Réal Andrews Actor, Founder, Speaker & Transformational Coach

Interview on the Jason Hennessey Podcast 03-16-2022 - Episode 22
Réal Andrews

Actor Réal Andrews displays his gratitude and contagious energy

Today we get to talk with actor, speaker transformation coach, cancer survivor, and Emmy Award-winner Réal Andrews. Best known as a soap opera star, he’s most recognized by his daytime television fans for his role as Lieutenant Taggert on General Hospital or Chance Walker in Soldier of Fortune.
Despite growing up with nothing, living on the other side of the tracks, and moving from one apartment to the next with a single mom, Réal was raised in a loving and supportive environment, to which he attributes his success and positive mindset.
In this inspiring and heartfelt episode, we go deep into Réal’s weight loss journey, and discuss his battle with alcoholism and addiction, and how he fought and beat cancer. We also talk about how he built two seven-figure businesses, became the first black stuntman in Canada, and eventually founded the very first mental wellness company.
Réal keeps it real when Jason asks him a few “Would you rather” questions and answers the first thing that comes to his mind in our signature segment, “Hennessey Heart-to-Heart.”
Please follow along below and thank you for joining us for today’s gratifying episode

In this Episode

[01:25] Jason and Réal Andrews begin talking about Hennessey Studios’ great space and equipment, Réal’s podcast, and the phrase on Réal’s t-shirt.

[03:28] Réal shares that he mostly grew up with a single mom in North Vancouver, BC, Canada. He details the supportive atmosphere his mother created and the values his dad instilled in him that continue to inspire him to always take action.

[06:55] Réal reveals a complicit story publicly for the first time, that involves his late stepdad, and how most of his family was part of Canada’s biggest mafia and cocaine busts.

[09:10] Réal talks to us about his olympic ambitions and the injury that made him pivot to a career in “Hollywood North.” He recounts how he landed his first feature role in high school, and his path towards becoming a stuntman, which led to acting.

[11:30] Jason is curious to know how Réal ended up in Hollywood. Réal remembers the stunt coordinator on Police Academy 4 inviting him to stay with him to pursue his Emmy ambitions, how he landed his first agent, and his struggles with fame & fortune.

[14:41] Réal gives us accounts of his first under-five role on Born on the Fourth of July and an A-list star-studded party he attended hosted by Carrie Fisher.

[18:45] Jason asks Réal how he was cast for General Hospital. Réal recounts his role as Detective Taggert starting as an under-five, and he also shares a funny story about his promotion to Lieutenant in the show.

[21:42] Réal explains how being on someone’s screen at home creates a more intimate viewing experience. He tells us of the times he’s been recognized on the street and how Wayne Gretzky was star struck when they met.

[23:52] Réal gets emotional thinking about how his late parents witnessed his success and how he lost it all to drug addiction. Jason comforts him by telling him they’re still watching and are proud of his progress and regeneration.

[24:51] Réal speaks words of gratitude and describes the fulfillment he has received from a group like Alcoholics Anonymous. He also appreciates a mantra that Jason passes along to him.

[28:01] Réal informs us of his three hip replacement surgeries and his new fitness venture with Amare Global along with coaching people for over 30 years. He divulges how he’s changed his coaching philosophy to be more mental health oriented.

[32:25] Jason and Réal discuss how society makes it difficult for people to live healthy lifestyles. Réal suggests that your inner circle is critical to your physical and mental wellness journey, and that fast-food and sugar are the major culprits.

[38:50] Jason is interested in what a day in the life of Réal looks like. Réal gives us his daily routine which starts with a 2 a.m. prayer, working out afterwards, hosting power hours for his team, and ending the day relaxing with his wife watching TV shows.

[41:49] Jason wonders how often Réal is filming nowadays. Réal gives us four reasons why he’s primarily focused on building his network marketing business, Amare Global, while trying to resume on General Hospital.

[45:48] Jason invites Réal to a game of “Would you rather.” We learn if Réal would rather hear a comfortable lie or uncomfortable truth, always have a full phone battery or full tank of gas, and if he’d prefer a personal maid or a personal chef.

[48:33] Réal and Jason have some quick asides about cleanliness and family during “Would you rather.” Jason also asks Réal if raising a daughter gets difficult as they get older and why people like McDonald’s.

[53:37] Réal and Jason share similar thoughts on LA parking and traffic as they finish their game of “Would you rather.”

[55:42] Réal details the training methods he uses when trying to help someone improve their nutritional, physical, mental, and societal health.

[01:00:59] Jason congratulates Réal for winning his bout with cancer and requests him to shed some light on his mindset for anyone going through anything similar.

[01:02:49] Réal digs deep in our signature segment, “Hennessey Heart-to-Heart.” He and Jason bond as they talk about second chances, the thing he wishes he had more time for, what Réal’s dad would be most proud of today, and much more.

[01:17:13] Jason and Réal set up a family dinner night as they conclude today’s conversation. Réal also gives us his handle, @realandrews, so we can continue following along in his wellness journey.

Transcript

Jason Hennessey: Réal Andrews, man, thank you for coming out and being here at Hennessey Studios.

Réal Andrews: It’s great to be here, man. As you know, I’m freaking, this is awesome. This is 10X, 10X.

Thank you, man. And from somebody that’s been in the industry for so long, and I think you have your own podcast show, you appreciate this kind of stuff, so that means a lot.

Absolutely, I had to refocus, pull it in, because I’m a deep personality. And seeing your space and everything you got here, I’m already- I’m shooting a TV series in my head, I got that new podcast with-

See? I love it, man. So you woke up this morning and you put on a shirt, and the shirt says, “Do you want it?” What’s that about man?

It’s a great question. Now, this didn’t happen on purpose, but I’ve actually built two seven-figure businesses and a six-figure business, and a lot of it was because of this shirt. Because in network marketing, it’s all about sharing your story. You got to build relationships. So you can imagine, and it always started really like, “Do I want what? You bet I do.” And then I would say, “Do you want better health or better-?”

So, that’s kind of where it evolved into, but where it started was my dad taught me a few things, and one of the things he taught me, he’d always say to me, “Son, I don’t make excuses. I don’t take excuses. Not even good ones, not even justified ones.” So, that’s a big part of who I became.

So, this shirt was because people are running their mouths all the time. So, I’m like, “Do you want it, dude, or are you just talking about it? Are you just running your mouth or do you really want it? Let’s go.”

So, it actually has a lot of- And I got two drawers of them.

Do you really?

So, I’m not wearing the same shirt all the time. I do wash my clothes.

I’m the same. There’s so many episodes of me just wearing black shirts in here. I’m a very simple guy myself, yeah.

Let’s talk about that. Because there are those that talk and then there’s those that take action. I can tell right away, the moment that you walked in this room, that you’re a guy that takes action, right?

Mm-hmm.

So you grew up where? Where did you grow up?

I grew up North Vancouver, BC, Canada, yeah.

And what was your childhood like?

It’s interesting when we reflect, because when I was young- I come from a small town, North Vancouver, BC. My mom was a single mom, really hard working. I was an only child. We grew up on the other side of the tracks.

My original dream to get us out of the hood, per se, was to- I was gifted with speed. I was going to make the ’84 Olympics. Back then, you win a gold medal, you get a big campaign, and that’s how I was going to buy my mom a house, and get out and all that, initially.

But what happened was that transition of growing up and working out of there was when those different things were instilled to me, and I just learned. And one of those things was taking action. And the main thing about taking action, and I say this all the time, I coach on it. 98% of success is enjoyed by 2%, maybe even 1% of the population. I’m talking fame, riches, great relationships, all of that. And it’s hard. You and me both know it’s hard work, but it’s not that hard. You just got to take action.

Let’s look at Tony Robbins, for example. These people spend $10-, $20- I’ve been there, $30,000. I was blessed, I didn’t spend that. But you’re there for 4 days, you’re jumping up and down like a flipping freak, screaming. He’s got you doing this. Then you’re walking fire, and everybody’s so fired up, they’re going to change the world, and they wake up in the morning, and they don’t do nothing.

I always say to people at this point in my life, in terms of the action thing, I know, in my head, I’ve got an unfair advantage against most of you, because I know all I got to do is take action. That’s all I got to do to win.

I’ve got an unfair advantage against most of you, because I know all I got to do is take action.

You know what else it sounds like? So you and I kind of have a similar upbringing. Grew up to a single mom. She had me when she just turned 18 years old. We lived in a small town, didn’t have a car. That whole kind of story, right?

But I think what your biggest advantage in life was, was just that. Because you know, regardless of what happens, all the risks, the chances that you take, you’ve kind of seen the bottom, so you’re not afraid of, kind of getting back to there because you’ve already been there, right?

