In this captivating podcast episode, Zander Sprague, the charismatic host of Epic Begins with One Step Forward, engages in an epic conversation with Kelly Perine. From reminiscing about college days to navigating the challenges of a Hollywood career, Kelly shares insights into his journey. The episode unfolds as a blend of humor, anecdotes, and profound reflections, exploring the essence of an epic career in the entertainment industry. With 26 years of experience, Kelly unveils the secrets behind sustaining a successful acting career and the importance of finding one’s unique voice.


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Sustaining A Successful Acting Career With Kelly Perine, Part 3

For the vast majority of people who are reading this and whatever careers that they have, a championship or ultimate success isn’t necessarily the end game. You can decide what victory means for you however you want it. You can set the bar here and you can consider yourself a success now. There’s no one that will take that away from you.

Our Own Number 1 Fan

Ultimately what it is something that you and I share, we are our own number one fan. I love me. I’m fantastic. The way that comes across is I get on stage and I’m a little confident people have said, “That speech was great, weren’t you nervous?” I was a little nervous when I started but once I started, I was in my element. I’m sure that aside from this webcam, if there’s a camera in some lights on and a mic recording. I know that all of a sudden, I’m home.

With that means, we all have to critique ourselves as well because there’s growth. We can always grow. We can always incrementally get better but saying that we are our own biggest fans it means that even when you lose the game, mom comes up to you, give you a hug and take you to Dairy Queen. You have to do that for yourself, even though it’s not the greatest.

You have to hug yourself and take yourself to Dairy Queen or whatever it is. You have to look at the tape and go okay, “I didn’t connect these two thoughts. Maybe I can put that together. Maybe this is a better bridge to this analogy than that was.” That doesn’t mean that tool is a failure. That means that it can be that much tighter all incrementally whatever.

I’ll bring us back for a second and talk about stand-up comedy. I did some stand-up comedy. I did the open mic nights and took a comedy course. One of the things that I learned and I’m like, “That’s right.” Which is on a given night, you can tell a joke and it kills one day. In the next day you go, there’s crickets.

The same material. You could have the same material and get different results.

That decision of when to throw something out because it’s just not working is 2 or 3 times where it falls dead because once if you get up and you are doing a set. You tell a joke and it doesn’t go over but you still know that the premise is good. It’s funny. Go try it again because it maybe that audience wasn’t in the mood for it. I know having done Open Mic nights there were times where people have been already sitting through two hours of semi-horrendous. If I had gone first, I might have done well but man they are worn out. No matter how good my material is I’m only going to get 25% of the reaction that I normally would get.

Reading The Room

Again, if someone was a professional comic, they would have been in those situations or they’re working their way up to being able to recognize, “The crowd is tired and quite. What do I have in the arsenal? What’s in my quiver? What’s back here that brings a crowd back to life? Is it like blue material where say every two second and at least? Is it a story?” Part of being professional in that is that you have to learn how to read the room. That is a professional comics job.

The only way you learn to read the room is by being in enough rooms. That’s wherein it goes right back to what we were saying, what is your strategy? What’s your vocation? Are you planning on getting every the next 100 nights? Are you playing on doing that? If you’re not planning on doing that, if you only planning on getting up once a week. That means you only getting up 52 times a year. You’re going up against people that have gone up 520 times. The bookers have seen them and have saw that they’re good.

No matter how tight you’re set is, you’re not going to get more eyeballs than the guy who went up ten times more than you did. This is basic math. If people, again, something that can put the shoulders down is if they do the math and understand you need to put in your 10,000 hours and results will come as you start to do that. Start clocking in your hours. Stop being a freshman b******* that they’re not graduating.

EPIC Begins With 1 Step Forward | Kelly Perine | Number 1 Fan

EPIC Begins With 1 Step Forward: How To Plan, Achieve, and Enjoy The Journey

No matter what you do, whatever your job is, it takes time and experience. There isn’t that overnight success. I am launching a YouTube channel and I could peel off $100 bills on it how to get a thousand subscribers. There are people who launch a channel have for whatever reason they get all these subscribers and they’re super successful. There was a lot of noise out there. I got to put stuff out there and I will find my audience and we’ll build slowly.

