Titan Evolution: S2:E1 | Stay the Course with Alexander Randazzo

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The podcast featuring guest Alexander Randazzo, in conversation with host Travis Johnson, delves into a multifaceted exploration of storytelling, personal growth, and navigating life’s challenges. Drawing from his experiences as a West Point graduate and former Army Ranger, Alexander reflects on the significance of artists in shaping cultural discourse and the power of narrative. 

Throughout the discussion, Alexander shares valuable lessons learned from his diverse career paths and relationships, emphasizing the importance of spiritual beliefs, journaling, and serving others in fostering personal growth. 

He discusses competition dynamics in business and personal development, highlighting the value of integrity and accountability. Furthermore, Alexander explores the nuances of method acting and its intersection with personal identity, offering insights into balancing personal and professional life. 

Alexander underscores the significance of mentorship and community, particularly within the military, while offering advice to stay true to oneself amid life’s challenges.

 

Highlights:

{08:07} Impact of storytelling and the role of artists in shaping narratives and cultural discourse

{15:30} Lessons learned from various projects, careers, and relationships

{18:40} What makes you a Titan

{32:30} Utilizing journals with deep questions for personal growth

{39:36} Understanding competition in business and personal growth

{49:00} Journal questions for Travis and Alex


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Alexander Randazzo Bio:

Raised in a family that never stayed in one place for too long by West Point graduate and former Army Ranger, Alexander grew up traveling across all 50 States. Before moving to Los Angeles at 19 to chase his dreams. 6 years later, he wrote, produced, starred in, and theatrically distributed the film “Lonesome Soldier” under his company Military Movies, receiving rave reviews from critics, audiences, and the Military community alike.

Links:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6122951

https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexander-randazzo-a758b0140

Check out all of our interviewshttps://titanevolutionpodcast.com/blog

Connect with Travishttps://www.linkedin.com/in/nonprofitarchitect

https://whoistravisjohnson.com

Sponsored Links:

https://therootbrands.com/product/zero-in

https://newulife.com/hk/en 

https://trufinco.com 

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Hey, welcome back to the show. I’m sitting here today with Alexander Randazzo. Alexander, how are you doing today?

I’m doing great. How are you?

Oh, I’m fantastic. I redone my office and put the stuff where I wanted it. I even put your movie poster, Lonesome Soldier, in the background. I love that.

I was going to say that guy has a nice nose there.

The nose accounts for approximately 80% of the poster, so we got that exactly where it needed to be.

And the speed of being an Italian. Thank you for having me on today.

You’re welcome. You’re welcome. For those of you with whom I’m familiar with his work, he’s the writer and producer. The actor in the hit show Lonesome Soldier hit the silver screen. You can find Amazon, Google, and Apple; the Hollywood Reporter variety even had it on their top list for … What’s the word Oscar consideration?

We were. In contention, we were a contender. For the Best Picture nomination, it’s an honor to be considered. That’s what I like to say.

Am I considered to be considered? I’m not even that considerate. I don’t even. I don’t even know where to go from there. But. You’ve been doing a lot of work in filming. You and I have been having this dialogue back and forth for a couple of months, and we’re like, we haven’t even recorded an interview yet. We’ve just been chatting with each other. I’ve been helping Alexander with some of the podcast stuff, and he’s been helping me write a screenplay. I think that’s the right term for it, and yeah.

I’m just dipping my toe in to see what that world looks like. I was trying to do new things with my time last year. I did improvise for a couple of months, and people were like, I don’t even know why you’re here. You’re all ready. All you do is improvise life. You just go out and give it a shot. But I think we’re here today mostly to talk about you. Isn’t that how interviews go?

You tell me. It’s your show.

Oh, we must be able to do whatever I want—one of the benefits of having your show.

They are telling us a little about yourself. We get this Minnesota connection. I grew up in Fergus Falls, MN, but Alexander’s parents are in Alexandria. And anyone listening to this from.

That’s right.

Hollywood, Minnesota, is a place that has a lot of lakes, and it’s pretty all year long.

That’s right. Well, minus December, January, and February, when it’s sub-zero and everything’s covered in white. But other than that, it’s a beautiful place. My parents moved there when I was 16 or 17. They have been there ever since. And so that’s where they call home. At that time, I moved to play under-21 junior professional hockey for a couple of years before moving to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams and use my talents to tell awesome stories on the big screen.

Oh, that’s it. That sounds like a lot of fun. You don’t play much U2 hockey out in California, do you? Not really. I imagine they have it out there, but it’s different.

There are a lot of rollerblades.  There are a lot of rollers—hockey, which is fun.

Roller hockey. Yeah, well, you saw that in the Mighty Ducks, too, right? The kids were razing them to come outside and play some street hockey and get their butts kicked by just the random kids in the neighborhood.

That’s right. And it isn’t going out on the frozen lake in sub-zero temperatures like we do in Minnesota, but it’s still great to pick up a stick and get a good workout, compete, and have fun whenever. I can do so. It’s a lot warmer. At least it’s always safe.

You work up a good sweat, though; many people don’t know but like it. Ice fishing is a thing. Ice hockey is a thing. People will drive their vehicles out. Villages are built on the ice yearly, depending on how cold the year is. It depends on how far you get from shore. But some people drive their vehicles out there all the time. There are always these areas of, you know, careful thin ice because. You can fall through this stuff. 

Yeah. Yeah. 

It’s not fun. We’ve got people in Jersey that call the poor polar bear plunge, and they run out into the ocean during the winter. I imagine they’re so cold, but it’s not as cold as falling through the ice. Don’t you have a story about that?

I do. That was in Michigan. I spent some time in my adolescence traveling to the different 50 states with my family. We were playing pond hockey, and there were cracks and dipping, dipping your legs into a crack in the ice. And I don’t think it gets much colder than that. I’ll tell you that right now.

It’s not the most fun, but you know people who meditate in Hollywood. All these crazy guys get up at 3:00 in the morning and go work out and run, and they take ice baths. One of the cool things about it is that it shocks your system into believing that you fell through the ice, so it’s trying to combat hypothermia.

It releases all these proteins, and you start generating stem cells again. It’s a great way to continue to look young, provided that you do it safely and that you’re not just on some random lake in the middle of nowhere wondering if anyone will ever find you.

That’s right. No, I’m a screenwriter, not a scientist. But I do take ice baths and spend a lot of time in saunas and whatnot, just because that’s apparently what you do in Hollywood. So, I’m unsure of its science, but I hear it’s healthy. So, there we go.

Probably. No, it is the big thing. My family is from Norway, and everyone loves to sauna. They always add, like, an extra little blurb to it. But everyone takes a sauna. It’s better than doing cardio for your body. It releases all this, and it gets everything up and working. Those extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold, really affect the body. Even if you tell guys like Michael Phelps that we’re training every day, when he went to China, was it the Olympics in China? I think the summer games. I can’t even remember.

