THE IMPERFECT SHOW NOTES
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Carl Ficks, J.D. 00:00
Let’s take up an artist who has his or her palette in their hand and on the palette they mix and they lay and mix their colors and paints. So I started to do that. And and my paints really were my transferable skills, my life experiences, and my attributes and those three things are the lenses through which I view life.
Achim Nowak 00:25
Hey, this is Achim Nowak, executive coach and host of the my fourth act podcast. If life is a five act play, how will you spend your forth that? I have conversations with exceptional humans who have created bold and unexpected for that, listen, and to be inspired. And please rate us and subscribe on whatever platform you’re listening on. Let’s get started. I am delighted to welcome Carl Ficks to the My fourth act podcast. After his 30 year career as a trial lawyer, Carl closed that chapter of his life. Just this year, Carl has been a committed long distance runner and cyclist. And in his new Act, Carl helps busy professionals reclaim their wellness through a business which he calls no surrender. Welcome, Carl Ficks.
Carl Ficks, J.D. 01:26
Hello, Achim. Thank you so much for having me on. It’s an honor and a privilege. And I’m very excited for our conversation.
Achim Nowak 01:32
Well likewise, in many ways, this podcast is about stepping into new acts. And I’m thrilled to talk to somebody who literally has just done that. But let’s start by looking at your childhood because I’m always interested to learn about who we wanted to be when we thought we wanted to be when we were young children. So when you were a boy, or a teenager, did you have thoughts of who you wanted to be when you grew up?
Carl Ficks, J.D. 02:01
Absolutely. The first nine or 10 years of my life, we lived outside of New York City and a small Connecticut suburb. And my father worked in Manhattan, and he would on occasion take me to work in the summer. And I fell in love with the city, the vibrancy of it the speed, the ebb and flow of the traffic and people walking on the sidewalk. And I vividly recall to this day when he took me to the circus at the old Madison Square Garden. And I can still remember, and I can sense the smell when we descended the escalator. So New York to me just had an incredible vibrancy. And and I did not know as a young boy, what I wanted to do. All I knew was I wanted to be in Manhattan, there was something some great allure. But then we moved and my father no longer worked in Manhattan. And we moved to Central Connecticut and I kind of shifted gears as I got older and I thought being a professional baseball player would be kind of cool. So I pursued that a bit. And that ended with a thud
Achim Nowak 03:07
what what was the thud? Tell me about the thud.
Carl Ficks, J.D. 03:11
Sure. So I played baseball for many years in my childhood into teenage years. And then I tried out for my college baseball team, which was then a very good division one baseball team, the highest in college. And after three days, I realized a couple things. The guys on the team were stratospherically better than me. I also realized I was I perhaps at home a big fish in a small pond. And the then manager of the team seemingly agreed with that because after three days, I was cut. And when I was cut there went that dream perhaps it was a pipe dream But A Dream nonetheless.
Achim Nowak 03:50
This is where my mind goes when you tell the story is how do you adjust or how did you adjust to this dream that you had about baseball? Within three days being taken away from you what was that like?
Carl Ficks, J.D. 04:03
Well, I wandered a bit and mumbled as I as I wandered around campus, but then I realized Okay, this is this is all right, we can we can adapt and on the physical side I satisfied the physicality desire or need through rugby, I joined the club rugby team in college. And then the intellectual side, it led me to law school because I drew great parallels between what I wanted to do as a lawyer trial work. And I drew great parallels with athletic competition. And in many ways trial work, which I’ve done was mental gymnastics. So I channeled my athletic dreams, desires into a professional career instead of professional baseball.
Achim Nowak 04:49
I never got before this mental connection between some essential qualities of being an athlete and being a trial lawyer, but I totally get what you said. Now you and I were Introduced by a mutual friend named Walt Hampton. And Walt is a former lawyer as well. You were a trial lawyer for an indifferent forums for 30 years. That’s a really long run. I know you did some other stuff in between. But if you had to paint a picture for our listeners, about the things that you really loved about being a trial lawyer, but to most professional, there’s also a dark side, like what what are some of the things that were really challenging or frustrating for you?
