Limit Breaker: Rupert Noffs

  • Posted by Jamie|
  • on September 23rd, 2014|

I meet Rupert in what feels like a life time ago, but I still remember the first moment I meet him. His a little different, and he uses that to truly be himself. His attitude to life is amazing, full of energy and possibilities, he is someone you would want in your life.

So, I was stoked that he took the time to give one entertaining, raw and honest interview. Below he hands you himself, and it will inspire and move you. Rupert has achieved some amazing things in life, such as inviting Royalty to come meet him, which they did…

Enjoy meeting this true Limit Breaker!

Rupert Noffs

What does limitless living mean for you?

It means being fearless. Being Grateful, every day. Pushing boundaries. Doing things differently. Never comparing yourself to others. In the culture we live in right now – it’s all about ‘FAME’. Everyone is obsessed with Kim Kardashian and reality TV – which is all fake and scripted by produces to get ratings. Young people look at this on TV and try and emulate it. It’s so toxic. Fast cars, fancy hotels, expensive champagne… that’s all surface stuff. It’s not real. Sure, it can be fun but it really doesn’t make you truly happy. I’ve known people who lease expensive cars but don’t have a home to live in.

I love doing things that scare me – say for instance, doing stand up comedy. How fucking scary would THAT be!

Saying “I love you” to the people you care about is important. I end every phone call to my friends and family with “Love you!” and when I see them or text them. It’s nice, I think. I don’t agree with people who say you shouldn’t overuse the word LOVE. I say it all day, every day. LOVE never runs out. It was here from the beginning and it’s all we’ll ever have.

I also never think about what people think of me – I it’s really important to not care – never over think. People aren’t concerned about you. They’re concerned about themselves. If something makes you happy and individual and unique – do it. I also think it’s really important to never take yourself too seriously – sure, take your work seriously – but never believe your own publicity. I’ve seen so many people having some success, then take themselves so seriously. They can’t laugh at themselves. Those people aren’t cool to be around.

I just completed a week course of Transcendental Meditation at The David Lynch Foundation. I was given a mantra by a teacher and I have been practicing it for 2 weeks now. 20 minutes twice a day. I have noticed a huge shift. Stressful situations go through me now. I love it. Each morning I wake up, meditate for 20 minutes, take shower, then make a silly face in the mirror. Life is hilarious and beautiful and silly and overwhelming – so have fun…enjoy it! If you feel like being silly in public – be silly. You’re not going to see those people again, and if you do, they’ll remember you as being the fearless one!

What has been your biggest challenge in life where you were faced with limitation in some way? What supported you to move through it?

I always knew I was different when I was a kid. I went to an all boys school and I didn’t like sport. No one in my family follows sport. Being older now, I can appreciate some sport. So, of course I was bullied badly when I was younger. Punched, spat on, kicked and names yelled at me every day.

I did things that I loved. Art and Drama. I hated going to school so much, I would tell my parents I was sick and stay home from school and make movies by myself. My parents bought a VHS ‘Handy Cam’ when I was a kid. I was obsessed with making movies. About anything. I would make movies about flying kettles (with string hanging from the balcony) and would even dress up and be the stunt double for my friends! HAHA! Then, when my parents were home from work, I would make them watch my movies. I started getting all the leads in the plays and musicals.

Some kids would come and see me perform and say things like “Rups, you were awesome in that show last night!” Even some teachers would say: “Rupert I understand you have a play tonight so do what you can with the homework.” I couldn’t believe it! One year I was asked to sing at the end of year ‘Speech Day’ at Sydney Opera House. It was a solo. Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Being Alive’ with a full orchestra. Surprisingly, I wasn’t nervous. I wanted to show everyone what MY talent was. I may not have known how to throw a ball, but I knew how to hit a note …and hold it. I got a standing ovation. The next year at school, I felt like a rock star. All my bullies would high five me. Literally, on the first day back, people yelled out “Noffs! Noffs! You’re amazing!” I was invited to all the ‘cool parties’ and the coolest guy in school would ask me to sing all the time.

My HSC Art Movie was also selected for Art Express at The National Art Gallery of NSW and shown at NYU Directors Program for a years. So, I guess all those days off school making stupid films paid off. Actually, I still get my school bullies wanting to be my friend on Facebook. No, thanks!

Today, as an adult, I still find myself fighting off bullies. A lot in New York City. I’ve had to deal with a few bullies working in my adult life – but, I just don’t take it. I give it back to them. You earn their respect and they shut up. HA!

How often do you follow your intuition/gut feel in life? Why?

I always follow my intuition. I can usually sense when something is right or not right and I act accordingly. I know some people who live in their own bubble and have no clue what’s going on around them. I love working in a team. I love coming up with a new idea and acting on it. In business, having an opinion in so important.That’s one thing you need – especially in the fashion industry. You can’t second guess. You have to stick to an idea and run with it – and make sure people understand your vision.

