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“It may not be tomorrow, it may not be the day after, but it’s gonna be with you… as soon as it clicks in your head, it’s with you for life.”—Barry Sloane on his SEALfit training
Actor Barry Sloane (@barrypaulsloane), formerly from the show “Revenge” plays the leader of SEAL team six (Naval Special Warfare Development Group) on the History television show “Six.” Barry, and the rest of the cast were trained and prepared for their roles at SEALfit under Commander Divine. Barry and the Commander talk about his work as an actor and the long-term value that he has gotten from his SEALfit training and the importance of getting it right and being accurate in the details in making “Six.” Find out how the brotherhood and mindset developed in their training has infused the cast and crew.
Experience the 20x program that the cast of “Six” was put through to get ready for their roles. Find it at sealfit.com/20x/.
The Neurohacker Collective have recently come out with Qualia, an extensively researched nootropic that combines natural ingredients with the best synthetic ingredients to maximize our capacity to think effectively. When you purchase an ongoing subscription for Qualia at neurohacker.com, enter the code “unbeatablemind15r” to get 15% off the price of a monthly subscription.
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Other episodes of our podcast that you might be interested in are Mark’s interview with Mitch Hall on training the cast of “Six” and his interview with Bob Schoultz about SEALs, leadership and ethos.
Transcript & Shownotes
Hey folks. This is Commander Mark Divine coming at you with the unbeatable mind podcast. Thanks so much for taking the time to listen. You know I don’t take it for granted. You’ve got plenty of other things to do, and people vying for your attention. And I just really, really appreciate that you’re here to help be part of the solution to what’s going on in the world, and not part of the problem. That is hugely significant.
All right, before we get started, let me mention a couple of things. One, it really helps if you rate the podcast on iTunes. Hopefully 5 stars. So please go do that. We have 300 and some odd 5 star ratings. It helps other people find the podcast who may not know about us, but are interested in the same types of things.
So that’s number 1. Number 2: look out for the SEALfit boot camp. A brand new program that I consider to be just like the real evolution of SEALfit. We wanted more people to be exposed to the training and not fear it. And a lot of people would say, “Hey, you know, I’m just not ready for that. I have to train in Crossfit before I do SEALfit.” Well SEALfit boot camp is basically for everybody. It’s infinitely scalable. We’ve taken out the barbells and we’ve inserted all the mental training. So if you can imagine all the great mental training, and the big 4 skills that we teach, layered into really cool workouts that include high intensity Met Cons, strength, stamina, durability. But none of the really complicated movements, so it can be done anywhere.
And they’re all videotaped, so kind of like P90X, you can follow along. It’s going to be really cool. So go to sealfit.com, or search for “SEALfit boot camp.” We’re just trying to soft launch right now, and then there’ll be a big push later on.
Some of you know that we trained the actors who did the TV show on History channel called “Six” about SEAL team 6. And I gotta tell you, we just had a blast doing it with these guys. What a great group of guys.
And today I’ve got one of them on, and we’re gonna have a real cool call with Barry Sloane. Now Barry–he’s the leader of the team from “Six.” On the show, that is. And his character name is “‘Bear’ Graves.” And I remember Barry very well from the training. We connected quite a bit. And he was kind of a leader during the training.
He’s done a lot of other work. I first came across Barry because my wife got into a show called “Revenge“… Barry you’re there right?
Barry Sloane: Yes, I’m here…
Mark: I was really bummed when that woman put that stiletto through your head. I was like, “Damn, that’s gotta hurt, man.” (laughing)
Barry: (laughing) That’s par for the course on that kind of show, mate.
Mark: No kidding. I’m sure that was a fascinating… I bet you’re having a lot of fun with “Six,” and I’m sure that you had fun with “Revenge,” and all your stuff. I’m really excited to talk about it. Don’t get a chance to talk to an actor very often.
But Barry’s more than an actor. He’s also a big advocate for mental health and veterans problems. Born in Liverpool… and prior to us starting we were talking about why so many good musicians and actors come out of Liverpool, England of places. They must put something in the water.
At any rate, Barry, thanks so much for your time. Really appreciate it man. How things going?
Barry: yeah, going really well. Thanks for catching up again and it’s nice to be talking about this after such an incredible experience that we had with you guys before.
Mark: Yeah, you know, that was like a year ago and I bet you… ‘Cause a lot of people on this call have been through Kokoro camp, or 20X or SEALfit Academy. And it feels like yesterday for most of them.
Barry: It really is. And not only that, it was something you guys said to us right after we completed was, it may not be tomorrow, it may not be the day after, but it’s going to be with you… as soon as it clicks in your head, it’s with you for life. And that certainly is the case. I’ve been using it in my day-to-day every day since, and giving it to other people to the best I can.
