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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Exclusive Interview: 'Dukes' Star John Schneider Brings His Plan to Fruition by Releasing Memoir, New Music & Holiday Film 'Christmas Cars'


(John Schneider Promo Shot- Official Facebook)

When I mention the name John Schneider I'm going to bet that the first image that comes to mind is a flash of the 70's breakout television hit, The Dukes of Hazzard, right? If you're a little younger than me then maybe you're brain races to that dad you wished you had on Smallville. Schneider has made a name for himself by breathing life into characters that are uniquely embedded in our own personal history. He is also a well-established country music veteran that has spent this entire year manifesting a trio of projects that complement each other beautifully.

I caught up with John earlier this week and learned that he is standing in exactly the spot he intended to be in as the holidays roll around.

John Schneider on manifesting a book, a movie and new music all at once:

"A whole lot of work and a whole lot of planning went into this year because things don't just happen by themself. We've sown a lot of seeds this year. I think the last time that we spoke I was thinking about doing a book. I'd put little potential chapter titles in my phone as people would ask me different things, and then I would fill in some details. I made sure to write about the bad stuff, like losing the property, because you have to put the bad in the recipe too. Alicia (Allain, Schneider's business partner, and wife) and I were talking and she said that it needed to be a movie. I didn't want to do a documentary, and so she suggested putting all of these things into a movie that celebrates the 40th anniversary of Dukes of Hazzard while weaving our lives into it. That became not only the book, "My Life, My Way" but it also became Christmas Cars, which is already the top-selling movie that we've made thus far."

John on the importance of Christmas Cars:

"The great thing about being independent filmmakers is that Alicia and I can make what we want and say what we want to. When the world sees this movie and hears things like the war of northern aggression, rather than the term Civil War, hopefully, some people will hear that and google it. We want to make people curious about the details of the people and events that they think they're already familiar with. I'm not beating them over the head, I'm just throwing things out there to make them think. We try and do that in a really fun way in Christmas Cars. There's heart in it, there's obviously Christmas in it and there's the community in it and I think that is really the salt in the recipe that was The Dukes of Hazzard. You need community and you just can't get anything done without the help, support, and appreciation of your friends and family. You can try and you can wear yourself out. All kinds of things happen in life to try and keep you from your goals, but you persevere because you have made a promise to do so.

I think that Christmas Cars is going to speak to a lot of people, about a half-hour after they've seen it. The message hits you a little bit later on and to me, that's the mark of a good film. It shouldn't end just because the end credits roll. It's like gumbo and it needs to marinate for a while because it tastes better later. Hopefully, people will want to watch it again because of that."

John on challenging the assumed narrative:

"The (inaccurately called)  Confederate flag, which is really the Union Jack, has become like a universal sign of racism and intolerance. So, anyone who has that on their car, as if I put it on the General Lee myself, must also be racist. They don't even give you the benefit of the doubt, if I have that car then I must be racist. So now wait a minute, just because I have a bedsheet in my chest of drawers, am I accused of being a Klansman? No, I'm not. So why not actually ask what I think about it before just jumping to such a conclusion? Is it because I might have an intelligent answer that might diffuse some of the fear that's being sold out there? I bet that's exactly it."

(John Schneider Promo Shot- Official Facebook)

John on reaping the rewards of what he has sown:

"People are buying the book, people are buying the movie, and people are buying our music that's in the movie and so all of that is just incredible. I can't say that it's completely unexpected because like I said, these are seeds we have sown and they are plans that we've had. People will say, 'Well, it's great when a plan comes together', and yes, it really is (laughing). Our plan was to do the music and the book and then to put both of those into the movie. Then finally, our plan was to successfully release everything out into the world. Had we not planned it and had we not decided to go for it then none of it would have happened. I believe firmly in just going for it, make a plan and go for what you want. You have to have a target so that you know when you hit it. Plan your work and work your plan. The worst thing that can happen is that you're just breathing air and taking up space."

John on challenging others' to do what they love:

"I realize that there are people that think they're supposed to be miserable and so they just do what they have to in order to get by, rather than doing what they love. They do whatever to pay the mortgage and the car note and somehow they've been told that they're supposed to be miserable and they've believed it. A lot of people have grown complacent with that and they're okay with it. If you think you're okay with that then I dare you to question whether or not you really are. See if when you question yourself quietly you don't come to a realization that you're here for a purpose.

We're all here for some reason and we all play some part in this game. What's your part? What position do you play and what position are you supposed to play? I think that a lot of people have bought into the idea that they're supposed to be spectators when it's not necessarily true. Chances are that you knew why you were here when you were a little kid and then life and loved ones talked you out of it. See if that idea still makes you smile and if it does, move towards it. Read books about it, just do something and see where it leads you."

(John Schneider Promo Shot- Official Facebook)

John on writing another book:

"Those who have read the book seem to be loving it, at least that's the feedback that I'm getting. I feel great about it but I have to say, writing these chapters made me start thinking of other things to talk about. I can't help but think of how to peel the artichoke back even further so that I can get into some more stuff for the next book. In the first book you're in a position of having to come up with the right recipe to make it all work. The second time around it's not exactly going to write itself, but it is going to categorize itself and that's really terrific. So once 2019 is squared away that is definitely something that I'll be working on."

You can order John Schneider's new memoir, "My Life, My Way" right here.
Check out John Schneider's official site to order Cars for Christmas. Also, join him on Facebook and become part of his interactive community!

 

1 comment:

  1. John book is wonderful as a fan for the past 40 yrs love reading about his younger days before Dukes and knowing more about him that I didn't know like living with Johnny and June Cash how cool is that . He movie is great and well put together . I would tell anyone to buy this movie it be one you wanna watch every Christmas time . John's a wonderful man who I've gotten to see many times love him lots !

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