We had the good fortune of connecting with Adam Castillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adam, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
This one is kind of easy for me… I just never give up. Some time ago, I stopped being outcome based. I realized that if I enjoy the thing, I should do the thing because of the thing and not because of some potential outcome. Because the fact is, the outcome is completely out of our control. We don’t get to decide what happens to a piece that we make. We don’t get to decide if people like it. We can stack the odds in our favor but ultimately, it’s out of our hands. And if your happiness hinges on factors outside of your control, then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. And you’re setting yourself up for wanting to quit when you don’t achieve the thing you thought you should be achieving.
For me, I’ve fallen in love with the process of creating. It’s crazy to me that I can just create a world and characters that never existed before. And it’s one of my favorite things to do. Getting to a creative place can be a bear sometimes but when you’re in it, it’s magical. So when you ask me how I know when to give up, I have a better question… If you can physically keep doing a thing that you love doing, why would you ever give it up?
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Many, many years ago I found myself at a crossroads… go down some sort of corporate path that has stability or push into my creativity and just see where it takes me. The first path seemed safe but boring as hell. The other path seemed fun but terrifying. I had no idea which way to go. And then I had a dream…
In the dream, I was running for my life. There was a giant machine chasing me. It was destroying everything in its path. Just sucking everything right up. And it was catching up to me. Fast. At some point, my perspective shifted and I was no longer in my body. I was suddenly completely objective. I felt nothing for the little version of myself that I could see running so hard out of fear. It was like I was watching a movie. And then it happened… the machine caught up… sucked me in. And for the first time, I could see what was on the other side of the machine. It wasn’t just sucking everything up to destroy it. It was using everything to make something beautiful. Something indescribable with words.
I woke up from the dream with instant clarity. I knew that I needed to stop fighting it. So that’s what I did. I pushed into my creativity and never looked back. It started with stand-up comedy and has evolved into writing and filmmaking. And even though I’ve only had a moderate amount of success, the process is so rewarding that it doesn’t even matter. It’s so sad to me when I see other people that haven’t figured that out yet. When I see people that are miserable, doing a job that they hate. I’d love to be an inspiration for people to stop doing that. To start doing the thing that makes them happy. I think on my tombstone, I’d like it to say… “Adam Castillo – He did what he loved to do. Maybe you should try doing the same.”
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’m kind of an introvert so I wouldn’t exactly be the best tour guide. But I’m a really big fan of interactive fun. There are some really cool escape rooms around Houston. And for something a little different, there’s Exitus VR. It’s a virtual reality escape room that’s super fun with a small group of people.
As for food, again, I’m not the best person to ask. But there are a couple of places that stand out in my head. One of them is Thai Gourmet. Best Thai food in the city in my opinion. But my favorite favorite place to eat is way out east in Baytown… D&D Burritos. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s all about tacos. And they’re awesome. My personal favorite is a quesadilla with carne guisada meat. And if I was showing someone around, I would take them to the San Jacinto Monument while I was out that direction. There’s some really cool history there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to give a shoutout to a good friend of mine… Vince Rockwell. He’s such a source of inspiration for me. Always pushing forward. Always doing something creative. But even more than that is his ability to be objective about himself. He’s always learning and growing and I admire the hell out of that. I strive for that same level of self-reflection.
Vince Rockwell, JD Karpicke