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by Betty Dravis

Betty Dravis: Good morning, Rob, It’s my pleasure to have you visiting with us all the way from Holland. I’m glad you could make it, and thanks for taking time from your busy schedule.

I’d like our readers to know that I met you through model/award-winning screenwriter Kitania “Kitty” Kavey who starred in our first Dream Reachers book. She recommended you highly, but I must confess, when I started researching you it was your logo that intrigued me. Odd to say, but that orange lizard is rather attractive, in a funky kind of way. (laughs)

But first things first, Rob… To relate to people as you do, a person must have inborn intuition and certain powers of persuasion. Did you recognize any special skills as a child? When did the urge to help people start? Please share some of your early childhood with us. I’m especially curious about what it was like growing up in Holland.

Rob Waterlander: Well, Betty, I am not the typical personal, mental or motivational coach people might expect. My intuitive and empathetic nature is something I was born with and have developed over my lifetime. I have always been a beacon–shining and attracting people who were wondering what direction to go–although initially, I wasn’t aware in full. Looking back, I think things started moving in the direction of guiding people when classmates started asking for guidance, mainly girls sharing their emotions.

I feel I got my extensive class, or University of Life, the first three months of my life. Long story… (laughs)

Being adopted by two of the most loving parents after I was given away has been the key to unlocking my potential for intuitively seeing and feeling people. It helped me to enter the world of helping those in search of more of what they want.

And by the way, Kitty is an amazing person, gifted and so sweet.

In 1996 I started organizing youth sports events for charity: CliniClowns sports events. CC is a foundation that originated in NYC when Patch Adams started to perform as a clown in hospitals, entertaining children with long-term illnesses, sometimes terminal. These sports events put me in contact with professional soccer players and the rest is history; one soccer player referred me to another, etc. And I love it!

By the way, Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams is one of those special ones on earth. Would love to meet him in real life and have a chat.

As for Holland, my country is probably one of the best countries overall. I grew up in a suburb of Amsterdam, what used to be a little fishermen’s village where I felt safe, being able to play, hang out and develop the “real” me.

Betty Dravis: That’s interesting how CliniClowns started; I recall reading some stories about Patch Adams. I agree with you about him; he had to have been a caring, sensitive man to devote his life to children like that. I sensed when I met you that you were born with this “sensitive” ability, Rob. Thanks for explaining the fascinating details.

This might seem like an odd juxtaposition, but getting back to your logo before I forget: Why did you choose a lizard? And why an orange one…?

Rob Waterlander: I chose the lizard, Betty, because it’s associated with intuition and psyche, balance and sensitivity, helping us to detach from our past what no longer serves us. Detachment from ego, power to regenerate that which is lost, facing fear, controlling dreams, conservation, agility… The lizard is an archetype of adaptation, variation, flexibility and shrewdness. The lizard typifies characteristics that I work on every day within my own life, and it helps teach my clients to realize these same skills in theirs.

Also, the lizard’s stillness and its silence–having the peace and ability to hang-out for hours and hours in the heat of the sun–is something that I can relate to myself. So, as you see, there are various aspects of what the lizard is to me and, therefore, what made me choose it. I listen, absorb in silence, and then intuitively see and feel where the person’s next steps are.

Betty Dravis: Well, I can’t argue with your wise choice, Rob. I once chose the turtle as the logo for a newspaper I owned…because of its patience. But that didn’t last long because my subscribers thought I meant that they were “slow” like the turtle. (laughs)

Rob visits author Betty Dravis in California.

But back to you, after the lizard, the second thing I noticed on your page was your brilliant smile.  It was a pleasure when you visited my home in February to find that the smile is genuine and almost a constant…  I found you to be a truly happy, up-beat guy. In my opinion, only a man who has found his true calling in life can be that happy. But before you get into what you’re doing now, please share a little about the path it took to get from “there to here.”

Rob Waterlander: I am following the path leading to the sanctuary where I want to be, and being on track feels good. I have two lovely souls in my life who are blood related: my children, a son and a daughter. Those two are my link to many things in life that I cherish, given by one of the most remarkable women in my life, the high school sweetheart I married and was married to for almost twenty-one years. I divorced almost ten years ago, although she is someone I am eternally linked to. There is another woman in my life with whom I have found the connection I so want, leading closer to the sanctuary where I love and long to be. I am feeling good… From here, I have everything to offer to people looking for guidance, joy and releasing resistance in life, allowing them to be who they are and enjoying life in full.

Having been in sales for a long time, I learned a lot about myself and people. I enjoyed doing something that brought me success and acknowledgment of me as a professional: advising and selling roofing constructions for new and re-roofing projects with a contract value of up to more than two million dollars per project. One of the projects I did brought me to Richard Meier, the well-known and famous NYC architect.

My intuitive qualities were a valuable asset to work with project teams and buyers within the construction industry and during those years I developed my qualities extensively.

Betty Dravis: I agree, Rob, that being in sales teaches valuable lessons about others. I bet you felt proud and fulfilled when you actually viewed the architectural beauty of the completed construction projects, also.

I saw some recent photos of you with a lovely, dark-haired woman with a smile that matches your own. Is she the new woman that you spoke of above?

Rob with Carly

Rob Waterlander: Yes, Betty, she is felt as my mate in the sanctuary. (smiles) Her name is Carly Couweleers and we were brought together by one of her daughters and two of my best friends.  She is a guide, too—although a bit different from what I do. She is able to see through people at levels going beyond what most of us see, and I can see us working together with people in the future. It is amazing to experience someone to work with who is guided by spiritual guides and is a woman of God, also. That I asked for too…

Betty Dravis: I’m so happy for you both, Rob. Carly does, indeed, sound like a God-send and I can tell by your glowing description that she’s “the one” for you. (laughs) You should make a great, inspiring team. Like-minded, compatible people working together can perform miracles,

When you decided to take a road trip to visit me in Manteca, you were in the States for client meetings in San Francisco, and after you left you had more meetings in the L.A. area. Were those meetings successful and did you manage to help your clients progress in their search for a more meaningful life?

