I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to sha https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening! Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!
Jason got his start in his home state of Georgia at the Sea Island Resort as Chef de Tournant before moving to Napa and working at The French Laundry. While working as Chef de Partie and poissonnier in Yountville, Chef McKinney earned the restaurant’s award for Chef of the Year. From a family of self-starters, Jason has always had the desire to start something of his own. Today we learn how an incredible chef recognized ADD in Jason and helped set his life onto an amazing path! This is one of the best stories, (not to mention success stories), we’ve heard in a while! So glad to have Jason with us today- enjoy!
***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***
In this episode Peter & Chef Jason McKinney discuss:
1:42 - Intro and welcome Jason
2:34 - On Jason’s background and when he was diagnosed, when did the ADD come to fruition and tell me how you use it to your advantage.
3:37 - On self-medicating, the importance of choosing correctly, as there are two -aspects of medication, a positive and a negative.
5:59 - On acknowledging how lucky you were to have such an amazing mentor and someone that recognizes your ADD/ADHD and supports and offers ways and solutions to succeed in what you want to do.
6:41 - On taking advice of keeping personal items (phone/keys/wallet) in same place, as a good starting point to develop habits that would help you succeed in conjunction with your job
7:44 - A chef with ADD walks into The French Laundry
8:09 - On the chef term, training stage – tell us what that is?
10:43 - On whether or not your plans worked out – did you get hired on the spot?
12:40 - On the restaurant world, and are the stories of drug use/access to drugs, a true statement for the places you’ve worked in? How did you cope with that?
14:13. - On any experiences you’ve had that might attribute your ADHD that might have looked negative at the time, but you’ve learned from.
17:08 - On the variety of knowledge and ideas in terms of things people can do in terms of utilizing their ADHD. What’s going on with you now?
21:02 - On taking the worst situations and making something positive out of it
21:36 - To do a cooking class with https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/collections/live-experiences we have a website called https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/and we do basically live classes on Sunday, and then we also do private events, so if anyone has a company out there and they're looking for something to do with their team, we send all the ingredients. Join, then you get to cook with a Michelin trained chef, it's always a lot of fun.
22:11 - Thank you so much Chef Jason McKinney! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!
To sponsor an episode of FTN, head over to sha https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/?campaignId=1f99a340-203f-498e-9665-24723a5f8b7a It is a lot cheaper than you think!
22:52 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits
Hey guys, Peter Shankman welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. I'm glad you're here. I want to introduce you today to Jason McKinney. Jason got his start in the home state of Georgia as a chef…. as the Chef do Tranauneant . I have no idea what that means, we're going to find out... at the https://www.seaisland.com/?nck=8888337235&gclid=CjwKCAjw-qeFBhAsEiwA2G7Nl0oyBQTdvOMQfU8yT36oj0wZs7ELGmmqACS0eUVSb5gSWjTRlsnvPxoC5vUQAvD_BwE, but the thing moved to Napa and he worked at https://www.thomaskeller.com/tfl If you've ever been to French Laundry, I don't need to tell you anymore. If you haven't been to French Laundry, you kind of need to go to French Laundry. While he was working as a Chef de Partie, and I don't even know what these words mean… it looks like poisoner…. I'm sure you weren't a poisoner in Yountville, Chef McKinney earned the Restaurant's Award for Chef of the Year. He's a family of self-starters, massively ADHD, welcome Jason to Faster Than Normal... let's talk food.
What’s up Peter, thank you so much for having me here today.
Good to have you, man. So tell me about your background and tell me about growing up. When were you diagnosed when the ADHD coming to fruition? Um, tell me that whole story and tell me how you use it to your advantage.
Absolutely, so. you know, my Dad was ADD and, you know, he started his own business. And so it didn't really affect him as much as I think it affects a lot of people. Cause you know, he kind of did things on his own terms, but then in school there was always just very difficult for me to pay attention... for me to really get anything done, and so from a very young age I got diagnosed, but what was really kind of different about my diagnosis from what I hear from a lot of people is that, you know, God diagnosed, they prescribed the Adderall or Ritalin or whatever it was at the time, and I took it for about a year, and then at some point my parents were just like, listen, if you want to keep taking this, go for it. If not, no problem. And so like, as like a seven year old kid, they'd put the decision in my hands and I decided to not take the medicine and always looked for ways to kind of figure out how to self-medicate.
Tell me what it was like. Uh self-medicating because there are two aspects of medication. There's the positive and the negative, and a lot of people find themselves going down the negative path without even realizing it, until it's too late.
Well, so up until I was about 16 or 17. There was really no self-medicating. I just did horribly at school and I had a lot of.. kind of hobbies, so I don't think my parents were too worried about it. But then when 2008 hit, my Dad literally lost his entire business. And so we went from, you know, a well-off family to truly completely broke, and so as a 16 year old kid, I got two jobs, I started going to alternative school and as soon as I got into alternative school, I started being able to work at my own pace. And I literally did all of high school in six months.
So once, once I was in a position where I could really just hyper-focus on things, I was able to get through school a lot faster, and then I went to https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/ and then I worked at Disney for a little bit. I actually made a fake college resume to get into the internship program at Disney.
Oh my God.
And so I was there, but I really wanted to cook, you know, I loved cooking and I really wasn't cooking at Disney, so eventually I got this apprenticeship program and I was at https://www.seaisland.com/?nck=8888337235&gclid=CjwKCAjw-qeFBhAsEiwA2G7Nl0oyBQTdvOMQfU8yT36oj0wZs7ELGmmqACS0eUVSb5gSWjTRlsnvPxoC5vUQAvD_BwE and I was working at their nice, the nicest restaurant they had there, was a five-star restaurant and there was one night where the Chef asked me to clean the freezer, right? And in a really high-end restaurant, you'll have some pretty expensive items in the freezer, the truffles or, the Wagyu items like that, the visually they have to ship in, you know, I was cleaning out the freezer and I literally only cleaned half of the freezer and I just got so excited and just stopped, got distracted, and stopped the job halfway through the chef came in the next day and was just pissed at me.
Oh my God. I can imagine.
And he, he took me out into the dining room, which is where the really bad roastings happen, and he was like, listen, you have ADD, you have ADD very badly and everyone in the world is going to tell you that you have a problem. He was like, I'm here to tell you today that if you can figure out a way to manage this, you can be unbelievably successful.
Wow. How lucky were you to have someone tell it to have someone to notice that and tell you that my God.
Unbelievably so, you know, and, and he, he looked at me dead in the eye and he was like, everytime I sit down, I put my phone right here. And then I was like, you know, what, where do I, where do I get started to really work on this? Cause this was the first time that I truly was like working on my passion or my career, or I needed to figure out a way to manage it. He was like, the first thing you do is every day you go home, you put your phone, keys and wallet in the same space, and until you do that, you don't shut off. You do that. You turn it off, you focus on your next thing.
That's really an interesting point. Cause that's kind of like, that's a, that's a trigger. That's almost like an off button for you, right? You do that, and you've switched environments.
Yeah, and it, it truly, it helped me out a lot. And then I went from there and I went out to, I flew from, from Georgia to California and I was fortunate enough to get a position at the French Laundry, I literally just showed up with a bottle of wine that said “Relentless” and asked for an opportunity to work hard.. and they gave it to me.
Wow. and this was in California...French Laundry?
French Laundry,,, yeah.
You show up at the French Laundry with a bottle of wine that said “Relentless” and said I want to work for you, and they gave you a job?
