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David James Elliott
JAG: Just Accept Grace
Best Ever You Teleconference
Feb 6, 2014
Transcript: (French Translation)
Announcer: Welcome to the What's Percolating Teleconference, discussing the latest in heartfelt mind, body and spirit, for peace, passion and prosperity. Now here are your hosts, Gary Kobat and Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino.
GK: And it's a beautiful day in Los Angeles. This is Gary Kobat.
GK: It's great, it's great. So, Elizabeth, how you doin' ?
DJE: It's great to be here. Thanks for having me, guys.
GK: Do you remember that day?
DJE: I remember it always, Gary. (Laughter) That, and many other Gary Kobat stories. I usually---and there's some phrase that you would use. I remember the first time I heard it, I somehow, I wound up riding. I first met Gary through spinning. Gary was teaching a spinning class at a studio in Brentwood, and I started spinning. I was looking for ways to, you know, mix up---to get healthier and faster, and just to change up my training a little bit---I was running a lot. And I really was just ---you know, I had no---I didn't have the knowledge that I have now that I wish I had then, so I'd beat my body up pretty bad. And when I met Gary, it was evident immediately that I knew what he was talking about, and I heard that he had people that rode. I asked Gary to teach me how to ride on the road. It sounded exciting. And one thing led to another, and then I started, you know, training with him regularly. Anyway, this one time I'm riding---On the first long ride, I think we rode out to Palos Verdes and back (apprx 100 km round trip), longest ride I'd ever done, and I got in front, and I hear Gary from behind (loudly), "you can't lead if you don't know where you're going" (Laughter). And---love that, man! I used it all the time (Laughter). It's such a...
EHG: You can't lead if you don't know where you're going---Great!
GK: So anyway, and David and I, I mean we've run the LA Marathon, we've run the Boston Marathon, It mean it goes on, and David, I just want to thank you before we get really into it here...
GK: But you know we---David and I were involved---we got invited to be involved in bringing the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials to Los Angeles, and I'm sure you heard just the other day, David, we were granted them by the United States Olympic Committee.
DJE: Yeah, awesome.
GK: It's so awesome. So we...
DJE: Yeah! Great!
DJE: Yeah, you wind up---now I feel like a chauffeur. Every day starts off early. I get up early, and I drive my son to school, and that usually kick starts my day. And these days, because you know, I trained really hard--- I worked, you know, as Gary said, "JAG" was the longest running show I had. In fact,I've had like seven television series, I've done numerous movies, and you know, I worked for so---consistently for so long, that's it's been nice to have some time to tune into my family, you know. I have a daughter who's 20 and a son who's 10. And when my little girl was growing up, I was always gone at work. And she used to think that I lived in a trailer, that I didn't live at the house with them. She'd be asleep by the time I got home, and I was up and gone before she got up. So these days, you know, I focus on him and my training, 'cause my knees through constant hammering from running---I am a large guy you know---I weigh in about 220, 6'4", long distance running was probably not the sport that God had intended for this guy. But I didn't figure that out till it was too late. But now my training consists of a paddle board, I ride a bike, and I train in Brazilian jujitsu...
EHG: That sounds neat.
DJE: ...with Royce and Rodrigo Gracie, the family that invented the sport. So that's what I do. And I train at three to four times a week, just the jujitsu, and the rest of the time, I'm either paddling or riding or you know, occasionally looking for work. (Laughter)
GK: And how's Nanci? How's your wife?
DJE: She's great. Yeah, Nanci's great. She started a---she has a new business venture. She and her partner came up with a drink that is quite phenomenal. It's called IndiBlue. It's a wild blueberry and coconut water beverage that is quite remarkable and a great training tool. I mean, you know, we get all our blueberries from Maine.
DJE: Blueberries, you know, are the highest antioxidant fruit on this continent, and because they're wild, the nutrient level is insane, and they're also what is called an adaptogenic berry. So what that means is that it---because it survived and has been growing for ten thousand years and adapting to a very harsh environment, it's the one plant that actually comes back if the fields were burning. The Indians noticed this, but the wild blueberry plants would come back. No other plant will come back after a forest fire, but the wild blueberries would come back, like bigger and stronger than before. And you know, they're great for training, they---greatly improves your mode of memory concentration, your focus, a shortened recovery time from work-out. They burn fat longer after exercise, reduce inflammation, stabilize blood sugar, they have anti-aging benefits. They support your immune system, the strength and cardiovascular health. They prevent chronic illness. I mean it goes on and on---it's phenomenal. It's a great---so you said now. You know, when Gary and I were training, there was a lot of Goo, there was a lot of Gatorade, which is loaded with sugar. I would find in a work-out that I would reach a point my blood sugar would drop. I mean, I can't tell you how many times I'd go out and about mile 10, my blood sugar would plummet. And I remember one time, barely making it into a Starbucks to grab some kind of a sugary something. I mean, I almost had to crawl in there, and I don't have that problem now with a beverage like this. It's pretty amazing! So she...
