identity? Like what 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.
Cause I was always weird. But not accepted as that. But then when you're kind of like, when it's expected and people have approved of your weirdness then it's suddenly celebrated. I mean I ended, I wasn't even part of like social cliques. I had like, by the end of it I was kind of at least chums with most everybody and, in twelfth grade at my school valedictorian was kind of like a vote so it was kind of like a popularity thing. You're lookin' at the year 2000 valedictorian of L. V. Rodgers.
Wow that's once in a, through a millennia yeah.
Thousand years. Which is ridiculous but to show 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 that refined (laughs).
But did you do something--
I mean up until a certain point I was like
But did you--
I'm gonna be Jim Carrey.
Did you do something?
So I'm all like up that (laughs).
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 it subconsciously like, 'cause there's
I think it's a thing--
a bazillion people who are listening that are like, I need to figure out my place in the universe. It's a, I think it's a collection of subtle social changes. At that level at that age--
And at that demographic you're talkin' about junior high or high school even, or maybe even earlier, I mean, I don't know if that coulda come before.
I don't know if I'd have just made these realizations when I was fourth grade I coulda saved myself years of torment. I have no idea.
I wish I could 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
of I never want to do that other people and I hate seeing it and I don't like it when people do that or corporations or entities. I, it's unsettling to me.
But, but yeah I mean it's an exchange of, it's like, I very very specifically remember a moment being in that one play and, which is like it's a play that I'm sure no one's ever heard of. It's called I'm a Fool. I'm sure no one's ever heard of it 'cause it's a play a 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 out the curtain, get scared by the audience, do this whole like physical bit and supportive middle school to high school drama geeks loved it.
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 behind the curtain before I go back again being like what was that?
That was crazy.
You just got a buzz.
Oh yeah yeah.
It, tingling, craziness. And I had been in little things before but it's like it never was that. And, (tongue clicks) I think that clicks something within me, 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 that's a good thing.
As opposed to something to be ridiculed 'cause 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. And it's, I don't (laughs),
and as I say it's like a series of little exchanges that sort of happen. Because it, and I, you may be able to argue that it happens even in adult life where someones 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, 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 leg up but like having to prove myself in various improv in stand up communities.
And you kind of have to start over again and that's the thing is like people can hear that you're good but you have to show them and they're not gonna 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 moxy category, not the talent, not the looks, not the genes, but the moxy 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 in a totally different way. I used to dread them and hate them and then I, it's not like they're my favorite thing but instead of just sabotaging myself by under preparing and this, that, now I view them as kinda 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? I'm, 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.
It's such a different outlook and it helps so much. So I don't know. You can't get phased by adversity and it's in entertainment now. You could probably that now they're industries as well.
In fact you probably have to welcome it (clears throat) 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 bit about sort of setting intention and if you don't you're sort of like cork in the tide and that's a tough place to be.
Wow. A couple things to that. Well 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 (laughs). 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 lookin' up at this huge mountain to be a working actor 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 but or different than you but are ahead or whatever, right?
There's just this--
Constructs of all that stuff.
There's obstruction. So you have to look at the odds when C3PO's telling Han Solo the odds, never tell me the odds right? You don't, that, you're oblivious to them and you think even if it's a million and one you're the one right? And throughout time that confidence gets chipped away (laughs)
into the reverse. But when you're starting out that's kinda what you need is just that delusion of it and it's what helped me go from small town Canada just like packing my bags to Toronto, packing my bags to Chicago initially coming as an illegal. (Chase whistles) Uh oh. See, we need to build that wall on the other side.
That's right, danger.
We'll have igloos
freaks like me comin'
to takin' your jobs. (Chase laughs)
So when you go from bigger--
Yes and then New York and all those kind of, you have to believe in it.
Yeah. You have to 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 Toronto I was not accepted into Second City and I was like arrogantly like furious with them like they're wrong and then I auditioned to 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 though but that was quite, two years later and I did not get on the show (laughs).
I was gonna say I didn't know you from SNL.
