I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, hence the highly developed sense of entitlement and feelings of superiority to everyone and everything.
In my last year of high school, a civics teacher told me I wasn’t going to pass his class, which also meant I wouldn’t have enough credits to graduate. I screamed “Then fuck you — I’m outta here!” and stormed out of the classroom to riotous applause (Dallas, Dynasty, and Falcon Crest were all on TV at this time. He’s lucky I didn’t bitch slap him first). I walked straight to a pay phone (these were public phone boxes people used to put dimes in to rent) and called UC Irvine, the only school I had applied to, to ask how my application was coming. The goddess on the other end said “Congratulations, you got in by examination alone.”
Thus, during my high school graduation I was literally shopping at the Gap. To this day, I still turn to shopping in times of stress.
And by shopping, I mean food and alcohol.
I went through 5 majors at UC Irvine, and somehow became a champion at the beer drinking game Quarters. Since I never had to drink and everyone else did, this usually meant that I could force everyone at a given party to pass out.
I somehow earned the nickname “Animal,” like some kind of frathouse movie cliché. Slutty girls would corner me at frat parties with “So… I hear you’re an animal…” To a straight guy that would have been a dinner bell, but to a closeted gay guy it meant I had to challenge them to a game of quarters so they’d pass out and I could escape. My quarters skill was a mixed blessing.
UC Irvine was made up of mostly Asians studying biology and chemistry. I knew this because most weekends I spent on my knees throwing up on the lawn and staring up at the windows of a dorm filled with studious Asians. It was like a chocolate advent calendar, but with Asians instead of chocolate.
I spent a year abroad in Paris, Lausanne, and Florence, learning French and Italian, and returned a condescending prick to all the lowly Americans who could only speak English. To ensure that the world knew I was gay and that I would never have to endure the security of a real job, I landed on Drama as a major. A drama major opened so many doors for me… all of them at temp agencies.
Started a national magazine with Sam Francis called HERO, which we published for 4 years and enjoyed some success in gay media. 9/11 killed our funding and we lost the magazine but remained best friends.
After HERO I took a job at Pallotta Teamworks, with my friend and mentor Dan Pallotta, who created the highly successful AIDS Rides. I was honored to have led the first African AIDSTrek, a week-long fundraising trek outside Cape Town, South Africa which netted more than a million dollars for 3 American AIDS research organizations as well as local charities in South Africa.
In 2013 I became a writer/producer for Ellen Degeneres and spent a year and a half in a whirlwind crash course on TV comedy writing. The pace and pressure was insane but I left the show with 4 Daytime Emmys and the invaluable knowledge that writer’s block is a purely made up construct. When you can’t think of something to write, put your fingers to the keyboard and start typing (Thanks, Ellen).
In 2017 I’m finishing a book, doing some travel and wellness writing, and getting ready to jump back into TV in the fall. If you want me to write on your show, and/or have sex with you, please use the contact form above.
Lastly, and most important, I like hummus, dogs, and reality TV. And my last meal on earth would be ostrich tacos and margaritas at El Coyote.