Galen Gering plays Rafe Hernandez on NBC’s Days of Our Lives. Did I say that right, Galen?
Galen Gering: You succeeded in butchering it, but not too bad. Rafe…it’s Rafe, actually. The correct pronunciation, but close, so close.
Larry Olson: I just had to get my cred going that I don’t ever watch a soap opera. So I’m faking it, that I actually knew how to say it. I just want to make sure people know that I didn’t know. You know what I mean?
Galen Gering: Yes, absolutely. I know that game for sure.
Larry Olson: Okay, I mean this in the best way possible, but maybe when you’re at a party and someone asks what you do, do you just say ‘actor’ and not ‘soap star’?
Galen Gering: Well, usually wherever I go, people know who I am.
Larry Olson: I love your sense of humor.
Galen Gering: What’s so funny? What’s so funny? [LAUGHS] You know, it’s a wonderful job. Honestly, it really is a great job. I don’t know that it necessarily carries this stigma, at least in my mind, because it’s what I do…that perhaps it used to. Does that make sense?
Larry Olson: Yeah.
Galen Gering: Trust me. So many of my friends would love to have my job and for good reason, so…
Larry Olson: Is that the point like acting’s acting, a gig is a gig? Is that really the case for actors?
Galen Gering: Well, obviously there are different types of acting, right? You can be in a play or in a movie or primetime or soap, et cetera, et cetera, but, yeah, to be able to act is, you know, it’s great work if you can get it they say, right? One of the fantastic things about this job is not only it’s consistency, but if you’re fortunate enough to play a great character which you love, which I do on Days, is also the fact that you’re not travelling around the world or to some Podunk, crap-ass place, you know? You get to have a family. You get to basically go to work and come home like a normal person and you have stability. Like, these are all things that as an actor are pretty rare.
Larry Olson: Wow. You really are drinking the NBC Days of Our Lives juice right there with that hard sell. I like it, Galen. I’m buying it.
Galen Gering: I’m telling you, man! It’s true. It’s true, but I got plenty more where that came from.
Larry Olson: I love this because you got your start…you got your start as a model, right?
Galen Gering: Well, yeah, sort of, I guess. I mean obviously for the most part, one of the caveats to being on daytime is to be good-looking.
Larry Olson: Hello!
Galen Gering: So there ya go, right?
Larry Olson: Yes!
Galen Gering: I mean, I’m gonna toot my own horn, which I don’t really think I’m that good-looking, but whatever! [LAUGHS]
Larry Olson: This is…man, you are great! [LAUGHS] Have you ever met…?
Galen Gering: That’s what my wife says.
Larry Olson: Exactly. Come on. I know you’re good-looking. I’ve gone to the web. I’ve Googled. You’re a good-looking guy, alright?!
Galen Gering: Alright, alright. You got my poster up somewhere?
Larry Olson: Hey! Once again…keep that on the down-low, my man. Keep it on…
Galen Gering: Alright. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. Damn it, the rules, the guidelines, I get it. I get it.
Larry Olson: Exactly. Are you ever scared by who’s watching the show? Like you’re out somewhere and you meet someone and you’re like, “Wow! Can I get a restraining order right now?”
Galen Gering: Yes. In fact, I was in a parade once where it was like going through, you know, this part of East Hollywood and I was with this girl who seriously had received death threats and I was like, They’re going to miss her and inadvertently kill me.” So, yeah, plus there was one…there was one girl who was a huge fan and she was in jail. She had been incarcerated for a while. I’m not exactly sure for what, but, ultimately, her letters became more and more crazy…should I maybe not…because she said, “Well, we’re soul mates and we are going to be together. I know we are. We’re going to be together.”
Larry Olson: Whenever you hear a soap star or an actor talk about working on a soap opera, it’s always this crazy shooting schedule. Like you guys are just always shooting and working. Is that true?
Galen Gering: Yes, there is truth to that. I mean here’s the deal. The show’s on five days a week. Basically, you know, 365 days a year, if you will. So there’s really no time for downtime. There are no repeats of the show, so we’re always in production. What they’ve done now, which is great, like a Godsend actually, is they cut costs because everyone’s had to cut costs whether you’re in TV production or making dradels. I don’t know. [LAUGHS] Because people do that. The other day I was at the dradel shop. I mean these guys are working hard.
Larry Olson: Man, you are too much, dude.
Galen Gering: It’s the punch. It’s totally the punch.
Larry Olson: Alright, listen, I’ve got lots of questions. I got to get to these. Would you be happy if you’re doing only this job in five years?
Galen Gering: If I’m doing only this job?
Larry Olson: Yeah.
Galen Gering: God, I don’t know. I mean that’s hard to say. A lot can happen between now and five years.
Larry Olson: Okay. What about ten years? What about ten years?
Galen Gering: I mean, certainly…I mean that’s even worse. That’s even making it harder. How about next year? Yeah. I would definitely be happy to only be doing this job next year. As it stands now, I’m doing this job. Have you heard about this other Dirty Soap show that I’m doing?
Larry Olson: No. Please brag about yourself some more, please.
Galen Gering: This is called promoting. That’s why we’re on the radio. No, I’m doing this show on E which basically is this unprecedented look at our lives on TV. So they come with me to work at Days of Our Lives and then they also follow in our real lives. They come with me home to join in the insanity. So that also is going to premiere Sunday night at 10 o’clock on E.
Larry Olson: In all seriousness, I think…
Galen Gering: Our lead in is The Kardashians. How can you not have heard about Dirty Soap? Wow.
Larry Olson: Is this a Ryan Seacrest production?
Galen Gering: It’s actually Kelly Ripa/Mark Consuelos production.
Larry Olson: Wait a minute. Was she on Days of Our Lives? Is that the show she was on?
Galen Gering: No. I believe she was on All My Children. God, I know that?
Larry Olson: So do you know her? Do you know Kelly and Mark?
Galen Gering: Yes. Yeah.
Larry Olson: Is there like a…is there like a former soap star…like you guys have an alumni meeting or something?
Galen Gering: We do, actually. It’s tomorrow inGothamCity. It is a…it’s an amazing event. If you’re lucky, maybe I’ll bring you one year.
Larry Olson: Aw, man!
Galen Gering: Like the skull and crossbones secret society, you know?
Larry Olson: Hey, listen, honestly, you are without a doubt my favorite soap star of all time and I used to watch Guiding Light like every single day. Without a doubt you’re like my favorite, seriously.
Galen Gering: What are the criteria?
Larry Olson: Well, I actually have never met another soap star, so we’ll just start there, right?
Galen Gering: Perfect. Hey, so this was a good start then?
Larry Olson: No, seriously, I feel like if you weren’t a big time actor and I just wasn’t a radio scumbag, we actually could be friends.
Galen Gering: We could hangout.
Larry Olson: I think we could.
Galen Gering: I feel a connection.
Larry Olson: Check out the all new re-tooled, as Galen told us, Days of Our Lives on NBC. Rafe…Rafe Hernandez played by Galen Gering.
Galen Gering: Oh, my God, if I could reach through this phone right now. Starting Sunday…I mean Monday. Oh, my God. Monday, on NBC, watch it. You’re going to love it. For those of you whose shows are unfortunately are going off the air, you know, you can’t pick your own family, but you can choose ours, right?
Larry Olson: I would like to leave you with this, Galen. I heart you.
Galen Gering: Oh, God. I feel you. It’s like the kissing hand right now.
Larry Olson: Later, my brother.
Galen Gering: Hey, take it easy. Thanks for the time.
Richard Engel is widely regarded as one ofAmerica’s leading foreign correspondents for his coverage of wars, revolutions and political transitions around the world over the last 15 years. Fun times there. He’ll be joining the cast of characters to report for overseas…
Richard Engel: Fun times there! Yahoo!
Larry Olson: He’ll be joining NBCs new show Rock Center with Brian Williams. Hello there, Richard.
Richard Engel: Fun times in the revolution and political transition business.
Larry Olson: So, Richard, you’re a smart guy. Amongst the reasons we know you’re a smart guy you went to Stanford, for crying out loud. Why in the hell then would you choose a job in which they place you at work and they’re shooting at you?
Richard Engel: Well, it’s a long philosophical question in which I like what I do. I don’t want to get hurt as a result of it, but if you like what you do and you truly believe in what you’re doing…and I like the travel. I like looking at new things. I like meeting new people. I like being challenged…then, yeah, and if you really believe in it, then you are willing to risk your life for it. We’re all risking our lives everyday, you know. People get killed anyway and get mowed down by buses. At least if you’re going to go, you may as well be doing something you love.
Larry Olson: I like that attitude. You know, I was watching the last broadcast of Andy Rooney for 60 Minutes and he was talking about his time writing for Stars and Stripes during WWII and he said reporting on a war is exciting. Is that what you say? Would you say that?
Richard Engel: Yeah. Of course it’s exciting. I mean it’s…I despise war. I think war is horrible. It’s the worst most brutal act that a society can inflict upon another society. Sometimes it’s necessary when atrocities are being carried out or national security is threatened, but it’s not something you ever want to see, but when it happens, it does happen, it reveals so much about human nature, about the true nature of a particular parties involved in that conflict and it is ultimately revealing, frankly.
Larry Olson: So you graduated Stanford and immediately jump on a plane toEgyptto be a freelance reporter. How did you get a job?
Richard Engel: Well, I was a freelance reporter so I was just writing for local magazines, some of which never paid me. Starting stringing newspaper articles for newspapers back home; this was before websites. You had to call them up, which was very expensive, and say, “Hey, you guys want a story on…,” whatever was going on in Egypt or the broader Middle East and they would say yes or no and you would write it and they would pay you by the word and usually maybe you got a $100 or $150 for an article. If you did enough of those, you could survive. That’s what I did for years.