Rob Waterlander: I was in California for a few meetings with people and some workshops in San Francisco and L.A. I am glad I took the time to also drive down to Manteca from the Bay Area before heading to L.A.  Being able to meet up with you, as well as with your friend Johnny, was such a good thing.

You, being a mother, do have the natural drive and joy of wanting to make a difference, but it was Kitty Kavey who told me and still does: “Rob, go to L.A. They need you there.”  Truthfully, Betty, after having lived in San Diego in 2003, going back there has been a good stepping stone. I am glad I decided to say yes to the meetings. Whether the people I met are making the progress they want in their life or not, it is an option I offered to them. As you know, we all have freedom of choice.  I love working with those creative guys and gals…and Malibu is so my area. (smiles) I am certain to go back soon.

Rob poses on a hill overlooking Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Betty Dravis: It’s a great start, Rob, and I’m happy you enjoy working in the States. Speaking of road trips reminds me that you love to travel and have clients in many countries. What countries have you visited and where did you go on your most recent trip?

Rob Waterlander: I love the globe–the playground offered to all of us here in the world. The world is huge, although I think it is nothing compared to what is out there and waiting for us, Betty.  My last travels took me to the Middle East and I will be there soon again. It’s an amazing area… Also I had the chance to spend some time in Venice this summer.

I have been to many places in the world; except for the Far East I have been to almost all continents, although not all over those continents. I would love to see more of Africa and the Middle East. Sydney and San Francisco are my favorite cities. Another part in the world that intrigues me is South America; Venezuela and Bolivia showed me extremes in atmosphere.

My next travel will be to Saudi Arabia and Northern Africa, both for business. Then in 2011, I am also traveling to the USA, both for pleasure and business. Recently, I started to look more into the Dutch Islands, close to Amsterdam, and other than the climate, it is so wonderful.

Awesome shot of Rob in Venice.

Betty Dravis: Wow–all that travel boggles my mind! That’s a mighty ambitious agenda, Rob. You certainly do love to travel, and fortunately, you’re in the right career to be able to do it. (laughs)

I know cruises are a lot of fun, so what’s the funniest or most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you on a cruise?

Rob Waterlander: Wow, Betty…. hahahahaha… I had the chance to go on a cruise with my best friend–thanking him for all the years he gave me so much fun while he was playing in one of the leading soccer leagues in the world, the Premier League in England. We went to Norway and met some wonderful entertainers while on the cruise. He had a not-so-nice experience, which to me was very funny… (laughs) We kayaked in a beautiful fjord and he turned upside down while looking backwards; not so nice for him–losing his camera and phone.  But I will always remember that cruise as precious because I spent quality time with a dear friend who gave me a lot, both he and his wife. Enjoying food and travel with a dear friend is the best!

Rob and his lovely daughter Lisa on cruise to Venice.

Well, kind of funny, too, my son’s luggage not being there when traveling for a cruise departing from Panama and having to shop for new clothes almost every day because each day new promises came our way. Eventually, he had to take part in a formal night and seeing my son actually enjoying being dressed in a tuxedo was worth it. My son said, “The next time, I will probably travel with a plastic bag and an empty suitcase.” Six weeks later, the suitcase re-emerged having been to Miami and all over the Caribbean. (laughs)

And, very sweet was being with my daughter during a formal night seeing her in her evening gown.

Betty Dravis: It’s odd how those embarrassing moments give us laughs years later, isn’t it, Rob? As for your kids in formal attire, I’m posting a photo of you with your lovely daughter in her formal gown. She does, indeed, look so grown up and lovely. I bet your son was very handsome too.

Now, getting back to your career, to sum it up, you are an intuitive motivator, “people whisperer,” inspirer and guide and you work one-on-one with people to help create the life they want. This means working to ensure their independence and helping them discover or rediscover their personal light in order to continue through life’s challenges.

That sounds like a colossal job to me. Do you mind telling us how you begin with an individual? And please share a few success stories.

Rob with his handsome son Sven on a Panama cruise.

Rob Waterlander: Before I answer that, Betty, let me assure you and your readers that my work is not meant to substitute for those who have addictions or conditions that should be treated, but I can work as part of their team to success. All the possibilities are within each individual and I can help them discover the endless joy and happiness that is there.

Light is essential. Many times we try to see the light in our lives, and we can’t. It may seem there is no light… Circumstances and events can overwhelm us. Even well-meaning friends and family can discourage us from living our true purpose. Entertainers and sports stars, in particular, are under tremendous pressure to fulfill the expectations of others around them, often losing themselves and their personal focus in the process.

What I always start with is tuning in on people, feeling and seeing behind the masks we all wear in daily life. I am just silent… I listen and, occasionally ask a question. Listening to what they say and don’t say, figuring out where they are and where they want to go…

Talking about individual people, I would have to give disclosures that most prefer me not to give. In general, I can say this: Entertainers and sportspeople with level-headed spouses who use common sense should stay in close connection with their partners, enabling them to thrive. When they lack support of a good husband/wife or similar, they might, sooner or later, need a person who is able to give support, guiding them through life’s challenges and helping them to focus on what they do so well.

Rob's parents, his children and their mother get together to celebrate his mother's 80th birthday.

Betty Dravis: I understand and respect the privacy of your clients, Rob, so thanks for generalizing for us. I totally agree that a helpful mate is a powerful force and it’s very important to support one another…whether it’s a spouse or a dear friend.

