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Ep73: "I'm Not Going to Let the Business Kill Me" | with Fil Eisler

Fil Eisler, one of today’s busiest and most diverse award-winning composers, has projects that range from big studio action pieces and comedies to gritty independent films and hit TV shows. I know Fil from working with him on the first two seasons of ‘Empire,’ and he has since exploded onto the scene working on multiple big studio productions. In this episode Fil and I talk a bit about his slow and steady rise to being an “overnight success” as a top composer, but more importantly we...


Ep72: Everyone Can Be a Ninja | with Akbar Gbajabiamila

How does someone go from retiring as an NFL player with over $300,000 in the bank to offering his time and services for free (and surviving off less than $25k per year) just so he can “get his shot?” If this story sounds crazy, then you’ve haven’t met Akbar Gbajabiamila. Akbar Gbajabiamila is the host of American Ninja Warrior (alongside Matt Iseman) who is also a former NFL player for teams such as the Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, and Miami Dolphins, as well as the host of the...


Ep71: To Assist or Not to Assist...That Is the Question (pt 2) | with Wellington Harrison

Today’s episode is part 2 of two-part case study (click here for part 1) that dives deep into the question that plagues so many trying to land their dream job in scripted entertainment: To assist, or not to assist: That is the question! In part 2 of this case study I chat with Wellington Harrison, an assistant editor with nine years experience in the post-production industry who’s worked across multiple genres and formats from drama to animation and beyond. Wellington is a unique...


Ep70: To Assist or Not to Assist...That Is the Question (pt 1) | with Chris Cavanagh

Today’s episode is part 1 of two-part case study (click here for part 2) that dives deep into the question that plagues so many trying to land their dream job in scripted entertainment: To assist, or not to assist: That is the question! In part 1 of this case study I chat with Chris Cavanagh, a television and film editor who specializes in long-form unscripted storytelling. He’s worked on numerous shows in the docuseries, true crime, and reality spaces, and two years ago he moved...


Ep69: Cobra Kai: Inside the Edit Suite | with Jon Hurtwitz, Josh Heald, and Hayden Schlossberg

Have you ever wanted be a fly on the wall in the edit suite of a high profile tv show to see what it’s really like working in the trenches? Have you ever wondered what it takes to get the attention of high profile producers and showrunners so you can build a relationship with them and possibly work on their shows someday? And if you do land the job working with your dream creators, have you ever wondered what steps you can take to not only do a great job but also build...


Ep68: How to Go From Couch to the (Spartan) Course | with Rose Wetzel, ANW

Rose Wetzel is a 2-time American Ninja Warrior finalist, a professional obstacle course racer, a personal trainer, and a new mom (as if she wasn’t running around enough already). She has spent her whole life pursuing athletic endeavors including trying out for the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials (coming just seconds short of making it), and she has literally run hundreds of Spartan races and other brands of obstacle course racing in her career. She is so good that she actually makes a...


Ep67: How to Be 'Better Than Yesterday' | With Jimmy Choi, ANW

Jimmy Choi is a motivational speaker, an advocate for Parkinson’s research, an ultra-endurance athlete, a Parkinson’s patient, and a 2-time American Ninja Warrior. But most importantly he’s a father of two, a devoted husband, and a friend to many. Jimmy was diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s at the age of 27 (in 2003), and for the first 8 months he lived in complete denial. So much so, in fact, that he didn’t even tell his wife for months. He spent the next several years of his life...


Ep66: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Time Blocking (But Were Afraid to Ask) | with Amber De La Garza

Amber de la Garza, aka the ‘Productivity Specialist.’ Amber is a sought-after trainer, coach, speaker, writer, and she’s also the host of the ‘Productivity Straight Talk’ podcast. She works with entrepreneurs to help them take actions that will maximize profits, reduce stress, and ultimately make time for what matters most in life. Oh...and she’s also quite possibly as big of a productivity nerd as I am! If you’ve ever heard the term ‘Time Blocking’ and wondered what the heck that is,...


Ep65: Becoming a 'Digital Minimalist' | with Cal Newport

Cal Newport is an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, and he’s also the author of six (amazing) books including Deep Work and So Good They Can’t Ignore You. You will NOT find Cal on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platforms. And if you’re wondering why, you’ll learn a lot more in today’s interview when we discuss his brand new book Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life In a Noisy World. In my previous conversation with Cal we...


