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Success Story Podcast

Carson Rowland, Actor & Musician | Navigating Success, Family, Culture & Life

By June 28, 2020March 5th, 2022No Comments


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For Carson Rowland, acting has been a serious passion for as long has he can remember. After years on stage pursuing musical theater, Carson made his way into the film and TV arena by landing the role of Riley Sturgis in the TV series, Tweet: The Series, in 2015 for 5 episodes. Not long after, he booked the series regular role of Cole Reyes, in the Nickelodeon TV series, I Am Frankie. Carson has a BS in Neuroscience from Florida Atlantic University.

Growing up in Florida, Carson’s parents chose to homeschool their four children, which included an older brother, twin sister and younger sister. As a youngster, Carson went to a musical theatre class and was immediately hooked. “I knew right away I liked it. I was really focused on music from about age eight, starting piano lessons, then guitar. I wasn’t working toward any goal, I just really enjoyed it.” Although he claims neither of his parents have any artistic leanings, he and his siblings all excel in the arts. His brother Connor is a gifted piano player who often works with Carson on music, and both his twin sister Carolynn and youngest sister Catherine are accomplished ballerinas who left home in their teens to study their craft.

When Carson was 16, he heard from a girl he had homeschooled with who was starring in a web series called TWEET. The show was looking to fill a role for the second season and she suggested he audition. He booked the role of “Riley Sturgis,” which resulted in several auditions with Nickelodeon, eventually landing him one of the leads in Nick’s first global series, I AM FRANKIE. After Carson finished filming the second season of I AM FRANKIE, he got a part in the Lifetime movie DREAM KILLER as “Bailey,” the love interest of lead character “Mia,” played by Taylor Castro, herself an actor-musician. The two hit it off immediately. “Taylor and I became close friends, we just really connected. She had written a song called “Don’t Know What to Say” and invited me to re-record it with her as a duet.” Fans fully embraced both song and video, and the chemistry between the two.

The pair soon found themselves in Georgia — Carson filming the upcoming Netflix series SWEET MAGNOLIAS and Taylor at the Savannah College of Art and Design — and writing music together. “Writing songs with Taylor is the greatest thing ever. We have a synergy when we write together and I think our work together is pretty unique.”

When he isn’t recording and writing new songs, or guest starring on the hit ABC TV series American Housewife as a football player with a secret, Carson can be found keeping his 4.0 grade point average intact as he finishes his degree in Neuroscience. “Since 2016, my career has taken off, so why not pursue what I love? But I need a plan B no matter what; if one day, I need a change, the option to go in to medicine will be there. I have a huge sense of pride in what I’ve accomplished so far, balancing my career with schooling, and I am just going to go wherever the road takes me.”

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On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.

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Scott D Clary, Carson Rowland


Scott D Clary  00:06

Welcome to the success story podcast. I’m your host, Scott Clary. On this podcast I have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, politicians and other notable figures, all who have achieved success through both wins and losses. To learn more about their life, their ideas and their insights, I sit down with leaders and mentors and unpack their story to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between. Without further ado, another episode of the success story podcast. Alright, thanks again for joining me. I am sitting down with Carson Rowland now, Carson. You may have seen him on tweet, you may have seen him on I am Frankie. And you will be seeing him on sweet magnolias, which is an upcoming Netflix series. Very excited to speak with Carson obviously, a long career in acting, but also just a very talented guy, a very talented individual. He has a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience from Florida Atlantic University. He is a talented musician. So if you check out his YouTube, which I just discovered, he’s an incredible singer. I’m not sure if he’s songwriter, but we’ll find out. But he does it also, you know, I’m really I’m really just excited to you know, learn your story, Carson, understand how you built out who you are today. You’re still you’re still relatively young in your career, but you’ve done a lot. So thank you for sitting down. I appreciate it.


Carson Rowland  01:33

Horace Mann, happy to be here.


Scott D Clary  01:36

Yeah, for sure. No, I really am just impressed. Because you’ve not only built out an acting career, you’re a smart guy to neuroscience, I’m assuming is not an easy degree to get through. I don’t think that anybody would ever say that. So you obviously, you obviously have some career plan set out for you. Now I’m your continues to expand. Walk me through who you are your story how you came to be? Everything? Let’s start from let’s start from day one and go from there.


Carson Rowland  02:12

Yeah, well, of course. So well, how I got involved in the arts was all my parents, they, my mom was a fairly artistic but never really pursued it. My dad is a is a doctor. So arts would never in our family before them. But my mom, when we were we being all the siblings were probably around four or five. They put us in like musical theater. And so that’s kind of what we did. And I fell in love with it. I mean, from a young age, I just I love performing. And I have vivid memories of me being six or seven just on stage performing and just falling in love with it. And so I pursued that. And my brother, who’s older than me two years older than me is also very, very talented, very artistic. And so he was singing and I was kind of following in his footsteps. And before long, we were booking these big musical theater productions. By the time we were eight or nine. And so we were doing small tours around South Florida performing which was just amazing. Mm. And that lasted for for quite a number of years. And then and then I I was always homeschooled during that time because of being heavily involved in musical theater. And then I decided to go to school. And then I was doing theater there. Also sports and stuff like that. But I really, really enjoyed performing and the one stage and entertaining. But that whole time, I never really envisioned it as a as a career option. It was just something I love doing. And that you mentioned tweet, which I haven’t thought of in so long. But yeah, luckily one of my friends who I did a musical musical with back when I was probably eight or nine or maybe younger mentioned my name to someone who’s casting tweet. And so I was I auditioned, I booked the role. And then a manager was on set one day. And she’s like, Hey, I would love to sign you. So then ever since that I’ve been auditioning. And that’s when it really my mind. My mind really changed on how I can use entertaining to be a career rather than just a form of expression in the form of pleasure. And while like through throughout this though, I like you said I have a degree are about to get my degree in neuroscience. I graduate in August. So not fully done yet.


