Have you ever wondered how someone can turn tragedy into something positive? My guest actor Robert Peterpaul has done just that with his podcast The Art of Kindness. Hear the story of how the kindness showed to him and his family during a very dark time became a light that he now shares with the world.
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It's not always appropriate. It's not always the right time. You shouldn't be cracking jokes at people's funerals.
Welcome to another episode of Chewing the Fat. I am your host, Big Robb. Thank you so much for tuning in, downloading, following the podcast. I certainly do appreciate that. Thanks to Claire who bought me a coffee at chewingthefatbr.com. I certainly do appreciate that. And for the folks that are writing reviews at Apple podcasts and giving ratings, those always help the podcast. And it means so much to me to get those emails that someone has written a review of the podcast. It's just so cool. And speaking of cool,
He is calling in from outside of New York City. He is an actor, a writer, and a fellow fan of kindness. Please welcome Robert Peterpaul. Hello. Hello Robert, thank you for being here. Thank you for having me, and thank you for calling me cool in the beginning. That was, wow, I'm not gonna get over that one for a while. That's so cool. That's your rating that I'm giving you. I'm giving you a cool rating. Okay, well, Rob, you know what? I'm gonna give you a rating then,
because I've been listening, and not only do you have an awesome voice and such a beautiful mind, but your podcast is amazing. So I'm so excited to be here today. Thank you so much, I appreciate that. Robert is an actor, like I said, an actor, a performer. You're up in New York. I found you through your podcast, you are also a podcaster with the Art of Kindness podcast, I think is, we both kind of shared a similar start point
kind of in the, we didn't realize it was the end-ish times of the pandemic. It felt like right in the heart of it. So I think we both had this need to say something positive to the world because there was so much negative going around. So I just kind of fell in love with what you're doing with the Art of Kindness podcast on the Broadway podcast network. Robert, let's find out a little bit more about you. Are you from that area?
Is that where you grew up? Where I'm living now? Actually, no. So I'm just outside the city in Connecticut, but I grew up in New Jersey and grew up always going into the city, seeing Broadway shows. I've been an actor since I was really young, but I moved to Connecticut for a girl. Seven if I'm not mistaken, right? Seven? Oh, look at that flex in the research. Yes. Well, you know, my parents like to say I came out of the world singing and being wild and weird. So, you know.
Same. Might be zero points. Okay, good. I felt like we were kindred in that way. Kindred in kind. Yes. Yeah, so I've always been close to the city, which has been really nice because, you know, that's the theater hub of the world in a lot of ways. Yeah, yeah. What was it about that that really drew you to theater to, I mean, again, to seven, that's a young age to start. But I mean, was it just, what was it about performing that really just burned that fire
you? I think storytelling is just something that's so heartfelt and fun for me. I think it's always been my way of connecting with people. You know, I loved a good play date, but I always emphasized the play and I would wrangle my friends into being in short films or produce plays in the backyard. And it always became maybe work for other people, but I was always having a blast. And I think that's what life's all about, right? Having fun. So I've kind of kept following the fun and
And I guess Seven was probably when I first started acting professionally, but I didn't even know it. I didn't know it was a quote unquote job just because I was enjoying it so much. So I think it's the sort of thing for me where I just can't not do it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. As a, I guess folks would call you a child actor at Seven doing that. Did you follow kind of the path? We always hear such negative things about child actors and that they get, you know,
of fame and it just turns them into horrible human beings. I don't think that's happened to you, but I mean everybody goes through stuff in life. Everybody has. Well Rob, I gotta tell you, no, I didn't. Brown Liquor at Eight. Let me show you what's off camera over here. That's right, I was crushed Flintstones vitamins I was eating. Yeah, it's just Mickey Mouse smoking a cigarette. No, I didn't get the Disney curse, probably because I didn't land a Disney show,
I actually I did when I was little, like the Beauty and the Beast tour. That's a different story. But you know, I, yeah, I feel like I just, again, it was always something that was fun to me, but for some reason I, I think I was embarrassed maybe a little bit, to be honest, growing up. Like I, it was still that phase where I think now theater kids, it's such a thing. You can find your people online so easily and it's awesome. But to be honest with you, I think growing up,
of, you know? They could target you for being that way and certain things were hurtful. And I always bopped around and was trying to be friends with everybody. So I didn't, I was such a people pleaser that I didn't want anybody to sort of outcast me in that way fully. So while I did theater, I think I was always kind of like not accepting the label. I don't know what it was, but I didn't study. I did study theater in college, but I didn't go to, you know, a quote unquote theater school. And part of that too, I think
I always like to have people outside the business around me. And so to kind of land the plane and answer your question, I think because I have tried to find that balance, maybe I didn't get fully sucked in in a lot of ways, but it's an interesting question because I feel like for me, and I know you were fellow theater nerds over here, just having listened, but I think for me, I'm always trying to get back to the sense of play I had as a kid.
