Kevin Urban: Creative | Coach | Strategist
My Top 5 Character Strengths
Love of Learning
.Mastering new skills, topics, and bodies of knowledge, whether on one’s own or formally; related to the strength of curiosity but goes beyond it to describe the tendency to add systematically to what one knows.
Working well as a member of a group or team; being loyal to the group; doing one’s share.
Liking to laugh and tease; bringing smiles to other people; seeing the light side; making (not necessarily telling) jokes.
Having coherent beliefs about the higher purpose and meaning of the universe; knowing where one fits within the larger scheme; having beliefs about the meaning of life that shape conduct and provide comfort.
Appreciation of Excellence
Noticing and appreciating beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in various domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.
Are you ready for our first coaching conversation?
During our first coaching conversation, we’ll go over the results of your Character Strengths Survey. I guarantee you’ll have an aha moment during this conversation. I know I did when I first took it. As a snapshot in time, it’s a great place to begin our coaching conversation!
My "HERO's Journey"
The early years: Being A Good Boy
As an only child growing up in Milford Connecticut, I grew up feeling like a misfit. I loved singing in church choir, listening to musicals and playing with Star Wars and GI Joe action figures. I had my own way of being and a naïveté About me. My grandfather was my best friend. And his request of me was always to be a good boy. As a result, I hated getting in trouble and was a definite rule follower.
Overweight, Clumsy & Didn’t trust myself
I desperately wanted to be good At baseball and football. It also didn’t help that I was overweight and clumsy. In fourth grade the girls called me gummy bear and would sing the gummy bear theme song to me in class. It was so bad that my fourth grade teacher was teaching me how to kick A kickball. The kids made Fun of me for my inability to catch or hit a ball. I hated that I couldn’t. I mean despised Myself for it.
Around the same time I was 120 pounds in fourth grade and was put on a diet that changed my life. It was Dr. Goldberg who put me on the diet and his mentorship￼ Got it made to achieving my first goal which was to lose 20 pounds. It was the first time I set a goal and achieve it. My reward was he mans snake mountain… I told you I liked action figures and this gave me and the incentive.
From The land of misfit toys
Well I lost the weight, I still felt like a misfit, you know like from the isle of misfit toys in Rudolph the red nose reindeer Christmas special. “No one wants to Charlie in the box“ and I felt like Charlie. I would say things that no one would get. I definitely didn’t feel heard or understood. Other people My age seemed to know things that I didn’t. I took everything they said at face value and Compared myself to them. Little did I know that most of them were just as insecure as I was, but I wouldn’t learn that for a long time.
Connection to Spirit
That being said, I’ve always felt a guiding spirit in my life. My faith has been in people rather than religion from an early age. I can remember asking my mother why we pray to God and she said because. Because wasn’t a good enough answer for me. I found church is a place of community, a place where one could go in good times and bad. Singing quiz where I found my sense of the spiritual and the connection to something greater than myself. I began singing in church at the age of three sitting next to my dadDuring choir warm-ups, before church school. They warmed up and so did I. It turned out that I had a good ear and could pick my part up quickly. Music and chorale singing has been a part of my life since.
To everything there is a season…
The path was laid for me and I basically followed it. I had direction in my interests. Church led me to singing, which led me to acting ( originally in church musicals) which strangely enough lead me to swimming. My church friend Greg basically begged me to join the swim team. I wanted to be a football player, but Greg convinced me that I could do that and swim to keep in shape. Had a great freshman year of swimming and then because I put in bulk for football and my sophomore year I had to take the whole swim season to lose the bulk and get back to where I was the previous season. I was a better swimmer and so I stuck with it. Swimming taught me how to set a goal and achieve things incrementally throughout the course of the season. It gave me the confidence to work with the coach to achieve my goals.
Again I followed the path as it was laid out for me.
Choir, singing, theater, swimming and creativity combined to take me to Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. This was not my first or second choice and I never guessed I would’ve gone there if it were For a chance stop On campus. We had hosted the Elizabethtown college concert choir on their spring break tour and happen to be passing through on a trip to Ohio When we decided to stop. Once I got on campus something just felt right. So that’s where I went.
Becoming a jack of all trades’s
Because this was a small college, I was able to work on many talents. Which was suited to my jack of all trades approach. Because of my wide array of interest and curiosity , I know a little about a lot. Where I honed my ability To connect the dots between different and opposing ideas.
College also allowed me to explore the arts in the creative process. My communications degree allowed me to learn about copywriting, editing, video, audio, lighting, graphic design￼￼ and ￼pr. All of these skills helped me land my first￼ agent in New York City. As an actor the skills would come in handy and little did I know that it would turn into a business.
Mentors & Coaches Appear along the way
College and swimming had demonstrated importance of the syllabus and mentorship in my life. I learned that I excelled in structure. So it’s natural that when I move to New York so they sought out Coaches and mentors. I sought out the best teachers and coaches… my peers were on Broadway, feature films and television series. I saw the importance of working on the mind, the body in the spirit in order to achieve excellence as an actor all of which I’ve been able to incorporate into my teaching and coaching. I’ve literally witnessed people transform their work As a result of these teachings.
New York is where I learned how to Make things happen. I learned how to position myself to be in the right place at the right time. Whether it was to score tickets to the hottest Broadway show, Meet the head of Disney theatricals, or find my way into rooms. I also learned how not to follow the rules 100% of the time. I learned that rules are made to be broken or redefined. This was a big shift for me, having grown up as a good boy and a rule follower.
