"The Good Listening To" Podcast with me Chris Grimes! (aka a "GLT with me CG!")

A GLT with me CG - Ep31: Jay Rhoderick: Actor, Comedy Improvisation Performer, New Yorker & Coach!

January 12, 2021 Chris Grimes - Facilitator. Coach. Motivational Comedian
"The Good Listening To" Podcast with me Chris Grimes! (aka a "GLT with me CG!")
A GLT with me CG - Ep31: Jay Rhoderick: Actor, Comedy Improvisation Performer, New Yorker & Coach!
Chapters
0:00
Intro
0:20
Meeting Jay
5:00
The Clearing
7:32
Shaking the Tree
24:04
Alchemy and Gold
26:04
Cherry on the Cake
36:27
Outro
"The Good Listening To" Podcast with me Chris Grimes! (aka a "GLT with me CG!")
A GLT with me CG - Ep31: Jay Rhoderick: Actor, Comedy Improvisation Performer, New Yorker & Coach!
Jan 12, 2021
Chris Grimes - Facilitator. Coach. Motivational Comedian

Ladies n' Genmin welcome to another exciting episode of "The Good Listening To" Podcast with me Chris Grimes!

Where all my guests in my Podcast have at least 2 things in common: They are all Creative individuals  - and all with an interesting story to be told!

So please welcome to the "GLT Clearing" - where all good Questions come to be asked and all good Stories come to be told - Actor,  fellow Comedy Improviser Performer, Facilitator, Coach, New Yorker  and all round "awesome pants!" - and big bear of a man - Jay Rhoderick.

A wonderful and rich conversation indeed - featuring particularly the number 23: The age at which Jay had a series of profound "coming of age" experiences.

(Jay and I also have the mighty Working Voices in common)


In Jay's  own words:

Jay Rhoderick is an actor, improviser, communications coach and writer. He has taught in the Bronx public school system, at Yale Drama School, on Wall Street and was lucky enough to boat up the mighty Mekong River delta with his mom, in a less terrifying version of "Apocalpse Now." 

He runs the leadership and teambuilding consultancy "Bizprov," and is on staff with Working Voices...

So - thanks for listening to another episode of a "GLT with me CG!"

The Podcast series that features "The Clearing":  Where all good questions come to be asked and all good stories come to be told!

With some lovely juicy storytelling metaphors to also enjoy along the way:

The Clearing itself - A Tree (where we get to "shake your tree to see which storytelling apples fall out, in the form of a lovely storytelling exercise called "5-4-3-2-1") - some Alchemy - some Gold - and finally a Cake with a Cherry on Top!

Think "Desert Island Discs" but in a Clearing! 

Also think about William Shakespeare - and about  "As You Like It" in particular:

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages..."

Jaques: Act II Scene VII

And as my Guest in the Podcast:  Now is your 'moment in the sunshine' to share your story!

Who are you? What's your story? And what 'life-lessons-learned-along-the-way' would you like to share with us? 

And just to get bit "existential on yo ass" too (!) what would you like your legacy to be?  How would you most like to be remembered?

And all my guests have at least 2 things in common: They are all Creative individuals  - and all with an interesting story to be told!

(You can also WATCH Jay's Podcast interview here: )

If you'd like to find out more, then please do check out my websites www.secondcurve.uk + www.instantwit.co.uk - and there's also a dedicated "Good Listening To" Facebook Group c/o the link above.

Plus if you'd be interested in the experience of being given "a damn good listening to" yourself, or you'd like to explore the idea of some Personal Impact Coaching from me CG - to help level-up your confidence, communication, and personal impact c/o my online Coaching proposition: The Second Curve "Zoom Room" - then, by all means, do get in touch via any of the usual social media channels (see above) or you can email me at [email protected] 

(The Second Curve "Zoom Room": Coaching to get you to the next level - or clarity on how to get to "where next?")

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ladies n' Genmin welcome to another exciting episode of "The Good Listening To" Podcast with me Chris Grimes!

Where all my guests in my Podcast have at least 2 things in common: They are all Creative individuals  - and all with an interesting story to be told!

So please welcome to the "GLT Clearing" - where all good Questions come to be asked and all good Stories come to be told - Actor,  fellow Comedy Improviser Performer, Facilitator, Coach, New Yorker  and all round "awesome pants!" - and big bear of a man - Jay Rhoderick.

