Best Of: Celebrating Pride

We're celebrating pride with Wade Rouse and Eduardo Placer, who share their journeys to defy homophobia to become their whole selves.
Best Of: Celebrating Pride
Published June 28, 2022

We celebrate Pride Month and honor our LGBTQIA+ family across the world by showcasing a couple of wonderful voices from the big, broad, diverse global community who joined us on the podcast this month and shared unique stories of striving to live their truth in a world that misunderstood, typecast, and minimized them.

Today, author Wade Rouse and story doula and public speaking coach Eduardo Placer each work in service of helping others, from all backgrounds and lived experiences, to live their own truth in the world, too.

First, we’re joined by former USA Today and Publishers Weekly best-selling author, Wade Rouse, who talks about his memoir, Magic Season: A Son’s Story, which documents his life as a self-described “queer kid” growing up in a rural Ozarks community in the midwest in the 1970s. Wade not only stood out as different in a culture that defined gender roles in restrictive, unforgiving ways; his contentious relationship with his emotionally abusive father challenged him to pretend to be someone he wasn’t.

How did Wade find, protect, and become the truth of who he was, anyway?

Then. professional speaking coach Eduardo Placer tells us about his favorite, self-revealing joke — that he is “afflicted” by something he calls “showtune-itis” — which compels him to break out into spontaneous show tunes and songs on stage in front of audiences, across the world.

He tells us that his explosions of joy are self-loving antidotes and correctives to the deep shame that he has felt from insensitive, bigoted, and homophobic cultures, which have suppressed the joy, pride, and truth of many LGBTQIA+ persons for far, far too long.

  • How Eduardo learned to hide the truth of who he knew himself to be by “performing” a different role before others as a child
  • The paralyzing questions that many LGBTQIA persons ask themselves when seeking safety and acceptance in a world that prefers them to be small or hidden

This ‘Best Of’ episode highlights excerpts from these two popular, recent episodes.

To hear the full interviews, make sure you go back and listen to each author’s interview in this podcast feed or by visiting TheNewStory.Is/Podcast.

If you enjoyed this episode, please rate and review our show wherever you listen—it helps others find and enjoy our show.

Affiliate Disclosure: Our show is supported by listeners, including small commissions that we may earn through affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking an affiliate link, we may earn a small commission. This helps support the costs of our show’s production and hosting.

Episode Transcript

We believe in providing full episode transcripts for increased accessibility, especially for those who may be hard of hearing or for whom English is a second language. Please note that transcripts are not fully edited and may contain errors. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Dave Ursillo  00:00

Hello, my friend, it’s Dave here. Before the episode I have a quick favor to ask you. Would you mind please leaving a rating for us on our show The New Story Is, especially if you’re listening on Apple podcasts or on Spotify. Doing so only takes a couple of seconds, you can go to our show page. on Spotify, you’ll see a reading underneath the name of the show. On Apple podcast you scroll down to the bottom of our show page, you can see an opportunity to leave a rating and a review. This goes a long way to help our rankings so that people can more easily find the show and also helps the future listeners know that people are actually listening. And it would go a long way. So thank you in advance for your consideration as we tried to put this podcast on the map for more people the world over thanks again.

Dave Ursillo  00:55

Hello, and welcome to The New Story Is my name is Dave Ursillo. I’m the founder of The New Story Company and the host of this podcast. On today’s episode, it’s another Best of the pod featuring two recent interviews as we celebrate Pride Month. We heard from two phenomenal guests earlier this month, both of whom shared an experience of coming from a point of view coming from a lived experience as members of the very diverse very wide LGBTQIA community. We’ll be hearing from author Wade rouse who tells us about his memoir Magic Season, about how the game of baseball which was something that he loathe growing up that he was forced to play by his somewhat abusive and controlling father actually created a language for them to bond and to find healing before his father’s death. And we’ll also hear from former professional performer, international community builder and public speaking coach Eduardo Placer, who tells us about his own story and journey of finding himself how he learned to quit performing so that he could become his whole and true self and how he helps others. doula their own stories and self expression in the world. If you like this best of episode, please go back and listen to the full interviews with Wade and with Eduardo, I think you’ll really like what you hear Happy pride to you and yours. Let’s kick off the first interview with Wade.

