YNS Live with NFL Thread PIVOT feat. Joe and Bri Barksdale

May 05, 2022

Listen to a new episode of PIVOT, a show brought to you by YNS Live with NFL Thread recorded live on Fireside with hosts Juliet Hahn and Cynthia Zordich featuring special guests Joe and Bri Barksdale.


Singer, songwriter, and producer Joe Barksdale describes his musical path as beginning with “gospel, rap, soul, and R&B, the four major food groups for black, inner-city Detroit.” With a style fueled by an eclectic genre mix, influences included Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Sly, and the Family Stone, Teddy Pendergrass, and Kanye West. His unique sound smoothly blends aspects from blues, soul, jazz, rock, and more, creating an immersive experience at once both upbeat and up-close-and-personal — a captivating world spreading a message of love and unity, harmoniously uniting people through music.


Joe’s 2017 debut album, Butterflies, Rainbows & Moonbeams, was followed in rapid succession by Electric Soul (2019), produced by the legendary Narada Michael Walden, Sincerely (2020), R & B(eats) (2020), and most recently, 2021’s The Kyber Tapes, an homage to his Star Wars Obsession.


A passion for engineering led Barksdale to the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program at age 13. When that didn’t work out, football was one of the few summer activity options available. All-American honors as a Cass Technical High School lineman led to scholarship offers, and acceptance of Louisiana State University’s offer, enhanced by its engineering program. After starting on LSU’s 2008 NCAA championship team, he played with the Raiders, Rams, Chargers, and Cardinals. Concluding an 8-year NFL run, Barksdale hung up his cleats in 2019 to pursue music full-time, settling in Austin, Texas with his wife Brionna and two young daughters. Depression, long-undiagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder, and a childhood peppered with abuse, rejection, and neglect fed a strong inner critic clamoring to divert Barksdale from his goals. In his youth, football and music lessons fostered resilience, while therapy as an adult re-channeled his energies to focus on excellence. After the passing of Cass coach and mentor Charleston Fobbs in 2013, Rams coach Jeff Fisher encouraged rekindling his love for music as a creative outlet to cope with grief. Music became a voice previously missing from his life, with professional instruction fine-tuning his multiple gifts. Concurrently, he fosters awareness to tackle the stigma surrounding mental illness — including publicly sharing his own experience of 20+ years of silently suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts — to encourage others to seek help.

Focused, driven, and competitive in all pursuits, Barksdale is committed to emerging as his generation’s premier guitar player, eyeing Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Refusing constraint to a single creative outlet, he’s an avid journaler and poet, and relishes his role as Tech Lord of the Sith, producing quick, irreverent product review videos. Simultaneously enamored with comedy — citing Bill Burr, Dave Chappelle, and Patrice O’Neal as primary influences — he includes the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor among future ambitious goals. A dedicated artisan defying singular categorization, Barksdale is confidently making his mark across a far-reaching creative galaxy, forcefully checking multiple boxes along his journey.


Animal addict, self-starter, espresso shot lover, entrepreneur, and relocation specialist. Brionna Barksdale likes to say she’s in the sweet spot between productivity and creativity, and she uses those attributes to help craft solutions and experiences both virtually and in real life. As a wife and mother of four, two daughters, and two Dobermans Pinschers @aria_and_anikan - Brionna is the CEO/founder of Top-Tier Event Group. Brionna’s latest association is joining The Pet Summit team as Operations Director. Although Brionna may not be a social media influencer, she inspires people every day by being authentic with everyone she encounters.


Reach out to Joe and Bri at TheDavidBrand.com or via Instagram.



Remarkable Quotes


Joe Barksdale:


“Football was the first time I was around adults that were happy to see me. I fell in love with being good. I fell in love with being the best at what I do. It was the competitive in me that allowed me to be good. Being on the football field gave me a purpose and that I deserved to be on the planet. I wasn’t just taking, I was giving.”


“I was never passionate about football. I was passionate about being good at the game. The reason why I wanted to be good is for the accolades because I wanted a reason to prove that I was meant to be alive.”


“I know that the best 'ME' that I can be will be the best 'ME' for my family.”


Bri Barksdale:


“You can either be stuck in traffic or the reason for the traffic jam. So you gotta be thankful that you're just stuck in traffic.”


“It's one thing to pivot. It's another thing to pivot when your plan doesn't go seamlessly and there's a lot of pivoting that goes on.”


“I wrote down the words because I’m more of a lyrics person. He [Joe Barksdale] is more of the music person.”





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Juliet Hahn  00:00:28 

Hello, everyone. Welcome to y live with Nfl thread, our new series pivots, I am Juliet Han, and my special cohost host Cynthia Zordich and then we have the most amazing guest. I can't wait for you guys to dive into this. Joe and Bri. Welcome. Welcome. Welcome.


Cynthia Zordich  00:01:25 



Bri Barksdale  00:01:34 



Juliet Hahn  00:01:37 

Yes. So everyone knows that has, you know, been in our studio that there is a way that you guys can sign cast this and send this out to other people because people need to hear the story. So if you guys all go down to the two little lines at the bottom,

you will be able to see where it says broadcast

to the world.

You can do that, and that will share it with your friends. Your family. We can all do it kinda now together. If you guys want,

you can you can email people. You can text people you can send it to people here in Fireside.

But what it does is it really gets out this story. It gets it to more people where people can follow along and learn what Joe and are doing right now, just to give you a little background.

Joe was in the league for

many years, and he and Brianna Met, when they were younger, bra is in real estate. Joe is now a comedian

an musician and newly diagnosed with autism. So the reason why we were so excited to have these guys on the show was because of

pivot. Right? Cynthia and I, we introduced the show on Monday, and we talked about all the different transitions, and I would love cynthia, you just to touch a little bit about when the clock runs out,

but these guys are the perfect first guest because what how many pivots Joe has taken being in the league


Cynthia Zordich  00:02:55 



Juliet Hahn  00:02:59 

and then being out of the league and and we're gonna get into the store and breathe being with him throughout all of these different different from pivots.

And and Brianna, herself pivoting, being a real in real estate and having to,

you know, take her business every

state they went. And so

cynthia, if you just wanna jump in really quickly, and then we're gonna dive into your story, Joe and bring you promise. But just tell the audience a little bit about

you know, when we decided to take y and aside with Nfl thread, and we decided to take pivots

into a different journey. Just give us a little background on that. Please.


Cynthia Zordich  00:03:33 

No problem. And you guys thank you so much for joining us Today you are excellent first guess.

And it's so exciting to have you here together.

But really, it started when

my husband was at at the end of his career, you know, when you just know that it's time

you know, it's probably your last one or two seasons.

And at the time, you know, back in the day, we didn't really talk about

transition. We didn't talk about what it was like, after the game. You avoided the subject and avoided each other.


it was something that I go back into that and created when the classmates out where I told

interviewed thousands of

you know, Nfl players got quotes from the mall and actually sat down with Bill Lion a sport out of Philadelphia to interview twenty of them.

And to find out their story of so what's it going to be like when we're done when we're out of the game and we'll removed from this life and my husband is removed from something that he's done for so long. And it was just really to help our our family, but others. And I think what I found at that time was

there's so many stories, and we're also different, and there's no right or wrong way to go through transition.

There's only your way. But yet, we can still learn from each other in this storytelling telling. So I'm so happy that you guys are here,

and I would love to start at the very beginning because I love the how we met stories. I and I know you guys go way way way back and when you met I think it was third grade.

So if you don't mind if we could start with you know, how you guys meant and how you knew that you were the person for each other.


Bri Barksdale  00:05:10 

We didn't know when we first managed. President like the

Jr has middle school.

I was

trying to I'm I met her little but I'm her younger brother.

And I guess I was one of the few kids at the school That was nice time. You wanted me to be his sister.

But That was our first time being it was very

a deceitful.


Juliet Hahn  00:05:39 

No. I love that. I love that. And. I'm sure. You're like, wow, great. Thanks.


Cynthia Zordich  00:05:39 



Bri Barksdale  00:05:45 

No we know

very uncomfortable because


And so,

you know, or not should say speech impediment, so she couldn't pronounce his else

and his name was Blake black wells, so he would say, my name is wait Flat well.

So a lot of people picked on him So when... He birth approached me with Joy and the oldest of a lot. So when he starts to me i'm it. Oh my goodness. I to beat this kid up. He's a lot bigger than me, and so he comes over. He don't, I wanted me my friend. We play soccer, and he's so nice and and he disney me that, and I just never to be like, hey. You know, thanks for play with my brother. And he's like, oh, you're welcome and they just run off, and I was like,


Cynthia Zordich  00:06:19 



Bri Barksdale  00:06:22 

Okay. You cool. And then later, I'm like, but Actually vibrate brain. He's like, yeah. Yeah. But your brother is really cool, but it was very unavailable in time to like,

the situation itself, but that was the first time we met.


