Hangin’ with Eric Artell
Eric is an ageless guru. Seriously, since the many years I’ve known him, he hasn’t aged a day. He is the king of “Yes, and …”. In the world of improv, the “Yes, and …” rule is the one rule to follow. You agree and accept what has been given to you, and you add upon it. Eric talks about how this rule not only applies to improv but to life itself. We chatted about where to find your source of fulfillment in a career that ebbs and flows so frequently. We also chatted about his new show Prank Academy, playing currently on Pluto TV, and how positive pranks have the ability to lift people’s spirits. It was great catching up with Eric and seeing how the Lord has worked in his life. I hope you enjoy the podcast!
Follow Eric here:
Insta, Tik Tok, Twitter: @ericartell
Check out his show! https://pluto.tv/live-tv/afv-tv
Sign up for his improv class: https://improvwizards.com
He even has his own bitcoin, no joke! https://bitclout.com/u/ericartell
And your life wouldn’t be complete unless you participated in his D&D livestream: https://twitch.tv/fracturedroll
Get to Know Eric Artell
Eric Artell is an actor, TV host, comedian and video content creator on the web. He was born on August 31st 1980, in New Jersey, where he grew up. During his young life, he moved to England twice with his family. He is the youngest in a family of four, with one sister and two brothers.
Artell attended New Providence Hight School in New Providence, New Jersey, and Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah, for his college education, where he graduated in economics in 1998. Eric has also trained with LA’s The Groundlings.
His passion for art began much earlier in life where he would perform in theater productions both in school and church. Three years after his graduation, he landed his first professional job as an actor in Salt Lake City in the film Net Worth, where he collaborated with Daniel Baldwin.
Since then, his star has continued to shine brighter. He is best known for the Superhero Movie, his interviewer role in the Adam Ruins Everything film, and his writing and hosting in the Behind the Vine show.
Over the years, Eric has hosted some of the most famous shows such as Highlights, DragonflyTV (2006 to 2009), and America’s Funniest Videos’ (AFV) digital series Have You Seen This?, among others.
His role in DragonflyTV was a life-changing one. The series was science-based, and Twin Cities produced it in partnership with science museums.
Eric has guest-starred on various national commercials such as Chevy Volt, Nokia, Tic Tac Minions and Burger King, to name a few. He has also starred on multiple TV shows such as Scrubs, Monk, Spotlight Live, Rolf and Willies and Zoey 101. He is well known for movies such as Sands of Oblivion (2007), Superhero Movie (2008) as Sneeze, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) as Flint Lockwood, Intellectual Property (2006), The Work and the Story (2003), Mr. Smith and the Devil (2009), to name a few.
Besides acting, Eric values improv and is a co-founder, teacher and performer at the C&E Improv comedy factory based in Los Angeles. Eric also has a keen interest in video games, TV spots, radio and animated shows.
He is currently a host and producer of a new show known as Prank Academy that airs all week on Pluto TV and features in the comedy web series The Principal.
Today Eric is one of the most famous Tik Tokers, with over four million fans. He bangs the famous Tik Tok star from USA title and has even earned the special badge of Crowned Muser in the past for his work in Tik Tok. His fame in this app went viral after he posted comedy video clips and performing lip-syncs.
He is also very famous on Instagram, with his account booming with over 110k followers. Moreover, Eric is a co-founder of improv troupe C&E Improv Factory and had more than 70,000 Vine followers before the app shut down.
He currently has more than 500,000 musical.ly fans. As a host, he has rubbed shoulders with the biggest names in the industry, such as King Bach and David Lopez. Eric Artell, a host and creative producer at Prank Academy, ranks as one of the top influencers in the USA.
In 2003 he was one of the beneficiaries of a trip to Kuwait, Iraq, and Qatar organized by the USO, Vanity Fair, MTV, and the NBA as part of the Project Salute.
When not working, you will find him napping, reading, photographing, surfing the internet or playing various sports such as basketball, golf, tennis, and ping pong.
Eric currently resides in the north of Los Angeles with his family.
Eric Artell Podcast Transcription
Charan: What’s going on, guys? This is Charan Prabhakar with the Lemonade Stand Stories podcast. And I’m here with my dear buddy, Mr. Eric Artell, who is just the delight of the world. I mean, he is so full of joy, so full of charm. We were introduced… we were kind of actually trying to figure out how we got to know each other, but it was actually through our mutual friend, Andy, years and years ago. He was like, “Hey Charan, I heard you’re moving to LA.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I am.” He’s like, “You got to look up my buddy Eric. He does tons of commercials. He’s doing all kinds of fun stuff out there.” I’m like, “Sounds amazing.” I had no clue who to meet in LA. So when I got out to LA, I reached out to Eric, and Eric is one of the few people that actually reached back to me of those people I reached out to.
Eric: Is that true?
Charan: It is true. But Eric reached back to me. I’m like, “Oh my gosh, this is great.” So I feel like a big part of my journey, especially getting into acting, Eric was there to see the beginnings of it and gave me a lot of advice and all kinds of good stuff. And here’s the interesting thing. This was probably back in 2009, because that’s when I moved out to LA, this is now 2021, Eric has not aged a day. I don’t understand how that works.
Eric: Listen, there’s a certain concoction that you… By the way Charan, it’s so great to be here. Thank you so much for having me.
Charan: Of course.
Eric: There’s a certain little concoction that you can make-
Charan: Oh my gosh.
Eric: …and drink and slather all over your body.
Charan: Dude, that’s amazing. Your pores are looking fantastic, it’s shining well.
Eric: So Charan, are you trying to say that I am possibly responsible for the success that you’ve had-
Eric: …because I returned your text message?
Eric: I just want to make sure that we’re putting that out there into the world.
Charan: It was a phone call. I’m pretty sure you answered my phone call.
Eric: Or phone call, it might’ve been a phone call.
Charan: Yeah. Pretty much-
Eric: That’s great. Andy is really great.
Charan: Pretty much my entire success is based off of you, I feel.
Eric: Can I just say, one of my favorite memories with Andy Nicholson is, I shot one of my best rounds of golf ever with Andy Nicholson.
Eric: A 75, I shot a 75. For all those golfers out there, I shot three over for a round. And I was just being inspired by the wonders of Andy, because Andy’s a really great athlete. And I just really wanted to beat him.
Charan: And his last name is Nicholson. So of course you play golf well around someone with the last name Nicholson.
Eric: That’s right. I’ve got to.
Charan: You have to.
Eric: Well, this is great to be here. And I didn’t realize that it’s been that long that we’ve known each other, Charan.
Charan: Isn’t that crazy?
Eric: And by the way, you look the same-
Eric: …except for a little bit of white that’s going on up there.
Charan: Oh, dude. Here’s the thing. Can I tell you the thing?
Eric: Which looks good.
Charan: I was dyeing my hair for quite some time and then-
Charan: I really was, because I was like, “Well, I’m just keeping myself looking young or whatever.” And then I started dating someone and she said, “Wait a minute, how long has the white hair underneath all the black hair been a thing?” And I’m like, “I don’t know. I’ve been dying it very quickly ever since.” She’s like, “Please don’t do that. Let it grow. Let’s see what happens.” So this happened and interestingly enough, I booked way more roles because of this hair. It’s the craziest thing. Somehow, I have authority now. Somehow I have authority to speak on topics that I know nothing about like mortgages, but I can, because I’ve got the hair to prove it.
