The Art of Being Jordan Pease


I was lucky enough to interview the very talented and bold author/comedian Jordan Pease. When we began our conversation, I was immediately taken by the 23-year-old's passion for life and dedication to his craft.

"When I first moved to California from New Jersey, I had grandiose dreams of everything magically falling into place," said Pease. "But I quickly learned there are numerous amazingly talented people trying to follow the path I've chosen. It became clear that if I am to succeed, I need to throw everything into my work."

Jordan Pease in San FranciscoHard work wasn't a new concept for the youngster. As a youth in New Jersey, Pease was a leading varsity soccer player and gifted student -

"I always had a deep sense of pride in anything I attempted. I was taught from an early age that if presented with an opportunity or a talent, I should give 100 percent of what I've got."

The same is true where his inner-truths are concerned -

"When it became clear that I was gay, I knew I had to be real with my friends and family."

This included telling his soccer teammates.

"They were totally supportive and treated me like any other player. I worked hard, they worked hard, and that was all that mattered."

And then his father died.

"I was 19 and in the process of trying to get the balls up to make something of myself. I always felt there was a greater purpose for my life. The challenges I faced (including the death of my dad) pushed me out of my comfort zone and toward LA."

Pease didn't know a single person when he made the big move and this didn't stop him for a second.

"The secret to my success thus far is to never stop. I've always got a notebook with me. I never know when inspiration is going to hit or when I may score a gig. So I'm always trying to be one step ahead of the game."

In 2013 alone, Pease has performed at more than 60 comedy shows throughout the U.S. and abroad.

imgres-1"I have a long way to go," said Pease. "I won't give up until I make the big time. I want to prove to people my age and younger that with had work anything can happen."

"I keep hearing tons of excuses from my peers as to why they aren't working hard toward a goal. One of the lamest is that the economy sucks. I'm going to prove that's a bunch of B.S."

Not only does he continue to score gigs, Pease is also the author of two books. His first, Don't Let me Go, was published in 2010 and is based on his varsity soccer years. The second is a memoir that was published at the beginning of this year. Accidentally Ok satirically chronicles his 90-day adventure through Europe when he was 21.

While Jordan Pease is undoubtably a hilarious human being, I'm most impressed by his willingness to be artfully himself and belief that his wildest dreams will one day come true.

You can't get much bolder than that!

Enjoy one of his comedy acts, and please pass it on:

Post by Jen Engevik
Project Be Bold

Christine Schwab on Bold Living, Overcoming Obstacles, and Rheumatoid Arthritis

One day, I came across an amazing woman when searching for  bold individuals to feature on Project BE Bold. My hope was to discover a being that couldn't resist but follow his or her inner voice/passion in an effort to make the world a better place. My search led me to the Website of Christine Schwab. A pioneer in the TV makeover world, she has worked to inspire people seeking a new lease on life via Live with Regis and Kelly, Oprah, Entertainment Tonight, the CBS Early Show, and more.

In her recent book Take Me Home from the Oscars: Arthritis, Television, Fashion, and Me, Schwab shares the harrowing discovery that she had developed Rheumatoid Arthritis and the events that shaped her life up to that point. Her heartfelt and inspired book reveals the fighter within who has dared to inspire others to live their dreams and overcome their limitations.

I hope the following Q & A session will inspire your heart. Please pass this interview on to anyone you may think will benefit from Christine's wisdom and inspiration:

1. What were your earliest recollections as a child and how have they helped shape you as an adult? Being boarded in foster homes. I think the insecurity of my life then turned into the impetus to succeed, as I became an adult. I always wanted a better life and was determined to work hard to achieve it.

2. When did you know that you wanted to be a part of the entertainment world? I didn’t. I started out working part time doing makeup and became interested in the entire package of a person. I opened a day spa where we took that entire person into consideration, hair, skin care, clothes, make up, exercise, and diet. It was very successful and ground breaking. We got a lot of media attention, one form being TV and somehow it came naturally to me and I just clicked. After seven years running the spa and doing TV to promote it, I sold the spa and decided to give TV a run as a full time career.