I had an, I had a resume done with golden bossed letters, and then I had a backup plan. Actually, my backup plan was that if they threw me out of the restaurant, because I literally just basically walked into the restaurant in the middle of service, I had a, a life-sized version of my resume that I was gonna torpedo into the restaurant, and I figured if I left that there, somebody would look at it.
That is unbelievable. And, and, and in the middle of a service, they, they, they didn't kick you out. Walk us through exactly. Walk us through exactly what happened.
Yeah. Flew out there. Uh, I was in California for about 11 days. I had seven stagiaires lined up, which are like what you do when you're trying to get a position at a restaurant. And I was on my second day in California.
What is… what is a stagiaire/stage,? Tell us….
A stagiaire/stage is basically an interview, but it's a working interview. So you go stagiaire/stage in the kitchen and you can tell a lot from a chef on whether they’ll be successful or not. It's truly just from how they walk and work in a kitchen. And so I literally woke up one day and was like, if I don't drive up to the French Laundry, I was in San Francisco at the time, if I don’t drive up there, and try to get a job at this, I'm going to regret this for the rest of my life. And…. drove all the way up to Napa got to Yountville, which is where the French Laundry is and turned onto Washington street and was driving down the street, and. If you've never been there before every building, there's a couple of buildings that looked like they could be the French Laundry, and I got so nervous. I finally saw the restaurant and I literally just kept driving. I was so nervous. I couldn't do anything. And I kept driving and I, I got to the little store at the end of the road and I walked inside. I'm from Georgia, and so when I got inside that there's all this wine, right? And I've truly never seen this much wine in it, such a little store before, so I popped over and I was just looking at it and I was like, I was looking at all of this one bottle, just poking out, and there was a https://www.wineaccess.com/catalog/2017-shafer-vineyards-relentless-napa-valley_e90dfce7-146e-42cf-a893-81eace39129d/?rtype=s&chan=cpc&src=google&cmp=&grp=&ver=522290450879&kw=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwna2FBhDPARIsACAEc_UqwcZWX-Ml3IevgXqdOqc4UNVUViKyT7n6QJmkng83aLeAiZ5juIcaAhO6EALw_wcB and it was $75. And I had about $106 in the bank and I still have to be in California for five more days. And I, I was like it’s now or never. And I, I bought the bottle of wine, I drove back to the restaurant and Plan A was walk in, and ask to talk to the Chef. Plan B was, they kick me out. And then I, I had brought this life-size version of my resume just in case, you know? And so, I had the bottle of wine, I'm in a full suit, I got my resume, I walk in, I opened the door to the French Laundry and I, a server walks past me, and my gaze... follows her, and then when she walks away, the Chef de Cuisine, David Braeden is standing right there and something in my head was like, Jason, you have to say something, otherwise you just broken, entered into the French Laundry, and I was like, yeah, and I was like, “Chef, may I request a moment of your time?” and he looks at me, he looks at the wine, he looks at the resume in my hand, he looks at my suit and I think he was just kind of curious, you know, he's like, “absolutely, follow me this way.” And I was like...
What? And we sat and chatted, and what was crazy is that the chef that trained the chef that that helped me with my ADD, originally actually trained the Chef de Cuisine in the French Laundry too, and I didn't know that at the time.
Oh, wow. That's an incredible story. And, and so you hired you on the spot or how did that work?
Basically, he said, come, come back Sunday at noon to the gold door in the back, and to be honest, I thought I was getting framed, but then I came back and there, the door to the kitchen at the French Laundry is polished gold, and I stagiaired/staged for the day and an official stagiaire/stage, and then at the end of the day, he offered me a position and I went back to Georgia. I took on two more jobs. I worked, you know, about 110 hours a week to save up the money, to move to California, and then moved out to California, spent, um, four years at the French Laundry. I got named the Core Award winner, which is like the chef of the year for the restaurant ….the whole restaurant group and that was a massive honor. And while I worked there, it was kind of the next phase of like, all right, either you can medicate, or you can figure out a way to self-medicate, and so for the four years I worked there, I literally, I listened to your book, right? I would ride my bike and I started doing like a hundred mile century rides, and then every Wednesday I literally went to a Zen temple and I would, Thursday was my day off, so I would meditate Thursday morning and then come back to the restaurant and the whole time I had this goal of not necessarily like rising to the top of the restaurant, but just being the best chef that I could. And I always wanted to be like a, I always wanted to be a chef that was calm, riight? That that could take on anything that was calm, and before the French Laundry, I wasn't that chef. I was like this sporadic chef when I first got there, the porters had a nickname for me and it was toques , which means like, like I literally just got like electrocuted. and at the end of it, I finally with some very strong mentorship from the people there. I finally achieved my goal…. goal of becoming a really calm chef and I was... I became proud of who I was as a chef and I never medicated the entire time I was there.
That is an incredible story. I love that. Now here's an interesting question. I've read a lot. I have a lot of friends who worked in restaurants and I've read a lot about restaurants and I've been told that, uh, in the kitchen of the restaurant, it is basically almost every restaurant in the world. Probably not so much French Laundry, but almost every restaurant in the world, there's a drug problem there, right? In that it is very easy to get your hands on, uh, pretty much anything you want, and I would think that for someone, with ADHD, who is, uh, you know, we're sort of behind the eight ball to begin with, did you ever experience that at any of the places you worked and, and, and was the temptation ever there to, you know, to be able to sort of clear your brain go faster or whatever, and how did you, how did you deal with a place where, you know, the foods there, the alcohol…
You know, the French Laundry and honestly, Sea Island does a very good job at this, but the, the French Laundry truly operates at such a high level that you can't, there's no abuse there. You have to be so on point it's like the, um, you know, it's like truly like being like a Navy seal. And so my Dad actually was a drug addict that never recovered, and so I... oh, wow, he, he dealt with it very bad you know, it started as a….you know, cocaine and then into a meth addiction, and so I watched my Dad never recover from that, and so I, I always just completely stayed away from it
That must've been…. I can imagine how that would just completely be a wake up call to you to, to, to be safe and to be aware. 14:13 Tell me about…. so you, obviously, the cleaning of the, of the freezer was a bad experience. Tell me about some other experiences that you might attribute your ADHD that might have looked negative at the time, but you've learned from.
Well, you know, Peter, I'd love to tell you what I'm doing now. I think you'll be really proud.
We got plenty of time. So, so, so give us one story and then tell us what you're doing now.
Nice, and so at the, what I, what I truly learned through practicing Zen and at the restaurant and the chef put me on a station called being there's a fish butchering station right? And the French Laundry is a really interesting restaurant. I mean, literally you can, one person can work, you know, like 15, 16 hours a day, five days a week to process all the fish, right? Cause they get so much lobsters, caviar, shellfish. And so I got put on that station and it gave me an opportunity and I was there. I was on the station for two years. Um, and. I, I learned how to utilize my ADD as a superpower by micro focusing on things like super focusing on it, but then writing down the key items in that moment to not forget, and then putting that somewhere where I could go back to. So almost like a great example is we went from being in the French Laundry kitchen and they did this massive renovation, and during the massive renovation, we're working out of these shipping containers and there's about a month period where I actually ended up being the fish butcher and in charge of all the AM… which is like all the prep crew. So every new person in the restaurant and, that was a big accomplishment and achievement on my end that I was always really proud of. And this is actually what led to me getting the Core Award, and I would go in in the morning, I'll get all the fish butcher stuff going, right? And I really learned to… take a project directly to the whole. Never pretend like, Oh, I'll get the last five minutes of that project. I'll do it in a couple of days. Cause I knew I would forget. I would 100%, 100% forget, so I learned to just have that discipline to get a box of fis in, break the fish down all the way, then put it in the fridge. Put a label on it. It's done. And then when I got put in charge of the —??—what I started doing. At first, I would tell three or four people to do the same thing, and then I would have everyone just running in circles, you know? And then I learned that if I broke it out, literally by the hour, right. And almost down to the minute I could take a list and literally put deliveries coming in at this time, dinner is at this time and I would write everyone's name on it and I'll give everyone direct projects where I could do my projects and then I could manage the entire brigade. And for a long time, we had trouble getting the commis out before 5:00 PM. And then after I set that system up, literally the commis always finished at 5pm, and that's still the same system that they utilize today at the French Laundry.