GK: Yeah we've come a long way.
DJE: We've come a long way, and you know I'm a great advocate of this drink, and Nanci came up with it. So...IndiBlue.
EHG: Oh, and I bet Maine loved you. (Mulltiple Voices)
DJE: We're all about Maine. (Multiple Voices)
GK: Nanci was on the show, wasn't she?
DJE: Nanci was on "JAG", yeah. She played Lt.Singer. She was on for 6 seasons, I believe.
GK: What's that like, working with your wife?
DJE: Well, you know, it's a double-edged sword, 'cause it's great. But occasionally she would, you know, like ask an opinion, and if---you know, it was always tricky. You know, it's tricky, really get close with somebody, it's---if I said the wrong thing, you know, (Laughter) I would be like if you are---watch those comments if I could. Yeah, I was always supportive, but if I wasn't---you know it's hard to say. When you're that close with somebody, you know, there's a set of rules that you have to exist under. And, you know, we had a great time working together. And interestingly she always played this foil for Harm, you know, so we could live out a contrasting existence on screen, while still being loving and close in real life. So we didn't have to imbue our personal life with any of that, 'cause we got to dump it in the fiction department, if you will. (Laughter)
GK: Take us back a little bit. I mean, like was there a point you knew like acting was it for you, or did you want to be like a pro athlete or you know, whatever?
DJE: I was always athletic. I had dreams as a kid, as I'm sure many children do. But I lived in Canada, you know, and sports are not---they don't have the same focus that we have. That may have changed and may be continuing to change, but unlike the U.S., sports was not really a big focus for Canadians, you know. Uh...in fact, I still think most universities there don't really offer sports scholarships. So...and I had no idea what I wanted to be. And I was---I took---in Ontario at the time, you went to Grade 13 to go to university. So it was an extra year of high school, and I took Grade 13 History of Theatre , and we read King Lear out loud as a class, and the teacher told me, 'you should be an actor', and it just felt like, 'wow, I never thought of something like that'. So I auditioned for theater school on a whim, and got in. I'd never even seen a play. I mean, I had no---they told me they felt I was a diamond in the rough, that I had no bad habits. I'd never done any theater, I'd never seen any, I had no idea what I was doing. But I got in. And out of---I think, 1200 peopleauditioned to get in. They picked 30. And over the course of 4 years, they whittled it down to 7 people they kept. Every semester, they would cut people, and I managed to make it all the way through.
DJE: And so here I am today, you know. It must have been---it must have been written.
EHG: Were there...
DJE: Yeah. Mrs. Carney was her name, I remember.
DJE: Really, yeah? .
DJE: Well, it's great---you know, fans are great. And certainly the show "JAG" really managed to last through the beginning difficult seasons, because of an extraordinary fan base. They---we were on NBC initially, and they moved the show around a lot, and they never told anyone where they were moving it, but the fans always found it. And then eventually NBC decided after the first season, they were going to drop the show. And something that rarely happens---CBS---Leslie Moonves had recently taken over the network, and he was looking for a show or shows that he could depend on, that he wouldn't have to---that he could focus on the building of the network, and the changing of the brand or evolving of the brand of CBS. But he needed some shows that he knew he could count on. And he said he picked up "JAG" as a midseason, he said because it always did well, whatever time slot they put it in. So he knew he had a really strong fan base. And he picked it up, and the show went for nine years on CBS. In fact, any show that NBC put against it, we beat them. We were the only show that did business against American Idol in the beginning. It was crazy. So the fans have always---I guess that my fan base probably is largely from that, and has grown, and they follow me when I do other projects, you know. So I love the fans. Thank God for them, you know!
EHG: Yeah. (Laughing)
DJE: And hopefully maybe some of them will get you know so they'll stick around for your shows, for the rest of the twenty.
GK: There you go. He knows the business. I love it.
DJE: Stick around.
GK: Do you do any producing or directing or writing or...
DJE: I directed some of the "JAG's", I wrote some, I'm writing stuff now. I'm developing a film and some television projects with a partner. I like to do that. I like to stay creative and busy, when I'm not working for somebody else. You know, ideally, I would like to get something steady of my own up and running, 'cause I really took to directing and producing. I just love to be a of the whole picture, as opposed to strictly a gun for hire, you know. And these days I'm just looking for things that really attract me creatively. Thankfully, I've had a good career up to this point, and I don't have to jump at everything that comes across my desk, you know. And so that's where my focus is these days---it's quality of life and staying healthy. I mean, my diet is involved. I'm now largely vegan, you know, without meat. Just because the road gets narrower, right?
