Joe Coyle, Actor-Writer-Episode #274

Dec 19, 2023 | 2 comments

“Well, perseverance conquers, first of all. So you have to have that..figure out a way to get in… be a good, dependable person in everything that you do and bring all your life experiences to it. You know, work hard, and just be open to all the possibilities of the things that can happen.”
~Joe Coyle

The actor and writer, Joe Coyle has appeared in such movies as Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise, Promised Land with Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, Emily Blunt, and John Krasinski, and Where’d You Go, Bernadette?, starring Cate Blanchett.

Joe hails from Sewickley, Pennsylvania.  He’s been a paperboy, journalism student, university newspaper writer/photographer, magazine junior executive, TV/Film actor/writer/producer, bartender, landman and salesman, so he’s heard and told his share of stories.

His most recent work, titled Just Trash, appeared in Roger Williams University’s literary magazine, Mount Joy.  His story, Just Outside Lisbon, appeared in Oregon Greystone Press. And in 2017, a series of his essays were published in Boomers, edited by a favorite StoryBeat guest, Robert Crane.

Joe continues to write, working on short stories, poetry, screenplays and his memoir.



Read the Podcast Transcript

Steve Cuden: On today’s StoryBeat:

Joe Coyle: Well, perseverance conquers, first of all. So you have to have that, you know, figure out a way to get in, be a good, dependable person in everything that you do and bring all your life experiences to it. You know, work hard, and just be open to all the possibilities of the things that can happen. Now, if you’re dead set on being an actor, then don’t get waylaid into other things, because, you know, you’ll get used to the money. If you become a crew member and you start making that kind of money, it’s very difficult to give that money up. so stick to your cause, whatever it may be.

Announcer: This is StoryBeat with Steve Cuden, a podcast for the creative mind. StoryBeat explores how masters of creativity develop and produce brilliant works that people everywhere love and admire. So join us as we discover how talented creators find success in the worlds of imagination and entertainment. Here now is your host, Steve Cuden.

Steve Cuden: Thanks for joining us on, StoryBeat. We’re coming to you from the Steel City, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My guest today, the actor and writer Joe Coyle, has appeared in such movies as Jack Reacher with Tom Cruise, Promised Land with Matt Damon, Frances McDormand, Emily Blunt, and John Krasinski. And where’d you go, Bernadette, starring Cate Blanchett. Joe hails from Sewickley, Pennsylvania. He’s been a paper boy, journalist, student, university newspaper writer, photographer, magazine, junior executive, tv film actor, writer, producer, a bartender, landman, and salesman. So he’s heard and told his share of stories. His most recent work, titled Just Trash, appeared in Roger Williams University’s literary magazine, Mount Joy. His story, just outside Lisbon, appeared in Oregon Greystone Press. And in 2017, a series of his essays were published in Boomers, edited by a favorite StoryBeat. Guest. Guest, Robert Crane. Joe continues to write, working on short stories, poetry, screenplays, and his memoir. So for all those reasons and many more, it’s my great pleasure to be joined on StoryBeat today by the multitalented Joe Coyle. Joe, welcome to the show.

Joe Coyle: Thanks, Steve. It’s really great to be here, talking to you.

Steve Cuden: It’s a great pleasure to have you believe me. So let’s go back in time a little bit. I’m wondering, at what point in your life, how old were you when the show biz or the entertainment bug first bit you?

Joe Coyle: Well, when I finally pulled the trigger, I was not a young man.

Steve Cuden: Okay.

Joe Coyle: I was, gosh, I was late thirties, and I had a real job, and, was doing fairly well. And it just got to the point where, it just didn’t mean that much to me anymore. And I said to myself, when I die, I don’t want on my grave. The best thing that they could say is, well, he was a heck of a salesman. Nothing against salesman. I mean. I mean, obviously nothing. The world revolves because of salesmen selling one thing or another. but it just wasn’t what I really wanted to do. I felt like I, had something to say. And, I, went to journalism school, and I just wasn’t doing anything creative at all.

Steve Cuden: so you had unfulfilled dreams. Did you have a dream from much earlier in life to do that?

Joe Coyle: Oh, yeah. When I was a kid, my brothers and I, everyone used to play, you know, army and cops and robbers and stuff like this. But we would take it to, like, it would be, like, episodic. So, like, from one day to the next, you know, Robin Hood would be on, like, a different, adventure or something like this. Sure. And I always felt like I was staying in character. And I got kind of a little bit, you know, upset that other people, like, I would talk to the main character, like, the next day when I first saw them, and they were like, agency get smart last night or whatever it was. And I’m like, you know, get smart doesn’t exist, you know. But, yeah, you know, we used to make bows and arrows out of, you know, sticks and string and, you know, stuff like that. And we had everything but maid Marian.

Steve Cuden: So, so you were playing characters from a, From a very young age?

Joe Coyle: Oh, yeah, we did. I remember after Alamo came out, we turned my garage into the Alamo. And, you know, we were. One guy was Davy Crockett, and the other guy was Sam Houston. You know, it was just like, it’s just cool, cool stuff.

Steve Cuden: Did you do any damage to your parents garage?

Joe Coyle: Our garage was pretty downtrodden to begin with. It made a good Alamo. Put it that way. It made a very good Alamo.

Steve Cuden: So who did you look at, even as a young man and look to and say, wow, that’s a really great actor, actress, whatever. And I would like to think of myself maybe doing what they do. Who did you look up to?

Joe Coyle: You know, that’s a great question. And I’ve always kind of had an answer, but it changes over time when you get into it in particular, there are times when. And you’re like, I can’t believe I, thought that person was great. Or, oh, my gosh. That person. I never really like Brad Pitt. Brad Pitt. I mean, gosh, I mean, when. When I was younger and he was younger, you know, he, was just a pretty boy, but, I mean, he’s obviously a lot more than a pretty boy, but Brad Pitt is not my guy. All time guy. My all time guy. And the guy who I wanted to be when I grew up was William Holden.

Steve Cuden: William Holden.

Joe Coyle: I loved William Holden. Starlog 17 bridge on the river Kwai I mean, I could watch bridge on the river Kwai as many times as you. You show it to me. And then later in life, I guess because I was younger and it probably wasn’t on tv. Sunset, Boulevard. I mean, my gosh, I mean, and.

Steve Cuden: Then the wild bunch.

Joe Coyle: Oh, yeah, it just goes on and on and on. And, as a writer, a wannabe writer, kind of just like, what was his name? Joe. Joe. I’ll never think of his name in that movie. But anyway, he was a writer who just couldn’t get anything written. And that’s why, if you remember, he takes off in his car, because the repo, guy was chasing him, and the tire hits the curb, and he ends up, you know, at the mansion.