Eric: Well, I wish there was something I could do about that because I don’t have it. Maybe I’ll start adding white into my… Maybe I’ll start-
Charan: Yeah. There is a paste you can put in your hair that does the exact same thing.
Eric: Kids, when in doubt just get a little bit of a bottle of Wite-Out and just-
Charan: And just dump it on and it happens.
Eric: No, don’t do that. You guys, don’t do that.
Charan: Okay. 100%, don’t do that. That’s dangerous.
Eric: Oh, 100%.
Charan: Yeah, please don’t.
Eric: Wait, the Lemonade podcast does not condone anything like that.
Charan: We’re not sponsoring this at all.
Eric: We’re not sponsoring any-
Charan: Not at all. No, but guys, seriously, Eric is one of the funniest people I have ever met. And it’s the truth, man, it’s the truth. You are so funny. You-
Eric: You know some funny, Charan, you know some fun-
Charan: I do and that’s why I’m like, you’re on the top of the list, man.
Eric: Appreciate that.
Charan: No, you are. There’s [inaudible 00:05:35].
Eric: That’s a lot of pressure for this podcast, by the way. This podcast is not meant to be a really funny podcast.
Charan: No. And yet I’m expecting laughs from you. So this is going to be so great to see what happens.
Eric: Oh, no.
Charan: No, Eric, it’s interesting because booking commercials is a very, very challenging but awesome thing to do as an actor in LA, because if you book a commercial, it kind of sets you up for a good amount of time, because usually those are called SAG national commercials, and you end up getting residuals and all this stuff. And I remember my time in LA, in the course of my time in LA, I probably did maybe two or three commercials of my nine years there.
Eric: Man, that’s shocking to me.
Charan: And Eric did one a month, I feel. He did one national commercial a month, and I remember him telling me this. And then he said, “Yeah dude, I just golf and I do commercials.” And I’m like, “What is this?” But the thing is-
Eric: In that era, that was true.
Charan: No, but the-
Eric: That’s pretty much what I did. But my goal, I’ll just tell you this, my goal at the time, we’re going to be talking about this later so that’s fine.
Charan: We are, but let’s talk about it now.
Eric: We’ll do it in different accents. Listen, my goal at the time when I was in the acting. No, my goal at the time was, I wanted to book at least one thing a month. That was my goal. It was like, I just want to book one job a month. If I can book one job a month, then things are going really well, I felt like for myself, which involved, I’m sure you’ve been talking a lot about acting during this podcast and stuff, but that involves a lot of auditions. I mean, during the heyday of those… And that was like the heyday of commercial auditioning, at least somewhat. I mean, you had to do at least 50 commercial auditions, or 100, to book one or two.
Eric: There’s a lot of rejection Charan.
Charan: There really is. And also-
Eric: It’s like your dating life. Just a lot of rejection.
Charan: Dude, it continues to be my dating life, as it turns out.
Eric: Wait, so you’re not dating the girl who told you to go gray?
Charan: No, but I have the white hair. That’s the only proof I have that I did date her.
Eric: Now she can see you when you’re on TV and she be like, “I told him to do with that hair.”
Eric: And she’ll be just so sad and…
Charan: She is.
Eric: I’m sorry.
Charan: Except she was the one that ended it. So anyway, I don’t think she’s that sad.
Eric: I’m sorry that’s-
Charan: You know what? It’s all good. We’re still great friends. It’s amazing. But back to you and your incredible career. Here’s the thing: booking commercials or anything requires a lot of skill. It’s not just like being able to know how to act. It’s also being able to win a room, being able to be confident, being able to have this kind of presence that puts people at ease. And it’s funny, because there were a couple of you guys, like Kirby was one of them, you were one of them, that I was just like, “Man, how in the world do these guys keep booking commercials and stuff?” Because everyone’s always like, “Oh, people are looking for ethnic diversity and all this stuff.” And Eric and Kirby are about as unethically diverse as possible. And I feel like I’m on the other end and I wasn’t booking anything. And these guys were just killing it. I’m like, “What is happening?” But then I got to see you perform in your comedy troupe. I forgot what it was called, but it was at Santa Clarita, right?
Eric: The Society.
Charan: Society, that’s right. And I just remember just seeing incredible genius at work. Like you, Lincoln, Kirby, I forgot who else was performing-
Charan: …and sometimes Adam would play it right. I remember just seeing just incredible wit and the ability to be able to really quickly create something. And one of the games that you always played that I loved was when you were like… It was this game where the audience would select what the problem or the scenario or whatever it is. And then Kirby and whoever else would act it out using voices that didn’t make any sense, right?
Eric: Oh, yes. Gibberish?
Eric: Was it an opera? Did we do it to music or to not music?
Charan: Not to music, but you did it and you’d come in and you’d just be speaking gibberish with them and you’d completely understand the scenario. And I was like, “That requires-
Eric: And I would have to guess what they were trying to do.
Charan: You have to guess what they were trying to do.
Eric: It’s like a game of charades, but you do it in gibberish.
Eric: Yes. We called that “Mystery Things” or Comedy Sportz calls it “Five Things.” I love that game. And I go out into the hall and then I have to come back in and guess what the audience has given. And inevitably every single time there’s people who ask me after the show and they’re like, “You knew what they were doing, right? You knew.” And I never know. I don’t cheat. Guys, I’m not a cheater.
Charan: Yeah, guys, one thing about Eric: he’s a lot of things, but he’s not a cheater. That’s for sure.
Eric: I’m not a cheater.
Charan: No, never.
Eric: I do not subscribe to the Jim Rohn theory of “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying,” because don’t cheat.
Charan: Yeah, don’t cheat.
Eric: Don’t cheat. Well, thank you, Charan. And this is funny you should say this because I can probably attribute a lot of my entertainment career success to improvisation. So improvisation is an amazing thing that you teach yourself, that you train in, that made me more confident. It trains your brain to think in different ways. It makes you a so much better actor and also just a better person and a better collaborator and a better teamwork-
Charan: And you know what?
Eric: …and a better leader and blah, blah, blah, blah. But I would say that if I was not introduced to improv, which by the way, speaking of Kirby and Lincoln, I was introduced to improv by Lincoln when he had a group called the Skinny Lincolns in Salt Lake many, many years ago, and Kirby and I started about the same time. He’s actually started a little bit right after me in that improv realm. And then I moved to LA and then I studied it at The Groundlings, etc., but then I also started teaching it. And now Lincoln and I teach it, but I would dare say that one of the biggest credits to my acting success has been improv training.
Charan: Dude, you’re a genius at it. You hit on something that I actually want to talk about just a little bit, but how improv not only helps you with acting, but with life itself.
Eric: Yes. Very much so.
Charan: Because I think it’s a very, very interesting thing, because the whole idea of improv is, there’s a common ground rule, right? Which is the “yes, and…” principle, right? Where someone presents something to you, you accept it, you accept it as truth and you add upon it, and the moment you negate it, you’re like, “Nope, that’s not it,” the scene dies. It’s over. But I actually feel like that is the success for life. When life gives you something, you have to accept and be like, “Okay, this is what it is. And I’m going to add upon this.”
Eric: Think about the name of this podcast.
Eric: I mean, what is that age-old phrase? When life gives you lemons-
Charan: You got to make lemonade.
