actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

Health-Livehi im velvet crayon. IAmA 33 yr old one manned band, sideshow/burlesque/cabaret performer, and cripple born with osteogenesis imperfecta (aka brittle bones)

Jan 20th 2018 by velvetcrayon • 40 Questions • 5442 Points

Hey Reddit,

I’m Mike and I’m best known for a few books (https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Matthews/e/B006XNAP6C/), my website Muscle for Life (https://www.muscleforlife.com), and my supplement company Legion Athletics (https://legionathletics.com).

I’m super excited to be here, so AMA! I’ll field questions on anything: diet, exercise, supplementation, business, marketing, velociraptors, Juggalos, whatever floats your boat.

Proof: https://imgur.com/a/RL5jt

EDIT #1: Hey everybody! I forgot to post how long I'll be doing this, soooo...I'll be going until 4 PM ET (another 30 minutes).

EDIT #2: That's a wrap! Thanks so much for stopping by and asking me questions. :) I hope you enjoyed it!

Oh and if you liked what I had to say, then you'll definitely like my articles over at www.muscleforlife.com and www.legionathletics.com/blog.

Q:

What's your beef with Bruce Willis? Leave the man alone already! /s

Good luck to you, hope you make it big.

A:

How many false, unverified, or unverifiable leads did you have to wade through before putting this together?


Q:

You have a book called Bigger Leaner Stronger, Thinner Leaner Stronger, and The Shredded Chef. Would you consider doing a book called Thinner Leaner Shredder, complete with a pic of Shredder (from TMNT) on the cover? The whole book can be about losing weight "The Shredder Way", which involves lots of cardio through intense stabbing and slicing.

Edit: added some stuff.

A:

psh, more like what's his beef with me?! ;) thanks!


Q:

Many! There were other elements of the story that we had to drop because we didn't have sufficient confirmation.

A:

Fucking brilliant. Email me. Let's write together.


Q:

Did they call you Mister Glass?

A:

With so many scandals taking place revolving around the highest powers in our government, are you afraid to break these stories? Do you have any protective measures in place for your own personal safety?


Q:

Many if these accounts are new. How much did you pay for the upvotes?

A:

nope, people call me crayon.. british people call me velvet.. it makes me smile


Q:

The press is under attack on many fronts these days -- and that's disheartening -- but so far, in this country, it's pretty rare for journalists to be physically assaulted for their work. That's not true for so many of our colleagues working abroad, sadly. If/when we start being afraid to write stories that displease our highest government officials, we will have veered into a very dark alley in our nation's history.

A:

WHY SO CYNICAL MY FRIEND!?

Emailed a list of mine with over 200,000 people to notify them of this.


Q:

Discovered your music last year and been enjoying it a lot since - just wondered who your main influences would be? Think I heard a lot of Velvet Underground on tracks like New York City...

A:

Is there any evidence that Russian money went to the NRA to help trump?

If so, what is that evidence?


Q:

Thanks for doing this Mike. Been a fan for years now.

When's the droid version of the stacked app coming out?

A:

glad you dig it!! definitely a lot of velvet underground. my biggest influences are probably the kinks, neil young, will oldham / bonnie prince billy / palace music (he totally changed how i thought about writing songs), sparklehorse, of course black sabbath. new york city is still one of my favourite songs to play live


Q:

We don't know what kind of evidence the FBI has, or how much. We only know that it is investigating, as we noted. When and if we can learn more, we will publish a follow-up.

A:

Thank you!

Right now we're gearing up to do a bit of an overhaul on the iOS (new UI/UX, few new features) and then, once that build is stable and people are happy, we'll look at bringing it to Android.


Q:

Started with the Kinks, ended with Black Sabbath 🤘 gunna go give your stuff a listen now

A:

If after the investigation ends, the FBI determines that NRA, Russia, and Trump did not collude, will you be publishing a follow up story explaining that?


Q:

I'm an Android dev and would love to help make this happen. Been unimpressed with most of the apps I've used on Android.

A:

awesome! hope you enjoy!


Q:

Definitely.

A:

Nice! Want to shoot me an email?


Q:

Cool, nice mix of vibes going on there - any chance of a Sabbath-esque doom album?

A:

The FBI, as a policy, declines to comment on ongoing investigations, (except one recent example). Anonymous sources are fundamental to investigative journalism here in the US.


Q:

Yeah, will do today.

A:

without a doubt yes.. maybe 2019? at least a 4-6 song ep


Q:

I understand your concern. Sources won't be quoted discussing classified information or an ongoing investigation. But we vet sources internally in making decisions about whether we have enough to publish a piece, and our standards are very high. There are many stories sitting in our system right now, on the Trump-Russia issue and others, that have not been made live because they don't meet our theshhold for sourcing.

A:

Great.


Q:

Hey Velvet Crayon. I was at one of the burlesque shows in New York back in 2014 when I was visiting for a college class. My friend and I went, and I remember there was another guy in the show who had me come up onto the stage and punch him in the stomach three times. I'm pretty sure you and my friend Jules exchanged texts or instagram messages or something for a while. Do you happen to remember us?

A:

So does anyone else find it weird as Hell that this AMA has multiple comments for every minute from brand new reddit accounts with no other posting history...?

And all the ones that are from brand new accounts start with "Hi Mike!" While all the ones from older accounts are much more natural sounding and don't have a greeting like that


Q:

i do remember this night and you both a little bit, sorry, they were hazy times back then. did the guy who was punched in the stomach have reaaally short arms? was it at coney island?

A:

I emailed a list with 200,000+ people to notify them of this, heh.


Q:

Yes to the really short arms and I think so? I don't know the area well so I forget where it was. It was a circus themed burlesque show.