Exactly. And I squirrel sometimes, so you might have to- So, to finish answering your question, what was my childhood like? Where I was going with that, when I was a kid, I thought I had an amazing childhood. I didn’t have nothing. We were very poor, but I had amazing parents. They gave me love. That’s the memories I had.

My mom always would say to me every night, “Don’t dream tonight, son, dream big.” She didn’t know that was subliminal implementation, but I truly believed that, because that’s what I started doing.

Dad said, “There’s no such word as C-A-N-T. One more rep.” And they always lifted me up in anything I do, so that was amazing, from a kid. But when I look back in hindsight, it was tough, dude. I mean, we went from apartment to apartment. I used to think mom just liked to move, but in hindsight I think she was always running away from having to pay the rent, because she had this kind of- We’d just get up and go.

She had to take care of the family.

And then we have my stepdad, who was amazing. But I’ll tell you one quick, funny, story about him, and then wrap it all up.

I’m 16 years old. I think I could- Yeah, he’s passed on, so they can’t get him anymore. I’m 16 years old-

Oh, he’s going to tell.

And just like in a movie, dude, I’m not shitting you. Through the front door, through the back door, through the windows, it’s 5:30 a.m. in the morning, they’re coming in, SWAT, police officers. My family, we go down as one of the biggest cocaine and mafia busts in the history of Canada.

We go down as one of the biggest cocaine and mafia busts in the history of Canada.

Oh my God.

So, all my uncles and aunts, I now find out they’re guidos and stuff. Most of them died in prison for life.

Oh my God.

And my dad, the reason my dad got out was, check this out. So, my dad’s sitting there, he’s handcuffed to the kitchen table, my mom’s handcuffed over there. They don’t have me handcuffed, but they have me in my room.

And then my dad finally says, “Hey, listen, it’s time. He’s got to go to school. Could you just let my son go to school?” And they finally say, “Yeah.” And so, I come in and I’m going to- This is the connection me and my dad had. I’m about to say, “Bye,” and my dad does this. He goes, “Son, don’t forget your homework.”

And I picked up, and he was pointing to this little black book, and that’s what they were looking for.

Is that right?

And I walked right out with it.

Oh wow.

And if they would’ve found that book, it would’ve been-

Different story.

Different story,

Different story completely.

Yeah.

Wow.

I’ve never told that story. That’s interesting.

Is that right?

Yeah, yeah.

Sixteen years old.

And my dad did a whole movie on that, classic Hollywood. He wrote a script about- My dad evolved into the most amazing man, but he was a player, he was a pimp, he was a drug dealer.

Like the-

Dude, he had one Cadillac with the roof up and one with the roof down. He drove the one with the roof up when it was raining, the one with the-

Yeah, he was a character, dude. He was a character.

There’s a meme that goes around. It’s a picture of these white snakeskin shoes. And it says something like, “If your dad wore these shoes, you probably have brothers and sisters you know nothing about.”

Absolutely, oh my god, that’s true. They got like 12 baby mamas they don’t even know.

Exactly. So, did you say you were going to be in the Olympics? Did you just-?

That was my initial dream, that was my initial dream.

What was your sport?

Sprinting. I still have records. My fastest was 10.49 at that time, and I was 13. And then I pulled my hamstring. And what had happened, God always closes and opens a door.

All of a sudden, Vancouver was becoming “Hollywood North.” They were starting to make a lot of movies up there, because they were getting a break on the tax thing. They started building studios, and they needed a young black kid for this movie, Harry Tracy: The Last Desperado, with Bruce Dern.

There wasn’t a lot of us. They went around to all the schools. They found three of us. I came in, I read. I had no idea what I was doing, I got the part. I show up on the set, I don’t know what to do, right? They got me in makeup. They’re making me blacker.

Is that right?

Yeah, because I’m not black enough for the black part. And then this white guy walks in and they say, “Can you stand back to back?” I said, “Okay, sure.” We stand back to back. They go, “That’ll work.” So, he goes away.

An hour later, he comes back, he’s black. And he has a wig like he’s going to be my stunt double. So I’m like, “This is a trip.”

So long story short, the movie’s over. Jacob, he says to me, “Hey man, have you ever thought about doing stunts? Because we got a lot of work coming up here and we don’t have any black stuntmen.” And I said, it was literally like, “I may make it to the Olympics and get a contract or I can make money now.” I said, “Okay.”

And I became the first African American stuntman in Canada, and that’s how my acting career started.

Wow.

Because of course, back then, we’re going back ’81, every movie had a bad person and they were black. So I could take a punch, I could throw a punch, you could put me through a wall.

So, I worked like a madman. I played every bad guy you could- Got killed, blew up, all kind of stuff.

And then got little speaking spots, up to 5 lines, 10. And then I got a big break and I got a lead in a show, and then that’s when I-

So your journey to Hollywood started in your hometown?

Yes. It did.

Is that right?

A little bit, yeah.

So after, I guess school, you’re working now, you’re doing stunt stuff, you’re working on movie sets, you’re probably one of the cooler kids in your town now. At what point did you actually take the journey from Canada to Hollywood? Tell me that story.

Absolutely. It was Police Academy 4.

Really?

Yeah, and I used to double Michael Winslow, I doubled Mr. T.

He’s the best. The sound effects, right? Oh my God.

That’s right. Yeah, he got sound- I doubled Mr. T, but I was on Police Academy 4. I remember it- And I’d made that decision. Here’s what happened.

So, I’m on Police Academy 4, and this is like, I love this now, it’s like, “Tell me, ‘No.’ Tell me I can’t do it, please. Please tell me,” because I’m really going to get it done, right? And we’re sitting at lunch and the big actors are over here, and us peons are over here. And it was that moment I said, “You know what?” And I said it loud, because I learned young I’m going to make myself accountable by saying it loud.

So I said, “I’m going to move to Hollywood and become a successful actor and get an Emmy Award one day.” “Yeah, sure, dude. Just stay in your lane, dude. There’s no work for African-American actors. Less than 3% of SAG makes a living.” And I heard that. Dude, I didn’t say nothing, but I remember just like, “Really?”

That’s the fire you needed, right?

Okay. Let’s go. And it was then that I had made friends with the stunt coordinator on there. And he said, “Hey dude, anytime you want to come to Hollywood, you can hang your hat at my house.” He was a cowboy. He lived in Simi Valley.

I jumped here, I came here, decided to take it next level. I landed on Hollywood & Highland or something with a suitcase, had some appointments. I was walking down the road to this agent, that agent. “No.” “No.” “No.”

My very last appointment of the day, I almost wasn’t going to go. It was Stone Manners, and he said, “I think you can make a lot of money here, man.” He said, “I’d be happy to represent you.”

Is that right?

Yeah, and that was basically the beginning of a- We like to say, when I landed General– It’s crazy, General Hospital and Soldier of Fortune, my two biggest things? What was it? Like 22 years? 18, 22 years as a struggling actor? Overnight success.

Of course.

Within 2 weeks of each other.

Is that right?

Yeah. But I had a crazy journey though, Jason, I mean, full transparency. Man, I could tell you some crazy stuff, you know what I mean? And when you’re in it, you don’t realize it. But dude, I was a raving maniac. I was partying like a rockstar. I was showing up at producer meetings with cocaine around my nose still.

I was showing up at producer meetings with cocaine around my nose still.

Is that right?

Oh yeah, dude. You’re just off. And then it’s everybody’s fault that you’re not being successful. I fired agents and managers, so it was amazing that-

That was just my journey. But I’m pretty pretty sure I’m walking into a producer meeting and probably half the producers have been partying all night too.

Of course. Yeah, yeah.

And they’re probably like, “Dude! Can you at least wipe your nose before you appear on camera or something? Let me get you a water over here.” But yeah. Crazy shit.

So how old were you then when you- So, you didn’t come out here to be on General Hospital, to be a soap star, daytime television star, right? That was just an audition that happened shortly after you got out here or what?

Well, I came out here to be an actor.

Yeah, got that.

Soap opera– I think honestly, Jason, I was grateful to do-

Yeah, you wanted to book things, right?

I wanted to book something. And I actually booked, right out of the gates, I booked under-five, which was a really cool part though, on Oliver Stone‘s Born on the Fourth of July.

Cool.

Now, at that time we all knew who Oliver Stone was.

Sure.

“Oh my God, you got an audition tomorrow for Oliver Stone.”

It’s like whoa, yeah.

I had one line. “Would you like some water?” That’s my line to Tom Cruise. So, the whole- You’re doing the actor thing, but I have one line. So I walk in, here’s Oliver Stone. He’s like this, he’s looking down and everything. The casting director’s sitting where Jenna is and stuff like that.

I come in there and he’s not acknowledging me at all. At all. And so, I’m like, “Do you want some water?” And he says, “Did I F-ing tell you to stop, dude? Did I F-ing tell you to stop? Keep going, dude.” He’d provoke. “What kind of actor are you, dude?” Man, I walked out of there deflated.