Eric: …make lemonade. I mean, that is a perfect example of yes. And I’m going to give you… Let me just tell a quick story.
Eric: I’ve got a buddy, his name’s Johnny. And he’s been an actor for a long time. In fact, he was the GEICO motorcycle guy with the big handlebar mustache. I don’t know if you ever saw that campaign. Really funny guy, stand-up guy, but his wife also was in acting, and I went to their wedding and in their marriage vows they said, “I will always ‘yes, and…’ you.”
Charan: Ooh, I love that.
Eric: In the wedding itself. In their marriage vows. “Yes, and….” It’s so true, Charan. “Yes, and…” — it’s a principle that we teach so often, that improv teaches so often. It’s just one principle. I mean, it’s one thing that you learn in improv. By the way, just a little shameless plug.
Eric: We do Improv Wizards, improvwizards.com. It’s an online improv learning system that Lincoln and I developed. It’s a class you can take from the comfort of your own home.
Eric: Go to improvwizards.com. There are free videos, free training videos. If you’d like to also enroll, happy to have you. Just let us know, send us a message. But it’s one of the reasons why Lincoln and I developed this to help people learn it so that they didn’t have to have a school nearby where they could go. And now, with all that’s going on in the world, etc., online learning is much more prevalent and important.
Eric: But” yes, and… ,” of course, is a linchpin in improv training and you’re right. It is changing your mindset and accepting what’s happening and building upon it and using it for the best. I literally was just talking with a gentleman by the name of Jose, we’re going to be collaborating on some stuff. And he has a very severe stutter, very severe stutter, which he works through and stuff. But we talked about this principle. He and I just talked about this principle, because he was like, “I have a stutter. Yes. I have a stutter and now I will do this.” As opposed to, “I have a stutter; I wish I didn’t.” Instead, “I have a stutter. And now I’m going to create something out of that.” It’s such a transformative principle in life if you can learn to think that way and you can train yourself to think that way and it’s positive attitude. There’s a lot of motivational stuff. I can talk for hours about this.
Eric Artell Talks About Persevering Through Challenges
Charan: Dude, well, I know you can, and we may, I don’t know. We’ll see what happens. Here’s the thing that’s interesting. I found that the people that can “yes, and…” are the ones that coped well during the pandemic. Because a lot of people rejected everything. They were like, “Wait, what? The world is shutting down.” “Wait, what?” This happened and that happened. And so many people felt isolated and depressed and lonely and sad. But the ones that I felt could cope through it and could find joy in the circumstances were the ones that accepted it and saying, “Okay, this is going to be a reality. It’s not a fun reality, but it is a reality. And we’re going to accept it. And we’re going to figure out a way to find our new path in life, our new way of creativity.” Entrepreneurs do this all the time when they have to pivot.
Charan: When they’re saying, “Okay, this didn’t happen. So we’ve got to change something else.” Now I know you and Lincoln and Kirby, you guys have created all kinds of different video series and fun series and things like that, that may not have taken off.
Eric: Oh, yeah.
Charan: They may even been funny, but they just didn’t take off. And so instead of stopping, you kept going, you’re like, “Okay, cool. I’m going to switch it up. I’m going to try something new.” So-
Eric: And… Yes. Go ahead.
Charan: How did you do it and keep going? Because sometimes people are like, “Dude, forget this. This is terrible.”
Eric: It’s so true. And I still create stuff and I put it out there and it’ll not do well. I’ve had a lot of fun opportunities in my life and I’m so grateful for it. But one of the things that I’ve been able to do is be a content creator. And so I do a lot of TikTok videos. I’m on TikTok. I have over four million followers on TikTok-
Charan: Which is insane.
Eric: …which boggles my mind.
Charan: It’s so amazing. Well, it amazes me because I didn’t know even know you did TikTok. You go, “Yeah dude. I got four million followers.” I’m like, “What?” It’s crazy.
Eric: For the record I did not say that in a braggadocious way when I talked to you.
Charan: No. I know.
Eric: Because it boggles my mind. But I’ll still post videos that just nobody likes or watches or whatever. So there’s this constant thing that you’re talking about of, if you put stuff out there, if it doesn’t work, you just pivot, you adapt, you look to improve, etc. I mean, it’s a lifelong journey, right? And as actors, it’s a lifelong journey because people don’t come knocking down your door always offering you things. You still have to audition or you still have to… And get face rejection. It’s the same type of stuff. You’re always trying to work on something and trying to find what is going to work in life.
Eric: And I think that’s the way life is for everybody. Whether it’s your profession, relationships, like Jeffrey R. Holland, I think, said, the first time I heard him say it where his daughter, I think it was said on her wedding day and said, “I’m at the end of all my troubles.” And then his reply was, “Yeah, but which end?”
Charan: That’s so good.
Eric: Right? Because that idea of even in relationships, you get married, you always have to be working on things. There are always going to be things that don’t go well. And then you work on things to make things go well. So I think it’s a really profound what you’re talking about, about this idea of you try to adapt and you just keep going forward. You accept it. You “yes, and…” those problems.
Charan: Well, and the interesting thing is, I find that if you can find relationship with yourself or with a higher power, with God, whoever you want it to be for you and find that you have joy just because of that relationship, you tend to keep going no matter what. Because you’re not worried about the outcome as much. You already have the joy. And so you create for the joy of creating. And I feel like that’s what you do a lot of times with your content creation is, you’re constantly creating. And if something doesn’t go, you’re like, “Okay, that didn’t go, let me try something else.” And you’ll keep going and going because you just love creating. You’re a content creator. That’s what you do. And it’s not like you’re only a content creator if people accept your content, because more than likely people reject your content, like they have rejected my content. And yet, you say, “I mean, some go, some don’t.” But yet you have over four million followers on TikTok.
Charan: So that already shows, hey, there is a fan base. There is a group of people, a big group of people that like what you’re putting out. And it’s interesting, because I randomly see you popping up on the internet with the craziest people. Like there was this one video I saw with LeBron James and you were standing next to him doing some funny sketch thing with him, which was so funny. And then, I saw another thing that you were doing with, oh my gosh, Zachary Levi. He was doing some video and then he was mentioning you and I’m like, “How in the world has Eric gotten around?” Well, the thing is, is your personality and your friendliness I feel is your superpower. And it allows you to put other people at ease, and to make people be like, “Hey, you know what? I love working with Eric.”
Eric Artell Talks About Fulfillment
Charan: But what would you say has been your key to your success as an actor?
Eric: Man, well, thank you by the way.
Charan: Of course.
Eric: And right back at you.
Charan: No man, come on.
Eric: Like I said, I have had some really fun opportunities to work with a lot of different people and meet a lot of different people and make friendships with a lot of different people. And I appreciate what you said, because I’ve always tried at least to be a friend first and regard those relationships more importantly than whatever you can get out of those relationships. And maybe sometimes to a career detriment. I mean, I know people who, when they immediately meet somebody and they immediately try to use that relationship for things. I mean, sure, that is how you can build up together and collaborate, etc. And that is important. I think you can tell when somebody is trying to use you just for certain things as opposed to wanting to have a legitimate relationship and care about you as a person. So that’s just a thought that just came into my mind when you’re talking about that.