I hear that you specialize in working with people in the entertainment and sports community; professional athletes, musicians, singers, movie actors, artists and other creative talent. Why and how did you manage to narrow the field?

Rob Waterlander: As I said earlier, the sports events helped me connect with sports people and those guys kept referring me to other athletes.

Basically, I have chosen these entertainers and sports people, as well as other creative guys and gals, because I enjoy working with people with that specific state of mind. Driven and at the same time fragile somehow. I think all the attention and “The show must go on” stress levels make people prone to stuff that would stress out anyone. There is just no escape when everybody is expecting a brilliant performance and appearance.

Rob & Carly biking on Vlieland, one of the Dutch Islands.

Betty Dravis: You’re absolutely right about that, Rob. We’ve all seen some of our favorite stars, whether entertainers or athletes, fall apart due to that kind of stress.

I’ve heard through the grapevine that you’re good at what you do and I hope you don’t mind if I share what a few people wrote about you. I’ll start with Kitty Kavey since I know her and she’s mentioned above.

“Intuitive, kind and empathetic to others, Rob Waterlander is an absolute joy and privilege to work with. If you’re in the entertainment or sports industries, he really “gets” the pressures that we have to live up to–not only our own expectations, but the needs and expectations of those around us and the public. He doesn’t preach, or tell you what to do or which plan to follow. Instead he leads each individual to the place within where the answers lie. He gently guides one to what they know, and what they need to know, to not only be successful in career, but also to be able to reconnect with the happiness and peace within. Not only that, but Rob is also an expert in combining the realities of business and marketing (and public relations), with the spiritual/emotional needs of an individual.” – Kitania Kavey, Screenwriter, Actress, Model, The Netherlands/Europe

And the following is from a sports professional in the UK:

“Rob is someone who is empowering and directing. He has the ability of communicating at the right moments, pointing out exactly that part I couldn’t see beyond at that moment. I call it diving in, opening and showing the pregnant space of possibilities… opening doors to what was waiting so close. In a way, I wasn’t initially aware that I was applying aspects of what he said and shared when we interacted. When distracted by people in my daily professional or personal life, it’s easier to feel the patience of knowing whether now, tonight or tomorrow I would exactly see what I needed to see. As an athlete with a focus on performance, once or twice a week having a balanced day-to-day life is essential. Rob is a valued part of keeping focused, knowing that all is well.” – Fabian Wilnis, Professional Footballer, UK

Rob & Carly with friends Juliet and Fabian Wilnis, a professional footballer, UK.

Those are powerful words of praise, Rob. Knowing that you’ve helped those people must be encouraging to you, keeping you inspired and focused on your own dreams and goals. I’ve heard you say, “An interesting question for many coaches supporting people could be ‘who is going to motivate you when the motivator has gone home?’” Please answer that intuitive question for us.

Rob Waterlander: Well, Betty, I feel what works best is when a client is independent, only dependent on their own gained knowledge. When they absolutely know themselves–their hearts, and can listen again to their authentic selves–only then will they be secure and happy. I have made it my life’s work to guide people towards what always has been waiting for them, and once there, I just stay around to fine-tune, watching from a distance as they live thriving and wondrous lives.

Once I have established a level of clearness with my clients, I try to see them twice a year…up to a max of twelve times.

Betty Dravis: That makes perfect sense to me, Rob, and I see that truth working in the Dream Reachers that my co-author Chase Von and I have interviewed. That’s good, solid advice and I can see where we could all use someone like you in our lives—someone who really cares. I saw your gentle guidance when you met my friend John Manha who has multiple sclerosis. You talked with him at length and I saw your compassion and nurturing abilities first-hand. As a strong, determined Vietnam veteran, he’s a good judge of character and he was truly impressed with you and admires your calling. He felt your life flow… Thanks for that and for encouraging him in his personal and business goals.

But we’re nearing the end of this interview, so I’d like to invite you to share your Mission Statement. We’ve discussed everything in the statement, but I think our readers would like it condensed as a refresher.

Christmas at May Pen, Jamaica.

Rob Waterlander: My Mission Statement as stated on my website is: My goal is to guide each person to create for themselves the opportunity to have each of their talents and thoughts tuned in to the direction of that which one has a passion for. I know that if the passion and creative direction of each individual is found and followed, then the physical, mental and financial rewards will flow naturally.

Thank you, Betty, for this chance to get my message across to more people. I sure hope to meet up soon again and have the chance to do another lunch together. Meeting Johnny was felt within… Please say hi to him from me and deliver this message: “I enjoyed talking to you a lot, Johnny. Man, you have an awesome smile.” (laughs)

Betty Dravis: I, too, hope we do lunch again next time you’re in the States, Rob. I certainly enjoy your company. This time I will listen for your “silences” too. (laughs) And I’ll certainly pass on your message to Johnny. He’ll be pleased to know you’re thinking of him.

It’s awesome what you offer your clients, Rob, but I almost forgot to mention that you work with companies too. By now our readers must be eager to learn how to contact you, but before that, tell us a little about your corporate services.

"Horse Whisperer" - Rob has a way with animals too.

Rob Waterlander: I’m glad you remembered, Betty, because that’s a big part of my business. I am available to work with corporate Human Resources Departments and with recruiters and headhunters to help find the right executives for their companies…or the right companies for their clients. In today’s market it is imperative to match the job opening with the right candidate before time and money is invested in a position that doesn’t work out. I assess the needs of both the company and the job seeker to ensure a good fit for both. I walk with them on the beach or we cycle… Any activity is great while figuring out whether the company and the candidate are a match. It is so fun to be with a person who has a dream…and spending a while with a candidate for a job enables me to see whether he really wants it or whether he just wants to survive. I understand it is so much better when a person actually feels excited because the job fits a part of  his dream. And it saves a company loads of money when the new person is the right one.

