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Meet Stuart Preston

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stuart Preston.

Stuart, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I attended Arizona State University, where I graduated with a degree in Computer Engineering and a future wife. I spent a few years in the Army (Saudi and Korea) and settled back here in the Valley. I eventually became a Business Coach and public speaker, digital marketer, and sales consultant. We started a family and raised them here.

At the age of 45, I decided to pursue Stand-up comedy and enrolled in Tony Vicich’s ComedySchools.com course. I originally began by performing comedy to the audiences I felt comfortable with — the corporate world. I launched my stand-up “career” as a corporate comedian. However, in 2015, everything changed.

My son died by suicide. My life shifted permanently. I didn’t know what to do. I’d read that psychedelics can help you get into a dream state, so I thought I’d try that, to try and dream and be with him. I wasn’t able to do so. But I went down the proverbial “Rabbit Hole” and found who who I am and reconnected with love and acceptance and cast iron skillets!

Now, I’m launching a one-man show called The Stoned Ape Show. It’s a little bit of comedy, a little bit straight talk on tough subjects. We need to talk about mental health, suicide, and the benefits of psychedelics. That’s what the show is all about, and that’s what I’m all about these days.

Has it been a smooth road?
It’s been far from smooth. Losing a child, to suicide, is like a bomb going off. And there are regular land-mines, memories, reminders, that go off regularly. I’ve learned that I can’t learn to heal from the grief, I have to learn to heal with it.

Aside from that, learning to do Stand-up and creating a show around a personal tragedy has had its ups and downs. There’s nothing that provides instant feedback like standing on a stage and asking strangers to laugh at your jokes. There’s also nothing like taking your personal story to the public, something that is deep and raw, and hoping that your message is heard.

Please tell us about your work.
I run two podcasts: The Consciousness Podcast (https://theconsciousnesspodcast.com/) and The Stoned Ape Reports (https://stonedapecomedy.com/episodes/). The Consciousness Podcast explores all angles of human consciousness, from neuroscience to philosophy. The Stoned Ape Reports are stories from others like me who have experienced the transformative powers of psychedelics.

For my day job, I run an SEO service business, specializing in writing blogs and other content that helps businesses acquire a new customer through search engines. In other words, I help my clients get found on Google. I’m most proud of my process, which gets great results while keeping my clients in the know on what’s going on with their project.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Phoenix is a great town to network in. I have received such great support from business professionals, other comedians, and friends and family. Least favorite thing? We need more arts and culture.

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