A:

Any tips for a woman trying to lose fat while having hormone issues?


Q:

cool :) well nice meeting you again!!! feel free to keep in touch if you want and if you find yourself in nyc and looking to go to a show, let me know!

A:

Definitely. Want to email me? Would love to hear more and see how I can help.


Q:

There were also clowns and this girl ate a cake in a very sexual way. That's all I remember.

A:

Mike,

I have been doing BLS for about a year now. I followed it day in and day out up until September of this year and my diet fell off around August of this year. After September I started working out with a friend with a exercise science degree and I just didn't like the program and just started back with BLS in December. In August I was 180 lbs and if I was estimating I'd say I was around 12% body fat. Fast forward to December and I was 196 lbs and I would estimate around 20% bodyfat. My dilemma is my body composition, amount of muscle, and strength has greatly decreased since August as I am now about 184 lbs. My plan is to continue the cut to 170 just to get my composition back and start a clean bulk/cut cycle of 3 months to 1 month for awhile. Is this a solid plan? Should I cut to a lower weight? Any advice as to whether to follow this thought process or not?


Q:

hmmm i don't remember the cake

A:

Cutting back to the 10% range and then lean bulking is a good place. You'll have muscle memory on your side so it's very possible that you recomp a bit on your way down, which makes it more fun. :)


Q:

It's been a while since you dressed up in the cake costume, to be fair.

A:

What is your opinion on EC(A) stacking?


Q:

i've dressed up in a lot of silly costumes and clothes in my day but i don't think i've ever dressed up as a cake.. hmm.. future act idea? who knows. damnit, now i want cake.

A:

It works. I'd leave out the aspirin though.


Q:

Hi Erik! How did you get involved with the sideshow circus?

A:

That's what ive been doing. Thanks again!


Q:

hi! well i was in college and i had been performing as my one manned band and i also hung out in a bar pretty regularly (bob and barbara's in philly, cheers!) and another regular of the bar was producing a music video and asked me to be in the video as an actor. that led me to meet some burlesque people in philly and then i was at a burlesque show one night and i met a clown (jelly boy the clown to be exact) and we drank all night long and chatted. he and his brother have a troupe in philly called the squidling brothers sideshow circus and they do a show in philly called carnivolution (which i had been to a ton in college). i think he had heard of my music before and we were chatting all night and he asked if i wanted to be the opening band to their next carnivolution, i said of course. the next day he told me if i came up with a character for carnivolution (it's a play, a sideshow play) then i could be in that as well, so i did. and i've been in every show since. jelly and i have traveled/toured the world together. it's pretty awesome

A:

YW!


Q:

Hey it's your buddy Gerard from STARWOOD. It was good seeing you 2 weeks ago. What's your favorite Tame Impala song?

A:

Hi Mike thank you for everything that you do for the community.

What aspects from your daily life did you notice change the most after becoming a more well known public figure? How does you handle knowing how strongly you can influence so many individuals at a time and what is your process for putting out new information?

Of all people in the bodybuilding community you’ve always been the person I can count on for “no bullshit” information. I can’t thank you enough for doing the research and making it digestible for those of us who might not have the bandwidth to do so.


Q:

hey! you guys fucking rocked the other night! loved it!!

i'm not sure which song is my favourite honestly, my wife and i own this live tame impala album which i absolutely love but i never pay attention to the song titles, i just listen to the whole thing. so i say, that album counted as one song haha

A:

Thank you!

Honestly I don't think of myself as a public figure or even well known. I'm kinda well known in a kinda small subgroup of people who are kinda really into working out, haha. I hope is stays that way too. I don't want celebrity.

So to answer your question, nothing meaningful has changed, really, which has worked to my favor. I've just kept myself focused on researching, producing content, and growing Legion, and that has not only worked out tremendously well on the business side of things, I think it has also helped keep me grounded.


Q:

Awwww thanks Mr. Crayon! I love that album too! Here are all the tracks they had to cut that would not fit on the vinyl. Hope to see you soon. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXaLvLd8wJI

A:

Hey mike! I’d love to get your take on the rising popularity of unsweetened but flavored soda waters. Seems like everyone is making the switch. It seems too good to be true though. Thoughts?


Q:

epic! i can't wait to listen to that!

A:

Hey if you like 'em and they help you drink more water, why not?


Q:

I'm for legalization but it makes perfect sense why it's not. You just have to look at it from the perspective of the owners of for-profit prisons and racists and it all seems clear.

A:

Just wanted to say as a dental hygienist that I've seen a rise in this in patients and it can cause cavities. There is no sugar but the carbonation is acidic so having several times throughout the day isn't a good idea. I recommend drinking them when you're already having a meal to make them not as harmful to your teeth. 😀


Q:

true. but look at colorado and their tax surplus they have from that sweet sweet green.. i'm talking about weed.. not money. where's that canadian guy / CanadianBeaverluvr with the doobe-tubes when ya need him

A:

Hm, interesting point. Thanks for sharing!


Q:

u/velvetcrayon Your music has this mysterious and Intriguing quality about it. It vibes for sure. What made you want to start making music?

A:

Hey Mike, love your books. Both me and my husband have been following them for about 6 months and seeing great results. My husband hurt his shoulder somehow really badly and can no longer lift. Any ideas of exercises he can do in the interim to maintain his strength while his shoulder heals?


Q:

i think i always wanted to make music. when i was a kid my grandparents had an organ and my grandmother played it. so whenever we were over their house i'd play their organ. and then she taught me basic piano/keyboards. i always loved music, it was one of my favourite things as long as i can remember. my dad loved the beatles and zeppelin and cat stevens, awesome 60s/70s rock, and he'd teach me the words to all these epic songs. there's a recording of me somewhere as a 4 or 5 year old singing love potion number 9 and i think it's totally the rosetta stone of velvet crayon music.

i took lots of music classes in high school and then after high school i went to college for a year then dropped out and bought a guitar and taught myself to play it and then recorded the first velvet crayon album and that was like, 2004/2005

A:

Thank you!