3. How did you get your first career break? It really came through press for the salon. As the buzz increased, TV came. My first show was a morning show in LA with Regis Philbin. I worked for 25 years with Regis on national TV. It was a great match. I also learned to think on my feet working with him, which came in really handy for live TV.

4. What is the boldest thing you ever have done within your career?  Give up my salon and go for TV. It was so scary and unknown. Up to then I had only appeared on TV to promote my salon. The decision to just work in TV was bold and many said foolish, and yet it worked and I loved it. Not managing 60 people anymore, just putting together segments was so much more creative for me.

5. What were the first signs that you had Rheumatoid Arthritis? My feet started bothering me when I was in New York doing a week of makeovers for Live. I thought I had just overdone it on the treadmill but as the week progressed, my pain became worse and moved up to my knees.

6. How did the diagnosis affect you mental well being in the beginning? It floored me. And I returned to my childhood method of denial in order to keep my career going. I knew I would lose my career if the word got out and so I made sure it didn’t…for twenty years. And the denial helped me to cope. I refused to read any books on arthritis, refused to talk about it except to my doctor. I lived in the same fantasy-land that enabled me to survive my childhood.

7. When did you come to the conclusion that you could make a difference for others with Rheumatoid Arthritis? It came to me. I never set out to be an advocate. But the story was brewing inside my head and I finally put it down on paper. When it sold to a publisher, I knew my secret would be out. I contacted the national arthritis foundation and the rest was history. As I started speaking out, the feedback encouraged me to speak louder. The reason I didn’t come out was because of the negative connotation about arthritis. I became determined to change that stigma.

8. For others diagnosed with arthritis, what advice can you provide on staying strong and gaining appropriate treatment? Be aggressive in finding a good, progressive doctor. Someone who gets you. I dedicated my book to my doctor at UCLA because he got me and kept me moving forward with promises of new medications coming in the research pipeline. He never gave up on hope or on me.

9. What is Christine's Kids and how can others get involved? Christine’s Kids is one of my Facebook pages. I started it because in the beginning I never knew that kids got arthritis too. I thought, like most people that it was a disease of the old and disabled. Not so. When I started meeting these kids and their families I was shocked. Their plight is so difficult. These kids fight daily for their childhood. I wanted to create more awareness for them and let the world know that this disease knows no age boundaries. Each week I feature another child on Christine’s kids. They are superheroes to me. Others can help by coming to my Facebook page and clicking on “like” and then sharing it with friends. The more people we reach, the more awareness we achieve. The link to christine’s kids is

10. What advice can you give to those seeking strength in today's world? I would encourage anyone who had any adversity in their life to read my book Take Me Home from the Oscars. It is honest and insightful, and mostly offers hope. I had to overcome adversity. I know it can be done. Otherwise you let the adversity win, and that is just not acceptable. How do we best harness our bold selves?  You have to believe in yourself. Whatever it takes, for me it was education. Learning to be a writer, learning to deal in business. And of course working in television gave me great confidence. Don’t settle, keep growing and improving. We are never finished, there is always more to learn and do in life.

11. Please share your favorite quote(s) of all time...

"Thoroughbreds wear blinders and they run their own race."

This quote has gotten me through so many tough times. I have willed myself to just get out my blinders and keep going forward!


Thank you Christine for your inspiration and willingness to share! For more information on Christine, please visit

- Post By Jen Engevik of Project BE Bold

Jennifer Aaker on the Pursuit of Happiness

Enjoy this inspiring speech by Jennifer Aaker, a truly inspiring professor at Stanford University and co-author of The Dragon Effect. Here she teaches how to make a difference in the world and find true happiness:

USC's Seth Doane and Prince Harry Interview

As a graduate of USC, I am always proud when I see one of my classmates accomplish something amazing. Back in the day, Seth Doane and I attended classes together and enjoyed deep discussions on life. Now I am proud to say that Seth is reporting for CBS and has just recently interviewed Prince Harry in Africa. Congratulations Seth on working so very hard to make this moment a reality...