Wade Rouse  02:22

So I grew up in southwest Missouri, literally within spitting distance of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas, kind of in what we call the Four Corners region right down there. And I was born in 1965. So really grew up in the 1970s in rural America. You know, I always say everybody’s seen the TV show Ozark they candy coated that what,

Wade Rouse  02:48

you know, it was much rougher and much tougher and much more isolated, especially for a gay kid in the 1970s. You know, there were no robot role models, there were no words to say, what I was feeling or how I was. And so it was really, really difficult, you know, Ozarks kids, you know, especially boys are, you know, I don’t mean to stereotype them all, but they’re rough and tumble, you know, they hunt and they fish and they play sports, and they go mutton and their trucks and where, you know, didn’t go boots and wranglers and all the things that I didn’t do, you know, I like to read and bake with my grandmother’s in their kitchen, and we’re a little ascots that they made me write in a journal and so that’s just you know, that’s putting a target right on the middle of my head. So it was not easy to grow up there in the 1970s because there was no way to express what I was feeling or to connect with anyone in some way about whatever’s going through. So it was deeply isolating. The wonderful thing was that I I had a crazy mother that I write a lot about who was way ahead of her time you know, studied world religion. In an area full on Southern Baptists, you know, where you couldn’t, couldn’t drink or dance. And my mother taught me that it was she was a nurse and a hospice nurse. She taught me it was okay to be different and to believe in my uniqueness. And that really, along with my grandmother’s love kind of set me apart and helps to help keep me going.

Dave Ursillo  04:33

Yeah, that’s really beautiful. And you do mention in the early chapters of Magic Season way you describe how like feeling different feeling like an outsider in your community. You mentioned you know how a lot of kids in the Ozarks grow up you said that in your book that learning how to hunt made you physically sick, and while you were forced into playing sports because quote, unquote, that’s what you know, young men did. Growing up in those days. You prefer to be alone, you’d prefer to learn how to cook with your mother, your grandmother, like you said, or playing outside in the woods exploring, I think you mentioned talking talk preferring to talk to rabbits rather than hunt them and try to shoot them. And so in this in this context, in this environment, we’re introduced to the figure of your father, who is many things, and maybe you can tell us a little bit about him in the context of this book and how we meet him. But of all the things that he is you return to describing him as, as the chemical engineer that he was, and you described yourself as an equation that he could never seem to figure out? I’m wondering how early in your life, you made that connection, or felt like your dad was trying to, like, fix you or solve you? Was there a point that you realize it? Or was it like, from from so young, that you couldn’t even distinguish, like when it began, if you

Wade Rouse  05:52

will? Say, you know, I think it was, you just you stick out like a sore thumb, you know, when the Ozarks in the 70s, if you’re not following, you know, the rest of the sheep, it was, it was very difficult. And I never did that. I didn’t do that. From the beginning. I think my father obviously knew, and I knew very early, but there was no way to put that into context, if that makes sense. You know, we just there was no language for any of that, you know, I write in the in Magic Season about a real seminal moment where my dad tried to teach me to play baseball, and I, you know, just didn’t come naturally, you know, the glove didn’t work on my hand, or the ball would just say, you know, there are pictures of me Polaroids and the balls just sailing over my head time and time again. And I’m like, when do you folks gonna stop this? And he said to me, you’ll never learn how to play baseball, and you’ll never be a real man. And that’s what it was in the Ozarks this, this, this, this concept and idea of what a real man was and what he did. And I confounded my father because I fit and in none of those things, you know, I didn’t even in school studying things I wanted to write I wanted to major in communications are journalism’s all the things that my was my dad once said, you know, you’re never gonna make a damn cent communicate. And what does that what does that mean? It just couldn’t quantify me or my life. And it was, it was hard, you know, because all any kid really wants his his father’s your parents acceptance and unconditional love. That’s all you want growing up. And when you know, it’s when you know, it’s not there when you can feel it in your soul. No matter how early it’s it lingers, and it sticks with you and makes you feel less than and unwanted and undeserving of love. And, you know, that set a pattern in my life that was hard and very destructive for a long, long time.

