On Lessons From Rock Bottom + Listening As Service with Benjamin Mathes

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Jan 12 2016 60 mins  

Today’s guest is the PERFECT way to ring in 2016. And yes, it’s a dude.

Since the beginning, I’ve wanted to include MEN in the WANT gameplan, because I truly believe that if we’re going to make a dent when it comes to negative self talk, men need to be a part of the conversation, too. So, now, once a quarter (which is every 3 months or so), I’m going to be featuring a WANT MAN on the pod; a person I feel truly embodies the message of WANT and has a unique story of moving forward fearlessly to offer up.

Our first WANTman is Benjamin Mathes. Ben is the founder of Urban Confessional: A Free Listening Project. Started as a way to challenge conventional actor training, Urban Confessional is a community of artists who believe people should be heard. They stand on street corners all over the world with signs that say "Free Listening" - and you can imagine what happens next. Their work has been featured in academic and commercial publications, blogs, on radio and television, and recently in a Kleenex campaign I’ll put in the post on the site.

Ben has been an actor for over 20 years on film, television, and stage, and he has worked with artists such as Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Brian Grazer and more. He serves as Head of Production for Seine Pictures, a film finance and production company in Hollywood, overseeing the creative development and production of each film. As a teacher, he has been on faculty or taught workshops at universities all over the world, and his acting studio, Crash Acting, inspires a guerrilla approach to acting driven by the idea that service is the context for artistic greatness.

As an executive coach, Ben draws upon his 15 years of creative development, artistic leadership, and social entrepreneurship to help senior executives, management, and sales teams increase their creative capital in business leadership and team building, individual productivity, and presentation acumen.

He’s also the author of two books detailing and investigating the creative process: Thought Lozenges for Artists, and CRASH, Unstuck Yourself, a guided journal designed to directly combat the blocks holding us from our creative potential.

In this episode, we dive super deep. We talk hitting rock bottom and the lessons that come from there, how to make whatever work you do in this world leave a legacy, judgement and being judged, and how to reach a place of self-forgiveness. I can’t stress this enough- this episode is really, truly, for everyone.

At the end of the episode, Ben and I are going to give you a challenge, so be sure to listen to the whole deal and join on in.

Without further ado, the first WANT man, the brilliant Ben Mathes.