Hangin’ with Jasen Wade
Jasen Wade is truly a man among men. Wait, hang on, that wasn’t epic enough. He is the wind beneath all of our wings … um, yeah still not epic enough. This man truly is a legend. If you’ve seen movies like “17 Miracles,” “Miracle Maker,” and “The Cokeville Miracle,” you’ll realize he lives up to the names of those films. He truly is a miracle. But despite the seriousness of the characters that he plays, the man just exudes joy and laughter. He’s such a great guy and I’m honored to call him friend. Very recently, Jasen Wade, Corbin Allred, and I teamed up to create an online acting course called Acting Out. In a very short amount of time, we filled ourselves with a lifetime of experience. Today we chat about that course as well as the incredible journeys Jasen has gone on to get to where he’s at today. Enjoy our epic chat!
Jasen Wade is best known for his roles in films such as “17 Miracles” and “The Cokeville Miracle.” However, he’s also worked as a second assistant director and first assistant camera. He has also been involved in the production of several projects. Off-screen and in between films, he’s served as a wildland firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management and worked with many fire crews across the country.
Although he’s travelled across the world, Jasen ultimately settled down in Colorado. He currently enjoys an active lifestyle in the Rocky Mountains with his wife Holly Green and their three children.
About Jasen Wade
Jasen was born in Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain, but raised in Utah. Once he graduated high school, he moved to Moscow, Russia, where he lived for two years on a service mission for his church. It was a time of political turmoil in Russia, which exposed Jasen to the two extremes of human nature. However, during his time in Moscow, he was introduced to the performing arts and learned of it being a viable career choice.
Returning to Utah
After completing his mission, Jasen returned to Utah, where he studied psychology and history at Weber State University in Ogden. However, his interest waned and he instead looked at the prospect of becoming a park ranger. This encouraged him to transfer to Utah State University. Unfortunately, when he learned that becoming a park ranger requires law enforcement training, he changed his mind and transferred to the University of Utah.
First Acting Experience
Jasen drifted between majors for a while. He decided to focus on Russian but then switched to becoming a veterinarian once he moved to Cedar City. It was around this time that his sister auditioned for a summer play, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” in Springdale, Utah. While she didn’t get the part, the director said they needed “manly men,” so she recommended Jasen for the part.
Motivated by the prospect of moving to Zion as part of the play, Jasen accepted the offer. The moment he walked on stage, he realized that he was right where he wanted to be. He had found his calling. He waited tables during the day then performed in shows during the evenings. In total, he had starred in 83 shows before returning to his studies. Once he returned, he majored in theater and broadcasting, ultimately leading Jasen to where he is today.
Meeting Kieth Merrill
Another turning point in Jasen’s life was meeting Kieth Merrill, an award-winning filmmaker and writer. When Kieth announced he would be hosting a three-day workshop at Southern Utah University, Jasen skipped all of his classes to ensure he wouldn’t miss it.
Jasen was able to get a private one-on-one with Kieth. They talked about Jasen’s passion for acting and the chances of him making it in Hollywood. Every fear that Jasen spoke of was dispelled by Kieth. He was praised for his faith and substance, mentioning that the industry needed more people like Jasen.
This chance meeting would become one of the driving forces behind Jasen’s acting career.
Staying True to Himself
Over the next few years, Jasen would receive many offers to advance his acting career. However, he was determined to stick to his faith and stay true to himself. He took all the work that he could get but made sure it wouldn’t compromise his values.
A close friend once told Jasen that he would need to sacrifice everything if he wanted to make it in Hollywood — that he would need to deny who he really was in order to achieve the fame and glory that he was seeking. However, something wouldn’t allow him to take that step, and he ultimately declined those offers and stayed true to his path.
Departure and Return to Film
Jasen spent a few years dabbling in other ventures. He tried to start a business designing and selling athletic uniforms, but the recession hit and his business suffered. He was forced to live in his car because he couldn’t pay his rent. Occasionally, he even lived in a tent in the woods. While it was a depressing point of his life, he ultimately pulled out of that despair.
He started working as a wildland firefighter for the Bureau of Land Management for some time. Having recovered, he felt that he was ready to return to the world of film. He signed with the Talent Management Group and found himself preparing for his legendary role in “17 Miracles.”
Jasen Wade Podcast Transcription
Charan: Welcome back, guys, to the Lemonade Stand Podcast. I’m your host, Charan Prabhakar, with the magnificent Jasen Wade. Jasen and I, we had a very epic week last week. Very epic week.
Jasen: It’s a blur. It’s all a blur.
Charan: Not only was it a blur …
Jasen: A beautiful blur.
Charan: Not only was it a beautiful blur, it was a blur that caused a lot of anxiety a couple weeks before, because we were like, “Are we sure we want to do what we are going to do?”
Jasen: Oh man. If you weren’t a true creative, no way any of that would have happened.
Jasen: There’s no way. We were on creative fumes.
Charan: We really were. I mean, the thing of it was …
Charan: We’re going to get into this in the podcast, but we put together an acting course.
Jasen: Yes, we did.
Charan: And it was insane.
Jasen: Say it again. Just say it again.
Charan: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Jasen: We put together …
Charan: An acting course.
Jasen: And how long?
Jasen: We shouldn’t say, because it will totally-
Charan: Yeah, no.
Jasen: Never mind. It took years. It took years and years to put this together.
Charan: And it really did. It did, because you had to go through your years of experience.
Jasen: Well, yes.
Charan: I went through my years of experience. Corbin went through his years of experience, but the fact of the matter is, at the point when we decided we want to make this course an online course …
Jasen: Oh man.
Charan: … To when we actually filmed it, was not that long of time.
Charan: And of course, you and Corbin-
Jasen: Fortunately, we had the bones.
Jasen: We had done a course down at Southwest Tech in Cedar City. Corbin happens to be in St. George. I’m in Cedar City, and we were in the neighborhood and said, “Let’s do this,” kind of a location. We had done our homework. We got together for months and months and months. In fact, it took us nearly a year to get that course started. Some of that work was there, and some of it translated into what we did.
Jasen: But some of it didn’t, and we were just like, “Charan, welcome to the party. Everyone, take a third, and go.”
Charan: And just go. Well, you know what’s interesting? We kind of had this discussion, when you do something for years and years, where it just kind of becomes embodied in you, you just kind of just know how to do it, like it’s just an intuitive thing, but now to take that intuitive thing and be like, “Okay. How do we explain this intuitive thing to someone that has no idea about how to make something like this happen?” It’s a difficult task.
Jasen: Teaching my daughter how to drive.
Jasen: Teaching her how to reverse park. I’ve done it for so many times. I’m just like, “Just turn the wheel and put the car in where it belongs.” It’s a sense of space. She finally gets an instructor that says, “Take the mirror, line it up with the line on the parking stall.” Done.
Jasen: I’m like, “Well, I don’t …” So, that’s what we’re doing, right? We’re taking things we just take for granted. We’ve been doing it for so long. It’s like breathing to us. In fact, if we don’t do it, we feel off, so we know. We have these things that guide us, but to take this, break it down, and be like, “Oh yeah. Try this step, and then this step is …” it was more difficult than we expected.
Charan: Yes, it was.
Jasen: Pretty cool and insightful.
Charan: The thing that was also exciting was I remember I came to Cedar City a couple of weeks ago, where we were all meeting each other. We were like, “All right guys. This is going to be a very important night for us.”
Jasen: So important.
Charan: So important.
Jasen: Like we really had to focus. We had to dial in. We’ve got limited time.
Charan: Very limited time, and we’ve got so much to accomplish, because after this, we only just have a week left, and then we’re supposed to shoot. So, we’ve got to dial it in.
