EDINBURGH FRINGE 2023 / INTERVIEW
"Bringing this book into a live performance is me going full circle back to my original dream of making a difference and having more impact as a performer."
Wisdom of the Men
This cabaret-style show features musical, fun and comedic life lessons based on Pulitzer-nominated memoir by celebrity entrepreneur Clint Arthur. With stories and adventures personally experienced by the author with Mick Jagger, Robert Downey Jr, George Clooney, Oprah, Mike Tyson, Brooke Shields, Caitlyn Jenner, Tony Robbins, Simon Cowell, Woody Allen, Martha Stewart, Presidents Jimmy Carter, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, and more. 59 minutes that will change your life forever
Hi Clint, thank you for talking to The New Current, how does it feel to be bringing your World Premiere of Wisdom Of The Men to Edinburgh Fringe and C Venues this August?
Premiering “Wisdom Of The Men” at Edinburgh Fringe is one of the most exciting and energising adventures of my life. I attended the festival 15 years ago, and I’m excited to have my show competing in such a frothy environment. I love the energy and competitiveness of the Fringe festival, and, I’m very grateful for all of the help of all the international superstars and the United States presidents whose stories with me in my show that will help “Wisdom Of The Men” to stand out.
Will this be the first time you have brought a production to the Fringe?
This is my first stage production at the Fringe and the first time I have adapted one of my books for the stage.
What does bringing a show like Wisdom Of The Men to Edinburgh mean to you?
Putting “Wisdom Of The Men” up on the stage is thrilling, because for anyone who knows my story, I spent 13 years chasing the Hollywood dream, and that adventure put me behind the wheel of a taxi for many many years, earning a subsistence living due to my passion and misguided belief that I could “break into show business” as a “nobody.” Bringing this book into a live performance is me going full circle back to my original dream of making a difference and having more impact as a performer.
Wisdom Of The Men, your memoir, was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, what did it mean to you to get this level of recognition for your writing?
The Pulitzer nomination really proved to me the power of intention and goal-setting, because it never would’ve happened had I not put it down on my list of goals to achieve during my decade of the 2020s. It is especially meaningful and thrilling to me because my high school creative writing teacher, Frank McCourt was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and that has always been one of my guiding inspirations.
Before we get into it…I have to ask…what is the ‘best piece of art’ Andy Warhol considered?
When I met Andy Warhol at Studio 54, he took me back to his “factory” that night at 2 o’clock in the morning and told me that “business is the best art.” I understand where he’s coming from, because especially in the work that I do today, helping authors speakers, coaches, and other experts to become celebrities in the eyes of their clients and prospects, it’s equal parts science and art.
What are you hoping to take away from your Edinburgh experience?
I’m really hoping that people will love the show and that I can change peoples lives with my message and the messages that I am bringing from so many of the international superstars and US presidents that I have had a great privilege to meet in my lifetime. While I understand and respect and love the power and importance of entertainment, what I have set out to accomplish with this show is to not just entertain, but also to educate, inspire and guide people as to how you can have more impact influence, and income in your life.
Can you tell me a little bit about how Wisdom Of The Men came about, what made you want to adapt your memoir into a cabaret style production?
I have been performing “Wisdom Of The Men” as an educational presentation for many years, the stories have been worked and reworked and adapted and changed and evolving during the many hundreds of stage presentations I have made at business conferences all around the world. I started seeing posts about the festival on Facebook, and it occurred to me that this book was especially well suited to become a play, because there’s so many dramatic moments in the stories of my life, and with the incredible “unicorns” — people who are household names all around the world — who have taught me so much.
"There is a tremendous amount of value that you get when you invest money into studying with somebody who actually is a master at what they’re doing."
Has this been something you’ve longed wanted to do?
I always wanted to be somebody special, I starred in many school plays as a kid, Robert Downey, Jr. and John Cryer (who starred for many years with Charlie Sheen in 2 1/2 men) were both classmates of mine in 8th grade, and I have a long wondered “why them and why not me?” I’m fortunate to be in a position where not only do I have the burning desire to make this happen, but also the lifestyle I’ve created where I am able to take the time and make the investment — I have put my whole life into this show — because it’s now or never.