A wonderful and rich conversation indeed - featuring particularly the number 23: The age at which Jay had a series of profound "coming of age" experiences.

(Jay and I also have the mighty Working Voices in common)


In Jay's  own words:

Jay Rhoderick is an actor, improviser, communications coach and writer. He has taught in the Bronx public school system, at Yale Drama School, on Wall Street and was lucky enough to boat up the mighty Mekong River delta with his mom, in a less terrifying version of "Apocalpse Now." 

He runs the leadership and teambuilding consultancy "Bizprov," and is on staff with Working Voices...

So - thanks for listening to another episode of a "GLT with me CG!"

The Podcast series that features "The Clearing":  Where all good questions come to be asked and all good stories come to be told!

With some lovely juicy storytelling metaphors to also enjoy along the way:

The Clearing itself - A Tree (where we get to "shake your tree to see which storytelling apples fall out, in the form of a lovely storytelling exercise called "5-4-3-2-1") - some Alchemy - some Gold - and finally a Cake with a Cherry on Top!

Think "Desert Island Discs" but in a Clearing! 

Also think about William Shakespeare - and about  "As You Like It" in particular:

"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages..."

Jaques: Act II Scene VII

And as my Guest in the Podcast:  Now is your 'moment in the sunshine' to share your story!

Who are you? What's your story? And what 'life-lessons-learned-along-the-way' would you like to share with us? 

And just to get bit "existential on yo ass" too (!) what would you like your legacy to be?  How would you most like to be remembered?

And all my guests have at least 2 things in common: They are all Creative individuals  - and all with an interesting story to be told!

(You can also WATCH Jay's Podcast interview here: )

If you'd like to find out more, then please do check out my websites www.secondcurve.uk + www.instantwit.co.uk - and there's also a dedicated "Good Listening To" Facebook Group c/o the link above.

Plus if you'd be interested in the experience of being given "a damn good listening to" yourself, or you'd like to explore the idea of some Personal Impact Coaching from me CG - to help level-up your confidence, communication, and personal impact c/o my online Coaching proposition: The Second Curve "Zoom Room" - then, by all means, do get in touch via any of the usual social media channels (see above) or you can email me at [email protected] 

(The Second Curve "Zoom Room": Coaching to get you to the next level - or clarity on how to get to "where next?")