Scott D Clary  04:29

But gratulations still, it’s still it’s still impressive. So don’t don’t don’t shrug off a bachelor’s in neuroscience. So and this is, you know, you’re doing this while you’re you’re doing this degree while you’re doing everything else.


Carson Rowland  04:42

Yes, exactly. And that’s been probably the most difficult part about my whole life the past four years and it’s been it’s been such a blessing in order to balance the two acting and in school because it’s just been the timing has been perfect because whenever I’m on hiatus from a show or not filming, I can always come back and do a semester in person or doing on online. I’ve been online for the past four years. So that’s just that’s been an incredible blessing. And even when I when I started gaining relative success in acting and performing, I always thought like, getting my degree was such a such an important thing to do. And also like a very, very strong backup plan. Like, like I said, Before, my dad is a doctor. And growing up, I said this before in a couple of interviews, and it’s just so fun, because my dad did this thing called rounds, he would go to the hospital and he would visit different patients and stuff like that, just check up on him, and he would bring his kids along. And so all the the patients would ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up. And of course, like, being with my dad, I would say a doctor. So I think that’s still on the table. I would love to. I mean, if if things don’t work out, like I have a solid solid plan v. So that’s, that’s, that’s awesome. But balancing the two was was really difficult because I there’s been see back in like 2017, I was in LA, I just I just finished the second season, of course, or the first season of I’m Frankie. And then a week later, after we wrapped I come back to Florida and I’m studying biochemistry, I’m selling organic chemistry. Yeah, something like that. That changed was really crazy. But I’m doing it is just such a blessing. It’s been been so fortunate to keep both like my artistic side. And my intellectual side occupied at the same time, which has been amazing.


Scott D Clary  06:27

That is some left brain right brain shit right there. That’s now, how do you or I guess my question is? Is there something in your in the way you just been schooled been raised your parents that have allowed you to effectively manage so much so different? Well, being successful at both, you’re graduating, you’re achieving some level of fame? Yeah, I What’s, what do you think? Is your trick, your secret that allows you to do both? Because for a lot of people doing one of those things is already incredibly difficult.


Carson Rowland  07:11

Yeah, well, I think and I was thinking about this and how this podcast is called success story. And I’m honestly so honored to be on this podcast just called this because I don’t I look at myself, and I don’t really consider myself a success story yet. But I’m


Scott D Clary  07:24

in the making. And the making is also acceptable.


Carson Rowland  07:28

I mean, it’s just so humbling to be on this. And I was thinking about this and just just the name of the podcast. And I really think this success doesn’t come from me. I really think it comes from my family and the culture My family has created. I mean, you look at both grandparents on my dad’s side, on my mom’s side, my mom’s side, my, my grandpa worked in construction. I mean, he worked a couple jobs, just try to like put food on the table. My grandma worked as well. I mean, just trying to raise the three kids and then my mom was the first one in their family to graduate college. And then look at my dad’s side, like my dad, my dad’s dad, my grandpa works, three jobs as well. And while the mom was taking care of six, six children, I mean, this, the success doesn’t start with me. I mean, it starts with with my family, and like how hard I mean, I’ve worked hard to get where I am, yes, but my grandparents have worked infinitely harder than I have. And because of that hard work, and because of the hard work, both my parents might, my dad was the first one to go to graduate school. He went to medical school, paid, paid as a, paid his undergrad, paid his medical school himself. And because of his hard work and dedication, I was able to pursue the things I love to do. And that’s the success here that’s like the success isn’t me successes, the successes of my family and how they groomed this culture, in my in my personal family to let us accomplish amazing things. And you look at my I have a twin sister, who, at the age of 14, moved to New York City to train to be a professional ballet dancer. And then right when she turned 18, she moved to LA back she moved to LA together to dance with she danced with Los Angeles ballet while I was pursuing acting. And I have a little sister who’s just the most incredible ballet dancer who is now in North Carolina training to be a ballet dancer. And she’s just She’s won all sorts of competitions is getting global, has been recognized globally for her for talent and ballet. And I have my brother who is a collegiate baseball player and is now starting his own business. I mean, it’s not just it’s not just me, it’s my family who’s really created this and, and I honestly, like you said the secret the secret is my family and we’re in the the culture they created and how they they’ve really supported what I what, what my interests are. And I know in the beginning when I first started gaining success in acting when I booked the Nickelodeon show, I’m Frankie, my, my whole family, grandparents, aunts and uncles included when I was out in LA. They’re like, Carson when you coming home you to study, come on, get your degree, like what’s going on. But then my dad calls me and he goes, Hey, look, I work 60 hours a week. And it’s really tough on me emotionally stressful. You know, it’s just,


Scott D Clary  10:00

it’s physically too, it’s gonna wear you down.


