Courage Under the Stars with Michael Vieyra

"Let's meet for drinks and see where it goes from there." with Tom Farnan

December 14, 2022 Michael Vieyra Season 1 Episode 12
Courage Under the Stars with Michael Vieyra
"Let's meet for drinks and see where it goes from there." with Tom Farnan
Show Notes Transcript

Tom Farnan is an actor notoriously known for his lounge persona, Velvet Tom. Soft spoken, he carries a big bite. Today he discusses:
Getting married before COVID
Losing his car to parking tickets
Falling in love with Velvet Tom
Falling in love with his wife, Thaphne
The dawning of Velvet Tom
Working at The Dresden with Marty and Elayne
Exploring the future
Growing up Farnan
Mom’s health
Looking back
Becoming a better person
Living through Velvet Tom
Focusing on the good

So put on your chill and come listen in. 

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Welcome to courage under the stars with Michael Vieyra. That's me, I am Michael Vieyra. Here I speak off the cuff with people that I find interesting, where you're going to sit in a darkened room and just allowing you to eavesdrop.I tell my guests, no politics,no religion, but otherwise, I don't care what we talk about as long as it comes from the heart.I hope even just a small part of it resonates with you. Some of it will, some of it won't. And that's okay. But I'm just glad you're here. I really do love all of you. And thanks for coming. Let's get this thing started. Have you got married during the pandemic? Right?Yeah, no, before, right before the pandemic,right before the and, Tom, I saw a picture on social media. Is that the woman you've been with for a while? Or was she brand new?That is well, I mean, when you say for a while, I mean, it's been since 2017. So okay. Yeah.So five, five years around the end of it. Yeah. So. And we we got Vegas married December 2019.Awesome. Is that mean? Exactly?It means you went to a little chapel.We, we we got married at the Tropicana hotel, right by the pool. I had this big waterfall rushing down. And, and it was it was something that I wanted to do right away. She'd been married before I I've not. And we just, it just sounds so weird, because it was the end of2019. And we were in my intention of us getting married as to let's start out 2020 with a with a bang. And, and then.And then three months later locked down happen.Kind of fortuitous, though if you're going to get married,wouldn't it be great? Wouldn't it be great to be able to just chill with this person for the next two years?That is exactly what we got out of it is that we? Whatever happened during that time was just devastating. To many people. Yes, of course. We were kind of having a, we were coping we were having a great time with being at home. You know, she was in the middle of jobs. She found a job during COVID. Daphne is her name. She found a job during COVID and started working at that. And that was 100% remote and was always going to be from the very start. And still is.Tom, I gotta ask you right there, no matter what, whether you're married, or whether you're dating, spending that much time with somebody as we all came to learn can be rough.So even though you were freshly in love still, how did that go for you?It really, I don't know, it worked out. We just created that that was the time that we've created rituals with one another. That was really our time. Because we both knew that we weren't going to have a honeymoon after that or in our way our honeymoons are a little different. You know, we go out to the desert for four days and do absolutely nothing.And knowing you how you are that says everything. That's that's what you do. You get in touch with nature.Yes. Yeah. Yeah, I tried to I didn't ever really think that I was like, was not really much of an outdoorsy kid. You know, I don't know if I did a lot of drawing comic books and Dungeons and Dragons. A lot of indoor things.Were you a nerd?I don't know. I think it was just an I was I think it was nerdy Jason. I don't think I nerd it out.I think Tom if you don't know then you might have been a nerd.Well, did you were you are you nerdy about anything?I think I'm I'm nerd passionate.But I do not think I'm a nerd.See? That's where I think I am like I Oh, damn. So I may be a nerd. You might be a nerd. Oh,just because of our products or proximity just because you're here to nerd impasse can't be in the same room.I don't think it can happen.I don't know. I think that once I lost my car out in LA that's where I got in touch with nature because I had to get to work somehow. And Tom, I always thought you rode a bike around town because you were such an investment.mentalists but there was because you lost your car.Yeah, no, I will. The environmentalist part was, was sort of a after thing.Okay for me, and the car was stolen.Now the car wasn't stolen. I'm a scofflaw. And I got tickets on the car and the car was taken away by the city of LA. Look at you. That's what happened.Man that had to be. You know,listen, a lot of a lot of shit happens in our lives. But something like that, even though it might seem I don't know if it should be trivial to some.That's huge. That had to have a huge effect on your psyche.Did you know? I? I'm pretty sure I saw it coming. And I tried to whittle down the debt as much as I could. Yeah, along the way. I don't mess around with that anymore. If I get a ticket, I pay it immediately. You can do it online. It's very easy. So easy. Take care of it right away. So I think we just ended up because I know I did. I took advantage of the extensions, the time extensions that give you to pay it. And you're thinking, well,that's only 25 bucks. Okay, now it's only 65 bucks. And next thing you know, it's like well,fuck it, then just, I'm just gonna not pay it. And it's like,Oops, you're in trouble.No boy. And it just goes into some deeper bravado because this isn't the first city have done it in. God, Tom.So you're one of those people that will I was gonna say don't never learns their lesson. But