Jeffrey Scott Gould (Quiet Please...) - Discovering Shared Misophonia Experiences

S5 E18 - 2/25/2022

Excited to finally bring out this conversation I had a few months ago with Jeffrey Scott Gould. You may already know the name if you’ve seen his documentary Quiet Please… The film did a lot to raise awareness for misophonia and help people with misophonia understand what they’re feeling and most importantly that they’re not alone. In this conversation we talk about why Jeffrey made the documentary, how he decided what to put in the film, the reactions for misophones, dealing with haters, infighting in the misophonia community, and of course his own life story, his coping tips, and what he’s been up to since the film. This was every bit as awesome as I was hoping and actually even exceeded that.
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Adeel [0:01]: Welcome to the Misophonia Podcast. This is Season 5, Episode 18. My name's Adeel Abad, and I have Misophonia. I am so excited to finally bring out this conversation I had a few months ago with Jeffrey Scott Gould. You may already know the name if you've seen the documentary Quiet Please, which you can see streaming on places like iTunes and Amazon Prime, or order the DVD at Don't worry, I'll have links in the show notes. The film did a lot to raise awareness for misophonia and help people with misophonia understand what they're feeling, and most importantly, that they're not alone. So in this conversation, we talk about why Jeffrey made the documentary, how he decided what to put in the film, the reactions from misophones dealing with haters, and of course, his own life story, his coping tips, and what he's been up to since. This was every bit as awesome as I was hoping and actually even exceeded that. I'll be tagging Jeffrey and the film's social media accounts when I post this episode. So just a reminder to please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter at Misophonia Podcast so you can share it as well and get the word out about Quiet Please and of course this podcast. It's the easiest way to raise awareness. You can also hit the five stars on your podcast app to work the Apple and Spotify algorithms and get this in front of more people. All right. This is, I think, one of the few times Jeffrey has done an interview with another misophone. So it's a special one. Here is my conversation with Jeffrey Scott Gould. Jeffrey, welcome to the podcast. It is great to have you here. I've been looking forward to this. And I think a lot of listeners are looking forward to this as well.

Jeffrey [1:50]: thank you for the opportunity you know i've done probably 10 interviews since the inception of the film and and each one has a little you know a different twist you know you know based on the host different personalities and but i like that because each one draws out something different from me and i like when it's just an organic talk yeah so looking forward to it yeah well i guess uh maybe for people who don't know would you like to um kind of talk a little bit about uh yeah you kind of usually kind of ask a little bit about you know where whereabouts are you and and what you do so i'm actually when i made the film i lived in new jersey and had my own video production company there for about 30 years and and then when i found out like everybody like most other people found out watched in 2020 That episode that changed many lives. It was actually a friend that called me up and she said, I know what you have.

Adeel [2:53]: Was that before the New York Times article? Or I feel like the timeline always messed up. Yeah, I need to check the timeline too.

Jeffrey [3:01]: Hmm. Maybe, yeah. But 2020 is what really exploded. Because Kelly Ripper was on that episode. Right. And Josh Furness, who actually ended up being in the film and who I actually got to meet, I actually referred to him as my misophonia hero. Because the day my friend told me, she goes, I know what you have. I go, what thing? She goes, that sound thing. I go, what are you talking about? She goes, you know how you don't like certain sounds? She goes, it's called misophonia and it means hatred of sound. and it was it was like an epiphany moment yeah and i ran home and right to google and i saw josh's little like three minute video that kind of depicted what it's like to go through it and it resonated so much i had goosebumps all over and i was like at first i was like i'm gonna do a documentary and then i saw his three minute like short and I was like ah he got it I don't have to do that and I also saw I think Tom Dozier's he had a couple of videos up there right and then I saw a clip from 2020 And that was kind of like revelatory when I saw that because it's just so nice to be validated. Imagine going like 50 years in your life knowing you have this thing, but not knowing it was a real thing. It wasn't just a personality quirk.

Adeel [4:33]: Right.

Jeffrey [4:33]: It was something real that other people, you know, and throughout my life, I met a couple of people like my ex-boss. We were just talking. He goes, oh, I hate crunching and chewing. You know, I once dated somebody. They said, ah, yeah, crunching and chewing bothers me. But I never put two and two together that it could be a thing. OK, you know, we just have similar, you know, personality quirks or whatever. Never really put it together. So I decided. So it took about a year and a half and I was having lunch with a composer friend in New York City. And she goes, so. do you want to do with the rest of your life it's a great question i said i want to make a documentary but it has to be about misophonia or chocolate because those are the two things that i'm most passionate about okay that explains uh is my next one later question about uh where did the chocolate documentary come from after misophonia now it's starting to make sense right well it is so um So actually, so that day was actually like December, I think it was 13th, 2014. And then actually on January 1st, the following year, 2014, I actually started a document called Misophonia Notes. And I just started collecting thoughts and making a list using Microsoft OneNote and just making a list of everything that I would like to include in it. And by February, I think it was February 13th, actually, I went on Facebook into all the Misophonia support groups and I said, would anybody be interested in a documentary about Misophonia? so that was like 11 o'clock at night i never went to sleep that night because i got 500 likes and well over 500 responses and i responded to every one of them so i think it was like seven o'clock in the morning where actually i finally got to go to sleep yeah but people just people were like yearning for information for something and that said to me this is worth pursuing

Adeel [6:51]: That's amazing because the Facebook groups back then were not, I mean, they're big now, but they wouldn't have been as big back then. So, I mean, that many hundreds of likes and comments is. That was one night. Right there.

Jeffrey [7:03]: And it was overnight. It was in the middle of the night. It was one night. But that's all I needed was that little spark. And but then as people got to know me and see that I needed to gain credibility from the community, like most of all, because I knew I was going to do a fundraiser through Indiegogo, which is like Kickstarter. I knew I needed support from the community to make the film. so right away i wanted to establish that i was a communicator that i was a sufferer and that i was like genuine and sincere and had integrity and i was going to do a good job of not so much representing misophonia in the most credible way possible. I didn't want it to be sensationalized like so many shows on TV do with these montages of people like chewing and typing and it's just... uh when i see them i just besides the trigger things yeah it's just the way that it's done it's just so sensationalized it just it makes us look all like crazy and tolerant and right it's so much more than chewing and it's there's so many sounds that you know and they grow as you get older but we can talk about that another time but um They seem to concentrate on the chewing. I once went off a Facebook post. Misophonia is not a disorder of chewing sounds. If everybody just chewed in the best way possible... Would our misophonia go away? No. No. Yeah. It's just one little piece, one little facet. You know, it's the most common because, you know, eating is a social thing. It's also something you need to do to sustain life. So just we're around food. So that seems to be like the go to thing. But so to go back to the question, so I decided to do the documentary. But then all these people started to tell me how to do it. And I made myself just a little too accessible because I wanted input. And I realized I should have done that. And people were telling me, well, if you include that person, then I'm not going to be in it because she's not credible and I don't like her. And you should do this and don't include that. And all of a sudden I felt this is not my film anymore. And so I decided to take a month off. It was April of 2015, where I actually totally just put it aside. I did not even think about it. And I felt this huge weight lifted off of me. And I told this story before at another interview and even at the premiere of the film. I had insomnia one night and I grabbed the movie maker magazine that I subscribed to. There was five of them on my night table. I just grabbed a random one, went downstairs to the living room, couch, and I picked it up and the front cover was, Can Filmmakers Save the World? And it was all about awareness films. oh and i read it and i just got goosebumps actually sitting here talking to you yeah that changed everything it brought the spark back and like i couldn't and the next morning i was like i'm doing this And so I started like rounding up people, looking for people, because I had to make what's called like a pitch trailer, you know, a spec trailer to put on Indiegogo to attract people to show them that I kind of had the goods, you know, to make a film that would represent them well. And so I laid out $3,000 of my own. I found six people in the New York area. And I made a mini version of what the documentary would be, at least of what I envisioned it to be. So I did that. And then I released it. Actually, I have the date written somewhere. But sometime in June, I actually released it. And my goal was $19,000. And at first, it was like... I was like coming in like really quickly, like 6,000, 7,000. And then it kind of stalled. And I'm like, oh. But then, you know what the best part is? I had all these people advocating for me. Like they became my little mini salesman to go out and promote the film. And so everybody, I think it was like 250 shares from my original post on my Facebook page. and it was just coming in from everywhere. And so we're really close and I got 16,000 and then I actually met the goal. And so it's funny, at the 11th hour, I actually wasn't sure I wanted to meet the goal because if I did, it meant I had to commit. right and i give i give a hundred percent to everything i do so it was kind of scary because i was in the middle of running my own business like i had clients i had projects to do this was a major commitment so so part of me was afraid for it to fail and part of it part of me was afraid that it would succeed yeah interesting