The #1 rule of overcoming aggravations and injuries is WORKING AROUND THEM. That is, doing things that don't make them worse.

In your hubby's case, the first thing I'd recommend is seeing a good sports doc to asses the severity of the injury, as I'd really hate to give advice that might be right for SOME conditions but wrong for others, you know?

That said, I myself have dealt with shoulder pains in the past and something that has helped me, for example, is switching from barbell to dumbbell pressing (because BB was uncomfortable while DB wasn't).

This article might be helpful as well:

https://www.muscleforlife.com/rotator-cuff-exercises/


Q:

Mom of a young type III here; does the pain from breaks lessen over time or do you just become mentally stronger? How different do you think your career would be if you didn't have OI and do you think you have had more success by embracing your disability?

A:

Very glad I logged on! Thank you for the advice. I had the same thing happen about 8 weeks in. I hurt my shoulder because I lifted too much too fast. Form matters and I rushed it. Hope to start back tomorrow. Looking forward to making some progress again, Lord willing.


Q:

sorry to say that the pain doesn't lessen, it hasn't for me at least but i think you definitely become mentally stronger. as a kid i would break a bone and it felt like my whole life was destroyed, that it'd always be that feeling forever but as you get older, as with everything as you get older, that feeling subsides and you focus on those bad times less.

if i didn't have OI i don't know that i'd have this career honestly, my life would have been completely different than what it is now. i would probably have bought a boat as a teenage and sailed away or something, who knows.

and i don't know if i have had more success embracing my disability but it sure has made life easier and way more fun. i've had some amazing adventures in life that i wouldn't have had if i wasn't born with OI and didn't embrace being a cripple the way i did.

i will say that after puberty, at least for me, the breaking of bones became less frequent but that's definitely contributed to my parents letting me be a kid and do stupid things and i'd get hurt doing really dumb things but it made me learn my body's limits and how far i can push it.

A:

My pleasure. Live and learn. LMK how it goes.


Q:

Are you familiar with Michel Petrucciani?

He had the same condition and was one of the greatest jazz pianists of all time.

A:

How are the protein bars coming along?


Q:

i am familiar with him. i watched a documentary about him years ago. apparently his manager used to carry him around in a suitcase so they could save money on plane tickets! haha

A:

Well!

We actually approved the last samples and then discovered that one of the ingredients was suddenly unavailable (oligodextrin). :-(

We're now waiting for the next samples without it, which should come this week (and should be good--fingers crossed!).


Q:

He was an interesting but tortured guy. Playing caused him a lot of pain but his love for music overrode the pain.

His music was jaw-dropping. Probably my favorite pianist ever.

Good luck with your career!

A:

How has the addition of selling on GNC and Bodybuilding.com affected business? Are you seeing an uptick in interest and sales?


Q:

thanks! yeah our joints can get really bad over time.. but you have to do what you love!

A:

They're making sales but not much in the overall scheme of things.


Q:

Your instagram profile says “one man band,” which is how I’ve always heard it. But in this thread you’ve written “one manned band” a few times. So, which is it? And why can’t you commit?

A:

Hey Mike! I find myself in conflict. I know I want to be leaner and stronger, those are clearly paramount as evidenced by their presence in two of your book titles.

But it's a toss-up between "thinner" and "bigger". If I get both books will I just sort of hover at the same weight?


Q:

i have no idea which it is, i've always wondered myself. words are fickle, you know? they change all the time. sometimes i think of velvet crayon as this vessel, a ship if you will, that i control so it's like a one manned vessel, a one manned band? but it's also a one man band. it's both! :)

A:

Probably, BUT if you include The Shredded Chef, you'll also get shredded...


Q:

Is that the same thing the adorable kid Alec from the children's hospital commercials has?

A:

Hey Mike, huge fan, glad you're doing an AMA, I have lots of questions I’d like to ask you but will stick to one for now.

I have a question about how to implement the stuff in ‘Becoming a Supple Leopard’. I bought it (based on this article you wrote) expecting guidance on stretching and general mobility and am overwhelmed by how much it requires a complete change in the way you move and think about mobility.

For example, I’m having trouble even knowing if I’m performing the mobility checks properly (ie. Am I even “externally rotating my shoulders” or am I misunderstanding what that means/feels like?). Kelly also moves so fast in his videos sometimes, and is so much more flexible than me to the point where I have a lot of trouble recreating his movements.

Did you have any issues like this? Do you have any recommendations on how to get the most out of the book?


Q:

i think so but i don't know 100% but it looks like it. it's a great hospital, chop, it's where i go as an adult even!

A:

Thank you!

I totally understand. That's a huge downside of that book. It's a tome.

Have you checked out my articles on MFL on mobility? They give some simple routines to start with.

I also plan on creating a digital course on mobility this year (MFL 2.0, which is on the way, will include digital courses).


Q:

I’ve worked some with Mat Fraser, another disabled burlesque performer and he was wonderful.

What about these types of performances are different to you than how the public perceives them? For example, do you find any of it empowering rather than objectifying, etc.?

A:

Following up, I want to thank you for committing to quality in your supplements and your content. It's genuinely changed the way I approach my life in that it's made me realize that there are experts and research behind most things I do, and I've since started seeking that research and those experts on everything I can.

I'm also a huge fan of the podcast, and appreciate that you really get into the nitty gritty on the research you cite, the chemical affects produced inside your body by supplements and activity, and that you bring on the actual scientists and researchers to discuss their findings.

