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Ep13. Jeremy Ratchford
Actor / Speaker / Host: Show Notes and Transcript
This is our 13th episode, so I decided to do things a little differently. This week instead of meeting someone I’ve just met on Linkedin, we meet a friend I’ve known for over a decade. Jeremy Ratchford is a well-known actor that used to be a neighbor of mine. Is LinkedIn useful for actors? Probably not! But you can connect with him on LinkedIn, especially so if you need a speaker or host for an event. https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeremy-ratchford-b981b415/
Welcome to Connection Requested, the podcast about making better connections with other humans, one guest at a time.
I'm your host, Mark Tweddle, co-founder of YouTellYours, providing online events to create stronger connections in your group, community, or team.
This is episode 13. Lucky? Unlucky? Or just a number? I don't really know. But I thought it was time to try something different.
I started this podcast because I rarely know the people who request to connect with me on LinkedIn.
But whether it's Facebook Friends, LinkedIn Connections, or Followers as they’re called on Instagram and TikTok or Twitter, social media doesn't easily provide the kind of meaningful connections that I seek in my life.
So this week, my guest, isn't a new LinkedIn Connection. He's someone I've known for over a decade. A neighbor from a house that no longer exists. And just to make this episode even more different, I recorded the in-person in his home.
This week we meet actor, Jeremy Ratchford, someone I've connected with over stories over the last decade. We really got to know each other when our boys went to the same school. The school had terrible parking issues. And so we'd arrive 30 minutes before pickup time to get our Fitbit steps in, by walking laps of the school, all while telling stories and talking about life.
Normally at this point in the podcast, I'd say check out his LinkedIn profile, either now, or after listening, but Jeremy is an actor. And a real one that's been in movies and on your TV. And that begs the question, what use is LinkedIn to actors? Jeremy, and I couldn't think of a good reason initially. So I'll get back to that later.
Let's jump right into the Name Story.
Two minutes to tell the story of your name with no preparation. No one else can tell that story better than you. You are the subject matter expert after all.
My name is Jeremy Francis Ratchford. I was, I think, 17 before I met the first other Jeremy.
It wasn't a popular name, uh, when I was growing up. And then Francis, I always had a problem with, I don't know why. Frank would have been good. My mother's name was Francis, and my grandfather's name was Frank. Um, I maybe I shouldn't be giving this information out, maiden names, and my favorite puppy was, and my first concert, my first car. But yeah, Francis, I just, I never. Franklin would have been cool. Jeremy Franklin Rochford. but I don't know.
Then there became a point, " I'm a bear called Jeremy. I can laugh at, I can, I can sing a little song, a dut dut dah..."
There was a little animated cartoon 'Jeremy the bear'. So I became Jer the bear, and kids would sing that song to me as soon as they heard my name. So I heard that song relentlessly and I also heard Jeremiah was a bullfrog lot as a kid growing up cause that was the link to that.
But, around 17 that I started noticing, uh, I do it right here. JEREMY! What the hell who's yelling at...? And there was a whole slew of young kids now that were being named Jeremy. So when they were being, disciplined in the grocery store, I thought someone was yelling at me and it was at a little kid named Jeremy.
So Jeremy Francis Ratchford.
And that's the end of that one.
Thanks Jeremy. You know, I'm sure there's a yo mama joke in being called Francis probably best if I avoid it.
Jeremy has been part of our storytelling groups from the start, back when we started teaching people how to tell their personal stories to an audience.
In fact, if you do a quick search for "Jeremy Ratchford" and "YouTellYours", you'll find three of his videos. They're called "Moscow mule", " How not to draw a unicorn", and " When you don't know what to do."
When Jeremy tells a story you're in for a ride. There may be some singing, some shouting, and the occasional naughty word. And you might wonder if that's because of his acting training and experience, but I'm certain it's just the way Jeremy is. Because I know how he tells a story when it's just the two of us.
And that's actually what you're hearing in this episode. Just him, and me, sitting at his dining table with an audio recorder.
Now I know that Jeremy loves old cars. So let's hear Jeremy's two minute story starting with "My first car..."
So my first car came to me. My uncle bought it for my aunt when she gave birth to his first son, and then it got sold to my aunt, and then it got sold to our family. And I remember when my aunt Susie came to the house to sell it to my parents. They asked me what I thought would be a good price to pay.
And it was a beautiful car. And I said $300. ' cause that to me at whatever age I was was sort of like the most amount of money I could even think of. it was a 1967 convertible baby blue Camaro. 19 days after I turned 16, I had my driver's license. I had done all the in-class stuff before my birthday.