I was close. Yeah as I was by the old IMDB page. (clears throat) But, humility's like a big thing. And not only did those things not happen and various elements of success took a lot longer to happen, but I even, I was, I guess in hindsight I was quite the arrogant little prick 'cause at one point one of the improvisors at IO, Improv Olympic sat me down and was like you know it's not good to be an asshole (laughs) and gave me this big story and I watched with me like fuck you, what do you know? And then cut me--
A year later you're like--
No, no I didn't, I'm weak like epiphany. You have to look,
being a good human is about looking inwards and having hindsight and I don't know, perception. So, 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 and I tell ya, New York that was the biggest dip I've ever had in confidence 'cause I went there 'cause I got like a holding deal for everyone's, for people who don't know holdings is essential 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, I got a holding deal and then the season that I moved there there was a writers strike. So it got my money but I didn't do anything and I was just completely unemployed. I honestly took a babysitting job to have something to do (laughs). 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 Hoffman 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 (laughs). It's a real, yeah. It's a real kicker and I had like, that was when I first started having anxiety attacks and I'd call my mom crying and stuff. And there's been many times throughout the year of contemplating not doing this anymore or,
trying to do something else and all that kinda stuff. But serendipity and, 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 to it.
Yep we do. We do, that's why we're here.
Yes, you better sip some water.
I need a hit of this. The sparkling water as a--
as evidence of my blooming fame. (Chase laughs)
'Cause you got the whole bottle. I only got a glass.
Yeah and I'm not gonna give you anymore. Do you want one?
No! Yes I'd like one please.
Okay. (water pouring) So and 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.
Yeah but in terms of your career right? 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 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 it in our day. So, I'm just, it sucks. It's what it is (laughs). That's the biz kid. If that fucks you up, if you're like fuck that guy, you're not in the right business okay right? You have to look at it objectively. So, and I don't say that as someone who considers themselves a very handsome man (laughs). Believe you me. 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 un-acquired skill but inherent. And then there's serendipity. Now serendipity is, I don't, 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 happened 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. But you, 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 and doing something else 'cause I was like I like improv I love doing it here, people have liked my improv. 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 an end. Like I'm not, I'm like I'm illegal (laughs).
Like I just got my visa but like that only pertains to one job when you get a visa. You can only do the one thing and if it's not enough money you're like is this really what I want to like live like this? 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, no. This is why we're here man.
Okay. But let me know if it's boring (laughs). I tend to be boring (laughs).
You're a comedian.
Yeah but I'm not being funny. (imitates farting) (Chase laughs)
Da da da da da da da da da da. (Thomas groans) (Chase laughs) Okay and so, so Second City had this contract with Norwegian Cruise Lines where they would, they had their Second City act on these cruise ships right?
I see where you're goin'.
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. Debaucherous, weird, surreal, lonely, happy, it was bonkers. I've since contemplated God that'd be cool to do like another four months but you can't, I can't.
Good premises for a show maybe?
I've, yes (laughs).
I mean no, no. Bad. Don't, don't write that. Here we go.
If they beat me to it what are you gonna do?
Yeah. 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 Lauren Michaels and Seth Meyers are comin' to Chicago to see people that would maybe be in SNL. I'm like, are you kiddin' me? I'm stuck here on this fuckin' thing? (Chase laughs) Are you fuckin' kiddin' me? (Chase laughs) So, I make a huge stink to the annoyance of anyone who was in charge of Second City at that time. Beth Clickaman, 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, all that is, it's stagnate for so long until the four months that I'm away on a cruise ship. So as that's happening a manager, Kiersten Inse who's now my manager was looking for kind of funny weirdo's to be a part of like a Sierra Mist campaign and asked Beth Clickaman at Second City hey do you know anyone who's like generating content? And this was before YouTube was a thing and like fuckin' 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 DJ Miller. And maybe a couple other Chicago comedians and we would stay up 'til four in the morning doing these shorts because we all had day jobs and we just were like we had to hustle, we had the work ethic. We had to make stuff and we did shorts with dead pigs. There's a, we dumped, all I can say is I dumped a dead pig body in a dumpster at one point. (sighs) That sticks with me (laughs). Anyway (laughs). Anyway she asked that, hey who's doin' stuff? My name comes up because it just so happens I'm doing stuff
like that right? And then she sees my things and goes oh yeah this kid is,
This kid is fuckin' weird.
so then again I like land at New York, I walk off the boat and meet with her. Hey do you want to sign with me? Yes I would 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 W William Morris Endeavor. To prove that the agent, to prove that I'd just done a good move by signing to this agency, I'm now, he needs to prove himself right? That's what always happens when you sign with an agent they go alright
and suddenly you've like four months of shit to do right?