Well, yeah, it’s meant to form a crucible experience. It certainly was that. And in so many ways for us, and it just… in a lot of ways made us be able to walk onto set and just be, and not try and “perform” anything. You know?
Mark: Yeah, that’s such a cool thing to hear. Cause yeah, cause you had a sense… even though I think it was only like 6 days, right? But you had a sense for how… A) a lot of it was probably just watching the SEAL coaches and myself and Coach Lance and just getting a sense for how we operate and move and act and talk. But then, you know, the dialogue ad what we beat into your skulls with regard to the dialogue and the mental toughness. And it was such an immersive learning experience that, like I said, you don’t even know some of the things you learn until probably it just kinda showed up. The way you acted as a team and stuff.
Barry: Yeah, I mean it was literally just walking into… you’re being guided by people like yourselves into something that was completely unknown. And, as you say, a lot of people might be inclined to do this thing. You may have been pushing towards that for a number of years. For some of us we signed the deal to do that show, you know, 4 days before we got on the bus…
Mark: (laughing) Surprise!
Barry: So it’s interesting what you were saying about some people think they can’t do this, and they need all this time training beforehand. And yes, obviously it’s advisable to be in some form of shape, but like we all just went into it completely blindsided, and I think that’s what made it even more immersive for us, in a lot of ways. Because I hadn’t had that level of control taken away from me personally… I still can’t speak for everybody else… but that was liberating. And to have your ego faced in front of you on more than one occasion and you have to decide if you like the way that looks or if you wanna change that. And that was a huge part of what we went through. And it did change me.
Mark: Yeah, that’s true. I mean, we have this saying that you meet yourself for the first time. And what we mean by that is you meet a new part of yourself. A more authentic part of yourself. And especially for an actor who has to go in there and draw… dig deep to find some sort of authentic voice in a role that may not be you. But you know, I think that all of us have that capacity to be other things besides what we present to people, know what I mean?
Barry: Yeah. Absolutely.
Mark: So that’s really interesting. Well I wanna come back to kinda acting and all that, but before we do I just wanna… for people listening who have no idea who Barry is or whatnot, we do have a video that the history channel was grateful enough to put on our webpage. So 20X page. So SEALfit.com/20x. So just make a note of that and then go back and check out this video. And it shows Barry and all the guys kind of showing up at SEALfit and doing training. They interview me and some of the actors. And it’s really cool. I’ve seen some of the other videos that came out of that training.
I’ve even had people say, “Hey, I saw the trailer to ‘Six’ and SEALfit’s in there.” But they didn’t let the SEALfit be shown anywhere, right?
Barry: Well, there was pictures of us in our shirts kind of during the surf passage part. And that they used like for one of the guy’s funerals I guess, they used part of it…
Mark: Oh, they did? Interesting.
Barry: Yeah, little bit. So there was little moments of it. And pictures of us during that training were all up in the team room and kind of everywhere. ‘Cause it was big. In my character’s garage there’s pictures of us on the beach and…
Mark: Oh cool.
Barry: Yeah, so it’s all in there. It’s like Easter eggs, you just gotta find them.
Mark: Yeah, it’s like the team guys just reflecting back on their training or having artifacts from their BUD/S class.
Barry: Yeah. And it really was, you know, again, we were able to draw on that to some level of our experience for these guys. Not that the chances are all being in the same BUD/S class and then being in DEVGRU together are slim.
Mark: Yeah. It happens though.
Liverpool and Music[09:42]
So you were born in Liverpool, and we were just… I was asking you, cause I mean, like the Beatles came out of Liverpool, some other great musicians. And you’re a musician. And you were telling me that there’s so little opportunity in kind of the old, traditional trades that a little subculture has kind of developed there around music. Tell us about that. How did you get into music? Do you still play? And what was that like for you, growing up there? 10:10
Barry: It was a very creative vibe about the place. It’s a very blue collar town. A lot of my father’s generation, my grandfather’s generation… everybody really working the docks, or there was a huge match factory that a lot of the people went to. You didn’t really think about what you were going to do. This was the option. You’d always aspire to more, but…
So for me, a group of my friends, they started a band. They didn’t have a bass player at that point. And I was the biggest of us so I was allowed in the band, which was good. And I didn’t know how to play bass guitar. I just took an acoustic guitar and hit the top string. It was like, “I’m in a band.” So I have an instrument as well.
So then, yeah, moved forward with that. I was always, always… I mean, music’s still a huge, important part of my life. And my kids life. I annoyed the hell out of them by playing music all day long. It’s a big mood shifter for me. And I use music an awful lot for character. Certainly for this, there’s a playlist that I had.
Mark: You mean when you’re trying to memorize lines, stuff like that?
Barry: No, no. Like for… what I do… one of the exercises that I would use for Joe is that I felt that he had a lot going on in his brain. So I would play, like, Slipknot or very aggressive metal music. Then I’d play the scene with my headphones in, but I’d play the scene calm. But with this going on. A warm-up technique of could I still remain outwardly calm with this chaos going on inside.
