Ep. 160 – Season 2 Finale Allen Clark

You’ll die trying contain sensitive subject matter and conversation surrounding death and dying and may not be suitable for all audiences listener discretion is respectfully advised.

Parting is such sweet sorrow? It is it’s, it’s sad. It’s like my junior year of high school. It’s the last day you know, Field Day in elementary school, we all got our ribbons and they don’t do that anymore. Because, you know, not everybody gets a trophy. But this feels kind of like that. This is this season that is that is coming to a close. We have

put out

episode after episode weekend and week out, meeting you where you are and you where I am. And I’m grateful for that.

And since I’m obsessive compulsive, there’s no better way to end a season than on an even note. Write an even number because who wants to end on odd? That’s odd.

It’s odd. Yeah.

Hold tight because this is this is. This is the final chapter of season two episode 160 of you’ll die triangle show which has and will always pull back the curtain and take down the walls brick by brick. just expose the true hearts of those who are caring for those you love most.

The funeral director

Let’s go.

Big turkey for the coffee

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supporter supporters of this podcast. Thank you, each of you for an incredible and incredible season and the season that we are in has been a wild season you were a part of this Tik Tok thing. I don’t even know what to call it at Nathan Morris music were in just a short six months, the noise became so loud a hard reset had to be pushed. And a breath taken a moment to mend the ship. And mending I am being a funeral director is a beautiful service job calling ministry. work of mercy what you want to define it. It’s beautiful that there are people that I work alongside that do this night and day. And I hope that you have something to do to combat the thing or things that you put in your backpack, the emotional, the unseen, right. But the filth people ask a lot on Instagram at Nathan Morris, they’ll send messages and say, You know I love doing this but I can’t on. I can’t unpack it. I can’t let it go. And so what are ways that you cope? Well, I run and I write and I record and I perform and I travel and all those things. But I started to do all of these things and so much more than just put things in the boat to the point that the boat started to sink and take on water because I wasn’t tending to

the boat. The boats me by the way, that’s like, that’s the analogy I’m using. So


paused, emptied the ship, and I’m mending it.

My half two.

There’s a journey that I’m on that has been a quiet one.

Only those who are closest to me and the circle closest to me, have been made aware of I have always kept people at arm’s length. I always tend to Stonewall because you can’t get too close. Because if you’re not too close, you can’t hurt

me, you may do that. It’s a defense mechanism. And those of you who have been exposed or grew up in trauma,

you understand and if you haven’t that’s just a part of

a child’s way to defend themselves. They are strong. No, they’re not. They’re not physically capable of defending. So what they do is they turn inward.

The journey that I’m on is of course, a thick and heavy and


I can’t think of the word, but I’m on it. I’m being honest with you.

I’m okay everything is okay. And is going to be okay. Because what I’ve said, I do not fail, I will not fail and you

you won’t either.

You won’t either.

I need you to know that you’re worth it. You’re valuable. You’re invaluable. And


deserve to know that.

I recently

was welcomed by Alan Alan Clark, you

may not. You actually you probably won’t you see, that’s the beauty of Alan, and people who are creatives like him he is the beauty behind the lens. He is the mastermind

has taken photos of some of the most notable of people just beautiful and the way he thinks and people you you’ve seen his work and you don’t know you’ve seen his work? Well, now you get to hear his work because he and I sat and chatted, we had a nice little chat. And the thing about Alan is,

and you’ll hear he he truly does meet and you and me where I am. And he cares. And he follows up with texts and checking on and

he has this awesome podcast and he talks about photography and he interviews people and talks about their

their line of work or their philanthropic

service. Well, I just so happen to follow a doctor on his podcast. It’s pretty ridiculous. He did this on purpose. But he asks a very, a very poignant and very honest question.

I’ve listened


everybody welcome to the photo when taking podcast and on today’s episode, we are interviewing and talking with our friend Nathan Morris. Hey, Nathan, how you doing, buddy? What’s going on? Oh, it’s happening on difficulties on my end. I mean, it’s always it’s always this way. The last funny the last episode that I recorded was Dr. Jennifer Love this love asaurus she says don’t do the French version. And she works as a curator at the Smithsonian. And we could never get her surface from Microsoft Surface to ever let us do video just kept jamming up. So we we ended up doing audio only. And I guess I’ll use what, like 20 minutes of video that I got for like social media, but it is always something and it’s interesting because coming into this, or coming from the pandemic or even going into the pandemic, you know, we all none of us thought we were going to be zoom web casting experts, and we’ve come out of this and I think everybody’s got a skill they can add to the end of their name now besides whatever they do like me, photographer, you musician, whatever you can now tag on to that, you know, some simulcast expert webcasts, expert, you know,

I’m kind of upset that I’m following a doctor, a learned doctor at that and you’re like, okay, yeah, I guess you know, we couldn’t get, we couldn’t get anybody. So we’ll know. I’m totally kidding. I think it’s funny. It’s like the first season. My high mark was like, it was like, Okay, here’s a NatGeo photographer. Here’s a NASA photographer. Here’s somebody that shows in New York exclusively exclusively. Here’s Michael Greco. He did The X Files photo. So the first season Michael Greco is the one who did originally back in the 90s. He’s the one that did any of the photos you’ve ever thought that you saw them in the hallway for The X Files. That’s Michael’s work. And so he was on the first season and everybody was just like, grief, man, and that’s some people asked to come on.