GK: So what is it like, I mean---yeah.
DJE: Well, like you had said in the preamble, you know. Doing a show for 10 years was incredibly challenging, not only physically, but mentally. You know, to play a character that long and stay interested, to continue to peel that onion. I got involved, and I would take every script, and I would annotate, and I would call the writers. I stayed active in tweaking things. I just didn't do stuff because it was there. I questioned, you know, if I was concerned about motivation or reality. Whatever it was, I stayed in constant contact, 'cause I had to stay involved to continue to be interested, you know, so that my work wouldn't suffer and that I could withstand that long. That, and the insane hours we worked. Especially in the beginning, we were working, you know, 16-18 hour days everyday, and sometimes longer, often longer. We started work at Monday at 6 am call time, but because of turnover laws---turnover being the time from when you finished shooting, to the time you have to be on set the next day. You know, they can't just give you 3 hours to go home and come back. They have to give you---SAG (Screen Actors Guild) had a 12-hour turnaround rule, set to set 12 hours. And if they pushed you, they'd have to pay for that, and they would occasionally. You know, but by the end of the week, you might have a 2 o'clock start time, which meant that you were probably going to be shootin' till 6, 7 o'clock Saturday morning. So it was just brutal on you physically. It was hard to work out, and I was training with Gary a lot in those days when I could. And I would---at the end of the 16-hour day, I'd lace up my shoes and go for an 8-mile run, go home, I'd try to get up early, get in the pool, swim. And I would focus---I found what was really beneficial for me was to set goals. I would enter events, and so I would have a goal to work toward that would motivate me to, you know, get up a little early to get the run or the swim or the ride on the week-ends. I started doing---you know, Gary got me involved with the Malibu triathlon. And I realized the first time I dove in the water---I thought I could swim---I discovered that I, in fact, really could not swim. (Laughter) I basically was drowning...
DHG: ….right there, huh?!
DJE: I went into the water and said, 'oh my god '! I almost died out there!
GK: It scared the hell out of me! Yeah!
DJE: So then I...
GK: Just so you know, David, she came to one of my seminars in Toronto, by the way, right outside your hometown, and she came and she wanted to change her life. So I said 'okay, are you worthy, are you willing, are you ready, and are you able? ' And she said, 'yes, yes, yes, yes', and you know how it works. She started calling, so every Saturday she'd take a call, and she lost 70 pounds. And then we said, 'alright, how about this...' She was thinking about doing the Toronto half marathon, and I didn't hear 'half ', and I don't think she said it, because she---hard to speak at that point. She wasn't---she had a lot of anxiety, so it was hard for her to speak full sentences, and I just heard 'marathon'. And you know me, 'it's like okay, sure, we can do that'! And I laid out this training plan of walking. So she walked everyday, and she set a goal. And what David's referring to, is when someone like David has such a big schedule and it's consuming, it can be even more consuming, as you heard in his voice, and so you gotta draw some boundaries. And so one of the boundaries I help people with is, we call it event training. So you (!) might be the event. So in Julie's case, she loses 70 pounds. In David's case, it was actual sport. So let's learn some disciplines and learn some sport, so it'll take you away from doing, you know, 18, 20, 22 hour days, and he helps draw the boundaries. So anyway, David, she's (Elizabeth) talking about Julie setting goals, you setting goals. It's really just simply event training. So in Julie's case, the first event was Julie. For David, it was David. Then David understood. He loves to be active, 'cause it helps his mind come off the set. So we got him moving. So anything in moving, and that's what he's doing now, calm moving, versus, you know, intense active moving. But...
EHG: Love it. Yeah, that's great. That's a great explanation. And then yesterday, it was so wild. She was in the chat room, and we had a guest that didn't show up. And you're saying that when you first met her, she wasn't really speaking. Well, yesterday she did a whole hour show with us, and she's starting out with a telethon. (Laughter) Awesome!
GK: Yeah, it's great.
DJE: You know, I find that exercise for me, and just training even toward an event, there are great life lessons in that, in that you would set a goal for your training. If you decided today you were going to run 10 miles, you go out, you set the goal, you go out and you run the 10 miles. You don't stop, regardless of how you feel, you know, you get used to setting goals and achieving them, and that translates to the rest of your life. That's always for me, sport is a great tool for life, really And then, you know, to me it's really important to have those goals to motivate you. To just go ' I'm just gonna get in shape', you know---what is that!? I remember reading some catchy gym, painted on a wall, that regarded getting shape or you're getting out of shape, but you're not staying the same. And so it's hard sometimes to motivate yourself without a goal, without having something to work toward. So I think that's what's great today these days. There are so many events---Tough Mudder, there's a triathlon or a road race or this or that all the time---it's fantastic. So eventually I did the Ironman, you know. And the last year I did...
