Interview: John C. McGinley On Throwing Yourself At Risk And Rejection

Video length 00:43:27

John C. McGinley has been in 80+ movies, he’s been in six Oliver Stone movies and all nine seasons of “Scrubs.” And now, he’s celebrating the 3rd season of “Stan Against Evil,” where he’s acting AND writing. We talked about acting, improving, auditioning. We talked about the pressure and who should not get into acting… But then about 45 minutes in, I asked him about his experience parenting a child with down syndrome. Four days into his son’s life, John had to make life or death decisions about heart surgery. His life focus changed completely. It had to. And John rose up to it. This interview really touches on all aspects of life... everything from having a dream to fulfilling it and then seeing your life rotate. Something I think a lot of people can relate to.

A couple weeks ago, I auditioned for an off-Broadway play. I don’t want to be an actor. I just wanted to know what it’s like.

I wore a full suit. And a top hat. I memorized lines.

The next day I interviewed all-star actor John C. McGinley (our second interview).

He used to be the reader for a few Oliver Stone movies.

I remember John telling me, “Readers can make or break you.”

It was scary.

I was shaking. I was pink. I was wobbling. You can see in the video. Maybe I’ll share it someday.

Auditioning was research for the podcast. This time, I would sit across from John and ask questions from inside the experience. Inside the fear…

Because “actor” is not a standard job. It means you’re throwing yourself at risk and rejection day after day. Most people avoid those things.

Not John.

He’s been at it for over 30 years.

Here’s what I learned from John. C McGinley:


John made an obscure sound with his mouth. It sounded like the noise you hear when a cartoon character falls off a cliff.

“I can’t even do that noise!” I said.

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