Betty Dravis: You’re right, Rob! That’s very important in today’s business climate. I have several corporate friends who use services such as you offer. Thanks for expounding on that area of your profession. And now here are some links where people can reach you:

Rob’s Main website:

Other websites:!/robwaterlandercom!/robwaterlander

Before closing, Rob, this might seem silly, but I think it will shed more light on the real you: If you were stranded on a desert island what three things would you take with you?

Rob at Abu-Dhabi.

Rob Waterlander: It’s the island life! Wooo-hoooo… I’m so much an island person, it feels like a present to me. Hahahahaha… This is a good question for me, Betty. Thank you for asking.

Now let me think… What/who I would like to take with me and what I would like to have with me there? I can choose whatever I wish, though only three? Well, that is easy: My children and Carly. And hopefully, there will be available a few jackfruit trees and coconut trees.

I might be pushing a bit now, but if possible, I would like to take my two best friends. I will miss you all, but having my children and Carly will help me to get through. (smiles)

Betty Dravis: Oh-haha, Rob, I guess you would be living on love, coconuts and jackfruit then. I’ve never seen jackfruit, but I read somewhere that it’s the largest fruit in the world and can grow as large as eighty pounds. Well, that’s a lot of food, so you certainly wouldn’t go hungry. (laughs)

I really appreciate your sharing your time and your life with us today. It’s fascinating how you found your true purpose in life. I see the principle of “What goes around comes around” working in your life: Helping others achieve their full potential to live their dream enables you to live your dream.

The cost of your services wasn’t mentioned, but you do work on a sliding scale and are available worldwide, so that’s a big plus in your favor. That said, it’s been fun getting to know you better, and do come back to keep us posted from time to time. As for me, I’ll see you on Facebook, I’m sure. And I know you’re open to answer comments from everyone on Facebook.

Farewell and good luck, Rob…or in your language, Vaarwel and geluk! Please keep us posted on your activities. Oops—I almost forgot to thank you for the bright yellow “wooden shoe” house-slippers you brought me last time.

Homecoming of the Dutch Team

Rob Waterlander: Hehehehe, I see some Dutch here… (smiles)

Well, what I do always makes me feel good and that is the most important thing. Feeling good… What I charge depends on circumstances, indeed. Roughly it varies between 1,000 to 4,000 Euro/US Dollars for working with someone a maximum of two days, and people pay/arrange my travelling and lodging.

Thank you so much, Betty. It was fun to answer your questions. I am grateful because it helped me to go back to joyful moments, especially those in the six years of organizing sports events. It was fun and educational to work with pro-athletes, pro-referees and nine- to ten-year-old soccer players of the major soccer teams in Holland, as well as working with TV and radio teams and those who sponsored the events. I learned a lot… One thing I remember so well is what a general manager of Nike said: “Rob, focus on two things at the same time, max. That allows you to be successful with what you do. Just do it!”

And, I am amazed at you every day, Betty. You are the age of my mom, though you run your blogs, write books and do your interviews… I hope I have the chance to see you again and then I would like you to have some fun in real wooden shoes, instead of the fluffy ones. (laughs)

Thanks again, Betty. Hugs and loving vibes sent your way. xx


by Betty Dravis

A great character study of actor/producer Sherwin Buydens.

Betty Dravis: Hey, Sherwin! I just read your biography and am intrigued by your unique approach to life and your way of expressing yourself. After I met you on Facebook and viewed some photos of you. My first thoughts were: Wow, that guy has such an expressive face… a man of many faces… Like Robert De Niro…
I see that you’re quite versatile as an actor and are in other areas of the industry, as well. You’re not at the peak of your dreams yet, but you’re working hard and things are beginning to happen for you. But before we get to the present, let’s dig into your past. When did you know that you wanted to be an actor? How old were you at the time?

Sherwin Buydens: Well, thank you for comparing my facial expressions to Robert De Niro. He is versatile­­… Such a fabulous actor, and an actor whose career heights I can only dream of reaching.

Ms. Dravis… Betty, my whole acting career really started out with a change of mind, after taking Don S. Williams’s course “On Camera Scene Study.” Don was the executive producer and director of his own longest- running TV show in Canada, The Beachcombers (1971-1991). At one time during the course, an American actress Maria Louisa Figura was substituting for him. When she took me aside after one of the classes and said, “You could be a working actor,” I felt like the manna of Heaven had descended down upon me and rays of light had filtered their way through the clouds of Vancouver, Canada. (laughs)

I could be a working actor! I could be a working actor. Wow!

I was about 26 when Maria saw me acting in Don’s class and that was the turning point in my life! My possible destiny was then chosen for me. You see, at that time I was in a rather cushy English-as-a-second-language job that I disliked and would soon receive a settlement for a small motorcycle accident I had been in.

This Kawasaki Drifter is an imitation of an old '47 Indian that Sherwin saw at Bob's Big Boy in North Hollywood, in the same rare, baby-blue color! It was his theme picture until recently.

Up until then, Betty, I treated acting largely as a hobby. I did all right in acting class, in my opinion, and I took a Fine Arts Minor in college. My long-term friend Bob Phipps is also an actor, but I hadn’t yet connected the dots in my mind. “Don’t quit your day job” was always in the back of my head. The other thing that always concerned me was that J-O-B stood for “Just Over Broke.” I knew that if I was ever to transcend being more than middle-class in title–the prices in Vancouver are almost as high as Los Angeles–I had to think of a lasting opportunity to propel me forward in life. I had to quit treating acting as a hobby and get serious. I also knew I needed money to carry me through until acting roles came along, and that I was capable of more.