Cynthia Zordich  00:06:33 

But that's a sweet though. I mean, my goodness, like, of course, you you had to love that. He's being kind to your brother a. Right?


Juliet Hahn  00:06:33 

Oh wait.

Right. So... And also, as Cynthia said, I mean, one of the things that I think and and we can jump into this,

Joe that really stood out to me


that you were not someone that played flag football from an early age. You know, football wasn't even on your radar. You were really into into school, and when you wanted to go to college, you were thinking of certain colleges and someone very special to you said,

why don't you look at football because it could do something for you when you're trying to enter into into the sports and sent into school.

And that really stuck out to me because my family were deflect.

And so school was really hard for me, but I did play sport. So I actually used sports to get me into college, and I played two sports in college, but because my grades were really terrible, it was, you know, I was able to use that sports, but you kind of did it the other way. So I was really fascinated and so that. Can you share a little bit about that journey?


Bri Barksdale  00:07:36 

For the pivot.

Growing up, I was a ten kid, science technology engineer, man. I wanted to be an engineer. I wanted to design

car interior

for either before the general motors of Chrysler.

My first scholarships were for engineering. My first school scholarship was an engineering scholar barry.

I got kicked out of Engineering camp.

It was a residential camp the summary.

It was artistic behavior That got me removed from the him. Then i artistic back in, And they just send door over the summary

to stay a trouble,

and I decided to try to get a safe joining the football,

and that's how I started my mobile.

Like, fifteen.


Juliet Hahn  00:08:19 

I mean, that...

That's just is it's so incredible because it really is, you know, so many stories that we hear are really awesome. And and the fact that you just said, and this is something that we're gonna really talk about is you didn't know that you're were all autistic. You didn't know that was autistic behavior. And the adults in your life kinda let you down. You know? It was like, oh, here, this is something that he's doing, so we're gonna kick them out, You know, And in my journey, which we talk about all the time is in school, I used to get told. I wasn't trying hard enough, and I was trying so hard, and I just remember all the time the future telling me that and just getting crushed and getting crushed, but always prevail always being like, no. That's not who I am. I am better than that, and it's I am trying and then figuring out I was just like later in life. Was like,


Cynthia Zordich  00:09:02 



Juliet Hahn  00:09:02 



tell us when you then started football, was it something? You know, I love that. You you know, already knew that you wanted to do this engineering. I mean, I think that's so fascinating.

Where do you think that came from? They the engineering love.


Bri Barksdale  00:09:19 

I don't like working with people.


you know, being an engineer I could do a lot of things by myself. You're don't certainly have to be in things all the time,

you know?

And there is just a certain solid to the job.


drew me to it. I


yeah. I've never been the most like outgoing person or anything like that. So

in my mind, it was a good way to make a money

on the south way, you know?


Juliet Hahn  00:09:51 



Cynthia Zordich  00:09:51 



Juliet Hahn  00:09:52 

So so when the football when you started playing football, did you love it immediately? Or was it something that you were, like, I know that this is gonna be

I'm I'm good at it. Right? This is something. Obviously, God gave me a gift here.

Where was your mindset with that?


Bri Barksdale  00:10:07 

Well, was just probably one parts times that I was around the adults that were happy to see me.

Evan to do it, like, falling love well I mean, I I felt love would being good. I mean I've always made competitive


Cynthia Zordich  00:10:19 



Bri Barksdale  00:10:19 

I fall in love would be the best of what I do.

But in terms of the actual sport, you know,

No. It was a

there's the worst circumstances.

Yeah. Was more circumstances than anything.

And like I said, I I'm very competitive. So I feel like a been

competition in me that, you know, then they will need to be good and but yeah, like, my parents always shooting me like a burden.

I was talked about how expensive us to clothing and feed

that's right out to grandparents and aunts uncles in that kind of thing.


Cynthia Zordich  00:10:52 



Bri Barksdale  00:10:56 

And After a while, you just don't like existing.


they're on the football field, at least, maybe feel like I had a purpose

in my life at the time, like I would deserve to be on the planet, and i I wasn't just taking. I was given.


Cynthia Zordich  00:11:12 



Juliet Hahn  00:11:12 

I mean, that's so beautifully beautifully sad. And I I'm really got the the chills since you do wanna jump in.


Cynthia Zordich  00:11:15 

It is

Yeah. I feel like,

you know, in

freaking up a bit to get to know you so like that at that pivotal moment when you were introduced to game, it was by somebody that you felt that really cared about you that really didn't see you as a burden, but somebody to love. And so I just wanted to know, like, if you wanna share a little bit about your mentor or Charleston and

talk about him and what he meant to you at that time in your life.


Bri Barksdale  00:11:47 

Yes. I sorry playing late. I didn't watch sports. I don't watch sports. I my sports when i play sports.

Honestly, I think the sports are very

I'm not known as, but I think the sports very redundant repetitive.

If there's a super bowl next year, that means that the super Bowl doesn't matter.

Because you're not gonna remember it next year anyway. But

I said that to say,

I don't know what this color saw

I just remember

we were selling waters to

selling water. With the schools in Downtown Troy were selling waters on the Side the street. To raise money to go to football camp.


he asked me if my dad would you know, who's was coming to pick me up. My dad was actually coming to pick me out that day. I usually got the bus. Tell next time day comes and picture up I need to talk to him. So in my dad

talking for, like, two or three hours.

He flipping the as sports magazine, and all these colleges, you know, i you hear about these colleges, but you never actually see yourself going to them He's I can get your son scholarship,

day scholars

and I'm just sitting there like, bush.



Juliet Hahn  00:12:50 

No. You can cars remember. This is oh, this is open. Be yourself.


Bri Barksdale  00:12:54 

I would

Scouts and I'll even know what position play. Like, you know what I'm saying?


Cynthia Zordich  00:13:01 



Bri Barksdale  00:13:02 

But, yeah, two years later, I probably all American. And had all those College scholarships, Seven

his Charles and fa. I don't know if I said them already.

But, yeah, he he was pretty much everything for me.

During that time and even beyond, you know, as I went to college and even,

you know, said fell bobby me my first car,

you know, dating advice and so forth,

I got from him. Be taught me how to ha.


Yeah. It was

he was everything that I needed him to be more when I needed it. So


Cynthia Zordich  00:13:36 


And Brianna, at this point, now,

you know,

as you're getting into high school, are you guys now dating? Is this something where you guys are

together already.


Bri Barksdale  00:13:49 

I really trying to push this

You wanna

in high school.


Cynthia Zordich  00:13:56 



Bri Barksdale  00:13:56 

You actually have a mutual

named Car,

And so we all lived on the west side of the detroit our friends was downtown.

And so Karl parents, were like, hey, You know, we work downtown. If you drop Jill off at the house,

we will take all three of school because both, you know, all our parents work full time.

And so Car house, Car a musician. I mean, phenomenal, but they did not have, like, tv or anything. So every morning, Jill, I got dropped off.

And we would sit across each other, like, on the couch. I was a grand Piano on a fireplace in me and Joe every morning.

Carla was notoriously late And so essentially, Joe and I used end up go to school without carlos a one parent we take Joe and I school then Carla would get it alright with the other parent. And... I mean, I will say for the first couple weeks, or words were exchanged,

And so finally, one would, I'm like, so, how are you? And you could tell you like, oh, you're gonna talk. Obedience an introvert, like, you...

And so

we talking it, but we became really good friends. And on my sixteenth birthday,

I have my license,

and it's funny because in retrospect respect, I don't know how quickly I would be to put my kid in the car with somebody who got their license on their sixteenth birthday.

Just like, hank, and don't ride with you, and I why sure why not. So we started ride the school together now. Yay.

Started when I turned sixteen. And then,

like I said, best friends he had his girlfriend to have a boyfriend, but we always hung out


I don't know We just. I mean, those car rides we joke about of now my sister, she came into next school two years later,

but we just all, like, became my really close in the car. Like, and music cracking jokes,


Cynthia Zordich  00:15:32 



Bri Barksdale  00:15:35 

and then I carved out he was catching the bus after school. And so I was like, well, hang Out a study to you out a football practice, and then I can get your you other because but only would do that. But like we were really just friends all throughout high school.


Cynthia Zordich  00:15:40 

Oh my god.


Bri Barksdale  00:15:48 



Cynthia Zordich  00:15:48 

That's a good friend. That's a good friend.


Juliet Hahn  00:15:52 

I love that. I love that. Yeah. I mean, and so now I wanna take it a little bit because I know we literally wanna get into the musician, You know, you're newly diagnosed autism. And and, you know, autism speaks in what you're doing in the community and sharing your story because again, your story is gonna help so many people, and I really truly believe that's why God gave you the football gift. Right? To put you on this... How of to be able to them to share your story to really touch people in all corners of places.


Cynthia Zordich  00:16:13 



Juliet Hahn  00:16:17 


after you guys, you know, when you were draft, did

and you were playing in the league.

