EPISODE 11: PEJ VAHDAT
On working with our fear of failure, reaching our life goal, and facing our inner Jason Vaughn.
Actor Pej Vahdat has played almost sixty roles on both the small and big screens. Most recently, you saw him in the show, Empire on FOX. And before that, Bones, also on FOX. You also likely recognize him from his powerful roles on Showtime’s Shameless or Amazon’s Sneaky Pete. He’s done a ton of theatre, including Lincoln Center’s production of Blood And Gifts directed by Bartlett Sher. You can see Pej in the upcoming show, The Village, which premieres, March 19th at 10/9 central on NBC.
QUOTES FROM THIS EPISODE
24:26 ~ “You can't go into a job trying to get the job, right? You have to go and going, 'this is my job today. I get to perform... and I'm going to do what I do.' And if it works, it works; if it doesn't, it doesn't. Now, if you could get to that? I mean it's so easy to say that - if you can get to that, even in a job interview for a tech company... I told [my sister, before her interview], 'all you can do is bring who you are to the table. You have the qualifications. If they want someone like you, they're gonna give it to you. You can't go home and obsess over what you did, what you didn't do, they said this, they said that, they didn't treat me this way... what if I don't get it, blah blah blah blah blah... you can't do it. You're going to kill yourself.' And it took me - and I still do it, don't get me wrong, but a lot less - it took me years and therapy and all that stuff to get over it.”
28:38 ~ Pej’s [mom’s] three life rules:
Don’t get arrogant.
Give to charity.
Don’t do drugs or alcohol.
37:15 ~ "Pretend you're picking up a ton of plates over your head and slam it down and say, at the same time, 'you don't let me get away with anything!' I don't know why that phrase, but... just immediately, your body relaxes... and you just slam the plates on the ground angrily and for some reason you calm down... I do it. If I'm really nervous, I'll do it in the car or I'll scream just loud... In the car to myself. And it may make me cry. It makes you feel."
1:05 ~ “What I'm interested in is integrity... if we're doing things that feel out of alignment with who we are who we want to be, then we're probably not going to do them that well anyway.” - KF
1:00 ~ “What [therapy] did was, it was the first time in my life where I wasn't afraid to tell somebody my deepest, darkest feelings, because no matter who you are I won't tell you... I don't tell my girlfriend some things. I don't tell my best friend in the world some things. I certainly don't tell my family things. The only thing or being or whatever [that I've ever been able to] say anything to was... a higher power. I would speak to myself... This was the first time where I was in a room with this doctor... and I would tell her what's going on in me. The shit I'm most afraid of, the shit I'm most angry about, the insecurities I have about me, which are so many, and I wasn't worried she's gonna judge me or tell anybody about it.”
1:10 ~ “No matter how successful someone is, they're dealing with the same shit you're dealing with... And that's helpful... and empowering. I think that that can take someone from a real low spot in their life [to] go, ‘oh shit. If someone is feeling that way, okay. It's OK I'm feeling this way.’”
1:23 ~ “When we can know ourselves, we can know another. And when we we can know another, us and that other can know the world.” - KF