Larry Olson: So part of the reason you’re so good at what you do in theMiddle Eastis because you speak fluent Arabic. What happens when you go up to a person on the street in the Middle East and you’re working on a story and you go up and start speaking to someone, are they stunned or maybe they’re scared because they think you work for the CIA or something?
Richard Engel: Well, that…I get a lot of the CIA, but the…no, people are generally happy that I speak Arabic. It takes time to learn. It’s not that hard. I mean, 200 million people speak it, so how hard can it be? It just takes time. It’s just…I think they’re flattered that you took the time to go through the grammar book and get the verbs down and make the effort. When people are flattered, there’s a natural [inaudible 0:03:39] and they want to talk to you and you don’t have to go through a translator and you can then develop friendships that goes beyond just reporting. So you can develop a real flavor for the region. You know, you listen to the music and you eat the food and you know the people and I think that goes a long way to covering the place.
Larry Olson: So when you go to work and theoretically people are shooting at you…
Richard Engel: I don’t go to work. I don’t have a job where I go to work. I sort of live at work. You know, I don’t go into an office and say, “Okay, now I’m at work.” People call me, it’s much more organic that. Luckily, I don’t have to go in an office and turn on lights and, okay, now I’m at work from 9-5. Some days I’m working all the time and 24-hours a day and other days maybe somebody sends me an email or I have to write a story. It’s not as regimented as that.
Larry Olson: So when you’re at some of these war zones, I’m assuming there’s lots of adrenaline that comes with that.
Richard Engel: Yes.
Larry Olson: Do you just learn to deal with that adrenaline and you just essentially just become better at those high-pressure situations?
Richard Engel: It sounds like you’ve read one of my books. I talk a lot about this. I think from these questions, I think you have. Yes. I think managing adrenaline and managing fear is incredibly important and you have to learn how to deal with it. Almost like…I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a fight or been in a boxer.
Larry Olson: Yeah.
Richard Engel: Let’s say, you know, you’re in the ring and somebody’s standing there and trying to push your nose to the back of your head and naturally you’re frightened and you can either accept that you’re going to get hit and it’s going to hurt and internalize some of that fear and continue boxing or you can just collapse and turn and do bad things. Well, you have to make that mental leap that, yes, I’m in a dangerous situation. Something bad could happen, but I’m going to have to continue to function. That does take some time. You know, like the first time you got into a ring and somebody punches you in the nose, you never want to get back, but then if you realize, you do it awhile and eventually you’re a boxer.
Larry Olson: NBC Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel joining us on the JOB. When you’re with the troop…
Richard Engel: I was a terrible boxer, by the way. If someone punched me in the nose, I never wanted to get back in there. I boxed a little bit in college. It was horrible.
Larry Olson: Well, you did go to Stanford, so of course. [LAUGHS] So when you’re with the American troops in a warzone, what do they want to talk to you about or do they even care that you’re around or what do they want to know from you?
Richard Engel: Well, a lot of times conflict can be really boring. A lot of times you’re sitting around on a base and nothing is going on. You go on a patrol and you’re walking around and you don’t see anything. Okay. Then a conflict will happen and then there’s no time for conversation. Conflict is…war is 80%, 90% sitting around and then 10% of total fear and panic and adrenaline and game on. So when you’re waiting to go on a patrol or you’re back on the base after patrol and people are washing their socks and talking and doing whatever that is that they do, you hang out with the soldiers. You learn about them. You learn about their wives and their girlfriends and what they are and who they are and what they think about the world. I mean soldiers have a lot of time to think about their position in the world. So I’ve had very interesting conversations over the years with soldiers. Yeah and I’ve had a lot of filthy locker room conversations, too. I would say those are probably the majority.
Larry Olson: So you’ve got a mom and a dad. What do they say every time that you…when you were getting going, were heading off to one of these warzones, what did they say to you?
Richard Engel: You know, be safe. They understand it by now. I think they would be more surprised if I told my mother, “Look, I’ve decided I’m going to go to law school and I want to…I really want to do corporate law and I want to do contracts for a living.” I think they would be more surprised by that at this stage.
Larry Olson: Okay. Before we get to your piece for Rock Center, a couple of real quick…or I could talk to you all day. Favorite thing to eat inAfghanistan?
Richard Engel: The bread.Afghanistan, there’s sort of an inverse rule that the poorer the country is, the better the bread is. I don’t know why it is in society, but that inverse rule tends to apply inAfghanistanhas probably the best bread in the world.
Larry Olson: Longest you’ve gone without a shower?
RE: Maybe a month.
Larry Olson: Okay. That’s it? Not six weeks? A month.
Richard Engel: That’s it. Maybe it was six weeks? I don’t know. Unless you have information I don’t have. Maybe it was…I don’t…I can be a bit grubby at times. I don’t really…a week doesn’t bother me at all.
Larry Olson: There you have it. Richard’s people took him away from NBC and he didn’t have a chance to tell us about his part in NBCs new show Rock Center with Brian Williams. You can see that on Monday nights on the peacock network.
Larry Olson: We are joined by the one and only Bruce Jenner. Hello there, Bruce.
Bruce Jenner: How are you doing today?
Larry Olson: I’m excellent, my man. So for those of us in my age range, Bruce, we know you as our hero who set the world record in the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, but to people perhaps of a lesser age, we’ll say that, you’re the guy who’s lost in the Kardashian circus.
Bruce Jenner: Yes I am. I am.
Larry Olson: You sort of live like a dual persona, don’t you?
Bruce Jenner: I do, actually. You know, it’s been…actually, for me…you know, I grew up with the baby boomer generation. I mean those are my people, you know? I mean they saw the Wheaties commercials and the Games and all the things that I have done for so many years. The audience for the Kardashian show is really young women. I mean that’s our primary audience, eighteen to, like, forty-two. I mean that’s our biggest audience and it’s kind of fun for me because now I have all these…you know, you go through an airport and all these young girls, “Oh, I want a picture with Kim’s dad.” I mean it cracks me up. It’s fun. I mean I love it. It’s good.
Larry Olson: Okay, so it’s a reality show. Does it ever just drive you crazy?
Bruce Jenner: Well, it does. It wears on you. It takes us about three months, somewhere in there, give or take a little bit, to shoot a season and so far we’ve done I think 107 episodes. It’s that amazing?
Larry Olson: Wow.
Bruce Jenner: Yeah, and…but it takes about three months and at the end of three months you’re just ready for all these people to leave, just because it’s an intrusion on you. Not that I don’t enjoy it. I mean I got the best job the world. I get to work out of my house and I get to work with all my kids, you know? You can’t ask it for any better than that, but after a while it does kind of drain on you. You’re just like, “Oh, my God. They’re still here. We’re still shooting,” but the overall it’s been just wonderful for my whole family.
Larry Olson: I would say the only exception being that Ryan Seacrest is your boss.
Bruce Jenner: Yeah. I know I’ve got to put up with Ryan. I saw him the other day. I got to put up with Ryan, you know. He started the whole thing and Kris, my wife, Kris, and Ryan had a meeting and Ryan says, “Well, we might have something here. Let’s try this.” Little did we know…in fact, they’re going to change the E! Network to the K! Network now, I think.
Larry Olson: [LAUGHS] You had to work as an insurance salesman while you were preparing for the 1976 Olympics, right?
Bruce Jenner: Yeah. Yeah. I worked for good old New England Life. They’re not even around anymore. So I sold a few policies here and there and, yeah, it kept me alive. I lived on, like, $10,000 a year.
Larry Olson: The reason I bring that up, Bruce, is that obviously you worked really hard for that 1976 Olympics. Your kids now are almost famous for just being famous. Like, what words do you impart with them because you’ve had to work so hard to get where you are?
Bruce Jenner: Well, yeah. It’s a different world. In my world of athletics, you don’t get anywhere unless you start really young and work your little butt off everywhere, but then, on the other side, there is this thing called…well, I kind of consider it the business of being a celebrity. I mean it’s a business and that’s the way you’ve got to look at it and my girls because of the exposure of the show, have…I am just so proud of them because I told them at the beginning, “Here’s an opportunity. See what you can do with it.” You know, you go on camera…I mean they’re not…to be honest with you, they’re not really just…you know, people think of them as, “Oh, they’re reality stars on the television,” stuff like that. No, they’re entrepreneurs. They’re businesswomen. They’re smart. They have enormous work ethic. The reason they are so successful is because of their work ethic, not because just they’re on TV.
A lot of people are on TV and don’t do anything after that. You never hear from them again. You know, my girls have taken this opportunity of being on TV and started businesses, clothing lines. They’re into the fashion world. They’ve got a clothing line with QVC. They’ve got this deal with Sears. Every Sears store has its own Kardashian section with all their clothes and they design them and they work with it and they work with the manufacturers. These are really smart entrepreneurial women and it’s been great to watch them grow and I couldn’t be prouder of them. I mean they don’t…there’s no drinking. There are no drugs. There are none of that kind of stuff. They’re nice to people. They always have a smile on their face even though they’ve been working for fourteen, fifteen, sixteen hours that day and they show up on time. They do their job and they do it well and that’s all you can ask for and I’ve been very proud of them, extraordinarily proud of them.
Larry Olson: The one and only Bruce Jenner hanging out with us on the JOB. Of course, he is the star, whether he wants to be or not, as the Kardashian’s….
Bruce Jenner: Yeah.
Larry Olson: The Kardashian’s dad on the E! Channel. So my brother is my step-brother and whenever anybody asks me I just say it’s my brother because I don’t say he’s my step-brother.
Bruce Jenner: Right, yeah. Right.
Larry Olson: And a testament to that relationship is my dad was the best man in his wedding.
Bruce Jenner: Right.