From designing sneakers – like I did with Gideon Shoes (we had many designers in our team – but from day one, I knew exactly how they should look, so I made my point and opinion be heard – and I listened to other people’s ideas and opinions too!) People respect someone who know how to take lead. I don’t understand people who can’t make a decision. It really frustrates me. If you’re in a position where you have to lead, grab it by the balls and take command of the situation. When I see people take lead, I love it! I think that’s the New Yorker in me! HAHA!

 So what is it that you absolutely love to do in life? Can you describe how you feel and the space you’re in when you’re doing it?

I love many things in life. I love having dinner with family and friends – cooking for my boyfriend of 10 years, who’s a Private Chef here in New York. I love singing – either on stage or by myself. I love designing. I love reading blogs and books. I love social media. I love to travel…and when I do, I spend days researching about airlines and hotels.

That’s one thing my friends will tell you I’m very good at – knowing what airline to fly (even what seat to chose) and which hotel to stay at. I guess I’m a travel nerd. I love talking to my mum and dad and my baby nieces in Australia. I just spent a month with my nieces and it was heaven. The way they said “Uncle Roo! Cuddles?” every minute. I love taking my dog to the ‘dog run’ in East Village every day. All these things make me feel Whole. My soul is content and happy.

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? 

I’d say 10. I was 10 for a few years. After 9, I loved becoming ‘double digits’. So, I would tell people I was 10 for many years. I still am 10 in my head. It’s a nice round number. Haha!

What does living from your heart mean to you and do you find it easy to express how you feel? 

Living from my heart means loving everything I do. My cup runneth over. Helping others when I can. Many young people – especially young gay Aussie dudes contact me for help. It’s the most wonderful feeling being at that point in life when you can help others. It was tough for me when I was a kid. Some people think I just stepped into my family’s work. I didn’t. I travelled and worked around the world. I was an entertainer of a Cruise Ship in England (where I met my partner. He was the DJ! Haha!) I was a check-out chick at K-Mart, I was a switch bitch at a leading PR Agency, a retail assistant at a vintage clothing store – I took all of this experience and brought it into my work at Noffs Foundation. I set up thrift stores, organized fundraisers with some of Australia’s biggest celebrities.

Someone once said to me: “We are all dust.” That hit home and made me realize it didn’t matter if someone says “NO”. Keep pushing. There are bigger things than you and I. People are suffering all over the world. It could always be worse. So do things with all your heart. Love what you do and remember we are just dust and death conquers all – I know that sounds morbid but it’s actually quite beautiful – you want to live each day to the full. Don’t worry. Be happy. Worry is the product of a feverish imagination.

I always express how I feel. Absolutely. Sometimes it gets me into trouble or puts peoples noses out of joint, but I’m sure they’ll get over it. I’m not hurting anyone – I think speaking the truth is so important.

What do you love most about yourself?

I love how I can make people laugh. Seeing someone laugh in my face pretty cool.

What’s the biggest lie you once believed was true?

Santa Claus. The bastards!

Do you ask questions, or do you just settle for what you know?

I used to NEVER ask questions. I was the kid in school who used to think i’d sound stupid if I asked a silly question. Now, I find myself asking all the questions. I like to know details. It’s so important to be curious. It’s one of my current sayings, actually: “I have a question!” …True story!

So lets say in this moment you are totally limitless, free and happy. What would you love to do next?      

I would learn acrobatics, go buy a rad costume, steal from the rich and give to the poor. Oh, and do stand up comedy.

Who Is Rupert?

After stints at Drama School (NIDA) and Music School (The Conservatorium of Music), Rupert began working in Fashion and Public Relations, after finding the ‘audition scene’ soul destroying.

Rupert brought his knowledge and experience of the fashion and business when he joined The Noffs Foundation, a charity for kids at risk, where he was first employed as a receptionist working his way up to Development Director. Rupert has strategically managed all Communications, Events, PR, Marketing, Branding and Fundraising for the Australian charity.

In 2008, Rupert co-founded Gideon Shoes. Made from Cane Toad & Kangaroo skins, Gideon is considered the world’s first Australian made, charity owned sneaker label. The profits of Gideon go directly back to Noffs Foundation’s ‘Street University’. Rupert rebranded the charity – including the thrift stores by recruiting fashion students to work in the store – ‘deconstructing and reconstructing’ old clothes.

In 2010, Rupert invited HRH Prince William Duke Of Cambridge, and The Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, to see the work of The Noffs Foundation. Both Prince William and The Prime Minister of Australia accepted Rupert’s request. The event received world-wide media coverage.

Rupert currently lives in New York City with his fiancé, Chef Matty Bee. They just got married in Central Park in late September. He is working on a specialized shoe business school for street kids and a new ‘food & fashion’ concept space launching in 2015.

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