Fueled By Death Cast Ep. 88 - JORDAN WOODS-ROBINSON
ACTOR/MUSICIAN/BLUE MAN - JORDAN WOODS-ROBINSON
"If I ever stop swimming - I drown." Jordan Woods-Robinson, actor, musician, entrepreneur, Blue Man Group
ABOUT JORDAN WOODS-ROBINSON:
Actor, musician, entrepreneur, and part of the Blue Man Group. Jordan Woods-Robinson is all of those and so much more, and he is the guest on the show this week. Jordan talks about his beginnings in show business at a young age as a violinist, and how that led to pursuing acting. Jordan talks about his time on The Walking Dead and also how he manages to be part of the Blue Man Group and juggle his acting and music career, and always putting his family first. Jordan is an inspiration to anyone wanting to pursue their dreams and be creative.
Jeff: Jordan, it's so great to talk with you, man.
Jordan: It's so great to meet you. Thank you for having me.
Jeff: Hey, thank you. Before we get started, I just got to say I'm stoked that you like the coffee, man.
Jordan: It's my favorite. I mean, seriously. And each time I headed out to other people, like I got the batch and I showed it to my in-laws, and they drank it and they're like, "This coffee's unlike any other." And so they're all over it, too. So thank you.
Jeff: Awesome. So I want to start off, you are a guy that we love to talk to, because you have wear a thousand hats. You're not just ... Yeah, exactly.
Jordan: I only see one hat, Jeff.
Jeff: But, no, I mean, you're not just a peg in a hole there, you do a lot of different things, and I want to delve into all of it. Where I want to start is kind of where you started. I know you started out as musician, is that correct?
Jordan: Yeah, I actually grew up in East Tennessee, and I grew up playing classical music. I grew up playing violin, but then, by the time I was eight, my dad and some other people in town had pointed out to me that, if you're going to make it in East Tennessee, you got to learn some bluegrass, you got to learn some country.
Jeff: That's true.
Jordan: At least as an eight year old with a rat tail. And so I got a fiddle teacher and I started learning from him. He's just a wonderful fiddler, and, by the way, I almost said violinist, but they're ... A lot of people ask, they're the same instrument in my mind-
Jeff: I get it all the time. I'm also violinist.
Jordan: Oh, that's right.
Jeff: The first thing people asked me is, "Well, can you play the fiddle?" And I say, "Surprisingly yes, because it's the same damn thing."
Jordan: Yeah. I mean, I think once you get up and feel like if you're paying like 50 grand for a violin, you're probably can help more classical rich violin tones than you would from the fiddle. But you can buy a $50,000 fiddle, too, but my definition is, if you're playing jazz or classical, it's a violin, anything else is a fiddle. That's just me personally.
Jeff: I super agree with that. I mean, I-
Dustin: What about rock and roll?
Jeff: I think that's-
Jordan: That's a fiddle.
Jeff: I think it's a fiddle.
Dustin: Okay, all right.
Jeff: I played in rock bands for a very long time, as a violinist, as a fiddler, and-
Dustin: I'm calling you a fiddler from now on.
Jeff: That's fine. I would tell people that, too, because I grew up the same kind of thing, like playing classical. My father actually told me to get into country when I was younger. He's like, "That's what the money is," and I was like, "I don't really know if I like it though."
Jordan: Yeah. I mean, I grew up making money playing country and bluegrass. So Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is like the Las Vegas of the Smoky Mountains, right? It's all these different theaters all the way up and down the strip. There's some amazing talent there, and my first professional gig was I was playing at Dollywood, which is Dolly Parton's theme park, and I did that when I was eight, and my teacher help me get that gig, and then he was doing another gig at Dixie Stampede and he was the full-time fiddler there, but then he was going on the road a lot. So I came in as his sub, so I was performing a few times a week, sometimes, as this, like, 10-year-old. I was the kid that I would like ... I was 10, every once in a while, I'd look in my wallet and I'd find three checks that I forgot to deposit, and I was like, "Oh, I guess I should deposit these," and the adults around me are going, "Oh, I wish I had that problem."
Jeff: Yeah. Oh, my God. So starting from a young age then performing in front of crowds, were you a natural to that? Did you just take to that, or is that just another skill you to learn?