- Post by Jen Engevik

Abuse and Reuse: Affton Shouse Goes Bold & Shares Tips for Innovation

When I jumped into creating Project BE Bold last year, one of my key goals was to showcase people out there using their passions to make the world a better place. I think it is truly important to learn from innovators who find ways to use their talents in a way that is unique and bold.

Meet Affton Shouse, resident of Bend, Oregon and founder of Abuse and Reuse candle & body products. In an effort to be a steward of the earth; a dispenser of healthy, organic and local products; and the creator of kick-in-the-pants, one-of-a-kind wares -- Affton has had a blast and inspired those around her. Her concept is to take used wine, beer, liquor and soda bottles and transform them into candle holders. She then fills them with organic soy wax, scented with one of her collection of 170 natural scents.

Beyond creating candle votives that inspire her, Affton also takes requests. Her clients often bring her bottles that have sentimental value - rather than have the bottle sit to collect dust, she transforms them into keepsakes that can be used forever.

It's amazing when we dare to break the mold and dive into a trade with passion. Those around an innovator tend to become inspired, jump on the bandwagon and the next step comes naturally. For Affton, the process is taking her local project countrywide. Soon her Website will go live for the world to see...stay tuned!!

The following is an interview that I was fortunate enough to conduct with Affton. May her words and thoughts inspire you to dive into your very own unique passion:

Where did you grow up? Beautiful Hailey, Idaho. I went to Wood River High School.

What did you like to do as a child? I always enjoyed arts and crafts. Making friendship bracelets that I took to school and sold when I was like 10! ha! Loved interacting-- always had a ton of friends. I also liked playing football after school with the neighborhood boys! I was always the only girl.

Tell us about your school experience – why did you like and/or dislike school? I loved art class...hated anything that involved doing homework. I love the social part of school and loved my teachers. I always did very well on tests, but barely passed classes because I refused to do homework! If I could go back knowing what I know now, I think I would have been a straight A student!

What are your passions/interests in life?  I love getting dirty. Camping has always been a huge part of my life along with fishing and hunting. I enjoy being outside no matter what the activity may be. My passion is self sufficiency...I love being able to do my own thing!

What inspired Abuse and Reuse? I had been saving bottles that appealed to me. After a  pile of them in my window seal I realized I either needed to do something with them or throw them out. I had made candles before and loved the idea...WaLa!!!

Do you have competition, and how do your product offerings differ? Every business has competition. There are a lot of people that had this idea before I began - I strive to make my products better by using the finest materials. I am very into my local community and try to buy everything possible right here in Bend, Oregon. I also pride myself on my customer base. My customers thus far have shown extreme loyalty and great constructive criticism which has helped me grow and provide a better product.

How can you make yourself stand out above your competition? Listening. I love feedback on every single item that I sell, whether it is good or bad. Listening to what my customers want and expect from my products has put me above my competition. This idea is pretty new to the Northwest which gives it a huge advantage!

Tell me about the bottle/candle making process? Do you enjoy the process? What are the challenges? The candle making process is actually quite lengthy. First is the cutting of the bottle. Then comes the sanding which takes about 15 minutes per bottle for the smooth texture. The filling of the holder is the longest process, taking up to two days! I am always trying to better my techniques and speed up my process. I enjoy my product but do to the length of the hole filling process I have my moments of discouragement.

How will you reach out to customers so they know you’re there? Word of mouth. I am constantly talking about what I do and where to find my products. Being made of recycled materials makes for great conversation and interest amongst many people.

What advice can you offer those looking to start their own? Don't be scared. There are so many options and opportunities out there for small business owners, especially women. Utilize your resources and don't give up! Owning a business is very discouraging at times, but hard work, dedication, and persistence goes a long way!