Jasen: I mean, you drive the length of the state.
Charan: I drove the length of the state. You drove the length of Panda Express.
Jasen: Panda Express.
Charan: Panda Express.
Jasen: Because I wanted to be ready. I wanted everybody to be fed. Let’s get right to work.
Charan: Right to it.
Jasen: We’ve only got about five hours. Every minute counts.
Charan: Every moment counts. Right as I started eating, Corbin comes in. Corbin’s here. All right. Okay. We are set to go. We are ready to go, and then hours and hours later, after the incredible amounts of talk on aliens.
Charan: And just conspiracy theories.
Jasen: Conspiracy theories, out-of-body experiences.
Charan: Out-of-body experiences.
Jasen: What else?
Charan: I don’t know.
Jasen: We went down so many rabbit holes.
Charan: So many rabbit holes. None of them applied to acting, by the way.
Charan: We finally got to the point where we were like, “All right. We’ve really got to do this, you guys. We’ve got to do this.” By the time we got to the house to start preparing, we realized 20, 30 minutes in how tired we were.
Jasen: We were exhausted.
Charan: Hey, aliens take it out of us. Aliens take it out of us, as we’ve learned.
Jasen: It’s so pathetic [crosstalk 00:06:12] on so many levels, but so predictable too.
Charan: It’s so predictable, and I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh. How are we ever going to get this course finished?” because we only wrote a little bit, and then we all decided, “Hey. You know what? It might be better if we just worked individually to get our scenes done,” which we could have decided before this whole trip happened.
Jasen: We’re really talking this course up, like there’s so much in there.
Charan: We really are.
Jasen: But it is kind of funny, because we infused that into the course itself, so you’ll see the three of us, it’s obvious that when we get together we have a lot of fun.
Jasen: We have a lot of fun.
Jasen: You’re going to go down a lot of different rabbit holes.
Jasen: And you better be prepared to go there, so if you take the course, that’s where you’re going to go. It’s going to be chaotic, but it’s going to be meaningful.
Charan: Totally meaningful.
Jasen: You will get information, but we’re going to be going all over the place.
Charan: Here’s the thing. We have an ability to use a ton of words to say very little. We really have that ability. It’s the most brilliant balance of intelligence and idiocy I’ve ever seen. No. It really was great. Here’s the thing though. I remember that last week, as we were kind of putting all this stuff in, how much just incredible experience we all had as we were writing this stuff down. As we started presenting it and actually filming the video, videos I should say, I started thinking, “Wow. This is incredible information. It’s also digestible, and it’s something that people are going to really enjoy, I think,” and especially as a beginning actor, sometimes you get kind of … What’s the word? Intimidated going into a class.
Jasen: Oh. For sure. How many times? I mean, you’ve taken how many courses?
Charan: So many.
Jasen: You can’t even count how many acting courses that we’ve done, the acting process. And it is, it’s intimidating. It feels like there’s this closed wall here, and only private members get the information that you’re about to have. We just blew the lid off of that.
Charan: I also have noticed how some classes are just so overly intense.
Charan: Have you noticed that?
Charan: Where the teacher just feels like he’s King Midas or something, or he just knows all, he sees all, and he just is like, “You listen to me,” and he gives you the lecture. It’s kind of like if you try something different and you don’t feel very safe trying something in there, he may attack you in the sense of, “Wait. Why’d you do that way? What was the motivation behind that?” A lot of times, actors, especially when they’re just trying to explore and create and stuff, or new actors, that’s an intimidating process.
Jasen: It is.
Charan: Have you been through those classes, like in LA, Utah, or whatever?
Jasen: Oh yeah, or it could be a counselor without a license.
Charan: Sure. Sure.
Jasen: I mean, some people literally want to just dig into your personal life. They want you to expose all the darkness within, and then it becomes this circle of competition, like Johnny one-up. Who can have the worst background, and I’m like, Okay, you need to understand, and we’ll get into this later, I truly believe that the acting process is therapy.
Jasen: I love it. There are things that have happened in my life where if I wouldn’t have had acting as the outlet, I’m not really sure how I would have handled it or if I could have handled it. So, that is there, but when you get some yahoo that you don’t even know that is forcing you to reveal things to people that you don’t trust, exit the room, find people that you do trust, and have that experience with people that are going to unify in that experience. Yes, I saw that. I saw people that thought that they knew it all, and if you did anything that was even remotely different, they’d be like, “You’ll never make it in this town,” and that’s just not the way. That’s what I love about the three of us. We present three varying degrees of ways to do this acting process, and they all work. They all work.
Charan: They all work, yeah.
Jasen: And you need to find your own. If you’re an aspiring actor out there, and we’ve already said this in the videos, but if something that we say makes sense, great. If not, kick it to the curve, and be like, “Oh. That doesn’t work for me.”
Charan: Yeah. For me, it’s interesting, because I have to have fun in life.
Jasen: Have to.
Charan: I have to have fun. For me, that’s so important, because any time I’ve learned anything and I’ve been successful at it, there was always an element of fun involved.
Charan: For me, so when I went to acting classes and stuff like that, if they weren’t fun, then I was like, “Ah. I don’t even want to … What is this? This is gross.” If I didn’t have that element of exploration, fun, wonder, and joy, then it kind of ruined the whole experience for me altogether, right? I’m not saying that everybody is like that, but that’s just the way I’m wired. I remember I was actually in a coaching section, like an acting coaching session. A buddy of mine who was on that TV show “Chuck,” he was coaching these. I remember his process, though, was so intense, just so intense. Every line I was saying, he would critique me.
Charan: He’s like, “What? What is the motivation?”
Charan: And I’m like, “I have no idea, but the only motivation I have is to get out of here. The only motivation I have is not to continue with this process,” because it just was not fun anymore.
Jasen: “Or ever work with you again.”
Charan: Yes. I mean, he’s a great guy, and we’re still buddies and stuff, but I just realized, because he even told me this … He lives life very madly, is what he says. He’s just very passionate and very charged, which is totally fine.
Jasen: And that works for him.
Charan: And it totally works for him.
Jasen Wade Talks About Creating His Life
Charan: But I just remember thinking, “Okay. Every person has their own story and their own way of creating.” Really, the Lemonade Stand Podcast is all about peoples’ lemonade stand stories, like their way of creating a business, an acting career, or whatever it is. It’s like, “How did they go about creating their life?” So, let me ask you this. How have you gone about creating your life?
Jasen: That’s a big question.
Charan: That’s a big one. It was a leading one.
Jasen: You should probably think about sending some of these questions to the people that you’re going to ask before they get here.
Charan: I didn’t even know I was going to ask that question.
Jasen: Let me just unravel that one for you.
Charan: I just wanted to ask you that, because I had no idea that was going to come out of my mouth.
Jasen: Can I get the question again? A simplified version of it?
Jasen: Yeah. Give it to me.
Charan: Basically, I’m just saying in terms of creating your life, in terms of creating just your … You have a creative mind, and in terms of whether it’s acting, or I know you went into firefighting for a little while, and everything like that.
Jasen: Yeah, and that’s interesting. Okay, so it is the question I thought you asked, so here we go. Most people know … Well, most people that know me know I didn’t get into acting until much later. I was in my mid-20s when I discovered acting. Obviously, my mom would throw me up on a stage when she had a play or something that she was doing for a local community, but I was background, and I was angry that I had to be there, so I never really thought that this would be something that I would take seriously.
Jasen: I guess you could say, “You must not have been a creative,” but I was. I had Jedi clubs, and I had friends that were constantly in make believe, and you had those worlds that you created when you were a kid. Then, even in high school, I’d find myself kind of getting bored with people that didn’t have ideas or things that they wanted to do. In fact, I should tell you this. I don’t think you know this, but we created a film festival in our high school.
