Soul Stories- Richard Radstone

Join Dr Randall and Richard Radstone in an epic conversation.

Richard's story began in the early 80s, when, after graduating from Brooks Institute of Photography, he opened his first studio in Las Vegas, Nevada—a mod little space constructed from the remains of a 3000-square foot citrus warehouse. It was there his roots formed as he worked non-stop producing, photographing, and directing projects that ranged from nightlife to leisure, portraiture to lifestyle, wild animals to intricate special effects, entertainment to advertising. 

He was in his mid-twenties. Young, evolving, and thirsty for experience. A fresh set of eyes in a city full of energy as his business grew faster than imaginable, and not ready for the degree of success that came his way, he lived fast and fell hard. It was a decade where he grew up through experiences too numerous to share in the paragraphs of a biography. Bright and dark memories that, to this day, are foundational subtext to the perspectives grounding the importance Richard places on humanity, the value of an individual, and integrity. 

In his thirties, as the Las Vegas chapter hit its pinnacle; Richard faced a creative, spiritual, and emotional Do-or-Die. Driven by a hunger for growth and culture, he realized he had reached a professional and personal crossroads. So, he decided to close his Las Vegas shop to travel the cities of Europe; exchanging security and predictability to live a vagabond life in further experiencing risk, history, culture, and people. It was an uncharted time, a living out of a backpack and rolling suitcase journey where he navigated a roller coaster of diverse languages, cityscapes, and customs. A week-by-week schedule of country- connecting train rides and hostel stays where each day he peeked over the edge of financial ruin.  His livelihood wrapped around his waist as he survived on cash pulled out of a hidden money belt. A character and spirit-forming trek that, in the end, left him homeless and stripped to the most simple lifestyle and reflections of himself. Yet, in reviewing that experience he says, “a great blessing was gifted to me—the birth of my cultural outlook, spiritual self and storytelling curiosity.” 

A photographer, filmmaker, educator, and artist, Richard's life entered what he calls “the year it all changed”, when in September 2011, as his life hit a painful set of obstacles, he challenged himself to 365 consecutive days (which in the end went for almost two years) to approach strangers on the streets of wherever he was. To look beyond his own troubles, and instead to find out who others were, what they were going through in their lives; and from there, to blog a series of daily essays, portraits, and videos based on the meeting of people he did not know. Hundreds of consecutive days that, no matter what was going on in the world, how he felt, or where he was, he journaled the hope, hurt and wisdom trusted to him by a globally diverse cross- section of individuals. 1000s of people from all corners of the globe who were brave enough to open their lives and perspectives to him and all of who followed his blog. And as 1000's of people from all over the planet read the essays and viewed the photos published, the world took notice. 

 Now, almost a decade later, and with the world becoming increasingly fragmented by the turbulence of social, lifestyle, political, cultural, civic, and civil divides, Richard gives credit to as he works to grow what he calls the compassionate majority. A diverse people, who each living under the radar of the loudest voices and digital divides, have so much well-being to offer each one of us. Unknown ghosts to each other that as we actively engage in seeing and listening to each other, are taking part in a  globally resonating movement that betters the way many view, and treat one another— one interaction, one neighbor at a time.