Adeel [13:08]: Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. Okay. That's, yeah, that's, that's awesome. And, and then once you, um, once you, once you hit that goal, um, at that point, had you kind of decided like, cause I'm sure now that you have people donating money to you, you probably got even more feedback coming in as to what it should be like. Had you kind of, you know, were you mentally prepared to like, no, I'm going to, I'm going to do this the way I want. I want to do it the way I think it needs to be done. Were you like ready to go at that point?

Jeffrey [13:36]: You know what? At that point, I was I was stronger and I also had a sense of who the players were. If you know what I mean by that, who were the players in the in the world?

Adeel [13:50]: Oh, yes. You know, there are some strong players. Yeah.

Jeffrey [13:54]: There's basically two or three groups.

Adeel [13:57]: Yeah.

Jeffrey [13:58]: And there's actually some, you know, in fighting there. There's a disagreement about approaches and and treatments and Yep. There's a lot there. And I realized early on that I did not want to get involved with any of them. At first I was going to include treatments, but then I found everybody was calling me up, include me, include me, include me. And I was like, you know what? This is not going to be a treatment based film at all.

Adeel [14:27]: Right.

Jeffrey [14:27]: Because, you know, treatments could become outdated. You could find that it helps some, but it actually adversely affects others. So it wasn't about that. It was more about the emotionality, about the struggle of living, you know, day-to-day life, you know, with this bizarre disorder and just hearing people talk and just seeing their lives. And I thought that would be much more impactful. And especially with trying to like depict know what it's like i i was gonna have like all these little like dramatizations and i was like no because you know what everyone's experience is different and if we if i put one out there then the actual laymen or loved ones or people who don't know anything about this will think that's how everybody reacts. And that's not true. There's no one-size-fits-all with misophonia. Everybody handles it and reacts to it differently. So I didn't want to put images, preconceived notions into people's minds per se. So if people just talk and tell their stories, it'll never be outdated. Like five years from now, emotions will never become outdated. Where, you know, treatment modalities, they could. You know, they could be proved that, you know, they weren't helpful or they actually made it worse, like exposure therapy or, you know, different types of treatments. So I just stayed away from it and just stuck to either facts or just emotion. And here we are five years later, really, and people are still interested in it. I just got an email from Israel two days ago. How can I buy your film? So I said, and she wrote back, thank you. I now know what I have. This is me. So from Israel. But I get I get these letters from all over the world and it's kind of cool. That just something that like, you know, some little filmmaker in Long Branch, New Jersey had an idea. And it's kind of like all over the world, people writing me. It's a cool thing. I'm a very low key person. I don't like the spotlight per se. It was just it was really a passion project, just like something, you know, I'll throw it out there. I'll put it on YouTube. Maybe it'll help some people. And I had no clue that I would have such a long shelf life.

Adeel [17:12]: Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, I mean, I get letters, notes too from people around the world. And I think you're right. It's like, we all have such a shared experience that it's in some, that's more important right now at this early stage of research and treatment to kind of focus on that just so people can, I want to say like my first priority is not even awareness to non-misophone people. I think misophones need to understand better what they've lived through because it's kind of like- So you know what?

Jeffrey [17:40]: yeah that's a great point so when i made the film i basically had four audiences in mind and it's hard enough to direct a film with one targeted audience i had four so there was the suffers suffers directly it was the people who had it but didn't know they had it didn't know what it was and it's also our loved ones, the people in your inner circle, relationships, regardless of what type of relationship it is, romantic, work, friendship, regardless, it impacts those relationships. And the last group of people I was targeted to was the non-believers, the people who think we're just making it up or it's a behavioral issue or we're just intolerant. because sometimes it seems to be selective. I was just telling a friend yesterday that there's some days where something is a trigger and there's some days when it's not. And there's so many factors that go into that. And we always talk about, you know, it's, you know, lack of sleep, you know, it's nutrition, it's stress. So many things come into play where some days my tolerance level is much higher and some days like the slightest little thing. And it's just exacerbated. And it's just like, it's like being tortured at times. And it sounds crazy. And I say to myself, like, this is crazy, but I literally cannot control it. I'm trying so hard. So what I try to do is be my own advocate. Yeah, but I try to remove myself. I got better at speaking up. It's very hard for me to say to somebody, what you're doing is affecting me. Especially if you're a low-key person. I was just going to say, based on how assertive you are and what your personality type is, I'm kind of a low-key. I'm assertive, but I don't have an overly strong personality.

Adeel [19:59]: Yeah, when most people interview, they're kind of like, we don't want to, we feel bad being a burden on other people, especially for something that we grew up. We hammered it into ourselves that this is our problem and we're not, we're crazy. And so that quote unquote trauma has kind of like informed our style, I think.

Jeffrey [20:19]: Yep, I agree. I agree. But I got better. And as the last person you interviewed said, humor. Humor plays a huge role. Because you know what? You can actually diffuse a situation or a potential situation. just by making like a joke about it right however the timing of that joke is very important right a lot of factors again go into that when executed properly it can definitely right in the middle of a meltdown for lack of a better word is not the time for the other person to introduce humor it has to come from me so it's funny just a really quick anecdotal story yeah yeah a few years ago it was in the summer and a friend had a watermelon like it was all cut up and you know all those sounds that watermelon makes yeah All those wet mouth sounds. And so I had a CD on and it was like blasting and it was fine. The CD stopped and all you heard was a cacophony of mouth sounds. And a friend of mine said, well, this is a misophonian nightmare. And it was so flawless. It was so perfect. Number one, it made me feel validated that he realized it was a situation that would affect me. That was number one. It means so much when the people around you even make the slightest effort. And it's crazy, but it actually reduces the intensity of... the reaction just because people have a little bit of understanding or if they'll do something to be like oh like i'm so sorry like it's okay it's when people have just a total lack of regard for some reason that magnifies the response

Adeel [22:24]: I think your brain is just a threat.

Jeffrey [22:28]: Which is why I think there's so much psych involved with what's supposedly a neurological disorder. It starts out as neurological, but it then goes into the psych realm. Because once you start anticipating things, that means that the other part of your brain is working. Because you're consciously thinking about something. Whereas a misophonia reaction to a trigger is automatic. You're not thinking about it. You're not saying, oh, there's somebody chewing. I should react now. It just happens. But when you see someone going to reach for a bag of chips, your mind is racing. Your heart is racing because you know what's coming. And sometimes it's actually worse than the actual trigger.