Carl Ficks, J.D. 05:32
Well, I’ll start with the first piece. I did love being a lawyer, and I loved being in court. I love being in front of a judge and I love to write briefs. And there were many personally satisfying moments which validated my choice, and I’ll share one with you. I was years ago appointed to defend a police officer who was sued in civil court, there was an accidental shooting, when he this officer went to break up a drug by his firearm discharged accidentally wounding a suspect. The suspect was fine. After the incident, he did sue the officer who was cleared. But we ended up in civil court. And I defended him for two years. And I got to know this gentleman very, very well. We had a good resolution. And many years after my father passed away, and I was at the way kind of cold January night standing, greeting all the folks paying their respects to my dad. And at the end of the line, after three hours, I saw the officer. And he finally made his way up to where we were standing. And I said to him, jack, I cannot believe you are here. And he said Carl, many years ago, you were there for me. So tonight, I’m here for you. And that was a very powerful moment because it validated many of the things that I tried to be and do as a lawyer many of the trades which I learned from my dad, who we were mourning that night, I walked out of there filled with gratitude that I had made that impact on this officer. So many years later, he paid it back to me in the form of showing up at the wake. It was an incredible moment. On the flip side, there were some moments where I was defending an insurance company in a in a lawsuit involving some defective concrete, which was a phenomenon here in Connecticut. And I took the deposition of a woman. And I said is this stressful. And she looked at me and said, I have multiple sclerosis. And stress is not good for multiple sclerosis. And as a lawyer, I just plowed ahead. But as a human being I had tremendous empathy. And my heart was breaking as I was talking to this woman who was going through something very traumatic, the concrete which held up her house was crumbling. So those were two moments that I can juxtapose one very powerful, and a happy note and one very powerful and a more sorrowful note
Achim Nowak 08:02
what I get from both of your stories, and to me, it’s an obvious link to what you’re doing now is that you care about people, and did you care about the impact you’re personally have on people. And that’s a beautiful thing. For many of us, that is a deeper purpose. When I say the word trial lawyer, you know, because I’m not one, I think of all the images I’ve seen on television shows and in movies. So I’m going to throw some of the cliches at you. And I’m going to ask you deconstruct them, which is alpha, male, aggressive, combative, you know, hyper attached to winning something. And another stereotype I have is the inability to let go of that part of the job and the rest of your life. Like how did you navigate? I’m not saying you were any of those things, Carl, are just giving you the any listener my go trial lawyer, oh, this is what we think of how did you navigate that landscape?
Carl Ficks, J.D. 09:01
I think one of the one of the skills you learn in law school, at least I did was the ability to triage and silo things in your in your mind. And you’re not going to last very long in what is a fairly bruising profession, if you hold on to things and don’t let them go. Because you’re it’s a fast pace, and you need to keep moving. And there are some wins and there are some losses. If you’re a professional baseball player and you hit 300. In other words, you get three hits out of every 10 times you’re up at bat you’re in the Hall of Fame. If you’re a trial lawyer three wins out of 10 you may not be in the Hall of Fame, but everybody wins and everybody loses. And you’ve got to be flexible, and you have to have an extremely thick skin. I would often joke that I during my practice was quote virtually undefendable end quote. Because you have to let things roll off. And I think some of the adjectives that you Throughout there, there’s a trend there are younger lawyers Not that I want to date myself. But a lot of younger lawyers think that the louder you are. and and the the more noise you make, it equates to being a better lawyer, that is absolutely not the case. There are extremely skilled trial lawyers out there, who are very quiet and very peaceful almost, and they just are very subtle, but they get their message across and they win over the hearts of juries. So you don’t have being loud does not equate to being a good lawyer in the courtroom.
Achim Nowak 10:34
And that wisdom applies to how we are effective, I think, in all aspects of life, not just for lawyering in most professions. So that’s beautiful wisdom, you just share, since in your new business, you help successful professionals take care of their wellness. I can’t help but think so when you were a lawyer in those 30 years did what were your own wellness practices? Like how did you take care of yourself?
Carl Ficks, J.D. 11:01
Well, I again, I was athletic as a kid in college and in law school. But then my first few years in all candor, were devoted fully to the practice, because those are the very formative years. And the first five plus years, I neglected my body because I was fully vested in my 10 1214 hour days. And I realized that that was not sustainable. So I set a goal of kind of getting back in shape. And I tied that goal into the childhood dream of mine, I wanted to run the New York City Marathon. So not knowing how to do that I bought a book, I didn’t have any friends that ran long distance. So I bought a book and I read it and I and I trained. And I got back kind of got my fitness back. And and from that point going forward, it really helped me throughout the career, or my career, principally because it kind of set the tone of the day, I would like to do my workouts in the morning. Because when I do them in the morning, I own them, they are mined, no one can take them. And then I go to work with a more clear head. And whatever happens happens, I found myself to be much better prepared for the day and whatever came at me.