Dave Ursillo  07:57

Yeah, and I’m wondering about the role of writing both. Again, we talked to fiction and nonfiction, but specifically, as a nonfiction writer, as a memoir, writer, you know, the genre of memoir is so fascinating to me, because I love nonfiction work. And I consider myself a nonfiction writer. I’ve never written memoir. But memoir specifically is really interesting, because I feel like it’s a vessel for taking a specific lens on a trajectory of the past, like through your memories, and almost like re litigating the experience, not for the sake of truly reliving it, but meaning making along the way. That’s why I think it’s such an interesting and fascinating genre of storytelling. And I’m curious about if writing throughout your, your younger years, especially when provided you this outlet of self knowledge of personal learning and growth, full disclosure, this is like this kind of like my religion is, is like personal writing to understand the self. So I don’t want to force you into that box. If, if that wasn’t the case for you. But I am curious about because it seems like you had such a rich inner world as a young person. If writing specifically or just other other practices or experiences of your inner world, like you mentioned, learning how to bake and cook gave you an outlet through which you could start to know what felt like your true self. Maybe if you didn’t even have the language for that, despite getting these really toxic reinforcing ideas and stories placed upon you that like you weren’t a quote unquote, real man or you would never would be or you were, you were different and felt like an outsider. How did you access your inner worlds? And did writing have a role with that? Or is it something that just kind of developed later in life?

Wade Rouse  09:45

Kind of that’s a great question and stop me because I could go in a million different directions and talk forever on that point, because it’s true. You know, I always describe memoir writing as you’re going on a long hike. I Your winter in Palm Springs and hike a lot and you’re going on a long hike, and you put on a backpack, but what can you pack in that backpack, that’s essential to get you to the top of the peak, you know, there’s only certain elements that you can put in that that are essential for the trip. And that’s same for hiking, and is the same, exactly the same for a writer, you know, you can only put in exactly what you need. So that’s always how I kind of look at, at at memoir writing. But growing up, you know, I think I started when, at kind of the, at the feet of my mother and my grandmother’s, you know, it was part and parcel growing up with them, and their sewing rooms, and then their kitchens, where I saw that they were creating, you know, I watched my grandmother’s bake, they had sewing rooms with these big singing Singer sewing machines. And, you know, when they would so for instance, they would take disparate scraps and and weave them into something beautiful, which is what I still do today. But I saw through them at an early age that they were actually telling stories of their lives and their families through through these acts. You know, it could be pulling an old recipe card from a recipe box and baking a treasured family dessert, or it could be quilting, whatever it was, they were pulling something together that kind of told the story of of family that could and might last forever. And that’s what writing was for me. You know, I remember a big moment. And in middle school, where I tried out for a talent contest. And I sang Delta Dawn, if you remember that the Tanya Tucker version and held a faded Rose and I got heckled off stage. And my mom and grandma were waiting backstage and they gave me a copy of Erma Bombeck book at wit’s end. And they gave me a writing journal and said, perhaps this is how I would make sense in my life. And that’s how I started writing was, I would journal and write every single day, just about life for what was happening, or, you know, an embarrassment or something beautiful that I saw in the woods, that whatever it was, and that started to make me believe if this makes sense in myself, because, you know, we all are gifted this incredible voice, you know, as artists and writers especially. And it’s all we’ve got, this is all we’ve got, from here to here is all we have, and yet we spend hours, especially when we don’t fit in, we spend our lives trying to lose that because we just want to be like everyone else. We just want to be accepted and set in. So we spend our childhoods and our lives trying to bury that voice because we don’t want to be different. It’s weird to be different. And yet, that was my saving grace, was knowing that getting this down, there was something real and authentic about what I was feeling. And it moved me at an early age. It made me laugh, or it made me cry. And that kind of always kept me centered.

Dave Ursillo  13:22

It’s wonderful that your your mother, your grandmother, and I’m not sure if it’s both your grandmother’s who you had relationships with was it just was it just the the one weight or was it what did you have both grandmothers in your life?