Larry Olson: It’s tough to be a step-dad, but you’ve sort of really embraced that role for these guys, right?
Bruce Jenner: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. When Kris and I got married twenty years ago and we just celebrated twenty years of marriage, she had four kids and I had four kids and they were all about the same age. She had three girls and a boy. I had three boys and a girl. Being a step-dad is a different set of rules and at first you think, “Okay, well, now I’m the dad. They’re living in my house.” No, no, no, no, no, no, no! That doesn’t…you’ve got to learn how to play this step-dad game.
Yeah and how to communicate with…at that time their father was still alive. Fortunately, their father, Robert, we always had an extraordinarily good relationship. I always had a very good relationship with Robert and it’s a growing process, but the bottom line is here we are, all these years later. I have a very strong relationship with all my step-kids and, in fact, in a lot of ways, I’m a lot closer to them than even my own kids because my kids, I see them all the time and I do things with them, this and that, but my step-kids grew up with me. I mean they were living in my house all the time unless they were at their dad’s house and then when he passed away, obviously, they were with me all the time. Where my kids were in and out, in and out, in and out, in and out. So I built a very strong relationship with all of them.
Larry Olson: Okay, my last three questions and the hardest ones for the end here.
Bruce Jenner: Go, go. Let’s do it.
Larry Olson: Was there ever a beef between you and Eric Estrada because you replaced him on CHIPS, Steve McLeish?
Bruce Jenner: Very good question. So I did probably eight episodes while he was kind of on his own little strike and then I did a good job so they said, “Oh, when Eric comes back we want you to stay,” and I thought, “Oh, man, okay.” He was so nice to me.
Larry Olson: [LAUGHS] Okay. Okay.
Bruce Jenner: I was pleasantly surprised. He came back and I was kind of his strike-breaker, you know? So NBC could keep the show going and I was wondering…and I’d never met him, didn’t know anything about him. I was wondering how he was going to react to me and he came up when he first saw me, said, “Hi”, told me I was doing this great job. “Let’s go to work together. This is going to be fun.” He was nothing, but great. It really told me a lot about him.
Larry Olson: This is my second most important question. Silver Spoons, good or bad career move for you?
Bruce Jenner: [LAUGHS] Well, here I am today, so it couldn’t have been too bad a move, huh?
Larry Olson: Okay, very good. Of course, yes. Ricky Schroder. Are you and Ricky keeping…?
Bruce Jenner: Absolutely, me and Ricky Schroder. I’ve worked with him before doing some other things and he’s really a great guy.
Larry Olson: Okay and, of course, my last and most important question. How often do you still eat your Wheaties?
Bruce Jenner: Every day.
Larry Olson: [LAUGHS] Bruce, you really are…
Bruce Jenner: Good answer, huh?
Larry Olson: Yes. I mean you really, like, are a nice guy like you are on the TV, as you are on the show.
Bruce Jenner: [LAUGHS] I tell me kids that’s the way you get through life, you know? Be nice to everybody.
Larry Olson: The one and only Bruce Jenner. Of course, the center or the eye of the storm on the Kardashians. Thank you so much for your time today.
Bruce Jenner: My pleasure.
Larry Olson: Jeremy Cline and Sandy Draghi are our local contestants on the current season of Amazing Race on CBS. If you haven’t seen the show, it’s awesome, as the teams fly all over tarnation to compete in different situations. They’d be the first ones to appear at different stops all over the world. I call it the poor man’s way to see the world.
Sandy Draghi : Easy.
Jeremy Cline: [LAUGHS]
Larry Olson: Hey, guys. So, Jeremy, you’re fromAlamo, right?
Jeremy Cline: Correct.
Larry Olson: And Sandy you’re fromDublin?
Sandy Draghi : Yes. Well,Livermore, actually.
Larry Olson: Ooh,Livermore, even better! Okay, interesting.
Sandy Draghi : Yeah, more country.
Jeremy Cline: Fourth generationLivermore.
Larry Olson: Yeah, okay. You guys are dating.
Sandy Draghi : Correct.
Larry Olson: Okay, still dating?
Sandy Draghi : Maybe.
Jeremy Cline: Still dating.
Larry Olson: The season’s been shot, right? It’s in the can?
Sandy Draghi : It is, yeah.
Jeremy Cline: It is.
Larry Olson: And so then you’re sworn to secrecy as to what happened?
Sandy Draghi : We are.
Larry Olson: Have you guys seen any of the shows?
Sandy Draghi : We haven’t seen a single clip.
Larry Olson: So then…
Jeremy Cline: There’s a two-minute preview of the premiere online right now.
Larry Olson: And that’s all you’ve seen?
Sandy Draghi : That’s it.
Jeremy Cline: That’s all we’ve seen.
Larry Olson: Okay. So, Jeremy, you own your own business?
Jeremy Cline: I work at CB Richard Ellis, Commercial Real Estate. I’m a Commercial Real Estate broker.
Larry Olson: So…
Jeremy Cline: I owed my own business in the past.
LO: Okay. So then how did you get the time off to do the show?
Jeremy Cline: I had other guys in my team help me handle some of the deals and the transactions that were going on and just took off. I actually had a couple of deals closing when I was gone.
LO: Look at you closing deals, wheeling and dealing andSandy, you’re a nurse?
Sandy Draghi : I’m a nurse practitioner, yes.
LO: And so you can just…how did you get the time off?
Sandy Draghi : You know I haven’t had a day off, I don’t think, in four years, so it was time.
LO: And your bosses were cool with you like, “Hey, we’re going to do Amazing Race.”
Sandy Draghi : You know what? I didn’t even tell them. I just said I needed some time off and I wanted to go travel. We couldn’t tell anybody. So I had the vacation time, hadn’t taken any time off in the last four years.
LO: What did you tell your family?
Sandy Draghi : We were able to tell our family that we had to sign a contract with CBS, but we just told our immediate family, our folks and siblings.
LO: Okay, so some call it reality TV. I like to call it real-ish TV. I mean how accurate is it, right?
Sandy Draghi : Yeah, it’s pretty real.
Jeremy Cline: Yeah, it is an escape from reality. It’s the furthest thing from reality. There’s a realness to it when it comes to the relationships and what’s happening as you’re going about this crazy situation, traveling around the world. How does that and competes for a million dollars?
LO: So can you ever tell the cameras to stop or did you guys sign something to say you can never tell the cameras to stop?
Sandy Draghi : You know they…
Jeremy Cline: You try to tell the cameras to stop.
Sandy Draghi : You can’t. They’re filming you 24/7.
LO: [LAUGHS] Okay, very good. So let’s say you guys…I’m sure you did this on the trip. You go to some random city in likeHungary, but…and there’s all these cameras following you as you do that. So how do the locals react when you enter their cities?
Sandy Draghi : You know what? Locals everywhere outside of theUnited Stateswere fantasticular. People are gracious. Every country, everyone was great.
LO: Even when…
Jeremy Cline: It’s like a tornado rolling through some of these small-time airports. They stop everything they’re doing and watch what’s happening. It’s something they’ve never seen before, typically.
LO: And they just think what, a bunch of crazy Americans kind of thing?
JD: Yup, uh, hum, just American television, yup.
Jeremy Cline: Oh, yeah. [LAUGHS]
LO: Okay. So then the reason you guys are on the show, obviously, is because you’re dating and the TV people want the contrast of a couple that’s not sealed together forever. So then how did the communication go in general?
Sandy Draghi : I would say it was pretty poor actually.
Sandy Draghi : It was a little squeaky, but we figured it out.
LO: Jeremy, you care to comment?
Jeremy Cline: It was tougher than I had ever imagined it would be. I kind of expected it to be pretty easy and we just would go about our normal kind of lives. You know, our communication was okay before. It was not…but you didn’t throw in the mix of having to run and buy a ticket and run and catch a plane and you throw all that craziness into it and it got a little out of hand sometimes.
LO: So Sandy, you played sports at USF? You’re a Hilltopper?
Sandy Draghi : Yes.
LO: What did you play?
Sandy Draghi : I played soccer.
LO: Okay, very good. So you’re obviously going to be good at the physical challenges, but how about when you have to like eat the Hungarian beetle? How did that go?
Sandy Draghi : You know you have to watch. I can’t say anything. You guys will have to watch and see that.
LO: Okay. Look at that! I like it. Well, you’re a brick wall. I like it.
Sandy Draghi : Yeah.
LO: So you’re tough cookies.
Jeremy Cline: She’s a girl, you know. You can’t get any faster.
Sandy Draghi : [LAUGHS]
LO: Is there camaraderie amongst the teams, maybe when the cameras aren’t rolling or is it like the game is on all the time?
Sandy Draghi : Yeah, the game’s always on. I don’t think you ever stop. You’re supposed to stop racing, but I don’t think teams ever do. So you’re always thinking of the next step.
LO: You didn’t like…
Jeremy Cline: You’re trying to build some rapport with these teams immediately. That was our strategy, to go in before we started the race, the build-up. So we don’t want to be the hated team. So, yeah, you’ve got to come in with some strategy and you go from there.
LO: In your guys’ demo tape, I’m assuming that’s how you get on the show, you put some sort of demo tape together. What do you think got you guys selected to be on the show?
Sandy Draghi : You know we were kind of the normal people in this cast. I definitely think CBS did cast us because we were so newly dating and didn’t really have all of our relationship quite figured out and they wanted that to unfold on camera. So I definitely think that we just got cast as this really freshly newly-dating couple.
Jeremy Cline: We’re the Average Joes working couple. We work 50 hours a week type people that have, you know…this is one of the chances for us to travel like we’ve never traveled before and so I think they wanted to throw some Average Joes in the mix that also had some unresolved issues in the relationship.
LO: So it is nervous, though? I’m assuming they see the tape and then they fly down and ask you to audition in person. Is it nerve-wracking? How is that process?