have you learned your lesson?Oh, absolutely. Yes. Yeah, I don't mess around. I I don't.I've got I've gotten I've gotten two tickets on that on the car that we have. Prius V, it's my wife's car, but I'm on it. I'm all official on it. So I but both times have been have been work related. So the first time I got a ticket was out and out in front of Francine Selkirk 's office casting office. I was going in for a callback, it was pouring rain, and it never rains here. And I found a meter right in front of you minutes on it. I was scraped probably at that time, I was probably still scraping. So I didn't so or No,no, I thought that I could just beat the clock. I thought I could go in, do the callback come out. Of course, while I was while I was gone, I get sick.And I pay it immediately. Good.Second time was four I was doing I was at a fitting for another commercial. And I was in what I didn't think was a no parking zone, paid it immediately. So it was just fortunate that though there was there was money coming in order for me to take care of that situation right now.I think that's the most important part. Unless you're some sort of ego centric type person. The only reason you're not paying your tickets is because you're broke.That was the long and short of it. I remember where that car got taken. And you know what,there was some karma around that car. Anyway, it had a leaky fuel line. So I was dumping gas all the time. So son of a bitch, it being taken, save me hundreds of dollars that I'd already put into it. And that was the last car that I had for probably about 10 years.The woman I thought that you had married was a woman that I had met back when we when you were working with me in my photography. I don't remember her name. But you were with her for a while and living with her.Yes. You guys seemed like a couple that was going to had longevity too. But no. Where did where did that go? And then how did you so quickly find your new wife or your wife?It really all happened fast. But that previously previous relationship she she decided that she didn't want to live in Los Angeles anymore. And I didn't really I don't I don't know. I mean as much as we had longevity there was I didn't really want to move and she knew that I didn't want to leave Los Angeles,where she given you that option to go with her.I guess the option was there,but she didn't really push it because we'd had so many questions about how this is the place this is the final place after all. All the different places that I've lived, this is the final place. And I don't know if I could make where she moved, which is East Coast like she moved like, way east coast.snowstorms, and yeah, such East Coast and that I can't do that,that that didn't appeal to me.And I guess the middle aged person in me said I would probably end up resenting this relationship if I move all the way over there. So I think that we, I think that we wanted to leave on top.Oh, look, the way you put that.That's nice.And so do you talk to her still?Yeah, we chat once in a while she's uses my Netflix. Plus another friend uses my Netflix,but you know, they're cracking down on that. They certainly are your man that's gonna end soon.So I think that's, you know, and I had to cancel that account anyway, because I just couldn't afford it. I was spending money on things that I already have.And another relationship, so I don't really need to sort of carry that on. But really, it was just sort of a, you know, I know how tough things are.But you've brought up a good point and that that you know,your middle age, so I don't know how old you are. But yeah, I'm assuming you're middle aged. And you went from one relationship,and then found a new girl and then got married? I wouldn't call that normal. Do you think you are lucky? Did it seem normal?i Well, boy. How do I I mean, it seemed normal to me. I just I when she left i i embraced putting myself out there again.So love it. Love that. So and found my my current wife, we found each other on a dating app. We both swiped I don't even know what direction you swipe anymore. I still don't get stuff. So, but anyway, we swiped both in that direction. Yeah,she was in the neighborhood. I was in the neighborhood. And there is sort of a Seinfeld in geographic desirability if you remember that sort of show makes it it makes it so much better. Because I was still on a bike. I was still walking around. And I wasn't you know, sort of on the east side of Los Feliz so I was still gonna ask him Tom around,because I'm not driving anymore.And I was curious about this.How was her? How did she take it when you said oh, I don't have a car?She was fine with it. Nothing more,nothing less.No. I mean, she knew what I did she a when she when she got a hold of my social media she found my all my lounge act stuff. She found all of my velvet Tom's things okay. And she, she absolutely fell in love with my velvet Tom persona changes a lot. Now, I gotta say that that's, you know, I need to keep on singing witchcraft to her to keep her interested. But but she does like that she likes that I have a full service lounge act and that I bust ass in order to.I think what you're humbly saying Is she was impressed by this thing that you're doing and she took to it. And it was like,I don't care whether he's driving a car or not. This guy's got some shit going on.She's, she's seen some shit. So she knew exactly what she was getting into with me. You know,the no car having bicycling to audition. Sometimes bicycle leg to those gigs. I remember a couple it's admirable man. It really is the fact that you've been doing that for so long. Following your dream, right. Otherwise, you'd be working in the cubicle somewhere. Yeah. Having a car?Yeah. At a car payment. Yes,exactly. And a car insurance. I mean, not to say that we don't have those things right now. But we're almost at the end of all of that.Well, good for you. I'm glad you found somebody. I am curious how, what, what a first date is for Tom Farnan. Out of