Steve Cuden: Absolutely.

Joe Coyle: And it’s a great. With a monkey and just a great beast.

Steve Cuden: Well, it’s one of the great movies of all time. Billy Wilder, how many great movies did he make? And so you were looking up to William Holden. Did you think to yourself, you could be William Holden someday?

Joe Coyle: As I grew older, I felt like, you know, I started having kind of, you know, classic, movie star kind of looks, you know, tall, dark hair, kind, of sharp features, more like manly kind of features. You know what I mean? And I remember an aunt told me I look like, she says, joey, you look like Mannix. This is when I was, like, 13. And I’m like, yeah. Ah, okay, sure.

Steve Cuden: That’s Mike Connors. If you remember, those of you that are a, little younger than we are, you might not know who we’re talking about. But Mannix was a very popular television series about a detective, one all the way back in the sixties. And it starred a guy named Mike Connors. And it was very popular.

Joe Coyle: It was great.

Steve Cuden: It was a great show. I very much enjoyed it. And so did you then at some point in your life, say you’re 38 years old, and I want to be in movies and write and do all these things. Did you go get training for it?

Joe Coyle: I did. I did. I, was living in New York City, and I was in an apartment month to month. And, I was subletting it from a woman who was, a dancer on Broadway who was traveling with the show. And she said to me that as long as you understand that at some point the show may get canceled or I may decide to come home or whatever. If you’re that, you know, if you can move that quickly, that’s the deal. So I got a great deal in this great apartment on the upper west side. And then, right around that time, she said she was, she was coming home and I’d have to find another place. And I knew I’d never get a deal like that. So I just started thinking about everything. I’m like, you know what? It’s time to just end this little charade here. And, I moved back to Philadelphia, which is where I was from. And I rented a row house in, a neighborhood that was not so good, but it was even less expensive than New York city. And, I started taking classes in center city, Philadelphia. Acting classes, acting classes. I knew I could write. I mean, I had to get better. I had to do it. But acting, I didn’t really know anything about, I had been asked to be in, you know, a photo shoot because I was in the. I sold printing. So the people that my clients would say, hey, do you want to be in this photo shoot? We need a guy. You know, the guy looks good in a suit and this and that and the other thing. So. And then a couple commercials here and there. Just, like, people just asked me to do them. Like, yeah, sure. So I knew I kind of had a look that could be marketable. So I just. I just need to learn how to do it. So I, went to a little theater company in downtown Philadelphia called the Wilma theater, and, took, classes there. And just, like, really started from scratch. And then I. The crazy part is, I would go around to theaters that were. Some of them were community theaters, other ones were, like, real theaters, and they would list. There’s a publication in Philadelphia that I can’t even remember the name that listed all the auditions and things like that. And I used to go to these things. I mean. I mean, these are like, real actors. And I was there, and I get up there and, you know, I was just dying. But I was so naive. I didn’t even know I was dying.

Steve Cuden: I want to disabuse you of that notion right now. You were a real actor even then. The difference was, is you weren’t being paid.

Joe Coyle: Exactly. Always I an actor. I was pretending to know what I was doing.

Steve Cuden: And so did you also have the dream of being a writer at the same time?

Joe Coyle: Well, I said to myself, there’s. And no one told me this. I just said to myself, I think that if you get into that business, I think that you can grow in many ways. I mean, there’s been stories for many, many years that, you know, actors, would write and writers would act and direct and this, that and the other thing. And I thought that as long as I got in, I thought I’d find a home. And, I felt like not, not to be cocky or anything, but I thought I had the look that I could get in as an actor, figure it out, get parts, and then go from there and say, you know, okay, now I’m in. Now I have this writing ability, and, I could, I could work on that. And I just always found a way to kind of organize things. So I figured I could. That’s, that’s producing. And I, felt like I could do that.

Steve Cuden: So I’m going to guess that you, having also been a salesman, helped you to sell yourself.

Joe Coyle: Yeah. I mean, yes.

Steve Cuden: You had skills and techniques that you could use in terms of how to talk to somebody. You could somehow sway your information, influence on them through the ability to speak.

Joe Coyle: I think so. And also, over time, when I first started selling, I mean, I was like everyone else. I was scared to death. I was scared of my own shadow. That’s another thing. When I was a kid, I mean, even though I like doing these things where you didn’t have to audition for it or stand up in front of people, you’re doing it for this fake camera or this fake audience that was out there. So I could do that all day long. But I remember public speaking classes where I would, I would freeze. And plus, I was a blusher. I really, really blushed. I would glow. So I’d be up there trying to give a, speech and stammering and stuttering. And then I was like, you know, Rudolph the red nosed reindeer.

Steve Cuden: So was it. Do you think you were being embarrassed by yourself or what was it?

Joe Coyle: I think, and I think this might be true of a lot of actors or creative people, is they feel like maybe they might have a little bit of a innate sense of bad, self esteem. I think what I was doing was trying to overcome this fear of, of everything, you know? you know. So I just kept doing it and doing it and doing it and just got better at it. And, so that’s what I did in sales and then, you know, when you get a little bit of positive response, that does a lot for you. Sure it does a little bit more positive response, but like anything else, you get to a certain level and then all of a sudden you get, you get shut down and then you get put into your place a little bit. And then you decide, somewhere inside you, you decide, okay, I’m going to work harder, do something different to get to the next level, because I want to be at the next level. I have to do something. What do I do? And the first thing you have to do is knock on that door again.

Steve Cuden: You have to have confidence to begin, and then you’ve got to maintain that confidence.

Joe Coyle: Yes.

Steve Cuden: And you had that by having already done other things in life. You came to this relatively late in life. A huge number of people that have careers in show business start as very young people. They don’t start later in life. You start in your late thirties. That’s pretty late to start as an actor.

Joe Coyle: It is. And, I had people telling me, you’re crazy. No idea what you’re going to do. Do you know anyone who’s an actor, like a real actor, do you know what they’ve gone through? I mean, it just the negativity from people who I thought were pretty good friends, but then once again, from people who, like my family members, my family members were very supportive, and then some, some friends were supportive, but other ones were just not so. And I was like, wow, where’s that coming from?

Steve Cuden: Well, again, not to harp on this too much, but again, as a salesperson, you learned to take the negatives, the no’s, and somehow live with them so that you could get a percentage of sales out of the numbers of people that you spoke to, correct?

Joe Coyle: Yeah. And I never looked at it like a numbers game, and I’m not saying that for any other reason, then I think there are people that are much more pragmatic than me and they’ll just go, well, if you get 2% and you see 100 people, that means you’re going to get two of them. And then, you know, ah, things like that. I just, I just went into everyone like, I don’t know, like, this is a challenge. I’m going to figure out what they want and I’m going to see if I can, you know, make it happen.

