048 What a 10-year-old Can Tell Us about Performing

048 What a 10-year-old Can Tell Us about Performing

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What does my 10-year-old son know about communicating and performing? How does he think about his entrepreneurial dad? Interview with Jake.

00:02 Michael Port: Welcome to Steal the Show with Michael Port. This is Michael. Today I have a guest, this is in fact the first guest that I have on the show. Amy led the show with me. Amy is my business partner and soon to be wife. But today I have a guest. Today’s guest also shares my last name, although he’s quite a bit younger. He’s 10-years-old, and his name is Jacob Port, and he is my son.

00:29 Michael Port: Hi Jake.

00:30 Jacob Port: Hey.

00:31 Michael Port: How are you?

00:31 Jake: Good. How are you?

00:32 Michael Port: Happy to be here?

00:33 Jake: Yep.

00:33 Michael Port: Good. I’m gonna ask you some questions, and hopefully, your answers will be relevant to the people who are listening. Even though you’re 10-years-old I think you know a lot about life.

00:44 Jake: Okay.

00:44 Michael Port: Okay. What’s it like to have a father who’s a performer?

00:53 Jake: It’s pretty interesting. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s awesome being able to see my father on stage, or on… Really anywhere, on books, on stage, on microphone.

01:10 Michael Port: Yeah, so what’s it like? So you’ve listened to all the podcasts.

01:13 Jake: Yeah.

01:13 Michael Port: What are you learning from the podcasts about performance? What are some of the things that you’ve heard that have resonated with you as a kid?

01:23 Jake: A few of the things was speaking, I feel some of those ideas and skills can help me persuade somebody to thinking in my way.

01:37 Michael Port: Very nice. And do you find yourself in situations where you need to do that? So what’s a situation where you might wanna try to convince somebody of something that you think or you wanna get a yes from them?

01:50 Jake: In different situations sometimes in school when we’re doing group work. I have an idea and everybody else does too, and sometimes we explain what the idea is. And we choose which one’s best.

02:03 Michael Port: So each person expresses their idea. And then the group chooses which idea they wanna follow through on.

02:10 Jake: Yeah.

02:11 Michael Port: And when you present your idea how do you go about presenting it?

02:15 Jake: I liked what I heard on one of the podcasts, is to pause after saying something that could be influential or…

02:25 Michael Port: Impactful.

02:26 Jake: Yeah. Also, not using filler words, like as I heard in one of the podcasts.

02:33 Michael Port: Right. Like basically, sorta, kinda. You state your point very clearly. Say, “This is what I think we should do. I think it would be great.” Do you think about why they would wanna do it when you explain it to them? And is that part of your pitch so to speak? To say, “Here’s why I think we should do this. Here’s why I think you would enjoy doing it.” Do you do that?

02:57 Jake: Sometimes. Sometimes I say it as if what they think wouldn’t be best. Because sometimes it might be a little harder to do, but it would be better to do it.

03:14 Michael Port: And, okay, so, when you were at one of our master classes a couple of weeks ago in New York City, and you saw me coach people on stage. And you saw the business panel where some of my friends, my colleagues came and talked about what it’s like to be in the business of speaking, entrepreneurship, et cetera. What are one of two things that you learned, or you discovered while watching the grown ups being coached by me on their speeches?

03:43 Jake: Well, I learned that you were very… Well, I’m gonna say, good.

[laughter]

03:48 Jake: Very good.

03:49 Michael Port: Well, thank you Jacob.

03:50 Jake: Yeah, at coaching. Also, I liked how you let them do a tiny bit, but then cut in to give an idea, a suggestion.

04:01 Michael Port: And did you find that all of them could take the suggestion right away and make a change?

04:08 Jake: 99% of them.

04:09 Michael Port: Yeah, and were there ever times when people resisted, got a little nervous or uncomfortable?

04:15 Jake: Every now and then, yeah.

04:16 Michael Port: Yeah. And what did you find when they got uncomfortable, what did you see happen? Were they able to make a step forward, or did they sorta stay stuck?

04:24 Jake: After they did it one or two times… They weren’t stuck any more. They just did as you said.

04:31 Michael Port: Yeah. And watching somebody make that kind of change, how does that make you feel about what’s possible for you as you grow up?

[pause]

04:43 Jake: Well, I feel like if I really try to do something, I could do it and even fast as they did it on stage. If I just convince myself and try to do it.

04:56 Michael Port: So, you’ll stay, you have… In the book. I don’t know if I did a podcast episode on this. I don’t know if you may have heard this, but one of the things that I talk about in Steal the Show is the idea of acting, ‘as if.’ Imagining yourself in a particular situation and killing it, doing really well. Is that the kind of thing you’re talking about, imagining yourself, seeing yourself, doing the thing that you wanna do?