When you're, but that just so they can be like look how big news we are.
Yeah we did big stuff real quick.
Yeah look how crush city we are. But he's, he was, but it's great. I'm not takin' 'em down. Any hoo, so that's all happening in between. I'm preparing to get to test for SNL 'cause like I guess they liked me. They want to bring me on. They want me to audition. Like really audition. So I'm on the cruise ship workin' on my stuff, showin' my friends these character auditions and they're like it's good (laughs). And I'm like okay. I think I, I'm like you're wrong. I know it 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 got 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 and some people come off being like oo, oh my God that was tough. I had a great time (laughs). 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're like here's this character, you do it. Here's this other character and usually it's happening to people who are kinda relatively young in their comedy careers.
So it's all that more scary.
Any hoo, the agent gotten by just doing shorts, remember see all the things that we get the things?
And now he's proving to himself that's up to me that he's a good agent. He, in the overnight that I'm there to test for 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.
Yeah, you're like I'm this guy.
I'm this guy.
On this one.
They're usually very dull, very inconsequential it feels like and you chit chat about nothing and then you go home and you go like, why did I walk, why did I have a foot out there? That was so stupid. But I just happened to have this skateboard helmet attached to my bag which is part of the costume piece for auditioning for one of my characters in the SNL audition. Every single one, what's that? I go oh it's my thing and for some reason 'cause I thought the SNL thing went so well, I was in super confidence mode and I was like want me to do my characters impression for you right now (laughs)?
Which taken in another light that coulda been so awkward. That coulda been such a fail.
But it wasn't. It was, they loved it. They were like oh my God, wait stop. I'm gonna record it and then I, and that's how I got that holding deal that brought me from Chicago to New York City.
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 the serendipitous. 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 of you getting anywhere.
Exactly and there's no hard in saying I'm gonna do this work 'cause 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 he 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 lament that nothing's happening right? Now things are different. Now I'm rubbing elbows with fancy fucks. (both laughing) I exclusively have a celebrity bottom line that I hang out with. No I'm joking. But (laughs) I want to make it clear.
Make it clear, you're here.
To be crystal clear.
What are these SLR's?
Hundreds, they cost hundreds. (Thomas laughs)
I'm a hundredaire. But when you're amongst the kind of, 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? And nothing man.
Yeah. They say nothing, yeah.
It's too passive. You cannot be passive. You can't. You can 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. It's unsettling.
Is that, 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 'em want you. That's that whole,
that's why you have a manager.
Yeah. It's healthy 'cause I, if I'm honest, although as much as I wanna work, 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 (laughs).
Yeah but there's also life as in seasons. We live in seasons.
And it's dark for reasons 'cause you're not supposed to stay up all the time. We don't see very well in the dark.
100% and there's no, you do know at a certain level you do no good to your career by doing bad work. By just like, by doing anything you increase the chances of just sort of like, I don't know just becoming a wash and sort of mediocre shit and I don't,
maybe some people like that. Some people are just like in it for the money, for the recognition, whatever. I hope to leave a body of work that I'm proud of and that's very hard to do when you just sort of take everything. So it shifts (laughs).
So this is serendipity. You have a very clear philosophy about. If you're not doin' the work it's not gonna happen for you.
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 out. Like save it.
Okay ready, go.
I'm gonna save you the pain.
By my metaphor is very stupid. I think of myself, I think of one' self as an octopus. And I know this is not how octipi hunt or work but you're floating in the ocean and you've got eight little tentacles and they're (laughs) floating around and if you're not using all eight tentacles you don't have a higher chance of slippin' on to something you're eating. But that's not
how octopuses hunt I know.
For real. It's different.
It's way different.
But conceptually it works.
But conceptually right?
Can't you just picture an octopus like whoop, whoop.
Yeah, swimming, yeah.