EHG: Really? Cool.
DJE: It was the last year of "JAG", and I did the Arizona Rock and Roll half marathon with Gary, and then I ran the LA Marathon, then I ran the Boston Marathon, and then I went away and shot a movie, and then I did the Ironman in Kona. And...
GK: Like I said, David doesn't monkey around, okay?
DJE: And that was the end. That was the end for me, though. After that my knees were pretty much done. I can run a little bit now. But I had them both scoped. I had a PRP done on one, and I had hyaluronic acid injections. You know, I had bald spots on my cartilage. But I used to run---I was running 80-90 miles a week. While I was shooting "JAG", I just used it as a great stress release, you know.
GK: Did you question yourself, what...
DJE: I asked Tom (Selleck) what, how?… you know he had 9 years already…right at the beginning, we had dinner (Don Bellessario, Tom Selleck, Scott Bakula, David) and he(Tom) said, ‘you put your best foot forward every day and find something you can hang your hat on.’ I had no idea, at the time, what that meant. What did that mean?! (Elizabeth, Gary, and David all laugh). I figured out what it meant and it was a great piece of advice! I can only speak to acting, that’s what I know in this industry. You’re never fully satisfied with anything, you’re driving home in your car and you thing ‘gosh, why didn’t I do that?!’ Then , it occurred to me what Tom meant…if you watch Magnum PI, he had these ‘Magnum’isms’ – little things he could depend on…where he had a scene when he’d be going after a guy for a shoot-out and he’d turn to the audience with that knowing look….little things like that he could always depend on – he didn’t always have to be a method actor, you can’t get that absorbed, like Daniel Day-Lewis, as a method actor, he could never do a 10 year TV show, he would fall apart…I believe. You could find ways when you’re not feeling connected to your emotional center so to keep coming up with the stuff it takes to continue…don’t get emotionally involved in the stress. So, at the end of the day, he (Tom) could go home and not keep beating himself up. That’s the hard part, but a terrific opportunity to be in a show that long and have that experience and that challenge to overcome – the stress of life….to not let it completely eat you up and spit you out. How many stories do you see, look at poor Phillip Seymour Hoffman – what a tragic loss of an enormously talented man…but he had that horrible monkey on his back of addiction…I know what that’s like! I’m a recovered addict, alcoholic, myself. ya know, I beat that—every day is a battle – it’s never a complete victory. It’s a constant reminder - I continue to remember, you know, what horrors await you. The problem is…it’s when you forget about that stuff, when you forget where you were and what it’s like now
GK: Did something have to happen for you to make a shift…did you have to draw a line in the sand?
DJE: Yeah! You reach a point…they say in the program—you hit a bottom….you reach a point when it’s ‘you know what?! Ah...it’s now or never, it’s this or die!’ you know - You have to take a hard look at yourself…it’s about making a real shift…stare in the mirror and not hide from yourself…you’re not hiding from your feelings…that’s really what drugging and drinking are about…you’re hiding from your feelings. You have to feel. There’s the saying ‘Feel your feelings and they’ll go away’. You can’t suppress them, they’re NOT going away. The only way through it is through it. Umm, I don’t know how we transitioned to that…
EGH: No, but…
GK: No, it’s beautiful.
DJE: It’s all part of a healthy life RIGHT?! And there’s no coasting! You can’t coast! It’s about being in the ‘now’…if you’re in the past or the future, that’s where the stress is!
DJE: There’s a saying, and I have to remind myself contantly, ‘God never gives you anything you can’t handle’ – I believe that! I cling to that! Tthat’s how I know you can get through anything if you remember that. Sometimes you just have to repeat it, you know. (Lots of talking over eac other here)
EGH: My mom always says that.
DJE: Look at a guy like Pete Carroll. Nanci is a close friend of P, works with Pete. Pete is an amazing human being! Look, he just won the Super Bowl and his team, when asked, I saw an interview with some of the team members, ask how did you do it? how did such a young team came up against such experience, it was down to Pete’s WIN FOREVER philosophy. Pete said his mother always told him whenever something seems bad or bad luck would happen, something great is just about to happen. He grew up with that. What an amazing gift to give to your child! I believe it – if you watch The Seekers, I’m sure you have, the Universe will manifest itself – believe it and it’ll come true. You will…I believe that stuff!
EGH: What makes you have the ability to be so wonderfully honest and vocal about things that happened to you? you may have touched a life and you might not know it, we've seen that on these shows as well, someone hears you say you were an alcoholic before and they get the courage to change and become vocal about it. Where does that come from?…. that courage and bravery?