meeting somebody on App?Well, I don't think I'm going to invite him to see me sing or anything. Like, I don't think it's anything like that. I think it's very low key. It's just it's probably drinks and then we'll just see where we go from there. I don't know that just sounds like every other line on a dating app. Let's meet for drinks and see where it goes from there. But but it's so true. Why not? I don't want to go I don't want to. I don't want to be And 150bucks on a steak dinner on you to try and impress you, I'd rather just say, hey, let's see if we got a feel for each other.That is, you know, I think it's about sort of meeting in a vulnerable place or if, in our case, because we knew the neighborhood so well, we met at a place that we both been before so figured it out. It was not fig arose the study right there on Vermont, which I think is still, I think still is, but I don't know, we'd have to check it out. When we lived in Los Fields up until a up until a couple of weeks ago, because in being married, we also had the luck of the draw of becoming homeowners. So now we have a house,too. That's awesome.It really is something.Is that something you want to share with me? How did you come across, going from riding a bike, no card and now we own a house?I am the luckiest person in the world. Love it. I think I am wrong with luck. I I think it's luck. You know, I just I think it was something that when I decided to get down on one knee and have absolutely nothing but just that just sort of sure the bravado of just saying, Look, I don't know how much further we want to take this. But let's take it all the way. Let's let's do this. Yeah, we had been dating two years. And I I think that I look back on my past relationships. And I'm just saying there was just the voice in my head is it Don't waste this one's time. Please just don't do it. Go forward with her. And Daniel. So did you know that was the way to go? Or were you thinking don't waste your time?And you're like, No, I don't want to waste your time. And I want to spend the rest of my life with her.It is it was it was that? It was it was like she's the one the way that? I don't know. I just I don't think that I'd ever been the way that I don't know. The the way that she takes care of me is like no other person I couldn't. I just felt so loved for loved fell taken care of,like, can you give me an example ad is you know, I do one of these podcasts? I started a podcast during COVID. Yeah,called Bad timing with velvet.Tom, you know, so just, and I'm not commercial doing a little commercial. I'm just saying that. You know, I couldn't believe that there wasn't any other podcasts with the title.Bad timing. I can't believe I got that. Yeah, I hear me,right. So I started one of these things. And I just remember this lady, you know, I mean, she, and it's not the gifts, it's just the she just knows, she knows me. And, you know, she got me this old timey mic and I have this computer and I took these gifts and put it together and start doing a podcast. So and I probably wouldn't have had those things if she weren't in my life. I mean, she saw what I was doing. She's She she saw the auditions coming in. She is my voice off camera knew when I need somebody she she sees. She sees the importance and everything that I do, even when I don't and how can I how can I not have that person in my life?Yeah, it sounds great. Is there You seem like a vulnerable person. Are you the type that do you allow yourself to cry with her if you need to? Or are you do you hold your tears back? No,we cry nice. It's important plenty of things we cry never cry about me there was a time wow there's nothing awkward going on in here. We're just talking about stuff.I I stopped calling you stop calling. I don't you know, it is nice. You mentioned that but I haven't seen you and I'm gonna guess five plus years. And and just as they say it's like I just saw you yesterday.I agree. Yeah. Just like yesterday.Tell me about the success and the struggle of velvet. Tom. I know that your your big thing. I don't know if you're even actually still doing it. But that is part of why you were on a bike and that why you weren't being able to pay tickets. So we all know the story. We don't care about the struggle. We are all actors and we all get it.Right. But what about your psyche? You're a middle aged man. Now you're still pursuing it. How does that affect you?Are you still strong and like, I don't give a shit. I'll keep going until the end. Or you're like, shit, when is this dream gonna stop? Or what am I what am I? You know what I'm saying?All of it. And I think all those conversations happen. I think Ville the top, I was, I was recalling this because I remember saying in high school because I kind of knew that I wanted to perform. I knew that acting was the thing I wanted to do, since I was single digits there and wasn't really that great at it for a really long time. And but still pursued it and saw saw that I got better and stuff. So I just kept on doing I was like, alright, this.This sounds fun. This isn't gonna stop but I do remember in high school saying that, you know, if the actor thing doesn't work out, I want to be allowed jacked. Because there were so many. There was just, it was so much in the periphery. You know,so much even in Sesame Street episodes with Guy Smiley, or you know, or Tony Clifton, you know,getting to growing up in television from the 70s and 80s.And getting to see Andy Kaufman's antics. Yeah. And what was another influence? Oh, it's a living there was sunny man.The lounge piano lounge, sat like in the center of the of the set, which was that sort of rotating restaurant in the sky that they all worked at. And it was more workplace comedy. Yeah.And he was he was hateable. But he was the cord gesture of the room. Yeah, he took all the shit. But he made all the music.And there was something. Nick the lounge singer, you know,Bill Murray's version of it,there's just so much of it that I loved. And I loved