Anyways, enough fanboying, appreciate everything and keep up the great work!


Q:

nice! mat and i actually have a band together called The Spazms. he plays drums in it. he is wonderful!

i honestly see burlesque, good burlesque, as performance art. yeah there's some aspect of stripping and sexuality but there doesn't have to be. i've seen some amazing acts that didn't involve either of those things. it's not about turning your sexy-bits on, it's about turning your brain on, making you think, or just pure entertainment.

definitely when i do burlesque there's a bit of a shock factor. people don't expect it. and that's fun. hell, i'm probably the first naked cripple some people have ever seen.

i do think it's empowering just because i think art in general is empowering. i try not to separate my burlesque art from my music too much, it's all connected. it's all art

A:

So glad to hear this, haha thank you. I'm flattered. Lots more to come!


Q:

I've worked with Mat and Velvet Crayon at the same show!

Mat is one hell of an mc, and was fantastic to work with, as are the squidlings - it's a show I look forward too every year!

A:

Wife and I joined high end gym and started working out regularly at age 50. We are now in our 60’s and looking to get better overall results. Started reading your book and value your advice regarding exercise, nutrition, etc. we are professionals and have busy schedules so our gym visits must be flexible. We’ve tried cross fit but trainer moved and we had to drop. We felt good but we’re also fearful of injury.

We’re looking for a workout that will get us toned, stronger and overall feeling great with minimum time. Commitment. HITT workouts? We’re bored with same old routine, and most trainers we talk to at the gym have their own program which we’re not sure would work for us. At trainers’ hourly rate of $100+ we’re not sure whether to just pick one and hope for the best or whether there is a better way for us to improve our results. Need motivation at this point. Any suggestions that might work fore us?


Q:

thank you kind sir

A:

I totally understand. First, check this out:

https://legionathletics.com/fitness-at-any-age/

Then, shoot me an email so I can give you something a bit more suited to your circumstances and goals.

P.S. I'm SERIOUSLY considering a "BLS/TLS for the 30s and beyond" book next. Going to be shopping it to publishers very soon...


Q:

How did you get married?

A:

Hey Mike!

Why don’t you cut your hair?


Q:

my wife and i are not legally married because i'd lose my health insurance and such, but we are married. we had a dear friend of ours marry us. it was a small wedding.

A:

BECAUSE I'M A FUCKING ALPHA MALE HUNTER GATHERER PROTECTOR PROVIDER WARRIOR POET AND PERSONAL LIBERTY SAYS I CAN GROW MY HAIR AS LONG AS I FUCKING WANT.


Q:

I'd lose health insurance

Ridiculous. It shouldn't have to be this way. :( But these days you don't "need" to be legally married in society's eyes anyway.

A:

Hi Mike,

Big fan of the work that you and Jeremy do.

I have a business-realted question, if that's OK:

I'm looking to write and self-publish a self-help/self-motivation type book that'll cover a lot of psychology as well as physical fitness, diet etc. to help people with their productivity in their work and every day life (but particularly solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, business people etc.). Seeing as you absolutely smash it when it comes to promotion of your self-published books, do you have any tips for the best ways for me to market such a book, please?

Thanks.


Q:

yep it's ridiculous!

A:

Thank you!

The #1 rule of selling a lot of books is write a really good book--a book that people are going to talk about. If a book can't generate word of mouth, it's doomed, period, no matter how slick the cover, title, endorsements, launch, etc. are. It will go like a bullet into a swimming pool.

Another major part of selling a lot of books is creating something unique and interesting that fills a real gap in the marketplace. When I published BLS, there was no other book like it on Amazon. Now it's glutted with me-too copycat books that go nowhere because mine are so well established (as a guy or gal looking to improve your body composition, what are you going to buy: a book with, in the case of BLS, over 3,000 reviews and hundreds of success stories written by someone who clearly walks the walk, or a book with a dozen reviews from a no-name?).

Point being: make sure you're not just swiping the material in the bestsellers. Make sure that your book doesn't address the same issues in the same ways as everything else in the space. Really dig in and find a concept that is fresh and unique.


Q:

Then why's it called a BONEr??

A:

Hi Mike!

I'm actually in the middle of the workout right now, monday chest day, trying hard to beat my 6x30kg at inclined dumbbell bench press!

I keep having trouble with my fitness app, I was wondering how Stacked was going and if there was any plan to add it to android?

Seriously, thanks for helping me get into fitness, I'm having a blast!

Best,

Nick M


A:

Haha nice! Glad you're rolling!

Yessir, but first we're going to do a round of improvements on iOS and see how they're received.


Q:

What games do you like to play on SNES?

A:

Hey Mike, What's your top three health/fitness misconseptions you wish people knew the truth about? Big fan of the books and tour work all round!


Q:

currently i'm addicted to The Legend of Zelda / Link to the Past. but i love myself some Super Mario World. i wish i were as good as GrandPooBear or something but alas, i suck haha but it's fun!

A:

Thanks!

  1. Strength training is just for people who want big muscles.

  2. WHAT you eat is far more important than HOW MUCH if you want to lose fat/not gain fat.

  3. You have to obsess over "clean eating" to be lean and healthy.


Q:

Whats been the toughest thing for you in your career?

A:

Hey Mike! Was thrilled to hear you were doing this today.

My question for you is what’s your advice on lagging muscle groups? For example I believe my arms, shoulders (having a difficult time getting that “capped” look) and upper chest are lagging (typical, I know) but I️m currently doing your Phase I workout from your Bigger Leaner Stronger book. I absolutely love I️t so far and i was wondering if there should be any other exercises or reps I should be adding on to help bring up my lagging muscle groups or just stick to Phase 1 and hammer I️t out?