Betty Dravis: Thank God for putting people like Maria in our lives…people who first recognize that spark in us. Whether one has a talent for ditch-digging, plumbing, acting, writing, or any skill, we all need encouragement to believe in ourselves and pursue our dreams. Sherwin, I’m forever grateful to my parents and to my high school writing teacher for first believing in me. And I’ll never forget the icons that came later: Clint Eastwood, Jane Russell, the late Senator Ted Kennedy and others who spurred me on, not to mention my children, my best friend, you, my co-author Chase Von, actress Katherin Kovin Pacino, actor/director/producer Tony Tarantino, actress/singer Jenny McShane, photo-journalist C. Robert Lee and many other Dream Reachers in these books.

Let’s discuss your mentors a little later in this interview, but for now I’m eager to know what happened next. Did you make it to Hollywood? And how did you support yourself?

Sherwin with one of his mentors Rock Riddle (Ex-WWE Superstar, former World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, Beverly Hills agent/manager/promoter) at an Entertainment Industry Networking Event in Hollywood. 2010

Sherwin Buydens: It’s fun to look back on that, Betty… Fast forward six months, and with settlement money in hand I was off to Los Angeles to check out the scene. Fortunately, I was trading commodities in oil and cattle, both of which were paying handsomely at the time. I was selling short on oil because before the spring of 2005, “Crude Oil” had never traded above $40 a barrel. That meant, whenever the price of oil approached close to $40, I made fistfuls of money when the price went down quickly. If you like nostalgia, that’s nostalgic enough for me. (laughs)

Sherwin shows another of his "many faces" with actress Wendy Winters at the Silverlake Film Festival. He acted in "Mad Cowgirl" which won "Best Experimental Film" for director Gregory Hatanaka.

And I only traded “Live Cattle” because of the “Mad Cow Scare” that essentially dropped this commodity to fifty-five percent of its original price. I rode the price back up to ninety percent of the original. Ironically, later that would be the topic of a film I acted in called Mad Cowgirl. (laughs)

Fortunately, my world in commodities ended in 2005–and for the better. I discovered real estate, which was the second key to my life. I had come to discover this was the vehicle that many film producers use to finance their own films. It’s all beautiful to say, “I’ve got this project in the works,” and “I’ve got that project,” but unless you are really marketable, how is that film going to be produced? The number one challenge to all filmmakers is cash. Ideas abound, but ultimately money in your pocket is how your project gets done. The biggest stars–Tom Cruise with the Mission Impossible series, for example–largely self finance their own projects, so why should I do anything differently?

Betty Dravis: I read a story about that recently, Sherwin. With the multi-millions it takes to make a film in today’s economy, it’s a wonder any films get done, but if they get a blockbuster they recoup their investment many times over. And if they bomb, well that’s another story… But it certainly is smart of you to find something to tide you over until you establish a firm foothold in show biz. It sounds like you’re laying a good foundation. I don’t understand the world of commodities, but I do know a little about real estate. Second-hand knowledge to be sure, since my daughter Mindy James is a Realtor in Los Gatos. I know enough to know that the bubble burst, but that’s a subject for later.

But for now, Sherwin, my readers and I are eager to know if you ever hear from Maria anymore? Did she become your mentor and who are other mentors in your life?

Actress Maria Louisa Figura

Sherwin Buydens: Strangely enough, I have not kept in touch with Maria. She was like an angel that came down to me at the right time and, somehow, many like her have entered my life at just the right time. Maria is still a beautiful woman and a consistently working actor herself. Check her out on the Internet:

I enjoy remembering those days and the many wonderful people I have met along the way. Probably first in the ranks is Andrew Magliolo whom I met in Santa Monica. He is an accomplished actor /producer, an intelligent, articulate man and successful in real estate. He emphasized to me the meaning of discipline in this business because acting is part of “show business” and how having money to pay the bills should be first on any artist’s list of priorities. I remember him saying, “It took me seven years until I landed a co-starring role on Designing Women.” He has been a personal mentor to me and others in life, stressing financial responsibility, advocating discipline, not losing focus on the big prize, and making it as a working actor.

Popular actor Andrew Magliolo of the hit TV series "Designing Women" is one of Sherwin's early mentors.

Betty, another person of huge importance was Rock Riddle who preaches a similar theme, emphasizing the “business” part of the industry. Rock has been in the entertainment business for nearly thirty years, first as a wrestler, but also as a film and television actor, Beverly Hills agent, manager and now a promoter.

Through his ideas I have met a wide variety of people, including Tony Tarantino, whom you interviewed recently. Since I’m a person who wants to reach the highest echelon of achievement–and acting is one of those industries where most people are working a day job to survive—it’s instrumental to reach out and meet people of prominence and deliver excellence.

Actors Paul Alan Brown and Cali T. Rossen with award-winning actor/producer Sherwin Buydens in front of group at a 2010 Industry Event. That’s Rock Riddle, second from left, standing.

One such example was at the American Film Market where I met Bruce R. Schwartz, back in November of 2004. He is the son of Sherwood Schwartz, probably best known for being one of the head producers of the television shows Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch. Bruce had an upcoming educational short film titled I Stand Here Ironing that would be a period piece taking place in both the 1930s and 1950s. Even though I was slated to be only an assistant producer or perhaps an associate producer, I relished the opportunity. So when Bruce’s number-two person became ill with Lyme Disease, threatening to kill the project, I was determined to make that project work. I felt it was my calling.