that everybody hated that person so much and had disgust and disdain for that person. I don't know why I got off on it. Like, like,I really liked that. And I held on to this notion of doing doing a lounge act and something sort of hit when I was in theater school in Chicago. And then after that, I, I admired this one teacher who was one of my characters, he was a character study student, Tom EULAs, his name and he's a pretty well renowned actor in Chicago. And it's got it's got tons of credits and sort of recreated Scrooge in Chicago did that every year, he was very famous Ebenezer Scrooge, I don't know if he still does or not, but really like a lot of things that he said about character work and about just really taking it to taking it whole to a different place. And, and the character had a different name at one point, which I don't even remember the name because the name came from a kid. And she didn't it was just the inflection and her voice, where the name velvet Tom came from,and my friend Paul and I, in Chicago, somebody that I graduated with, he, he had to go to, he was like my hanging out,buddy, we'd go to bars. He was my bar, buddy. And, and, and plus, you know, it just wasn't my bar buddy is like, he was a really, really good friend. And to the point where he said, Hey,you know what, we're gonna go hit this one place later. But while we do, I got a friend's party we have to go to. And it was in Goose Island. And it was this beautiful house move a really, really swanky house that had a tree growing in the atrium. Indoors, I remember. And it was a no booze party. And it was somebody's like graduation slash birthday party. And in there was kids at the party. And I was doing improv then. So I was doing comedy sports knew a bunch of improv games. So I started hanging out with the kids and doing improv. This is the 90s Beanie Babies were still hot. True. And this one kid sat me down and introduced me to all of her Beanie Babies. And and,no, no, it's just that, you know, she's like, here's my frog. His name's hopper. Here's my line. His name's Leo. And then she hands me this black panther. And I guessed his name.I was like, Let me guess his name is Shadow and she goes, No,it's velvet, Tom. Hi, everyone,Paul has looked at one another.We're like velvet. Tom is born here with a kid showing me Beanie Babies. But I mean, that is the uncoolest story about health elvetham came to be but it was it just it began there.I will tell you that I totally get what you mean. But it actually is pretty cool.I know. It's just usually it would become accidental, like during an act, but it was. It was such a very sweet. It was a sweet moment. Yeah, it really was that started that whole thing.Tom, I don't know if you subliminally subconsciously evaded the question. But I'm curious how your psyche is doing now, with the success or lack of success with velvet. Tom.I was just going to come back around to that because I knew because I wanted to get to the I. I can't help but tell the origin story because it's it's it because it's adorable. Yeah,that was adorable. But how is my psyche? It's well, let's see.Okay, so lately velvet. Tom. I appear with a friend of mine,Quincy, she has me on as a guest. So usually I get to perform about two or three times a year. I was heading over at the Dresden a lot hanging out with Marty and Elaine and singing with them to I think I was like one of the last showcases because they used to do Wednesday night showcases. I think I was probably one of the last ones before locked down.And that is definitely something fun to be able to say that you were showcasing with Marty and Elaine,it. It was amazing. They were awesome. And I don't know why I wasn't doing it earlier. It was just in the last few years.Yeah. I don't know why it wasn't over. Yeah.I mean, you belong there.So there's that Miss, there's missed opportunities, those those things that sort of not may like why wasn't hanging out over there. And it was a hangout place. But it didn't ever occur to me to go up and sing with them. It didn't I don't I don't know why it didn't occur to me.But I'm finally glad that I came around and did it because it did it led to a lot of I still I was going through old voice messages because they said my voicemail was full and I had to I had to delete one. And there was one from Elaine saying that somebody had canceled and they wanted to know if I could showcase tonight while somebody had this stomach flu or something like that. But Elaine, if I'm not mistaken, very specifically, you save that message. Oh, for sure.Yeah,absolutely. Yeah, that is the one. That's one of the ones that I saved. And I got to they got to be guests on my podcast. They were the last guests. So I wanted to get them and record them because I don't know.People didn't know what the hell was going on during that. So they didn't. So we didn't know if they were going to make it back. Yeah, for sure. It's not,it's public knowledge that, you know, Marty had had some health problems before, like he had like a little mini heart attack after a set one night. And it was all due to, you know, some other thing that was happening on his body that got corrected and he was feeling he was feeling good news feeling better. And just as he was about to sort of make a regular return to the drums COVID happened and then that just kind of put them away. And well, it's nice to know that you have them on tape. Tell me again, the name of your podcast that they were on bad timing with velvet, Tom.Nice. Okay, psyche, you know what it goes? It goes it's different from day to day and and I asked myself, like, What the hell are you doing? Or what the hell aren't you doing? I got a lot of paralysis around this whole career thing lately. And you know, I just crossed. I'm part of the 5.0 club now. So I just turned 50. Yeah. And, you know, it is it gnaws at me that I don't have TV credits. But then last fall, I was flown to South Africa to be a husband and in a commercial, where I just did