Steve Cuden: But you had a built in ability at that point to overcome the negatives. When somebody said no, you’d either shine it on or you shrug your shoulders or whatever. You didn’t, you didn’t dwell on that and go off and cry in a corner, you actually move forward. True?

Joe Coyle: Yeah, I did. Yes. But back to the crying in the corner. For some reason, I came up with, a philosophy. No one told me this, but I think it’s kind of apparent that it’s okay to. Like when you get shot down, whatever it may be. And the further you go in this business, the bigger the stakes are and the more you kind of want it. And so the pain, heartache and you don’t get it is real and deeper. So I always, said to myself, it’s okay to cry over spilt milk for a day. Now, sometimes it was more than a day, but then it’s over. Then you come back or you don’t. You divert, you do something else, but it’s okay. Anything like this, anything really creative, if you don’t get upset over not getting what you set out to do, I, think you have a right, and I think most people do get upset. So accept the fact that you’re upset and then move on.

Steve Cuden: Right. I think that’s very wise way to look at it. Because you’re not going to succeed on every time you go out for an audition.

Joe Coyle: No.

Steve Cuden: Just doesn’t happen. When did you start to seriously consider being a writer at the same time? Was it around your late thirties or was it prior to that?

Joe Coyle: I used to write a lot but never tried to get it published. I always wrote so that when I was traveling I was either reading who I thought were good writers, they were my favorite writers. And I would have a notebook and I would write. I would just like write scenes or whatever it may be. You know, even to this day, I drive my wife crazy. I have boxes because there’s all notebooks of half written stories, scenes, this, that, Why do you keep all that? Why do you have so many story files? And it’s like, it’s almost like a security blanket. I mean, I don’t know if I’ll ever get to it, but I do think about those stories and those characters and those situations pop up in a maybe more refined or distilled way in things that I write now. So anyway, I was always doing that when I went to LA. One of the reasons I went was a, friend of mine and I, were going to. He was working on er, as Anthony Edwards standing. And, I got to be good buddies with him, which. That’s a whole nother episode. We decided to go out there. He said he didn’t want to return for the next season, but he said he would, but he wanted to get something accomplished and, he said, why don’t we finish that script that we’re talking about? So I drove out there with him and we, came, up with all these plots and plans that we were going to do. The story never got written, but that’s okay because a thousand other stories haven’t got written. But that was the reason that I went out there. And, once I got out there, then I start writing more and more because at that point I started working on ER and I started seeing how stories were developed and things especially for episodic television. And then I start doing features. It was very educational. I, I feel very fortunate because most people at the age of 38, they’re not done isn’t the word, but they’re, they’re set in their path and, you know, they have families and commitments and mortgages and car payments and all this other stuff. I had, I had none of that. So I was, the way I looked at it was, I’m going to school, I’m learning filmmaking and, all aspects of it. And it was just, it was a great, great time. And like I said, not many people at the age of 30 at that point, 40, whatever it was, had that opportunity and that’s the way I looked at it. And m it’s worked out great.

Steve Cuden: Well, many people when by the time they’re in their late thirties, they’ve got a family and they’re trying to just keep their head above water with financially, so they have to keep working. And that makes it prohibitive to go out there and try what you did. But as you say, you didn’t have those encumbrances, so it made it a little easier for you.

Joe Coyle: Yeah, that was never the plan. I never sat down and said, this is what I’m going to do. It just, it worked out that way.

Steve Cuden: So how long were you at it before you thought to yourself, you know what, I am actually pretty good at this and I really do think, I can have a little bit of a career at it in some way. Was there a point where you thought to yourself, yeah, this is for me permanently.

Joe Coyle: Well, permanently is, it gets to kind of a point about my creative process. If you don’t mind me diverting a little bit.

Steve Cuden: Of course, please.

Joe Coyle: Yeah, so I think, I taught some acting classes here in Pittsburgh and it was acting for film and, there was a guy in the class who was pretty good. He did, he did had done nothing but theater. And so in my acting for film class, at least part of the time, I talked about the business of the business. And, how, you know, you audition, and then you’re lucky, you’re put on hold, and they don’t know what day you’re shooting. And this, and that and the other thing. And this guy was perplexed, and he just said, how can you do that? And I said, well, I mean, you do theater. And he goes, yeah, but theater. And I said, theater takes up a lot more time. And he goes, yeah, but I know when my rehearsals are. I know when, when the show is, and I know the whole thing. You’re telling me that, and I have a job. I’m like, how can I do that? And I said, well, I’m not saying that you can or you can’t do it, but I’m saying that in order to work in film and television, your life has to be open to the whims of this crazy business. And if your life is not set up that way, then it may not work. But then on the flip side, I said to the, folks in the class and anyone else who I’ve ever talked to about it, is that you should not be just an actor. You should be open to life. If you’re just an actor, then, you know, you’re walking around, you’re talking about, you know, it’s almost like, waiting for. Waiting for guffin. It’s like, you know, there’s more out there than, like, there’s life. And so you live life, and you live it to the fullest, the best you can. And in doing that, you’re meeting all these peoples and all these situations that if you’re, journaling it, even mentally, emotionally, psychologically, then you will. You have something to bring when it comes time to audition and then perform. So it’s. Yeah, you have to. So permanently. I, have not been able to do it permanently because eventually I did get married and I did have kids, and so it’s been kind of a hodgepodge. And it’s.

Steve Cuden: When I say permanently, I don’t mean that you’re, you know, this is everything. What I mean is that you have committed yourself to being an actor probably for as long as you can be an actor, whether you’re doing it every day or not.

Joe Coyle: Well, my kids are, my youngest, I have two, is, in his senior year. And he’ll, be off to college, God willing, or at least on his own, in some way. And so my wife and I have been looking like, so what are we going to do now? What are we going to do? And so a friend of mine and I have been getting together for coffee, and I explained to him that, you know, I’m in a little, bit different situation than him. He doesn’t have kids. I said, now I’m going to be freed up and I’m really looking to do something, and I haven’t been looking to do a play for quite some time. And so we started brainstorming about a play, and we found one that we like. It’s two man play, and it’s not, you know, battleships aren’t blowing up, and there’s not like a big light show. It’s two guys who meet for coffee. The title of it is years, to the day. And it was written by a gentleman by the name of Alan Barton, who I guess, at this point, owns the Beverly Hills playhouse. My friend Dylan McMahon, studied under him. And so he contacted him, said, do you mind if we do your play here in Pittsburgh? And he agreed to do it, and he said that he’d actually come out and direct, it if we wanted to. So sometime in the next, it’s going to be in 2024, we’re going to be doing a play, a two man play. And so, yeah, permanently? Maybe not, but, you have.