Carson Rowland  10:03

He’s actually put himself in the hospital because he’s been so stressed sometimes, which is a hard job. And he’s done that for his kids. And he said, Man, look, if you can make a living doing what you love to do, go for it. And so having that, from from the same from like, he’s, he’s probably my favorite man in the world. I mean, just having him say, that was just incredible. And having him fully engage in what I love to do. I mean, that’s, that’s the success. And he’s been able to groom me to, like, work my hardest. And I know it sounds cliche, but it’s just, that’s what that’s the success here.


Scott D Clary  10:38

Yeah. It’s a good answer. And it’s an I appreciate the answer a lot. I think it’s, it’s incredible that you’re, you’re understanding like, what like all the contribution and just I like the word, the culture, the culture, the family drives, success drives performance. Now, when you start on a new path into a new, a new venture, like, say, venture like acting, singing, these are things that your family does not know. But you’re still you’re still killing it in these in these, these initiatives. So what, what steps do you take to understand how do you align yourself with the right people who know, because you’re still young in your career, you want to be successful. But in particular, when you’re going into acting? It’s not like you even if you’re going to another industry outside of medicine, right? There’s a lot of defined paths that you can take. You see so many issues with people that could that get successful at a young age, especially in the arts. So how do you make sure that that doesn’t happen, that you align with the right people, that the people that you know, are managing your career and whatnot? Obviously, your parents have an interest? They don’t know what they don’t know. Yeah. So So who do you find? Where do you go? How do you make sure that everything sort of lines up properly?


Carson Rowland  11:52

Yeah, of course. And so like, when I first moved to LA, I did have friends out there and that were quality friends from from the Nickelodeon show I did. And that’s, that’s the most important thing is finding people that are doing what you love to do, or doing what you’re aspiring to do and kind of emulate them. So I had some friends that are really successful. And I just asked questions, and I was on, I was on the phone figuring out like, what to do before I moved out to LA had had a list of people that I wanted to connect with, I sent several emails just to make sure like I was doing the right thing, because it I mean, like some it’s it is a shot in the dark, essentially, I mean, you’d have to really set a path and I hate my the thing I hate most is just is the future and how ambiguous it can be. I love knowing what is happening. And so moving out to LA and having kind of this thing that’s just up in the air was it was a real, I mean, it was tough, and was a real struggle. But I was able to connect with really good people. And that’s the thing is having the support system intact. So if things do go wrong, and you have this kind of emotional,


Scott D Clary  13:00

it’s a network. It’s like a strong network.


Carson Rowland  13:02

Yeah, exactly. And there was a time in LA where I was, I was sitting around for I mean, I was auditioning, but things weren’t going my way I was in acting classes, you know, trying to make myself just kind of grow myself and learn my craft more and things don’t go my way. I mean, it was tough. I was just every audition was not heard nothing back for like four or five months. And it was it was tough. And I know, you talk to any actor in Hollywood, and they’ve been through that. And it’s the rejection is is really hard. And that’s why a lot of people in Hollywood kind of go down the wrong path. And that’s why it’s so important, especially in Hollywood, to find those good friends. And I was I was fortunately able to do that. And I’ve made some of my best friends just kind of growing ever. But we’re all going through we’re going through a similar same time and we can empathize with each other and just through that experience, yeah, we I made some of my best friends.


Scott D Clary  13:57

And then when you and that’s a very good lesson for quite literally anybody in any industry or anything starting out like the network, like just aligning with the right people learning emulating, like, these are all very good things. And it’s good that you’ve learnt them that I think that’s very important. Yeah. Now, as you grow your career, is it is it strategic, in a sense, where you know, you’ve ventured into music now? I, you know, sweet, sweet magnolia. I have no idea what that that’s really about. I’m gonna I’m gonna probably not watch it because we spoke. But I mean, like, was that purposeful? Was that a purposeful move in a career for an actor to move into a type of show like that? Was it just the next opportunity that came? Was the music something that you’ve always wanted to do? Or was that a purposeful move? Because that’s part of like, you know, your persona, your brand. How do you make those decisions in your career when again, it’s not defined? I’m curious like what you go through?


