All right, all right, country boy, you ready, country boy? Oh, I'm I'm always ready. You know me.
I do. I do.
This is Don't Ask BTIG, I'm Tig Notaro, and as always, you're asking me an unknown.
So everybody goes. Here to help me is my very funny and musical dear, dear friend Reggie Watts. Reggie, hello. Thank you for waving to our listeners. I think everyone appreciated the wave, the thumbs up. Reggie, you know, I spend most of my free time Googling you and reading your Wikipedia, and it says you have a four and a half octave vocal range. Do you have any advice for people who want to increase their vocal range while you simultaneously show off your vocal range?
Could you? I don't I don't know if it's four and a half octaves. I think I would put it in there. I definitely I have a range, but I don't know what it is. I mean, because it's.
So I'd say three three octaves and five notes is my range. That's a lot, sir. Something like, yeah, it's around. I said three, let's just rounded up to three and a half. Because sometimes sometimes when I'm on stage and I've got all the adrenaline going, I can hit notes that I'm like, there's no way I'm going to hit that. And I just like somehow it just happens. It's really crazy.
And is there any way to increase it? I mean I mean, my range is just the way I look. I mean, it's it's pretty big.
It's I mean, like, you know, that's a lot of people I don't know if you know this what people do kind of cleaning things behind your back or when one of the things they call is big rain. Shintaro, really?
Why haven't you told me? Because I better friends. Well, I just thought, like, if you heard it, I thought that you're you're you're just on such a strong track, you know, ten kids, you know, you have six houses and all that stuff. And like, when you get to that level, it's like I don't want to do anything to ruin the vibe.
If you ever hear someone say or calling me almost five octave BTIG, I want you to tell me, Reggie, OK, I will tell you then.
Yeah, I will tell you then. I mean, you can increase. I mean. Well, when I was a teenager, I fell in love with a band called The Sundaes.
I was listening to The Sun this morning. Are you serious? I'm very serious. OK, from reading, writing and arithmetic.
Yeah, well, I was listening to I, I had 80 write the theme song of of this show.
What. And and cheap. Yeah. And she also has the Altro song to this show. I'm a huge, atypical fan.
And so my Steffanie, my wife got turned on to Eddie very recently and so she started playing Eddie Spotify. And that in turn has been playing the Sundays and ten thousand maniacs. And so a lot of that that solid late 80s, early 90s kind of.
Yeah. So I was just this morning listening to the sun. So don't you doubt me.
That's amazing. No, no. I just don't know. Very many people that like know of the sun is you know but or love this.
Do you think I was kidding. I mean, maybe I don't know. I didn't I didn't think you were kidding outright. I just wanted to make sure that it was true because we had a high school party or some my crew of friends like weirdos. We friend of mine's parents were out of town. They lived in this really beautiful hobbit like home. And and we were on LSD. But I remember hearing know we put on yeah. We put on the Sunday's album and we were still we were coming down as my friend and myself, and we were like sitting in these like lazy boys in this like Scandinavian hobbit home.
And they had the really nice, scary lasic.
Reggie, you know, classic Scandinavian I have at home. At home. I mean, come on. And and I remember we sung all the lines.
Yeah. You know all that, hi, hi, hi, hi. Singing And I was working the hit that like every note and we listen to the album I think three times in a row. And we did all the melodies over and over again. I think me doing that and then also the Cocteau Twins with Elizabeth Frazier and all of her vocals, and I was constantly singing really, really high up there. So I think that really stretched out my falsetto when I was young just by trusting, loving it.
So I think you can definitely increase your range for sure. Wow.
Well, I guess I know what I'm going to be doing when I listen to the atypical Spotify channel. Oh, yeah. You know, was it what are you going to be doing? You're going to be singing along. I'm just going to be working on my vocal range. Yeah.
That's clearly the the time for the time period in music where you can, you know, get to because like you. I mean, if you're doing if you're doing like you're going to do that.
Yeah, my. Oh, yeah, I'm sorry, I. Yeah.
I mean, incredible.