And get quite literally in!
We're recording.
Welcome to another exciting episode.
They're all exciting but particularly exciting today.
The Good Listening To Podcast with me Chris Grimes! The podcast that brings you the
Clearing.
It's also a place where you get a tree - where we get to shake your tree - to see which
Storytelling apples fall out...There's some Alchemy and some Gold - There's also a Cake which I'll
award you with at the end. And as a new strand (and congratulations!
You are my first guinea pig, Mr Jay
Rhoderick!
We're gonna also - linked to "All the world's a stage"
"...and all the men and women merely players; Each man in his time plays
many parts, his acts being seven ages".
So I bid you an extremely warm, warm, warm welcome, Mr.
Jay
Rhoderick! All the way from New York City.
Thank you.
Thank you, Chris.
I appreciate your welcome.
Welcome.
Very nice.
Thank you.
On what we also we have Working Voices in common and very exciting.
We're both comedy improvisation performers.
You are the president of Bizprov?
Yes.
How salubrious is that in?
I'll see my comedy company called Instant Wit, But you run Centralia
out of New York as well.
I definitely don't run it.
I've been a member of that collective for many years now.
And it, family at this point, as I'm sure Instant Wit is for you
and I love your humility.
They're not letting me make you the sort of chief of staff
comptroller.
I'm the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Yeah, I'd love to hear how you shape your show because of the pictures I've seen, it always looks
wonderfully anarchic.
And you look a bit many like because you're you're all suited and booted.
And it's, uh it emerged from doing a lot of
physical practice 25 years ago with Shira Piven
who is from an improv royalty family in Chicago,
and her family were involved in, uh, the early work of things
like Second City and that community there.
And so we did a lot of lifting and throwing and tossing each other
and just getting sweaty in the context of being in these
suits.
And so the I think the anarchy comes from our attempted commitment, even in
our dotage to (assuming we ever get back on stage)
To try to physical eyes the play as much as possible and not just
try to think of jokes or or games, but to try
to be in the moment in the scene in the world and to try to make it acting.
You know, it's a lot of fun.
And of course I do short form, which is all about the Bish Bash Bosch, Bish, Bash Bosch of the jokes and
the form, which is great.
We love that Yeah, So do you do bits of short form with formats?
Or is it just Let's just get going and see what happens?
More the latter,
but we have plenty of tried and true characters that we've come back to.
This isn't so much fun anymore right now this week, with everything
that's happening in DC.
But we do these, you know, Southern senator characters for many years
that just to try to play with politics and
arrogance and high and low status.
And we do tons of gags, many of them really immature and
childish.
So we're not too good for pie-in-the-face and potty humor and all that stuff.
Lovely. i love the cut of your jib.
It sounds very resonant.
Well, thank you.
Thank you.
I've got a new jib on.
I also love the fact that you're, you know, you wouldn't be a stuffed suit either you're doing in suits, and
yet on we both do a lot of work stuffed in a suit within the corporate arena.
But like me, you like to bring energy and dynamism into the corporate arena as well.
I try to I think that if if we're not, if there's not energy in the room or
in the room, if there isn't some degree of levity and laughter or
surprise, I just feel like, why not just email it to everybody and have them read it like an instruction
manual?
I'd get bored, you know. Right back at
you!
Wonderful stuff.
So, welcome to the Good Listening to podcast!
Let's get cracking on the open road of how we're going to interview this lovely man.
So good to see you.
I know it's slightly strange in New York, in Washington, D.C.
And in America at the moment.
I am right.
You are based in NYC, aren't you?
Yeah.
In Brooklyn, Brooklyn.
Lovely.
so a clearing for you.
First of all, So this is the podcast that brings you the clearing.
What is a clearing either metaphorically or literally for you, Jay.
You know, I I just love seeing the empty space of a
stage.
I have two answers to that question.
I think they're they're kind of related, even though they're completely different spaces for me
emotionally, it is being on the Delaware shore, lying on the sand and letting the
gravity just pull my ever-increasing girth down into the
sand and feeling the earth under me.
Same thing applies to being in an empty theater.
Big black, open space, like I'm fascinated by,
you know, seeing the ground, seeing that there is plenty of space to run around or lie
down and get physically into attacking the space.
So it's a literal clearing, a nice empty
beach at around 4 30 in the afternoon or late at night.
A nice, dark, clean theater space for me.
Lovely answer, and I started thinking about a beached whale.
But not you, dear.
Ohh, tourists tried to push me in.