Adeel [23:19]: I was going to say the visual triggers, I'm assuming you've got. And I forget, was that in the documentary as well? You know what?

Jeffrey [23:27]: So that's a great question. Three or four people mentioned it. I didn't want to. Misophonia, as far as the sound part goes, is complicated enough and confusing. I didn't want to overload the viewer. Because if you don't have this, it's very hard to understand the visual aspect of it. But four people did mention it in passing.

Adeel [23:54]: Gotcha. Yeah. That's smart to kind of... Yeah.

Jeffrey [23:58]: Because, you know, it's just too much. I don't know. Sometimes people could just like shut down if there's too much, you know. but they're definitely connected. I know they call it, you know, mesokinesia, but you know what? It's all the same thing. It's one thing because I have the same exact response, whether it's visual or auditory, the same exact response. So I know it. Like when people are, if I'm sitting next to somebody and they're shaking their leg, I'll just put my hand up and block by like, you know, peripheral vision so i don't have to look at it it's hard for me to watch people text sometimes you know if their fingers are going really fast i have to turn away somebody's scratching you know twirling their hair Even somebody chewing in a car in front of me, if I see them in their mirror, I actually have to turn away. It's not that I'm imagining what the sound is. It's watching their mouth. move something about the movement yeah it is it's crazy it's just it's all so crazy and you know at first i thought it was kind of cool that i had this you know what when i first learned about it i had this like entitlement so to speak i was like oh like i'm unique like i'm special i have this thing this is kind of cool you know but As time went on, I was going to say, oh, and during the film, I was like, someone said, like, if you could be cured, like, would you want to? And I was like, no, like, this is me. It's a part of me. And also, how can I get cured in the middle of doing like a film about it where I'm trying to get people to, you know, have some like empathy and compassion and understanding? I need to be one of the people in the film as well in order to convey. So I did not want to be, quote unquote, cured. Fast forward a few years, if you said, here's a pill, take this, and your misophonia will be gone tomorrow, I would take it in a second. Because it got progressively worse.

Adeel [26:16]: Even since the film? Or just kind of...

Jeffrey [26:20]: and yes well you know what it is the film and i had friends actually i'm gonna use the word accuse me of that doing the film and surrounding myself by so many other people and just immersing myself into that world has made me that much more sound sensitive and i tried to be a little introspective i tried to be you know introspective and and think about that and i don't think it's the case maybe you know 20 because you know triggers can be contagious And I thought the whole idea behind that was crazy when people used to post about that. But if somebody does write, oh, yeah, the sound of this and this, you know, somebody once wrote about, told me about bananas. It's like, huh, I never thought about that. Like a few weeks later, I was in a room with a friend, quiet room as can be.

Adeel [27:14]: Yeah.

Jeffrey [27:16]: And he was eating a banana. It's like, oh, my God, I'm going to die right here. And so it kind of plants that seed in your head. Then you almost become your own worst enemy because you tend to dwell on things where other people can block it out. If I'm in a store and I hear a sound, instead of trying to block it out, I actually will tune into it, lock into it, and almost torture myself. I have to almost see where it's coming from. I want to see who's making that sound, and how can they be so rude and inconsiderate? People drag their feet in public, and that's one of my worst triggers. ever and I just walk around like pick up your effing feet like you lazy sack of you know what so it you know it makes you angry and then you feel bad that you thought such negative thoughts but you know in the moment they're there You know, afterwards I calm down and I kind of like feel bad of the things that I wished on them. But in the moment, what else do you have? I mean, you can't like physically attack somebody. You can't, it's hard for me. I couldn't walk up to a stranger and ask them not to do something. Some people can. Maybe it's easier for women because they're less likely to get punched in the face. I don't know. But I'm afraid that if I actually, my face is very expressive. So if somebody is doing something, it shows. And sometimes I mumble things under my breath. And a friend said to me, a friend once said to me, do you realize how loud you talk when you're upset? And I go, no, we're in an H&R Block. And all these people were talking, and I kept saying things. I would be like, shut up, please shut up, shut up, shut up. He's like, Jeff, do you know how loud you are? And I go, no, I guess not. So I am afraid that someday there could be a confrontation. I'm afraid of that. So, like, I'm not a big guy.

Adeel [29:35]: Yeah, if my glare is misconstrued or something.

Jeffrey [29:40]: My dirty look is pretty dirty.

Adeel [29:42]: Oh, yeah. The glare is, the miso glare is like. The miso glare. I mean, resting bitch face has nothing on miso glare. That's great.

Jeffrey [29:54]: That phrase should be, like, patented.

Adeel [29:56]: The miso glare trademark. It should be a t-shirt. Yeah, I'm not mad. It's just my miso glare. Or maybe I'm mad. We'll work on that. Yeah. Well, actually, I was just looking at your picture and mine too. It might be a good reason to just have more facial hair just to kind of like, you know, be able to hide.

Jeffrey [30:15]: Oh, you know what was the biggest help? The pandemic was like a blessing in disguise because actually disguise is a double entendre. But I could put a mask over my face and I could talk all I wanted. I can make all the nasty looks, especially like food shopping.

Adeel [30:34]: Yeah.

Jeffrey [30:34]: It's the worst. And I would just curse people out and they couldn't even see. And it was a wonderful release. Yeah. So that was one of the benefits.

Adeel [30:46]: No, I will be probably wearing, I like also not getting sick. So I might just kind of, you know, wear a mask for a while, especially if I'm going into a grocery store, maybe where I might be get triggered. Right. right but how is so the pandemic in general like being um um away from people like was it overall like for some people it was good at the beginning but then um you know some of us kind of start to feel really claustrophobic especially if you happen to be living with other people i'm curious how kind of the past year and a half has been for you it actually from a misophonia perspective

Jeffrey [31:24]: It didn't affect me because my living environment, it was a two story townhouse and I had a roommate, but I had my own like large room upstairs and I would tend to. just kind of hang out up there and be in my own little world just um so it didn't really affect me as far as miso goes it affected me as far as depression goes and and loneliness but you know but i found other ways of reaching out to people like you know online People were more open to having conversations and people needed each other. So I'm lucky enough to have a lot of online friends that we have really deep talks. It's not just superficial. So I'm lucky I had that from all over the world. So I tapped into that.

Adeel [32:23]: Yeah, I think a lot of people needed that.

Jeffrey [32:29]: If somebody lives in a home with three or four people, I honestly don't know how they did it. Because you know what all people were doing? was eating and watching television or on their phones. And those little games on people's phones, that drives me crazy, especially in doctors' waiting rooms. Putting miso aside, people are inconsiderate. Not everybody, but there's so many people. You know what? They're just unaware. And, you know, and they're not mindful. It's the word I like to use. I am so mindful of my environment. And when I walk into a room, I try to adapt to that environment. So if it's like a high energy level, then I'll match it. But, you know, people seem to be quiet and more reserved. I match that as well. Some people don't have that. They don't have that ability to read the room, so to speak. Right.