Achim Nowak 12:20
I’m a morning worker out are like you and I totally understand. And I’m blessed with the fact that it’s not hard for me to get up early in the morning. And it’s a powerful way to not just physically but mentally, emotionally, spiritually, prepare us for whatever the day brings. So I appreciate you for sharing sharing that practice. Now, I believe you’re 57 years old. Yes, sir. You make me feel very old when you call me sir. Thank you. No, that was meant respectfully. Yes, it was. And I’ll ask that we strike that from the record. It’s all right. I am sure you had another at least 10 long years ahead of you if you wanted to, to keep doing the same thing. And you chose to stop your lawyer practices here. And, and switch to something that obviously is connected to your, your desires and pleasures as an athlete and wellness for yourself. But it can look like a radically big change. How did you arrive at stopping one chapter and starting a totally different one.
Carl Ficks, J.D. 13:36
The pandemic was for many reasons, a kind of a seismic event. We all know the bottom fell out in March of 2020. And things shifted and I really took a deep dive on my bicycle riding and it was very, very helpful. And as I pedaled through the pandemic, I started to think about maybe doing something else where I could take this passion for fitness and maybe help some others in a different way. Because as a as an attorney, we are in service to others. And that’s kind of marked my professional life. I’ve been a board member that’s in service to the philanthropy on whose board you sit. It’s just I’ve always wanted to be in service and help others. So I pedal literally and metaphorically through the pandemic. And then I got to thinking, well, maybe I could inspire some folks that maybe lost their way on the fitness side to get back and get their health going. Because, again, folks in the pandemic, whether it was purposeful or mindful or not some let their health go. And we’ve seen that and the studies are they abound on what has happened to both physical and emotional health. And then I linked that with with a comment by I go to a cardiac preemptively. And some years ago, my cardiologist said to me that I motivated or inspired him to actually lose weight, which I found paradoxical, a patient inspiring a doctor. So I linked those two. And then I triangulated it with in early March of this year, we lost a very good friend and partner at my law firm. And I had worked with this gentleman for 20 plus years. And he died in his sleep at the age of 63. And he was full of life, and there was so much left for his life or in his life. And I put those three things together, and I started thinking there might be something else to do. So I’ve got some thoughts on how I came to the fourth act. And I love to share them at the appropriate time.
Achim Nowak 15:48
Yeah, it’s, it’s very cool. The other thought that immediately comes to mind to me, when when some would like you, you embark on a really big transition and you’re starting a new business from scratch. How did that conversation go with your spouse, because it helps if the partner is on board, but it it can kick up a lot of stuff for your spouse as well about, you know, when somebody’s done something for 30 years, and you step into new arena, despite that for us if you would,
Carl Ficks, J.D. 16:19
okay, I have a full support of my wife, Carol, we’ve been married almost 27 years. She is very dedicated to health and wellness. So this was kind of a natural fit and having been married so long, she could see the stress load. And I tried my level best not to bring that home at times it seeped through. I would have a joke with her every morning, I’d ride into work. And I think to myself, who am I going to fight with today? And that that takes a toll. Lawyers, some are bad news brokers. And I wanted to kind of flip that and work on something a little perhaps happier. It sounds pithy, but it’s it’s accurate. So I have had and have the full support of, of my spouse.
Achim Nowak 17:11
I’m very happy for you. Because I know, I know what a difference that makes. Yes, indeed it does. Word from your sponsor. That’s me. I invite you to go to the website associated with this podcast www.my, fourth active.com, you will find other equally inspiring conversation with great humans. And you will also learn more about the my fourth act mastermind groups where cool people figure out how to chart their own for tax. Please check it out. And now back to the conversation. I’ve been a serial entrepreneur. And I remember the first time I I launched my first business, there’s that moment when when we have a vision, we feel strongly about it. And then if I can use the vernacular, then you go shit, now I have to get some clients, right? Because that’s a part of your new adventure, right is that you’re entering a new field with a new professional identity. People need to hire you. How do you how do you go about all of them?
