My first twenty-three years were spent braving the intolerable, freezing, maelstrom known as Winter in New England. But one summer day in 2003, I opened a dusty, old shoebox that was buried in the back of my closet, and found the very first cassette tape my mom allowed me to buy with my own money: Beach Boys “California (And Other) Girls”. I was transfixed with the blonde woman in the bikini on the cover. My mom was not impressed with my reasoning for the purchase. But it was my allowance money, after all. I was eight.
By the time I was 12, I was crushing power chords on my cherry red Rok Axe guitar in the basement, and by 14, I formed my first rock band as a freshman in high school. In college, I was writing more complex pieces on my acoustic and penning lyrics in journals beside the prose and poetry I wrote (and still do) nightly. The post-college days had me writing and performing throughout New England with my first “adult” band. But on the precipice of my twenty-fourth icy winter, when I fatefully found that Beach Boys tape that seemed to emanate sunshine from the shoebox, I decided to pack my guitars, tighten my belt, and drive across eleven states to sunny California. Possibly in search of that blonde in the bikini...though you didn't hear that from me. I was 23.
Since then, I have poured my musical creativity into a handful of projects which are detailed in the musician portion of this site. Highlighted by performances across the US and Europe with my band Beware of Safety, I have achieved personal goals and successes over which my 12-year-old self would totally freak out.
In 2010, my brother and sister-in-law gave me a 120mm film camera for Christmas which inspired me to shoot photographs, and eventually I purchased a Canon DSLR to expand my visual range. I have been popping off shots ever since and my desire to experiment in a visual art has turned into a pursuit of photographic documentation of my travels around the world as well as of the world just beyond my doorstep. I also cultivated my appreciation for and dedication to the English language and began sharing my work (personal essays, prose, and the like) publicly in 2011. Select pieces have been published on Thought Catalog, and I won a competition at MusicJobs.com with a piece I wrote about, you guessed it, music.
On September 11, 2012, while penning the best man’s speech to end all best man speeches for my dearest friend’s approaching nuptials, I was struck by the first of two strokes which would stricken me to the ICU me for eight days and leave me with a permanent, but highly manageable, blind spot. Three weeks later, I delivered the aforementioned epic speech -- which didn’t seem to end best man’s speeches everywhere, much to the delight of millions of grooms worldwide -- to an enraptured audience of my friends’ families, and all of our friends. I’ve written essays about my strokes here, here, and here.
In January 2016, after a whole bunch of world travel and forging bonds with strangers who've become friends (there's that lovely word again), I decided to quit my job, sell and donate my things, and give myself over to the affable embrace of the world by traveling the earth for an undetermined amount of time. I am moving towards something greater than myself to uncover something great within myself. I don't know what I will find, I don't know what will come next, but I know that my trust in the inhabitants of this planet, and in my own self, will allow me to plant the seeds for the next phase of my life to become a greater contributor to humanity's progress.
You may have noticed a link up there in the header that hasn't yet been explained in this gigantic about me section. That would be my main focus in 2017, a still portrait/podcast project that I host called Five Questions. I started this project to explore the oneness of humanity by asking what I think are life's bigger questions that focus on the way a person thinks, the way they feel, and their core values. Five Questions is one of those seeds that's beginning to blossom.
I spend the majority of my free time taking inspiration from family (especially my niece and nephew), friends, music, and films, as well as reading the never-ending throng of articles about my beloved Boston Red Sox.