Saturday, September 10, 2011


Last weekend I began conversing with a friend of mine who expressed their ultimate desire about breaking into the entertainment industry, but who was convinced that doing so was a mistake, that obtaining work would be impossible and thus, it would not be worth pursuing. I was flabbergasted, shell-shocked, floored. I could not believe that this person's dreams were being squashed by the only person who has the power to make them come true; himself.

Of course, my dream since age eight was to break into the industry as well and in 15 years I have only made 2 films, both of which were low budget, and one of which was under 10 minutes long. Big deal. I still haven't lost sight of my goals and though it has taken years to get this far, and may take additional years to get even a bit further, I'd rather spend my life doing what I like, pursuing something I love, then spend it bored, settled, and devoid of all passion and love.

Imagine how many people are out there in the world, their dreams bursting at the seams, but who have too little self-confidence or drive to carry them out. There must be millions. And it's heartbreaking. Think about the one thing you want more than anything else. Now think about how it would feel never getting it. That feeling alone would make me want to do everything I could, just to try.

I am aware, however, that while shooting for your ultimate goal, there are distractions or perhaps great opportunities that veer you off of that path for your intended greatness, and I understand and respect that. But to not try at all because you think you won't make it? All that is doing is insulting yourself.

Keep your head held high and have the confidence to know if you want something bad enough, you'll eventually grab a hold of it.

If you have dreams, chase them; if you have setbacks, deal with them; if there is a person you love, do whatever you must to be with them, and if you really want something, it's never too far fetched. Life is all about trying to make your mark on the world and it's too short to be anything but happy.

Jitney Dreams and Tourist Desires

The other day was a monumental day for me because I rode the Hampton Jitney. Since I was just a wee tyke coming out here to vacation with my parents I would always marvel at the large green buses cruising the streets. Then, a couple of years ago, I fell in love with the word "jitney". Don't ask me why. But I finally had the chance to ride it.

First, I took the train into Manhattan for a commercial audition for the Food Network, and afterward booked myself a reservation on the Hamptons Express. My brother was very jealous too, him always being a fan from afar like myself.

However, waiting on 40th and Lexington, eagerly anticipating the arrival of the only form of public transportation I will ever enjoy, the Jit was late. Really late. Like a half hour late. And on my maiden voyage! I was upset, yes, but after I snuggled into the seat which thousands before me have rested their undoubtedly filthy legs and heads, I was happy. And I can't say I'm usually a fan of publicly used facilities. But the Jit was different. Plus, they fed me pretzels; an easy way into my heart anytime.

I'm going to borrow this line from Jerry Maguire: "Hampton JItney, you complete me". A little part of myself was completed, fulfilled. A dream of childhood reached.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Escape Artist

Lately I’ve been at a loss thinking about something to write about. I do not want this blog to be a shallow recounting of all the swanky events I attended and the VIPs I got to mingle with, because after a while, it would be boring to read.

While searching for something insightful and substantial to report, I was inspired when two of my friends from high school came to visit me this past weekend. Not only did they trigger an idea for a post, but they also made me ponder the idea of escapism and how I think everyone feels they need to escape something while they’re young.

I always prided myself on my cultured upbringing; I thought it was cool that I had lived in many different locations as a child, was able to vacation in places my friends didn’t, and was brought up to appreciate art and have an open mind about life in general. Foolishly, I thought this culture was reinforced by my family’s moving to West Deptford, New Jersey, but this weekend I realized what I think I knew all along; West Deptford is not the cultural epicenter of America. It was my parents who instilled that culture in me, not the town we lived in.

When my friends did come, we had a fun time, sure. We went to an ultra-exclusive party in East Hampton, to which we were ushered in on golf carts, and mingled with Susan Sarandon. However, one of my friends had serious reservations about the soiree because it was so different from anything she had experienced living in West Deptford her whole life. The other, I believe showed a meaner streak than usual because I think she was uncomfortable about being in the new setting. Therefore, the two stuck together in their unfamiliar whereabouts and, perhaps subconsciously, tried to make me feel bad for being here. You can take the girl out of West Deptford, but you can’t take the West Deptford out of the girl.

Their efforts, however, were in vain because I LOVE it here. WD will always be my home and I’ll forever feel some sense of pride in it, but I definitely do not plan on living there for the rest of my life. When I told them I was “not about” living in WD anymore, one thought I was crazy. But I need to escape.

