Celebrity Animal Trainer Brian Staples answers some meaningful and fun questions about his life philosophy. I've known Brian for five years and he has committed his life to educating kids about wildlife. When he's not on NBC's Today show or hanging out with legendary How I Met Your Mother star Neil Patrick Harris, he spends most of his time with his nonprofit education Staples Safari Zoo, which has a mission of introducing America's youth to our natural world.
LUSSIER: What drives you?
STAPLES: The fear of missing out. I want to experience everything at least once.
LUSSIER: What is your favorite hobby?
STAPLES: I love to travel. If it includes a dive trip for scuba, even better.
LUSSIER: Who/what has been the biggest influence on your life?
STAPLES: Dr. E.O. Wilson, author of Biophelia. A scientist who is known as Lord of the Ants introduces such amazing facts about tiny things most people take for granted or don't even think about.
LUSSIER: What public figure do you most admire/respect and why?
STAPLES: Nelson Mandela. A man who could cause change through love and persistence.
LUSSIER: If you could have dinner with any famous person dead or alive who would it be and why?
STAPLES: Harry Houdini. An amazing leader and entertainer. He combined brilliance and science with theatrics and showmanship. He was the first at so many things. One of the greatest promotors of all time. The one name in magic that is known throughout the world by all generations. The one name in magic that is known throughout the world by all generations.
LUSSIER: Where do you see yourself one year from now, and five years from now?
STAPLES: A year from now I'd like to see myself hosting an animal-related TV series. Five years from now I'd like to say I've been successful at hosting an animal-related show for the previous four years.
LUSSIER: What do the feel are the most important issues in your daily life?
STAPLES: Every day my goal is to connect someone with the natural world. Kids at a school assembly or the buddy who is kayaking with me in some crazy, exotic location.
LUSSIER: What's one of the funniest things that ever happened to you?
STAPLES: While doing a routine (in Spanish) I mistakenly said "Estoy muy embarrasado," trying to say, "I'm so embarrassed." Instead I said, "I'm very pregnant." That was in front of 1,000+ people in the audience who didn't laugh at the mis-translated joke. They just sat there. I didn't realize my error for days.
LUSSIER: What moment in your life defined your future?
STAPLES: This is a tough one. Everyday my future is being redefined. So many experiences like getting lost in a jungle and having wild monkeys groom me. I felt so accepted by little lives that should have feared my presence. When I read an email or Facebook post from school kids that somehow connected with one of the animals that I work with, or hear how they have also experienced something in nature, I'm driven to continue.