Eric: But I did want to talk about this idea of, because I was just talking this week to a group of other people about this in Clubhouse actually. And I don’t know if anyone’s on Clubhouse, but if you’re on Clubhouse, hey, come say hi. And it was this idea that I’ve known and I’m sure you know as well, people who are what we would consider almost like the pinnacle of their success, particularly actors who might be at the pinnacle of their success, where they’re on billboards. And you would just think, man, if I could reach that level, problems solved, right?
Charan: Of course.
Eric: And yet knowing them personally, you see how unfulfilling that is. It does not fulfill. And you start to realize how important priorities are and what your priorities are and what your value system is. And if you are valuing career success above all else, that is a slippery slope that leads to disaster for you personally, because there is always a new rung up the ladder to go on. I mean, nobody has reached a pinnacle so high that they don’t want something else. And so it’s a very difficult thing to put yourself through, whereas if you have a different value system… So I personally, I’m a very spiritual person, I have a strong faith in God, and that relationship is extremely important to me. That’s one of the things that I put my value in. And that’s what’s important is having that relationship and being a good person. That is what I try to focus on: being a good husband, being a good father.
Eric: My family is such a huge priority for me. Granted, career success is important for your family, so you can provide for your family, and I’m so grateful how that is a possibility for me. But at the end of the day, I don’t want to fail at being a good husband, father and child of God. That’s what I don’t want to fail at. If I have hiccups and failures in career, fine. Because I can overcome those. But that’s not where I put my personal value. And so I think that’s been one of the things that has helped me a lot. I’m not going to say it doesn’t hurt when I put something out there and people aren’t liking it or sharing it-
Eric: …that hurts, right?
Eric: Because it’s part of your creation. I don’t know. Charan you’ve done stand-up, yeah?
Charan: I haven’t done stand-up man, I really haven’t. Have you done it? Have you done stand-up?
Eric: Yes, I have. It’s such a thrilling experience, but it is the one of the most gut-wrenching experiences in the world. Because you’re getting up on that stage and when you do improv, I can do improv without feeling nervous. Like, whatever. It’s just a fun to do because people, they expect the improv and they know that [inaudible 00:27:16]. But when somebody is watching you do stand-up, they’re just like, “Make me laugh. Give me what you think is going to make me laugh. And we will see if it makes me laugh.” And that’s like-
Eric: …that is so gut-wrenching. It’s terrifying. And the judgment that is then placed on you, it’s terrifying. And I can’t even remember where I was going with this, but it’s this idea of… I have known stand-up comics and when they put all of their eggs in that basket in terms of self-worth and value, that’s why drug abuse is rampant, etc. So I honestly can’t remember where I was going with this. Can we roll back the tape? But it’s this idea of-
Charan: Where does fulfillment come from?
Eric: Yes. Where is your fulfillment coming? Because if you go and do stand-up and you fail on the stage and it’s a total snooze fest and no one laughs, how do you bounce back from that? If that is where you’re putting your self-value and your self-worth. My goodness, it’s rough.
Charan: Dude, I think the takeaway I’m getting from all of this is, honestly, you have to identify what is giving you your sense of joy, your sense of fulfillment, your sense of purpose, your sense of hope, your sense of all the good things, right? Because if it is placed upon me booking a part, or if it’s placed upon me working with such and such actor, it just never works, man. It just does not work. But what I have noticed is when I put my fulfillment and everything in my relationship on God and those things that matter most to me, the parts just come. I don’t know how, but they just show up. And I’ve found my success as an actor has come as a result of that. Because then I go to the auditions already fulfilled.
Charan: So I’m not going there with this need of, “I’ve got to book this part.” It’s just more of a, “Hey, this is so exciting. I get to have this opportunity and present my version of this character to you. If you like it, great. If you don’t like it, no worries.” And then I go and I feel free. And that sense of feeling free, a sense of feeling relaxed, I think that’s what books me the roles. So it’s like this by-product, I feel like it’s this by-product of you feeling and good right now.
Charan: I think it’s so funny.
Eric: Because in the acting realm too, the casting director, the directors, whoever’s watching that audition, they can sense that.
Charan: Oh, yeah.
Eric: They can sense the neediness of the actor, they can sense when somebody comes in comfortable and is confident. And like you were saying, has that attitude. Because then they want to work with that person too. Because they’re going to be hiring them to work with them. So not only do they want to make sure the person can deliver the product, but they want to be able to feel comfortable working with that person, which is a big, important business principle, too, right? This idea of a lot of people often don’t buy the product that you’re selling. I mean, they do, obviously. But a lot of times they’re buying you.
Eric: And they won’t even consider the product if they don’t like the person who is selling the product, so to speak.
Charan: That is such a true principle of life, man. And what also is interesting is, I’ve had auditions where I’m like, “I nailed it.” I thought I nailed it, I get nothing. And then there are times when I’m like, “Oh, that was a total bomb. I don’t know what I’m doing.” And I end up booking those, right?
Eric: Yes. Oh, I’ve got some great stories about that. Yes.
Charan: Dude. Do you have any in particular that you can share?
Eric: Sure. Let’s see. Plenty of times I’ve gone in there and walked out of the room and thought, “I’m not getting that.” And I’ve got it. So one that comes into mind, okay, this is a long time ago, but it was a commercial audition. And I went in there and it was a Burger King audition. And I had to cluck like a chicken.
Charan: This is perfect. I love this already.
Eric: The scenario was me and my buddy are at a fortune teller, gypsy fortune teller lady, who has a crystal ball, and we’re looking in the crystal ball and I start to turn into a chicken. I start clucking, like that sort of thing. And so I went into this call-back and it was this older gentleman, British, if he’s listening to this, I don’t know if you remember this. He might be listening to the podcast [inaudible 00:32:04]. But he’s sitting there and I would do it and he’d be like, “No, do it more. Can you do it more like you’re a real chicken?” And then I do it. And like, “No, cluck more.” As I do it, “Do more head movement. No, no, no, it’s too much.”
Charan: Oh my gosh.
Eric: And I’m sitting here trying to cluck like a chicken and being directed, and then it was finally like-
Charan: [crosstalk 00:32:34].
Eric: … “All right. Thank you.” And that’s how it just unceremoniously ends the audition, the call-back. And I walk out. I’m like, “There’s no chance.” And then I booked it and then I booked the commercial and it turned out… It has a sad ending, actually, to be perfectly honest, because it turned out to be Burger King was launching their Chicken Whopper, totally new product.
Eric: And this was one of the commercials to launch the Chicken Whopper. And so it’s like, “Oh, this thing is going to run like crazy.” Which means, for those who don’t know, the more your commercial runs as a national network commercial, the more you get paid. And back in those days, you can make a substantial amount of money if a commercial ran a lot. So I thought, “This is going to be great. They’re going to play this thing into the ground because it’s launching this new product.” Sure enough, the commercial comes out and there I am clucking like a chicken into a crystal ball.
Charan: That’s great.
Eric: And it played for like a week and then they pulled it.
Eric: Yes, because Burger King changed their ad agency. And when they changed their ad agency, the ad agency’s essentially the ones that are creating the commercials. So they scrapped all the promotional commercials they were doing. And they had this other brilliant idea having Adam Carolla be the voice of a vending machine. And that was the series of commercials that they created and they started airing.
Charan: Oh, man.
Eric: So it became a… Anyway. But, yes. So that was one of the commercials-
Charan: One of those.
Eric: … I walked out thinking-
Eric: There’s no chance.