Do you remember the Polian dynamite movie? Yes. So Kip, the brother, you know the one that was always yeah, there’s always You’re just jealous. You’re just job that online. such tricks all day. So he he’s his name is Aaron rule. And he’s a photographer. And I asked him to come on the first season. It was, it was right when the pandemic was at its worst. And so I can’t remember what happened. I either stopped or he stopped or we could never get it hooked up. And so he he’s also a photographer. He was a professional photographer before he was ever on Napoleon Dynamite. And then

he became a director after Napoleon Dynamite start directing more commercials and commercial work and stuff like that. So we just never could link up but it was just weird how I was trying to really go for all different works. But he didn’t want to come on the podcast because he was just like a NASA photographer. And then me I don’t I don’t know, man. Like, he didn’t consider himself big enough. And I’m like, dude, anytime you’ve had anything where a million people know who you are, you’re fine. It doesn’t matter what you do. And so that’s

It’s been interesting for both of us, because now both of us on social media you and Nathan has had a pretty decent crowd looking at what we’re doing. And the main reason why we’re talking today is because of the journey that we both been on to this place. So just, you know, maybe let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about what you did when you were in high school. What were your you know, what were you were dreaming about? What What were the things that you liked? And how did you know how did that change as you got to where you are now, I think it’s really interesting, the fact that it ever really has changed, like the root of it, and I was little, I wanted to be a garbage man. And I loved how they could pull the lever at that time you stood on the back, and they held up the handle, and they would jump off the dump the dump truck, and they would run to the toaster and pull this lever. And then I wanted to be a magician and the magicians are doing these masks, just these magnificent sleight of hand tricks. And so I start obsessing over

creating an allusion and entertain people because I loved

that feeling that they received and the feeling I received from them receiving it. So there was something there. And then for the irony of a punishment, so to speak, Miss Harris made me come and sing in front of our music class. And instead of being punished by it, I was, I can sing. And she was like, oh, that didn’t work. And that was the trajectory for me. And that was at eight, nine years old and voice lessons followed was an athlete in high school, I was bored in high school, I was always thinking about and dreaming about what I’m going to be one day and

I could have kicked in high school football player could have kicked the one I could have done all these things. Instead, I went and I toured with a band two days after graduating high school, and then I become a mortician because I need a pretty girl. And I like being challenged. If I’m not being challenged, and I don’t feel alive. If I’m not pushing the ball up the hill, then I don’t feel alive. And then we had kids. And then I continued to create because I have to create. And then a pandemic happens. And I’m writing songs because I’m mentally ill, I’m not well, I don’t feel well. And because you’re working in funeral profession, and you’re surrounded by sadness, you have to get it out somewhere, it’s gonna get you. And then a video is posted unbeknownst to me on Tik Tok, which, by the way, I had a whopping 38 followers on Tiktok. I think the first two videos are just me walking in the driveway singing a song with my three year old, he goes viral second goes viral. And then you’re talking 20 30,000 followers a day every day for three months. And it was overwhelming. I was like, Oh my gosh. So we made a commitment to start posting content. That was intentional. And I realized that the eight year old and me realized that I was getting the dopamine from knowing that what I was doing was impacting people I was scared of death, or I was I just lost my mom or my brother just committed suicide, and you made them feel more comfortable and comforting. And then they went and they found all this old content, the content that had been previously released prior to getting off tour, and then now all the noises ensued, but it’s always been there this desire to invest in other people.

Interesting. You have come at this from almost like a true artists, because I think you’re coming you’re coming at this from the perspective of just, there’s no labeling. Like, I haven’t heard one thing about a labeling type of thing with you. And that can be good. And that can be bad. You know, the positives are that you can do a lot of things, the negatives are, is that you can do a lot of things. You know what I mean? And so that’s the toughest thing is just you know, as you go in this build, and it’s weird, because social media, I think only exemplifies or magnifies maybe a little bit more of who you are sometimes. And so that can that can be good. But like, the hardest thing for me has been like how do I? How am I more clear? How do I get this what I’m trying to say more clear, and the thing that I have discovered is, is that you just have to start first. That’s the best. That’s the most important thing. But you did that. So you did that already. And then then something viral happened about that. But then you kind of have to start from there going, okay, okay. All right. Now I’ve got all the boys in the yard came because of the milkshakes. So now what do I do? You know? And then you kind of have to figure out okay, well, what kind of content am I going to do? And what what am I going to say? And what am I going to seeing and what exactly am I going to show them and what do they want to see? And so there’s all this little combo of stuff that’s happening and you came into this?

Almost the same way it is right now. There’s nothing that’s changed like you just said a minute ago, that was the first thing out of your mouth. You know, nothing’s really changed since I was little because I’ve just been this way. You know what I mean? Like from the beginning, like there’s nothing different about me. Not things around me have changed. You know what I mean? I think there’s there’s something beauty

Because the first video was authentic, and and 100% authentic, and that is what people saw. So they were drawn toward the authentic version of me. So anything that is not authentic,

would not hit or reach for impact. So there’s are you saying, Are you saying that you feel like some of the stuff that you were doing was just super authentic? And that’s why it worked? Is that what you’re saying that everything that I’m doing is authentic. And I, it doesn’t have to be this level of great. There’s, there’s also a, I am going to, what’s the word I’m going to contradict myself and admit to but good is great enough to get it out? If I believe in it, if I’m intentionally and passionately

excited about what I’m saying or doing, and I put it out, I don’t, I don’t need it to be this perfect edit, you know, to be this perfectly lit. I don’t need it to be. Because if I do that, then I’m not capturing I’m not doing it’s just it’s a lot of getting ready to get ready at that point. Yeah, it is. Another reason that it hit is because it was just authentic. It was literally me fumbling over words. And then they’re like, Oh, this guy’s an idiot. Now like, I’m like, yeah, yeah, it together. Yeah, yeah, actually, that’s kind of the opposite of how I came into this. So I came at it from a different perspective. And that is,

my perspective was that I came from radio, I had a TV background, I went to school for that, I just kind of stumbled into music business. And then I just kind of stumbled into this doing photography and stuff like that. And it was always a love of mine. But somewhere along the way, I picked up narratives that were, you know, like coming from a production side of it, like where you had to have things be like this, and that you didn’t mention mistakes and that you didn’t talk about, you know, what piece of equipment broke in the middle of it breaking and stuff like that. So I kind of came at it from that perspective. And the struggle that I’ve had till this point has been

