Giavani Cairo, Thaddeus from The Chosen on Finding Confidence, Leaving the Ego Behind
Giavani Cairo is truly one of the most humble and positive people I know. In an industry filled with ego, Giavani has none of it. From my day on set of The Chosen TV Show, Giavani, who plays Thaddeus, made me feel so at home with everyone.
His connection was genuine because that’s just who he is. Even a few days later, when the cast was getting together for fun, Giavani sent me a text asking if I wanted to join.
Giavani’s credits his ability to love from his mom, who always supported him and believed in him, but life hasn’t been easy for him. Never really knowing his biological father, his stepdad was the world to him. He believed in Giavani, encouraged him, and more, but after he passed away, Giavani lost a lot of confidence in himself.
In this episode of the Lemonade Stand Stories Podcast, we talked a lot about how he went about regaining a lot of his confidence back through acting. We also chatted about little daily decisions and miracles that took place which eventually landed him a regular role on The Chosen.
Such a fun time chatting with Giavani. Enjoy!
Get to Know Giavani Cairo
Giavani Cairo is an actor known for his roles in The Chosen, Doom Patrol and Killing Time. He’s known as a humble and positive person, despite being in an industry that can often be filled with quite the opposite! Giavani describes himself as being loving, determined and happy.
Currently residing in Los Angeles, CA, Giavani is from East Lansing, Michigan. He unfortunately never knew his biological father but it was his stepdad who stepped up to the role and Giavani adored him. Both his mom and stepdad were influential people within his life, not just within their parental roles. They believed whole-heartedly in what he wanted to do in life and have supported him throughout, no matter what.
He’s said before that LA is a beautiful place to live because of its different cultures. As a hotbed for actors and influencers to gravitate to, he describes it as being a melting pot of influences who come from different backgrounds and have different life experiences.
Sadly, the death of his stepdad caused Cairo to lose a lot of confidence in himself. So it seems all the more incredible that he has managed to achieve this amount of success ever since. Giavani had a short time with his stepdad, but it was one that would certainly shape his decisions as he progressed through his young adult life.
His inspiration and biggest supporter is his mom. Treating people how you want to be treated is something that his mom has taught him.
He’s always been interested in learning and educating himself to improve his own self in different ways. From his faith, to the career he has and his relationships in life: it all relates to his need for self-improvement.
Giavani’s realization of wanting to become an actor actually came from him watching Matt Damon’s performance in Good Will Hunting. He’s said previously that he wanted to get into acting in order to inspire and affect people with the variety of things that go on in this work and need highlighting.
As a young kid, he wanted to be a hockey player and would display hockey player posters on his bedroom wall. He always loved sports and when thinking about being something else other than an actor, he mentioned that he would love to have been on sports radio or a sports analyst.
His keen interest in sports has clearly stayed consistent from his childhood into his adulthood too. As a school kid, his favorite class was gym and he enjoyed a lot of sports during his school years.
Passions & Interests
Having had a loving family and a wonderful upbringing, Giavani’s interests in acting grew and his dreams were big. He has a love for fitness and often posts inspirational and motivational quotes surrounding his passion for life and success.
When it comes to honing acting skills, he’s said that getting the right teachers and having a keen interest in learning is very important. He also finds it important to grow through collaboration and learning from others.
He is also relearning the guitar after not having picked it up in a while. He’s a big country music fan too. Interestingly, he’s said that he has a secret talent in that he can read minds!
He often talks about his fear of the unknown and that it’s something he’s been working on for some time to overcome. That fear is one that likely lives in many of us, especially when it comes to our futures.
Thaddeus and The Chosen
Cairo plays Thaddeus from The Chosen, a role that he’s heavily documented via his Instagram with much excitement. He finds a lot of similarities between him and his character, including having a lot of heart and wanting what’s best for others.
Interestingly, he auditioned for Andrew on the show before being eventually selected for Thaddeus. He got the role through self tapes, and the casting knew they wanted him but weren’t initially sure about who he would play on the show.
Giavani has certainly found that The Chosen has helped him in many ways. He describes himself as wanting to be a better person because of it and to help others in any way that he can.
Giavani Cairo Podcast Transcription
Charan: Hey, what’s going on guys? This is Charan Prabhakar with the Lemonade Stand Stories podcast, and I’m here with Giavani Cairo, who is seriously one of the most friendliest, nicest human beings I’ve ever met. It’s so true. And I was very privileged to do a scene with him in The Chosen, and I remember like, it was definitely a favorite for me, because that was my only scene in The Chosen. But I remember Giavani and I were having a conversation.
Charan: You’re like, “Dude, like that was a really fun scene.” And we had a really, really good time. And it was a great chance for all of us to flex our acting muscles a little bit. But yeah, Giavani, he just kept me feeling so comfortable on set, made me feel like I’m a part of that crew, and I loved it. And it was just such a good experience. But Giavani, thanks, man, thank you so much for being on this podcast. I really appreciate it.
Giavani: Boy, thanks for having me, man. So good to see you.
Giavani Cairo Talks About Getting Into Acting
Charan: Of course. Good seeing you. So, the Lemonade Stand Stories podcast is all about people’s lemonade stand stories, like how they got into their entrepreneur journey, or their acting journey, their creator journey. And so, I would love to hear a little bit more about your journey, and how you got into acting to begin with. And we’ll go from there.
Giavani: Oh man, all right. Well, oh man, so yeah. Growing up, I wasn’t a theater kid or into acting really, growing up, but I loved movies. So, my mom always took me to the theater. And of course, as a young boy growing up, I loved the Power Ranger movies, the Ninja Turtle movies, that kind of stuff, growing up. And I always loved just reenacting different scenes coming home.
Giavani: I had a few stepbrothers at the time that we would just reenact, and we’d get little props from like the dollar store. And we’d create stories, and just go out, and I remember, we had a video camera, and we had kids in the neighborhood. We would create these little plots, and we just go around the neighborhood being like, “Okay, what do you guys want to shoot today?
Giavani: Okay. Well, I saw the newest Spider-Man movie. Okay, let’s do that. I’ll be Spider-Man. You be whatever.” We’ll put a mask on, and we’ll just do something like that. So, I always loved movies growing up.
Charan: That’s so awesome. What was it about those particular movies that you just love? Like Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles — why did you love those movies?
Giavani: Man, I think it’s hard to pinpoint it. But it just put such a joy in my heart to be so expressive. And it was so exciting and stimulating for me. Yeah. There’s something about going to the theater, something special, even to this day, I know it’s tough with everything going on in the world right now. But it’s a special place for me doing that. Yeah.
Charan: It’s a cool experience. I remember, I’m like you. I love movies, and my favorite superhero of all time growing up, and still to this day is Spider-Man. I don’t know why.
Giavani: Me too, man.
Charan: Really? Dude-
Charan: I love Spider-Man.
Giavani: I love it.
Charan: I love Spider-Man. So, do you remember the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man?
Charan: When they were rebooting the whole series to begin with.
Charan: So, in Utah, and I think in Michigan, where you’re at right now, I don’t know if they did this, but they would have midnight showings, the night before. And it was just this massive ordeal. And my buddy, I remember when Spider-Man 2 came out was like, “Dude, you’ve got to go to the theater. And you’ve got to go buy tickets soon, because I know they’re going to sell out.”