Charan: There’s no chance.
Eric: This guy hated me.
Charan: Yeah, dude, I can’t even tell you how many auditions were like that, where I bombed so hard. Left the Disney lot once for this audition, just feeling like I should never be an actor in LA. I should not be allowed to come on a set because what I just did was just a complete annihilation of any lines ever. And the very next day, my agent’s like, “Dude, you got to have the table read; you booked the thing.” And I’m like, “How? Why?” It makes no sense.
Eric: It makes no sense. And then of course there are the flip sides, too, that happen.
Eric: For actors, where you walk out and you’re like, “I can’t wait.” You start thinking in your mind, “Here’s what I’m going to buy with…” or “Now, I’m going to be able to cover my rent for X amount of whatever.” Man, I don’t know how honest or how much detail we want to go into with this.
Charan: You go to do it.
Eric: I was auditioning for a new show. It was going to be a new Nickelodeon show. I guess I shouldn’t say what show it is. I was going to, for a new Nickelodeon show. Go to the audition, go to the callback, go to the network read. And I get into the elevator for this show or for this network. And the elevator fills up with these guys. We were all going in the same room. It turns out they were the writers-
Charan: No way.
Eric: … of the pilot of the new show and some producers. And they’re all telling me in this elevator, “Oh, we love your audition. You’re so great. This is so great. You’re so perfect for this role.”
Charan: Oh, no.
Eric: Blah, blah, blah, blah. Then I go into this room and there are literally probably 15 people all in a line and I do it and they’re laughing, and they’re laughing. It went better than almost any audition I’ve ever gotten. And you can see where this is going, obviously.
Eric: And I walk out and I just think, “This is amazing. I think I just booked a series regular for a new-
Charan: Nickelodeon show.
Eric: Oh, sorry. No, it was Disney. I’m sorry. It was Disney.
Eric: For a new… Oh, maybe I shouldn’t even say. One of those two. But for a new show that is going to, this is a career maker. You know.
Charan: Yeah, of course.
Eric: You walk out of some of these auditions, you think, “This could be a career maker.” So the feedback that I would get is, casting director, “Perfect for it.” Producers, writers, “You’re perfect for it.” Showrunners, “You’re perfect for it.” One executive at this company that will be unnamed, even though we named it. One executive who didn’t have very much to do with the show, but it was just an executive, right? Their reaction was like, “Nah, I don’t see it.” One out of a whole room of… And then also people would be at. So I didn’t get the role.
Eric: And then as it was almost like sort of a nice thing. I mean, it felt a little bit better. They rewrote the role and they turned the role into a kid as opposed to an adult. So they actually went back to the drawing board and rewrote the entire role and then it wound up being a very long running successful. And so it was a little sad. I actually wound up being on the show, I guess, still on the show, so that was kind of cool, a long time later. But it was just this one person who didn’t really have very much to do with it allegedly who… And it wasn’t like, “I don’t like him. He’s terrible.” It was more like “I don’t know, I don’t get it” sort of thing.
Eric: So those curve balls come at you. And like we were just saying before, if that is what you’re putting your value on, if you don’t have either a faith system or, I mean, you and I are both, we both have a lot of faith in God, etc. But if you don’t have something else, which gives you your self-worth and your value that transcends whatever’s going on here on earth that you’re doing, it’s devastating. That’s going to-
Charan: It’s devastating.
Eric: It’s devastating.
Charan: It is devastating.
Eric: And it is devastating regardless but-
Charan: It is devastating regardless. Here’s the thing [crosstalk 00:38:55]. I mean, I’m telling you, I love being an actor not because I get to act. I mean, I do. Of course, I love it because I’m acting. But also because of the life lessons it teaches me about: How do you face rejection? How do you face those times when you’re constantly feeling like nothing’s going to ever succeed? Because that’s what it is a lot of times. I mean, for every success that you have, you have so many failures come through. And then the flip side is those that get success early and they taste and, this is what it’s always going to be. And then they get rejected over and over and over. It’s this constant barrage of things that are kind of happening to us. And that’s what changes us and helps us realize, okay, this world that we’re facing right now is so full of uncertainty. And anytime you think like, “Oh yeah, this is what’s going to happen. This is what’s going to happen.” Your life is going to actually feel kind of unfulfilled.
Charan: And I was actually joking around with… I belong to a group of people that are mid-single, but they’re not married or anything like that. And I was joking with them and I said, “Guys, I love that we’re all here. Because just being here lets us know things did not go according to plan.” And they were dying, laughing.
Eric: And we’re still alive. And we’re still joking.
Charan: But we’re here, though.
Eric: We’re here.
Charan: Guys, we’re here.
Eric: You’re like, “Listen, we never would have been friends-
Charan: We would never been friends.
Eric: …if I’d gotten married when I was younger. So I’m so glad I didn’t get married. I’m so glad.” [inaudible 00:40:31] back the tears.
Charan: As the tears are just flowing off your face. But dude, it was an interesting thing because as I was talking to them I said, “Listen, if you live life by a checklist or by a set of expectations, whatever those expectations are, whatever that checklist is, whatever that narrative is, when that narrative doesn’t happen, when that checklist doesn’t happen” – I say “when,” because more often than not, those checklists and those narratives don’t happen — you feel completely unsatisfied with life. You feel very devastated and you turn bitter, and I’ve talked to a lot of people that have turned bitter.
Charan: And it’s just like, they kind of give up on life. And I’m like, I don’t think our view of life was accurate to begin with. There was somewhere down the line, this narrative that was painted in our head or fantasy that this is how life was going to be if certain things were done all the time. But in reality, I think it’s more about, what we were talking about, that relationship, that sense of fulfillment is what gives you hope. So, I don’t know. I love that.
Eric Artell Talks About Prank Academy
Charan: Now, I want to shift topics a little bit, because you’re a very hopeful guy. You’re always creating awesome content. And recently you’ve been chatting with me that you are now the host of a new show called Prank Academy.
Charan: Tell me about Prank Academy. How did this become a thing and how is this even… I don’t know. I guess, it’s just amazing. I was so stoked about it.
Eric: Well, this is great. I’m very excited about the show. It’s called Prank Academy. It is with AFV, America’s Funniest Videos. So America’s Funniest Videos has been around for over 30 years where-
Charan: So you were in a sense replacing Bob Saget is what’s happening?
Eric: No, no, no. Alfonso Ribiero replaced Bob Saget.
Charan: Okay, fine. [inaudible 00:42:20].
Eric: Although, listen, let’s put it out there. Once Alfonso Ribiero decides to the hang up his hosting duties on AFV, I’m happy to try to fill those shoes.
Eric: So AFV has been around for a long time, America’s Funniest Videos, and they’ve been receiving submissions from people for over 30 years. So they have this enormous vault of videos that they love to show and showcase, and they can only show so many during their main show. So Prank Academy is a show that we helped create. I’m also a creative producer on it to help highlight prank videos that AFV has in their vault. Now of course it’s AFV, so we keep it to good-natured pranks. Pranks can get a little mean-spirited sometimes. So we keep it to good-natured pranks, and there are a bunch of different kinds of pranks: scare pranks, set-up pranks, mistaken identity pranks, insect prank, food pranks. There’s so many different kinds of pranks that you can do.
