Sam Jaeger, Actor | Life, Success, Quarantine and Family | SSP Interview

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Sam Jaeger, Scott D Clary


Scott D Clary  00:06

Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between. Without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Thanks again for joining me today. I’m very excited to be sitting down with Sam Jaeger, who is a familiar face. You’ve seen him on television for over 15 years. He’s been working on some of the most acclaimed and spoken about series on TV. Sam will be next seen in season two of Ryan Murphy’s the politician starring opposite Judith light Bette Midler Gwyneth Paltrow, he’s a recurring star on Hulu’s m&e Emmy nominated series The Handmaid’s Tale. He has also been a regular on the series and will be on a regular for the next season. He’s starred on Mark cherry CBS All Access why woman kill and is probably best known for his role as Joel Graham in the beloved NBC series, parenthood. So an incredible career, Sam began his career in New York and immediately landed a supporting lead role in Steven Spielberg’s traffic. Upon moving to LA since then, he starred in films such as Clint Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, he played lead roles in NBC series law in order to prime the Menendez murders and ABC mini series when we rise, and on the big screen, he will be next seen opposite Jessica, Jessica Chasteen, in the search lights, the eyes of Tammy Faye, so I really appreciate you sitting down, you’ve had a really, really incredible career. And I want to just, you know, I did a summary, which is a boilerplate summary. It’s not doing any justice at all. So thank you for joining. But I want to hear more, you know, from you about your story.


Sam Jaeger  02:14

Well, thanks, you covered it, you covered all the current big points.


Scott D Clary  02:19

I’ll call it, that’s it.


Sam Jaeger  02:22

Yeah, it’s just been, I’d love to say it’s just been one success after another, but it’s, you know, I, I like to say that my, my career is one of the tools of my career is accepting rejection in all its forms, and, you know, in every myriad of ways, and, you know, doing doing it as an actor, where we’re, you know, innately more emotional, and sensitive than your average Joe. You know, it’s, it’s basically just going in for job interviews, hundreds and hundreds of job interviews and getting one out of every, I don’t know, 20 of those interviews. So, you know, the, the, the only success I’ve had is in persevering, you know, and accepting, you know, accepting when the job doesn’t go my way and being tanked. But when it does,


Scott D Clary  03:22

I’ve heard this story a lot. And I’ve spoken to other people that have gone the creative route, whether or not it be an actor, or somebody who wants to direct produce screenwriter, and the career path is not linear. It’s not traditional, it’s very difficult. So help me understand when you’re young, when you are getting into this, how do you decide that this is what you want to do for the rest of your life?


Sam Jaeger  03:48

Well, you know, when I was, I was 13, I think I saw Dead Poets Society. And I walked out of the movie theater, and I said, Yeah, that’s what I’m gonna do. And I had my two closest friends with me at the time and one of them kind of scoffed at the idea and the other one, who was my mentor, said, yeah, you will. And I just, I just took that to heart. I listened to the one voice and not the other. And, and I moved out to New York, in the middle of, you know, also I will say, you know, I had I had parents that as fearful as they were about me doing this job. It was really my dad who, you know, who was the the one who said, you know, to my mom, you know, he is good at this and, and let’s just let him follow this path. And I think my dad was a was a an attorney and lawyer. And I think he he said that he he should have been a flutist he played The flute beautifully and still does. But he went for the, you know, the stable job, then I think, when it came time for me to decide what I wanted to do, I knew what I wanted to do, I wanted to be part of telling stories. And thankfully, my my parents just supported that. And I think that’s, that’s the biggest part of having an A young career is either, you know, trusting the people you love, or just listening to the ones that that are telling you, you know, you can do this and ignoring the rest.


Scott D Clary  05:37

And I find that the so the, the support is huge from parents, for people that don’t have, you know, like, maybe perhaps in a defined career path, it’s a little bit makes a little bit more sense, the steps you take the sport is huge, but also the process, the process that you have to sort of figure out when you’re starting this off is not so clear, at least from my perspective. So how do you start to figure out what the process is for finding the right people to work with, for deciding which types of roles you want to do for understanding even like, what things to learn, so that you can be successful and exceptional on what you do?