What would you do if money weren’t an object? How would you approach your business and life? Keep doing what I'm doing! Sure, I wouldn't have to make due with old tools and slow equipment, but I love what I do. Not going to lie, an employee or two would help!

In you mind, what does it mean to live boldly? Stand out and stand behind what you believe in. Don't judge and don't be judged.

What are your favorite quotes? Live like you are dying!

As Affton continues to grow her business, Project BE Bold will provide updates. Stay tuned! To order her products prior to her site launching, visit the Abuse and Reuse Facebook page by clicking here.

- Post By Jen Engevik

Tanna Frederick on Bold Living

For the past couple of years I have been fortunate enough to help represent the Body Glove brand

Tanna Frederick, Actress & Ocean Activist

at the annual Save Our Surf charity event and have observed first-hand the passion of Actor  Tanna Frederick, the founder of the non-profit organization. Tanna is the epitome of a bold human being. Her love for people, the ocean and willingness to make difference has inspired me to new heights, and I know she will inspire you!!

The following is my recent Q & A session with amazing Tanna:

Tell me a bit about where you come from. Where did you grow up? What were your interests/passions when you were young? I grew up in Iowa in a big family whose life and sustenance depended on the land and taking care of it. We were all hyper-sensitive to the weather, the changing patterns of the soil, the climate, the animals. Not only that, but the past time of my family, friends, relatives was to take vacations in nature. It was our 'time-off'. Picnics, camping, hikes...

We had a huge beautiful state laid out in front of us with tons of wildlife and wilderness and very little cement and city life. I have always derived happiness and peace from the natural state of things. I will always work to keep things undeveloped and closest to their natural state.

I wanted to be a garbage man as a kid, so I could 'pick up all the garbage that people dropped on the ground.' Instead I became an actor, but I still consider myself somewhat of a garbage man. I like to clean stuff up. Even more than that, I like to not have to clean stuff up, for it to be kept clean in the first place. I believe we can maintain that in this world, and in our oceans, and will fight to see it happen.

When did you realize that you have a passion for acting and the arts? How did you first tap into that passion? I don't ever remember not having it. I was born with it, and started doing theatre at a very young age, as many shows as I could do every year. It was never a question of not acting, because I can't live without it. I've always experienced the divine dissatisfaction of never having done enough, refined my work enough, learned more, played enough roles.

You seem to be a person who dares to follow your heart. What advice can you give others about following their own? Life is short. The worst enemy of each of us is that little voice inside our heads that tells us to be 'reasonable'. There's no time for being reasonable. We are a tiny blip, one sixteenth of a frame in this whole history of a 35 mm movie reel of existence of this universe. Make the most of what you got because it's a lot.

What does the ocean mean to you? It means life, it means support, it means peace and sustenance…It means magic and possibility and mystery, and our ultimate family tree - where we came from - it's our key to the past and our future. It means family, it means love. It means healing. And it means surfing. And surfing means total world domination. Just kidding. But it is what I love, so I like to keep my playground clean.

When did you learn to surf? How has learning to surf affected/changed your life?
When life feels incredibly difficult or I get frustrated by rejection or the stress of being in a very challenging industry, I suit up and get into the water and everything becomes peaceful and serene. I catch a wave, get tossed about underwater, see a pod of dolphins swimming by, get bitten by a playful seal, and am reminded that I am minuscule in the scheme of things. I take myself less seriously and am reminded how lucky I am to be a tiny organism and get a little taste of this big amazing planet. It calms my mind, gives me perspective that I've never gotten through another sport. Tames the rabid actor's ego.

Can you describe what it feels like to ride a wave on your surfboard? Like flying. Like losing your virginity (can you put this on the internet, if not it's okay -- note from Jen -- yes you can!! It's all about being bold here :-D ). Every single wave. Because it's just that time, that moment, that wave, that will never be the same again. Only that moment and what you do on that wave is what you have, and no wave and move is the same - ever.