Wade Rouse  13:35

Actually, both my I was very close to my mother’s mom because she just loved over a you know, a hill from me, but I was very close to my dad’s mother as well. She was a seamstress, too. And they had a cabin that I spent I write a lot about the night, I grew up spending childhood summers and so very close to both.

Dave Ursillo  13:54

Yeah, well, it’s just wonderful that you you also had the support from others in your life who were able to encourage you and give you these outlets of, of self knowledge. But taking it back to the memoir at hand of Magic Season, and I’m sure we’ll we’ll get back into talking about your mother and grandmothers as well. I’m wondering if we could establish for the listeners who haven’t read your book yet, a little bit about your father by perhaps telling us a story that the one I’m thinking of specifically that stands out from reading your book is when you were a young kid, and you found yourself caught in a strong current in the river. You called out for your father who was on the shore and what his reactions were maybe this this might be just an example that kind of establishes for our listener what the relationship was like, at least when it started when you were young.

Wade Rouse  14:42

Yeah, and his I think his you know, his belief of what a real man was. Yeah, my mom had, you know, for that wasn’t really a country club. We joined in the Ozarks, but it was it had a pool and a place where you could get lunch and a nine hole golf course and And I was in swim lessons and my father came in literally pulled me out of the pool. You know, saying the boy don’t need fancy, and took me down to our cabin and with a six pack of beer and literally threw me into the Swift moving Creek, it was called Sugar Creek, which ran high and you know, and after heavy rains, and didn’t make a move to to save me to teach me anything to help me at all, he just pretty much laughed as I was swept downstream. And, you know, I, I fought like hell to try and swim back to shore and save myself. And when it was over my dad, you know, just essentially said, Stop all your cat or Wallen, son, you know, here’s, here’s a drink of my beer, you did it. And kind of juxtapose that with, you know, being an adult and being in northern Michigan, in a resort town, where the were the salmon run every every follow up stream, and comparing myself to that, you know, I never really like them. I never really learned how to swim, I just learned how to survive. You know, I just was paddling as hard as I could my entire life, against every force of nature, where I grew up, you know, so environmental, to try and live. I just never really learned how, how, how to swim well, and life. And I think that’s, like so many of us, you know, we are. So I love to write both genres. You know, I always like to write what I call ghosts on our shoulders, you know, all of those things that are in the past that make us who we are today, it’s, it’s the past that’s done it, it’s all the things that have happened to us and how we have and haven’t coped with that that have made us who we are, and why we are the way we are. And in writing nonfiction, that’s how I tried to look at my father to, you know, it’s a memoir, where when I write nonfiction, I try not to blame I try to understand because of those ghosts, and why did my dad become the man he was? What was it in this past? You know, same for me, did I become the man I was because of my dad, or in spite of him? Or was it both? So that’s, you know, my dad was an, the most emotional, non emotional man you’ve ever known. I mean, if you know a true country, man, a true Ozarks man, where words do not come easily, where you can express anything where any emotion you deal with by clicking off a Cardinals game, that’s not going the right way. Or you drink another beer to kind of bury out that you’re feeling that would that was my dad. And that’s that it’s a bad ending, you know, it’s quite, it’s going to come out and explode in the worst possible ways at moments.

Dave Ursillo  17:59

Yeah, and so in, despite the differences in your personalities, and how your father seems to have not only misunderstood you from a young age, but also kind of thrust his ideas of like what manhood is and how someone should be in the environment in which you were growing up, you found and as you detail and Magic Season, that display your strained relationship, you know, for many years, that there was still this mutual respect and appreciation of baseball, which gives you something to bond through. But it also seems like baseball gives you a shared sense of language for even loosely or indirectly understanding one another. When did it become clear to you that baseball was something that you and your father both held as meaningful, despite the issues that you experienced in your relationship throughout your life?