If your arms aren't out you shouldn't actually hit anything though.
No (laughs). You're only using--
You don't need, but--
If you're only using three arms you're kind of a bad octopus. Not a good one.
You could really use that with any animal though.
Octopus is the only one that you can kind of use that with. Trust me I've done a lot of research on this.
Eight is the magic number?
Eight is the maximum amount of appendages any creature can have.
So squid is not--
How many do a squid have like?
Fuck (laughs). (Chase laughs)
It's more like jellyfish really.
There you go.
To take the float analogy but then it's more
fun to be an octopus.
Octipoddy y'all. Octopoditrite.
So, I think I generally subscribe to that. I find that that's a pattern if we can look at human behavior that's a pattern that creates or helps create success within 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 head space because it's a requirement. Now I'm not sayin' 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 don't know we'll say success, we'll say fame, we'll say there's some thread,
Yeah. 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 think I've encountered people that have that delusion right? The delusion that we talked about at. They have it in fucking spades.
And if I evaluate their place in the industry, I would if I, 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 kind of at least get a few gigs to be in the game.
But there's, and, and conversely it's a 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, I've just seen people latch on to this idea of what they think the dream is. They've got no encouragement from any success to say from life to that person you're doing it right. And the reasons 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, and they live a sad, a frustrated life and an anxiety riddled life and I like that it's a bit angry, and you're like, you're not even happy. You don't even like this.
And you don't even, 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.
In early 20's like nothing could've kept me away from it.
But now if I suffered some blow I'd be like okay I'm gonna do something else for awhile. I don't know.
But maybe that's just like at peace. I have no idea. I don't know maybe
It's either the height
'cause I know too much.
of it 'cause you had more peace, yeah.
It's like I know
well that would be, and everything has to be more tactical and you have to involve people and they help. I don't know. But maybe I'm not answering your question right.
Maybe you need to repeat it.
No, no you've been, it's all on--
Yeah it's all (laughs)...
On brand for the show?
The brand of you. (Thomas laughs) Me asking you questions. You talked about two other things. You talked about environmental activism and you talked about flying.
The environmental activism, you, we talked earlier how easy it is to go down a dark hole 'cause it's very--
Outlook is not good.
Yeah, outlook dangerous. Is there some organizations that you're a part if 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.
I, yeah, I think, in this particular climate here within this, 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 bi-means of education and litigation to be honest. That's why I like groups like Sierra Club and NRDC. I do that.
I do others but they
are larger entities that honestly tackle the problem with awareness and taking shit to court.
Which is super, all you can, 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.
Organizations in particular?
NRDC and Sierra Club. Those are good ones.
'Cause it's overwhelming.
You could do Rainforest Section Effort, The River People, Green Peace, you could 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 response is that's easy for you to say. You're a fuckin' Verizon guy right? But, and they're right.
I do Scrooge McDuck into a swimming pool full of gold coins but they're chocolate. I'm not gonna break my fuckin' nose. (Chase laughs) (Thomas laughs) It's guilt. But (laughs), I break it down in terms of like I always try and say like okay, if you wanted to let's say carve up 20 bucks a month for that that's like two cocktails here.
Like if you can't sacrifice two cocktails for like the greater,
What bar are you going to?
for the greater good, (Chase laughs)
I only go to exclusive Hollywood fancy ones.
I was thinking it was pretty cheap.
Oh really (laughs)? (Chase laughs) LA kids come on. We can have a fun time.
Yeah or whatever or like four coffees right?
I'm just being crazy.
Whatever, four lattes huh?
And if you can't sacrifice that for like a greater cause
like I don't know. You have to maybe look at your true altruism if you can. Especially if you claim to be an altruistic person. But that's minor but it helps. The premises being if everyone did that we'd have a lot more money to battle entities like the Coke Brothers.
Who love, they side with the villain in Captain Planet. (laughs) That's who they identify with.
But it becomes overwhelming so I'll just, those are good ones that I like to contemplate.
But you do things outside of that. I sometimes use my social media platform for, and I only have Instagram anymore. I think Twitter's the worst thing that ever happens to like our consciousness as a whole and I hate Facebook and so I deleted them all even though Instagram's kind of the same thing so I'm a hypocrite. Who isn't? (laughs) 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 expect other people to? 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. Cows--
Is that Canadian Thanksgiving or is that American Thanksgiving or both?