I️m a 20 year old guy who’s been lifting for 4/5 years and as I get older I’m trying to make sure I️m keeping up with every muscle group evenly.

Thanks for taking the time to answer all of our questions today man!


Q:

stairs.

but seriously.. stairs. stairs suck. they annoy me. more ramps, less stairs.

but other than that.. hmm.. learning to say no to shows. it's really hard. i'm a pretty nice person i think, and for a while i said yes to every show i was asked to be in but i've had to learn to say no, not because i get a billion offers, oh woe is me type stuff, but saying no to myself, that i shouldn't do every show i possibly can.. saying no means i have time to rest, and sleep, and hang out with my wife.

this past year i said no a ton so that i could record 3 albums, and i wouldn't have had time to record them if i did every show i possibly could.

A:

Hey hey!

Hmm for now I'd stick to the program as laid out and see how things are looking after 3 or 4 months or so. If it's still an issue then you can definitely make some modifications. I could help you via email when the time comes?


Q:

stairs are literally our mortal enemy. and STEPS

A:

Hi Mike. I am a big fan and BLS helped me make some fantastic changes in my life. I have 2 questions. 1. Is there a path for stacked app to contain year 1 challenge from BLS and BBLS? 2. In one of your deadlift videos I see you using towels or something similar during your lifts. I am struggling with grip strength and knurl roughness around fingers for my deadlifts that are progressing heavier. Does whatever you are wrapping around the bar help with those? Also what is your take on alternating grip for DL and it's affects on muscle asymmetry?


Q:

agreed. hoverchairs are the future!

A:

Awesome! So glad to hear it. :)

  1. Yes, we are working toward this. Big changes coming this year.

  2. Just paper towels for grip. Helps, haha.

I think it's good advice. I actually wrote about this here:

https://www.muscleforlife.com/deadlift-grip/


Q:

So do they, "Call [you] Mr. Glass?"

A:

I’m a big fan of your books (both working out and cooking) and your shameless calling of broscience.

It seems like most of your success stories and tips are meant towards the ectoderm who has problems building mass. I sit on the other end (6’2, 250 lbs) - I can build strength (350 deadlift, 250 bench) and muscle really fast but damn that spare tire and manboob fat will not go away. I’ve been cutting for several months (2500 cal days) and, despite behaving at mealtime and keeping up at the gym, I’m not able to lose more than 1-2 lbs/mo.

Do you have science based evidence for the endoderms out there to get leaner?


Q:

nope but that is supposed to be the same disability i have.. but it's not.. not really. i'm not that brittle but am also more brittle than that? it's confusing haha i haven't seen that movie in a long long time. wasn't it a comic as well? hmm

A:

Thank you!

You can do VERY well my friend because you are not going to lose muscle easily when cutting.

Most of the claims about eating/training for one body type or another are bullshit anyway. Check this out:

https://www.muscleforlife.com/body-types/


Q:

Lol, thanks for answering! I actually love that movie but know nothing about it except that it's the only one of the director's works that I've enjoyed. M. Night Shama-something, I think.

More an Aronofsky and Kaufmann fan, myself.

Whom do you enjoy?

A:

Skinny fat people should lose fat first and then gain muscle or gain muscle and then cut?


Q:

i'll be honest, i don't know a ton of directors? i love movies though. all kinds. i'm just bad with director names. i've been watching more tv than movies recently though. my wife and i just finished BoJack Horseman

A:

Lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. :)


Q:

Hey, thanks for doing this AMA! I will admit that I'd never listened to your music before today, but it has really interesting layers of sounds. I dig it!

As the (adult) child of a person with disabilities, I was always intrigued by how my grandparents raised my mom to never be "less than". I feel that her outlook and ability to do everything that she does, was influenced by that "you can do it" attitude. How were your parents when you were growing up, and do you think that it helped you become the showman that you are today?

A:

Hey Mike - BLS is awesome! You’re the man.

Hypothetical - If you were sitting down for your last meal, because the supplement / fitness industry finally came after you and figured out how to have you framed and executed, what would you eat? (Macros and calories don’t matter anymore, right???)


Q:

thanks for taking part in the ama! glad you dig the tunes!

i think yeah, it totally did. but it's complicated, parents are complicated you know? but for the most part, yeah, my parents treated me just like any other kid i think they definitely made sure i knew that being a cripple couldn't stop me from doing what i wanted.

i think a lot of the way i am is because my mom got me involved with wheelchair sports usa when i was really really young and it got me around other people that used wheelchairs. i grew up around other crips and that definitely shaped me into the man i am.

but it wasn't some sort of, "i know you're crippled but you can do anything" inspiration porn type stuff.. it was just like, hey you're a human, do your thing. does that make sense?

A:

Thanks!

Hahahah shit, this is my recurring nightmare!

Uhhhh one scoop of Legion WHEY+, Legion THRIVE, and Legion ATLAS, washed down with some Legion PULSE, Legion RECHARGE, and Legion GENESIS!!!

...

Okay okay, a mountain of penne vodka from Carbone NYC. ;)


Q:

Yeah, definitely! Even though she was also born as she is, my mom's disabilities are different (she was a thalidomide baby) but I think that since it was a bit more rare back in the day they just kinda.. Let her assume that she could do whatever rather than rushing to help her all the time, you know? Exactly like you said, just.. Be a human, do your thing. :)

I think it's so cool that you're taking the time to answer everyone. Between that and your music, you've gained a fan today!

A:

Hi Mike, just found out you were doing this. Thanks! Two questions: 1. Advice for someone who's 54 (like me) about gains/cuts--any differences for older people? I notice how slow muscles develop, and how fast fat develops, much more than when I was in my 30s, even 40s. 2. I've been reluctant to take on the whole macro-watch-everything-I-eat. Feels daunting, complicated. But I also see my progress stalling. So it's time. First steps to do that?