Adeel [33:37]: They kind of burst into the room. I feel like they've extended their living room into wherever they are. Well said. But the other interesting thing you said, which I just forgot, and now it'll torture me, but... But yeah, about self-awareness, I mean, it comes up a lot. And I was thinking about it a little bit earlier when you said, would I give up MISO? Obviously, a lot of us would give up MISO, but a lot of people think that it's kind of... It made them a more considerate person? Yeah, it made them more considerate, but also for a lot of people, they're maybe more sensitive to reading the room better. So it's kind of like whatever heightened sense of awareness that they have, maybe MISO is like a... overly active version of it but they like they would never give up that over and like hypersensitivity so some people have said I would probably keep my miso but I think you know privately they probably want to get rid of that small slice but it's definitely an inner conflict yeah roundabout way of saying people like certain aspects of this sensitivity and they definitely see when other people don't have it

Jeffrey [34:53]: Yeah, in some ways it made me a better person, a more considerate person, a more aware person. But in some ways, I think it also affected my personality negatively. I think at times it actually made me an angrier person when I see how... I don't want to say careless, but how rude and inconsiderate people are in the public. Now with cell phones, people will walk around a supermarket having these full-fledged, in-depth, personal conversations about their entire lives. Yes. And they're FaceTiming while they're shopping. And there's kids screaming in the background. I just, I, if somebody called me in the store, I would say, hi, like I'm food shopping. I'll call you when I get out. I just would not subject people to that. And because it's a cell phone, I think people feel the need to speak even louder than normal than if the person was standing right next to you. So it's actually become like, like almost like an epidemic where people just have no like tact.

Adeel [36:12]: or coups. Just as a way of acting in public. yeah do you think some of um a lot of yeah just whatever miso is is related to uh just the that you know that kind of cliche of like over modernization over population um or you know do you think it was it's more of a um a phenomenon the last couple hundred years you know what i actually thought about this two days ago

Jeffrey [36:44]: So I'm smiling when you ask me that question because I'm trying to think what changed. So I realized I had whatever this was at seven years old because of a kid sniffling in class during a test. then like the next few years i don't remember anything and then as a teenager the crunching started to affect me but i don't remember between seven and fourteen i and i have an incredible memory that goes back to four years old i don't remember miso affecting me between kind of seven and fourteen although during dinner i would always ask my parents to put the radio on I knew that. I didn't know why per se, but I knew I just couldn't listen to knives and forks on a plate and people chewing. Right. So at 15 is when I kind of kicked in and people crunching chips and things was a problem. And then at 19, I actually asked my stepmother not to put carrots in the salad because my grandfather was coming over and he was a loud eater. And she actually recalls, I asked her a year ago, and she actually recalls that. And that was like 40 years ago. She actually remembers that. She didn't put them in. So that was nice.

Adeel [38:09]: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jeffrey [38:11]: So the point of that is that when I hear stories now, and plus people I filmed of teenagers and younger children having such more intensive reactions than when I had as a kid, something else... is at play there it's not just standalone misophonia i think there's outside influences whether it's environmental like all the stimulation that we're bombarded with every day everywhere you go there's some kind of advertisement there's a phone There's just stimulation everywhere, whether it's visual or auditory. There's almost like no resting place.

Adeel [38:53]: Right.

Jeffrey [38:53]: And when you have meso, you need some time to recoup. I always tell people, I go, just give me five minutes of just like without doing that. Just five minutes is all I ask. And then we go into a quiet room and then I can come out and I feel a little more recharged. I think, so I don't really use the word trigger a lot. I think the term is actually overused. So there's a times where it affects me. It's not a trigger unless I feel trapped and the sound is incessant. It just won't stop and I feel I can't get away. That is a true trigger. That's the true meaning of the word trigger from me. Like a one-off sound, if someone just makes a sound, you know, crunches a water bottle, which is brutal. Yeah. It startles me. And I get startled very easily. I get scared easily. If someone comes around the corner of a room, I go, ah! I get scared. I've always been like that. Don't go to a haunted house with me.

Adeel [39:56]: I was going to say you're not one of the clowns. The kids who like plants, I would imagine.

Jeffrey [40:01]: Right.

Adeel [40:02]: Or a haunted house.

Jeffrey [40:04]: Right. so so the word trigger has like different meanings to me i think it's it's overused like when i read the forums and so i mean there's things that just affect me but a true trigger is when my heart is racing i have like an adrenaline rush yeah it really is the best word and when i was doing corporate videos like the client would bring in like lunch in the quietest conference room you could imagine. And invariably, there was always chips on the plate. I guess it's just easy food. So I was doing a corporate video and the waitress walked in with eight plates, just eight people in the room, and they all have chips on them. And you could hear a pin drop in the room. There was just no noise at all. And right away, the anticipatory anxiety kicked in. I was like, what am I going to do? This is going to be torture. Nobody knows what happened. So what I do is I develop this thing where I take my palms and I press them underneath the table to release some of that adrenaline. And it actually started to help me. Sometimes I'll shake my legs under the table, but if I just press underneath my palms and press up, it helps. It turns out that One of my clients was there and they were actually a supporter of the film. And so they actually brought it up and said, oh, by the way, Jeffrey's doing a documentary. And like, Jeff, why don't you tell us about it? Tell that waitress about it. Just like trip her as she's walking in with a plate of chips. So. I actually told them, but first of all, I said, I go, first of all, I want to thank you all for eating those chips really quietly. Because you know what? You can actually go like crunch. Right. Or you can actually just put it in your mouth.

Adeel [42:13]: Yeah.

Jeffrey [42:13]: And close your mouth. You still hear it. It's muffled. But again, it's about the effort. If you see somebody trying to make an effort. you almost like you take a little bit like of an exhale you're like ah okay it's not as bad as i thought it was going to be and that makes a difference you know and in this world in the music world you take whatever little gifts you can get you know and that's one of them when you see somebody trying to make an effort because some people can just be some people use it as a weapon know oh yeah and it's been said before that you have to be careful who you tell because right you know it's your achilles heel and it could i've had it used as a weapon for me you know somebody once told me that i noticed that they were they were sniffling a lot And so I just I walked away from them. A year later, that person admitted they did it on purpose because they wanted to look at their phone. And I was annoying them by being there talking. Oh, my God. And I felt it like at the moment they did it. I was like, no. And then they actually just voluntarily told me so. And it hurt a lot. It was somebody I was in a relationship with and someone who was there like right from the beginning of me finding out, going through the whole process of the documentary. And it was used against me. So you do have to be careful who you tell. But, you know, you have to trust somebody sometime. i guess you have to you have to choose choose wisely you have to think like is this person do they have an impact on my life yeah where it's worth taking that chance of telling them or not it's a fine line and i think you have to just do it case by case person by person

Adeel [44:12]: Yeah, you're right. Some people, if you're going to only see them once, it's not worth it. And but also, yeah, I mean, you know, getting getting as you get older, you have maybe not as kind of hurtful as what you experienced. But, you know, a lot of people get exhausted by just like being made fun of or dismissed. And it's just like, all right, now it's like, do we want to roll the dice this time and kind of see what happens here? Or do we just try to, you know, live with it, let it slide?

Jeffrey [44:40]: know i did the interview on a cable show and i actually went there with an agenda so it was a year after the film came out and i was much stronger personality wise so in the beginning i felt like i had to monitor everything i said because i felt like everybody was watching And I didn't want to affect the actual film. I didn't want people to be upset at me and boycott the film or not purchase it or support me out of spite. So I played everything by the book and I was just kind of cordial and I kept a lot of thoughts to myself. A year after, I felt much more empowered. I was like, you know what? I have nothing to prove anymore. I delivered what I said I was going to. It was a success. It helped a lot of people. Hundreds of letters where I've changed lives and it's like way beyond I ever thought I had the potential to do. But I went there with an agenda and I said to the host, I said, I would not have wasted or invested four years of my life if this wasn't real. i said it cost me relationships it cost me business it really it affected my life like in many negative ways as well as you know all the positives and the rewards it was very difficult time to do the film but I did it and I'm glad I did it. I have no regrets. When I look back, I shake my head and say, how the hell did I do that? Because we filmed in 12 different states and it was only just two of us at any given moment. And so I wanted her to realize and her audience to realize that for me to invest all of that, this really has to be life altering. This wasn't just like a passion project. I just did. It wasn't a whole movie that I just made for myself to throw on YouTube. This was a much bigger investment of time, energy, sanity, and finances too. Everything. It took a toll, but I didn't realize how much. It's when the dust settles. You ever work a really long day and adrenaline keeps you going, but then once you sit down, you realize how tired you really are. When the dust settled, I realized what a toll it took on me. whole process because i pretty much did everything myself from the campaign to the filming but you know i had this assistant to the editing all the social media all the emails so there was a time where i had hundreds of emails and i would limit myself to responding to 25 a day that's all i could do because i became a resource for people and all these people wanted to tell me their stories yeah so and because of who i am i listened and i gave them my time and i responded and one person wrote me and she goes you know what jeff you have a way of making a person feel that they're the only person you're replying to and i thought that was really like a nice it kind of captured because each one was personal like there was no like like, you know, cloned emails.