05:22 Jake: Yeah.

05:23 Michael Port: Cool. Okay, so now, a couple more questions, then we’re gonna wrap up. I’ll let you go back to whatever game you were playing before I stole you for this. What’s it like to have parents who are entrepreneurs?

05:37 Jake: It’s pretty amazing. I get to see a lot of, things that normally I wouldn’t be able to see. Like the… Well, one of the things is, before Steal the Show came out, I got to read a little part of the book. And I thought it was really cool. ‘Cause I could see some of the notes you had taken on the book.

06:03 Michael Port: That’s nice. And what about… One of the things that we’ve often talked about is, you have no idea what it’s like to have a dad who has to work somewhere else.

06:14 Jake: Yeah. No idea.

06:15 Michael Port: So when you go to school, I’m here, and when you come home, I’m here. If you’re sick, then, I’m here. If we need to go to an appointment during the day, I’m here. So a lot of dads, unfortunately, and moms too, of course, they leave the home very early in the morning and they don’t come back till late at night. So they don’t get the same kind of time that we do, together. So what’s it like to spend that much time with your father, because he works from home? Is it annoying at all, ’cause I’m always around? Or do you see benefits? Do you like it?

07:00 Jake: I do like it, because we get to do a lot of stuff together and some things that are more technical and more complex for me to do, I could get your help to do it.

07:13 Michael Port: Very nice. That’s really great. And what do you think you might do when you grow up?

07:18 Jake: I want to do what you do.

[laughter]

07:19 Michael Port: How come?

07:21 Jake: It just looks awesome, because you get to do all the stuff. I’ve always loved writing, not necessarily fictional, but about facts, putting facts together. Also, I thought it was really cool that you are on stage…

07:41 Michael Port: You like that?

07:42 Jake: And teaching people how to be on stage.

07:44 Michael Port: Well, after this, we need to go work on your speech for the wedding.

07:47 Jake: Yeah.

07:48 Michael Port: You gotta, maybe another page to go or so.

07:51 Jake: Yeah.

07:52 Michael Port: So, last question, what is it like writing a speech? Jake is writing a speech for our wedding. Amy and I are getting married and it’s now… It’s just four weeks away. We’ve gotta go get Jake’s…

08:02 Jake: Really?

08:03 Michael Port: Tux. Yeah. Maybe this week we’ll get it.

08:04 Jake: Yeah.

08:05 Michael Port: And Jake is writing a speech, ’cause he wants to give a speech at the wedding. So what’s it like writing the speech, what’s it been like?

08:13 Jake: It’s been harder than I thought it would be, because I don’t really know what I can and can’t say.

08:20 Michael Port: Mm-Hmm. You mean, what you’re allowed to say? Or what you’re not allowed to say?

08:23 Jake: Yeah.

08:24 Michael Port: Really?

08:25 Jake: Yeah.

08:25 Michael Port: Okay.

08:26 Jake: But since you’ve been helping me with it, it’s been much, much easier.

08:31 Michael Port: Yeah.

08:31 Jake: Yeah.

08:32 Michael Port: You actually have a natural ability to write that kind of material. His jokes kill, they’re so good. He’s just gotta…

08:41 Jake: Now the joke’s gonna be ruined.

08:43 Michael Port: No. Well, they’re not gonna hear it.

08:45 Jake: Well, yeah.

08:46 Michael Port: They won’t be at the wedding, unfortunately. We wish everybody who’s listening could, but that would be a very expensive wedding if hundreds of thousands of people were actually there. You might have to leave school and start work earlier if that’s the case. We need a couple extra bucks to make that work.

09:02 Jake: Yeah.

09:02 Michael Port: Yeah?

09:03 Jake: Yeah.

09:04 Michael Port: Jake, I love you very much. You are the apple of my eye, the joy of my life, and I’m so incredibly proud of you. Thank you for doing this with me.

09:13 Jake: No problem.

09:14 Michael Port: So that was Jacob Port. He is 10-years-old, in the fifth grade, and someday he might be writing books and out in the world as an entrepreneur doing big things. And I hope that you are doing big things, too. So you see, if a 10-year-old can tackle speeches and performances and can see himself as capable of doing the things that he wants to do, of course, you can, too. So keep thinking big about who you are and what you offer the world. I love you very much, and not in a weird way. But I love you for being a big thinker, for going out in the world and making a difference, for standing in the service of others as you stand in the service of your destiny.

09:53 Michael Port: If you haven’t yet picked up a copy of ‘Steal The Show,’ you can do so, anywhere books are sold. And if you need anything from me, just shoot an email to questions@michaelport.com. That’s questions@michaelport.com. And go ahead, subscribe, and remember to rate and review. It means a lot to me. So thanks… Thanks, thanks, thanks so much and have a great rest of your day.

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