All right, Reggie, you're from you're from Great Falls, Montana. Yes. What would you tell creative people who grew up in a red state kind of area like Montana?
Yeah, you know, it's interesting. I'm really happy that I then I grew up in Montana and I you know, and things have become a lot more political lately. But, you know, when I go back, I noticed you haven't noticed. No, it'll it's a ripple effect eventually with big cities. But, you know, the thing that I do appreciate about it is I can at least I understand the perspectives a little bit more like why people might have certain opinions and so forth.
So I at least have a starting point when I go back home and pretty respectful of that. So I think when I go there, I just kind of try to offer some alternative viewpoints. I try to kind of get them to see the other side or another angle and say side just another angle. And usually people are cool as long as you respect them. So, I mean, I go back to Montana. I've had like three really good conversations with Trump voters about all the biggest issues you can imagine.
And it all ends with like, oh, it's great talking to you. OK, cool. See you later. Well, that's nice. Yeah, it is. It's really nice.
And I think sometimes very unusual these days. Very yes.
Very unusual. But, you know, you have to take the time to be respectful to someone that you might prejudge in the beginning, you know, and kind of hold your ground and just kind of be chill about it, you know, because and make good points.
That's probably helpful. Yeah, totally. Yeah. And not points that are just I don't know. I have you know, I have friends from different different areas of the political spectrum, but probably more on the left side I guess, or liberal side or whatever. But some of my friends are you know, they are some pretty some my younger friends use some pretty extreme language, which I think is totally makes sense to passions there, so forth. But you also have to be careful.
I always tell them you just have to be careful about saying really, really by binary using binary terminology, because it it just closes off someone's ears when they hear it and you're not ever make a point. And so I try to remind people that and when I go to Montana, that's what I try to employ.
And then and then what about for for those that are created? I mean, you are obviously a very and still are very creative person. That's you know, maybe they're living in an area that isn't nurturing of that. Do you have any advice for for anyone?
Yeah. You know, for me, like, I was really lucky. I definitely had parents that were down to let me explore my interests and know if I want to try something. Initially, they figured out a way for me to try it. And so I feel really lucky about that. But I know that some of my friends at when I was growing up that didn't have very supportive parents. You know, kids that did have that came from supportive households usually picked up the slack a little bit.
And we had a crew of friends that tried to reinforce good values in each other and tried to be supportive over things that we wanted to do. So and I discovered that as well. That was important for me. Even though I had supportive parents, I tried to find others like me that, you know, they had the similar interests. And we we hung out together and exchanged ideas and had fun and stuff. And really, it's about finding your family, you know, away from your family and and there it doesn't matter how small the town where it's located or, you know, big city or whatever.
You've got brothers and sisters and cousins out there that are looking for someone like you and you're looking for someone like them.
Yeah. Build your crew. Yes, yeah. Yeah. Have your crew, man. For sure.
In June, you had an emotional conversation with James Corden.
How are you doing?
Which is crazy. I don't know, feeling so much simultaneously. It's crazy.
And it's about civil unrest following the murder of George Floyd.
I have this history in the black community in the Midwest that I don't access a lot because there's a lot of. Pain and emotion there, you know. It's I go in and out, you know, called.
Your candor and emotion really struck a chord with myself and a lot of people. What about any advice for people who continue to have those difficult conversations with family and friends? I know you spoke earlier about, you know, just kind of trying to remain open.
Yeah. I mean, you know, I wasn't you know, they were just like, hey, do you mind if James ask you a question in the beginning at the top of the show? And I was like, yeah, sure, of course.
