Nick is a Marketing Specialist & Actor
Nick Nappo returns to the podcast from episode 135 to talk about his shift in hobbies from competitive trivia to theater acting! He also talks about how his acting experience helps with his ability to develop relationships in the office and how your passion truly defines who you are as a person!
• Nick talks about winning another trivia championship
• Returning to theater acting
• Acting in Shakespeare
• How making a career out of a hobby can change your perception of it
• Talking about his theater performances in the office
• How his acting experience helps with developing relationships in the office
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Welcome to Episode 282 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday Edition. This is John Garrett. Each Friday, I’m following-up with a guest who had been on the show a few years ago to hear what’s new with their passions outside of work and also hear how this message might’ve impacted them since we last talked.
I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book’s being published very soon, and it’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites. Check out whatsyourand.com for all the details or sign up for my exclusive list and you’ll be the first to know when it’s coming out.
Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. This Follow-up Friday is no different with my guest, Nick Nappo. He’s a marketing specialist with Konica Minolta, and now he’s with me here today. Nick, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Nick: John, thank you so much for having me back. It’s great to be here.
John: For sure, man. I mean it’s been a couple of years and you’ve had some changes so it’s going to be exciting.
Nick: Yes, I have. I’m looking forward to sharing them with you.
John: Absolutely. But first, rapid fire questions right out of the gate here.
Nick: Of course.
John: Here we go. Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?
Nick: I never got in to Game of Thrones. I mean I’ve never been into the sci-fantasy genre at all so I’m going to say Harry Potter.
John: Yeah. I’ve never seen Game of Thrones either because it’s one of those channels you have to pay for.
Nick: And then the way it ended, you know, 20 points for that.
John: Yeah. I just heard it was terrible so I’m like, well, now I don’t want to watch.
Nick: Yeah, facts.
John: All right. This is an easy one, or maybe not. Oceans or mountains.
John: Oceans. Yeah, that’s what I figured. Yeah, yeah, living in Jersey. Kindle or real books?
Nick: I actually like real book. I’ve never owned a Kindle, but I really like the feel and even the smell of a real book.
John: No, totally. Especially those older ones. Yeah, that’s pretty awesome. How about brownie or ice cream?
John: There you go. That was a trick question. That is the right answer. How about a favorite TV show of all time?
Nick: Oh, favorite TV show of all time. That’s tough.
John: It could be more than one. That’s okay.
Nick: I have no shame. I watched Full House in high school like I was getting paid for it.
John: Right, cut it out.
Nick: Cut it out.
John: I’ve actually done comedy with Dave Coulier.
Nick: Dave Coulier? Oh, nice.
John: Yeah, super nice guy.
Nick: But as I got older, I appreciated the Golden Girls, really got into that.
John: Oh, hilarious show.
Nick: Love it so much. Now, I’m really into Schitt’s Creek. That’s a funny one.
John: Yeah, absolutely. Very funny shows. I see where you’re at. How about more jeans or khakis?
John: Jeans, okay. One more. Toilet paper roll. Over or under?
Nick: Over. Who has time for that? Who has time for that kind of negativity and that kind of challenge in their life?
John: Right, exactly. I’m just leaving.
So your Episode 135. Holy cow, man. We talked of course the trivia and world championships, kicking butt and taking names and having people stop by your cubicles and asking you questions and keeping you sharp. Is that something that you’re still doing now, or you’ve changed it up a little?
Nick: Well, actually, I should tell you that this other team at my company actually got in on it too. I think I mentioned that I had the white board outside of my cubicle where I would post a question every week. Well, this other team decided to get on and they had a big white board in their area. It was like a team collective white board. They would post a question every day, and they would like rotate around and you know, I kid around, and I asked them about it, and I said, “What are you doing? You guys are jacking my swag.” And then they’re like, listen, some people like Coke and some people like Pepsi.
It’s a fun thing though so we played off of each other’s questions. They ask really good questions too. There’s another guy who is on their team that’s also really into trivia and he’s just a beast when it comes to that kind of stuff. He’s taken the Jeopardy test, so I said I’m pulling for him to be in the show. Yeah, that’s something I still continue with and people still know me for that.
John: That’s cool that that rubbed off on others that clearly, had you not even done that or had you been like well, you know, I don’t want to share that with people or whatever, that would have never happened and now, it’s carried on into another department, and it’s a thing.
