The Bassoon King
Art, Idiocy, and Other Sordid Tales from the Band Room
For nearly a decade, Rainn Wilson endeared himself to millions on the hit NBC sitcom The Office, earning three Emmy nominations for his portrayal of fan favorite Dwight Schrute, an eccentric paper salesman with big dreams of being #2. As a speaker, Wilson channels the offbeat brilliance behind his on-screen characterizations, showing audiences that creativity isn’t just for artists. It’s for everyone.
“At points, The Bassoon King’s episodes read with the comparably startling, surreal and yet downright endearing outrageousness of an Augusten Burroughs or even David Sedaris essay.”— Paste Magazine
With notable roles on both the silver and small screen—think Juno, Star Trek: Discovery, Six Feet Under—Rainn Wilson also stars in Amazon’s buzzed-about revival of BBC4’s cult classic Utopia. But acting is just a part of this versatile artist’s creative output: also an entrepreneur, Wilson and two of his friends created the digital entertainment company SoulPancake. Taking a different approach in a web full of negative clickbait, SoulPancake’s slogan—“We make stuff that matters”—really resonates. It’s a positive, uplifting space where people from all walks of life question what it means to be human: a place to connect with the spiritual and creative journey we’re all on. Today, SoulPancake boasts over 4 million cross-platform fans, spawned the eponymous New York Times bestselling book, and presents vibrant live events: putting out timely, topical content with a philosophical twist, no matter the channel.
In his hilarious, insightful talks full of anecdotes and warmth, Wilson touches on subjects he knows well—like creativity, connection, and of course, office culture. How do you inspire employees with different talents and ambitions? What will stoke their creativity? What will suppress it? Wilson proves an amiable guide through the corporate struggles, teamwork challenges, human triumphs, and the very real “personalities” that inhabit your world. Relatable and illuminating, he finds universal lessons in the specifics of his fascinating (and sometimes fictional) life.
Also an author, Wilson’s memoir The Bassoon King : Art, Idiocy and Other Sordid Tales from the Band Room details his interesting upbringing, years as a band and drama geek, his time as a struggling stage actor in New York, to his eventual rise to The Office fame—and the spiritual reflection and reconnection that came with it. Called “an unsurprisingly funny and surprisingly poignant entry in the cavalcade of celebrity memoirs" by BookPage, Wilson’s writing perfectly captures his endearing quirks and oddball humor. Wilson and his wife, writer Holiday Reinhorn, also founded LIDÈ, an educational initiative that uses the arts and academic support to build resiliency and empower at-risk adolescent girls in rural Haiti.