Eric: And so this show, Prank Academy, I’m the host of the show, and we treated it as if the viewers are students at the Prank Academy. So I get to play different characters, sketch comedy characters, that are visiting professors to talk about different aspects of pranks, the physics of pranks, or relationship pranks, and stuff like that. So I get to play a lot of really fun characters, and that’s where a lot of the improv stuff that I’ve done in the past really I get to play around with a lot. But then we also, in the show, we show a lot of prank videos in the show. And then we also have celebrities who do a cameo in every episode, and they do a fun segment where they are apologizing on behalf of someone else in a prank video.
Eric: For instance, Jon Heder, a lot of people know him from Napoleon Dynamite, Blades of Glory, etc. He is in the segment for one of our episodes where there’s this prank video of a dad who wakes up his kids wearing a mask and a chainsaw. And these kids absolutely freak out.
Charan: Oh my gosh. Of course.
Eric: They’re screaming. And so Jon watches this video and then says, “I’m going to apologize on behalf of this dad.” And then he talks as if he’s the dad. Like, “Sons, I’m sorry, I’m sorry I caused your bedwetting episodes until you were in your teens.” Whatever, just a fun way of doing it. And we have Rozon from Schitt’s Creek, Chris Kattan from Saturday Night Live. We have all these fun celebrities who do these cameos. And then we also, every episode we have big content creators or influencers who are out in the field doing pranks for us, and we give them some prank challenges. So it’s a really fun mixture of different things. It’s kind of like AFV meets Saturday Night Live meets The Soup meets The Daily Show, because we have correspondents out there.
Eric: So it’s a really fun show that we’re doing and it’s on Pluto TV. People can check it out on Pluto TV. AFV has their own channel on Pluto TV, channel 494 on Pluto TV, which Pluto TV is a streaming service that’s free for anyone to go tune into. And they’re playing it all the time right now. So it’s really fun. And it came about because I’ve done a lot of stuff with AFV. I first started doing some livestreams with them back when I was doing a lot of livestreaming on the… which is now TikTok, but before it was called musical.ly, and they had it [inaudible 00:46:08] lively. So I was very involved in that and I did some livestreams for them there. And then they had me do a couple of different projects with them that were a couple of series where I was a host of a couple of different things. And then this project came up and we’ve loved collaborating. And so it’s just a total blessing. I’ve absolutely loved doing it. And it’s really fun. And they’re excited about it as well.
Charan: Well, it’s so interesting, because I’ve been known to pull pranks for sure.
Eric: I’ve seen them.
Charan: You’ve seen some of them.
Eric: And they’re great.
Charan: And they’re fun.
Eric: Yes. And they’re great. You’re fantastic.
Charan: Oh, thanks, man. And the thing is, is like when they’re good-natured, when they’re not mean-spirited, when they’re good-natured, I find that it helps break people out of their mold of life. It helps them get out of their routine of like, “Oh, this is how life is always going to be.” And so I try to pull really positive pranks on people, just because it really uplifts their spirits.
Charan: Like, this wasn’t even a prank. I went and bought three bananas and a roll of duct tape. It was for some shoot I was doing. For whatever reason, when I was putting it on the conveyor belt, I just thought, “You know what? I’m going to put these bananas in the shape of a triangle and put the duct tape in the middle like some kind of weird Star Trek symbol. I’m just going to put this like this. And I’m just going to let it go up and let the cashier see it.” And so I put it like that and I let it go. The cashier saw it and I don’t know what happened, but when he saw it, it hit his funny bone and he just died laughing.
Charan: He was just cracking up. He’s like, “Dude, what is this?” I’m like, “Dude, I don’t know. I had to make it happen.” And so now I created a fun game called Grocery Shapes, where you have all these groceries and on the conveyor belt you have to make it into a shape before it gets to the cashier and just see what they… You know what I’m saying?
Eric: Charan, this is so great. How have you not made this into a TikTok series yet?
Charan: Well, I don’t know. I need you to hire me is what I’m trying to say to do your pranks. Because I-
Charan: But I love doing stuff like that all the time, because it’s not ever mean-spirited. It’s a fun, fulfilling joke, right?
Eric: Fun, unexpected.
Eric: And you’re right. It breaks somebody’s routine up, but in a fun unexpected and pleasurable way, right?
Charan: I had a… Yeah, go ahead. You go.
Eric: No, go ahead. You just made me think of an experience I had in my life, but you had. [inaudible 00:48:42].
Charan: I’ll share one then I want to hear yours. A friend of mine called me up and said, “Hey Charan, my boss has been really stressed out and I just think you need to come and prank him.” That was the request. And already I’m like, “This is going to be a fantastic day. This is going to be a good day. I’m so excited.” And it was for one of those big MLM companies, and they’re like multi-billion dollar companies.
Eric: Yes. NWM, now they’re called, Network Marketing. Yes.
Charan: I’m so sorry. Forgive me. So it was one of those big companies. I don’t want to name which one. And he was the president, the CEO. Anyway, I go in, in my full Indian attire and this girl who calls me and says, “Hey, listen. Before lunch, this guy, he came straight from India and he just loves our products so much. He just loves what it’s done for him. And he just wants to meet you.” And this guy is just kind of surprised. He’s like, “Wait, what? You just let him come to the office?” She’s like, “Just be nice to him. He’s just so tender.” And so of course, this guy has no idea what to make of me and, thick Indian accent, all this stuff.
Charan: And I said, “Listen, I know you just started this building and you’re starting to do business in this building. So I want to say a special blessing on this building, if that’s okay.” And he’s like, “Sure.” Then he’s like, “What do I need to do? Can I bring some people?” I’m like, “Please, bring whomever you like.” And then I proceeded to hold hands with him and made up an Indian prayer that does not even exist. There’s just no words in the Indian language.
Eric: It was just gibberish basically.
Charan: [inaudible 00:50:25] gibberish. But I made him repeat the words after me.
Eric: Oh, no.
Charan: I made him repeat it after me. And then finally he’s like, “Thank you so much. What did I say?” And I said, “Well, I bless you with joy and peace and a sense of humor when you realize that this was all a joke.” And he’s like, “Wait, what?” And then I went to an American accent. I’m like, “Dude, I’m just messing. My friend just asked me to come in and play a joke on you.” And at that moment, the tension that he had just completely released and he was laughing and laughing so hard. He’s like, “Oh my gosh.” He’s like, “Dude, I can’t believe how good you got me. That was so good.” And then he’s like, “Wait, can you stick around and get the other execs?” And I’m like, “Sure.” So I ended up punking their CMO.
Eric: Oh, nice. While he was watching.
Charan: He was participating.
Eric: Oh, man. And just loving it. He was loving it.
Charan: Just loving it. And then I heard, after I left, they’re like, “Please always come back. You’re always welcome here.” And my friend who invited me she’s like, “They would not stop talking about it. They said that was a highlight of their day.” And it was so interesting to me to realize people walk around with so much tension and so much pain in their life and-
Eric: Weight on their shoulders.
Charan: And weight. Weight that they didn’t even know that they had, but they do. And to give them the gift of laughter, of joy, in those moments to just let that self-release. That I think is a godly gift, honestly. So anyway, I love the fact that you’re a part of this show, you’re creating the show, and you’re helping pull pranks, because the thing is like, you’re doing it again in a very wholesome, fun, pure-natured kind of way but still giving people that sense of hope instead of being cynical, which [inaudible 00:52:12].