DJE: Ahhh, I don’t know! Every day is different. Right? Some days I wouldn’t be so brave, and other days I'm not as positive. Every day is a different day - so - And once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic…it's not like someday you're not - you are always an alcoholic. It is a daily reprieve, that we get. But - you know what - if you can help somebody else, that's what it's about. You only get to keep it, if you give it away. RIGHT?! That’s one of the great things, You always hear…at meetings ‘God, I’m SO grateful I’m an alcoholic cause I would never have been able to have the awakening that I have without going through the pain I had to go through to get here.
GK: What do you think about pain, what do you do with pain?
DJE: Challenge, I always looked at it - Ah, I always thought… when we train, when we work out and it’s really painful, I go listen - I can, you know, have this dull hicky pain all the time or I can have increase it for a period of time and then have this great relief of no pain long periods of time... which I prefer.
DJE: I don't know, man, you tell me. Pain is weakness leaving the body Pain is... healthy pain. There's healthy pain, and then there's unhealthy pain, which is not nice. Right?
GK: Well, it’s a doorway. It’s a doorway, as you said. (DJE: Yeah) It’s a doorway. So it’s like, okay, I can go this way or that way, and you choose to go that way, and it relieves you and frees you. Pain's a wake-up call, yeah. Pain's a motivator, an inspirer.
DJE: Pain is a motivator. Absolutely. It's about challenge, man. And pain is a concept, too, you know. Sometimes pain is---what Shakespeare said, nothing's ever good or bad, but thinking makes it so. So pain is just part of life. It’s not going to go away. So why avoid it. Why not just go through it. Go through it, get to the other side, and...
EHG: ...great conversation---everybody in the chat room---just so you know David---everybody in the chat room is like "he's so cool!'' (Laughter) Everybody's talking. It's awesome! I agree. Talking like they're so ''silly me''.
DJE: That sounds great.
EHG: Yeah, we really love Blog Talk Radio---just a minute to thank everybody at Blog Talk Radio. Gary and I had this idea a couple of months ago to do this, and we approached Blog Talk Radio with this idea that had never been done before on Blog Talk Radio. And they opened up their hearts and their technology to us to allow us to schedule 5 shows a day, they're featuring our shows, we're just really proud of our shows featured, today and tomorrow, and maybe more beyond that---today's best episodes---so it's blogtalkradio.com. And all of our shows---a really cool blessing of working with them, is everything's on free replay, so you can listen and share these shows over and over and over again. They'll live on.
DJE: Yes it is. Check it out. You can get it on Amazon, if it's not available at your local grocer yet. It's coming to Whole Foods and Sproutz, and it's presently at PC Greens in Malibu, and selling like crazy, and...
EHG: Very Maine blueberry, everybody!
DJE: ...one of the top new brands---Maine wild blueberries and Thai coconut water. Phenomenal beverage. It will improve your world.
EGH: Yeah, I have a friend here in Maine who owns a blueberry farm, Peaked Mountain Farm. My first children's book was called “Blueberry”, and she wrote the Forward. Blueberry farms are gorgeous, really neat. Gail Van Wart is her name. But indiblue.com is (then she spells it out), and thank you, Debra Oakland, for posting that.
EGH: And speaking of Debra Oakland, who we hope you are feeling well, and if you aren't yet, I think you need to go get that drink (Laughter). Hope you do. And also---connect the dots a little here---Debra has a question for you, David. She wants to know 'what was David's favorite project he worked on in film'?
DJE: Gosh, um...that's a tough one. You know, they were all...they were all different.
EGH: David---We stumped him. I love it (Laughs).
DJE: Yeah, you stumped me. That's always a hard question. It's like 'what's your favorite movie'? Uh...I don't know...so many. Um...hard to say...
GK: What comes to your head? What did you really enjoy?
DJE: You know, enjoy's a big word. It's like your favorite. Some of them---I did a thing called “The Man Who Lost Himself”, that I wouldn't say was enjoyable, but there were some really---you know, I felt that my work was really good in it, and it was painful, and it was through a painful time in my life. You know, I lost my brother, and I was doing this movie. That all happened the same year that I did the marathon and ran the Ironman, and my brother died, and I started a movie the next day.
DJE: And so that movie I guess would be my favorite for strength probably, not the kind of reasons that you would go 'wow, it's my favorite, I had the best time'. It was just a really---I don't know, um---what's the word I'm looking for---it was cathartic, and it was...
GK: Yeah, had meaning.
DJE: ...it had enormous meaning for me. So I'll say, “The Man Who Lost Himself”.
EGH: That's great, David.
GK: What's changed in acting in the last 10 or 20 years? Or is it like a quiet industry that's under the radar, that's still kind of hand-written notes? I mean, what's goin' on?