Dude I can do both. I let myself do both.
Oh there's an extra turkey.
Right. Whatever I'm just saying it's flexitarian. It's not 100% 'cause you view 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 road of like man it sucks.
We're pretty awful to critters.
So walk the talk is basically what you're talking about?
What the talk.
And not everyone has Hollywood cock level of money. Snowflake dollars
let's call it. But I do try and, I've made some investments like solo desalination and electric airplanes and I do carbon offsetting when I'm flying my own airplane. Spread it around.
I drive a Volt.
It's the other man's Tesla. And yeah walk the talk. But it's pretty, my view on it when you really get bogged down on 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.
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 'cause that's better than just saying like fuck it. Let the world burn.
I think. It helps me live better inside.
What, is there a part of why fly? I mean I--
I don't know. Why fly? Why not man? (Chase laughs)
Why not bro?
Don't you get it? Here take this.
Check out me how to fly.
No, that's a very,
I don't know many private pilots. But people have planes here.
Yeah I have planes. I sort of, I got into aviation early 20's. I mean I got into A through my love of history. Military history and learning about like World War II and like spitfires and measurements and stuff. And then getting into like simulators. Like I have a very robust choice of simulators set up (laughs).
Uh huh. Yeah. And then eventually saying you know what? I'm gonna do this for real. I wish I had got into like five years earlier 'cause if I had been 15 and into aviation, Canada has things, an entity called the Air Cadets which is kinda like Boy Scouts for the Air Force I guess.
Not to say that I woulda joined but I coulda got some time
up in the air and like, I don't know, experienced it.
But yeah, got my license. Had to overcome a lot of motion sickness. Could only go for like 10 minutes at a time before like having
to settle down.
And then now yeah it's incredible. It's so fun. The united States is a great place to fly. A lot of opportunity for private pilots to get in their plane and go somewhere. There's a lot of small airports around. Being in the South West is perfect. It's nearly never a bad time
bad to fly.
for weather wise.
What about cost? I think there's a lot of folks at home, my understanding is that it's actual more affordable than you think and so people have made, it's actually doable but again, affordable. Let's just acknowledge that there's a very broad spectrum of people listening to the show so.
So just keep that
I will try
in mind but.
it out of--
It just sounds fancier. Yeah I think it sounds fancier than it actually is
and 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 look at like a good chunk of money to learn how to get your pilot's license. You have to invest probably around a minimum 10,000 bucks. Which is a lot.
Okay. That's just being honest.
And you can invest it over what period of time?
However long it takes.
There you go. That's my point.
I took, I got my pilots license in a year but there's people that pace themselves over multiple years to take it. You can buy your own plane for the price of a car. 20, $35,000. I would strongly recommend
That you do that?
the ANP does a lot of work to it, but there's also this whole category in the United States called experiment als and if you have a well made professionally built experimental you can save yourself some money. I'm, too many people depend on me for their livelihood
so I won't.
I want to buy
a certifier correct? 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. There are also flying clubs where you just essentially 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 and they'll probably use some online schedule where you book it for a weekend and that's totally fine if you can't afford an airplane. I tell ya it is pretty sweet to just be like, I wanna 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 aircraft 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 aren't that much.
So why fly? Go back to the original question. What is it? Is it freedom is it just, is it escapism? Is it joy, is it travel?
I like of it including the, 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. Like whiteman tower, nova, one niner five, fox trot, delta.
Well do that again, that was--
With India. At the North Hangers ready for taxi to runway one two. Go ahead and whiteman tower, nova, one niner five, fox trot, delta. Taxi one. Taxi one two via alpha. I like all that stuff (laughs). I love it.
What just happened?
I know, I know. Exactly. When you're first learning it you hear it in the radio and you're like I have no idea what's anyone saying.
And then you get used to it. You can pick out everything.
I kinda like the rules. I love rules and the charts and the airspace and all that kinda stuff. I'm okay with it.