Maybe it’s because I’m a guy and men usually want to branch out and start their own lives in a more drastic manner than girls – and, well, no, I really cannot make that sexist accusation because there are plenty of girls with the guts to move into a new setting and start a new life.

Truly I think it is because everyone feels an intrinsic obligation to escape their life when they’re young. And of course, it’s totally natural. You need to escape the life your parents built for you and strike out on your own. Leave the nest, if you will. And for me, growing up in West Deptford, I know that a lot of the people I attended high school with will be WD “lifers”. Nothing against that either, but isn’t it better to have a frame of mind in which you crave new experiences and want to see the world? Personally, I think it is. And from my experiences, a lot of people are afraid to do just that because of a fear of the unknown. And I feel sad for them. Sad, because I know they are so set in their ways I could never change their minds, and also sad that they won’t know a life outside the bubble they call home.

DISCLAIMER: Before all my West Deptford readers fire back at me, know that I am generalizing here and not speaking about any specific individuals.

Summer is ending and I think I feel this way because there is a question looming over my head about what I should do come September. My insides are bubbling with that escapist feeling and my mind’s hell-bent on branching out yet again on a new adventure. I just know that I can’t and go home and become another West Deptfordite. I just can’t.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Fourth (Part 2)

After my whirlwind weekend, the next day while working at Inlet, old friends Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn came in with their twins. Now when I say "old friends" I mean in this case, 2 extremely nice patrons who I met at the restaurant last summer and we exchanged a few conversations. So sue me for exaggerating...

However, to my astonishment, and bliss, the couple remembered my expert waitering skills from the previous year and warmly received me and asked me how my winter had been. I was beyond stoked! I have been watching these actors work since I was little and the fact that they remembered who I was absolutely made my day. Nay, my summer.

I had previously mentioned to them my aspirations for the silver screen and was happy to report that I had actually done some professional acting since our last meeting. They were thrilled. They exuded such enthusiasm about my projects, I was flattered. They treated me like I was an equal, a friend, and it reinforced my benevolent feelings toward them and made me respect them even more than I once had (if possible).

The pair of them are representative of the notion that even if you are in the public eye, it doesn't mean that you cannot be nice or genuine. They bring such a warm aura with them and their charisma is so infectious, it's not hard to understand why they have such a loyal fanbase.

We promised to keep in touch and that we would see each other again toward the end of the season.

This was probably the best Fourth of July I've ever had. Why can't every weekend be like this?

The Fourth (Part 1)

Pardon my short hiatus, but as usual I've been crazy busy. Since my last check-in, the Fourth of July happened, which as is commonplace in the Hamptons, was chock full of celebrities, excitement, and FUN.

I attended a cocktail party at Elie Tahari in East Hampton last Saturday which was held to celebrate a performance by Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, the bluegrass band, because they were performing at a local theater. The wine was free, the hors d'oeuvres delicious, and when a waiter had to get rid of the food on his tray, he always came straight to me, knowing I'd polish off the snack. And I always did.

Food aside, the real highlight was being able to meet Alec Baldwin. He strutted into the boutique with his entourage and I was able to snap a few pictures as well as have a chat with him. And because I am a film-loving fiend, I am always aware of new pictures that are in production. Thus, I asked Alec if he was excited to work with Woody Allen again on his latest project. He seemed baffled that I knew about the movie and asked if I was in the industry. Now that I have done 2 films, I can safely say that I am indeed "in" the industry and I slipped him my business card. And just for good measure, I also slipped him and extra that I told him to pass along to Woody. Alec laughed haughtily and promised me he would.

I made Alec Baldwin laugh. How cool?

After the event I jetted to Amagansett and met up with some GofG co-writers for the opening of the new restaurant, "Banzai Burger". After some drinks, we headed out to Montauk for the Ben Watts "Shark Attack Sounds" party where Naomi Watts and Liev Schriber were dancing the night away. It was a huge bash and was definitely THE Fourth of July party to attend in the Hamptons. Earlier that day I had seen fun-seekers flying into the Montauk airport just for the event. And I got to go!

All in all it was a successful weekend. However, little did I know, the next day was about to be even more satisfying...

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Smell the Roses

Lately, my life has been moving at a speed of approximately 500 mph; I'm working non-stop at Inlet, writing for Guest of a Guest, and have embarked on my newest exciting venture; doing work with the Montauk Playhouse.