I’m not. It’s somewhere different. Every four years. So, I don’t know.

Yeah, every even year. Unless there’s COVID, then they do it in an odd year. But he was burning something like 12,000 calories a day because it was 1 or 2° cooler in their pools, so he was eating some disgusting amount of food, and you would think I was training for the Olympics based on how much I eat. It just turns out I’m kind of chubby. You know what I mean.

I won’t comment on that, but I did not know that that burned a bunch of calories. I will have to spend more time in the extreme cold and heat.

Well, it wasn’t even extreme clothing. It was just it. It was just their pool. Yeah, yeah. No, its thermodynamics allow them to burn many more calories because it takes much more energy from a colder standpoint to warm up and burn 1 kilocalorie.

That’s not anywhere near your expertise. You have this knack for hearing a story or an idea and turning that into a visual extravaganza. What was the inciting point or the setting conversation that started you down this path of a lonesome soldier?

Uh, yeah, it is love. Ever since I was little, my grandfathers—my mom’s dad and my father’s dad—would tell me about these extravagant stories for as long as I could remember. And I just picked up on that and myself. When I was 16 or 17, I was in New York City, going to acting school, and received a text message with a screenshot of a Facebook post. I didn’t have Facebook then, but a family friend saw Linda Lee, the real-life mother of the wholesome. A blogger had posted on Facebook that she wanted to make a feature film of her son’s journey and fight upon his return home against PTSD. 

So, I got that text message and reached out to her. I had done a small home film in middle school based on a book series; I read the first book and thought it would make a great movie. I called the author. I had made a movie before for a couple of grand, and I wondered how hard it could be just to scale it. 

Well, it took. It took me seven or eight years to do Lonesome Soldiers, so I can tell you right now that it’s pretty hard. But it was just a lucky, you know, a chain of events to get connected to, to Linda Lee and her son Jackson, to work with them, and to make sure that I told the story the way I saw it in my head from spending countless hours listening to them and turning that into a film that would impact as many people as we can.

No, it was. It was pretty refreshing to see your take on how that was. I’m not a huge fan, even though I’m a retired naval officer. I spent 22 years in the service. I’m not a huge military movie fan, especially when it gets into things like the Army and the Marine Corps, you know, walking around and shooting guns. 

It’s it’s—I mean, it has a certain—semantic appeal, but you. I went in and read the story of the soldier, and although some of it was in combat, the vast majority of the story was outside of combat, and you had—what’s the actor’s name that played Taggart in Beverly Hills?

John Ashton, Grandpa, Matt, or Taggart to pretty much everybody. Beverly Hills. He played the lead role in the film and just knocked it out of the park.

He did. He’s the grandfather figure, grandfather slash father figure, throughout the film, and you are always. It doesn’t matter what movie you’re shooting; every story is some version of the hero’s story, and you always need that sage advice, that guide that can help guide the hero through every little step of it and see the struggles that you portray when getting into drugs, PTSD, and being away from family. A lot of people think it’s hard to fathom. 

Unless you live, I don’t know what that’s like. I remember watching The Biggest Loser, and you’ve got people who have been away from their families for just like one week, and you see them crying on TV. And I remember the days, weeks, months, and years. I was away from me Finally, and I didn’t feel that way; I don’t know if I’m just a heartless ******* or if we were just kind of doing what needed to be done. 

But you captured that kind of agony within the movie, from the writing and producing sides and your role specifically; people don’t understand because they’re not away from family like that. 

First and foremost, thank you for that compliment; it was one of our primary goals. But back to John Ashton and playing that guiding figure on the hero’s journey. This was my first film and the largest role in a film I had. So, it was kind of the next level, and he was that for me as an actor. At the same time, he was on screen with my character, Jackson.

And I’ll never forget my very first day. My very first scene. He and I were in the makeup, in the makeup chairs next to each other, and I asked before we went on set to have 5 minutes alone with them. And I just looked at him and said, you know, Mac. I’m terrified. I grew up watching you, and now we will work together. And he just looked. At me and goes, kid. We’re just playing to make you believe I have your back. You got mine. Let’s do this. 

Normally, it works from the highest name on the call sheet to the lowest name. It’s ranked by seniority of characters, credits, and experience. And you’ll shoot out the highest actors first. 

So, we would shoot his close-ups, our medium shots, and then normally we would finish with my close-ups, and most actors who are higher than me would leave, and some assistants would read their lines when it was on my close-up after the higher, you know, more successful actors would take off when they’re wrapped out. Not once did he walk away until after he stood off camera. For my close-ups, the entire time, he was just one of the biggest supporters and encouragements, and I learned so much from working with him, which was unbelievably amazing.

It sounds like it. Yeah, that sounds like it.

One of the best, you know, is that he’s got Beverly Hills Cop 4 coming out this summer, so I’ll plug that for a minute. Its trailer looks fantastic. I know he was super excited to return to that with Eddie, and I’m looking forward to that. There are so many Beverly Hills cop fans. So, keep a lookout for that. But yeah, it played that way. The father’s grandfather’s mentor role was both on and off-camera, and it was an honor to experience that.

I’m rarely without words, but I find myself wanting to talk about so many different things because I grew up in love with movies. It was one of the few things in my life that could capture my attention and get my imagination going. It could draw me in, and when you have a child who likes mine, you don’t want to think about it. About that stuff all the time. And video games and videos. And movies could just draw me into that story so I can melt away. 

So, after we talked over the last few months, I went back and watched Beverly Hills cops. 1-2 and three at ACC, Aquel Foley. I like and love all of the characters. It’s just that it’s so much fun; they had a great job just being themselves here. You know, all sorts of stories come out of Hollywood constantly. You’ve got these sunshine and rainbow stories, either the rags-to-riches stories or Hollywood’s got a bad taste in some people’s mouths over the last couple of years, but it would have been some of the fun kind of behind-the-scenes stuff that’s a name drop or anything. 

But just like different things and experiences you didn’t know would happen or didn’t know would happen, you find yourself. A group of people tell us a little bit of behind-the-scenes Hollywood magic.

For sure, it is. The easiest and simplest way to answer that question is—every year, a million people move out to try to make it in Hollywood, whether writing, acting, producing, or whatever their specific field is. And every person, me included, truly believes they’re going to be that one in a million. 

But you also have that little voice and a little doubt in the back of your mind. That. But what’s so special about you being just like you’re going to fail? Just like the 10s of millions have over the last 50 years. And, as you know, fully and completely blessed by God, they’re just doors opened and people who had no business answering my calls—agents, talent, people like John Ashton, the tagger from Beverly Hills, and others.