I think it's like embracing that inner kid and forgetting all this business stuff I've learned along the way that can really freeze you up and you know, bog your mental health in a lot of ways and get in the way of your auditions and performing. So going back to that play, the sense of play I had as a kid is something I strive for every time I take on a project or I audition, which I do have to film an audition right after this. So this is a good reminder, you know? But it is, it should be fun at the end of the day,
That's kind of what I feel. Yeah, it's one of those things. And I agree, when you get tied into the business side of it, you can be so like, oh, it's like I have to do this and this and you forget thinking about taxes and write-offs and things like that and how much you paid for your headshots and you have to get them every six months and all this other stuff. Just got new ones. Yeah, yeah. It's being able to, again, give of yourself
And I feel like it is a very altruistic outpouring when you truly, because I mean, that's why I do it. I like to entertain, I like to give back. Not like, oh, look at me, but it's like to be part of this thing that can cause somebody to flow from a range of emotions from happiness and delight to sadness and introspection just on what, how you're delivering those words back.
It's one of my favorite art forms that are out there. And there's just nothing aside from like maybe songwriting. And you know, and it's, we're talking musical theater for a lot of what we both do here. It's still, it's the music. It's the way that you can connect to someone. It passes like language barriers and things like that and really gets to the heart of people.
And I think how you put it is really beautiful because for me going to the theater and being a part of theater is about both seeing and being seen, like feeling seen and then seeing something new. And if I can affect somebody in any way, even if it's just by being silly in a show and making somebody laugh, then I think I've done my job because we're all serving this story. And stories are supposed to make people feel and they're what our world is built on.
the basic art form, you know, it's at the base of all these different forms of entertainment, even sports in a lot of ways. Like we're always telling a story. Is it the underdogs? Is it the champions, you know, falling and losing? Whatever it is, you know, we're attracted to storytelling and it's just about human connection. So that's been a way to kind of tie in with my podcast, the arts and kindness because that's what it is. It's just being human.
What was your first role? We've talked about you getting your professional role at 7. What was your role?
My first, I think the first professional role at seven was I did. What came first? I don't know if I know. I know it wasn't the chicken or the egg. I was just going to say, I think I booked this educational tour. It was like a musical tour that was meant to go to different schools, teach kids about actually kindness and not bullying. And there were certain archetypes or archetypes. And then it got picked up and we got an off Broadway run,
It's called the People Garden. And yeah, a lot of my castmates I still talk to from time to time and are doing awesome things. And then from there I got more opportunities to audition. And so I ended up getting Seussical on Broadway, which was really like my big first thing and went through the process of that. And I guess that was like around the same time, but that taught me early on about this business because who's that show, you know,
and it closed before I ever actually got to go on. So it was a very kind of a confusing experience for me. Oh wow. Yeah, but it was a sort of thing where my first job kind of led into the other, which is what I'm finding is kind of the way it seems to go. Yeah, yeah. A lot of it, I think a lot of it is, you know, yes, it's the talent that you have, it's, but a lot of, any type of entertainment and stuff is very much kind of the people you know.
Hey, you can call somebody and get a job, you know it's like I hear people here because we're in Georgia and people are like well You know Tyler Perry studios in Atlanta. Can't you like, you know, once you don't it's like that's not how this works If I knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody I still may not get you know a role on it in a Tyler Perry movie or anything like that. It's it but when you do know that makeup person and they happen to know a cast and director and they say and that one project comes along says
hey I know a guy can we at least get him in the room. You know I think that those type of relationships and like you say flowing from one to the next because you're you're out there you're doing the work and people you're doing it in front of people to be seen and it's not just the people that are paying for the tickets it's the people you're working with. It's the people, the castmates, it's the crew, it's the director, it's you know the music director whomever you know that it's building those relationships and I really
you know, theater, entertainment, acting, it's such a big community. And it's like a small world, but it is such a big community. After all. Yeah. It is. It is a small world. Well, don't you find too, it is such a relationship business, and I think so much information is thrown at you early on, not only how to act, but then how to audition, how to make your resume look, how to get headshots and market yourself in the correct way.