Sam Jaeger  06:11

Yeah. Early on, you know, I went to school for it, I studied acting. And at the same time, I learned early on that I didn’t like the feeling of being a being an actor, which a lot of it is going into rooms with strangers and trying to impress them in five minutes. And I just, it always made me uncomfortable. I’m not a showman. I don’t like to be the center of attention. It’s too much work.


Scott D Clary  06:46

They ironic because you do it?


Sam Jaeger  06:48

Well, yeah, no, I chose. But I but I like to, I like to, you know, I really like telling stories. At the end of the day, I was so moved by watching movies at a young age, that I just saw them on screen back in Ohio and thought, you know, that, that that gets to me more than any other medium, you know, and so I’m kind of a student of how to how best to tell a story. And a lot of my acting is, is fote kind of focused through that prism, which is hopefully, if you’re telling a story in the right way, it’s selfless, you know, it, you remove yourself from your ego. So it’s, it’s really about what the scene needs, what the, you know, the character needs, but also what the story needs. And I think one of the traps of being an actress, we’re so focused on what the character needs and how to get a job that we lose sight about what the director or what the story is needs in that moment. And that time. And for that, because I do feel like, stories are how we make sense of, of chaos, you know, and there’s plenty of chaos right now. And the chaos of even just being alive, you know, that we are conscious beings on a planet that we have studied billions of miles away and not found one similar. I mean, that’s pretty extraordinary. And it’s only through stories that we, you know, that we’re able to deduce, you know, reason and purpose? I think. So, I find that very important. And, and acting is just one part of that.


Scott D Clary  08:33

No, it’s just I think it’s a really good point. You know, the fact that you mentioned stories, I think stories are so powerful, because they provide, like you mentioned context to the human condition and what we go through on a day to day, and you mentioned something that actually just makes me pause for a second you mentioned, like the the, the incredible pneus of what the human condition is, and I don’t want to get too heavy into philosophical but it’s sad, because we lose sight of what’s really important. A lot of the time and there’s so much stress and so much anger and so much hate that I think that as you know, as, as you focus on in acting, you focus on building a narrative that portrays selflessness. That is That is such a universal lesson, that how many politicians, how many, how many people that have this platform, if they just adopted that simple mindset? How much how much less stressed and, and I guess more, I don’t know, more. Just the best word for this one, you know, you’re just everyone is more on the same page and acting more selflessly, as opposed to just trying to push a narrative as opposed to listening to others. I think that’s I’ve seen that a lot. Actually. It is very unfortunate.


Sam Jaeger  09:48

Yeah, yeah. It’s interesting, you know, I, Scott, you mentioned, you know, the anger and and and just you know, there’s so much anger right now especially. And confusion. And yeah, honey, hey. Yeah, sure. Go ask mom about it. Okay. And can you do me? She’s, I think she’s right in there. Just go in there and just yeah, she isn’t she loved us. I guess it’s just the four of us now, huh? 30 is hey, can you do me a favor? Can you shut this door? Thank you we made it this far without No.


Scott D Clary  10:43

I, I think I think the distractions are the best part about everyone working from home now. i I see kids. Yeah, it’s, I bet


Sam Jaeger  10:54

you just get to see like, Oh, now I understand who that person is. It’s more real. Yeah.


Scott D Clary  11:00

Yeah, you know, put up this like facade about like our lives and we have it all together. And no one no one has their stuff together. No one’s trying to just make it work and figure it out. And I appreciate I think, work from home to sort of, like highlighted that, you know, it’s really nice and fluffy. You know, it’s, I don’t have kids myself yet. But um, but I work with a ton of people. And you know, whether or not it’s a kid or a dog or whatever, man, it is humanize you just like this is what it is. We’re all just trying to figure it out.