Charan: I’m like, “Dude, I got it. I got it. Don’t worry. It’s going to be fine.” But it’s 7:00 PM, and I’m like, yeah, I got to go to the theater right now. And of course, I get there. And they’re all sold out.
Charan: And I’m just devastated, because I knew he would be so bummed. And we had dates with us. And I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, what are we going to do? They’re going to be so upset.”
Charan: And so, the midnight showing, for sure was gone. But the girl that was selling the tickets, and I’m not joking, when I say this, she looks at me straight face and says, “Well, we still have plenty of 12:01 and 12:02 showings.” I’m like, What? What do you, wait, what?” She’s like, “Yeah, the midnight showings are sold out. But we’ve got…”
Giavani: You want to wait a minute or two, you can go to the next-
Charan: But the 12:01 and the 12:02 showings, we’ve got plenty of seats. And I’m like, yeah, I’ll go ahead and take some 12:02s, and anyway, it just hilarious. But dude, it was just like what you’re saying, man. It’s like when you go into the theater, and you have an experience, especially when you’re with your friends, having that experience, there’s a joy in your heart.
Charan: And I love how you describe it like that. A joy in your heart. And I want to definitely hit on that topic a little bit more as we keep going. But anyway, yeah, keep going. You’re talking about pretending, and creating action figures, and shooting your own home video.
Giavani: Yeah. I think there’s just something really strong about, and something strong about your imagination coming to life, and just creating something, and connecting with other people. And I don’t think I was thinking of that. It was probably in my subconscious, because I was really enjoying it.
Giavani: But it wasn’t like I was thinking it from an intellectual side, even throughout middle school, or when I was younger, being like, “Oh, this is cool, how the characters communicate, and how these emotions are coming out of me.” It was just a joy that was happening. But I actually played sports my whole life.
Giavani: So, I never thought, and that’s what I wanted to grow up doing, something in the sports field. Even throughout high school, I really wanted to play college baseball. So, it wasn’t really until, I think, junior year of high school, we needed a speech class to graduate. And getting into high school and middle school, I was the shyest person you’d ever know. I did not talk-
Giavani: Oh, yeah, man. I did not talk very much. I did not have a lot of confidence at all. I had a select group of friends that I love, and still have to this day, thankfully. But I was just very… I wasn’t very confident myself. And I spoke with my counselor and like, “Well, you need a speech class to graduate.” And I’m like, “Anything besides speech. Is there something else?”
Giavani: And she’s like, well, we have radio and television class. You can do that if you want. And that counts as a credit. So, I’m like, “You know what, I love movies, I love TV, let’s do it.” And had I not taken that class junior year, I think that’s what catapulted the idea of like, “Oh, this is something that you can actually do for a career.” So, it molded my interest of like, I love movies.
Giavani: I love the way it makes me feel, and how expressive you can be, and tell stories, and connect with people.” But that that took it to another level of like, “Oh, you can do this actually as a career,” and fell in love with that.
Charan: Did you like the class itself when you got into class?
Giavani: Oh, yeah. Because we could do… we got to write, it was radio and TV. So, we got to write spec scripts for certain radio shows, and you can play different characters. And then you could-
Charan: Dude, that’s amazing.
Giavani: We could direct our own music videos. They had different equipment behind the scenes, like in the classroom. And then you got to write your own short films as well. So, you got to get into the creative mind have so many different positions. And you got to act in your own projects. And you’re talking with people, and creating something from scratch, which is so powerful.
Giavani: So, I did that my junior year, and senior year, there was an advanced class, and that’s what catapulted me being like, “This is something what I want to try to see if I could do this.”
Charan: Did you feel like just being in that class you started building confidence in yourself?
Giavani: Yeah, for sure. Because it forced yourself to… because it was still, it wasn’t speech class, but it was still forcing, you still have to get in front of people. You still have to express something from scratch and create something on the spot there with people and just see if it worked, but-
Charan: It’s so interesting, because in a situation like that, you’re very vulnerable. Because your creation, whatever is in your heart, and you put it out into the world, and you’re like, “I have no idea how this is going to be received.”
Giavani: Exactly. It’s scary. But I think when you’re first starting out, and you’re dabbling in it, you get that rush of excitement in that alive-type feeling, and art is so subjective too. So, what you, what people consider good, is it depends on you know who you are as a person and what you like.
Giavani: But if you’re connecting with people, and you create, can be a short film, it can be a three-minute film that you just created with your friends. And if someone likes it or someone connects with something that you’re creating, that’s something special. That’s something that no one can take away from you.
Charan: Dude, I love what you just said right there, because so much of it was like talking about you connecting with somebody else. And having that sense of aliveness, that sense of joy in your heart, like you were describing before, right?
Giavani: Yeah, yeah.
Charan: I think it’s so interesting, because what might be art for you and subjective to you, something you enjoy, might not be what other people may enjoy. But what’s cool is that when you’re able to do that, and have that true connection with another human being, and find that sense of wholeness between the two of you, or the many of you, whoever’s watching, it becomes very, very powerful and very transformative. And I don’t know. I think it’s awesome.
Giavani: Thanks, man. Yeah. I completely agree. And especially when you touch on subjects that you never know what you’re creating, how that speaks to someone going through whatever they’re going through in their life. And I think that’s such a powerful aspect of what we get to do as artists. And what we can do as creators is we get to pinpoint, like, oh, if someone is going through a struggle in their life, or someone needs inspiration in a certain area of their life, we have the capability, and the power to talk to those people.
Charan: Yeah. And in a non-preachy way, too.
Giavani: No. Yeah, exactly.
Charan: That’s what’s so beautiful, because you create a character, and your character has a certain flaw or a certain sense of like, I don’t know, the way they greet the world has a certain viewpoint, a certain mindset. And if an audience member can connect with that, and say, “Oh, my gosh, that person’s pain is my pain.” And the way that person was able to transform and everything, that’s what I want to do. Dude, there’s nothing more powerful than that, because you become an instrument of healing through media. So, I think it’s awesome, man.
Giavani: It’s great.
Charan: So, from your high school days, did you decide, okay, I love this stuff. I want to move to LA, or were you dabbling at home for a bit, or how did that all happen?
Giavani: Yeah. And my mom wanted me to really go to college. And I wanted to go as well, just to get some independence. I had lived at home my whole life. So, I ended up for one year, going to a private school called Madonna University. It was right in my hometown. But they had a film department there. And that’s where I met my first acting coach. Chris Bondi is his name.
Giavani: And that was my first acting class, I would say. And I just wanted to learn more about the craft itself, because I dabbled in it in high school, but I wanted really, to get a sense of it. And I learned so much. Actually, I’ll backtrack for a second.
Charan: Yeah, tell me.
Giavani: I wanted to go to a community college. And this is what’s crazy. I’ll get more on this later. I know I’m rambling a little bit.
Charan: No, dude, you’re good. Keep going.
Giavani: I wanted to go to a community college to save money, because I wanted to save money, and then transferred to a bigger college, Michigan State University. Because all my friends were going to a community college to save money. And my mom really wanted me to go to Madonna. She was like, “It’s a great school.” We argued about it for like, two, three months. And I was like, “No, I want to go to Schoolcraft.” And she insisted I go to Madonna. I’m like, it’s so much more money. So, I went to Madonna. And like I said, that’s where I found my acting school. And this is a little branching to each thing here.