Nick: Yeah. I really solidified my place. People know me, and people have gotten to know me, and they’ve got to really know what I’m all about. Just speaking to your goal here, what you’re looking to accomplish, people need to know the real you. They really need to know what about you and what really drives you outside of work because that’s what really defines you as a person, that’s what really makes the whole you, and that’s what will make people gravitate towards you and want to get to know you better.
Since then, they’ve gravitated towards me, I would say in a different way because when we last spoke, that was spring of 2018. So early that year, we went back to Atlantic City, and I mentioned we won again, we won the World Tavern Trivia National Championship back to back.
John: Which is huge.
Nick: Yeah. It was great. It was fun. But after that, my passion shifted a little bit and it was around that same time that I stopped doing performance poetry. I mentioned in our first interview that I had been to Denver in 2017 for the National Poetry Slam. I was part of the Rockland County team that represented the county at National Poetry Slam in 2016 and ’17.
After I came back from Denver in 2017, I didn’t do poetry anymore. I just ran out of things to say. I still love performing and things like that, but I was still involved just like an audience member and a participant and a groupie and stuff like that, but I didn’t really continue to perform poetry.
For about a year, I didn’t have anything to really fuel that creative outlet, that I had have for my entire life. I was looking for something to do. The summer of 2018, I saw that this theatre company near me, this community theatre was having auditions for a play called Disgraced which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. It’s one of the probably most compelling plays and the most powerful plays of this past decade. It basically talks about Muslim-American identity and political and religious identity in the United States following 9/11.
It was a very topical play, a very relevant play, very provocative play. It was the kind of thing I wanted to get involved in. I went to this theatre and I auditioned. This was the first play I had gone out for in six years. I mean I had done it in high school. I grew up in the theatre since I was ten years old. I was in al the plays in high school, studied it in college, did plays there, I did it for a little bit after college.
Then it just stopped being fun. It turned into something I had to go do every night, and it’s really different when money gets involved, right? When something is your career just versus your hobby, there’s a lot of pressures of needing to impress a casting director, an agent, or needing to pay your rent or your bills. It was those aspects that really pulled me away from acting six years ago. But when I came back into it, I was like well, let me do this again. Let me take a risk. Let me put myself out there. Let me try and get to know new people and use this as a way to really explore a different part of myself, a part of myself that I didn’t really know that was there. Let me challenge myself. I went to this audition and I got the part.
John: That’s awesome.
Nick: Yeah, and that went up in January 2019, then that was the first of four plays that I did in 2019. That was the start of getting assimilated in the theatre scene around here, New York, New Jersey, and there were a lot of great companies around here that it just represents a circuit and people get involved with the different theatres, and everybody knows everybody, so after Disgraced, I went to do Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers at another theatre just right down the road from my house and then after that, if you want to talk about challenging yourself, I did Shakespeare.
John: Holy cow.
Nick: Yeah, I was Prospero in The Tempest for a local Shakespeare company just a big leading role and even though I was only 30, I knew I was far younger than all of the other great actors that have ever played the role, but it was like well, let me do this. Let me go out on a limb and challenge myself not just to learn all of these lines but to bring a young fresh take to this iconic character. Let me do it my own way and let me do it in a way that’s true to myself. The authenticity really came out and the way in which I rose to the occasion, I feel really helped me grow as an actor. That was a great role.
Then after that, I did The Full Monty down in New Jersey which is my all-time favorite musical. That was the biggest joy I’ve had on stage. So we’re here. Obviously given the current circumstances, I mentioned that my show — the show I was involved in got called off, well, actually it was rescheduled to next spring. They planned their season for next year and they decided that it would happen next spring after all. Never say never so I’ll be back into it.
This time, I’ve been doing play readings, I had gotten back into writing so writing ten-minute plays and just trying to get more involved in like the playwriting community, thankfully for Zoom, thankfully for all these videoconferencing platforms such as QuadCast. You’re never far from people and there’s always a great way for you to connect with others.
John: That’s so fantastic and so cool to hear. I mean you did it back in the day but when it’s your job and when there’s money involved like you said, it’s different. I mean I made that switch from doing comedy for fun at night and al of a sudden, it was like oh, wow. This is how I have to make a living. Now, there’s some hustle, and now there’s grit, and you have to do stuff like the jokes that you don’t really want to do because you need the money.