That’s all it is. The people that are overnight success is good for them. Again, we talked about Hollywood being a confluence. You hear a lot of Hollywood stories about, “This guy got off the bus and a casting director saw him.” That brings how many more thousands? That does happen and every day, somebody hits the lottery, but I have never met and I know very few people that know somebody who has hit the lottery.

If I had a friend, who has a wife and two kids and I say to him, “What’s your strategy for taking care of your wife and children? Putting them through school and doing that.” They go, “My strategies to hit the lottery.” You’re allowed to hope that but I say this, “Buy your lottery tickets on the way to work.” Your job is not to buy the lottery tickets and sit outside the liquor store until the balls drop. Instead, you go, “F***.” That’s not your goddamn job. Your job is not to hit the lottery. Your job is to put in your time. As I said, buy your lottery tickets on the way to work if you want but put in your time.

Even the people who “step off the bus” and got cast as whatever in leading role or a major supporting role. There are those people who are that good and they put out a great thing. However, by and large, you might have seen them and you never hear from them again. Why? It’s because they don’t have the experience. They were great in that one part probably because they had an awesome script, a great director and all that supported them to be good. I know, you were talking about that show with Flav. You probably read the script and is like, “This is not the best script in the world,” but you still had the benjies at the end of the day.”

I had the opportunity to make the best of it and to find the funny in it. I also had the opportunity to be a series regular on a show. That means, when I get my next show my quote for how much I get for a show is that much higher. There’s nothing negative.

There’s more for your reel to show what you’ve done.

Again, a lot of times, I talk about a body and motion tends to stay in motion. These are laws of physics. Putting your eight hours a day. I don’t think I have any philosophies that are brand new to Kelly Perine. I’ve just adopted some of the philosophies that are out there and put them into play. I don’t think in 2020 people don’t know how to say lose weight if they want. They don’t want to do it. There’s no new trick or new pill. They just don’t want to do it.

The Formula

There’s no doubt about that. Honestly, the formula isn’t that hard.

It’s not. You may not know it looking at me but I’m a marathon runner.

I did know that because I was a marathon runner.

The thing is, with my philosophies and my work. I’ve always loved the metaphor of the marathon. It’s a marathon. Not a sprint. I remember, I said, “I’m going to run a marathon so that when I use that metaphor I can use it with some type of knowledge of what an actual physical marathon was.” I trained for months. I did a AIDS project in Los Angeles, so I raised money for AIDS awareness. I lost some weight and traveled over to Honolulu. I’m like, “This is a win situation.” I will cross at me off of my life’s list of things to do.

I remember I was at mile 24 and I was at 4 hours and 40 minutes. I told myself, “I want to get in under five hours.” Two miles to go after already running 24. I said, “God, if you get me in under five, I will never do another one of these again.” I picked it up and I got in at 4 hours and 58 minutes. I took my shoes threw, them into the water and my little sports watch, throw it out and said, “Never again.” About a month later, I was looking at the medal. I’m like, “That was that’s pretty cool. LA marathon is coming up.” I’ve now run nineteen marathons. I don’t win them, but it’s about discipline. I like having something on the calendar that I have to work toward.

Every Marathon Is Its Own Epic Journey

I’ve talked in prior episode a lot about my marathoning and how every marathon has its own epic journey. I talked about how I break down mentally doing a marathon, which is first goal is to make it to 13.1 because now I’m halfway done then it’s seventeen because then you have single digits left. You get the mile 20 and I only got a 10K left and if I made it this far and then you get to count again.

Every marathon has its own epic journey.

One of the things, I know they got to do it but I wish they wouldn’t put the mile signs up until about mile five because much as you try not say in mile two, you got in 24 more. It’s just mentally debilitating because you’re like, “I’m not thinking about it.” Part of your brain’s going, “You got 24 left. That’s a long way.”