Giavani: That acting school that I went to, I had made a friend there that I ended up studying with for a couple years in Michigan, which he went to California eventually. And that’s the acting school that I got a reference from when I was trying to go out to LA after I graduated college. And then that opportunity led to The Chosen. So, I think about that all the time.
Charan: You’ve got to be kidding me.
Charan: That’s insane.
Giavani: And I think about that all the time. Had I just said, “Ma, I’m not going to Madonna. I’m going to Schoolcraft.” Had I not done that, I’m sure things would have worked out, but I don’t know if The Chosen would have been in the future. You know what I’m saying?
Charan: So, in a sense, you can say, your connection to Madonna gave you The Chosen. And if you don’t say anything more, that’s really what it comes down to.
Giavani: That small, little step. I think about that all the time, like how little choices that we make in our lives, you look back on these things that we’re so grateful for that we have in our lives, and it all roots back to one decision. And it’s crazy to think about those moments. I don’t know if you ever think about those things, like had I made that left turn instead of that right, I’m sure things would have still worked out. But I don’t know if I’d be blessed with this opportunity that presents itself right now.
Charan: Dude, my life is filled with miracles like that. Little things like that, because of this moment that led to that moment, which led to this moment. And because of that, now, here I am. And I really believe that, I don’t know, to me, that’s like God showing His muscles. That’s like him saying-
Giavani: I completely agree.
Charan: That’s Him saying, “Hey, I’m in charge, buddy. And if you just trust me, and trust me with your life, I promise you, I can lead you to some really, really cool stuff.”
Giavani: That’s the trust factor too.
Charan: It’s a trust factor.
Giavani: You learn to trust yourself better, and just trust that, and trust God.
Charan: Yeah. It’s interesting, because sometimes we have this mentality of wanting to control everything. It’s like, well, I got to make this happen. This is my life, I got to do this, and I got to do that. And it’s interesting, because there are so many things that are going on, even within us that we have absolutely zero control over, like our heart beating, the cells multiplying.
Charan: All these things happening, and that is causing us to live. And if any one of those things decided, I’m going to stop for a day, we’re dead. You know what I mean? So, it’s like, I really feel like there are so many things that are already happening right now. And if we just trust in God, who’s controlling all of those things already, then he’ll continue to do things in our lives that we would never have been able to do.
Giavani Cairo Talks About Getting His Role on The Chosen
Charan: For example, like you going to Madonna and now being a part of The Chosen. So, I’m curious, can you make that connection for me, though, of how going to that school, or that reference in LA got you to The Chosen?
Giavani: Yeah. So, like I said, that was my first acting class I’d taken. And that’s when my love even grew more for the craft. I started just studying a lot more, learning different techniques, and just learning what I loved about connecting with people through the craft. My acting coach, he had his own studio outside of Madonna.
Giavani: And he’s like, “Well, I have to follow a curriculum here at the school, but if you want to come study at the studio that I have, you’re more than welcome to.” And that’s what I chose to do. So, I was still majoring in a film degree. But at the same time, I was taking acting classes through my coach at the studio in a different city.
Giavani: And that’s where I met so many of my friends to this day. Some still act; some don’t. And one of my buddies, [Corlandos 00:18:24], it was one of the levels that we were studying at, I think, a year later. And he ended up moving to Los Angeles, I think a couple years later. So, I was at that studio, and going to school. I eventually went to Michigan State, just to gain some independence.
Giavani: But I was still studying at the studio for four years until I graduated college. But Corlandos had already moved to California, and was going to a different studio out there. And when I decided, I was like, I’m going to graduate college, and then I’m going to go out to Los Angeles, and continue studying, because I just want to keep learning, and I wanted to get going on my career.
Giavani: So, that’s why I reached out to Corlandos before graduation. I was saying like, “Hey, are there any acting schools that you recommend? I really want to learn more.” And he said, “Go to this school called Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studios.” It was a Meisner-based school out in Santa Monica. And after graduation, I went straight out there for a six-week class, and was going to be like, “Okay, I’m going to try it out. See if I like it.”
Giavani: And I learned so much, and my plan was I was going to come back home for a few months, say goodbye to my family, and then make that anxious move across the country that so many artists do. But my class that I’ve made so many bonds with were continuing right away. So, I came back home, and they were going to continue in three weeks. So, I had that choice to make, well, do I want to continue with this class?
Giavani: I don’t really have a lot of money. But I can just couch there for a little bit, or I can wait it out, join a new class in a few months. And my body was just telling me, take that leap of faith, man. Just take that leap of faith, do it. And I’m so close to my family. So, it was really hard. But my heart was just telling me like, “This is what you want to do. Just jump, man, jump.”
Charan: Yeah. And it’s so great because it’s like, jumping requires courage. It requires a lot of courage. Because the truth is, is a lot of times, we live in the comfort of our safety nets, of the family, and of being home. And I remember that decision for myself, when I decided I want to move to LA as well. Everything I knew was Utah. I had a lot of friends here. A lot of films were shooting in Utah.
Charan: So, logically, it made no sense to move to LA, where I wouldn’t really know anybody, except for maybe a few people. But it was one of those things, where it was like, every time I thought about it, it was like something in me came alive. And there was this joy that came up and I said, “I’ve got to do this, I have to.” Because I knew for sure, if I never did, I would always regret it. And I do not like living with regret. And so, I went for it.
Giavani: Oh man, and I’m glad you did. I think a lot of the time, we’re faced with that too. I think not to get too much off topic here. But society has this blueprint for people that… and for some people it works perfectly, and aligns perfectly with what they want. And it’s like, you grow up, you go to school, you get a degree, let’s form a family, and you go get a job, and start making money for your family.
Giavani: And that’s that. You know what, that’s great. But if your heart is telling you to do something else, and for our cases, it’s our artistry, and it’s something against the societal norm. I think you got to listen to your body a lot of the time. I listened to Tim Ferriss’s podcast, and he just had, I think it’s Elizabeth Gilbert, I think is her name. She wrote Eat, Pray, Love.
Giavani: And she recently said, listen to your heart, listen to your body with what it really wants to do. Your mind will try to trick you into being like, “Hey, this is the blueprint, the societal way to do things.” But your heart and your body know a lot of the time, what you really want to do, what you’re pulling toward. And I think that’s so important to follow that.
Charan: Dude, it is absolutely super important to follow that because the mind with the blueprint it has will paint that picture for you. And I was reading this book. And oh my gosh, the name of the book just slipped in my mind, which is so sad, because it’s a good book.
Giavani: That’s all right.
Charan: But the thing is, is it was talking about… the author was just saying how he knew exactly what was expected of him. And he knew exactly what he wanted for his happiness. And he got all of these things. He got the good grades, he got the good money, he married a beautiful wife, all these things happen. And then he realized that he was not happy at all. And it was so devastating for him to be like, “Wait, what? I listened to everything that everyone ever told me.” Except for his spirit, right?
Giavani: Yeah. It’s likely, a lot of the time we fall in love with… not fall in love, I think it’s a facade. And I think you and Yasmine talked about it a little bit was, there’s these like materialistic things that a lot of the time, people get attached to, and I’ve been a victim of that, too. I’m sure we all have at certain moments in our life to where it’s like, this is our safety net. This is our comfort.
