CUNY Macaulay Honors College at Baruch College/Professor Bernstein
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Category — Who He Was/Who She Was

Who He Was: A Choice (Photographic Addendum)

The following photos are provided as supplements to the original essay & audio found here.


December 18, 2010   1 Comment

Who He Was: The Second Interview

IDC Who He Was

My first encounter with Chulho started with an interview in Korea. About 10 years ago, I first entered his broadcasting company’s building with a light heart. We shook hands in a dark room filled with hundreds of TV monitors. In the middle of muted CNN, BBC, Chinese, Korean, Japanese and some European news, I asked him my first question with a shaky voice. I don’t remember exactly what the question was, but it was probably something very awkward and trite like “How are you?” I was so nervous about my first “official” task in journalism. I had an assignment for school to interview an adult who inspired me. At the time, I was a 9-year-old girl who wanted to become an anchorwoman. Ten years have passed, and that 9-year-old girl is attending college and that anchor from Korea is now an international civil servant working with UNICEF. With nostalgia of our first encounter, this time, I started our second interview with a smile.

My first question was “What kind of college student were you?” Chulho leaned back in his chair and smiled. As if asking me why was I so curious about his old, glorious days, he smiled again and again. After catching the sincere curiosity in my eyes, he answered at last: “Studious, for the most of part.” As he progressed into higher grades, he was able to distinguish different types of intelligence: “book-smart,” which was basically thinking and explaining things in life in an academic perspective and “life-smart,” gaining insight outside the classroom. I couldn’t help myself but to ask “Which one do you think would describe you better?” His answer, just like always, was very journalistic and moderate. “Well, somewhere in the middle, I guess?” We both laughed. I remembered that during the first interview, his mischievous humor and sharp talking points were the traits that I admired the most about him as a journalist. He hasn’t changed over the years at all.

Throughout our conversation about his exciting college experiences, such as traveling around the nation for the concerts of his Acappella group, I asked him why he chose journalism as his major. He shrugged his shoulders and replied, “You are really making me think back to the younger days.” Since he was in junior high school, Chulho was always interested in languages, literature, and current events. He joined school newspapers and radio projects. Growing up as a son of a former career diplomat, he always enjoyed cultural immersion and encounters with people from different parts of the world. He called his decision, “a natural confirmation of both academic affinities and personal upbringings.” “Wow!” I exclaimed, “what a combination of words.” With playful nodding, he agreed with me. After finishing his undergraduate studies at Stanford, Chulho attended the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism to broaden his knowledge in Journalism.

I suddenly wondered, “Was there any shortcomings that he felt about journalism or media industry?” Chulho’s answer was simple, yet convincing. Media and objectivity were no longer on the same line anymore. Political influence, commercialism and all the hidden power relations behind the media created a slant and eradicated true objectivity. He added, “The emergence of first-person reporting (I saw this, I saw that) and how some media organizations spend too much time congratulating themselves on the jobs that they are supposed to be doing in the first place, can be a real hindrance to objectivity.” I told him that maybe the emergence of new, digital communication tools, such as Facebook, blogs, and Tweeter, are solidifying the trend of the first person reporting. “Certainly,” Chulho nodded, “you may argue that true objectivity does not exist in the first place, but I think it is crucial to keep it as a goal, no matter how elusive, whether it’s the traditional media or the emerging role of civic journalism.”

When I asked him when was the pivotal moment that changed his life, he recalled 9/11. It was a little bit of surprise for me. I thought he was going to share some heartbreaking episodes about the suffering children in Africa or (no surprise!) his decision to get married to my cousin. To my knowledge, Chulho himself wasn’t directly affected by 9/11. The only thing that I could recall was that my cousin followed him on his business trip and stayed in New York City that week. After a few seconds of pause, he began to share his story. He said “I was actually in New York City at the time having been sent on mission from UNICEF Afghanistan to provide support during what was supposed to have been that year’s UN General Assembly Special Session on Children.” By that time, he had been working for UNICEF for only about 4 months. This incident forced him to face the biggest dilemma both in his career and his life. As tensions rose and being quickly focused on Afghanistan, where his office was located, he was not so sure whether he should continue his career at UNICEF in this dangerous atmosphere. It was extremely hard to make a decision regarding “heading to Islamabad, Pakistan, where the main office was based, and eventually Kabul.” He continued, “It was a decision made on the basis that I would approach my work like a journalist, and with full support of the family.” Even though I wasn’t forcing myself to comprehend, I could sense how difficult it was for him to make a decision. However, he made a decision to stay on his career path.