It was one of the most amazing and encouraging experiences, and I was welcomed with open arms. I’d say 8590% of the time; some people are busy and focused on what they’re doing, but that’s any business. But the vast majority of people in the industry are. 

My experience was just positive on all levels, and it was probably one of the top reasons I could stay encouraged and not get discouraged over the last six to seven years because it was rarely, if ever, hang up the skates and walk away, kid. It always kept going. How can I help you from people you know from high-level people so that that is from the Hollywood insider side? That was what made the difference for me.

Oh, no. It is a big deal when you get involved with any group, right? Whatever group of people out there or insiders there are, there are those, you know, key people of influence. And I always try to be a key person of influence. I want to talk to people about what makes them magical and about what makes them tight. 

And I want to be part of their lives. It’s not just me doing an interview here, but so many of my guests. I follow up with them and see what projects they are working on. I see what they’re going through, what they’re struggling with, and I get calls from my old guests asking me questions like, do you know anyone that could do this? And I’m excited to be part of people’s journeys like this; we want to know what makes you a Titan.

Yeah. First, it’s a testimony to who you are, your character, and the type of person you are. You have guests, you know, following up with you, and you stay in contact with them, me included. Over the last few months, you have become a close friend and somebody I always look forward to talking to about any topic. 

And to answer your question of what makes me a Titan, they mean. To me, it is no one you know, Alexander the Great, a historical figure. I was named after my grandma, one of her ancestors, who was named after Ancient Greece and Alexander the Great. 

So, I would like to say my namesake is Alexander the Great. It would not have been great without every soldier who fought for him over his conquest. And I have been blessed with the skill set of telling stories in a way that might be different from most. Other people around me recognize that, but I still lack in other areas. These other people have come together, worked with me, and supported me so that these stories can be told. So, to me, Hard work, persistence, and the amazing opportunities of the people I work with have allowed me to live with a tighter mindset, be a Titan, and grow in my profession in this industry.

No, I like that. I know how Your focus on humility has been over the years, but. Like I said, I’ve been with Alexander for the last couple of months and toyed around with an idea of a screenplay that I had, and we’re not going to give any spoilers here as to what it is or what it made me like.

And I sat down with him. Without even asking, without really understanding what was happening before I knew it, I had access to a program called Final Draft, and we were putting this in script writing software, and he’s teaching me how to do it, and I’m typing. I’m just like, how is this my life right now? Like, I don’t even know how I got here. I didn’t know that; that’s what I was asking. But before I knew it, I was writing the script and getting taught by Alexander. Put my ideas and what I see in my head into a format others can read, then enact those scenes. 

And I learned that quickly. That’s great that he knows how to do that, and I will have to rely on him because I don’t know… Some people are great doers, and some are great teachers, and I can follow along. But I know without a doubt that sitting there and being a writer for a script. I’m going to focus heavily on Alexander, and that’s one of the things that makes him special: that he can understand my rambling and turn it into words that other people can turn into a movie. And that’s not a talent that everybody has. And even if they have that talent, they don’t have the persistence or dedication to keep going. They’re not Unyielding.

Yeah, it is. Well, I thank you for that. And now it’s my turn. Being at a Loss for words is something that I can’t take too much pride or credit for because it is just like when you’re in grade school and a teacher. Asks, you know, puts a math problem on the board, and you know the answer because you can work it out in your head, but you can’t show your work. It’s just kind of something that’s my; it’s just how I was wired. I could just walk.

I could put together a movie in my head, and somehow, through hard work. Through the mentors and teachers that I’ve had, I co-wrote Lonesome Soldier with the Academy Award-nominated line writer, not Lionel Chatwin, who just took a chance on me, believed in me, and fought for me since I was 19 years old. I was a young kid in Hollywood, and I learned. Probably more for me was my older brother Kenobi or my being Luke Skywalker and a huge Star Wars guy. And it’s just something I can take no credit for and just something I love to do. At the same time, I love telling stories. I don’t think I hate anything more than sitting down and writing. A script out it’s. I just. He had hated writing my entire life. I have tried to dictate, but it always doesn’t work. 

So, I just have that self-discipline from playing at a high level of hockey and being raised by a West Point graduate, an army officer, and a mother who is just as bad an asset. And who? You know, she has her life story. It was just something that they instilled in me. And sometimes that’s just what it takes, I guess. And it’s a blessing, and I can take no credit for it.

You’re just grabbing a couple of things, though, right? You’re describing your God-given talent, and you found it at a very young age. You’re still in your 20s. And what you’re describing is the same thing that Kobe tried to show us through basketball, no matter what. The team was coming to town, no matter what would happen before him. He was going to be Scared, he was going to get up at 2:00 AM, and he was going to be playing basketball, and he was going to be there sweating before you ever walked into the gym. 

And he would work until you were done, then leave and hit the showers. And we’re walking out then, and only then would you know that he wanted you to know that he would outwork you. No matter what, that’s what we see; that’s what we see in greatness. The person willing to do what other people are not willing to do is the victorious one. We mentioned Michael Phelps earlier. He practiced in the pool. He not only practiced in the pool, but he also practiced getting out. He practiced going to the holding section. He practiced walking on the podium between his practice events before getting to the Olympic Trials. He practiced all of those steps. So, winning one of the medals would knock him out of his rhythm because that was part of his routine. We see great actors like Robert Downey Jr. go through his rebirth through the Iron Man series, and you see it in Iron Man 3 when he is. 

He is terrified as a human being who flew a nuclear weapon into an interdimensional wormhole, and he’s freaking out about it. We don’t. We don’t give Iron Man 3 much credit because people don’t understand what it means to break down like that and truly be terrified of what you created. You finished the first Iron Man. By saying he is Iron Man, right, I am Iron. Man.

Yeah. What are you taking away? The suit? What are you? Billionaire playboy, philanthropist. A&O. What’s the name of the third one… Billionaire playboy philanthropist. And he says one more, and yeah, and Captain America responds… You’re not going to be the guy to fall on the grenade or lay down on the wire. And how does Iron Man’s journey begin? 

And that is, it was a beautiful arc and story, mirroring his life journey in real life and climaxing with his well-deserved win this past Sunday, at least when we recorded this. I’m not sure when this will be released, but this is the case. The days after the Academy Awards in Downey, I gave one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in a film in a very long time, which was well deserved for him and the beautiful completion of a long journey.

It’s it. He’s another one. That sound found its magic early, and I don’t want to. I don’t. I don’t know the story fully. I know he was self-medicating for something. And when they figured out what it was, he could get himself back in order. 