I had remembered–after assisting in production at the theater level–how important details were to making a project work and what might be needed to make this project successful. Young people today may think of Elvis Presley as being an icon of popular culture for the 1950s, but for a 1950s middle-aged couple, there is no way they would be listening to Elvis Presley. Instead, we dressed this set with Mario Lanza, another icon for a different generation that my late grandmother adored.

Sherwin and Bruce Schwartz won this Telly Award at The Chicago Film Festival for "I Stand Here Ironing."

Even though I did no more than background work for this piece­­—performing the role of an out-of-work person in a 1930s soup line–I certainly was believable. I simply made the most of the opportunity that came my way, Betty, and in the end, I was given credit for co-producing this film. I was very happy when it received two awards, the best being a Telly Award at the Chicago Film Festival. I have this award posted on my Facebook page.

No matter how large or small, when opportunities come your way, you must take advantage of them whenever possible. I bet you’ve learned that along the way, too… (laughs)

Perhaps one of the most inspiring anecdotes on that note is a certain character actor by the name of Kelsey Grammer. He, as I understand it, was slated to work on just four episodes of an upcoming television show called Cheers. As we all know, through his brilliant portrayal of Dr. Frazier Crane, he became a season regular and then gained his own show.

Of course, Hollywood is known for sexy stars, but we character actors can also do very well when the opportunities arise.

Betty Dravis: Wow, Sherwin, it sounds like you moved to L. A. at an opportune time and met many successful people. That’s exciting and those are stimulating people to have in your life. I know that when I interviewed people like Tony Tarantino and others in this book and the first Dream Reachers, it invigorated me anew. And I agree with you about taking advantage of opportunities. That’s been the key to whatever writing success I’ve achieved and I certainly regret the ones I’ve missed along the way. It’s often in the choices we make too. We live and learn… (laughs)

I enjoyed the anecdote about Kelsey Grammer going from character actor to lead role all on the strength of his acting abilities. That’s awesome! He’s one of my favorites; he can sure deliver… And I’m impressed at your taking such a small part in your first movie and turning it into an award by being a team member and helping wherever you could. I wish you the same good fortune as Grammer and other TV stars that went on to major success–like the stars of the colossal hit “Friends.”

But to lighten the subject, what’s this I hear about you having an “affair” in America?

Sherwin Buydens: So you’ve heard about that, have you, Betty? Well, it’s not what you think! It’s not an affair “in” America! It’s an affair “with” America! (laughs) As you know, I’m proud to be Canadian, and it’s a wonderful country to live in, but at the moment, Canada is number two on my list. At present I’m having an affair with a lady that stands 150 feet tall, is made of copper and is proudly American. And so I am fiercely proud to be in this country too…pursuing her dream as well as my own.

Betty Dravis: I see, Sherwin! Thanks for making that clear. I love America, too, of course, and may God continue to bless us here.

You’ve been blessed by being in some movies. I know this is just a start, but you played the role of Ned in the short feature Ned the Caveman; Mo Lester in Mad Cowgirl; and an orthodox man in Driving to Zigzigland. I’d also like to share the links to two powerful videos, Crow Magnon Man and Military Man that impressed me, especially the depth of your voice and your wide range of expression, which I mentioned above:

Sherwin in "Lou, Lou, Where are You?" an art film of the painter Raffaello Grimaldi. He's in the back seat with fictional character Pat Hill. Lou is loosely based on the character Max in "Hart to Hart."

I also saw a photo of you behind the wheel of a Vegas cab and the poster for the movie Vegas Cabbie. That’s certainly a colorful, eye-catching, intriguing poster. I hear that you not only acted in that movie, but you also directed and produced it. How did that come about? Is it out yet? Please share the latest with our readers.

Sherwin Buydens: That film has not come out yet and I may have a hand in being the assistant director in it. The film needed a poster, and the best role I could fit in was the British gangster in an Elvis costume. This certainly is a colorful character role and I’m simply so grateful to have the opportunity. Even if you may not fit the role, you never know what role will make your career. Henry Winkler, who for many people defines the motorcycle-riding Fonz on Happy Days, didn’t know how to ride a motorcycle. Yet, the most memorable picture of him in my mind is in the opener where he rode a motorcycle–and apparently crashed it afterwards. (laughs)

Betty Dravis: Well, good luck with Vegas Cabbie, Sherwin, and thanks for the bit of Hollywood trivia about “The Fonz.” That’s cool…

Now tell us, besides the acting classes in Canada, have you studied with anyone in the States?

Sherwin Buydens: I had taken an auditioning class with Jeff Rector some time ago, but really acting classes, overall, I would argue, are not that important once you know how the camera operates. Auditioning is important because if you can’t land the acting role, you won’t get hired. Keanu Reeves is an excellent example of an actor who made it in the industry because of his sensational auditioning skills. In my mind, film and television actors should also be strong theater actors, and if there is anywhere I want to improve, more theater is in the future for me. I have already performed as the doctor and old man in a Scottish play, as a soldier in Antigone, and as Telygin in Uncle Vanya. I am confident in my acting skills because I have had to perform the same roles over and over again with fresh enthusiasm each night, and because all of the great actors at one time came from the stage. If a person wants to have a career like Spencer Tracy or Jack Nicholson, or even Kelsey Grammar, there is no substitute for stage-acting. The same is absolutely true, too, for the women, such as Katherine Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor who also added Broadway to their resumes.

Betty Dravis: I never thought of it like that, Sherwin, but it makes lots of sense. Show biz certainly is fascinating.

I understand that you went from commodities to real estate as a means to finance your film career, but before we get serious again, I’d like to ask you a few lighter questions. If it were possible to spend the day with anyone throughout history, who would you choose…and why?