After traveling and living all over the world, from Pakistan to Afghanistan and then to Uganda, this is Chulho’s first year working at the UN headquarters in New York City. To my question of his overall experience at the UN, he replied that it has been “truly fantastic.” He feels excessively privileged to have this kind of opportunity. As the interview was drawing to an end, I realized it was finally the time to throw some cliché questions to him. “Do you feel any regrets?” He almost instantly answered, “No.”

I finally asked him about our first interview. Even before I could finish my question, I laughed out loud out of embarrassment. He walked to the shelves and brought out an old photo album without saying anything further. Surprisingly, he organized all the photos that I’ve taken with him AND the old copy of my article that I wrote 10 years ago on the interview. Now it was really the time for me to run away. I desperately started looking for a hole –any hole that I could hide my terribly embarrassed self in. However, I decided to maintain my professionalism and asked him if he felt any different now and then about himself. He softly chuckled and said, “As someone with a little more experience professionally, and now of course a father, I do feel like I am that much older. But I am essentially the same person.”

As his niece, I finished my interview with a personal request of life advice.  His last words were very helpful: “You are doing great. Bon Courage!” I teased him sarcastically saying “that’s so helpful!” In fact, I wasn’t being sarcastic at all. It was the best advice for me. I always wonder if I am going in the right direction in life. Chulho is one of the people who guide me to see what I want to do in my life. He is the front-runner and I am his follower. For that reason, it was such a relief hearing that I am still “doing a great job” from him. He still remains as one of my best mentors in life and definitely will be for a long time.

December 9, 2010   3 Comments

Who She Is: Toya

Listen to my interview with Toya!

Her real name is Santas Victoria Coto, but we call her “Toya.” She lived in Honduras until she came to New York twenty-odd years ago. She came in her early 40s, to accompany her younger sister, who was working as a housekeeper in Brooklyn. She too acquired a job as a housekeeper.

Toya has no formal education of the English language. After twenty years in this country, she has a decent grasp of English, though she still speaks with a certain hesitance. She is much more comfortable with her native tongue and prefers to speak Spanish even to the English-speaking family she works for. When asked where she learned English, her answer is “no cahmin’ en my hair – no viene en mi cabessa.”

Maybe that’s why many of her answers are simplistic. ‘Muy bueno’ seems to be one of her favorites. She says she walked to school as a child because it was “muy cerca.” Her family was “muy bueno.”  When asked about the dynamics of her neighborhood, she answered, “everybody in my neighborhood was from the same place.”

Toya has no recollection of any “crimen” nor of any “prejuicios” in Honduras. When asked about either, she says “nunca” – never. Maybe she lived in somewhat of a bubble?

I was curious to know what she thinks of American culture and how it is different from the Central American culture in which she was raised. Her answer? “El religión.” She says that in America, religion is “confudida”, whereas in Honduras it was strictly Catholic. She found it difficult to explain further the differences she sees between the two cultures, mostly because she lives with a Jewish family, so she cannot comment on the culture of America as a whole. What I found interesting is that she herself seems to have grown up with more than just the Catholic faith. Apparently, her father had a religion but “no se cual era”. I asked, was it a secret? She told me, “he had the Old Testiment.” Apparently, it was a secret; no one knew anything about it, but her father was secretly Jewish.

Toya is funny. She can’t point at any time in her life that is a turning point. Though an obvious one exists—her move to America. I asked her “what was your initial vision of America?” and she responds, “the airport was so big!”

Of course, her life is different now from what it used to be. She says she is “muy feliz” because she “no speekee anybody.” “Now my life is more quier.” She firmly believes she is living the American dream. She works but she earns money. “Es más fácil de ganar [dinero].”