So cynthia of that. Okay. If I jump all the way to there,


Cynthia Zordich  00:16:27 



Juliet Hahn  00:16:27 

you go that. Yeah. Kid So when you're in the league, and then I know which one of the things that I loved is that you were playing, but there was a couple times either you had

some you realizing that you were were suffering from depression. Can you take us through that if that's okay?


Bri Barksdale  00:16:43 

I didn't realize that there were different, like,

doctors and it's starting in college. There were different doctors who be associated with the team who we

try to, like, leave me in that direction like, hey, you know,

you ever thought about take care of your mental health. Things don't seem to be and, you know, every time Like brought my crazy to get to fuck out my face. Like, I'm not... You know, about to put me on medicine. I'm not gonna be me with the therapist. I don't need that. Like, I had no childhood like everybody else.


Cynthia Zordich  00:17:04 



Bri Barksdale  00:17:11 

And it wasn't until I actually accepted my diagnosis and i really started looking back at my childhood head objectively and I'm like, oh, I'm really fucked dumb.


Juliet Hahn  00:17:18 



Cynthia Zordich  00:17:18 



Bri Barksdale  00:17:20 


With thank you. I

anxiety depression.

But because like we're say, like, I'm very, I don't really talk to people. I assumed everybody got lesbian when that were younger here. I thought everybody was like,

neglected by, you know, people who were supposed to be there for them I thought everybody was abused and, you know, I thought I was just not handling it the right way. I thought I needed to suck it up more.


Cynthia Zordich  00:17:45 



Juliet Hahn  00:17:45 



Bri Barksdale  00:17:45 

But it turns out I was just mentally ill and

you know,

the things not that normal or not.


Cynthia Zordich  00:17:51 



Juliet Hahn  00:17:52 

Right. And I mean, you hear that so much with people with trauma and that suffered those kind of things that it was. You didn't realize that that wasn't normal.

And so

you being able to share that and get to a place to share that. Again, You're gonna help so many people realize wait a second. I need to I need to address this because mental health is something that's is is is really

important. And

We're, where were you in this aspects

with Joe in in in this in this part of of his journey.


Bri Barksdale  00:18:25 

I think I was always there. I don't sound was so much,

like, from a doctor standpoint per, Like, I there was thing that he would say that would be

alarming, but Joe always been really comfortable talking to me. So I would just be like,

hey, I know today's a bad day. You know, but, like, you know, try get tomorrow, you don't we your friends. So

I think, you know, throughout the years, I never predicted forget. There was

Again, like, he's had... I I was he his Guardian knows.

But there a game when he was with the...

Yeah. With the rams.

And it was a bad game, but

I wasn't living in with the... Like, the team. I was still in Michigan. I was like, oh, daniel. I don't know if you heard mississippi. I'm like, this game is bad. I just cut it off and go sleep because

we'll come after. And I... You know, we can talk about it, but I knew his position well. I do what it should look like. It was just not a good game.


Cynthia Zordich  00:19:12 



Bri Barksdale  00:19:20 

So I wanna sleep my makeup my phone is, like, blowing up and all this his

fraternity brothers drug call America, Where are you? And I'm like, in Michigan, you know, they're like, you need to get the same Louis, Joe's texting us some things that are concerning

And I'm like, okay. But I also know Joe. So I'm like, okay.

I you know, I'll see what I can do. But when if his teammates called me, and he goes, hey. I'm really concerned about show I'm gonna make him sleep on our couch tonight unless you can get the thank Louis.

And I was like, what? And he go... And I didn't know how you got my number to be honest with you. But I was like, okay. So I remember driving the air airport and I get on the next flight,

and this teammate made the whole time he's texted me. Like, even when I landed, I'm like, hey. I I made it saying we'll you the Joe wants to get food. I'm so sorry. And there's somewhere you can sit until, you know, you get you and I'm like, yeah. That's fine.

And I'll never forget Y'all face when he saw me because he was like,

you know, I was thinking that he might be like, oh, wow. She really cares or

I don't know how she got here this first. I was like, oh, man. I'm in trouble now.

Because he just thought Like the thing that they got her here, but that was the first time I think it was alarming for me because I'm like, so many people were so concerned that I like cops doing fights and to get there. And, obviously, he was fine, but it was a again alarming.


Cynthia Zordich  00:20:19 



Juliet Hahn  00:20:30 



Cynthia Zordich  00:20:33 



Bri Barksdale  00:20:35 

And I think the the rams was the first team that they him actually talked with the dot

like, may... How hope do they make you? I don't know how that work. I mean, I didn't make me, but that was the that was the first time.

Like, talk to a Doctor try

medicine that kind of thing.


Cynthia Zordich  00:20:50 



Juliet Hahn  00:20:51 



Cynthia Zordich  00:20:52 

There was a situation where it could says kinda Lisa brings them to the music into it.

I thought this was


amazing is that there was a I don't know if it was that situation or maybe later

that there

came a time Joe where you opened up to Bra


tell her exactly how you were feeling and how you had this feelings of depression and, you know,

lacking self worth and

you both went to bed, but well, you went to Bed and Brianna, you stayed up and started to write.

And can you guys talk about that collaboration? I I just think that shows,


Juliet Hahn  00:21:30 

It's most beautiful.


Cynthia Zordich  00:21:31 

and it really shows how close you guys are, and it shows the friendship first, and then, you know, becoming the couple.


Bri Barksdale  00:21:39 

Oh, yes. So that was... So the story I just shared was, like, two thousand fourteen, and oh, we had Kennedy in December of two thousand and six scene.


Cynthia Zordich  00:21:43 



Bri Barksdale  00:21:47 

And then I did remember watching this in movie It was like, person being in a wall flower or something like that.


Juliet Hahn  00:21:53 

I remember that. Yeah.


Cynthia Zordich  00:21:54 



Bri Barksdale  00:21:55 

Yeah. Four fourteen. So five that in two thousand thirteen, thousand fourteen, was gonna i go out to saint Louis.

This is thousand seventeen.

We watch this movie,

and I do think that there sometimes things that like, you can put deep down at five, but then something will trigger that to come back up. And in this movie, there was a...

I'm not gonna would recall the movies in fact, but there was a child.

The main character was being

or I his i'm burger Who died the car crash? She and he's suppressed it.


Cynthia Zordich  00:22:23 



Bri Barksdale  00:22:25 

And so after the movie, Joe, you was like, you know,

you can you talk a little about that? I don't know would yeah I was just pretty much... I mean,

the recollection came, like, I don't know where I'm like, who. Hopefully forget getting arrested that long. Like, you know Know Mean like, well, who forgets that kind of thing like, what kind of who pushes does things down? One is my mustache anyway. Oh, shit. I

was polished like, you know,


Cynthia Zordich  00:22:50 



Juliet Hahn  00:22:52 



Bri Barksdale  00:22:54 

So, yeah. Again, I didn't know that process. I only got the, hey. I think I was less part of that story.


Cynthia Zordich  00:22:59 



Bri Barksdale  00:22:59 

And so at that time, we had Kennedy she was probably about three months old.

And so we're generated to go a bed. This is in February,

and he goes, yeah.

Again, Jones very open honest with me and I love that. Like, he doesn't have to sense myself he you go,

kinda just wanna kill myself. And I was like,

oh, like, okay. Where did that come from? He's like, I don't know. I just, you know, I've been thinking it for a while and I, you know, I just... You know, he just taught really, it's dark. To can't me. I can't think him he's just talking and talking and baby sleep.

And I'm like,

I mean, honestly, I'm like, great. I just had this baby. She's three months old.

And now you wanna kill yourself. So

I mean, that's what I was thinking as a wife all. But then part of me is, like, really concerned. I'm like, you go from here,


Cynthia Zordich  00:23:44 



Juliet Hahn  00:23:44 



Bri Barksdale  00:23:47 

you know? And so he's he goes and asleep, but I couldn't sleep then because when, she was three months. I'm still feeding every couple hours.


my mind is just wasted. So I was, like, trying to put into words, everything he told me because he had just started... Well, he didn't just start playing guitar, but he just got really serious about learning more i've about the teacher. So that, well maybe we can just write a song about this, and


Cynthia Zordich  00:23:57 



Bri Barksdale  00:24:09 

I wrote down the words because I'm more of a lyrics person, He wore a music person.

And so I was like, when you woke up i'm, like, hey last hour on the worst to this saw long. I i kinda hear the music. But, obviously, I don't play instrument so you can help me with that. And so as I

set the words, he kinda wrote the music to it, and that was the first song. It was caught journey to nowhere.


Cynthia Zordich  00:24:29 

my goodness.


Bri Barksdale  00:24:30 


Yeah, that was


Cynthia Zordich  00:24:31 

And it's beautiful. I if anybody could go to Spotify and listen. The lyrics are beautiful.