DJE: Wow. Yeah.
GK: Whoops! And what was so important in that room? Yeah, exactly. That's great.
GK: Hey, David. David, how old are you now? (DJE: Yes?) How old are you now?
DJE: Uh...I'm 53.
GK: I love it. (EHG: Wow) So what's it like in the 50's---you know, after 50? I mean, give us a little insight---I mean, versus the 40's or the 30's. Any perspective on that?
DJE: 50's are the new 30's, I'm told, you know? I feel---I gotta tell you, I feel better, healthier, stronger than I did in my 30's. (GK: Yeah) My recovery time may not be as good as it used to be, but it's still pretty good, you know. I mean, it's just about—like we said earlier, it's about diet and exercise---certainly through your physical well being, and we're aging better, and it's about taking better care of yourself. It's about---looking--- you eat organically or wild---even better to eat wild foods. Drink a lot of Indiblue. And keep your mental position good. You gotta---it's about your mind controls everything, right? (GK: Yeah) You believe it---you believe it, it'll be true. And nothing better to improve your serotonin level than exercise will---exercise and a good diet--- but exercise vital, vital. Train with Gary Kobat.
EHG: We are... (Laughs) Our chat room---my understanding is people are having trouble getting into the chat room 'cause it's so packed, and the phone lines are jammed as well. (DJE: Really?) So I really apologize, if you're listening... (DJE: Wow) Yeah, I told ya (Laughs)... If the show's on free replay, it's besteveryou.com/teleconference, the link is up there. But just---the chat room people are really wanting to talk with you. So I'm gonna talk with you for them. Deborah---(DJE: Okay) I'm sorry---Deb Scott says 'please tell David my Mom, who is passed away 9 years ago yesterday, LOVED him in “JAG”, and was a faithful fan of his. She must be an angel on his shoulder now.'
DJE: Well, that's sweet. Thank you very much. Thank you.
EHG: And Debra Oakland---Debra Oakland wants to ask you, “if David could go back and change one major thing in his life, (GK: Hmm) what would it be?”
DJE: Hmm...well, like Frank Sinatra---I don't know, maybe I have no regrets. Uh---that's a hard one. I mean, I wish that, if I could change one major thing, I wish I could have helped my brother more. I wish I could have helped him---he'd have been here today. I miss him. It's his birthday today. (GK/EHG: Sad Aww) He would have been 55. So I guess if I could change one thing, I'd still have him around. I miss him terribly.
GK: What's his name?
DJE: His name was Michael.
GK: Michael---Michael's here with us, by the way. I just got goosebumps. (DJE: Yeah) (EHG: I did too) He's looking in, by the way. His body's not here, but his spirit is here. He hears you.
DJE: And I had, you know, an amazing incident happen. I wrote a film that was on a, based on an idea he and I had talked about for years. After he passed on, I wrote this movie. And the day I finished the first draft, the next morning I was taking a shower. Suddenly the water cut off, and I thought, 'Oh my god, did the pipe burst? What's wrong now?'. And I thought, 'Let me just test the knob that I turned it on with', and it was shut off. And it wasn't like you really had to turn it. It was---you know, it had some tension to that. So it's shut off. And then I went, 'Oh my god, it had to be Michael'. So I went downstairs with my son. I was getting him ready for school. It was early in the morning, and I told him, I said, 'I think Uncle Michael was here'. And as I was telling him the story, a phone which was maybe 3-4 feet from both of us, flew off the counter top and smashed on the ground. (GK: (Amazed Laugh) Man!) Wow, man, Michael was there! So I believe. Absolutely I believe he's here with us now. He's---you know, all kinds of funny stuff like that happens in my home. There are certain things that happen. The TV comes on full blast at 3 o'clock in the morning---there's weird, odd little things. So I'm a believer, I'm a believer. (GK: Yeah, odd) I'm glad. It's nice to know, nice to know.
GK: He's great.
EHG: Cindy Glover---(GK: Go ahead) I hope I said your name right---Cindy, she's in the chat room. She would like you to know that 'we truly enjoyed “Rufus”. Such a different role, yet very moving'.
DJE: Oh, well. thank you, thank you.
EHG: Can you explain for somebody who might be listening who doesn't know that role?
DJE: It was a---It's an interesting film. “Rufus” is about a---it's like a vampire movie, but it's not in the traditional vein of (one). This kid shows up out of nowhere in this little town, this frozen little place. I play the Sheriff of the town, and (with) my wife. We lost our child, and we're kind of---our lives---we're just shells of who we once were. We exist in the same house, but we're like two strangers. And (then) this kid shows up out of the blue. And as a police officer I show up, and anyway, I wind up taking him into my home, because he doesn't really talk much, and we can't quite figure out where he's from. He's a young kid, he's like 15. And then strange things start happening---bad people, somebody gets killed---and you have to watch the film. He's like---either he's a vampire, but he's almost an angel. (EHG: Sounds neat) It's an odd little film. It's hard to really put it in a box. But it was interesting and fun. We shot it in Saskatoon, Canada.
