I ask this question every day. Over the course of my life, I’ve spent a lot of time watching myself, analyzing my actions, seeking feedback from friends and family, making adjustments, but also making excuses. I’ve come to believe that you get closest to happy by embracing who you are at all levels, and then finding people who fit well with that version of you. It’s a sound philosophy, but somewhat elusive in practice.
Despite my pursuit of happiness and the meaning life, I can’t seem to escape my opinions. They are many and continuous. Some flow for years at a time. Just ask my wife, who has painfully memorized my more common speeches. I can’t say that I’ve made any real efforts to turn off the opinion faucet, because ultimately, debate helps me clarify out loud what I’m really thinking. If I attempt to sort out my thoughts while swirling around in my mind, confusion wins, but once the words come out of my mouth, I begin to find my way through the maze of my brain. Writing - or more specifically editing - has helped reduce my need to yammer, but I still invite debate. So, do your worst.
Stay tuned as I explore my voice and continue the life-long pursuit of figuring out who I really am, and who I want to be. In the mean time, my at-a-glance bio provides a sense of who I am right now.
Filmmaker / Comedy Writer
First and foremost, I consider myself a filmmaker, even though we don’t really have film any more. But, you get the idea. I like to write. I like to tell stories with a visual component. I’m still working on my skills as a writer and director. Comedy remains my key focus after all these years. I started as a sketch comedy geek like all boys from the suburbs, addicted to Monty Python on PBS. My cousins, my brother and I created a now grueling 90-minute video of sketches called “This Space Available” when we were in high school. Okay, it was college, but we acted like high school kids. The experience probably should have been a lark, but then I attended the Second City Conservatory and Advanced Writing Program, which made me respect satire as a tool of immense potential power. Beware. I’m not afraid to use it. Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
On a few glorious occasions, I had the pleasure to witness a large room of people laughing, gasping, and even releasing a spontaneous, collective “awwww” at something I created. That pretty much hooked me. At the same time, I’ve made several short films since film school, but most of them don’t warrant a viewing. The only examples I care to share as of now are Slip n’ Slide, which I wrote, and my last project, the BABY TIME! web series, which I wrote and directed.
Event Director at The Landmark
Working at The Landmark has been an amazing employment experience. I help arrange and manage some very cool events almost every day, not to mention the bonus of seeing a ridiculous number of movies for free. I’ve watched countless Q&As, and even hosted a few discussions with filmmakers myself. I’ve had my share of brushes with celebrity. Javier Bardem passed through my office and jokingly compared me to Dilbert, and Will Ferrell was sure he recognized me from somewhere. (Maybe the stalking finally paid off.) But, most of the time, I hand the mic to directors and actors without any personal interactions. It’s more common that I receive a dose of inspiration between updating an excel spreadsheet and heating up leftovers. Works for me.
I won’t go into too much detail about my previous employment history, other than to say that my parents drilled into me the absolute importance of keeping a respectable job, and when that’s not possible, at least “a” job of some sort. As a result, I have gotten paid to cut grass, pack and ship boxes, serve food at a country club, play trumpet, manage computer networks, dress up in costumes on the streets (the natural next-step after computer consulting), create interactive corporate training videos, assist executives and producers, and run a screening series.
People from Chicago LOVE Chicago. They can’t seem to shut up about it – specifically the food or the sports. I’m not a big sports nut, but if you have an extra ticket to the Cubs game, please invite me. I do miss the food, though, and the seasons. I also miss the character of the various neighborhoods of the city, which is what inspired me to set each episode of my last series in a different neighborhood. Oh, yeah. I also miss my family.
Outcast Jazz Band Trumpet Player
I love music. It has played a huge role in my life since childhood in defining my social circles in school. It continues to matter now, as I play in the Outcast Jazz Band whenever I can arrange a trip to Chicago for a gig. It’s a blast because many of my friends play in the group. And, I’m lucky because I married a singer / music teacher (Teacher of the Year 2013!), so music remains a constant presence in my daily life. Speaking of the illustrious Jacqueline Remillard Gorski…
My wife and I recently celebrated 15 years of marriage. I highly recommend marriage to others, but only if you copy our marriage exactly. No substitutions. We are truly, happily married.
I will get sappy once in a while. Just deal with it.
I always hated the idea of getting a dog. Then, on Thanksgiving weekend in 2001, I came home to find a beautiful dog named Goldie running around our apartment. My wife had made the decision for me. It wasn’t long before I was a full-fledged dog lover, with an affinity for chows. Then came the sensational dog named Sensation, and our current black smooth chow, adorably named Pretty. And like almost every year for the past decade, we will once again drive to Chicago for Christmas, so that we can bring our chow with us.