We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric Oberto and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eric, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is the key to living your life to the fullest! The more risks you take- the more of life’s rewards you are likely to receive. All of my life people have told me to “play it safe” or “go with the flow”, and countless other useless statements that are born out of fear. Sometimes I’ve followed these pieces of advice and I’ve regretted it every single time! My biggest accomplishments and successes have all come from risk taking.
I think the fear of risk taking comes from the fear of loss. I started skydiving at the age of 45 and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, I only wish I would have started in my teens! So many people are afraid to skydive, and they all tell you not to do it because you might die. The drive to the skydiving site is more dangerous than jumping out of a plane, but fear and ignorance stops most people from experiencing amazing things.
This is the way I try to live my life: I want to experience as many amazing things as I possibly can while I’m on this planet. We all leave this planet eventually and I’d rather die while I’m doing something amazing, as opposed to living a long life by playing it safe and eventually dying in a long-term care facility. That’s not living and it’s no way to die!
To be clear- I’m not implying that people should take a bunch of risks and not have a plan, I’m saying that people should make great plans for their lives that include lots of big, calculated risks. Skydiving is statistically a very safe activity, and everyone should experience what it’s like to fly like a bird! If you did die while skydiving, then your last experience on this planet would be “flying like a bird”. That’s so much better than ending your life in long term care!
To sum it up- you won’t have an amazing life or career if you don’t take a bunch of risks! When planning your life, career, relationships or whatever- always be looking for the next “plane” to jump out of. Life is short, so get busy flying like a bird!
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.
The thing that sets me apart from others is that I refuse to follow the rules for anything, I’m just wired that way! Rules are made by people who want you to follow them, and these “rules” will keep you from challenging what truly is possible in any situation (business, art, life, etc.).
Currently I’m most excited about my new upcoming short film- SLEEP! I’ve never written a script before, and this project is going to be a huge challenge for me. I will be wearing many hats- Director, Producer, Lead Actor, Supporting Characters (2), Editor, Colorist, Film Scorer, and I’m writing a new song that’s inspired by the film. This is a lot for one person to take on, but I’m ready to roll the dice. Speaking of “rules”, many people have told me that I’m taking on too many roles inside of this project- I can’t wait to raise the “bar of belief” and prove what’s possible!
I’m so proud to announce that my music video for my song- DARKNESS NEVER LIES just won BEST MUSIC VIDEO at the AUSTIN AFTER DARK FILM FESTIVAL! This was my directing and editing debut. To win an award at a reputable film festival is just amazing! I entered with the hope of being acknowledged for my work (maybe), but winning this award is so special!
Let’s talk about challenges for a moment, shall we? Starting at birth, my life has never been easy. I’ve had several health challenges along the way- I was born a “blue baby” (meaning not breathing) and almost didn’t make into this world. I was also born with a tumor that completely cover my right eye, so it was a tough start. I got a rare form of cancer at 16 years of age and almost lost my left leg (and my life). I didn’t have a great family life experience as a kid either, let’s just say that the mental scars I acquired during that period of my life are still with me today. Most recently (in 2015), I went deaf in my right ear. This infliction definitely turned my life upside down because I’m a play-by-ear musician. I never thought I would ever be able to right music again, and my life became a very dark place until recently. These are all mental and physical obstacles, but I’ve had tons of other obstacles or mountains to climb and conquer.
In just about every business or arts adventure that I’ve been on, I’ve never been “qualified” to go on the adventure. When I jumped into the financial industry, my resume looked like this: Barely graduated high School, didn’t go to college, singer in a band, partied all the time, and was told I was too young!
In the music business, my resume looked like this: Has synesthesia, is dyslexic, cant’ read music, can’t sing, can’t play an instrument. Everyone told me I didn’t have a chance in hell!
In the film industry, my resume looked like this: Not an actor, not a producer, not a director, not and editor and etc. Everyone told me I was crazy to try to get into the world of film in my late 40’s.
Now I’m about to go into voice acting, and you can already guess what my resume looks like, right?
The point is that nothing worth getting is easy, and the harder things are- the more you learn from your mistakes and experiences. Life is not easy, but it is short- so go all in, always (or don’t bother at all)!
I want the world to know that my brand and story is about embracing all of the darkness that life bestows upon us and finding the beauty within the darkness!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I don’t know what the itinerary would be because I like to be spontaneous when it comes to experiencing what a city has to offer. So here are some places I would most likely take my best friend. I’m not a big fan of things like BBQ (eating animals), the cattle industry, the oil industry, being a cowboy and etc. I’m a Vegan and more of “planet and animal friendly” kind of person. I also love going to see live music! With that being said- Dallas has a lot to offer Vegans, Planet-Friendly people, and music lovers. So here is a list of things we would do and places we would go:
SITES AND ACTIVITIES:
*Dallas Reunion Tower Geo Deck
*Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
*Perot Museum of Natural Science
*Dallas World Aquarium
*Bishop Arts District
*Sightseeing tour of downtown Dallas
EXTRA CREDIT NEARBY:
*Skydive Spaceland (great place to jump out of a plane!)
*Six Flags of Texas
VEGAN FOOD AND VEGAN OPTIONS:
*Spiral Diner & Bakery
* Vegan Vibrationz
*El Palote Panaderia
*Recipe Oak Cliff
BARS AND CLUBS:
*House of Blues
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There’s a long list of people that have influenced my life or pushed me to up my game, but that’s too many people to list. But I do want to say thank you to each of them right now, they know who they are.
However, there is one person who does deserve the most credit, and that person is my wife Tammy!
She came into my life during a very dark time period and instantly brought light back into my life. She is the piece that was missing from the puzzle of my life, and she made me want to be a better man! Tammy is one of the only people in this world who actually loves me for who I am, with no strings attached and that’s hard to find (and priceless).
No relationship is perfect nor easy, but mine’s pretty damn awesome!
Tammy Oberto (1 – Sunglasses pic)
Shannon Houk (2 – Split Face & Closed Eyes pics)
Erick Gustafson (2 – Megaphone & Stairs pics)
Carrie Phillips Smith (1 – Red pics w/ cross in background)