Mark: Ha! That’s cool.
Barry: So music is something that I always like to play with, you know?
Mark: So you do that on set?
Barry: Yeah. Just before going into it. To like keep the lid on the pot, if that was required for the character, you know?
Mark: I can see the director, like, “Where’s Bear? I hear the music. There he is. He’s getting ready.”
Barry: Yeah. Couple of our advisors I was like that one day. And he came and “Is that Slipknot?” I was like, “Yeah.” He was like, “yeah, get some, man.” He was happy, so that’s good. Felt like a now from one of the SEAL guys, which is nice.
Mark: Yeah, yeah. So you had Mitch Hall… I don’t want to skip here, but Mitch Hall was the SEAL who was my teammate. He brought you guys out. He was kind of the lead kind of advisor. But you had other guys from DEVGRU?
Barry: Yeah, we did. I don’t think they wanted their names put out.
Mark: No, of course not.
Barry: But I mean, Mark it was invaluable. With you guys and then through with them right the way through filming. For them to be working with us and as you say, not just… I mean, a tactically proficiency is only gonna be as proficient as you can get in a limited space of time. So they weren’t expecting us to be completely there. Season on season, that’s what Mitch’s idea is.
Mark: Yeah. Like next year you’ll come back to be even more squared away.
Mitch: Yeah, he’s like, “Whatever your standard was, that’s not good enough anymore. We go again.”
Mark: Do you guys remember at the end of the training I said, “Listen. For the first season, guys, don’t take your shirts off. Because SEAL team guys are just frickin’ ripped. But by the 2nd season I wanna see you guys without your shirts on.”
Barry: (laughing) We are working it hard now, man.
Mark: (laughing) Good for you. So you played music in Liverpool. Was that kind of your way out? Or was acting your way out?
Barry: Well, I came to a crossroads really to be honest. I was always doing both. I was in a band for a good number of years, and I also had an acting agent who would often say, “Do you wanna do this?” Cause I did plays in school for a long time.
And at this one point in my career I had a showcase for a Japanese record label with this band that I was in at the time, in this crazy, weird barn somewhere just outside London. And… So we were doing this weird set, and they don’t respond after you play a song. They just take notes and put it in their notebook.
Mark: (laughing) How weird.
Barry: It was one of the strangest things. We’re giving it the bollocks, you know what I mean? We’re kicking through it. “Yeah great. Next song.” “Okay. Next one.”
So we get to the end of that and our manager for the band is there talking, and I get a phone call from my other manager and he’s like, “Um, so you just got offered this role on this British television show called “Brookside.” Which filmed in my hometown. It was a cool show at the time.
So I had to make a decision. Do I stay here with the band, or do I go and do the music? And I have to, you know… I have to go into the rehearsal room and tell the guys that I was leaving the band. And that I was going to become an actor.
And they all said I’d made a terrible decision. And I didn’t. It worked out okay. I still see them now and they’re like, “Yeah, you made the right choice.” Cause they’re not doing it anymore.
But, yeah, it was kind of crossroads. I was very lucky. It takes that as much as everything else within this… hard work and commitment and self-belief, but…
Mark: Yeah, I can imagine. I mean, it seems to me with the insane number… I mean, it’s gotta be opening up a little bit, but for you, getting in when you did it’s gotta be hyper-competitive. I’m sure it still is, but now there’s so many TV shows–cable, Netflix, Amazon. Is the competition opening up a little bit? Or is there that many more people going? What’s the landscape like these days?
Barry: The thing is, I think you can… there might be more opportunity to get on a TV show. But the scope for people to actually watch that television show…
Mark: Is narrower…
Barry: Yeah, so you can be making a living, but you might not necessarily ever be known, if you know what I mean. But if you were on one of the big 4 channels back in the day and you had a hit show, I mean…
Mark: Yeah. That was a million dollar proposition, probably.
Barry: Yeah, that was huge. But now, you know, you can fortunately… and actors aren’t being held into, you know, long-term deals as we used to be. And we used to sign a pilot contract and that was you for 7 years. But at their discretion.
So you might be in a show that you despise after year and you’re stuck there for most of your 30s or 40s.
But now there’s a bit more power coming into actors. Cause you can do a 1 year deal. Or you know it’s a limited series, it’s only gonna do–like “Six”–it’s only gonna do 8 a year. Which is fantastic cause you don’t have to… If you can imagine, one of my favorites is “Abbey Road” by the Beatles. But imagine if that was 22 songs long. There’s gonna be some shit on there, right? That’s what’s going to happen. But if you can condense it to 8, it works.
So I think you’ve still gotta work hard to get in the door. Fortunately I did that in like 1999. So…
Mark: Yeah. How old were you when you got your first role?