And I'm a pretty pragmatic you know, I try to approach things in a practical, pragmatic kind of way, but I'm definitely a very hyper empathic person. And so I have to say, you know, when he asked me that, it just kind of like I know it took me by surprise. It was really like I it just kind of happened really quickly. But I mean, I think I think it just comes from. Me hearing the stories of how my mother went, how she witnessed racism from her perspective as a, you know, as a French white woman married to a black man, and when she spent time in his hometown in Cleveland, Ohio, when he was he was stationed, he went back to Vietnam and was staying with his mom in Cleveland and just dealing with like seeing how she was treated in department stores and seeing like all these segregation aspects that, you know, that we hear about and we haven't had to live through, or at least I haven't had to live through and thinking about that, the sacrifices that they made or my parents had to endure being an interracial couple and so forth, I just kind of felt all of that stuff and felt like the sacrifices that they made that I get to kind of cruise around and do great, cool podcast's, amazing people, you know, and it wouldn't have I wouldn't be here right now if it weren't for their actions.
And so I think it was just kind of an epigenetic also just memory based feeling. And that really came across.
That's what was so intense was, you know, I think that just watching you and knowing you personally and knowing that you come from Montana and knowing about your parents and interracial marriage and and, you know, you've fallen into this and I hate to call it this, but the alternative comedy world in Hollywood, and it felt like just it seemed easy to see how you could drift away from connecting to that or really having to think too much about it.
Yes. Yeah, you totally nailed it. I mean, that's exactly it, because most of my life, I, you know, especially growing up, growing up in Montana was like ninety nine percent white, you know, I yeah, I, you know, so I had maybe one or two black friends, but we just saw each other socially in the halls and around.
We didn't really hang out because we don't live in the same parts of town. And I have to say that I didn't I didn't lead with my race. I never I never I never do and I never did. And I think some of that has to do with the luxury of kind of being hybrid and not feeling myself is like either race, you know, like I feel like I'm I'm white and I'm black and I'm neither kind of at the same time.
And so I was very observational growing up. And so I think I was able to kind of express myself in more of a momentous way rather than, you know, based on my my history. And and then when this stuff happened, you know, it brings me back to it turns me around to analyze the history and to and to see to end to just reveal it. You know, it's like a rock was lifted up, you know, it's just like rock was lifted up and you see all this stuff and you just thought it was pretty rocks before.
And now we're like, oh, right. Yeah. Systemic racism. It's not made up. It's not just something that people are saying to get like some kind of sympathy. It's not, you know, when you see this footage of people getting pulled over or people getting cops called on them because of their skin color, that's a real thing. It's not just like isolated incidents that are inflated by algorithms. It's like these are these are real experiences that that people have.
So it definitely made me bring up all of that stuff. And even talking to Guillermo, my drummer, and and he's faced some pretty incredible stuff. And it's just it made me start talking to a lot of I mean, as we all did, you know, so it was it's crazy. It's crazy to be like, oh, I am that.
But I kind of don't lead by that. But I am there and it has affected me. But how has it affected me and and how much of it if I suppressed it, am I not looking at it caused a lot of questioning and I, I support in the way that I can. I usually support other people's causes and I'm there to help. But in that case, when I can use my platform to just be honest, if I can be an honest person, then that makes me I feel like I'm doing something.
Yeah. Yeah. I feel like that's all around helpful advice to remain honest and and to and to do what you can do and. And and its people are, you know, trying to find their footing and. Wow, it's intense, and it was like I said, it was intense to to see you. Yeah.
Go through that. I was it really struck me. All right. Are you ready to get to listener questions? People people need our help. Yeah. All right.
This is our first question, Chope writes. I'm a musician just out of school, but finding work has become nearly impossible and considering switching fields and going to nursing school, I really want to do this. But how do I ask for letters of recommendation from my former music professors and mentors? Will they judge me or write a bad letter because they think I'm giving up? Now, I don't think so, not at all.
I mean, I think, you know, people who if you have relationships with people and you felt like you learned things and you exchange things and you grew from those exposures to those people and have a connection with them in some way, I'm sure that they would be happy to, you know, encourage you to move in any direction that makes you feel like you want to go into. And that's also it's a very noble field. And we need we need people in that profession.
So I don't I don't think that. Yeah, I mean, I think it's not giving up at all. I mean, it's always going to be a part of me. The thing about art or artistic endeavors, it's not like it's not quite like being a welder. You know, you can definitely be a sculptor and you use welding. And obviously you're an artist in creating. But it's not necessarily a trade. It's a it's a it's a passion and something that drives you because you see the world in a specific way and you kind of need to express it and in a certain way.
