Updated: Oct 19
Brian Falduto (Mark Ostow)
Brian Falduto, best known for his character 'Billy' in the hit film School Of Rock, is now ready to share his message of positivity and acceptance for the world. Falduto's career includes his successful business and career as a certified I.C.F Life Coach and his continuing work in the entertainment industry, and most notably as a successful country singer.
In this interview with RyeTheNewsGuy.com, Brian Falduto talks about becoming a life coach, his music career, and new single "God Loves Me Too. The new single is an inspirational, uplifting song that speaks to the hearts of all people regardless of religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ethnicity.
You are known from your character Billy in the movie School of Rock. How did that role change you as a person and make you who you are today?
Well I think the main affect that the role had was that I ran from being associated with it for about 14 years .. and the things we resist tend to persist so in a way I feel like though I locked that flamboyant, expressive, unfiltered character inside me somewhere .. when I finally let him back out, he came back with full force. I think Billy represents a full embodiment of one’s inner diva & in a lot of ways it’s been empowering to welcome those colors back into the full spectrum of personality.
I understand that role was really tough for you for a few years after it came out. How did you cope with all of that?
I didn’t? Just a lot of denial and disassociation honestly. So I guess I coped but I didn’t deal. I think that’s why I’m so passionate about what I do now, life coaching, because when I did finally face everything it was real crash course in understanding myself and I feel like that should be a process that’s accessible for people earlier in life & more frequently.
How did you get into becoming a life coach? What has that been like for you, and what is the most rewarding thing about that?
Well I mentioned it a bit in the previous question but it was a very long and very winding road that led to me finding myself and loving myself and when I finally got a taste of what that side of things felt like in comparison to the running from myself and rejecting myself I had been doing for so long, I just became extremely invested in that process and wanted to understand it more both for myself and for others.
The most rewarding part of life coaching is connection. I don’t take the privilege of investing in someone’s story lightly and it’s a true honor that people let me in on this intimate partnership aimed at a better relationship with themselves.
Where can people learn more about your services? Are you online based?
Yes. I work entirely remotely. My life coaching page on my website, brianfalduto.com, is the most trusted source for information on what I specifically can do for someone as a coach. Also, follow @thegaylifecoach on Instagram for a daily dose of love.
What is the difference between a life coach and therapist?
Therapy is awesome. It’s also elaborate & extensive. It’s a terrific option for finding out why things are the way they are and for better understanding the stuff that comes up for us when triggered, etc. It often involves a look at the past. Life Coaching is all about the future. What is your goal, what’s in the way of your goal, and how do we get around that obstacle? We spend less time examining the obstacle. We just jump over it & see what’s on the other side. I personally think a combination of the two is the best scenario. The obstacle is often easier to push aside if you understand it.
Brian Falduto (Mark Ostow)
Do you use your music as an inspiration for your life coaching — do you feel there is a link between the two? Or that music can help people through tough times?
For a while, I felt a bit like I was tugging myself in two directions but I’ve actually discovered it all tends to mesh into one lane. With music, I’m developing an authentic love for myself and my story. I’m using that love to fuel what I put out there as an artist. With coaching, I’m helping others do the same. If we truly accept all that is about ourselves and our journey, we can’t help but start to put it out there in a way that’s truthful and therefore universal.
Your new single "God Loves Me Too," tell me a little more about that. Where did the inspiration come from for that?
It should be released next month. I wrote this song this past winter after several visits to the Hollywood United Methodist church, a beautifully inclusive community. Often, I'd go there on Sundays just to feel the nostalgia and witness a love so expansive and so unlike anything I ever thought I'd get to be a part of. And then one Sunday, I remembered the reality that there are LGBTQ youth growing up just as I did who don't know that communities like this will one day be an option for them. This song contains a very important message for them. We do not have to earn love and acceptance, we simply have to exist
Where did the idea for your single "Rainy Day" come from? The song and message is a beautiful one. Where did you come up with this?
Oh wow, “Rainy Day.” It’s been a moment since I’ve talked about that one. It was the lead single off my recent album Stage Two and it was written from the darkest moment of my songwriting years. It’s honestly all I could get out – I was stuck between a rock and a hard place and I was just trying to piece together where it had all gone wrong and what my options were. It became clear that I was letting myself be a victim to a toxic relationship and there were things I needed to say and do that I was not doing, which was in turn putting me at fault too. I was living in LA at the time temporarily and being from the East Coast, the no rain thing was weird for me .. so I came up with the comparison that I was saving it all for a rainy day. And by it all, I mean walking away from this guy who was treating me so terribly. But eventually, it rained.
How are you changing the scope of country music with your music? There are not many gay country artists--there really needs to be more--so how are you changing country music?
I’m not sure I’m changing country music but it’s a really sweet sentiment. I don’t believe I have the power to change people and things that don’t want to be changed. What I am doing is writing story songs based in truth and the facts of the matter is, I’m a guy and my stories are often about guys that I’ve been involved with. And I’m not going to try to appropriate the stories with a pronoun change or by tweaking the subject matter at all. I’ve been a fan of country music for nearly 10 years now and the content has always left me feeling a little left out. But I think we’re approaching a time where people want to hear my viewpoint now too. I’m hoping that every gay guy who likes country music will be excited to hear songs where it’s about a guy by a guy. And for the people who don’t like it, tough. I’ve had to go along with the songs about girls for years.
Brian Falduto (Mark Ostow)
Is there a specific routine you do when writing a new song? How do you usually come up with what to write?
My best writing comes when I’m open to the present moment, which often happens when I’m traveling. I’ll be headed to Nashville next months for 6 weeks for a writing trip. I’m just going to live and experience and see what comes up for me. NYC is a hard place to keep those neurological pathways of creativity open sometimes. There’s just too much going on.
What advice can you give to kids today who are struggling with their sexuality? How can they get through it?
Advice is tough because it tends to be a blanket statement that is unlikely to be applicable to everyone reading this. I think the best thing I can say to someone who is struggling is get help. E-mail me. Call the Trevor Project. Research options in your community. When you’re in the shadows, it can feel like there are no options but what causes a shadow? An obstruction to the light. Move the obstruction and you have light. That one reach-out could be all it takes. And then my other tidbit would be to take your time. We don’t know what’s on the other side of the obstruction to the light and that can be scary so it’s totally OK to wait until you’re ready. Ready will look different for everyone.
What is next for you and what are your plans for 2020?
Well I’m so excited to go to Nashville and write. We have the music video dropping sometime next month. And I’ve a few songs in my pocket for release thereafter. But I have a feeling a lot of 2020 will be dictated by the music video so I’m trying to keep myself open to whichever direction life wants to take me once it’s out.