letting go of that, letting you know, letting that be letting it be okay, that it’s more authentic. I think, you know, even in photography, you know, my career in the beginning, even when I worked, I worked with film for 14 years, and then digital for you know, another 14 years. But up until you know what, five years ago, everybody was okay with Photoshop. Now, it seems to be a part of the conspiracy theorists on every level. And I’m like, you all know that. People don’t look like this on the front cover of Cosmo. We all know that. Right? Like, we all don’t lie, but but they act like it’s some kind of conspiracy, like, do you know that people have stretch marks and like, Yeah, but you know, the industry itself, or women or men, or whoever’s in charge, or the publisher, or the art director, or the photo editor has asked me to take those things out. It’s no conspiracy theories, just, you know, when it’s blown up on the cover of their magazine, it represents what they want it to represent. And you have to realize that about everything you look at every single thing you look at represents whoever it is, it’s putting it out there. And so they don’t want that. They don’t want that. Like before you and I started the day. I just said, Hey, can we turn this tweak that light move this over there? Do this kind of stuff. I’m not trying to make you look perfect. But you look pretty damn cool. You know? So that’s just I woke up this way. I think there’s something beautiful there with what you’re saying. All right. I totally for you know, if I show up to a photoshoot with you, and I look really tired. Absolutely. You need to take my dark circles out. I think that’s great. Because whatever you putting out there as a is, I don’t say perfect, but how we want me to be depicted in the best way with all the tools that we’ve been given or that have been created because of creative people. That’s beautiful. That’s what we do it with music and singing. I mean, Charlie Puth, perfect pitch, and he’s still auto trains. Think about that. That’s kind of dumb. But it’s kind of done. It’s used for a tool. Yeah. For two Oh, my point is is like there are all these different tools to utilize. If you’re intentional about it, then you will create that movement to get people on board. They appreciate it. I don’t Yeah, no, I’m with you. I’m with you. I think people have this idea about everything social media, or just life in general or videos or any kind of thing that’s going to be in front of somebody they have this idea like they’re confusing photojournalism with perfection, which is confused with authenticity. I think every moment by the way, tell the girls in the hallway to hush up

hear it on here. By the way, it’s

all the matters. Yes, it’s what happens when you work and all that matters.

But yeah, girls

used to do boys

you know, used to do it like I was at a job once and even the women would do this as a joke. They would they would start the women in the break room when they get really loud like the agents would start yelling when I was at way more silence they would start yelling in the hallway you think

aquatic habitat out there. And then they would start got all of them doing it at the same time that I’ll go.

Like they were all Hinz. It was really, when there’s 10 women doing it, it’s actually pretty funny. When you get 10 Different people all sounding like Hinze it was we all would always start laughing every time they and we have four awkward, lovely ladies that I work alongside. And this is the studio that’s connected to Kayla’s office. And, you know, they get together a couple of times a day and make sure that they, you know, fix everything. Well, I’m Miss working in an environment with people and we’ll take meetings sometimes outside just to have some kind of human contact because if not, I’m in this dark cave like constantly.

Where it’s not good for your mind. I mean, you saw everyone saw Castaway with Tom Hanks you saw what it did to him. Yeah, that’s talking to a volleyball with a bloody hand on it. He’s having to knock his knee that was a really good happened probably.

There’s a reason we had to do zone dentistry with ice this ice skate.

But backing up to what I’m saying is is that people confuse authenticity with photojournalism, which is confused with Photoshop and you know, trying to make things look better when maybe they don’t look necessarily good in someone else’s opinion or their opinion. And I’m just like, I even when I construct these moments, Nathan, when I’m shooting my shoots, which sometimes can be like that, I’ve got us, you know, I’ve got a costume designer, I’ve got a wardrobe stylist and I’ve got a makeup artists and I’ve got somebody just for hair. And then there’s four people and we’re trying to do covers or whatever. There is a goal to make everybody look the best that can possibly look. But at the same time, and we’re not. I think every even those moments are authentic, even though they’re built and constructed. I mean, I built it, I constructed it. How was this not also a real moment? You know what I mean? Like, this is also a real moment. I agree with that. We didn’t flip to wormhole all of a sudden, you know, this is or like, this isn’t on television only. Right? You know what I mean? Like this is? These are real moments. I think people get confused with what a real moment actually is.

Yeah, I think so too. I think you’re right.

Do you what is what’s a real moment that you’ve gone through recently was something that’s happened to you recently, where you were like, oh, man, this is not? This is not tick tock. This is this is not this is a real moment right here. The irony of tick tock, tick tock, you do this and you’re authentic and intentional about it. And then all this noise happens. You know, and you have the naysayers and you have always grown up I don’t want I don’t want to be friends with people. I don’t want everyone to like me. so confused, but I always want to be friendly to people unkind and in return, they reciprocate said kindness. Instead, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of noise. There’s, there’s a lot of good, but there’s a loss. Also a lot of noise. And, you know, people also are going to fall off. You know, we’ve talked about this, you know, the noise in the best way happens. Oh, Alan’s leveled up, let’s hate him now.

It’s that’s how I sad it’s sad when I know that I’ve got a video that’s gonna do really well. I’m not kidding. Nathan, when I know I’ve got a video. It’s got I’ve got one right now. It’s sitting at 1.8 million. And I’ve gotten know when the video is going to do well, because it’s people talk up and they show up and they start trolling and just talking shit and being negative. And I’m like, No, every time when the video is gonna do really well, that that’s what happens. That’s the first people to show up. And it’s so weird. You go to their accounts, and there’s zero followers, your friends and zero posts. And that’s usually because they’re just getting on there to be shitty or mean. And they’re getting on there to just take people down. Or, you know, some people are always like, Oh, it’s thoughts. And I’m like, really? There’s some evil mastermind in the background creating evil bots. I don’t know. I just think it’s people

have had a bad day. And it’s whether it’s their way of taking it out. It’s almost like playing video games or punching a punching bag. That’s, that’s what they’re doing to feel better connect. They’re hoping to connect with someone. And even if that means starting a negative interaction, they’ll keep it going just so that there’s an exchange. That’s the hook. I guess for them. Maybe that’s how they do it in their family. I don’t respond to that stuff. One person did right the other day, like, what’s wrong with your hair?

Like nothing that I know of that mean? Yeah. Johnny Bravo tall to the sky. But that’s me. And I think we as human beings need to just meet people where they are. And sometimes we we don’t. And that’s what is happened in the past month even. Yeah, so do you. You don’t look at the naysayers. You don’t let that affect you. Or you’ve gone through it already in you know, because like what happened to me was positive feedback. Everybody’s great. And then a couple of negative people and the one that actually affected me was a photographer who actually knew he was doing got on there and basically just was mean about my work and when

After me personally, and I just deleted the comment because I knew it wasn’t great for me. But I mean, look here I am still talking about it. You know, that’s probably like four or five months ago, Jacqueline took it down for me. And it just was like, I don’t

I don’t listen, I don’t why are we cow telling to these people? Why are we giving them because you never you’ve seen those accounts where they got a million followers, they’re doing great. And then they like pull up the comment and then respond to and I’m like, why are you wasting energy on these? These trolls these idiots? And I’m just like, what’s the point of doing that? It does no one any good? It doesn’t help you. It doesn’t help them necessarily.

