The Gothic Period
One can never underestimate the profound impact our social networks have in our growth and development. In college and when I moved to New York, I was exposed to a whole new world of creative, underground, and alternative personalities. Always searching for new ways to define and understand who I really could be, not what I had always been, I adopted the English Romantics like Shelley, Keats and Blake as the archetypes in my quest. I did not want to only write poetry, I wanted to live poetically. I founded a Gothic clothing mail order catalog which provided a creative outlet to transform myself into this new sense of life. Velvet frock coats, poet shirts, chainmail and antique jewelry reproductions were the staples of the virtual shop. While not a huge financial success, it provided something richer: opening more social connections in the arts and music worlds like Renaissance Fairs and the Gothic subculture. My journey of self-discovery during this period is the basis for my poem Endymion which chronicles my subconscious struggle and the path towards individuation. Available July 8, 2022 Click here for more information.
Designing Tomorrows Future Today
Throughout my career at Philips Design, I have had the privilege to constantly hone my skills and develop design thinking across many areas of the company. From our brand identity to helping to craft our mission and vision. From managing customer event experiences across Europe to the concept development and creative direction of the Philips Museum in Eindhoven. I have given speeches and held workshops across the globe from India to South Africa and across Europe. I have the coolest job in the company: supporting strategic partnerships with public and private organizations from Ministries of Health to large hospital networks in their transformation of healthcare and systems. You can hear a sampling of some of these speeches and interviews by clicking on the Recordings option in the menu.
The Jazz Age
When I was seven years old, my family and I went to see Stan Kenton and his Orchestra at the Brown Derby in Norton, Ohio. This was a dinner theatre set up. After the first set, a table in front of the bandstand opened and I jumped at the chance to get closer. Stan called me up to the stage for an interview. He asked if I played an instrument and never being shy, I told him I played congas. He asked me to sit in with the band and join his percussionist Roman Lopez. I sat in with the band 27 times across the US and Canada before Stan passed away in 1979. My father and I started going to jazz clubs regularly then. The caliber of the local jazz scene was exceptional: Ace Carter, Lamar Gaines, Neman Williams, Duke Jenkins and so many others offered me chance to sit in with their bands. I spent a great deal of my childhood in jazz clubs and loving every minute of it. Dizzy Gillespie asked me to sit in during a small club date he had in downtown Cleveland. Later that year he invited me to hang out with him at the Newport Jazz Festival in New York. The enormous amount of patience and guidance these creative individuals afforded me was astounding. While I have not touched my drums in years, I do improvise on my piano and join the occasional jam session. You can hear a sampling of some of my music compositions and playing with the Kenton band by clicking on the Recordings option in the menu.
I was never a very good student. I preferred to read my own books than to pay attention during classes. College was no different except for the college radio station: WBWC-FM 88.3 on the FM dial. I spent every minute I could learning editing, mixing, recording, on air announcing and news reading. The extensive music library was filled with riches. I started a morning show, hosted jazz and progressive music programs and became the General Manager in my last two years in school. The day after I graduated, I moved to New York. The International radio and Television Society awarded me a summer internship at Interep Radio. Frank O’Neill gave me my first real job in the industry. After a few years as a research analyst, I then became the Research Director at CBS/Westwood One until I moved to Holland.