Jordan: I think it came somewhat naturally. I think I've always been a ham. I think I've always enjoyed the spotlight. I mean, this is something that ... I don't know if your other guests have tapped into this or not, but it's a very common thing for an entertainer to be equally extroverted and introverted.
Jordan: Because you kind of have to have that introverted quality in order to tap into the emotion of what you want to create, to be able to feel what it is that is important to you, to give it a voice, but then you're going to have a hard time sharing that with people if you can't tap into that extroverted nature, too, of finding the way that you can express it to others and to communicate. So I remember having my times of, you know, sometimes I would really ham it up for the audience, and sometimes I would just want to stand on stage and play my music and keep my eyes down, and people turning to me and saying, "Hey, it's cool that you're enjoying music and everything, but you can't close your eyes, you can't you can't block everybody else out, even though you're feeling it. This isn't an Eric Clapton concert, where they're there to see you feeling the solo, they're there to be entertained, and it's a different muscle, right?
And I've had that affect me in different ways throughout my life. I still, as an actor, as just a person, I find myself like sometimes the comfort of slipping into entertainer is more comfortable and it's easier for me than it is to just truthfully experience a moment and to be present, which is what a lot of acting is. A lot of acting calls for that, and I struggle with that sometimes, and I think it's because of, yeah, as a 10 year old, I was in front of 1100 seat audiences, and I was meant to entertain them while they were about to go into a show and have good time.
Jeff: Do you still have to battle with the introverted tendencies in order to perform top-notch?
Jordan: Mm. You know what? I'll say, at this point, I don't think it really affects me once I get the character, once I know what I'm doing, but it will affect me sometimes. If I'm on set for something, if I'm on a set where I really don't know the people, I'm a terrible self promoter once I get there. I will just go sit chair, or I'll read my Kindle, or I'll go ad nauseam to the snack table and just eat as much as possible. But then the more comfortable I get, the more I branch out, and then I do really get to know people. But then, as far as like auditions and stuff, no, I think I enjoy putting on a different skin sometimes, and even though it is that introverted nature, sometimes, it just gives you a different filter to explore, and maybe that allows you to be more extroverted or whatever.
The one thing I have learned is, from those times when I do go away, is that when I do a convention or something, which I know you guys are big with Death Wish and hitting those conventions, and we love you for it, but if I do a Walker Stalker and I'm gone for two days, my family knows that when I get back on Monday that I need another day to myself before I'm really going to be the dad that they're expecting.
Jeff: Oh yeah, you get socially pooped in those situations pretty quickly, and it's conversationally fatigued.
Dustin: Yeah, we definitely deal with that, definitely going to the conventions. I mean, you're talking to thousands of people within day, and I don't know if our DNA is ever meant to deal with that. So yeah, I feel the same things. Sometimes, yeah, a day, or two, or three. Just leave me alone in the room, I'll play video games, I'll come back, I'll be normal.
Jordan: We need that downtime to recharge our creativity for sure.
Jeff: And kind of speaking on that, I wanted to talk, because you brought it up with the conventions cycle, that's a whole new aspect for an actor, even a musician now, where it's a much more accessible thing. I mean, I remember being a kid and loving the things I loved, the comic books, the movies, the televisions, or whatever. You know, shows, and that was the end be all. Maybe if you get a Fangoria magazine or something, and read an article about it, but being able to go to these different things, and we've done some of the Walker Stalkers. Shout out to our mutual friend, Dave Solo, actually, for getting us into that realm, but, as an actor, do you enjoy doing that kind of thing and being able to interact with the fans on that level?
Jordan: I do while I'm there. And, while I'm gone, I do [inaudible 00:08:16] as well, because it's a cool situation. First of all, as an actor, it's cool just to have any sort of, I don't know, it's not even necessarily notoriety, but just to like ... It's probably completely stroking the ego, I suppose, but it's just cool to be recognized for something that you've done, and I think anybody can relate to that. And if it means that I need to go stand at the table and shake people's hands and sign pictures in order to get that notoriety, then I enjoy that. I get to meet people. I've met so many people that I've only interacted with online, and it's very different meeting someone and sending a couple tweets back and forth versus actually getting to put a face to that @name, and come around the table and give him a big hug and be excited about this interaction.
And I do, I do, I really enjoy it while it's going on, and then, yeah, I just have to suffer a little bit later when I feel absolutely pooped.