Carson Rowland  14:53

Of course, so what happened with music I filmed a small Lifetime movie, and the producers of She’ll also owned a record label. And so their daughter was starring in the movie as well. So I bring my guitar to set sometimes, and we’d sing and mess around. And then a couple months later, they’re like, hey, we want you to do a duet with our daughter. And so we sang the song. And after they’re like, Hey, we love your voice. We love your sound. Do you want to sign to the record label, and that was just, that was amazing. Because I was in I was in school at the time in South Florida. And it had kind of nothing going on the we just finished the season two of the Nickelodeon show, it was just it was really slow. And I was kind of gearing back towards Okay, medical school is the option. But I was able to find this. Find this outlet to do something that I’ve always loved. Like I’ve I’ve been taking guitar lessons and piano lessons since I was seven years old. And I always had this fascination with music and with writing. And so I was huge into writing poetry and writing songs. And so finally, I was giving this I was given this outlet to write something meaningful and personal and kind of give it to the world, which is just an amazing opportunity. And then, so when it comes to the Netflix show, I was in South Florida in school, I was taking organic chemistry to genetics, I mean, just like you name it, like all of these, these tough classes is drowning in schoolwork. And I booked this movie, this other Lifetime movie. So I was filming that and in school at the same time. So I was driving to Miami, filming driving back taking the exam. It was It was nuts. It was crazy. So super busy. But I love staying busy. So while I was on set, there was this guy there who said hey, like, you need to tap into the Atlanta market. Because I was in LA. I was in South Florida that Miami market, but I haven’t explored the Atlanta market and Atlanta. As you probably know, it’s just as the hub of film right now. I mean, everything films there. And I said, okay, like, what, what do I do and he just like, just just send emails, like I go home that day, I send emails to five different agents, three respond. And then I get on a phone call three days later with one of the agents is like, Okay, this agent seems, seems awesome. And that, and then, literally a month later, I booked a Netflix series. So, um, I attribute that to just, you know, just getting out there and like that can be brought in into a to another theme, which is just like, you have to just put yourself out there. I mean, it’s a shot in the dark, essentially. But if you don’t try you never know, um, if I wouldn’t send those emails like, I wouldn’t be here right now, you know. And yes, called a stroke of luck, call whatever you want. But it was it was an incredible turn of events, because I was I was ready to just stay home, stay in Florida and just go to school. But because of this, I mean, it was just it was amazing. And when I booked this, actually, the audition process is really funny because I, I also I really like politics, and I was working in DC at the time I’ve several interest. It’s, it’s, it’s crazy. So I’m completely branched out call me a renaissance man, if you will.


Scott D Clary  17:53

But I want to, I’m gonna, I’m gonna let you finish the story. But I want to just say two things before we keep moving on. Sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt, but this is a really good point. The first one is you mentioned where you just took action on you sent an email out, and you said call it luck. It’s, I want to highlight that when you do take that action, it’s never luck. If you’re sending it those emails, if you’re doing whatever you’re doing. And the reason why I keep trying to bring out and sort of, you’ll notice, like when I speak through some of the things I try and just bring up the context so that it’s applicable to more that wider audience and somebody who’s trying to go into acting. I like to bring out like those lessons like those life lessons. Yeah. So when, you know, the theme here is you’re taking action. You’re you’re you basically are putting yourself out there and things are coming your way and people look at the end result people look at, you know, three Well, I guess I’m not sure if tweet was considered a big production but it’s still like it’s still something on your credit. And then you have you have in frankia suite Magnoli so now you have now you’re on Netflix like so people look at you’re like, Oh my God, he’s so young. Like how did he become successful? It’s not it’s not luck. It’s just you keep doing and you keep and you keep putting yourself and you keep taking actions. And then this is the end result of those actions. These are like you know, this the stars are aligning only because you’re making you’re making the effort you’re putting in the work definitely and then that’s the result. And that’s I just want to double down on that because like I think you don’t give yourself enough credit because you’re not a people that don’t take action and expect results is too damn high. So that’s the one thing I just wanted to sort of double click on but yeah, sorry, can continue. It was a good story.


Carson Rowland  19:28

Yeah, you’re exactly right. I’m like I’m like I said when I was I was in LA for around a year and just things were just just rough. I mean, it was so bad. And then I came home and kind of just reevaluated everything and talked to my family was like you know I’m going going back to school I can’t do this anymore. And and I said if you give a shout out to like all my friends who didn’t go back home and didn’t do the thing I did and they’re staying out there and living their dream. I did eventually go back out there because work riding back out there but um, I did I mean I essentially gave up if you will, but through just when I, when I was home, I kind of just mentally cleared my head and just realize, like know that this is this is my passion. And that’s why I kind of started getting back out there again. And the results have been been incredible just because of yet, like you said, just putting myself out there and not really caring about the consequences, because acting in life is just a game of rejection, and everyone experiences it. And luckily, I’ve been fortunate to have had more yeses, or had several yeses in my in my short career. But I guarantee you down the road, there’s gonna be a lot more nose.


Scott D Clary  20:34

But it’s still about it’s still about, you know, it’s about it’s a numbers game at the end of the day. You’ll appreciate this, I was sincere into politics, I was speaking to Anthony Scaramucci. And one of the one of the life lessons, the insights that he gave over was, it was a baseball analogy. But the the long story short is really just, if you go up to bat, you know, 100 times and say you hit five home runs or whatever, it’s you’re still hitting five home runs, right. So that’s much better than somebody going up to bat 10 times and hitting three home runs even though they’re batting average, you know what I mean? So, and he said it much more eloquently than me. And I’m not actually a huge baseball fan. So but I just wanted I’m more a hot I’m sure on on hockey. So like, bear with me here but like, but still, it’s it doesn’t matter how many times you try it matters the results. Really that’s it at the end of the day. So if you sent out 2000 emails, and you got one Netflix series, and then somebody sent out 100 And maybe they got something that’s a little bit less, I don’t know, spectacular. As part of like their 100 emails they sent out. You still come out on top. And and in life, you have unlimited chances to to do right you have unlimited chances to put yourself out there too. You came back you took a break, whatever you mentally reset, but you didn’t quit that day. You kept going.