Nick: Exactly. There are career pressures. Like you said, you find yourself pursuing just every little thing. Even if you’re just vaguely right for it, at least when I do it now as a hobby, I can pick and choose what I get involved with, and I can dedicate myself in projects that I’m really passionate about and that really sing to me.
With all the things I’ve done in the past year, I’ve never felt like I was wasting my time. I mean I worked hard. I was tired of course but I —
John: For sure.
Nick: I never felt like my time was wasted.
John: When passion is driving it, then it’s not as exhausting.0
Nick: No, absolutely not.
John: And especially when you get to do Full Monty, it’s like man, I would be in the crowd for this. But I’m the one on the stage. I’m watching the show from on the stage.0
Nick: That was just an unreal experience. It was so great, so great.
John: That’s awesome, man. That’s so cool to hear, and just how it lights you up so much, and you can just hear it in your voice. I guess is this something that you share with people at the office now too.
Nick: In fact, yeah. Actually, it is. When I would market my shows, I would just put the little poster in the common area next to the water cooler and people would ask me about the show and that’s how I got to learn that people really enjoy theatre or they, themselves, were involved in theatre or they had a family member that was involved in theatre.
There’s actually another co-worker of mine that has her own theatre company here in New Jersey, so I’ve seen a couple of shows of her so it’s definitely something we bond over and we can have the conversations. It’s always good when theatre people can connect with each other because oftentimes, they’re in a world where people — I mean they appreciate what they do but they don’t really understand the nitty-gritty of what they do. It’s always nice to connect with people that share those same stories and those same challenges and struggles, and also, those same joys.
John: Yeah, yeah. Because I mean the show’s maybe three hours long, but you don’t understand the months and months of rehearsal and practice to get to that three-hour.
Nick: Yeah. For a lot of people, it’s a fun night out, but for people like me, it’s been two months of rehearsing three or four nights a week and on weekends too, I’m learning the lines and you know, it’s a lot of work to create a character.
John: For sure. Do you ever like on the last night, ever throw in some ringers or so something a little bit off grid?
Nick: No. Well, I may not be being paid, but I’m still as professional as —
John: Oh, okay. All right. Because sometimes, when we do comedy shows, we would have like okay, everybody, you have to work this word into your set somehow and like it’s funny because by the third person, the audience kind of catches on but yeah, that’s just something that I would do and why I’m probably not an actor.
Nick: I mean I take that back. One time, I did the Pirates of Penzance, and I was one of the pirates in the ensemble. The way the show was staged and choreographed, the pirates would often stand in clumps all the time, very tight together, so one of the guys brought in this little Lego that looked like — we called it little mini Fredrick, because Fredrick was one of the characters in the play, so it looked like it.
Throughout the play, starting from the beginning and going all the way to the end, we would pass this little Lego figurine among each other on stage. Just like if you were putting your arm around a guy, you would like shove it down his shirt or like stick it into his pocket and you would just try and move the thing around as much as possible. If you had it at the end of the show, you lost.
John: Oh, that’s great.
Nick: One performance, there was the curtain call, so I went, and I took my bow and I was standing with the other pirates, and I was like, this is great. I don’t have the Lego. I locked eyes with this one guy and he looked at me maniacally and he just went over to me and just opened my collar to shove the — and I lost.
John: Right, because it’s technically not over yet.
Nick: Exactly. Yeah, we’re still on stage so still a fair game.
John: But that’s the kind of stuff that makes it fun and interesting especially when you’re part of the ensemble where it’s like well, let’s make it fun because we’re not in the front and singing all the lead stuff and whatever.
Nick: People might be seeing you, but the central focus isn’t on you, so that’s room for you to have fun and just do something like that, just very discreet of course.
John: That’s super awesome, man. That’s so cool. Have you ever had people come to any of your shows?
Nick: Oh, yeah. I’m very grateful to have co-workers that are very supportive of my endeavors. Some of them have seen all the shows I’ve been in so far.
Nick: Yeah. They like to come opening night because at some theatres, they do like an opening night reception. It’s the other thing, I entice them with food and champagne and stuff like that. So yeah, and then we go out and we pulled afterwards and we go to another bar afterwards and we go to another bar. It’s just a really fun evening. We’re hanging out, we’re having fun and we’re still celebrating the success of the shop.
John: Right. Do you feel like you’re connecting with maybe different people than the trivia people or is it still sort of the same group?