Last time they called.
They called it a they called in a bulldozer?
"Good God, I've been harpooned!"
I'm sure a marine biologist showed up very upset.
And for those of you watching the sort of zoom film version of this Jay is by no means a beached whale.
He's a You're a very tall man as well.
Jay, aren't you?
I know you don't you look about four inches on my screen.
But how tall?
I'm 8 ft tall, 8 ft tall.
It's quite something.
i remember when I first met you?
You know, when you've had a "Jay hug", it's great.
Oh, really?
Oh, did I hurt?
You know, you just I'm quite big.
I'm sort of six.
Well, I'm shrinking.
I'm 6'1" but actually, I got measured next to my daughter recently.
He's going.
Oh, no, you're not.
So I'm between 6'1" Um, but how tall are you?
I'm 6'3" I knew you were slightly bigger.
Anyway, it's not a competition, but you're bigger or more awesome.
Well, the hug.
You know, if you mean there was a vigorous hug.
Yeah.
I try not to stop until I feel their spine and their sternum kiss a little bit.
And then and then we're done with the hug.
That's the technique you're going for.
I understand Now, with hindsight is loving it is.
And I love you for that.
Right back as well, we may or may not working for you.
Want to go into a breakout room right now, Chris, with that, get straight down there.
Hunker down.
I'll bring a harpoon and all will be awesome.
So we're in your clearing either on the Delaware Beach
as I understood it, and also in the empty space.
So I'm gonna bring a tree into your clearing now.
So it's your choice.
Do we bring the tree into the beach vista, or do we bring it into the theater space?
Well, let's bring it into the beach and as as cliche as it.
Maybe it's a nice leaning, you know, coconut tree where there could
be a hammock attached to it.
But it is something that provides some shade, some structure and is
climb-able.
You're the first person that's made it a coconut tree, so let's shake your coconuts.
I love that because normally I'm dribbling on about apples and let's shake your tree to see which apples fall out.
So let's shake your coconut tree to see which coconut milk and things come out.
And this is now the wonderful exercise, using the tree
metaphor of a storytelling exercise called 54321 where you've had
five minutes or as long as you needed Mr Jay Rhoderick 
to think about four things that have shaped you three things that inspire
you to things that never fail.
[Oooo squirrels!] to get your attention and then one quirky or unusual fact about you that we
couldn't possibly know.
Until you tell us, you can shake the coconuts as you'd like.
So just get on the open road and just tell us go wherever you'd like and pluck your coconuts to your
heart's content.
Mm, for things that shaped me.
And this is where some comedy screeching to a halt
happens.
My losing my dad nearly 30 years ago definitely shaped to
me.
Um, coming out after his death shaped me
and my ex partner very frequently would tell
me that my gap card got lost in the mail that I'm the world's least fabulous gay
person.
You'll ever meet. So losing a
parent coming out, going to acting school
and hold that thought.
So how old were you when your father died?
23 23. Did you nearly come out
before his death, or was this just all coming out the gap card lost in the mail?
I was pretty clueless about myself until
late in life.
Late in life on I could tell a bunch of bad jokes about how I didn't know it.
My very first Halloween costume was a witch,
a female witch.
And that's fine gender fluidity early on.
And so and Wizard of Oz was my favorite movie from early
on, so there should have been no surprise.
That's that's one of the big things.
And it Dorothy is the main gay icon.
Yeah, complete with the shoes,
And yellow brick road and all that she-blang?
Exactly that.
Yeah, sheblang.
So, yeah, that that was, uh that was over half my life
ago, Um, as well.
Now, just to position the time I am, I am 50 summers old.
Wow.
Thank you.
Thank you.
It was really It was really fun to turn 50 during the pandemic.
It was a real hootenanny.
We really did it up Is a party. i think I had a cupcake from the supermarket
and, you know, watched, um, Columbo reruns
party on.
Dude, I love that.
Um, so I would say that and and moving to New York.
So acting school, moving to New York, the death of a parent and coming out
four things that essentially shaped me.
A za kid who grew up in suburban Maryland in a rural area in a pretty
conservative area.
Not a not a backwards, you know, not Alabama, but definitely a small
town where my mom and sister still happily reside.
Lovely place, but those are those are the four big
smacks to the gob that happened for me. And they were a bit about what happened
quickly after your father's the advent of your father's demise.
Yeah.
I mean, all of these things happen around the same time, So I like to condense the things that
shaped me into a short period of time.
So it all all the pain happens all at once, and it's just been easy, smooth
sailing since--no problems.
So your authentic self was post your father.
What was your relationship like with your father?