Interestingly enough, I don’t know if you’ve watched I love Sarah. I don’t actually I don’t I really don’t love Sarah Silverman. I like Sarah Silverman, but I didn’t like or love her until she was on either a podcast or it was some social media thing. And she basically just said on Twitter when somebody is really an I’m talking anti semitic like horrible to her. Or just mean about her body shaming anything like that. She goes back to them and DMS them directly and ask them if they’re okay if they need anything.

And I was like,

Dude, that is that’s a that’s another level because we can we can not for mental health. What’s good for you? Doesn’t mean it’s good for everybody. Sara’s strong enough to do this, or at least right now she’s strong enough to do this. Is that a is that a way we can approach things? Because if we’re going to really make this any different, I think it was weird, because you knew you and I both went to church when we were little. And we know how that’s kind of driven into us about serving others, helping others and that kind of stuff. And man, I saw that. And that’s the first time in a while, especially with this subject that we’re talking about. I’ve seen somebody respond like that, like in her position who she is. I was like in tubs touched. I was touched by that. When that first started, when this first started, we were commenting on everything. And even the negative stuff that we would say thank you for your thank you for sharing your outlook. Thank you for sharing your opinion. You were heard or you were honored and all that. And so that dynamic and the tonality changed drastically. Now to the point if you go on and you are going to be negative the community that we’ve built on tick tock, I’m not kidding. They they push them out. So you have no you have no space here, you can actually go back and watch some videos and read some of these comments and you’ll see negative comment. And then everyone 100 people attack them in the sense of like, What are you talking about? Are you watching his hundreds of other videos, one that really bothered me at first was this 30 year, professional in the funeral profession who said that I’m an abomination to this, I did see that I saw that and I kept it. I kept it up there. I loved it. I think it’s important for people to share their opinions. Granted, he had no construction whatsoever. He’s scared, it’s obvious he is scared of this sacred profession being placed on social media for people to see, in a sense, I think that the 30 and 40 and 50 year veterans are scared that it will

demean their superiority.

Right. So if you’re in a small town, and you’re a funeral director and owner and like you are sounds really stupid, but when you have the supermarket you know, everybody you serve on the City Commission, you’re the guy or gal. But this time you’re the guy and you earn that you have the license, you have this and everyone’s come to you for three generations. And now some tall hair asshole isn’t going on social media, who did all the same things and does them arguably just as well, and is showing that the common folk can achieve what they had. And that was untouchable. And that scares the living shit out of them. And that’s real. I would say yeah, and how much of this do you think because um, you know, as to white guys.

How much of this do you think is just you know, got to know about your profession, but my professional photography has been ruled by us, you know, 70 80% white men for so long. It’s because they had the means to go get a camera and to buy lights and all this kind of crap. You know, one of the early conversations I had was about the

what’s the barrier of entry? That was the big that was the big buzzword it’s still kind of a buzzword in most professions the barrier of entry.

In years ago, the barrier of entry for me as a photographer was you had to have I don’t know man just even 5k 10k to even get a camera to get lights to get backs to get this to have this to promote that you know, whatever and you had to have a good amount of money to be able to do anything I always did everything organically off fight scratched and clawed for everything that ever gotten nothing was ever given to me. I know how much everything costs. I don’t I can’t say that about every photographer I’ve ever met. But our our profession has been ruled set

Only 5% white men forever? How much of that do you think is what this is? What you’re talking about is it’s not just people are threatened because of this new way of doing things. But it’s really all about barrier of entry. How much do you think that is? What it is for your profession, you are hired into the profession forever. You were born into it. We’re talking six generations. I mean, you can go back, it’s like six generations, seven generations of care, and it’s all men, I wouldn’t say primarily white men. Now you have you really do you have African American funeral homes, you have a Jewish funeral homes, those specialize in, you know, their, their faith community or their ethnicity or backgrounds. What the shift is, the barrier of entry for us is young females. So forever, it’s been men, man, men and six minute suits, and now you’re having females just dominate, I think over 80% of people coming out of mortuary schools are female.

Yeah, if you’re a big deal, dude, you look at, that’s a big deal. And they’re all in it. That’s amazing. And that’s actually that’s really good. Because now our bet, and then that’s the other flip side of this conversation, the barrier of entry, white men have held on to this for a long time cost you this much money to get into this professional. Yeah, and now the flip side of that is, now everybody’s included, the, the inclusive nature of this is just broken wide open. And there’s so many great people that can be a part of this for very little money. And that’s kind of the that’s what’s happened are proof that you can now get into this profession $600, a couple of lights 250 It is a ticket zero off of what it used to be. And that’s where you can get into it now. And you can, the other great thing about photography is you can get your money instantly.

There’s very few businesses that you can get money instantly, like I’m talking to instant now I’ve got corporate accounts, advertising, big money, things that are, you know, months in the making that are on 13th day net kind of stuff, which I’m sure you have some of that too. Or maybe that’s the way you have to deal with vendors. But that’s the same, you know what I mean? There’s, there’s that part of it, but this profession, you get money instantly. And so it’s it’s, it’s a different world, and people are kind of terrified in a lot of different industries for different reasons. You know, I can’t imagine that and I think your world is similar to

I’m not speaking to my creative side, I’m speaking to the funeral professional itself, but you can get in your stagnant and comfortable way. Right, shooting this way is how you get the result? Is the result the most exceptional result? Are you pushing yourself with different lighting techniques? Are you pushing yourself in the way in which you shoot and not sound like an ass am sure on how I’m saying this? But no, you just sound like a photographer?

Are you really doing that? Or are you just settling? And I think that that is what that level is people love. Anybody can spend $1,000 on some equipment, but they’re not going to be around very long. They’ll be on eBay within a month. Just tell

me tell me you’re telling me things. I already know you’re preaching to the choir.