Steve Cuden: It in your bloodstream, though, don’t you?

Joe Coyle: Well, I do. I just feel like, you know, I. When, when we left la, I felt like I left, you know, I left something on the table, you know what I mean? you know, I worked hard and start getting auditions and I got an agent and, you know, I wasn’t with any of the big ones or anything, but, you know, I was schlepping around like everyone else does, and it was kind of in the game and found a way to be able to afford it. And we owned a house, which was kind of unheard of for. My wife was a production assistant at the time, so a rising actor and a production assistant buying a house in LA, you know, that was, that was a big milestone. So, she, by the way, now is the second assistant director, and, she’s quite successful at what she does. And, so we’re a film family. We’re, as Bob Crane would say, we’re carnies.

Steve Cuden: We’re carnies. And then the writing part of it, you continued to write at the same time, do you find that your acting work has infused the writing in some way and vice versa? Has the writing infused the acting?

Joe Coyle: In some way, yeah, I’d say, back and forth. when I was in my. One of my very first acting classes, the instructor said to me, because we had to do a scene, an exercise that was a memory thing. And she, just said, you draw such great pictures with your words that, have you ever considered writing? And I said, actually, I am a writer and I’m trying to act. So. And then she said that. She said, actors, make good writers. Writers make good actors.

Steve Cuden: Why do you think that is?

Joe Coyle: Well, I think maybe because, and this is the hard part about both, is that I think in order to be really, really good at it, I mean, you could be a comic, book writer. And I’m not knocking comic book writers, but I mean, you could be. Because some of, graphic novels, are really deep. But I’m talking about, you can just be. You can write very surface kind of dialogue and situations that are very, you know, or you can start digging deep into dark places. And I don’t mean like creating horror stories necessarily, or just weird stuff for the sake of weird stuff.

Steve Cuden: You’re talking about the depth of character.

Joe Coyle: Of various characters deep into a person’s soul. Because in order to do that, as an actor, I think you have to go to dark places in order to, you know, play a role. Some roles. well, and then as a writer, if you don’t do that, then you’re just putting words on the paper and, you know, it’s not, it’s not really doing anything. And you can get published. I mean, people do get published, but I mean, if you really want to explore the human condition, then I think you have to dig deep and you have to do the same thing for, for acting as well. So.

Steve Cuden: All right. Where do you find most of your story ideas? Do you have a go to place or do they just come from everywhere?

Joe Coyle: Well, lately, as an exercise, I started looking at, you know, the saying, the, picture’s worth a thousand words. So I said to myself, wouldn’t it be. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just do a thousand, give yourself a thousand word limit? So you take a photo or picture a drawing or something like this, and then you come up with a thousand words about that. Ah, this image inspired you to write. The challenge is keeping it under a thousand words. I mean, it’s difficult because once you get going.

Steve Cuden: Yeah, it’s hard.

Joe Coyle: It’s hard. So, but that’s one thing. And then the, you know, music sometimes. And then, you know, one time I saw a guy I pulled into a convenience store one night coming, home kind of was a sales thing. And, there was a cop sitting there and he was on his break and he was staring out this window. I mean, like, staring out the window. And, it wasn’t like he was watching anything. He was just. He was gone. He was not.

Steve Cuden: He had a thousand yard stare on. Yeah.

Joe Coyle: And I’m like, that’s really interesting. And months, later, I found out that there was a stop sign on an off ramp right outside of that where a young girl was hit and killed. And whether the two had anything connected or not, I drew up a little story about this cop and his connection with the situation. So, you know, people. Some people have that look, places have that something about them. And, so I find. I try to find it all different places. Many, writers draw from their background. So, I guess in that the story that you mentioned just outside Lisbon that’s autobiographical in many ways. I took different pieces of my life and mishmashed them together and came up with this situation where this guy had to go to Lisbon, Ohio, or just outside of Lisbon, Ohio. And, he drives there and he’s driving there. He is flashing back to. It’s almost like he’s questioning how the heck he ever got there. But in answering the question to himself, he was informing the reader. So the reader could say, why am I interested in this? Why should I be interested in this guy? He’s driving to Lisbon, Ohio. I mean, who the heck cares about Lisbon, Ohio? By the time he gets to Lisbon, Ohio, the hope is that people care and are interested and interested enough to know what is going to happen when he gets there. That was, the hook on that one. And then just trash. I just had this idea of an old landfill and in a neighborhood in a place like Philadelphia where I grew up. And so I mishmash a bunch, a bunch of characters that I knew growing up and situations and put, them all together. And I didn’t know. I honestly had no idea where it was going to come from. I’ll be honest with you. I just like the title just trash. I just kept going. And so I just came up with this situation where the term just trash comes. You know, so it has nothing to. The landfill just happens to be this thing in the area. And so the term just trash ends up being used and it kind of ties into the landfill in some way. And, I think I did a pretty good job with that. So that another. Another one there’s a sign, it’s actually in Lisbon, Ohio, that has a very specific meaning to, to travelers, maybe in western Pennsylvania and Ohio and West Virginia. And so, the sign takes on this meaning to this person who we meet. That has nothing to do with all those thoughts that get conjured up in the person’s head who drives by that sign.

Steve Cuden: What does it say?

Joe Coyle: It’s mail pouch, tobacco.

Steve Cuden: Mail pouch tobacco, yeah. Is, that specific to western Pennsylvania? I thought that was nationwide.

Joe Coyle: I’ve only seen it in western Pennsylvania. I mean, it could be. It could be. I just know I’ve seen a ton of them in Ohio, West Virginia, and western Pennsylvania, but I don’t know if I’ve seen them in it. Imagine I’ve driven across country, more than I should admit, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen them other than here. But I could be wrong. I mean, it’s probably a national brand, but in western Pennsylvania, you see them on barns and things like that. I mean, it was great marketing idea.

Steve Cuden: Well, yes, that is a great marketing idea. Do you tend to write a little bit every day?