Your your guitar playing is beautiful. Your voice is beautiful. Everything about it. And the fact that you guys created this beautiful music together


Juliet Hahn  00:24:46 

Is so special.


Cynthia Zordich  00:24:46 

based on this type of conversation. Wow like...

Oh, is... What is it?


Bri Barksdale  00:24:52 



Cynthia Zordich  00:24:53 

Oh, you did.

Well, I I just listened to it recently.


Bri Barksdale  00:24:59 

you can you can get it from what have. Yeah. I think there are places where you to listen to it, but you know how did you put out your first project, and then you realize

Oh, I think better now.



Cynthia Zordich  00:25:09 


got it.


Juliet Hahn  00:25:12 

I mean, it's the same with podcasting. And I go back to close this to my first episode I Chuckle. I'm like, oh, wow.


Cynthia Zordich  00:25:16 

Right. Yeah. Yeah. That happens in in all crafts. Right? That's true. Yeah.


Juliet Hahn  00:25:20 

Right. That's right.


Cynthia Zordich  00:25:23 

If if we could back up a little bit because I think this is important too because you create a beautiful music based on honesty and opening up and


Bri Barksdale  00:25:30 



Cynthia Zordich  00:25:32 

the fact that you wrote lyrics, I think it's because you already knew Rihanna that music was an outlet, and, Joe, if you don't mind sharing,

how that came about because I think that it's a beautiful story, your conversation with coach Jeff Fisher,

and talking about your feelings and possibly looking for a creative outlet for what you were going through during a time, I think of morning when you last her


mentor in coach.


Bri Barksdale  00:26:01 


Like I said, before he

everything I needed be when I needed them to be

die suddenly on a Thursday night,

We're actually drove by the accident. We didn't know we were actually both on the phone each other at time. And she was

because she's gonna michigan state. Right.

She driving home

from laughing back to Detroit.

And she's like, man, He knows it's really bad hearts, and I'm pray for whoever it is,

You know, that kind of thing. You, I'm just like man is happened all the time. People be fine, you know, whatever. We had up you're off the phone. I go sleep. I wake go,

I three even one of people are calling me and my, you, practice tomorrow so I come home off,


Juliet Hahn  00:26:42 



Bri Barksdale  00:26:42 

and it wasn't until I woke up the next morning


my agent kept calling me and He told me that

that files was dead.

And I'm like,


You know?

But, yeah, he was... You know, he was day. I remember...

I didn't wanna believe. I mean, like, you know, when anyone years about a debt, they don't wanna believe it.


Cynthia Zordich  00:27:06 



Bri Barksdale  00:27:06 

I think for me, was just a little extra because,

like, even now and I think about, like, who I would call, like, it's something good happened or


Cynthia Zordich  00:27:14 



Bri Barksdale  00:27:14 

you know, I use some by so i kind of thing like,

that, you know?


Juliet Hahn  00:27:19 



Bri Barksdale  00:27:20 

So Was hard,

you know, going through that season.

But then the season,

Jeff Fisher,

you know, Mel his office thanked me for, you know, pushing through what I was gonna through for the team.


he told me that I needed something to do over the office season and,

you know, help the process be staying something to take up some mental space.

I told him, you know, I mean that was a really good call duty player back this. So i

you know,


Cynthia Zordich  00:27:47 



Bri Barksdale  00:27:48 

you got think wasn't the video

my so it's hard. You seem to be really of the music.

Have you thought about,

you know, playing guitar? I did used to play access

when I was in middle school.

I tried off for this jasmine, and I didn't make it. I was close but I didn't make it. And never since day, and I was just like,

kinda came up on music.

This is my first time thinking about getting back into it and and

I know I wanna play access, so figure out try out the guitar.


monopoly guitar based keyboard, john machine, I produce.



Juliet Hahn  00:28:23 


it's a that's amazing. I and And so I wanna gonna take it from here because this is, I think is a is a great pivot, and I love that we've used that word now twice in here. But I remember something that I was reading that you

went to Kobe Bryant and said to him, like, when is is time for me to to hang up my cleats?

And can you share a little bit about what that station was and then how you decided to exit the league on your own terms.


Bri Barksdale  00:28:52 

Yeah. I developed the relationship when him

over there past couple of years, he came response to team.

As shy as I am. I wouldn't let that opportunity so do my


Cynthia Zordich  00:29:03 



Bri Barksdale  00:29:04 

A little put today. It encouragement were from my wife.

Big shaking the butt.


Juliet Hahn  00:29:09 

Good for you.


Bri Barksdale  00:29:12 

oh, I you know, I told her that

I I mean, you know I'm always honest I'm my hey. I don't have a mentor. I'm not looking for that, but I would love

some advice awesome things, And

we ended up... You know, told to come his office on the next day with his office.

Yeah. First time we met it it, we probably meant for, like, five six hours Like, I never to this day, I'm not anybody

that understands me and got me like you


Juliet Hahn  00:29:42 

Oh amazing.


Cynthia Zordich  00:29:42 



Bri Barksdale  00:29:42 


You know, it was like being yourself.

And I remember asking them, you know,

so we we're talking about


And I'm like, when did you... Oh, Because yeah, all these plans, you know, these these books that they written out movies, you know, ten, twenty year plans down the road i'm like, what did you

decide that, you know, you wanted to retire. And he said, you know, Thinking about this stuff more now thinking about basketball. I realize it I'm doing a disservice to myself in the game. So


Cynthia Zordich  00:30:12 



Bri Barksdale  00:30:13 

it's time, you know, i I do... What I'm the most passionate about, this is what I'm the most passionate about. And

I was never passionate about football passionate about being good at football, like,


Cynthia Zordich  00:30:24 



Bri Barksdale  00:30:25 

there's a difference. Like, i I was looking for

The reason I was passionate about being good is because I want some accolades. The reason I want some accolades is to prove to myself, and I just have to be a alive. Yeah know. I mean, Like,


Cynthia Zordich  00:30:36 



Bri Barksdale  00:30:36 

it that

reassurance or validation that I did not get going up from strangers we don't care about me anyway. You know? It's

but, yeah, That that was

that was what I passing to be good came from. Like, if I can make a pro and I can prove to myself, that I should not kill myself. Those kinda of things.


Cynthia Zordich  00:30:54 



Juliet Hahn  00:30:55 



Bri Barksdale  00:30:58 

Yeah. Then i


Juliet Hahn  00:30:58 

So powerful.


Bri Barksdale  00:31:00 

during in that conversation I real


Cynthia Zordich  00:31:04 



That validation

is incredible

in seeking validation after everything that you had been through

that you had suppressed, but even that you continue to feel,

it's like, it's great that you understand that. And it's great that you could separate

like, what you're doing from what it is like that you need to do in realizing that

well, what I need to do now is music, besides music is allowing me to pour out these feelings. And I think you were... I love one of the quotes I think goes in the La times that you said,

blues is like, talking without having to say anything. And so it's like, you are just giving to know yourself more and more and understanding that

there's a lot in there that needs a mouth that you don't necessarily wanna talk about it all the time. You just wanna let it out. Right?


Bri Barksdale  00:31:56 


I think for me was more...

On I'm trying to think how to explain this.

For me, it was more...

The reason I held on the the reason I was trying hold on the football like, some kind students because that was the last living thing I had

a five, like,


Juliet Hahn  00:32:24 



Bri Barksdale  00:32:24 

balls done. He was dead. You have me?


Cynthia Zordich  00:32:27 



Bri Barksdale  00:32:28 

I think that was part of that internal struggle about should I leave? But shall I stay too because we talked about me going to the promo,

You know, we talked about me being in the play and talk about these.

And I think that was... You know, I mean, I don't...

It's not like I just skipped off the deal, you know, the with the spring and stuff, you know, and the basket from roses and you run to the sunset like, I

it was more like, you know,

tearing something

out of my body,

you know, that I knew I wouldn't won't be able to put back and, like, putting it down


Cynthia Zordich  00:33:00 



Bri Barksdale  00:33:04 

in hopes there's something better would come in the future.


Juliet Hahn  00:33:08 

Wow. I mean, that that is so powerfully said and and the fact that you had another mentor


Cynthia Zordich  00:33:08 



Juliet Hahn  00:33:14 

that also asked. I mean, you've had a lot of of of of loss.


Bri Barksdale  00:33:17 

Good It's not

doors anymore. Just point.


Juliet Hahn  00:33:22 

But I mean, you but you have you had

You've had so much loss though and the fact that you keep and, you know, in in in my head, what I just keep thinking is that you have b by your side that she's been a constant. She's been a steady. She's been there.


Cynthia Zordich  00:33:36 



Juliet Hahn  00:33:40 

And so brief for you

to go through

the loss

with Joe and, you know, in his coach and then another mentor

and then leaving the game. Where were you? And and how were you there? So porting. I'm I'm sure it... Yeah. I'm not gonna put words in your mouth someone i i'll let you say, but where were you in in your mindset there?