How did Project Save Our Surf come about? What drove you to dive in and dare to make a difference?
Frustration with getting sick and seeing the other surfers get sick from dirty water. Watching surfers, who I see as silent heroes, cleaning up the water one piece of trash at a time, and realizing that they should be at the forefront of ocean conservation movements. Their efforts should be seen and heard as leaders and examples of what to strive for. Because they know, they experience daily changes in the oceans on a mental, physical, and spiritual basis. They care.

Any ideas on how people can best care for the ocean?
There are endless ways. What I believe in is first and foremost just plain 'showing up'. Showing up at Project Save Our Surf and supporting each other and coming together to acknowledge a common interest is a HUGE step within itself. My fundamental approach to this organization is accessibility and education. Those two key elements create action and movement. To go from having 30 people three years ago on the beach to 6,000 this year shows the power of movement, the acknowledgment for change, and the beginning of change. To educate yourself, to read one article a day, even a week, on water conservation is a simple example of what I would recommend people start with. And then, in turn, to eventually get involved with people who are rallying together for the cause of our ocean preservation, even if it's one day out of the year, to just 'show up', can build mountains in terms of protecting our fragile ecosystems.

How can people get involved with Project Save Our Surf?
Easy! Check out the website, click on participate, sign up to surf or volunteer in next year's event…Join us in our trips to the Gulf, or put a team together. Also come on board and express ideas we may not have thought of, raise issues you want to see addressed, come to us with a project you'd like to see happen. We're just a baby in terms of organizations, and we have a ton of freedom and excitement and fresh perspectives thanks to everyone who is stepping up to the plate…And we need more people!

You are an amazing example of someone who has dared to become an activist -- you have jumped in and created a powerful movement!! What advice can you give to men, women and children who want to make a difference in the world, no matter what their area of activism? How do they create a movement of their own?
Inspire yourself. Let others inspire you. Create a family of people who surround you and support your same efforts, and never lose sight of your goal and your ultimate purpose. Do not let petty fights or ego or personalities get in the way of that. Remain true to those dedicated to your mission, fight to keep them around you. Realize how tiny we are, how great the fight is, and stay the course. Start with baby steps, because those are the biggest steps even though you don't realize it, and never diminish the enormity of your work.

What are your secret ingredients to living a bold life? Do something that scares you. All the time. Challenge your body and your brain, because it expands your soul. The second I'm scared, I know I'm alive. Thrive on that. Take risks. Take what you don't think you can do, make the goal forty times bigger, and go after that. You'll be shocked at how amazing you are.

What is your favorite quote?

"You can just take this job and shove it."  Haha. It's weird. Why can't I come up with a better one that that? I don't know. It's just the first one that comes to my mind. Because I think I've never wanted to be in that position. I've seen a lot of people in jobs they hate. And even working the worst jobs out here, packing pasta, answering phones, cleaning toilets in Pizza Hut, hauling pans of ribs at catering events, I was on a mission. And I was determined not to have a 9 to 5 job because it didn't work for me. I never wanted to say, 'I don't want to go to work today'. I didn't want to need a vacation, because I wanted to love what I was doing too much that it felt like one great, exciting vacation. I'm pretty darn close to that.

- Post by Jen Engevik of Project BE Bold

Artist Wolfgang Bloch on Creativity & Bold Living

Meet world-renowned artist Wolfgang Bloch who understands the importance of a solid support system, true inspiration, hard work, education and humility as he lives out his dreams.

A resident of Laguna Beach, California, Bloch is proof that with hard work and the ability to share what lies within the heart -- possible is anything:

Tell us about your childhood. What things did you enjoy taking part in? Did you have any idea that you would one day become an artist?
To me it was a pretty normal upbringing; it was all I knew at the time. I was born and raised in Ecuador. My father was German and my mother from Chilean descent. We grew up in a small house in the suburbs of Guayaquil, speaking German and Spanish and intertwining both cultures.