Oh boy.

And I called my agent, I was like, “Oh my God.” And he’s laughing. I go, “Why are you laughing, dude? It’s not funny at all.” He goes, “You just booked it.”

And then when you showed up on set, there was all these A-list actors. Oliver was completely different. It was at the LA Coliseum. He brought everybody except Tom Cruise, but everybody into the locker room of the LA- The football field.

He was like a coach talking to the team and he was like, “Let’s go, come on. You got to go out, let’s go. Run and have fun.” Completely different once you’re on his team.

Wow.

Yeah.

Wow. Yeah, that movie, they filmed the scene where he was working in a burger shop or something on Long Island. It’s very famous. It’s called All American Burgers, so I know that movie very well. Yeah.

Fascinating, man. So you worked with Tom Cruise then?

Worked with Tom Cruise. The first few things I booked out here were Born on the Fourth of July, I booked Postcards from the Edge, which had the potential to be great.

What happened was- It was missing- I had a really great part in there. It was John Cusack, Shirley MacLaine, the Star Wars girl, what’s her name? Played Princess Leia, and all of that. And Shirley MacLaine had a vision, and 2 weeks into it, and I was part of a lot of stuff with her, but 2 weeks into it, the team didn’t like the direction it was going, so they reshot all of that stuff and changed it, and I got cut out.

Oh.

But what was cool about that is, and I’ve been here maybe a month or 2 months, Carrie- What’s her name from-

Carrie Fisher.

Carrie Fisher. So once we’re all cast, she has a party at her house. Everybody’s there. Everyone. Now, I’m the new kid on the block. I was sitting on a table like this. I got my food, and I don’t get-

Starstruck.

Starstruck about anybody, but one person, the reason I became an actor. So, I’m sitting there and this guy, “Do you mind if I sit next to you?”

I look up, it’s Jack Nicholson. I go, “Holy shit.”

Are you serious?

Yeah, that’s my one guy. That’s why I became an actor, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. So, I’m freaking out, dude. And he’s sitting there, and he talked to me for, like, 90 minutes about his Lakers.

His Lakers.

His Lakers. Oh my God. Yeah, so that was really cool. Yeah.

Talk about, man, a “pinch me” moment, huh?

Dude, I freaked- Because I knew when I heard that voice, I was like, “What the-”

What am I doing here? This kid from Canada in Hollywood, sitting here for an hour and a half with Jack Nicholson. That’s crazy. Man, that’s awesome.

So then, you got this big audition that was probably going to change your life here, right?

Mm-hmm, yep.

So General Hospital. Tell me how that all went down.

Yeah. That was really, really cool, because I was a huge General Hospital fan.

Oh really?

Oh gosh.

Interesting.

We’d skip school for that- All the big weddings. Oh yeah, I was a freak.

So, I go on. I’m excited to get this part. And my buddy, who’s now my BFF. He was the best man in my wedding, he’s Maurice Benard. He’d be phenomenal for your show. I could make that happen.

Thank you, man.

We have the same agent. So, it was under-5. All I had to say was, “I’m Lieutenant Tag-” It was detective at that time. I had to say, “I’m Detective Taggert with the PCPD.”

Now, anybody who knows anything about acting, it doesn’t matter how good you are, when you only have one or two or three lines, it’s the worst. You just over- Because you don’t want to screw up. You know what I’m saying?

So, I’m going over and over, I get my head in this thing, and I got these lines, and I don’t want to screw up. I couldn’t get PCPD right. You know how sometimes words stick? So, I was freaking out, I’m going to mess it up.

I stand in front of Maurice and all I said was- Now, this was an under-5 part, okay? One time. And all I said was, “I’m Detective Taggert, PCPD. I got a warrant for your arrest.”

Okay.

Something happened. There was apparently some chemistry, magic between me and Maurice that they’d never seen before. In the booth, they immediately called my agent and offered me a contract.

While you’re there.

Yeah.

That doesn’t happen.

No, no, no. No. And now I’m walking down the hall. I’m like, “Oh my God, that’s Alan Quartermaine’s room. Oh, look, there’s- Oh, that’s Laura. That’s Laura!” But then, you got to be cool. “Hey there, how you doing?”

“I have to fit in here,” right?

Yeah, so that was really fun.

So you booked it, huh?

Yeah, yeah.

And how long did you work on the show for?

I’m still on that show and it’s 28 years now.

Twenty-eight years.

Yeah. So, I started that character 28 years ago, then I was off on a tangent.

Yeah, you had a hiatus for a little bit, right?

Yeah, yeah. Doing what I was doing. But yeah, it’s been pretty crazy. The biggest funny story I have to share with you about General Hospital. I was Detective Taggert, and one day I’m sitting at home, I got my new scripts coming. We actually used to get scripts, they weren’t digital.

I’m reading this part, and here comes AJ Quartermaine in the show. He goes, “Hey Detective, congratulations on your promotion to Lieutenant.” And I go, “Mom, Mom, you’re not going to believe it, I got a promotion. I’m a Lieutenant!” And my mom goes, “Son, you’re acting.” I was like, “Oh my-”

But it felt so real to you, huh? [laughs]

Oh my God. And nobody could get it right, and so, it became like a part of the show. They’d always go, “Hey, Detective.” I’d go, “Lieutenant, dude. It’s Lieutenant, okay? I’m not going to say it again.” Right?

But you know what’s crazy though is, yeah, it feels real to you, but think about the audience that watches the show. That is real, right?

It’s interesting you say that, Jason, because soap operas, more than even Tom Cruise- I mean, Tom Cruise is huge, obviously, right?

Yeah.

The difference is Tom Cruise does a movie, and then maybe he’s not on, you know what I mean? They do maybe one or two a year or whatever. On the soap operas, you’re on every day and you’re in these people’s houses.

You’re part of the family.

Yeah.

You really are.

Oh yeah. And they know you. I’ve been in line, they hear your voice. You are Taggert. And they’ll come up to you like, “Dude, will you please give Dara a call, please?” And go back.

And like, “Uh, if the writers tell me to, I’d love to.” They think- It’s like, “Dude, stop.” Yeah, they totally do.

So, you go out on the street just about every day, you go to Starbucks, you probably get recognized, huh?

All the time.

Because you’ve been in their TV sets for so long to all these loyal fans, right?

Mm-hmm. And General Hospital is unique because I’ve been on all the soap operas except Bold and the Beautiful and The Y&R. But I’ve been on all of them.

I had a contract on As the World Turns, I had a contract on All My Children. So, those were even bigger parts, but to this day, I’ve never been recognized for any one of those other shows, but within 4 hours of the first episode of General, just to show you how huge that audience is, 4 hours, I’m in the Vons the day my first show aired, boom.

Instant.

Instant, yeah. And it’s like, to this day. Wayne Gretzky, remember I said?

Yeah.

The greatest hockey player in the world.

Wow, that’s right.

He couldn’t put a sentence together around me.

Why? He watches the show?

He was like-

He was a fan. Really?

Yes.

How crazy is that?

But yeah, I’m thinking, “This is Wayne Gretzky, dude,” like-

Especially being Canadian, right?

Yeah.

That’s even more special there.

Yeah, dude. He was crazy. You’d be in New York, the firemen, “What’s up, Taggert?” Oh, yeah. Obviously they watch it. They watch every show.

That’s so awesome. Mom and dad? Well, you said dad passed?

Mom and dad are both gone.

They’re both gone.

Yeah.

But they got to see and live this with you for many years or what?

Yes. They did, they did. And it was interesting. And now you caught me off guard, I don’t want to get emotional.

That’s okay.

But it was interesting because they did see their son have success, and then they saw their son lose it all with drug addiction and alcohol.

I see.

And so- [chokes up]

It’s here, it’s all right, man.

They were always wanting me to get back on top, but they didn’t make it to see me when it happened.

They’re seeing you right now, man. They’re seeing you right now.

So, that’s a little frustrating.

Yeah.

It’s timing though.

Well, they’re here now. Yep, and you’re making them proud.

Thank you. I appreciate that.

And I appreciate you coming in here and being vulnerable.

Well, you brought that out of me, damn it.

[both laugh]

Oh man. Well, life is interesting, and it sounds like you’re living a good life now.

Yeah, man. The best, man. Full- It’s one of the things you learn in the program, Jason. Honestly, before I got it, and I’m talking AA, I didn’t know what gratitude was. The first time I ever really heard that word was in the program, and in the program it’s all about gratitude and they talk about it all the time.

So, I live in immense gratitude daily, and even to the license plate of my car. One of the things they say all of the time is, “I get to.” People say, “Ugh, I got to take care of my kids. Ugh, I got to do the dishes. Ugh, I got to.”