Sam Jaeger  11:28

Yeah. But, so yeah, no, I appreciate. Yeah. So yeah, so yeah, no, no, no, but I think, you know, that anger, that sense of anger, you know, and, and fear right now we are, along those lines, you know, this, this big picture, storytelling, you know, we are one of the reasons I don’t like social media is it, you know, is that the negative is, is unfiltered, and some nobody, nobody has to experience hurting someone in person, which is so much more vulnerable to do. And there’s lessons to be learned, and people can go on the internet, and, and hate all they want. And we as human beings are, are created to sense and search for things that we fear in order to remain safe, you know, we hear a sound in the forest and assume it’s a bear. And, you know, now that we have homes, and, you know, we’re all much safer than we were. Yeah, we still have that same sense of fear. When we hear something negative, it, it triggers those same parts of our, our brain that say, wow, there’s something really dangerous here. So we pay much more attention to the, to the negative. And, and, and so I think one of the things about storytelling is that if you tell a story in the right way, it it relates a person’s experience to someone else. And right now, especially we’re so removed from, from real understanding of one another. And I think politically, people on the furthest ends of the spectrum have such a hard time relating to the other because they are so scared of it. And so fearful. And if we can tell a story that shines a light on that, and if the other side can receive it in a way, that opens them up a little bit, and I think we’ve done our job as storytellers. That’s a great it’s a great good that we do if we can do it.


Scott D Clary  13:55

Like I said, I wish I wish more people thought like that. Walk me through walk me through what you’re doing with common Kenyan? Because I think that I think that that’s something that’s really relevant to our current environment where we’re all stuck at home. I think it just it’s a recent it’s a recent, like, it’s from quarantine. You’re doing this stuff, right?


Sam Jaeger  14:19

Yeah. Correct. Yeah. Well, that’s kind of an extension of, you know, it takes a lot for me to do anything on social media. And, and yes, I started well, this is a way to, to show that what we’re doing this mundane this day to day is being trapped in our own homes. If we’re if we’re able to we can find some real beauty and it’s more work. But the whole analogy is based on the first episode of that is that I I went with my wife to see the Grand Canyon for the first time and looked at it And then I need to change who I am I need to I’ve been living kind of this false life. And something with this massive expanse in the middle of a continent made me think, made me think that and, and, and we don’t have that opportunity, right now we’re all stuck. And so the real trick is investing in a way to consistently go deeper, and find beauty in our, in our lives right now. And, and what’s interesting is I, when I was going through it, I was actually having a really hard time finding the beauty and all this for myself. And so the, the video essays kind of became a, a way to, to make sense of it all, even for me, and also to share that with other people. So they’re just really small, you know, kind of like poems, but more, more essay on, on what the strange time is, you know, 50 years from now our people will ask us what it was like to be alive right now. And I wanted something to show them. Especially these, these boys over here, because right now, they just have no idea. They just think, you know, that this is one long vacation with mom and dad home to answer any and all questions and refill whatever cereal bowls need refilling. You know, I so I kind of made it for them as well. I have a question on


Scott D Clary  16:35

something that I have an idea formulating that, I think is very interesting. Because you work you work in film and television. And for a living you portray other characters. That’s that’s quite literally your job. And I find it funny that not funny. Just interesting, funny is the wrong word that you are self aware enough to understand of the negative impacts of social media. When there’s so many people who it seems like all they do is try and portray a different version of themselves on social media. It’s like that’s, that’s their escape. So how do we how do we bring this to light? How do we enlighten people? How do we make them view social as a tool, but not an escape? And it’s a very tough question. I don’t I don’t expect you to solve the problem, because a lot of underlying mental health things there. But I