Giavani: But what makes you feel alive? What makes you feel like, I’m doing something bigger than myself, and maybe I’m changing someone’s life? Maybe that’s what I want to be part of. And I think that takes courage for people to do. It’s not easy to do it, but that’s sometimes what you need to do.
Giavani Cairo Talks About Overcoming Shyness Through Courage
Charan: So, I want to ask you, all this stuff we’re talking about requires courage. But there was a version of you that was very shy, and quiet, and all that stuff. How did that shy quiet kid gained the courage to move all the way across country leaving his family behind for this dream?
Giavani: That’s a good question. Well, I think you, know what, I owe a lot to my ma. So, because my mom, so she raised me as a single mom growing up. And my dad wasn’t really in the picture at all. But she gave me the best gift possible, which was love for people. Just love, plain love. And I tried to bring that to every situation, everybody I met. And she had remarried.
Giavani: And then my stepdad, he was great. He coached all my baseball teams, and this is what I still had comp. And so, I would say, I was probably second, third grade. She remarried. And then unfortunately, he passed away when I was in fourth grade. And that’s where I remember losing a lot of the confidence. I think it was because I felt gypped with not having a dad growing up.
Giavani: And then I felt like I gained that back with my stepdad, it was great. And then that was taken away from me as well. So, I went through life a lot of the time living with that chip on my shoulder of being like, I have to prove everybody wrong. And just angry. But also, I lost a lot of confidence. But that love that my ma gave me, that never went away. So, I think that was always balancing out the anger that I had.
Giavani: So, growing up, yeah, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in middle school. And in high school, I doubted myself a lot. And I think, acting, and that radio and TV class, that is, I can’t explain it. The only thing I can say about it is that made me feel alive. It made me want to connect with people. What the emotions I was feeling, and then that gave me a sense of maybe I can help someone with what they’re going through by doing this.
Charan: Dude, I love doing these podcasts, because for better or worse, for me it’s like therapy. I’m hearing this conversation that you’re having, that you’re sharing with me, and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, there’s so many things that I can resonate with.” That is so powerful. The thing is, is like when your stepdad passed away, which is such a tragic thing, at such a young age, because he was so inspirational to you. A part of you died with him, right?
Charan: And this joyful part of you, this confident part of you, the one that believed in himself, that part of him left for a while. And so, it’s like, there’s this feeling of anger and resentment. And that’s like you giving your power away. But the beautiful love of your mom kept that in check a little bit, and kept it grounded and saying there’s more out there. And then to feel alive again.
Charan: And then to feel that power come back in you. then it’s so transformative. Because now, what you’re doing is saying, okay, I want to share with other people, and I want to help empower other people that are probably going through similar things. And when I’m looking back, like really looking back, what I see is God allowed you to go through all these things.
Charan: So that when you do the project like The Chosen, now you can empower hundreds of millions of people because of the stuff that you’ve already gone through.
Giavani: Yeah. It’s like you… man, we look at these struggles in our life. Sometimes, we look at these obstacles, and they’re not easy to go through. But it reminds me like what you were talking about with Jordan, which was like you’re using your… what people might look at as like a weakness.
Giavani: So, they might look at as something that is going to restrict you. And you’re deciding to, “Hey, no, I can use this as a positive. I can use this to affect other people.” Because I believe we’re here for human connection. We’re here to build each other up, right?
Giavani: Yeah. That’s what I believe in. And if we have that perspective of “I’m not going to let this make me a victim for the rest of my life. What can I do to help somebody else maybe going through this, or how can I turn this into a positive?” And it’s not easy, but if you make the choice to do that, you give yourself power to be able to change someone else’s life.
Charan: Completely, man. The way I look at it is when you come to God broken, and then he’s like, “Okay, now that you are broken, and you feel your brokenness, and I can heal you, now you can help heal the other broken people.”
Giavani: Yeah, yeah. It’s kind of like that why reminds of — I’m not spoiling or anything because the episode is already out — but it reminds me of when Nathaniel is under the fig tree. And he wanted to build synagogues. He wanted to build these buildings, and he’s under the tree, and everything came crashing down for him.
Giavani: He’s like, “Why? I did this for you. Why? I don’t understand any of this.” And when you’re going through that kind of stuff, a lot of the time, that’s the big question is, “I don’t deserve this. Why am I going through this?” And I think your God is setting you up for, “Hey, trust me. Trust me.”
Charan: It’s so great. Because it’s, like, trust the process. It’s, like, it’s not over. It’s not over yet.
Giavani: No, no, no.
Charan: And I think that’s what people need to realize is, it’s not over yet, guys. Even if you’re going through your challenges, your struggles, you’re mid-journey, or you’re not even mid-journey. There’s going to be so many beautiful things just right around the corner, if you can just hang on. And I feel like I need that message for myself a lot of times, because so many times, I’m working on my own projects and things.
Charan: And with all the headaches that… I was having a conversation with my dad just today. And I’m like, “Dad, I honestly don’t know what I’m doing sometimes, because I’m putting all this energy towards these projects.” And we’ve discussed this, like I have a kit putting together. And sometimes, it’s just like, so much effort is put in, but the results aren’t really showing for it.
Charan: And I have to just remember, trust the process. Don’t worry about what you think the outcome should be. Trust the process, because when that happens, when it all unfolds the way it’s supposed to unfold, then you look back at your life, and you’re like, “Oh, my gosh, never in a billion years would I have seen it unfold this beautifully.”
Giavani: Of course, man, and I’ve seen what you’re doing. And it has such a great message. And I commend you for that. Because that’s not an easy task to do. But I know that’s where your heart is. So, keep following that. And you know what, we’re bad at… I feel like people are bad at… we blueprint our lives to be a certain way in different aspects.
Giavani: And sometimes when it doesn’t line up exactly how we had planned it, a lot of the time, we can look at that and be, — and I fall victim to this all the time, I have to remind myself too — we look at it, and we’re like, “Am I doing the right thing here? This doesn’t really make a lot of sense. It’s not working out how I thought it was going to be.”
Giavani: But when we do that, it’s like we’re blind to the other blessings that are all around us that we didn’t exactly line up to think like, “Oh, this is exactly how it’s going to come about.” If that makes sense.
Giavani: Does that make sense? Yeah.
Charan: Completely makes sense. And the thing is, is when you realize, you are a part of God’s plan, it’s His plan. It’s His work. When you realize that, then you’re like, “Okay, well, He sees what’s going on.” And even if I don’t, that’s okay. Because He sees it. And as long as I’m just hanging out, and going with my heart, and just whatever happens, happens, that’s great.
Charan: But I think it’s like, I remember when I got to LA, I used to have all these things of like, “Okay, this is what I’m thinking my career is going to be, and this is what’s going to happen, and stuff.” None of that happened. You know what I mean? But then I ended up having some really cool success on TV shows, which I never expected to have happen, and it did. So, it was a really, really amazing experience, just to see how acting was really a catalyst for me learning to trust in God even more, like letting go.
Giavani: That’s powerful, man.
Giavani Cairo Talks More About Getting His Role on The Chosen
Charan: It is. And it’s been great. It’s been awesome. So, I want to talk a little bit more about The Chosen right now. And how you got involved in everything. So, was it an audition that came through, or how did that-
Giavani: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think the boring part that everybody will probably tell you in the beginning is like, yes, my agent at the time submitted me, but I was in LA at the time. And I did a self-tape for… I auditioned for Simon for the first round. And yeah, I remember nobody could help me. I had three roommates. All were gone for the weekend. And no one could help me for the audition. So, I ended up taping sides to like boxes that I stacked down, and recorded my voice as self-tape actors, sometimes we have to resort to that kind of stuff.
