“Give yourself the permission to get started.” – Vince Vaughn


I have to admit, I didn’t really look at Vince Vaughn (@wildwest) as someone I would draw inspiration from. I liked most of his films and I, like many of you, still quote some of his lines from SwingersOkay, most of them. And his laugh.

But off screen, I didn’t really see him as someone I would go to for wisdom and advice. That was until I dowloaded an interview he did on the tv show Fear{less} with Tim Ferriss.

Intelligent, wise, thought-provoking and mind-blowing. It was an interview not just about the movies he’s been in, or his friendship with Jon Favreau. It was an interview that let me see my own judgements against him. How I thought he was like the characters he plays. Like he was mostly an A**hole. Full of himself and didn’t care about anyone else but himself. It was an interview that showed me, he is just like me. Only taller, more handsome and a lot cooler.

Now, I’ve never actually spent time with him. I did get to go to the premier of Hacksaw Ridge. He was there. But because of my, I’m ashamed to say, pre-conceived ideas of his personal character I didn’t go and introduce myself. I did meet Andrew Garfield. I even took a photo with him.  But I never said “Hello” to Vince. Even though he, at one time during the night, was standing right in front of me. Who knows, maybe he would’ve been a royal jerk and it would’ve confirmed all my ideas. But I never gave him the chance.

In the interview with Tim Ferriss (@tferriss), I heard honesty, vulnerability, a drive to better himself and create art. I heard someone that I could relate to. Someone I could sit with and learn from. Who brought an intelligence to all of his roles.

Then I heard him interviewed on the Off Camera with Sam Jones podcast. Again, I didn’t hear someone who was trying to play to the accolades of an audience. Someone who bought in to the laziness of some success. I heard a man who wants to challenge himself. I heard someone who just wants to do good work because he has to, because it’s what his calling is.

What I heard, both times, was that he was someone who wanted to do something. Make art, movies, be an actor and a producer. He didn’t wait for someone to give him the permission to do it. He just did it. He gave himself the permission.

As artists/creatives, we sometimes wait for someone to like our work or give us enough attention to make something and keep going. The thing I learned from Vince is, you don’t have to wait. You already have the permission to do what you want. Just go do it.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get the chance again to meet him. If I do, I won’t make the same mistake of thinking he is unrelatable. Because he, like me and many other artists/creatives I know, just want to make good work. We are not our characters or the art we make. We are so much more. I’d like to let him know that I see that in him and his work.

We do what we do because we love it. Because it’s our calling. Because we have to.

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