Ep64: [CASE STUDY] Overcoming Burnout and Imposter Syndrome | with Chryss Terry

Chryss Terry is an Emmy-nominated documentary and unscripted television editor who began her career editing independent feature films (that have played at the Toronto, Sundance and Berlin film festivals). But after recently discovering her true life’s purpose - to use her challenging upbringing to create scripted television that inspires women worldwide to lean into adversity - she has begun the transition into the role of narrative assistant editor. Chryss is driven, ambitious,...


Ep63: [CASE STUDY] Overcoming Procrastination and Getting Focused | with Moni Salazar

Moni Salazar is a Mexican assistant editor (and now editor) for feature films who has been KILLING IT since she moved to Los Angeles. In fact her first feature film as an editor, Honey Boy, is about to screen at Sundance! As an assistant editor she has also worked on such films as Netflix’s All Day and a Night, The Beach Bum, and Zoe. In addition to the many hours she spends in dark rooms, she is also the Vice President of Blue Collar Post Collective. Moni approached me last year...


Ep61: The Difference Between 'Amateurs' and 'Professionals' | with Allon Khakshouri

My guest today is Allon Khakshouri, a sports agent who managed three of the world’s #1 tennis players including Novak Djokovic. He is also a best-selling author who specializes in high performance habits and helping ambitious entrepreneurs (and creative professionals) to feel more energized, productive, and inspired. Having worked with some of the world’s top athletes, Allon is a master at understanding the psychology behind the highest levels of performance, and this interview is SUPER...


Ep60: Getting 1% Better Every Single Day | with Westley Silvestri, ANW

My guest today is Westley Silvestri, a two-time American Ninja Warrior, a highly decorated and award-winning real estate professional, a Spartan Racer, a Tough Mudder, the creator of ‘Ninja Beach’ in Santa Monica, CA, and he’s also a former golfer and stand-up comedian. Using Westley’s own words, he has “Professional ADD” and wants to do everything...but also do it well! Westley also happens to be one of my primary ninja warrior training partners who has inspired me to push past my...


Ep59: The Craft of Film Composing (And Working with Composers) | with Joseph Trapanese

Joe Trapanese is a friend, colleague, and film composer who has worked on some of the coolest project and film scores of the last 5-10 years including The Greatest Showman, Jean Claude Van Johnson, Straight Outta Compton, Tron: Legacy, Oblivion, Only the Brave, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and the Notorious B.I.G., and The Raid series (which is my #1 secret weapon as a film editor). Rarely is there an episode of TV where I don’t use a track from The Raid if I’m working with a fight scene...


CYBER MONDAY: The lowest price for 'Move Yourself' EVER

It’s Cyber Monday, and I’m opening enrollment for my Move Yourself program at the lowest price I’ve ever offered - only $87 - and this is the last time you’ll be able to enroll in this program, at this price or any price. To learn more about the program you can visit optimizeyourself.me/move. I don't know about you, but every year around this time I feel like I'm running mile 25 of a marathon, and the finish line is visible in the distance...except I have an elephant who just ate a...


Ep58: How to Get a Script Made In Hollywood | with Kyle Long

Kyle Long is a Hollywood feature film and television writer, producer, and the showrunner of the recent limited series 'Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac & the Notorious B.I.G.' He has also worked on the popular USA series 'Suits.' For those who may already know, I edited the pilot, the finale, and two more episodes of the series Unsolved, and Kyle and I spent A LOT of time together working on a very complex story for months on end. And during that time we both learned a lot about each other....


Ep57: Pursuing Your Passion With Authenticity (And No Apologies) | with Dr Noah Arnold

My guest today is Noah Arnold, a veterinarian and business owner who runs his own veterinary clinic in Shorewood, Wisconsin in a very unique way, to say the least. Before going any further, if you’re wondering why in the world I would interview a veterinarian on a podcast that’s all about reaching your full creative potential, trust me. This is one of the best and most inspiring stories you will ever hear, especially if you’re a freelancer or small business owner struggling to build your own...


The Ten Commandments of Working With Editors

Hello and welcome to a special episode of the Optimize Yourself podcast where I provide my written articles in audio form so you have the opportunity to listen instead of read if that’s your preference. My hope is that you’ll use this opportunity to get up and step away from your desk to build the habit of moving more throughout your workday. Today’s reading is for an article I wrote for Frame.io titled “The Ten Commandments of Working with Editors.” » Click here to read the whole article...