Wade Rouse  18:55

You’re at a very early age, you know, I did, my dad can teach me how to play baseball, I would walk into the house and kind of stand in the shadows and watch him watching or listening to a tour of St. Louis Cardinals game. And when he would do that, he’d always pat the end of the couch for the dog to join him. And I kind of just watched him watching. Just because I wanted his approval or his attention. I wanted them to invite me in some way. And over, over the course of just doing that I truly became interested in the game of baseball, you know, it’s a thinking man’s game. It hasn’t changed that much over the course of time. And my dad early on, as I write in the book, said to me, you know, it’s the games like life, it’s the tiny decisions ending to ending that make the final score in the end. And that was how I always looked at our relationship. And it really did it be you know, I call it our love language. You know, we didn’t talk for a long time, much of about our lives. But we could talk about baseball, we could talk about famous Cardinals players like Keith Hernandez and Lou Brock. And, you know, Bob for Chanel rebel ski. And there’s something, as I’ve learned getting so many emails already, especially from straightened and readers across the country, is that sports are an incredible uniter. You know, men often cannot and do not express emotion. But if they’re watching a game together or attending a game, or they’re playing golf, whatever it may be, there’s a shared experience there, despite not really talking about anything deep within, they’re still together, and something is happening between them. And that’s what happened to my dad. And I think over the course of time, finally, the baseball transferred to life, and we were able to start talking and sharing stories. And that’s where I began to understand how he became Ted Rouse and why it was so hard for him. And, you know, Baseball Saved our men, in many ways saved our relationship, you know, I write about when I came out to my father, he did not talk to me for two years, he wrote me a horrific letter saying, you know, I was gonna burn in hell and I would lose my job and all my friends and you know, I’d been coerced. In a back alley by by an older man, you know, even though my husband’s younger than I am, and teach us he, it was all environmental, he had no idea what he was talking about. And at that time, I had to walk away because the hurt was so much, how many you know, he wounded me so deeply. But when Mark McGwire for the Cardinals had a 70th home run, and broke the baseball record, my dad called me on the phone. And he said, you know, his apology was, he didn’t do it alone. It takes a team. And to me, that was my father’s first apology, and first step back to loving me and understanding who I was, and also getting to know my husband, Gary, and loving him at the end deeply. But it took it took baseball as a way to make that happen. And that took a long time, but I’m thankful it did.

Dave Ursillo  22:23

I wanted to on a somewhat serious note, I know that you’re afflicted by a little known condition called Show tinnitus that causes you to spontaneously break out into song from time to time. Before we get into the real meat and potatoes of our conversation. Just want to see how is your condition these days? And how are you faring with your show tonight is

Eduardo Placer  22:42

um, you know, I, you know, growing up as a child in Miami, Florida, show tinnitus was very difficult to live with. Because I don’t think it was something that was celebrated or understood by the people around me, specifically, my family, I think they wished I had more like beetle itis, or, you know, rock and roll itis not showtunes, because that’s what came out of my mouth. And I think it was lost to my Cuban immigrant parents. But now I just surrender. So I, I lean into the flare up. So when the flare up happens, you know, then I just let it out. I let it rip. And I just let people know in advance that it’s coming, it’s happening. And then I lean into it, and then we move on. The crazy thing is, I know a lot of like, first lines to show tunes. And that’s it, I there’s a there, you know, I’m lost past kind of the first line the first qn and then then the rest of it is kind of a bit of a blur. But, you know, in the musical theater, there’s always like the cue line. So what happens is inevitably I’m having a conversation with someone and they say something. And it feels like the great bleed into a song. You know, so it’s like, it’s like a great little volley. So that’s what I can’t contain I can’t contain and that’s the cue and now cue song. That right my brain does not have Yeah.

Dave Ursillo  24:14

So it’s so funny to me how like some people have like the musical mindset where and of course we’re being playful about like show tonight as being an affliction although you do mention without much of a hint of humor, right, Eduardo about how like, you know, your your selfhood, your love of music and showtunes coming out in a culture that maybe didn’t instinctively understand it or even support it or a culture around you that was intimidated or uncomfortable by it, which are very serious topics and stuff that we’ll we’ll get into perhaps in the course of our conversation today about your upbringing and your experience in music and acting as well as talking about story. But it’s always remarkable to me how the, the instincts that we that we carry kind of become. We experience them almost as if chapters throughout the book of our life, right, or there’s these different instances. And then they become a part of, you know, everyday conversations that you have with people when the showtune is summoned from deep within you.

