Prior to moving to New York City this summer, I spoke with Patrick James Lynch, actor/writer/producer, who breathes oxygen mostly in New York City and Los Angeles these days. He is the creator and star of Stop the Bleeding! A comedic web series. Patrick and I have been friends for a couple of years now and I’ve gotten to know what a great guy he is off-screen and I really wanted to share the lesser-publicized side of his life with everyone reading. Patrick is a pretty open and transparent individual, but I wanted to ask questions that don’t typically surface in online conversation and interviews, so read the transcript below and enjoy.
Prior to the interview, I was talking to Patrick about moving to NYC and pursuing dreams. He said something profound that wasn't intended for publication, but it is the heart of who he is...
When I was 14-years old, I took two pieces of construction paper and placed them on top of each other and I cut out a bunch of letters and I pasted them on, and I hung a little, crappy sign above my bed that just said: Why not me? At the time, the goal was to become the first collegiate basketball coach to have never played any organized basketball himself. (laughter) My path changed, but the question is the same: Why can’t I do something great? And to be honest, I think I can. I just have to put the work in.
What is a typical day for you?
Typical is a tough word. Since January I’ve been splitting my time between a house that I’m renting a room in, in Hollywood, and an apartment in Brooklyn. I do some work in my father’s real estate business on Long Island. I’ve done advocacy work for the community in Albany and in D.C. I was just in Dallas for HFA… and I’ll be shooting in Brooklyn, Chicago, Anaheim and Vegas this summer. It’s very varied. What I’ve learned is, I have to be pretty disciplined because I’ve never had such an unstructured schedule. At any given moment there’s 10 to 12 different projects that are on my plate… and in all of my various partnerships I’m often the one responsible for being the engine behind them, so whatever my hours may be, I have to put in a solid amount of hours behind the computer everyday, emailing, drafting proposals, revising scripts, connecting people, going to meetings.... I try to have a healthy protein shake in the morning and three to four times a week I try to get in an hour to an hour and a half of cardio. Beyond that it’s kind of up for grabs.
What would be the ideal day for you?
Ideally I would like to be spending more time in Los Angeles and set slightly deeper roots there. The goal is to open a production office there, a place where I could go to that had our Believe Digi poster on the wall. I would like to be a little bit more settled. (pause) I say that and what I really want to do is create independent films that I find the financing for and produce... and create television shows that I’m an executive producer on and help make it happen… and those schedules are completely chaotic, so… I say I’d like to have the office and the cliché sort of shingled, hang-up-and-open-the-door-for-business, but the truth of the matter is, personally, I can use a bit more stability… but not too much. I do well in the chaos.
What do you do, aside from work? Is there anything that you would like to have time to do?
There’s not necessarily a particular activity, per se. I mean, sure, I would love to go to more Knicks and Nets games, but that’s not of that much importance to me. To be completely honest, one of the things in this back and forth that has been difficult is really maintaining deep friendships. I’ve been single now for a while. There have been people that I have met and maybe had some interest in, but... I wonder how many nights in a row I’ve slept in the same bed this year. Even when I’m in one city, I’ll stay over at Ryan’s because we’re working late or I’ll stay over in Long Island, but come back into Brooklyn, or I’ll drive to Boston. I’m all over the place. I do kind of miss being able to share this ride with someone. I joke a lot that Ryan, who is my production and business partner, that it’s he and his fiancée, Katy, and I… a lot… and that I’ll know I’m in trouble when Katy starts trying to set me up with her friends… and that’s sort of begun to happen, so I’m like, “Okay they’re a little tired of dinners with Patrick.” (laughing) That’s one part of it that I think is very tricky. I don’t have a very enviable lifestyle to anyone who could potentially be a partner in all of this. I think that would be nice at some point. I’d say that’s the biggest drawback, maybe the only real drawback, but it is something that I think about.
Where would you like to be in 5 or 10 years?