Jordan: But these conventions are going all around the world. They're meeting really cool people. The fans are always so loyal and usually have really cool gifts to offer, or great stories, or I know ... My character on the show on Walking Dead, Eric, Ross and I, who plays Erin, we've had many people come up to us sharing their personal coming out stories, or their personal why they were so proud and honored to have just the LGBTQ presence on such world internationally recognized show, and Ross and I have always been allies, and very open, and supporting this, and wanting to show great strength behind these characters and, hopefully, from hearing these stories.
I've had times where I just gotten an email from someone, and I've just had to stop everything I'm doing and just sit down and read it, because they're truly opening up, and that happens at these conventions, and that's that's a cool thing, to be able to stand there, and I've had times when I've just stood and cried with someone for a couple minutes, and then we've gotten hugs, and then we got off on our ways. Those little interactions, those little connections, you can't get those without actually being in the same space with someone and having that mutual experience that you both care deeply about you both that you both want to share with each other.
Dustin: Yeah, that's so cool.
Jeff: Speaking, I guess, on The Walking Dead then, you, as an actor, have been very lucky playing roles on television and on the big screen, but something like The Walking Dead is a thing all of its own. When you were cast as Eric, did you know about it? Were you a fan of that the series? Did you know what you're getting into when you went to audition?
Dustin: I knew that it was the most popular show on cable. I knew all that. I knew that it's massively popular, and that people love it, and the people that do watch it are very loyal to it, I knew all of that. I knew ... But I hadn't really watched it. The one time that I had sat ... First, I'm a terrible actor's actor. I'm bad at doing the self-promotion stuff while I'm on set, and I also don't watch much TV, so I really haven't watch the show before this. I'd gotten, maybe, four or five episodes in, but at the time we had a newborn. My daughter was fresh. It felt weird sometimes putting it on and her being just within earshot of it. I a little pin In there. I said, "I'm come back to this," because I did like it, it just wasn't matching up with my lifestyle at the time.
But when I got cast, yeah, I mean, I knew what that meant, and I knew that that was a pretty cool thing, and it was kind of an experience that I went through on a local level of just trying to put my life in order, in order to be able to even accept the role that I'd been offered. There was a big roller coaster that happened for about 24 hours, but once that worked out once, everything had been cleared and I was able to breathe, it was a whirlwind and, yeah, the show's amazing.
Jeff: Did you know about the character going into it, because I am trying to remember the timeline as a comics fan. Both your character and Ross's, and we love Ross by the way, too. Both of your characters in the comics are very iconic and very awesome, but, unfortunately, just like in the show, Eric meets his demise.
Jordan: Spoiler alert.
Jeff: Yeah, well, I mean, it's happened. I mean, was that already out there when you had gotten the role? Did you know about already, walking onto the role?
Jordan: Yeah, that had already ... The issue had already been published of Walking Dead, so I knew that coming into it. I think I actually learned that once I got on set, but, still-
Dustin: Did somebody tell you, or did you ...
Jeff: You're not long for this show, buddy.
Dustin: Hey, congratulations, you got a job. You're going to die.
Jordan: Correct. Okay, so one of my first meetings with Eulyn Hufkie, who was the wardrobe designer, who has ... Or our costume designer, who's left for the past couple seasons. My first meeting was with her, and we had this whole wardrobe fitting and she was trying out these different costumes and everything, and we tried some things on, and I think I started ... Because she knew more about the character than I did at that point. She said, "Yeah, you're in Alexandria. You and your partner are the recruits for the community. You go out. I think you're very practical, very thrifty."
I'd done some research. I'd said my back story for myself. I was like, "I grew up in the mountains, and I'm good with my hands, and I'd rather have a knife than a gun, because I can fashion ... Whatever. I'd come up with all that stuff, then we talked about that. And we talked about, I think it was, I think it might've been my idea that I would have a backpack, and that, I don't know, I want to misspeak, but the idea being that I always had different things in my pockets. I never just had one tool that was going to protect me. I always had cargo shorts and different things I could reach into in order to whatever I needed to have.
Jeff: Eric the Swiss Army knife.
Dustin: The Batman of The Walking Dead world.
Jeff: The Batman of the-
Jordan: Exactly, a boy scout.