Bri Barksdale  00:34:01 

I mean, I think it was different each time when coach five fast, we were both very young


you know, similar to, you know, certain memories being etched in your head. You know?

That was... I always say till john. Like, that was kinda like a is us moment for anybody familiar with that show just to be, like, on the phone with Joe past the car accident scene and


Cynthia Zordich  00:34:23 



Bri Barksdale  00:34:24 

it was just surreal

because I remember being stuck in traffic. I sent to a picture of the traffic. I'm like,

I'm stuck in traffic. But I have a quote that I tell people know you can need be stuck in traffic or the reason for the trash jam. So you gotta be thankful that, you know, you're just stuck in traffic.


Cynthia Zordich  00:34:36 



Juliet Hahn  00:34:39 



Cynthia Zordich  00:34:40 



Bri Barksdale  00:34:40 


you know, the next day, it was another situation. I I used to be. He'll tell you.

I think we got closer then because

I was very corporate America. I was climbed in the court for ladder. I graduated I was already a management.


Yeah. I lost into to my boss's office, and I'm like, hey. I gotta go to saying Louis, and so I'm gonna be leaving


Cynthia Zordich  00:34:57 



Bri Barksdale  00:35:02 

in the next five minutes. I understand that. You know, you need me here, but I got I have to go


after you guys an email, and she was pretty much like, okay. Because I do stuff like that, but I now have to get to sing louis with And because at that time, his phone was also the way to reach him. So no. Like, there no I knew it was going on on.

And so I... Guy got there as quickly as I could.

So, again, very young. Though, and not really necessarily know it's how to navigate that. I think now where I'm now, i and been, like, hey, we should probably...

Speak a therapist or something and in my mind. I'm, like,

put it all in the field, Take the and, you know, take the anchor out because post was his pre handheld game talks. And Now I'm like.


Juliet Hahn  00:35:40 



Cynthia Zordich  00:35:40 



Bri Barksdale  00:35:44 

Okay. I I used to get the talk about, like, hey, to just the game. What did you think? Now? Like how is this play? Did you see when this happened with on or, like, clay? And I'm like, actually having the die plane because I'm trying to build that boy what didn't do.


Cynthia Zordich  00:35:58 



Bri Barksdale  00:36:00 

But it was just hard. You know, in the very beginning because we were still on this and I was getting my masters

Joe was playing...

Yeah. Because post died the the Thursday before his first career are. And so

right. Right. Tackle, sorry.

And so


Cynthia Zordich  00:36:15 



Bri Barksdale  00:36:16 

it was just, you know, very hard, and then,

you know, there was a lot of things that happen

between them him not signing with the ranch, which is something he really wanted to do

him switching age, and not like, it was just so much under

drama that happened between the coach five that like, death... That... We probably don't even have time to dive into, but color files are with, like, the tip of the iceberg. There was a lot more that came after that.

This was family and everything. And this is all before we got married. If anyone's looking for netflix soon,


Cynthia Zordich  00:36:49 



Juliet Hahn  00:36:49 

Well, I was gonna like, when I no. I'm not getting though. I'm not kidding... I was just saying to Cynthia before. There's so much to this story.

I know we could be on for five hours, but I know none of us are... None of us can be on for five hours. So I'm thinking, like, you know, part two part three part four, but I mean, that is... I'm I'm sorry. Bring Do you know, continue, But I... I a hundred percent, there's so much that you guys can share.


Cynthia Zordich  00:37:01 

But it's true.


Bri Barksdale  00:37:11 


story. And So even when I think about how we're jumping from scenario that's scenario,

you know, when he did me Kobe, Bryant, it was very... I don't wanna say funny.

But he he said, Kobe Bryant came to the team.

And he said, hey, if any of you guys everyone wanna talk to me just come to my office, it's right here in this building and And so Joe was like, I think I'm gonna send them a a Dm on Instagram. And I was like, oh okay. Which I know wasn't gonna work, and so he comes to me


Juliet Hahn  00:37:35 



Bri Barksdale  00:37:41 

like, a week or two lazy because he never hit me back. And I was like, wow, Coffee doesn't come off as the guy is checking his dms all the time.

Not that I could guarantee you as someone who's been the business school. If somebody says come to my office,

they say that openly because they know nobody will.

And I said, so if you actually show up at his office, you will be the only person that...

Because I guarantee you nobody else will. And sure enough, you would, like, he's very nervous very shy. what if I did there? He kicked me out? I'm like, but he actually invited all of you.

And so he gets there, and I remember, gonna be a gone most of the day I was like, hey. How does all he's like man. It was great.

We sent me cops. I was like, yeah. I i think he gets your dm. You don't know I thinking as Do you have a paper in the social week yeah oh come imagine that


Cynthia Zordich  00:38:19 



Bri Barksdale  00:38:30 

either hey... I you know, when he?

There was, you know, something else and we were no longer living.

And California, it was the middle of Covid

you know, Joe Retired, obviously,


He was very angry at that point because, you know, it's one thing to to pivot

is another thing to pivot ending your plan

doesn't go seem, like, your plan has the pivot it because now there's Covid and they're the performances is anywhere, and we're all in the house with two kids under three.


Juliet Hahn  00:38:56 

Colorado. Right.


Bri Barksdale  00:39:02 

It's a lot of pivoting that goes on like because I like the quality available for music.


Cynthia Zordich  00:39:07 

Right. Right. It's like


Bri Barksdale  00:39:10 

Yeah. So there a lot of, you know, things that went on. I think there are those times and those losses were

tremendous, But I think for me,

it was just about letting him know i'm there. I tried to get him his face to process on his own.

We found a very of therapist that he's actually met with for most of this time in California.

And we know. And Yeah, he still me with her.


Which thanks.


Juliet Hahn  00:39:33 

Bless you.


Cynthia Zordich  00:39:33 

God bless you Bless.


Juliet Hahn  00:39:34 


You never know. Right.


Bri Barksdale  00:39:47 

I love her.


you know, it's interesting because I always feel he, especially women

women. I have a lot of male friends so I'm just now used to have a female email friend. But when they're like, oh, you you legend have a female there piss and you... And I'm like, yes. I can't do this on my so


Juliet Hahn  00:40:06 



Cynthia Zordich  00:40:06 



Bri Barksdale  00:40:06 



Cynthia Zordich  00:40:07 

link god.

So awesome.


Bri Barksdale  00:40:09 

I feel need more open with female emails and more comfortable

And so she's like, part of the team. If you were part of the family, like, their. So he'll come to me with something and I'm like, that's more of a qualified question. I think you need to talk


Juliet Hahn  00:40:20 



Cynthia Zordich  00:40:21 

Wow. That's fantastic.

Honest, god.


Juliet Hahn  00:40:24 

I mean,


Bri Barksdale  00:40:25 



Juliet Hahn  00:40:25 



Bri Barksdale  00:40:25 

But, again, that's why I say I'm older now. Back in the day, I would have probably get and inside this thing. You know, then what what you need to do

Yeah. We're like now. Like, okay. There's there's experts out and it's very important to get in touch of those experts.


Cynthia Zordich  00:40:40 


Wait. Okay. I I'm just like freaking out because


Juliet Hahn  00:40:44 

I know.


Cynthia Zordich  00:40:46 

like, there's so many...

You guys are offering so much great advice just by telling your story doing just in terms of speaking, opening up getting help, being going to therapy these are just incredible things, And I think it's important to say. And Joe, you already said at once says that you know, this is who you are in what you are. It's like a tattoo. It's not going away. So there isn't, like, an end to depression you know, there is... It's every... You you're for the rest of your life, it's how you're going to kind of deal with it right and get and speak about it. And

help yourself through it. So

ongoing therapy is so important for you, and and I feel like this is something that you guys are doing as a team.


Bri Barksdale  00:41:27 

Yeah. Because it's day i I wanna go. I mean, this days I wanna take my medicine.


Cynthia Zordich  00:41:31 



Bri Barksdale  00:41:31 

But yeah we definitely do it as a team. And and just to be clear, one of the best thing that different myself would go to my own separate therapist


that's crazy. But I I just look like, you know, I'm not perfect. And I know I'm not, but I really... Would I'm know my favorite Remember my first question Her was how can I feel of a better support to my husband because I'm not


through, like, the way that we think is completely different. So whereas I'm having a bad day or depressed...

You know,


They're thing I can do to actually get myself out of that, whereas he can't do those things. So I had to other say very frustrating for somebody like myself from can do that to just be like, but, hey. You know, if you go exercise and, you know, drink some green tea,


Cynthia Zordich  00:42:13 




Bri Barksdale  00:42:23 

then next you know, you all be depressed anymore. Look in me like.

You so. Right.


Juliet Hahn  00:42:27 



Cynthia Zordich  00:42:27 



Juliet Hahn  00:42:30 

But but that's... Yeah.