Dude, well maybe you should say, “I get to do the dishes because you actually have dishes to do,” that had food.

And so, just to show you the mindset of our society. So I’m sitting in- I’m really into domain names and custom license plates.

Maybe you should say, ‘I get to do the dishes’ because you actually have dishes to do that have food.

I’m into that stuff too.

Yeah? And I’m sitting in- And one day it hits me. I said, “’I get to. I get-’ Man, that would be a cool license plate.” And I thought, “That would never be available. That’s too cool.” And then I said, “Well, let me go check it out.”

So I go down to the DMV and it’s available. I go, “What?” And then I just had a moment. I said, “I wonder.” And I typed in, “I got to.” “I have to.”

“Not available.”

“Not available.” And it just goes to show you the mindset. People do not live in a place of gratitude.

No.

They don’t. It’s crazy. And when you flip like that, and for me to give it all over to God and live in gratitude, it’s amazing how much different your life is. Even if it’s really bad before and even finishes a thought, I’ve already found something positive about something, which I’m sure- I bet you’re the same.

I am the same.

Everything in the glass is half full, right?

Oh, for sure. Yeah. It’s how I try to live my life, man. Just be thankful for everything you got. They say that if you threw all your problems into a table like this and then everybody else threw their problems at you, you’d probably take your problems back. Right, you know?

Yeah, right. Whoo, I don’t even wanna think about that.

Seriously, what’s going on over there? Yeah. Again, make your mess your message.

I like that. I never heard that. I got to write that. “Make your mess your message”?

Make your mess your message. And those that are listening to this, where you become vulnerable, people are going to get a lot out of this, what we’re talking about here.

Amen, yes.

So, that’s how you give back and how we make-

Yeah. Yeah. I’ve never- I love that. I’ve always- Because as we’re coming through it, “Why is this happening to me? It’s always me. I never get a break.” All of that. But now I’m in a phase of my life with, what you said, is I’m grateful that God blessed me with being bipolar manic. I’m grateful that he made me have to go- Because, like you said, those challenges become who we are.

That’s right.

And position us to be able to help others when they cross our path.

That’s right. Yeah. Huh. Love it, love it. So, you don’t do any stunt work at all anymore or what?

No.

No? You’re done with those days?

Dude, I’m 58 and I have 3 hip replacements.

You look great, man. For those that are listening, you look great.

Thank you, brother. I appreciate it. I’ve dropped, what? 57 pounds?

Seriously?

Mm-hmm, yeah. Because that’s what I do when I’m not- I have my nutritional system, holistic- We just dropped a little cool purple pill. It’s not a blue pill.

Really?

It’s a purple pill.

Okay.

It’s not Viagra, dude.

So, tell me more. What is this? So this is your business or what?

Yeah. I’m one of the founding wellness partners for the first ever mental wellness company, which is Amare Global, which means love and teaching each other love. But obviously me being blessed with bipolar manic too, I’d already decided to become public with that, because it’s not really a cool thing.

It’s better, but I wanted to use my platform to reach out to others, to help them. So when I was connecting with this company, it was the right fit for me, and being a fitness expert and passionate and all of that.

But what I’m really excited about- So, we dropped a product called “EDGE,” and I dropped 50-something pounds on that one. And then we just launched this cool- I call it little purple pill, it’s purple. It’s actually “GBX FIT.” It’s the first ever quad-biotic.

Everything you and me have known up to this point in terms of getting healthy, weight loss, and all of that, has just been bandaging it. It’s not a math equation, calories in calories out. It’s not “work more, eat less.” It’s not starve yourself. It’s none of that. It’s gut health. Start with your microbiome. And when you get your microbiome, right-

So this is a probiotic, a prebiotic, a phytobiotic, and a first ever postbiotic. No stimulants, no nothing, and it gets your microbiome right and everything else happens. Now, you’re functioning on all 12 cylinders. And it’s awesome and it’s cool, so I’m really excited about it.
How did this come into your world?

Well, I’ve been a fitness expert for 30- What is it? 37 years? A long time. But for my own gyms.

Meaning taking care of yourself or training other people?

Training others.

You’ve been training other people.

I’ve built four of my own gyms. I was inspired by my dad, of course. When I was young, you know how your dad- He’s rolling around on the floor doing pushups and situps, being- and in my mind, I’m like, “Oh my God, what a geek.” And then he’d get up and he’d flex, and, “Son, what do you think?” And I’d go, “Oh, that’s really cool, Dad. Yeah, awesome. Ooh.” [laughs]

But he was planting seeds I didn’t know. So then I became a fitness professional. So that’s what I’m very, very passionate about.

And how do you think fitness has changed over the last 37 years?

Well, it’s changed a lot for several reasons. Obviously, a lot virtual now, but, for me personally, and it’s because of my journey with Amare and realizing-

So, for that first- I don’t know why I can’t remember, it was 27. What were 30, 40- No, it was 27 years.

27 years, okay.

Yeah, so 27 years. Probably for the first 25 of those as a fitness expert, it was all, “Jason, I can help you get your six pack back. Jenna, let me help you get into your little black-” It was all physical, all physical.

But being gut health, the whole thing is, the saying is: The mental health is the new physical health. Because if you think about it, and I could ask you in this room, I’ll get the same response, I do it all the time.

I say, “How many of you all were educated, Nutrition 101, PE, whatever, about physical health?” And everybody says, “Me,” right? And then I say, “How many of you were educated about mental health?” Crickets.

I say, ‘How many of you were educated about mental health?’ Crickets.

You’re right.

And if you think about it, if we don’t have our mind right, none of this- So, for me, fitness has changed 360. Where it’s more about getting you right from the inside-out, mentally first. Because if I can get this right, then I can get them on the level like you and me, Jason, where they will dream bigger, where they will reach out of the box. They believe in themselves, they feel good. And you feel good, you have that and you just do more.

They will want it.

They’ll want it.

Right?

Right.

See?

They won’t just be talking about it anymore.

No, they will want it.

They won’t just be talking. They will be like, “Coach, I want that. I’m going to McDonald’s.”

[laughs]

Oh my gosh.

So, do you think it’s for the normal person? Do you think it’s easy to be healthy or what?

For the normal person?

Yeah, the normal person.

It’s not easy. It’s easy but it’s not easy, unfortunately. Because of the way they’ve been educated, because the way they- So, just like in everything else, I’m sure you have your mentors. It’s really important.

We’ve got our sacred circle, we’ve got our inner circle, and then our outer circle, and it’s really, really crucial who your sacred and inner circle are, because who you surround yourself with is who you’ll be.

That’s right.

And these people aren’t surrounding themself with the right people. So, one of the powers that I have that I don’t take lightly, and I really get out there through social media and stuff, and I just say- One of my sayings is, “I will believe in you till you believe in yourself. Just hang around the campfire until we can get you to believe in yourself.”

So, if they can surround themselves with people that are making better choices. You know John Maxwell, The Law of the Lid?

Yeah.

That’ll raise them up. Unfortunately, they surround themselves with people less- So then Jason says, “You know what? Oh, 2022, I’m done. Let me get in shape.”

You go to the gym, you have all the right intentions, but your friends didn’t go with you. So all of a sudden, “Jason, dude, what’s up man? Friday night, we’re going out.” “Oh, I’m trying to get in shape.” “Dude, you’re doing good, you had a good week, man. Let’s go celebrate.” You see? They’re not supporting you.

That’s right.

And then it pulls you down.

Oh yeah.

So that’s what makes it hard.

Yeah, I think it’s even just the little decisions. Society is not really set up for you to be healthy.

No.

It really isn’t, right?

No, no. It’s not dude. There’s the kids’-

There’s Starbucks, this, that, grocery stores. It’s all-

“Oh, I eat cereal.” Do you realize that whole double row in Vons? Just pretend you’re looking at bags of sugar. “Oh, but it’s Cheerios. It’s healthy.”

Yeah.

Okay. So, it’s a tough battle because people- I get this all the time. 300-plus pounds, just came from the doctor. They were told they got diabetes, high blood pressure. If they don’t make a change, they’re going to die.

They come to me, “Coach, I need help.” “Okay, I got you. Let’s do this.” We talk about it, and I tell them what. And they say, “Wait, wait, I just want a couple things, coach. I like my wine. I’m not willing to give up these.” So I’m like, “Okay, well how’s that working for you, champ?” Because what you’re doing is crazy to me.

It’s like would you hire a painter to paint your house, a professional, and go, “Whoa, before we get started, dude, let me tell you how you should do the trim?”

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re right.

It’s so crazy.

It’s so hard to break the old habits. And like you said, the people that you hang around. It’s not easy, it’s not a diet. It’s a lifestyle. It seems easier, but it isn’t.

Well, and what usually happens, Jason, like anything else, unfortunately, most people get lucky. But usually, for it to really happen, they’ve got to hit rock bottom. Something serious has got to happen in their life. Because if they don’t have that desire, Coach ain’t there 24/7.