I’m a very in-the-moment person. I’m hyper-focused in the moment, almost to a fault. At the same time, when my role is, say, that of producer and I have to pull back and have the 30,000-ft view and look at the entirety of the picture, I’m excellent at managing that. However, I don’t seem to waver in between the two very fluidly. I don’t really understand the middle ground, where I can have 10,000-ft view and sort of squint and lean in a little bit once in awhile. I go one way or the other. So right now I’m hyper-focused on the initiatives within hemophilia and trying to branch out into other disease states I believe our digital efforts could add value to, specifically into diabetes. There are a couple of television treatments that I’m creating, and/or Ryan is creating, that we have spinning around. There’s a feature film script that I have in the works and another YouTube channel that I just launched with some of my partners. There’s the theater company in New York, as well, and fundraisers we’re doing there, so… I have a great sense of what this year looks like, but I really don’t know where it’s all going. I’d say, ideally… and I’ll give you a little bit of a teaser, I’m working on a television show that is trying to bring awareness to the rare disease community through reality television in a piece that I would ultimately produce and host. I feel very strongly about where this is going and I have a couple of reality TV producers who are helping me develop it. I would love to see that make it to air and have a nice little life. If that were to happen, that would be a complete game changer. I don’t really know where it’s all going, but I like the road that I’m on.
So what’s on the road ahead for STB? Season One touched on prophylaxis & outreach, fitness, and pain management. What can we expect from the episodes this August?
I took a different approach this time around. After the release of our first three, I had a number of conversations with community members about how our community really needed "a face." People wanted a Michael J. Fox for hemophilia. I understand the benefit of having high-level influencers directly connected to a community, but I began to wonder how often the people were allowing this "if only we had a face" mindset to prevent oneself from stepping up to the plate and taking a swing.
I'd been speaking with Robert Champagne over at CJ Wilson's Children's Charities about working on a future episode together, and I thought there was an amusing, ironic spin to working with CJ on this theme. I pitched him an episode arc revolving around Spencer seeking a celebrity face for hemophilia only to finally meet a celeb (CJ Wilson) who directs Spencer to stop seeking and start being a leader. While this is a message that's not necessarily specific to our population, it's certainly far from irrelevant. I'm really looking forward to sharing it.
I look forward to seeing it. Is there anything that I didn’t ask you about that you would like to share?
I’d say one thing that I would hope people understand is… just how much I am a very public person. My mom likes to tease me, “Does everything that you do have to go up online?” I’m not the guy who says, “I just had chocolate milk. Yummy. How I love my Hershey’s!” I’m not that guy, but any event or anything that I think would be of interest to the people that know me or are a part of the community, I do share it because I hope it’s inspirational and I want them to feel like they’re a part of it.
I had planned all along to, when I just did the half-marathon last weekend, I wanted to shoot part of me while I was actually running and talking to the camera and then shoot as I crossed the finish line… and the reason for that… I mean, it would have been very easy to cross the finish line and feel good as everyone was screaming and cheering you on, but I wanted the community to be able to see that and feel like they were a part of it because I’m sharing this initiative with them… and the reason I feel compelled to do that is the feedback that I get.
The simple things of just “liking” a post or sharing a post, taking a moment to write a comment, [and] taking a moment to shoot me an email. It happens every single day. I read every single one of them, even the stuff that people have posted, especially people not connected to the community, who just found Stop the Bleeding! through our advertising, that don’t like it or aren’t a fan. I have responded to all but one person, who was just being a complete jerk. (laughs) But anyone who has taken the time to respond, it truly flatters me and I just think that’s wonderful and I think that’s what digital and social media should be all about, is communicating and connecting. It’s not me saying, “Look how great I am!” It’s me trying to offer you something and if you say that you like it, I’m going to keep trying to offer it to you because I enjoy offering it. So it means a tremendous amount. I just hope people really know that.
I was thinking about that, too, while I was running the half-marathon. I found a great strategy for running, actually. If you’re running a marathon, just pretend that you go by a myriad of names, so that when you run by signs that say, “Go, Cassie, Go!” you just pretend that’s for you. “You can do it, Paul! Marty loves you.” You just pretend you’re Paul, and you love Marty. But it just… it meant so much, at like the seven-mile mark I just started crying because there were just so many people with flags, and everybody is out there for a reason. This person is running and raising awareness about cancer and MS and autism…, and there’s this school group that’s volunteering, handing out water, and it was just so communal.
That’s not my world (running and community service on the ground-level), but the digital space... that feels like my world and I like to be a big contributor to that, and everybody who gets involved in helping along the initiatives and sharing them with the community… those are my people, holding the signs for Cassie and Paul… and I just want them to know that that’s such a vital role and there’d be no point in doing any of it if they weren’t there to keep it alive, so I’m very appreciative of all the effort that people put in.