My career started earlier than most—at around age five.
When I was a little kid, I loved to draw—and I was good. My mom explained that I could one day make a living at it, not as a painter or fine artist, but as a “commercial artist”—the guys who designed billboards and magazine ads. If you had asked me in kindergarten what I wanted to be when I grew up, that’s what I would’ve told you. Not a fireman, or an astronaut, or a baseball player. A commercial artist. And I became one—only ten years later.
At 15, I got my first job as a part-time apprentice in a typesetting shop, where I was able to start exploring some of the skills I had picked up in my commercial art classes at Passaic County Technical High School in Wayne, New Jersey. PCT was a county-run trade school for future auto mechanics and draftsmen (i.e., the kids not headed for college), but I wanted into their commercial art program so badly that my folks persuaded them to overlook my A average and let me in. Less than a year later, I landed that first job. It was entry-level, but on the first working day of my life I was lucky enough to be a professional artist. And, in one way or another, that’s what I’ve been ever since.
When I graduated high school, I had my pick of full scholarships to several of the top art colleges around the country. I bypassed them all to go directly into freelance practice.
Fast-forward 20 years later and that practice grew into one of the hottest graphic design boutiques in New Jersey, where I was the CEO and Creative Director and had a dozen people working for me. I was Don Draper (only without the adultery and cigarettes).
But along the way, I had picked up another love—the performing arts. I made ads by day, but dreamed of movies, TV and Broadway by night. I took film classes at NYU and absorbed every book, seminar and trade magazine I could find. While my colleagues were reading Ad Age, I subscribed to Variety. I made a short film. I wrote a feature-length screenplay.
Finally, I decided to make a break. I sold my agency and took the leap full-time into the work that I now love more than anything. And I haven’t looked back. Some days I’m a writer, others I’m a producer. Or a director. And now and then, still a graphic designer. (It comes in handy, especially when marketing my own projects.) But every day, I’m a storyteller, which is essentially the same job I fell in love with when I was a little kid drawing all those pictures.
March 9, 2014
Congrats to the entire cast, crew, producing and creative team for another stellar, sold-out run of this little gem of a musical comedy at Stage72. Here’s to bringing it back soon! To all friends who came out and supported it, “Thank you!” And if you didn’t, we’ll just have to get it up and running ... Read full post
September 3, 2013
July 24, 2013
I’m thrilled to announce the full cast for the upcoming NY premiere of Two Point Oh. It is stellar! Headlining as Elliot Leeds is Jack Noseworthy (Sweet Smell of Success); portraying his wife, Melanie, will be Karron Graves (Coram Boy); Ben Robbins will be played by James Ludwig (Spamalot); Antoinette ... Read full post
May 30, 2013
A Christmas Story, The Musical received 3 Tony nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Joseph Robinette) and Best Original Score (Benj Pasek & Justin Paul). Tune in Sunday night, June 9th for the Tony Awards and root for Ralphie!
May 30, 2013
Veteran Broadway and Hollywood actor Jack Noseworthy will be starring in the NY premiere of Two Point Oh this October! Jack is an amazing and gifted actor who will doubtless bring Elliot Leeds to life as never before. This production gets more exciting by the day!
Check out Jack’s official website here.
Equally exciting are ... Read full post
May 30, 2013
Wow. What a stellar design team director Michael Unger has assembled for the upcoming fall production of Two Point Oh at 59E59 in New York.