how to audition for TV, how to audition for musicals, that that bogs your brain and you kind of get so insular that you forget that it is a business based on human connection. And so when you're going in constantly to try and get the job, quote unquote, it's not always the best recipe. And so I've been trying to, like you were just saying, take a step back, especially more recently and think it is just making friends. Every time you have an audition, it's the opportunity to meet somebody new and show them who you are.
people can smell that desperation, so getting rid of that and just trying to connect with people on a human level, I think is super important because you're right, you could know somebody and they can open that door for you, but that doesn't mean the room you're walking into is the automatic green light to a successful career. It could just mean that's one audition you're gonna get where a casting director might remember you and then a year later call you in for something else. And then a year later, you know, it's just stepping stones.
It's a marathon, not a sprint is I guess really what I'm trying to say. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. It's one of those things, like you said. That was one of the hardest lessons I had to learn early on because I have a specific body type. I understand what roles I will be cast in. You know what I mean? I understand what roles. I'm not going to be the lead, you know, handsome, swashbuckling, whatever. I'm going to be the funny
or something like that. And I'm okay with that because I love character work. You know, that's some of the most fun. But Rob, you could be the lead. You could be the lead. Well, I mean, I did do 25th annual in Putnam County, Spelman, but I was William Barfait, so I mean. Were you Barfait? I was, yeah. So I mean- I did that show. I know you did that show. Actually, I heard you talk about it on the podcast. Really? Who were you? So I did it at a really nice theater nearby, a regional theater, and it's quite competitive, no matter where you are around the city.
I was the swing, so I covered all the male tracks, which was one of the craziest experiences of my life, honestly, because there are a lot of very different characters in that show, as you know. So I had to learn Barfé. Oh, wow. Well, and it's not even just... I can't imagine it. It's not even just learning the characters. It's also so much improv that goes on, depending on who comes up on stage to be the guest spellers and stuff like that, and making sure you're in the right mindset of whatever character it is to improv
as that character. That's amazing. Yeah, that's so cool. When did you do Putnam County Spelling Big? Probably about four years ago. I think it was four years ago. Yeah, 2018 or something. Wow. Which isn't that long ago. Because COVID was like a weird blip that we don't really count. It is. You have to forget that there were two years in between that we never take count of. I think we did it at the same time, which is wild. That is wild. Yeah, I love that show. That was definitely a bucket list role for me. I absolutely love it.
love that. How did your podcast come about? Well, I think my podcast was baking in my brain for a very long time and then or toasting in my brain, I should say, to keep to keep a cleaner metaphor. And then the toast popped during the pandemic because growing up, you know, there's there's a couple of different points to it. And I'm a rambler. So give me the cane at any time.
you know, something happened with my family, my brother was sick and we experienced a lot of acts of kindness through that. And so early on I got this crash course in kindness through just seeing the nurses he had, unfortunately he passed away and the community rallied around us and they would bring us meals. And there was just such kindness that I really experienced early on and I never forgot. And so that certainly influences everything I do. And then when I was thinking about trying to be an actor,
are told, oh, you need a survival job, you need a survival job, which is good advice. And I always thought to myself, well, it would be really cool to be a waiter. That would be like an awesome rite of passage. And so I tried bartending for like a month and I used to, it was great. It was so much fun, but I used to give people like way too generous pours and it was late nights. And, you know, I eventually realized, all right, I could just have fun here. So I should go. And I thought if I'm going to have day jobs, they should be in the entertainment industry. So I'm meeting people. And so I've always loved
writing. And during the pandemic, I had been, I guess it was marking the sixth year I was an editor for this entertainment magazine, which is called OLA. And it's the Spanish version of Hello, which is bigger in the UK. And then OLA was launching in the US. So it was more like Latinx based, but it was it was fun. And I was just kind of dismayed at how negative the headlines