Charan: Oh wow.
Jasen: And we made short films. I mean, they’re terrible. They’re just horrible, but we created the film festival, and there were no competitions, so therefore we won the film festival.
Charan: Of course.
Jasen: I have lots of credits from that alone.
Charan: Dude, amazing.
Jasen: But without knowing what I was doing, here I am directing, running the camera, and editing. We’re talking VHS.
Charan: VHS to VHS, man.
Charan: VCR to VCR, the best way.
Jasen: It was amazing, right?
Charan: The best way.
Jasen: But that’s as far into that as I got, but then I did discover very quickly that nature was where I had to be. Nature was my creative outlet. That was where I could connect to all things divine that made sense of my life, however chaotic it became. I stumbled into wildland firefighting because I saw a flyer from the forest service that said, “Do you want to get paid to hike?” and I was like, “I love to hike, and I would love to get paid to hike,” and therefore I jumped into this job, which opened up an avenue for me to be in parts of the forest that I’d never been to before, chasing flame, digging line.
Jasen: Just getting down and sweating my guts out. Just working 16-hour days and going 21 days straight on a fire, and then coming home, having one break, and then going right back out and doing it again. I come out of the summer just tougher mentally for it, but also connected, because here I am watching sunsets and I’m out in nature. I’m breathing in good air when I’m not on the fire line. It just centered me. I remember when I took off to Los Angeles to attempt the almighty acting life.
Jasen: I quickly became a cliché. I remember living out of my car. I remember not having any contacts. I remember not having any direction. I got a job as a waiter. You see where this road goes. Most of us go through this. You’re just discovering. You don’t know what you’re doing. It’s a big town. It’s a big town. It’s intimidating, and it takes you a few years to get things moving, so that’s what I did. When I hit those walls of “What am I doing here?” I would find nature. I would go tap out, and you can. It’s hard to find nature in LA, in Hollywood, but it’s there.
Jasen: I’d find it and reconnect, recenter. It’s been this fun, creative process. When I jumped into it, I was in college. This was before LA. I was in college. I did a play, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” I played Caleb. Had all the best lines. He was great, and it was that connection that I had with a live audience. I remember feeling that connection, and it was really profound for me. They would laugh when I would say something. They were caught up in my character. They were interested. They were connected. There’s a power there. That’s a really cool thing. We did, I think, 80-plus performances. By the end, I knew. There was something.
Jasen: I needed to go down this rabbit hole, so I went back to college, and I just started all over again. I said, “I know I’m halfway done with this course, but I really want to figure out this acting thing.” I did a double major. I should have been a doctor. Lots of people go to college for a year, but it was beneficial, because then I started doing a lot of stage. Stage was a place that I needed to be, because I needed to understand the process of breaking the scene down, breaking a character down, breaking life down. I started to quickly connect the two. I was like, “Oh cool. If I can do that with a character on page, maybe I could do that with a character in life.”
Charan: In life, yeah.
Jasen: So, I quickly connected those. Then, I quickly connected nature, because nature is where I would always go to study my lines. That’s where I go to memorize. I’ll find a waterfall, so nobody can hear me. I’m just screaming at this roaring waterfall. Nobody can hear a thing, but I can project as loud and be as crazy and wild as I want, and there’s no judgment, so I had connection there.
Jasen: Then, I brought that back to the stage so that when I needed to just zone in a character, I learned how to meditate and just really center myself. It benefited my life on such a crazy level. I’m talking everything from schoolwork, and being able to get your homework and your assignments done on time, to acing that test, to being better in the relationship that you had with the girlfriend, with your parents, or whatever. You start looking at life a whole different way. That’s a really long explanation on your answer, but I’ve been creative my whole life. I just didn’t discover it until later. I feel like that’s pretty much everyone’s story.
Charan: It’s interesting, because I love how one of the first things you said was you went to nature, and nature’s what connected you and made you feel alive in a sense, right? It’s very interesting, and we’ll talk about meditation as well, but the more aware you are, the less you are in your thinking mind. Do you know what I’m talking about?
Charan: You don’t have tons and tons of narratives and stories you’re having to decipher through or anything like that. Those things kind of just shut down when you’re present, you’re connected, and you’re in a place like nature, where you’re just full of life. I also find it interesting how you went to become a firefighter, because guaranteed when you’re fighting a fire, like actually fighting a fire, you’re not thinking, “You know what? Maybe I should have gone with that mortgage. Maybe I shouldn’t have gone with that car insurance.”
Charan: You’re not thinking that. You are so present. You’re so focused, and that’s all there is. It’s just you and the fire and putting that fire out. I think it’s very interesting how your soul instinctively knew in order to find center, “I need to go to places where I can be completely connected and feel alive.” You went to fight fires. You went to be in nature. You felt that same sense when you got into acting, started to become this character, and break things down. I think that’s a really important principle to learn, because truth be told, if we aren’t connected to ourselves, if we’re not connected to the divine, we’ll kind of wander in life half asleep. Do you know what I mean?
Jasen: Oh yes.
Charan: And we’re kind of just going through the motions.
Jasen: Oh yes.
Charan: It’s crazy.
Jasen: That’s so interesting that you bring up walking just half alive. Did you say half alive?
Charan: Half alive, like half asleep.
Jasen: Because most people say “half dead,” so see how positive you are?
Charan: Thanks, man.
Jasen: Everything about this man is positive.
Charan: Come on.
Jasen: It was crazy. Half alive. It’s interesting that you say that, because that was how I felt. I didn’t have a bad childhood. I’m not going to sit here and say, “Oh. My childhood.” There were some crazy things that happened back then, that you don’t talk about in the 80s and the 90s. We didn’t have the ability. We didn’t have the books. We didn’t have the know-how. When a parent was presented with certain things, they were like, “I’m not really sure what to do with this. Maybe my church clergy knows,” and if they know, great, but if they don’t know, you’re just kind of left to whatever. Certain things happen along our life that dumb us down, numb us out, and yes … Eventually, you’re walking around half alive. I would hate to ever see the statistics on that, because I would imagine that it’s a pretty high statistic. A lot of us are walking around half alive.
Charan: I’ll tell you what. One of the saddest things I saw during Christmas season a couple years ago, I was in Target, and I looked at the faces of people. A lot of them seemed completely miserable.
Jasen: Miserable, sad.
Charan: Like this weird, glossy look on their faces as they’re kind of going through the motion, buying presents, and all this stuff. I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh. Is this what Utah is?” because I was in Utah at the time. I’m like, “Wait a minute. I’ve got to get out of Utah.” No. I remember just thinking, “How many people live like this?” I had a very interesting situation happen to me years ago. I was working on a film, and I had a buddy come out and visit me. I haven’t seen this kid in a long time. We went to high school together, and he was always the goofball kid, always goofing around, and getting in trouble. Anyway, he has now done very well in life. He is married, has a beautiful family, and started some mortgage company or something like that. Anyway, making a lot of money. I, on the other hand, not married.
Jasen: Makes tons of money, girls.
Charan: Makes tons and tons of money in my mind. It’s crazy. But yeah, I was making this independent film, and it was just super goofy, but I said, “Hey. I haven’t seen you in forever. You should come by set and check it out.” I’m filming, and I’m having a good time. After I finish filming, we end up talking.
Charan: He’s like, “Man. Gosh, Charan, it is just so good to see you doing your thing. It’s so awesome.”
Charan: I’m like, “Thanks man, but dude, look at you. Look at all the good stuff you’re doing.”
Charan: His eyes glaze over, totally glaze over. He’s like, “Yeah. I guess I do have those things going for me.”