I'm not trying to analyze you.
I'm just asking that he was a great guy.
Really funny man. Like him, I have a
pretty volcanic temper.
sometimes. He, unlike me, was a big athlete.
And, he played multiple
sports.
But he also wasn't so overly macho that he wasn't able
and willing and happily affectionate with me.
So he was a great guy, a workaholic.
Um, and I just remember laughing with him a
lot at things like, you know, Mel Brooks movies and Carol
Burnett.
And he would laughed till tears were coursing down his face.
And those are some of my best memories with him.
Lovely.
I imagine him looking like you, but I don't really know.
It's just that what I'm picturing?
Um, yeah, definitely, definitely the same hairline.
And he looked a lot like Jack Nicholson.
Okay.
Now, when I look in the mirror and I see you know, a 50-something, man, I think Oh, hi
Dad, for a moment each time.
Yeah, lovely stuff.
And you did mention, but did you mention a sister in the mix there?
How many siblings do you have. A sister in the mix?
That's that's That's how we That's how we think of her.
We actually mixed her up from a from a dry, dry kit.
She is a wonderful young woman.
She's, ah, therapist works with youth who are
struggling with mental health.
She is a saint.
She has a wonderful mother to a wonderful niece and nephew of mine.
She and I, to this day act like idiots on the phone
together, doing really, really obnoxious voices.
We call it the Maryland, uh, hag.
And so it's just a woman that sits on a, sits out on her porch and
smokes and has a bad Maryland accent, you know, and we just laugh and
laugh, and it's funny to no one but us, but we scream laughing
about thes ridiculous characters.
We play, but you're both doing the same characters.
Siblings swinging in the chair on the veranda.
It's really it's really very sad.
It's the whole picture in the mind of curlers and and house coats and, you
know, tobacco stained teeth on these air characters that air
from from our childhood, these air, these would be our mentors.
I love that.
It's very Larson-esque is what I'm hearing as well, then Larson-esque
meaning like last in the cartoonist Larson.
Oh, Gary Larson.
Yeah.
Oh, yeah.
With the cat's-eye glasses?
Absolutely.
The beehives.
Yes, yes and yes.
And we love that.
So we're still there about to
Talked about now things--
Three things that inspire you, Um,
dance.
I'm not a dancer, but I'm inspired by watching dance.
And there's a great there's many great dance outfits love watching
Astaire and Rogers love watching the Nicholas Brothers tap dance. These they're all acts from back in the
day.
And I love watching a group out of Philly called Pilobolus.
They are dancers, but also athletes and acrobats and just the strength and
agility involved.
I envy that.
I leave it feeling supercharged, even though I'm not nearly
that adept.
I'm inspired by that.
I'm inspired by the courage of people to stand up.
The folks in Georgia this week who
voted--stood out there for hours.
The, especially, women of color who organized that
vote, who to continue to drive
what progress there is politically in our country, so I'm inspired by that again.
this this soapbox I'm on is a little wobbly.
That's I'm actually only 5 ft two.
But the soapbox I'm on makes me 6 ft three.
Um, and my mother inspires me.
My mother is a really funny lady.
She is dry.
She is, uh, in humor, and she is
a fearless traveler.
When she can return to traveling, I'm sure she will.
And she and I laugh.
She's really irreverent.
And so she she is both someone who's really given a lot to her community but also in the
family, laughs constantly at herself and taught me a lot about,
um, that growing up. Wonderful.
And these two are these too sincere? Should I... No-no,  I'm really
enjoying it. It's steeped in your admiration of
courage and people who have, you know, an energy through the dance. You
made me think of Wilson, Kepple and Betty.
You asked.
You were talking that they did the sand dance.
Oh, wow.
More about that.
I know a tiny bit about that.
It's a sort of old black and white film of three guys wearing Egyptian gears getting
And they do an Egyptian sand dance.
But I don't know why, you just made me think of that when you're describing your love of energy and dance called
Wilson Kepple and Betty, I think it is. A British Act from the old days?
Yes, but a very sort of grainy black and white kicks into action because
I love Laurel and Hardy. In the silent comedy vein,
who are your favorite heroes?
Um, Buster Keaton's fabulous, Um, and and and
Chaplin, although I like you, am a huuuge Laurel and Hardy fan.
Um, I still watch it.
It makes me shriek. The physical
commitment, the cartoonish violence kills me, um
and...
the the heart too.  I watched recently,
um, "The General", Keaton's epic, and I'd forgotten or
maybe just had been white privilege blinders on-- that
it's a heroizes a Confederate. And so it's hard to watch
that now--it's hard to find it funny or amusing.
It is still an unbelievable production that they managed though.
Somehow it looks like he's actually on a train. And maybe he is.