major website has these A-B checkers. I don't know if you've heard of that. It's called A-B testing. When you publish an article, you can put in different options for the headline and it will show you which one people are actually clicking. Obviously, people are going to click the more salacious ones. But on the opposite end, I saw that people would also really click the ultra positive ones. So, the total other end of the spectrum, the most
you know, so-and-so claps back at blah blah blah, or which I didn't, you know, I didn't like to write those stories, and I never really did. And then the other end would be, you know, Kate Middleton's baby photos, or check out this celebrity's wedding, just like more positive things. And so I knew there was an audience for that, and I was trying to figure out a way in my brain to kind of dramatize the positive and make people wanna click it. And I just, in the middle of the night, literally woke up and was like,
of kindness. It just kind of hit me. And then I started, I usually try to keep paper next to my bed because I always get weird ideas and sometimes they land, sometimes they don't. But this one landed the next day. I literally Googled how to start a podcast. I have some friends that have podcasts, so I picked their brain and I kind of just hit the ground running because I wanted to show, and as you know, people in the world that entertainers and artists at the core are usually
has created such a runaway train of dramatic news that they wanna place these people at the center of. And I'm like, they're already starring in the movies. They don't have to star in this crap too. So, yeah, I wanted to start a podcast that spotlighted artists and showed the amazing things that they're doing. And that's kind of how it was born, if that made any sense. Yeah, no, that's great. I mean, that's what they say. The best ideas come
three B's, you know, bedrooms, bathrooms and bar rooms, you know, because that's, that's where you're you're most relaxed where you're most it's when your mind is open to whatever that those ideas come around. And I'm very much I haven't heard that. Yeah, I'm very much the same way as I don't keep actual paper and pen. But I've got a note in my phone. And I use the voice memo all the time. And it's sometimes it's weird, one line of a song or you know, an idea for, you know, a coffee shop or
and sometimes I do something with them, sometimes I don't. So, but yeah, you gotta capture those things because they are gonna be gone as soon as you close your eyes again. I know, the VoiceNote app is super helpful for that. I'll do that even if I have an intro idea for the podcast now. I take long walks every day and I'll just do voice notes as I'm walking. I'm sure the neighbor thinks I'm the town weirdo, which is fine, being weird is fine, but yeah, the VoiceNote app is super helpful for that reason too. Yeah, so now you've got a podcast.
episode zero about, hey, this is what this is gonna be. What was the biggest hurdle for you getting going or continuing or, you know, just curious as a podcaster to podcaster, you know, what was your big like, this is, why is this part so hard?
Well, okay, well, what was really weird, and maybe you can relate to this, is how accessible and easy it actually is to start a podcast. It was like, overall, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Now, the hard stuff was, I mean, I think for me, the biggest hurdle has always been listening to the sound of my own voice and editing the episodes, if I'm being honest. That's not fun. That's not a good time for me. But I've gotten used to it, and it's been a good exercise.
one thing. And then I don't know. I think just with when you really believe in something and just feel it, for me at least, I commit and I just run toward it. And so I hit the ground running. I was booking guests and then I kind of knew I should stockpile people. So I was sitting on like six or seven interviews and episodes before I even premiered, just so maybe I might've went too far, honestly, just so I could have things ready to go. And I think overall it was just such a lovely
I don't know. I don't know that there was a huge hurdle overall besides my dumb voice, Rob. Which is odd for a person who partially sings for a living to think that their voice is difficult to listen to. But does anybody like the sound of their own voice? I feel like I tolerate it now. I mean, I do. Well, you have objectively really great deep rich voice.
radio for 20 years. So I got used to my voice long time ago. So, um, yeah. So what has been one of the best like moments you've had in your podcast? Well, in 20 years we need to catch up first of all, and maybe I'll love my voice by then, but I think the best part for me and I'm sure you can relate to this is the listener feedback. I mean, first of all, the fact that anybody listens still blows my mind. And I,
I get these direct messages sometimes or tweets or I've opened the email up now. And just to hear people say, you know, I was having a really hard week and then your podcast came out and it really made me smile. Or we do kindness tips on my show. I always end episodes by giving out kind of tangible kindness tips and for people to tell me how they've used them and how it reminded them that they should be grateful in the morning or text someone they love in the morning or open up a conversation with their mom.