Charan: A hundred percent, yeah.
Giavani: Yeah, I’m sure you can relate to that kind of stuff
Charan: Dude, I even have a new technique I learned for doing self-tape auditions.
Giavani: Yeah, what is it?
Charan: It’s the best. So, I have a ring light, and I have my phone that films that, right?
Giavani: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Charan: But what I’ve learned, this is so cheap. I’m ruining the acting technique for [crosstalk 00:35:35] But what I’ve discovered was, if I actually typed the entire, like, all my sides in Google Slides on my computer-
Giavani: Google Slides.
Charan: Google Slides is like PowerPoint, it’s like PowerPoint. And I basically put it, maybe I do one line per slide or something. Just so my eyeline is not super, you don’t have to go down, and read it too much. You just read the first line. And I put the computer as my eyeline. I bought a little clicker that if you click it, it’ll change slides. So, I’m my island is really the computer, but it looks like I’m talking to another person.
Giavani: That’s so great.
Charan: And then I have them talk to me through… I call some friend of mine to be like, “Hey, can you read these lines?” So, they read it through the computer, and then I’m just looking at the computer just clicking the lines. Dude, it is the best. It was like a flash of inspiration that came to me. And I’m like, “Oh my gosh, every…”
Giavani: You are a creative mind, buddy. That is fantastic.
Charan: So, I got this clicker. You just buy this clicker. You connect it to your computer, and you’re literally clicking the lines as you’re doing it. Dude, it is the best and it makes life so easy.
Giavani: Okay. Well, I’m going to take that tool from you, and I thank you for that.
Charan: Hey, you’re very welcome.
Giavani: Any actors watching, that is a great piece of advice.
Charan: It was a great piece of advice if you’re doing a self-tape.
Giavani: Which in these times, it’s going to be a new thing.
Charan: It’s going to be a new thing. Exactly. Okay. Anyway. So, you’re doing the audition. You audition for Simon first. And then-
Giavani: Auditioned for Simon first, yeah.
Charan: And then what happened after that?
Giavani: So, I got a callback. Well, doing the box thing and the taping of the stuff. I was like, “Okay, I’m not getting this.” I don’t have anybody really reading with me. But thankfully, I got an audition for a callback. But they wanted me to fly to Texas, they were doing the callbacks. And obviously, I didn’t know what The Chosen was at this point in time.
Charan: Of course.
Giavani: I thought it was, oh, it’s a low-budget series they’re trying to create. And it was like, within a couple days, the flights were pretty expensive. So, I talked with my manager at the time and decided like, “Hey, let’s reach out and see if we can do a self-tape, otherwise, I don’t think I can pay for the flight. It’s just really expensive.” And reached out to casting and Beverly Holloway.
Giavani: And their team were like, “They don’t usually do that. But we’ll get back to production, and see what we can do.” So, by that point, I think, almost a week went by and nothing. So, I have figured like, “Okay, it’s not in the cards. Next time I get a callback for this situation, at least I know what to expect, and I’ll pay the money.” But I thought, “Okay, that’s just an opportunity that’s not going to work out.”
Giavani: And casting reached back out. And they said, “Hey, okay, we want you to do a self-tape again.” And this will be the call-back. And I was like, that doesn’t usually happen, I feel. And I was very grateful for it. And this time, I was auditioning for Andrew. Audition, my buddy helped me this time. So, thankfully, I had something to work off of. And sent that in. I felt really connected.
Giavani: The writing was just so good. And the characters were just so specific. And I remember getting an email maybe a few days later saying Dallas wants to Skype with you and just have an interview. And I remember jumping on the Skype with Dallas and a little nervous at first because you’re talking to the director. But it was like talking to a friend.
Giavani: Dallas makes you feel like you’re family when talking to him. And it was real cool. And he was just asking me about what I liked about it, and my background a little bit, and he’s like, “Okay, well, we’re interested in you, and we don’t know what you’re going to play, but we want you to be part of it.” And that I was just stoked at that moment.
Giavani: But I do think there was something of a higher power behind that though, because there was a lot of things against it being like, “Oh, I couldn’t fly in for the callback. The audition scenario wasn’t ideal in terms of me trying to turn it in, the way I went about it.” But somehow it all worked out. And it’s magic, man. It was so incredible.
Charan: It is amazing how everything in that show is just miracle after miracle after miracle.
Giavani: Yeah, man.
Charan: And it’s just crazy, because I remember before you guys even had your funding, because I knew the VidAngel side of stuff. And I remember when it was just this short film that Dallas made. And it’s just interesting to see even from there, because even on the VidAngel side of things, so many miracles they have to face. So, I feel like as an outside observer watching a lot of these things take place, I’m like, there is no way. There’s absolutely no way all this happened without divine intervention.
Giavani: It’s not a coincidence.
Charan: There’s no way, no.
Giavani: And I feel also, the people that I brought into this project, and you know because you’re around it, I’ve never felt anything like this in terms of people that are just so genuine, welcoming, and loving. And that’s not just at the cast side of things. That’s the crew side of it. And that makes for such a better work environment. But also it creates those magical moments. I don’t know if you felt this way, but I feel like there’s any egos on set.
Charan: There’s not. And that’s the beautiful thing. I remember, so in LA, I did Silicon Valley, and that show was-
Giavani: Such a good show.
Charan: It was a great show. And I was on for a couple of episodes. And being on that show allowed me — because it ended up being a pretty successful show — it allowed me to get a new agent, which allowed me to just go from TV show to TV show to TV shows. It was awesome, right?
Charan: But as I did that, I started to see what the energy of every set was like. And for the most part, really, it was great. It was awesome.
Charan: But I remember just from the first day of me, coming on The Chosen which was, again, we discussed this before, it was very unexpected for me, because as of the night before, I had no idea I was going to be on The Chosen that day.
Giavani: That’s so cool.
Charan: Isn’t that a crazy thing?
Giavani: That’s so cool.
Charan: Again, miracles, right? Miracles. But yeah, I literally had no clue that was going to be in the cards for me that Tuesday, when Monday I texted Dallas. So, the fact that that happened was amazing. And I remember my agent didn’t even know. I had to call them while I was on set, and be like, “Hey, by the way, you’re going to be getting a message from the production of that show. And I want you to know…” They’re like, “Wait, are you on set right now on The Chosen?’ I’m like, “I am.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I booked a role. Don’t ask how, it’s just like…”
Giavani: That happened fast. How did this happen?
Charan: I know. And they’re like, “Wait, what? We didn’t even know.” I’m like, “I know. And neither did I until last night.” And so-
Charan: But I remember just working with you guys. And the feeling of the crew was so, so great. And Chad Gundersen, Chris Juen, they’re good friends of mine.
Giavani: So great, man.
Charan: They’re so great. And so, I was able to go and hang with them. And your accountant, I don’t know if you remember [Judy Day 00:43:36].
Giavani: Oh, yeah. Yeah, Judy.
Charan: Judy is a dear, dear friend of mine. And she actually helped produce the movie that I just barely did.