EHG: Have you traveled all over the world? Have you been everywhere, and have a favorite place?
DJE: No, I haven't been everywhere, and I've been, you know, to some interesting places. Been to Africa, Italy, and Australia, more of Europe. I haven't been to the Far East yet. I'd like to go there. I haven't been to Antarctica.
EHG: It's warmer there than it is here, I think.
DJE: I've been to Churchill, Manitoba. It's colder there than it is where you are. (EGH: Laughs) It's the polar bear capital of the world. (Laughter) I went up there with my friend. My wife, and my son and I went up with a friend. Nigel Marven was shooting a wildlife documentary on polar bears. And so we had our own tundra vehicle, and we got to get really close to the polar bears. Worse kind of a cold...
EHG: Was that fun, or not so fun---the cold?
DJE: Oh, it was unbelievable, it was...amazing. But it's SO cold, like shocking, you know---40, 50 below zero (GK: Whew!) Just crazy cold. So...
EHG: Yeah... Another question in the chat room... I love these questions, by the way. Thank you all so much for participating. It's making the show very, you know, very interactive and fun. I hope it's fun for you guys, too. They say 'happy birthday to Michael, (DJE: Great) and 'what's the biggest challenge that you've faced and what did you learn from it?'---that's another question.
DJE: You know, I've faced some big challenges, and I---hopefully I learned from them. You know, sometimes those lessons don't become evident until later. You know, it's about, I think---it's been a lot of challenges, and I think what I've learned is that you take it one day at a time and don't get ahead of yourself, and just try being in the moment. Like Tom told me, 'put your best foot forward, and find something you can hang your hat on', you know? So, I'm gonna to say that. That was a big lesson for me. Just put your best foot forward every day. Do the best that you can do, and forgive yourself, you know? (EHG: True) 'Cause you're not going to be perfect. Nobody's perfect. It's never always going to be right. And all... I really am happiest, if I feel like I did the best that I could do, and that I didn't come up short for me, you know---that I didn't let myself down. That's my biggest fear that I let my family down, certainly. I let myself down, if I let down other people. So, I don't know if that answers the question, but...
EHG: Uh Huh.
GK: It does, it does. And not only that, you've answered so much, so many questions. You've showed a side to yourself that we really appreciate. And I can't thank you enough. I mean, you've been there. We've been around each other for years and years and years, and you've always, you know, whenever I've presented something, you've always been there for other people, and I really, really appreciate that.
DJE: Thanks, Gary. It's been a pleasure and an enlightening experience knowing you, my brother. So...(GK/EHG: AhHa! Laugh) ...you certainly added a lot to my life, man. You taught me a lot.
GK: I appreciate that. (EHG: Aww) I appreciate that. By the way, I got an email...
DJE: I just remembered, let me tell you this before you go---that time having dinner in Jim Carrey's suite before the event with him and Will Ferrell and Robin Williams...
GK: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. We did it for the Challenged Athletes.
DJE: ...the three of those guys---Robin Williams,Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey together---just to sit and watch those three guys exist in the same space was unbelievable. I'll remember it till I die. Just to watch that dynamic. It was so interesting.
GK: So, okay. So, just to give you a little back story. We were invited...
EHG: So now you gotta keep going! (Laughs)
GK: I know! And this is so great. David's touched so many of these experiences. These guys, you know, like David, we work independently, right? And I work with Jim Carrey independently and Will Ferrell independently. But to get 'em all in the same, like God forbid, picture or the same room together---so David's going, 'oh my god, I'm standing here' with Jim Carrey, Will Ferrell, himself. I mean there was Robin Williams and other people as well. It was like---I don't believe I'm standing here, I don't believe they're all in the same... And they were just uniquely on fire. (EGH:...okay, good)
DJE: It was so funny. But their style of comedy---it was like, you know, it was interesting that they found some way to---for their comic ability to not, you know, drown out the other guys. And it was just really---it was an interesting dynamic to watch those three powerhouse comedians exist in that little space together. Because you would not conceive of those three guys, certainly in a scene together, or so one would be dominant. It was just so interesting to watch. You had to be there. But....
GK: ...And they were also---everybody was a little nervous, because the next morning they were all doing a half ironman. (DJE: Yeah) So, they were all out of their element, so they were in their element, when they were all together. So it was a great space to touch.
EHG: Why---I was gonna ask---yeah, why were you all together in the room in the first place? Now I know.