Carson Rowland  21:57

But yeah,  analogy. Not everything’s our home runs to like sometimes, you know, yeah. Like, especially enacting, like, tweet was a single, you know, it put me and put me on first base put me on the map. And then later on, like, maybe you hit a double and then run scores. So yeah, it’s all it’s things happen in incrementally. It’s not necessarily a homerun. But like everything is a notch in your belt is is a credit on your your resume. And that’s what counts. I know I have a friend who’s just she’s the one of the most talented actresses I know. And she she’s it’s been rough, it’s been hard for she she can’t book anything. But what she did was like, you know, screw it, I’m gonna work in production. So now she’s writing scripts now she’s she’s paying on set now she’s helping you lighting and stuff like that. It’s it’s, it’s incredible. Because she she loves the industry so much. And she wants to stay connected. And I know like for her, the next thing is around the corner, you guys will all know her name in five years, because she’s just she’s so dedicated and work so hard. And that’s, and that’s and that’s incredible. You know, you just have to kind of take those baby steps Learn, learn your passion inside and out from the front of the camera and behind the camera and whether whatever you do. So yeah,


Scott D Clary  23:06

not very good. So, so Okay, so you mentioned that that’s sort of how you got into music. It was like, accidentally on purpose. But you just, you know, that’s good. Now for for Netflix for sweet magnolias. I don’t know if you touched on that, but maybe just a little bit more about how that came, came to light. How that opportunity delay said you were emailing a whole bunch of people and this sort of opportunity presented itself. How do you secure something like this? Because I’m pretty sure a Netflix show is like, is it just an email? And then they say, yeah, we’d like you. We watched your, your demo reel. And you know, we want you we want you on or is there more to it than that? Because I think Netflix is where people are trying to go right now.


Carson Rowland  23:51

Yeah, it’s it’s it’s way, it’s way harder than that. Um, so I sent an email to an agent and several agents and a couple of responded and I ended up signing with one of the one of the agents and then so agents could get you auditions. So now is basically everything’s kind of virtual. So you put yourself on tape, read a scene and then send it to the casting director and then they evaluate and see if you get a callback etc. So I was the the audition process for sweet Tango is I was I was working in DC for a congressman. And so I got I got this this audition. And then I get home from from work and working in the cat on Capitol Hill and set on my iPhone, have a call somebody at the same time. So they’re reading the lines while while recording. So it’s all over like over FaceTime while recording and I do the lines while using a coat rack as an eyeline. And so I send that in and then a couple days later I hear I hear that I got a callback. So I’m from DC, I fly to Atlanta, and then I get to the callback and then I got the role but I’m preparing for that callback is really a It’s really nerve wracking because you go into a room with five producers, directors, writers, and you just got to do the scene and you walk in, you walk out. And I can tell you right now, like I never prepared, I knew that I knew I was right for the role. And so I prepared so much for that one, one audition, or one call back. And going in there, I kind of like to look at auditioning as, like handing someone a gift, because like this is, this is my craft, and no one is going to read that script or perform that role like I am, because I’m unique. So I created this, this gift I handed to them when I walked out. And luckily, they resonated with it. And I booked the role and that was just it was an incredible experience and working with everyone on that show was just completely surreal, because I’m working with these people that have been in the industry forever. I mean, you look at people like Heather Headley, who was a Tony winner and a Grammy winner Joanna Garcia switcher who has been on everything from riba to Pretty Little Liars, Gus, curly. It’s just been working with these people and seeing the way they operate is how I’d become better as an individual and also better as an actor. Because watch just watching them back to you get something you just kind of you learn through osmosis, essentially, when you’re on set, when it’s asked asking questions to the director, or the producers, the cinematographer. All of that attributes to gaining more knowledge and learning the craft better. I know, our director Norman, who’s just one of the most brilliant individuals, we would, we would, he would give me a recommendation for a movie and I’d go home and I’d watch it. And then I’d come back and we discuss it. And that’s that’s how I learned probably more about cinema than I ever had in my whole entire life. Before that, we watched the movie, we’d come back and we would discuss and like discuss the themes, discuss the acting, discuss the cinematography, discuss different shots. And in the symbolism between everything and learning what I learned there was so consequential to developing I mean, my act like who I am as an actor, and who I am as playing as a person. I mean, movies are like books, they, you can learn so much through them. It’s just it’s just in a different light. And I am fascinated with when when movies teach me something. And I love that like, for example, the the movie, Good Morning, Vietnam, is kind of like has influenced my view on entertainment in general, I love how in that movie. Robin Williams is just his there is the entertainer, and He’s entertaining these people who are in the Vietnam War. And he doesn’t realize what an influence he’s having until he stops being a radio host. And that’s my view entertaining, like, I want to be that step one of escapism to someone, I went to someone going through that hard time to turn on the television and or turn on the TV and see, see my face and get relief from that. I love that. And that’s why I tried to not be controversial and try to be kind of shooting straight because I want people to see me as that that form of escapism like like,