lovely notes from people that it just fuels me. And I think again, that for me is the arts at its finest, is touching people. And with technology now, we can actually see the full circle effect. So that's truly been the best part, I think. And just talking, you know, we love to talk, right Rob? So getting to talk is- Well, yeah, because then it not only becomes a conversation with your guest, it becomes a conversation with the people that are listening too. You know, it's that, you know,
breath in and that breath out. It's like you take some in, you give some out. Somebody else takes it in and gives it back out to you, you know? And it's life-giving. It is. I mean, when I get those messages and like, hey, this came at the right time. You know, I post something on Instagram or something and they're like, this came at the right time. Thank you so much for saying this. I needed to hear this. Or that episode was amazing. I went through something very similar or whatever. It's just, it's like, OK,
and what I'm supposed to do with that. Yeah, it fills you up. There's really no better feeling. And it's kind of akin to a really well working bank, which I feel like, bear with me, I don't know where this is going, but I feel like relationships a lot of the time should be like banks. You should deposit as much as you withdraw and you should withdraw as much as you deposit. And so to get the, I guess deposit back in from listeners and people that are feeling good,
my show and the conversations that we have is just truly the best feeling because it's like an amplified relationship like you're saying. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, I wish you many, many, many more years of episodes and many, many more years of deposits. Thank you. And you too. What have you got going on outside of the podcast right now? You say you've got an audition coming up. I don't usually can't talk about that stuff. But is there a show that you're
working on? Yeah, yeah. So the biggest project I'm working on right now is our wedding. I'm getting married in November. Congratulations. Thank you. So that's a lot of little things to tie up. But before that, we are squeezing in a show. My fiance and I are both in it. And it's with a comic legend who retired from standup. Her name is Lisa Lampinelli. And we are putting together a show all about her, quote unquote, failures.
And we will be doing two kind of tryout performances on October 15th here in Connecticut. Is it, yeah, 15th, I think. Look that up, a big fat failure at Trevi Lounge. And again, it's all about this woman who's, I mean, an iconic comedian and then left standup, but she's just, when you look at her career, I mean, she's a friend now and she's such a kind person as well, which is an added bonus and frankly annoying.
She's amazing. But to have her talk about failure openly is just mind blowing because on paper she's such a success. I mean, she's performed on The Tonight Show. She was nominated for a Grammy. I mean, people wouldn't realize that someone like that has such failure in their life too. So I think it's gonna be relatable. It's gonna be fun. And yeah, come see us if you're in the Connecticut area and then hopefully if it goes well, we might bring it around town, see what happens.
But that's, yeah, that's on the docket right now, in addition to auditioning and knocking on anyone and everyone's door to let me entertain them. Let you entertain them. Yes, I like that version of the song. We should spoof that. Let me entertain them. What's bringing you joy right now? You, Rob.
I'm the sucker for the fall. Me too, me too. So yeah, seeing pumpkin is back, plastered onto the side of Dunkin' Donuts, surely brings me joy. Hocus Pocus 2 coming out is giving me several lives inside of my one life. And then every single day, you know, I'm so fortunate to be living with and then getting married to my fiance. So she always brings me joy, which is also mind blowing that someone has not gotten sick
yet, Rob. But again, we'll check back in in 20 years.
This is the second segment of the show where we talk a little bit more about mental health, dive a little bit deeper. I am a firm believer that everybody goes through down days, whether it's the day you just have to stand in the shower and let the hot water hit you just a little bit longer or the day you feel like you just can't get out of bed, whether it's diagnosed anxiety or depression or like I said, you just feel, you know, I think everybody does goes through that and being able to identify that and let people know that you're not alone.
those days it helps us all to get through them. So for you, how do you keep the darkness at bay? I love that question and I have thought about it a lot since I started listening to your show and knew I was coming on here. So thank you for asking me. It's an honor. I think I have two main answers. The first thing that came to my mind when I thought about this question was simply laughter.
some dark things happen growing up and some traumatic things as we all do and go through in life. And I'm the kind of person where if people in my family are fighting, I'm going to put a pillow into my pants, put a blanket on, make weird faces and run around and try and like make people laugh. You know, I think there's nothing that laughter can't cure. So to me, laughter is light and it kind of turns the light on in the darkness. Now, you know, it's not always appropriate. It's not always the right time. You shouldn't be cracking
I've learned the hard way. No, I've never done that. That's dark. But I think the second thing that comes in for me that is across the board always a lamp or a light is like we've just been talking about, sharing. Sharing with others and connecting with others. Because I think when you hold these things in your head and trap them in your mind, they grow and they get bigger and bigger and they fester and they take over your whole brain. But by
speaking it out, you're kind of letting it out bit by bit. And the more you talk about it and the more you share, the more you'll, A, not only find people that have been through similar things and maybe have some advice or just a listening ear, but B, the less power it'll have again, because the more you talk about it, the, I think, less buildup there is. So I do think kind of laughing and then sharing, I guess, you know, simply connecting with others,
thing for me that keeps the darkness at bay. Yeah, I agree with talking. It's like a pressure valve release for sure. It's literally, the more you can get it out, it doesn't stay in, it doesn't have that opportunity to fester. And again, you never know whatever you're saying, whether it's on a podcast or something like that, or with one of your guests that somebody else can identify with,
in that as well. It is, it's, it's making that anonymous connection with someone, you know? Yeah. You never know what's going to affect somebody. You know, thinking of podcasting on my show, I've been so lucky to have people on again that I look up to and that on paper, maybe have quote unquote, the perfect life and are just award winning performers, whatever it is. And there are people that are still struggling with the same things that we all struggle with.