Joe Coyle: Well, funny you should ask that. When Bob Crane asked, me to get involved in that series of essays, he gave me and others, subjects, to write about, and he wanted to hear what all these people, diverse people in his life had to say about these subjects. You know, I wanted to write the best thing. And I was just, like, delaying and delaying and delaying. And I just said to myself, this is the way to do it. You get up in the morning before everyone else, and you write about that subject. It doesn’t have to be good, doesn’t have to be anything. Just, you have to write. And what it ended up, what ended up happening was I would write one day, first draft, second day, I would edit third day, maybe, and then I go to the next one, and I kept going. And it wasn’t always, as, you know, it was an assembly line because there were things that would come up. But as long as I had that pressure on myself to do that, then, I did. And I did pretty good work. And with these short stories that I wrote once I get, you know, writers get, feel guilty when they don’t write every day, and because, oh, I have to use my job, you know, I have to do this. I read. I can’t even remember, you know, there’s more books about writing than there are hairs on my head. But in this one, this one book, it’s. It said that don’t pick up the pen or go to the computer until you build the images. Build the images in your head. Dream. I think that’s what it was. You dream about them, dream about them, dream about them. And then there’s a, there’s a point where they hatch, and if you go and try to hatch them before they’re ready, that’s. You’re just going to get into writer’s block, and you’re going to write bad stuff, and you’re going to get discouraged. So sit and dream and let them germinate, if you will. You know, there’s different ways to do it. There’s, as many writers, there’s different ways. But I kind of like that idea. And with that said, there’s a great idea that I have. I have boxes of ideas, as I told you earlier, but this one is really, really pretty cool that, I really like. And it’s, it’s. And it’s for, you know, a person more. More my age who, comes to realize certain things about himself at this point, and with pieces of the past coming back into play, what are the.

Steve Cuden: Things when you’re thinking about a story and then ultimately writing that story, what are the things for you that makes a story good? What makes a good story good?

Joe Coyle: Well, I think what makes a good story good is very simple. Think of yourself at a cocktail party. Okay? And it’s early, so people aren’t all looped, but you meet someone, and you find some kind of common ground. And you said, you know, that reminds me. I was in, Austin, Texas, once when I was in my early twenties, and, I went to the Driscoll hotel, and I went to the Juriska hotel, and this happened, and that happened, and I met this guy. And if the person you’re talking to, if their eyes turn away from you and start looking over your shoulder or something like that, then you know, the story isn’t any good, so. Or you lost them. Something happened. So when you first write a story, when I first write a story, I’m just, almost like I’m vomiting information out. And then, you go back and you whittle away and whittle away, whittle away and maybe move some things around. And the idea is that you’re keeping that person at the cocktail party interested in talking to you rather than going to get another drink or d’oeuvres or talk to the other person on the other side of the room. And, that, I mean, that’s. That’s pretty much as simple as it gets. Is that because if someone goes to a theater and spends all that money and they sit down and they start thinking about work or whatever it may be, or their family obligations, I mean, the movie’s a failure. That’s failing.

Steve Cuden: Absolutely.

Joe Coyle: They could not keep the person in the dream in the written word. It’s the same thing. If that person is reading your book and they’re not compelled to go further, then, you lost them. So there’s a structure to it, and I can’t tell you exactly what it is other than you have to keep the person in the dream.

Steve Cuden: So it was the great director, Alfred Hitchcock, who was the master of suspense. But the truth of the matter is, all great stories are suspense stories. If the audience wants to know what’s going to happen next, then you have them hooked and you retain the hook. If they want to know what’s going to happen next, as soon as they know what’s going to happen next, or they lose interest in what’s going to happen next as a writer or a director, you’re cooked.

Joe Coyle: Yes, exactly.

Steve Cuden: are you an outliner? Do you work your stories out ahead of time or do you just go.

Joe Coyle: for short stories, I just go for screenplays, I go. And then I start realizing that this has to fit into somewhat of a structure. So at that point, that’s when I start.

Steve Cuden: M movies are all about architecture, and the structure of the screenplay is very critical.

Joe Coyle: Yeah. So I start taking out the cards and I start, I start doing that. My son, he’s 18. When he was, when he was very young, I mean, he used to make movies with his, with his iPhone, actually. We take our iPhone then and he would make these movies and he had this, this sense of vision, like setting up a shot. He had a great sense, I mean, he really did. And then he started cutting them together and then he would like, you know, you get inserts of hands and feet and like, whatever it may be, it’s really cool stuff. And it was flawed for sure, but coming from the mind of a ten year old, an eleven year old and twelve, and you can see him growing up and getting, and getting better. But he started writing screenplays too, and because he wanted to do things, you know, as real as he could. And so that’s how it just reminded me, in order to stay on track, get out the big board, put the cards on it, shuffle them around and, come up with your story. And that’s it. That’s a really good way to do it for film.

Steve Cuden: Do you think that there are common themes throughout your work?

Joe Coyle: Common themes?

Steve Cuden: Or do you think it’s quite varied?

Joe Coyle: I think it’s pretty common. And my challenge, and to tell you the truth, I’ve been told that at times this doesn’t seem like your voice, and I haven’t told these people that. But what I’ve been trying to do at times. Like, for instance, I wrote a story a little while ago where it was totally from a woman’s point of view. I’ve seen some great short story writers do that where you forget in the middle of the story that a guy is writing this. I mean, you’re so enthralled by this woman’s, actions and thoughts and things. It’s, it’s, it’s really pretty cool. I think you really have to be a pretty good craftsman. Women. I probably am thinking I’ve done it for decades, if not centuries, because, you know, maybe at some point it was considered, you know, more of a man’s world and who cares about the woman’s point of view? There are exceptions, I’m sure, but nonetheless. So I was, I was trying to do that. So I, I’m trying to expand because it’s easy to. You can fall into the trap. I think that all you’re doing is writing the same character in a different body, in a different place, in different time. You know what I mean? So I think that’s my exercise. And so these things may not be, bestsellers, I mean, exaggerating, but even though they’re finished pieces, they’re kind of exercises in me trying to think outside of my little world.

Steve Cuden: What you’re saying is that you have the ability to think unlike you. And that’s what a writer needs to do. It’s not just you.

Joe Coyle: Yes. And with that said, in my acting class, what I did, and I think I was more successful with young actors than older actors because the older you get, the more you’re set in your ways. But, what I would do is, an exercise where I, told the students they had to write a bio of a character and name, you name the character, you name where they’re from, what their family situation is. How many siblings do they have? Are their parents divorced? Separated, mally in love with one another? Where do they go to school? What are their hopes and dreams? Where do they hope to go to school? do they have jobs? What kind of car do they drive? The whole thing. The more the better. And between this class and the next class, I want you to come in and have that bio, and then you’re going to read the bio, and. And then I’m going to interrogate you. I’m going to be a policeman. I’m going to interrogate you for, something that you don’t. I’m not even going to tell you what it is. And you, it’s. Your job is to answer these questions as that person, and I’m going to film you. And it really was cool. And I think as an actor, if you have time, you know, I mean, as a day player, you really don’t have that much time, but you do have time to do this when you’re auditioning. So you get your sides, and then, you get the breakdown. The breakdown is, you know, for me, it’s a white, middle aged guy, and he’s, you know, playing a dad or a cop or this, that, you know, thing. Well, in order to be truthful in the audition, and this is the only way I think, emotionally you can get through an audition is because whether you get it or not is up to factors that are just don’t even make any sense.