Nick: Yeah. Actually, I would say, because with trivia, I think it appeals to a really specific type of person. It takes a really specific type of person to excel in trivia and really appreciate trivia but theatre is an art form, so performing artform just like TV, just like film, and people really get into it just like they would a movie or a TV show and because we’re so close to New York, we have Broadway, we have this really active theatre and performing arts community in our backyard so people really take advantage of that so they have an increased appreciation for that than they would trivia at a bar. In that way, yeah, I definitely have connected with different kinds of people.
John: That’s fantastic, because then yeah, I mean that reach opens up there and then do you feel like that helps the work relationships? I mean just like I mean your trivia did for sure, but I would imagine, it would enhance it as well.
Nick: Yeah. Well, absolutely, John. Because with theatre, you’re on your stage and you’re vulnerable. You’re playing a character that enables you, forces you, you know sometimes even to explore a different part of yourself and a different part of your humanity. As a part of your humanity that somebody might not see in real life let alone at work.
When you’re bringing in a co-worker to see something that maybe doesn’t represent the most flattering part of yourself or maybe like the most socially proper, I should say, part of yourself, that’s definitely exposure. That’s definitely letting somebody else into your world and seeing you at your most vulnerable and at your most real, and at your most true, and at your most human. If that doesn’t enhance the scope of the relationship you have with somebody professionally or otherwise, I don’t know what does.
John: That’s for sure it. Have you ever thought like well, you know, is this going to carry over into work or are they going to not talk to me anymore?
Nick: I felt that way for The Full Monty because I had no reservations at all about doing that show. I love that show so much. I was like, well, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. For a while, I as hesitant about you know, should I tell my co-workers? Luckily, I have a co-worker that I’m pretty close with and I was talking to her about it, she was like well, you know, Nick, I think at this point, you should really own it because this is what you’re about.
I was like, you know what? You’re right. This is who I am. I’m not going to hold anything back because that’s not what an adult does and that’s not what a human being should do. These people deserve to know who I really am because I’m comfortable with myself and I feel like I can trust these people now with something that’s really important to me and I told them about it and they came to the closing performance of the show and they absolutely loved it, and I wish I had told them sooner. I wish I had told more people sooner.
John: Yeah, but I mean that’s such great advice though. Just own it. I mean it’s not illegal. It’s a Broadway theatre show.
Nick: Yeah. The people that I’m working with, there are actually a lot of teachers, a lot of public school teachers in the cast, and the couple of the guys I did it with, one of them is a college professor, the other one’s a high school teacher, our choreographer was a high school English teacher, so the one who was showing us all these moves. By day, she’s a high school English teacher and you know, this is what she’s doing at night. There were definitely a lot of teachers involved with the production. If they all own it, we all own it and we’re all having fun just why hold back?
John: Yeah. I mean just own it. I love that. I mean such great encouragement for everyone else with their hobbies and passions is just own it type of a thing because it’s not like oh, he’s on that show. I’m not going to talk to him again or oh, he’s fired. If anything, it’s gone the other way where now, more people know about you than before.
Nick: In more ways than one.
John: Right. That’s awesome. Well, this is so cool to hear, Nick, and so encouraging, man. It’s really encouraging and before I wrap this up though, it’s only fair that I allow you to become the host of the show if you would like to rapid fire question me or ask me anything, I’ll let you be the host now, so you’re in charge. So here we go.
Nick: Okay. Let me ask you, oceans or mountains?
John: That’s a good question, yeah. I mean I guess I’ll say oceans simply because the mountains are right there. I can just go in my backyard and see them living in Denver, maybe I’m spoiled by seeing them so much, so oceans is more of a treat I guess where I have to get on an airplane to go to them.
Nick: Yeah. You’re in landlocked state.
John: Right. I equate oceans with being warmer even though it’s not always the case but whenever I go, it’s warmer. It’s a beach, you know.
Nick: For sure. Let’s see. Load up a pizza.
John: Oh, okay. Here we go. Yeah, pretty much all the meats. I mean not sardines though. That’s weird. I don’t even know why that’s a thing, but year, I mean pepperoni, sausage, I mean ground beef, ham, and then I have to have a little bit of color so I’ll do green peppers and spinach, maybe some mushrooms, I pile it all on like it’s just like all of it.
Nick: When you were starting off, I thought you were describing like a meat lover’s thing, like a pizza —
John: Right, but then some vegetables because I’m not an animal.
Nick: Because I’m an adult male.
John: Exactly. No black olives. Those are gross.
Nick: Oh, Italian. I go for all olives all the time. Favorite pro sports team?