It's hectic, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Last weekend I attended an after party at Georgica, in Wainscott, for the Artists Against Abuse Gala, which supports women exposed to domestic violence. I snapped some shots of the event, which you can check out here:

It's crazy how fast-paced life can be. When constantly go-go-going, you forget sometimes to relax and take in everything that's happening to you so you can appreciate it. Even if your life is wrought with the mundane tasks of your everyday, it's still important to find something worth being thankful for; just think, it could always be worse.

Thankfully, I have a lot to be thankful for at this particular juncture in my life. When your life is moving at the speed of sound and it seems like a beautiful whirlwind full of opportunity and blessings, take a step back. Know that at any moment, the rug could be pulled out from under you and it all could be stripped away. Be aware of the possibility of the mortality of your opportunities. That way, it will make you work three times as hard in order to carry out your duties and succeed.

This coming weekend is one of the Hampton's biggest: The Fourth of July. There will be events to cover, food to serve, and stories to write about. So stay tuned. You're not going to want to miss it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kicking Off In Style

The Hamptons have been keeping me busy lately, which is all well and good because sitting idly by and not taking part in life is not my bag, but I did miss out on a phenomenal beach day on Saturday due to work.

However, despite my work schedule and my habit of picking up extra hours, I also began writing for the website blog, Guest of a Guest (GofaG), specifically the Hamptons chapter. The publication highlights where-to-go, who’s-at-which-event, and publishes fun posts to keep readers “in the know” for the current Hamptons summer season.

So I slapped on my Hamptons-best and attended my first event through GofaG at the opening of Restoration Hardware in East Hampton. The kindly girl at the door took down my name on her list and cordially led me inside where 3 waiters with trays of champagne were waiting for me. I could get used to it. Throughout the evening, I interviewed workers and other guests about the shop, until around 7:30 when Molly Sims strutted in.

I was stoked. Save for Charlie O’Connell who had had lunch at the restaurant the other day, she was my first celeb this season. Before she left, I told her who I was and she shook my hand before graciously posing for a picture; not only is she stunningly attractive, she’s nice too.

As much as I loved covering the event, I realized that I don’t really want to be the reporter asking celebrities for pictures for the rest of my life, I just want to be friends with them and get the scoop because we’re tight. Is that so much to ask? Hopefully though if I get to frequent events like this one, my request may not be too far fetched; I’ll be able to establish a rapport! And that is what this summer is going to be about: networking and making connections so that come winter, I’ll have some leads.

I cannot stress enough how exciting working with GofaG is going to be. The staff seems great and the “work” is anything but work; it’s fun. Going to invite-only events and sipping champagne from Cipriani’s? I’ll take it. And I better find something to do after this summer is over because knowing me, I’m going to grow accustomed to this life of luxury and be rudely shocked by reality if I have to return to South Jersey.

Yeah, life could be worse…

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Return

Well, it’s official…

…I’m back! Back to the sandy, sun-soaked, beachside hamlets of The Hamptons for another summer season. (Cue music: The Boys are Back in Town) Once again I am working hard in one of Montauk’s finest restaurants, Inlet Seafood, which has already brought in the O’Connell family and will hopefully garner the attention of more celebrities as the season commences; a guy has to network after all…

This year I’ve come prepared with some snazzy new business cards which I plan to hand out in abundance to promote myself and I hope to be writing for some area publications if all goes according to plan.

I’ve only been back for a week, but as soon as I dropped my bags in my old digs and became settled, everything came rushing back to me. It feels like I never left. Probably, because a part of me never did leave, as I dreamt up summer fantasies throughout the entirety of winter to keep me warm.

Though summer is upon us, I’m determined to make this one count for something, make it worth my time. Last year was beyond amazing, don’t get me wrong, but I have to keep reminding myself that I am getting older and escaping reality every few months can only last for so long. I want this summer to be the one where I can really grab a hold of something and take off on another new adventure. I want to meet that person, or write that article, or have that summer romance that will blossom into the next chapter of my life.

As of now, I have some big plans come September, but who knows what will happen between now and then. As John Lennon famously said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”, so who knows…

I have however beefed up my acting resume since last year, completing 2 films, and also my writing one as well. But until my even bigger break, I’m (happily for now) waiting in the Hamptons!