Carl Ficks, J.D. 18:23
You mentioned walt Hampton. And Walt has been my coach during this journey, a wonderful journey. Yes. And part of this is the way this came about. If I could share it with you this the fourth act, please do. So let’s let’s take up an artist who has his or her palette in their hand and on the palette they mix. And they lay and mix their colors and paints. So I started to do that. And and my paints really were my transferable skills, my life experiences, and my attributes. And those three things are the lenses through which I view life and looking at transferable skills, you’d say, okay, as a lawyer, what are they? Well, most lawyers can speak well, most lawyers can write well, and we have deductive reasoning skills. So I’m simply translating or transferring those skills over to this fourth act. But I would take those life experiences, transferable skills and attributes. And I started to mix them on this blank canvas. And it’s sharpened and what what appeared was no surrender. And this was not done under the cover of darkness, you know, talking about my wife or I would bounce things off her. What do you think of this? What do you think of that? So you take these transferable skills. Then I started to write, I started to do some content marketing, I pushed out pieces on LinkedIn, basically, setting the table. Hey, this is what has worked for me. Perhaps it will work for you and I’d love to help you. Do that. So that’s that’s kind of the way I went about it. And I’m still going about it because as you said, it’s it’s really in its infancy. And it’s it’s very exciting. And the canvas is not fully blank. There. It’s, it’s filling in, but there are still, I’m still mixing the colors,
Achim Nowak 20:19
I want to take this beautiful metaphor you use with a blank canvas and mixing the colors that what I heard are already inherently in you, you know, that’s the beauty of filling this new canvas. And if I related to our listeners, no matter what age you’re at, whether you’re in your 40s, or 50s, or 60s and 70s, that blank canvas is there, and we have the inner colors, and we can choose how we put them together. And I thought that was a very apt metaphor you shared with us. Because you your launch, no surrender in May. We’re recording this in August. So it’s literally brand new. And it might be wonderful. If you share with our listeners, if anybody else is thinking, Oh, I, I have ideas for our business. I would like to start what are some things you’re and you’re already mentioned, the writing and other things to embroider some of the things you’re learning from your coach Walt Hampton, who’s a very wise fellow about how to step into any business where you want to serve people, but obviously also make a living. What else are you learning about this process?
Carl Ficks, J.D. 21:25
Many things. One is to follow your passion and what you think your your purposes, I think many folks perhaps sacrifice what they’re passionate about to earn a living. And I completely, I completely get that people need health insurance, they need direct deposit on their paycheck. But it’s it’s very liberating to say, Okay, I’m very, very passionate about this. I’ve done what I’ve could do in 30 plus years, let’s try something new, and channeled all of that energy and all of that passion into something new. and few other things Walt has told me is be absolutely clear in your messaging on what you what result you will and can deliver. So I say that I help busy professionals reclaim their wellness. People may not know how to get back in a fitness routine that they may have done it when they were younger, they want to do it. But they don’t have a roadmap and they need a roadmap before Google Maps, we use physical hardcopy, roadmaps, and they helped guide us now everybody’s got Google Maps and ways and it’s easy to just click a button. There’s not a lot of thinking to that, well, we don’t have fitness buttons, there are fitness apps, but you do need some help now. And then. So I’ve kind of been there, done that on a lot of the fitness stuff. And I really just want to share that with people and reaffirm and to the folks that yes, you can get back in the game, it’s not that difficult. And the benefits, the upside is so much greater than the downside. As in Well, I really don’t want to get out of bed to do this. But but the upside is tremendous.
Achim Nowak 23:17
The other thought that that occurs to me, as you step into your fourth Act, which is creating a whole new business that serves busy professionals. You’re not doing the lawyering that you used to do every day. So there’s there’s a whole other part of your life canvas that you can explore because you have more time and space. So are there any things as you look forward that that you go Carl, I’d like to do more of this. Maybe I’d like to do less of this as you fill your canvas. What are the things that are of interest to you?