I quickly learned to differentiate the spirit of the law versus the letter of the law. I realized that following the letter of the law held me back unnecessarily. Yes the rules were important but as an artist I had to learn the Theory behind the rules in order to break the rules in order to create art. With that In mind I realize that everyone had their own set of best practices. What worked for person A and might or might not work for person B.
Recognizing the talent of others
Along with this realization, I learned that everyone has an opinion and that not everyone’s opinion is worth listening to. The Challenge is to create a filter for yourself using your own guidelines and Set of standards that includes your own intuition because what I need isn’t necessarily what other people need. There are individual best practices for success and they include the importance of staying true to my personal values. Living in New York City and working at a high-level helped me to realize that everyone has talent, yet not all talent is equal. Shakespeare said all the world is a stage And I would also soon find out that each role Is important. The 1000s Of hours I’ve spent on set, in classes, Auditioning, Coaching, teaching have informed my ability to assess talent and draw it out Even when clients can’t see it.
Turning craft into a Business
Integrating communications, business development and acting I launched coaching a business teaching Actors business marketing and branding skills. This taught me a lot about business and business relationships. The business started off as a side gig to help me with my acting career while using my skills. I never expected it to grow into a bicoastal business where I was flying back-and-forth between New York and Los Angeles. I learned “the business” aspects on both coasts how they are similar and how they’re different. I learned a lot from my clients. I learned where clients shot themselves in the foot and how they succeeded and I learned how to teach and coach.
Entrepreneurism and teaching are in my bones.
I come from a family of entrepreneurs and teachers. My great grandmother started the family business in 1925 that my father bought into. My mom’s a teacher. And strangely enough, I found that I was a combination of both my parents. I never expected that to happen. When I started the business I Never realized the importance of teaching in business. Business is all about replicating systems. You have to teach in order to replicate. I Also originally never considered business to be personal. I have since come to realize that business is very personal and needs to be personal. It needs to be personal because it’s what you invest your time in. Unfortunately, a business is going to show you all of your warts. You’re going to witness the best and worst of yourself and it’s going to poke the wounds that you still carry. A business is representative of your values. In running my business I would learn I got away from my values. I let other people define my values. And it was because of this that my business partnership deteriorated.
Picking up the Pieces
As an actor I faced a lot of rejection, but it was the failure of the business that proved to be my hardest pill to swallow. It Took it’s toll psychologically and emotionally and physically. Once again I found myself in the Land of misfit toys. Felt like a misfit again…Only this time I lost my trust in people. I had done everything I was supposed to do in both my acting career in my personal business. I worked hard, I sacrificed. The business had reached the 5 year mark, It was supposed to be clear sailing. In my mind at least.
Then came the implosion of the business and the business partnership. I had never experienced￼￼ Failure to that degree. Embarrassment, depression, anger and shame.I worked hard And made a lot of sacrifices that I was willing to make because I knew it would pay off in the long run, And now that was no longer an option.
Back to the books
Soon became clear that it was time for a new direction. Your close friend/mentor Glenn and I had a brainstorming session on the top of the double decker bus in New York City. He suggested a Masters program I should consider. With that I decided to go back to grad school to study Positive leadership coaching. The degree offered a framework from which to function and pursue my growth as a coach. It allowed me to further study positive psychology, sport psychology and how they Influence the achievement of goals. I was already incorporating these interventions with my students and clients. Now I would have the formal certificate that said I could do this. It also proved to me once again The importance of undertaking action After disappointment and loss. I was able prove to myself that I could learn and write papers and do so at a higher-level than I did in Undergrad.
Coming back to myself and my spirit
It was time to leave New York. Circumstances presented itself and I needed to find a new apartment. This is when I realize that it was time to leave. I no longer had the will in addition I need it in order to maintain my creative edge. I knew deep down, and I’ve been fighting to stay in the city for two years. After all goonies never say die. It was time for a new chapter. New York taught me a lot of lessons. I’d gotten away from my values. I’d gotten away from playing my best game because I was busy comparing myself to other people.
But have since come to realize is that was all necessary Yet hard￼ lesson I had to learn in order to move forward and be the person that I desire to be. That failure took me on a path that I could never have guessed. Send me the meditation and yoga and eating mostly vegetarian diet. It forced me to look at areas of myself that I wasn’t proud of and force me to look deeper into myself to be the man I desire to be.
Light at the end of the tunnel
I’ve been to the place and done everything I was supposed to do I didn’t have I hope it’s supposed to happen occur. I can coach you because I’ve done the work I’ve been at rock bottom and haven’t lost faith. Every day is a new step to being the person I want to be. It’s declaring my intentions, taking care of my mind, my body and my spirit.
Being the person I want to be…
Now that you’ve gotten to know a little bit more about my journey, I’m sure you can see why coaching is so for filling. Maybe you can relate to my feeling like a misfit toy, or working towards excellence, the importance of spirit or building back up from major disappointment. Its because I’ve experienced the benefits of coaching first hands down and that drives my desire to pay it forward.
Favorite scene in the whole Star Wars saga Encapsulates this thought.
We are on that which they grow beyond? Yoda
It’s my absolute joy to share a step in your journey. This is why I’ve continued my training and build a business around helping others. I want to see you thrive on your journey.
Since you’ve read my journey, you can probably understand why I became a coach and the impact that coaching has had on my life. We all go through different seasons in our lives. Some are easier than others, but over the course of a life well lived, I’m sure we’ve all felt lost or like one of the inhabitants from the land of misfit toys.
I love working with people to help them take that quality or thing that made them feel like a misfit as kid and turn it into their strength. I love watching the magic happen when clients use strengths in new ways to achieve things they never thought possible.