Here’s a funny thing about how I trained for a marathon. I did a thing. I forget the guy’s name. I had a watch that I would run for six minutes then it would beep then I would walk for a minute. Six minutes into the marathon, my watch goes off and I started walking. People are walking by going, “What are you doing? Run. Get out of here. Come on.” There’s people on the side going, “What are you walking for?” They didn’t know what I was doing.

They didn’t know my pace, my strategy and my plan. I passed by them in five seconds and I wave to them but I wasn’t going to let there not knowing what my goal was, what my preparation was and what my plan was, how I was going to come in five hours and how doing it that way pushes back the wall that a lot of people inevitably hit. They didn’t know I trained for something.

The people that are in your life that are trying to tell you to get off your pace and get off your plan and do it around. You got to just wave to them because they will pass you by as you keep walking. Also say because I’ve done a number of marathons where it hurt, but I go, “You can cry, but do it while you’re moving forward.”

Kelly, I’ve only done four.

That’s four more than 99%.

I was lucky enough to get to run Boston in 2014. That was unbelieved beyond epic. Was that bucket list? I’m like, “That was holy grail moment.” When I crossed the finish line, I’m crying like a baby. It is something that I had dreamed of and all those 5:00 AM mornings in the cold and the rain as I was training was so worth it because I can say for the rest of my life, I am a Boston Marathon finisher.

You do that. There’s nothing that somebody can say, “Kelly and Zander, you can’t do that.” There’s nobody that can look me in the face, do that and I believe them. There’s nobody that can tell me. I might not play in the NBA, but I wouldn’t say that’s my dream.

I get you and that’s one of the things that’s great about marathoning. As long as you covered the distance, you get a medal and you should. I was talking to someone who goes, “It’s wrong. They should only give it to 1st, 2nd and 3rd.” I’m like, “You go cover 26.2 miles and you tell me whether you feel that you don’t deserve something.”

Anecdotally, how are they doing in their life? I’m sure, their first, second, and third in everything in their life.

Kelly, this is has been epic to talk to you. Thank you for taking your time.

Thank you for thinking of me because I can’t lie to you, I love what I do. I’ve been doing it, as I said, I trained for it. I feel blessed every day that I’m able to make a living in the vocation that I chose. Some days is tough and some days is hard, but they’re very few days that I go, “I shouldn’t have chosen this. What am I doing here? I got to quit.” They’re hardly ever if any days like that.

There’s some days where I go, “I got to get through this or I got to get to the other side of it or when is that one minute break coming?” Again, one foot in front of the other and the whole idea of being epic. We didn’t necessarily start off to be epic but the fact that we’re here and we keep striving. That in and of itself is part of the epic journey that we are on.

Just one foot in front of the other at the whole idea of being epic.

Epic sometimes is a decision. We both made that epic decision to run a marathon. That decision is quite epic but then when you’re doing your life’s work, other people may say, “That’s epic,” and look at how successful they are. I don’t view it. I view it as, this is what I am meant to do, so I’m going to do it the best I can.

I don’t have kids. When I see somebody with kids and they’re raising three of them. Their homeschooling them now, doing this, and they’re distance learning. I’m like, “You’re a superhuman.” That seems epic to me. I’m like,” Good Lord, how do they do it?” They’re like, “What do I mean how do I do it? I have to do it. This is what I do.”

The Epic Ability

They don’t see it as anything and I’m mind-blown as how they have the juggling. They have to cook the food, do this and get home soon. That’s epic. In our own lives, we all have epic ability. We should all look at ourselves in the mirror and pat ourselves in the backs and say, “We’re doing all right, getting good grades, and future so bright. We got to wear shades. We’re doing all right.”

I want to encourage everyone out there, you should be your number one fan. If you don’t love you, how is anyone else going to love you? We are all fantastic. I’m going to end with a quote from Mr. Rogers, “Some are fancy on the inside. Some are fancy on the outside. Everyone’s fancy. Everyone’s special. I am fancy and so are you.” Fred Rogers. You nailed that.

Some are fancy on the inside. Some are fancy on the outside. Everyone’s fancy. Everyone’s special.

I can’t top. With that, I say thank you for thinking of me, Zand.

No problem.


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