Jasen: Screaming in his head, “I’m miserable.”
Charan: But then he said this. He says, “But you’re living your dream,” and that was the end of that statement. Instantly in that statement, I knew … Oh my gosh. With all the stuff he has, he’s not really alive. I think one of the greatest tragedies of man is to come here and to not be alive. We’ve been given life, and to not actually fully be alive, it’s so sad.
Jasen: If you truly believe, which I know a lot of people do, spiritually speaking, if we’re here on this planet for a purpose, what would that purpose be? It’s got to be, you’re here to learn. It’s experience. It’s moving forward as a human being and evolving. What better way than to be a part of a filmmaking process where you are literally now going to go into someone else’s life or into a made up world that is a collective, all this … Even the made-up worlds or something. They’re representing something true, right?
Jasen: So, we’re learning, and we’re growing. Then, I get to be this terrible human being, but I get to learn from all these horrible mistakes, and I get to see the outcome of that, take that with me, and then maybe I play a really good guy, but he doesn’t really make the right decisions. He had the ability to, and he didn’t. You see where this is going, but I love the expansion of the human condition with this. I remember, in fact, I tried to get out of acting so many times. I had a good friend, Marc Houser. He kept me centered enough, long enough, and kept telling me, “I see something in you that you do not see. You do not see it,” and that’s great.
Jasen: You need to have friends like that around you that can see you for who you really are when you’re fighting against something that is going to be the greatest benefit to your life. He held me there long enough, broke down the shell long enough to make me realize I am living in a shell. I was in this little cocoon. I was safe, and I was harbored and protected. I just was limited, and then I come into this acting world, and everything is just blown up, and there are no boundaries, which is overwhelming at first. You’re like, “Oh shoot. I don’t know enough. I’m not ready for this.” It’s all the anxiety of not being prepared, and then you get in there, and you realize, “No. It’s just you being present in those moments. Just be there. Be ready. Be open. Be available, and beautiful things are going to happen.”
Jasen: That, for me personally, affected my life in such a positive way. I really cannot imagine my life without it. I think I would have found it in firefighting. I think I would have continued down that road, but firefighting has gotten so political, and I think that would have ruined my love for the job. Then where would I have gone? I don’t know where I would have gone, so it’s frightening to think. Of course, I’ve got wife, and I’ve got my kids. They give great meaning to my life, but you also need to have something outside of that, that drives you. At least I do. I can’t speak for everybody. For myself, yes, my wife is enough. Yes, my kids are enough, but if Dad can also do something that brings him to life, that makes me a better husband and a better person, a better father when I come home.
Jasen: In fact, when we got done with the courses, you know what the first thing I did? The very next day, all I did was make believe with my boys all day long, because we had been telling people, “Do this, do this, do this.” I was like, “Well, I’m not going to be a hypocrite. I’m going to go home, and I’m going to do exactly what we were just preaching.” I played all day. I just took a day to play and just reconnect with my kids that I’d been away from for three days, and we had a blast.
Charan: Oh my gosh.
Jasen: Those are the moments.
Charan: Those are the moments, right? Those are the incredible moments. You know, it’s interesting. If you look from a scientific perspective, the universe, I don’t even know if you know this, not only is the universe expanding, but it’s increasing in the speed of its expansion.
Jasen: That doesn’t make sense to me, because … Yes it does, sort of, just the universe.
Charan: Okay, so yes.
Jasen: When he does this, I have to really slow things down.
Charan: Dude, I know you’ve got to think down.
Jasen: Small words, Charan. Really small words. Here we go.
Charan: Don’t worry. Okay.
Jasen: We’re going to ride.
Charan: Yeah. We’re going to ride, guys. We’re going to ride.
Jasen: Come on. Wake up. Wake up.
Charan: It’s all good. It’s good. We got this. We got this. We can do this.
Jasen: Okay. Move.
Charan: If you think of God’s creations as something that’s not just growing in every direction but increasing the speed of its growth, then you can kind of start learning, thinking to yourself, and thinking, “Wow. I should be doing the same thing with my own life. I should be expanding myself.”
Charan: If you find yourself constricting, if you find yourself stopping your own growth, it will give you anxiety. It will give you depression. Those are just signs that, “Hey. You know what? [crosstalk 00:28:48] I’m not necessarily going the right way. I’ve got to figure out a different path. I’ve got to figure out what’s going to actually make me expand, grow, and just feel alive.”
Jasen: But isn’t that cool that we’re all built in with that?
Jasen: We all have that built in.
Jasen: We have these little-
Jasen: Flags, if you will that, “Hey. You’re outside the boundaries. Come back.”
Charan: For sure.
Jasen: If you’re just paying attention, it’s great guidance.
Charan: It’s great guidance, man.
Jasen: Sometimes we just tune it out. We numb it out and go, “No. I’ve got to just do this, this, and this, and everything will be fine.” No.
Jasen Wade Talks About Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Charan: We’re going to shift topics just a little bit. We talk about guidance, and talk about things that will help us to kind of just know that we’re on our soul’s journey. Has there ever been a moment in your life where things fell horribly apart, where you had to take that lemon’s moment and turn it into lemonade?
Jasen: Yeah, several times. Yeah, several times. I’ve given a couple. I’m going to give a new one, so we’re what? Three years into my marriage. Three years. We’ve got a cushy life. I’m still fighting fires. I’m doing films on the side, got these kids coming in. We’re a family, and that’s tough. For anyone that does do this, when you’re raising a family while you’re doing filmmaking, it is really difficult to keep balance. Really difficult. You have to be very aware of the voices in your head, telling you, “Okay. You’re out of alignment,” because the filmmaking world can be very demanding.
Jasen: It can pull you in a little too far, and then you lose your priorities, but then are moments where that’s got to be your focus now. We’ve got to get this project done, and then I’m going to open it up to that reconnection. The point is, three years in, we realized that we were out of balance. We’re just out of whack, and I don’t think … I hope my wife doesn’t care that I’m about to say this, but we were on the brink of divorce. We’re just hitting every wall you could imagine in our marriage, the stresses, the things that were being demanded of me, the stresses of her at home with the logistics, and whatever. “I can’t balance all this. You’re putting too much on my plate.” I had to make a choice whether to take a job in Colorado or not, and I remember this job was a good job.
Jasen: It was a stable job. It would bring in plenty of money to take care of the family financially. That stress is now gone if I take this job. The problem is now I’m six hours away from all my connections, six hours further away from all my connections, the filmmaking family that I’d put together. I had a momentum that was kind of pushing me at that point. This was 2013, so I’ve got a couple of movies that just came out. People know my name. They’ve seen my work, and there’s a lot of momentum there, and I had to make a choice: Family or film? That was tough. My wife just grabbed my face, and she said, “Look, you find your answers in nature, so you get out of here, and you go do your praying and your meditation, and you do not come back until you feel like you’ve got a solid answer.”
Jasen: It’s one of the most spiritual moments of our marriage, because I left. I went to the dessert. I’m a desert rat. I love forests. I love mountains, but there’s something really special about desert. Just taking away everything. It just strips everything down to just the bareness, the essentials. Being out there and really having a true heart-to-heart, and just pleading, “What do I do? Where do I go?” I even took video of this, because this emotion came over me.
Jasen: I realized, when I make this choice — and I knew what choice I needed to make — “You cannot turn around and blame this on your wife. You cannot,” so I took a video talking to myself, saying, “In the future, if you turn around and spin this on your wife and say it’s her fault for any reason, you’re a …” Anyway, I won’t say it, but anyway. I’ve got that. I knew what I needed to do. I took off. I took the job. I took the job, and I said, “Family first. We’re going family first on this.” I knew at that point that I had kind of severed the momentum that I had built up. We went out, and we settled in. Yeah, the momentum was gone for a little bit. It was hard creatively.
