NYC: Ten Years In Review

Ten years ago, on January 13, 2008, I moved to New York City (from Boulder, CO via Franklin, TN) with no job into a room that was approximately 8’x10′ in size, so my lofted bed filled literally the room with no way to walk without going under it. It was by 153rd st in Harlem. Several friends helped me build my bed then took me out to a “secret bar” in Manhattan called Please Don’t Tell for drinks making the first day exceptionally special.

The very first night it was surprisingly so hot that I then couldn’t even sleep in my lofted bed and spent the whole night under it on the floor trying to stay cool. I was so worried that I had made a terrible mistake and was so scared to return the rental truck the next morning because it would mean it would be so much harder to leave.

Luckily three days later, the terror subsided and I started to feel at home (and had figured out how to rig a fan to blow across the top of my bed).

It took me 1.5 years to figure out how to really pay my bills regularly, and I filled the gap with tons of strange odd jobs and credit card debt, while I spent most of my free time trying to direct as many projects & comedy sketches as I could. Which really meant “I’ll shoot & edit your projects myself for free, so I can say that I ‘directed’ them. That’s cool, right?”

After a few years, I started to get paid tiny amounts of money to do videos or help with friends’ sketches, which began to make me a professional.

Since then, I’ve made commercials for Mountain Dew in my dining room, traveled to the Super Bowl for Captain Morgan, watched a music video premiere for the first time on live TV on Logo, had sketches air on Comedy Central, worked for Google, directed a music video for Lil Jon (of which I’m probably the last guy you’d pick to direct one), gotten to make a music video for one of my favorite artists from when I was in high school, that Rolling Stone then picked as one of it’s top 10 music videos from the entirety of 2014 (which is still incredible to me), traveled all over the US shooting spots with some of NFLs biggest stars, been to West Africa & Costa Rica, been hired by Stephen Colbert to direct web videos for the show the followed David Letterman, in the same theater no less, which then started to be put on air and brought me into television!

And am now directing sketches for the #1 late night show in America, and getting to meet (& work with) some of the biggest celebrities, got to attend the Emmys, and shortly will be joining the Director’s Guild of America.

I’ve lived in three out of NYC’s five boroughs: Harlem (two blocks from a view of Yankee Stadium), two different neighborhoods in Brooklyn (Park Slope & Prospect Heights), and now Sunnyside in Queens.

And have gotten to spend all of the time in a relationship Kelsey Fox Bennett, a wonderful woman who’s been challenging me to grow and feel more of my feelings every day (and MAN, people. Has the last year been about emotional growth almost more than ANYTHING! Dealing with my feelings of loss and my dad’s death for the first time in almost 25 years. Whew!)

It’s been a big crazy ten years, and I can’t believe I’ve been on so many wonderful adventures, with the help and affections of so many of you.

Thank you so much for your friendship and all of your support. I hope that I can repay you. Here’s to the next wonderful 10 years. I can’t wait to see what happens in this one!