I hope you hear. Yeah, well, that’s you don’t ever have to worry about me when it comes to lighting. There’s not one way to light I always say this. This is like half of what I say. Yeah, half of what I say is you know you cannot take three lighting styles and apply it to every single thing you do. And to me it’s almost like you custom fit my my look on lighting and photography is cut it custom fitting it to what the subject or what the nature or what the client is who they are and their brands. I don’t really like going my style and everything. Yeah, that’s kind of it’s a little needy look grabby for me. It’s a lot of people to feel heard though, too. I love that about you. Yeah, I think it’s Yeah, well, this is where I fit, and you need to fit here. And I think that we need to accept and hear and adapt to to meet people there. I don’t know. I think it’s beautiful. I think it’s beautiful. Because if you were shooting me, I would hope that you would have this element of Miss mystery. This element of all right, we have the gentleman the funeral director obviously selling this probably be in a suit but there’s also this like grit with the music. So we want to add that element. What does that look like? That’s what I was conditioned. And you know, I don’t want to be, you know, this bright, shiny glittery mess. I don’t think that that’s who I am.

Don’t think so. You know what’s funny now about how you want to shoot? Yeah, actually, I was already constructing it in my head when I first

do that would be so dope.

So Nathan Morris tell us, do you just tell us your name and tell us what you do for a living? I’m Nathan Morris. I am a mortician musician

that you’ve never heard that before. No

We’ll have and I love this because all I can think of all I’m thinking about right now is the social media flow. And you doing that is actually pretty, pretty cool. That’s a cool way to even sell this podcast.

Thank you for that, sir. But ya know, that’s such a unique thing. There’s so many things about it that are intriguing. It’s the same things, I think that are intriguing about it on social media.

You know, the big thing for me is, I don’t know, I don’t know how to classify you, because that’s what another part of my build is that I came up striving for perfection and no one let you know, in hearing these types of things, I remember hear that one song but 21 pilots about Lane boy.

If you’ve heard this song,

it’s he it his response to the labels telling him what lane to be in.

And so it’s I can’t remember, I don’t even know if I would love to be able to play it on here. And I think there’s a rule if you can play it for 20 seconds, or 10 seconds or something like that, but I love the lyrics of the song. And it’s just basically saying, just stay in your lane. That’s what he’s that’s where he got that feedback, stay in your lane. And if you listen to him one minute, they’re ska. Next minute, they sound like the police. Next minute, he’s singing all my was it all my heat,

I will take it slow. And then and then take it slow. It’s like a ballad almost. And it’s just and then it goes into, you know, like some kind of pop song. And then it’s just like, they’re all over the place. And he’s just like, I’m just gonna be me and do my thing. And that’s exactly what he’s done. They look, they haven’t had a problem. They are not struggling that is for sure. I think being intentional, being kind, being passionate about what you do. Don’t be a hack. Don’t do something because you think that’s what’s going to sell or that’s what’s going to be connected with because that’s not your true self. Want to drop a Malcolm Gladwell statement on your own. We’ll see how you think about this. And what’s your take on it?

One of my favorite things, he said, No, people are always going to the 10,000 hour thing. That’s one of his from his book, Outliers, which is a great book, by the way, if you haven’t read it, you need to read it. And it’s mainly about the amount of work people are always especially young people are always curious about when am I going to make it when it is when is this going to happen for me in this isn’t like a Bible, like the amount of like on the 10,000 hour it doesn’t go you know, and you’re like, I’m gonna be huge. The one of my things he ever favorite things he ever said was Love is the way in

that’s that I love that people always in, especially when it comes to songwriting, and you’ll relate to this, people have that idea or ideal, that love is the answer, because we’ve heard that phrase a million times. And he says, No, love is the way in.

And that’s a completely different state. And what do you think about that?

I think that when you are intentional, and show love the doors to someone’s mind, creativity, heart, body,

place of safety that opens up. And that is the way and

the way in to then make incredible things happen. That’s what I hear. Yeah, that kind of reminds me that Pete Townsend song, love my love open the door. When you I love that song, when you feel safe with someone and feel accepted to be your true self. And, you know, every every relationship, even if it’s as distant or as

general as social media connectivity, but it’s transactional, it’s going to give you this of me and in return, I get this. And with an intimate relationship, a friendship like yours and mine, it’s

I’m going to invest in your life. And in return, I if I am your true friend will invest in yours and not say,

Hey, how about that brand partnership?

There’s always that you know that that’s real and creatives profession in our profession, I think any I think any way of life relationship there are the one sides but relationships with we look at them as a transactional thing. They really are. Are you

are you giving

the value if you’re buying something for $100? Is your $100 thing worth $100 or worth 50? And you’re just cheating out another 50? It’s interesting. I don’t know if I don’t know if you follow the INIA Graham, say to get what you’re saying. And listen to me being the philosopher. I mean, like that’s philosophy. I think I’m just talking about like,

that’s a little Bill and Ted do is kick the

philosophize, philosophize, man. Okay, you can go back to being smart when you’re saying that is it for any elite group.

Yeah, I was gonna say the Enneagram. I’m not like that doesn’t define me. But like, there’s some traits and some of these things, the different things even Halloween even horoscope, there’s some things that are like you. But

the thing that I relate to the most is there’s one of the earmarks of being the helper, which I’m supposed to be to the helper.

I love like crazy, I love hard. And when someone else doesn’t do that, the same way that I do it, I get really upset and disappointed and even kind of shattered a little bit. And it lasts a little bit longer than normal. Because I would like for instance, let’s say you and I were doing pro bono for each other, I was doing some work for you, you’re doing some work for me. And we were going to trade mine. If my limit or my value is $3,000, I might give you 5000. That’s how I am. And then everyone else isn’t like that, then when they don’t do that back and then return that back, I get really disappointed, I get really upset. And that’s not me talking about that. But that is that’s not me talking about that, like as a warning to you. What I’m saying is, is I think sometimes there are unfair expectations that we put on other people, kind of based on our personalities, or some of our traits and things like that. And I think in the same way,

you can have an over perceived value of what your worth is sometimes like, you know, and sometimes that comes with entitlement when we’re yelling about entitlement with a younger generation or kids or whatever that’s actual, we’re talking about, we’re talking about an over perceived value of something like you know, what your value that you brought to this just really isn’t that great? You think it might be greater than it is? You know,

I was totally expecting nothing from anyone and you won’t be locked out. And I love it.