Toya ended off by telling me a really exciting piece of information—“soon come mis papeles!” Her papers! She is working on citizenship and that is really exciting for her.

I love Toya.

December 9, 2010   7 Comments

Who He Is

Who He Is


My name is Sami Khan and I’m currently an eighteen-year-old student at the Macaulay Honors College at Baruch. To tell the truth, I’m no different than many of you, except for this one physical blemish that I will continue to have for the rest of my life. This is my story; this is who I am.

The past. I’m six-years-old. “Mr. Khan,” says Dr. Grossman to my father. “I am sorry to inform you, but your son will continue to have arthritis in his left hand, and his left arm will continue to look deformed until he’s old enough to have plastic surgery. I wish we could give you a more detailed analysis, but this is an abnormal condition.”

Fast forward. I’m thirteen-years-old. It’s eighty degrees outside, a warm, sunny September morning. It’s my first day of high school. I walk into my homeroom, being sure to keep my long-sleeved shirt pulled over both my arms. I notice that I’m the only freshman wearing a long-sleeved shirt. I can already see the students starting to mingle. It looks like a pair of magnets coming together, some groups repel, while others attract. The jocks are pulled into one corner, the artists into another, the aspiring scholars into another, and in the final corner? Me. Lonesome, me. The paranoid thirteen-year-old who is willing to be socially awkward before being honest about what my left sleeve concealed. I’d rather be socially awkward than a freak.

Fast forward. I’m fourteen-years-old. It’s my third week of sophomore year. “Ringggg!” goes the school bell. I race out of the school and take the F train all the way to the Forest Hills Rehabilitation Center: my sanctuary. I walk into the center, greeting my peers. I hear an unfamiliar laughter coming from my therapist’s room. I peak my head in to see my therapist treating a new patient. He immediately struck me as one of those people everyone loved: funny, intelligent, caring. As I take a seat next to him, he introduces himself to me as John Kim. He tells me about how he lost his leg during the war in Iraq, and tells me about all the things he can no longer do in life. But why is he telling me this? I’m a complete stranger! Despite the fact that we are both quite similar due to our physical irregularities, he was a completely different person. He was an open and confident person. John’s courage gave me a feeling like no other. I felt inspired beyond words. The next Monday, I turned my life around. I wore a t-shirt.

Fast forward. I’m sixteen-years-old. It’s the first day of senior year. I walk to the front of the classroom, greeting our newly recruited debaters. I stand confidently and tell them about Brooklyn Technical High School’s debate program. They eagerly listen to me, occasionally nodding their heads. At the end of my speech, I ask them if they have any questions. A curious freshman raises his hand and asks me what happened to my arm. I tell him it’s a birth defect, and he asks me whether I’m bothered by it. I tell him that I’m not. I tell him that my arm makes me who I am. I tell him that it was uncomfortable at first to know that every new person I met would be looking at my arm and not at my face. I tell him about how I heard all the different rumors people came up with explaining how my arm became the way it is. And then I tell him something that I was only able to realize because I met John Kim: my arm is nothing more than well, an arm.

December 9, 2010   7 Comments

A Brief on Valeri Shames


Valeri Shames on Coney Island Violence

Valeri Shames is the father of one of my close friends. He engineers architecture and lives with his wife and two children in Boca Raton, Florida, where he works as a freelancer. When I sat down for a ride with Valeri he told me what it was like to come to New York City in 1981, at the age of 19.
A young Ukrainian and his mother moved into a housing project at 124th street and Park Avenue, where his walls crumbled to the point where he could greet his neighbors through the walls.
“That’s how I met my friend girlfriend. She was Hispanic and I was the only white guy in the building.” Shortly after, he moved to Brighton Beach, Coney Island, which was attracting many Ukrainians and Russians with its familiar ocean view. It reminded many of Odessa, a city in Ukraine by the Black Sea. Back in Harlem he didn’t stick out as a sore thumb because of his dark composure, it was safeguard of sorts that helped him assimilate and avoid the violence that would unfold.
He spoke of Slavic people who were leaving the capitulating Soviet Union in search of “a better life.” He described them as ethnocentric, street-wise, go-getters of the American dream.  They looked for success in odd jobs off the books and were embarrassed about taking on welfare. They associated welfare with laziness and poverty, which subsequently the associated with blacks in the city housing units.
Eventually, there was a problem. Black gangs and Soviet Russians engaged in a conflict. He didn’t recall who initiated it, but that blacks were driven by territory and Soviets were driven by racism.