Scott D Clary  28:00

that’s a really, that’s a really self aware view. I appreciate that a lot. I’ve never really, when you say it, it makes a lot of sense. But I don’t think I’ve ever heard that phrase that way from somebody who is in entertainment, like to understand Understand, I guess the the influence that they have, because being self aware is very important. Yeah. And to miss out on that, I think, is why a lot of people get into trouble on online and not just in entertainment. Anybody who has any sort of influence who just doesn’t understand how people perceive them. Totally, very nice thing to Yeah, go ahead, sorry,


Carson Rowland  28:35

no, you’re good. I totally agree with people who want to establish a platform and use their platform to push policies or push ideas that they believe in, I totally respect that. But for me my ideology and my vision for myself as a, as a public figure, and as an actor is I want I want that to be that form of escapism. And that’s what I’ve established as my ideology. And that’s what I’m going to pursue.


Scott D Clary  28:56

See. That’s, that’s very noble. And I really do hope that you you carry that through, because I think that I think that, for better or for worse, probably for worse. people either don’t establish that and they don’t understand that. If you’re going to have that level of influence, you do have to have a brand and a brand is not a cheap thing. A brand is something that you embody and everything that you do. And, and even like that’s something that I’ve sort of even with this podcast I’ve tried to figure out and struggle with because I like speaking to so many different types of people. And then that’s why I sort of double down on these agnostic lessons because I want to tap into entrepreneurs, I want to tap into the arts, I want to tap into politicians, and I want to take the insights from the gamut of things that I just find interesting and impressive and people that have done stuff with their life and like pull out those life lessons because that’s how I learned. I love I like my background is in sales and marketing whatnot, but I like reading books. I like watching you know YouTube videos I love I love you know podcasts, Netflix, like so many things you can learn out of that, that are not just in line with what I’ve done in my career, right? There’s so many other things that you can pull out of a successful individual. Like, that’s, that’s really what I hope to achieve with this podcast. So I’ve sort of also tried to do that. But I appreciate that you’ve, you’ve consciously thought through it. And like everything you’re putting out that’s like who you are. That’s your persona. Very impressive. That’s very good.


Carson Rowland  30:27

Thank you so much. And I hope you I hope I can help you accomplish your goal because podcast.


Scott D Clary  30:33

No, you are you really are. Because I think there’s a lot of lessons that as I sort of asked questions, I just asked questions that I would want to understand. That’s really it. And then I try and sort of be that, that, I guess, that context provider because I’m the layman in most circumstances, and I don’t, I understand to a point, like I understand enough, where like, I’m dangerous, but I don’t understand all the ways. So like, I try, I try and try and bring out a couple extra things. I’m very good. So so that that makes a lot of sense. Let’s, um, let’s understand where like, where do you think or for an actor or for yourself? What is the next step after being on a Netflix series? Where do you want to take a career? Where would it be smart for someone to take a career that wants to build a presence? Is this the point where people start coming to you and you no longer no longer have to go out and find things? Is that are you at that point yet or not?


Carson Rowland  31:28

I don’t think so. No, I’m the goal is to get to that point. But I think right now, I think the age of the movie stars are dead. I think there’s just there’s such a it’s never been easier to be a working actor. I was I was told that by someone I really respect like four years ago, because there’s a there’s there’s so many platforms, now you have all the streaming services, you still have all the network TV, which looks like it’s it’s kind of dying out, but you have all like indie films and, and feature films. So there’s, it’s never been easier to be working actor. But that being said, the the, there’s so many more people auditioning, and there’s so much more talent brought to life now because of this Information Age. Um, and so like, so my next step would be just figuring out how I want to what I want my career to look like. So I’ve been sitting down with my manager a lot, and we’re talking about what are the next steps and we’ve established that I think this year, we’re just we’re gonna make the decisions we want. We want we want to make quality except the products that are going to make me look better. And to groom me as the actor I want to be I want to be a respectable, respected actor, I don’t want to sit on a television series like should I can remain but like Grey’s Anatomy for 12 years, like I don’t, I don’t want to do that I hate sitting still. And I hate doing the same character for 12 years. So I think we want to grow me into one of those award winning actors, I want to be groomed into a indie film actor that that acts in these really high budget or medium budget films that will go make the rounds that at Sundance or the Oscars, hopefully, um, but that’s what that’s, that’s my that’s my goal. And that’s my vision, I think. We have to accept the roles or audition for the roles that are going to push me to that goal. And so, I mean, going back and making the broader theme here, it’s just it’s establishing that goals and knowing who you want to be seen as and who you want to be known as, um, I think I think we established that and sweet magnolias has been an amazing blessing because it’s pushing more pushing me towards that goal. And this, the show has been amazing. And the response from the show has been absolutely incredible. And I think yeah, this is this is a huge like, this was a homerun, but it’s also a stepping stone to accomplishing more goals that I want to do.