Barry: That was ’99, so 19? 18-19.
Mark: So pretty young.
Barry: I was kind of late for some, but early for others. There’s no way in. I guess it just happened when it happened. I just kept plowing forward.
Mark: So was that a British show? The first one?
Barry: Yeah, it was a British show, but the thing… the first movie was an NBC movie called “In His Life: The John Lennon Story.” It was a Beatles movie, shot for NBC. And I think it might have been a television thing over here. And they wanted authentic musicians, authentic actors, and they shot it in the exact locations that the Beatles met and all this.
Mark: Oh cool.
Barry: Yeah. And I auditioned for John Lennon, and I didn’t get it. But I did get to play the pivotal role of Ivan Vaughan who–if you’re an aficionado of the Beatles, you’ll know he’s the guy who introduced John Lennon to Paul McCartney. So actually that’s very pivotal.
Without Ivan there is no Beatles and there is no movie, so…
Mark: But was Ivan a musician too?
Barry: No, no. He was barely a character. But I had four lines and I enjoyed it and that was my debut in movies.
Mark: That was your entree. Yeah. Okay.
Moving to the US[19:04]
Mark: Fascinating. And so then what came after that? You clearly set your sight on LA and whatnot.
Barry: Well, yes and no. I mean, I wanted to be… I was a successful, and I am a successful actor in the UK. I continuously worked from ’99 up until 2009 when I always said I didn’t want to come to the States without a job. I didn’t want to come begging. I wanted to come on my own… I wanted to come on the merits. And having already achieved what I needed to happen, and I have the right CV and the right calling cards. But the way it happened–where I didn’t realize I was immigrating, effectively–was I took a play in the West End of London. It was a new play. It was called Jerusalem. It was by a wonderful writer named Jez Butterworth. I’d read his plays before and I knew how talented he was. But this theater specializes in new plays and they’re usually edgy. And they’re political or, you know… they’re difficult to watch, sometimes. You never really know what’s going to happen.
It was a 6 week contract. It was the highest selling play that the Royal Court has ever had. They transferred to the West End. It was one of the bestselling plays in West End history. There were people camping out outside the theater to watch it, to get tickets. And it transferred to Broadway.
So I got what… I’d visualized that being the way I was going to get in, and I suppose that’s how it happened, you know?
Mark: That’s cool.
Barry: The best possible calling card for your first job in the States is to be in a hit play on Broadway, I thought, credibly.
And so I said to my wife, “Well, we’re not leaving the United States without representation.” So that was the next thing we pushed towards. So on my days off–cause we’d be in the play in the night–in the days I’d go round… I was taking meetings in New York, everywhere… meeting every conceivable representation. And fortunately by the end of the play, I had representation here.
Mark: What do you mean by that? An agency…?
Barry: Yeah. Someone who can sell you effectively.
Mark: Who you trust.
Barry: Yeah. Or at least believe that they have… can see the talent in you.
Mark: Right, yeah.
Barry; So I signed with a guy and then went from there. Nipped back to the UK and then booked a few shows here from the UK and then moved over. And my entire family. I’ve now got an American son. And he was born 8 months ago.
Mark: Oh, really? Congratulations.
Barry: Thank you. And then my daughter’s seven. She was born in the UK but she has an American accent and only really knows California and New York, so… Yeah, it’s been a gift for them.
Mark: So they consider themselves Americans. (laughing) Well your 8 month doesn’t consider anything yet, except for when’s the next meal.
Barry: She is American as far as she knows, She always asks, “Well where am I from?” “Wherever you wanna be, babe. You’ve got both passports so it’s up to you.” She’s got the option.
Mark: Good for her.
An American Accent[22:13]
Speaking like an American, when I hear you on TV, you don’t have this accent. This thick British accent that you have right now. So what’s that like? Do you have to have a voice trainer to ‘speak American?’
Barry: Yeah, I mean I left with… for every hour of television I was doing 6 hours voice prep.
Mark: No shit. Wow.
Barry: Yeah. Because it’s a big, jarring thing for me if someone gets accents wrong in the UK. It just pulls me out straight away.
Mark: Yeah, for sure.
Barry: And especially, you know, I felt very, very–I think we may have spoken about this a little bit while I was with you–but I felt very privileged as a foreigner to have the opportunity to tell the tale of an iconic American hero, if you like.
Barry: And so I wanted to get it right. I wanted to put the time and the effort in and my producers were very good with… cause I have a lady that is incredible. That I’ve worked with before. And they got her on part of the team. And we set up what we needed, and they were very helpful in making sure that we had enough prep time.