I don't know how Keaton didn't die in every picture he made, but, um,
for lefty geniuses, give me Chaplin anytime.
Yeah, brilliant.
Lovely.
And we're into I think we're into the place of two things that never fail to grab your attention.
Now, doesn't matter.
There's some overlap, by the way, because you have You need lots of lovely resonance here anyway.
But I'm a huge food person.
More and more so during, uh, COVID.
And, you know, if I the olfactory attention
is going to get me first.
So something that reminds me of a Maryland crab boil from my childhood with the Old
Bay seasoning in the steam and the umami and the
mess and the bib, the gore and the guts and all of that stuff.
Um, if I see or smell something like that, I am immediately
brought back to childhood and immediately want it right away.
So much of impulse control.
Thank you for the word "olfactory" as well.
I love that uh oh.
Factory.
Yeah, It's a really old factory in Maryland.
We might say "you're going down the ol' factory?
That's where they make 'em things!" you know, on and, uh,
So that definitely gets my attention.
And, you know, frankly, if I'm
thinking about what's visually get gets my attention.
And I had a different answer for this when we spoke recently, Chris.
But I I recently was just flipping channels as I do not infrequently
now in the pandemic and just came across old Mel Brooks
work.
Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles....and the brilliance of that
film, a very controversial probably couldn't be made today but fearless.
And Richard Pryor's work.
And just, uh, any time there is really
intelligent old-school, fearless, satirical, um,
especially racism-puncturing stuff that really gets my attention.
I love that stuff.
And Gene Wilder, by the way, was a Bristol old vic alumni.
I I believe that's where I was.
And so, uh, so you mentioned your Frankenstein, Which made me
so, uh or do you mean Marty Feldman?
No, I think I mean Gene Wilder.
It could be "#awkward!" if I've got that wrong.
But I'll check my facts and get back on that.
I could do it exclaiming if I've got that completely wrong.
Uh, but both of them and the amazing
um, Cleavon Little in, um, in Blazing Saddles
Always I've seen it a million times, the minute it's
on TV, I'll watch it .
And Mel Brooks is still with us, isn't he?
And has had a lifelong, lifelong, wonderful friend who died recently. Carl Reiner.
They were all but a married couple at the end.
I gather, having dinner together every night as two widowers.
And Reiner was brilliant.
Yeah, sharp up till the end.
I understand.
And Mel Brooks is still going in in his nineties.
And that is truly inspiring to me, too.
Wonderful and quirky or unusual fact about you that we couldn't possibly know until you now tell us
I'm bald.
No, thank you.
Let's let's have Let's have
a better one.
Um, you know, I would, um
you know, a quirk.
You're unusual.
Fact.
You hit me up for this.
And I've been hemming and hawing on this, um, the whole time
I'll go with I am in ordained, online-ordained minister
who has officiated a wedding.
It was one of those cheap and quick ordinations, but they actually took it
seriously.
And somewhere out there are two dear friends of mine who are actually married
through the powers vested in me.
You have a certificate and everything? I do.
They send you a certificate they sent me.
They didn't send you the certificate unless-- I didn't get it. Did you forward that to me?
Okay, I didn't I had nothing to do with your certification.
You are my attorney of record.
Uh, they sent me a e.
Think they sent me a pdf for a jpeg of the certificate.
But somehow it is legal.
That's the gravity with which we take matrimony in the States.
The thing that is fought over and bled over.
"Jay said I was married, so I must be!"-- exactly! I know someone who actually got their dog ordained.
So forgive me, are you and Chip married?
We are not.
Okay, But we are in every way.
Except for that.
Uh huh.
And let's
Yeah,
my feet are awfully cold.
Yeah, And now we're moving you on away from the tree.
We've finished shaking your coconuts and thank you for delighting me with your coconuts.
I love I love your coconuts.
Please enjoy. And you did mention you're bald.
And now I'm thinking of a coconut in a good way.
That's right.
Lovely.
Now as much a watery mass inside there too, so. A lovely mushy
cake within the dome of awesomeness that is Jay Rhoderick.
So we're now we're still in the clearing.
We've still got your coconut tree.
You can get in and out of the hammock as you please on now it's going very "Desert Island Disks" now.
And now you're going into the clearing to explore something called Alchemy and Gold now, so it's
open to interpretation.
A lovely, delicious storytelling metaphor when you are at purpose.
And in "flow," Jay Rhoderick.
What is it you love to bring when you're either teaching or instructing or acting?
Just what's alchemy and gold represent for you?
Um, I think it's when people, when I see
physically a manifestation of people relaxing
and laughing. When I see my when I feel my introvert's face
relaxed like I always do with you, Chris, when I'm in a room with as an