But so I don't ever think of like when people say, like, I used to be a musician, it's like it's like that's kind of weird. It's like once you're a musician or if you love music, that's just a part of who you are, it's always going to be part of who you are. So so I never I never view it as like you can't give up on it. You're just learning a new skill in another way.
Yeah. No, that's a great way to think about it. And I also feel like yeah. What an odd personality. If they were like, well I thought you said you're going to join a band.
Yeah, I would say Chope, which by the way, I love the name. Yeah. I mean I don't know if Chope came after deciding to become a musician or if it's a family name or somebody was like, man, check out chops chops. But either way, I would say you have full.
Full range to judge your mentors and professors, if they judge you, because I would like Reggie said that that would be very odd. I can't imagine somebody coming to me and saying, I'm going to be a nurse and and having any feeling of disappointment. And even if it wasn't a noble profession, even if it just made you happy, I mean, why wouldn't somebody want joy in their heart or somebody who cares about you? That's what they would want for you.
I agree 100 percent. Yeah. And, yeah, we're on the same page here. They don't have to then worry about you, not worry.
And thank you for your question, Chope. Good luck with nursing and with music, because as Reggie said, that's not going anyway. More questions right after this break.
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OK, we're back and we've got a question about finally facing something you've been avoiding, Wilhem writes, How do you respond to a text that you've been avoiding for four days? Well, I'll tell you. This is how you do it. You avoid all of the unnecessary excuses that you want to put in there of, hey, sorry, just seeing this, hey, I've been busy at work and oh, I just respond and say I can't go to the concert.
There's a pandemic or. Yeah, I will get you her information. Just answer the text. Don't know what you're really asking is how do what excuse do I put in the beginning before, before answering the four day old text.
Because just because someone texts your emails you unless it's work of course you know things have to be timely for work and I'm not always great at that, but I try very hard. I really interpret this as what excuse can I put before. What do you think read.
You know, you're 100 percent right. I, I struggle with that myself.
Like if I haven't gotten back to someone like Bob of but really what I do what I do now is I just answer it as though they just texted me.
Yeah. Just answer the text. Yeah. Just answer the text. And I think it's kind of funny to like sometimes I've answered texts from like a couple of months ago, you know, I've done that before.
And they'll be like, what do you think of this thing or whatever? Like two months go by and I'll be like, I really love it. How long have you been you know, usually they just pick up right where we left off.
Well, that's the thing is there's this implied notion that texts have to be responded to immediately.
Yes. Yeah. An urgency. Yeah. And so that's not the case if you don't have time or interest or even if you've forgotten. And sometimes that is what I will say is I'll just flat out say, oh my gosh, I forgot to write you back, but I don't think there's any reason to make up the nonsense to get out of it. Yeah.
Yeah, exactly. It makes it weirder. It does. It's it's so unnecessary. Well, I'd ask you to tell us how it goes, but it sounds like you might not respond for quite a while. For the next question, Reggie, we're going to talk about boundaries. All right?
OK, Alex writes, My cat won't stop licking me. I know it's because she cares or something, but I can't take much more of this. She does it when I'm working, when I'm sleeping, even when I'm having sex. How do I tell this sweet creature that I love her? But the licking has to stop.
First of all, Alex, it sounds like you don't deserve to have this cat. That is a love and level of affection that I think most cat lovers would kill for. What's your feeling, Reggie?
Yeah. Gosh, yeah. That's that's tough me now, because, like, you know, is there such thing as too much love.
I say too much licking that too. There's I think there's definitely too much licking. I think you know. Yes. I've seen it.
So you'd be tired of a cat licking you around like it sounds like the cat has some anxiety.
That's like what's going on. Yeah, I think there's like something's out of whack there, you know?
And I think that Alex is misinterpreting this as a lot of love.
But I think the truth of the matter is your cat is suffering from anxiety.
Yes. But it's a coping mechanism. Yeah. Yeah.