Jasen: I got things lined in or lined up. I had money coming in. That anxiety was gone. Then I turned around and during that whole time, that whole process of getting trained into a new job and being in a new area, I had all this time with my family, reconnecting with them, reconnecting with the kids, and really connecting with my wife. Then saying, “You and I are going to build a life together, just the two of us. We’re away from family. We’re away from friends. All that. It’s just you and me.” Then this beautiful thing happened a couple of years into this. Everything just kind of came around, centered and balanced, and projects started finding their way back into my life.
Charan: Oh wow.
Jasen: But they were appropriate. I can’t tell you. It was the craziest thing. I would get a script and go, “That’s exactly what I’m struggling with right now. How cool is that?” So, I’d jump into this project, learn through this character, and then come back a better person. Then, the next project, “That’s exactly what I’m struggling with right now. That’s so cool,” so I’d get into this and learn from this character. This happened about five, actually about six films in a row.
Charan: Oh my gosh.
Jasen: Where it was the exact thing that I needed to get me to that next step.
Jasen: Then, we’re like, “We’re done with Colorado. It’s time for a transition.”
Charan: Total therapy, man.
Jasen: It was awesome.
Charan: And that whole season of life was incredible therapy for you.
Charan: Oh my gosh.
Jasen: What if I would have said no? What if I would have denied that moment, and I said, “No. I’m just an actor, and I’m going to just buckle down”? I may have been successful. I’m not going to sit here and say I wouldn’t have been. I probably would have been. Maybe I would have even gone back to LA, and I would have gotten the accolades, the credits, and the money that I’ve always wanted, but I would have had something gnawing at me, going, “You sacrificed far too much.” I know that’s a delicate balance, because I know you want us to tell you that this craft, this filmmaking, is worth every sacrifice. Maybe you feel that way. I’m just saying I, myself, no way. There are things that are far more important, but after the important stuff, this is right up there.
Charan: Oh. Of course.
Jasen: Because if I didn’t have this, if I didn’t have this outlet, I would be dead inside. I would be so dead inside.
Charan: It’s interesting, because I remember going to LA feeling the same way, feeling like, “I’m an actor. That’s what I’m going to be doing. This is it. This is awesome.” The last podcast I had was with our good friend, Corbin, and I was kind of-
Jasen: Love that guy. Love him.
Charan: Yeah. Love him, and I was telling him there was a moment when I was in LA, and I started hating auditioning.
Jasen: Oh really?
Charan: I just got to this weird point, where when the auditions were coming in, I was hating it. I was just dreading getting an audition, which is a weird thing to say as an actor. I had to dig deep and figure out what was it in me that hated this? Do I hate acting? Am I not liking this? I realized, “No. It’s not about that. It’s just about re-framing my perspective and understanding, ‘Okay, when I first came to LA, this is exactly what I need to do,'” but now it’s like all of these projects I’m auditioning and acting for and all this stuff wasn’t telling the story that was in my heart.
Jasen: Exactly. Isn’t that crazy?
Charan: That was what it was. That’s what it was. It was this realization of knowing, “Oh my gosh. I’ve learned all these things, and it’s fantastic that I’ve learned all these things, but now I’ve got to tell my own story. I have to.” That’s where things are going to really shine.
Jasen: What a powerful place to be, though, because as soon as you have that moment, what happened?
Charan: Oh my gosh. Things just started flowing.
Jasen: There you go.
Charan: Massively. I truly believe that there is a time and place for everything, and I truly believe that if you allow yourself to be guided the right way, whether going into nature or getting connected, you can truly find the right path. It might be just for a season. It might be just so you can learn this little bit of knowledge, but I think it’s so cool that those five or six movies that you did in a row were therapy for you, like massive therapy. Without having to actually go and see a therapist, you were able to learn what this character did.
Jasen: It was actually coupled with.
Jasen Wade Talks About What Brings Him Joy
Charan: Coupled with a therapist. Okay, but honestly being able to go and work on this role helped you in your personal life with all this stuff that you’re doing, so I think that’s just so awesome. Let me ask you this. Right now, what brings you joy?
Jasen: Outside of family?
Charan: Whatever you want to say.
Jasen: What brings me joy? Last night I was putting my boys to bed, and there’s something about looking at a sleeping child. It’s crazy. There’s a universe inside that head. There’s so much fun. There’s so much joy. I have two very different boys. I feel like we have three adults in the house, because our daughter is 17. She’s a full-on adult. In fact, I think she parents us more than we parent her.
Charan: I can see that.
Jasen: Yes. She’s awesome. When I say “children,” I’m always thinking about the boys, because I feel like she’s already an adult.
Charan: She’s gone, yeah. She’s out of the house.
Jasen: But those boys are so different. The one, the older, the nine … Valen, he is just tough. He’s an engineer mind. Everything’s matter-of-fact. He doesn’t pick up on sarcasm. He’s emotional, but he’s not very affectionate. He just wants to play. He wants to do things, and he has no fear. His rock climbing ability is beyond belief. Then, I have this other one, and he’s just full of love. He just wants to hold you. He just wants to be with you. He just wants to connect with you. It’s like, “How did these two come from the same place?”
Jasen: You’re watching them sleep, and you just realize, “Oh my gosh. You encompass everything that is good about me.” At least you hope. As a parent, you hope that everything good about you is inside these people. When they wake up, and they do something that you’re just so proud of or you’re just like, “That was a really cool moment,” they bring you joy just instantly. Any parent will attest. They’re dumb things. They’re dumb things that you tell a friend, and go, “That actually sounded really stupid as soon as I said it, but in the situation it was really amazing.” That brings me joy, no doubt.
Jasen: Also, what brings me joy is being a part of content that is, and we’ve talked about it, it’s both entertaining, but it is also very worthy. It’s emotional. It gives someone something to think about. When I go do speaking events about my career or a particular movie, I’ll have a line of people that want to come and say hi. Pretty much every time I go and give the talk, I always have that one or two that come up and tell me a very specific story about a moment in a film that I was in that changed their life. When that exchange happens, to me that is joy, because we don’t get paid a lot to do this.
Charan: No, no.
Jasen: We’re not in this for the money or the paychecks, right? We’re in it for the connection, because we’re drawn to it. We’re compelled to do this, but when you have someone turn around and say, “You know, what you just did really affected my life in a positive way,” there’s no price on that. They don’t know it, but when they walk away, I am floored. I have other people I have to talk to, so I don’t have time. I try to have that moment with them and tell them, “Thank you so much,” but then when I think in my bed later that night or maybe the next day when I’m just doing something random, it really hits me how amazing that is that we can be part of stories that can positively affect peoples’ lives.
Jasen: So, that’s what I’m seeking out. I should, as an actor, want to expand myself and push myself beyond boundaries all the time, but I really am truly seeking out particular roles that I can grow in. I need to grow into things. I need to move forward. I need to evolve. I need to learn. I need to know what it’s like to live a thousand different lifetimes, and then maybe I will be content. I know I’m working on being content. I’m not quite there, but all of these have brought me joy. So, that’s where my joy comes from. It’s a direct connection between my family, and it is a direct connection with my film family. I have two families that drive me to joy.
Charan: That drive you to joy. Man, I’ve got so many thoughts in my head as well as you’re sharing some of those things that you’re sharing. What I find interesting and fascinating, because I’ve had those exact experiences in terms of film, where it’s always nice when people are like, “Hey, good job. It’s really funny.”
Jasen: “Hey, good job.” Yeah. “It’s really funny.”
