WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
When I was 13, I was a terrible busboy at a terrible diner in East Hampton, but that lasted two days. My first steady job was at this great little record store — that lasted through most of high school. But then it closed, so I became a cabana boy at a country club. Then I cleaned celebrity pools.
WHAT LED YOU ON THE PATH YOU’RE ON TODAY?
I was highly unmotivated in high school. That doesn’t explain why I’m on a certain path, but it helps explain why I like to write. Sometimes I would barely brush up on the topics of essay assignments for class. Instead, I spent my time writing the coolest introductory paragraphs I could. My teachers thought it was entertaining, and sometimes I even got good grades. For them, it was probably a nice break from, “Throughout history…”.
Advertising came into the picture when my ad-majoring roommate convinced me to try it out. I was already studying psychology and it seemed like a complimentary match.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AD (ALL TIME OR CURRENTLY)?
Can’t say I have an all-time favorite, but (surprise) there are a million amazing Nike spots. One favorite that’s lesser-known is called “Bad Listener.”
Of somewhat more recent stuff, I think Puma’s “After Hours Athlete” is one of the best written spots ever. Speaks the truth.
IF YOU NEVER HAD TO WORK AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO DO?
Start a basketball league with my friends and play every day.
FAVORITE PLACE YOU’VE BEEN TO?
New York is my favorite place. Besides that, Key Biscayne, San Diego, and Saugatuck, Michigan.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION?
The necklace I wear every day. It’s an exact replica of my previously most prized possession, which is sadly now buried in Floridian sand. It’s half a Maria Theresia Taler coin with a bible passage and the date my parents met on the back. That by itself doesn’t mean much, but when my dad was 19 and working in a jewelry store he made it for my mom. He’s since passed away. After it got lost on the beach, my sister’s now husband, a jeweler, made an exact replica of the half I had and gave it to me for Christmas. My sister has the other, original half.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE YOUTUBE VIDEO?
Oh, I don’t know. Maybe this one:
WHAT’S SOMETHING YOU MAKE REALLY WELL?
Does this mean food? I haven’t purchased groceries since I graduated from college. Whoops.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE WARM-WEATHER NYC ACTIVITY?
Concerts in Prospect Park, and the beach back in my hometown, East Hampton.
WHAT’S YOUR GO TO KARAOKE SONG? (COME ON, WE KNOW YOU HAVE ONE).
I’ve never conquered the mic at karaoke. But if I ever do, it will probably be something by Billy Joel.
WHAT’S THE BEST MEAL YOU’VE EVER HAD?
I don’t know if there’s an answer for this one. Maybe the chicken parm from Randazzo’s in Coral Gables, before it went down hill and eventually closed. The home cooked award probably has to go to my grandma’s thanksgiving lasagna.
IF YOU COULD BE THE WORLD RECORD HOLDER OF ANYTHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE CREATIVE PURSUIT?
I’d like to design furniture.
WHAT’S THE LAST GREAT EVENT YOU WENT TO?
Sufjan Stevens in Prospect Park over the summer. There were giant beach balls, an epic art video show, whackywavinginflatablearmflailingtubemen, ridiculous dancing and costumes, and great music. It was raining an absurd amount and I was not dressed accordingly.
WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?
“It’s about people, not places.”
WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE STORY?
I competed in the National Student Advertising Competition during my senior year. We had to develop a campaign for JCPenney — everything from research to creative. At one point in that long process, our professors threatened to fail the whole class. They didn’t, and we eventually beat out 150+ colleges and won the entire thing.