Sam Jaeger  17:21

think it is such a challenge. I mean, I think the hardest part is you know, I just think about like, you know, I’m supposed to, you know, send some selfies for social media, or my my team wants some a night. I think I have about 12 in my phone. I mean, I just don’t have I don’t have them. I’d rather take pictures of these boys. And I think I think the real danger is well, first of all, admitting that we all have it, you know, there’s an there’s a need, you know, I was thinking about, Okay, well, I gotta send some pictures. What? Maybe I should make new pictures of myself and where do i Where do I photograph in a place that is indicative of a nice surrounding, that people would like to look at and you know, so we’re always trying to the hard part is instead of living our lives through social media, we’re constantly trying to filter out and manipulate where we are. And I feel like on social media, I ended up thinking like a, like a, like a bad stand up comedian, where everything is a bit, you know, where I sit with these boys and instead of sitting with the boys and playing Legos, I’m thinking about how the Legos and being these boys is funny and relevant to a larger audience. And I interesting way to think about it. Yeah. And I don’t know if that it just, it works for some people. But it just I always feel like it’s not being honest to i i have a responsibility to them because I was a part of making them so if I brought them in the world, only for them to look at Dad looking at his phone it’s kind of a slap in the face and and you know, it’s necessary for work to a degree but you know, I I think it’s important to to separate and and I don’t have any advice. I just think it’s, it’s a constant. Check in with yourself to say am I doing the right thing with this? A lot of that everything. Yeah, everything takes work. Every everything that in life worth doing involves some amount work, you know? So


Scott D Clary  20:03

do you find that just to bring it back to to your career? And I appreciate that. And I also appreciate that, you know, you mentioned like the there is no, there is no catch all, there’s no universal advice on this because it’s a very difficult topic. But it’s also something that if you look at the anecdotal data from the various people that research this has a lot of issue with with mental health. So I think is something that you know, if you can bring it up more often than not, and just just sort of highlight that point that there is an issue with it with today’s society, even more. So now that we’re all stressed. And we’re all you know, worst worst cases and most of our lives, or we’re living through right now. But to the tee that up and to tie it into, to what matters to you and your career and your story. When you work in certain roles. How do you pick a role now? Versus when you first started? What are the things that you look for?


Sam Jaeger  20:55

Well, hey, accounts, do my site. I just want to say hi. Well, I think you can, but I just want them to be fine. I don’t care. Yeah. Can you hear me? So if? If Gus is going to sing his songs? Our son, our oldest son? Yeah, that’s perfect. Thank you. Our oldest son his way into like, like, songs on video games, but it lost beyond video games. Yeah, yeah. It’d be like dead. Can we play the theme to like, something on Roblox? Like, I don’t think there, it’s available anywhere. And then, but so he’ll just end up humming it very loudly throughout whatever, whatever room he’s in. And throughout our house. So sorry, can you


Scott D Clary  21:56

know I’m Yeah, for sure. No, I’m just asking, because you’re so it’s obvious, you’re very self aware. Right, just the path that we take in this conversation just shows how self aware you are of what you put out into the world. And even like what you’re doing, I pulled up the I pulled up the, like one of your one of your videos. And I was just watching it at the side of my eye. And it’s just a very, like you mentioned, it’s very nice, just like profile about what we’re dealing with right now. And it’s just like a day in the life of literally you living through a day in a pandemic and environment. And there’s, you know, there’s a, there’s some footage of some people walking by Chevron with the masks on, this is just a very real, you know, piece of what we’re doing and what we’re living through. But I just meant to say it’s obviously a very self awareness, it’s a very big factor in your life. So I’m assuming that when you go into a role as matured over your career, the things that you look for, must be a little bit different than when you first started.


Sam Jaeger  22:55

Yeah, they are. I just wanted people to like me for the first 10 years ago, I think, or I wanted to get to the point where I would have one big hit, and then that could, from that point on, I could call the shots. And that that hasn’t happened so much. But but I’m able to say now, you know, I like this, and I can find the purpose in doing it. And it’s usually, you know, is it well written? Or the good people involved? is something I haven’t done. And and, on a personal level, the things that I choose are, you know, what good are we doing in the, in the world, you know, as, as lofty as that sounds. You know, putting something out in the world that challenges people and, and get them to look at things from a fresh perspective. That’s, that’s hard to do. It’s especially hard to do with without trying to lecture or educate people, which is always a dangerous thing for a storyteller to do. Because it’s the second you start doing that as the second people check out. And I’m also aware that, you know, I, if I have something important for me to say, I don’t think going on social media, I’m going to change anybody’s mind. I don’t think that’s the way for me to do it. And so, choosing the right role, or, or writing material that’s, that that feels like an an evolution of a conversation about what it means to be human. That’s, that’s far more interesting to me. also because I just think I’m, I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t feel myself on social media. But I also feel like it’s, you know, people gravitate and like something that reiterates their worldview. So there’s very few opportunities to find an inroad to a to a connecting point with people. If that makes sense.