John: Favorite pro sports team. Yeah, wow. This is tough. Probably St. Louis Cardinals baseball. That’s probably what I would say. Yeah, way more into the college sports but yeah, probably Cardinals baseball, I would say.
Nick: Okay. In the accounting world, who are your favorite speakers? Who are your favorite people that you follow?
John: Oh, okay. Well, a buddy of mine, Greg Kyte, who’s been on the show. He’s very funny also. He does comedy and he does a really funny ethics training that’s really good. He’s really great. So yeah, I guess Greg’s probably my favorite as far as that goes because he’s a reverend too.
Nick: Yeah. I love Greg. I followed him for years, for definitely the past few years but yeah, really cool. I’m going to ask you, favorite thing you own, favorite thing you have.
John: Oh, favorite thing I own, favorite thing I have, so I have a couple of things, I’ve answered other things, but this one that I haven’t brought up before, is I have a typewriter that was my grandfather’s and he is from probably like 1925 maybe, old, old typewriter. Royal is the company, the brand. It’s just a super old typewriter that he used to use all the time.
It’s still kind of cool because he used to smoke a pipe a lot. And so it still has a little bit of that pipe smell from his tobacco that he would smoke. Yeah, it still works. Absolutely. It does the ribbons and everything. I haven’t used it, but it still definitely works and it’s just cool because it’s like something that I always equated with him. You know, he would type letters to me or whatever, and stuff like that. It was just a cool thing that I have that’s pretty neat for me.
Nick: That’s awesome.
John: Awesome, man. Well, this has been so much fun, Nick. Thanks so much for taking time to be with me on the Follow-up Friday on What’s Your “And”?
Nick: For sure, John. Thank you again for having me. This was so much fun.
John: Absolutely. Everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Nick on stage or maybe connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com and all the links are there, and while you’re on the page, please click that big button and do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture.
Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.
Misty is a Creative Producer & Theater Nerd
Misty Megia returns to the podcast from episode 23 to talk about her shift in theater work as a director and producer. She also talks about how her work in theater has influenced her in the office to help executives make engaging presentations and be thoughtful leaders!
• Moving away from musicals
• Some of her recent projects
• How her theater work has influenced her career
Please take 2 minutes
to do John’s anonymous survey
about Corporate Culture!
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- Read Full TranscriptOpen or Close
Welcome to Episode 278 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-Up Friday Edition. This is John Garrett. Each Friday, I’m following up with a guest who had been on the show a few years ago to hear what’s new with their passions outside of work and also to hear how this message might have impacted them since we last talked.
I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book’s being published very soon. It’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites. So check out whatsyourand.com for all the details or sign up for my exclusive list and you’ll be the first to know when it’s coming out. Please don’t forget to hit subscribe so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. This Follow-up Friday is no different with my guest and friend, Misty Megia. She’s the CEO and Creative Producer at Misty Megia LLC. Now, she’s with me here today. Misty, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Misty: Oh, always a pleasure. I can’t wait.
John: Oh, I can’t either. This is going to go off the rails so fast. It’s going to be a blast. No, it’s always so much fun catching up with you. This time, we get to hit record, so there you go.
Misty: Oh, yay! Awesome.
John: Let’s start it out with the rapid-fire questions. We got seven here right out of the gate. Here’s the first one: Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?
Misty: Ooh, Game of Thrones.
John: Okay. How about a favorite TV show of all time?
Misty: Oh my gosh. Oh, that’s not rapid-fire. That takes me too long to think. I guess I’m going to have to go with Friends for now.
John: Friends is a solid answer. Yeah. No, that’s a solid answer. How about brownie or ice cream?
Misty: I can’t say both.
John: Both is an option. That was actually a trick question. That might be the right answer. À la mode it is. Very good, very good. How about oceans or mountains?
Misty: Oceans for sure.
John: Yeah. That’s a hard one too. How about diamonds or pearls?
John: Pearls? Okay. All right. Two more. Kindle or real books?
Misty: Behind me, I have a library, a whole wall of just books. So if it’s a book that you can’t get, obviously, I have to go there which a lot of my theater books are, but Kindle for when I’m laying down because holding a book sometimes gets just so heavy and turning those pages —
John: Right. That’s why my book is a very short — it’s a coloring book, five pages. No, no, it’s just — it’s not but I wish I had done a coloring book because it’d be done by now. Last one, toilet paper roll, over or under?