Eric: Right. Yes, exactly. And it’s, like we said, it’s AFV. So it’s good for the whole family. My kids, it’s one of their favorite things ever to watch now. And so it’s really fun to do. I love what you said…. So go check it out, Pluto TV. Go check it out, channel 494 AFV TV.
Charan: Please, check it out.
Eric: What you said about the gift of laughter, I’m reminded of an experience that I had. This is somewhat of a life-changing experience if you will, because I don’t know if you know this, Charan, but I went to school and got an economics degree.
Charan: I did not know that. That’s crazy.
Eric: I went to BYU, got an economics degree.
Charan: I don’t think I’ve ever thought about that.
Eric: But while I was toiling away in that social science of economics-
Charan: With Dr. Carl probably.
Eric: Yup. When I was little, I loved acting, loved it. And then at some point, as I got into later teens, I kind of thought that’s not something that I can really appropriately try to do. And so when I got to college, I chose economics because it’s something that I have an aptitude in certain things. And I like the theory and I had fasted and prayed about what should I major in? And felt really good about econ, but I still love doing performance stuff.
Charan: Of course.
Eric: And so there was a board there at school called the Mass Club Board. I don’t even know if it still exists or not. That was in the, man, I can’t remember the name of the building. But there was a little notice about they needed someone, a small little community theater, the Valley Center Playhouse in Lindon, Utah. They needed someone to come fill in for a weekend for something in a play. And you needed to be able to do a British accent, a Cockney British accent. So I spent a few years when I was growing up, my family we lived in England a couple of different times.
Charan: Oh wow. Okay.
Eric: And when we came back one of the times, so my family says, I would pronounce some things in a natural British accent sometimes when I was little. So British accents have always been really fun for me to do. So I thought, “This would be so fun. I haven’t done a play in years. Let me go do it.” So I went and I auditioned for it and they had me do it. I don’t even know if anyone else ever even actually auditioned for the role. I have no idea. So we did it and it was fun. And I was like, “This would be so fun just on my free time to do some shows in this little theater. So I’m going to audition for another show.”
Eric: So I auditioned for another show, it was a show called The Cruise of Love. It was almost like an extremely squeaky-clean, PG version of The Love Boat. And it was an original show written by this elderly couple that ran this theater, who I think have now passed on. And it had original music pieces to it, original songs, it was all of this original show. And I played the happy go-lucky employees on this cruise ship. And it was in the theater in the round, but it was like a double wide trailer turned into a stage. So it was just this flat surface. And then a couple of rows of theater seats on every side.
Charan: I think I’ve performed in this space before.
Eric: You may have.
Charan: Yeah. I may have. Yeah. Anyway, keep going.
Eric: I’m sorry, this story is taking a little too long.
Eric: But it just makes me remember this. It was such a clear moment for me. I was doing my performance, this show, and just having fun doing it. And there was this couple that was sitting in the front row, which meant that I’d stand there. If I just reached down, I would be touching them. Sitting right there, laughing hysterically, just cracking up at stuff that I was doing. And it felt so great, not because of “look at me,” but it felt so great knowing that I was helping them experience this joy of laughter and hopefully changing their night. And at the end of the show, we would all stand there. And as people walked out, we would say hi, and they come and they shake my hand. They’re just laughing while they’re shaking my hand. For whatever reason, I touched their funny bone. And it was so amazing to know that I had positively affected their lives that way. And they might’ve gone back home and talked about it later, who knows. But this just experience of affecting someone’s life in such a positive way, just took hold of me.
Eric: And then I had some other experiences in my life, which led me to not pursue jobs in the economics world. And not go be an investment banker, etc., but instead be an actor. But that certainly was one of my defining experiences, but it was that just joy of bringing joy into people’s lives. There’s a joy in bringing joy into people’s lives. And I think it’s another reason why I love doing improv. I love doing that sort of stuff, which I know you love as well.
Charan: Absolutely. I mean, here’s the thing, and we’ve touched on so many of your joys already, but I liked what you just really said that there’s an insane amount of joy in bringing joy in somebody else’s life. I think that’s beautiful. A lot of times we talk about what brings us joy and it’s, well, family, God, all those things. But the idea of seeing somebody else truly happy and you were able to be a part of that happiness, that’s incredible. That’s life-changing and that’s really why I like to do what I like to do, because I mean, truthfully, I don’t find satisfaction in acting if it’s just for myself. I just don’t. But if I’m doing it with the intention of, hopefully I can serve other people and hopefully I can use this as a way to help other people have a lighter load in life and feel a little bit more hopeful and feel like, hey, you know what? Life is worth living. And there is some positivity in there. Then I think it’s awesome. And I don’t know, I get really excited about it.
Eric: And I think it’s important to say that this does not only apply to acting-
Charan: Yeah, of course.
Eric: …and to performances. This is, in my opinion, it is such an important life principle. So if you’re in high school or in grade school or whatever, if you’re just going to school and giving someone a compliment and seeing the joy that comes into their lives, you will experience joy. You providing joy to other people will help lift up your spirits and help lift the weight that you feel too. In the workplace, bringing joy into people’s lives in the workplace, friendships. I mean, everybody who’s listening to this or watching this has friends or people in their lives that are important in their life. Even if it’s just family members. You can bring joy into their lives, and you will experience joy when you bring joy into their lives. And not much more magical thing in life than that. That is truly a magical thing. And it definitely transcends the performance arena. In the performance it’s so easy to apply it but, man, anybody can help bring joy into someone else’s life. And it’s so fulfilling.
Charan: I think it’s so great. Well, it’s so interesting because sometimes I go to fast food restaurants and I see sometimes there are these workers that are just sweeping the floors and everything like that. And they have so much joy in what they’re doing, even if it’s so simple that they bring joy to other people. And I’ve been a witness to that where they’re just very simple, they’re just so grateful for their job, they’re just so grateful that they have this chance to serve in their capacity. And man, the world is better because they exist. And so-
Eric: And sometimes… Yeah, go ahead.
Charan: Yeah, go ahead. No, you go.
Eric: I was just going to add, sometimes it’s as simple as a smile. Sometimes it’s as simple as a smile. And I’m reminded of an experience where I was shopping, and I had my little toddler baby daughter. I was in the grocery shopping and there was somebody who was sweeping the floor. This made me think of this. Somebody was sweeping the floor, and a little girl just looked at him and just this huge smile and just said, “Hi.” And that was one of the few words she knew at the time. And he just looked at her and his whole face just turned into this bright beam of joy. And he looks at me and he goes, “She said hi to me.” She did. She’s a friendly little one. And sometimes it’s just that, it is just that.
Eric: And this goes back to, you’re talking about with… And I appreciate, again, the words that you said about how I try to be friends with people that I associate with. And a lot of that is just about smiling with them, just trying to have a positive outlook on life. And having that smile, that can help, that really can help.
Charan: It’s so interesting how, like you said, like a simple smile, a simple kind gesture like a smile can lift somebody up. Just to be like, “Hey, it’s going to be okay.” I don’t know, it’s so interesting as I’ve seen some of the people… I’ve had lunch with several people last year that were telling me they were going through some pretty hard depression because of all of the stuff that was going on in the world and everything like that. And as we were sitting and just chatting, I realized like just that moment was sacred. Just hanging out with them, having lunch with them, it was sacred.