Giavani: She’s a sweetheart, man.
Charan: She’s a sweetheart. And so, it was very great to connect with so many people that I already knew. But when I legit, sat down with the cast, you and I think Austin played that day. Jordan was there.
Giavani: Jordan was there.
Charan: And then there are the two other guys that were new for that episode.
Giavani: That in there, yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Charan: I remember just thinking the feeling that I had was a very, like, this is a very sacred feeling. It’s very holy; this doesn’t happen normally. This is a very special show that would come at a very special time. And it was very, very powerful. So, I loved that.
Giavani: It’s special, man. You fit right in. You’re part of the family.
Charan: Yeah. Thanks, man.
Giavani: That was such a fun day, man.
Charan: It was so fun.
Giavani: It was such a fun scene. Yeah.
Charan: So, I think you’ve been pretty much every episode, or pretty close to every episode?
Giavani: Yeah, I think there were a couple in the beginning of the first season that we-
Charan: The first block, yeah.
Giavani: Yeah. But yeah, for the most part, for the most part.
Charan: Yeah. Is there any particular moment, maybe first season or even second season, where you’re like that was a really awesome day, or I really learned a lot, or something special happened like that?
Giavani: Oh man, there was… it’s really hard to pinpoint one. Even I’m going to say one, but this happens quite a bit. I think this just has something to do with the people, that part of it. I’m sure others have talked about the oner that we did.
Charan: Of course. Yeah, yeah.
Giavani: That was really special just because it was one of those moments where we didn’t think we were going to get it. And we had rehearsed the whole day. And I remember Chad, it was Chad, he came in for a day to work the camera up. And he’s holding on a rig, this camera, it’s 60 pounds. And we’re doing this oner to open episode three, and it’s 15 minutes long.
Giavani: And I felt guilty because I think I had a line in the very beginning. It was one of the first lines. And then I’m off until the end. So, I felt guilty being like, well, the pressure is not entirely on me. But I think we did four or five takes, and the sun was going down quick. And we didn’t know if we were going to get it. So, I think all of us interpreted like, “Hey, we’re probably going to just end the day, and come back tomorrow…”
Charan: Come back tomorrow.
Giavani: … and do it.” That’s what I thought.
Charan: I remember we get coverage or something.
Giavani: Yeah, yeah, it was just one of those moments that felt like, okay, it’s not in the cards for today. I think a lot of people felt that too. In that last take we did, which was the one they ended up using, I remember getting halfway through it. And we were, it was like that nonverbal communication, but feeling like, are we going to get this, are we going to get this?
And we made it through the take. And I remember, Chad is dropping to the ground, sweat coming off of his face. And we all gave him a standing ovation. He deserved it. He was the hero of that day. And we got it. And I didn’t know at first, because I didn’t see playback. So, I was like, the sun was going down. We might have to retake it. But I think it was one of those miracles that we’re like, you’re probably not going to do this. But somehow, it all worked out.
Charan: It got worked out. Yeah.
Giavani: That was special, man. That was really special. And the opening, and the opening, I would say, of season two.
Charan: Oh man, that was just so powerful, man. Gosh, it was powerful. I love watching that. And just being like in an instant, we were already captivated. I remember I was with my group of friends watching it. And we were like, “Wow, this is such a great show.” And it’s very healing.
Charan: That’s a wonderful thing as well, is like I know of so many people, personally, that have been healed because of The Chosen. That’s powerful to say, and that’s powerful to just know, an actual series healed you, and it’s a beautiful thing. So, nothing like something like that to help empower people.
Giavani: There’s no words, man.
Charan: There’s no words. Yeah.
Giavani: There’s no words. I’m really glad it’s reaching so many people, and hitting their hurts. And making a big difference in people’s lives, I think that’s just people, whether you’re in the arts or not, whatever you’re doing, just what you should strive for is to make people’s lives better. And I’m glad it’s inspiring so many people.
Charan: It is, man, and I really appreciate your work on it. It’s awesome. So, good job, seriously.
Giavani: Thanks, man.
Giavani: I love being part of it.
Giavani Cairo Talks About Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Charan: Yeah. So, I want to shift topics just a little bit. Now, every entrepreneur, every creator, every actor, producer, or whatever has moments in their lives where they’ve been dealt very big lemons. And they have to decide for themselves. Am I going to just be paralyzed because of this lemon? Or am I going to make lemonade? So, was there a moment in your life where you’re like, this was a lemon?
Giavani: Yeah, yeah.
Charan: It could have been your stepdad passing away, which we discussed already. But anything else come to your mind?
Giavani: You know what, I think that was the start of it. Because I was so young when my stepdad was in the picture, because it was like second, third grade before he passed. I had never really thought about not having a biological dad growing up. So, I think once he passed away, those feelings rushed in to my life. Like I was saying earlier, that’s when I was starting to think, like I need to validate my life.
Giavani: And it was a fake sense of confidence in a way, because it was like, I need to prove everyone wrong. And this was the big lemon part of my life, because this lasted from fourth grade up until recently, the past two years, three years. Actually, right before The Chosen. And what was weird was, I just noticed this recently.
Giavani: Every male figure in my life that had power in a sense, or could be a teacher, could be director, I felt like internally I needed to win their love, or I needed to win their praise. Not women in my life. My mom was a solid figure of love. But I always felt that with male figures in my life, that I was trying to chase something. And I never felt like I was good enough.
Giavani: That ruined baseball for me. I practiced like crazy, and that’s what I wanted to do before I found a love for acting. But I remember in games, I was never confident. I would beat myself up. I wouldn’t allow myself to have fun because I felt like that was being a disservice to what I was trying to do, which was to win, and which was to be the best I possibly could. And I felt that in my acting early on too.
Giavani: It was like, you could put on a great scene, and it’s like, “No, Giavani, you didn’t do good enough. That moment, you didn’t do that.” And I created this story in my head that was for some reason, You’re not worthy, and you’re not worthy of having this happy life. I don’t know if that was from someone who wasn’t around when you were a kid so there’s something wrong with you, which that’s all a lie. That’s not real.”
Giavani: And I remember, and this was months before I booked The Chosen. I was really stuck in my career in LA, and I was not booking. And I was working really hard, and had a couple of different jobs at the time. And I was like, I’m not happy. I don’t know why. Maybe this isn’t for me. I don’t know why this isn’t working. And I was still beating myself up a lot being like, “You’re not good enough. And you need to be better.”
Giavani: My friend was going through a self-transformation class, and it lasted a few months. And you get to focus on certain areas of your life and get really specific with what you want. And this is the crazy part. And this is what really turned things around for me. One of the two areas of my life I really wanted to focus on was getting closer to God, because I wasn’t close.
Giavani: I prayed every once in a while, but that was… I didn’t have a relationship, I would say. And I wanted to book a series. I wanted to book my first series. And a lot of the work had nothing to do with acting. It had a lot about learning to love yourself and learning to love people around you more through different actions that we took, and just little things that are actually big things, like just connecting with friends.
Giavani: Can be calling a friend that I haven’t spoke to. Well, I’m going to call, and to see how he’s doing, or she’s doing. And the craziest thing is two weeks before this three, four-month journey ended was when I booked The Chosen, and getting closer to God, booking the first series. And that, I don’t know if that was a gift being like okay, now you have the tools to share this to help the people that need it.