And there is nothing, there is something pretty cool about just getting up in the air. It's different than driving. You're dealing with all the X's, right?
Yeah. Three dimensional.
All this 3D dude? (Chase laughs) And you can go anywhere. You can go to places. I mean I went to
Do you go--
Zion National Park.
I would've never gotten--
For lunch obviously?
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 eighth hour or whatever it would've taken. Maybe longer, I don't know. But I did and it was absolutely beautiful. Or I go up to San Francisco next time Silicon Valley goes on. I'm gonna fly there and there's just, there's nothing cool. I shot a Verizon spot San Bernardino airport. I flew to work. (Chase laughs) I taxied up. I get out of the fuckin' van, I get driven to set. That, I can't express to you how baller that felt. (Chase laughs) I squeal--
As baller as having a whole bottle of San Pellegrino?
You got it, not as baller that's a cream. (Chase laughs) No I was like taxiing to the thing. I was like squealing around in my cockpit. It was like six in the morning. It was cool. And there's scary situations.
Just recently I got caught in some turbulence and was bumpin' all around.
Wind sheer wind sheer.
Wind sheer. That's a real thing.
I learned that almost the hard way.
And bumpin' around in airports and like kinda makin' a sketchy landing where you slide all over the place or makin' a grease ring where you slide on it
and you Navy it they say.
'Cause in the Navy they--
Foxtrot Navy it? They Navy'd it.
Or in Greece, like the Greece yeah. Anyway get in there. And when you're good at it. Some day you're just really good at it. Some days you get behind and it's a little frustrating. Some days you're really good at it and that feels good too.
Is it in part, it sounds very involved to me which is like
the licensing and rules and--
Yeah and systems and aircraft and equipment and fear and danger. There's risks. So like your, are all of these things, this is a personal question, feel free to ignore it, except you have to answer it, (Thomas laughs) do you, is this a thing that is just very, it's very comprehensive, very, it excites a lots of parts of you, it's involved and it is, is it related to your profession? Is it a way like all this thing that just, I can just get in here and get lost in it? In a 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 like I get over,
and I can just in here and I can, there's always charts
Oh yeah yeah.
there's always a new license. There's all these
other airports to discover,
a new place to fly.
it's an opportunity to daydream.
And I've, and live the daydream 'cause I'm a,
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 of video games is that you have this experience but it only exists, it's done when you stop. You don't have anything tangible, it's memory.
And probably 'cause you played so much it's not even a clearly defined memory. But going, having a passion out, that is more tangible is a much more visceral experience. For awhile I got into woodworking. I'm by no means Nick Offerman but I made a few pieces and it was really exciting 'cause you did this thing. You listen to Podcasts as you're makin' all the measurements. At the end you got a table or something. It's really cool, it's neat.
And I think it's, 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 a comedian right?
Like how, what are you gonna comment on?
You can't just do bits about comedy. That's boring.
You have bits about relationships or life or various things not that I've got, 40 minutes of private pilot material. (both laughing) Not at that audience.
Woo, he kills right?
That private pilot routine. (Thomas laughs)
No (laughs). Yeah. Wait 'til I get on my FAA rant. (Chase laughs)
Well you're gettin' close to the end of that water so I'm gonna let off.
Is there like you've been both really gracious and given 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 mostly--
A lot of people?
What does he got? 2,000 subscribers? (Chase laughs) What's the number? (Chase laughs)
We're in the 25 to 30 million download range. So--
Oh. Potatoes. Potatoes and peanuts.
But conceptually is like, you've both been like really willing to give advice on some particular things also.
And you've also been reluctant. So what--
Oh. Have I?
Yeah a little bit.
Yeah a little bit. Let's like well, to each his own and then--
I thought I've been yappering.
No you've actually,
It's been... (Thomas laughs)
But is there any like--
It's not a word. (Thomas sighs)
You have a thing. You've done some great stuff. Is there 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 hurtle. And you've talked a lot about like don't be too optimistic 'cause you're about to get your head smashed.
That's my, well--
But you have to be also at times.
How do you measure expectations but while still expecting that you want, expecting that you'll get it?
Having a, yeah. Believing in yourself.