Dustin: [crosstalk 00:14:50] utility belt.
Jordan: Yeah. But it came up in that conversation that my character ... She was the one who told me that my character had died in the comics, but that Aaron was still around, and then she went on to tell me that some people ... But she said that's that's not for a while. We're not going to ... I think our first time in Alexandria, the assistant director called everybody around and said, "Okay, everybody, we don't want you walking on the grass. We don't want you ... Try to maintain this place is much as possible, because were to be here for at least the next year and a half and, flash forward, now they've been in Alexandria for four years.
Jeff: Four years, yeah.
Jordan: So the plans have changed that, at one point, they were thinking that might only be there for a year and a half, so that's ... They have all these ideas, but everything can be stretched out. It's all just coming down to figuring out what story they want to tell and how they're best going to tell it.
Jeff: Right. As an actor, what is it like walking onto a set like that, where it's almost a twofold thing? You've got a revolving door of actors and actresses, because, spoiler, people die in The Walking Dead, but, also, you have a core group of actors, who have been, some of them, since the first episode, so they had this tight knit thing. What is that like, as an actor in your shoes, to walk into a set like that?
Jordan: So it was really funny, because I was trying to get caught up on watching episodes, but I only had a couple days in order to do it, so by the time of on set filming the end of season five, which is in Alexandria, I was still only watching season two, which is on the farm, and so I had no ... I knew who Rick and Carl were. Who else? I know who Daryl was, but all of these ... I hadn't even truly gotten to know Maggie.
Jeff: Oh, right, yeah, because ...
Jordan: And she was season two. Yeah. I knew who Glenn was, but I was like, "Where's Hershel? I'm on set and I don't see Hershel around." And people are just like, "Well ... There's just all these moments, and that is a bit of a surreal experience of ... There aren't many shows that show up that are out right now that have such a heavily rotating cast, where some people ... So on the show, we have something called a call sheet, right? And it goes through ... So Rick is number one. Andy is number one, he's the number one. And then I forget who number two is. Somebody's going to you be mad at me for forgetting who number two is. But I'm sure many of the fans know who number two is, they'll tell me. But then Carl was number seven and stuff like that, so it depends on when you appear on the show, right? And, in some ways, that has to do with your seniority.
Usually, in most shows, where characters don't die off, like Friends, the first six call numbers are going to be those six people the entire time. But where-
Jeff: That episode where Joey died.
Dustin: I missed that one.
Jordan: But with The Walking Dead, you've got some series regulars, I mean, King, Ezekiel, his number was up in the 200s, and yet he is one of the main people on the show now. And so that's just an interesting phenomenon, that you're right, it is just a constantly rotating door that people are coming in, coming out, and some people have a longer storyline than others, but I will say that on set, Andrew Lincoln especially, and all of the other actors and crew that have been there the entire time, really do just welcome everybody equally. I got there and I felt like I was going to be on the show for the next 10 years, because ... And they do that to people who they're just meeting who are just going to be there for one day. They realize that there are no small pieces of the story, that it's so big and so vast and epic that every story is important.
And I've had the thought many times, and I think probably other fans have too, that just watching it at this point knowing what we know about Rick and his crew, and who we've been watching since beginning, and meeting other troops and assigning them as good or bad people, I think can be very interesting to think about that if this series had started with the camera on Negan as the very first shot instead of Rick, there would be enough evidence to support the idea that, once Negan meets Rick, that he's the bad guy, and that Negan's trying to protect his people against Rick. And the terminus, if we have seen the reasons why they had decided to turn cannibal, then we might've agreed with them, we might've sympathized with them. We might not have seen them as monsters.
And I think that's kind of interesting right now, seeing Rick going through everything that he's going through and seeing the rest of his crew. He's riding that line constantly of are you the good guy? Are you the bad guy? We can't quite tell anymore, and I think that allows for ... That's why every character that comes through has great importance, because we're just seeing windows into different people's lives, and if it's just for a short amount of time or longer, then everybody's equally important.
Dustin: Well, I think that's what's so appealing about the show and makes it so realistic, is that that's what real life is like. You meet a person that you think is a bad person, but if you saw what they went through, and the upbringing that that they had been, maybe would be able to sympathize and see what they had gone through, and be like, "Actually it's just a person just like anybody else," and it's just the circumstantial of how they turned out and how they are interacting with other people, and that's probably the coolest part about The Walking Dead. It isn't black and white, and life is not black and white. That's what makes it so awesome.
