Enjoy Life and Embrace Challenges Using Humor with Robert King

“Don’t take life too seriously because you’ll never get out alive”. That’s a quote from one of my favorite movies, Van Wilder starring Ryan Reynolds. Many of us take life very seriously and at times it doesn’t feel very enjoyable. We focus on challenges, shortcomings, and obstacles. Today, my guest shares insights on how we can enjoy life, laugh in the face of adversity and embrace challenges using humor. 

Robert King is a NYC-based writer/actor. He has had numerous scripts produced, including his award-winning solo show Halfrican-American, and his first film, which was produced by Four Times Films. He was a senior writer/performer for Lorne Michaels’ Above Average, where he created and hosted the popular web series Your Biggest Fan where he worked with celebrities like Jane Lynch, Alan Alda, and Russell Brand. Robert has created various web-series, and scripts of his have been finalists in the Austin Film Fest, and both the New York and Hollywood Screenplay Contests. He was also a recipient of NBC’s Diversity Award for writing and performing. As an actor Robert recently performed in Billy Crystal’s stage show, Have A Nice Day, alongside Kevin Kline, Annette Benning, and others. Robert has also worked on various television shows from Law & Order: SVU to The Blacklist, and films such as Don’t Think Twice with Mike Birbiglia and Can You Keep A Secret opposite Alexandria Daddario.

What You’ll Learn

4:19 Early Age

Robert King talks about how from an early age he realized he could use comedy as a means of relief from the situations he experienced as a child. Robert King says that being a biracial person and raised in an all-white environment, he always felt a little out of place, always doubting himself, or being very harsh in judging himself. So comedy helped him to be in control of situations and to always think ahead. Plus having an abusive stepfather was something that also marked him.

15:02 Stranger Father

Robert King says that at the age of 30 he met his biological father and it was weird because it ended up being a family reunion where many people introduced themselves as “I’m your uncle” when to Robert King they were strangers. He says that what he got most out of that reunion was meeting his grandfather and it was because of him that he decided to establish ties with that side of the family.

17:51 On Being a Dad

Robert King says that before his wife got pregnant he felt ready to be a father, but once she got pregnant he began to question a lot of things and have fears or insecurities, especially thinking about whether he would be like his biological father who was never around or like the stepfather who physically abused him. There is always a bit of judgment, fear and doubt in Robert King but he tries to keep busy and not give it too much thought.

21:40 Little Things, Big Impact

Robert King mentions that for him it is important to question what it looks like to be a good parent, what it looks like to be doing a good job. Robert King says that for him it is to always be observing the small actions in the day to day, the small things that in the end will cause a big impact on your child and how they will remember you, he gives an example that he felt very frustrated because his children were sick and he was also getting sick and he could feel very frustrated and wanted to cry but he had to change that attitude because he realized that his son observed him and also saw frustration in him and thought: I do not want in 20 years my son to say, ah this was the moment where my dad was frustrated because he did not know how to react.

29:34 Book Title

Robert King explains how he chose this title for his book, and says it was because most of his life he grew up feeling like he didn’t belong or feeling out of place. So he was very conscious of the spaces he occupied. So with this book he hopes to help others to don’t grow up feeling like they don’t belong.

31:17 Don’t Accept a False Premise

Robert King says that for him one of the mot valuable lesson from his book is to learn not to accept false premises. If you accept a false premise you may end up arguing from a weak point of view or one that you can’t win from. Robert King says that when he was growing up, one of his friends told him that his mom thought he was a bad influence just because he was black, then he realized that people accept false premises and may judge you or think less of you without knowing you and many times that can cause you to question who you are as a person and if what others say is true or applies to your life. One of the lessons of this book is precisely not to accept false premises and not to let anyone dictate the tone of who you are, who you should be, or how much you are worth. All of that must come from within you, you are the first guide and if someone is trying to label you, don’t accept it.

37:15 People Letting You Down

 Another lesson from his book is about when people let you down. Robert King says that from a very early age, people close to him let him down so he made a decision not to get attached or let a person into his life too much. Obviously that affected all of his relationships. Now with his children he tries to tell them that they should get to know people and yes, probably one or two will disappoint them but that’s okay, you learn a lesson, but it’s important to build trusting relationships and know that at least their parents won’t let them down and won’t leave them.

Rober King’s Links

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