Confidence and expectations. That is a great question. If I had the answer to that I'd be a much happier individual. (Chase laughs) And I wouldn't need to take my daily lamotrigine as previously discussed.
This is you're buying time? It's great. I'm watching this.
I'm watchin' the sketch comedy in action. (both laughing)
My hilarious comedy routines. How do you? I think everybody's figuring that out. But in terms of what's goin' on lately, have some confidence in yourself. I mean, truth be told I love a good self deprecation. And I love to, I love to poin out faults in performance. That's a favorite pastime of mine. But in the end I think I'm, 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 right now.
Yeah. I think I'm pretty good. I think there's room for improvement but I welcome the challenges to improve. I think it's a mentality switch as we talked about earlier of seeing those challenges and welcoming them because either you will learn from your failure or you will fuckin' beat the challenge and that will feel very very good. But if you see these challenges as guaranteed opportunities for failure it's very hard to stay above the water on that.
As an arduous path you've chosen for yourself and there's been plenty of times been lately where I've been backstage I did this, I hosted Police Con recently. It was a fuckin' mess. I remember, I was like I don't want to do this anymore. Like midway through I was like this is bad. And (laughs, and (laughs), and but in the end it's a challenge. You learn. It can't all be like battin' a thousand, baseball metaphor. But 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 (laughs). I shall vanquish. But you're gonna have downs, you're gonna have dips and Jesus, 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 my God I wish I could un-see. I wish my,
I wish had tunnel vision again 'cause this sucks.
You take a wider swath of the world and you take it all into account. It's a bummer. But you also get that way within the career. If you, whatever visualization. Sometimes I see it as a ladder. You climb each wrung, climb each little bit of success and as now that you're, now that you're higher up you see more, you where you once were and all the things that you thought you need then are inconsequential you've realized. (sighs) I'm off topic but--
This is beautiful Thomas. (Thomas laughs) It is. It's like how to live in this 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 'cause that's part of the now the obstacle is away.
Yeah yeah and you, everybody, everybody is in the pursuit of happiness. Everyone's trying to get their happiness and 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 (laughs).
I plan on removing my testicles tomorrow.
I have no kids. I decided to not--
Yeah, well I don't know. Maybe who knows. If there's a mistake
I kept my testicles
for what it's worth. It's not required.
Oh really? (gasps) Shit. I got to cancel that appointment. There was like 5,000 down payment. Sucks. (both laughing)
Not refundable. The doctor's a bit of a shivster. 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's genuinely year after year after year not giving you happy, not getting you happy wherever your pursuit is, I mean there's something to be said for determination and there's something to be said for insanity.
Right? And 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 to Air Cadets and being a fucking Kiowa helicopter pilot. I daydream about that.
It's killer. (Thomas laughs)
I daydream about that. I also daydream about 1940 and me being like part of the Spitfire Squad defending the Cliff's of Dover. I can do that virtually on the weekend and I can do the other thing on the weekend 'cause 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.
And you find, you may not be absolutely 100% passionate about the thing that you kind have to do but take it from me. It's not the thing you wanted, it's the dream.
I'm living the dream. Some days suck. Not everyday I'm jackin' off in a fuckin' orgy and everybody's paying me more money than I can imagine and agents are like what part in Hollywood do you want? Even in the thing that I'm happy there's arduousness. There's things, there's day, I can't believe it's normal to work minimum 12 hours in this business. I don't have a life. It's, I get to do this thing but I always thought performing was started at 8 p.m. But here I am it's 5 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 meet terrible terrible people.
Awful people, mean people, inconsiderate people. You meet trolls in this business. Terrible trolls.
I mean people who make you go God humanity is dying and you are all kinds of damaged. I'm lookin' at all the broken pieces that are falling off you. It's crazy. My point is you've got to find your happiness and as long as you don't have to fuck people over to get it it's very worthwhile pursuing.
There is no better end than that. (Thomas laughs) Thank you so much for being on the show.
I really really appreciate it. Ladies and gentlemen--
I hope I didn't crawl up my own ass just then (laughs).
No you crushed it, it was amazing. (Thomas laughs) Folks at home, thanks Thomas. Really appreciate it and we'll probably see you again maybe tomorrow? Bye. (upbeat music)