Sandy Draghi : Oh, it’s brutal. I’ve been on job interviews in my life, but not in front of these high executives. You’re sitting in front of twelve, thirteen people interviewing for something that you want so bad. It is…it’s really nerve-wracking and they don’t give you like an ounce of information. They don’t tell you one thing. They just sit there stone cold. You’re staring at them trying to get them to laugh, do something. They give you nothing back. So it was…it was stressful.
LO: What, are they just asking you questions or making you do jumping jacks, like what?
Sandy Draghi : Just questions about you. Why you? Why are you…? You know, you’re trying to sell yourself to these people and I don’t think I’m all that great. I’m like, “I don’t even know what I’m supposed…what you want.” So it’s a little bit of a mind game, but you’re trying to sell yourself.
LO: Okay, so going forward. You’ve had oneHollywoodexperience. Either of you two going toHollywoodor are you retreating back to normal life with the rest of us?
Sandy Draghi : We’re both at work right now.
Jeremy Cline: Yeah, we’re at work right now! No, it’s all about…I don’t think either of us are looking to go toHollywoodor anything like that, but you never know. We’ll see.
LO: Come on! You’re supposed to say, “Oh, my agent took me to the Ivy and…”
Sandy Draghi : Yeah, right. Yeah!
LO: “And the screenplay and the works.” Come on!
Sandy Draghi : You knowCalifornia. It’s pretty crazy. There are paparazzi everywhere so…
LO: I do know, yes!
SD: So we’re going to keep hush-hush around here.
LO: Yes, Black Hawk is crazy!
SD: Black Hawk is crazy right now.
LO: And the Creek Man gets wild in October!
SD: Uh huh, yeah.
SD: Yeah, nuts.
LO: Jeremy Cline, Sandy Draghi, our local team. You can see the show Sunday nights at 8 o’clock on CBS. It’s Amazing Race. Hey, guys, thanks so much for hanging out with us.
SD: Thank you!
JC: Thanks. I love the show. Take care.
Sherri Shepherd is a comedian, actress, producer. Perhaps best known as one of the cohosts on ABC’s The View. She has a brand new show Wedding Fabulous: Sherri Shepherd Gets Married 9 o’clock on the Style Network. Hello there, Sherri.
Sherri Shepherd: Hey, how are you?
LO: I’m so, look at you. Come on ask me how I’m doing. Thank you so much for hanging out with us.
Sherri Shepherd: Well, you know what it’s just a dear compliment. I really appreciative that you’re having me on.
LO: Okay, here’s the deal, what are you trying to do on The View? Is it voicing your own opinion? Are you trying to give rise to a certain perspective? Or are you just out there entertaining? What are you trying to do when you go do The View every day?
Sherri Shepherd: You know what, it’s a mixture of all of that. I mean I was not hired to be a political pundit. You know, they knew my background. I came from being a legal secretary. I was a Jehovah’s Witness that didn’t vote. I was just over there trying to raise my son. I was a standup comic and an actress. So, you know, everybody knew I came from an entertainment background, and somebody who was just new to the entire political arena. But I had an opinion on some stuff. So, yeah, I do, I get paid to voice my opinion. I take a stand on things, and sometimes when I’m sitting there with Dick Cheney, I’m like, okay, you done spoke for 10 minutes, I don’t know what you said.
LO: [LAUGHS] This is a serious question, but you might not think it is. Should men watch The View, or is it let’s just let you women do your thing?
Sherri Shepherd: No, I absolutely think no. if you’re a smart man, you want to get totally ahead of the game. You want to be one step ahead of your woman. So if you come up and you talking to your woman about, you know, the fact of, hey I heard that, you know, hanging around with kids, my testosterone is lowered. She’s like, what? Where did you hear that? And you get into a whole discussion, but you find out a lady’s point of view, you’re so ahead of the game.
LO: Because I got to admit, you know, we work in a studio, so there’s a TV on and I’m just saying sometimes The View is on and I feel like, you know, sometimes like, should I be watching this?
Sherri Shepherd: Yes you should.
Sherri Shepherd: Because that way you can go to the bar and have this great conversation and some woman’s walking away going, you know what, I really like him.
LO: Yeah, okay. And my testosterone level does not drop by watching it?
Sherri Shepherd: [LAUGHS] No, it doesn’t.
LO: Okay, thank you for freeing me of my guilt. Behind the scenes, is there politics going on? Like, is there lobbying for you to get like a segment you want or does Barbara ever come out and say, hey you know what, this is my favorite. She’s doing this. Is there politicking?
Sherri Shepherd: Well, I mean, you know, it depends on people’s, you know sometimes we have, there’s a priority over something else. So we have to decide on what day if we have time to do something. But generally, if we have something that we’re passionate about, we can bring it to the table. Absolutely, there’s no problem with that. And is there politicking? I mean, you know, in every place you go there’s politics. There’s politics to a marriage. You have to figure out what it is. But I mean, I’ve never…this is really, truly a rewarding job to me. I love coming in every single morning. If it was crazy, I couldn’t do it.
LO: Is Barbara the hammer though? She’s the heavy, like if something goes down, Barbara just drops the, you know.
Sherri Shepherd: No, I would not characterize Barbara as the hammer. I, she’s more, she’s our big kahuna. But Barbara will absolutely go to bat for people, and I’ve seen it happen that if something, I swear, if I got caught over the border and they put me in jail, and it was a drug bust, and it wasn’t me, the first person I go and say, Barbara Walters. Can you call her?
LO: Awe, that is awesome.
Sherri Shepherd: Not that I’d be caught in a drug bust over the border. I don’t even know if…
LO: Hypothetically speaking. Hypothetically…
Sherri Shepherd: But if you ever did.
LO: [LAUGHS] So you…
SS: Barbara Walters.
LO: [LAUGHS] So you had success before The View, but I imagine The View gave you a whole new level of visibility. You do a slew of things, game shows, 30 Rock. How now do you decide what projects you want to take on?
Sherri Shepherd: You know what, I am a mother first. So I have to say, well how does this affect Jeffery? Because everything I do I’m trying to figure out how I can spend time with my son and how I can be there for the you know, parent association meetings at his school. So that’s why I haven’t been on Dancing With the Stars this far because it really would take me away from Jeffery. So, you know, when I consider things, I go, who can take care of him? That’s my number one priority of if I say yes or no.
LO: And then everything else after this, like entertaining or what’s going to stretch you or?
Sherri Shepherd: Yeah, what’s going to stretch me, you know, it’s like I did Precious. You know that was nominated. It was a serious part, and it was like I’d never done a dramatic part. So I auditioned for it and I booked it. So it’s just like let’s go down that road.
LO: As I mentioned at the beginning, you have a brand new show coming up, Wedding Fabulous: Sherri Shepherd Gets Married. You know, why throw your wedding on TV? Isn’t it supposed to be some intimate moment? Why open it up, well, for instance to me?
Sherri Shepherd: Well, you know what, somebody like me, I’m obsessed with bridal shows. I watch them religiously, and I always wonder what goes on behind the scenes. So I figured, geez, I’m getting married and this is such a crazy shenanigans going on, I figured, you know, I like watching bridal shows. So I said well somebody else, I think they might like watching it and they might like to see it and laugh. We got a lot of funny things in there. I mean I learn how to cook for Sal, and I burnt up the rotisserie oven trying to cook the chicken, started a fire. He can’t move in the house, you know, because I’ve got all my stuff. We’re trying to do a bridal party dance. I lied about my wedding dress, the size, so whenElizabethwent with me nothing fit. So it’s just all kinds of chaos that goes on and I just wanted to share a fun day.
LO: Sherri, I feel like we’ve come close on this, so let’s try to drum up some ill here. Why did you have success with some of the publicity for your wedding, but your previous View host, Starr Jones got killed for doing some publicity for her wedding?
Sherri Shepherd: Well, I think if you look at Starr Jones and you look at me, there was two totally different women and I think I’m coming from the time, not going to speak for Starr Jones. But for Sherri Shepherd, I’m coming from this from a place of pure fun. I am not…I don’t need you to give me anything. I just want to share with you of how fun it was to make this day possible. And as well, for my bridal registry, Sal and I, we don’t need another toaster, so we were asking people instead of buying us a gift, there were two charities that were close to our heart, embrace.org andHalesFranciscanAcademy, they send under privileged youth to college. Embrace.org helps homeless people and theIraqvets, and we said, don’t get us a toaster. So whatever you were going to give to us, give to these two charities. In addition, I’m giving away the wedding dress I wore and the pair of crystals, foroski covered crystal shoes that I wore at my wedding. I want people to have…be blessed the way I was blessed. So I don’t speak for Starr Jones, I can just speak for me. If you know my heart and you know who I am and you follow me, you’re a fan, you know exactly why I’m doing this.
Sherri Shepherd: So I have no shame in my game. That’s what I should say.
LO: [LAUGHS] So if someone is getting married, would you advise them to watch the show or maybe TiVo it and then watch it after they get married?
Sherri Shepherd: No, I say watch it because I think you’re going to laugh, and I think you might learn a couple things like slash your budget. Don’t be going for everything. You might want everything but can’t get it.
LO: Okay, anything else we need? I like that tip.
Sherri Shepherd: No, I think that’s it and, you know, stay married. I’m four weeks in, I got 19 years to go.
LO: Okay, here last question, why put your man through all this? You know, men don’t want to get married to begin with, then we got to go sit through all the other junk that goes on. Why put him through the ringer?
Sherri Shepherd: You know, yeah. He wasn’t for it. I had to convince him how much fun it would be. And you know what? He actually had a good time. Just shows you, sometimes you got to listen to your woman.