Jeff: Yeah, and I think one of the coolest part was you being on it. I thoroughly enjoyed your portrayal of that character. I think you and Ross together just embodied those characters perfect, and I truly miss you on the show.
Jordan: Thank you.
Jeff: Although it had to happen, obviously. That is an incredible story.
Dustin: You had to die.
Jeff: Well, it's an incredible story behind the comics.
Jordan: Yeah, it was a great story.
Jeff: They had to do it like that. To kind of wrap up talking about the Dead, I just wanted to ask ... We talked about coming on set to begin with, what was it like that final day? Was it the same kind of thing? Was it a whole different kind of experience? What was that like?
Jordan: No, it was equally great. I still have not had a moment of remorse or anything about any of this, because I felt that final episode, that final scene was just so beautiful, and so perfect, and poetic, and had such strength and heart and love to it, that not other characters get. Sometimes, is just a shot to the head and you're done.
Jeff: Right, yeah.
Jordan: Which is how it is in the comic, but with Eric and Aaron, they got that send off, and I felt that on set, everyone was super warm, everyone was very respectful of Ross and I, as they knew that ... Ross stayed that state of mind all day, like 14 hours. That was rough for him. I finished my scene, it was the first one up, and we were done filming in, maybe, 3 and a half, four hours, but then he had to stay in that state of mind for the rest of the day. So I got to sit around and enjoy the rest of my day and getting to talk to people, and everyone was very supportive of giving us space, giving us silence when we needed it, when we were about to get into our scene. Just giving us all of that, and then, at the end of the day, when I was wrapped, then everybody gathered round, and I got to say thank you to everyone and got little speech, and I had my, I still have it, my final script.
Dustin: Oh, awesome.
Jordan: I passed it around, and I got signatures. It was like a yearbook. So it was, it was great. I felt very ... It was very heartfelt and I felt like a great send off, not only story wise, but also from everyone that works on the show.
Jeff: That's awesome, and I kind of want to, now, segue into your acting career as a whole, because we started out by talking about how you started as a musician, and I think that's amazing, and then that kind of moved into acting and, like I said, you've done television, you've done movies, you've shared the screen with Sir Anthony Hopkins. When did this start for you? When did that become something that you were like, "Okay, I'm going to pursue this now?
Jordan: Yeah, so I have a very distinct memory. So I went to a performing arts camp called Stagedoor Manor. It's in the Catskills, and, actually, there are lots of people on stage and screen that you know who went there, and I went there for three seasons, four seasons, but each summer it's a nine week session, and you put up a show every three weeks. It's super fast, super professional, and it's only for people up to ages 8 to 18, so it's for kids. My last show that I was doing at Stagedoor Manor was Cabaret, which is a musical, and I don't do many musicals, none anymore. But I was playing the MC, and it's this very, for anyone who's familiar with Cabaret, it's in Nazi Germany during the time of the Holocaust, and it's got some heavy stuff underneath this very grungy, bawdy like nightclub aesthetic, right?
It was our final performance, and it was just one of those performances that felt electric, it felt alive. It felt like we were doing something different. It felt like we were reaching people on a different level. And I remember looking at the director and seeing the look in his eyes during curtain call, while we were all taking our bows, and just feeling that feeling with the audience, and knowing that we had just done something that everyone was going to remember this experience just now. And I remember walking away from the theater saying, "This is what I'm going to do."
I had been a musician up until 18. At times, though, I'd had the opportunities to grow jaded just a little bit. I had been working in a community with some, I don't know. I mean, I think it's fair to say, I'd been working in a community with some older guys, who are now working with a 10 year old. And as cool as that may seem to me, some of them might say, "Man, I really wish I were in Nashville doing my session gig right now that I had been hoping for, rather than playing with this guy in a theme park. Fine, that's where the path led them, and I think that kind of trickled on to me a little bit in some ways, and so by that point, I was ready to put music on the back burner and go to college.