Anyone from anything? I don’t think I learned that right? That’s that sounds like a terrible that sounds that sounds pretty accurate. It’s like expect nothing from anyone or no one and you won’t be left out. And I think they’re strict there. I think if you gave with the intention of not getting in return, then you’re like, Okay, it’s great. It’s no big deal. No sweat off my back. I think but to me, I think that becomes a problem when that’s what happens to you every time. That’s when you’re ignorant. Yes. That’s, that’s kind of a deal. You’re dealing with yourself, not with other people. That’s the deal. You’re cutting with yourself. And I think sometimes people have that problem because they can’t see the difference between the deal they cope with himself and the deal they make with everybody else. Amen.

I think so therapy session, I was nice. That felt really good to me. That was a duality going on there. I was getting a lot of that too.

So tell me

so tell me.

What are some of the things about you that that maybe some some of your friends may not even know what’s give me give me one thing that about you that something that you are or something that you love that we may not know about you?

That’s good.

I come from a very broken home and multi generational abuse of alcoholics. Wow.

And I am not abusive, and not an alcoholic.

Yeah, that’s good. You broke that cycle. That’s, that’s incredibly powerful. That’s so powerful. And it’s honestly so hard to do. And everybody that’s gonna listen to this episode, this podcast will know how hard it is to do. But don’t think for a second that you can’t. It’s it’s real. And it’s something that I recall, I think was 15 years old. And I’ve written remember this, I was told that my great grandfather was an abusive alcoholic. Yeah, and then I go down on my granddad was that was or is.

But I don’t have to be made that decision that 15.

Yes, do I love beer? Absolutely.

But I, I don’t. I don’t have that as a as a challenge. I choose. I choose to reflect in anger instead of react. And I choose to step away for a moment and press pause and reset and all these other things. Not that I feel like I was struggle with you say something. I’m so punched in the nose. But 15 I made that I made that pack. Can you and I’m proud of it. And I really am. It’s three generations. It’s literally it’s probably before great granddad, think about it, and who might have fault them. You love them and accept the fact that they sucked with that as their decision and that they but there’s so much power. They have so much power because a lot of people who are in my situation circumstance would have been violent aggressors.

Drug addicts, alcoholics,

angry, hateful people that hate life. And I don’t, I’m proud of that. So, that is something that not everyone knows. But now a lot of people do.

And I’m okay. Thank you for sharing that. Thank you for sharing that that’s, you know, it’s there’s not a lot we could do to change our past, there’s not a lot we can do to change our history. But we can, we can offer it grace, just like we do the present history and the future history. And I love that phrase, I’ve heard this in the therapy that I’ve spent these last two years doing myself. And that is the grace statement of,

they did the best with the knowledge that they had. And I love that statement, because that gives some grace to them where they needed it. But at the same time, you know, they were what they were, and you can’t, you know, you have to be honest about what that was, and how that affected those around them. But at the same time, if they made any changes, or that they didn’t, or if they took this stuff to their grave, or if they actually worked on it and tried to do better, there’s some grace that they can be offered, because we have been offered the same grace, you know, and we cannot be Grace misers or Grace judgment, you know, judges or whatever, because that’s not our job. And we can just offer them some things because that’s been offered to us. And, and this is about the most religious, I think I’ve been in a very, very long time.

I think meeting people where they are is something that that parents in my life has afforded me, and I don’t place titles on people, I don’t place, there’s the asshole, or there’s the slut. Those are just stereotypical, whatever. But my point is, I will have a conversation with the asshole, and I will go out of my way to talk to them, and to just let them know that they’re appreciated, even if they still don’t want to have anything to do with me. Same thing goes for the slide. I’m gonna talk to her and let her know she’s valued and important for him. We’re here. Yeah, we’re having Yeah, thank you. It’s, it’s really important. I think that’s a beautiful thing. You’re right. Yeah. Great. That’s a beautiful thing. Yeah, it is. It really is. I don’t think that Christianity can be the only hold on that. And I think people need to get over that. Because I think people want to kind of almost like claim it as if it’s a flag for their country. You know what I mean? Like this, grace is only a Christian statement. And I’m like, no, it’s actually pretty awesome statement period. Grace is giving somebody something that they don’t deserve. And that’s what that is, it’s, you know, they deserve worse, probably, but they don’t get it, they get something better than so it’s not, it’s not a negative. And it’s also not neutral, it’s actually a positive, you’re giving somebody a positive when they either deserve negative or are neutral. And for you.

It’s just yeah, it just helps you it helps them and I’ve heard some amazing stories of grace that have nothing to do with Christianity and some amazing stories of grace, that everything’s to Christianity, and, and Buddhism and all the different things that are out there. So to me, I’m just, I’ve recently just stopped myself, I just stopped July 1 from I’m not drinking anymore. And I don’t know how long this will last. I don’t think I’m joining a program or anything, I just want to get a better perspective on it. I’ve drank from the time that I was

1415, you know, maybe, and I’ve always done it the same way. I’ve always, you know, never drank very much. But when I did, I just went way too hard. And one time, way too hard. And one day, and I don’t know, I don’t think like I’m a true blue as in need a program or I’m not gonna make it through the day, or I think about it all the time type of alcoholic, but when I do it, there’s no stopping. I just kind of do it till I pass out. And that’s not that’s probably another form of alcoholism or whatever, I don’t want to think about it too much. I just want to stop get some perspective on it. Maybe I’ll come back to this. Maybe I’ll have a beer one day, but I’m not even thinking about that right now. I’m just, I just decided to stop. And that’s new for me. That’s brand new, for me was beautiful. And I appreciate you sharing that. And that is that’s a that’s a powerful thing that you’re able to do that. It’s pretty cool. I think we need to give ourselves, give ourselves grace and be gentle on ourselves and with ourselves. But yeah, I would agree. The beauty of community. And that’s what this is. Our say that to tie this together.