Valeri recalled scenes where six black boys attacked two Soviet kids only to have a few Russians join them off the boardwalk for the fight.  It wasn’t unusual for teenagers to get into fights. In fact, it was quite common. Kids around Lincoln High School at Coney Island would get into fights after school. Mobs got involved and half a dozen bodies would pave the asphalt, some even comatose.

Valeri was inducted into American culture as an innocent bystander of gang violence. When I asked him if any specific groups were involved, he dismissed the idea of Bloods or Crypts. He reduced it to “the Russians attacked the Blacks and the Blacks attacked the Russians.

These short bursts of reactionary violence lead to better organization and the formation of the Russian mafia. Valeri’s cousin thought he saw an opportunity in their work and joined the trafficking of gasoline across state lines to circumvent taxation. When the operation went belly up the mafia began to pick of their own people with hires who came in from Eastern Europe on temporary visas. His cousin was targeted and survives a gunshot wound to the head, but was blinded in one eye.

His family was a victim of this conflict. Although an unstable and dangerous environment challenged him he took his love for physics to heart. At nineteen he pursued a career in engineering and continued his studies, gaining admission to Stevens Institute of Technology where he got his degree.
We rode on the i95 in his Mercedes E350 out of Boca Raton, Florida to Miami.

“On my left side you’ll see all the rich houses and people who are well off.” On the right you’ll see Little Havana, where bullets come like rain drops and Bed Stuy looks like Beverly Hills.” There was a snicker in his voice that may have been tuned to his success and to the naïveté of the gangs.

December 9, 2010   5 Comments

Who She Is–Gwen D’Amico

Who She Is

Music seems to be a passion that is able to wind effortlessly into the lives—and life goals—of many. Professor Gwen D’Amico, a music professor at 4 of the CUNY Schools (Brooklyn, City, Lehman, and Baruch), is no exception.

Music was a large part of Professor D’Amico’s life at a very young age. Her parents were avid lovers of music, and they always tried to surround her with all forms of it—they brought her to her first opera at the age of six. Although she wasn’t in love with the classical forms at that age, she began to take voice lessons at only eight years old. From that point on, music was always a part of her life. Music also stayed with her long into college. Although she did nothing professional with opera singing in the long term, she tried her luck with various productions—she even did a wedding gig once in a while. Still, despite her departure from this career path, it has remained a resounding passion within her.

After majoring in music business in a small college in Pennsylvania, Professor D’Amico pursued a job in the music industry, at Mercury Records. Here, she became closer than ever to realizing what her next goal would be. Her work with music contracts peaked her interest in the legal aspect of the music industry, and she decided that she wanted to become an entertainment lawyer. She wanted to make a difference within the industry—to make it even better than she already expected it to be. However, after a while, she decided that although she loved the field, she didn’t want to become a lawyer—the industry was often more corrupt than fun during the 1970s and 1980s. “It was—and still is—a very male specific industry. I didn’t notice at first that all of the administrators were old men with cigars, and all the secretaries were matching blondes,” she told me. Professor D’Amico started to see the distortion of the industry, and even though she admitted that “no commerce is pure,” she saw that the music industry just wasn’t about the music anymore. “Once you begin to sell any art, it is no longer about the art—sadly, it’s all about the money,” she told me. She soon moved on from contract work to radio promotion in an effort to free herself from the discrimination. Unfortunately, due to the beginning of the common occurrences of payola scandals—the paying off of DJs and other radio personnel for advertising privileges–and other frauds in the radio industry, this career move threw her even deeper into the heart of it all. While dealing with all of these legal issues, Professor D’Amico began to completely lose faith in the music industry. To her, not only was it becoming too focused on profit, she also noticed that there seemed to be a general trend towards loss of individuality amongst musicians. She worried about the future of the industry as well. She was afraid that soon, the record companies were going to have to find new ways to make a profit, especially now that the Internet was becoming such a prominent option for music promotion, sales, and more. Also, now that she saw the introduction of individual performers promoting and recording themselves, she worried that sound quality would be sacrificed in the long run, in exchange for the use of programs that made the availability of music that much easier. It was at this point that she decided to leave the music industry entirely. Soon after, though, she moved to teaching, which she realized was a main interest of hers, even though it was “late in the game.”