Giavani: Because that’s all I feel now is, I want to help people through what they’re going through. Through, not only The Chosen, but other art that we get to create. And I’m not there. I still have a lot of times of struggle, and everything like that. And sometimes I needed a talking to, and a pep talk, but from where I was, I think that was the turning point of making lemonade out of my lemon that lasted so long.
Charan: So long.
Charan: Dude, I really feel like the apostles of Jesus Christ when they’re on earth went through exactly what you’re talking about right now, man. The truth of it is, is that idea of not feeling like you’re good enough, feeling like you have to always beat yourself up because you’re just not good enough. I remember struggling through that still.
Charan: I still have those moments where I feel like, “I’ve got to accomplish this, and I got to accomplish that, and I got to do this, and that.” Because somehow, in my mind, I think work and creation validates who I am. But through my personal prayer, and through my personal experience of learning, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is, no matter what you do in life, nothing will be greater than who you already are. Isn’t that interesting?
Charan: And I’m just saying, like-
Giavani: It makes so much sense, though.
ut it’s so true. Here’s the deal, let’s just say you and I are buddies, and I came up to you, and I’m like, “Hey, dude, I just want to give you 100 bucks. It’s a gift. It’s a free gift.” Would you take it?
Giavani: Would I take it? Are you asking me that?
Charan: Yeah, I’m asking you. I’m asking you. Yeah.
Giavani: I feel like, “Dude, come on. You don’t have to do that.”
Charan: Yeah, right. But I’m just saying, “Hey, you know what, I know. But look, we’re buddies. I just want to give you 100 bucks. It’s a gift, a free gift.”
Giavani: I’ve learned to receive better throughout my life. So, I eventually would if you kept saying that, but initially, it’d be like-
Charan: It’d be like a resistance, right?
Giavani: Yeah, yeah.
Charan: But then I say, “Well, listen, before I give you these 100 bucks, I’m going to crumble it up a little bit. And then I’m going to give it to you. Would you take it?”
Giavani: Yeah, probably.
Charan: Okay, yeah. And let’s say, I’m going to stomp on it a little bit, and then I’m going to give it to you. You know?
Giavani: Yeah, yeah, sure.
Charan: Well, here’s the thing. 100 bucks is 100 bucks, right? It’s worth the same no matter what it goes through. The same with our lives, man, you know what I mean? And the fact that we’re God’s children, and that we’re able to do amazing things and beautiful things. We have infinite worth.
Charan: The fact that a loving Savior would literally come to earth to die for us. The greatest being that ever lived would come and die for us. To me, that just symbolizes oh, my gosh, we must have such amazing worth in his eyes. And anything other than that, any other story that we tell is a lie. It’s a lie. And-
Giavani: Yeah, man.
Charan: And it’s been a lie that I’ve said a lot. I still sometimes say a lot. Sometimes when I feel like things aren’t happening in my life, I feel like I’ve got to create a lot more now because that’s going to give me my sense of identity. And I noticed this other day, when you’re talking about sports, I love playing tennis. I love it. It’s my favorite sport.
Giavani: Nice. That’s a great sport.
Charan: So, I go out… yeah. And if I can, if I can play tennis every day, I absolutely would. But I was noticing the last couple times I was playing, and here’s an interesting thing. I’m not really a competitive guy. I just like to go play to have fun, right?
Giavani: Yeah, it brings joy to your heart. You feel alive-
Charan: It brings joy, it brings joy, right? And so, I don’t even keep score, I just like to go out there, and just hit with my buddy, and just get some good exercise. It’s awesome. But I noticed the other day, I was getting really down on myself because I was hitting into the net too much or I wasn’t hitting the right strokes or whatever.
Charan: And I remember the Lord whispering in my ear saying, “Charan, how come you’re not having fun with this sport that you love?” And I’m like, “I don’t know; why am I not having fun with this?” And then I started thinking about that. When the things that we love stop being fun because of our mindset, because of some story that we’ve told ourselves, then it’s time to reevaluate.
And it’s like, I remember the same thing with acting. I love acting. I love being on shows, and doing all these things. But there have been times before where I have beaten myself up a lot, especially when I bomb an audition. And I’m like, “What the heck am I doing in LA? What am I…” you know, all those stuff. “Why am I here?” I can’t even tell you how many times that’s happened to me.
Giavani: I can relate.
Charan: You can relate. You can totally relate, right?
Charan: But at the same time, it’s like, I found that when we can take the edge off, ourselves, when we realize, “Hey, we don’t have to be the one in control. We don’t have to be the one in control. We can let God be the one in control. We can let him have outcomes.” Then it’s like we can relax and have a little bit more fun. And man, Giavani, I had no idea that was the story that the experience that you went through and that self-improvement.
Charan: Because I also believe one of the greatest tragedies of man is that he receives very little of what his Father in Heaven wants to give him. And it’s almost like, listen, if we can just learn to love ourselves a little bit more, just a little bit more, and let God’s love come in, what manifests on the outside is the outpouring of the love that you ask for is on the inside.
Giavani: Yeah. It’s filling your cup so you can fill other people’s cup.
Charan: Exactly. And it was interesting. I was talking to Yasmine about having this empty cup, but having the empty cup in my mind is all about being humble. And just letting your cup being filled with that joyous love that now you can share with other people. And it’s cool, because to me, when I’m hearing your story, I’m thinking, dude, you literally chose to love yourself enough to go through a transformation class.
Charan: And as you did, you’re saying, “Hey, the two things I really want is a better relationship with God, and a series that I can work on.” And then you’re on The Chosen, that’s-
Giavani: I don’t think that’s coincidence. I don’t think that’s coincidence. It’s special, man. And a lot of the times, we try to be… it’s funny, because I’ve thought about this a lot through life, too. It’s like we spend so much time wanting to be other people or looking at our insecurities, looking at the things, that we criticize ourselves most for that we don’t spend enough time celebrating who we actually are.
Giavani: And that’s a gift you can give people. Though, it’s the same thing you were talking about Jordan, it’s like, I’m so proud of that guy. Because he’s taking something that can literally break you down. And he’s using that to empower people. That’s strength. That’s power. That’s a choice that he’s making. And he gets to change people’s lives by doing that. There’s nothing more inspiring than that.
Charan: Dude, I’m telling you, man, you guys have a very, very, very special mission, I feel. The three of you that I’ve already talked to, I’m like, wow, I’m telling you. There’re some big things going on in your lives, and I feel like a privilege to see it all unfold.
Giavani: You’re a part of it, man.
Charan: I appreciate that, man. I do. It’s interesting, because I’ve seen the hand of the Lord in my life, and just seeing things happen in however he wants it to happen. And it’s been amazing. So, I’ve been very grateful. So, I want to wrap things up. Dude, this has been epic, just so you know.
Giavani: Dude, it’s been so much fun.
Charan: It’s been so much fun. And I’m learning all these things. And again, I feel like it’s like a form of therapy. So, it’s been so great.
Giavani: I feel like that, too. Yeah, we both, yeah.
Giavani Cairo Talks About His Greatest Source of Joy
Charan: It’s awesome, dude. Now, we can reflect and be like, wow, God really has been in the beautiful details of our lives, the secret moments of our lives. So, I want to ask you three final questions. One, what is your greatest source of joy right now?