Charan: And we were able to just be like, “Hey, you know what? Yeah, it is tough, but that’s why we have each other and that’s what we can joke around and talk about funny memories that we experienced or funny things that you’ve done, funny things that I may have done.” And at the end of the day, it transcends all of this acting, all of this stuff. It’s all about that human connection of having joy. So I don’t know. Again, we can talk about this stuff for hours. It’s amazing. It really is [inaudible 01:03:44].
Eric: That’s right. And by the way, it’s not like that solves problems, right?
Eric: For instance, if somebody has a huge splinter in their forearm that’s sticking out and it’s bleeding or whatever, right? And they’re feeling this terrible pain. Having somebody come and smile and sit with them for a minute, it doesn’t magically heal that wound.
Eric: But it certainly can help. It certainly helps.
Charan: It can certainly soothe.
Eric: It can soothe.
Charan: If we’re meant to soothe others, then that’s what we [inaudible 01:04:19].
Eric: Man, Charan, if anything, you are a balm of soothing ointment.
Charan: Oh man, I will be [inaudible 01:04:27].
Eric: You are a balm of Gilead, my friend.
Charan: Oh dude. Well, listen, man. I appreciate you so much. We got to wrap things up a little bit, but I guess the last question I’d ask you is, actually two questions real quick.
Eric: Okay. Lay them on me.
Eric Artell Talks About His Greatest Fear
Charan: What is your greatest fear?
Eric: I would say right now my greatest fear would be probably to disappoint my own family, wife, and children. I’m not talking about my… I don’t care about my siblings.
Charan: No, forget about those guys.
Eric: I care about my parents. Maybe to fail them, maybe not just disappoint because I think we always disappoint people. Come on, we’re all human. But to ultimately maybe fail them. That would be a fear. It would definitely be a fear.
Charan: Yeah. And it’s so interesting, because they’re the people closest to you whom you love so dearly, right? And you want to protect them and you want to help them out. And I think it’s interesting, because if we can look at all humans as our human family and sometimes feeling like, “Oh my gosh, did we fail people?” I mean, of course you don’t want to beat yourself up too much, because you can’t do everything for everybody. But at the same time, it’s like taking that same principle and just really caring for people, like genuinely caring for people. It’s the way to go. And then the last-
Eric: I do have another fear by the way. I do have another fear.
Charan: Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead, please.
Eric: I’m just going to say, I really struggle with like, when you’re in maybe a building all by yourself and you have to turn off the lights. I mean, I’ve had to sometimes lock up a church building before because of my responsibilities, my callings. And you can just start to imagine there being a ghost or something and you imagine. Oh man, that gets me afraid. You shouldn’t be afraid of ghosts, but…
Charan: But you know what? Hey, if they’re around, you may want to avoid them if you can.
Eric: Maybe. But that was just another something in my mind.
Charan: No, no, great.
Eric: What’s your other question?
Eric Artell’s Advice to His Younger Self
Charan: The last question really is, even though you haven’t aged a day, imagine that you were younger, okay? Imagine that you were younger and you had to give advice from current Eric to the younger Eric, the one that might be in high school or the one that’s studying to be an econ professor or whatever he was trying to be. What advice would you give that Eric?
Eric: Well, the first thing that popped into my mind, so I’ll just say that. This might not be the right answer. But the first thing that popped in my mind was care less about what other people think of you and what you do.
Charan: That’s good advice.
Eric: So care less about… That’s not to say that you shouldn’t care about that. I do think it’s important to care about that. But care less about that because what that does sometimes, and I think everyone has experienced this. It makes you be less of who you really are.
Charan: Yeah. Completely.
Eric: Like if you’re in school, right? I’m sure there are people who listen to this, who can relate to this. If you’re in school, sometimes you’re afraid to be who you are because maybe it’s not cool, maybe it’s not the clique, it’s not the right clique. You want to be a part of a clique, or the cool group. That sounds so dad of me. But not be embarrassed about who you are and be who you are.
Charan: There’s real power that comes in authenticity, right?
Charan: And the moment you listen to the voice of others to the point where you stop being yourself, you stop being authentic, then you lose your own power, you lose why God created you to begin with, and God wants you to be you, I feel. And so-
Eric: Yeah. We have all been blessed with certain talents.
Eric: And it’s okay if you don’t have certain talents that other people have, that’s fine. Let’s go read some parables from Jesus about that, right? It is okay. Everybody has different talents and magnify those talents, bring those talents to the world and let those lights shine. Because that will positively affect the people that need to be positively affected. And you’ll find joy in that as opposed to trying to spin your wheels, trying to do or be somebody that you aren’t, and that you don’t have to be, that you’re not meant to be, it’s okay. And that certainly is applied to a lot of areas of life. I think it applies to all areas of life.
Charan: Dude, you cannot end on a better note than that. That was amazing. That was great. And dude, it’s the truth. Being yourself and being you is the best version of, I don’t know, of reality you can ever experience. Does that make sense?
Charan: Because then you can create your path, you don’t have to follow others, you can create your path. And I love that you’ve been creating your path for so long. You’re constantly creating your own path. And if people say no, you just keep going. You keep on going.
Eric: That’s true.
Charan: And that’s what makes it so you’re able to do all the good things that you’re doing right now. So I don’t know, man. I certainly appreciate you taking the time to be on this podcast and to share all these things with me. It’s amazing.
Eric: Well, thank you, Charan. I’ve just thought of one other thought if it’s okay, I’d love to share this-
Charan: Please. Yes [crosstalk 01:11:05].
Eric: Because a lot of times it comes up. I’ve done a lot of stuff that’s in nerd culture. And I think on this, because a lot of times people don’t want to show what they’re nerdy about. That a lot of times comes into play when it comes to this idea of, be who you are, be genuine. And one of my favorite definitions is from my old buddy, Zach Levi, who now has Shazam!, he plays Shazam and he had this thing called Nerd HQ that he would do down in San Diego. And he has the nerd machine and his definition, and I don’t know if it was from him or that he had heard this somewhere, but when you’re a nerd, it means that you are passionate about something. You can be a nerd about anything.
Eric: And that helps transform this idea of being a nerd. And I embrace and that’s a part of it. I think that’s why I was thinking of this whole idea of, don’t worry about what other people think, embrace your nerdiness, embrace your inner nerd. If you have a passion for something, embrace that passion and let people see that passion, and maybe it is comic books, maybe it is video games, but maybe it’s sports. Maybe it’s accounting, maybe it’s drawing, whatever it is, embrace your inner nerd-dom and be that nerd. And I just love that aspect of it.
Eric: So that was hitting my mind. So I just wanted to share it, but thank you, Charan. This has been a great conversation and I hope it helps some people who might’ve listened to it because-
Charan: Dude, it’s helped me and it’s-
Eric: It’s helped me.
Charan: I appreciate it man, I appreciate it. And you’re awesome. And I’m just excited to see where your life takes you, because you’ve already done some great good in the world, and I’m excited for the rest of the world to experience the goodness that you have to offer. So thanks so much, man. Appreciate it.
Charan: Yup. Take care.
Charan: Thanks so much for listening to the Lemonade Stand podcast and we hope you enjoyed this episode. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on whatever platform you use to be alerted when we release new episodes. We’d also love to hear your feedback in the reviews, and if you or someone you know has an awesome lemonade stand story, please reach out to us on social media and let us know. Thanks so much and have a great day.