That's an awesome story. I love that we're getting, so this is probably one of the most powerful interviews I've done in a while in terms of just the amount of, of, uh, con you know, um, and the knowledge that we're getting in terms of what people can do to, to utilize their ADHD. Tell us what you're doing now.
So I left the French Laundry and I had a goal of, you know, rising to the top, but truly just becoming the best chef that I knew I could. And so The French Laundry is the kind of place where you kind of go in, you, you learn as much as you can. I love Chef Keller and he gave me an awesome opportunity. Have to have a reason, gave me an awesome opportunity, but I wanted to create something of my own and watching my Dad in business, I knew how much kind of power there was to being in business, right? And so you take any restaurant in the world, no matter how high, how hard you worked there and how far you work up the chain. But then you leave that restaurant, you're literally at ground zero. When you start a business, you'll have equity that could be worth something and an athletic career, you have your kind of your, what you're known for, but in a, in a restaurant, truly like you leave and you either have to go get all this money to open up a restaurant. And then by the time you open it, you don't own the restaurant anymore, or you go run someone else's restaurant. And so watching my Dad build his own business, I found it very peculiar, you know? And so I was like, what if we start a business instead of a restaurant? What if we somehow figure out how to start a business instead of a restaurant, becomes successful than they are, and then use that money for one day, start a restaurant, and so I left the restaurant, I took a job working for a guy named Mitch Rouse, who I was on his ranch in Wyoming when we talked and I was, I was still trying to put the pieces together and what exactly I was going to do. And I ultimately decided to start a business called https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/collections/live-experiences . And so our goal was to help chefs source sustainable truffles. And so we started the business. I took all the money we had saved up, which came out to literally 10,000 euros and I got it out in cash, strapped it to my buddy's chefs and sent him to Italy, and had him start sourcing truffles and send them back to me. and then I would literally sell the truffles. And so I started it with my wife, Sarah, and then Tyler, who I worked with at the French Laundry, and we started basically the business hustling truffles to teach ourselves business, and we had this idea that if we sold like 500 pounds of truffles, right? I don't know if you've ever sat down and done like the preliminary forecast on a business. And you're like, wow, this has been a, we're going to be loaded, and so we started out like that and starting 2018, 2019, we actually landed a deal with https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/ for our product line, and we're getting we're ramping up for this and all of a sudden COVID hits. And so when COVID hits, we had 20 pounds of fresh truffles on hand, we had our entire 1000 square foot apartment was stacked floor to ceiling with cases upon cases of truffle salt and truffle, honey that we had made by hand. If we didn't do something, we're going to go, we're going to literally go out of business within like four or five days. And so we launched a virtual cooking class,,, of black truffle risotto. And the first one we did when, uh,—?— within three hours, we completely sold out. And then by the time we did that class, we had thousands of people on. Watching us. And at this time we truly are e-commerce business. We only had like 40 customers and we did this live cooking class where we sent everyone all the ingredients, including the truffles, and we got to see people at home cooking together and in the past, since then, and since that day, that was in March and in the past 12 months, we've actually been able to go from a team of six individuals to now we're a team of 50. We’re on track this year to do 15million and we actually, three weeks ago, got a deal with https://markcubancompanies.com/ on https://abc.com/shows/shark-tank
Spectacular man. That is amazing. And you know, it's funny you took, uh, probably the worst possible time, and you turned it into something that really is a highlight of ADHD. That's awesome. And good for you. What a great story. Tell us, um, I'm sorry.
I had to give you a shout out. Everyone that works with me, I give them a copy, of um, of Faster Than Normal, and I’m like, this will help you understand what is going on in my brain.
That makes my day. That's awesome. Thank you, man. That's great. Tell me this. How can people, how can people find you? Where can they go?
Uh, to do a cooking class with https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/collections/live-experiences we have a website called https://www.truffleshufflesf.com/and we do basically live classes on Sunday, and then we also do private events, so if anyone has a…. a dope company out there and they're looking for something to do with their team, we send all the ingredients. Join, then you get to cook with a Michelin trained chef,, it’s alot,and it's always a lot of fun. And we'd love to do one with you and your team and your company. And as a gift for me, Peter, just be an honor.
Oh, wow consider it done, man, that goes without saying. Guys, this was an awesome interview. I'd love to have you back Jason, at some point in a few months, see how you guys are doing, how about that?
Absolutely, we’d totally love that.
Cool… cool... guys, you’re listening to Faster Than Normal. I appreciate it as always. If you liked what you heard, drop us a review. If you have anyone as cool as Jason, let us know, we'd love to have them on the show. My email is https://www.shankman.com/ and don't forget, you can sponsor an episode of Faster Than Normal. All you have to do is go to the link below that our wonderful producer, Steven Byrom will put in the show notes and you can sponsor using cryptocurrency even... you can sponsor an episode of Faster Than Normal. So we will see you next week. Thank you all for listening, thank you Jason for being here, guys, take care, stay safe. ADHD is a gift, not a curse… so always, always remember that.
Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week.
I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to shank.mn/sponsor. It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to shank.mn/sponsor grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening! Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!
Eliza Orlins is a Manhattan public defender — the only public defender running for District Attorney. She is an outspoken advocate for New York city’s most vulnerable. For nearly a dozen years, she has fought courtroom battles representing over 3,000 New Yorkers who otherwise would not have been able to afford a lawyer. Every day, she sees firsthand how Manhattan’s criminal legal system functions one way for the rich and connected, and another way for everyone else. Eliza has earned a reputation as a relentless champion for the underdog. She has taken on the toughest of fights for the very people our system is most rigged against, including our Black and Brown neighbors and those in lower-income communities. In 2020, Eliza announced her candidacy for Manhattan District Attorney, running on a platform designed to take on the inequities in our system — transforming the criminal legal system in New York in order to make our city safer for everyone. And yes, you guessed it, she’s ADHD too! How does she keep it all together? That’s what we’re talking about today. Enjoy!
[Eliza’s photo credit: Juan Patino Photography]
***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***
In this episode Peter & Eliza Orlins discuss:
1:42 - Intro and welcome Eliza
3:06 - On what prompted Eliza to take the not-so-easy path of running for office in NYC and championing those unable to afford even basic services that most take for granted
5:58 - On working for the Legal Aid Society and handling the pace of doing 147 different things at any given moment
9:38 - On the secrets and advice of keeping your sanity when you’re being pulled into so many different directions, which for those with ADHD isn’t the most ideal situation
11:35 - On coping mechanisms on a more calm day/downtime. How do you keep sane?
13:11 - On understanding strengths and weaknesses and how that’s a sign of using your ADHD to your advantage
14:08 - On taking control of helpful devices/tools at your disposal, (phone, calendar, Slack, texts), and which routines are helpful in preventing yourself from getting distracted/staying focused.
15:46 - On the advantage of turning off Notifications
17:12 - On whether or not Eliza is getting any sleep..?