It’s fine when Coach is around, but then when Coach isn’t here and you stop drinking soda, the number one cause of obesity and diabetes, FYI, if you’re listening, and diet soda’s worse. When Coach isn’t there, that little soda’s like, “Oh drink me. Just one.”

But you can Supersize it for only another 99 cents, right?

[laughs] Oh my God. Like I’m standing there with- I had this all the time. They’d just come from McDonald’s. They got the double thing and the Supersize thing, “Coach, the program’s not working for me.”

[laughs] But you know what though? When you do have success and you change somebody-

That’s huge.

That’s pre-diabetic to kind of living healthy, you must get a lot of satisfaction from that, huh?

Huge, huge. And I’m in a place now- Of course, people in our career, obviously you have a serving heart, you want to help everybody, but now I’ve learned I’m in a journey life where I’m pretty hardcore.

How serious are you on a scale of 10? If you’re not a 10, I’m not working with you. Because what I’ve realized, I want to be there a hundred percent for Jason when he is ready. Because I was too much pulling people along, and if you’re pulling them and they’re not ready, if they don’t have something that’s pulling them?

So, I’m here when people need them, but I’m here for the people who I want to go now. So I have that hardcore attitude, but I get results and when people are coachable. And you’re right, that’s life changing, dude.

It sure is.

In many ways.

It’s satisfaction that you get by helping other people.

Might save a marriage, because now there’s more-

Yeah, intimacy at home, right? Yeah.

Yeah, yeah. “Woo! Baby, what’s going on dude? Looking like- Man, you’re in high school. Let’s get our high school jackets on.”

See? So this new company, when did this start? Is it a supplement company? What do you call it?

Like I said, we’re the first mental wellness company. We’re 5 years old and we’re a network marketing platform. That’s what I do, I’ve been doing that for 17 years.

Yeah, we just launched in Canada, we just relaunched in Mexico, we’re going to Australia. Our vision right now is to be in a million homes, and then we go from there globally.

But it’s the mental wellness revolution. If you Google “mental wellness company“, we’re the only, we’re the creator, we’re first. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that especially the way the world is right now, man, mental wellness is where it’s at. We really need to help a lot in there.

Totally agree. Yeah. Yep. Especially during these times of COVID. Yeah, it’s a whole different world too.

For you to open up something like this, dude? It tells me a lot about you. I’m proud of you. That’s awesome.

Thank you, man. Yeah, we signed the lease here like a month before COVID. And we’re just like, “What are we getting ourselves into here?” But we’re going to make it work out. Yeah.

So, where do you spend most of your time now? Maybe walk me through a day in the life.

Okay. That’s easy because I’m pretty habitual.

Okay.

So, a day in the life for Réal looks like this. I get up about 2, 2:30 a.m. I drop to my knees, not by choice, but that’s because I’m old, but since I’m down there, I’ll do some praying. I usually pray with my dog and that.

Then I go down, I have quiet time and just some breathing. Then I take my little purple pill and this concoction called “Happy Juice.” I make it hot. Actually, before I even do that, I drink 2, 3 liters of water. I just flush my body right at the gate.

Right in the morning, yeah.

Right in the morning. And then I do that and then I’m off to the stairs. I have this little cool toque that has a light in it, and I go in there and I run stairs for- It’s 163 up, I run stairs for, depending on what I’m doing, an hour or so. When I’m shooting, I like to learn my lines when I’m running up and down the stairs like that. But otherwise I just run.

And then I go from there, I head up to the gym. I have my first shake, and I head up to the gym. I do boxing and abs for like an hour, and then I do weight lifting, and then I’ll usually do a spin class, something like that, either teach one. I like to teach still.

And then I’m home, get to see my family, cook with my wife.

This is when most people are waking up.

Right, and then I have a power hour. I do three power hours a day for my team. First one’s at 8., next one’s at 11:30, last one’s at 4. Do podcasts, meetings, in between.

6:30 p.m. is cut off. Now, that’s- I don’t answer, I’m not available, that’s family, all of that. Me and my wife like to watch Family Feud or Criminal Minds or Blacklist. Go to sleep and-

Do it again.

Get up and repeat. And Friday, at about 6-7 p.m., till Sunday night, I am totally off limits. It’s family, faith, relaxation; that’s really the life.

Fishing, if I’m doing something for fun, I love to go fishing. That’s my fun stuff. And that’s what I spend most of my time.

Huh.

Yeah.

You got to pick up your game, man.

I know. I’ve been working on that, dude.

It’s family, faith, relaxation; that’s really the life.

See?

Jenna’s going, “I didn’t get to see this come in.” You were on it.

See that? You got it.

That’s nice. It’s like “AI-VA.”

Right? That’s right. So how often are you working? As far as shooting,

Shooting? Well, with General Hospital right now- Like everything else, COVID really messed up a lot of things, but as a matter of fact, I was supposed to be shooting last week. It’s the fourth time I tested false positive with COVID. And it just sucks because even though it’s a false positive, you’re now quarantined, and your double- Every actor has a double because the show’s got to go on.

But I’ll be shooting- Next work is in February. And Taggert usually works- It depends on the storyline. My character, I’m grateful enough that he’s intertwined with other stuff, and then I’ve got a couple projects I’m working on, producing and stuff like that myself.

But most of my time right now, and that’s where I’m really grateful at, is in building my Amare business, my network marketing business.

I get that question all the time. “Why would a successful actor, Emmy-Award-winning actor like you?” Because people don’t understand network marketing. Most people think it’s like a pyramid or something. I’m like, “Do you have a corporate job? Do you go to church? Are your kids in school?” Those are pyramids. If you can’t make more, you know- So, it’s just old school stuff.

But the reason- I can tell you four things real quick. One, I’ve been fired. I just booked Jerry Bruckheimer‘s series. It was Christmas Eve, just bought a brand new Yukon XL for me and my wife. We just bought a house. It’s Christmas Eve and I get the call, and I’m fired. So, at that moment- And I’d already had a taste of network marketing. Not a lot, but at that moment I said, “Never again will I ever give anybody power over me like that.”

And that’s when I built my first seven-figure business because what that now gives you is leverage. So now, I can take an acting job because I want to, not because I have to. And that’s a big difference, because trust me, I wish I could go back and get a lot of those acting roles that I did because I had to. I’ve earned ‘em.

And then number three is you get to help other people. You cannot be successful- This is what people don’t understand. I cannot be a seven-figure income earner, unless I’ve helped a hell of a lot of people be healthy and/or be financially fit. You can’t do it by yourself. I can be an actor by myself, you can be a podcaster by yourself, but you cannot- So, you’re helping other people achieve their goals and dreams.

And the last thing is because I watched it, when we talk about legacy. My dad was an amazing man. He worked really hard. He provided for my mom. He saved up a lot of money. He bought them a condo. He had it all planned out. He was a fitness expert. That’s all he knew.

He didn’t plan that at 62 he was going to get Parkinson’s. And eventually, spent his savings, had to sell his house, and they died a $50 cab ride away from each other in two different establishments.

And as I watched this process, I used to sit there, because I tried to get him to see the vision and he didn’t. And I would say: Would my dad’s life, the end of his life, be different if he had net- because network marketing is residual wealth, generational wealth.

And the big thing is huge. Because what most people don’t realize, and you’re listening, I’m going to tell you. If you don’t have multiple streams of income, if you don’t have your own Plan Bs you are not being smart. Because the average person has about $5,000 in their savings account. Long term care is about $500 a day. You do the math. How long are you going to live?

So, I’m not going out like that. Me and my wife will grow old in our house together. We’ll hire people to come in, so that’s kind of why I build that.

Cool. I love it, man. Congratulations on all the success.

Yeah, thank you.

We are going to play a game.

Oh shit. Oh, I swore, is that okay? Okay.

Not really a game, it’s just a little-

What’s that movie? “Do you want to play a game?” What was that? The horror one?

Oh.

Wait.

Saw.

Saw. You kind of scared the- I could just see the room flip. “Where are you now?” That’s what you should do. I want to take you over here for a second and show you my other-

So this is just, I’m going to ask some simple questions. The game is called “Would you rather” Okay. And just be honest with the answers.

So, here you go: “Would you rather have a pause button or a rewind button in your life?”

Pause.

Pause.

Pause, yeah, because I ain’t going back. But now I learned I need to pause, ponder, and pray before I make a decision.

Good answer. “Would you rather hear a comforting lie or uncomfortable truth?”

Uncomfortable truth. A hundred percent.

Just be honest with you, right?

Yeah, dude. Dude, I hate that shit, dude. Like when I lost that 53 pounds, perfect example. Dude, they always like, “Man, you look good, champ. You look good, coach. You look good, coach.”