The day of my birthday, I had my first in-car session with The Young Drivers Of Canada, because it would be an insurance adjustment if you got it. So, 19 days later, I took my test and passed and I was on the road with a three speed, baby blue Knight. And I still wish I had that f#@# car. I loved it and I went everywhere with it.
We became this kind of synonymous. If someone wanted to send me a message, they'd vandalized my car, knowing it was me.
I was the type of guy at that age, too, if you needed to go anywhere, I would take you.
It's like 11 o'clock at night.
You're bored at a party.
You got to go across town.
I just love driving.
Driving around in a convertible. I was in a Springsteen video, I think my entire 16th and 17th year just driving through the streets of Kitchener and the outskirts. Which are now subdivisions and developments, but back then it was sort of windy roads. It was a great place to grow up because, you know, 11 o'clock, it was quiet and you could drive everywhere.
I loved it.
That's quite a picture he painted with his words. I told you he loves old cars. And though, you know, why. But Jeremy and I are quite different, he loves old cars, and I love modern motorcycles. You see, it's the stories that connect us. We're both up for an adventure, with a sprinkle of awkwardness, and a whole lot of silliness.
Let's hear Jeremy's connection story.
The thing about connection and it's, I think it's kind of coming, uh, because of COVID you'll hear a little pauses with me. I call it the COVID coma. Where you're trying to get one thought out and 18 others go, "Me first, me first!". But we were kind of thrown back into our caves and, that personal connection wasn't there anymore.
I don't know how many years ago it started happening, but I, I reconnected with a lot of old friends from high school, through Facebook, through zoom, just through the telephone, uh, and through visits home. It's amazing those relationships you make in those early years and 30 years later, there's a trust still.
Like you went to third grade with someone and you speak openly and honestly, with them, there's no like, you know them, even though you haven't talked to them in 30 years, You connect with the men all of a sudden, I don't know what it is like, it's those, those growing years.
And I guess I'm also looking at it cause I have three boys under 17. So I'm back in those different grades going to go, oh, you're in sixth grade. Oh, I remember sixth grade.
And again, making the connection with those people, no matter where they've gone in their life, we all connect back to when , sort of, we didn't have a care in the world. Where you played hopscotch or, or tag or piggyback fights, or whatever it was. And there's a, a trust, and a connection to a time when you didn't have a care in the world.
My thing here now is this dropping kids off at school and picking them up from school. We just walked to school no matter what. And I don't want to sound like that guy that walked through the snow, but we did. But we all kind of came out of our houses and there was like this line of ants that just kind of made its way to the school.
Well, yeah, I am amazed at the friendships made back then. I guess it is, it's that connected to a time when, I guess when the world was open and you, I guess you trusted everybody. And that trust is still there, which is amazing.
I think that's a really interesting story.
There's a bunch of research that shows, as a society we struggle to create new connections. Often, the only strong connections that people have are the ones that they formed as children. There are way too many people in this world feeling isolated and disconnected.
And so that's why I focus on how can we make new connections and how do we get that similar level of trust and ease that, that Jeremy described in his story?
Jeremy and I became friends and created trust through the stories we shared. And I think we can all do this. To create strong connections. All we have to do is listen to each other's stories to understand each other.
At what we don't need to become friends, but creating trust and connecting through stories we'll improve every workday.
Anyhow, do you feel like you're getting to know Jeremy?
At this point, I'd normally say, "If you looked at his LinkedIn profile right now, would you be more comfortable having a call with him?" But as an actor, Jeremy's LinkedIn profile is, um, 'minimal' to say the least.
When we met, we had quite a conversation about if LinkedIn is in any way useful to actors at all.
Certainly, it's unlikely to get you acting work on TV shows or movies.
But something else happened too.
Jeremy asked me about this podcast and when I shared my experience of creating it, it reminded him about his journey with public speaking. For years he's been hosting and speaking at a bunch of events for the charities that he supports. And recently he remembered just how nervous he was when he started doing them. This thought was triggered by noticing how nervous other speakers were, and it helped him realize just how much progress he's made.
So I'll say this instead: If you need a host or a speaker for an event would, you know, feel more comfortable having a call with Jeremy?
If nothing else I hope that you've learned that Jeremy is awesome.
I'd love to know what you think. You can email me firstname.lastname@example.org or send voice messages to the Connection Requested page on anchor.com.
Please share this podcast with the people that you connect to and keep on having fun, making the best of connections.