But it doesn’t matter when you find your magic as a person; just because you know what it is doesn’t mean you’re not going to go through more trials. Just because you’ve been through many trials doesn’t mean you’re not going back to the forge to be defined and refined as a person. You came out of this; you found your niche. You made an amazing movie about a lonesome soldier. I appreciate the movie. And now you’re going to be moving on to another project. 

And just because you were such a great and lonesome soldier doesn’t have anything to do with that next project; you’re going to meet more people, and you’re going to have a different. The winning percentage from the people you interact with will be received well or poorly. Maybe it’s a failure to launch. We don’t know what it will be, but having that project under your belt feels good. But what’s on the horizon for you, Alexander?

It’s funny that you said what you said because the short film is the next project I just finished writing about. I’ll then play a role in it and produce it. It’s a family drama about a father, his two sons, and his estranged older son. 

And then there’s a younger brother as well. And the pain that is in the past. There is a lack of communication and just jumping to conclusions and assumptions instead of sitting down and taking the time to work through things, the pain that has been caused over decades, and hopefully, a reconciliation process. 

But with that said, just cause little, some soldiers. They came out alone, with some soldiers thinking I was hot. Stuff and I have written over 60 scripts in the last eight years, from TV shows and miniseries to different types of films and short films, and never once has my team, my intimate team of readers, read a script I wrote, even as a first or second draft, and said this stinks. 

And until the short film I wrote right after Lonesome Soldier, I was so confused because that was like that. And it wasn’t until I finally took the time to step off that podium, step off my high horse, and realize, oh, this is missing his heart. I’m trying to show off. I’m giving myself great acting scenes. I’m giving other people great dialogue. It’s a great story with a twist at the end. 

But there’s no heart or purpose in it, and that’s a lesson that I’m very glad to have learned in the last two months myself because it happens to so many people who make, you know, their first kind of successful big film, and they’re. I’m trying to start. Is their career at a higher level than then? Most people will get the chance to experience it, and a lot of them never make another successful film because they, you know, start thinking that their stuff doesn’t stink. And I got it. I fell into that trap myself and was blessed to have that team that I talked about earlier around me. 

Now, let’s figure this out, and so it’s what we’re working on next. It’s called the Heart of Stone. We’re shooting out in Virginia in May. And then we’re working on a feature film, a different role, a fictional film, but about a veteran who comes back after hearing somebody put his old high school, true love, childhood crush, true love halfway across the country and in. In a hospital, after taking advantage of her and hurting her, kind of has a blend to take. And an equalizer, and that’s called. See you soon. We’re working on that and will put it into production later this year or early next year. 

So, there are a couple of good things on the horizon, a few other things, like what we’re working on, and a few projects that will remain secret at this point but are also very exciting.

Interestingly, you said you did it without a heart, but it’s called a heart of stone. Isn’t that exactly what it’s about anyway? OK, as I go through life, I’m in my 40s and have done many cool things. 

If you’re watching the video, you can see some of the stuff on the wall behind me here, including this big arcade game. It has 30,000 games; you get to go through them and fight for your lives. I beat some of the games, which is interesting. 

But We never stop learning these lessons, and no matter what projects we do, no matter what career we have, no matter what kind of relationships we have, if you don’t put yourself in these things right, if you don’t bring yourself along for the ride and you try to do it, you know without that sense of you in them. 

They’re all going to suffer and stink. It’s got to have something that captures your spirit in them, even if you’re acting, even if the role is fairly, you know, far from who you are. There will be part of that role that’s got to be part of you. And if you can’t make it part of you, it won’t work on the big screen. Not that I have any experience with that stuff, but it sounds.

You write what you know as a writer; I’m not sure who that quote is credited to, which I probably should because it’s one of my favorite quotes. But we often wonder whether it’s Quentin Tarantino or Shakespeare; you have the writer, the great writer, take what they’ve gone through in life and just put it into a fictional version, or at least draw from it. 

I just went to an Edgar Allan Poe theater production a few weeks ago, which told the story of his life and broke down four of his four most successful famous works, and how he was using a fictionalized version of his life, which was a very tragic, dark life. Whether you’re familiar with it or not, Familiar with that is his life story and many deaths, from his parents to his wife to his friends, and then ultimately to himself, and how he channeled that, and that’s why. 

But I mean that to me. I find a lot of motivation, ideas, and inspiration because it is one of the greatest ways to work through trauma. They say, you know, I’m not a big talker about the things going bad in my life or that I’ve struggled with, but I do a lot of Journaling. And it’s my way. It’s my therapy to write these things out in a way that I can honor the lessons I’ve learned. But talking about those lessons, it’s interesting that you say you never stop learning, and when you stop, in my opinion, you stop moving forward. That’s when you know you start sinking in the quicksand. 

You have always to move forward, and I’ll. I’m very spiritual and religious, and I’ll pray and ask God to help me improve my patience. I do not recommend asking God for that because he won’t give you more patience. He will put you in more situations that test your patience beyond what you’re used to, which is a very frustrating process, but it’s a part of that growth you were talking about.

No, it is. And my dad told me many years ago not to pray for patients. That was a terrible, terrible idea. Don’t pray for that stuff.

No, no.

It’s one of those things, but you’re talking about journaling, right? I watched the… I don’t know what you call … the biopic Val about Val Kilmer, Kilmer, and he was talking about how he did all these video recordings throughout his whole life. He’s behind the scenes at the movies and this, that, and the other, and he just struggles while trying to play Batman. I guess you can’t hear anything when you’re in the back when you’re in the bat suit. And then he wanted to.

I can’t use the Bathroom for 10 hours on end. Yeah, it’s very frustrating. It’s a little frustrating. You also discussed that in that biopic, but I’m sorry to interrupt.

That’d be a great role for my wife. This woman likes to go to work, and I’ll work a full shift and come home. She’s like, I have to pee. And like you didn’t use it. I’m at work, and guys, we’re just like, every 90 minutes or so, we go in there like, Oh, yeah, yeah, this is good. She isn’t taking one of them. Whole stinking day truck drivers like. I don’t. I couldn’t. I couldn’t. I could never be Batman for that. I could be a billionaire Playboy philanthropist, but I need my suit to come off like that.

Oh yeah, that’s.

Iron Man, right?

The easy part is that my 12-year-old brother could be a billionaire Playboy philanthropist.

Yeah, I can play Bruce Wayne, but not Batman. I can’t be in that suit for that long, but. Between him and what I wrote, I read Green Lights by McConaughey.

Green light.

The journal, video journal, or blog their life, and you can go back and look at so many of these things when I think about them, like the Titan Evolution Podcast and how it’s a conversation. It’s not much of an interview because someone here is talking with me. Right. 

But when I listen to my advice and stories, I’m like, man, that guy knows what he’s—talking about you occasionally. You must go back and listen to your stuff when you need that kind of expert advice. Sometimes, you lose yourself, but if you capture part of the essence of who you are in a podcast, your journal, or how you do it, you can return and find yourself in those places.