And yeah… so I get it… we work on it together. I like to set it in a specific area and then if I don’t exactly hit that area, at least it’s got life to it. So we looked at western Pennsylvania is an area where he’s from, and so we looked at Jimmy Stewart, we looked at Michael Keaton and we stole little bits of their accents and then we amalgamated them into something new. And then hopefully…
Mark: What does that look like? Like if I were to go to this coach that you have and say, “Okay, you need to teach me to sound like Barry Sloane from Liverpool.” How would she go about doing that?
Barry: They would talk… you start like a baby learns to speak. You start with the vowel sounds and then you learn the differences and the similarities. The best thing she does is we start with the similarities and we go, “Okay, what have you already got?” And we go, “Don’t change this, don’t change this, don’t change this.”
And then you find out that a lot of accents are pretty similar. You know, it’s just we only notice the differences, so if you work out there’s not that much to change, it doesn’t seem quite so daunting.
And then you go, “Okay, well it’s this…” The northern English accent that I’ve got, she said is easier to switch to an American than say a southern.
Mark: Really? Interesting.
Barry: Yeah, there’s already laxities… it’s a more relaxed accent. Mine anyway. Because of the Irish influence in my accent, and possible Irish influence throughout the United States. It’s there.
Masters of Learning[24:49]
Mark: This kind of brings up another topic that I want to talk about that I’ve always wondered about actors. So like, I’ll just use your experience in “Revenge.” You know, so what I thought was cool, was you had this Zen master–and I had a Zen master when I grew up. I never… I didn’t fight him and kill him, (laughing) but you know that was TV of course. But you… I know there’s a lot of choreographers, but you looked like you learned how to fight for that show.
And you learned a lot of really interesting skills. So my sense was–even though I have nothing to back this up–is that as an actor you kind of have to become a master of learning. Like an accelerated learning. So you can take a subject and just be like, “Okay, I got this.” And then learn how to learn it really quickly so that you own enough of it so that you can pull it off.
Barry: Well, that’s interesting that you said that, because when I first started researching you guys, one of the first things that came up was… I did an interview with a SEAL who said, “I might not know everything about everything. But if I need to know something by tomorrow morning, I’ll know more than you.”
Mark: (laughing) Exactly. That sounds like a SEAL team thing to say.
Barry: I was like, “I get that.” That’s great. And that was. That’s a very similar thing to this. It’s like… it’s always job specific. I need to know exactly what I need to know for a certain thing. I might not need to know to whatever level of martial arts to do it every day of my life. But I need to know enough to get through. Learn it almost as a dance–if you know what I mean–for that particular scene.
Just repetition, repetition, repetition. If you see Keanu Reeves’ gun work in the new “John Wick” that’s just him just…
Mark: Doing it over and over and over.
Barry: Nothing other than doing the gun work. It’s also, you know, I’m over 200 pounds and I’m over 6’2″ so the roles that I’m going to be offered to play, there’s always going to be a degree of physicality to the character, because just genetically, I can’t shift that. So it’s probably useful to have a little bit of that…
Mark: Do you have any type of–besides your newfound interest in functional fitness, and Tough Mudders and stuff, which we’re gonna come back to–but do you have any type of martial arts practice that…
Barry: No, only what we worked with on that show. I boxed a little bit growing up, back home. Do a little bit, but it’s more rougher stuff than technical. Through yoga and stuff like that… Cause my wife is Reiki master, so we have that kind of in our life as well.
Which we did with yourself. Which is wonderful. So more of that stuff, yeah.
Mark: So with “Six,” you did our training which was kind of preparatory and really about team and mindset and stuff like that. And then I know you went off and Mitch put you through a bunch of shooting and team drills so it looked like you could credibly approach a building, knock the door down and go through it.
Was there any other training or tell us what that was like. The tactical part. And then whether you had to do other training beyond like very role specific stuff.
Barry: Well, yeah, the weapons training was fantastic. As a Brit… As a guy who didn’t grow up with even police officers carrying weapons. So that’s something that throughout my career I’ve had to find a relationship with and find a way into. We were afforded all the weapons that you guys have available to you, and we got to fire those over 3 days out in the desert. Up in Santa Clarita way.
And once again, you know, it was working with the guys at that level of proficiency who also had the skill to take it down to our level and not make us feel like amateurs. But make us feel like part of their team. And we got there at the right pace, and we didn’t rush in.
And then, episode to episode, mission to mission–it was mission specific training I suppose. We board a tanker in the 2nd episode. There’s a boat rescue, so we did, like, 4 days of just getting up the side. Hook and climbing the ladder. Getting up there. How we would approach the door going down. Stairwells. Silently and proficiently and it was all about just drilling what we were going to need for the mission, you know?
And then we did some… for episode 4 I think we did some live fire movements, which… couple of the guys were like, “We did not think you guys…”
Mark: I can imagine. Mitch told me that they were probably weren’t going to do that, but that would be his ideal, because he wanted… His pitch to me was, “Hey Mark. Train these guys because my commitment to you is that this is going to be the most authentic show about the SEALs ever.” Cause I said, “I don’t wanna do it if it’s gonna be shitty,” you know what I mean? I don’t want the community on me like that.