My father didn't believe in television, so I was forced to entertain myself. Fortunately we had a large yard and our house was surrounded by open space where I learned to appreciate nature.

Being the tropics there was so much life everywhere with lots of interesting creatures.  Like most kids, I enjoyed art, specially drawing. I began collecting insects,and spent hours drawing them in great detail.

My father became my role model; I spent a lot of time with him, traveling by car throughout Ecuador on work related trips and on weekends playing tennis with him and his friends.

He always introduced me as the artist in the family, but I never imagined it as a career.

When did you decide to become an artist? Did anyone guide you in the direction of becoming one? Did you have any resistance to the idea?
I left Ecuador and moved to Florida after graduating from high school, in hopes to become a marine biologist.

I did OK with my science courses, but struggled with math for a year. I took a drawing class to fulfill my electives credits and found out that I was actually good at it.

I took more art classes and with the help of my professors, I decided to change my major into art.

Fortunately my parents were always supportive with my decision.
My father told that no matter what I decided to become, I should always love it.

What did you learn from your days in art school? Do you feel that it is essential for artists to have formal training?
I'm a big believer in college education; I feel schooling helps enlighten and expose us to the world.

I think it makes you well rounded, which gives you a broader base and deeper understanding. You can then use that information and make it your own.

I see that you have a love for the ocean. What does the ocean mean to you? What do you love most about it?
The ocean is the inspiration and essence to my work. Its size, its constant physical and visual movement, fascinates me.

It's beautiful, powerful, quiet, mesmerizing and grand. Rather than recreating something I've witnessed, in my paintings emotion dictates the pace.

Explain your use of wood within your works of art. Where do you search for it? How does it affect your paintings?
I love wood, it's a material I've always been familiar with. It provides great texture an color.

Since I use reclaimed wood, each piece has a story to tell; it was once a tree and then perhaps part of a fence, a cabinet or a house.

It's imperfect, organic and interesting. I always leave a section of the wood as I found it, to show it's original condition.

I think all of this adds interest and dimension to my work. I think it's a way for me to reconnect with nature.

Project BE Bold is an attempt to dare men and women to take chances. What advice can you give readers in respects to going for it?
It's a cliche, but I think we should always trust our own instinct. Deep inside we know what we want.

The hardest part is trusting yourself enough to take that first step and then, not looking back. If you're not happy where you are in life, at some point you have to make a change.

Life's too short to waste it doing something that doesn't matter to you.

In my mind artists are as bold as one can get because you have to share your inner world on a daily basis. Do you agree? Can you tell readers a bit about an artists inner world and how it feels to share it with the world?
At the beginning of my career it was very difficult to be as you call it "bold"; to share my work with people I didn't know, or walk into a gallery looking for representation.

Now I know It was because of lack of self confidence. Once you understand and believe that this is what you are supposed to do; it's what I studied to become, it's what I know best, then you don't see it as being bold.

I believe in my work and I understand that some people connect with it and others don't, and that's OK with me.

Any advice for artists trying to break into the art world?
My advice would be to always do it because you love it. Be original and stay true to what you are. If you're lucky enough to make a living at it, that's a bonus, but don't go into it for any other reason.

Do you have any current or upcoming exhibits that you would like to share with our readers? Any books or Websites?
My studio in Laguna Beach is open to anyone interested in looking at my work.

I'm also having a solo show in December at SCAPE Gallery in Corona Del Mar, Calif.:

In 2008 Chronicle Books published a book about my story and work titled Wolfgang Bloch: The Colors of Coincidence. It was written by Mike Stice and designed by David Carson. The book is available throughout bookstores, or directly through Chronicle Books at

Visit my website to see samples of my work, and hopefully you'll connect with it:

What is your favorite quote of all time?
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act. It's a habit." Aristotle

- Interview by Jen Engevik of Project BE Bold