I steffani and I this is so embarrassing how much we love cats. But she showed me a cartoon that I think any cat lover will relate to and be amused by. But the cartoon is of this old lady sitting in a recliner with a cat on her lap. And out of the window comes the largest cartoon version because it is a cartoon of a tornado heading towards the house. And the woman, I think the caption is, I'll take my chances.
And it's because of how lucky you feel as a person that's getting attention from a cat. And when they sit in your lap, there's you don't want to run this animal off and. No, no. Do you like cats, Reggie?
I love cats. Yeah, I'm a big meathead fan. Yeah. So you know what it's like when a tornado is headed your way.
Yeah. And you just kind of can't move this cat. Yeah, I really need to do something right now, but I just can't there's no way because if I try it in any way, it's going to it's just not going to be nice. It's not going to feel good. I'm not going to feel. I feel terrible. No. Yeah, the cats that you're going to be sad. Yeah, but the tornado wrecked the house. Yes.
And and I would just maybe maybe look into if there's a psychiatrist or psychologist for cats with anxiety. I really think your cat has anxiety. I think that is what's going on. But also, you do not you clearly do not deserve this love and attention. Alex, I'm so upset with you. There is no world where I would write in and say, what do I do? I'm getting so much attention from a cat. Huh?
All right. Our last listener question, Reggie, yeah. It's a Korona conundrum. That's that's what's called that's the segment, it's a Corona conundrum.
OK, are you at all concerned about the coronavirus? No, not really. We know that mandatory Mafeking, where you literally cannot mandate somebody to wear a mask, must not leave the house for any reason, unless, of course, you have a reason and then you may leave the house. Put on your party hat, because we've got some work to do. Leader writes, My son is turning 11 next month. I'm a terrible party planner. And last year for his 10th birthday, I did nothing.
I really want to make it up to him this year and make his actual birthday super special.
Any ideas? We have to be safe virus wise as we are in Florida, who if he wants to have a birthday party?
Well, I think she just mainly didn't do anything and she just wants it to be special. Really special.
I gotcha. I gotcha. Well, maybe what we could do and this is really putting you on the spot, Reggie, but I mean, you're great at improv. Do you think you could send him an early birthday song?
Yeah. What's what's the human's name that's serving the birthday? I don't know. It's leader's son who's turning 11 maybe. And and they're in Florida. She didn't do anything for his 10th birthday, you know, maybe we could help make it special and she could hear I'd be like, oh, this is awesome. And then she could come back to this moment and play it for him when he turns 11. OK, that's right. So he's turning 11 and the son of leader in Florida.
OK, yeah, we can do a hey son of lead.
You've got so much in your heart. You want to have a special time when you turn 11. Oh, lead. She's got a son that's made of all the stars in the world and now they're going to turn 11 and it's going to be so right.
Well, leaders have the greatest birthday in the Florida sunshine. Aside from getting a personalized song from Reggie White, I don't know what else you could do, I just happened to have him right here on my show. And this is what we can offer. And I think it's what your son. I think it's what he wants. And you can also feel like it's this guy from this thing and just go down the rabbit hole of Reggie Watts land.
Yeah, yeah. Real rock and roll. That's a rock and roll birthday right there.
Is there anything outside of that song that you think might be nice? I mean, I know everyone's doing the drive by birthdays and we did that for our kids and they turned four in the in a pandemic. What about camping?
Yeah, camping is good. Like socially distance camping birthday. Yeah. Yeah, that sounds fun. With like cool gifts that are hidden in trees.
Oh OK. That's great. We've done too much. We did too much. We went over.
All right. I hope your son has a very safe and happy birthday. And before we go, Reggie, dear Reggie, we have a little update. A few episodes ago, I asked listeners to share the worst piece of advice they've ever received. And we got back a bunch of terrible, no good, truly rotten advice. Should we take a listen? All right.