And so I went to NYU, New York University, and I studied theater at Ticsh, and that was kind of the beginning to everything that I'm doing now. So in college, I auditioned for Blue Man Group and loved it, they said, "Everything's great and want you to going to training, but we don't want to pull you out of school in order to going to training, because you can be concentrating at any point, and we want you to drop out and then also get cut from training, and then your life just be ... That is extremely awesome, and not many people will do that for you, right? And just to have a company that's like, "Hey, we believe in you. We're going to put some faith in you, and we're also going to give you some time to do what you need to do, so that, when you're ready, you can come back and we'll start over. So that was already a great sign.
I graduated early. I worked hard and graduated a semester early, and within about three weeks of graduating, I was in training for Blue Man and I've been doing that ever since.
Jeff: So I got to ask, when you become a Blue Man, are you a Blue Man for life?
Jordan: Yes and no. People leave for different reasons. I'll say we're not on a yearly contract, but just like any other job, each person has the ... Or each entity, I should say, the performer and the company has the opportunity to say, "Thank you so much, but we're going to to move on," at any point, really. But, yeah, for the most part, I mean, there are people who have been doing Blue Man that this is their life blood. This is their passion. This is what they've been doing, and it's very cool. And we've had lots of opportunities for guys to say, "Hey, I want to try something else right now," and the company says, "Great," and so they move out to LA, or they move to Toronto, or they move just to open a vineyard, whatever, and then over time, they might say, "You know what? I'd really like to come back and be a Blue Man again," and the company says, "Okay, great." It is that kind of fluidity to it that it is a small enough group of artists and like minded community that we can have those conversations.
Yeah, so, I mean, I guess you are kind of a Blue Man for life.
Dustin: Yeah, almost like a fraternity.
Dustin: Okay, a few simple but strange questions that I got to know about being a Blue Man,.
Dustin: How long does it take to put the make up on? Is it extremely hot? And is it hard to wash off afterwards?
Jordan: Okay, so the makeup process is, it's truly a transformation, right? I mean, we allow about an hour. The technical elements of it don't take that long, but we allow an hour, because we like to have time to sit and talk, and the three of us, the three Blue Men sitting in a room and putting on some music and actually feeling each other out throughout the day, or talking about ideas that we've had outside the show, or talking about what's going on in our lives, or whatever, and that connection, in combination with the ritual that each of us goes through of putting on the make up and putting on the outfit and getting ready, I'd say that really allows you to be primed for the show. Because I have lots of times when I'll be ... I mean, as a person, I will be having a crap day, and we all have that, and I have crap days more often like to admit.
But there's something about the show that if I can show up and if I can truly just let myself go. If, I'm saying if, then the character will just magnify that, and just take all of those bad thoughts and just eradicate them, and so by the end of it, I usually walk away feeling better than I did coming in, and that's a really cool job to have. That's a really cool opportunity. And to know that during that, I'm actually getting to, hopefully, share that same magic with the audience, who, they might have been having crap days too, I don't know, but to be able to show up and to just help them forget about whatever it is that's been on their mind, and to give them an hour and 40 minutes of just laughter, and good music, and feeling like a kid again, then I love that. So then after the show, each, again, each of us has a ritual of getting out of make up, but I can probably be done in about 20 minutes.
Dustin: That's not bad.
Jordan: That's that's the easier part. Yeah, yeah, it's not super tough to take off. We've all got our ways of doing it, and we've found how to, again, how to cleanse ourselves after the [crosstalk 00:30:37].
Dustin: There's got to be a moment though you just scratch a part of yourself, you're like, "Oh, I missed a spot."
Jordan: Oh, yeah. Oh, just getting ready for this call, I knew it was going to be a video, so I just went and looked in the mirror, and I had blue eye boogers. I mean, I probably still have them, let me see. But, yeah, I don't get blackheads, I get blueheads.
Jeff: That's so funny.
Jordan: Whenever I go to the aesthetician, which is very rare, they usually love just like going through and looking at my pores and they actually giggle while they're popping the blackheads, because they're like, "Oh, it's blue."
Dustin: Oh, jeez.
Jeff: That's so funny. Well, I got to say, for anybody out there who's having a crappy day, the, probably, easiest way to turn it around is to go and watch a Blue Man show. You guys, they-
Jordan: With a cup of Death Wish Coffee.
Jeff: Oh I love it. There it is. The new commercial, there it is right there. But, no, for real. I mean, that's just some infectious-
Jordan: I agree, man.