Giavani: Honestly, it’s with how crazy this past year has been for so many people. It’s been so hard for so many people. I’ve gotten to the best joy I’ve got, and the best gift I’ve got came out of it, which was being able to come home, and spend time with my parents. So, my mom remarried when I was in high school. And I don’t even call him my stepdad. He’s my dad.
Giavani: He’s such a loving guy and such a hard worker for our family. But it’s been able to spend time with them. It’s something that I hadn’t had in the past five years. I’d go home for a couple weekends, and you always feel rushed, because you want to see so many people being away from home. But to have the luxury to be able to watch a movie with them, have a bonfire with them, just be able to talk with them.
Giavani: There’s no greater gift than the family I’ve got. And I’ve been so blessed to be able to spend this time with them. So, that’s my greatest source of joy is just being able to, especially during this time with The Chosen, being able to share that with them. It’s just been able to reconnect better with, not only my parents, but my siblings.
Charan: What are they saying? What is your family thinking of you being on The Chosen and all that stuff?
Giavani: Oh, my mom is crazy about it. My family is very supportive, thankfully. My mom has always been supportive no matter what I wanted to do, but she is just so in love with it. She tunes into all the livestreams. She’s caught up on every episode.
Charan: Oh, good.
Giavani: She’s proud, I would say. I would say she’s very proud, which makes me happy, because that’s what I want to make most proud is my family.
Charan: Your family.
Charan: I love that, man. That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful.
Giavani: Thanks, man.
Giavani Cairo Talks About His Greatest Fear
Charan: Second question. Greatest fear.
Giavani: That’s really-
Giavani: You know what? Honestly, not to get too deep. Well, it’s pretty deep, but-
Charan: We’ve already gotten deep, yeah.
Giavani: Yeah. I could bail out and just say heights or flying, because I hate flying.
Giavani: What a great industry to be a part of, but I hate flying. But no, I would say my greatest fear is leaving this earth without knowing that I did as much as I could to change people’s lives for the better. If I knew I didn’t give it my all, and I didn’t make as much of a difference as I wanted to, that’s my greatest fear, because we only live once, and I want to make a difference in people’s lives for the better.
Charan: Dude, I love that. And it’s so great. Because that fear combined with your love for people is already helping you to be that best version of yourself. So, I love that, man.
Giavani: Thanks, buddy.
Giavani Cairo’s Advice to His Younger Self
Charan: And the last question is, what would be the best piece of advice you could give your younger self? The one that’s like “now that I know the story,” the one that’s going through all those times where he beat himself up, where he was full of anger, and when he was shy. What would you tell that Giavani?
Giavani: So much, we got another couple hours?
Charan: Yeah, dude. Yeah.
Giavani: I think I pinpointed maybe just a couple things. But I think the big one I would say is, love who you are. Love who you are. And enjoy it. There’s a sense to like, yeah, you want to work hard for what you’re doing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. Because I remember so much going through my life that I felt, like, working hard was a direct parallel to stress and anxiety.
Giavani: And then when I got that sense of like, “Oh, this is fun.” And I still feel that at certain times. But yeah, sometimes that fun can be blended with like, “Oh, am I even doing anything worthwhile right now?” So, I would tell him, enjoy it. Trust the process, and love yourself. It’s going to work out, as long as you have like, “Hey, this is what I want. This is what my heart is telling me. And I’m enough,” you’re enough.
Charan: Dude, I’m telling you, it’s so freaking powerful. I remember, in high school, I started gaining more confidence in high school. And I was notorious for trying to get our teachers off track. Just trying to figure out a way-
Giavani: Were you a class clown?
Charan: I was a little bit of a class clown. Yeah, I was a little bit of a class clown.
Giavani: Nice, dude.
Charan: But the thing was, I remember my math teacher, [Mr. Christiansen 01:09:00], he really liked me a lot. But I remember this one particular day. I brought some toy with me, it’s like a magnetic top that floats in the air as it spins. It’s repelled by magnets. And I remember going to class. And before I even got there, I had some friends of mine. They’re like, “Oh my gosh.” This is our last period.
Charan: They’re like, “Charan, we don’t want even be doing that. We’re just so tired. It’s been a long week. We don’t want to focus.” And I’m like, “Don’t worry, guys. I already got a plan.” And so, while the teacher was trying to get class going, I was trying to get this thing to spin, and show him. He’s like, “Hey, Charan, you got to hustle up, buddy, because we got to get this class going.”
Charan: And I’m like, “I know. I know. But I just have to show you this. I’ve got to show you this.” He said, “Well, what does it do?” And I said, “Well, this actually floats in the air when you spin it.” He’s just like, “No, it doesn’t.” I’m like, “I swear it does, it does.” He’s like, “Prove it. Prove it.” And then the entire period was spent trying to prove that point. And I finally got it to go. But by that time, there was just no time to learn anything new. So, we ended up having this free period, and he was just loving it, having the best time.
Giavani: That’s so awesome.
Charan: And it was just so funny because I look back, we didn’t learn a single thing that day. But why do I remember that day? Why do I remember that day? And so, I look at what you’re saying about enjoying it and just trusting the process. And usually, the things that you remember in life are those moments, where while you were having that moment, you couldn’t think of anything else.
Charan: Because you were just so present, and you were so joyous, and hopeful. It was like such a prominent feeling in your mind. That feeling of like, are we going to get this tape before the sun goes down? Are we going to do that? Or do I get to be a part of this show that makes me come alive or whatnot? The things that you remember are always the ones, where while you were living that moment, you weren’t thinking about anything else. Because you were so enjoying that “now” moment.
Giavani: And aren’t you so glad that you have that memory too?
Charan: Yeah, completely.
Giavani: And you went through that experience?
Charan: Absolutely. And so, that’s why I just… I don’t know. I love what you were saying right there about hey, enjoy your life, know that you are worth it. I know it’s hard for you to see at this time, but enjoy it. And I think that that message, man, if everyone in the world could just hear that message right now, especially during this time when the world has shut down, and a lot of kids were feeling isolated and like insecure, or whatnot. If they could just get that message right now, dude, life would be so much better.
Giavani: I think so too. One other thing too. It’s a really quick message. When I was listening to Tim Ferriss’s podcast and Elizabeth Gilbert was on. She said a simple phrase that spoke volumes, and he was like, “We’re on this earth to do more than just pay bills and pass on.”
Giavani: And to me, that was like, yeah, follow your heart. Follow what you want to do.
Charan: Yeah. Absolutely. And I think the saddest thing that could ever happen to a human being is to live on earth but to never be truly alive. And so-
Giavani: Very true, man. That’s artful right there. I love that.
Charan: Thanks, man. You can call it that. That was me suddenly coming up with that.
Giavani: Writing it down as we speak.
Charan: Take it right there, know.
Charan: Dude, you’re the best, man. I appreciate you taking this time and having this conversation. It was a very powerful podcast, and I feel it’s going to be very transformative for a lot of people.
Giavani: Oh man, it was great catching up. And thanks for having me, man. This is so much fun.
Charan: Of course. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your story, and being vulnerable as well. And yeah, man. We’re looking forward to seeing you more on The Chosen.
Giavani: Thanks, man. I’m excited. I’m excited.
Charan: Awesome, man. Thanks again. I appreciate it.
Giavani: All right, bud. Talk to you soon.
Charan: Okay, bye-bye.
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, and 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.