We had the good fortune of connecting with Brett Grace and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brett, what’s been your favorite thing to do during quarantine?
I’ve been trying to anchor myself by staying in touch with things I know to be certain, like nature. I’m not a very outdoorsy person in general, but I recently planted the first seeds I’ve ever planted in my life, and now we have a vegetable patch growing. The world right now feels quite a bit unhinged, but you can still plant a seed, and give it water and sunlight, and it will grow. And as obvious as it sounds, I guess that’s the point: things that are certain, things that are undeniably true, are giving me such comfort. I also try and meditate, but in LA especially, it’s a feat to find a meditation practice that isn’t somewhat of a cult. We have an inordinate amount of cults here. Cults masquerading as yoga classes, rehabilitation programs, and self-help seminars. Religions, of course, but even some cliquey book clubs, and social media groups are essentially cults. People who are desperately seeking fame are often very susceptible to being brainwashed. And with promises of salvation, fortune, and even celebrity, who can blame them. It’s easy to get lost here, especially if you’re trying to incorporate some spirituality into your life, and right now especially, during quarantine, we should want something that grounds us, and gives us peace. I just finished a twenty-one day meditation course through a WhatsApp group that one of my best friends Liz Nistico introduced me to, and I really enjoyed that. There wasn’t someone playing a God-like part, and there wasn’t anyone vying to be teacher’s pet. I think simplicity is good with things like this. For me, just doing some old-school meditation, and journaling, with a friend that I really trust and look up to, gives me a lot of what I’m looking for. Anything grounding like this right now; anything that I can really count on, like watching ’30 Rock,’ and knowing it’s going to make me laugh, or writing, and knowing it’s going to help me figure out what I’m feeling, I think, is akin to planting seeds, and seeing them grow.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I don’t have a master plan. I’m not looking to conquer the world, I’m not even really looking for credit. I just want to be one of the guys; I just want to be on a good team. It must be bullshit, anyone who says they’ve always known exactly what they’re doing. Sometimes I wish there was a certain path that I really believed in, but I believe in the people in my life, and I’m learning to believe in myself through things I’ve learned through the people in my life—good and bad. But I’m so not there yet. I’m just trying to stroll merrily along, and not step on anyone’s toes. I’m trying to remember that I’m lucky whenever I get to spend any significant time doing things I love.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Under normal circumstances, I’d say we’d have lunch outside at Sunset Marquis—it’s my favorite place in L.A. The garden is lush, green, and tranquil, and it feels very tucked away, while still being in the middle of everything. You can pretend you’re anywhere in the world, if you want. It’s such an imaginative place, and everyone who works there and hangs out there is incredibly kind. I’ve met a lot of my lifelong friends there. Later, we’d have dinner at Pace in Laurel Canyon, where you can draw on the paper table-tops with crayons even though it’s a bit of a fancy place. It’s also a place where you can disappear into space and time; revel in it’s storied past, and make-believe it’s the early seventies and you’re hanging out with Joni Mitchell. In between lunch and dinner, or maybe after, I’d take this fictional best friend on a drive through that neighborhood. We’d roll down the windows, listen to our favorite songs, and take in the warm city lights. And, on a more adventurous night, we’d take an Uber to the Rainbow Bar & Grill, and dance to something like Aerosmith in the attic until closing time. We’d take home our crayon drawings, hang them on the fridge, and sleep until noon.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shoutout to my two favorite L.A.-based bands: Deap Vally, and Holychild. Even though I have zero musical talent myself, music is such a constant in my life; really great music has never let me down—in good times, weird times, and everything in between. I just have so much respect and admiration for these artists who always have the perfect song for my every mood. Whenever I’m feeling stuck, as we often are right now, I can put on a fast and fun song to see me through. Or watch a live clip on YouTube, and imagine I’m at a concert. It’s such a trying time to be in the music industry, and obviously a lot of their success is dependent on being able to tour so I really appreciate seeing how some of my favorite bands are still finding ways to drive their artistry right now; still finding ways to give us fresh, energizing soundtracks to our lives. A silver lining will, very certainly, be the art that comes out of this time.