Jeff: It's an infectious good time, it really is.
Jordan: I agree. And it's hard to explain, but, yeah, you walk away just feeling better.
Jeff: Yeah, yeah, of course. Through it all, with your musical career, I know you produce music, too, through a studio, and you have a couple incredible albums out, by the way. I love Anthem.
Jordan: Thanks, man. Thank you.
Jeff: And all of the acting that you've done, I mean, like I said, you've gotten to do some iconic stuff acting wise already, and some just fun stuff, just being able to come on screen and just ... Just some fun stuff. Through it all, what fuels you to keep going out there and doing it, to keep being creative, to keep being Jordan?
Jordan: Yeah, so I am a firm believer that every actor and artist is an entrepreneur, and that's going back to your conversation about wearing many hats. An entrepreneur is, it's got kind of a negative stigma, I think, especially in the artist world. I think some people look at entrepreneur and think, "Oh, they're just trying to fast road their way to cash or something." But I see it in the way that, as an entrepreneur, you know yourself better than anybody else, and it's your job to be able to tap into everything that you're interested in and to be able to convey that to others, so that they want to latch onto your brand, right? And my brand is that I love to act, I love to play music, I love to be kind of kooky, and I love to kind of push the boundaries every once in a while. And as an entrepreneur, that's what's led me to all of these different things.
I oftentimes think of myself as a bit of a shark. I mentioned before that I don't really watch a lot of TV. It's because, if I ever stop swimming, I drown. I have to keep moving, and so that that leads me to ... Yeah, I'm a full-time dad with two kids. I'm a full-time Blue Man and I work at night. I'm constantly auditioning for film and TV things that take me all over the country, hopefully. I run an acting studio out of Orlando. I have a studio in my house and I also have a studio further down town, where I'm meeting with actors every day and putting their auditions on tape, to give them the opportunity to send it off to casting directors and everybody else, so that ... Because that's how I've booked all of my ... It's all on tape.
It's very rare that you go into the room anymore to have an audition. Most of the time now you just record it and everything that I booked that we've been talking about, I booked in my studio here. This is my space, right? And I've done without leaving the studio. So I do that, and then I also take freelance work. I play with multiple bands in town, and I think that's just part of that creative spirit, right? And tapping into that, and knowing that eventually, as the creative, you're going to get burnt out on one little thing here or there. I'm sure putting together a podcast weekly has its real challenges, sometimes. Even though it also is extremely fulfilling. Once you're done with the project. And it's the same sort of thing, that if you tap ... If you go fully into any one venture for too long, at a certain point it's going to start to become stale, because it doesn't have the little tributaries leading off of it.
So that's basically how I've just found myself, as I keep saying yes to myself, and I allow myself, if I have a big idea, if I have an opportunity that comes along, no matter how silly it is, I try just to say, "Great, I'm going to do that for little while," and that's what leads to putting together a full length album last year. That's what leads to ... Yeah, I mean, I guess some people look at me and say, "I don't know when you have time to sleep. I don't know I have so much energy. I don't know-
Dustin: Yeah, that's what I was thinking, how do you keep your energy levels up?
Jordan: Death Wish Coffee.
Jeff: No, no.
Jordan: Let me off, Johnny.
Dustin: I wasn't setting you up for that.
Jordan: No. No. It's true. I mean, I also get fueled by knowing that I have lots of things that I want to do. The times when I sit there sluggish is when I have a list of things that I need to do, or that I somewhat want to do, but I'm not really that passionate about them, and then I don't do anything. Then I just say, "I'm not really feeling it, I'm going to sit down and play a game for a few minutes." And then, later, I feel like I didn't get anything done, and so then I start to spiral a little bit, thinking, "I didn't do anything today," whereas, actually, I did quite a bit. But that's not ... The point is finding the way to ... I usually keep a running list of things that I find interesting, and that allows you just open up the list, and on any given day, you can scroll through ... I'm scrolling up. This is me scrolling on my phone.