19:31 - Thank you so much Eliza! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via email@example.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!
20:02 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits
Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal, I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well of Faster Than Normal. We are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet and if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to shank.mn/sponsor - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... God, who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week, so head over to shank.mn/sponsor grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks for listening. Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.
Hi everyone, Peter Shankman here, another episode of Faster Than Normal is coming your way. Do you remember when we interviewed the mayoral candidate guy who was running for mayor in Boston? Probably in 2016 or 17, totally spacing on his name now, but he was in, like Episode like 5 or 6 or something like that, and he was really awesome, and he talked all about how he handles ADHD and, and, and managed to still mount a successful, almost successful campaign for, um, Mayor and I was shocked. Uh I'm like how can people, uh, who have massive ADHD be in politics? It must be so ridiculously difficult to stay focused and to stay organized, and as such, uh, we have another one. We're talking to Eliza Orlins who is running for public defender from Manhattan District Attorney. Eliza, thank you for taking the time, I appreciate it.
Oh, thanks for having me, and thanks for talking about these issues.
No, no question about it. So, you know, it's, it's fascinating because I was, I was doing my homework on, on, on you as I do on every guest, and you know, you as a public defender, um, you know, you've represented countless New Yorkers in a city that, for lack of a better word, and I say this as someone who was born and raised here, isn't necessarily the kindest and/or the fairest to those who find themselves in the position of being unable to afford the basic services that many of us take for granted. What… so let's start there. What prompted you to take that track? Cause I know you…. I know you went to Syracuse and you did law school. What prompted you to champion issues like this to begin with?
All I ever wanted to do with my life was to be a public defender. It was the reason I went to law school. It was the only job I applied for, and it really was something that felt like the most important job, you know, to really fight for people who were treated so unfairly by the system who were treated, um, you know, who were de-humanized to were,,,, just really had the least available to them, and these communities that I've spent my career representing are people who truly are predominantly black and brown people, lower income people, people who are LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and I've seen how the criminal legal system just disenfranchises and marginalizes them and treats them so unfairly, as opposed to those who have wealth and power and connections. And so I've always wanted to stand up on behalf of people who couldn't necessarily afford to hire an attorney or, you know, even afford services or treatment or other things, and really fight to, um, change.
One of the things that I've seen, uh, in New York City specifically, and, and then, and I want to get onto the ADHD aspect of this, but one of the things I've seen in New York City, uh, you know, growing up here, I remember I was in high school in the 80’s. I went to Performing Arts on 65th street, and I remember getting mugged my freshman year or sophomore year of, of school, and um, It was, you know, it was by the kids next door, right. There was LaGuardia was right next to, or still is right next to a…. a lower income housing community. And it was, we were aware of it. And I remember that...I remember going back into school after it happened and, and, and finding the Dean and, and telling him what happened, and I needed to, they took my bus pass, I needed to get home or my train pass and stuff like that, and I remember saying to him, and that this will always stick in my mind for the rest of my life, his name was Mr. Cooney. He was the Dean at Le LaGuardia. I said to him, I said, you know, why didn't they just ask me? I would have given him money to get home. And I remember he said to me, he goes, that's not what they were after. They were doing it because they had nothing else to do. And I thought at the time being 15 years old, he meant they were bored. Oh, you have nothing else to do, right? There's nothing good on TV. What he meant was that was the only lifestyle they knew, and I realized that years later, and it, that was really when I started taking a look at New York City in the light of I'm lucky to live here. What can I do to improve it for those who don't have the same fortune that I do. And so I love the fact, I love your background, I love your history. Um, tell me about working for the Legal Aid Society, I imagine, must have been incredible and insane at the same time, because it was probably, you were probably doing, I'm guessing off the top of my head, 147 different things at any given moment.
So your story of helping people, um, and realizing that from a young age and why we kind of have these different privileges, um, was much more coherent than the one I just told, but it's, it's really true. It's like, you know, from a young age, this was something that I did recognize. Like I remember, you know, my Mom, I grew up in Manhattan and my Mom would walk me to elementary school and I would see, you know, this was obviously in the, in the, in the early eighties, and I would see people, um, you know, who were experiencing homelessness on the street? And I would say to my Mom, like, where... where's their home? I don't understand, like... why don't they have a home? And she said that it was something that I would get so upset almost to the point of tears, that I didn’t get why some people just didn’t have a place to live, and it was something that impacted me from a young age, in understanding that even having a roof over your head, was just a massive, massive privilege. Then there were other things in my life, including having an adopted sister, that made me understand the privilege of having white skin, um, and not, you know, my sister experienced a great deal of racism growing up and, and has throughout her life. Um, and so I recognize the privilege of even just being a white person in New York and in society as well. Um, and I've seen that throughout my career as a public defender. So yes, working at Legal Aid was, was amazing and has been, um, you know, and that was my dream job, but really, it's just seeing this system that is cruel, that's unjust, that's racist that doesn't necessarily provide, um, you know, the help and services that people need, but really also doesn't work for those who are survivors of crimes, it doesn't do anything to make people whole, again, it doesn't provide accountability. It doesn't, you know, all the, the, the system has, is a hammer, and so everything looks like a nail.
It's funny you say that. That was when COVID started on and the gym's closed down, II bought two kettlebells and that was my quote. Uh, when all you have is two kettlebells, it's the same thing. Everything doesn't look, you know, you start doing exercises just because you have literally have nothing else, nowhere else you can go to do, let me, let me ask you this. My Mother and Father were both public school teachers, um, in New York City schools, my mom spent 30, ah, years, uh, teaching in the South Bronx, um, at a junior high school at a public junior high school, IS139 and from a very young age, he'd take me up there on days that I didn't have school or whatever and I would watch her and the one thing I always was amazed at was how she was able to do so many things at the same time. She clearly does not have ADHD. Um, she gave birth to someone who does, but she does not. And the one thing that I always noticed about her was she had a black book and she carried it everywhere she went, and this was, you know, pre-Palm Pilot, pre-cellphone, everything. She carried this book, and every time she finished a project, whether it was helping a student or teaching a class or whatever, she'd written it down in her calendar and she crossed it off with a black pen with vigor, like ripped the hell out of that, uh, you know, just crossed it off til there was nothing there, and that I came to learn was her... uh, um, that was how she kept her sanity, right? When she had 50 things to do in a day, plus direct a chorus, plus give a concert, she would cross these things off when they were done, and that was how she kept her sanity. As someone who is self-proclaimed ADHD as we just talked about, um, you are, you have always been in, in, in working for the public good. You are in that same situation, not only where you are doing 150 things, but you probably don't have all the resources you could need or all the resources you could want, less than you need. What are your secrets? What are your, you know, to our audience? Who are everyone from adults to kids, to students, to, to teachers, to parents with ADHD? What can you tell them? What advice can you give them for how to keep their sanity when they are being pulled in a million different directions, which is not necessarily the best thing for someone with ADHD.
Well, I think I’m…. first of all, I, I would say that as these things go, I'm extremely lucky. I was, um, diagnosed at 16 and that is pretty young. I know a lot of people don't necessarily find out that they have ADHD until later on in life, and it's something that they struggle with. But there are still things that I'm learning on a day-to-day basis as to ways in which my ADHD manifests. Um, but I think that one of the most important things that I have found, and that really enables me to, you know, enabled me to do my job as a public defender for the last dozen years and enables me to be a candidate for office, is finding something that you have a passion for, because I think without that drive and desire, any task would be extremely difficult for me. And so really having something that I have, like this deep passion for, that my motivation and focus is there knowing that I'm fighting on behalf of the greater good and that this is urgent, that there are people's lives at stake. You know, I think I have friends who are, who have ADHD, who are trauma surgeons, who are, you know, who, who are in these high intensity, high paced jobs, but that ones that they feel extremely passionate about, and I think that that's something that, um, that works well for, you know, at least for me as, as a coping mechanism.
