Question Your Perception Box
A collection of interviews dedicated to sharing unique perspectives and challenging our preconceived notions.
This series was developed in partnership with Big Think, visit the Perception Box hub on BigThink.com.
You know Steve-O. Now meet Steve Glover, as the professional stuntman talks to us about pain, insecurity, and never finding contentment.
In this deeply personal and revealing interview, Steve Glover, better known as Steve-O, the daredevil entertainer known for his jaw-dropping stunts and unflinching willingness to face pain, shares the untold story of his journey from a childhood craving for attention to becoming an icon of wild antics and extreme performances.
Opening up about his struggles with alcoholism, the relentless pursuit of fame, and his battles with feeling 'not good enough', Glover offers an introspective look into the complexities behind the laughter and the screams.
With raw honesty, he discusses the pivotal moments that shaped him, the drive to document his existence through stunts, and the liberating power of sharing the secrets he once vowed to take to his grave.
This interview is not just a glimpse into the life of a professional idiot; it's a candid exploration of human vulnerability, the cost of fame, and the ongoing quest for self-acceptance.
Steve-O (a.k.a. Stephen Glover) was willing to do whatever it took to become famous, even if it meant stapling his ball sack to his leg. After failing miserably at the University of Miami and couch-surfing with friends, he decided that in order to further his goal of becoming a stuntman he would enroll in Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Clown College. But it was his relentless attention whoring that ultimately led to working with Johnny Knoxville on a new stunt-based reality show called Jackass.
In 2000, MTV aired the first season and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, he's had continued success, as a New York Times best-selling author with the release of his memoir, 'Professional Idiot', as well as establishing himself in the world of stand-up comedy. With fourteen years of sobriety under his belt, Steve-O shows no signs of slowing down.
He co-created one of TV’s funniest shows. He still felt like a failure in his 30s. This is comedian Neal Brennan’s story about conquering toxic self-talk.
We all tell lies to ourselves about ourselves, usually in the form of vicious inner criticism. Neal Brennan, seasoned comedian and one of the brilliant minds behind “Chapelle’s Show,” confronted his inner critic on video for our entertainment.
Despite being instrumental in one of the most successful comedy shows of all time, there was a time when Brennan didn’t think he had much to show for himself, especially not as a solo entertainer. The eventual demise of “Chappelle’s Show” led him down a dark path of self-doubt and, then, rediscovery.
Brennan worked 12-step programs, ventured into the world of psychedelics, and even tried magnetic brain manipulation to break out of his despair. Now, he has a new perspective on the value of going it alone. Turns out, it isn’t quite so bad.
About Neal Brennan:
Three-time Emmy nominated writer, director, producer, and standup comedian Neal Brennan has become a force in the comedy world. An across-the-board talent, Neal has found success in almost every creative vein in the comedy landscape. Hailed by The Hollywood Reporter as “Hollywood’s Comic Whisperer” and lauded by The New York Times as having a “hip-hop and Frontline aesthetic,” he has collaborated with top talent both in front of and behind the camera for three decades.
Neal’s most recent one-man show Neal Brennan: Unacceptable enjoyed a sold-out run in NYC in 2021 with The New York Times offering “Brennan starts off with a regular joke format before turning toward introspection as he exposes his doubts, neuroses and vulnerabilities. And he remains very funny as he does so.” Neal’s critically acclaimed first off-Broadway one-man show 3 Mics also enjoyed a sold-out NYC run in 2016 with musician John Legend serving as Executive Producer with Paste Magazine gushing “It will floor you in the best way possible.” In a break from traditional standup comedy, 3 Mics saw Brennan alternating between three separate microphones; one for traditional stand-up, one for one-liners, and one for short confessional monologues covering everything from managing his depression to his difficult relationship with his father. Both one-man shows were taped as stand-up specials and premiered on Netflix to much fanfare and critical acclaim.
Neal co-created Comedy Central’s legendary Chappelle’s Show, for which he received three Emmy nominations. Together, Brennan and Dave Chappelle wrote and produced virtually every sketch on the show themselves. A longtime writing partner of Chappelle, Neal was a standout speaker in his televised Mark Twain Prize ceremony, wrote on his Emmy-winning 2016 Saturday Night Live hosting turn, and co-wrote the cult hit feature Half Baked. Neal also served as a Creative Consultant and on-air correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, for which he was personally picked by Noah to be his final guest. He was Executive Producer on Chris Rock’s special Chris Rock: Tamborine, Consulting Producer on Ellen Degeneres’ special Relatable, and collaborator with Seth Meyers on his White House Correspondents Dinner speech. In addition to standup, writing, directing, and producing, Brennan has also directed popular commercials for Sprite, Netflix, Best Buy and Nike.
Cindy Gallop answers our questions about sex, identity, and why we need to stop giving a damn.