Eduardo Placer  25:17

You know, I have an identical twin brother who’s straight. And when we used to play with our GI Joes, my brother played war. And I played war, the musical my little GI Joe sang and they danced, and they had monologues. And what’s interesting

Eduardo Placer  25:39

I do have an ability to laugh at

Eduardo Placer  25:44

stuff that is painful. Right, and I think that there is pain that’s been painful for me. I’m not laughing at other people’s pain, but I’m laughing at my own, which is maybe why there’s a little bit of permission. You know, and and it’s interesting, because we’re, you know, I don’t know if we can talk about time, but we are in June, June, June is busting out all over all over that Heather and the mill, a little sheltered from carousel. And the the thing that’s interesting, so June is pride month in the United States. And you know, I’ve done a lot of reflection around pride, and why is pride important. And I think that the reason why pride is important is because it’s sourced from deep shame. It is the antidote, and it is the medicine, to having grown up in a belief that there was something fundamentally wrong and shameful about my very experience. Right. So what’s interesting about show tinnitus, and what’s interesting about the bursting out into the show, too, and and gifting myself in granting myself permission to lean into that is that it is an explosion of joy. Right? And that joy is an antidote to the shame. And what’s interesting is that, I find that when I lean into it, and share of that, in my own storytelling and my own speaking, I think that it is it, because I’m also singing and it’s also music, it kind of cuts through the noise of the brain and it goes straight to the heart. And I think peep a creates an opening, that immediately creates a bond and a connection with an audience. And I tell the show tinnitus joke everywhere in the world, like the show tonight is is not spared an audience like everybody gets it. And I think for someone in an audience to be witness to that, it is completely disarming, it is joyful. And I’m laughing with myself and with all of us together, you know, as I reveal a truth about myself which is also me creating a space of safety with my audience, so that they know Yes, I do have the show to an affliction. And I’m a raging homosexual. So that’s also a piece of the puzzle not that and you can have show tinnitus and be heterosexual you can be sure to notice and be non binary non conforming you can have show tinnitus and be a cisgender heterosexual it is it is inclusive of all expression. But that is it just creates that space of seeing and liberation and play.

Dave Ursillo  28:39

I think I’ve never really considered joy to be the antidote or the quote unquote, like light the promise side to the shadow of that is shame, right if we talk about two sides of the same coin, in you know, what, what came to mind for me, I was thinking of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and that framework, in which and also and also, you know, the, the Hindu South Asian chakra system, which would kind of equate or put on the same level shame as a as an inner internal source of internal wounding, that represents not having done wrong like guilt but being wrong, like your existence is somehow flawed or wrong. And the from what I what I can recall from psychology, and even from this, the spiritual texts that I’ve read about the chakra system, it’s like selfhood, self knowledge, self confidence, and sometimes even self love. But it’s like self dash that are that are typically associated with like, here’s the healing, For shame. It’s like to know yourself really well. And I think we can attach joy to that but I never really personally considered, like leading with joy Boy as the correction to unfairly you know, undeserving shame about who you are as a person, and it feels more powerful than to me, as I’m hearing you express it, it feels more powerful in like more corrective and more progressive like more, it moves more forward or together than just, you know, saying, like, know yourself and know yourself, you’ve been dealt a shame hand, if that makes sense.