I feel that... that I've heard that a lot. We are...ADHD people are the ones you want next to you when the room catches on fire, but when the room is not on fire and it's just a calm, normal day, sometimes that's what screws us up. So what is your sort of go-to coping mechanism when you're not running around? What is, what does your Saturday look like? What does your early morning look like? Are you, uh, are you a workout person? Do you get your dopamine from that? How do you keep yourself sane when you're not being pulled in a hundred million different directions?
I don't know… what, what do you mean not being pulled in a hundred directions? Is that a…. I'm not, I don't, I'm not familiar with that phrase. Um, if you could define, um, no, but I mean, these days, uh, I'm, you know, just over a month out from election day, so I am constantly being pulled in a million directions and the thing that has been so incredible about, uh, being a candidate, is that I don't have to do the thinking about certain hard things, like figuring out my schedule, Oh, when should I do this? When should I do that? And I have other people who just make my schedule and it's like, Eliza, do this, do this, having something that's ultra structured is really helpful for me saying, okay, now it's time for you to work on this., now it's time for you to talk to this person, now it's time for you to do this interview, and I just have to be the person who shows up and does the thing I think is. Really actually, it turns out great for me with these clearly defined tasks, with a specific workflow, with a routine, um, that is, is I think a great way to handle it.
Well, if you notice, you know, I didn't book you, right? I turned that over to Megan because 14 years ago she took write access away from me, from my calendar, um, literally I went to schedule something and it didn't work, and I said, hey, it's not working. She's no, no it's working for me and that was the last time I ever was able to put anything in my calendar, but you're right. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses are the sign of someone who, how, who... who's able to use their ADHD to their advantage.
Yeah, I completely agree and I think that, you know, being someone who has this creative, you know, my mind is always racing. I'm always thinking of ideas, but having people around who I can just you know, Slack the idea to and they’re like, okay, we'll take it from here, Eliza. That's a great idea. But like, we'll now execute it. um, because I think sometimes the... the challenge that I've had is like really, um, like I'll, I'll, I'll have a great idea. It'll take it to a certain level and then, It's that procrastination with actually completing projects.
Last question, because this is... actually brings up an interesting point. You mentioned I'll Slack it to them and they'll take care of it. Do you find that the, how, how do you let, how should I phrase this? How do you let the tools you have at your disposal with phone, your calendar, your Slack communications, texts. How do you make sure that you are controlling those devices as opposed to letting those devices control you? For instance, you know, when I am sitting at my desk and working my notifications on almost everything are off, the only people who can get to me are my daughter's, Mom and my parents, right or, you know, at my daughter's school, um, I don't allow the dings and the, and the, and the beeps because I'll never get anything done. So in, in a completely on... 24/7 world that we are in, what's your, what's the routine that you use to prevent yourself from, you know, okay, I'm writing this piece, I'm doing this, I'm having this interview. It's great, oh look, something shiny. How do you prevent the shiny?
Well, thankfully I have an amazing team and they, they are very protective of my time and they schedule it and they say, okay, you know, between this time and this time you can do X, but yeah, it's, it's completely true. There are things that pop up and I get distracted easily and, and, you know, really think about, I'm like, oh wait, I should, I really want to do this, or, oh, this message came in, and, um, so yeah, I do have the, I have all social media notifications off, um, on my phone, on my computer, I check plenty. Um, so I'm not actually going to miss something and I find that those notifications, even if it's a dopamine hit in the moment, are incredibly distracting., so I don't have any of those notifications on, um, and if people need to reach me, they can reach me. I'm still always checking everything, but, um, but really making sure that the time is protected, um, so that I can get the tasks done that I need to get done.
And I would suggest if someone running for Manhattan District Attorney can do that... to my audience, there's absolutely no reason why you can't shut off your notifications.
I know I, no, but listen, it is, it's certainly a challenge in being controlled by your device. I mean, this is something that now that it's work now that like being on social media sometimes is part of the, you know, being a candidate and making sure that things do get up and that they're posted and that I'm engaging, etc., is part of the job, it actually has become less, um, of something that's like a temptation to just sit there and waste an hour scrolling through Instagram, for example. That used to be something that I found myself doing mindlessly, and now, because it's work, it's, it's like I don't have time to do that, and it doesn't tempt me as much, if that makes sense.
No, it makes... it makes perfect sense, and I think that at the end of the day, you know, we have to set our own parameters because if we don't have those, we just, you know, there’s…. there's too many it's, it's elimination of choice in a lot of ways. There's, there's, you know, I have, um, uh, two, two sides in my closet, right? One says office and they're literally labeled one, says ‘Office/Travel” and it’s T-shirts and jeans, and the other says “Speaking /TV, and it's a button down shirt, jacket, and jeans, and that's it, right? Everything else is in my daughter's closet, cause if I had to go every day, Oh, that sweater. I remember that sweater, I wonder….Michelle gave me that, how is she doing? I should look her up. Three hours later I'm on Face., looking on Facebook, naked, and I haven't left the house. So you have to sort of put those rules into play. So you're a month out. Let me ask you the final question then we'll cut it. Are you getting enough sleep?
No, no, definitely not, that's always been a challenge for me. And, um, now even moreso, and so I don't have good advice, you know, everyone says, don't sleep with your phone in your room. I've done that, but I've never stuck with it. Um, they say, you know, don't be on the screens for the hour leading up to bedtime. Obviously I don't stick with that. Um, you know, there are a lot of things that I think I could be doing, which I am not. Um, so I am not the model on that. Uh, but I do think that, you know, for, especially in these short periods, um, even though I've been doing this for the last year or so, it's, uh, it's been very intense, but I do think that there are ways to, um, to do this for a short period of time, and then hopefully, uh, post-election, I'll get a little bit of rest, um,, before the general, but you know, after, after spending my entire career as a public defender and representing thousands of people charged with crimes, and I'm really seeing the way in which that.. who your District Attorney is, impacts the lives of so many people, I know just how important this is, and so, you know, I'm, I'm more than willing to forego sleep. Um, and I, you know, a lot of other things to make sure that we don't end up with another career prosecutor who's going to continue to lock people up with reckless abandon, um, and destroy families and ruin lives, uh, and just perpetuate this cruel unjust system. Uh, so that's, that's what I'm fighting for and I know how important it is.
So yeah, this last, this last little push is, is so critical.
Understood listen, Eliza Orlins for Manhattan attorney. Best of luck in, in the last few weeks remaining. I do hope you're able to get a little sleep and, uh, we will be following. We'd love to have you, regardless of what happens, we'd love to have you back on after the election and talk about what you learned.
Of course, of course, and people can, can, you know, make a contribution if they can, every dollar matters, we're running a grassroots campaign. Um, they can go to https://elizaorlins.com and if not monetary, they can donate their time. We need volunteers, we need phone bankers and tax bankers and people to join us, and we're doing virtual and in-person volunteering.
Looking at the website right now. Eliza, thank you again so much for taking the time. I appreciate it.
Of course, thank you!
Guys...Peter Shankman, Faster Than Normal... as always another episode every week, we appreciate all of our guests. We'll be making a donation to a charity... in, on her behalf, of the New York City Mayor's office for, uh, animal, uh, protection and help get some homeless pets off of the street. So thank you for that Eliza, and have a wonderful day everyone, we will see you all next week, very soon. ADHD is a gift, not a curse as is all neuro-diversity, try to remember that, see you soon.
Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. [Eliza Orlins photo credit: Juan Patino Photography]
Siri Dahl is an AVN Nominated and multiple award-winning adult film star who has appeared in more than 200 adult films since 2012, and has been featured in publications such as The Atlantic, The New York Times and The Daily Beast. Originally known as just "Siri," she took a five-year hiatus in 2015, before happily returning to her adult film career in 2020. Siri is also a powerlifter, Twitch streamer, podcast host, and proud mom to two very spoiled black cats. She splits her time between Louisville and Los Angeles. Enjoy!
***CORONA VIRUS EDITION***
In this episode Peter & Siri Dahl discuss:
1:41 - Intro and welcome Siri
3:32 - Where you grew up? When did you get into the industry and how did all that happen?
4:50 - On what prompted your 5-year hiatus
7:45 - On the increase in numbers of people being on Only Fan sites, and showing their own content. Do you think it has democratized adult content in any way?
9:25 - On your income being 75 to 80% sourced by Only Fans. Is that still accurate?
11:45 - On legitimation of the adult entertainment industry
13:19 - On any concerns of buyout versus traditional earning forms
15:40 - How did you get into NFT’s and what else are you looking at in terms of next steps
17:00 - On NFT’s (what they are, etc)
20:04 - On back-up plans of how to reach your fans – another avenue besides social media, to get in touch with them
21:20 - On what makes you the happiest in life?
23:00 - On running your own business and staying on track
24:06 - Thank you Siri Dahl! And thank YOU for subscribing, reviewing and listening. Your reviews are working! Even if you’ve reviewed us before, would you please write even a short one for this episode? Each review that you post helps to ensure that word will continue to spread, and that we will all be able to reach & help more people! You can always reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. As always, leave us a comment below and please drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! Do you know of anyone you think should be on the FTN podcast? Shoot us a note, we’d love to hear!
25:12 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits
Hi guys. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm the host of Faster Than Normal, I want to thank you for listening, and I also want to tell you that if you've listened to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. If that's the normal, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet. And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode. Head over to shank.mn/sponsor - that's shank.mn/sponsor. It is alot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... God about 25….30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say, thanks for all the interviews we brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from we've had... who have we had...we've had Tony Robbins, Seth Goden, Keith Krach from DocuSign, we've had Rachel Cotton. We've had Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week. So head over to shank.mn/sponsor. Grab an episode, make it yours, we'd love to have you. Thanks for listening. Here's this week's episode, hope you enjoy it.
You're listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast where we know that having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Each week we interview people from all around the globe from every walk of life, in every profession. From rock stars to CEOs, from teachers to politicians who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis and use it to their personal and professional advantage. To build businesses, to become millionaires, or to simply better their lives. And now here's the host of the Faster Than Normal podcast, the man who usually can be found singing in the gym at 5:15 AM Peter Shankman.
Hey guys, Peter Shankman here, welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. This one is going to be a little different. What I have found in my life of having ADHD, and then in the past five or six years of talking to hundreds of people who are neurodiverse, is that among other things, we are incredibly passionate. We are incredibly passionate about what we do. We are incredibly passionate about how we do it, and goddamnit, we are not going to stop until every single person around us knows why we're passionate about what we do and how we do it. So every once in a while, we bring someone on the podcast who is not ADHD or ADD or neuro-diverse, but all, but who is passionate in some way or another. And I find fascinating, so I am thrilled that today's one of those episodes. I want you to meet Siri Dahl. Siri is an AVN, and if you don't know what that is, that's adult video news... is an adult video news nominated and multiple award-winning adult film star, who has appeared in more than 200 adult films since 2012, and has, get this... has been featured in such publications as The Atlantic, the The New York Times and The Daily Beast. I came across her when I was reading The Daily Beast, one of the, one of the like five or six things I have a paid subscription to… get a paid subscription to, The Daily Beast their content is really good, and I was reading. I'm like, I happen to know her PR person. I reached out to her PR person, and I'm like, dude, you, you, you did a great job ghostwriting. And he's like, no, she wrote this. I'm like, damn, she's good. So she was originally known just as Siri. She did a five-year hiatus in 2015 before happily returning to her adult film career in 2020, get this she's a powerlifter. She’s a power lifter. She is a Twitch streamer, podcaster host, podcast host, and proud mom of two very spoiled black cats. She splits her time between Louisville and we all know my thoughts on Louisville, thanks to the 2014 Ironman…. and LA. Siri., welcome to Faster Than Normal, it’s great to have you.
Thank you for having me.
Awesome, so I want to get into sort of the things you do and how you do them, but let's start with your backstory. Tell us where'd you grow up? How'd you grow up? When did, when did you get into the industry? Tell us in, you know, your 20 words or less bio, how'd that happen?
So I'm originally from Minnesota, was born in Minnesota, lived there about half my life. Uh, well it's no longer half cause I'm 32 now, but I lived in Minnesota till about middle school age, then moved to the suburbs of Ft. Worth, Texas and I lived there from basically until halfway through college. Uh, and then in 2012 is when I moved to LA, started working in the adult industry, and I was active in the adult industry, uh, from 2012 to 2015, then I retired and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, um, which I was very, uh, I hid that for a long time. It was like, I don't want anyone to know I live in Louisville, but in the past like year I've been like, okay, I, I just say it. Well, cause I'm proud of it because it's a great city and I like it here despite what you think Peter.
It was a great city, until I was there at 104 degrees, racing in an Iron Man, you know, I'm drinking a bourbon…... and……. bats and yeah, but no, it was awesome until, until, until the 140 degree day. All right, so you took a five-year hiatus. What prompted that?
Uh, well, actually it's funny cause you, or your podcasts, you talk about neurodiversity and while I... I've, I've never been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. I've had a lot of people close to me in my life, some who have ADHD be like, yeah, you probably have. Who knows anyway. Uh, but I, I was, I've always been a depressed person. Like I've always dealt with like clinical depression. It's a thing that just runs in my family pretty, pretty strongly. Um, and it was kind of a combination of things in around 2014 and early 2015 that led me to retire, and probably the biggest one was that I was, uh, I used to be married. I was in a very bad, like, uh, just like a toxic relationship, that I needed to get away from, and due to the stigma of choosing a career in adult film, my relationship with my family was really rocky, and I basically didn't really talk to most of my even like immediate family members for about three years. Um, and I really needed to figure out a way to like, fix all that. So it got, it led me to a place where I was very depressed and the only way I saw that I could really try to make things better was to just kind of like, hit a reset button.
So I left adult, I got divorced and I moved to a totally different state that I'd never even lived in before all at the same time
So did you just literally like, throw a dart at a map and say, oh it landed on Louisville, let's go?
Uh, kind of, like I had some family here.
And I know, I know it’s Louisville. Not, not, not Louisville. Um, all right. So let's, let's fast forward. So. The past 16 months of hell that we've all been in, um, has given birth to several new industries, and I would even argue, legitimize several new industries. Um, you know, I can tell I, I'm pretty sure that there are thousands of people around the country who, four years ago said, there's no way in hell I would ever own a Peloton. And here we are, um, you know, on the flip side, um, Only Fans and they say, they say that they say that to build a billion dollar business. It's, you know, 1% a good idea and 99% being in the right place at the right time, right? Only Fans was in the right place at the right time, and it didn't originally start with adult, but much like much like everything on the internet, you know, it, it, it sort of gravitated toward where's the, where the money was. I mean, hell, JPEGs and animated gifs started because of a dog. So, you know, sort of shockwave and almost everything you can pick up, um, you have been a very vocal proponent of Only Fans, and, uh, people using it. Now you are granted, uh, one of the top, whatever percent, I'm sorry. I don't know your... your rank on Only Fans, but I know that there is, there is a, there is a, uh, I know a couple of other adult stars who are in the top...