Then when I finally figured out and I started losing weight, they’re like, “Dude, I’m sure glad you decided to change things because I was-” I’m like, “What? Dude, you’re the same person who would tell me I was looking good.” I’m like, “You’re not my friend anymore.”

I love your energy, man. It’s contagious. “Would you rather be forced to sing along or dance along to every single song you heard for the rest of your life?”

Oh my God. Absolutely sing along.

Sing along.

Because dancing is not my thing.

Not your thing?

No, dude. I danced once at my wedding, 21 years ago. But yeah, no, dude. Because when I was coming up in my acting career, of course, African Americans are good basketball players, African Americans are dancing. My agents were constantly throwing me out on these auditions that you needed to dance.

And I was like, “Dude, I don’t dance. I don’t dance. It’s not even funny.” And I’d look like a- It was terrible.

I appreciate your honesty. I’ve got neither of those skills either. So yes, no dancing and no singing for me. “Would you rather always have a full phone battery or a full tank of gas?”

Tank of gas.

Yeah?

Tank of gas.

Okay. You continue on your journey, right?

I want to go. Yeah, I want to go. Yeah.

“Would you rather buy 10 things that you don’t need every time you go shopping or always forget the one thing that you do need when you go to the store?”

Always forget the one thing that you do need.

Okay. “Would you rather have a personal maid or a personal chef?”

Personal chef.

For sure.

For sure. Oh yeah, for sure, dude.

Is your house clean? You got that OCD kind of like-

I have no OCD when it comes to cleaning.

No? Really?

No. My wife would be so grateful if I showed up with OCD. Yeah, because she’s like, “You’re like Pig-Pen. You’re like the guy with the cloud over-”

Pig-Pen. [laughs]

One day she called me that, I was like, “I’m not sure if that’s cool or not.” [laughs]

And you’ve been married, how long?

Twenty-one years.

Twenty-one years. Congratulations.

Yeah, thank you.

My wife and I got married in ’99, so I think we’re 23 years.

Wow, wow.

No children?

Oh, yeah, I got three. That’s how I remember how long I’ve been married.

Oh, okay.

Because I always got a year under my oldest son.

Ah, okay.

Because your wife always tries to trick you, right?

That’s right.

“How long have we known each other? How long have you been married?” So, you got to have cheat notes, right? Yeah, so I have a 20 year old, Marcus, who’s becoming a Burbank police officer. I’m very proud of him for that. I have Nathan, who’s 18, and my daughter, Danica, who’s 16.

And if anybody’s out there listening and you’ve had daughters, you know like, “Oh God,” they’re just the death of me. Love them all, I know it’ll work out, but yeah, being a man and having a daughter, it’s just like, “You’re going out, looking like that? Oh hell no.”

Not with a dad that looks like you. I feel bad for the boy.

“Let me go get my AK-47 or something. I’ll be right there behind you.”

So, I got to ask you, because I got a daughter, right?

Yeah.

I got two older boys, right? Similar to you. But my daughter’s 5, so my wife and I started all over again.

Wow.

And she’s like this- That’s what I live for now, is my little girl. Brooklynn, her name is. But she’s really easy now. Does she get harder as she gets older or what? [laughs]

Girls, dude, I’m telling you, dude. Has she done the- For me, my daughter Danica was about 3, and just out of the blue, and it just melts you as a father, she goes, “I’m daddy’s favorite little girl.”

Oh yeah. Your heart melts.

She’s working it now. She goes to the brother, “I’m daddy’s favorite girl. Mm-hmm.” And that was the biggest- Unfortunately, when they get- For us it was like 13, and then your little angel just-

Oh boy, yeah.

She’s not your angel anymore.

Well, hopefully you write a book about it before she turns 13 and I could read it, man.

All right, we’ll continue. “Would you rather go vegan for a month or only eat meat and dairy for a month?”

I’d rather go vegan.

Go vegan.

Yeah, because I know that’s really good for you, actually. Plant-based. You don’t want to go like where- But yeah.

Okay. “Would you rather hunt and gather all your food for the rest of your life or eat McDonald’s for every meal?”

Oh God. Hunt and gather. I just got sick for a second. I almost threw up in my mouth right there.

Just listening to that.

Just thinking. Yeah, no.

So, for those that eat McDonald’s, what’s the big deal with McDonald’s?

Oh, okay. I’m glad you asked that question. Are you ready?

Yeah.

I was the nutrition guy for a combine, called NUC Combine, and I traveled all over the country. My friend put it on and I get on a plane, different cities, stuff like that. I saw this YouTube video about this guy who had bought a McDonald’s cheeseburger when he was drunk-

Super Size Me or something, right?

And forgot it in his coat.

Oh, different.

And a long time later, and it looked the same. I was intrigued by that.

So I went, I bought a Big Mac, a Filet-O-Fish, a cheeseburger, a fries. What else did I have? I had a few things. I kid you not, brother. For seven years, hot, cold, I had them in this thing. I traveled with them because I’d used it as part of my presentation and to show them how bad it was. It looked exactly like it did the first day I bought it.

So much that 7 years later I’m in deep Texas, I have my presentations, we broke between the freshmen and the juniors. I came back, somebody ate my shit, dude.

Oh my God.

Yes, yeah. And if you think about it, dude, if you put a piece of meat out there, you would have maggots and flies with the thing.

That’s right.

Seven years. Just goes to show you. I mean, come on, dude, if you drop some McDonald’s ice cream.

French fries in the car or whatever.

No, under the hot sun, it don’t melt.

It don’t melt. Huh?

Ice cream should melt.

Well, what I’m saying, sometimes you’re cleaning out the car and there’s a french fry in the bottom, and who knows how long it’s been there, and you’re vacuuming that thing up and it looks just like you got it, man.

You better hope you don’t have munchies.

Like you got it, man.

Because you might eat it. Back in the day, I would’ve ate that.

So, all that stuff that they’re putting on that to preserve that food is just not good for you.

No, and they also have stuff in there that makes you want to keep eating it, so you eat more. So, yeah dude, it’s not good.

Well, thank you for clarifying that. Let’s see here. “Would you rather be stuck in traffic but find the perfect parking spot or never hit traffic but always take forever to park?”

Never hit traffic. No. Traffic gives me anxiety.

Does it?

Oh yeah.

Yeah, I’m the same way. I posted something on Facebook, I said- Because around the holidays you go to the mall, right?

Yeah.

And there’s two types of people. There’s my wife and there’s me.

My wife will drive from aisle to aisle, during the holiday time, December, at the mall, looking for that spot that’s whatever, closest to Macy’s, wherever she’s got to go.

And then there’s the other person that just drives all the way to the back and just is in the mall in 10 minutes anyway. What are you?

Dude, when I was at GH, it’s Prospect Studios. If I had a 7 o’clock, because you know, right? I don’t know where you live, but it’s literally like, I call it the window. If you’re like 5 minutes, you can go from a 30-minute drive to a 2-hour drive. Like in 5 minutes, if you miss.

So, I literally would go down to the studio at 4 in the morning, just because I do not- If I got to go somewhere, I’m going 2, 3 hours early. I cannot even handle traffic.

Oh yeah. I’m the same way.

I don’t want to be in it.

Going to the airport, same thing. I try and get there-

I would rather eat early and chill.

Yeah. Relax and not feel stressed that you’re going to miss your flight because you’re sitting in traffic that was unexpected. I’m the same way.

“Would you rather read minds or predict the future?”

I think I’d like to read minds.

Yeah. Talk about an advantage that you’d have over people. You don’t trip going into auditions with that power, right?

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I like that one, yeah.

And lastly, “Would you rather be the funniest person in the room or the smartest person in the room?”

Funniest.

Funniest.

Yeah.

Just super quick-

I don’t want to be smart, dude. I want to make people laugh, that’s what we need more of.

Yeah, we do. Yeah, I love that man. Good, well, thanks for playing along. Appreciate that.

So let me ask you a question, are you still training people?

Oh yeah.

Is that also part of your business?

Mm-hmm.

And you’re doing virtual training too or?

Yeah, virtual. Obviously, I train. A lot of what I do is training them nutritionally. So, I help people with all of it. But I do have some clients every now and then, “VIP,” if you will, take them on at a different level, 90 days, do 3 workouts a week for them, their meal plans, and all of that, yeah, obviously.

And I use an app called Marco Polo. It works really well, and I just will- After I get to know them and what they’re working with or what I’m working, three days a week they wake up to a workout from me constantly. So yeah, I do both.

Okay. Yeah, that’s the thing now. More people are actually open to getting trained from Zoom. It’s just accountability in some cases, and then, the education, which is the key, right?

Yeah. As long as you remember to not stand up, because I’m never wearing anything below.

Wearing pants? Right.

It’s just, this is a nice suit and tie on the top. I got underwear or whatever on the bottom.

