Updated: Jan 18
To start this new season of the Quest for New Inspiration, I had the opportunity to sit down with actor, producer & coach Joe Towne (LAW & ORDER, ISN’T IT ROMANTIC). We discuss the importance of connecting to your inner voice, seeking others' perspectives, how to deal with nerves, pushing past lacking inspiration, and of course, we discuss some must-see movies and TV shows.
He’s best known for training companies for actors, athletes, and corporate executives, The Performer’s Mindset. In which he offers workshops designed to help people perform at their highest level in the before, during, and after – whether it's preparing for an audition, shifting your mindset for script & screenwriting, for a healthier work/life balance, or helping athletes prepare to perform on the world’s stage. Joe has been featured in outlets like The Dr. Oz Show, On-Air with Ryan Seacrest, Good Day LA, and Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing and has brought his acclaimed workshops to other high-profile clients like Verizon, AOL, Lululemon, Showtime Networks, L’oreal, IT cosmetics as well as colleges & universities like USC, UCLA, George Brown College and more.
Joe helps other actors, athletes, and performers through The Performer's Mindset, on things such as; how TPM techniques can be used in other aspects of our daily lives, how to deal with nerves for any major life event, how to bounce back from rejection, what it means to live a healthier, more thoughtful and balanced life and more. He is also the host of the podcast, The Better Podcast, an extension of TPM and features illuminating, long-form conversations with today’s entertainment industry leaders about progress, success on your terms, how to lead more present and mindful lives.
TPM workshops combine sports psychology, science, and artistry and offer tools and techniques that one can apply to the real world, beyond the audition room, the sports arena, the boardroom, etc. In addition to his life and work as an actor and podcast host, Joe found success as a feng shui specialist and had his radio show with SIRIUS XM. He is also married to actress & TV writer Erin Cardillo (CW's LIFE SENTENCE, SIGNIFICANT MOTHER) and is a father to a four-year-old son.
Hello, and welcome back to a new season of the quest for new inspiration. This is technically a new season, but you can listen to whatever episodes you want when ever you want. I just took a little bit of a podcast break. So on this week's episode, I was super excited to sit down with Joe town. He is an actor producer in coach. Currently Joe is focused on helping actors, athletes, and performers through the performer mindset on things such as.
Such as how to deal with nerves for any major event our rejection.
On today's episode, we discussed the importance of connecting to your inner voice. as well as the importance of other people's perspective. And of course we discussed some of his favorite movies and TV shows.
Joe Towne: Hi, I'm Joe town. Uh, I am the CEO and founder of the performers mindset, um, [00:01:00] where I am a coach of mostly artists, athletes, executives. But I'm really curious about how all of that impacts the rest of us, no matter what we do in life. beyond that, um, I've always been a creator and I started out as an actor.
I've been acting for some time now, starting in the theater and then took me on a journey through TV and film. Um, and I'm now in the process of not only performing on camera, but also creating more stories behind the camera. So writing, producing. So it's been quite a journey and I know, um, enchiladas only have so much room to turn it into a gordita.
KT Maschler: yeah. Yes. And there's all the always sides and all the extras on top. So what kind of led to your journey, like through the world of theater and acting and then so on to now?
Joe Towne: Sure. You know, I hit a moment. Um, when I was a teenager, I was feeling pretty lost, [00:02:00] you know, I think I'm going through divorce and, and, um, Feeling a little bit unsafe in the world and having parents who were working really hard to try to find their own solid footing.
I was really having a hard time figuring out who I was, what I believed, what was possible for me, what I could be confident in. And, um, I was really struggling until I discovered. And I was really fortunate. I had a teacher who saw something in me in a class and invited me to come down to a rehearsal and I was fascinated by what they were doing.
I, I, I think I probably had wanted to try out for a play, but I was too nervous. And so I opted to just not even try and so getting to come and see what it was, demystified the process. I ended up working on that production and about 30, more over the next three and a half years, and decided after, um, going to a summer theater camp, that this was something I wanted to pursue at university.
And [00:03:00] so I ended up going across the country, studying theater and film and psychology at USC. And while I was there, I not only started writing plays, but, uh, I also became a script reader at 20th century Fox, and I was offered a full producers track. Um, and I decided that instead of doing that, um, I would leave California moved to New York, start a theater company.
And, uh, I didn't have a logical reason why I had a feeling. And, um, while I was in New York, um, found out that my mother was terminally ill. And so it was the reason that I didn't know was the reason that I was going was a very personal one. And so I was with her through a big pilgrimage remade to India.