Charan: But when that one person comes up and say, “Honestly, that particular scene or that particular thing changed my life.”
Jasen: Changed it.
Charan: I’ve had messages from Facebook where people share different things like that, and I’m like, “Oh my gosh. Without even knowing it, this character or this movie was instrumental in someone’s healing.” That’s profound. It’s profound.
Jasen: I love those moments.
Charan: It’s so profound.
Jasen: That’s what we do this for.
Charan: That’s what we do this for. It’s funny, because my dad was always like, “Charan, I think you should be a doctor,” is what he was saying. I told him that when I pass out at the sight of blood, I might not be the best fit for being a doctor, but I have been one on TV. It was very exciting. The thing is, in a way, sometimes the characters that we’re playing can be completely healing for people.
Jasen: Oh yes.
Charan: And that’s so profound and powerful. I think that’s one of the reasons why I left LA, because I felt like a lot of the projects we were doing there, I’m like, “What meaning is this? How is this bringing meaning in other peoples’ lives?” It might make them laugh, which is great, but I wanted to dig a little bit deeper. I actually wanted to ask you a little bit more on this particular one. I had seen “17 Miracles” after a lot of other people had seen it.
Charan: I had heard about it, and I had worked with T.C. a little bit, but very, very briefly. I had heard about it, and people kept ranting and raving about this film. They just said it was so good, it was really profound. The truth is I don’t know a lot of the pioneer history. I just don’t. I don’t know a lot of the church history, but as people were kind of telling me a little bit about it, I remember … I think it was one Sunday. I forgot when it was. I finally got around to watching it, and I remember it was really good. I remember really enjoying it, but I had never heard of you at the time. I forgot when that movie came out. It was a little bit ago. Maybe 10 years ago.
Charan: Okay, so about nine years ago.
Jasen: We shot it in 2010.
Charan: Yeah, so it came out about 10 years ago. When it came out, I remember watching it. A lot of these church movies just don’t do it for me. I’ll be honest completely.
Jasen: How honest can we be?
Charan: I know. We can be very honest, but they just don’t.
Charan: A lot of them are just like, “Oh my gosh. They’re just painful.” That’s one of the reasons why when people are saying that it’s good, I’m like, “Oh great. Yeah, yeah. It’s good, but have you guys ever seen a real movie before?” That’s my first thought, is like, “Have you guys ever seen what a movie could actually be and feel like?”
Jasen: But it’s such an honest answer. I love it. It’s so good.
Charan: But seriously. But then I remember watching it, and I’m like, “Oh. This is a real movie.” No. It was really good, and the thing was you played the lead. I remember not knowing who you were, but being drawn to your performance, and being like, “Wow. He’s really good.” It was a very serious character.
Jasen: Very serious.
Charan: Very serious character. I don’t remember a lot of the scenes from the movie. I just remember having this feeling of it being very profound, real, and awesome, but a few years later we met. It was on some industrial commercial or something rather, and instantly when we met, we became BFFs, in my mind anyway.
Charan: But we were just joking the whole time. I’m like, “Wait a minute.”
Jasen: “You’re supposed to be so serious.”
Jasen Wade Talks About “17 Miracles”
Charan: My entire world has been shattered, because I always imagined Jasen as Levi, and he’s not Levi, as it turns out. I remember thinking even at that moment, “One of these days, we’re going to work together. I don’t know how, but we’re going to work together.” So, it’s just funny to think that years later, we actually start teaching an acting course. But going back to “17 Miracles,” that movie was very profound in the way it brought healing to a lot of people, I feel.
Charan: Do you have any instances from that film, where just that character, your portrayal of that character or whatever it was, brought healing to other people?
Jasen: Oh. So many. So many. So, you need to understand, too, working with T.C. is amazing. You’ve worked with him.
Charan: Yeah, briefly. Very briefly, but yeah.
Jasen: He’s just top-dog. I mean, just amazing. We shot that on film, which always looks so great. His crew is just insane. I had come from LA, right? So, I had been on those sets. I didn’t know anything different.
Charan: That’s how it’s supposed to be.
Jasen: The only thing different was that we were praying. I was like, “Whoa. Is this legal? Can we do this?”
Charan: Yeah. Exactly.
Jasen: So, it was a little, “Okay …” And there wasn’t the vulgarity that I was used to, so I was like, “Wow. This is interesting.” The same stress. Oh, plenty of stress, but T.C. is great. I loved working with him, and I had the fortune of working several times with him. Every time has been amazing. That one was so special. A lot of people don’t know this, but a grand majority of our background actors, I think it was in the 50 to 60 percent of our background actors, were people that wanted to be a part of it because they were actual descendants.
Charan: Wow. Yeah.
Jasen: You understand this. When you’re on a film set, you have these extras that may or may not care about what the story is.
Jasen: They’re just like, “I’m just here for a paycheck, a free lunch, and what do you got coming up next?” At lunch, you’re talking about your next gig, and it throws you out of the space that you’re supposed to be in. Here? No. I’m talking to the great-granddaughter of the Cunninghams or someone who’s actually connected to Levi Savage. I’ve done my homework, but now I’m getting it from the actual descendant, and they’re telling me things that I’ve heard before, but they’re putting it in context that only a family member would know that. So, that was really special, and that brought a whole different spirit to that experience with that film.
Jasen: That was every day. Every day we had someone, many people there, that were more connected to that story than probably we were, and they were happy and proud to have their stories be honored in that way. I had a personal, many actually, moments of healing on that set, because I was fighting against Levi Savage. Here he gets rebuked in public by his leadership. You do that in my real life, and this little ego shows up. “What? What did you just say to me? Let’s throw down. Let’s square this out like real men,” kind of thing. That’s not Levi Savage, so I have to go back and do the work.
Jasen: I remember T.C. kind of getting a little frustrated with me, because he keeps telling me, “Look, everything you’re doing in this scene is just great. It’s just when you get rebuked, you come back with this anger, and I don’t want anger. I want humility.”
Jasen: I’m over there going, “Humility? Okay. I think I remember in Sunday School them talking about humility.”
Charan: “I think I remember how that goes.”
Jasen: I’m going to look up the word. Okay. Got it. I’m being a little factitious, but I really could not make that jump in humility, because I kept having this little angst and anger that would creep into the scene. We have about 200 people staring at me at this point. It was a big day. This is a huge day. You have a lot of extras, a lot of crew.
Jasen: It’s a long scene. It’s a four-minute scene that you just call action, you run the whole thing through, and there’s a lot of different people that are interacting in the scene. Lots of pressure, and I’m the new kid on the block. I just moved here. Nobody knows who I am. I just got a lead role. I’m pretty sure a lot of those guys hated me. I don’t know. I get a lot of pressure, and I can’t figure out what humility is. I got a director that’s kindly, just patiently trying to explain it to me. It was one of those moments where I only had one option. I’m already in nature. We’re shooting in nature, so I’m already there. I’ve already been connected. I’ve done the meditation, and I’ve always connected meditation to prayer.
Charan: Me too.
Jasen: Always. I don’t know how you can separate the two. So, I just naturally start praying. I’ve got a director talking to me, and I’m just like, “Okay. All right, buddy. You’ve got to help me out here. I’m at the end. I have no where else to go. I’ve got nothing else to give. I don’t know what this director wants. I’ve got all these people staring at me. Can you help me out?” Boom, like that. The most beautiful feeling came over me, and I was just like, “Thank you. I think I’ve got it.” All of a sudden, I turn, and I look at these extras. I saw them for who they were, and that helped me lock in. I talk more about that with our roundtable. I won’t get into that, because something else special happened there. I realized that in that moment, exactly what I needed to do. I had complete confidence. In fact, I might even cut T.C. short saying, “I know exactly what you need.”