Adeel [48:28]: Right, exactly.

Jeffrey [48:30]: No canned response. There was no canned response to each person.

Adeel [48:34]: Thank you for sharing your story.

Jeffrey [48:39]: right if you would like a sticker oh my god that is great and so for me responding to everybody it opened up so many opportunities and the first one was getting me on nikki six's show so someone wrote and said hi i'm just wondering when the film's coming out you know I want to share it with my boyfriend. And so we started exchanging emails. He goes, oh, by the way, I'm the engineer on Inky Six's talk show, and the co-host has misophonia. Would you be willing to be on the show? And that's how that came to be. Two weeks later, I was on it. So you never know who's writing you. And there's someone else, and I don't know if you heard him, Stephen Miller. He's one of the executive producers of the film, but he also started an organization, and I forgot the acronym, but he brought all these researchers together. many of them who i know i think zach who you had on your show he's actually part of that as well as well as dr kumar from the uk and michael menino i'm not sure if you spoke to him yeah yeah yeah so he started this kind of almost like consortium of doctors and research because his daughter has misophonia And so he's been a really big advocate of mine. And so he happened to write me and he said, you know, my daughter has me. So, you know, I'd like to help you in any way I can to make sure that your film sees the light of day. And I told them what I needed and. There was a check in the mail two days later. Wow. yeah so so i've been lucky i gained the support and respect from a lot of well-respected successful people and that meant a lot to me because it just it meant that i resonated and that they saw something genuine about me yeah whenever i see your comments and messages on facebook i mean they're not like you know the usual one sentence replies there it's like yeah you put a lot of thought into it and then that i think that that uh that it's felt um there was um a woman in michigan her daughter has it and she wrote me and she was just so eloquent and so appreciative of what i've done that we actually started talking on the phone on a regular basis And then she actually was making a trip to New Jersey and she goes, my husband and I want to meet you. So we actually met. We actually like met in a hotel lobby and she brought me chocolate, she knows, and a t-shirt. And we had this like the most wonderful time. And so many relationships have been spawned from doing this film. And I call I say quiet, please, is the gift that keeps on giving, you know, to me in the sense of relationships and and reward from, you know, seeing, you know, having somebody tag me in in the support groups, you know, saying, oh, here, watch this film. This really changed my life. It really saved my relationship. It helped my parents understand. One woman from Israel, she actually, she was no longer had a relationship with her parents because they didn't believe her. And she showed them the film. And actually, I think I have her comment on the website, like under like testimonials or something. And she said, you actually saved my relationship. And she's like, dot, dot, dot. and more so if you know what i'm saying there right yeah so so it's just um it's kind of a cool thing i never thought that one person could make a difference and not that i'm the only person who's advocating misophonia but but doing a film like it gave me a platform where that that other people didn't have Yeah, they put out an article. They have the Misophonia Convention, which is wonderful. But a film is just another way of reaching people globally.

Adeel [53:07]: exactly it's in channels where misophonia was never before so um exactly and then yeah that's important i mean yeah we could do research articles which are obviously super important because that will get eventually some treatment but you know there's a very limited distribution there you you were able to like get this into multiple media channels and you did your interviews again you're kind of getting it out there so uh yeah and many people found out about misophonia from the film

Jeffrey [53:36]: Oh, absolutely. So that was my number one goal because since I went 50 years without knowing, I didn't want other people to have to go throughout their whole lives thinking they were crazy or it was just a quirk.

Adeel [53:51]: I wanted them to know. You mentioned a little bit about your family earlier on. How did those relationships evolve over time with your misophonia? So early on,

Jeffrey [54:07]: It didn't really affect anything. What's interesting, though, is that my father has it as well. And I 100% believe that it's hereditary. Just from my own family and from filming 40 different people and hearing their stories and seeing multiple cases in one family, I personally believe. I'm not a doctor or clinician, but personally believe that it is so when i was telling my father that i said yeah i'm gonna do this project and you know i have this like sound thing whenever i hear this and he goes jeff that's me i said yeah but it's also like visual like if somebody's doing something he goes jeff that's me like he goes like can't i can't take if marilyn which is my stepmother like is at the end of the ice cream and she's like scraping the bottom of the ball to get that last bit out he goes it drives me crazy And I remember as a kid, if she would file her nails, you know, like with like an emery board.

Adeel [55:10]: Yeah.

Jeffrey [55:10]: He would be like, would you please stop? I never connected the two.

Adeel [55:16]: Wow.

Jeffrey [55:17]: In all those years. Yeah, I didn't. And so it didn't really affect anything. But I always had to have as a teenager, especially late teens, the music always had to be on. But they never fought me. They never challenged me about it. It was okay. It never caused an issue. In relationships, in my early 20s, I had a girlfriend who was crunching an apple. I'd be like, do you have to crunch that so loud? Funny, Chris, a week later, I was crunching an apple. And she started laughing. She goes, you know, it's pretty funny how it bothers you when I do it and it doesn't bother you when you do it. And I'm like, that is really interesting, which made me think about it. How come I can make these sounds, but other people can't? And that's something that's actually very confusing to people who are kind of new to this. But it's also confusing to the people who are around us. Because really, it sounds like we're making it up. It sounds like we have control, that we're selective about what things bother us. That's what it makes it sound like, as opposed to being uncontrolled, involuntary, involuntary response. The thing is that it's all about control. And I call it indirect control because I'm not a control freak at all. And I also use an analogy that you can't tickle yourself. If you try to ticklish it, you can't because you know it's coming. But if someone else went to that same exact spot, I would go crazy. If someone started tickling my knee, I'd be kicking and thrashing everywhere. But I'm doing it to myself right now and I feel nothing. So it's about control. And even the radio. So if I'm in the car and I'm controlling the stereo, and the volume and the music that's playing, like I will blast it so loud. If someone else does it, it's almost like an intrusion. and it becomes like a trick. Yeah. Or they're playing, you know, and they're like, you know, tap on the steering wheel and like banging, playing drums.

Adeel [57:48]: I always thought it's because I'm so passionate about music and like that, that maybe that's what it was, but I think it is more than that. It's about, it's about choice.

Jeffrey [57:58]: It's about us wanting to hear what we want to hear or not being in control of what we don't want to hear. Right. That's what it is. Yeah, because I could chew and crunch all I want. I don't trigger myself at all. Right. At all. So you know what? People always associate it with human sounds. I was once I'm doing laundry and I took a shirt off a hanger and the hanger was like swinging back and forth, like on the pole. I'm like, what is that sound? And it was like, it was the papers rubbing the hangers. Can you buy it? Rubbing together. Right. And I grabbed it really quick and I stopped it. I was like, oh my God, that was awful. So it's not just people.

Adeel [58:47]: No, no.

