Palisadian Matthew Del Negro to Release Book About Overcoming Rejection in Late October
By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
The last time the Palisadian-Post checked in with Matthew Del Negro, it was late 2018 and the Via Mesa resident was in the midst of releasing episodes of his podcast, “10,000 NOs”—based on the concept of how many times he has been told “no” during the course of his career and kept going anyway.
Now, Del Negro is preparing for the release of his forthcoming book of the same name, slated to debut October 27.
“It’s hard to even quantify or think about it,” he shared when asked what has progressed over the past couple of years. “I started the podcast in 2017 and that was when I was on a downtick from ‘Scandal.’ I had been working on ‘Scandal’ and whatever happened with my story line, it kind of went away, and that was the spark that made me say I’m going to start this thing that is my own.”
Del Negro, who has TV credits on shows like “Goliath,” “The West Wing” and “The Sopranos,” shared that in the beginning of the podcast, it was literally him, his laptop and a microphone—and from that, it grew organically.
“I ended up shifting my mindset as a result of sitting down with all of these incredible people and hearing their stories,” Del Negro shared, “and I think it kind of rubbed off on me, what was possible, how I could overcome looking at my own rejections.”
Enter the book deal, which also was an organic result of the work Del Negro was already putting in.
One of Del Negro’s weekly guests was multi-best-selling business and finance author John Gordon, who an old lacrosse teammate of Del Negro’s at Boston College introduced him to.
“He came here, I interviewed him, we hit it off,” Del Negro recalled. “About eight months later, he said his daughter was considering acting and would I sit down with her and talk with her about the realities of that?
“So he flew his daughter here to the Palisades and we sat in front of Estate Coffee, and I kind of gave her the good, the bad and the ugly of being an actor.”
One week later, Del Negro had written an e-book, based on a speech he had given at an event, that he planned on giving away through his website. He sent it to Gordon with a message to share it with his daughter.
“So that’s all, I kind of sent it off to him, not really thinking about it, and the next day, he texted me back and said this is awesome, change this, move this, get rid of this and email it to my publishers at Wiley, and I was like what?” Del Negro recalled with a laugh. “That ended up leading to a lunch meeting in Hoboken, New Jersey, with the editor-in-chief there, and he said he was interested in me doing a book.”
From there, he wrote a book proposal and the book, which he described as a rewarding experience in itself.
“Regardless of what happens with it, I feel like I’ve already kind of reaped a lot of the benefits just by writing it,” he added.
Now that the book, “10,000 NOs: How to Overcome Rejection on the Way to your YES,” is nearing its publication date, Del Negro shared that, given the personal anecdotes and experiences he shares throughout it, the prime audience would be actors—but really, the themes are much more universal than that.
“The crux of the book is not specific to my industry, even though a lot of my stories from my journey happen to be in my industry,” Del Negro explained. “It’s really for anyone who is feeling knocked down at the moment, anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed or stuck, or like they weren’t prepared for the uncertainty.”
Funny enough, Del Negro wrote the book before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but the themes of uncertainty are even more pertinent as the world
begins to navigate the “new
“10,000 NOs” incorporates stories from sports, growing up, lessons learned—all backed by tidbits and quotes Del Negro has collected from guests who range from Henry Winkler to Mark Duplass, Suzy Batiz (CEO of Poo-Pourri), Heath Evans (Super Bowl champion) and more.
“It’s kind of wide ranging,” Del Negro said. “Anybody who has been dealt a really big blow and is feeling like they’re contemplating giving up or they don’t know how they’re going to get back up on the horse.”
He shared that it was important for him to write the book to help people realize they are not alone, that it’s easy in this day and age, with Instagram and Facebook feeds, for people to consume content and think that person has made it or that they don’t have problems.
“What I know to be true, not only for my own journey, but also from sitting down with so many people and talking about their journeys,” Del Negro shared, “is that everybody has a story, everybody has some issue that they are dealing with, some challenge, and I don’t want people out there feeling like they’re alone in those challenges. So, the book is for those people and it’s for myself to remember because I’m constantly relearning that lesson every day.”
For Del Negro, who is returning to the East Coast to resume filming following several months of COVID-19 shutdown, the pandemic has meant more time at home in the Palisades. He was in New York City, filming season two of “City on a Hill” with Kevin Bacon when things began to close.
“I just leaned into the fact that I was here, I had a podcast, which can be done remotely,” Del Negro recalled. “We pivoted with the podcast and started doing Zoom interviews. I did a bunch of Instagram Lives, talking about all of these themes because it’s what I’ve been talking about for three years: perseverance, resilience, dealing with uncertainty.”
He shared that distance learning with a 10- and 13-year-old has been challenging, but that overall, he feels lucky to have the Palisades as his home base.
“We have space, we’re near the ocean, we have computers,” he said. “We’re very, very fortunate, and still it’s been a rough bump in the road.”
He shared that he was able to teach his son how to surf, and is now working on getting his daughter into it as well.
“To me, it almost got our kids to go back to more of the childhood experience that I had growing up, which was riding our bikes around,” Del Negro said. “They couldn’t really do anything in the beginning and then it started to get to the point where they could go out and ride bikes if they had their mask and stayed distant.”
He shared that now that he’s returning to New York, he has mixed emotions leaving behind the family time for up to several months—but that he’s excited to get back to work.
For more information or to preorder the book, visit matthewdelnegro.com/book.
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