Q:

awesome! honestly, this has been pretty fun. i do this as a sideshow act pretty often but it's usually only for like 5-10 minutes and doesn't get to have as much depth as this has had.

thalidomide is pretty psychedelic.. my friend mat fraser has that

A:

My pleasure!

  1. Check this out:

https://legionathletics.com/fitness-at-any-age/

Should address most of your concerns.

  1. Yes, at least for a bit, so you can see how it works and familiarize yourself with the foods you like to eat. Then, once you have that experience under your belt, you should find it much easier to transition back to a more "intuitive" style of eating.

Q:

Yeah, it's wild!

Man I'm really, really digging your sound. With 3 albums out last year how do you find time to tour and everything else?

A:

How many people work at Legion now? When do you anticipate expanding the team again?


Q:

well i took a break from touring a bit last year so that i could record those albums. and i don't know honestly, i took this current january off from productive/workness which has been nice.. sleeping rules.

A:

There are 11 of us now and yup we will be adding a few more this year. Right now we need a videographer, social media marketer, and ecommerce marketer.


Q:

Sleeping is the BEST.

I'm so excited to show your stuff off to my friends! Do you ever come to south Florida? If you don't, you should consider it! :D

A:

Hope I'm not too late!

I'm a 5'11 female, 72kg and lifting regularly for about 3 years.

I'm a fitness instructor and teach Hiit classes 3-4 times a week. I do strength training 4 times a week but will the amount of cardio I have to do stop me from bulking? I don't build muscle easily as it is but at this point would it be purely down to diet?

I'm trying to keep my cardio fitness high so I can teach bit without impacting my strength and I think I'm failing!


Q:

i came to florida once. i was drunk the whole time and barely remember it. it was great. maybe someday i'll come back but thinking about it makes me feel hungover all over again ;)

A:

Hey!

Hmm it's not ideal for bulking but that doesn't mean you can't gain muscle. You'll just need to make sure you eat enough food to stay in a slight surplus, and I would also recommend a high-ish carb diet.


Q:

Hey velvet crayon, My name is Will, I live in Portland, Oregon. I have type three OI, with 82 fractures under my belt. I am also a musician, who has about 9 years of performances under my belt. I have never really left my town to persue music in other places but I would love to. Do you have any advice?

A:

What is your favorite TV channel, and why is it the gorilla channel?

Also, could you please explain in detail how the way he hit that other gorilla was good?

Thanks Mike!


Q:

hi will! advice? just do it! cause why not? trump has his finger on the button, time is now!

honestly, reddit is a great resource to book shows, i've booked a tour that way before. do you have your music online? that's a good start if you don't. but yeah, do it, play tunes, have fun! portland rules, i've heard, i've never been but i should, soon. right? right.

A:

Oh man if you only knew how much I love The Gorilla Channel.

Some days, I watch it for 17 hours straight kneeling in front of the TV, with my face just a few inches from the screen, so I can say encouraging things to the gorillas. I know they (probably) can't hear me, but when one gorilla hits the other one really good, I just can't control myself.

For example, one of my favorite gorillas, who I've named Harambe McHarambeface, is like a freakin' hammer in a nail factory. He has huge muscles and storms around like Donkey Kong on a diet of coffee and cocaine, and the way he hits those other gorillas isn't just GOOD, but damn near poetic. Imagine if you could watch Tyson in his prime roaming around the mall, uppercutting strangers. That's how good this gorilla hits the other ones.

My only complaint with TGC is sometimes it's boring because the gorillas aren't always fighting. All I want to see is gorillas hitting each other. A lot. And I know I'm not alone. If TGC doesn't fix this fascist microgression on my safe space, I'm going to burn my city down.

(Real talk, how fucking stupid/gullible/delusional do you have to be to actually believe that snippet was real? Gaslighting is way too easy these days...)


Q:

You’re right! If you ever do come to poertland, maybe we can perform together!

A:

Can I translate your book to Arabic?


Q:

maybe so! link me to your stuff if you have stuff online

A:

I'd love to do a deal with an Arabic publisher. Working on it!


Q:

not everyone with OI has brittle teeth! wikipedia says ''More than 1 in 2 people with OI also have dentinogenesis imperfecta (DI)'' so it is a majority, but definitely not most.

A:

Is the plant protein powder by Orgain a decent option? I'm trying to stick to a budget and it seems to be the cheapest option.


Q:

hmm, i don't know how much you can trust wiki though, i used to edit them with random bullshit all the time when i was in college. but you're probably right.. i just wanted to say that i used to write bullshit on wiki :)

A:

Honestly I'm really skeptical of any protein powder that's really cheap and sold in retail stores because high-quality powder is expensive and the margins needed to do well in retail are astronomical.

That said, Orgain MAY be legit. I haven't seen any third-party analysis, though.


Q:

So are you like Joker from Mass Effect?

A:

Hey Mike! Ive been wanting to know a little more about your golf game. What’s your favorite club in your bag? what is your handicap? if you could play a round with anybody in the world, who would it be and where?


Q:

i have no idea who that is, sorry, never got into mass effect. what makes you think i may be like him? what's he like?

A:

Honestly didn't golf much last year BUT I will be doing more of it this year! There's a club right by my house, which is the setup I had in FL.

Hmm favorite club? Whatever I'm hitting best that day, haha.

Didn't get a handicap before I left as I was just making the transition from the range/swing work to playing, but I did shoot a legit 83 from the blacks, haha.

Ricky Fowler? Seems like a neat dude. Congressional? So much history there.