Eduardo Placer  30:29

And, you know, what’s interesting is, I have found that, and the way, you know, I, you know, and thank you for the permission, you know, and the space to be speaking, you know, as we are in Pride Month, you know, and me speaking about my own relationship with shame, and my own internalized homophobia in relationship to my homosexuality. And my goodness that, I feel like, I was so hyper corrected. In every natural expression, the quality of my voice, the pitch of my voice, the gestures that I use, the things that I liked, the things that excited me, like, I felt like I had to perform, who I think other people wanted me to be. And I think that that’s I’m not, I don’t think that that’s the only experience that that is only true for queer people. I believe that most of us live in some trap of I was taught, or I was led to believe that by performing someone other than who I am, I could be successful, or I could achieve, or I could be better. Or I wouldn’t, I didn’t have to tell the truth. Like nobody really wanted to know the truth, everybody wanted me to sound like or look like or be someone other than who I am. I feel that that’s where we get this this fear and shame around public speaking, which is something that I’m in the in the work of, right. And that the, the opportunity because it is work, because the the fear and the shame is always present. It’s not like it’s gone, you know, there is a, there’s a traumatized second grader inside of me. That is, that is trying to not relive that trauma ever again, that 45 year old Eduardo has to be like, You know what, you’re fine. You’re okay. I am going to bring my light anyway. And what’s so interesting is that, again, I have been in places in the world where, where I have had to question like, is my light too bright? Here? Do I lean into the full expression of who I am? Or do I have to edit or code switch and stuff like that? And, and there are places in the world where it is dangerous to be a gay man, you know, that is very clear, it is not, and that that happens in the United States. And that also happens in other places in the world. We’re not immune to that in United States, although sometimes we think that we are. And I feel very blessed and very lucky that, that in the leaning into it. It always pays off. And I think what people connect to, is that universal desire for freedom. Right, that universal desire of liberation, that universal desire of being expressed, that that I think many people suffer with? Can I do i should i will i, that, that I think that my end show tonight is is a sliver of it gives people permission to harness and share their joy. And I think that that is that you know, and to bring it back to story and storytelling, I think that’s ultimately we want, everything we did tell is joyful. But there is something powerful about speaking the truth. And I think that that’s, that’s the medicine that I’m after. And that’s the medicine that I’ve just been, I’ve been in the lifelong search for the expression of my own, that I now get to be a conduit for other people. Harnessing that for themselves so that they understand the truth that is of greatest service for them to share right now.

Dave Ursillo  34:42

It’s really remarkable to hear you describe the experience of feeling obligated from a young age based on the feedback you’re receiving from people around you. That you you’re kind of instinctively, almost like in an adaptive way, right, like a survival mechanism and into being a social creature kind of like trying to find your way in the world, through the people around you, as we all do in our own ways, but you mentioned the Self Editing, the code switching the performative nature of trying to fit in or maybe minimize your your nature, not only your, your sexuality, as you mentioned, as a gay man, but like your your your nature as like being outspoken and being wanting to be joyful and, and playful. And first, just how, how much it hurts me, you know, as an empath, as an empath to imagine that that young version of you that second grade, second grader in you that persists to this day, but also imagining that second grader, navigating that world and figuring out how to exist in a way that is both ensures your survival in your safety, which everybody deserves fundamentally at the just at the, at the essence of their existing, the very least, is that fundamental right? To feel safe at all times. And then not only the physical safety that one deserves, especially if, as we are in Pride Month talking about the LGBTQIA plus experience. But also, there’s that secondary, emotional, mental, psycho spiritual aspect of survival, which is not only to be physically safe and in, allowed to live, but then to express the full truth of who somebody knows themselves to be in the world. And that in talking about public speaking, which you which you do as a coach, I’m wondering how much Eduardo as we start to maybe talk a little bit about the the art and the nature of storytelling and, and putting stories forth in the world and living your story out loud. When you’re working with your clients. I’m wondering about how much not to maybe, like, quantify, or try to quantify it on. But I’m wondering about how much of what brings somebody into the room with you to learn how to speak more fearlessly is driven by that younger version of themselves. And maybe maybe the wounds maybe the wound or the shame that they are they are driven to learn to master the pain and express it in the world versus how I think I imagine a lot of our listeners may say like, well, public speaking is what you do when you’re, when you’re a motivational speaker, when you just wrote a book and you want to sell the book, you know, the more like commercial aspects of like speaking and being on TEDx, that equate with like career success. I’m curious about how you’ve seen people come into the room and