Bri Barksdale  00:42:33 

Respectful and damaging that and to our relationship if I don't realize that myself.


Cynthia Zordich  00:42:35 





Bri Barksdale  00:42:38 

So there was been a lot of learning that had to go, and I a lot of stuff, I had to learn her

so that we could do this. But, yes, he does me with the therapist adobe days where he doesn't wanna go. So I like, well, hey. I don't have anything on my calendar. I'll take your sessions,

today, maybe one of those days.


Cynthia Zordich  00:42:52 



Juliet Hahn  00:42:58 

See, there there's a comedian coming out see we're reversing in that we got a lot of laughs so here I love it.


Cynthia Zordich  00:43:03 

Yeah. That

Right? I I really would love to talk about that, you know? Because that's really interesting to me. The music, I completely... It feels like a natural progression.

Lose with a little bit of funk and just really just like being able to, like, get it...

You know, we are so lucky when we're able hear people's who lyrics they to really hear what's going on inside through music. The comedy is

it's really,

you know, from when I understand, a lot of comedians

have serious

the deep kind of feelings and they use the comedy as a way also

to kind of, like, pull out those feelings or just kinda make get away from them a little bit. What do you think comedy

brings to you.


Bri Barksdale  00:43:46 

Companies always gonna show from my emotions.

People who know me the most they can tell and I'm, like, really pissed off or really angry because I get really funny.

I really know


Cynthia Zordich  00:43:57 



Bri Barksdale  00:43:58 

anything really

ever since...

I mean, the west since started at, like, three know, on top of like, beating that I did not deserve in that kind of thing.


I realized of young age that, like, don't buy care How you to.

Yeah so they don't need to know how you feel. So you need to figure out something else That's gonna mask how you feel, and it became humor.

Over the years, obviously, you know, the camera matured and that kind of thing but it was actually called nineteen. They got me in the comedy. I wasn't doing music cells.

I went to a comedy show. I saw complete... I saw comedian. He's the head... I saw the headline and comedian of that show. Here's a black dude. And between me you and the rest of the world, this is like, one the only times I was ever ashamed to be black. That's how bad he was. Like, he was that he was so bad. The only other time I was just saying you black was when we were in London with the football team, and one of my team teammates when my black team teammates walks up to the one behind the counter at the hotel. Excuse me, ma'am, some wrong the Tv. She's like, oh, what you mean wrong. This a it's in a bad language like, I don't understand the language.

All Chinese the, you know, is a Japanese is is just the wrong kind.




Cynthia Zordich  00:45:11 

Oh my god. You're funny.


Bri Barksdale  00:45:16 

We not like...

I'm like, so Can do better than this. And I actually have something to say. So

it took me about

three or four months to kinda figure out like, what I wanted to talk about, because I started I was a very angry comedian, like, very angry because I was a very person. I am a very angry person. And


Cynthia Zordich  00:45:33 



Bri Barksdale  00:45:39 

And all time

they out what I wanted to say, but this is pretty much who I am on stage.

I mean, there's is more jealous, but it's very conversational

communities of already told me that, like,

I mean, I'm very over. You know, who I am and that kind of thing and a very vulnerable with, like, the material I talk about. But I don't see it as like counterintuitive vulnerability or open this. I see it as me

telling my side of the story of my life.


Cynthia Zordich  00:46:07 

Right. Wow to saying, where can we see this? Like, where can people see some of your shows? Do you have anything on Youtube?


Juliet Hahn  00:46:08 



Cynthia Zordich  00:46:15 

Yeah. I'm serious. You're gonna get an Netflix.


Juliet Hahn  00:46:16 


Keep saying. You put you gotta put it out in the universe. Netflix netflix keep saying it because you're gonna do it. You


Cynthia Zordich  00:46:20 

You're gonna do it.


Bri Barksdale  00:46:22 

I prone like, he have so many stories that I wouldn't be surprised if we could figure out a way to a mini series or something like,

it's definitely possible to hop. I will say I'm learning, I do a of the business side of things.

And so he's working on putting everything together for a special next year. And so the thought process is not the put. I mean, there's clips his Instagram page. Jamie, don't send too which you can check out. But put the whole... His whole shows up when he's still figuring it out, We wanna record what really


Cynthia Zordich  00:46:46 



Bri Barksdale  00:46:51 

sounds for peace and then put from. You publish that so that you know, you get a full show earth, like,


Cynthia Zordich  00:46:55 



Bri Barksdale  00:46:59 

in and full.

Yeah. And, you it's kinda like, you know, when you see the comedian, the famous one that go around and do the smaller shows. And if you got those you're, like, that's hilarious. Then you realized to go to special you card at least half of it. And so


Cynthia Zordich  00:47:06 



Bri Barksdale  00:47:13 

it's kind of a similar thing.


Cynthia Zordich  00:47:14 



Juliet Hahn  00:47:14 

Yeah. You know what? Fireside has a lot of comedians that that use this platform and we can talk about that on the side later, but how to leverage


Cynthia Zordich  00:47:21 



Juliet Hahn  00:47:22 

Fireside for what you're doing is amazing in anyone that wants to, you know, as they were talking about Instagram, or was talking can go to Joe's Instagram and check that out. That isn't the fortune cookie right here.

And you guys can can check it that Why you guys shout out too? So they can they can grab it.


Bri Barksdale  00:47:39 

Oh, yes. J dale two, j b d a l e seventy two.


Cynthia Zordich  00:47:39 



Juliet Hahn  00:47:44 

And, you know what? I was gonna shout it out, but all of sudden, my dyslexia got the way and I was, like, wait a second. I need to write that down. I gonna say wrong. So I was like, let me have them too.


Cynthia Zordich  00:47:44 


You'll say wrong.


I love you.

I love you. You know?


Bri Barksdale  00:47:54 

I usually just was like, because there are video on

former football.

This is angel hard.


Cynthia Zordich  00:48:04 

Exactly. You've got it all.

As awesome.


Juliet Hahn  00:48:07 

I I love that. Well, I wanna... I and cynthia, I know you wanna jump... Do you wanna say something first? Good.


Cynthia Zordich  00:48:11 

Yeah. I went Yeah don't wanna be it because I wanna say, like... So,


you know, you're in real estate now, but use toward off in, and have your own P business.

You know? I love that. You know, you have your masters. You you went to Michigan State,

you you did the events

from grade school, to high school to Michigan state. And so I feel like, wow this is gonna be really interesting to see what will you play within this because you you've already done it all. You so it's gonna be exciting to see, like, what happens and where you guys take this, and I feel like nothing like it's just the beginning. You know? I just like you really have something.


Bri Barksdale  00:48:50 

For human.


I without one that award I would feel like I failed.


Juliet Hahn  00:48:59 

Or put it out there.


Cynthia Zordich  00:49:01 



Juliet Hahn  00:49:01 

Right. You're gonna put it out there and that's where you go for. And I mean, create a passion.


Bri Barksdale  00:49:05 

Oh, like you're talking about Hall.

Can you get a show first? Now I'm just wanna But, yeah,

that's my goal.


Juliet Hahn  00:49:13 

Love it.


Cynthia Zordich  00:49:14 



Bri Barksdale  00:49:15 

One mark from American Humor Day,

I consider them both

those are both who people I thought about heavily when I decided to walk away from my job too, the obviously day because

situation was different.

Well, other situations were different and they both still ended up coming back to comedy in their own ways,

but it was very inspirational the me because definitely gonna dropped every to do that. And if it wasn't four people like that, telling people, like my specialty pride, like people i. He was the first comedian I her the had child is similar.


Cynthia Zordich  00:49:36 




Bri Barksdale  00:49:45 

And to hear people tell my story

or to help people check that stories and, you know, be relate to my story and that kind of thing was very powerful.


Cynthia Zordich  00:49:53 



Bri Barksdale  00:49:54 

And that's I wanna be that for

a bunch of people.


Juliet Hahn  00:49:58 

Yeah. And Dave Opal, that's one of the things that I love about his comedy. He always... I mean, he's a favorite in our house, and he always ends with a really amazing message.

And that's one of my favorite things about him it's funny as he is he always leaves it with, like, a really serious thing to think about. So you always are laughing your ass off, like, almost crying, and then all of a sudden and he says this thing and you're like,


Cynthia Zordich  00:50:14 



Juliet Hahn  00:50:20 

wow. That was so profound. Now I'm look, really deep and thinking. And and, you know, I wanna bring it really quickly also to the the creative passion is so important. And, you know, we've touched out in so many different things, you know, from

why you played football

to, you know, your music and intake comedy. And and this is something that we talk about on our podcast all the time, you know, finding that outlet for a creative passion is so important. And what I always say to people is that you need to find that place to daydream dream, You know, whether it's called some people call it meditating. I call it day daydreaming. I do it when I walk my dog, I daydream dream, just like things that you're saying, Like, I want this. I tell cynthia all the time. Hey. We're gonna have a talk show. We're gonna do this. We're gonna do that because when you put it out there, and really let the universe and god, I believe in god, but you let that, you know, kinda sit and and and and then people are put into your life and they're put into your life for a reason.