I can scroll through stuff and say, "Oh, that thing. That, I'm excited about that right now, I'm going to go do that. I wasn't excited about it yesterday, but I'm excited about it right now, so I'm going to go do it," and that, for me, that's so much more effective than having the honeydew list of somebody gives you a list of these three things that you have to get done before the end of the day. To me, that's the death of productivity, that's the death of creativity. I have a really hard time doing that. But if you hand me a list of 10 things that need to happen within the next week, I'll probably get most of them done in the first three days, because I'm allowed the flexibility to say, "Oh, this, this would be so cool to do right now. I'm going to do that, and then I'm going to do this and I'm going to do this. So, okay, good, I got my day planned out, here I go." And then the next day-
Dustin: That's exactly how I work. That's exactly how I do things.
Dustin: I list things out. I'm like, "Okay, I need to get this done at least this week." [inaudible 00:37:40] I mean, I even have one of my lists here. I list it out like this, and then I just cross it off as I go along. But it's not what I have to do today, it's what I have to get done this week.
Dustin: And I kind of let the flow of the day guide me as far as what gets done.
Jordan: Yeah. And it's probably constantly growing, right?
Dustin: And it's constantly ... Yeah.
Jeff: Oh, yeah.
Jordan: And I'm sure people look at you and go, "Your list is so long, how do you keep up?" And you're like, "What are you talking about? I'm doing great. I just knocked three things off and I added four more. This is a great list."
Dustin: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Speaking of lists, I actually have to excuse myself. I got to catch a plane to Seattle.
Jordan: Oh, right.
Dustin: Yeah, so-
Jeff: Yeah, we'll just finish up. Good luck. Good flight.
Dustin: Okay, thanks. All right. Good to meet you, Jordan.
Jordan: Nice to meet you, too.
Dustin: I hope to run into you in the future at a Walker Stalker soon. I'm sure we will, and, yeah, it's been great talking to you, man.
Jordan: Likewise. Thanks for having me, buddy.
Dustin: Yeah. Cheers.
Jeff: Jordan, I just want to end by talking a little bit about, and I know as an actor and a musician, a lot of times things are secret, that you can't talk about, that are upcoming, but is there anything upcoming that you are being a part of, that you can talk about?
Jordan: At this point, no, actually, but, I mean, that's the freelance actor lifestyle.
Jeff: Yes, it is.
Jordan: But at least with the film and TV world, I've found that it rains and there is famine. It's either pouring or you're starving. Isn't that the phrase?
Jeff: That is the phrase.
Jordan: No, feast or famine.
Jeff: [crosstalk 00:39:14].
Jordan: It's entirely true. There are times when you will book massive ... Three great projects in a row and have a hard time keeping up with yourself, and then there'll be times where you just have to sit and wait. But in that time, I'm finding all these other outlets in order to expand my creativity. I'm writing more, I'm working with actors more, I'm having more time with my kids, frankly, and stuff like that. That's the way to keep that muscle primed, to keep your brain thinking about how to remain creative, even when the stuff isn't landing in your lap, per se.
Jordan: But, as of right now, the easiest way to find is to come see Blue Man Group at Universal Studios in Orlando.
Jordan: And I'm there several nights a week, and if you reach out to me on social media, then I know my schedule a couple weeks in advance, and I can let you know when I'll be there.
Jeff: And for our listeners and watches, your social media is ... That's the best way to find you is your social media?
Jordan: Yeah, yeah. Actually, probably the best way to find it just go my website, which is my name.
Jordan: Jordan Woods-Robinson.com, J-O-R-D-A-N Woods-Robinson.
Jeff: I'll put that right in the show.
Jordan: Yeah, perfect. And then from there you can find all of my social media to be able to reach out to me.
Jeff: Excellent. You are an inspiring dude, man.
Jordan: Oh, thank you.
Jeff: Honestly, I love doing the show because of the different amounts of people I get to talk to you, and this has been one of my favorite conversations, for sure, because your outlook on life is infectious, and I know we're going to end in a second here and I'm going to get off and I'm gonna do a thousand more things today, because I feel inspired just from talking to you about it.
Jordan: Oh, I love that, I love that, thank you. I'm hopefully to do more things too. Not just go and be like, "I did my podcast, I'm going to go sit down and eat some Cheerios."
Jeff: Well, once again, I can't thank you enough for being on the show, and we will definitely ... I know for a fact our paths will cross again and we'll definitely be talking soon.
Jordan: Totally. Awesome
Jeff: Awesome. Awesome.
Jordan: Thank you.