somebody say that reminds you that you're not alone. You know, like Stephen Sondheim wrote, no one is alone. And it's truly three very powerful words. Truly. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. As an actor, you know, a lot of times we draw on life experiences to help, you know, guide where characters may go. And then we draw on those emotions and things like that
I think one thing that is sometimes difficult, depending on where you're pulling that stuff from is very much like what we're talking about is it gets sticky, it gets tarry and you start to dwell in it too much. Instead of using it for inspiration, you start to kind of get sucked into that. I don't know if you've experienced something like that.
I think that's the difficult road to be able to know how to use but not be used by it. Yeah, that's a good way to put it. I think it's kind of taking different classes, studying different methods and cobbling together your own craft is what I found to be my journey at least. I don't think it's a one-size-fits-all thing. And I do find that the traumas and really emotionally
that you haven't worked on, you really talked about and dealt with, are the things that you stick to and sink into when you try to use them in your work. Because if you've kind of worked through something, you can recall it and conjure it up in maybe a healthier way and then drop it because you've worked through it already. But if you haven't worked through something, you can get stuck in it. And I think that's just not sustainable. I mean, maybe for an audition, you could use it and then you cry or whatever it is in the scene and you book the job. But when you're on set,
you sometimes have to do, you know, three different angles, a bunch of different takes, you're not gonna be able to sustain that. And so I think I've tried to learn how to manage that in different ways, but I don't know, I think for me lately, I've just been finding, doing all the preparation, seeing what for myself I can bring to a character, but then what for myself I should remove too, and then just letting it go and kind of living in the circumstances.
I'm not thinking, oh, this is like this thing that happened in the year. But it is hard sometimes. I mean, I just auditioned for a film, which I guess I probably shouldn't name it, but it deals with children with cancer. And that's my brother had cancer and passed away from it. And it was at the hospital he was treated at is where the film takes place. And there were so many similarities that it was it was weird. And it's to me, it could have been really sad,
felt like kismet, like it felt meant to be. I felt like my brother kind of was leading me to this audition and I don't know whether I'll get it or not. Likely not. But at least I will have made connection with these people and shown what I can do. So I think there's a nice side to that too. The full circle-ness because we're in a rare field where we can actually kind of use the arts to work through things if we haven't already. And again, that
everybody. But it's kind of just the pursuit sometimes. And being aware of these things as they come up and kind of labeling them and putting them away. I'm doing the weird hand motion right now, which I really see. I can see it. I appreciate your weird hand motions, because I'm also doing weird hand motions. Thank you. I like a weird hand motion. So for you, when you're when you're, you know, especially
particular situation where you're auditioning for a role that seems so close to what you've been through already, I think it's beautiful that you say that you can feel power in, you know, your brother guiding you to that and maybe saying, hey, you know, you got this. You know, I'm still here for you. You know, I think that's beautiful. I think that's beautiful.
signs too, because my brother passed away, well he was diagnosed with cancer at age nine, passed away at 11, on 9-11, at 9-11 p.m., which is just a really weird number situation. And then the sides I got for this audition, I think were pages nine through 11. So there were just some really weird coincidences going on, and I don't know if it was just maybe a reminder to reach out to my family, let them know about the audition, and that was part of a different plan.
or because the part was meant for me, I don't know. But I think it's also kind of letting that go and not needing an answer. Yeah, yeah. I think it's, it seems like you got shown some pieces of him, some pieces of light in something that may have been dark otherwise. Yeah, at the center of, I like that you always talk about keeping the darkness at bay
because I think at the center of darkness for humanity is always light. The darkest thing that we can go through is losing someone we love in a lot of ways. And at the core of that is the light, is the person we love, it's just dimming. And so it's, I guess maybe focusing on the light.
Alright Robert, this is our third segment of the show. It's time now for the FAST FIVE! The FAST FIVE! It's time now for the FAST FIVE! FAST FIVE! Sorry, we don't have a theme song yet. I'm still working on that. I got my music guys. I love that. I'm gonna remix that. Put that on my Apple Music. I feel like maybe I should have done a Showtunes version of that.