So I want to... You know, I...

Before because I know we're coming sorted of ten m, but I really wanna talk about your autism


And, like, why you're in New York and

autism speaks and then, you know, really what people should know about what

you know, when they're dealing with someone with autism, and I don't like to say feeling, but when you we interacting with some autism,


Bri Barksdale  00:51:32 

Dealing it.


Juliet Hahn  00:51:34 

Well, some people I mean... What decides if people would say I'm dealing with your spelling. I mean, I, you know, totally get it, but it is


Cynthia Zordich  00:51:34 



Juliet Hahn  00:51:41 

it's one of those things as you said from your beginning of your story, when you got kicked that of camp

because it's something that you did because of lots like, adults and people need to be more aware of how they interact with children.

And and and you bringing awareness of story, your story is gonna help. So can you touch on the autism?


Cynthia Zordich  00:51:56 



Juliet Hahn  00:51:59 

And I know I just probably like, asked you, like, thirty things in sentence.


Bri Barksdale  00:52:03 

But I was as you were talking on... So

it was just so

We come out about autism

three years ago,

I i've haven't been working with my therapist

at that time for, like, three plus years she had been observing me, but it's not one those things Where you just, you know, alright sessions over, by the way, you're on. You know, Mean light doesn't know how to go


Juliet Hahn  00:52:22 



Bri Barksdale  00:52:23 

But I remember talking to her one day about how like I hated in own people because

I felt like I was always trying to be who I was supposed to be as again, but when day, someone was gonna realize like i was different,

you know? And now kinda was what opened up the door to me me with a specialist and they're diagnosed.


Cynthia Zordich  00:52:36 



Bri Barksdale  00:52:41 

I know the specialist and the one was like listen it's gonna take, You know, gonna take some time, probably a month or two. We don't have to have a couple meetings here for like this paperwork, you know, that kind of thing. I came back to the first meeting I, because when you look at the paperwork word,

halfway dark conversation, see we're not gonna need to have any more meetings. You are autistic, Like,


Cynthia Zordich  00:52:58 



Bri Barksdale  00:52:59 


he was it was explained to me it's difficult to

understanding your yourself emotions and difficulty understanding others and their emotions.

And everything that that involves like, you know, process how you feel not even know. Like, sometimes I'm pissed off. I don't even know why. Or, like my myself really hurt and it won't be to, like, hours later that I figured out why they were heard of that kind of thing. I can't pull myself on other people's shoes.


Cynthia Zordich  00:53:16 



Bri Barksdale  00:53:24 

I took everything literally,

like, when like almost much said the other day, like, oh, so you are here the neck of the world when neck is in the woods,



Cynthia Zordich  00:53:32 



Bri Barksdale  00:53:33 


oh, this...

You the there's different symptoms in there of spectrum.


Juliet Hahn  00:53:40 



Bri Barksdale  00:53:41 

So, like, different people, you know, this is like stats, like, someone on someone stats may really high in my hair, and really low in another area, And then as you move across the spectrum and that graft just you know, and there's no two people on the exact same part of the spectrum.

High functioning autistic,

but it's still all autism. They used to call it house batteries, but now of the autism spectrum.


Cynthia Zordich  00:54:01 



Bri Barksdale  00:54:03 

It is in disorder. I feel like the state of Texas should give me a handicapped handicap driver's license.

I need those parking benefits. I have.

So yeah


Cynthia Zordich  00:54:17 

No. I love that. You... I love that we're learning the spectrum. I I feel like this is something that is... You know that we're all becoming more and more aware of. That there is a spectrum and what that actually means, such just so many different levels, and you still respect the diagnosis, but it is what it is and you are who you are with you know,


Juliet Hahn  00:54:17 

Gonna love it.


Cynthia Zordich  00:54:35 

high functioning autistic. You know, and I think that's wonderful for parents, young parents, people, adults, children

hear you talk about



Bri Barksdale  00:54:45 

It is not easy


Cynthia Zordich  00:54:45 



Bri Barksdale  00:54:47 

I know sometimes people are, like, you know, like, oh, these shots are giving people autism. Your autism is the way that your brand is hardwired

You were born His

or not.


Cynthia Zordich  00:54:56 

Got you.


Bri Barksdale  00:54:57 


that too... Because I... You know, you don't catch autism.


Cynthia Zordich  00:55:01 



Juliet Hahn  00:55:03 

Right. It's right.


Cynthia Zordich  00:55:03 




Juliet Hahn  00:55:04 

Right. Like, with dyslexia, like, you... I was... Born it. My dad has it my son as my grandfather had it. Know my sister has it, like, it's it's one of those things that, you know, Adhd the same. There's the spectrum of all of that stuff. And


Cynthia Zordich  00:55:15 



Juliet Hahn  00:55:16 

when you look at it, and and growing up having...

And and I always say you know, learning differences, my son always was like, I hate, would you to say learning to they're learning disorders. Like, it is, you know, it's it's it's different things, but then you have your strengths Right? Because we talk about the on the podcast all the time. I know my dyslexia have brought me so many things that I learned as a kid that were hard, but it made me the woman I am today, and it made me the

have the grit and the drive

to do so many more things. Like, I'm not afraid of failing because I've failed so many different time so I will tackle anything and all my friends anyone knows, you give me a business idea. You say, hey, Do you wanna go run and try to do that? And I'll do it because I'm not afraid of failure. What do you think

with autism being diagnosed later in life, I was diagnosed with dyslexia in life as well. So what do you think as a kid and then growing up and then you learning. Okay. I'm not autistic. What do you think the autism did for you in a positive way?

Like, what do you think it gave you to be the man that you are day.


Bri Barksdale  00:56:18 

Just gonna be more comfortable myself.




Juliet Hahn  00:56:24 



Bri Barksdale  00:56:25 

that's a big thing, but... Yeah. Like, it made me come to it, you know, I am who I am.

That's the only person I can't be. So I mean, will be that person, you know?


Cynthia Zordich  00:56:34 



Juliet Hahn  00:56:34 



Bri Barksdale  00:56:35 

Like that says you

be yourself and speak, you know, say what you mean and be yourself those who matter

don't mind, and those who mind don't matter. So


Cynthia Zordich  00:56:46 

That's beautiful.


Juliet Hahn  00:56:47 

I love that.


Bri Barksdale  00:56:47 

in the doctor Seuss. That's why I


Cynthia Zordich  00:56:49 

Strengthen on the doctor.


Juliet Hahn  00:56:50 

It. But, you know... And and joe, and I love that you said that because it is really thing. And that's when, you know, I want everyone that's listening. If you feel like, okay. Maybe,

my son or someone or my my daughter or I have, you know, I've always done things a little different. Go and get diagnosed because I know from my someone when he was in third grade and school was really hard for him when he got the diagnosis of dyslexia, and then we really broke it down for him. He was like, oh, thank god. I'm not dumb.

Right? It's because my brain works different. I remember when he said that to me, and I was like, dude, I totally don't just understand what you're saying because I remember being in the classroom and being like, why does everyone else understand what's going on? But for me, communicating and he's the same way. We are so good at communicating, but what we


Cynthia Zordich  00:57:17 




Juliet Hahn  00:57:32 

say in our, like, what we can verbal

if I went to go write down half of what I'm saying, it literally looks like like, you it wouldn't come across. And so we learn the things that we're good at. We learn how to take those differences

and then make them positive and then use them as strengths and know, okay. This is a weakness.


can I... Like, none. I know we're coming to end here, but I'm love to kinda end with, like, Brianna and Joe. So knowing that Joe is autistic. How is it to raise two girls,


Cynthia Zordich  00:57:54 



Juliet Hahn  00:58:03 

knowing that

maybe you're gonna do things a little different. Can you guys take us through that a little bit?


Bri Barksdale  00:58:11 

So far it's been fun in Joe.

I will say because of his

autism diagnosis and made, some things make more sense to me. So, like, he hear sounds differently than I do, and I'm very good, like most month of tuning out anything I choose

and so the kids could be crying and I'd be like, that's a

attention cry. They're fine or for him it's like, somebody scratching a chalkboard board. And he's like, hey,

Is there anything we could do? And I'm like, okay. So we've had a lot of conversations

because on one hand he prefers,

you know, when he wants it to be quiet so his mind can try, like, he wants to be quiet. And i'm like, we'll realize that

meet getting them the kids to be climbing means. They always get what they want. So we have figure out a balance there They can't always get everything they want so that the house can be quiet. So there's been

Oh, yeah. But.

Like I said, there's a lot of stories for skipping and Over, but that was another

traumatic loss he had when he was younger and he off his best friend. So

but that's why he doesn't like to hear the crying of the girl because I think someone's being murdered. Yeah.