Steve Cuden: Well, they’re way beyond your actual control.

Joe Coyle: Way behind your control. So the way to get through this emotionally and leave and say, I felt good about that is that you went in there as this character, and you played that character with these words in your mouth, to the best of your ability. Now, at that point, then you might get a little guidance or direction from the casting person, or if you’re meeting with a director or showrunner or whatever, at that point, they might say, that’s really good. But we saw this person with a little bit more edge, a little bit less edge, or a little bit more feminine, or a little bit more, you know, meatheady, or a little bit more whatever. And, then now you, you got to dig into that reservoir of things that you saw and experienced. And, oh, yeah, they want. They want me to be like that guy I, hung around with in high school, who is just an idiot, sits at the end of the bar so that, you know, then you come up with something.

Steve Cuden: It sounds to me like you purposefully spend a lot of time thinking about drawing auditions.

Joe Coyle: Ideally, yeah. You know, in life gets back to life, life has a way of, intruding. But, yeah, I mean, that’s. That’s the plan. I taught at Carnegie Mellon for one semester. acting, for the camera with those folks. They were seniors, so they’d been through their. This their fourth year, last semester. These guys and girls were finely tuned machines. I mean, they were like, they were just real. Their money was well spent. So with them, it doesn’t take a whole lot of, let’s say, effort or whatever. you know, they could just turn on a dime. The things that they would do between takes, they would see it, one of their takes. And one guy said, I didn’t realize I did this with my face. And I said, well, that’s kind of one of the reasons that we’re doing this is because, you know, in order to make a living, it’d be nice if you get cast in a tv show or, or a movie. It’s not all about stage, which that school was primarily, is primarily for. So anyway, the next take, he just went away, you know what I mean?

Steve Cuden: Because they have all those other skill sets that they’ve learned and they can be very adaptive and flexible with those skill sets.

Joe Coyle: Yeah, I have to say, there were finally two acting machines.

Steve Cuden: So once you have gone through the audition process and you have booked a role and you know you’re going to be on set, what is the first thing you do with the script, aside from reading it? What is your first take on things? What do you look for?

Joe Coyle: Well, if it’s a film, then everything is kind of, you know, new and there’s a lot of, I guess, guesswork or educated guesswork as to how this is going to fit in with the, the other actors. And generally, for day player, you kind of take backstage a little bit to the, stars if you’re in a scene with a star. So you have to just say, stay really loose, if you will. But that said on promised land and that scene I did with Matt, damon, and, gosh, I can’t remember. Great character actor was in, this tv show Oz, and, that was just like, there was no one was expected to take a backseat. Everyone played their role. I was the CEO, so I was the big dog and they expected me to play the big dog. And, that was really, really, really pretty cool. But that’s Matt Damon. Matt Damon is just a super nice guy and a great actor, and he gets what’s going on. He doesn’t have to be the big dog in the room. And his character in that, he wasn’t. He was kind of a low man on the total, someone they were hiring to come in and do this job. So I stick with the plan as I played in the audition, but knowing full well that when you get on, on the set, things could change drastically and they have you have to be.

Steve Cuden: Loose all the way through the process, don’t you?

Joe Coyle: Yeah. Especially if you’re on a tv show where there’s characters that have been in it, you know, ongoing. You have to fit into, into their, their thing, you know what I mean?

Steve Cuden: Well, that’s jumping onto a moving train, isn’t it?

Joe Coyle: It is. And, the bigger the show, the faster it’s moving.

Steve Cuden: That is for sure. And have you ever been thrown by that? And if you were, did you have some technique for handling it?

Joe Coyle: You know, I did an episode of Friends and I was in it just for a very brief second and everyone keeps saying, oh, God, I slowly. Friends, that’s the greatest. And I cringe. I just absolutely cringe because it was a moment where I didn’t do what I had planned to do and I felt like I was intimidated. The stage was too big and the.

Steve Cuden: Physical stage or the stage of being on that show.

Joe Coyle: The stage of being on that show.

Joe Coyle: A big stage. I mean, they were, I mean, they were huge at the time. I couldn’t have been more excited. In my, acting for the camera class, I talk about all those things. So you show up, they give you the sides. The pa gave me the wrong side. They changed the sport, right. He comes to me with the new sides and you’re sitting around all day. I’m on the Warner brothers lot, which I worked on tons of times, and I’m like, hey, how you doing? What are you doing? Oh, I got this part on friends. Oh my God, this is great. So it’s like, you know, shaking hands and, you know, shucking and jiving for hours, right? And, sitting in my trailer, you know, this is before phone, so you couldn’t play on your phone. You’re just like, you know, whatever. And, you know, you’re in wardrobe and the whole thing, and you’re sweating and you’re too cold and the whole thing. And then all of a sudden, less than an hour before, I go on, he goes, oh, I forgot to give you these new sides. I’m like, well, when did they come out? He goes, well, they came out this morning. I’m like.

Steve Cuden: So what’d you do?

Joe Coyle: Well, it was no big deal. It was just a, it was a minor. Just a minor thing. But, at first, then I’m like, oh, my God. So anyway, I got time to get over that. It was no big deal. But then, everyone else the other day, players in the scene had been brought in, because, you know, a three camera show, they have a process where one day is rehearsal the day before you shoot. Right. So I didn’t get brought in for that. So it was already blocked. And then I just walked in. They had a piece of tape there. The stand in. It didn’t even tell me which piece of tape was mine until I think I was standing on Schwimmer’s tape at first.

Steve Cuden: Oh.

Joe Coyle: Swimmer wasn’t real happy about that. And then, you know, then it was just like, roll camera. And I knew the first ad, just from being around, just from being on Warner Brothers. And I looked at him like, what? and he just shrugged his shoulders like, welcome to the big time.

Steve Cuden: Did they push you around? They tell you what to do?

Joe Coyle: No, no, it was all, it was all good. It just, it was just like, you know, you want, it’s, it’s that search for a sense of control because if you have your plan, you want to go in and you want to. Have you ever watch Barry?

Steve Cuden: Sure.

Joe Coyle: Just so much of it reminded me of Barry. I mean, Barry reminded me of it. Just all the, the weird things that happened that that when you’re sitting at home watching a show you have no idea that this other show was going on, the better show was going on behind the camera.

Steve Cuden: Well, there’s really, I can’t think of too many businesses that are quirkier than the business of show. There’s, it is a lot of insanity goes on and people have all their egos involved and it can be quite challenging. Have you worked for directors that gave you great direction?