Misty: Over. That’s the reason I married my husband because he changed from under to over.
John: Wow. That’s impressive that you worked that magic. I know there’s a lot of women right now that are like, “Where can I meet this, this Megia, and learn her ways? Yeah. That’s impressive.
Misty: I knew he’s the right man for me when…
John: Right. That’s awesome. It’s got to be something, right? I mean why not? Yeah. The last time we talked, I mean way back when was theater. I know that you’ve been doing it forever, so it’s still a thing that you’re still passionately and actively involved in. Anything exciting in the last couple of years since we last talked?
Misty: Well, I’ve been directing obviously a lot over the last handful of years and been doing a lot of really invigorating theater. My last few productions have been non-musicals. I’ve been a dancer all my life and theater, so musicals were my jam. But I actually studied theater to be this really serious actress. So coming back to theater that is just a script and not musical numbers and all this huge production has been really life-changing and reaffirming of like, “Oh, I’d love all theater in every capacity.”
John: Yeah, because I mean I guess you get wrapped up in the bigger productions and the songs and the ones that more of the general public, people like me, go to watch, but then you get that smaller scale, just really emotional deep play and it reinvigorates you for that. And that’s cool.
Misty: And it stretched in different directions which I really appreciated. I think all the stages in my life in theater, I went from being on stage and being a performer to then taking risks as a director and going and getting my directing degree after I’d already been directing. And this, to me — in the musical world, for so long, I almost forgot how to stretch those dramatic scenes.
So I did Red, which is a play about Rothko, an actual artist that had at the time in his life had gotten paid the largest sum of money to paint a series of paintings for a restaurant in New York. All of a sudden, after months and months of working on it, he just said, “Nope, I’m not giving my art to you.” And nobody knew why. So the play, Red, is based on the hypothesis of what they feel would happen. There were all of 1these moments in the show that getting to create were so much fun. He had an assistant. It’s just a two-person play, which most of the theater productions I’ve been doing are 35 plus people.
John: Right. That’s on stage, let alone the behind the scenes and all that.
Misty: Right. Two people was just like, “Oh my gosh, I sent out invites and everybody said, “Yes, we’ll be there.” And both equity actors, which was professional actors coming in and ready. But they have this foil in the show of his apprentice learning his ways but also stretching him because Rothko is very stuck in what his concept of art is. Here, you have the up and coming artist who is challenging him a little bit, but also, he’s somebody that he looked up to, so he’s very careful. And Rothko just like beating on him constantly about like, “You don’t know art,” and all this stuff. All of a sudden, his apprentice turns to him and just finally stands up for himself in the moment. And Rothko just sees him all of a sudden. It’s like, “I respect you and I totally get what you’re saying.”
So this piece of this lighting that has always been lighting Rothko’s work, I had pivoted it just a little bit. So we had that light just slowly glow onto his apprentice because he was being seen for the first time in Rothko’s of like, “I see you. I get you.” So I just got to have fun with all of these other elements and ways to underscore moments. That just made me happy.
John: Yeah. That’s super fantastic. I mean what a great idea because I mean then, it’s — maybe for the more creatives or the theater people, they would already be putting that spotlight in there themselves. But for other people, you’re now basically spoon-feeding them, “Okay. This is why this is important,” sort of a thing. But it’s just a little accent there to accentuate what it is, the meaning behind these words.
Misty: We have this one moment where they did everything on stage. They painted the paintings. They built the frames for the paintings. They stretched the canvas. So it’s very tactical show. At one moment, the apprentice is building the frame and Rothko is just in this hiss about his artwork being displayed in the restaurant where people aren’t even paying attention to it because they’re so busy eating. He’s just on a rant. But he also goes on a rant of art in general. And you could just see that he is not thinking outside the bigger picture in some areas, so I actually had him step into the frame to show that he was not thinking outside of the box anymore.
John: There you go.
Misty: So he was in argument. We lightly lit it. It was really fun. It was so subtle. Afterwards, I had conversations with the audience and I’d point these things out. They’re like, “Oh, I didn’t even notice that. But it was such a cool moment and I didn’t know why.” That was like, “Aha, I love it.”
John: Got you. Yeah. That’s really cool. It’s just one of those things where it’s just thinking it through and just doing something really small and really simple but it has a big impact going forward. That just shows that you care and you thought about it a little bit. That’s super fun. I mean are you still sharing theater with everyone you meet, even strangers in the grocery store and everywhere? Because I mean everyone knew how much theater had played a part in your life before.