GK: They were all going... So Jim starts ordering food, okay? So one cart after the next. I mean, it was just...
DJE: They were carb starved. Gary had them on a carb---we did that carb starved thing for three days, right? You wanted to, like empty your body of carbs. So he was carb loading (Laughs) and it was quite hilarious. (Laughter) He was off all carbs, so you knew he hadn't had a carb in a week—oh man! It was like, oh my god.....
GK: Yeah, he was training for a movie, we had to lean him out. And then for this event, right? So I said---he looks at me and goes, 'Come on, can't we eat something?' And I'm like , 'go for the carbs, now you can do it.' Everything under the sun!
EHG: What did he order?
EHG: No really, what did he order?
DJE: ...'under' the menu! Breakfast, lunch and dinner---everything there. All of it...
GK: Brownies, ice cream, pasta, and...you name it. It was hilarious, it really was.
EHG: Did he eat it all? What did he eat?
DJE: Oh, he had a little bit of everything, yeah.
GK: A little bit of everything, yeah, a little bit of everything.
EHG: Oh what a crack-up.
DJE: Been a long time ago.
GK: It was the monster buffet of buffets, yeah it was great. And a great story.
GK: And one other thing, David. I just got an email this morning (DJE: Yep) on a project with the Boston Marathon. They need some direction a little bit on the executive producer level, so I'll send you the email, and see if you're interested.
DJE: Beautiful, okay. Great! Love it.
GK: Yeah, they're doing a little movie about the Boston Marathon---right.
DJE: Alright, cool!
GK: Alright, super. David, thank you so much. It's been a (great) time.
DJE: Thanks for having me, guys. Elizabeth, Gary, thank you so much.
EHG: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you. Really a true joy.
DJE: You bet---good. Alright---good luck with the other eight that you're doing.
GK: Have a beautiful day.
DJE: Alright, you guys. Bye.
GK: Alright, thank you.
EHG: Oh, he's so neat!! What a genuine...
GK: Wow, a real human.
EHG: love, yeah.
GK: Yeah, authentic.
EHG: What a treat for us all, too. Thank you so much for arranging to have all your cool friends on the teleconference. (Laughter) So much fun, and the back stories that we get to hear. You know, this is a treat. There are so many people listening right now who just got this really cool experience, but none of us would have had without you. Thank you!
GK: Well, I got goosebumps. 'cause I didn't know he was touched by who was hanging out in the room, even scarfing down carbs. But the way he explained it, it was like, okay, I don't think I'll ever see this snapshot again for the rest of my life---it's unique. And they were in rare form, too, which I hadn't seen them all together myself. So it was like, wow! But to have him say, no, that was a moment in my life I'll never forget, I was, like wow! That's so cool. And just...
EHG: Great friend.
GK: Yeah, great. And Nanci's great, his wife, unbelievable. The kids are amazing. And anyway, yeah, thank you for allowing us to do this.
EHG: Yeah, he seems just like so loyal---that's the word that I kept thinking of the whole time he was talking, (GK: Hmm) just loyal, as if like such a love.
GK: Well you know, when you really look at it, there's this small core group of people that are unflappable, and you can tell, he's unflappable, he's just steady, you know....
EHG: Yeah, there's another good word for him---steady, loyal, yeah.
GK: Yeah, when you connect on a truthful level, the truth, you know. And when you're in the trenches a little bit together---when, you know---we talked we talked about Mitch---when Mitch was having a moment, you know, and you're there for somebody, it's like, that's the truth, that's the truth.
EHG: Yeah. Everybody has---I'm really proud of everybody, also. No matter what level they are, or who they are or who they think they are, or whatever---everybody's exposing their heart. To all of our guests, they're truthful, they're you know, bluntly honest in some cases. They're giving us little gems that maybe they haven't said before out loud ---really neat!
GK: Well, they're humans! And they know it. They're human beings, and they're grateful for where they're at, and they're not their label, you know. And that's really a huge point. You know, we're not what we do, we are who we are.
EHG: Important to remember. Uh....The chat room is still full. Hello, everybody, and they're complimenting us, and I love you guys, too. Thank you so much.
GK: You guys rock in the chat room. You guys rock!
EHG: All the callers and everything, it's just made this so much fun!
In the conversation following David's; Elizabeth & Gary reflected on their conversation with David.GK: So did we blow up the chat room, the phones, and so forth, with David James Elliott there?
EHG: I believe we did! Yep. He's quite a guy. What a neat interview! I think people really enjoyed being able to ask him anything they wanted to ask, and have him answer.
EHG: Yeah, that was cool! Nothing was off limits, so it was neat.
GK: No, and like he embraces those, you know? And you could feel him go to his head, but then he came from his heart. And that's what's so special.
Credit: Best Ever You Teleconference