Scott D Clary  33:46

Do you think that the future of media in general, is is more focused on Netflix and streaming? Or do you think that like, what is that path for somebody who is in it? Because I completely agree, it’s never been easier to at least have influence I don’t know much about the the process the intricacies, you mentioned some of them and becoming like that movie star, that actor, so to speak, but to have influence of a digital platform, and then we start blurring the lines of like, what is a movie star is you know, somebody who has 20 million subscribers on YouTube, when do they start crossing over into traditional because they’re their film, their their content creators, and they have a massive audience, but they’re not traditional, the traditional way, right? But also, then you have actors that are focused on more Netflix now as opposed to other other production companies. So where do you think the future is the future? Just a mishmash of everything and the person that can understand all the channels and mediums is going to be the one who wins?


Carson Rowland  34:44

Yeah, I think I think that latter statement is probably the most correct because getting influences is a huge itself. So I know several people with with huge, huge social media followings that are it’s easier for them to book because no matter where they go They’re they’re seeing they, they bring a following with them, which is, which is huge. And I know for me, I don’t want to be seen as another social media personality, I want to be seen as an actor and as a serious actor. So when it comes to pushing different socials, or YouTube and stuff, I’m not a highly invested in that, because I want to I want my work to speak for itself, not my not my Instagram profile. But like you said, I think it’s definitely a mix of of it all. Because the person who understands how to correctly balance, all of that will, will definitely be uber successful. Because Because viewers are everywhere. I mean, they’re on YouTube, they’re on Instagram, they’re on TV, they’re on Netflix streaming. And whatever you do, whatever you can do to entertain or Captivate those viewers are is your, you’re going to get paid for it, and you’re going to grow an audience.


Scott D Clary  35:53

I appreciate that. And I think that also, I think that also, there’s other ways that create that, you know, you mentioned about being an escape for people, when they when they see your face, I think that it’s also important to create a, like a very intimate connection, which I find that social media is easier to do, then, then like a movie per se, like one when that when you have a Netflix or movie or even like a TV series, you don’t feel a connection with like, the person. But you see the people that I’m just thinking of one off top my head, like, even like the rock or something like that, like, you know, like, like he’s putting stuff out. He’s, he’s on Snapchat, he’s doing Instagram live streams, like, he’s doing all this stuff that’s like social. But he’s still known for the stuff that he’s known for. But it’s like, it’s. So I think that the different differences, where you create your main content, where your main platform is, and then you use everything else, like sort of augment your personality and be more personable? i That’s my opinion. I don’t know.


Carson Rowland  36:59

No, that’s great. And I know for like, we talked, I talked to my manager, a lot of how to establish myself, like as a brand on social media. And that’s exactly what I said I wanted to be, I wanted to be like, to want people to see who I am. When they watch me on TV. Like, I want them to come over here and get like social media and get to know me. I’m not I’m not going to post those extremely polished pictures with streaming photoshopped pictures, because I think that’s, that’s Wait, so 2015. So 2014 When people were growing a lot on social media are the ones that are just sharing what they’re doing right now, or what they’re taking a selfie at. I did something like that, and just making funny content and interesting content that I think fans really resonate with, because they’re seeing who they are, or who this lovers are as an image as an individual. And yeah, I like that idea, too. Because I want people to know me as a person, but also as like the entertainer.


Scott D Clary  37:57

Yeah, no, that’s I think that’s important. So the only thing I wanted to ask like, I guess, what are you what are you going to? Because after I asked this, I’m just going to ask like some life lesson questions that I like to bring out from people. Yeah. What would you like to focus on? Because obviously, between them? Like, is it going to be the music? Is it going to be more acting? Is it? Is it both? I don’t think you’re going to, are you going to go finish your masters, PhD, whatever, you’re going to go practice. So what what is your game plan for the next five years?


Carson Rowland  38:33

Can you plan for the next five years. So in regards to music, that music is more like something personal to me. I’m not making it for any person. I’m just making it because I love to make it and what I write about and my songs are, are personal to me. And it’s not geared towards becoming the next you name it. Vocal artist. It’s just because I’m writing what I want to write, producing what I want to produce. So that’s a lot different than any to acting acting. I definitely see that future and like, like I said, my goal in the next five years is probably to to be in those films and be recognized as a professional and then acting arena. But yeah, so that’s, that’s hopefully the goal, the next the next five years. Book a couple more. A couple more movies, a couple more shows. Yeah, and just trying to try and establish myself. A good reputation in Hollywood.


Scott D Clary  39:31

Very good. No, that’s, that’s good. Um, okay, so I guess life life lesson questions. First one I like to ask if you could give over one life lesson that you’ve learned across your career that would help anybody. Maybe just accelerate their career a little bit quicker, maybe manage your life a little bit better, be happier, whatever it may be. Just one really strong life lesson. What would it be?


