LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 22: Reggie Watts attends the 71st Emmy Awards at Microsoft … [+]
Anyone who has ever seen a live performance by Reggie Watts knows that the man does not like to be pigeonholed.
The actor, performer, comedian, musician and beatboxer is definitely one of a kind.
During his formative years, Watts immersed himself in experiences with cannabis and psychedelics that enabled him to explore various aspects of his consciousness and encounter his own true self.
Today Watts stands ready to share this wisdom with the world in hopes of encouraging others to find and pursue what makes them unique. But as was easy to assume, his methods are, shall we say … unconventional.
In an exquisite conversation, the artist told us all about his first encounters with cannabis, his acid stumbling days in a grunge basement in Seattle in the early 90s, and his recent journey into technical entrepreneurship with his own mobile app.
First insightful experiences
Watts entered the world of cannabis around the age of 16. With hindsight, of course, he realizes that it is best to wait until the brain is fully formed before starting to use cannabis.
BROOKLYN, NY – AUGUST 10: Reggie Watts poses for a portrait backstage during the Mad Decent Block … [+]
“It was just an amazing kind of trip with it. Now I mainly make food because smoking irritates me, ”he told us. Watts sees himself as a big proponent of cannabis and addresses the many positive effects it can have on consumers.
For him, cannabis is a kind of chemical experiment.
“Every time you take it, it’s an opportunity to see something differently, or to try to achieve something differently. I don’t necessarily like it as an escape, absolutely. I see it as an opportunity to discover something new about myself every time I do. “
This type of cannabis-induced conscious exploration of one’s inner self was also applied to psychedelics by Watts.
See also: Carlos Santana on cannabis: “It’s all about awareness man”
Watts was also interested in LSD in his younger years. However, for a teenage boy in Great Falls, Montana in the late 80s, psychedelics weren’t an easy thing to do.
His first experience with acid included a very intense trip with a group of friends from the city. While it was mostly a fun experience, Watts also remembers as trascendental.
“It was just a very crazy night, but it definitely opened me up in a way that reveals a lot more to the universe, or certainly self-image.”
“Bon Voyage: Adventure in Psychedelics”
Seven years ago, Watts was approached by writer / director Donick Cary to participate in a project the filmmaker was working on: a documentary about celebrities and their psychedelic adventures.
“I didn’t really know where it was going or what would happen to it. I just did it because I thought it was fun to do, ”admitted Watts.
The film eventually evolved into a documentary titled “Bon Voyage: Adventures in Psychedelics,” which premiered on Netflix earlier this year and features funny anecdotes from Sting, A $ AP Rocky, Carrie Fisher, Ben Stiller and Sarah Silverman. Anthony Bourdain and many others.
Watt’s experience with psychedelics was a period of intense self-exploration when he lived in Seattle in the early 1990s in a house he shared with his bandmates.
“The drummer held on like a sheet of acid. We stayed in the house pretty much a week, ”he recalled.
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The two young musicians spent seven days in the basement of the house experimenting with sound mixing techniques like creating tape delays with two quarter-inch reel-to-reel machines.
“So we ate a leaf of acid in seven or eight days. Sometimes people would bring us food and we would just hang out in the basement. “
A psychedelic induced spiritual awakening
The following years were full of music, experimentation and many transformative experiences with LSD and psilocybin mushrooms.
Reggie Watts photographed at SXSW in Austin, Texas on March 14th, 2012. (Photo by Wendy … [+]
Watts recalls his last great journey as a turning point in his life at the age of 24. It was a brand of “super-clean” LSD called Jack the Shiva.
“It made me a vegetarian. I started doing sacred geometry and all kinds of math related to sacred geometry. Basically, I’ve entered a new age and I’ve been researching things about consciousness and aliens and all of those things. It was kind of a big awakening time for me. “
Then he gave psychedelics a break for a few years.
“When I got older, when I was thirty, I didn’t do that much psychedelics. And now I rarely, rarely. Maybe I make mushrooms or something like that once every three or four years. “
Watts said he considers himself an advocate for the guided use of psychedelics in a therapeutic setting.
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“A guided aspect of it for self-discovery and working through problems and so on. I’m done with it. I just want the education to be high and the information to be available to people, ”he said.
Watts App with Reggie?
“WhatsApp. It’s an app from me. My last name is Watts,” says the artist so eloquently in the app’s promotional video.
No, not this WhatsApp. This is something else. Watts’ quest to go outside the norm and find his own way led him to break free of a force that has chains of most public figures these days: social media.
“It’s similar to other social media platforms. But it’s my own platform, ”he told us.
Watts shares his own eccentric inner universe with the outside world via the app – according to his own rules, according to his own rules. He publishes pictures, videos and live streams. There is even an online shop that sells his handcrafted experimental electronic equipment.
Watts said he was particularly pleased with the ability to dictate the aesthetics of the platform rather than relying on the “terrible aesthetics” of Facebook or Instagram as he puts it.
See also: The key to success: How Berner built a cannabis empire for half a billion dollars
“Nobody is being followed. There is none, no data is shared. There is no social aspect. It’s just a place to see what I’m doing and to prepare for special events. “
Watts calls it a multimedia channel that users can occasionally log into and see the content it creates. Whether it’s a short film, a virtual dance party, an interview, or a fake, made-up TV show, WattsApp is a place where exclusive content can premiere before it hits other mainstream platforms.
The artist explained that in the future the app could become part of a larger platform on which other artists can also present their products. But right now it’s a Watts thing.
“I hope if other artists want to do this, there is a template they can use to create their own app and encourage them to take control of how their media is perceived. You can use this distributed network of apps that are only specific artists creating their content. That is the later angle. “
Natán Ponieman Co-author of this article.