So that’s cool. You actually did live fire training for the show.
Barry: Yeah, and movement. We were moving across each other and we got to the end of that drill, and one of the guys was like, “That is way, way beyond what we envisaged you guys to be able to do, and you should be very proud.” We pushed past what I think Mitch expected of us for that season. He expects far more now cause we go again. But as I say, the mindset that you guys put in us by the time we finished… And the relationship we have as a group of men is unparalleled in my entire career. You know, people we go to press functions and they can’t believe that these guys actually get on. Because, you know, a lot of shows they pretend to be friends, but like…
And then that spread, cause we’d been through that going through. We went to the table reading, starting the show. That spread around the entire cast. So the family elements, and the brotherhood elements that was instilled in us, is now right throughout the entire cast and crew. Because it’s infectious. So if they can see us pulling our weight and doing it that way.
Mitch was… it was our finale. It was 110 degrees and we had full kit on, and it was hot and, you know, people were… background guys were starting to drop like flies. And he was “You guys, this is why you did what you did. I wanna see a smile on your face, and you want to get everything done aggressively.”
And we did. We got it all done. And that empowered everybody around us. “Well if those guys are getting it done. And they can go sit in the shade if they choose, they’re staying out here with us in the shit, then they kept going, you know what I mean?
Mark: That’s really good to hear. Mitch is one of the best, by the way. I mean, he is such a solid guy. All around.
Barry: I’m very thankful to have him in our lives. Yeah, he’s a wonderful guy.
Mark: Yeah, no doubt.
Training for the 2nd season[33:16]
Mark: So let’s talk about… what’s your training like now? So the season is over.
Mark: Do you have another job lined up? Or what’s going on?
Barry: I work on a show called “Longmire.” We’ll probably start shooting that in June. But we started training as a group again last week. We started some Crossfit to begin with. We did one day of that. Then we did an 8 mile hike with weight vests and kind of started to push ourselves back into it gradually. We’re gonna up that each week, and we’re going to up the workout each week, but it’s a lot of the stuff that we worked with yourselves on. It’s a lot of functional, body weight stuff.
I have a nice setup at my place now since that as well, so pretty much every day I’m getting out and making sure that we’re in the best possible shape that we can.
And then Mitch’ll start with us maybe 4 or 5 weeks prior to filming and then step that up to the level that he requires.
So he just said to us, “Don’t overexert at the moment,” because he doesn’t want any of us not being able to function. But not to be walking into it like we did last year. Unprepared. He’s like, “Basically, there’s no excuses this year. You’ve gotta be good.”
Mark: Yeah. You guys should consider and I’d invite you all on me to come out to one of our 20x events. Which is a 12 hour gig. So take the Tough Mudder and just multiply it by 4. And it’s a phenomenal thing. You come out as a team. WE put you in a boat crew. What a great refresher.
Barry: I think that’d be very useful for us.
Mark: Yeah, you should pitch that to Mitch. We have one on the 29th, we have another one in June, then in October. I think we run 3 or 4 of them this year. I’d love to see you guys come out for that.
Barry: Thank you. It’d be a wonderful experience to go back there.
Mark: Yeah, sure would. So physical training… now you guys aren’t all… are you all in LA? Or do you get to do this together? In person?
Barry: Yeah, we’re all based in LA, which has been really helpful for that.
Mark: That is helpful.
Barry: Yeah, we’re all here. We can all get together and training in the group has been very beneficial. Obviously since what we went through with you guys, it’s just things are just easier to get done through a team…
Mark: I would love to come up and do something with you. If you guys have a weekend or something, I would love to come up and go out on a ruck, and maybe put you guys through some training just for fun. That would be cool wouldn’t it?
Barry: That would be awesome. Well let’s double back with Mitch and get that…
Mental toughness and rituals
Mark: So let me talk about a few more thing. We’ve been going for about 40 minutes here and I like to keep these around 45. But let’s talk about… with Unbeatable Mind, my training… we hit this up at your training, but I want to come back to it–is this idea of developing a personal ethos. It’s really big for me and I think… you know, the world is going to hell in hand basket in large part because people have lost kind of their compass and they’re just flailing all over the place. And so, you know, the media loves that because they can just pump the next product to them so they’re like ping-pong balls going from one feel-good thing to the next feel-good thing. And none of them make you feel good in the long-term.
Barry: “Tell me what to like.”
Mark: (laughing) Exactly. So for us it’s all about taking control and really digging deep. Curating what I call the inner domain and developing self-mastery and self-awareness. And what comes out of that is a personal ethos. A set of guiding principles and a vision for your future where you’re in charge. You’re the boss. Like my friend Jocko says, “You take extreme ownership of everything in your life.”