And, um, I was with her when she passed away. And, um, I think that at first I steeled up and I said I was fine and, uh, spent the next year trying to convince myself and others that I was fine. And, um, it really took me hitting a point of[00:04:00] recognizing that I was saying no to life and that I wasn't happy and that it was consistent.
It wasn't a passing thing that, um, led me to the art of improvisation. I had a teacher named Gary Austin who started the Groundlings improvisational theater in 1972 and ran it until 1979. And he taught me to say yes to life and. It was Gary that got helped get me my first agent here in California and I moved back and started to pursue this crazy thing.
That's a lot. And I I'm sure I've scanned over lots of nuance, but that's sort of the origin story. I feel like acting saved my life.
KT Maschler: Wow. Okay. So I have so many questions, but first of all, let me, let me go back as a fellow theater nerd. I have to know what is your favorite musical and or. Well, they may be different.
There could be two different categories if we're getting that deep into it.
Joe Towne: So it's always hard for me to pick favorites because I feel like, um, there's, there would be like a favorite that I've done and a favorite that I've [00:05:00] watched. And for me, my favorite musical that I've ever seen was Jelly's last jam on Broadway.
Um, it was Sabian Glover and just. The cast Gregory Hines, like it was incredible musical and it's about Dr. Jelly roll Morton. And, um, I was fortunate. I was sitting in the second row and I felt like I was in, I was in the show in the world. Um, my favorite play that I've ever seen was Arcadia. Um, and I saw it, uh, originally in London with an actress named Maria Miles and.
I was transported. So, um, I would say as an observer, those are two all time favorites.
KT Maschler: Oh my gosh. Those I'll definitely look both of those up. I am that nerd that has the Broadway HD subscription. So I have not seen very many plays live, but funny girl is definitely my favorite. I know it by heart first.
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KT Maschler: So, um, what do you do? You mentioned that kind of time when you were kind of out of acting kind [00:07:00] of just a little bit stepped back from life. What did you kind of do when you were lacking inspiration? Such as that time?
Joe Towne: I think that there were. A few things that I was doing. I don't know if I would have even had the presence of mind to articulate the way you just so beautifully did and that it was a lack of inspiration, but I knew that I was suffering and I knew it didn't feel good to be me in my skin. So the first thing is that I went on a trip to Hawaii.
Um, I'd never been. And I couldn't tell where my skin ended in the air began and it quickly became one of my favorite places in the world.
KT Maschler: You go to
Joe Towne: that time, I went to a wahoo. I went to a place called Kailua, which was sort of in the Northeast part of the island. And, uh, I was staying with a friend and, uh, No.
She took my, my friend and I all over the island and ate at the [00:08:00] shrimp truck. And we jumped in the ocean and got to, you know, eat shaved ice. But really, it was just like being loved on by the energy that is the Hawaiian islands and, um, being in a New York city, you know, in an apartment and in all this intense energy, it just, it was very soothing and nurturing at a time that I felt like I didn't have a lot of nurturing in my life.
And I think the other thing was I needed creative expression. I wasn't professionally acting at that time. I hit a pause because I felt like I needed a moment. And so it was really getting my creative inspiration through writing. And so, um, that was really how I was moving the energy out of me. And I think moving the energy through led to bits of inspiration.
KT Maschler: Yeah. I love both of those things. I actually totally, totally agree with the Hawaii vibe in general, as I like to call it, my grandma is actually there in Maui right now as we speak. And I'm so, so, so, so jealous, but [00:09:00] yes. And then having just like that creative outlet is always so just needed in.
Valuable in life. So where do you, I guess this would kind of be a different question for you other than my regular guests, where do you kind of find inspiration for not, I guess, just for your daily life, but then maybe for these shows that you're writing?
Joe Towne: Well, I'm really. Um, in that I have a never-ending font of curiosity living two doors down from me.
And I don't mean outside my house. I mean, inside my house, I have an almost five-year-old. So the idea of awe and curiosity, and wonder is a regular part of his daily life. So there's a major part of inspiration is right there looking at and getting curious about helping raise this human. And I would also say that.
If I'm on time with my inner life, meaning [00:10:00] if I'm meditating, if I'm spending time with me and going within and, you know, clearing out thoughts, whether it be through journaling or conversations or whatever needs to happen, moving my body. If I get still inspiration, um, literally starts within, and sometimes it's an impulse.
Sometimes it's an image. Sometimes it's a, uh, a thought or string of.