Jasen: We went back, and I sat down on the log. He calls, “Action,” and I remember finally looking down at the ground, and I was present. I was in the moment, because instead of thinking about my lines, instead of thinking about all the people that were looking at me, I remember noticing the patterns. The sun was shooting through the leaves, and I remember looking down and seeing the patterns in the leaves, and I felt connected to that moment. That way have been a similar sunlight that Levi Savage was seeing on that day. Then I looked up, and I saw them for who they were. Then I addressed them, and I told them from my heart what I thought they needed to do, got rebuked. The rebuke didn’t matter, because it didn’t matter who was right or wrong. It just mattered that I knew what was true in my heart, but I also knew that no matter what, I’m going with you. I’m moving forward with you, and that’s when humility made sense to me. Humility isn’t some weird thing where we-
Charan: You’re weak and shrivel up.
Jasen: [crosstalk 00:53:09] Yeah. That’s not me. I give you a compliment, “Charan, you’re amazing in that film.”
Jasen: You’re, “Oh. No, no. The rest of the cast members were, but I wasn’t.”
Jasen: Playing small has nothing to do with humility. Nothing. Then I started to think, “Well, how can a God build a kingdom if all of his people are playing small?” He wants us to be as big as we can be. He wants us to own it. He wants us to find out what makes us passionate, what makes us tick, what makes us get up in the morning and be ready for the world. Then go do that, and do that the best you can, and then “help me move this world forward in a better, loving way.” That’s what he wants. That all happened in a nano second. That all happened because I was doing a movie, so really I had this weird moment.
Jasen: Movies are really just movies. If you really break them down, you’re just like, “Okay. It’s a movie. Then, in two years, no one’s going to remember a thing about it,” but if you can have these moments while doing these movies, that’s a life-long lesson. That will never end for me, so yes, the healing happens over and over again. I was so exhausted after that scene. It changed me. It changed me as a performer, and I started to seek out moments like that. I let those barriers down to honestly be okay with being wrong or being incomplete. I don’t have all the answers, and that’s okay. Just keep searching, and those answers will come to you eventually.
Charan: Dude, I’m telling you, we could go forever and talk about this type of stuff. I mean, seriously, the two of us can.
Jasen: After a good nap.
Charan: After a good nap. Well, the thing was, I’m like, “Oh my gosh. That story reminded me of something that happened to me.”
Jasen: Oh shoot.
Charan: You know what I mean? It’s like one of those things, right?
Charan: But that’s just beautiful, man. I really appreciate you sharing all those incredible thoughts and insights, because who would have thought that doing a movie, which is something that could be forgotten pretty quickly, was actually the exact thing your soul needed?
Jasen: The exact thing.
Charan: The exact thing it needed for a complete change of perspective, so I think it’s just a beautiful thing. I mean, yes we’re impacting all these incredible people, and hopefully people watching it will have felt this impact, but to see the impact that it’s having on yourself is unbelievable. I would say the same thing about going on an LDS mission.
Jasen: Oh yeah.
Charan: You’re going out there. You’re trying to help bring people to the gospel, to Christ, but at the end of the day, you’re the one that’s massively changing for doing it.
Jasen: So selfish.
Charan: It’s so selfish. It’s like you’re going to be learning and growing a lot. Well, Jasen, I’m so excited that you decided to be on this podcast. I’m so excited for our acting course.
Jasen: And we still need to do a comedy, because that’s the funniest thing.
Charan: We’ve got to.
Jasen: I started out as Caleb in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”
Jasen: Then I went and did a bunch of Shakespeare. I did “Twelfth Night.” I did “Mousetrap,” which is kind of a comedy. That’s not Shakespeare. But yes, I was in comedy for most of my career. I never did serious roles until the end of my theater, and then I get into movies. The first thing I do is the most serious role.
Charan: It’s so serious.
Jasen: Well, no. I’m talking in LA.
Charan: Oh. In LA. LA.
Jasen: It was a cop role, cop role. It’s always serious. Undercover detective. And then I come here, and it’s Levi Savage, and the sheriff. Anyway, we need to do a comedy.
Charan: We need to do a comedy, but here’s the thing.
Jasen: Oh my gosh. I just broke that.
Charan: Don’t worry. Don’t worry. It’s all good. Don’t worry.
Jasen: Can you take that out of my … I don’t have a day rate. Can you take that out of a personal check?
Charan: I’ll take that out of … No one even knows you broke anything. You guys, it’s fine. It’s fine. What you heard was just-
Jasen: My arm.
Charan: His arm, but he’s fine, because he’s got another arm. Here’s the thing. When people see the course, I think they’re going to instantly be like, “Oh. That’s Jasen,” because we’re constantly laughing. We’re having a great time.
Jasen: So, John Lyde. You’ve worked with John Lyde.
Charan: Of course. Love John.
Jasen: So, what I love about John Lyde … I don’t know how he saw this. He was on the set of “Saints and Soldiers,” and he just threw out this idea. He’s like, “Hey. I’ve got this movie coming up. I think you’d be great for this character, and the movie is called ‘Osombie.’ It’s about a zombie apocalypse. Osama bin Laden comes back from a watery grave.”
Jasen: I’m like, “Uh yeah. You’ve got my interest. How do you know I love zombie movies? Who are you?” and I played a conspiracy theorist. The whole thing is just tongue-in-cheek.
Charan: It’s so awesome.
Jasen: And just off the charts. Anyway, he saw something where I could be somewhat comedic. I come in there, and I’ve been working with him ever since. I think most of the roles I do with him … Well, it’s half and half. Some serious, but I love working with him, because there is no box. If he likes you, he’s reading a script, and you just so much as come up in his mind, it’s your role.
Charan: It’s your role.
Jasen: Do what you want with it.
Charan: Oh my gosh.
Jasen: And he doesn’t give you restrictions. He’s like, “Yeah. Just have fun with it.”
Jasen: It’s so awesome.
Charan: John Lyde actually has probably been … I don’t know. He, I would say, has probably given my career in film, I would say.
Charan: Oh yeah.
Jasen: I would too.
Jasen: Without John, T.C., and Ryan Little, I’d have nothing. Nothing.
Charan: John started me off. John started me off.
Jasen: Did he?
Charan: I would say, yes.
Jasen: What was it?
Charan: “Money or Mission.” That was the very first thing. This was the best. I was an extra in this movie, okay? This is so ridiculous. I was an extra in this movie, playing a thug. I just wanted to help him out on set. I’d heard about him. I had seen some of his stuff, so I said, “Hey. It’s so great meeting you.” This was back in 2006. “I just want to help out. Whatever you need me to do, let me come and help for free. I’m happy to.”
Charan: He was like, “Hey actually, can you come just pretend to beat up this main character?”
Charan: I’m like, “Absolutely. Absolutely. I would want nothing more,” so I did that.
Charan: Fast-forward to maybe a day or two later, he’s like, “Charan, go with me on this.”
Charan: I’m like, “Okay.”
Charan: He says, “I had this dream.”
Charan: I’m like, “Okay.”
Charan: He said, “In the dream, this main character in this film, he’s having a vision of him going on a mission. So this main character is walking side-by-side with his companion, going on a mission.”
Charan: I’m like, “Okay. Yeah. That’s awesome.”
Charan: He’s like, “I want that companion to be you.”
Charan: I’m like, “But I just beat him up.”
Jasen: “I just beat him up.”
Charan: He’s like, “We didn’t see your face. It will be great,” so I ended up being his companion in this other scene, and that clip ended up being the cover of the movie.
Jasen: Are you serious?