Carl Ficks, J.D. 23:54
Well, I think without the rigors of the private practice of law, I have a little more time to travel. I do love to travel and explore. I would also love to learn how to surf. I gave that a shot a few years back because as a kid I used to skateboard and I do snow ski and I figured well if I could do those two things, surfing will be easy. Well wasn’t. That lasted about three minutes and then I realized, okay, I need some help here. I’d love to get try that again with and learn from a coach who knows what he or she is doing on a surfboard. And then I would love to learn a foreign or another language. I took some Italian years ago that fell off like something’s due my trial schedule got too busy. But when I’ve traveled in foreign countries, I feel very ignorant only able to speak English. And I would love to get back into that and and learn a second language because I feel a bit handicapped or handcuffed. Only speaking English especially When I travel, so I’d love to do a few of those things. And I think that will, again, that will impact how I interact with my clients and my audiences. Without a doubt,
Achim Nowak 25:16
everything you just mentioned, you know, where my thoughts went is exploring other facets of yourself. And having time to do that. And if I stick to the metaphor is it becomes an even richer palette of who you are, and giving you a permissive permission to do that, which is what many people do in their fourth acts. You said something earlier that I had to check a little bit because well, you said, you know, because I’m a lawyer. No, we’re good writers. And I don’t think it’s a given that lawyers are automatically good writers for mass consumption. And you are a really good writer. I’ve read your Friday messages called Friday Ficks a play on your name, which is wonderful. They’re very inspirational. What do you love about writing, as as a form of self expression, not to do illegal documents, but to to reach the people you want to serve?
Carl Ficks, J.D. 26:10
Writing is just very cathartic for me. And I love to be able to convey a feeling I think writing gives a lot of texture to life, and your if you’re able to deliver that texture to somebody, that’s an incredible feeling. So you are you are correct. Not all lawyers heard. There is some rigidity to legal writing, without a doubt, I have it even when I was a young lawyer, it I would draft briefs for the partners I worked for. And I’d weave in music lyrics. And they’d look at me and say, Carl, you can’t put this in there. But I’ve had judges Tell me, you know, when I got to be older, I did work them in and judges got a kick out of them, because it’s a respite from the incredibly dry stuff that lawyers write. So I think it’s a it’s very rewarding to me to be able to put a short piece together or a long piece that delivers something in a clear, concise and relatable manner. I just, I like to write relatedly. I never spoke legal ease when I met with clients, because they don’t want that. It’s like a good doctor when you go to a doctor and he or she explains things in layman’s terms, and you get it lawyer and can be convoluted. And the if you can deconstruct that for your client, they appreciate that. So I just try to share some life experiences unique takes on things and perhaps throw out a little nugget of wisdom or inspiration. That’s the point of my Friday Ficks.
Achim Nowak 27:46
Well, we’ll let our listeners know at the end how they can find you. But I every piece of your writing that I’ve read is has been purely inspirational and not in a hokey way, not in a forced way in a very genuine and heartfelt way. And that’s a testament to how good of a writer that you are.
Carl Ficks, J.D. 28:05
Well, I can I can say I read your latest book called The moment A Practical Guide to creating a mindful life in a distracted world. And there were many wow moments in that book. It was so it I love a good book I love to read. And I jotted notes down as I was reading your book. And they were Wow. Wow, wow, there are multiple wow moments and I and I said it’s it’s what a gift that you were able to convey some deep concepts in very digestible terms. So I love the practical guide part of it. Because as I’ve said, practicality is good. It’s and helpful.
Achim Nowak 28:47
I appreciate those kind words. Thank you. I have one final question about because it’s so pressing my mind because you’re in the middle of it. And I’m somebody who started several businesses in the personal development space, which is in a way where you are as a wellness supporter, coach, mentor, whatever label you want to use. I know how exciting it is to step into the new. But I also know they can bring up discomfort when we step into the new. So if you What is most exciting for you about this journey right now. And second part, what is something that feels really uncomfortable because it’s so different.