KT Maschler: That's perfect. So I don't want to take too much of your time, but, um, do you have any like inspirational go-to movie that you just like love to pop in the TV?
Joe Towne: That's a great question. When I'm seeking inspiration, I don't think I tend to go.
To an old movie. I have tended to go to old books. Like the one that I come back to is the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. So I think I've read it a couple dozen times in my life. And I feel like every year I learned something new when I read it, as far as, um, you know, looking for that I on, on a TV screen, I think I tend to try [00:11:00] new movies or shows for inspiration as opposed to.
Going to the comfort zone or the nostalgia or the. That's
KT Maschler: what has been your favorite recently when your favorite shows, do you, are you a Netflix guy or you'll Sulu you apple TV?
Joe Towne: Yeah, I, I, um, I I'm definitely all the above. I mean, I'm agnostic when it comes to which platform, because every platform seems to be making incredible shows and so on HBO, I'm watching succession and on Hulu, I'm watching dope, sick, and.
Netflix, I just finished season three of view. So there's a lot of different types of shows that, um, you know, I think are, are fascinating. And, um, depending upon what maybe I'm craving or what, you know, what's going on in the world, it might affect what I'm, what I'm prioritizing, but there's just such good, good content being created.
I'm so grateful
KT Maschler: if you have you heard of Ted lasso, please tell me. I
Joe Towne: have heard of Ted last watched it. [00:12:00] I have watched every episode of tablet
KT Maschler: because that is definitely one of my inspirational TV shows that I used. Um, very repetitive. And I love just watching friends on repeat, but I have now let myself, I'll start watching Ted lasso on repeat.
So hopefully there's a lot more seasons.
Joe Towne: I hope so. I know. So. One of the things that I have been doing recently is channeling inspiration into this podcast, the better podcast. And I've been really curious about, um, connecting with creatives from different perspectives on, you know, what is it that they have learned around their craft that maybe can inspire the rest of us to be better and do better.
And recently I had the great fortune of interviewing the producer of Ted lasso. And so, uh, for anybody else out there, who's interested in Ted. They're gonna want to keep eyes and ears out for that episode, because the deep dive that we went into. How the show got created. Some of the things that maybe, you know, you haven't explored yet before it was [00:13:00] a really exciting conversation.
So yeah, I'm, I'm not only excited for that, but like you, I'm excited for season three and I can't believe that we have to wait time
KT Maschler: to, to oh, what is that? Why, why isn't there just eight seasons just magically. Oh, no,
PR: that's bill
Joe Towne: I'll spell Lawrence. Yeah.
KT Maschler: Uh, so any last piece of advice you have to share with me today?
Joe Towne: Gosh, a last piece of advice. No pressure.
I would say seek different perspectives because. To me, what has been really valuable is first connecting to my inner voice and, and hearing that clear, still voice within, but then seeking, um, different perspectives because it's like the, the interaction between the two. Either provokes like a yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.
Or like, Hmm. I'm not sure about that, but the [00:14:00] engaging with other is really part of growth and I value. So much, I don't want to rest on my laurels to what I've done recently. I don't want to try to repeat, um, it doesn't mean I won't order that chicken Parmesan from that great restaurant, because like, if I'm craving the comfort, I go straight for the chicken Parmesan, but it also really value new and growth and mistakes and failure.
And it's the only way that I feel alive. So the interplay between hearing my own voice and seeking other perspectives. Um, is my own, uh, celebration and the thing that I'm really interested in the term advice and the idea of advice is really challenging because, um, it's hard for me to give general advice.
Uh, I want to make sure that it's, you know, sought after and then it's personalized and you know, better for you than anybody else would.
KT Maschler: No, that's perfect. That's perfect advice. Well, if anybody wanted to learn more about you or perhaps shows that you've produced in, [00:15:00] especially the podcast coming up, that will for sure be in the show notes, but any anywhere else, people.
Joe Towne: Yeah, I mean, I'm at me, Joe town on all socials, so they can holler at me on Twitter or on Instagram. You'll see links to I'm sure in the show notes to our, uh, you know, webpage and social platforms and all that, but we're the better podcast and the performers mindset. Those
PR: are the two main
Joe Towne: places that people might
PR: want to look up.
KT Maschler: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time.
Joe Towne: Gosh, Katie is a pleasure. It's great to see you and, uh, hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.
And that is it for this week's episode. Thank you guys so much for tuning in every single place truly does mean the world to me. If you guys love the podcast, make sure you let me know by sharing the podcast, leaving review or a five star rating on apple podcast or your favorite podcast [00:16:00] player.
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