Scott D Clary  25:25

It does. It does. Yeah.


Sam Jaeger  25:28

Yeah, so yeah, so, so looking for that in, you know, The Handmaid’s Tale is very, a very good example of how there’s a conversation about where we’re headed. And there’s a danger in there, that, that that kind of tragedy offers us some insights into where we are now. And I think that’s, that’s a powerful, that’s a powerful tool. Because it’s not solely trying to preach and educate it’s, but it is offering insights that are there, if people just look a little bit deeper.


Scott D Clary  26:04

I think that, you know, I love I love speaking to people that play roles, because I think there’s a superficial message that people that people get when they watch film or television, but when you really look deeper there, there can be quite a bit that you can, that you can bring out from it. And I like I like speaking to people who actually are involved in these productions. Because the the themes and the messaging and the things that we have to look out for, you know, we live through, we live through some of these things in real life. And then we try and escape to to TV and film and whatnot to get away from our real life. But then we realized, like, there can be lessons learned from the arts that I think that we, we don’t look look too hard into if we did a little bit more attention.


Sam Jaeger  26:45

Yeah, I mean, I think I think people have learned more through Pixar films in the last 20 years than most any other films combined. And I think it’s because they, they’re very simple stories with some bittersweet elements to them that, you know, you know, I think, I think it’s very powerful, you know, storytelling and, and, yeah, we were watching Inside out last night, and it’s very high concept. And, and yet, you know, the kids enjoy it. And there’s a lot of lessons to be learned about. It within that, like you said, you know, this one girl trying to escape her family, because they want her to be happy. And she’s trying to keep that up for everybody. I think there’s a lot of people that can relate to that, that they’re trying to carry this burden of appearing. I saw my my three of my closest friends. The other night, we got together for very distance beers in one of the backyards. And one of my friends was saying that he’s in this relationship that he that he started with a woman in a in Mexico City, you know that she lives in Los Angeles, but she happens to be quarantined in Mexico City. And he spends an hour every day talking to her, he’s never met her in person. And what he’s realized is, how much of his previous relationships, he, he had this narrative going, in his own mind that he never shared with his girlfriend’s at the time. And how interesting it was that he’s, he’s not physically in the same room as someone else. But he’s, he’s closer to this person. And he’s been to any other in any other relationship for decades. And yet, you know, we, you know, we would assume that because people are in a room together that we’re telling the same story to, we’re sharing the same story, but he spent years just fabricating this, this hidden identity. You know, I just think that’s so fascinating.


Scott D Clary  29:10

I also think that the current environment that we’re in is bringing out the good and the bad and people, I think, because you see, now you’re seeing like, it’s unfortunate, you see, like these, like, abnormal amount of divorces, and all these other things that are the side effect of being forced to spend time with the person who you’re supposed to spend time with anyways, just, it’s sad, but it’s a reality. And I think that this is, I mean,


Sam Jaeger  29:37

these are extreme circumstances, truly, I mean, my wife and I have gone through, through everything we were, it took us seven years to finally get married. And I used to say that we have we got all of our best fights out of the way. And so now the fights are just something they don’t happen. They’re just more efficient. It’s like what the hell’s your problem? Alright, this is my problem. Alright, I need five minutes. Okay, I’m sorry. And then we move on. And there’s no, you know, but you know, there’s a lot of people that haven’t, you know, they haven’t dealt with things until this epic pandemic. And when you’re in the same room, and depending on how tiny the room is, you can only imagine, the bigger the microscope is for all the things you never explored.