Canadian crosses in and got to visit Cape Town, South Africa for the first time and that wasn't even on the bucket list of places that I would go to and here work was taking me there and back first class flat business class, which was wonderful and, and the just what I had to get in order just to do that was work and among itself,so I don't know, man, you know,it's, it's peaks and valleys.Are you finding your way out of velvet, Tom?I don't know what you mean.Because you're getting're 50 and you're having this a predilection about what your direction is. Are you thinking,Okay, it's time to move on from velvet Tom?I No, no, no, no, I just wrote a press release the other day and submitted myself to, to for Broto. Which it's, it's a jazz club out in the valley. Okay. So I've been lucky to be able to perform at a lot of different Hollywood venues. But I mean,there's a lot of Valley places that I haven't gone. They have book X pages. So I wrote something up, I tried to ride on the whole excitement of coming in eighth for this concert. And I didn't know if I was gonna go the full length. I mean, you just do it. It's just all it is,is votes. All it is, is just asking for votes reaching out to family and friends. And, you know, some votes costed money.But like I said, That's between you and your pocketbook. I'm not going to shill. I'm going to go get new skills, technical skills, you are going to do that outside of Yeah. Yeah, we've been talking about how does that make you feel the fact that you're going that you've resolved that that's what you're going to do?Because I have a love for it. I can't say that I eat drink and sleep entertainment. All the time. If I do that, then I just get resentful and see people that I know. So yeah, I mean,what's the point they know what you mean? What's the void in in consuming and consuming all of that when, when I know that I have other loves, and I have other interests and also, and it goes back to my relationship I have, I have love and support and so now I have freedom to explore those things where I didn't feel like I had that freedom because you're always chasing I mean, I was just always pedaling and always pedaling and always pedaling the next thing so so it never it did it felt it feels less like a carrot on a stick these days than it did then. And also carrying on as you know, I mean you just keep on writing and you just keep on sort of chasing it but this add on I could probably walk away and be fine. I am I'm turning into the old man I've kind of always been I'm kind of I don't know if you can track as far as you know, I don't I don't know if we can meet our curmudgeon this together. But you know, I, I've always had a curmudgeon a side. I think my bright side is always sort of come through stronger. But there's always been a curmudgeon II side, and I'm growing into it. And I kind of liked that guy. So I think I could probably say piss on this and just and walk away with it. And probably feel nothing. You know, it's just your mind changes about things. And really, if you want to change anything about yourself new The first thing is change your mind.100% And the thing that happens there was a lot of us especially in acting and or the arts, we get locked in almost to the mindset what I said a moment ago, where it's just like, Nope,I'm doing this till the day I die. And not not leaving yourself any chance of hey, this ain't working out. Let's let's go do something else.This whole career thing has been a Michael Corleone. It's just like, just when I get out something pulls me back in. It is and it's it's happened a few times just when I'm resolving my self to the idea that maybe I will go find something else or maybe there is a different maybe there is a different avenue of this business that I can take. I think a lot of people come out here thinking that actor, actor,actor, actor out film editor becomes totally, you know, it happens all the time after after after Foley.I ended up going to film editing school at one point.Now, yeah, so you're an Angeleno. Yeah. You're a diehard have been here. Did you go anywhere else did you leave LA to you know,that's a great point. Because I always say, Listen, I was born and raised here in Los Angeles,and I love it and we've built when people say I hate the people in LA blah, blah. It's like no, you don't you hate the people that moved here. Because the people that are here were cool. But it's a really good point, Tom, because I envy that people. I don't know about you,but if you came here or were an Angeleno, but the people that came here, I'm impressed. You actually wanted to do something,and you came here to do it. I was already here. I didn't have to go anywhere. And so there's nothing to be impressed by me. I was just like, oh, okay, I'll do this thing that's 20 minutes away. So now I really do. I'm impressed by the people who said, let's pick up and move and go to LA.What were your other options?for legitimate options,none, they were all just side jobs and I didn't know what to do. And it was really quick though I was in junior college,I was, I don't know, 19 When I went to acting school, I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena and loved it.And when I came out of there, I was like, they love me here. I'm gonna go into the big world and,and be a big star because everybody here at this little pond loves me. And when I went to the Big Co is just enveloped by Rip tides and currents. And I was like, What the fuck? How come? No, no, I'm not a star.Right. But I loved it. And I was still doing it. And I found jobs throughout the way that I enjoyed that kept me happy. But how about now is now is is different, as I've said to many people, you know,I'm, I hate to say I'm disabled,because that really imprisons me. So just understand that I'm not imposing on myself, but I have these disabilities that don't allow me to do much really, I'm homebound. I, I can't really work. Even people say, Well, why don't you work from home on the computer? And