LO: The show is Wedding Fabulous: Sherri Shepherd Gets Married, 9 o’clock on the Style Network. Sherri, you’re a hoot. Thank you.
Sherri Shepherd: Thank you. Have a good one.
Kehlani Parrish joins us on the JOB. She is the front woman for the band PopLyfe. An Oaklandsensation who is tearing it up on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. Hello there, Kehlani.
Kehlani Parrish : Hi.
LO: How are ya?
Kehlani Parrish : I’m great. How are you?
LO: I’m good. You’re all of what, 13 years old?
Kehlani Parrish : 13 to 16, so I’m 16.
LO: Okay, going on what, like 40 at this point because you’re a big time TV star?
Kehlani Parrish : Yeah, you know 40. God, I’m getting a little old there.
LO: You know you guys are obviously from Oakland, so we’re very proud of you here in the Bay Area. Just a back story on you a little bit, when we started this show, America’s Got Talent, they actually wanted you to go out on your own and leave your band, didn’t they?
Kehlani Parrish : Yeah, they tried to split us up, but those are my brothers. Those are my best friends, so we were best friends before we were a band. So why would we ever split up? Nothing can ever break us apart.
LO: How did you guys get together? You go to Berkeley High?
Kehlani Parrish : I actually just got out of Berkeley High, and now I go back toOaklandSchoolfor the Arts so all of us can be together.
LO: And that’s where you guys met. You guys kind of met in theOaklandmusic scene. How’d you guys all get together?
Kehlani Parrish : We all got together atOaklandSchoolfor the Arts. So we just one day just decided, Hey, we can all play music, why not just start a band. So we started a band and we didn’t think it would ever, ever be this big.
LO: So, there’s also some history there, two of the guys from the band, Dylan Wiggins and Denzel Merit have fathers who are in the business, right? If I’m right, Dylan’s dad was in Tony Toni Tone?
Kehlani Parrish : Yes, that’s him, Dewayne Wiggins.
LO: Now, wait a minute. That’s kind of nice to have a mentor or connection like that. To have like a…you know everybody remembers Tony Toni Tone. So do they give you help?
Kehlani Parrish : They do actually. He’s such a great mentor, because he taught everyone not only how to play their instruments correctly, but how to perform and a lot of the business and how to handle ourselves in public places and how we should interact in interviews. Everything that the business taught him, he’s passing on to us.
LO: Holy cow, but you’re like 16 years old. I mean, shouldn’t you be out playing wiffle ball, and you know, the…
LO: you know what I mean? The flag football or something?
Kehlani Parrish : We should be out in school right now and playing sports and being normal high schoolers. But I mean, if you want something really bad, you’re going to go out there and do anything for it no matter what age you are. We’re really hungry for this. So we are going to get up way early in the morning and go do interviews and go get stuff ready because this is what we want to do.
LO: Okay, so now you guys have already opened up for some pretty big named acts like Bobby Brown, right?
LO: I mean, that’s like a big deal if you’re a 16 year old, you like open up Bobby Brown. That’s kind of a big deal, right?
Kehlani Parrish : It’s insane because this is not something that happens to 16 year olds.
LO: [LAUGHS] At least you can say that. I feel like you’re kind of a normal person. Should I think you’re a normal person?
Kehlani Parrish : I think I’m definitely a normal person. I was…I’m pretty, I’m pretty laid back. I’m pretty chill. I’m fromBerkeley, so I’m a little hipster kid.
LO: [LAUGHS] Watching you in the show, there’s obviously some showmanship that goes into it because it’s TV, but how serious do you guys take the music versus, you know, getting your hair all puffed out? You know what I mean?
Kehlani Parrish : Yeah. A lot of people are saying, Oh, yeah America’s Got Talent made PopLyfe. We really don’t like that statement because we just like to think that it really just helped us a lot. But all people did, they gave us a stage that we could jam out on, gave us some cool costumes, but we’ve always been these performers. We take the music way more seriously. Like, that’s what we need to get before we actually start putting on costumes and putting on makeup and doing dance moves. The music is the most important because that’s what we are. We are musicians first before we are actors or anything else.
LO: So do you guys like know music theory? You know how to write music and that kind of stuff?
Kehlani Parrish : Yeah, I actually write music. We’re all in theory. We’re all in theory in school. We started together. We help each other out a lot with it. It’s funny when we get into little creative arguments about it and someone’d be like, no, that was a triad, or that was, that you need to modulate right there. And some of us are like, what are you talking about. And the rest of us correct each other. It’s really funny to know that we get into arguments about smart things.
LO: I mean, so do you have to fight that perception that you guys are just this, you know, show business produced thing? Whereas you guys are actually legit musicians.
Kehlani Parrish : Yeah, I don’t think a lot of people understand that we are musicians. We, they all read music, they all can play different styles. None of them are pop artists. None of us actually want to be a pop band. We want to play neo soul. We want to play Latin. We want to play funk. We want to play pop. We want to play everything. So we don’t like to be thought of as a commercial band.
LO: So then, I mean this show is like obviously you said it gives you guys good exposure. But whatever happens, whatever happens, but you guys are going to play music going forward, right?
Kehlani Parrish : Yes. Regardless of the endings of this show, regardless of what happens tonight or tomorrow, we’re still going to be jamming out. We’re still going to hopefully be on stage all the time and still rock out because we were on a couple of stages before America’s Got Talent and we really don’t want to stop this.
LO: Okay, so how do people at school look at you guys now that you’re the big time TV stars?
Kehlani Parrish : School is crazy. Everybody is giving us so much support. We’re on the websites, the newsletters, getting emails from all the parents saying Vote for PopLyfe. And all the kids are really supportive. All the teachers actually show our episodes every time they come on to the kids in class.
LO: Does it mean you get a better grade by any chance?
Kehlani Parrish : Actually because it’s an art school and we’re in emphasis, like we’re in…like I’m in vocal and the boys are in their, either acting or instrumental. They actually get credits. The theater kids get credits for us being on TV. So that’s great for them.
LO: That’s kind of cool. And when you tell people you’re fromOakland, are they like, shouldn’t you be shooting people?
Kehlani Parrish : Yeah some people [LAUGHS] that’s funny. Some people do think just because we’re fromOaklandthat we may get a little rowdy or we’re slacking off, or all the boys sag really low or, you know, we’re bad kids, but there’s a lot unders…there’s a lot, I want to sayOaklandis kind of slept on. Like,Oaklandis very underrated. This is, everyone is really talented inOakland. Everyone does something and that’s the best part. But a lot of people just don’t know where to go with it, so they like, they just go kind of bad because they don’t know where to put all their creativity.
LO: let’s just get to some fun things before you have to go here. What’s your favorite pizza spot atBerkeleyorOakland?
Kehlani Parrish : Okay. My favorite pizza spot inBerkeleyI’d have to say Blondie’s on Telegraph
LO: Okay. Of course.
LO: Alright. More so than Fat Slice?
Kehlani Parrish : I love Fat Slice though. But I would have to say the Fat Slice, Fat Slice pizza is bigger, but Blondie’s, they have so many toppings and it’s just so greatly made and you have to have to say Blondie’s.
LO: Okay. That’s good. And what’s your least favorite thing about being on TV?
Kehlani Parrish : Probably not being home because I get homesick easily, and I really miss my mommy and I haven’t seen her in three weeks, but she’s coming today to come see the show. So I’m excited. And my mom just got me a new puppy and I haven’t seen him yet. So he’s at home waiting for me. So yeah, I think the least, that my least favorite part is just missing home.
LO: Kehlani , you literally more mature than me.
Kehlani Parrish: [LAUGHS]
LO: I’m serious.
KP: I get that a lot.
LO: I mean seriously, you’re so humble it’s so great, and I’m so happy you guys are doing so well on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. This is the good news, these other people you’ll be calling today, they’re never going to be able to see you, but you live inOakland and I live inSan Francisco. I’m going to be able to come see you guys all the time doing shows.
Kehlani Parrish : Yes. Come on down.
LO: Okay. Kehlani Parrish, the lead singer for PopLyfe on America’s Got Talent. Hey, Kehlani, thanks so much for hanging out with us.
Kehlani Parrish : Thank you so much. Vote everybody, vote!
Guy Kawasaki is entrepreneur, author, Evangelist, venture capitalist. He started at Apple Computers in 1984, quickly became one of their chief evangelists, convincing skeptical software and hardware designers that they should be developing products. Since leaving Apple, he’s co-founded AllTop.com, an online magazine rack of popular web topics and Garage Technology Ventures, a venture capital firm. He has penned ten books on entrepreneurship, marketing, management, and the business world in general.
His latest book Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions details techniques on how to change personal and professional relationships with the same enthusiasm and loyalty that he helped foster at Apple. Hello there, Guy.
Guy Kawasaki: Hi.
LO: You’re a busy dude.
Guy Kawasaki: Yeah. You know, I’ve got four kids, got to make sure they can go to school, so-
LO: Four kids, a hockey league, books, venture caps, geez Louise!
Guy Kawasaki: I know. It’s not easy being me.
LO: [LAUGHS] Well, I wouldn’t mind trying. You start with stories in your book Enchantment; meeting your wife, seeing the Mac for the first time, and then you start about this story of some Peace Corp folks that almost get attacked by guerillas- the bad people, not the animals, right?
LO: And you say in Enchantment, you say, “Enchantment changes the skeptics and cynics into believers, so you know, having the…tying that back to your story about the Peace Corps, you can make people who want to kill you into believers of your product?
Guy Kawasaki: Well, [LAUGHS] I think the goal for making the change that you want to catalyze in people who are trying to kill you, is not that you’re buying a product, but that they don’t kill you, okay? Got to start with some basics there, so the example you are alluding to is the one I open up the book with, where a Peace Corp volunteer was in the Philippines and she heard that the local guerillas are going to come visit her hut, so she spent a few hours collecting coffee and sugar, so that when they came, rather than you know, try to defend her hut, or cowering in fear, what she did was she kind of slipped the situation on its side by inviting them into her hut for coffee and sugar and cream, so that is a case where she enchanted those guerillas and probably saved her life.
