Burning the midnight oil on Thank You For Your Service

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Burning the midnight oil on Thank You For Your Service

Colonel Sutherland Interviews for ‘Thank You For Your Service’

Colonel David W. Sutherland was the commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.  He worked as a Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen (whom we interviewed in June). Col. Sutherland wrote the highly influential white paper, “The Sea of Goodwill”.  In the paper, he writes:

Our nation is so full of support for our Service members it is difficult to illustrate all the organizations and individuals trying to do their part to support our veterans. Admiral Michael Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calls this a “Sea of Goodwill” of American support.He notes, “The challenge…is how do you connect that sea of goodwill to the need?”…The aim of this Sea of Goodwill is matching donors with the needs of Service members, veterans, their families, and the families of the fallen.

After a 30 year career, the Colonel retired in 2012. He now heads the Easter Seals Dixon Center.  The Center’s mission is to enable our veterans and their families to thrive in the communities where they live. The Center accomplishes its mission through building partnerships, sharing innovations and connecting those who have served to support services.
The Colonel sat for our two cameras this week in a powerful discussion about mental health issues in the military and without. 


A huge THANK YOU to Jon Voight for accepting the Governors Award for Marion Dougherty at last night’s ceremony. His speech was eloquent and incredibly moving. To finally see Marion get the recognition she so richly deserved for her many decades of accomplishments (though in this case, only in television) was a dream come true for the Casting By team and for the entire casting community. Bravo to Jon and to the Television Academy!

"At first I took on "The Rap Guide to Evolution" as a job, when a scientist hired me to help him celebrate Darwin Day with a rap performance. I was a novice, so I set myself the task of reading nothing but evolution books for one year. Soon I became so immersed in the literature that evolution transformed my entire worldview. I saw the process of natural selection all around me, in family relationships and consumer choices, in violent conflicts and flirtation, and everywhere in between. I came to realize that this view of life is not only scientifically accurate, it’s inspiring, fascinating and empowering as well.

It was surreal to go from an amateur to a science communicator in just a few years, but the transformation was only possible because of the mentors who took an interest in my show and offered to “peer review” my lyrics. Steven Pinker, David Sloan Wilson, Mark Pallen, Olivia Judson, Sarah Hardy, Jonathan Haidt, Christopher Chabris and Martin Daly all started as science writers I admired and all became my friends and correspondents thanks to “The Rap Guide to Evolution”.

Of course, not everyone shares my enthusiasm for evolutionary thinking. Most of my performances have been staged in places like England, Canada, Australia, New York and California, places where evolution is mostly accepted and celebrated. But a few times I was booked to perform in the American South, and those were always the most memorable shows, because of the conversations I would get into with creationists afterwards. Some of them told me “I don’t believe in evolution, but that sure was a fascinating show!” This sparked in me the desire to learn: what makes a person reject evolution? What is the true source of this conflict? And what’s the best way to break through the barriers to understanding and acceptance?

In “The Origin of Species”, Charles Darwin writes “Whoever is led to believe that species are mutable, will do good service by conscientiously expressing his conviction, for only thus will the load of prejudice by which this subject is overwhelmed, be removed.” These are my marching orders. I want to make a difference, to “do good service,” so I’m going to the places with the greatest antievolution prejudice to “conscientiously express my conviction.”

I will also entertainingly, seductively, hilariously and unflinchingly express my conviction, and that’s how I hope to remove the prejudice, and spread the love of science and learning that inspires and motivates me. I hope “Darwin’s America” can help answer some of my questions, and kindle a new evolutionary curiosity in Americans. If only a few people evolve their worldview as a result, it will be enough.”

- Baba Brinkman, “Darwin’s America”

Check out our new DVD cover! Casting By coming out on DVD Sept. 16th. Click the image for more info