Jeffrey [58:48]: But you know what's really interesting? If I think a sound I hear is coming from a person, it's a trigger. There are times where I thought I heard like a sniffle or someone dragging their feet, but it was actually like a machine or something else. It totally took the edge off. De-escalated.

Adeel [59:11]: Yes.

Jeffrey [59:13]: which is, it's just, it's interesting. It's just, you know, food for thought that once we get in our head that someone is making that sound, like that's it. They're condemned for life. Yeah.

Adeel [59:25]: It's like they're persecuted. There's free will behind that sound. Exactly.

Jeffrey [59:30]: Exactly. Exactly. But if it was just like, you know, like a fan kicked on or it was just some kind of, you know, machine sound or the wind blowing, um, it totally changes your reaction.

Adeel [59:43]: Right. Right. Well, how did you, how did your, what does your dad think now? I mean, when he, when he found out what it was, was he just like, Oh, that's me. Or was it like, ah, kind of like, kind of like we, for us, it's kind of like a revelation because his generation, it's very much a, yeah, he's 85. Yeah.

Jeffrey [60:01]: Yeah. Yeah. Um, he was, he was kind of relieved that actually it bonded us. Like for a while. It was actually a bond because he could tell me things. And once I was driving to the airport, my stepmother was in the back seat. My father was driving me and she brought a bag of raw broccoli in the car. And she was in the back seat. And I'm like, oh, no, this isn't going to go well. And she was crunching and crunching. I actually found myself leaning forward so much that I was actually touching the dashboard. My father goes, why are you sitting like that? And I said, I go, never mind. Don't worry about it. Because I don't like to make waves. Don't worry about it. And he goes, is it because of her chewing? And I said, yes. And he's like, why are you crunching so loud? And she actually got defensive at both of us and said something not too kind. And that was right in the thick of me doing the film. I had their support as far as that goes, but nobody likes to be targeted or told that what they're doing is offensive. It's hard. I've been on the receiving end. I've been told that I've triggered people. Misophones, for lack of a better term, they don't realize how noisy they are. So while filming 40 people, I can't tell you how unaware most misophones are yeah yeah so as i film people i gave out chocolate bars you know with like you know the logo of the film on it that was my little thank you i gave chocolate bars to everybody who i filmed and in a quiet room this girl crunched that chocolate bar like she was never going to eat again the rest of her life And I was just like aghast. Like, really? Another time I went out to dinner with somebody who worked on the film with me. Out of all the things you go to a restaurant, she ordered crunchy tacos. Like, really? So people think, you know, I have all these like posts where we should all just like go live on an island together. I'm like, no, bad idea. because it's really hard to monitor your sounds. But I think it's really important for people to be in that environment so they can see the pressure they put on others by constantly monitoring their families, their spouses, whatever, whoever, their sounds. It is hard. It's like being in the library and knowing that you're not supposed to laugh. It makes you want to laugh. It's because you're being controlled. And when somebody is monitoring everything you do, you're more likely to make sounds. And it's an awful way to live. I have a saying that nobody can be 100% mindful 100% of the time. You can't. You can't monitor every single action and thing that you do. And it feels like by reading the forums that people expect people to. Not only their family, but strangers. Most people who have this don't even know it's a thing. How could they expect the rest of the world to know it's a thing? But regardless, people still have to live their lives. It's up to us to be self-advocates. You know, so I have headphones with me all the time, you know, earbuds. I will not go food shopping without earbuds listening to music. I just won't.

Adeel [64:13]: Or restaurants, maybe.

Jeffrey [64:16]: Restaurants are okay with me because it becomes like a white noise.

Adeel [64:19]: White noise in the background, yeah.

Jeffrey [64:20]: Yeah, it becomes like, you know, a cacophony.

Adeel [64:23]: Yeah.

Jeffrey [64:24]: It's okay. uh it's mostly like sitting on the couch like watching tv with somebody who's like eating popcorn and stuff like that's that's that's a little rough but it's important to just like let people live but also let them know like what affects you i think it's okay to make effort like if somebody was handicapped know had a physical disability like in your home like you would go out of your way to try to help them like if they couldn't reach something from the top cabinet like you would help them you know if they needed help getting up the stairs you would help them but people don't see like mental health issues or disorders they don't really validate them used to always say that like if you're not you know with your arm like you know bleeding you know and hanging off like people don't take you seriously you know they have to see something visibly in order to take you seriously and that's why mental health isn't really taken seriously or people aren't validated right even on the mental health curve i think misophonia is far lower than most others i mean

Adeel [65:39]: It's taken a lot to get a lot of mental health stuff noticed. And autism is now talked about a lot. But misophonia, we're very early in that cycle. So do you know how many haters there are?

Jeffrey [65:55]: So when I posted my trailer, somebody actually posted it to Reddit. And it got 50,000 views in one day. Wow. I looked at the accounts. I did like a double take. And it was because of Reddit. But in between all the positive comments, somebody wrote, I wish all of you would die so we could stop hearing you complain about the noises we make. So people have some strong...

Adeel [66:26]: opinions some of it i think that is just people practicing their their amateur snark because i mean some of it like the youtube mentality people just love to hate they would never a lot of those people i would never dare not that you know and yeah yeah the set aside the fact that if they said it to our face we would obviously take care of them but uh but it's uh but i think a lot of that is just Yeah, it's just typed. You would never hear a lot of that out loud.

Jeffrey [66:59]: And ignorant.

Adeel [67:00]: But it could still hurt if you're making a film and putting all that sweat behind it.

Jeffrey [67:05]: Although, you know what? Doing the film gave me a much thicker skin.

Adeel [67:11]: Yeah, good.

Jeffrey [67:11]: Because I'm a sensitive person in general, but compared to five years ago, I'm much stronger.

Adeel [67:18]: Yeah.

Jeffrey [67:19]: Because you know what? When you put a body of work out there, you leave yourself open.

Adeel [67:23]: Yeah.

Jeffrey [67:25]: And I learned that, you know, and I had so many positive comments, you know, but every once in a while, there'd be like a few like negative ones. And I'm like, ouch. But then I'm like, I'm okay. Cause you know, when I watch a film, I critique it, you know, even if it's by a famous director, I'd be like, oh, that was great. But I wish I didn't, you know, do this, this and this. So you can't please everybody, but. As long as I please the masses and as long as I can live with myself and I have a sense of pride that I accomplished what I set out to do. And that's actually a lot more than most people could say. A lot of people will have an idea. But following through, it's difficult. And that's the one thing I'm really proud of myself for. Because I could have easily just gone along my merry way running my video production business. I was doing well. I was satisfied.

Adeel [68:29]: You could have been like everybody else, like dismissed, like not make a big deal out of this. Because you know what?

Jeffrey [68:34]: I was one of those people who'll be like, eh, that other person could do it.

Adeel [68:39]: Will do it, yeah, yeah.