LO: Not a bad enchantment story. You say, “Unless you’re likeable, it’s extremely difficult to be found trustworthy, and unless you’re trustworthy, no one will rally around your cause, no matter how good it is.” Steve Jobs, as most folks know, is not the most likeable dude in the whole wide world, especially if you work for him, so why does he get to be unlikeable yet successful?
Guy Kawasaki: Well, first of all, Steve Jobs is a unique individual. There is no comparing him to anybody else. He’s just…he’s got a different operating system okay, so with that caveat, I think there are three components to enchantment. They’re likeability, trustworthiness, and great product, so now you know, you need each of those, although not necessarily in equal amounts.
Now Apple, no question about it, has great products, right? So the question becomes, “Well, where’s the likeability and trustworthiness?” and I think the answer is that for most people, other than in Silicon Valley and inside this echo chamber we call technology, most people’s impressions of Apple come from the Apple Store. They’re not, you know, following Steve Jobs’ every movement, so what happens is, you walk into that store, it’s a beautiful store.
I think my favorite one is probably the one at Covent Garden inLondon, and there’s not a lot of paper around, and empty boxes, and crap, you know, and there’s no cash registers even. They carry hand-held terminals made out of iPhones, and the people are happy, or seemingly happy, they understand and know their product, the Genius Bar really does take care of your problems. It’s a very, very enchanting experience with likeable and trustworthy people, so I think that’s where the magic happens.
LO: The one and only Guy Kawasaki joining us on the JOB. His latest book, Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. You chat about the not-always-wise wisdom of the crowd. Just because everyone has an iPod doesn’t make the iPod the best, since we’re going with Apple here.
LO: But you should always do your due diligence and not be a sheep and look into the product you’re buying, and that’s, you know, business or personal, but the flip-side to that, as a business, you want the most people to buy your product, so you want the sheep.
Guy Kawasaki: [LAUGHS] Well, you want informed sheep, then. You want people to make a real, you know, good decision for their best interest, not the company’s, because if you want enchantment to last, it has to be good for both parties. That’s the difference between closing a sale and making enchantment last, and you know, Apple, they make enchantment last. They don’t just try to close the sale, and you know people who buy Macintoshes usually buy iPhones, iPods, and iPads, whereas most computer companies, they’re happy to just close you on a sale with a coupon and you know, a rebate or something. That’s the difference between a sales transaction and enchantment.
LO: I’m intrigued by your “Yes attitude philosophy.” Interesting, because you say this; “When you interact with people, you should always assume that you will agree to the requests of you. You’re always thinking about how you can help other people, instead of how they could or should help you. This makes sense because then you’re listening to your customers, and you’re going to be successful.” But how do you filter all of these requests and doing everything for everybody else?
Guy Kawasaki: Well, I think you’ll find that you will not get that many requests, so here my recommendation is a default, “yes,” and I’ve been defaulting to, “yes,” for a long time. I don’t get that many requests, and I am very visible, so some of it is because people don’t follow through. Some of it is because people don’t, you know, people’s expectations of others are so low they don’t even ask, but I have to tell you, I mean, I make fifty to seventy-five speeches a year. I have lots of Twitter friends and fans and followers and all that, and it’s not onerous, so some things you just need to try.
You can’t assume…it’s very dangerous to do the math, when you say, “Well, if I get…if I meet this many people and just 1% ask me to do something, it will be a thousand people a year, and a thousand people a year is three favors a day.” The odds are, you won’t be asked by a thousand people.
LO: That’s sweet. Hey Guy, when we’re done off the air here, I got to ask you about something.
Guy Kawasaki: Okay. [LAUGHS] You know I’m going to say, “Yes.”
LO: Okay, good. Perfect. You know, one of these concepts that I really like, and I don’t know if you made up this term or just more to get into the book, but tell us about, “pre-mortem,” and that has to do with your category of working with your employees, and why that fits into enchantment.
Guy Kawasaki: Yes. So the “pre-mortem,” is an idea from Gary Kline, and his idea is that rather than doing a post-mortem, which is after something fails, trying to assess blame and learn a few things, usually it’s too late, and the people who caused the problem are gone, so what you want to do is do a pre-mortem, and the way you do a pre-mortem is you say to the people on the team, “Let’s pretend we failed. Now, what are all the hypothetical reasons why we failed?” and then let’s go through that list of reasons and eliminate them so we don’t, in fact, fail.
Now, you might ask, “Well, why don’t you just stand up and say, ‘Does anybody have any questions or concerns?’” The problem with doing that is that if you do that, you very seldom get the truth, because most people think, and they’re probably right, think that if you say something in that kind of public venue, if you say, “The software is too buggy to ship,” you’re going to be seen as a naysayer, a laggard, and you’re going to make an enemy of the software person, so people shut up.
LO: You know, Guy, I never even heard of the term, “Evangelist,” until I started doing a research on you a couple of years ago for a previous interview.
Guy Kawasaki: Yeah?
LO: Essentially, a sexy way to say, “Director of Marketing,” right?
Guy Kawasaki: Well, it’s the purest form of marketing, because what you’re trying to do is to convince people to believe in your dream as much as you do.
LO: Okay, because I love that you know, now you can say an “Evangelist,” and you’re not talking about church, you’re talking about like, you, the tech guy out at San Jose.
Guy Kawasaki: [LAUGHS] Well, that is…I’m not the only secular evangelist, but yeah, I kind of helped popularize the term.
LO: You really did. You really did.
Guy Kawasaki: Yeah.
LO: Before I let you know, Great Tech Evangelist, is it true that your 9-year old bought two-thousand dollars’ worth of virtual coins, animals, treasures, using your iTunes account?
Guy Kawasaki: [LAUGHS] Yeah. I mean, that was pretty funny. I was impressed that she figured it out, and I’d given her my password, because you know, what can she do? Buy ninety-nine cents Angry Birds games all day, what?
Guy Kawasaki: [LAUGHS] Guess what? You can buy ninety-nine dollars, you know, chests of, I don’t know, treasures, and coins, and whatever, so yeah. I looked at my bill, I said, “Wow, like what is all these ninety-nine dollar charges?” [LAUGHS]
LO: Ah. She takes after her old man, doesn’t she?
Guy Kawasaki: Well, I would have been pretty impressed if she was getting out my credit card and reselling it to her friends. Now that would have been impressive.
GK: Welcome to my life.
LO: You’re going to what, sell two hundred more books?
GK: [LAUGHS] Yeah, more than that.
LO: The book is Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions. The one and only Evangelist fromSilicon Valley, Guy Kawasaki. Good enough to hang out with us. Guy, you’re a hoot. Thanks, my man.
GK: Thank you. Take care.
LO: This interview is dedicated to Tim Harrison, because he’s my beer sensei, and he is my beer sensei because he introduced me to Lagunitas beer. Laganitas Brewery was started by Tony McGee in West Marin County in 1993. They have since moved to Petaluma. If my numbers are correct, they produced more than 100,000 barrels last year, ranking them the twenty-sixth largest craft brewer in America. The Head Brewer at Lagunitas, Jeremy Marshall joins us on the J O B. Are my numbers right there, Jeremy?
Jeremy Marshall: Yeah, all that sounds pretty good.
LO: How do I put this delicately to start off with? Holy crap, you brew Lagunitas beer for a living!
Jeremy Marshall: Yeah, that’s true. I don’t really ever think about it like that. But you know, a lot of people have this idea of brewers going to work and just swirling beer samples around and talking about all the flavors and you know, it’s actually kind of hard work. It’s some people like to say, a glorified janitor. But I have no problem perpetuating the myth that all I do is drink beer all day.
LO: So you actually started out as a successful home-brewer and through some encouragement, you decided to make it formal and enrolled at the UC Davis Master Brewer’s Program, so you knew how to brew beer, but what did you learn at beer college?
Jeremy Marshall: At beer college, I learned a lot of the science behind it, and a lot of the engineering, and the real attraction to brewing is that it’s the perfect intersection of science and art, and so it’s kind of like cooking but then again, there’s scientific explanations for everything that goes on. So at UC Davis, you really delve deep into the science, all the engineering calculations and fluid dynamics and all that good stuff.
LO: And I’m sure you use that to your job today.
Jeremy Marshall: Well, yes and no. To a certain extent, when you get done with brew school, there is a little bit of, “All right, kid, now forget everything they taught you in Davis, here’s how we do it.”
LO: That’s awesome. So then, what drew you to Lagunitas? How did you end up there, and what was your initial job at Lagunitas?
Jeremy Marshall: Well, I was attracted to the brand mostly because it was damn good beer, and I got familiar with it living over in Davis, but I also like the ethos, or the marketing angle with everything, the funny stories and the kind of Zappa-like appeal of the brewery. I just kind of came here and fell in love, and then noticed that it really seemed like it was going somewhere quick, and I wanted to be a part of it, and I actually started on the packaging line and then moved over into the filtration cellar, and then moved from there into shift brewing and from there to the Head Brewer.
LO: That’s a cool story. On a day-to-day basis, is your job more to monitor what you’re brewing or to dream up what you’d like to brew?
Jeremy Marshall: I wish I could say I spend a lot of time dreaming, but a lot of it is monitoring processes, the main thing that separates the big dogs from the little dogs is process control, and there’s a lot of responding to little things that pop up here and there, and sometimes it’s a crisis and sometimes it’s not, but at the end of the day, I’m fond of saying, “It’s just beer,” you know? “It’s only beer, so don’t worry.”