May 30, 2013
On April 29th, the Florida Studio Theatre in Sarasota, FL hosted a staged reading of Two Point Oh as part of their new play series—a proving ground for works that they consider for full mainstage productions in the upcoming season. The production was a hit by any measure, with a near sold-out crowd offering ... Read full post
May 30, 2013
I’m very pleased to announce that my play, Two Point Oh, will receive it’s New York premiere on October 4, 2013 at 59E59 Theaters. This will a full production—not a staged reading—and it will be directed by Michael Unger, who directed the play’s very successful workshop at the Lark Play Development Center ... Read full post
February 20, 2013
We wrapped principal photography on Daemon_9 and it was an amazing, fun-filled, creative shoot. Much kudos and thanks to our Unit Production Manager/1st A.D. Shanele Alvarez who assembled and ran a stellar crew that included production designer Mel Huffman; gaffer Kara Kieffer; sound crew Nicole Zwiren, Michael Eagle-Hall and Jason Kubota; costume designer ... Read full post
September 11, 2014
Wow, it’s been six months since I posted anything on my blog—bad blogger!—but it’s been the craziest half-year in a long time. First of all, I’ve relocated across the country to that film and TV mecca Los Angeles. (Actually, I’m in Glendale, just northeast of Hollywood. “Swimming pools… no movie stars.”) Funny, when I was ... Read full post
November 25, 2013
I’ve been waiting for national healthcare for a long time. I’ve been self-employed for my entire adult life, which means I’ve been stuck with insurance plans that paled in comparison to those enjoyed by friends and family who worked for major corporations. I’ve never had dental or eye care. And the last 10 years, ... Read full post
October 23, 2013
One of my inspirations for Two Point Oh was the amazing, stratospheric wealth of Bill Gates. Comedian Gary Gulman puts it in hilarious perspective in this clip. Enjoy. And check out his other bits on iTunes.
August 26, 2013
Anyone who’s interested in sorting myth from fact in some essential scientific questions facing us today should check out this excellent BBC documentary. Only an hour of your time to gain key insight into everything from climate change to the safety of genetically-modified foods to claims that AIDS is not caused by HIV. Hosted by ... Read full post
July 31, 2013
I have a fondness for cover songs—remakes of famous tunes—and the more obscure the “coverer,” the better. Today I was listening to an internet radio station that specialized in Beatles oddities, and I heard this track by a duo named Jette-Ives. This reimagining of the ... Read full post
July 9, 2013
While watching the Mets-Giants game into the wee hours last night, I was struck by how many cool, interesting names pro athletes tend to have. On one field last night there was Buster Posey, Hunter Pence, Ike Davis, John Buck, Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler, and two guys who ... Read full post
July 2, 2013
For all my film industry friends (or for anyone who just loves movies), this was a great article in this weekend’s Arts+Leisure section of the Times about the decision process behind the making of a Hollywood blockbuster:
June 19, 2013
June 13, 2013
June 10, 2013
No, I didn’t attend. These observations come from the comfort of my NJ living room:
June 1, 2013
From last year’s Broadway hit One Man, Two Guv’nors “The Ballad of Ted and Calista.” This show wasn’t really a musical, but a play with music. And the music was brilliant! Retro-60′s-British-invasion rock-n-roll a la early Beatles, Kinks, and the skiffle and ska crazes of ... Read full post
May 30, 2013
“Please give us a simple answer, so that we don’t have to think, because if we think, we might find answers that don’t fit the way we want the world to be.”
—Terry Pratchett in Nation
May 30, 2013
“Thanks, you guys!” “How’re you guys doing today?” “Anything I can get for you guys?” I would welcome such cheery politeness if I were, in fact, being addressed while among a group of men. But in each instance, I was with my wife. My wife could be mistaken for many things, but trust me—male is ... Read full post
May 1, 2013
According to a recent study, 94% of Americans now have at least four tattoos larger than an average dinner plate. My main problem with the tattoo is permanence. On TV, I saw a death row inmate who had a large swastika emblazoned on his stomach. Large. Like, continued-on-his-back large. But then he found Jesus, turned ... Read full post
April 1, 2013
Baseball season is underway and my buddies are all excited about their teams. Not the actual teams, but their fantasy baseball teams. They’re good and rested since the close of the fantasy football season and feel ready to give 110% (none of them being astute enough to realize this is mathematically impossible.) For those of ... Read full post
February 1, 2013
“Hi, Dave!” I said, shaking Dave’s hand. Dave does an uncomfortable little double-take. He always does when I call him by his first name, even though I’ve known him for years. Maybe it’s because Dave’s an orthopedist and I’m a shirtless patient in his examination room. This is my personal healthcare reform plan—I call doctors ... Read full post