Jeffrey [68:40]: Yeah. I'm not going to make a difference. Someone else will do it. That was me my whole life. For some reason, in this case, I realized that I couldn't change everybody's perspective. All I wanted to do was start the conversation. That was my only goal. I mean, some people wrote and said, oh, you didn't include enough medical treatment. Like, I'm OK with that. Some people wrote me and said the music triggered them. Some people wrote certain voices triggered them. And at one point that would have bothered me. But. And actually, I used to reply to some of those negative emails and say, well, I go, number one, the film wasn't made for you. And it's not about you. It's about the bigger picture. It's about getting the message out there and raising awareness and helping others. It's not about your personal triggers. I understand them. So trust me, sniffling is my worst. she went off on how i could have start the trailer with a woman crying and sniffling but her comment was so impactful it outweighed possibility of triggering somebody and really only a handful of people like had an issue with it but what she said you know how this affects every aspect of my life was powerful and that was the first line of the trailer but she was crying and stuff like yeah i mean a lot of people even miss the films uh sometimes forget that it affects every aspect of our lives so that's important message for everyone to hear Right. But some people just made it about... About the stiff leg, yeah. And they actually had to hit the stop button and couldn't watch it. Another person wrote and said, there was one voice in there. Their voice was like raspy and I couldn't watch the film. But they post it and then other people see it. And then it started this whole thread of like, oh man, can I watch this? Is it full of triggers? What's nice is that I've reached a point where I don't even have to defend myself anymore. There's a whole arsenal of people. yeah who the film has helped they do it for me and that's actually so much more powerful yeah than me interjecting and coming across as defensive because they're hearing it from other people yeah other people said there's no triggers the director went out of his way he's a sufferer himself he went out of his way not to include gratuitous triggers right and that's all i can control are the gratuitous ones right if someone has a personal one about someone's voice you know and i have i'm affected by voices as well so i get it but you can't control if a certain voice is going to affect a person.

Adeel [71:46]: Right.

Jeffrey [71:47]: It can't be about that. It has to be about the much bigger picture. And that was my goal. And I stand by it.

Adeel [71:55]: Yeah.

Jeffrey [71:56]: One person said, can you take out the drums? One person actually wrote me and said, can you take out the drums or the string sounds? Like at two minutes and 33 seconds, like really like triggered me. It was like, Like, really? Like, you felt the need, like, to write me, take a part of your day to tell me that I should take the strings out of the soundtrack?

Adeel [72:22]: Yeah, it's a crazy issue. It affects people in so many different ways.

Jeffrey [72:30]: Well, there's so many different personalities out there, too. Actually, I say to myself that I kind of came out of it relatively unscathed. I had a handful of issues with people over the past five years, but for the most part, I've done okay. It's been positive. Relationships have been positive. Comments have been positive. Just a few.

Adeel [72:58]: Yeah. Yeah, no, you absolutely should be. So maybe, you know, as we're putting an hour and a half in, maybe we should start to kind of like wind down. I'm sure people would be interested in what you've been doing in the past few years since the documentary.

Jeffrey [73:16]: so actually since quiet please it actually led to four other awareness videos films it's funny the first one i did after quiet please was about cluster headaches while filming these people you know telling me their stories I realized that I was mentally shot after listening to 40 people talking about their misophonia and how it affects their lives. Because I'm an empath, so I feel everybody, I take on everybody's pain. And so while I was filming these people, I realized, wow. not enjoying this. I actually can't even process any more pain from other people. And so I realized it affected me in a negative way. And so I did that. And then I did one about hyperacusis. It's like misophonia's cousin. Yeah, yeah. Distant cousin.

Adeel [74:25]: Yeah, exactly.

Jeffrey [74:26]: Because people get them confused.

Adeel [74:28]: Yeah, yeah.

Jeffrey [74:29]: So I actually did one about that.

Adeel [74:33]: And I actually did one for the opposite. Are they being distributed some other way?

Jeffrey [74:39]: YouTube, they were used as fundraisers for these different organizations. The Hyperacusis one actually got the subject on the Today Show because of the video that I did. So she got to go on the Today Show. And then I did one about the opposite, about... hearing impaired people. So it was very interesting to do something about the exact opposite of misophonia. It's about people who couldn't hear. So many people who have miso just kind of offhandedly say, I wish I was deaf. I wouldn't have to deal with this. It's one of those things where be careful what you wish for. Because there's actually a lot of nice sounds in this world and people are kind of like narrow-minded i know it's just like a knee-jerk reaction to say that when you're in the moment i'd rather be deaf but i wouldn't You know, the sound of the ocean. I mean, there's so many wonderful music. There's so many wonderful sounds in the world. And so I actually separate them as those are sounds. And I refer to like the triggers as noise, because to me, noise has a more negative connotation. where sound can be pleasant. That's how I kind of separate them myself. So it was interesting doing a film about people who can hear and the research that's going into trying to help them hear. And so it came from two different spectrums. But after a while, I felt like I just became like the awareness guy. And in a way, I was proud of the title. Yeah, exactly. But in a way, I felt like I was kind of pigeonholed. which nice segue here which led to me wanting to do the documentary about chocolate i was going to say one way one way to cope is to just eat some nice sweets i went from doing a film about 40 people yeah and basically at the most i spent three days with somebody most the time It was an afternoon. So that included the interview and supporting B-roll. I mostly had four hours with each person. But occasionally, like the artist, Jessica, that we filmed in South Carolina, which is my favorite segment of the film, we actually went there twice. So we spent about four or five days there. And the Converse College gave us carte blanche. walk around pretty much shoot do anything we wanted to so we actually filmed there till three o'clock in the morning one night and then took a plane out at eight o'clock in the morning that was kind of fun but um so at the end of it all okay yeah knew i wanted to do a film about one person i wanted to get into inside somebody's head like what makes them tick you know and their passion and i wanted to be something so removed from awareness to show that i was capable of doing you know something so different plus of course i have an interest in it and i love chocolate and the process and But so after planning that and running a campaign and actually was able to raise money again to do a pitch trailer, it actually didn't come to fruition because the person I chose wasn't ready to be in the spotlight. And I was going to spotlight them. And he actually wrote me and he goes, you know what? It's not me. And I said, well, if you're not ready to be in the spotlight, this isn't for you. Because that's what it's all about.

Adeel [78:50]: Right. And you are the awareness guy. So it would be awareness.

Jeffrey [78:55]: So it was actually to raise awareness about what's called craft chocolate.

Adeel [79:00]: Yeah.

Jeffrey [79:00]: It's a higher end chocolate. It's artisan, you know, it's handmade, small batch. And I became a fan of it and advocate of it. And I want to promote that. And this person was part of that world. Plus, he was a pastry chef and just a regular chocolatier in general. And he had the perfect environment. It was this really cool cafe up in Provincetown. It would have been great, but he wasn't ready. And everything I suggested was kind of like a fight. And so I said, I go on pulling the project. I don't regret my decision. I regret that the project just never came to fruition.

Adeel [79:44]: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jeffrey [79:45]: And since then, I haven't done I haven't even thought about doing another film. You know, at one point I thought about doing little shorts.

Adeel [79:54]: Mm hmm.

Jeffrey [79:56]: Maybe like, you know, five minute little micro shorts about interesting people and making a YouTube channel and just putting out there on YouTube.

Adeel [80:04]: Yeah.

Jeffrey [80:06]: then life kind of got in the way and i just got involved back into my business and and then the pandemic hit and oh right then you can't really be around other people for a while yeah so i'm kind of in a place now where i'm in um reinventing myself i recently moved to ohio because i was in a long distance relationship okay and so it was actually going well so i decided to take the leap at at 61 years old i moved my life 500 miles away and so i'm living a very different life but So I'm happy in that regard, but I'm reinventing myself as far as career goes. I'm not sure where I want to be career wise at this point. I'm waiting for the spark to kind of come back. The pandemic, it took a hit with it. So I'm slowly coming back. But at this point, I think I actually want to work for an in-house production company. And after 30 years of running my own business, Plus doing the documentary in between that, I'm ready for something different where I'm not the sole person who's responsible for the company. It was great. I'm grateful for it. It was very rewarding. I've met amazing people. I accomplished more than I set out to. Now it's time for something different.

