If I want to change my life, I do something HUGE… and it always works. That’s my secret: Do something fuckin huge that’s in the direction of where I wanna be. Sometimes I wake up and realize I’ve fallen off track, or I’ve spent too much time in one place. Like the time I ended up as a half-ass publicist in LA. I never wanted that shit. Well, at first I did. But then I didn’t. So I tried to escape, but I really messed up. Basically, this is what happened…
I want to change my life, now what?
I saved up all my money. I had been in LA for six years and had gone through many phases of goals. For a little bit I was trying to write a screenplay and get a movie produced, but that’s not why I moved out there. I originally moved out there cause Brooklyn was depressing and I wanted better weather. Then I got to West Hollywood and realized everything was better out there. I couldn’t believe how fuckin hot the chicks were and how laid back the dudes were. I fell in love with the slower lifestyle and thought: I want to change my life. So I did. I moved there. That was phase 1: Change my surroundings.
Then I got outa control and blew way too much coke and drank far too much whisky and embarrassed myself all over town. That was probably the biggest change I ever made in my life: getting sober. So I did that when I was 27. That was phase 2: get sober and rebuild my life.
I had to figure out how to earn a living, cause up until then, I had a GED and a decent drug dealing career. That was about it. Oh, and I laundered my money promoting concerts and producing off-off Broadway theatre. I got pretty good at it actually. Even got into producing comedy. That’s what made me think I could get back into it with the vaudeville festival that bankrupt me, but I’ll tell you about that in a moment. The point is I had nothing to fall back on so I started catering tables. I remember the first day I got paid.
A hundred bucks?
Are you kidding me?
How in the fuck am I gonna live on that shit?
I had to find something else. So I looked all over Craigslist and found an ad for a reality TV show. It was for a Kat Von Dee tattoo show and they wanted me to send them my reel. I didn’t have a reel so I filmed a short video saying hi and sent them my twitter profile. They actually gave me the job and I went on the TV show and got a free tattoo. Then they edited me out of the pilot episode. Whack. Anyway, I still needed a damn job. How do I change my life and become a sober, relatively normal person?
So… How do I change my thinking?
So I decided to make another change: get a real job. But a real job came in the form of a bullshit internship. But I shouldn’t really call it bullshit cause it built me a life and got me to where I am today. I saw the ad in Craigslist. I used to use Craigslist for everything and you know what? It never let me down. Anyway, the job posting was for a “senior publicist” at some Beverly Hills PR firm. I sent them a crafty cover letter. They called me:
So do you have PR experience?
Of course. Been promoting shit my whole life.
Do you know what a publicist does?
You might be a bit too… (searching for inoffensive words) edgy for the type of firm we run.
Well there’s only one way to find out. I’ll come in for an interview.
So I went to Topshop and bought a green suit. Gotta figure out how to change myself into a publicist. I still had some drug dealing money left over. Anyway I got the green suit and they hired me as an intern. After three months they offered me 30K a year.
No fucking way.
So I quit and found a client on my own. That was phase 3: entertainment PR.
My first client was some non-profit organization and they wanted me to raise money for them even though I told them I was a publicist (which I barely was).
I didn’t do so good with that client and they fired me. Then I wrote an article about this girl I met on the catering job. Actually I didn’t meet her at the catering job, I met her friend. Her friend invited me to her friend’s show. Her friend was DJ Rap. DJ Rap became my client. But I got her as a client cause I wrote an article about her and got some other female DJs to give me quotes and got the article published in Vibe Magazine. Then I told everyone I could get them more publicity if they wanted it.
I’ll give you $300.
So that’s how my career as a music publicist started. But after a few years of doing that half-successfully, I decided:
I want to change my life BIG…
Like, bigger than ever. So I went to Alaska to figure my life out and met a guy that changed everything. He told me to stop living like a kid and commit. So I went back to LA and went back to my roots: producing theater.
I decided to put together a month-long midnight vaudeville/ burlesque festival. I invested all my money in it. I was determined to become a major theater producer. But it failed. I lost everything.
Six years after moving to LA, I was back to square negative three. So I thought to myself, how do I change my life to the life I really really want?
What do I want?
I want to be a world famous traveler. That was phase 4: become the most famous vagabond the world has ever known. So I made a HUGE move and decided to break the world record for longest road trip. That huge move made me famous. I was all over media outlets for years. I wasn’t the most famous vagabond and there are travelers that totally outdid anything I ever did like Emilion Scotto (the greatest traveler of our time), but I sure made it to the top ten for a bit.
Okay. Time to build on that. What now? How do I change my life even better than it already is?
How to change myself for a fifth time
I want to become a travel writer. That was phase 5: Become a published writer and make my stories known to the world.
So I sent out about 5,000 emails over the course of a few months telling the world that the “Guinness world record road tripper is about to go on another journey.” I told all the travel editors I wanted to write about it. So, I went and circumnavigated South America and published many articles about it. Within one year I had published twenty-five or so articles in some of the biggest outlets in the world, like Playboy, ELLE, USA Today, Bravo, Vie Magazine and others.
But the changes kept going. I ended my life in LA and wanted to build a life in the Hudson Valley. I wanted to become a famous digital marketer. I chose digital marketing because I knew if I could get good at it, I could do it from anywhere AND people would pay me a lot of money for it. So I studied my head off and listened to ten million podcasts and began asking people everywhere what line of work they were in. The second I met anyone that said they sold something online, I immediately asked if I could help them with their ads for free. I went over to this one guy’s house and looked at what his campaigns looked like and made a few suggestions that he didn’t know how to make.
I said I would do it for $150 an hour and that I would work quickly. He hired me and so I began putting together a portfolio as a digital marketer. A year later I had done enough work to show a hiring manager a portfolio of digital marketing campaigns. So I applied for a job as a digital marketer at agencies all over New York to really establish myself, but nobody hired me. Eventually I took a job as a social media manager.
I hate social media, but I did it anyway searching every day for the next big change.
Then it came.
A few months later when my bossed asked me how I liked the job, I told him I goddam hated it. He asked me what kinda job I would love. And I pitched him the greatest digital marketing department his company had ever seen. Of course I had no idea if I could pull it off, but he said yes. I said I need much more money and an office. He said ok. That’s how my life got to where I wanted it to be.
The moral of the story is I became a world record traveler, published writer, and built a career as a digital marketer all by doing big actions. The fun part is picking out what that big action is going to be. But small moves don’t mean shit; do it big and make sure it’s in the direction you want to move in.
Anyway, here’s a story about how I nearly went to jail promoting that midnight vaudeville festival I told you about…