So having said that, what would you… how would you characterize your personal ethos for the listeners, so they kind of get what motivates you. When you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror?
Barry: For me, I feel very, very fortunate to be the father of 2 wonderful children. A husband to a wonderful wife. So I’m very thankful for that from the moment I wake up every day. And that’s a wonderful way to kick start.
Mark: No doubt.
Barry: Throughout my life to succeed to the level I have in the career I have, I’ve had to work very hard mentally and I have a very thick skin and not be fearful. So I suppose every day, instead of looking at what I’m afraid of, I look at what I love and I move towards that. That’s been a big part of it. I think every day you’re faced with those two choices, right? Love and fear. What are you gonna do?
So you can either educate yourself on what scares you and fix that. Or you can stay hidden behind your front door for the rest of your life.
I think I try and… As far as staying ahead in society and not getting… trying to choose media in a broad spectrum and know where I’m getting it from. I don’t just go to one shop. You know what I mean? I think it’s best to educate yourself across the board. And I think I’ve been very fortunate in my career to be able to look at human beings as a case study. And so I like to… I can appreciate human beings in general so I like to people watch. I like to learn from people. I like to find one person a day that can educate me on something if possible.
Cause that’s the best way. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And especially in this business, don’t be afraid of failure. In the sense of with art like this, risk is important. So there’s no right or wrong within the industry I work. In the… gambling and trying something is far more beneficial than playing the safe card. So I think bravery is always rewarded in this profession, and you should always be that. And always believe in yourself. Simple.
Mark: I love that. In the SEALs we used to say, “Failure is not an option.” And people can mistake that for not being able to fail. And for us it was actually the opposite. We had to go fail, and so ultimately the concept of failure is not the option.
Barry: Yes, yes. That’s it.
Mark: It’s not whether you fail or not. Cause you learn from your failures.
Barry: Absolutely. Or… I think… what was that quote? “The wise man learns from other people’s failures.” Right?
Mark: (laughing) That too. So you kind of alluded to a few kind of rituals. Things that keep you grounded and keep you learning and keep you positive and optimistic.
So like, let’s just think about your day as a rhythm. In the SEALs we’d say “battle rhythm.” what does that look like? And talk to the listeners. What does it look like for you so that when you get up you’re locked and loaded and ready to roll? And positive both for your family and for the tribe. So you’ve mentioned a few things, but think about it in terms of rituals and habits. What does your life look like in that regard, on a day-to-day basis?
Barry: Rituals and habits. We’ll get up… I’ll try and make sure that I’m awake 10 minutes, 15 minutes before the kids wake up. Even before my wife wakes up. And I’ll sit and think about the day ahead. I’ll think positively. That it’s going to be a great day. And I’ll put that out there straight away. That’s something that I try and keep with me every day.
And then, as I said before, music. I’ll get music on for the kids. Something uplifting, something strong. Sometimes classical, sometimes Disney depending on what mood they’re in. And drive them through the early parts of getting them ready for school. And help my daughter get her ritual going. Ask her how she feels. Tell her it’s going to be a great day at school and she’s going to succeed and she’s going to learn. And tell her that going forward. And then we push forward from there. It’s always about… me and my wife will always connect and discuss what we’re going to do with our day and what we’re going to achieve. And then we go out there and get it.
Mark: That’s awesome. What about in the evening when you come home?
Barry: The evening, it’s always about making sure once we’ve got kids back to bed and out the way, we will get the house into a semblance of order. And then we will make sure that we have time together to speak and discuss and be people outside of “mom and dad.” And check in how… whether we got what we achieved completed or we look at how we could have done that better, you know what I mean? So it’s making sure we get done what needs to get done.
Mark: Terrific. Yeah, that’s a great evening ritual. Did you learn from the day? What went well? What didn’t? And no regrets, right?
Barry: Absolutely no regrets, ever.
Mark: As an actor being in TV shows, do you actually watch TV at all? Do you… you may not have time. I barely do. My wife got me back into it, and it’s kind of a fun ritual to do…
Barry: Yeah, we just watched a cool show on Netflix called “The OA.” Which I had no idea what it was going to be. It’s very odd. Very strange show.
Mark: What’s it called again?
Barry: It’s called “The OA.” It’s a truly unique story that I hadn’t seen before. So that’s good. So we’ll try and jump in, but we don’t really watch live television as such, which is a bit unfair because I’m expecting people to do that for my show. (laughing) But it’s tough, you know…
Mark: It is tough. There’s so much garbage and so many interruptions…
Barry: That’s it. And how do you find what it is? And basically just off recommendations you listen to I suppose.
Yeah, you know, we do enjoy that. But it’s just a matter of finding the time really.
Mark: What about reading? Do you like to read?
