We had the good fortune of connecting with Hank Gowdey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hank, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Simply put, because I can’t do anything else. Of course that’s not to be said literally, but I find the artists I resonate with most in life are the ones that HAVE to do it as opposed to just wanting to do it. Both are valid, of course, in any case. In a schooling system wherein you have about 6 subjects to choose from – I was abysmal at 5 – leaving only English and the Arts to be left as the evident North Star for my life. Looking back, I’m grateful that I always knew what I wanted to do. Indecision is worse than the struggles of moving forward with a made decision. Art connects with people, and that’s special to me as a romantic and overall people’s person. Art is pro-humanity, and in being so, communities such as this bring people together that otherwise would have never crossed paths.

Ultimately, I’d say it’s my puzzling combination of being able to laugh at myself, having a vision I’d like to share, and being cripplingly paralyzed by self-loathing and doubt is what made me land in the arts. Thanks for asking.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets me apart from others? Nothing in terms of being another creative worker passionate about what they’re putting out, but everything in terms of I have my own vision and stories to tell, just I’d hope any artist would.

What am I most proud of? A feature length screenplay I sold. It showed me there’s no such thing as a true dream job, or that rather, even a nightmare’s still technically a dream. But commercially I’d say that’s it.

What am I most excited about? A collection of short stories I have in the works, and the traditional route I’ve chosen to go in terms of being published. That’d be a big personal achievement for me. Oh, and some small film work I have a hand in, too. That should be fun to share with the public.

How did I get where I am today professionally? Mental illness and a brain that wouldn’t shut up to the point where I was constantly scribbling down notes, jokes, ideas and pictures. Eventually, it pushed me to get onstage at a comedy club where I learned to further harness these mental inequities.

Was it easy? The not being able to stop thinking part? Yes. That’s just gonna happen. However, the side effects of a disquiet mind like that such as depression, suicidal ideation, and a general ostracization from “friends” and public hang-out invitations was something I had to learn to cope with. But hey, each day you get better. Each day you learn.

Lessons I’ve learned along the way? Write it shitty, it’s fine. Just get it written. Patience. There’s no shame in revisions. You’re your own worst critic and no one is thinking about you, they’re too busy being their own worst critic. And above all else? Dear God, just focus on having fun. There’s love in that fun, and when you keep your eye on it? It will bleed into whatever it is your produce. The people you’re making art for will then be able to receive that love.

What do I want the world to know about me? I’m just a regular human being trying his best, folks. If there’s anything I’d like people to take away from my story it’s that A) We all as people have a fight we’re fighting and never show others. Don’t be afraid to show it in your art, because it makes other’s feel less lonely. B) There’s a person you know you should be and sometimes there’s the person you are. Never give up fighting to be the person you know you should/could be. Try and be good to people.

That’s it.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m a pretty insular guy, never really leave the apartment. I have a small world. But I’d say, favorite spots in the city? Let’s see… Local liquor store, the 7-eleven at the end of the block, and a BDSM nightclub 60 miles away in Grapevine.

No, I’m kidding – If I had a buddy in town I’d take them along this route:

Katy Trail Ice House for Irish Coffee

Angelika and/or The Texas Theater for a fun reprinted screening of a film.

White Rock Lake bike ride.

Then I’d probably outsource a recommendation from a more hipster friend to find out about a secret Speakeasy that you need a secret password to get into so I can seem more interesting in my own city.

I’m a bad tour guide.

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?
Well firstly, organizations like this that facilitate the coming together of artists in one way or another are just it. Personally, what comes to my mind in terms of thanking people would be places like The Texas Theater, comedy clubs such as The Addison Improv and Hyenas Comedy Club, the DFW Writer’s Workshop, cinematographers like Cole Schwartz and Benjamin Hamner, and as hackneyed as it sounds – the general spirit of artist’s at large to be more or less welcoming to anyone who has something to share and wants to play.

Instagram: @HankGowdey

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hank-gowdey-82783a203/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@hankgowdey3255/videos

Other: You can find everything through my Instagram. Secondary Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/@HankGowdey Www.Patreon.com/LatestShow because who doesn’t have a pod show?

Image Credits
Cole Schwartz, Stuart Foster, Jackson Traeger

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.