Joe Coyle: yes.

Steve Cuden: Share with us something that a director maybe said to you that you found extremely helpful and maybe even were able to use it in other circumstances.

Joe Coyle: Well, Chris Macquarie was really good on Jackson.

Steve Cuden: Christopher Macquarie?

Joe Coyle: Yeah, yeah, he was great. He just really was, he just was so supportive and just from the audition process on you just like, you know, you kind of felt like you were working for a friend if, you know, if you like, a business friend. And I had not, I never met him before that, so that, that was really good. And then, van sant on promised, land, I mean, he just, he bought into me right away. It was just like. And I’m like, dude, I’m like, you are who you are and I’m like, we’re having a conversation, like a creative conversation and I’m like, this is pretty cool, right? So that was really good. And then, so you felt included.

Steve Cuden: Rather than just some, just some body that came in.

Joe Coyle: Exactly. And many times you are just, that you’re just a body that, that comes in. But, in those situations, that was pretty good.

Steve Cuden: do you do anything now differently in going to a set than when you first started out? Do you treat the way that you go through the experience differently today than when you first were beginning?

Joe Coyle: Yeah, I would say that, because of my look, I got into, some situations where I think it would have been great if I had been more experienced. Now I have more life experience and more, acting experience. And so now, I mean, my confidence level, you know, if you’re there, you’re. You’re there for a reason. Sure. So there’s no reason to feel otherwise.

Steve Cuden: And, did you feel otherwise in the beginning? You felt like maybe you were. Did you have a little bit of imposter syndrome? Like, why am I here?

Joe Coyle: Well, that’s exactly. I was going to say, it’s like, it’s a. I call it the fraud system, not imposter, but it’s like, frauds. Like, you know, you know, who am I trying to kid? I mean, come on now. You were just, like a year ago. You’re a bartender, you know, like all that kind of crap. You know what I mean? And, it’s,

Steve Cuden: And you’ve stopped thinking that way. Is that what you’re saying?

Joe Coyle: Yeah. Because it gets back to what you’re saying before. Is it that you get, you get smacked around and then you. You either step up or step out? So, yeah, so that’s one of the reasons why I’m really looking forward to doing this play, because within the play, it’s. You’re not a day player. You’re. You’re just two guys, and you’re one of them. You’re 50% of the show, and, that’s going to be, a really good and fun, fun challenge because it’s all on us. Sure.

Steve Cuden: Well, you’re the. You’re the star of the show.

Joe Coyle: Yeah, exactly. So, really, looking forward to that. And, that’s one of the really good things about writing, too, is that, you know, it’s. I’m the star, but actually, I’m creating the show.

Steve Cuden: Well, you’re the. As many people have said, you’re the God of that world.

Joe Coyle: Yeah, it’s great. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a lot of way to settle scores. And I’m not saying that. Have you ever heard of a magazine Bob introduced me to? It’s called just smile. It’s not around anymore. No, no, I’ve never heard of it. Stop smiling. And it was, really, you know, well made magazine, great articles. One of the writers in this, he was a film writer, and I can’t remember who it was. Doesn’t matter. But he said that it’s his way of reliving all these experiences, only the outcome is more to his liking. Whereas in the real situation, he failed miserably. You know what I mean? He did something stupid and wrong and the whole thing. So now he’s writing it and adding the pieces and the parts to make sure that he, whoever part he’s playing in this whole thing comes out on the upside or differently, whatever it may be. you know, there’s a certain level of insanity about that because, you know, he. He obviously spent a lot of time reliving it and thinking about it and feeling guilty about it. I’m not doing like, the friends story. It’s like, oh, my gosh, I can’t think about friends because it keeps me. I keep thinking, why did I do that?

Steve Cuden: You keep, having little PTSD over your experience.

Joe Coyle: I have friends. PTSD.

Steve Cuden: Friends, PTSD. I’ve been having this absolutely wonderful time, having a grand chat about the business, acting, writing and so on, with Joe Coyle. And I’m just wondering, you have worked with, and met lots of people in the industry at this point, and I’m wondering, do you have a story that you could share with us that’s either weird, quirky, offbeat, strange, or just plain funny?

Joe Coyle: After you’ve been around for a little while, there’s plenty of funny things that happened, but, one of them is just a little bit. It’s kind of a business story. When I was working for George Clooney, I was his stand in for many years on a number of movies. And one of them was perfect storm. And in that, movie, ah, the production, they built a giant tank on one of the stages of Warner brothers, and they put a fake boat in it, and they created waves and wind and this and that and the other thing. So as a stand in, you had to be like, hanging from things and, you know, the whole thing. And, So on this one day, I was, I was pitching a script. and I actually got a meeting over at, I think it was paramount with a big development person. And, so I said to George, George, listen, I’ll only be gone for the morning. Oh, go for it, man. You know, have fun, good luck, the whole thing. So I hustle over there, I go to the meeting, and, it, you know, it went well. Like everything else, everything feels like it went well until nothing happens. But nonetheless, it went well. And I came back and I’m feeling pretty good about myself. And, you know, there’s an ambulance there and this and that and the other thing. And I’m like, oh, my God. What the heck happened? And, they said, oh, my God. I can’t believe George’s stuntman, Brad, he cracked his head open. I’m like, what are you talking about? Well, the scene, what George was on the, on the, they called them the birds, the things that stuck out to the side. That in heavy seas, you drop them down and it keeps you certain level of balance so you’re not rocking all over the water. Well, they were testing the, the mechanism on it, and, it, some air got in the system and it burped, so it jerked when it wasn’t supposed to. And Brad, who was being my stand in, the stunt double was being my stand in. He’s on the thing and the thing. Jerk. And cracked him in the head. Really?

Steve Cuden: Oh, wow.

Joe Coyle: Blood. The whole thing. Right? So, course I’m feeling guilty about it. And, you know, the whole thing was a big, it was a big deal. the next day, Brad comes back with a bandage on his head. And, George gives him, a Rolex watch as a gift. I guess it’s fairly common that these big stars, when one of their stunt guys get hurt, gets hurt. They give them something. And so he gave him a Rolex watch. And it was, from the year this guy was born. It was like a classic Rolex was really cool. And on the inside of, on the back of the face of it, it had an inscription that says, brad. It should have been Joe. George.

Steve Cuden: Wow. You would have had a rolex.

Joe Coyle: Yeah, exactly. That, that’s a, that’s a g rated George story.

Steve Cuden: So that movie was directed by Wolfgang Peterson, wasn’t it?