Q:

In the game he's one of the best (if not the best) spaceship pilots in the Galaxy, and he also has a brittle bone disease. He might break a leg standing up too quickly, or a rib if he sneezes too hard. Great voice acting, and one of the most personable, relatable characters in the game. He's voiced by Seth Green, the guy who played Dr Evils kid in Austin Powers, is the driving force behind Robot Chicken, etc. Adds his own flair to the character.

In other news, those games are great and you should play them.

A:

Hey Mike, thanks for doing a AMA. Is it easy enough to get back to my original weight and size of 18% body fat after giving birth? Or is that no longer a possibility?


Q:

he sounds pretty rad. but i google image searched him and he looks hella tall.. why can't they just be honest and say people with brittle bones are short? it's something i'll never understand.

but, there's so many buttons. i'm not that good beyond run and jump and throw a shell.

A:

My pleasure!

Yes, you will be able to do that, but it may not be particularly easy while you're breastfeeding (assuming you will be) because most women find they're just too damn hungry while breastfeeding to maintain a deficit.

That said, once you've weaned your baby, you can get right to it.


Q:

How did you get into this as a job/profession?

A:

[deleted]


Q:

well i've always been telling jokes and playing music and then in college i had been performing as my one manned band for a few years and i also hung out in a bar pretty regularly (bob and barbara's in philly, cheers!) and another regular of the bar was producing a music video and asked me to be in the video as an actor. that led me to meet some burlesque people in philly and then i was at a burlesque show one night and i met a clown (jelly boy the clown to be exact) and we drank all night long and chatted. he and his brother have a troupe in philly called the squidling brothers sideshow circus and they do a show in philly called carnivolution (which i had been to a ton in college). i think he had heard of my music before and we were chatting all night and he asked if i wanted to be the opening band to their next carnivolution, i said of course. the next day he told me if i came up with a character for carnivolution (it's a play, a sideshow play) then i could be in that as well, so i did. and i've been in every show since. jelly and i have traveled/toured the world together. it's pretty awesome. it's actually the most artistic freedom i've ever had. i can do whatever i want in the show! it rules!

A:

...please donate all of your money (plus all the money you can borrow) to the newly minted Mike Matthews Foundation?

Don't look into it but our mission is to grow a better and more beautiful and harmonious tomorrow by realigning global vibrations toward a 4th dimensional reawakening blah blah green tea infinity...will that be Visa or Mastercard?


Q:

Not sure if anyone has asked, but... I was kinda surprised you used the word cripple to describe yourself. Isn't that a negative word?

A:

Is Stacked coming to Android this year? Do you guys need any volunteers to test out pre-release versions of the app and provide feedback?


Q:

it's one of those words that i can say because i am one but for someone else to say it could be negative but to me it's a good word. a powerful word. because it makes non cripples a bit anxious/uncomfortable. it's like "mutant and proud" type stuff.. does that make sense?

A:

Possibly! We're going to start work on a round of improvements to the iOS version very soon and see how that goes.


Q:

Have you ever collaborated with other one man bands like Keller Williams, Xavier Rudd, or That One Guy?

A:

i have not, i should look into it yeah?

actually, that's sort of a lie, there's a one man band out of the czech republic / france / let's just say out of europe, his name is Koonda Holaa. i've played with him. he rocks.

i have played in other bands though and been in other bands, even while i've had velvet crayon.


Q:

I’ve seen Keller a bunch of times. He plays several instruments and loops them w pedals to sound like a whole band. He plays with the String Cheese Incident a lot.

Xavier Rudd does pretty much the same, but he’s Australian so he adds dijeridoos to the mix for a very unique sound.

I’ve only seen That One Guy once (opening for Keller in Deep Ellum) but he was pretty cool. Created his own instrument called the Magic Pipe.

A:

nice, i'll have to check them out. one thing that gets me with a lot of one man bands is how long they take to build a song before they sing. i think you can build it while you sing. i use loops but not always, i have a lot of things i trigger live and stuff


Q:

Do you have h same condition as Mr. Glass in the Unbreakable movie?

A:

yep, i indeed do. but it's nothing really like it is in the film


Q:

I'm a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health currently working in both a clinical and translational research lab with focus on OI and other related bone dysplasias. If you don't mind me asking, what type of OI do you have? Also, are you receiving any type of treatment such as bisphosphonates, TGFb, or other experimental therapies?

I'm from Philly as well, would love to see your show live. Long live the jawn.

A:

i have the middle type, sorry i don't know the exact type, i never really got the test done to find out which exact one.

i am not currently on any treatments besides cannabis.

i was part of a study at johns hopkins when i was a teenager where they tried one a drug called pamigerate (totally spelling that wrong) but it was supposed to increase my bone density but it didn't work, it had no effect on me except that it made me trip like i was on acid for 3 days the first time i had the treatment.. that was fun.

but nope, no more drug trials for me. i think some good exercise and muscle growth is the best for healthy strong bones.

cheers to philly! february 13th at bob and barbara's is my next show! and keep an eye on velvetcrayon.com for my show schedule! cheers!


Q:

Hoping to go do a PhD studying the fatigue mechanics of bones with osteogenesis! Have you noticed the condition worsening over time? I don't now much about it yet

A:

hi! cool! i haven't really noticed it getting worse. and by it i mean the strength of my bones. general pain and such has but i think i'm just getting older and that's what happens. i think it can get worse for people as they age because they become less active and less activeness leads to less muscle growth and also less bone strength. i'm not a doctor or anything but just speaking from experience ya know. i think puberty was the freaking worst and not just because of the weird puberty stuff but my bones were growing too fast i think and it made them weaker/thinner/less dense. but now they seem to be pretty good


Q:

How long does it take a break to heal? Would you post some Xrays? Thank you and best wishes!