My worst advice was on my wedding night came from a Mormon household, didn't know too much about the wedding night situation, and my mother says to me. You can always speak up if you can't breathe. And that was it, ready to go when I was in high school, a pastor told me to not be a photographer. He told me I would have to shoot things and I didn't want to marry up. You find a man who makes a lot of money and marry him, and then you can do the things that interest you in life.
Don't wear your glasses because they steal the beauty and never wear the color red it agitates. The minute I was traveling with the United States Paralympic sitting volleyball team because of that, we were a gaggle of amputees wearing prosthetic devices.
I got noticed by this man and he proceeded to yell, I should pray harder and that my foot, which I never had, would grow back.
I was flying by myself a few years ago and we hit a sort of rocky patch and and I just kind of put both hands on the armrests and was taking deep breaths. And the person next to me kind of looked at me and he said, let me just put it to you this way. If anything goes wrong, we're all going to die.
But otherwise, we're fine. Wow, yeah, that's amazing. Yeah, that's amazing. Do you have any thought I mean, the whole thing just really thinking about putting energy towards growing a foot. Wow. Is it I just it's all pure insanity, but yeah. I mean, who has ever had any. There's no way anybody has experience in, you know. Oh, I have a friend that grew an arm. Right. From trying harder and focusing on it.
But the I think that Hall of Fame kind of shows why the show is needed. Maybe. Do you have a worst advice to to add to the pile?
Well, I can't I can't really think of any advice that someone gave me that was bad. All I know is that never look a gift horse in the mouth has never helped me in any way or never take a wooden nickel. That's never helped me either.
Never look a gift horse in the never mouth. Yeah, it's going to try and combine them like never give a wooden nickel to a gift horse's mouth or I don't. Yeah, yeah, I think that's right, yeah. You probably shouldn't do any of it. Reggie, do you have anything you'd like to plug before we head out of here?
Just, you know, download WhatsApp into my app. It's on the iOS store. What is Android. It's just like my app and I post videos and I have a little store on there. I sell really dumb shit on there and post weird things and there's live streams and stuff like that. So nice. Yeah, this is kind of a multimedia platform. I'm going to do more with it in the future. But yeah, if you want to.
It's called WhatsApp by Reggi.
What's a Tietz HTP. Yep, WhatsApp. And there's going to be available on Android in September.
Awesome. And it costs one wooden nickel so. Correct costs zero.
Nickols it's free.
Oh Reggie, you're also the bandleader on The Late Late Show so people can catch you there as well. Yeah. Reggie, I can't thank you enough for taking the time to help me help others.
Thank you. It's it's been an honor.
Well, I adore you and I think you know that. So take that and do whatever you want with it.
I love you too. And anybody listening, you can send in your own questions. Don't ask Tig and we might try to answer them on future episodes. I want to know what's really irritating you right now, and maybe we can help fix it. I mean, really, if there's something out there, because I have a few of those things, you can write down your question or you can send it to us as a voice memo. Again, it's don't ask Tig to reach us with your questions.
Reggie, thank you. Thank you to you. The best of your second best guess. One last thing, I have a new podcast with Cheryl Hines of Curb Your Enthusiasm called Tig and Cheryl True story. It's coming soon wherever you get your podcasts. Cheryl and I talk about a new documentary every week like Tiger King Fire and a band called Death. Subscribe now to Tig and Cheryl. True story and catch our very first episode on Monday, September 14th.
That's where Joe. If you're enjoying the show, please take a moment to rate and review us, don't ask. BTIG is hosted by me, Tig Notaro. It's produced by Thomas Willette, Mary North and Tracy Mumper. Our editor is Phyllis Fletcher, executive producer Lauren D. Engineering and Sound mixing by Johnny Vince Evans and Eric Ramani. Digital production by Christina Lopez, Talent Booking by Raqib and Lulu Dubin. Our theme music is Friend and Tig by Edie Brickell and Kyle Christia.
And listen to Your Heart by any BRICKHILL special. Thanks to Hunter sideman Lily Kim and Alex Shaffer. Our executive consultant is Dean Capello and Gobsmacked Studios Don't Ask Tig is a production of American Public Media. And as always, thank you, Dana.