Charan: So, I went from being …
Charan: … A guy that was just going to help as a PA to be on the cover of his movie, and people started thinking, “So, are you the lead in the movie?”
Charan: I’m like, “I’m not at all, not even close.”
Jasen: But that’s how the business works.
Charan: That’s how the business works.
Jasen: Just show up.
Charan: Just show up.
Jasen: They like your look. You’re fun to work with, boom.
Jasen: Things happen.
Charan: That’s just how it is, so okay. We should wrap things up.
Jasen: Oh no. Let’s keep going.
Jasen Wade Talks About Acting Out
Charan: I know. I know. We’ve got to keep going, but no. I was going to ask you, back to our course, what would you like-
Jasen: That’s what we’re talking about.
Charan: That’s what we were going to talk about.
Jasen: Oh my goodness.
Charan: No. What would you like people to get out of it?
Jasen: Everything that we just talked about. It’s all in there and more. It’s just an experiment of reconnecting our hearts to being present in our life. I love that we set that up in the course. Acting for film or character for film is synonymous with character for life, and we bring that very quickly.
Charan: Yes, we do.
Jasen: And we’re very serious about this, because if you think that there’s some sort of disconnect, and there is to a certain degree, in terms of what you prepare, how you do it, and you don’t want to be a dirtbag, but the process and the lessons learned in the filmmaking process, if you can’t find a way to apply that to your personal life, you’re missing out on some of the greatest benefits that the film community can offer you. A lot of people don’t see it. They go into depression, and I do too. Once the project is over, I do have a little lull of depression.
Jasen: Because a character essentially just died. I just watched my character give up the ghost. He is no more for me. That’s hard, and you’re struggling. You want something else to sink your teeth into, and sometimes there is something, and sometimes there isn’t. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about if you are chasing some sort of moment in life that’s going to happen, that’s going to make everything seem like, “This all now makes sense,” that’s a delicate road to be on. There are so many moments in every day that you have that can solidify that.
Jasen: In filmmaking, all they do is give you time to slow down, take out the magnifying glass, and really search out human connection, human emotion, how you can reconnect, maybe revisit, or awaken certain things that have been dormant for far too long. We are expressive. I know that we have a bad rap with some people. It’s like, “Oh. They’re so out of control.” I don’t need you to be explosive and annoying, but also let’s stop being in a box. Let’s stop being in our little nutshells. Let’s stop being so closed off to the possibility of being wrong or emotional that we now sever connections from people, and then to be based all in fear. We talk about all these things. That’s what I love. Get rid of the fear. Get rid of the things that are holding you back. Get rid of the inhibitions. Just be in the moment, and if something feels right, just do it. If you can apply that to your life, think of the success that you’re going to have.
Charan: Yeah. I mean, if nothing else-
Jasen: It’s amazing.
Charan: You’ll realize that the moment is actually filled with infinite amount of light and love. Every single moment is.
Charan: And you can experience so much more of life than what you’re currently experiencing.
Charan: And it’s a beautiful thing. Jasen, man, seriously, it’s so good catching up with you and chatting with you. I’m so grateful for these last couple of weeks.
Jasen: It’s been so fun. It’s been so fun, but it’s not the end.
Jasen: We’re doing more.
Charan: It’s not. We’re doing a lot more, but I’m so grateful you said yes, and I know that sounds like I just proposed to you, and you said yes to marriage.
Jasen: Which I would.
Charan: Yeah. Absolutely.
Jasen: No problem. Under different circumstances.
Charan: Under different circumstances.
Charan: Absolutely, but, no, honestly. I remember that day when Greg Trimble and Derek Miner were talking to me about online courses. I remember exactly where we were sitting and just thinking, “Oh my gosh. I, of course, want to do an online acting course,” because they asked me to do it, but instantly I’m like, “I’ve got to get Jasen and Corbin involved.” I was like, “All right. I’m going to reach out to them,” and I remember that night was such a pivotal night for me, because just reaching out to you and just seeing how excited you were.
Jasen: Oh man.
Charan: And seeing how excited Corbin was, and starting that text thread, and the next thing you know it was like, “All right. Game on, guys. Let’s do this.”
Jasen: It was insane. The Lemonade Stand guys will never, I don’t think they’ll ever, comprehend how perfectly placed that was. That truly was one of those … The universe opened up, because we had done the work, and we got shut down with a pandemic. Shut down so fast, we couldn’t even get through our first class. We were two weeks into our five-week course, and our students are sad, we’re sad. Our creative juices were just flowing, and now they’re shut down. We have nowhere to go. We have nothing to do, and we’ve all this content. This is good content, and we want to do something with it, but we’re both stalled out. We even had another production company that we were going to run with to possibly do some videos, but then we were stalled out in, “How do we market?” It was just too much, and we’re not marketing people. It’s overwhelming. Fast forward two months, Charan … Da, da, da, da.
Charan: Dude, I-
Jasen: Here he comes. Phone call. Lemonade Stand in tow, and it’s just like, “What?”
Charan: Yeah. I know. I know.
Jasen: It has to happen. There’s no way this cannot happen. Yes. Of course yes.
Charan: It’s so crazy, because when they told me, “Hey, create this acting course,” without a question in my mind, I’m like, “Jasen and Corbin.” I just knew it, and I didn’t even know what you guys had all gone through.
Jasen: That’s right. You didn’t know all the details on that.
Jasen: You just knew that we’d done it, because you were our next guest speaker. You know that, right?
Charan: I didn’t know.
Jasen: The third week, you were going to be our guest speaker.
Charan: Well, all I knew was you guys had created a course. I didn’t know the extent of what happened. I just knew you guys created a course. I’m like, “We’ve got to do it, because I don’t know if they filmed it,” and I was concerned. I’m like, “Oh man. Maybe they already have something,” but I’ll hit them up. So, it all just kind of worked out.
Jasen: It’s beautiful.
Charan: I don’t know. It’s one of those things where it’s like, “Wow. What a perfectly orchestrated thing.”
Jasen: Yes. No doubt.
Jasen: And we all know where that comes from.
Charan: Yes. Absolutely. Well, thank you, Jasen.
Jasen: Thank you.
Charan: I really appreciate you taking the time to be on the Lemonade Stand Podcast. Any last words before we wrap up?
Jasen: Oh. I’ve got so many last words.
Charan: I know you do.
Jasen: Never ask me that question.
Charan: Never ask you that question.
Jasen: You might want to just wrap this up. We could go on for a long, long time. No, I’ve loved every second of this online course. If that is truly what we’re talking about, because sometimes people go down rabbit holes.
Charan: Oh. So many rabbit holes.
Jasen: “Oh. That’s what we’re talking about.”
Jasen: So, aliens …
Charan: Yes. The aliens. Go on.
Jasen: And out-of-body experiences.
Jasen: And nine hours later, online courses. Honestly, I had so much fun.
Jasen: And Kyle, Adam, and the whole crew, Eve, they were amazing. It’s all a blur to me, so you’ve got to show me some verification that we actually did it, because I feel like it was just a dream that I had, and I’m just waking up, and now I’m doing a podcast about a dream that I had, which is so weird, right?
Charan: Which is so meta.
Jasen: It’s so meta.
Charan: It’s so weird. I’m going to send you some videos of proof.
Charan: That we have edited them, and get ready to go. You’re going to be like, “Still a dream.”
Jasen: Still a dream.
Charan: Still a dream.
Jasen: Still a dream.
Charan: Awesome, man.
Jasen: Appreciate it.
Charan: Yeah. Thank you so much for being on here, and we’ll chat with you soon.
Jasen: Thanks, Charan.
Charan: Take care.
Charan: Thanks so much for listening to 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.