This page is a project timeline of my locations since 2007.
Tired of the scene at the CSU Long Beach dormitories, I took a semester of French and applied to study abroad. Et voilá, I learned to party, travel cheaply, couchsurf, smoke weed, and hitchhike. And so it begins...
2008-2009: Central America
Returning to California, a family friend offered me a cushy job in the city. I worked for The Hollywood Edge right in downtown Hollywood (right smack on Hollywood Blvd, as a matter of fact). I started to learn sound (mixing, mastering and DAWs), hire web development freelancers, and even got to brush up my graphic design.
But that fall, I was getting itchy feet. So I told them I had to travel for school, and I left for central America. They gave me a Zoom H4 microphone to practice recording foley in the field.
(COSTA RICA + NICARAGUA CONTENT COMING SOON)
After the year in France and now seeing how other young Westerners lived in latin America, I was really, I mean really into the idea of not having a plan for your life and just following your heart. I was essentially kicked out of a self-study program for this "research paper":
In 2009, I studied a summer in Morélos, Mexico to learn Spanish. It was a magical time that would inspire me to return to Mexico again, years later. Finishing up Spanish 201, I played the plumber porn star in this fun video for school:
2009-2010: Long Beach
Meanwhile, since 2006 I was officially studying French at CSULB. In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and a new discouragement with authority among my liberal arts peers, I drank almost every every night, hosted couchsurfers non-stop, and prepared for signing out to start the life of the bohemian.
The following essay comparing modern USA to Nazi-occupied France was essentially my main undergrad thesis.
College finally over, I left for Brittany (France) to live a secluded bohemian lifestyle with a group of other creatives from my university. I rejoiced in dedicating myself to creating, for the first time ever--it was the first time in my life I was free from the constraints of school or work and I could focus 100% of my creative energy on telling a story, creating a world, writing a book.
Our little artist group had a few unique tracks going on, so I recorded them and made a mixtape. Here's the song we all laid down tracks for (which I happen to be the most proud of, as songwriter + producer):
But the big hit of this time period from June 2010 to December 2010 was my fantasy novel. Traveling by land from the western point of France to Istanbul, couchsurfing and work trading along the way, I somehow managed to find the time to sit next to a few espressos and create worlds for 4-5 hours per day.
The hero of the novel explores the notion of heroism and ego in a world that is impossible to save, and ends up quite nihilistic. Here is draft 1:
I was also mastering and re-releasing some music from my college years. Here's a fun one I'd made with a dude from my Backpacking 101 class:
An old buddy invited me to come check out Thailand. The pay was good to be an English teacher--all you needed was a college degree. It was fun, too.
I ended up teaching in Bangkok. It was my first time living the city life and turned out to be an extremely decadent and taxing time, so I headed up to Chiang Mai with some aderall and wrote a whole book about my experience in 2 weeks.
As I was considering my bohemian phase over, I called this the first installment of the "Post-Bohemian Chronicles." Little did I realize how wrong I was.
After southeast Asia, I needed something familiar.
2013: SF, Austin, NOLA
This was a weird period. I got back from Europe a spiritually revitalized man and immediately, somehow, hopped into my first mushroom phase. "The" mushroom phase, if you will. The result was some science fiction that I couldn't distinguish between art and reality.
#HOLOGRAM was a decentralized religion that the southern United States gave us the idea for. Basically, you brand your own spirituality and we're all part of it... because "it's all just a #hologram anyway, bro."
#HOLOGRAM more or less became an art project and the foundation for both my grand work of science fiction, "Cycles: All Over," and my first [failed] company: #HOLOGRAM COMMUNICATIONS CORP (sounds like straight out of Neuromancer, no?)
Summer in a Prologue (book coming soon) was a novella that I'd been working on since I came home from France, about a young man who was experiencing life outside of himself, some weird character reflections of the values I held at the time, and a natural revolution that came to be just by everyone learning to play music.
It covered a lot of themes of the day, from Reddit culture to the beginning of internet censorship. In the novel, the "rebels" had started its own version of the internet by speaking in code on the regular internet. The folks that the rebels were out to attract could discern the code and would thus follow the rabbit hole...
2014: NOLA, Vancouver
That winter, during my regular winter depression, I sought new purpose. An old friend suggested I make a documentary on my life (I was crashing on her couch--she was in law school) so I went to the electronics store and charged a GoPro to my credit card. The result was a third-eye vision YT series that had me using my video editing skills again. I headed back to New Orleans.
Before long, I was jiving with a jazz band from Vancouver, and ended up hopping in their unregistered van to drive back across the country on their way home.
After roadtripping down the coast from Portland back to LA, I ended up flying back up to Vancouver to spend more time with them. Something about experiencing them felt like a once-in-a-generation thing akin to Kerouac and gang.
2014-2015: Nepal, India, Nepal
After arriving back to soCal, an opportunity came up to go to Nepal to document Tibetan sound healing with my new YouTube channel. I started an Indiegogo campaign to raise money, raised the money and then some, and then headed to Asia with an old friend who needed to get out of her routine.
We went to India to do some yoga videos but those are still sitting on a hard drive somewhere. Then I went back to Nepal.
Meanwhile, I was trying to be one of those digital nomad influencers. Here's a narration from a quick trip to Vietnam to see an old friend.
The 2015 earthquake hit when I got back to Nepal. Joining grassroots relief efforts out of "white guilt" (ultimately, or so I thought) transformed the focus of my film to a common theme of global community. Here's the trailer. You can read more backstory and watch the whole "Going To Nepal With A Camera On My Forehead" film for free here.
After a few months back in Los Angeles, I needed something fresh. I'd never been to the Caribbean. Whaddya know? A rural school in Jamaica needs a music teacher, free room & board in exchange for a few hours teaching per day. Easy.
It turned into a big community music project.
I can imagine that if I didn't have a bigger vision in my head (and I wasn't in love with someone back in NYC), I could have stayed here long-term.
Upon returning, that love of mine manipulated a situation into bringing me to Hawaii to do a video for a retreat in exchange for not having to pay. It was my first time to Hawaii and finally gave me a location for which to yearn to live.
After hurting my back (and heart), I was contact by an old babysitter, asking me to take her 15-year old traveling. So we hosted a fundraiser for my GTNWACOMF film and went to Europe!
Afterwards, thinking it'd be a fun career path, I tried to promote the service to my local high school (it didn't work out).
Despite a handful of different promo videos, it didn't work out. Probably because I didn't stick to it (hey--I'm a producer, not a marketer)!
2017: West Africa
This section coming soon!
2017: South Africa
After a stint in Ethiopia, I found some good people who wanted to make some films down in South Africa.
This section coming soon!
This section coming soon!