Yeah, it's five five five five five five five five five five five five five five five five five five What you know you I I did something really silly on my podcast Which is that I harmonized with myself and I made up like a three or four part harmony for my game Which is called the comp the compliment game So I challenge it you could try it out and you could make a little harmony with yourself cue it out I'll have to try that I will have to try that Maybe I'll get you to come in and do like some tenor part or something
here. Fast Five is powered by Poddex. It's an app created by my friend Travis Brown. It's created for podcasters. They're great interview questions. He's got like seven or eight different physical decks with different subjects on them in there. But he's also got an app in your Android or your Apple app store. They're great icebreakers as well. So maybe you tuck one card in your back pocket and next time you go to audition and you're in the room, you need to break ice and just pull that out and ask,
It's a weird question of whoever's behind the table. When was the last time you were at the dentist? Exactly. I love that. That sounds like a super cool. I'm literally going to download this when we're done. Well, as a matter of fact, if you go to chewinthefatbr.com slash pod decks, you can use the promo code chew and get 10% off your physical decks. But I am going to use the app. And it's going to be random questions. Just the first thing that comes off the top of your head, no wrong answers. OK, you ready? Oh, wow. OK, I'm going to try.
What are you superstitious about?
I think walking on the cracks because I don't want to break my mama's back. That's a good one. That's that is probably the one superstition that I have taken through all of my life is. Yes, because she's done so much for me. I don't want to break. I know. She literally used to carry you on her back. Right. But and then also in a similar vein, not walking on the same side of the pole as people I love that I'm with. Does that make sense? So you want to keep them further away from the street?
Yes, but also I heard even or even if there's multiple doors in a building if you don't all go through the same door or all go on the same side It's bad luck. I've heard Sorry to add a new superstition to your life. No, that's one I try to follow as Everybody goes through the same door. Okay Yeah, or in the same side of the pole when you're walking whatever right right right right right don't split up Everybody's everybody's going the same. Yes. I got it. I got it
Where do you go when you need to blow off some steam?
I take a, at least an hour walk every day. So I go on a walk. Okay. You have like a happy place. You have a certain path that you go or is it always passed like a lake or something or? I did, but we just moved some finding a new path. Intentionally finding a new path or do you just like, I'm lost again. Where's the house? Well, I am sure I look lost because people probably look out their window and they're like, look, there he goes. The weirdo. Like I'm like usually singing to myself, talking on the phone,
I mean, it's a sight to see, but I'm making it work. But I feel happy, which is important. I feel happy when I'm walking. That's awesome. That's awesome. Question number three.
What do you love to do for others? I love to give people things. So every time I go to somebody's house, my fiance makes fun of me because I have to find something in the cabinet we can give them. I'm like, what about this half-eaten chocolate bar? I feel like I have to come bearing gifts. Okay, okay. But I also really love just being around others and listening. I feel like it's really fun to listen
something weird that somebody says and then ask them about that. Oh, very good. That's kind of like, you know, if you're if you're a gift giver during throughout the year listening to what people say they like or don't like and then like really surprising them at the holidays or a birthday or something. I love doing that. Oh, me too. Why did you get this blah, blah, blah? It's like what you said back in January that you liked that. So I remember January of 1995. That's right.
It was a cloudy day. Yeah. I actually you reminded me too and I made this a kindness tip on our show which is that you should also when somebody tells you something a way to kind of practice thoughtfulness is to immediately write it down. So if someone says I have a big job interview in a couple weeks ask them what day and then just put a reminder in your phone and then text them. It's so easy. Yeah. But that really goes a long way for people too. I like doing that. Yeah. Yeah. I'm a big fan of when someone crosses my mind.
Texting them immediately like I don't know why the universe puts your in my mind, but hey, hope you're doing well I was just thinking of you, you know, they may respond they may not but it's like I just want you know You're being thought of that for whatever reason. Yeah, you know, just read that. Yeah All right, so important number four
If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be?
I should probably say Italian because the whole my whole dad's side of the family is Italian and I know a little bit Mm-hmm, but probably not enough. I think that or French. I think French is beautiful. Mm-hmm do you do and you said you worked for a The Ola magazine so I'm assuming you speak Spanish very well I'm poco. I Would be articles I would write were in English. I speak a little bit of Spanish
a little bit of Spanish blood. But I was really good. I took about like four or five years of it throughout school. Could be better. But I can do a lot of accents. Oh, well that's good. I'm halfway there. That's your skills section of your resume. Yes, I got my resume right here. And question number five.