But I will say there's been, like, certain things that have happened in his life. I think when we talk about our kids, we just take it one day at a time. We do realize one of them or both of them may be autistic or high folks they are, you know whatever,

but we do give them the space to be themselves. I think, because of his diagnosis and I always remind him of this especially because a lot of the stuff we're discussing today there's doing daily struggles. Like, we'll lava off.

And I don't know in the next moment could be where he's having a really bad movement.

But because I we take it one day at a time, and I told him, like, because of your ability to be here and have these conversations. I'll be a better mom to our daughters


Juliet Hahn  01:00:04 



Bri Barksdale  01:00:04 

because I have somebody like, Firsthand to be able to say, like, No. No. Be patient with her. I remember feeling like this. I remember what it that that would like, whereas I'm like, what's wrong, you know, the kid or you know, whatever? So

you know, I I like I said, we take it one day at a time and we try out to take ourselves too seriously. The comedy helps a lot,

but it's just the... It's a daily

child like Bailey.

I don't wanna say challenged. It's just like,

we just handle it by the day. Yeah take a minute to yeah.


Juliet Hahn  01:00:34 

And and that's a and that's how... You know,

oh, god ahead, Joe. Sorry.


Bri Barksdale  01:00:37 

Because I

i is gonna say I do the... I knew the therapist twice a week. I mean with the psychiatrist as well.

Because I know that the best

need that I can be will be the best me from my family. So

that's very important. But it's very important to me that those kids go on


Cynthia Zordich  01:00:50 



Bri Barksdale  01:00:54 

in a completely different middle state tonight. You know what I mean? Like, I I would feel like I fell as a parent

grew up we're like me.

Not not the autistic standpoint. This one No. Like you be talking.


Cynthia Zordich  01:01:03 



Juliet Hahn  01:01:05 



Cynthia Zordich  01:01:07 



Juliet Hahn  01:01:07 

Which is... Which is so beautiful, and this is the thing that you you're breaking the cycle of what happened to you, and that's what's so important for your story, and that's why I thank you so much for joining us and sharing it and being so open your story is going to help so many people


Cynthia Zordich  01:01:17 



Juliet Hahn  01:01:22 


wait I can break the cycle too. Like, you've had. You've had a story. Go ahead.


Bri Barksdale  01:01:28 

It's not easy. I know I mean, because we talk about all the time. Not weak. But as a society, we talk about reagan generational criticism and breaking the cycles. I just

it's not easy I just... I don't need anybody going into tool a across. It's like, oh autistic mentally yellow football

dude I I could do it, but it's...

It's a very lonely road. There's a lot of struggle that comes with it, but it's it's not easy, but I have nothing working doing this. So


Juliet Hahn  01:01:52 



Cynthia Zordich  01:01:53 



Juliet Hahn  01:01:53 

And that's and that's beautifully sad. And so do you guys have any closing remarks again, I could I have so many questions.

I'm we could literally go on for hours. I find you guys amazing and just love everything you're saying. But you know, I we we told you we're gonna be an hour, and I know that,

well, you know, where we of time. But so

do you have anything that you wanna to close with and and then some I'm gonna say the same thing too as well.


Bri Barksdale  01:02:17 

Drink more oval. I'm just fine.

I'm on.


Juliet Hahn  01:02:28 


as you think, said there are brief, if you wanna, you know, have any closing remarks.


Bri Barksdale  01:02:36 

I i'll say from, you know, my point of view as his wife,

because That had several

wives reach out to me since we've retired just with different stories of their husband's going through either depressive episode. Or,

you know, they they kinda don't know the next steps and they know Jones very open, but maybe their cousin that comfortable contacting Joe. You know, women are different.

You know, be patient


that's one thing Joe tell you guys for some reason, have blessed with the abundance of patience,

which sometimes irritates me. But

it I will say that it's something that joe does the work and I just support the work that he does.

I do feel like... I've had people who are very,

you know, you need to do this. You need to do this, and it never really works. Out that way. But, maybe let's do this together or, you know, that positive reinforcement because,

you know, I know I have a lot of male friends that don't like having certain conversations with their significant other because they just feel like they can't talk openly without

it being, like, an attack. And so it's kind little situations where you just... You taken in and, give yourself some time and then, you know, be patient and and know that it's gonna take a while.

But that would be my biggest, like,

take away is, like, half patience is that like, we're talking about

years. I mean, two thousand fourteen to twenty twenty two,

you know,

years years. It's not like an overnight thing. Nothing happens overnight. So

that's that's my mark be patient.

And then just, you know, be there. But... Yeah.


Juliet Hahn  01:04:16 

So appreciate that.


Cynthia Zordich  01:04:18 


I think that's such excellent advice

because, you know, as you said in the beginning,

we are all so different

where different individuals were different as couples or different

we have different experiences in the week and in life. So,

yes, patience

and being kind and patient and supportive

is is one thing and also realizing that

as you said earlier,

you might not have all the answers or you might not be the best person to talk to. So go outside of your you know, unit and find seek how elsewhere. You know, it's also something that that I take away from, you know, your experience that getting help outside of the you know, the home is awesome too.

So thank you guys so much for... I I'm telling you you're gonna end up with a show a series.

You're gonna end


Juliet Hahn  01:05:07 

Oh, big time.


Cynthia Zordich  01:05:08 

this story,

your lives, the late your mindset

is it's incredible, and a lot of people need to know about it, and I tell him to share it through this and any anyway, I can.


Juliet Hahn  01:05:14 


Joe, do do you have any remarks that you wanna end with?

And it's okay to say no.


Bri Barksdale  01:05:32 

Gonna get that a award one day.



Juliet Hahn  01:05:33 



Bri Barksdale  01:05:34 

I have to say that, like, now because it's as saying now, You know, interviews are gone, but I'm I'm gonna get that award one day.


Juliet Hahn  01:05:41 

You are and we're gonna say guess what? Guess where you her heard at first. Why is this live with Nfl thread pivot on Fireside?


Cynthia Zordich  01:05:44 



Bri Barksdale  01:05:49 


told you about a major kind award sports How that have?


Juliet Hahn  01:05:55 

Because we all have our passions. We all have our passions, and we all all of things. And, you know, I I know on the side, I know


Bri Barksdale  01:05:55 



Juliet Hahn  01:06:01 

Brianna cynthia mississippi has an organization called Nfl thread, and we'll I'm we're gonna cut this, but definitely wanna talk to you about it because it is a a linkedin for women of the Nfl, and and there's so many events that she does supporting

your commute the community that I think it's something that you guys should definitely talk about, But we'll talk about on the side. So I'm just gonna say, thank you again,

Bree and Job Marks for joining y live with Nfl thread pivot. Thank you everyone, Mark Gina Christie, Jennifer



a truthful Marlene, Jen Shelby,

and I Daniel. I'm again, as I know I said, Ray, and I'm brought a What is the your woman's name,


Bri Barksdale  01:06:41 

I yeah.


Juliet Hahn  01:06:43 



Bri Barksdale  01:06:44 

I am I mean, I think it's real, but I'm not


Juliet Hahn  01:06:46 

Real. Okay. Sorry. Well. You know, as I was reading them, And every time I do that, I always laugh again because my dyslexia because I pronounce real hands wrong and I'm like, oh, why do I get into this?


Cynthia Zordich  01:06:57 

Right. Oh, she... What we're gonna send you this in an email. We're not gonna keep you, but because the Julia just like

she would always

talk about work ethic that she would say worth ethic by a mistake. So we would first put out there. Hey. That's a really awesome idea what is worth ethic. So we'll send you that an email and see what your responses. It'll give me some time to think about that.


Juliet Hahn  01:07:19 

Yeah. Your boris ethic

the the the the versus your work ethic.


Cynthia Zordich  01:07:24 



Juliet Hahn  01:07:24 


So, again, guys, thank you so much. And good luck with everything and, you know, keep you know, the autism speak is amazing. They're lucky to have you out there, you know, talking about it and everything that you're doing in the community.

Again. Thank you guys. So much for joining ends. We wish you all the luck, and we know we're gonna have you on again, and we're gonna be out there cheering for your awards.


Bri Barksdale  01:07:45 

thank you guys so much. But you grab


Cynthia Zordich  01:07:47 



Juliet Hahn  01:07:47 

Yes. Thank you.

A little music to take us out, Of course, it's a mocha.


Cynthia Zordich  01:07:54 

That doesn't work.


Juliet Hahn  01:07:55 

That does not work. Alright, everyone. Thank you again for joining y this line with Nfl thread pivot. We will talk to you guys later. Thank you, Bart.


Enjoy New York.

My focus is entirely on helping you follow your passion, even when you feel like you've got stuck in crazy town. There is a way out, its me helping you. You don't have to ditch everything in your life that is making you feel overwhelmed and stuck, you just need some help to navigate it.


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