LO: So, where does the beer-making process come up with, you said you’re mostly monitoring the process, you said you’re mostly monitoring the process, but what about the new stuff and coming up and dreaming?
Jeremy Marshall: Well, there’s still plenty of that going on. It typically starts as a little seed with Tony McGee. He’s still the Brew Master and I’m the Head Brewer, so he’ll have a vision, and he’ll kind of think about what he wants and then he’ll run that by me, and then I’ll maybe jog some reality checks and, “Hey Tony, you know, they quit growing that hop a long time ago,” or “This would really not do well on our system. We’d go from eight brews a day down to four.”
Put those reality checks in there, and then we’ll meet in the middle and kind of through bouncing ideas off, come up with the brand new idea that is actually doable, and a lot of times we’ll dig up an old beer that we used to do that no one’s seen in a while, and we’ll give it a facelift and put a new label on it, and that’s sometimes the way a new beer is created.
LO: Jeremy Marshall joining us on the J O B as the Head Brewer at Lagunitas beer. What is the deal with North Bay? You guys have my three favorite beers: You’ve got you guys in Petaluma, Russian River Brewing Company, and Bear Republic in Healdsburg; Is this just a coincidence or is there some grand beer conspiracy going on?
Jeremy Marshall: You know, I’m not really sure, but I’m fond of saying that people in Northern California are completely spoiled because the air is air-conditioned, there aren’t any bugs, and the food and drink is the best of the best. Everything is gorgeous, you’ve got the ocean, you’ve got the mountains, you’ve got everything you could possibly want right here, so why not slap some of the world’s best beer right on top of that?
LO: I mean it really is, I’m not kidding, those are my three favorite, maybe throw in the 21st Amendment in San Francisco in there. How much of what you do is a secret? Or do you say, “Hey, we don’t care who knows about what we do. It’s how we do it?”
Jeremy Marshall: I would side with the latter. I’m fond of saying, “If you give twenty different home-brewers the exact same recipe, and on top of that, even give them the exact same ingredients, that the all start from the same place and follow the same instructions, what you end up getting is twenty different beers, and that really speaks to the artisanal element of what we do. So we don’t really have problems sharing. We don’t think what we do is top secret, but when it comes to the process control, and the little things that we’ve learned along the way, we might be less likely to share some of that because we feel like we worked hard for some of that.
LO: In 1978, the U.S. had forty-two brewing companies. Today there are nearly seventeen hundred in the U.S. I heard someone once say that, “Beer is the new wine.” Why is beer catching on? What’s going on?
Jeremy Marshall: Well, you know, the oenologists might argue with me on this, but I truly feel that beer is more complex that wine. One reason is the effervescence literally stimulates a nerve in the tongue called the trigeminal nerve, and that’s a new sensation, on top of wine.
Okay, some people say, “Okay, what about sparkling wine?” Okay, you got me there. Sparkling wine stimulates that. But there’s more; beer actually stimulates the backsides of the tongue with the bitterness component that comes from the hops, and this is completely lacking from any wine. Wine has tannins in it, or polyphenols, which are kind of thought of to be astringent. They cause a sensation called a pucker, or the little dryness in the cheeks, but they don’t bring bitterness like beer bitterness does to the back of the tongue.
So beer is literally stimulating more pleasure centers of your mouth than wine does, and in doing so, it pairs even more dynamically with different foods. So I think that’s part of why beer could be said to be the new wine.
LO: That explanation was no joke.
JM: Oh yeah.
LO: You’re not messing around.
JM: No, no, no.
LO: Jeremy Marshall, Head Brewer at Lagunitas Beer. Jeremy, literally, I could talk to you all day long, but we have to go our separate ways, but I have some quick-hitting questions for you if you don’t mind, before we leave.
LO: The last time you drank Bud Light?
Jeremy Marshall: I don’t think I’ve ever drank Bud Light.
LO: Do you remember the “Tastes Great, Less Filling” commercials in the 80s?
Jeremy Marshall: I do. I’m just old enough to remember that.
LO: You’re out at a party, and you tell someone what you do for a living. How often do they ask you for an autograph?
Jeremy Marshall: Hopefully never.
LO: Your reaction, if you were to walk into a frat house at Davis and someone was doing a keg stand with Lagunitas?
Jeremy Marshall: I’d tell them to slow down because that stuff’s high gravity. I want them to hold their breakfast the next morning.
LO: What would Coors have to do to hire you away from Lagunitas?
Jeremy Marshall: You know, I don’t think it would be possible.
LO: Okay, here’s my last question, and I’m not saying I want this, but let’s just say there’s a cage knife fight between you, the guys at Russian River, and Bear Republic. Who’s left standing?
Jeremy Marshall: That’s kind of a loaded question, because I’m friends with all those guys.
LO: So no comment?
Jeremy Marshall: Yeah, no comment there.
LO: Jeremy Marshall, Head Brewer, Lagunitas beer. Honestly, you guys are just wonderful and so creative, and your ethos as you mentioned, I’m just super happy to have had you on my show. In fact, I’m just honored. Thank you so much for your time today, Jeremy.
JM: Yeah, thank you for having me.
LO: Gene Hackman is a two time Academy Award winning actor staring is such films as The Firm, Superman, Hoosiers, Unforgiven, Mississippi Burning, The French Connection. . .I could go on for a while, but you get the picture. Holy cats! Mr. Hackman, thank you for coming on the show.
Gene Hackman: Thank you for having me.
LO: Your latest novel is Payback at Morning Peak, you’ve written four books, we’ll get to that in just one second, I absolutely promise. It’s hard to believe you’ve been retired from acting since 2004.
Gene Hackman: Has it been that long? [Laughs] You know you get older and the days just slip by.
LO: So why did you call it quits in 2004? Why did you no longer want to act?
Gene Hackman: Well I had open heart surgery and I just thought it was a good time to get out of the business. I’m in great health now and I enjoy writing and it just seemed like a good idea that I, you know while I still had some legs under me that I would just call it quits.
LO: What do you think when you see Clint Eastwood still doing his thing?
Gene Hackman: Well I think for Clint it’s good, he’s a terrific director and when he wants to I guess he can still act. Everybody has a different view of the business and view of what they want to do. He obviously maybe cares more about the business than I did.
LO: Very good. So you retired in 2004, what kind of retirement party. . .did you at least get a watch Gene?
Gene Hackman: No, no watches. I just slipped away, slipped away in the night.
LO: You acted for such a long time, I’m wondering over the process, was it fun or was it always work?
GH: The business?
LO: Well just in general, answer that how you will.
Gene Hackman: Oh. It was a combination of satisfying and sometimes really difficult. I guess when I say satisfying instead of fun, I felt that when I was doing my best work it was satisfying. It was something that I had envisioned in my mind, the character, and that I was able to somehow make that work for me and if it worked for, then I felt it would probably work for a lot of people.
LO: Could you tell us about how you thing the craft has changed over the years or maybe how have actors have changed; like from your early work in Bonnie and Clyde to maybe Welcome to Mooseport? Was there a change you thing for actors?
Gene Hackman: No, I don’t think so. I think acting has never really changed. I think the business changes and what actors are required to do. As you know, so much of the films that are popular now are done digitally and in a way that. . .it much be. . .actually in some ways it must be more difficult to act in front of a blue screen that has something going on behind that you probably don’t have any idea what it is, because you’re relating to somebody in front of the screen.
That must be very hard. I was never involved in that kind of production, so I don’t know what that’s like, but it must not be nearly as satisfying as it was in my day.
LO: What do you think the key for you Gene was to being so versatile? I mean everything from Lex Luther to Westerns, what was your key?
Gene Hackman: I like to think that it was because I had some experience in the theater in New York and that it kind of gave me a little bit of an edge that to keep me from being typecast totally. You know in the end I guess I played a lot of similar characters also. You know kind of semi-tough cops and that kind of thing. For me that was a character stretch because I’m not a tough guy and never pretended to be. But Hollywood loves to cast you the way you look and so if I look like a police officer, then that’s the way I guest cast.
LO: I believe Payback at Morning Peak is your fourth book, we’re speaking with Gene Hackman. Did you start writing because maybe you were sick of saying someone else’s words, or is it a lot more simpler than that?
Gene Hackman: No, I never got sick of saying other people’s words, as a matter of fact, I kind of like doing the hard chore sometimes of making a writer’s words come to life and not changing them, but trying to make what a writer kind of had in his mind, make that come alive. So I enjoyed that process a lot. I write because I find that I have ideas that I’d like to down on paper. That I have characters in my head that I feel that I can make come alive, if you will.
LO: You write fiction, you mentioned those characters. Where do they come from, just the recesses of your memory or what?
Gene Hackman: Well they come from. . .some of them come from the circumstances of what the book might be about. For me at least, writing about someone who’s in a predicament or a tough position of some kind. Not necessarily every man or every woman type character, but somebody put into a predicament that they are not equipped to handle and how that even plays out.
LO: In this book, Payback at Morning Peak is a western and you’ve of course obviously acted in some westerns, so kind of a fun dual thing for you there.
Gene Hackman: Yeah it was, it was great fun because I wrote most of it about the West in 1890 in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico, Taos, New Mexico and parts of Southern Colorado, so it was an area that I knew something about and I could kind of envision what it would be like for a young man on horseback riding through that area.
LO: We’re speaking with two time Academy Award winning actor Gene Hackman. The latest edition of his new novel Payback at Morning Peak come out in paperback this month. You and your wife retired to New Mexico, you’ve mentioned that, do you guys watch movies?
Gene Hackman: Yeah, we do. We don’t go out to movies anymore, we do the whole. . .what’s it called? Netflix. . .
LO: I like that Gene.
GH: . . .and the renting films and that kind of thing.