Absolutely. I got 22 quick points on that one. I don’t know if you did this in kindergarten or first grade, but when I did it, we wrote a letter to our older self in our senior year, and then you were supposed to give it to our parents. And I guarantee every single person who did that.

Hmm.

The kindergartener forgot, and I’m sure most of the parents forgot to give it back to him, but my parents did it, and I still have that. And I started doing that every couple of years. I will write a letter to myself in the future and give it to, well, well. Now, I use an online thing that just five years from now sends me the letter back in an e-mail, so it keeps track. 

That’s like memories on Facebook. 

It’s somewhat, but it’s more like an online blog slash e-mail to yourself that I can go dear future me five years from now, and then it will remember to send that back to me, and I can’t. I don’t have access to it through the website. I’ll look it up and text it to you later. Whatever it is, I love it.

Yeah.

Doing that, and then I was recently gifted with this journal, and I’m not going to, you know, plug anybody in. No, not sponsored by. These guys are not affiliated, but this was one of my most valued gifts. It’s not just the journal; it’s a journal that asks you deep questions every day. What would you name the chapter of your life right now and why? The one I worked on yesterday is: How do you want to feel this week, and how do you want to improve? What makes you feel unproductive, or just different little prompts to help you continue to grow and evolve?

I’ve started giving it to my close friends and family myself because it is of that nature. You’re always growing, and then you can always look back and continue to challenge yourself. 

Back to Green Lights by McConaughey. His Oscar speech was that he would like to thank. His hero will be him ten years from now because he’s always running to be better and chase who he is in 10 years, and that type of methodology is exactly, I think, the right way to go because you’re always trying to improve yourself, be better, and impact other people. At least I know that’s what I’m trying to do with my work. In my personal life as well.

In business, I often get asked, Who’s your competition? And I usually say nobody and a lot of people find that arrogant. I don’t have any competition. No, you’re not this. You’re not that like, oh, Travis is so good. Like, yes, I am that good. But I’m.

Yeah, you know.

I understand that people come in through my business. People can do podcasting through a billion other channels, right? They would choose to do mine because of me, what I bring to the table, and who I am. And when I look at it that way, I’m not competitive with anybody because I get it if you’re not a fit for me. Let me refer you to one of my friends who does the same thing. You do You. That’s for you. I’m like, I’m not losing anything.

Well, I have a challenge. I want to challenge you a little bit on this. Who do you think of as your competition?

OK, OK.

Instead of nobody looking at you, always trying to be better and beat yourself, I know that’s something I view as a very vain industry. So, I can look at other actors or writers who have had more success or got this part. And I didn’t, and I could be very judgmental. They are very upset, you’re disappointed, or I can just try to perform better in my next film than Lonesome Soldier. I’m competing against myself and would love to hear your thoughts. And maybe that’s where you were going before I cut you off, but if so, I’m taking credit for this one now because I said I said it before you.

That was it. That is where I was going. That that when I look at, you know, the back through my career and I can look right, I can look on the wall behind me and I can look at you know what it took me to get my degree, what it took for me to get my wings to fly with the Navy, what it took to get listed on who’s who, Marquis, who’s who in America, has a is a random person that doesn’t have a movie credit to his name. What does it take to do that kind of stuff? 

When I try to distill it for others, I only do a few things that I do well: I show up with a great attitude and am willing to provide value. Sometimes that means. I was flying to a friend’s wedding in Reno at the last minute, and their maid of honor quit on them, and my wife and I had to run the whole wedding for them. We missed the wedding. We got everyone where they needed to be. We set up the reception hall. We did all of the work.

Because that’s who we needed to be at that time. It was magic that we could show up with a great attitude and be willing to provide value and help. We let the bride and groom be there on that day so that each other could have a wonderful wedding and enjoy the reception because we were willing to step up and be there for them now.

Yeah, the serving is right; you and I talked about a scene where I would walk in and be announced. The last time we talked, I was like, how could I still be me in the scene, be Travis, and still be that person? Getting there is the only way to get to where I’m going. The question is whether I am truly, honestly, and truly myself. 

So, after we spoke last time, I pictured someone rushing out of the room, bumping something, and then picking it up off the floor as I came in. That allows me to be me still, still be in that role, and be true to myself without it. You know, violating who that character is supposed to be because if I’m not me, or at least me at the time, then it doesn’t matter who I am or what I’m trying to do. I’m trying to do something out of my character. You know what I mean.

Absolutely. I know exactly what you mean, and it is an actor who is a method actor. That’s my preferred technique. It’s interesting; the dynamic to expound upon what you’re saying is who I am in my everyday and personal life. I will be getting married here before the end of the year. I’m very excited about that. And that’s very different from my professional life. 

But it all intertwines in business, you know, in my day-to-day life. But when are you a method actor, or the way? I approach it as creating and becoming someone completely different, and when I go through that, it’s a very intense 30, 60, or 90 days that I take on and embody somebody else, and sometimes that. It is rough, and sometimes, that rubs people the wrong way. 

And so, I had to realize, and I learned this while doing Lonesome Soldiers, that I had to make sure in pre-production and in post-production, and the moment that the martini shot on the film, which is the last shot before the film wraps, that next moment I needed to take 5 minutes alone. 

And then I was there while everyone else was going and having drinks. I showed up to the after-party four hours late because I told them all to go and because I was going to help clean up. And it was time for me to serve and thank everyone because we worked together as a team. It’s really important, especially in an industry so focused on vanity. What have you done for me lately? Look how great I am, how amazing my ABS looks, how beautiful my wife is, and who I am and what I’m doing. And it’s very easy to lose the sense of treating other people. 

At your same level, or even if you think that they’re below you, the person who gets you coffee, you’re a big star that has to memorize thousands of lines and do all this crazy stuff. You’re still just a human being, just like that. You’re your assistant, fetching everybody’s coffee. 

And how, on a day-to-day basis, can you impact the lives of those around you? That’s something like that, especially as a young guy who started in this industry at 19. I did not. I was not very good at that for the first couple of years of my career, and it’s something that, still to this day, I have to focus very hard on, and it’s something you’ve continued to encourage me with. When we first started talking, you asked me to talk about myself. You didn’t let me get 30 seconds into telling you about myself. Because you were like, I don’t want to hear about your accolades, what you’ve done, or what you’re doing. I want to hear about you as a person. And it was. It was such a powerful experience that you and I returned to you because you said if it’s supposed to work and I’m willing to do the work, you’ll be there. 