honestly, it's enough work for me just to get this podcast up and running. So I don't do much,but I gotta tell you what, Tom,I don't care. Because I've done so much work on myself the last few years. I'm happy man. And if I didn't even even if I didn't have the podcast, I'm cool. I'll sit here in my little apartment.I'll watch movies, because I love movies. And I'm cool.This, in and of itself is an extension. This podcast. Because when I was thinking about what I, when I wanted to do it, I was like, Oh, I have these tools.And I can put it to use and it's something to do. And I don't think my wife has listened to one episode. Oh, wow. Of my podcasts, which is fine. You know, I don't think it is. I don't think it's our thing. It's not my podcast. I think it's just podcast in general. But it was another extension. I you know, there was there will always be an entertainer vein in you. Correct. And this is this is that 100% This is and this is outreach. And you said you were doing work on yourself and I tell you what, like, deciding to do outreach is some of the best work.Tom I know 100% What you mean, I don't know that I did it purposefully. But I liked the way you say it and I agree with it.Yeah. I and I like the other experience like this, I remember when when you first introduced this, I think you sent me a text in June. And I'd been thinking about it for a long time and then and then basically my summer was just a whirlwind and still remains to be and but I finally found some I finally found a moment because this is something that interested me right off the bat. Especially doing it when you mentioned about doing it in the dark because it reminded me of because I did Chicago for a little bit and I did an improv in Chicago and there was an improv format called the bat where everybody was in the dark the audience the performers,performers would just sit on stage in the dark and you would really have to compromise your agendas through sound and and it was a great way to create Foley people would do sound effects create some things coming near you know, but it was like listening to Old Time Radio which is another huge genre love that love old time radio especially all the recorded things because they sat in little sweaty rooms and you know choked each other with their own cigarette smoke and created created these plays. It's amazing so I fail to remember what I where I was going with that but well I do know that you started talking about the darkness in this in what I'm doing. Oh yeah.So I was as as I know people who are happened to be listening know from description that we are in a darkened room. And I don't know how well it works for everybody. But I know for most of my guests. It does help there's a there was a sense of Something happening here of just we're not just chillin, we're chillin. Yeah. And as I, as I like to say, we're not putting on a show, we're just, we're just talking.This isn't. Yeah. You, you mentioned that I don't want to make this sound like this is an opportunity for performance. But this is still sort of a touchstone to say, hey, people,I'm still, I'm still here.Yeah. And, you know, no, I don't want to talk about myself all that so much, but, but I don't mind saying that. One of the things I told one of my friends when I was starting this is I honestly don't care if nobody listens. I'll just keep doing it, because I love doing it. And that's not fair to myself. I do care. As I always say, if one person listens, then that was worth it. I hate that saying,but I get it. And if one person listens, and they are touched by something, Tom said, Man, I just fucking I love it.Well, that's that's the beauty of creation, man. I mean, if you put something out there and just one person listens to it. Yeah,that's amazing. I was looking back at my insights have of where people have listened to my podcast and all over the world.Crazy. And that is that is. That is crazy. All I did was just sort of put it out on a platform and somebody decided to listen to it. I mean, whether they listened to 30 seconds of it, or I mean, whatever. It it reached that far. And I get that is something that just sort of touches me. Of course, it's mostly in the US, but I'm big in Germany, just like the Hoth.You kind of look like him with a mustache.Thank you. Yes. Yeah. Yes, the mustache.So you know what I'd really love to know about you is your upbringing, because you are.You're kind of a dork. You're a little nerdy. You're kind of cool. You're a little handsome.So you're all these weird things blended together. I would love to know about the upbringing,who was cool mom and dad, who was a dick of mom and dad.I, you know, I think they both had their own. They had their own times, but I they had their own moments, let me say. But I think that I think that dad got got the most attention for being cool. Mom. Mom crack down on us.But that to say that my dad wasn't. I learned so much from my dad. I mean, my dad, he's been gone for nine years now.And there isn't a day that he's not in my head. There isn't a day or a moment that I think about learning something from him in his own little way.Because when he was around his kids, or especially it was around me, we're getting older because we had a few years between us. I think my dad had probably cracked his 40s by the time that I came around. So I was I was late in the lineup. I got three older sisters. I'm sort of four and a half years behind my youngest sister. So I'm still in the element of you are spoiled.Again, I have spoiled. Yeah.From their perspective. Yes,yes. Yes. Absolutely. Yes. Had all the things any boy could ever want. Probably Tom earlier than it could should have. And maybe it wasn't exactly. But yes, I did. Absolutely.How in the world. Did you just come to that realization right now? Because I heard it hear you. How did you not know you were spoiled before this moment?I think it's just that I'd never said it out loud. It wasn't necessarily a come to it. But I just went home. I just