"I LOVED Justin's presentation. His message was just what [the students] needed to hear about being the person that they are... rather than trying to be someone else." -Kelly, Parent of a High Schooler
Frequently Asked Questions (answered by Justin):
We have little to no budget. How can we hire Justin to speak? A. There are actually many options to make it work. Our FUNDING PAGE explains some great ideas you can use. A member of our booking team will be happy to work out all the details with you. Don't worry, as long as you're willing to get creative…we can make it work.
Q. Do you charge travel expenses? A. My fee is all inclusive - travel, food, lodging (if necessary), car, gas, everything! It's easier for everyone that way. You don't have to worry about getting random travel bills and I doesn't have to keep a million receipts :)
Q. How did you get started speaking? A. Back in the early 2000's, friends began asking me to speak to their youth groups to talk about my experiences growing up in the entertainment world. As I started sharing my story, my experiences and my music, the response from the teens, event planners and parents was overwhelming! Word quickly spread, and I continued speaking when I had time. Almost a year after I lost my first wife in an auto accident in 2009, I was asked to put on a concert for a local youth organization. It was then that I remembered the story of the pair pink shoes I had in elementary school. When I put that experience together with the lesson I learned after a family trip to Scotland when I was 17, I made a very powerful connection and, in my trademark way, mixing music with stories, I shared it with this young audience. Then, in front of all the kids, I put on my first pair of pink shoes in 26 years. It connected. It was powerful... and that's when The Pink Shoe Hero Foundation was born. (see 2nd video on this page.)
Q. Any advice for someone wanting to become a speaker? A. Thin about your story. Everyone has one. What's yours? What message do you want to communicate to others? One of the best things you can do is take a drama class. It will get you comfortable being vulnerable in front of people. Are there motivational speakers that you like? If you have their material, study them. What do they use to engage you. And if you're REALLY REALLY serious about speaking as a career check out YOUTH SPEAKER UNIVERSITY.
Q. At what events do you normally speak? A. I speak at most events where there are teens or young adults: middle and high school assemblies, college events, student leadership conferences. I also speak at parenting or educator seminars and conferences.
Q. Are all you stories true? A. My stories are crazy yet 100% true.
Q. Who has inspired you? A. I have had a lot of people in my life who I can point to as inspiration. I don't even know the name of some of them. I'm inspired by anyone who is passionate about what they want to do in life and becomes an expert in their craft. I'm also inspired by those who have persevered in the face of tremendous odds.
Q. Where are your favorite places to visit? A. There's a beautiful little island in the Bahamas called Spanish Wells. It's not a tourist trap. It's just like a small town community. New York City is another favorite, and I would love to go back to visit Scotland.
Q. How did you overcome the obstacles you faced? A. Being honest with myself about my circumstances and acceptance of how and what I was feeling, then taking responsibility. Was I going to let it control me, or was I going to take control of my fate? This allowed me to change my perspective, i.e. how I perceived the obstacle. I would ask myself, "What am I supposed to learn from this, and how can I turn it to an opportunity to help others."
Q. Do you have a pet? A. I've grown up with cats my whole life. The only dog we ever owned as a kid, bit me in the face twice. So... I have a cat again. :)
Q. What is your favorite food? A. It's a tie between Indian and Mexican. Right now, I'd have to go Indian. Although, fix me a traditional Greek Salad and I'm in heaven!
Q. What is your favorite movie? A. Groundhog's Day. By a LONG shot! Hilarious movie with a very solid message. I find it one of the most inspiring movies for me. When a person realizes what's really important in life and does a 180, you can't get better than that.
Q. What's your favorite book? A. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. What can I say? I told you I was a nerd.