Carl Ficks, J.D. 29:32
most exciting is the folks I’ve met in this community. It has been an incredible journey. I’ve used that word more than once today. The folks that I’ve met in this space, shall we say are incredibly warm, incredibly authentic, incredibly genuine. Not that there are people in the legal community that tick those boxes off but the very nature of that business is adversarial, especially the side that I was on. So the folks I’ve met in this community, almost every person has said, How can I help you, which is it’s 180 degree pivot. So that has been wonderful. And it’s been affirming. It’s been validating, and it’s been inspiring because these folks, you included, say, you can do this, and you will do this and take my hand, I will help you that that has been staggering, frankly. But some of the things Walt has pushed me way out of my comfort zone. I don’t, it’s a bit paradoxical to be in court, and not like the spotlight on you. Because it is you’re in front of a jury. But I don’t really like the spotlight on me. I don’t like talking about me. So that has been, I’ve had to get over those phobia may be too strong of a word, but kind of that uncomfortable thing. I remember the day I was married, I thought, this will be easy. I’ll just get up there and people no problem. And it wasn’t the fact that I was getting married. I when I got up there, I said, I really don’t like all these people looking at me, it was very uncomfortable. So part of this journey, Walt again, has pushed me outside of my comfort zone. And I’ve you know, worked on that. And it’s been, it’s been exhilarating, frankly, because I do love to try new things. I mean, I love to explore as you said, I mean, when I was younger, I wanted to learn how to scuba dive, I had no friends that scuba dive. So I went out and took a patty class, the PA di I didn’t know how to ski as a kid, I joined the ski club in junior high just to learn how to ski. So I like to do these things. So this is this is kind of an exploration and the uncomfortableness is fine. I’m okay with it.
Achim Nowak 31:48
Yeah, it’s so clear what you said, because I just kept thinking, you are an adventurer, you are an explorer, you know that discomfort is part of it. And it’s just part of the journey of exploration. It just makes complete sense. Absolutely. You’re 57. Now, you’re stepping into a whole new fourth act, based on what you’ve learned as a long term trial lawyer based on what you’re learning from the folks you’re engaging with now about your your next act. If you had a chance to share a piece of wisdom with young Carl, based on what you know, now that you couldn’t have known when you were a boy, what what would you want to say to him?
Carl Ficks, J.D. 32:27
I would say to to a young girl to slow it down a bit, again, to embrace the moment using the title of your book. And the best story that I can share with you is years ago, my wife and I went to Paris with some friends. And it was two or three nights. And we had the checklist. We had notre DOM, we had the chomps LSA. We had the loop, we had the museum, daresay even somebody in our group wanted to go see where lady die had recently died in that tunnel. And we got into Paris, and we got out and then on the train ride out of Paris back to Milan where we were staying. It was kind of like, yeah, that Paris was fun. And that was that. And upon reflection, I should have slowed that down and soak that in a little more. Because, again, youthful exuberance and perhaps some naivete, I thought, oh, I’ll be back to Paris. No problem, no big deal. Well, I was 24 years ago, and I have not pin back to Paris. And I’m yearning to get back. So slow it down a step and enjoy the moment. And I had one of those moments this morning, I went out riding on my bike, and I was on a straightaway. And I saw some leaves on the ground, and I slowed down and I looked around and I looked up and I saw a black bear in a tree eating branches. So I stopped and I took some photos it was an incredible experience. If If I had my head down and was cycling 20 miles an hour or I was speeding 35 or 40 miles an hour in a car. I never would have seen that black bear in the tree this morning. And that those are some of the moments that that you can enjoy frankly in in fitness that you miss when you’re speeding through life.
Achim Nowak 34:09
What a beautiful story to end on and I preach appreciate the phrase used about Paris which is choosing the moments off the checklist. And we learned so much about life and ourselves when we give ourselves permission to to leave the checklist and your your moment from this morning is perfect. If our listeners want to learn more about you find you Where would you like to direct them.
Carl Ficks, J.D. 34:38
My website is my name it’s carlficks.com and I’m also on LinkedIn and I’d love to connect with anybody and everybody. And that’s just Carl Ficks Jr, J.D. You can find me there and that’s where I post my Friday Fickses and I do have a newspaper column In a local paper every other week, so if you just type in Friday Ficks in Google, you’ll find them.
Achim Nowak 35:06
Fantastic. I’m so happy for you for the journey that you’re on. And I’m so glad you, you shared it with us. Thank you, Carl.
Carl Ficks, J.D. 35:15
Thank you so much. I’m very, very grateful to have been your guest. It’s been a wonderful chat. Thank you so much.
Achim Nowak 35:22
It was my pleasure. Bye for now. Bye. Like what you heard, please go to my fourth act calm and subscribe to receive my updates on upcoming episodes. Please also subscribe to us on the platform of your choice. Rate us give us a review and let us all create some magical fourth acts together. Ciao