Carson Rowland  39:58

Yeah, okay, so um, One of my son Norman Buckley, the director of our show said this thing to me after I made a stupid mistake on set he said humiliation is the is one of the greatest teachers and I kind of edited that to say humiliation and failure are some of the greatest teachers because I know for me I am very let’s see, I am out there like I can I kind of put myself out there like I said, and get see the results and I’ve been humiliated I’ve humiliated myself several several times. And probably a better a better term would be self humiliation. Because I’ve done some stupid things and then I was extremely embarrassed by it you know, you can make make apologies for him and stuff like that. But that taught me some valuable valuable lessons and same thing with failure. So I would say self humiliation and failure are some of the greatest teachers


Scott D Clary  40:50

but also also the point you made is learn from that yeah, that’s that’s the that’s the major sort of just keep the mistakes back by your by your but that’s that’s a good one that’s a very good I’ve I’ve heard that said different ways but I’ve never heard humiliation because humiliate failure as a teacher humiliation is something is enormous teacher. Yeah, it’s a different feeling.


Carson Rowland  41:10

And I know when I’m when my when our director Norman said that I was kind of I went home and was just thinking about it all night, because I It sounds controversial, but when put it in a specific instance, can be extremely, extremely helpful. And it can groom you to mature faster and aspects that you never thought you could.


Scott D Clary  41:29

And and I think that it’s fair to say that there’s not a single person out there that hasn’t screwed something up or been absolutely embarrassed about something they’ve done. So, you know, leverage that, leverage that feeling and take it with you and make yourself better because of it. Yeah, definitely. Another thing that I would love to, to pick your brain about and ask you about a resource, a book, a podcast, a person, something that you enjoy, to learn from, it could be a movie could be Netflix, I don’t care, just some context about how how you’ve sort of incorporated that or learn from it. And obviously as a resource for other people to to learn from?


Carson Rowland  42:11

Yeah. Um, so this is my favorite book. A lot of people have read it probably in high school. It’s called The Catcher in the Rye. Yeah, yeah, it’s my all time favorite book. I’ve read it several times. And there’s there it’s a brilliant book. I mean, there’s so many themes hidden throughout that, that novel that are just mind boggling. And that’s why I find myself reading it over and over again, because every time I catch something, but the the overall premise and the overall theme that is, is the this aspect of innocence, and how the lead, Holden Caulfield is, is trying to hold on to this innocence, and he can’t, he can’t let it go. And in the end, the last this is probably spoiling it, who haven’t read it. But his his, his younger sister, who is, is kind of the symbol the symbol for innocence throughout the whole show with her throughout the whole book. And she steps on this carousel and reaches for the golden ring. In the book, he says he was going to go grab her and save her from from falling, but she grabbed it. And then that’s kind of how the book ends. And the idea being that if you, if you try to coddle this innocence, and try to hold on to it, you’re not gonna accomplish anything. You have to reach for that golden ring in order to do something. And I love that theme. And I don’t think people people read the book and they they’re like, oh, wow, this is depressing. This is this is like seriously dark. But if you understand the concept of the book, it’s, it’s brilliant. It’s brilliant. So give that a read and honestly look up on you can just look it up on the internet the themes in it because you’ll look at your themes beforehand and then read the book because understanding the way that he articulates These themes are just brilliant, and I love that book.


Scott D Clary  43:54

I like that example a lot. That’s not a book that I normally hear. I know the book I think I also read it in high school it’s been around for some time now. But But I like that you pulled out those themes because I think we hear those themes like so often like you always hear like if you don’t go for it you’ll never like if you don’t again if you don’t know I just I was saying if you don’t take action you know you’re never gonna you’re never going to achieve so it’s been said like a million different ways your remove innocence but it’s also like your move you’re moving ignorance and and you’re removing, you’re moving all the things that like stop you from moving, moving forward. So I think that that’s a really, really good lesson. And I actually that forgot about that book completely. I haven’t even thought about that book for years. So that’s I like I like being brought that out. That’s like that is a classical example.


Carson Rowland  44:40

Yeah. And in the whole book, I mean, holding is established as this depressed this. He thinks he’s just better than everyone else, because he’s not. He just he feels trapped. And the thing is, he’s busy because he’s trying to coddle this innocence and the reason why that book is just is so immense. And the aspect of that simple, that simple theme that we hear so many, so many times is because it broadens this character in this narrative that this, this main character is depressed and he’s not doing anything. And he’s not doing things life, but he thinks he is, but he’s not. And so he doesn’t realize to the very end of the book, that he actually needs to reach for that golden ring in order to do something. And that’s why it’s so powerful. Because if you just say, put yourself out there and good things will happen. It doesn’t hit as much as when you hear when you have this 102 100 page book that talks for 190 pages about the consequences of not reaching for it.


Scott D Clary  45:35

Yeah, very, very good. I like that one a lot. Okay, that’s all that’s all I got. If people want to learn more about what you’re working on, connect with you or you know, website, Instagram, where do they go YouTube?


Carson Rowland  45:50

Yeah, I just at Carson rolling on Instagram and Twitter. That’s all for today.


Scott D Clary  45:54

Thanks again for joining me on another episode of the success story podcast. You can download or stream this podcast wherever podcasts are available, including iTunes, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, I heart, radio, and many others. You can also watch his podcasts on YouTube. If you haven’t already. Please subscribe and share this podcast with your friends, family, coworkers and peers. Please leave us a rating on iTunes takes about 30 seconds as it allows other people to find our podcast and lets our amazing guests reach even more people with their message. And remember any rating is fine as long as it contains five stars. I’m Scott Clary from the success story podcast, signing off


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