So, I have. You know, you’re like, you have my number. Alex, call me when you’re ready. And I called you back and said I’m not good at this. I need help—and conviction, accountability, and mentorship. And I just want to take a moment to thank you for that because I’ve seen that affect my entire life over the last few months in such a positive way.

Well, thank you so much for that. It is it?

He is kind. Of * ****. Sometimes, though, I will say that.

Well, sometimes you have to be ****, *****? I love interrupting people when it’s needed, right? There’s a time to interrupt people, and there’s a time to let them talk themselves right off a cliff or, you know, give them enough rope to hang themselves with. There’s a time when you have to jump in, stop them, and prevent that from happening. This is all symbolic, of course. But I saw who you were right away. I saw your heart right away. 

And as soon as you started, you knew you were getting off that path ever so slightly. I was like, hey, man, that’s not what we’re talking about. Let’s bring it back to here. Please bring it back to you. What we’re talking about is one of the reasons that this has worked out so well. 

For you and me, isn’t that because I’m a great mentor or you’re a great writer? It’s because we’re both willing. Things to have that push and pull in our lives that we’ll have to learn a little over here, share a bit of value, and help someone recharge this way. 

And that’s just how I’d like to live my life. It took so much time between the last interview I did for Titan Evolution and the one I’m doing now. As I get back into it, I need to find myself again. I was doing the show with a co-host. We weren’t driving on the same page, and we finally decided, you know, to work on other projects and finally get back into this. I needed that time. I needed that time to recalibrate and find out who I was. I pulled something out of a drawer while chatting about your journal. This is an old-school pod deck, and it has. You can ask people different questions when you’re running into something, such as unsure what to say. I was unsure what to ask, but when you brought up your journal with those deep questions, I thought I would ask you a question from this, and you could ask me a question from yours. What do you think?

I think that’s great. You go first, yeah? I’m shuffling through cards and waiting for you to tell me when to stop.

When?

When the top card is.

Oh boy.

I just saw the first three words. Was that a recurring lie? I was like, what? What kind of cards are these? What recurring lie did you always tell your parents or your teachers?

I used to. I loved the film so much. And when I was 10 or 11 years old, I got an iPhone for my birthday. It was kind of my first smartphone smart device before I got a computer and a phone, you know, later on in the line. And I realized early on that there are ways to watch full movies on my touch whenever I want. And my parents were amazing, but they also stuck very true to PG films, or when you’re, you know, 8 to 10 years old, PG13. It’s not until you’re 13 and ours, not until you’re 17. 

And I just love movies so much that I would stay up until the wee hours of the morning and during my adolescence, under my covers, and watch the great films Godfather, Shawshank Redemption, and the Rock Saving Private Ryan films that I knew were held on a pedestal. But I probably was not ready for some of those while not being allowed to watch them. I got caught a couple of times, and that was it. They also taught me accountability because my parents walked me through instead of being extremely upset. I was blessed, for yes, I was disciplined, but I was also blessed with their ability to understand and see my skill sets quickly. You pulled a few fast ones with the few little white lies. Yeah, I’m going to bed at 8:00 p.m. I will get 12 hours of sleep tonight and then get two hours of sleep. You know, little. Things like that. 

I think that, hopefully, it falls under that category because it taught me that. It is always a blessing to be caught by those you love, and you know better than to be upfront and honest instead of cause. I learned very young what it means to have integrity and be a man of my word in a safe space instead of learning that in my adult life. Where you live has real-world consequences. What is something you feel like? You can never escape from it.

I can never escape from it. I mean, we can never escape from our past. Right now, I would probably say it’s hard as I try not to be this person. I don’t feel like I can escape from my military call sign of Taco John.

Hmm. You’ll have to elaborate in Part 2. Who is Taco John, and why have I not heard about this in the last three—or four months?

So, one of the things about being an aviator of any variety—and I was not an aviator—was that I was a naval flight officer. Do you end up getting a call? Over the years. I’ve had dozens upon dozens. I wouldn’t be shocked if you told me I had over 100 nicknames or call signs. Right. 

Travis Johnson, you got JT rap like they stacked up in the 90s; they hit the ****** Johnson. T-shirts. So, I was Johnson, so I always had one of those.

Hey, my grandma. Alright, my grandma watches this come.

On. Sorry, grandma. Grandma, this is rated R. You’re old enough to watch. You can choose.

Hey, she walked. Local soldier, and we got over 150 F-bombs in it, so she’s fine. I’m.

I’m just teasing you. Oh, absolutely. And then, you know, Austin Powers came out like a man; that looks like a big shot in all the names from that stuff. All the different shenanigans are growing up, but usually. Right. A call sign in the military. You get it from something. That’s an terrible story. Or it’s like the dumbest thing you’ve ever done. 

There’s always a public face Nickname, and then there’s the real story behind the scenes of what it is. I was told to go through flight school. If you can pick up your call sign, do it. If you get the opportunity to do something from which you’ll get your call sign, you should just go ahead and take that opportunity. 

So, then, you can help create the narrative. Well, I always try to take good advice. I’ve been taking good advice for most of my life, which has worked well for me. So, we’re deploying; we’re in all sorts of different places, and Taco John’s, for those outside the Midwest, is a drive-through fast food Taco Place started in Wyoming. Growing up in Minnesota, I had one in my small town: fast-food tacos. It’s nothing magical. They have a fantastic thing called 6 Pack and a Pound, where they get six tacos and a pound of potato leaves, like hash rounds with seasoning. It’s delicious. Please don’t get me another nacho cheese. Amazing. I love their nacho cheese. He’s everyone seeing this; call me Taco. John, you can. One of the places we visited had a Taco John’s, and it’s a bit of nostalgia. It’s like the people who argue about what a burger is or in and out. Yeah, it’s a fast-food burger. Like, why are we arguing about, like, a crappy?

In-ground or? Yeah.

Fast food restaurant burger.

They’re all bad. They’re, yeah, they’re all this. Quality.

Yeah, right, right. They’re all of the same quality.

I mean, is Taco John? Quality. Where is it with the Taco Bell?

Oh, it’s better. It’s way better than Taco Bell.

OK, is it like Chipotle or Doba level?

No, no, it’s still a fast-food taco. If I had the choice, I would go to Taco John’s every time over Taco Bell.

I got you. Sorry, I just have never heard of Taco John.

No, no. That’s why we’re talking about it, right? So, we discovered that a place we deployed to regularly had a Taco John as our mission. As our mission requirements were, I was never allowed to go out of town. If our airplane was mechanically sound, right? 

So, unless we were broken, we’d have the opportunity to go out in town and do whatever we wanted. But the vast majority of the time, I was stuck on base.

Wait, wouldn’t it? Sorry to interrupt, but why wouldn’t it be the other way if it was broken? You shouldn’t be able to leave until it’s fixed. But if it’s running operationally, why do they need you there?