I serve alongside my team 1500 families a year. And we sit around the table and we talk about all these accolades and beautiful things that have been done. Never once the shipment, put an obituary, right, but we work to format formulate and but when it comes back, it’s the first draft and there are always revisions. So if anything, the funeral director, musician, mortician and me is like at this moment right now we can literally rewrite or arbitrary. That’s pretty interesting. That is awesome.

I remember like so my father passed away two years ago and I remember the time that I spent in the

meetings with these guys, you would really probably like these guys that are, my dad was taken care of right? And you would probably like them because they were so nice and helpful. And I just felt nothing. It was nothing like when my mom passed away, my mom passed away a long time ago.

It was just done like back then it was done like it was always done. You know what I mean? And now this was different. There was mental health things that they offered through their company, if you needed it, there was videos about preparedness, they would help you with this things like they helped me get dad’s the military to show up to do taps for us. Because you know, he didn’t I don’t think he retired,

full honors military, but he was honorable discharge military so that you know the difference. And you know the difference. So he was considered a bad he was in there for 17 years. And there’s a but in the military, there’s a difference between the 21 gun salute, and the taps thing. So they send taps out when it’s this, they said 21 guns, what was that, and I didn’t know that. But they helped me figure that out. I was like I felt taken care of and loved on. That was Doom I’d never felt did not feel that I was confused and hurt and stuck with the bill.

Back when my mom passed. And that was a very different feeling than the way that my dad’s services and everything was handled. Very, very much thankful. You know what’s weird, it was the same place. Same place handled both they had changed so much in the time between my parents pass. Beautiful too

much change can happen. Yeah, that’s, that’s awesome. There’s hope there. They do things differently. And it was just a different show. You know, because it is a little bit of a show. It’s an it’s an experience, you have two days to get at yours. Right?

Interesting, you better come prepared.

What are some very human things that you’ve experienced? And I mean, kind of things maybe that we wouldn’t expect about being in the you know, in the profession that you are like something that’s just so like, I can tell you just a moment for me, that was a big deal. I told you this the first time we talked, it was just going and bond and my dad’s socks, so he could wear on the way out of this world, you know, and that was weird. I still have two pairs of them. And were the other two pair that were in the trip. Yeah, you know what I mean? Like, there’s something very odd and touching about these things, what is something that you’ve experienced that was very moving to you, my father in law, who,

who, against his better judgment, gave me a shot over 10 years ago, died May 14 of 2022, and I was his funeral director. And

you can’t be

you can’t be family

and a funeral director, you have to be one or the other. Yeah, and then choosing to make sure that his funeral was carried out, you know, as well, as exceptionally well, that was meant for fitting my seat with the family in the pews. And, like, I didn’t get to experience that belonging part and a loss and chokes me up. Because, you know, I still have to put on a face and a show and be everything that I have to be and tidy up that certificates and make sure his legacy is preserved in the company and

and I didn’t I didn’t get to the moon. I didn’t get to be in that seat. So it’s, that’s something I’ve recently experienced. And it’s not easy. And I framed his eulogy beautifully. It’s beautifully framed. It’s actually in the entrance as soon as you walk into my office, and sometimes I’ll just glance at it and something will stand stand out. And one thing was, you know, my, my, my father in law was very private and quiet. Right at work. He had his job.

And Dr. Curl pointed over during the funeral and he pointed at Mike in his casket and he said never once could Mike

point and say rise up, rise again. He couldn’t fix it. They were dead. They were gone and the family was left in pieces. So what he did was he went home to his shop and he tinkered and He toiled and he put things back together that were was broken because at work he couldn’t. And so, it was almost

it was

almost healing for me because the relationship in any family business and dynamic but then you add this element of grief and then some grief that he carried for over 16 years.

And then now I am exposing and Magen and all of us are exposing our hearts to it literally it does. It changes you and that was a that was a moment of forgiveness. It was an

of realization and reconciliation. It was all these moments. So knowing who we are in September, and I’m still thinking about the life that I chosen, right? Yeah, the cost of, honestly. And this isn’t a pat on my back. This is a pat on the funeral director who took care of your dad, a funeral director who took care of someone that you love. They choose you over themselves.

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. That makes total sense. What are some, what are some themes? What are some things that you see run? That was like a thread between us all? You know, the people that come in and we have to trust you guys to do this? What are some themes or a thread maybe that you’ve seen? That’s just a really interesting thing. Whether you have a little or a lot. They want you they want to know that they’re valued and worthy. They want to know that someone cares, someone or someone’s so when COVID took away community, that’s literally the only thing that Hills

Yeah, I didn’t think about that. And so what we did was we rallied and we created community members showed people that there were people that cared about him. So we put his massive beautiful tent outside in the parking lot and put all the flower arrangements, put the loved one we put the cemetery greens on the lot, and put the casket that our casket was open, and put the family behind these. Some general homes were putting literally like concert barricades, we were putting these beautiful rubs that you found to the theater, and created this beautiful parade of cars, trucks, SUVs. Great idea, people would slowly drive by windows down and they spoke from afar. And they were able to see hundreds of people and the director would stand masked up.

And they would ask the name of every person because you know the registered vote that people want to sign to say that they were putting in canes Yeah, well, the funeral director, we would sign it on their behalf and present it to the family and say everybody is accounted for. And whether there were 12 names or 1300 names, it was they felt

community, and they were able to grieve and feel a sense of we have people who are supporting us. And that’s all we want. We can say that we’re loners, we can say that we don’t want to go to church because we don’t want to be around a lot of people we can say that we don’t like people. Yes, we do. Whenever ever someone’s gone. Yeah, that’s true. That’s very true. So

I don’t want to say why music, I do want to say

like, what do you want to do with it? What do you want to do with the music that you do?

I want people when they hear it to be like

that That’s beautiful. And beautiful because of melodically but not necessarily because of lyrics. I think because I put it out. That’s beautiful enough, I think because of obstacles that have been overcome knowing the story, or I think because oh here the funeral director with four kids and where the hell does the time? Where does the time just manifest for him to create the sauce? Where did these songs come from? Oh, that sounds like he’s sad and similar moment that that’s what I hope it does. to humanize. I want to humanize not just me, but other people and more people to really be able to say, I didn’t really give a shit.