LO: So then how do you guys chose movies, you know what I mean?
Gene Hackman: Actually we go through spells of wanting to watch action/adventure films and then we’ll go through another spells of watching very old films of classic kind of westerns and film (inaudible 8:13) type thing and then we’ll just watch a documentary sometimes. A combination of a lot of things.
LO: So what happens then, maybe you’re flipping T.V. channels and you see an old movie of you that you’re in, do you kind of get transported back to where you were when you made that? What happens when you see that?
Gene Hackman: Yeah I do, I sometimes have memories of both good and bad things that happened on films and I’ll watch for maybe five minutes and then maybe I get too involved in maybe the way I look in the film, the way I have double chins and receding hairlines and all that. I just don’t like watching myself on screen.
LO: Okay, so let’s just say Bill Gates backed up the Brinks truck to your house and said, “Gene, I need you to make one last movie.” Is there any way in the world that you’d ever make another movie?
Gene Hackman: No, I don’t think I could be enticed into doing another movie. I was lucky enough to save a couple of dollars and we’re pretty well set. I don’t mean financially, but I just mean we’re pretty well set in our ways, I’m talking about my wife and I. So, I don’t think I would do that.
LO: Okay. Bill Gates is going to be awfully disappointed Gene.
Gene Hackman: Yeah, well tell him I said I’m sorry. [Laughs].
LO: The one and only Gene Hackman. the latest edition of his new novel, Payback at Morning Peak comes out in paperback this month. Gene, you’re hoot we really appreciate it.
Gene Hackman: Well, thank you. Thanks for having me on.
SEAL Team Six is a secret unit task with counter terrorism, hostage rescue and counter insurgency in his new book SEAL Team 6: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper. Howard Wasdin takes readers deep inside the world of Navy Seals and special forces snipers. Howard, thanks for coming on our show.
Howard Wasdin: You bet Larry, good to be here.
LO: Of course we’ve got to start with the death of Osama Bin Laden, because it was SEAL Team Six, your former unit, that carried it out. Is this essentially what they do? Big, high valued targets, happens every now and again. We just happened to hear about this one because, well it was Osama Bin Laden.
Howard Wasdin: Well you know what Larry, you hear about SEALs two ways; If they do something really, really good, for example taking out the Somali Pirates, remember that, and then the taking out, more recently of Bin Laden. Or, you hear about them if something goes really, really wrong like me and the Battle of Mogadishu, soon to be named later the “Black Hawk Down” debacle.
LO: Navy Seal training probably is no joke to begin with, I can’t imagine what the Elite SEAL Team Six training is. Through all that you endure, what are they trying to teach you?
Howard Wasdin: It’s something that starts day one at BUDSS which all SEALS go through and the one thing—to answer your question—they’re looking for from day one is mental toughness. There’s a lot of guys out there that are physically tough, you know physically tough guys, but what the teams want is that mental toughness. That never quit attitude, no matter what you throw at me I’m going to make it work. That’s why day one you’re told mental toughness and day one you’re also told three words: “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.”
LO: So could you give us an example, I’m sure you can’t talk about specifics about training, but give us an example so we kind of get a taste of it.
Howard Wasdin: Okay. Most people don’t realize why they would take a man, tie his hands behind his back, ties his legs together, and throw him in the deep end of a swimming pool. Well that’s not just to torture that guy, it’s to make him do something—put my doctor hat on for a minute; you’ve got a sympathetic nervous system, which your fight or flight nervous system. It’s mastering that fight or flight mechanism Larry that makes you either a warrior or somebody who’s going to run away. So when you tie those hands together, throw in the deep end of that swimming pool and that sympathetic nervous system starts kicking in and you have the desire to panic, breath, gulp, heart rate goes up, you’ve got to control all that. Calm yourself down, relax in the water, become one with your environment, breath, slow your heart rate down and improvise, adapt and overcome to that. Everything after that builds upon that. Being able to keep yourself in the present, relax yourself and when those about you are losing their wits and doing the flight aspect of the fight or flight, that’s what makes the true warrior—being able to control and focus that.
LO: Controlling fear, people are shooting at you and it doesn’t bother you?
Howard Wasdin: No, no, no. Never said that. Let me correct you on that Pal. If I ever went into combat with somebody who didn’t have a healthy fear for the bullets flying by, I wouldn’t want to be with them. So it’s not that it doesn’t bother you, oh no, every gun fight I was ever in, especially during the Black Hawk Down gun fight, I was scared. Don’t ever think I wasn’t scared. The difference is being able to control that fear and focus it back on the enemy. So you know, don’t think you don’t get scared when those bullets start flying no matter who you are.
LO: Howard Wasdin joining us on the JOB, we’re talking about his new book SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL sniper. How do you turn being a badass off? First of all while you’re in the SEALS you have stories about people being jackasses at you in a bar, how do you not just pummel them? Then when it’s all over you were SEAL, how does like compare with being a SEAL?
Howard Wasdin: Well, you’ll see at the end of the book that—and my friend Dalton Fury who wrote Kill Bin Laden put it best—it’s like going from rock star to rock bottom. I handled the transition very poorly, for a couple of reasons: Shot three times, it’s a career ender, going through a divorce, wife finally got tire of me being married to the Team more than her, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which I didn’t realize I had, and something else that I just realized in the past few years called Survivors Guilt. Why was allowed to live when so many good guys—I mention Dan Bush in my book, great Christian guy, just a light to be around. So when in the heck was Howard Wasdin allowed to live when he didn’t.
So to transition back to me to society was almost more than I could bear. I had some very dark thoughts, so it’s hard getting back into society. My job now, helping people as a doctor is—as corny as it sounds Larry—people become SEALS to help people. Don’t let anybody tell you different. It’s not to say “Hey I’m a badass” “Hey look at me I’m a tough guy.” No, there are no Rambo’s on the Teams. Because become SEALS to help people. So now that I have a job doing that again, I’m able to find happiness in my life.
LO: So while you are a SEAL and someone an idiot to you in a bar, how do you channel that urge to not just pummel them when you are a badass?
Howard Wasdin: Well see that’s the thing about being a warrior; a warrior doesn’t have to prove that to some drunk redneck in a bar. I have walked away from many—and I use that term freely—drunk rednecks in a bar, you know it’s not worth it. First of all, the guy doesn’t know what he’s getting into; and second of all alcohol affects people differently and it’s being able to be that warrior that makes you be able to walk away or defuse the situation. Now, in all fairness, sometimes when you can’t walk away then you take care of business and get out of there. E&E we call, Evasion and Escape.
LO: The Book is SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper. Howard Wasdin joining us on the JOB. You write about this in a firefight in one developing country: “The smell of human waste and death mixed with hopelessness filled the air.” Hopelessness has a smell?
Howard Wasdin: Yes. I don’t know that I can do this verbal justice Larry, but I’ll try. If you’ve ever been in a third world country, people like to call them developing countries, but that’s because we all to become politically correct in the ‘90’s, heck with that. If you’ve ever been in a third world country, there’s nothing developing about it in most of them, all that’s developing is the hopelessness, hunger, etc. But it’s like a tangible thing, you read about the little boy that stepped on the landmine in my book, I’m sure.
But it’s like a tangible thing, when you walk through the streets or ride through the streets, you just feel that air of depression. The hopelessness like I said, and there’s just nothing good there and it tears your heart out. That smell that I’m talking about is a combination of things; no running water, malaria, diphtheria, people using the restroom in the streets. I can take anybody who bad mouths this country and take them to a country like that and make them live like that for a week and they’d kiss the ground when they got back to America.
LO: I literally could talk to you all day, but I only have a couple more questions; knowing what you know about secret missions, it’s got to make you skeptical about all that our country does because you know that government keeps secrets. So I can only theorize about them, but you actually them. Are you skeptical now?
Howard Wasdin: No, I’m not. Some things are better left unspoken Larry. Like SEAL Team Six, it’s okay to talk about SEAL Team Six, hell there’s been a dozen books written since Dick Marcinko wrote the first one about him forming the unit. Everybody’s just now finding out about him. Here’s what’s not okay, you can talk about SEAL Team Six, just don’t talk about the techniques and tactics, you know the way the compound was taken down, the way it should have been taken down, etc. But as far as the government keeping secrets, listen there’s a conspiracy theorist out there in every recliner, the bottom line is; the men and woman of this military answer to a Commander in Chief, who is the President and that chain of command has worked well for hundreds of years now. So I think that most people, instead of just being conspiracy theorists ought to just step back and say “Hey, thank you.”
LO: Okay, so I’m leaving my hardest question for last, and I think it’s the most interesting. People obviously now know that you were part of SEAL Team Six and I’m sure they come up to you and say “Hey should I do this?” What I found interesting is that you talk people out of it, including your own son.
Howard Wasdin: That’s right and let me elaborate on that because I just did this again yesterday. Bottom line Larry is this; You can’t talk someone into going through this type of training, you can’t motivate them enough to go through this. It has to be something almost innate that’s in their psyche, that’s in their heart and mind that they want to be a part of the best. If I can set you down on my back patio, which I’ve done as you mentioned, if I can set you down on my back patio, give you some of the things that you’re going to be expected to do there and then let you know “Hey this is a day in day out lifestyle” and I can talk you out of it, I did you a favor. I did you a favor and saved you a lot of time and heartache going out BUDSS.
LO: Wow. The book is SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper. Howard Wasdin, it is a tremendous book, gives you a great peak about what people do and sacrifice for this country, especially you Howard. Thank you for all that you’ve done and thank you for writing a great book.
Howard Wasdin: You bet Larry and I’d just like to say everybody that puts on a military uniform, man or woman, are heroes and God bless them.
LO: Hey Howard thank you so much for your time, good luck in everything.
HW: Alright, appreciate it.