If you have, if it takes you ten days to get parts, you’re not locked on base for 10. days; you’re willing to part, right?

I got you. OK.

Yeah, but if we’re operational, we must be able to do so. Get up and get, yeah.

Standby is like a NASCAR pit-type thing.

Yeah, absolutely. Right. So, I wasn’t allowed off base most of the time. And this guy had his three favorites. He went to get pizza at this place called Land Skies. He would get chili. And I think of one other thing. Jimmy. Jimmy John’s Lanski’s was phenomenal pizza. I loved it. You can only have it so many times, though, right? Like pizza, it’s good. Uh, good pizza’s good; bad pizza’s good. But you can only do it—so many times in a week.

That’s right.

I’m not a Jimmy John’s fan. You have to eat it fresh out of the oven, or the bread gets rock hard and Chipotle. I’m more of a Qdoba guy than Chipotle.

And consider that this podcast is over.

Well, so here it is, man. They had queso before Chipotle ever did. And you don’t get charged extra for extra gas. You can put like.

But they’re right, and I won’t talk anybody down. But you’re crazy to think about it. Canova’s better than the polling. Great.

This interview is over. What are you? Guys, we’re talking about Mexican food.

That’s right. Yeah, I’m writing. I’m calling the post office. Your save-the-date is being pulled. My fiancé loves Chipotle so much that we’re catering. It was for the rehearsal dinner. So, there you go.

Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So, there it turns out there’s a Taco John. It’s in the same parking lot as Chipotle. Like. And they go; he goes all the time. He gets Chipotle for lunch or dinner daily and then gets one of the others, right? They only go to those three places. And I’m like, dude, hook me up with some Taco Johns. Please give me that six-pack and a pound. And he’s like, no, not today. Maybe next week. And none of that stuff. Just a complete sentence said no. And I’m like, dude, like, I don’t. I don’t understand what the deal was. I looked it up on the map, but you can be in the parking lot anyway. He’s like. Nope, not. To do it. 

So, I asked him for Taco John’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day of every deployment until he got it for me. Not out of principle, not be. We’re talking fast-food tacos here. We’re not. It’s not life-changing stuff. It’s delicious. Don’t get me wrong; I won’t turn it away, but it’s not like that. That’s not wonderful.

It’s still up, and if it doesn’t give you that, uh.

You’re like, oh, man.

Yeah.

I’m Looking for the. When you look back favorably, there’s a word for it. This is why I have it. Thank you.

Nostalgia. Nostalgia. It’s very, very nostalgic for me, right? So, on our airplane, that airplane is enormous. It’s 150 feet long and wide. Right. And I was in the middle of it, like 75 feet from behind the flight deck. And you can listen on different channels. On the airplane, there are two. There’s a flight deck channel and the rest of the plane channel. And then there is one that has everybody on it. And I was listening in, and they’re like this guy every day with the Taco. Johns Taco, John Taco, Taco, ******* John. Like, that’s his name. Taco ******* John. 

And we landed back at Tinker Air Force Base. I was where I was stationed, and I used to be when I was a listed guy. I used to work in the AM and PR shops, so we created name tags for the officers when I wasn’t listed. So we landed. We had just. I just overheard that conversation, ran inside, and made myself a name tag that said Taco. ******* John. And then I made one that didn’t have the F-bomb in it.

FT FG, yeah, yeah.

Middle of it. Right, so I put it on. I walked back out on the crew. They saw it. Everybody left, and that was my call sign. So, I got the chance to pick it up. And that this guy and I went back and forth for a while and got our last appointment together. He finally went and got me Taco Johns as a peace offering.

I’m changing your name on my phone to Taco John right now, right? I will ensure that remains because the answer to your question is, yes, you’ll never be able to escape.

I’ll never be able to escape Taco John.

Please get rid of it, yeah.

It is funny. Because it’s become part of our persona as a family, we host quarterly taco parties where we make tacos, and then it’s a big potluck. You bring whatever you’re famous for; whatever that thing is, people tell you to bring all the time you have. We have tacos, right? You don’t bring anything, forget, or yours stinks that day, or you want to try something. But we always have tacos. As a thing, we have between 30 and 120 people at the house when we have these taco parties, and it turns out to be a great time.

Oh yeah.

You say, Where’s your invite? What purpose does this serve? Where’s my invite?

You said it—not me, but Dad. Yeah, the next one. I’ll bring steak. Well, my family. We call them steak tips, but I’ll bring steak tips. That’s it, that’s me. That’s what I do.

Bring the accountability household has steak tips. Is that what you’re saying?

My mom was my mother when we were young. We slipped up by accident once, and we have never slipped up again. Let her forget it.

Well, that’s your mom’s call sign, then.

Oh, dude, no, that’s straight down.

Sorry, mom. Suppose you’re listening to this; my bad.

Mom, he said that not me. You could take it up with Travis later.

But see how it can happen in the military, right? You do something dumb in the field, and someone makes fun of you once, and someone else repeats it. That’s it. That’s your call sign for all the time. No. Now, if you serve like that, like that hurt in my first year as a commissioned officer, yeah. It’s over.

Right. If I could have done 30 years of commission and service, which I could have, I should have served for 50 years, which is just in the same amount of time that would have been my call sign for all of time. I could have been having. That call sign was Taco John for 50 years.

And everyone, like people, would get promoted, move bases, and whatnot. Is it common for people you’ve never met, even if they know your call sign time, like, “Just get work, just get around your Taco John?

It does, right? So, wherever do you end up going? And people that you served with before ended up there ahead of you. – Lieutenant Travis Johnson is checking in, like Taco John. Man, I love that guy. 

So, they know your call sign before they know your real name, like, Hey, Taco John’s here. What’s up? What’s going on? Where? Where? What’s the coupon? Tacos this time. So.

Ah, John, yeah. What’s the worst? Pulling a sign for somebody you served with, like the one you were like. Oh, thank God. That was not me.

Well, there’s always a public-facing version and a military version. I have a friend I served without in Bahrain—his call was Biff. Mine was Biff. His name is Frank, and he messed up something, so they called him Biff—big idiot, Frank.

Oh jeez.

That’s the public-facing call sign, right? The real story of what happened was that he was deployed. He was on the aircraft carrier, and every squadron had a ready room. They went through the morning brief and general knowledge in the ready room. They quizzed each other. They went through the day’s mission and had it on a big whiteboard. The young pilots would come in and brief the big mission for the day about what would happen. 

So, he goes into study for one of his qualifications, and there’s one dude up there. He’s like, Hey, what’s up with the board? And the guy is like, I don’t know. 