went home to Kansas City, Missouri is where I'm from. And we were just back there saying my mom, whose birthday was July 24. And it was her 87th birthday. Amazing. Yes.So and she's still going despite health issues. Yeah. And right now her house sits empty except with all of our memories. And she is some she's living somewhere else. We had to get her out of the house. The house went through a renovation on the main floor and is a good starter home for anybody blah blah blah.REMAX Where is she now? She's just down the street. She is just down the street. We're someone who's taking care of her. She lives alone in her apartment. She's got one of her cats.Tom, I'm sorry that the house was too big. The house was becoming something unwieldy for her. She just couldn't manage the house. She couldn't manage living in the house. And it had the condition of it was just deteriorating,deteriorating.So how does that make you feel?Because it's because in my mind,I don't, I guess I don't want to lead you. But that would make me think, okay, my mom's definitely at her last years.Well, honestly, when she first got her cancer diagnosis about11 or 12 years ago, Omar, her health when her health went down, this is a relatively healthy woman who rarely, you know, had a glass of wine on a special occasion. Yeah, okay. So this, she did not. She, I don't know if she treated her body like a temple. But you know, she didn't treat it like a garbage can either. You know, most of our meals were cooked at home.You know, we learned to do all these things. She was a you know, very domestic, very healthy, and then all of a sudden God got multiple myeloma and that our health went down fast. And we really thought that we were going to lose her years ago. And believe me, there have been scares upon scares upon scares last year. Yeah, again,another scare. And once you got the cancer, and the nine years ago, were she living by herself for the most part.Now my dad was still alive. So sort of a cross time of losing him. And then watching her even more deteriorate more just due to chemo really?And it sounds like without you even telling me that she's probably still in good spirit.She Yeah, it's it's something you know, she's she's definitely a different mom. But she's pretty clear headed. And she's still got she's still got all of her faculties man. I mean, she is She weighs 100 Vishwas minus100. I mean, she is really just very, very tiny, frail and tiny.But during this trip we were going through, we were going through memories. And we had a whole bunch of memories to get through when, you know, found some memories that we thought that we had lost and such. But I remember just my sister sort of telling stories and everything.And I remember, in 1986, the Royals went to the World Series,and my dad took me aside like the rough, but I got to hear because I was what it was. I was14 So my I heard the story from my sister saying that first at first dad didn't want to take me because he couldn't drink with me. He couldn't like he couldn't celebrate, be He. He was taking his son. I don't like that. Oh,no, no, I find it to be very funny. Because that's just part of my that's just part of our family's sense of humor, and part of where it comes from. But I laughed because I had these I opened up this album and I saw I saw these ticket stubs that I had saved for the world's nice yeah. But I mean, I guess I kind of understand I don't have kids,myself. And my wife and I aren't are doing any family planning.Tom, you and I always when people say I have no regrets. I always kind of scoff because I think we all have regrets so we don't have to be huge, but to some level we have a regret. I don't know. I'm not asking what your regrets are but what would you tell young Tom? What would you tell a 20 year old Tom Have you had a chance to talk to him today lead with compassion and empathy in everything you do. And humanity.Man, I love that dude. Yeah,it's so much better than you know. Make sure to invest in this or blah blah blah. It's like no, this is about creating a better person to help create a better world that's awesome.Yeah I don't know I mean, personal journey. I think that I I think that I became a bad person and came back around.But um, I'm sorry, when were you a bad person?I don't know. You know, I mean,those are the things I don't want to get into but I have to say it out loud that you know, I I've had my moments. Yeah, where If I wasn't kind, okay, and may I ask how you got out of it?Or you came back around to goodness,I think it was, I think there was a lot of positive outreach that I think it was about hitting hitting a point where I couldn't work and operate like this anymore. And had to strangely had to really sort of dig in deep and be very selfish to discover, to discover all of it. And you know, they tell you,is this an acting school? And you know, you hear it a million times, and especially when you're in acting schools, the time you don't listen to about being the moment be in the moment. Yeah, it's just like,there's, there's no other place to be no other place than here.And now. Yep. And it is a constant. It's a constant reminder. It's, it's on my mind more than I more than I know it because I had to train I had to retrain myself. And it is possible, it is possible from going to be kind of a well, I don't know, kind of a jerk going from being a jerk. Let's just there's no kind of about it, to coming around and discovering some things about yourself.Letting yourself off the hook for things that you've held. For a long time.Did you find your own path to that? Or somebody helped you?I think, no, I had help. I had a lot of help.purposeful, help somebody that intervened, or you went to them?He both, you know, I think it was talking to talking to a friend, and then it was and then it was then it was outreach. And then it's never that just hasn't stopped. Because that was just a tool. Yeah, that you learn.I have to pay you the biggest compliment that if somebody had said, Oh, Tom