A:

i sadly don't have any x-rays! i wish i did so i could show you all. the next time i do one of these things in a few years i'll have to make sure i have some to show everyone

it depends on what's broken for how long it takes to heal. but i think it takes a year for a bone to fully heal but depending on the bone, i can get back to normal life after about 2-3 months? something like that probably.. sorry i'm not so good at time (and for about a month of that i'm usually on some crazy pain meds that distort time and reality and make me feel like, to quote a friend, "a wizard who's seen too much")


Q:

Have you ever tried to kill Bruce Willis?

A:

nope, not that i know of


Q:

Yankees don't say Dube tubes????

A:

nope! it's fucking lame dude! i miss canada, they said things like "squeeze" instead of merge. and, at least the canadians i met, were really nice and fun and awesome stoners


Q:

Dude what do you call the tube you keep the doobies in? Also what other things do you like about Canada?

A:

once i bought a joint in colorado and they just called it a joint holder or something stupid like that, doobe tubes are the future.. canada is the future. i liked that the money had braille and that parts of it were seethrough.. the beer tasted like beer.. and tim hortons everywhere! yes! timbits!!!


Q:

For a second I thought you were the guy from Fury road who sits with all the telescopes. I looked him up and it seems he also suffers the same disease.

So suppose my question is have you ever been approached to be in any TV or films?

A:

yes and no. once i was doing a show in la and someone was talking with me about it but i was pretty drunk honestly and didn't pay him no mind. there have been various little tv/film offers but i've never really looked into them, maybe i should!


Q:

Hey!! I saw you on my bachelorette trip to Coney Island last year. I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (connective tissue disorder, dislocate a lot among other things) and after going multiple times you were my favorite act simply for the awareness for OI you made sure to raise at the same time. Just wanted to say thanks for what you do.

My real question- you might have answered and I missed it, but what is scheduling like when dealing with chronic pain and the flares/brain fog that can come with it? Do you try to keep the schedule flexible or is it pretty much impossible in this type of performance and you just power through it?

A:

hi! glad you had fun! see you again in coney sometime? the ask me anything is so fun to do at coney. oh oh and congrats on your marriage (that is if you went through with it.. you did right? omg i'm so nervous)

scheduling isn't that flexible.. weed helps power through it. #420blessed. i think my brain is always kinda pain foggy so i'm used to it.. maybe the foggyness helps the psychedelicness. hand in hand type stuff.

p.s. i know a bunch of people with eds.. they're stretchy.. some of their brains are even stretchier.. it's why i love them


Q:

In the movie "Bizarre" you are listed as girl. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3904272/fullcredits Was this you? I remember your face from the other german documentary, and maybe some SXSW show. I guess.

A:

that totally is me! but i don't know how to change the imdb listing, do you? i am not a girl. i used to spend a lot of time in the bizarre bar in bushwick.. they made me their king, and i ruled with a velvet fist. i haven't seen the film though, am i good in it?

and yeah! i was in a german documentary called "bleeding clowns", is that what you maybe saw me in? i've never done sxsw, not yet at least


Q:

I'll try to change it. You need to have an account there.

If you never were at SXSW it must have been the German movie, which played at the Berlinale. I think the french about the Brooklyn club was also at the Berlinale.

A:

thanks!! that'd be awesome if you figure out how to change it.

that's pretty cool that both of those films were show there. the german one happened backstage before our show that night. and the french/bizarre one if a really cool bar in nyc that i perform at


Q:

Philly here - going to come see you in February!

I was just wondering if you’re familiar with This Way to the Egress? They’re a great act from Bethlehem, and you seem to run in the same circles. Anyway...I dig your music! See you soon!

A:

hi! yep, i met them once at some show, honestly can't remember what show but their music was cool! see you february!


Q:

Does the recent change in YouTube policy for monetization affect you as a musician or how you will use YouTube in the future?

BTW this is fun. I just came across your music this morning and love it

A:

it does affect me, they're de-monetizing my account unless i get 1000 subscribers. but i haven't really made any money on youtube before (i think my youtube account has like $1.50 haha) so it really just makes me want to get better at youtubing.

thanks!! enjoy! speaking of youtube, the 12 music videos my wife and i made last year are all up on my youtube!


Q:

[deleted]

A:

thanks! glad you dig the tunes! and hey, i agree with you on the more listens thing

navigating as a short dude.. umm, i try to avoid the farts.. but i do get to see some damn fine butts. butts are nice. damnit now i'm thinking about butts, what was your question? oh yeah, i look at the ground a lot, trying not to hit a big bump and flip over or run over someones foot to where they trip and fall on me. i am cautious of falling drunk people. they fall a lot.

personally i go the weed route. meditation is cool, it can help. find something fun and to distract yourself. distraction is key to not being overcome by pain. good luck! i'm still thinking about butts btw


Q:

why are you doing an ama?

A:

because people have questions. i clearly look different, and people wonder about people who look different. people wonder about cripples, i hear the whispers, i see the stares, so why not allow people to ask the questions behind the safety of the anon internet? i want people to understand, to learn, to get shit off their chest instead of just assuming things and staring.

i'm doing an ama because i'm not scared to answer the real questions honestly. because nothing is too far or too much to say to me. because i won't be offended or scared of the truth.

because i want to help the cripple revolution but i'm too lazy to goto a march or a protest.. so i create my own protest.


Q:

Huh, I don't know what I was expecting from how you described your music but it certainly wasn't what I heard. Very pleasantly surprised though, love it! If I have one question it would be how has your disability impacted your music, if at all?

A:

what did you expect? how would you describe it?

i think my disability impacts my life in all ways because it's part of me, but directly to music, it probably is the reason i play guitar the way i do (with the guitar flat like a slide guitar but played with my thumb instead of a slide)