“When I was a little kid, whenever I was sick my dad—he was a college professor–would take me to his classes with him. It was the coolest thing ever! Of course, I never even considered teaching until I had already become deeply entrenched in a completely different career. But, here I am!” She said as she looked around.

Where do you expect yourself to be in the next decade? What about after that? After you’ve reached those goals you so longed to reach—what will happen then? Sometimes, it takes some misdirection to decide upon a true life goal. For Professor D’Amico, even though she thought she knew exactly what she wanted from the industry for more than 10 years, there were other options out there that she wanted to explore. Still, she is just one example of what one can accomplish—all across the board—with just some effort and passion.

(Music Used:

“Baba O’Riley” by The Who; “Won’t Get Fooled Again” by The Who; “Another Brick in the Wall” by Pink Floyd.)

December 9, 2010   2 Comments

Who She Was/Who She Is

December 9, 2010   3 Comments

My Dad, the Tree Hugger


My dad and Pedro acting silly.

William Lynam grew up on Long Island, in the small bayside town of Babylon. His backyard was situated on a canal, where he spent his days playing with the neighbor children he had known since birth. William thinks back on his childhood fondly. “I feel I had a charmed life.“ Growing up he had a lot of different jobs, from newspaper boy to fisherman, and he saved up enough money to pay his way through college. He spent the first two years commuting back and forth from Stony Brook as a pre-med student in his red Volkswagen and then transferred to the forestry school at Syracuse University. Here he majored in wildlife management with a minor in entomology. William graduated Syracuse in 1983 and went on to work as a fisheries biologist in Alaska. He lived aboard foreign fishing vessels, ensuring that they followed the rules and regulations of the U.S. government. He went on to work as an urban park ranger in Central Park for the next year. He then completely switched directions and became involved in show business. He worked as an assistant editor for movies and also did some commercials and modeling to make quick money.

When William was thirty-one years old he joined the Peace Corps. It was something he had always wanted to do, but other things had gotten in his way. He had been expecting to be the oldest volunteer there but there was a nice variety of people, from young college graduates to older married couples. The first thing the other volunteers said to William when he showed up at the airport burdened with tennis rackets, scuba gear, a guitar, and other luxurious items was “Where do you think you’re going, on vacation or something?” Unfortunately most of these things were stolen along the course of the trip, especially during the stopover in the Dominican Republic.

The forestry program William participated in was far from being a vacation, but has been one of the best and most influential experiences of his life. He specifically requested to participate in this program when he joined the Peace Corps, despite having heard rumors that they never allow volunteers to choose their projects. Surprisingly he was granted his wish, likely because of his impressive background in forestry, which would greatly benefit the program.

William reconnected with many of his old friends who he had met on earlier trips to Costa Rica and made many new friends. He loves the people in Costa Rica, describing them as being “gringo-friendly.” He also finds it easier living in Costa Rica than in other Central and South American countries because the people there are wealthier and there exists a much larger middle class. This leads to less tension among the population in Costa Rica.

William ended up buying property in Costa Rica a few years ago with one of his old friends, Panfilo, and now owns 99 acres of land there. On this property lie three small houses. In one of these houses live Pedro and Gustavo, two young men from Nicaragua who watch over the property when William is not there.  William visits at least once a year and spends his days doing what he loves most … planting trees.

