I am proud to be featuring a long-time Path Alum, Doug Moe, as our Featured Artist in Action this month. Since Doug took the Path Course back in 2010, he has continued to use the tools and do the work. I always tell folks at the end of the course, this work will be all about your commitment to it, and Doug is a true example of what can happen when you stay committed to using the tools and working with accountability partners, no matter how crazy life gets. Doug and his fab accountability partners have been meeting weekly for years now! I get to meet up with them every 6-12 months for a group session to check in on their progress and do some coaching. I always leave so inspired by this group and what they are creating for their lives and careers! This is what commitment looks like, and yes, it DOES produce results. Doug just published his first book (!!!), Man vs. Child, which he will tell you more about below – and we are super thrilled to see what's next for Doug. Enjoy his interview!
What brought you to the Path Course back in 2010?
It is actually very hard to remember 2010 — so long ago! But luckily I took notes. So when I came to the Path Course originally, I was in a sort of bad place that I flirt with even now; I was in a "compare and despair" mode: looking at everyone, literally everyone, and how much more successful they were than me and why can't I be successful and so on and so forth. As an actor, I was going out commercially but didn't have an agent or manager. I wasn't creating work. I was feeling left behind and stuck. I was a part-time, stay-at-home dad and I was just coming out of the haze of having a young kid and thinking: "Wow, I have to get my head together again."
What were the goals you set when you took the Path Course? Did you meet them?
When I started the Path Course I had way too many tracks, was splitting my focus in too many ways. Over time, through meetings in private coaching and with my Path group, I’ve revised those a lot. Some of the goals I met, some I dropped. But the value is often in shooting for them; along the way I sometimes have learned so much, even if I decided the goal wasn’t one I wanted to meet. One of the main reasons I’ve been able to stay on task has been my Path group — a group of us who took the class have been meeting weekly for several years. Being accountable to them and having their encouragement has led me into unexpected places. When I started, I really wanted to get another sketch show up at the UCB Theatre after a few years of not having put one up. Then I put one up with partners that sort of fizzled out. But that made me work towards my own solo show. I wrote that, had a 7 month run of it and started a dad blog at the same time. After writing the blog for awhile, a book felt like the next step. And now I’ve done that.
What’s your life like today?
My life today is a lot like before! I still work, I still perform, I still teach and freelance to make money. But because the book came out a few weeks ago, I’m also doing a lot of promotion work — sending out emails, tweeting and trying to get attention for the book. The exciting part about the book is that it’s an actual object out in the world that people can hold and look at and enjoy. I went to the Barnes and Noble and stared at it on the shelf: there it is, in the Humor section, between The Onion and Garfield. That’s pretty cool. And it’s been great to hear from people who like the book. A few people have told me that they were reading the book on the train and got weird looks because they were laughing to themselves. I love that!
Have you encountered unanticipated challenges and roadblocks? How did you handle them?
I think the biggest challenge that I’ve encountered in pursuing my goals is working through the process with joy and not bumming myself out. It can feel really hard to get people to notice your work, there’s lots of people "doing better than you" and staying positive and working towards my own goals is still something I struggle with.
What was the most valuable thing you took away from your Path Course and/or Private Coaching experience?
I’ve learned many great things from the Path course and private coaching, but the most valuable one has been to treat networking as "farming, not hunting." It’s helped me so much to look at relationships as something to cultivate, not hunt down for a specific goal. So many people helped me figure out how to write this book and now continue to help me with its promotion. I had to ask for help from some people that I was scared to ask, but by being genuine and keeping the relationship first of mind, I was able to handle taking the risks.
What advice do you have for anyone struggling with their careers?
I would tell anyone struggling with their career that it’s okay to feel that way, but that working on specific goals can really help change how they feel. When I started Path I felt very stuck, but the process helps you realize that you have so much that you can do from wherever you currently are in your career.
What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
I wish I knew back when I started that you already have the tools you need to get started. It’s so easy to feel like other people are holding you back when it’s actually more about you working from what your current resources are.
What’s next for you?
What’s next! I’m doing some book promotion — shows in LA and hopefully more after that. Then I have another book project that I’m working on (it’s secret, can’t tell you, sorry). And we’ll see what else comes of this launch!
Moms have hundreds of parenting advice books willing to tackle the more cringe-inducing questions of parenthood. But what about books for the other half of the equation: the dads? Man vs. Child is a funny, fresh take on the parenting guide, written from the dad's perspective.
Author and popular Upright Citizens Brigade performer Doug Moe knows first-time fathers are as worried about being terrible at their new terrifying jobs as new moms are. But while most modern fathering guides center on men's oafish parental failings, Man vs. Child forgoes condescension in favor of fresh and irreverent wit.