It’s pretty high, I don't advertise my rank….
2 or 3% or whatever it is, um, and with that, there are, there are thousands of men and women on, uh, joining Only Fans and using Only Fans and, and, and showing content every single day. Do you think, I guess the first question I'd ask is, has it democratized adult content in any way?
Uh, yeah, a hundred percent like, and, and it's, I have such an interesting perspective on this, I think because of having been retired and, uh, you know, I'm not sure precisely when Only Fans kind of became a mainstream thing as far as like adult performers wanting to use it. Um, but I know that it was popular among adult performers before COVID, you know, it's just that because of the nature of what COVID has been like for everyone it's really exploded a lot in the last year. Um, but I, I, you know, it's been crazy for me having, like retired in 2015 and I just like walked away from the industry and I didn't really like have anything to do with anything else. Like, I was very much not in the public eye and then just kinda like springing back into it in 2020 and seeing, uh, how much things have changed, and a lot of it is because of Only Fans and there are similar platforms to Only Fans that have a hand in it as well. But like Only Fans is definitely the biggest one. Um, it has essentially put the power back into the hands of the content creators who are, you know, the, the performers themselves, as opposed to us relying on some giant studio to hire us, right? Like... I, yeah, it Only Fans is the reason that I can live where I live and I don't really have to depend on going out to LA for work. Like I do go out there, but it's when I choose to, right?
Yeah, exactly, you told the Rab?? 75 to 80% of your income is actually coming from Only Fans. Is that still accurate?
Yep. So yeah, it's, it's accurate. It's exciting, but it's also scary.
I mean, you're putting a lot of eggs in one basket for lack of a better term. Now what's interesting about that is that a whole series of performers, um, have launched their career on Only Fans, and I guess they're kind of at a point where it's like, okay, what's the next step from there, right? So, I mean, I'm not talking about, I'm even talking about the concept of, of legitimizing adult entertainment. You know, I, before, before porn was put unquote free on the internet, one of my first PR clients in 2003, it was a company called, um, New Frontier Media. Um, they….
I know, remember that's an older company…
There’s, you know, and they were based out of Boulder, and I remember, uh, getting them under the cover of, of, of Forbes magazine, you know, and it was this, it was this phenomenal. So I was, I would go to the Wall Street Journal and say, hey, I have this client who's kicking the crap out of their biggest competitor and you know, like an 80/20% margin, you should really talk to them. Oh, wow. That sounds amazing. What do they do? They're an adult entertainer. Wow. We can't, we can't do that. You know? And I'm like, but if it was furniture you'd have no problem with it, so I'm not really getting the hypocritical vibe here. And so, I…. do you think that Only Fans and things similar to that has sort of even more so legitimized adult entertainment as a, not only a viable, I mean, because look, let's face it, adult entertainment's been around forever. It's it's, it's how it's talked about versus how it's used is an entirely, you know, unrelated. I used to have great stats back when they back when New Frontier would, would sell to hotels, right? Exactly what percentage of hotels, uh, what percentage of, of, of revenue hotels were making for a dollar entertainment and it was literally was more than room service, it's crazy. Um, you know, back then. So, so I think it's in a way Only Fans legitimized adult entertainment in, in more than anything else ever has because everyone has the ability to do it. You don't have to go to LA, you don't have to worry about being taken advantage of by a shady producer, none of that no longer exists. So tell, talk to me about that. Talk to me about the concept of, of legitimization.
Uh, it absolutely has legitimized it in a lot of ways. Uh, I know that for example, you know, just the willingness of people to join and Only Fans, like back in 2012, if you like Google, like Siri, Siri, pornstar like, I mean, you're going to find a lot of adult stuff, but like I did a lot of writing for the website Quora back in like 2013, I was actually one of their best writers in 2013. A lot of the stuff that I wrote had to do with like, anti-piracy like, and the concept of like paying for your porn and back then in 2013, 2014, like that was just, I mean, you know, this is like at the height of like PornHub and tube sites and PornHub back then had no monetization options for models, so there's been such a massive shift in the mentality of even just fans or people who follow adult performers, or like, honestly, just content creators in general, because you've got, you know, a website, like Only Fans where it's like, people can subscribe to me for like, just over $6 a month and that seems a lot more tolerable than the old model of joining a porn website, and it's 20, 30 bucks a month. And like, you feel like you're giving your credit card information away to some trading company, a lot of the time, right? So it's absolutely like, made it feel more mainstream, you know, nothing about, and Only Fans is clever about the way that they advertise, like on a corporate level, they do not actually advertise or own the fact that they are an adult related company. You know, if you ask them, they would say, we're for content creators, we don't specialize in porn, but like, we also know that most of the people on there are right.
So does Tumbler….
So that brings up an interesting question though. Um, do you get concerned about the fact that one day, Only Fans might say, you know what, now granted it's suicide for them to do that, right, but assuming there's a buyout or someone wants to own them and build something else and they just come out one day and say, you know what? No more adult. What happens to essentially an entire economic ecosystem?
Yeah, I think that that's not only likely, but it's probably inevitable that that would happen because it's happened, And it, it, honestly, it happens just about to all websites that become super large, that do, at some point accommodate adult performers. It's like, it will, it will flip over to where they don't welcome sex workers anymore, and that it's, terrifying to think about. I honestly, I just bought a house with mostly... with my Only Fans income, so I'm trying to not think about it. Cause it's, it's a scary thing to think about. Uh, but you know, I've got to do it. All the other people who survive off only pans have got to do, which is, come up with a contingency plan, right? Um, yeah, like most of my eggs are in that basket, but that's not really by choice. That's just cause that's where the money is and that's where the fans want to be, so until something else comes along, that's even remotely comparable, that's kind of where all my businesses, that being said though, like, I'm very mindful about the fact that like, Ooh, okay, this is great right now, but it probably won't last because the adult industry sees this type of churn constantly with like, you know, the new website that is great while it lasts and then either via legislation or like outside attack, you know, something happens. And sometimes it is just the company itself being like, Oh, we sold now, now we're kicking you off. Like, that's what Tumbler did, you know?
But you're looking so, so what's interesting about that is that you've sort of, I guess in a lot of ways, you're, you're looking at this long-term perspective, like you did just buy a house, um, and I read that you, you moved into an NFT. So you're looking towards the future. What do you see as the future of adult entertainment Um, with the assumption that something like Only Fans or whatever, cause, you know, look when, when Only Fans does... decide to do that, you know, that 97% of the people Only Fans haven't even talk about what they're having for lunch today, let alone that far into the future, right? Yeah. So it would seem that you're sort of putting together those contingency plans to begin with. So how'd you get into NFTs and what else are you looking at in terms of next steps?
Um, well, crypto in general, I'm glad you brought that up because crypto, I think is going to be a huge benefit for the adult industry, like there's been a push a lot in adult to, start integrating crypto more since 2013, but it still hasn't really like fully taken off. Um, but I think the biggest reason for us as an industry to go in a direction more toward crypto is just because we're, we’re very discriminated against by financial institutions and that's not going to end any time soon. You know, we already saw the MasterCard and Visa halt their payment processing for PornHub back in December, that's still not back, like we still don't have that capability, which is that's about $2,000 a month out of my pocket. As soon as they stopped doing that, yeah. And that's not even what I like depend on to live, but for a lot of people, it was. So that was a huge blow, losing, uh, PornHub payments, and at any point, MasterCard and Visa could do the exact same thing with Only Fans. So if Only Fans goes down, it might not even be because they sell to another company. It could legitimately just be because MasterCard just., and it throws the hammer down on them.