Yep. What would you say is one thing that people listening, what is one thing that they can do, just little stuff they can take to be happier and healthier?

First thing is to take action. Take action, make a decision to- In terms of healthier and happier, honestly, sugar is the enemy.

Yeah, huh?

Yeah, sugar’s bad. I’ll tell you how bad sugar is. I’ve always said this. So, I’m a cancer survivor. One of the last tests I did before the surgery, they give you this- What’s it called? CAT scan or something like that?

I’m a cancer survivor.

Okay, yep.

Where they want to see if there’s any cancer in the rest of your body and you have to fast, and then they shoot you full of this thing.

And when he was shooting me full of this thing, I was curious, I said, “So what is that dude?” And he said, “It’s basically just sugar.” And I said, “Really?” And he said, “Yeah, cancer is very smart and it can actually hide behind things and we won’t see it on the scan, but it can’t resist the sugar and it’ll come out to eat it.”

Is that right? Wow.

Crazy, right? Apparently we all have cancer in us, but our eating will make it come alive. Especially diet sodas, sugar, stuff like that. So, just make some smarter choices.

One thing for sure, if you’re trying to improve your health, this is a really good, easy thing to do. Download- This is what I do with all my clients. Download MyFitnessPal. I use MyPlate, Carb Manager, any one of those food apps that you can log your food. Because what I want to do is I want to educate Jason on-

So if I’m telling Jason, “You shouldn’t really be doing this anymore.” It’s one thing just to tell you, but if you understand why- So when you start plugging your food in, really quickly you’re going to go, “Holy shit. That has that much sodium in it? That has that- I just ate how many calories?” So when you get educated, you start to make better choices.

When you get educated, you start to make better choices.

That’s right. Yeah.

So that would be huge for health.

Yeah, and a scoreboard that’s following you constantly.

And it’s financial and health. I tell people all the time, this is really hard for adults, you need to clean out your sacred circle. If there’s people in your life that are not going in the same direction that you are or you want to, you have to cut them loose.

And we, as adults, have a really tough time with that. And we’re like, “Oh, but that’s my friend. I’ve known him for 30 years.” And I’ll coach people and say, “Listen, Jason, you’re not leaving them. You’re going to have a conversation with them and say, “Hey, you know what? I’ve made a choice to make some changes in my life.” They got a choice now to come with you or stay behind, and if they’re not ready to go, you need to move.

I always say it like this. I’m 58, I have a smoking hot wife, I have amazing kids, I have a great career. I’m not here to make friends. And if you are not better than me, I’m just being real, I don’t have much time and I know you don’t, I’m not hanging around with people. I’m not hanging around with people that are going to drag you down and stuff.

So, that would be the two things that- Do some house cleaning, and if it’s still tough for you, the universe will take care of it for you, but you got to be ready. Because what happens is the universe will remove people from your sacred circle. They get married. They move away. They whatever. But what happens is we so easily put somebody back in there.

And as parents, if you think about it, if your kids come home with a new- We grill. “Who’s their parents? What do their parents do? Where do they live? What do they do?” But we just let people in our life as adults and we don’t even know nothing about them.

That’s true.

They could be a wacko. And sometimes it turns out to be that way, right?

Yeah.

Yeah. So, you just got to be more protective of yourself.

It’s good advice. Cancer survivor. Congratulations.

Thank you.

For anybody that’s listening that might be going through that now, what kind of mind shift did you take to getting through that journey?

Absolutely. I treated it like I do everything. It was a competition. It was like a fight. It was a race. It was something I was training for and I was going to show up in the best shape of my life and in the process-

To me it was like, “This is it, dude.” Just think of an MMA fighter, and you got a fight on December 13th. So, I was preparing for that mentally, physically, nutrition wise, the whole deal.

Most people- Because I see this all the time, they know they’ve got something traumatic like that coming up in their life and they shut down. They’d be like, “Coach, I got surgery coming up in December but when I’m finished with that, then I’ll get started on this program.” And I’m like, “That’s backwards. You need to prepare.”

So that’s why I believe- Dude, I’ve had three hip surgeries. Day one after the hospital, I’m on the stairs with a walker and a cane. I’m a little extreme, but I got a lot of people watching, so I want to prove to them that if you decide, that they could do it. But I know a big part of that is mindset, dude. And it’s not a surgery. It’s a fight. It’s a fight for your life. The opponent is training to take you out. You got to train to beat them on all three levels. Four: Mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

It’s not a surgery. It’s a fight. It’s a fight for your life.

Yeah. Inspirational, man. I’m sure somebody listening to that is going to get a lot of inspiration from that, so thank you for sharing.

Yeah, thank you.

All right. Well, we have this thing called “Hennessey Heart-to-Heart” where I ask you some questions, and then you just, again, just answer what comes to mind.

Okay.

Do you believe in second chances?

I’m living proof. Like I said, I started Lieutenant Taggert 28 years ago now, and I screwed it up. I was on top of the world, red carpets, never having anyone saying no, nothing. Just, we want something, we go get it. I was at top, dude, and I screwed it up, and I went on a 17-year binge of alcohol and drugs.

In my mind- It’s amazing the stories you create but in my mind, it wasn’t until I became recovered- I was the one, I told Disney, “F you, I quit. I this.” I didn’t quit, dude. I got fired, dude. I got blacklisted because of stuff like that, decisions I made.

So, 17 years later, dude. 17 years later, I got sober. And step number two in the program is you turn it all over to God. That’s part of the step and I finally did that step, and I actually truly turned it over to God. And my number’s three, and I actually said these exact words, Jason. I said, “God, if they don’t want me to be back on General Hospital-”

Because every day, in one way or another, I tried to make amends, because my family suffered, so I wanted them to have the life that they deserved. So I fought every way to get back, and nothing worked. And that day, I said, “God, if they don’t want me back on that show, if they don’t want me back to work with ABC, so be it.” I said, “But if you want me to be back on that show, they can’t stop you.” And I released it.

And 3 days later, I’m in my kitchen- [chokes up]

There’s some-

Thank you. I’m in my kitchen and my phone goes off. I go look, and it’s- [chokes up] I’m sorry. It’s a text from the head casting director at ABC. And I knew at that moment, he wasn’t calling me to say, “Hi.”

And I dropped to my knees and I prayed, and when I got myself together, I called and they said, “Hey, we’d like to have you come back at this show. Would you be down?” And so, that was a second chance.

Wow.

So yeah, second chances happen, but you better be ready. You better be prepared when they happen.

With some answered prayers.

Yeah. Amen, dude. Awesome. And then I’ll tell you, I got a third chance. They brought me back for 7 days. We didn’t know, me and my agent were like, “Oh my God, thank God it’s over.”

The sixth show I shoot, I come down the stairs, the casting director’s there. And Mark says, “Can I talk to you for a sec?” I wasn’t even seeing it coming, dude. I was like, “Yeah, sure.” He goes, “I just want to give you a heads up, in the next script you’re going to get killed, and I didn’t want you to be caught off guard.” I’m like-

This is somebody who’s been on the show for so many years and you’re going to kill him?

The fans brought me back. They made such a noise.

Yeah, I’m trying to be cool. But what happened is, and it was real life, you’ve heard this before, but this is a true story. The fans think it was- I was done, dude, I was dead. Taggert was dead. The fans brought me back. They made such a noise, they made something they’d never seen before, and they truly- So, I had three chances.

Is that right?

Yeah. So yeah. So yeah.

Yeah. God bless you, man.

Amen. Thank you. It’s good stuff. It’s killing me though, dude.

Thank you for sharing, man.

You’re killing me with this emotional stuff.

It’s all right, man.

I’m supposed to be a tough guy.

Make your mess your message, man. Right? See? When have you felt your biggest adrenaline rush?

When have I-? You know what? One of my biggest adrenaline rushes was probably today. One of my champions hit a rank today in our company that’s huge. You know, like you say, when you help somebody-

He’s a pediatrician. He found me on the internet, he was looking for himself to get in shape. He was a fan of the show. He reached out to me. I called him back. And he always tells the story, he was like, “This guy called me back. Taggert actually called me?” He didn’t think I was me at first.

I started training him. We have a phenomenal kid’s line, for ADD, OCD, all of that. He’s a pediatrician, so he got curious. Long story short, he started sharing- Because we’re not against medication, it has its place.

But we’re here to say, especially with the kids, if there was a holistic natural option, isn’t that better than putting them on a life sentence to medication? So he’s a fan of that, some doctors are not. So, he incorporated it in there.

Fast forward to now, he does the business full time, and he just reached a level in our company that, to me, I was just like, “Yes! Yes!”

That’s awesome.

Because it’s life changing. He is going to be able to retire early now, provide for his family. I literally had that biggest one today.