instructor or frankly, in a around a dinner table,
when I see people get into that position where they're letting themselves be vulnerable when
I see the shoulders go down.
And if I could be some small part of being a good listener to
people like you are to me right now, the gold is when people laugh
in in a work environment.
When they're able to laugh in what may be a difficult
perhaps even--without saying so much--
a recovery or or or self-healing
environment, if people are dealing with addiction or dealing with recovery in some
way, and they're able to laugh about that. So I think I think I think laughter
kind, Um, discovery-based
laughter is a sacred thing, not nasty, attacking laughter,
but that that for me, if I could be some small part of that, that is the alchemy and the gold.
I love that answer--the shoulder drop, the alchemy of the release of laughter and the
freedom implicit within that.
That's beautiful.
Love that.
So we are now at the point, I'm gonna award you with a cake.
Where you gonna put a cherry on your cake?
So any particular like it?
The type of cake we like here.
Oh absolutely--
German chocolate cake with--wait for it--
Coconut.
Okay. In the frosting.
That wasn't pre-planned.
German cake.
Chocolate--with coconut.
Okay, I like that.
You've done the official name German "German cake: chocolate" instead of
German chocolate cake.
It's nice.
It's sort of your official, right?
Exactly how the how they put it in a biology text. And in dropping a cheeky cherry
onto your German chocolate cake with coconut.
Or you can just flop a coconut there if you like.
This is now, um, it's What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given is one way you
could go here, or it could be advice to your younger self.
I'm intrigued by your very powerful story of your father not knowing
who you are going to become.
But anyway, you could go where you like.
So it's best piece of advice.
I'm not trying to drive any direction.
Ok
I remember very few things.
My long term memory is not great, and this was said to me, I
maybe six months before Dad died. Um, I was doing summer
stock theatre somewhere, and it was I and a bunch of folks were
apprentices.
When you said "summer sock theatre," or did you mean summer society?
Or you had to do acting with...?
Did I say "summer sock"?
That's what I had.
Yeah, summer.
There's a million jokes there.
Yes, summer socks.
"Put on your summer socks and we're gonna do some theater."
Summer Stock theater.
They may not have an equivalent in the UK, but it's where there are
theater productions happening in the summers and it's usually in a place out of a city.
And in this case, it was up in beautiful Vermont.
We worked our tails off.
Drank ourselves crazy every night.
And it was a group of us all working really hard, and we got
really thick as thieves.
And at one point we all as apprentices got up on the stage and the
directors of the theater company, had us each do a monologue, and I don't even remember what my
monologue was.
But I do remember one of my fellow apprentices--a woman who I had a huge crush on--
so I don't know where we go with that.
Hello.
Hello.
Guess there's a spectrum of human experience.
Um, she came up to me at the end and simply said, "Own your height."
"Own your height."
So for all the height jokes that we've had back and forth, I was always
someone who slouched.
Probably have on this call still.
But that idea of taking up the space, being
enough, letting myself be okay with being who I am.
Maybe it contributed to self-knowledge.
Who knows, but given that I remember almost nothing
from my early life and I'm really bad at remembering quotes.
She said, "Own your height," and I--.  I just love that. Yeah, I took it, Took it to
heart.
It's "be the king" and I suppose it nudged you towards, I suppose,
"Just who am I?
Really, you know, standing here, owning myself and with my true
majestic height." Well, I mean, I won't call it majestic, but just being just
being comfortable in my body and as growing up with someone with an athlete
Father, um, with some issues around
that and and kind of resenting sports and resenting athleticism.
And then and then all of the sexual social norms connected to being a jock or not being a
jock and theater.
I just walked around a lot of big chip on my shoulder and 
am by no means cured of having chips on my shoulder.
But that, hearing her say that, was so kind and so supportive
and it meant a lot, still means a lot.
Lovely, beautiful answer.
Stunning. And, if I may, I mentioned at the beginning the sort of seven ages of man:
And all the men and women merely players, and each man has his--men and women--
have their entrances and their exits, and one man in his time plays many parts,
his acts being seven ages just to get a bit existential on your ass?
How would you most like to be remembered?
Would you think, Mr Jay Rhoderick?
Um, I'd like to be remembered as as a
Well, I've been thinking a lot about on Zoom recently in the pandemic.
Um, I have a compulsion to try and make people
comfortable through laughing, creating jokes and hiding a little bit behind
that.