Adeel [81:42]: yeah no that's that's fair you've yeah it sounds like it sounds like a good time to reinvent yourself i think a lot of people post pandemic or post 2020 as well not everything that happened last year uh i want to change the scenery right right but the film it's still alive oh yeah and that kind of amazes me that i still get emails so actually so many requests for dvds timeless is the perfect word

Jeffrey [82:10]: I got so many requests for DVDs that I actually placed an order for them yesterday and actually last night at 2 o'clock in the morning, put the links back up on the website so they can actually be ordered again. They were off for about six months. I took the links down so the links are back up there again to order DVDs both domestically or internationally. So that was kind of exciting that there was interest. So streaming is great. There's something about handing a DVD, something that's tangible to somebody that has a nice cover. The packaging was done well. I think it adds credibility. to the disorder, to the subject at hand, as opposed to, oh yeah, go watch the link, go on Amazon and watch that link, which people always have something else to do, and they won't necessarily go do that. If you email them a link, maybe they will, but if you hand somebody a disc, I think they're a little more accountable to watch it. Again, plus it's the credibility factor. Because it means that the subject was interesting enough or needed enough that somebody actually made a dvd about it right right whereas you know youtube anyone could just make something and throw it up on youtube this one a step further and it looks professional in its presentation plus you can also give it to like a therapist you can give it to other clinicians like so many people have brought their dvd to their therapist because they never heard of it before and then that therapist watched it now if that therapist has a new know exhibit symptoms or about things that are related they can say i know what you have so it's actually educating people almost like one by one like exponentially right you just never you never know who who's going to see it who's going to get passed on to right i went for a medical procedure two weeks ago i was in the waiting room and a woman was clicking her sanitizer bottle the cap Open, close, open, close. And those are all like clicks. Yeah. I counted 50 times. I had a friend with me who does not have meso. And he actually texted me. He goes, I have to do deep breathing exercises because I can't take it. And that's a person who doesn't even have it. But this woman was totally unaware that she was doing this. So the nurse calls me in. And she goes, okay, I'm going to take your blood pressure. And I go, just so you know, it may be high. I go, there's a woman in the waiting room. And I had my own sanitizer bottle, so I took it out and I did it for her. Right. And I go, you probably never heard of it, but I have this thing called misophonia. She goes, oh, I heard of it and I have it. I go, I go, really? My whole face lit up. It's so nice to meet somebody else who has this. And she goes, yeah. She goes, my husband is constantly chewing gum and I can't take it. But otherwise, he's pretty good about it. But what are the chances that I would even say it to somebody?

Adeel [85:40]: Right, right.

Jeffrey [85:41]: And have her be. And I even posted a story on Quiet Please a year ago. I was filming in a library. And a woman goes, like, what are you doing? I'm setting up for a Chamber of Commerce event. And she goes, what else have you done? I said, I did a documentary. She goes, what about? She kept pushing. It's very inquisitive. She was a librarian. I said, oh, it's about the sound sensitivity called misophonia. And I explained it. And she just stared at me. She goes, do you mean like chewing sounds?

Adeel [86:16]: She didn't make the sound. Like knives and a fork.

Jeffrey [86:18]: She just said it. And I go, yeah, how do you know that? She goes, our son has it. He's been coming to us. He's a late teen. He's been coming to us, telling us all these things affect him, that he can't have dinner with us. She goes, that's it. That's what he has. So you just never know who you're talking to and who you may help. So it's important to talk about it. Actually, last night I was at work. And it was the assistant manager. And I said, I would come in on Friday, but I'm doing a podcast. And it's right in the middle of the day, so I'll just come in on Monday and finish up what I have to do. He goes, oh, what are you doing it on? I said, oh, it's just a sound disorder thing. He goes, misophonia? And I go, you effing heard of it? was so excited yeah and he goes he goes yeah i know like because i know a little about a lot of different things because that's like that's that chewing thing and see everyone automatically just goes right yeah yeah but like he knew and i said i'm so impressed he goes like he goes send me a link so you just never know so he might watch it even though it doesn't affect him yeah but one day i don't know maybe he can meet somebody and say oh I know what you have because that's how I found out about it. Exactly. That's how I found out about it. So it's important to talk.

Adeel [87:50]: Oh, absolutely. So, Jeff, yeah, I know we can talk for even more. Yes, we could. Is there, well, first of all, I want to ask you, yeah, if there's any, like, last words you want to say first, and I just want to say thank you, obviously, for doing the documentary. I mean, I bought the DVD. I couldn't watch it in one go, not because of the sounds. It was just so emotional. I had to stop, like, three times before I got through it. You know what?

Jeffrey [88:16]: I get that from so many people. But so many people said, I bought it, but I just kept it in a drawer for six months. I couldn't bring myself to watch it. But when they did, they regretted that they waited so long. Some people just cry through it. So for me, I'm kind of jaded because I edited it. So I watched some of these scenes a hundred times in a row and they just lose their effect after a few times. But when I watch it, there's one section that still gets me. And that's when people realize that there's a name for it. Because it brings me back to when I first heard of that. It's such a great feeling to know you're not alone.

Adeel [89:04]: Yeah. But yeah, anything else you want to say? This has been a fantastic conversation. Yeah, anything else you want to say to your legions of fans?

Jeffrey [89:17]: I think mostly I appreciate the support. Like it's such a cool thing just to go on Facebook and say, you know, so-and-so tagged you, you know, in the misophonia support group. Like, and I'll go there and I just read like all these like positive comments. It was like, this conversation is happening. Like, and I'm not even involved in it. Right. It's weird for just a low key person. Yeah. Who's never wanted to be in the spotlight. It's not, I'm more comfortable with it now. But it's just, it's cool. So, you know, it gives me a little thrill for a minute or two. And then I just go on with my life. I'll be honest with you. In the beginning, I had a certain amount of self-importance. When I first did this, I was like, oh, I'm going to save the music world. Right. Like I just like thought I was it. But like after a month, I got myself in check and realized, you know, you didn't find the cure for cancer. So get a grip on yourself. That's funny. But you know what? I'd rather be humble. then the other way around yeah yeah so but i appreciate one thing i want to say is i appreciate the ongoing support and and people still write me all the time like thanking me and yeah and even on a personal level yeah i'm just grateful for all the relationships

Adeel [90:49]: Yeah, I'll have all those in case people, for some reason, don't have links or have heard of the movie. I'll definitely have everything in the show notes. And people will hopefully continue to contact you. I'm sure they will. But yeah, thanks again for everything you've done and coming on. I'm glad to finally have you on the show. This has been a fascinating conversation.

Jeffrey [91:12]: It's been an absolute pleasure. And you know what? You're a pleasure as well. It's a pleasure to talk to you. I really enjoy just the way you converse.

Adeel [91:23]: Yeah, thank you. And you're in Ohio now, and I'm in Minnesota, so a little bit closer. Maybe one day I'll drive through or something or go through and we can hang out quietly.

Jeffrey [91:31]: That's been the best part. Oh, so actually, there's somebody who I actually filmed. the documentary but i end up cutting them out but ironically they live 20 minutes for me and so far we met twice for ice cream cool actually one was last weekend yeah so we remain friends so the relationships will go on and on yeah yeah and that's the best part

Adeel [91:56]: Thank you, Jeffrey. What an absolute treat. Not sure what else to say. Thank you for everything you've done for us. And I hope this podcast can somehow help carry the flame. If you liked this episode, don't forget to leave a quick review or just hit the five stars wherever you listen to this podcast. You can hit me up by email at hello at or go to the website, It's even easier to just send a message on Instagram at Misophonia Podcast or Facebook or on Twitter. We're actually Misophonia Show. You can support the show financially if you want at slash Misophonia Podcast. Theme music, as always, is by Moby. Until next week, wishing you peace and quiet.

Unknown Speaker [92:55]: Thank you for watching.