So, spoiler alert, that guy knew exactly what was on the board and why it was there, but with this enormous whiteboard, you know, like those little school professors have, like, they had a huge whiteboard, and you would like to push. It’s up and there, like. Too tall. There’s an enormous thing, right? So, he takes it. There’s a mission briefing there, and he erases the whole thing, right?

He starts working on his qualifications and doing good stuff, right? He checks the room to ensure it isn’t legitimate and starts doing this. And then the whole squadron piles in, and the guys who were going to do the brief look at the board are like, what? The.

They spent about 90 minutes writing and creating it to go through there, and Frank, my boy Frank, just there, he’s like.

I’m using a fictional story of that in one of the ex-military movies. That sucks.

Yeah, yeah. It’s so bad. So, it wasn’t Biff—big idiot—Frank. It was 3BS5I and 6Fs… They added as many cuss words as possible.

The only one with the last F was Frank. The other four were probably there.

All sorts of four-letter words in there make it big, idiot Frank. But there’s always a public-facing story and a real story about what happened. I was just fortunate enough to pick up my call sign. 

So, although it was annoying for them, if they had gotten me, Taco Johns, I would have stopped. But I’m so glad that I don’t have some other name. You know what I mean. Because. It gets way worse. It gets way worse.

And I want to kind of go back to something you said, or there’s the front-facing, and then there’s the real amongst the community. And that’s something that, you know, brings it back to Lonesome Soldier, as we’re probably getting close. You told me, you know, I don’t have a ton of time. We’ve got about an hour or so, and I want to hit one last time, load some soldiers, and then we can keep going for as long as you’ll have me. But I want to make sure we don’t. We don’t forget to say that. The community is it; that’s what makes the military so special and so strong.

And it’s been such an opportunity with Lonesome Soldier and the production company that I am an executive and a part of, which focuses on honoring the authenticity of that experience. Because, as I truly believe at this point. Statistically, less than 1% of the United States population wears AU. Form, and that is it. It has been such an honor and a blessing, and it’s been abused by Hollywood to use that community and the experiences of the community at times in a manner that makes entertainment instead of truly honoring authentic stories. Of that community, and that is something that I. We and the people I work with truly focus on and. 

And I wanted to ask you if that was something you knew earlier. You talked about the experience of watching this film, and I wanted to come back to that and ask if you felt that this, what I just said, was accomplished in this project.

No, I think you guys did a great job, and you kept you; you kept the honor in what was happening, even though it was a tough story, even though it was tough to get to you. You kept that honor in the service. The thing about the news is that if we break it down into an acronym, there’s no chance this is right. 

But if it says no worthy events, whether in sports, right, sports, we get those on the phone anytime, whether we get that on an app, notable events. What the news is supposed to be—that’s all the stuff that doesn’t normally happen. But right now, veterans, if a veteran is in the news, almost certainly it’s related to PTSD-related suicide-related harming somebody else. And there are so many more veterans out there. They’re, you know, on the board of Fortune 500 companies. They’re making millions of dollars and making billion-dollar decisions. There are veterans in every phase and every walk of life in every imaginable industry, and something that I heard going through the process from enlisted to an officer called Mustangs in the Community is that your best officers were prior enlisted. 

And your worst officers are already enlisted. They don’t get it. And they went; they think that they’ve made it, and they’re there, and they’re just kind of taking up space, or they’re in there, and they’re making it amazing. And I know how human experiences work; if someone’s listening to this, that person knew me as both, you know, an officer and a listener, and, you know, you changed. That’s right. It did change my responsibilities. The way I do things has changed. 

Some saw me as an officer and thought I was the most amazing mentor. I did everything in the book that I did, all these amazing things. And I know that there’s another side to the coin. They’re. He never lived up to his financial goals; he did this wrong. He did that wrong. He always seemed to be in the captain’s office for whatever reason. 

And in any story, you have those two sides of the same coin. I’m the villain and the hero in so many stories. But you were able to capture both sides of the dichotomy. What it means to be a soldier at home and abroad, and what it looks like to be done because the struggles are real. I know from talking about being away from family that it did. You know, it hurt me that much, but it did. It hurt. It hurt my daughter to be away from me for, you know, a year at a time or longer. It hurt my family when I was in and out of the house all the time; it put my role as a husband and father on pause. Think of it like a high school reunion. Right. 

The last time I saw them. Then I go off and do many military things, but when I return home, I try to hit play. They’ve matured and grown since I was away, and I haven’t grown as a father or a husband. 

So, we just want my dad back or whatever else. Like they grew without me, so that’s something that I missed, and I can’t get back to you. My daughter’s out of the house. She’s married. I’ve got a cute granddaughter named Remy. 

My son just got home from tennis. He’s turning 16 here in less than a month. He’s got a car already. He’s very responsible, but I will have a ton of time with him. Compared to my daughter, who I’ll never get back with, there are years of a life spent, and once the kids move out of the house, how much time do you get with your parents? 

How much time do you spend with your grandparents? Or great-grandparents? After they move out, that time is almost down to nothing. You’re in; you’re in the same city nearby. If you’re a couple of cities away, it’s an exponential decrease in how much time you get to see them. 

My daughter, my son-in-law, Jack, and Remy. They live in the Oklahoma City metropolis, but I’m not there daily. It’s not the same as if they were in the same city, on the same block, on the same street, or in the same neighborhood. Once you leave the house, That’s it. Do you see him? What? Over the summer. If you’re going to college a couple of times a year, what if they get a wild bug and try to fly out to Hollywood and make it with one of the other 10 million people that year that try to make it? Are you going to see them once a year? Twice a year? 

I mean, I’ve been blessed personally. I think I talk. I talk to my mother or father daily for at least 30 to 60 minutes, 365 days a year. So, I have a unique, blessed opportunity with their relationship. They’re involved in different aspects of my production company, so that’s the exception, not the norm.

That is, that is, an exception.

It’s me. I believe it’s one of the other. The most impactful factors of the success that I’ve accomplished. It will continue to play into the rest of my career as well. It’s something for which I thank God every day. For.

Well, that is wonderful, and I know God has blessed us both beyond our wildest imaginations, and I hope he continues to do so. I have one final question before we sign off here. What would you want to tell yourself five years from now?

What I want to tell myself five years from now.

I don’t know whatever words make this work.

Well, normally, the question is talking to yourself in the past. You’re saying five years in the future now.

What advice would you have for yourself? I don’t know if it’s setting goals, a vision, or reminding yourself if this will disappear and show up in your email five years from now. What are you saying, that version of Alexander?

Stay the course, and do not let the negative experiences—personally, emotionally, professionally, and otherwise—change or harden me. Who am I today?

I love it. Alexander, thanks for being my guest today. For those of you listening, stay the course and check out Lonesome Soldier on Amazon, Google, and Apple TV.

Amen. Thank you.

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