EPISODE 8: JOSHUA BITTON
On awareness, acceptance, action, being inherently interesting, and finding bravery in your work.
Actor and director Josh Bitton can be recognized from any one of his more than 3 dozen guest starring roles on TV, or his appearances in more than a dozen films. He has had major recurring roles in a number of shows including the Mentalist and Castle, as well as HBO's The Night of... & The Pacific. Josh also has an extensive list of credits in the theatre, for which he has received several Ovation Award nominations. Currently, You can see Josh on the hit CBS All-Access show, One Dollar.
Josh Bitton on IMDB
QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE
16:41 ~ “The realization was this... When I looked at those people they were so interesting to me. You know, I could watch them stand and smoke a cigarette and I would watch that on stage and think, ‘that is so interesting.’ But I would never think it about myself. And one of the things I had to come to and say a lot to my students - my mentor and my mentors - say to their students, 'you have to understand that you are enough and that you are inherently interesting and different than anyone else. All of us are.' And... That's where you can sit in moments and have simplicity in your work.”
18:07 ~ “Just like in acting, like in any career we kind of start maybe because we're good at something right. And then maybe we were lucky enough to have like sort of an ‘AHA moment’ (to quote Oprah Winfrey)... So you have a moment where you're like, ‘I'm now affirmed that this is what I'm supposed to be doing.’ And then, eventually, if we're lucky, the original reason that we got into whatever we're doing, we can transcend that original reason and something new becomes apparent - there is some purpose that then becomes the wind beneath our wings.” - KF
21:41 ~ “A lot of times when we're doing the work. If someone wasn't going there - and by going there, [I mean] really opening themselves up to the circumstances of something... A lot of times they would say things like, ‘where's the bravery in your work?’ And they started to redefine what being brave, what being strong meant. For them and for me [it] meant being open and honest. It meant risking someone breaking your heart or something hurting you or being judged and it's definitely something that I say when I teach. I'll say, you know, ‘where's the bravery in that? Where's the daring to open yourself up to that?’”
23:25 ~ “I am a kid from Queens... I was a baseball player. I played football in high school... I have more like standard traditional masculine traits, for sure. But I realized how deep it went... You know, to work out one of the things I do is box. I rebuilt my own kitchen. You know now I can break shit and then rebuild it - all masculine things. My friends and I have climbed a few mountains. And I realized I love doing those things, but there was also a part of me that was doing it because somewhere inside I was trying to prove to the world that I was a man. And somewhere over the last few years I would say I don't know when maybe four years ago maybe six maybe some transitional period like that. I became more and more comfortable with the fact that this is just the man I am and that that's OK. That if I'm dating someone and I feel sensitive about something, there was a time in my life would be like I would literally use the language of my neighborhood: ‘Stop being a pussy. Stop acting like a bitch’... I would think it in my head… And now I'm like, 'No. That hurt my feelings.' Or, 'Mm. This is uncomfortable for me.’”
34:55 ~ “I think people pay to watch actors do what they do because they get to live vicariously through those experiences. And a lot of times, you know, they can be moved to tears or great laughter or joy or whatever because of that work. And I think in those moments whether people are aware of it or not and most people probably are but some people are and that is moments of vulnerability. They're open... Vulnerability doesn't just mean crying in pain. Vulnerability is being able to really experience joy inside.”
50:30 ~ “There is a specific way as to how we judge whether we're valuable or not. A lot of is about money and how much we make and how much prestige we have in whatever field we're in. Yet at the same time I've worked with some really famous people, who are super happy, and I've worked some really famous people who are just not. Really rich people in many different fields, who are just not happy. However, we still chase that. We still chase that. And when I took a look at my life... Somehow, I was able to scrape together owning a home. I have a remarkable group of friends. I have now an unbelievable relationship with my brother and my father. I've always had a great one with my mom, but my family is close in a beautiful way. What's not OK? And it was really about an idea. So allowing myself to look not outward for feeling okay about myself but looking outward at what my life really was and who surrounded me and what my day to day experiences were. That really helped me embrace and start to gain perspective on how much I really didn't lack.”
1:01:03 ~ “You asked me earlier if like what first brought me to the work changed and I would say what first brought me to the work is what I found again: the love of the moment the love of being in a moment with somebody or a bunch of people in the end that's all that really matters to me. That pure human contact, whether on screen on stage or in life, like talking to you right now. That's what I value. But the business and what success is and what fame is and what money is and all that shit clouded it... it got clouded.”
1:02:20 ~ “I mean this is like a banner sort of moment. That story you just told is really a beautiful story and it's about a really pivotal moment in your life where you had a huge shift in focus. You saw your life one way and then you did all of this work. You saw your life in another way. And then all of a sudden, essentially, everything you'd been working toward came to fruition and yet you perceived it in a totally different way than you ever would have when you had originally conceived of wanting it... So I mean you're talking about is a shift in consciousness... And because what the work would have meant to you pre-program, pre-convo with Jon Bernthal, pre-shift in perspective, pre-therapy... all of it now means something totally different.” - KF
1:09:55 ~ “Awareness, Acceptance, Action... Uncover, Discover, Discard... But you can't discard what you haven't fully discovered.”