Misty: Yeah. I do share a lot of it. But I think one of the things that you and I discussed in our first conversation, which honestly, John, has led me to such a life aha moment, was how much theatre was influencing my career and the choices I was making for being in like conferences and all of these other things that had production marketing elements. So I had this aha, and I thought, “Oh, this is why I want to be a creative producer for the high achieving leaders that, when they do presentations, want to do something that moves people profoundly.” So your conversation with me is one of those stimulus things of, “Why am I separating my art and my career and why am I not blending that more?” And that’s when I started the company that I’ve started.
John: That’s awesome. Well, you’re welcome. No, I’m teasing. I’m totally teasing. I feel like it’s like Stephen Colbert. I gave you Colbert Bump.
Misty: Exactly. Exactly.
John: No, no, not at all. It’s all you. You’re living it anyway. And it’s so exhausting to keep them separate. I mean it’s walking around trying to lift the heavy thing with one arm. It’s like, “You got the second arm right there. Why don’t you use them both in both areas?” type of a thing. That’s so cool to hear that what you’re doing — and helping executives to see that it’s not always what you tell them. It’s how do you make them think about it, how do you make them feel in the moment. It’s such a big thing that people don’t really think about it because it’s, “Well, I’m really smart. And I need to use all these big words and make sure that I drown them in all my smartness.”
Misty: Yeah. “Let me give you a thousand data points so I can make my point in a variety of different ways.” And people leave overwhelmed instead of really understanding what you’re trying to say.
John: Exactly. Then they do nothing. It’s like, “Well, we could’ve just not had the meeting.”
Misty: It can often paralyze people or support your end point.
John: Right. That’s exactly right. I just think it’s so fantastic of what you’re doing now and I mean the impact that you’re going to have on — not just these executives but more importantly exponentially on their audiences, which is such a huge deal. I mean that’s your magic. It’s going to be awesome to see as this continues to grow for sure. Do you have any words of encouragement to anybody listening that has a passion that they think has absolutely nothing to do with their job?
Misty: Absolutely. I think everything, whether we realize it or not, has phenomenal impact because it’s bringing our whole self to any situation. When you leave a part of you aside and try to just fit in to what you think the world is, it’s not as authentic of a human being as you are. So bringing your whole self, all of your hobbies, all of your goofiness, that’s what’s going to bring the right people to you. Yes, turn away some people but those aren’t the right people for you anyway.
John: Right. Totally.
Misty: All those people that are attracted and have interest in what you do and even if they don’t have similar interests but they’re like, “Ooh, John, I really like his comedy. He’s funny. I am not a comedian, but hey, I can appreciate comedy.”
John: That’s exactly right because I mean even if people don’t do theater, they’ve never been an actor, they’ve never trained, they’ve never been on a stage and still like, “Hey, Misty, what shows are you directing,” or “What have you been a part of,” or, “What are you acting in,” all that stuff. I think it just shows that people care about you more than just, “What can you do for me?” It’s, “How are you,” type of a thing.
Misty: Amen to that. I so agree. I think a lot of times, we go into spaces. We’re so focused. At least in the corporate world that I was in, we’re so focused on the end goal and the KPI and what we’re shooting for that a lot of people don’t take that step back just to check in with their team and see how you’re doing and what’s going on in your life. Having those moments are what makes a team want to achieve those KPIs, right, because they’re like, “I want to do good for this person. They inspire me.”
John: Yeah. That’s super ironic about that, isn’t it, where it’s the more you hammer, the less likely you’re going to achieve those goals. And the more that you embrace and just love the people around you and care, then the more likely you are to achieve those goals.
Misty: I agree.
John: That’s super awesome. It’s only right that I allow you to be the host of the podcast and rapid-fire question me now. I’m also super, super nervous as to what you’re going to ask.
Misty: No. No. I’ll try to make them easy for you.
John: Sure. Okay. No, I’m just kidding.
Misty: All right. Here you go, rapid-fire questions. When I dance, I look like…?
John: Oh, someone having a seizure. Is that an answer? I don’t know. Or like those blow-up things in front of car dealerships that are like —
John: Because I’m all long and lanky. And Ryan Hamilton is a super funny bit about that, super funny comedian. Yeah, probably like that. I don’t know. Yeah.
Misty: It’s a good visual.