Sherwin Buydens: Fascinating question… There are two people that come to mind. One is Nostradamus and the other is William Shakespeare. I, like most people, am fascinated by the unknown. I definitely trust my intuition, and I would say my clairvoyant skills are a fair amount above average. Because I have a certain ability to “see” into the immediate future, I find Nostradamus especially interesting for his ability to look hundreds of years ahead.

My knowledge is based on a rough deduction based on current events and their probable statistics. There’s also a certain amount I can derive from people’s personalities. Nostradamus, though, was truly touched by the finger of the Almighty, for his predictions were not even remotely conceived by anyone during his life

The other person far beyond others is William Shakespeare because he is, perhaps, the most articulate and intelligent writer in the English language of all time. By reading and performing Shakespeare, I find myself not only improving my acting, but also my vocabulary, history and general intelligence. He not only had an IQ over 200, but his wit and wisdom is truly uncanny. Shakespeare’s plays have endured thus far in history and probably will endure as long as there’s an English language because the concepts and level of meanings that he conveys speak across classes that even people today–with some practice–can well understand. The politics of art has changed dramatically since his time, yet the brilliance of the depth of the context of his characters is truly astounding.

Betty Dravis: Your choices are incredible, Sherwin, and I think you picked perfect ones for an actor.

And now, I’m going to put you on the spot… (laughs) Since most people have had embarrassing moments at some time in their lives, do you mind sharing one of yours? It can be funny or sad, but I find they are always interesting in retrospect.

Sherwin Buydens: Betty, I don’t have any embarrassing moments I wish to mention that will not get me arrested–and I have more than a few! I do have one defining moment when I was young that made me who I am today. Many people would find this embarrassing. When I was twelve I was chosen to deliver a sermon in front of the church on the topic of “Faith, Hope and Love.” Speaking in front of 400 people at a relatively young age, I believe, helped instill my confidence in speaking publicly…and even today I enjoy it. Public speaking sure can be embarrassing, as George W. Bush learned the hard way. He’s given us plenty of fodder for decades to come. Even though I’ve made an idiot of myself many times, if you don’t put yourself into potentially embarrassing situations, how will you grow?

Betty Dravis: Ah-hhh, the famous “Bushisms” of both father and son… (laughs) Their verbal boo-boos have spawned several books, Sherwin, but I think if you scrutinize anyone who speaks a lot in public you’ll find many such errors…

But moving on, since you haven’t mentioned your family, it would help us understand you better if you told us a little bit about them. Do they support your dream of becoming a great character actor? I understand that you live in Las Vegas now, but plan to return to L. A. Will that be soon? And how often do you get back home to Canada?

Sherwin Buydens: Well, Betty, to answer your last questions first, Canada is a bit of a distant memory already. Last time I was up north was in 2008, and I’ll probably make it back early next year. As for Los Angeles, it’s definitely in my near future. My feeling is, when the time comes, I will be ready and waiting. Los Angeles is already my second–nearing first—home, but when will I move? My best guesstimate is a few months…

In my family, Dad was the entrepreneur, and although he was never thrilled about me becoming “just an actor,” he definitely accepted my decision when I got involved with anything financial. As for my mom, that side of the family contains the artists and athletes, so she understood and promoted my dream with enthusiasm. My grandfather was a talented fiddle player; a cousin on that side of the family has danced for the National Ballet of Canada; another cousin has played for the women’s Canadian national soccer team. And my mother’s older brother played semi-professional baseball.

My favorite photo of Sherwin is the first one I saw on Facebook. His friends said he looked like "a mafia hitman," "agent Smith in "The Matrix" and I think he looks like Kevin Costner in this one.

Betty Dravis: Hey, you’re a pretty diplomatic man, then, Sherwin… You hit on the very things that keep both parents happy with you: real estate and acting. (laughs)

But moving on… This might seem trivial, but what are your favorite foods and restaurants in Vegas? You also appear to be slim and trim by nature. Does that make it easier for you to stay in top condition in order to keep up with your many interests?

Sherwin Buydens: Absolutely, Betty! The foremost purpose of food is to keep your mind and body healthy. Thanks to Mom, I’m slim by nature and I, generally, eat very healthy. Spinach is one of my favorite foods and if I ever grow up, I want to look like Popeye. (laughs) As far as restaurants, anything cheap and relatively healthy is good. I like hotdogs as much as the next person, but I’m more likely to eat at Subway. The Klondike has the $1.59-24-hour breakfast with eggs, bacon or sausage and toast, which can be addictive. Cici’s Pizza has an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for $3.99. The Orleans has some good cheap food too. Vegas is a fun place to eat, no question about it. The area around Vegas is also scenic and wonderful for hiking and walking, which I also enjoy. Red Rock Canyon makes an excellent day trip and I can often be found there. It is easy to see why Star Trek, and other television and films have scenes that were shot there.

Betty Dravis: Having lived in Reno for a few years after retirement, I know that in “gaming” towns, it’s easy to find excellent meals at very reasonable prices; they offer lower prices on food to lure the gamblers to their casinos. It’s only good business… Thanks for that information, Sherwin, and for telling us about the scenic wonders of the Las Vegas too.

Now, before we get into your real estate interests, what advice would you give to anyone aspiring to break into the entertainment industry?

Sherwin Buydens: Well, Betty, anyone serious about acting–or any business, for that matter–needs to understand the business and learn from the masters of personal achievement. People like Bob Proctor, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Burt Goldman, Vishen Lakhiani and Earl Carmichael should be at the forefront in their world.

I also believe it’s easy to make it in the acting world. In Los Angeles the prime determining factor for people is money. Marketing is huge and your contacts will help you succeed. If you can volunteer in a worthy project you are usually “in” because people of talent with ambition and enough money to cover their bills will rise to the top.

Betty Dravis: Everyone else says it’s hard to make it in “Tinsel Town,” but what you say makes sense if one is willing to work from the bottom up. Your attitude is spot on!