Scott D Clary  30:26

Yeah, it’s a good testing ground.


Sam Jaeger  30:30

Yeah,one of the things I mentioned in the second common Canyon is that, you know, I do have a belief that we’re going either deeper in or further out of any relationship. And it’s so hard to go deep right now. Because you are just, you know, especially I, I always need time to remove myself, even, we go to a party, and after two and a half hours, I usually find a chance to go out to the backyard or down and take a walk or, you know, just to get away because of that many people. I don’t feel comfortable around. And I just need some respite. And we had to build that time in for, for ourselves. And, you know, it is like, we do feel like, when are we going deeper in? Or are we? Are we letting things slide? And, you know, it’s it’s relationships from under a microscope, like never before?


Scott D Clary  31:35

Yeah, that’s this, this got very heavy. I have. Man, yeah. Like, listen, I was not planning on going that, but I’m happy this is, you know, you’re tuned into this stuff. You’re, you’re hyper tuned into it. And I always appreciate a conversation with somebody that is very self aware. That above anything else is probably my favorite personality trait. In all seriousness, yeah, it is.


Sam Jaeger  31:59

Yeah, I agree. Yeah. I’m always interested, you know, I, I, I spent a lot of time on sets in the round meeting, you know, with this job, you meet tons of new people. And I’m always fascinated by the by the alphas. But I’m always aware that I never want to be around for much longer than 20 minutes, just because I can’t, it’s just too much work. I’d rather have, you know, I’m married a woman who I consider the best listener I’ve ever known. And, and that is I learned so much more from her than from anyone else, even after 2020 years of being together. And it’s because she’s invested in and the way I, I watch her, listen to other people. I learned enough just through through that, you know, she’s always she has no interest in surface. She’s, whenever we go out to dinner with anybody, she’ll always ask a question and wait. And, and, and you really get beneath it, you know? Go you’ll, you’ll relate to this growing up in Ohio, similar weather to Toronto, and people can always talk about the weather. And, and, or guys, we always talk about sports, but my wife wants to know. And we’ll ask a question that kind of gets to the heart of, of who someone is. And it’s so refreshing. It’s so much more interesting, because we know what the weather is going to be. Generally. Yeah,


Scott D Clary  33:56

I think that I think that another point that, you know, I’m trying to pull it like lessons out of out of this conversation, and there’s a lot but being being able to actually listen to people actually just tweeted this the other day, like just being able to listen to understand, as opposed to listen to reply, or listen to judge and that’s a that’s a quote from somebody, you know, someone else probably far more prolific than I am, but I just remember it from reading something somewhere. And, and I think that just it’s so important, and we don’t do that. We just don’t do that. We just, yeah.


Sam Jaeger  34:29

I don’t know why.


Scott D Clary  34:30

I don’t know why we’re so quick.


