327. He’s Kicking His Blue Genes in the Butt
Despite his personal and family turmoil in the wake of his father’s suicide, Josh found some release in writing and performing a one-man play that explored the family dynamics of depression. On the other hand, if heredity really was a factor, was he destined to follow in his father’s footsteps?
Josh Rivedal, founder and CEO of The i’Mpossible Project, is an author, actor, playwright, and international public speaker. He has spoken about suicide prevention, mental health awareness, and diversity in more than one hundred locations throughout the world. He wrote and developed the one-man play, Kicking My Blue Genes in The Butt, which has toured extensively throughout the world. He has three books in print, and a new release on the way in 2017.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Around age 19, Joshua moved to New York City. “I was working as a professional actor—sometimes I was flipping burgers, but most of the time I was acting—doing some voice-over work and getting into writing and playwriting.” He tried to sign up for a playwriting class, but it was filled, so he opted for a class in creating one-man shows. His play, Kicking my Blue Genes in the Butt, explored the hereditary elements and family dynamics of depression.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
Joshua’s father committed suicide in March 2009 when Josh was 25 and had been living and working in New York for six years. Despite his personal and family turmoil in the wake of his father’s death, Josh managed to harness some of that pain in 2010 by creating and mounting his one-man show, Kicking my Blue Genes in the Butt. In it, he explored the hereditary elements and family dynamics of depression. It opened to great reviews and good audience responses. But as his professional life was coming together, his personal life was falling apart. His girlfriend of six years left him, and his mother took him and his siblings to court over his father’s estate. “Something inside my head told me to go ask for help.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
As he sought help with his depression, he said, “I started reaching out to the good people in my life and ditched the negative ones. I started throwing myself into service of others, trying to help people wherever I could. And I had an epiphany. People would come up to me after my show and share their stories about family and friends who had killed themselves. They would say, ‘Thanks for being so open and honest,’ and I saw how healing the show had been for them. I saw that I could take the show, pair it with some education around how and where to get help. If I could do this, I’d be doing them a service and myself as well.”
Steps to Success from Josh Rivedal
1. Be willing to play, to fail, and then re-frame failure as a lesson learned on the way to success.
2. Live your life in service to others.
3. Commit yourself to the endless pursuit of knowledge.
4. Value your time by using it well.
On His Bookshelf
Blog: I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Rohit Sethi
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, by Timothy Ferriss
Influence: Science and Practice, by Robert B. Cialdini
Never Eat Alone And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
Connecting With Josh Rivedal
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