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Meet Jeremy Parker of Sensory Deprivation in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Parker.

Jeremy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My new podcast and Youtube show “Sensory Deprivation” was made for anyone struggling to fall asleep and those who may be suffering from addiction, depression and physical or mental illness. Speaking with guests from a variety of backgrounds, we discuss adversities they’ve faced in life and the different ways they’ve overcome them.

I started this show based on my lifelong struggle with addiction and mental health. More specifically, my experiences with severe opioid dependence and the terrible times of scoring, withdrawal and detox that accompanied it. Looking back, it’s so clear how addiction expertly manipulates both body and mind, lying to you in your own voice. In addition, the stigma that surrounds these issues, how misunderstood and underrepresented they still are and the limited options for treatment, leaves many struggling with feelings of severe depression, anxiety, desperation, hopelessness and defeat in a battle both physical and spiritual.

Now, after seven years drug-free, I wanted to shine a positive light upon those dark times by creating something anyone could listen to for inspiration and support. Something that opened a dialogue while reminding people they are never alone, that it does get better, and that no matter how far down a road you may be, there’s always a way to turn it around.

Has it been a smooth road?
One of the primary struggles I’ve faced has been finding a permanent sponsored location to film the show. I’ve reached out to multiple spots around LA that weren’t able to work with my budget or shied away from the subject matter altogether. One of my first sponsors, Rewind Audio, allowed me to film at their vintage HiFi shop in Eagle Rock on occasion, but mainly I’ve relied on Giggster to find locations within my budget.

Like all new projects, there were other obstacles, especially in being a one-man team, simultaneously booking guests, securing film locations, contacting sponsors, researching and editing each episode, learning new software, creating music & artwork, managing social media and more. When starting a new project, especially on your own and with a minimal budget, you have to get creative or you’ll burn the candle at both ends and get in over your head. Feeling overwhelmed will ultimately sacrifice the quality of your work. It’s important to prioritize, pace yourself and play to your strengths in your daily approach. I like to think of the proverb “steel sharpens steel” and try to enjoy challenges as they arise, reminding myself that growth comes in a variety of forms from each new experience.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Starting out, I had less than zero resources to make this project a reality. I had no industry contacts, no computer, no budget, no video or recording equipment, no experience in film editing, sound mixing or post-production software, and no on-camera interviewing skills.

However, what I lacked in know-how I made up for in drive, persistence, a passion to learn and a desire to help others. I believe you can do anything if you work hard, think outside the box and are creative in the application used in getting there.

When I began, all I had was an old iPhone with a cracked screen and headphones that worked in one ear. With that, I started reaching out to ideal guests on Instagram that I knew were mental health advocates. The first three I contacted, model Olive Glass, musician Dave Navarro and actor Tony Cavalero, all replied with their interest in participating.

Once I had my first few guests lined up, I began to reach out to different companies for possible sponsorship opportunities to help make this project happen. I shared with them my upcoming guests and the overall aim of the show. This led to the sponsoring of a MacBook Pro, editing software, microphones, studio headphones, vintage HiFi recording equipment, banners, set furniture, lighting, stickers, t-shirts, beverages, merchandise goodie bags for my upcoming guests, as well as custom artwork and music, all before anything had even been recorded. The generosity of these sponsors reminded me that anything is possible, that regardless of your situation, industry connections, circumstances or know-how, if you are honest and direct in your approach, with an idea and passion behind it, you can make it happen.

Currently, I have recorded eight episodes with Olive Glass, Tony Cavalero, Bruce Buffer, Brandon Novak, Johnny Pemberton, Stephanie Barkley, Mark Prent and Dana Dentata. Some of my upcoming guests include Dave Navarro, Stevie D of Buckcherry, Blasko of Ozzy Osbourne, Pete Yorn, Laney Chantal, MTV’s Jesse Camp, photographer Estevan Oriol, Plastic Jesus, Dani Miller, Risk, TJ Miller, Bandit, Tyler Bryant, Jimmy Webb, TEACHr, Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, Jeordie of Marilyn Manson, MMA star Renato Laranja and more.

During the show I encourage my guests and listeners to submit a creation – ranging from paintings, make-up, fashion design, music, poetry, drawings, sculpture, etc. Something that not only represents them, but also acts as a form of catharsis. I am a firm believer in creativity as a type of healing and wanted to encourage people to not only share their art collectively, but to also reinforce that we are all on this journey of recovery together.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Living in Hollywood has offered a unique advantage in terms of reaching out to guests and sponsors. Recording could be done anywhere via Skype or over the phone, but filming in-person will always make it that much more personal, an essential given the subject matter.

I recommend Los Angeles to anyone looking for a career in entertainment. Although there are now great alternatives like London, New York City, Chicago or Vancouver, Los Angeles has always been the center of the entertainment industry and will give you the best tools to reach your goals, but that opportunity comes at a price.

For those just starting out, I encourage you to continually be adding to the skills you have. Always trust your vision, don’t fight force with force, and learn to get out of your own way. Whatever your interests, go in that direction and create something that aligns with your passions. If you don’t know how to do something, learn more about it, don’t tell yourself you can’t, you can. Try not to compare yourself to others or take things too seriously, it will only stress you out and distract you from your goals. There is no room for self-doubt or fear of the unknown when it comes to deciding who you are and what this life will mean to you. You’ll never come up against a greater adversary than your own potential.

It may get scary and you will fail at times, but that’s all part of this road we’re on and acts as stepping stones for progress. Staying positive doesn’t mean you have to be happy all the time. It means that even on the hard days you know that there are better ones coming. Ultimately, we are all in this together, on a tiny spinning ball, floating into the infinity.

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