Sam Jaeger  34:31

Well, you know, I think I think it is Scott, I think it goes back to ego. I think we we are either trying to reiterate our own worldview or trying to prove that someone else’s worldview is lesser than ours. And order to Yeah, just to justify where we are. And so it’s it’s a defense I think, but if Man I thing, my wife over here, at least things that I’ve learned just watching her is the objective of the listener is to listen. It’s not to solve, it’s not to educate, or entertain, or pose a, an alternative, it is simply to listen. Which is one of the hardest things it’s like, it’s like meditation. It’s like breathing. You know, one simple task, and you’re trying to filter out all these other things. But most the time, that’s just what people need. And the more you space you give them to, you know, to talk, the deeper you’ll go with them. I’m one of my favorite stories of my wife, my buddy, Jeff, childhood friend, I’ve known him since we were in church. And I mean, seven years old, maybe. And he lives out here in Los Angeles, and we would have him over because we’re Ohio State Buckeye fans, and, you know, football day would come around, and they go out in the backyard at half time. And, you know, Andrew would clean up a little bit. I went upstairs, and I was listening to their conversation from the upstairs window. And I, I heard Jeff talking in a way that he’s never talked with me. It’s just deeper and more intimate, quieter. I thought to myself, Man, how does she do it? What is she doing? What is What is your secret? And at that moment, I heard her say, How do you feel about that, Jeff? And there was a long pause. And then I heard Jeff, just go deeper into how he felt about something back to, you know, just investing in someone else, just for the, you know, I think a lot of healing can happen, and especially needs to right now. If we just shut up and listen and give people the floor. I’ve had this interesting email chain going with the cast of The Handmaid’s Tale, and I’ve been kind of a newcomer to it. I’m, I’m a series regular this year, I’m honored to be involved in this conversation, because it does involve race, and it involves, you know, the, the some of the actors on our show who were finally saying, you know, this is what I’ve noticed that our show has been geared towards, you know, you know, an all white crew and predominantly white cast and and there’s an impetus even I have to want to share and say, Yes, I I’m, you know, and I just thought I just, I haven’t even responded yet. There’s been about 20 correspondence. But I think my responses, you know, yeah, I listen, and I hear and I support all this going on. The danger is for me to try to prove that what I know is something else to advance that conversation, when I’m still just gathering information, and still just deciding what’s valuable, what’s important, and how to how we can move forward in a way that that brings us closer. So I think that’s kind of what the essence of art for me is just bringing us all in some way closer. All this technology was meant to do that. And it has in certain regards, and it’s torn us apart in other regards. And I think it’s always important to lean toward the the former.


Scott D Clary  39:07

Agree. Agree very well said. Whenever I you know, we started off, we started off with a little bit of your acting, and we just really went to things that actually matter to really appreciate. Thank you. Yeah. And I, you know, I always liked speaking about you, but this is you, and this is what you care about. And this is what we should all care about a little bit more. So I think that it’s I’m happy that we went here. You know, I think I should get your wife on next because I think she has a lot of value to and what it sounds like it sounds like she could probably teach all of us a thing or two about how to be better people and how to listen better.


Sam Jaeger  39:43

She’s pretty amazing. Truly. Yeah, she also she calls it her friend, deduce that she has something called Maesa fonio which is a condition where you can’t like two sounds in the same room. Sound like you know, a nightmare in your ears. So she can, I think she feels like she can physically only listen to one conversation. And it’s very challenging as a mother you can imagine, with three very bombastic voices in the house, but one on one, you know, she’s like built for, for this.


Scott D Clary  40:22

What I wanted to ask just to tee it up, I always like asking some just some rapid fire insight questions about what you’ve, you know, your life lessons. But before I do a rapid fire, I wanted to just give you the floor. Was there anything that you know you’re working on right now? Or anything that you really care about, that we didn’t touch on?


Sam Jaeger  40:42

Oh, sure. Well, the one thing I’m heading into now is, I’ve been working on this film called hate that was based off, you know, kind of looking around the world. And I was, I started writing and shortly after the Orlando shootings, years back, and I started thinking, why do Why are 15 of the 20 largest mass shootings in our country due to the hands of white males, between 18 and 55. And, you know, it seems like these are the last people on earth that should be upset with the way that the world is, since it’s been dominated by white men, since the beginning of, you know, modern time. So I built the story around that, that concept about a man who’s very lonely and isolated, and, and he’s a security installation expert, and installs for an interracial couple and then starts to spy on them. And, you know, I was, again, you know, it’s not my job to educate, but I did feel like it was a story that needed to be told, and I think it’s, it’s, it’s not a in studying, and I realized all my favorite movies are the same movie, they’re all film noir, which is usually some guy trying to save a woman that doesn’t need saving. And, and this is very much that same story, you know, we, I grew up with this belief that I need to save people and that, that they are, you know, that that was my purpose. And I think that’s at the heart of a lot of this bravado around, you know, even white supremacy, you know, this belief that, you know, that these people find purpose in defending their worldview. And so I’m, the film is about that, you know, in many ways, but it’s a labor of love. It’s something I’m doing mostly on my own shooting and lighting and sound and editing, and it may destroy me, but, but it’s fun to kind of get that off the ground. So we’re hopefully going to start shooting that this this summer in the fall.