You have you, I saw the NFT for those who don't know, then an NFT is a fungible token. It's essentially, uh, you're creating a digital piece of artwork of any kind and someone owns you can purchase the right to that. If you all know the, the, the meme of the girl looking behind and smiling at the fire. She sold that original image, uh, the rights, that original image for half a million dollars, so not bad for a four year old at the time. Now she's 18, but, um,
She's an adult now….
...that brings it, that brings up a secondary question. Um, right now, there is a lot, you know, look you have, you have, you have Elon Musk go on SNL and don't get me started on Musk, but you have him go on SNL, and he, he, he makes a joke about Doge and the, the, the, the, the crypto currency drops, you know, 40%, right? And then you having him say the next day, oh, but it's OK, because we're going to, self-fund a satellite by a Doge and send that to, to space.. and it blows up again. I mean, I, I own Bitcoin. I started buying it at a hundred bucks a share. We had a hundred bucks going, granted. I sold it a thousand bucks a coin I've yet to get over that, and I'm fine. But, um, yeah, thanks. But, um, yeah, I'm not looking for your pity, but on the flip side of own, like going for years, I'm going to theory for a while. So, I mean, I believe in it, however, If we're still even just what I said, right. I bought it at a hundred bucks a year and sold a thousand bucks. I'm still comparing it to, in order to compare it to anything, you have to compare it to the dollar, right? You don't say that I bought a thousand dollars and it's worth 14, uh, camera lenses. Right? You, you, you don't compare the dollar to anything. You have to compare crypto still to the dollar and companies or countries, Wall Street… they don't, they're not huge fans of people deciding to create their own economies, riight? They lose understandably. Yeah. There is. There's been talk, I've talked to several people who work, who deal in a lot of crypto, like I do with my own coin and you know, we're like, well, what happens if the US decides to ban it? Do we leave, right? I mean, it's a global economy, you can't say, but what happens is, you know, what happens if, if, if you start accepting, you know, let's say you have your own coin, uh, your own creator, coin, uh, Siri, or Dahl or whatever. and all of a sudden you have X hundred thousand dollars in it, and you're no longer allowed to take it out in the US right? So I think the issue is, I agree with you, the crypto is the future, but I think it's as scary if not more so than what you're dealing with. Only Fans right now, because. It's, you know, I understand why drug dealers deal only cash. Right? I get that now, you know, um,
a trust issue,
it is a hundred percent the trust issue, and, and if, if all of a sudden that goes away, right. Everything you've worked for is gone. Um, I always tell people who, you know, they build up these massive followings on Facebook and Twitter. And I go, guys, if you don't have these people's email addresses, Facebook or Twitter can easily one day say we don't like you and you've just lost everything you've worked for for 10 years. Right. So, so in terms of a backup plan, there, you have a ton of fans and Only Fans. Do you have a way to get to them?
Um, Only Fans doesn't really provide us that, so, yup. That's another, it's like Only Fans is a great platform, but there are some serious downsides. One of them is lack of data, lack of insights into….I don't know, who's subscribing to me, you know, I don't get it. I don't, I get way less insights than any other social media platform. And it's, it's one of those things where it's like kind of silly that Only Fans does it that way, but they do it that way because it benefits them, but not the creators. So, uh, and, and yeah, um, like, I feel the same thing when it comes to, it's funny that you mentioned that like the, the fact that like at any moment, you know, if your account gets deleted on social media, like I have, you know, 570,000 Instagram followers. and if I get deleted, what, you know, now the closest thing I have is like, I have, uh, my, my main website, Siridahl.com, which is really just like a merch store, but like I have a mailing list that people can sign up through, through there, and then I also have my own discord server that I started as a way to like keep in touch with my Twitch subscribers, to let them know when my streams are coming up and stuff. But now I'm just allowing anyone to join it because it's a fantastic, like fail safe in case I lose access to any of these other channels.
What makes you that... let's completely switch topics here because I want to be respectful of time, we have about four minutes. What makes you the happiest? Um, other than your two cats, obviously.
Yeah, um, just like being able to create my own daily reality. It’s what makes me the happiest, it’s one of the reasons that I really love what I do for a job, it's like, you know, it's I, you, you read my Daily Beast piece, so you know what I say in there, but like, a lot of people look at someone who's in the adult industry and they think, oh, you just have sex on, on, in front of a camera and then you get paid, and it's like, that's literally, I like almost never do that. Like, like the last time I flew out to LA and was on a professional set, was over two months ago. The last time I actually filmed like a sex shoot on my own even was about a month and a half ago. Like I, most of what I do is. More akin to like, um, just general content creator stuff, or even like customer service, like, cause I, I respond to a lot of messages from fans on Only Fans. So a lot of the time I feel like I'm just, you know, being paid to just like shoot the shit with people, which is fantastic. And I love it, but I love being in control of my, what I do every day. What time I wake up, what time I go to bed? Like my own schedule. It's all under my control, I'm a business owner, that's great.
That being said. And as the last question, what keeps you, from going off the rails like for instance, if I don't, I have to I'm in the same boat as you. I can go do whatever I want today, right. I could go sit on this couch and watch 14 episodes in a row King of the Hill. I probably shouldn't do that, right? So I have rules in place that allow me to be productive. You know, I get enough sleep, you know, I try to eat healthy. I,...I have to work out every morning, things like that. 23:00 -- What are your rules that keep you from, you know, when you do work for yourself and no one's telling you, Hey, you have to do this or that. What's keeping you on track.
Um, well, powerlifting is the biggest one. Uh, for me that's been power lifting is the biggest one. I started seriously powerlifting, powerlifting in general, about five years ago, but I got really serious about it two years ago when I hired like, like a, a really good coach. Um, and so I've done a couple of competitions, but that's something that it's like my, my, my week, it feels totally off kilter. If I don't have access to a gym, if I can't actually go do a proper, like, you know, training schedule. Um, so that's honestly like the biggest thing. And other than that, like, I. I, uh, I definitely have a huge issue with like procrastination. So it's very easy for my life to go off the rails if I'm not being extremely careful, um, I just, I just set reminders. I have so many reminders of, I have to like remind myself to like literally do everything. I love to set a reminder to take a shower, otherwise I'll forget, so technology helps.
I believe it. Well, listen, Siri, thank you so much. Uh, siridahl.comYep. Siri, Dahl.com
And you’re on Instagram, you're everywhere, follow her guys, she is phenomenal. The stories she tells, the content she creates is, is over the top grade. And I'm a huge fan and I love, I want to see more of your writing. I hope that you will continue to write op-eds, they are so good and they are so powerful. The things that you're saying are just so needed to be said. So I think it's great. Uh, stick around after we say goodbye. Guys, my name is Peter Shankman, this is Faster Than Normal. I really appreciate you listening as always. And as I mentioned it to you earlier, or you probably heard earlier on the ad, there is a way for you to sponsor this episode. If you go to shank.mn/sponsor you can pay for an ad in cryptocurrency, and it's actually a lot easier than you think, so I encourage you guys to check that out. We will see you next week as always. Thank you for listening. I love you guys, ADHD and all forms of neuro-diversity are gifts, not curses, treat them as such, we'll talk to you soon.
Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week.