Farnan was a bad person and a jerk. During this time of his life. I would say the world we're talking about the different Tom. Because you were so nice. You've always been nice. I've never seen a hint of you. Like, you know, when somebody was bad before you can kind of see like, oh, shit,okay. Yeah, I saw his bad side.You've never had that.I guess probably, you know,during the like, when I started seeing you in the rooms. You know, when when we, when I first met you, and we've when we first started building a relationship,I think I was probably I mean, I was on my bike. So I was at a pretty low point then. So that that was when the self discovery was starting. So it wasn't really that long ago. I so I knew you really were a jerk?No, you knew me like after the fact. After the worst of it.Yeah. Yes.And I got to ask you, because now I'm curious. Now you're my teacher. I know who I used to be. And I wasn't a jerk. But let's just say some might say I had jerk qualities. And I don't believe I have those anymore.I'm a new guy. And but I've got to say that I do think it's work. I work at who I am every single day, every single minute.It's easier every day. But there's no denying that it's work. Do you want now that you're no longer a bad person?Is it just that's the way it is?Or do you like me have to work at it every single day? Every single minute?Oh, yeah. No, you have to work.It is it is something. And,look, it's not about. It's not about selfishness. It's an investment. You are reinvesting in yourself. Every day, like I've always said that happiness is more is is more of a setting than it is a goal because everybody wants to be happy.Well, I mean, you can wake up and decide to be happy and then take the steps on what it takes for you to be happy. Yeah,again, train your train yourself to do that. And I mean, as far as a good person, I'd have to say that I'm better than I was.And again, it is just a reminder of it's a reminder of letting yourself off the hook for old business, getting old business out of your life because There's a life ahead. And if you're still going to, if you're still going to focus on the old business, then that's exactly where you're going to be. So it's a very good point. So it really is letting go of resentments. And that gets easier when you get older.Because I mean, as you know,it's just like, you just don't have time, you don't have the mental space to waste on such on a lot of trivialities that come by and, and I have to chalk it up to, you know, getting to getting to have these years to get older and realize it. I mean, imagine at my worst time,and then I just get hit by a car and then it's just all over.Just that yeah, that fucking guy. And that's the end the memory that Sue has of me. Oh,that jerk he dying truly awful.Yeah, good riddance. But now I got a chance to make it better.You know, not that you asked.But back to the what would what would I tell old Michael or 20year old Michael, I will tell you this. I wish I would conduct myself and take care of myself.Mentally then as I do now.Because, you know, I know who I was back then. And I knew what I was covering up and pretending to be. And I'm so much more comfortable. Not pretending to be shit. But who I am.Yeah, I like I like, I like transparent. Well, look, being a guy and being young, we think we have very little to lose. Yeah.And we, we operate on that. We operate on that sort of danger.Yeah. And, and eventually, at least that's what it was for me is that I was just, I was just really tired of putting myself I just recognize it as insanity.And all of it. I mean, this all sounds sort of, you know, it all sounds sort of like AAA and stuff. And I'd have to say that that kind of fellowship had something to do with it. I mean,not necessarily the A part but you know,you know, it's funny because I do recognize even though I'm not in the program, I do understand the program from other friends and and at first I was reluctant when I was like, the my course of action is it's just like the course of action of AAA and I'm not involved with them but Barbara Barbara was just that was old me talking, refusing to improve. And then when I finally just accepted though, like fuck it it is like a so what I started out humble. I wasn't humble for a while I got humility back I think is the I think is it's sort of the Ark of the story is discovering humility and in there is the word human and discovering humanity.Do you think velvet Tom has humility? I think he has more of it than I have. I learned a lot from velvet, Tom, because velvet Tom gives me the permission to say some of the things that I don't get to say, oh, yeah, he does.And, and that's okay. Because those things are on people's minds. Anyway. It's, it's just,it's just music. And I've always regarded it as a Jazz Pop act with a wink. And I'm doing the same thing and have been doing for 20 years that the same thing that postmodern jukebox is doing that Richard cheese is doing. I mean, we're all really sort of doing the same thing. And we're doing it all our way. And the more the merrier. Really, I tell you what, there needs to be more lounge. As far as I'm concerned.I like it.Tom, you're going to yes, you're gonna riff a goodbye song filled with Tom style for us.Um, do you want to improvise song or do you want improvised right now you're kicking us out, go.The darkness is lighting up. The darkness is lighting. Find the lie. Find the lights that sprites. Now you're gonna want to follow that light. It's big and bright. Follow that light all the way. Follow the light.Follow that light. Follow that light to the end of the day all right, you guys. Thanks for coming out. That was awesome.We're going to be back in a couple of weeks. So hopefully you'll join us then. And if you feel so inclined, please leave Leave a positive review on any of your, your favorite platforms. And if you didn't like us, of course, this is Xavier McGillicuddy signing out for today it's Michael Vieyra You knucklehead See you later