So as much as I'm trying to own my height, I'm still working on just being myself.
So I would like to have people remember me as,
ah, loyal friend.
Um, I've got some work, repair work to do on that.
I have been out of touch with people for a long time, but I would like to be known as someone who
is a loyal friend.
I don't care if people think that I'm brilliant or funny.
I do want to be, um, remembered as someone present in people's
lives
and as having
the best set of legs east of the Mississippi. Back
to Dorothy.
I couldn't just let it sit.
I had to come back and do a little bit there.
I know.
I like you for the Yes-and,
the extra build.
Yes.
And there goes Dorothy in the yellow brick road.
Exactly.
Legs and with yellow tights, baby.
Oh, yeah.
Cross-gartered.
How about that?
Gettin a little Shakespearean, right?
Uh, have you played Malvolio?
I would love to have played Malvolio.
No, Never done Twelfth Night.
I did see the Mark Rylance version, which at
which I busted a gut.
Yes. That was screaming laughing! And that was with Stephen Fry as well, was it?
That production? Mm-hm Malvolio.
Mark Rylance is one of my all-time absolute all-time for us.
Of course, he's brilliant.
And, uh, I remember the physical choice he made in the
walk in the dress.
Um, that that the prim sort of bounce in
his petticoats, um. Like a dance choice.
Yeah, Yeah, exactly.
Implicit. And, by the way, not to take anything away from that
delicious park point of you saying you just want to be remembered for somebody who is a
loyal friend.
And I just think that's so beautiful.
lovely.
Thanks.
I mean, it seems a little generic.
I think anyone could say it, but I have to tell you it it's hard.
It, um, I've come by it the hard way because
I've spent a lot of years avoiding things and doing other things instead of building
friendships.
And so this pandemic and other things are and even this conversation here is just trying to
reconnect with people.
I think that's really important.
Especially as all hell is breaking loose in our streets.
Yes.
And should our listeners want to find out more about
Mr Jay Rhoderick, where can we find out more about you on the interweb?
Because we haven't talked about Centralia.
You can plug, plug what you'd like to do about where we can find out more about you.
Centrally has got a podcast that is
on Facebook and I am not a [regular]
part of it.
but I fully endorse it.
I consider it my family, and we interview a lot of improvisers.
We share our thoughts on things and, you know,
we're four middle-aged white guys so
that is limit of limited appeal in and of itself.
I get, but yeah, we're present on Facebook that
way.
I'm not a big social media guy.
Um, uh, in terms of what I post, I follow it
way too much.
But Bizprov is an entity that I
have put together and and we do a lot of business work.
So I'm not gonna plug the business here with you right now.
Wherever you want to go on the open road, this is your moment in the sunshine.
Yeah.
Bizprovgroup.com is my little
effort working with groups and organizations to try and bring a little bit more
playfulness.
Also, I am rolling out something that's more about writing
with a dear friend from years ago, and that's one of the friendships I'm really
grateful has deepened and enriched.
Jeffrey Petrou and I are working on something called The Writing Games, and that is
something we're rolling out in piloting right now.
He's probably gonna kill me for unveiling it right now, but it's trying to
apply the principles of improvisation and even meditation to
writing.
And as someone who's just mostly blabbed and improvised in
his creative life, the idea of actually on paper becoming more of
a writer is so cool.
And that's something I'm working on two.
Lovely.
And I've known you since 2010 because we also met through the wonderful entity that is Working
Voices as well.
And you do evoke loyalty.
If I was there and it was appropriate in the pandemic times, I'd give you a
big hug back and get-- Likewise.
-get your own spine to meet your sternum right back at you.
Likewise.
You know you're a dear guy.
You You're one of those people that, though we don't speak very often, I feel like there's an instant.
The minute we met, there was an instant affinity and ease.
And you make me laugh so damn much.
You're a great dad, you're a great, courageous person who walks the
talk and lives his art.
And also, you've somehow managed to look younger and younger as years have
gone by.
So you looked like hell 10 years ago.
Now you look like a strapping young stud.
Thank you very much.
I love that.
I will take that compliment, you lovely man.
So you have been listening to the gorgeous
Jay Rhoderick on the good listening to podcast with me,
Chris Grimes.
Thank you very much indeed
for sharing your story and for joining me in the clearing
for your moment in the sunshine, Mr. Rhoderick.
Thanks, Chris.
And I appreciate you making me more gorgeous for keeping it
mostly a listened-to experience for people.
I've got a face for radio.
Ha ha ha.
Good night.
Good night.

Intro
Meeting Jay
The Clearing
Shaking the Tree
Alchemy and Gold
Cherry on the Cake
Outro