That’s amazing. Cool. Where is your favorite place in the entire world to go?

The lake. Fishing.

Yeah, huh?

Oh yeah.

Here?

Anywhere. Anywhere. But yeah, I live 2 minutes from Castaic, so I go there a lot.

I’m out in Santa Clarita, man.

That’s where I live.

Really?

Dude, I live on-

I’m in Valencia. My kids go to Valencia High.

I’m not going to say nothing. You go to what school?

My boys go to Valencia High School.

Yeah, dude, oh my gosh, how weird is that? They probably know my son. Marcus Andrews. How old are they?

Well, he goes to that school too?

No, but he’s pretty popular in the school thing.

Okay. Well, we need to get together with the wives and the families. We got to do that for sure.

You got to come take a spin class. I teach spin at Motivate Cycle, right there by the 7-Eleven?

Okay. All right. We will do that.

That’s crazy, dude.

See?

Wow.

Very cool. What snack- I’m assuming this is going to be a healthy snack, can you just cannot get enough of? So, what’s your go-to snack?

My snack. Interesting. Probably- I love almond butter and apples. People are going to go, “Weird.” But I eat a lot of caged egg whites, just in the thing. Because I’m very lazy. That’s why I’m simple, I’m just keeping it real. I don’t like washing dishes. So the simpler I can make it and not have to do- I like that, so I can be very regimented.

I’m married to an Italian and she loves to cook. It frustrates her, because, see, I could eat chicken breasts, egg whites. So, I would say egg whites are probably one of my go-to things.

Now, I want to keep it real, because it upsets people. Don’t be fooled, dude. Coach likes to have fun. As a matter of fact, I’m already thinking about it, I was going to get it on the way home. So, I have a few things. One is the Hot Tamales candies, Cadbury thick bars with raisins and nuts. Yeah, those are some of my go-to foods, yeah.

Okay. Cool. What do you most look forward about getting older?

Growing old with my wife. We’ve been married 21 years, and like I said, 17 years of it I was a raving lunatic, so we’re just now starting to-

I’m extremely blessed that my wife is even still with me, honestly. But now our marriage is better than ever and it gets better every day, so I’m looking forward to growing old with her and I’m also looking forward to taking it to the very end, when I’m sitting next to my Lord and Savior, being able to look back and see the legacy of lives that I’ve changed.

That’s where I came up with that saying, “I’ll believe in you till you believe.” Because I was petrified of death. Terrified. I couldn’t sleep with a sheet over my head, nothing.

At 27, I had a girlfriend, her grandfather was 89, 87. He passed away. She asked me to go to the funeral with her. I said, “Yes.” At that point, any funeral I’d seen was on Hollywood, on TV. Big crowds, people saying nice stuff, all that. That’s what I expected.

We’re on Forest Lawn over here. There’s me, the pastor, the grandma, the mom, the dad, my girlfriend, and her sister, and that’s it. And it was like time stopped for me, Jason. It was one of those aha moments. Like it literally was spinning, and I could hear them in the background, but-

And two things happened. One, I was like, “Dude, I don’t want to go through my entire life and make such a little difference that nobody comes to my funeral.”

And I also realized at that moment that, I say, 97% of our society, unfortunately, goes from start to finish and never sees their calling. Thinks they’re just punching in a clock if they’re not a celebrity, if they’re not a Fortune 500, if they’re not successful, they think they’re not important. And I’m here to say that they are, so-

They are.

That’s what I’m looking forward to. Changing a lot of lives.

Yeah. I’ve shared this on another episode or two maybe, but I’ve got this vision that when we die, you go upstairs, whatever your beliefs are, and you get to meet the person that you were destined to become, and you get to shake their hand.

Really? That’s bitchin’.

And you try to live life to kind of fulfill who you are destined to become.

Ooh, that’s good, dude. I like it when I hear something that I’ve never heard before. That’s two you gave me now.

See?

See? Yeah, I like it.

What do you wish you had more time for?

For my family. Yeah, for my family. I’m still working to make up for a lot. The past is history, the future is a mystery, the present is a gift and that gift is time, so you got to get in and take action. But yeah, I wish I had more-

My kids are 20, 18, and 16. And dude, it’s crazy.

The past is history, the future is a mystery, the present is a gift and that gift is time, so you got to get in and take action.

It goes by quick, yeah.

One of the things I love about Facebook is you know how they send you a reminder? “This was you 10 years ago” or “This was-“

And then they pull up a picture of your daughter when she was that innocent, and you go like, “Where did that go, dude?” It happened so, so fast. So, so fast. I mean, if you’re listening to this and yeah, I’m sure we hear it all the time. Unfortunately, we don’t figure it out until it’s too late, so that’s what I’d like to have a rewind button for.

I like that. Okay. What’s on your bucket list this year?

I definitely want to do a river float trip with my son. But on my bucket list right now is- Hmm, you stumped me again, dude. I haven’t really thought about that in terms of- But I’m going to sit down because that’s important.

It is important.

I should know that. I should know that, yeah. Well, thank you for that.

All right. Well, I’m going to hold you accountable.

I honestly don’t have a good one, and I should.

Okay. Yeah. What are you most thankful for?

My wife.

Yeah.

I’m thankful for my wife. I’m extremely grateful for my wife. She’s amazing. Yeah, absolutely my wife.

And then I guess, last question. Looking back on your life, what have you done that has given you the most satisfaction?

Helping others. Helping others to be successful, and just those victories that you talked about earlier. The emails, the texts. I saved pretty much all of them in a file.

In particular, there was a couple things- I did have a young kid, trigger alert, that was suicidal. I didn’t know him, but that’s why I talk about all the time, “Be in obedience to that voice that tells you to slow down and say hi to somebody,” or tells you to do this. Or in my world, we live in a world of social media, and if that’s what your gift is in, you’re calling and you’re doing Facebook messages, you’re doing Facebook Lives, you’re doing podcasts, you’re doing stuff.

A lot of times, what I recognize is that you do something, and then immediately after you finish, you go, “Oh gosh, that was stupid,” and you want to go delete it. And I learned that because every time I was about to do that, I’m almost about to delete it, and a message comes through and says, “Thank you. This is exactly what I need to hear today.”

And there was a young kid who was going to commit suicide, and he heard a Facebook Live that I did. He reached out to me later and he said, “I want to thank you…”

Oh my God.

“…that I’m here because of you.” So, obviously that’s-

That’s special, man.

Special, yeah.

I got one more here. I said that was the last one, but I just got one more.

That’s like my dad, one more rep.

Yep.

One more rep. It’s like my dad is here right now.

And that was going to be my question. So, if your dad is now looking down at you after everything you’d have accomplished in life, what do you think he would be most proud of?

Me getting sober, and fighting for my family and being the man that I’ve become and still going to become.

But two people who’ve- I mean the Réal today is- In network marketing, we have a saying, “Network marketing is personal growth with a paycheck.” But I’m really grateful, and I believe God did that on purpose.

I actually have two people on my team. One was my first client ever and one was my second client ever, so they’ve known me a long time. They’ve known me. And they’re constantly saying how different I am.

So, I know he’d be very proud, but he would say, “One more rep son, one more rep.”

One more rep. There it is.

One more rep. Let’s go.

Man, it was such a pleasure having you on the show.

Thank you. You too. I really enjoyed this. It’s been awesome.

And for those that are listening that want to follow you, I know they can follow you on TV, but what’s your Instagram handle?

All my social media is @realandrews, my name, @realandrews, or my website is www.realandrews.com, which I’m sure you’ll put up. But yeah, pretty easy. I keep it simple. I’m not like one of those-

Because I train on that all the time. “Dude, you can’t pick a handle that doesn’t make any sense.” Because if your friends try to find you on social media, they’re not going to look for “xy7JasonBadassHennessey.” Just call yourself your name, dude.

That’s right. Well, we’re going to go take our families to dinner one of these nights for sure. Let’s do that.

Absolutely, I love it. Do you like sushi?

We’ll do it.

Okay, nice. Great.

I’ll eat the vegetable sushi, but-

Oh hey, hey, we can do Italian, sushi, whatever.

Italian’s my style.

Are you Italian?

Yeah.

Okay, well then, we’ll go Italian. My wife’s-

Let’s do that.

Have you been to- Remember Maria’s Deli?

Oh yeah, yeah.

But she sold it, right?

Uh-huh.

Apparently it’s not- My wife knows some good stuff, so we’ll go.

Okay. We’ll figure it out. Awesome.

Yeah, awesome.

Well, thanks again, man.

All right. Thank you, brother. Appreciate it.

Important Links

Réal Andrew’s IMDb Page

Réal Andrews on Instagram

Réal Andrews on Twitter

Réal Andrews on Facebook

Réal Andrews on LinkedIn

Watch General Hospital on ABC

Listen to Getting Real with Réal on Audible