Scott D Clary  43:17

I have a feeling a feeling that it will definitely not destroy you. And you will you’ll handle it just fine. You’ll just learn a hell of a lot in the process. But Oh, for sure. Yeah. Yeah, no, it’s very good. Um, okay. So sorry.


Sam Jaeger  43:33

Sorry. Are you going to rapid fire


Scott D Clary  43:35

I’m gonna rapid fire one question I like to ask is one life lesson that you would tell your younger self


Sam Jaeger  43:44

Oh, younger self obvious you? Yeah. I Yeah. No, he, I wouldn’t tell him anything. He’s gonna make the same mistakes. Whatever. I tell him.


Scott D Clary  44:01

Is there any is there any life lesson you tell someone else who’s a little bit more willing to unless hard?


Sam Jaeger  44:09

Oh, marry your best friend. If you’re going to marry somebody, it’s good advice. Make sure it’s someone you you just absolutely adore. It’s very good advice.


Scott D Clary  44:19

And the second question I want to ask was, it could be a book a podcast and audible a person a resource. What’s something that somebody should go check out that they can go learn from? Mm hmm. To be a video could be a movie that particularly inspired


Sam Jaeger  44:44

Yeah, sure, sure. I mean, there’s so many great things to learn from right now. I’m currently I’m currently reading how to be an anti racist and anti racist by Ebrahim X and it’s a It’s an interesting book because it starts from a standpoint of him talking about being young and, and giving or, you know, winning this orating award. But he had all these you points that now he’s entirely ashamed of. And I thought that that’s a really interesting way to enter into this conversation about race right now. You know, I think when it comes to being isolated, there’s a book that I have always loved, it’s still one of my favorites, that in this time of isolation is all the more meaningful. The name of the book is called Winesburg, Ohio. And it was written in 1919, by Sherwood Anderson. And what’s fascinating about that is it’s just about this fictional town based on Sherwood Anderson’s childhood town of Clyde, Ohio. But it’s all about how these people in this quiet little town, the beginning of the century lit all these sad, sorted lives. And yet, each chapter reveals one different person in the town. It’s a quiet book, it’s a very simple book, but anybody can pick it up and relate to the stories in it. And and it’s an it’s a, it’s it’s incredibly insightful, especially now that we’re all sequestered in our own homes. It’s a nice slow, rewarding read.


Scott D Clary  46:26

Very good. That’s those are, well, I you know, the ladder for sure I’ve never heard of, so I’m gonna go check it out. So that’s, that’s good. I like that was a good, good suggestion.


Sam Jaeger  46:36

At the time, I discovered it not in Ohio, I was out here, I went to the Hollywood branch library, and I sat in this place that I would write in every day and I saw this wall. It was like a curriculum for schools. And I’m just gonna, I’m gonna make this my purpose to read all these books on this whole wall, because I’m sure there’s the whole world is in this. And I started with ace, and so Sherwin Anderson was right at the top. And I was like, Well, this is, this is a great place to start.


Scott D Clary  47:05

That’s probably the only way you’re gonna discover that as well. Right? Yeah. Yeah. Last question. Probably the most important Where do people go to get more about what you’re working on your social even if you don’t like posting as much you still have to have some people? Yeah, no,


Sam Jaeger  47:21

  1. I have an Instagram. I think it’s Sam underscore Jagger. You can see the common Kenyan videos there. And I think it’s also available on Twitter. But yeah, and then politician to season two is on Netflix right now to fascinating, sensational season to watch.


Scott D Clary  47:48

That’s all for today. Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download or stream this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, I heart, radio, and many others. You can also watch his podcasts on YouTube. If you haven’t already. Please subscribe and share this podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes. It takes about 30 seconds as it allows other people to find our podcast and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast, signing off.

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