What’s your favorite quote, Sherwin?

Sherwin Buydens: I have many, Betty, but I’d like to share one that will give everyone some food for thought. It’s from Napoleon Hill who wrote for Andrew Carnegie, the second richest man ever: “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.” I also recommend that everyone view this YouTube video:

Betty Dravis: That’s powerful advice, Sherwin. I’ve watched several of those inspiring men on TV and they are, indeed, masters at motivating people to reach the heights in whatever they do in life. Thanks for sharing that.

And now, tell us about your real estate ventures. I hear that something big is in the works. Before sharing that, please tell us your thoughts on real estate. How are you doing so well since the bubble burst and so many were hurt by losing their homes?

Sherwin Buydens: The latest opportunity in my life has been commercial real estate. Why buy houses when you can buy apartment buildings? We all know many areas of the country are in a residential-housing mess. So, too, another potential mess is coming up if one wishes to cash in at the commercial front. I am not the first proponent of the saying “Think Big and Kick Ass,” as

used by Donald Trump, because thinking small will land anyone from any walk of life in the slow lane, as I’m confident you know. These days I’m partnering in buying apartment buildings of at least 100-150 units. My position will be the asset manager. I find the deal and help implement the management which will assist in changing a potential gem of an asset into a moneymaker.

Strangely enough, I didn’t have to go out into the world and learn this skill. My grandparents were caretakers of an apartment building before they passed away and I took an active role in cleaning and landscaping it. From them, I’ve gained a true understanding of the industry from the bottom up, and yet persuing acting has led me on this career path, which is fascinating, lucrative and life changing.

Betty Dravis: You certainly are versatile, Sherwin. Most people would be happy simply to make it in real estate and own all that property, but you burn with ambition to be an actor. With that attitude, I expect you to go a long way. How did you gain such confidence?

Sherwin Buydens: I’ve always used a Raymond Aaron reference about taking a look back
on your life. Pretend this day is your last day on the planet and ask yourself what you have contributed. My life has already had some big challenges with playing semi-professional, under-eighteen soccer, playing piano and failing in the first year only to get first class honors four years later. So I’m not starting from a position of a lack of self-confidence. That’s not to say I have any greater or more obvious talents than anyone else. I simply have searched to work with the best I can, and for that reason, there will be some big challenges ahead.

Betty Dravis: Who is the man in the photo of you with a product called Elbow Friend? What’s that and why are you posing with it?

Sherwin and friend Stephen Goetsch proudly pose with Stephen's latest color in the ELBOW FRIEND product line.

Sherwin Buydens: That’s my friend Stephen Goetsch who has directed and edited numerous projects in both television and film. Like me, Stephen is an ex-athlete, in the tennis world—and girls, he is still single. (laughs) We’re posing with the pink Elbow Friend, which is the latest color in the ergonomic armrest cushion line, because he had many requests for the color pink and finally found the right fabric. You well know the line: “Know your audience,” and that line works in many genres of life…

Betty Dravis: I watched the video about that product and wouldn’t mind trying it myself, Sherwin. I have no problem with my elbows, but I do get neck tension from typing so much. I see that it could help in that area, also.

What do you hope for in your future, Sherwin?

Sherwin Buydens: I want to reach my highest purpose, Betty. (laughs) I believe what you and Chase state on the cover of Dream Reachers: Only those who strive to reach their dreams find themselves living them. And I’ll work as hard as I can to make my dreams come true. I want at least one Oscar in my future, a whole list of real estate assets, and I want to meet more people to obtain maximum growth in this life. Currently, I’m very close to signing my first apartment deal–176 units in Dallas, Texas. That’s exciting because I’ll own a full fifty percent!

Betty Dravis: That’s incredible, Sherwin. Congratulations! It appears that you’re well on your way to reaching your dreams. You may end up being a Donald Trump and Kelsey Grammer combined in one big bundle of happiness. I certainly wish that for you. That’s why I wanted you to join our growing rank of Dream Reachers.

Now, since we’re nearing the end of our interview, is there anything I missed that you’d like to share today?

Sherwin Buydens: You went into more detail than I had hoped for, Betty. I cherish the opportunity to work with like-minded people such as you, and I really wish to create a legacy I can be proud of. Then, like Andrew Carnegie, I can give away much of my wealth. My first goal financially is to obtain a thousand units. Every day I re-affirm to myself that I deserve to be great! Here is another quote for you from Muhammad Ali: “I am the greatest… I said that even before I knew I was.”

Betty Dravis: Good ol’ Ali! How right he was! And, Sherwin, don’t forget me when you start giving that money away. (laughs) You’re certainly an ambitious man… I admire that in you and let me repeat: from watching your videos, I’m truly impressed with your acting skills and wide range of facial emotion.

By now, many of our readers will want to know how to reach you, so it’s time to share some Internet links. By the way, I’m really impressed with the Internet Movie Data Base, a website that shares so much about artists in the entertainment industry. It’s a fabulous research site for writers and those in the entertainment industry too.

Sherwin’s main show business website:
Facebook page:!/profile.php?id=590900917

Thanks for sharing your busy time with us, Sherwin. This has been a fun, fascinating interview. We wish you all the best and please keep us posted about your life and your dreams. See you on the big screen.

Sherwin Buydens: Well, thank you, Betty. I’ve really enjoyed doing this. There, no doubt, will be plenty of fantastic news on the horizon and I promise to let you know when more develops. We spoke of opportunities above and I’d like to thank you again for taking time with me for this opportunity. I’ll be looking for more books written by you and Chase Von. And whatever I can do to make your dreams come true, please don’t hesitate to ask. Take care…

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