Has it been cathartic for you during your adaption of Wisdom Of The Men to look back at these stories and moments in your life?
Not only has it been cathartic, but it also has been fascinating to see the way the stories have reshaped themselves into a cohesive and unique work of art. I believe that the meaning of your life is determined by understanding the meaning of the stories of your life, and this is part of my continuous evolution and never ending pursuit of understanding the meaning of my life, and the meaning of life itself.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
In the show I’ve only put the most important pieces of advice that I’ve received in my life, and there are many many great chunks of wisdom in the show, but as I wrote in the book, and as I really believe, the most important thing I’ve learned from all of the amazing people that I’ve met can be narrowed down to two pieces of advice. #1, from my most important college professor in the Ivy League, Digby Baltzell, the man who invented the term WASP (white Anglo-Saxon protestant) “if, by the time you die, you have one true friend, you have lived a successful life.” And the second most important piece of advice is that “who you are is more important than what you actually do or sell — and this advice works — and has meaning — on so many different levels.
Who have been two of the most inspiring people that you have met?
The most inspiring people I’ve met have been Oprah Winfrey, whom I consider to be one of my most important storytelling mentors. I learned so much about storytelling from that woman. She also taught me that “you are responsible for your own success.“ And also the astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, who told me that “nothing is impossible.“ And then, for good measure I’d like to throw in Mike Tyson, who taught me to “stay humble.” You may notice that in this question, and in the previous question, I have gone beyond what was asked of me, and that’s part of what I always do: I always Overdeliver.
When did you realise you had a gift for public speaking, and it really is an art form?
I’m actually more of a writer than a public speaker, and I became a speaker to help get more attention and exposure from my writing. My gift — if you could call it that — comes from the thousands of hours of hard work that I have put into this craft of public speaking, and because of the many Investments I have made in mentorship. I’ve had the great privilege to be mentored by 4 National Speakers Association, Hall of Fame members, and countless other amazing public speakers. There is a tremendous amount of value that you get when you invest money into studying with somebody who actually is a master at what they’re doing. I’ve invested a massive amount of time & money studying with those kinds of people, especially over the last 10 years.
"...I’m grateful that I have been able to learn the lessons that you can only learn through extended periods of hard work, trial and error, failure, and discovering your true passion for whatever your art form may be."
What does Wisdom Of The Men, your book and now show, say about you you?
Wisdom of the men is the story of how I went from being a taxi driver to working with dozens of international superstars and 5 Presidents of the United States. This story is truly a testament to how anything is possible in this world if you are willing to work for it, take risks, get out of your comfort zone, and take action in the face of fear.
Do you have any advice, tips or suggestions you would offer anyone thinking about getting into writing, public speaking or entrepreneurship?
You must understand that all of these things are a marathon and not a sprint. There’s a huge misconception that people become overnight successes, and that if your book doesn’t become a bestseller immediately that it’s no good, or that it never will be. I learned from Jack Canfield, author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” that he and his partner promoted their book every single day for three years in order to make it into the bestseller that it became. That was actually pretty rapid ascension to success. I have been working as a writer for more than 40 years, and although it has not been easy, I’m grateful that I have been able to learn the lessons that you can only learn through extended periods of hard work, trial and error, failure, and discovering your true passion for whatever your art form may be. I made 57 television appearances before I was invited onto the biggest show in the United States, “The Today Show” where I was interviewed by Brooke Shields — I was thanking God every second of that TV appearance for all the hard work and years of travel and dedication that preceded my appearance on “The Today Show” because if I had not done all that work, I would’ve probably peed my pants and never could’ve had the quality of the performance and the results that I got from my appearance on that show. Hard work is everything.
And finally, what do you want your fringe audiences to take away from Wisdom Of The Men?
I want people who come to see my show to leave the theatre inspired to be more and do more and have more, and to believe in your heart that truly “anything is possible.” If you have read this far in this article, “Wisdom Of The Men” is something that was meant for YOU, and I look forward to meeting YOU in Edinburgh after the performance.