Where is one place you hope to visit before you die? This is so fun.
I really want to go to the Amalfi Coast. I have been to Italy, but I have not been to the Amalfi Coast. So I think that's definitely one of them. And then let's just say for fun, Dolly Parton's living room. I would love for her to bring me coffee and just have a little chat with her. Yes, yes. I love some Dolly. Of course, we're not far from Dollywood here. She's just right up in Tennessee, just right up above Georgia. Have you been? I've been,
when I was much younger with my mom and my grandparents and stuff like that. And I'm sure we saw her there. I think we went over to Nashville and saw her at the Grand Ole Opry and all like that. But yeah, she is just, you talk about somebody that is filled with nothing but kindness. She is the Rosetta Stone of kindness. Yes, oh, that's a great way to put it. She should put that on her website. She truly is.
Well, that's a beacon of light. Yeah, I would love to I'd love to have the opportunity to Again sit talk with with dolly as well. That would be amazing same. She's like my number one get she's but she's why I started a podcast I'm being real. Yeah, just all roads trying to go to dolly part trying to get her on the bike. That's awesome Well, I hope you will have her on as a guest one day, but that is our fast five and that's the show Robert Thank you so much for being here No, I don't want to go ask me more
game was so much fun. I loved being here and I feel very grateful that you asked me so thank you for having me and thank you also and then I'll stop talking I promise for choosing to make a podcast that focuses on mental health and promote such just goodness in the world. I think we need more people like you and more podcasters like you. It's really important so don't stop. I want another 50. Thank you. Thank you so much. I appreciate that if people want to keep up with you, what's the best way for them to follow you and you're on socials and
Yes, I'm pretty Googleable. I'm a Google... Googleable. Yeah, I'm Googleable. You can find me on Instagram at Rob Peterpaul. I'm on TikTok doing a lot of very silly things at Robert Peterpaul. And then I think Twitter at Rob Peterpaul. And then the Art of Kindness is at Art of Kindness Pod on Instagram. And you can also find the Art of Kindness podcast on every podcast platform and subscribe and then give, you know, chewing the fat and the Art of Kindness.
reviews if you're feeling generous. I don't know. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I'll make sure I put all of those links in the show notes. Again, thank you so much for being here. This is truly was a pleasure. Thank you so much. And thank you everyone for listening. I hope you have a great day wherever you are. Awesome. And if you would like to support this podcast, I'd appreciate it if you buy me a coffee at ChewingTheFatBR.com. But I look forward to the next time we have to sit a spell and chew the fat.
Actor / Writer / Podcaster
Robert is an award-winning actor, writer and celebrity interviewer with a passion for storytelling and spreading kindness. An NJ native, he discovered his love for the arts at a young age, frequently found either: putting on shows in his living room or browsing the aisles at Blockbuster.
At age 9, Robert made his Off-Broadway debut at the York Theatre and from there was cast in the Broadway musical SEUSSICAL. He has been working in the TV/Film and theatre space ever since, being named "Connecticut's BEST ACTOR" by BroadwayWorld along the way. Some recent highlights include: IFC's KING COBRA, SONY's WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT and NEWSIES at the Westport Country Playhouse.
Robert has been a writer for almost a decade, writing for major publications and shows like: NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Screen Rant, The Huffington Post, Backstage, Writer’s Weekly and, HOLA! USA, where he worked as the Head Weekend Editor for 6 years. Throughout his career he’s been fortunate enough to interview talent like: Oscar-winner Allison Janney, Emmy-winner Sterling K. Brown, Tony-winner Kristin Chenoweth and more.
His most recent venture has been The Art of Kindness podcast, which aims to spotlight people in the entertainment industry who use their platforms to give back. The show has ranked in the top 25% of podcasts around the world, featuring guests like Meghan Trainor, Adam Scott and more. The AOK is currently streaming on The Broadway Podcast Network and wherever you listen to podcasts.
Most importantly, Robert is intent on giving back. He and his family formed the nonprofit THE THOMAS PETERPAUL FOUNDATION in honor of his late brother Thomas who passed away from cancer. TPF has helped countless pediatric cancer patients and their families since its inception. Robert notably teamed up with Novartis and spoke before congress at the US Capitol on behalf of TPF to get the CAR T Cell Therapy approved (read more in the NY Times). In addition, he works for the nonprofit WOMEN IN ENTERTAINMENT, which assists women both working in and aspiring to work in the entertainment industry.
Find out more about Robert at robertpeterpaul.com.
Here are some great episodes to start with.