Barry: Yes. Yeah, yeah. If I can’t get in my books, I have audio books on for any drive that I’m doing around town as well. So…
Mark: I’d love to send you a copy of my book “Way of the SEAL” and/or “Unbeatable Mind.” I mean, it’d be an honor to send you up those.
Barry: Well, I actually wanted to say to you this is a really interesting visualization and things putting out there. About… maybe about 4 months prior to working with you I was in a bookstore in Santa Monica and I came across “8 Weeks to SEALfit.”
Mark: Nice. (laughing)
Barry: Which I just picked off the shelf, right? So I’m looking at this, and I look at the pages and I started to read the book and get into it. And then only a few weeks later, I was working with you on the show…
Mark: (laughing) How cool is that?
Barry: And I’m like, that’s gotta be… You gotta be careful what you read, Mark.
Mark: (laughing) Exactly.
Barry: You’ve gotta pick the right book. I’m very fortunate that I did. I’m very glad that I did. And, yes… you’ve got some incredible books and I know pretty much every one of us has read them.
Mark: Well how about this? I’ll get your address, or I’ll have Allison get your address and then I’ll send you and the team up some books. I doubt everyone else has read them, but it might be fun for you guys to reconnect with those principles and add that to your training. Cause, you know, that’s the holy grail in the next stage of human development to me is integration, right? So for us, where I’ve gone is… when I train, I’m doing all the work. It’s an integrated training practice, not just a workout. So I’m doing breath work, I’m doing visualization. I’m doing the internal dialogue. I’m moving the barbell with awareness so that becomes mindfulness. Whether it’s a burpee or barbell or pull-up. And I’m doing the pre- and post- ritual which is to prep to win in my mind, and then to learn from the win. And so, you know, that 1 hour block of time–or whether it’s a half hour, hour, or 3 hours–becomes a whole integrated practice. Physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual. And that would be cool for you guys to re-engage with. There’s so much magic that happens, right? When you do that.
At any rate, I’m pitching my own books to you, so…
Barry: That’s all right. Yeah, watch “Six” season 1 and season 2 which starts next year as well, so…
Mark: (laughing) Exactly. Season 1, History channel, just Google history channel and look for “Six.” Course it’s named after SEAL team 6. A.K.A. Naval Special Warfare Development Group.
Barry: That’s the one.
Mark: Which is the actual name.
Barry: We were told in no uncertain terms by Mitch and the guys to start with that every time we called it “SEAL team 6” we would be pushed through a not nice training thing, so…
Mark: (laughing) Technically, SEAL team 6, if you ask the Navy, it doesn’t exist…
Barry: Exactly. So it any interviews “Unh, uh, unh.” None of us did it. We always went to DEVGRU and the press didn’t know what the hell we were talking about.
Mark: I know, right.
Barry: But that was good. So at least we didn’t have to do more burpees, you know?
Mark: No more burpees. That’s cool.
And there’s a 2nd season. When does that start? What’s the timeline?
Barry: We start shooting in July, so I think it’ll be on air early 2018.
Mark: 2018. Cool.
And I imagine you guys had a… I mean they wouldn’t have picked up a 2nd season if it wasn’t successful. What are your goals in terms of viewership? How can we help you knock it out of the park for next year?
Barry: You know what, you said before that you want to be part of the most honest interpretation of your community. I hope we came in the ballpark of doing that. I know that there’s a ton of SEAL shows that have been picked up for pilots this year. I don’t like to… I wish everybody in this business good luck. I just hesitate and I’m slightly concerned that they won’t be quite as respectful. So, I guess, if anyone’s inclined to watch one of these shows, I can honestly say that I’m pretty sure ours is going to be the one that’s most truthful.
Mark: Yeah, I think your right. And knowing Mitch and the work that you guys have put in and the authenticity and… Gosh, if you’re doing live-fire already on… actors never get to do that. That is stunningly rare.
Barry: No. We were trusted with our weapons as well, on an off set. Which was unheard of to me. But he was like, “These guys are cool with it. They’re not going to fuck around. They know what to do,” you know?
Mark: Right. Terrific, Barry. Well good luck with season 2, congrats on season 1. I can’t wait to… hopefully Mitch has threatened to have kind of the crew come back. Kind of refresher. We’ll talk to him about that… Especially cause I think you’ll probably have 1 or 2 new actors cycle in, won’t you?
Barry: I think so, yeah. And yeah, they need to get their ass kicked…
Mark:(laughing) Yeah. Absolutely. Or else you won’t have the same level of trust. They’ll be the FNG. The F’n New Guy.
Barry: You gotta take care of ’em and fix ’em.
Mark: That’s right. All right, Barry. Super-cool. Thanks so much for your time. Good luck with everything. Best with your kids, and I’ll get those books up to you and maybe we can get together and go for a long ruck, and do some burpees.
Barry: Really appreciate that Mark. Always a pleasure. Thanks.
Mark: All right, buddy. Take care.