Joe Coyle: Yes. Yeah. Really good. Great. You talk about, I mean, the directors that, by being a stand, and I tell this to everyone who’s young, it’s like, get in the game. I know you were told not to be an extra. You’re told not to do this. And, like, if that’s your thing, then fine. But I’m telling you, if you get in as a stand in, you are right there, front and center, especially with it for Star. You’re front and center. You’re standing there in every scene, every major scene on either side of you is the director, the director of photography, the first assistant director, the art director, stunt coordinator. The stunts involved. Every head of the department is standing around there, as they’re rehearsing the scene and you’re watching it just like they are. And then they say, okay, first team, relax. Second team, step in. You step in. You stand on the star’s mark and they, they light this thing and you walk through it and this, that and the other thing, and you’re seeing how this whole thing is set up and made. And every one of these major department heads knows your name on day two of like a, you know, 65, very few films, or last that long anymore. But, you know, 50, 30, 50 sixties, you are there and you’re the guy, and they all know you. They’re calling you by your first name. You can’t even remember all their names, and they know your name and they’re, talking to you. And once they have confidence in you that you’re not some, you know, you’re not, you know what’s going on, you’re paying attention, then you’re getting all these tidbits from them of all these great little tricks of the filmmaking business. And it was just like, it was fantastic. I recommend anyone do that.

Steve Cuden: That is a tremendous piece of advice. I’m wondering, do you have any other solid pieces of advice or tip you might have for someone trying to get into the business or maybe they’re in a little bit and trying to rise to that next level?

Joe Coyle: Well, I would just say, well, perseverance conquers, first of all. So you have to have that, you know, figure out a way to get in, be a good, dependable person in everything that you do and bring all your life experiences to it. You know, work hard and just be open to all the possibilities of the things that can happen. Now, if you’re dead set on being an actor, then don’t get waylaid into other things because, you know, you’ll get used to the money. If you become a crew member and you start making that kind of money, it’s very difficult to give that money up. So stick to your, your cause, whatever it may be, but, work hard, be smart, and you just have to be driven, unbelievably driven. But that goes for anything. You know, if you want to be, if you wanted to be a Wall street guy and be one of those, you know, masters in the universe, it’d be the same thing. If you want to be a professional athlete, the same thing. You just have to work and work and work and just figure out a way. But in the end, I think that what? The most important thing is your sanity. So if you’re going into it to be famous, I would suggest don’t do it. Become an influencer or whatever that is. And do you know weird stuff on TikTok? if you want to be famous, go do that. but if you want to be really good at it, then, I read something once that, the guys who built the cathedrals back in medieval times, or whenever there was folks coming up there and built the gargoyles and the cherubs and the angels and the saints and things like that, and they were way up in the top, and no one really knows what they’re doing, and who could tell whether they’re doing a good job or not, but they obviously did. And so they weren’t getting paid a lot of money, and they weren’t getting it wasn’t a lot of fame associated with it. So what drove them? And this person who wrote this article was saying they did it, for the glory of God. Now, I’m not suggesting, I’m not getting religious here, but there’s a higher power, a higher reason for you to do this. And if you can go and do what you do, and you do it for those reasons, and it works out for you, then you are one of the lucky few. If it kind of works out for you, you can make a pretty good living as an actor in television, film, as being a day player, being a character person, you can do that. But if you set your goals. I want to be a star. That, is kind of a faulty way to go. And I know stars who, have said to me in quiet moments, one of them said, it sucks to be me because we were someplace that, he couldn’t get any privacy. And it was a situation where he wanted to be private speaker one.

Steve Cuden: That’s the big trade off, isn’t it? If you’re going to be a star, you’re going to lose your anonymity, almost assuredly.

Joe Coyle: Yeah. And what’s the price? I don’t know. Is it enough? Maybe it is. I don’t know.

Steve Cuden: Well, you see, some people handle it extremely well, and some people do not. I mean, your, colleague, George Clooney handles it extremely well.

Joe Coyle: I think he does really well. Matt Damon does really well. they’re the two that come to mind right away, super nice guys. And, they’re, it looks like they’ve come up with some kind of work life balance. And then, you know, George time stamping this thing once again, you know, announced today, this plan to kind of get them through the strike where, you know, he really going to give some things up for the group, for the guild.

Steve Cuden: Well, for sure. George Clooney has, is a proven leader in the industry.

Joe Coyle: I just posted something on Facebook and said, don’t bet against George. And I believe that he’s. When he’s a driven person, driven in all the good ways.

Steve Cuden: Well, that’s everything that I’ve ever heard or read about him. Obviously, you know him personally. I do not. But everything about him seems like he is a very driven and very intentional human and, knows exactly what he wants out of life. And he keeps getting it.

Joe Coyle: Yeah, he’s, always, I was very lucky to meet him, very lucky to work for him and lucky, to have known him. And his work is nowhere near done.

Steve Cuden: Oh, no, no. He’s still. He’s mid career.

Joe Coyle: Yeah, exactly. He’s going to, he’s really going to play a part in the future as.

Steve Cuden: A writer and a director and an actor.

Joe Coyle: Yes, absolutely.

Steve Cuden: And a producer, I guess all four of those.

Joe Coyle: Yes. He’s a talented person, by the way. He is far funnier, far, far funnier than he’s ever shown on the screen.

Steve Cuden: He impresses me as being a quite hilarious person, especially all the pranks he likes to play on.

Joe Coyle: People got a deft sense of humor.

Steve Cuden: I have no doubt that that’s true. Joe Coyle, this has been an absolutely wonderful hour on StoryBeat today, and I can’t thank you enough for sharing, all of your wisdom and experience with, the listeners today. So I thank you greatly.

Joe Coyle: I thank you. And I just want you to know I only got through one page of my notes, and I have got reams and reams of more notes here. So if you ever want to have me back, just let me know.

Steve Cuden: Will do. Thank you so much.

Joe Coyle: Thank you.

Steve Cuden: And so we’ve come to the end of today’s StoryBeat. If you liked this episode, won’t you please take a moment to give us a call, comment, rating, or review on whatever app or platform you are listening to? Your support helps us bring more great StoryBeat episodes to you. StoryBeat is available on all major podcast apps and platforms, including Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Spotify, iHeartRadio, tunein, and many others. Until next time, Im Steve Cuden and may all your stories be unforgettable.

Executive Producer: Steve Cuden, Producer: Casey Georgi, Announcer: Javier Grajeda
Social Media: Mina Hoffman, Design & Marketing: Holly Reed, Reed Creative Group


  1. Maria

    Great insight into so many aspects of “the industry”… from a reality base, thanks Joe and Steve!

    • Steve Cuden

      Thanks so very much for listening, Maria! Glad you found the episode insightful!


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