Cindy Gallop, the founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn, answered our questions about self-worth, the weight of other people’s expectations on women, and hope.
She shares her mission to normalize and destigmatize conversations about sex, including the negative consequences of using pornography as a substitute for sexual education.
Cindy hopes for a world where we’re all unburdened by societal judgments and true equality is achieved.
About Cindy Gallop:
Cindy Gallop is a graduate of Somerville College, Oxford, whose background is over 30 years in brand-building, marketing and advertising — she started up the US office of ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York in 1998 and in 2003 was named Advertising Woman of the Year.
She is the founder and CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld, co-action software launched in beta at TED 2010 and subsequently written up and taught as a Harvard Business School case study, which enables brands to implement the business model of the future — Shared Values + Shared Action = Shared Profit (financial and social).
She is also the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn – ‘Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference’ — a social sextech platform designed to promote good sexual behavior and good sexual values, which she launched at TED 2009, and for which she has just raised $2 million to build out MLNP.tv as ‘the Social Sex Revolution’.Cindy recently partnered with AARP on their Disrupt Aging initiative to challenge and change ageism.
Cindy has also published ‘Make Love Not Porn: Technology’s Hardcore Impact on Human Behavior’ as one of TED’s line of TEDBooks.
You can follow her on Twitter @cindygallop.
Over 250 million records sold and more than 70 platinum hits later, @JasonDerulo sits down with us to talk about goals, insecurities, and why he still doesn’t feel like he’s “made it.”
Jason Derulo's career flashed before his eyes when he broke his neck in 2012. Despite fearing the worst, he used positive self-talk and daily routines to recover and create hit songs like “Marry Me” and “Talk Dirty.” Overcoming childhood insecurities, he emphasizes the power of self-improvement. Now a global superstar with 250 million singles sold, Derulo prioritizes family time since becoming a father in 2021.
Former SNL star @JayPharoah answers our most challenging questions about life, self-esteem, and changing his mind.
Jay Pharoah is known best for his impressions, but he’s got a lot more going on. The actor, comedian, and rapper sat down with us to talk about embracing triumphs, overcoming setbacks, forgiveness, and the way all of it shapes who you are.
About Jay Pharoah:
Jay Pharoah is an actor and stand-up comedian. With six seasons as a cast member of NBC's Saturday Night Live, Pharoah is best known for his wide array of uncanny celebrity impressions, including President Barack Obama, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Stephen A. Smith, Kanye West and Chris Tucker, as well as his recurring character, school principal Daniel Frye.
This is how rejection made executive producer and director Julie Plec an undeniable leader.
Creator of the popular series “The Vampire Diaries,” Julie Plec is proof imposter syndrome never goes away, no matter how big you make it. The writer and producer answered our questions about self-doubt, getting “blacklisted,” and how we can alter our perceptions to better appreciate our successes.
About Julie Plec:
Julie Plec is a creator, showrunner, executive producer and director, most notably responsible for the complete Vampire Diaries Universe (The Vampire Diaries, The Originals, and Legacies), which spanned thirteen years and more than 300 episodes of television.
Plec is co-creator and co-showrunner of the upcoming series Vampire Academy, based on the popular book series, which recently wrapped production in Spain and is debuting September 15, 2022, on Peacock. She is also co-creator of the new series Dead Day, along with her Vampire Diaries partner Kevin Williamson, which was recently picked up to series at Peacock as well, and executive producer of Girls on the Bus, which was picked up straight to series at HBO Max.
Plec is creator and executive producer of Legacies, which recently aired its fourth and final season on the CW, along with serving as an executive producer of Roswell, New Mexico, which recently aired its fourth and final season on the CW as well. In addition, Plec served as executive producer of The Endgame, starring Morena Baccarin and Ryan Michelle Bathé, which recently aired on NBC.
She is currently under an overall deal at Universal Television, where she and Emily Cummins, president of her production company, My So-Called Company, are developing projects across all platforms for the studio. Plec and Cummins recently announced a new project at Peacock, Clifton, along with a slate of several other projects in development.
Along with directing multiple episodes of The Vampire Diaries, Legacies, and Roswell, New Mexico, for which she also directed the pilot, Plec directed an episode of the CW’s hit series Riverdale, and most recently directed an episode of her new series Vampire Academy.
Plec developed and executive produced Containment, which aired as a limited series on the CW in 2016.
She got her start as a television writer and co-executive producer for the series Kyle XY, which she produced for the show’s three-year run. Other television credits include Dawson’s Creek, on which she collaborated with creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson, and The Tomorrow People, on which she collaborated with fellow executive producers Greg Berlanti and Phil Klemmer.
In the early part of her career, Plec worked with both Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson during the run of their hit Scream franchise. She also co-produced Berlanti’s directorial debut film, The Broken Hearts Club.