Eduardo Placer  38:01

light shade. I love the slight shade of the the career success, because you know, it’s interesting. There are several things that I want to say about that the first I believe that there is speaking from ego. So it is what I call Speaker focused speaking, which I’m not really interested in. And then there’s audience focus speaking, which is the speaker is a channel for some type of message or truth to be shared in the moment that is of service to the people who are listening. That to me feels in greater alignment, because I have very little patience or tolerance for people just taking up space to take up space. You know, because it’s all about them. It is feeding their ego it’s feeling their their need to be seen their need to be validated. That is less interesting to me. There’s an Aboriginal saying, which we center in our work, which is the story is hunting the storyteller. I think you’re gonna love I think you’d love that one day. Sometimes when I share that there’s like an alchemical shift and people like Oh, whoops. And what I think is really interesting about that is that I don’t believe that there’s anything new. Right as far as story is concerned, I feel like the themes of human experience just jealousy, shame, love, heartbreak, victory defeat. These, these are the lessons that we continue to learn As human beings, I think our stories are repeating lessons, they are parables that are repeating things for us to learn to make sense of the time that we have. From when we are born till we die. The story is a tool. And however, the specificity of your DNA, your fingerprint, your lived experience, is another prism to highlight a truth that bears being repeated. So I think that that’s, that’s the joy. That’s the interesting piece of it that, that yes, only you will live your life only you will live your experience, and only you will experience these themes. And through the intricacy and specificity of like your reactions and the decisions that you’ve made, or things that have happened to you and how you reacted to those events that have happened. That story now sounds looks feels different. And yet the lesson is the same. It is a lesson that we continue to learn. I don’t think that we as human beings are good at learning lessons, which is why we need new and more stories. Right. I think that that’s just part of the human experience. And, and what’s interesting is that I think that people come thinking oftentimes, that there’s a story that they want to tell. And then inevitably, the story that needs to be revealed, emerges. And sometimes it’s not the story that you think. And that’s why in part of our work, and part of our work at Fearless communicators, the term that we use as being story doulas, and, and I think what we do is we craft and create a container that allows the story that wants to be revealed to emerge. And sometimes that means that other stories have to kind of clear. So sometimes in our work, what we have are clearing stories that someone gets a story out, and they’re like, Wait, I’ve been holding on to that story for 1015 20 years. And now that I’ve actually said it, now that I’ve actually crafted it now that I’ve actually made sense of it. Now, I’m actually present to the new thing that wants to emerge, because we’re still sometimes stuck, or holding on to stories of the past. So much so that we can actually be present to the stories that are actually emerging in the moment. So So yeah, so I think that what is the impetus? Ultimately, what I’m always interested in is the truth.

Eduardo Placer  42:59

And, and I think that to go back to the story that we were telling you, the reason why I’m so interested in the truth is because from probably the age of five, or six or seven, who I was was a liar. Right, so from the moment that I woke up to the moment that I went to sleep, I had to perform or convince everyone around me that I wasn’t who I was, that the desires that I had the things that I liked, the people that I had crushes on, like, none of that. The truth was something that the people nearest to me, couldn’t be with. So I had to lie. And I think part of my journey coming out at 18 Being an actor where you’re paid to lie, you’re paid to convince other people that you are a character and all that other stuff. Finally, one of the things that exhausted me about being an actor was like I was sick and tired of performing somebody else. I was like, I’m done with that. I’ve spent my entire life donning and putting on a drag or a costume or a character of who I thought everyone else needed me to be. And pardon the expression who fucking over it. And I’m ready to embody and be the truth as I know it in this moment for myself in my lived experience. And and speak about tell my own story, share my own experience and be a monologue guest that I am the author of right it is I’m not no one else is writing it for me. I am speaking it and and I think that that impetus that hunger is something that people find a home in in fearless communicators which is If there’s something that I want to say, I’m either terrified of it. Or I don’t quite know how to say it, because there’s a lot that’s going on in my mind. And I think oftentimes fear and shame and doubt is a part of that, although it may not be very frontal lobe lobby for people, I think that there is some type of root there. And then the the power in the the liberation of that truth as a tool of service. So not just, it’s not about me, it’s through me. That I think becomes the differentiator and I think that that’s what makes it an act of generosity as opposed to an act of selfishness.

Dave Ursillo  45:53

Thank you for listening to this episode of The New Story Is will be back soon with a fresh interview for you. In the meantime, if you’re feeling generous and want to help support our show, please rate and review. The New Story Is wherever you listen to podcasts. It helps others to find the show. Until next time, I’m Dave Ursillo. This has been the news story is bye for now.


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