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Interview by Ocean Pleasant, Youth Editor

Ocean Pleasant: What inspires you?

Benjamin Stone: People. The best thing about the world today is that everyone is connected and you can go online and quickly find people all over the world doing incredible things. Creative things, charitable things, clever thing, beautiful things, brave things…. Sometimes it makes me feel inferior, but in a good way because I see these people and say, “I wanna do that! “I wanna be apart of that conversation! I wanna go there!”

BS: Successful people inspire me, and I don’t mean just in their career but people who have amazing families, or who have made a difference, or followed their dreams. People who have come from nothing and started their own business or opened up a whole new niche in a particular industry, they truly inspire me.

I am also very lucky to live in California, which is not only filled with very entrepreneurial people who don’t wait around for success, but who make their own. It is also an incredible display of nature’s most breathtaking topography. I live in close proximity to the ocean, the mountains, the desert, and a shit bunch of snow. Being constantly surprised about what nature can create, that inspires me beyond belief.

OP: What is it that makes you vulnerable?

BS: This interview!

Self-doubt. It’s healthy to periodically self examine your life, your goals, your relationships, and ask yourself honestly, am I happy? Am I on the right track? For the longest time I have had so much belief and confidence in myself, which as an actor you need, because the entertainment industry is incredible competitive, brutal, and unpredictable just when you start to think you know what’s going on. I still maintain a healthy amount of self-belief and positivity, but it can be very hard. Unfortunately, these periods can affect one’s work and one’s relationships – a lack of direction and meaning can leave you empty. But I guess it’s also within these moments that you can be the most honest and come back with a renewed furor and drive. Vulnerability isn’t a bad thing though. Everyone’s vulnerable and it only makes you human. If you lack vulnerability then you are not being truthful to yourself.

OP: Are there any causes you are passionate about?

BS: Science is my JAM. I am very excited to see where science and technological advancements will take us in the next few decades. Medical science in particular will get exponentially better, especially once computers will be powerful enough to digitally simulate entire human brains, meaning medical experiments that would normally take years can be digitally run taking only hours. These kind of advancements will have a game changing effect on healthcare, which will help peoples situations all over the globe, especially when it comes to poverty

For me personally, I Support the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF – http://www.ocrf.org), as although this particular cancer doesn’t get as much press as breast cancer, it has a worse prognosis and gets less research. It also happens to affect someone very close to me.

If you happen to follow me on twitter (which you should @benjstone!) you will notice I’m kind of obsessed with my dog, Harvey. So naturally animals are also very special to me, especially dogs. A small organization I support Is ‘Angels in Fur’ (www.angelsinfurdogrescue.com) a dog rescue and rehabilitation organization.

I also support Wolf-PAC (www.wolf-pac.com), a cross partisan organization seeking to remove to corrupting influence of money in politics.

OP: Why do you bother waking up in the morning?

BS: Because I can’t stand being stagnant. Every day is a new opportunity to achieve something, even on a small scale. One of the most empowering things about being a self-employed actor is also one of the hardest things; I get to set my own goals. My career goals generally remain the same, but my short time goals constantly change either because I’ve reached them all or they no longer fit into my current strategy. But there’s no one looking over my shoulder, no one driving me, it all has to come from myself. When I was younger I could never get up in the morning, I always found it so difficult. If I had an appointment, I had no problem, but just getting up early for the sake of it was so hard, I just loved my bed (and still do!).

As an actor in-between jobs, it can be hard to stay motivated when you feel like you future is always in someone else’s hands. You are always waiting for someone to look at you and say “YES.” Hearing an endless stream of “NO’s” is part of the process and whilst I manage to deal with it 90% of the time, I still have my moments. But getting up early and setting myself daily targets, even outside of acting, keeps me active and motivated in general and thus happier, which I hope translates into my personality and my work.

My friends joke that I love planning things – which I do – and the reason is because there’s so much I want to do, so many things I want to see and experience. If I don’t actively pursue these things, I will never do everything I want to do, in life and in my career. That’s what gets me up in the morning.

And my dog – my dog gets me up in the morning, literally.

OP: What is love to you?

BS: Well, first of all I don’t think I can get anywhere near to fully describing what love is. Just answering these question feels awkward… To me love is passionate, it is honest, and it is selfless. Love is willing to completely give up your life for someone, to make sacrifices and put them first. You can’t truly love someone if you also love yourself, just as you can’t love someone if you are not honest with them and they with you – otherwise it’s just infatuation and desire. I guess at it’s very core love is connection that just makes so much sense you wonder how you used to live before you were lucky enough to experience it. I am fortunate to have a lot of love in my life. I love my family, I love my dog, I love my close friends, and I absolutely love my incredible girlfriend.


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