John: It’s the beauty of being tall.
Misty: Oh, speaking of which, my next question is about being tall. What the best advantage of being tall?
John: Just getting things off the top shelf. They’re right there. I don’t have to climb on a counter. I don’t have to ask someone at a grocery store. On the other side of that, all the time, “Hey, can you help me get something off the top?” And it’s like, “Sure. I don’t need you climbing up. This isn’t a jungle gym. These are napkins. I’ll get them.” That and also finding people in a crowd.
John: Yeah. But I’m also like — I mean 6’3” is tall enough. Anyone taller than me, I’m like, “It’s weird,” because what car do you drive and how do you sit on an airplane and all these other things. Then everyone can see you for sure. Six three is like, well, not everyone sees me immediately.
Misty: Right. Did you get asked about sports a lot being 6’3”?
John: Yeah. Well, the funny thing is I didn’t grow until in college. When I graduated high school, I was 5’10”. And I grew five inches in two years. Yeah. I went back to my high school and my basketball coach was like, “Where were you when you were a student?” I was like, “I was on the soccer field with all the other short kids.”
Yeah. People think that I play basketball and I don’t or if I play, I know how to be the point guard, I don’t know how to be inside. I don’t know how to do any of that stuff. I want to shoot threes. I’m out here like — it’s so confusing. Yeah. They also think I’m a runner and I’m like, “No.” Anyway, I just answered 17 questions that weren’t even asked.
Misty: No. Those are all my internal questions. You just read my mind so well.
John: Right. Oh, we’re both in a world of hurt then.
Misty: Truly, truly. Yeah. Stop. Don’t do it.
John: Right. Exactly. You got one more?
Misty: I do. Favorite show to binge?
John: Oh, wow. Yeah, goodness. I mean Seinfeld’s always good. It’s always good and always so well written in that it always buttons up at the end. Like something happened in the beginning that at the end makes total sense. There’s a reason why it happened. It comes full circle. It’s not just — it’s like, “Ah, there it is.” Each show is its own little pod. So Seinfeld’s always great.
Then, I don’t know, for some reason, I just loved Breaking Bad. Maybe it’s my meth addiction. I don’t know. No, I’m kidding. No, but I loved Breaking Bad because they threw that character at you. You had to decide, is he bad or is he good? It was up to you to decide. In one episode, it’s really, “Man, that guy’s a terrible person.” Then the next episode, it’s like, “But he’s just trying to help his family. He’s got cancer.” So now, he’s a good person. It’s just —
Misty: Yeah. hero. Where are we landing here?
John: Exactly. So that yo-yo and keeping me on edge on that, I enjoyed that. A lot of the characters in there were both good and bad at the same time. You had to decide. Because most shows, it’s like, “Okay. Here’s the good person. Here’s the bad person.” Then they’re going to fight till the death or whatever. Where this is, “Well, I don’t know. I kind of understand.” Then the next episode, you’re like, “Holy crap, this guy’s crazy. This is nuts.”
Misty: Yeah. I mean obviously, that’s pushed to the extremes and raising the stakes as we call it, right? But I think that’s so much more realistic in life. We’re more rounded human beings than all good or all bad. We have our days of ups and downs.
John: Speak for yourself, Misty. I’m 100% good. I am nothing but – no, if anything, it would be the opposite. You’re like, “No, John.”
Misty: We know.
John: Exactly. No, but you’re exactly right. I mean given the circumstance, I don’t know. I might do that or whatever. I mean each different scenarios that are thrown at you. But obviously, when it’s pushed to the extreme, then it makes it for good TV.
Misty: Exactly. Exactly. That’s pushed to the extreme.
John: Exactly. No, but that’s awesome.
Misty: With bad days, it’s like we shake our fist.
John: Right. We don’t go blow up a drug cartel.
Misty: Yeah. A little bit different.
John: Right, just a little bit, just a little bit. I feel like I need to live a little, man.
Misty: both fists.
John: Right, both fists. Wow, Misty is really angry.
John: Right. This has been awesome, Misty. Thank you so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”? You’re so fantastic.
Misty: Awesome. Thank you so much. I always enjoy every moment with you. I end up crying so I appreciate it.
John: Crying. Usually, I leave other people crying. But that’s so awesome.
Misty: Me on the couch crying.
John: Right. Exactly. Everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Misty in action or some of the plays and musicals that she’s done or connect with her on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. While you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture.
Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.