I mean, and I think that, you know, you hit song has a AB format. And you know the same thing. And there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that. But

I want the heart to be behind every note and every single

vocal cop, I want it to mean something.

It’s interesting, I think I think you actually, I don’t know what your Enneagram or any of your personality traits are. But it seems like in both, it’s about taking care of others.

It seems like both, you know what I mean? It seems like both of those are kind of macro things. They’re not micro things even though it does affect each of us it but it’s a very macro thing. It’s it’s kind of you putting your hand your arms around the world.


don’t know if I share that story. But I’ll share this one. I always ran from mission trips and wanted to go on them. I don’t have a servant’s heart. But I think it’s the polar opposite. They got wet. I would have not wanted to come back because I wanted to continue to help but that’s what I do with the company with the team. You know, I’ll find out about something and no one knows any wiser and I’ll pay for something someone’s down the line.

I won’t get specific but because I don’t want a pat on the back. I don’t care. I don’t care. Yeah, I really don’t. And I know I have this massive picture this massive, massive basket. There’s just got peeking tabs because yeah

If I want I do I want the fruits of my labor to be rewarded.

Eternally rewarding. Yeah. 100%.

All right. Here’s the tough question. Who takes care of you?

When I die? No. Just now, who takes care of Nathan Morris?

Honestly, right now, no one. And that’s a honest and sad but hopeful answer all at the same time. I pretty closed off though. You know, when you grow up in a world of this isn’t an excuse. This is simply a fact thing. But when you grow up in a world of turmoil and abuse you that’s what you do. You literally retract and retreat, and you find safety. And even when you need protection, or support or

help. So you know, that’s something that that’s the season that I’m in right now and seeking that I believe wholeheartedly in therapy and therapy is critical or crucial. So if I have to answer it would be my therapist that I do have helped. But you know, and you could argue and say, what don’t you have? Brothers and a spouse? And yeah, but just because that’s, you know, they’re in my life doesn’t mean that

they’re not doing it. You know, I don’t want to get too deep. But yeah, I think it’s important to be be mindful of your own mental and physical health.

I appreciate you ask. And I mean, it’s well, I mean, you got me for one, so I’m always here, but I feel that I really do. Yeah, I think we I think this is an opportunity for everybody to hear this and myself. It’s like, it’s okay to ask for it. Yeah, okay. You don’t have to run in that corner over there. I mean, it looks really cozy and quiet. And you know, you think you need to cozy and quiet. You kind of need a kick in the ass. Yeah. And you need community like you were saying community sometimes.

Yes, it was right there. Nathan.

was hanging right there was plucked it off and

eat that apple.

Well, I love what you’re doing. I know that it doesn’t make some sense to everybody all the time. And I don’t think it has to. I just think as long as you’re having a good time doing it. People love it.

None of it’s hurting anything or anyone. I can’t see what’s wrong with it. But I know at the same time that

maybe as you try and as you’re trying to figure out how to bottle this up a little bit, maybe then you’ll figure something out. Or maybe you’ll just figure out that there’s a different bottles, you know what I mean? Like it doesn’t have to be any one or two bottles specifically to necessarily be bottled up. Maybe it could just be a big bottle and maybe could just be a big puddle on the floor. And well even being I really believe in the thing, you know? Yeah. Well, my thing is, meeting people where they are.

Yeah, that’s the thing. That’s been the thing, since I realized that I’m really good at being a funeral director. I mean, all walks of life. I mean, dirty people who have no clean clothes. I mean, people have no money. I have people who are from Mexico, and I have to get the back to Guatemala. And they don’t speak any English. And I have to find a translator because my Spanish is poor. I mean, the wealthiest of wealthy podcasts and I mean, people who listen on their walks, music, I mean, music lovers, and meeting people where they are messy puddle, you can step into it if you want to. You don’t have to. You don’t have to. You can also just long rabbit. Yeah, exactly. Literally, and I’m fine with that, too.

As you said earlier, it’s you don’t need someone to like you. You don’t need that. You know, but at the same time.

This is a great community, you can be a part of it. If you want to be I would love for you to be.

Yeah, I love that. That’s actually a really good place to come to a stopping point. More. Appreciate you. Thank you very well, I thank you too. This has been fun.

You guys if you want to check in to what Nathan’s doing you can always go to any of his accounts. What are all your what? Give me all your stuff. Give it to all of us right now. Mark music on tick tock night tomorrow night on Twitter and make the most online they can watch at a party.

Yes, I do. That’s you Nailed it.

Nailed it. In one breath. Yeah, you did. Yeah. You did. You do. There’s no breaks in there. No, that’s how it’s done. Kids right here. This is how it’s done. Radio One on one.

But I’ll continue to do all those other things you do to put an end note on it. Thank you. Seriously, thank you for joining us was amazing. As always, we always have great talks and always love talking to you.

One day we’ll actually meet which is crazy. We’ve never actually actually physically met so we’ll do that. I promise tire our episode. We’ve been hugging each other. So that’s good. Yeah, we have it’s a great hug to you. I needed it. I know that you needed it. Amen, man. Well, thank you very much. And I hope you know I’m not sure appreciate it too. Thank you. Talk to you soon.

Alan Clark, thank you for caring about me. Thank you for being a friend, a real friend, a friend that is not a fair weather friend. It’s not a level up friend. It’s not what can you do for me, but what can we do for we,

my grandfather always said if it’s

to benefits you, and it benefits them that it’s a good idea. Right? You have to follow your gut in your heart. And if your heart and your gut and your mind, you know, your mind is your brain, but your gut is your second brain. And if they’re all in alignment, you need to really pay attention to that my point is

surround yourself with people who are good. And Alan is good.

Season two


going to be a blip on the radar and just a few but the Don’s coming in, there’s great things happening to me and my heart and hopefully you and yours and a challenge you can keep meeting me where I am.

Music. I mean on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon music, all the music’s

stream previous episodes of this podcast because season three is coming visit Nathan Morris Grab some swag. Keep following all the shenanigans at Nathan Morris music on Tik Tok at Nathan Morris on Insta Nathan Morris online on the YouTube and



forge up any more gumption when I say you are loved far more than you could ever know. You are worthy you are worth it.

You are worth it. I choose you.

And I will see you

very soon.