December 7, 2010   5 Comments

Who He Is

A typical New Yorker thinks of a walk in a park with a few squirrels, trees, birds, and ducks if you’re lucky, as an escape to nature. Javed Chitaman was born and raised in New York City, where there isn’t much to real nature to compensate for our fast paced life of constant noise and an abundance of pollution. He thinks this idea of nature is narrow minded and even though it satisfied his peers, he always expressed a wanting of something more. After watching countless hours of Discovery Channel programs which spurred his interest in marine life, scuba diving has been his since he was 14 years old. To him, “underwater” isn’t just a word that describes his location relative to land; it is a different type of nature, a new world of blue and tranquility. “When there’s water all around me, I feel suspended in this medium and things such as gravity and time no longer exist. Seconds and minutes have no meaning underwater, and the only way to know when it’s time to go up is when the needle starts approaching the “E” on the air gauge.” He describes the feeling he gets from being underwater as incomparable to any other, especially the feelings that one can experience on land. There are no buildings to look up at, no avenues to turn down, nor any cars to watch out for. A landscape like this that may seem lifeless to some, to Javed is the most exhilarating thing a person can experience. Scuba diving may seem terrifying, dangerous, or complicated, but over the years has become something that he loves.
Javed’s first experience scuba diving was at fourteen in the Dominican Republic. He immediately fell in love with the sport and felt that it should be something he could do whenever he wanted to. It was hard to explain to his mother why he needed to become a certified scuba diver. She didn’t exactly share his enthusiasm about the activity, she thought it was too dangerous for a young teenager to handle. It was fine to try once, but it would take some convincing for her to allow him to scuba dive on a regular basis. What he told his mother to try to reason with her what that she couldn’t understand because she wasn’t there with him while he was underwater to take in the acres of ocean gardens, to see the thousands of exotic fish, to hold an empty giant sea turtle shell, or to feel the hundreds of bubbles that went up in his face with every breath of compressed air he let out. This very persuasive argument gained him his mothers permission and money to take the Scuba Diver’s Certification test. When it came, he studied the necessary material for the written part of the exam and passed. He also had to undergo open water training, which was fun but scary when during one part, he had no air while 30 feet underwater and needed to perform an emergency assent. Luckily, he passed and received his license to scuba dive just a few weeks later.
“Unfortunately, New York doesn’t provide much of a tropical environment that would allow me to practice ocean scuba diving regularly. I only get to experience it on my family’s biannual trips to the Caribbean. It has become something very special to me that I look forward to each year, especially since I know that the ocean is so big that there will always be something new to see. There always will be phenomenal creatures to see, but unlike the aquarium or the television, there is no glass tank or screen to separate myself from these encounters.” Scuba diving has opened Javed’s eyes to the vastness of the world. He can’t wait to travel to more places in search of adventure and new experiences. Diving has shown Javed that there is so much more to see than what’s in front of you, if you just go out and find it.

December 7, 2010   3 Comments

Chicken Coops and Cooped Up Dreams: Brian Rhinehart


In a damp, cramped chicken coop in the middle of nowhere in Ohio years and years ago, a baby was born. The chicken coop was gutted out, and the baby was given room to grow. From this chicken coop came the kind-hearted soul I met a few months ago.

Brian Rhinehart has been acting since the age of five, when he appeared as a young, bright-eyed David in his Vacation Bible School’s production of David and Goliath. Ever since then he blossomed a love for the theater; later on, he became President of his high school’s Drama Club. It was his main passion, but Brian balked at the opportunity to pursue it as a career. He decided at the ripe age of 18 that it was too risky a choice to chase his dreams in theater. Instead, he studied English and obtained Bachelors and Masters degrees in English at the University of Florida. He was studying to become an English professor, and even did his courseload for a phD in English. But during the years he was working towards his phD, he began to dabble again in sketch and comedy pieces in various theater productions. Slowly, he grew back into his old love for theater. He began doing tours and directing.

For five years he taught an array of English classes at University of Florida; it was there, in Gainesville, that he met his wife. For five years, he directed and wrote many plays in the Gainesville theater scene with a writing partner and best friend. He visited New York during this time, and, as he put it, “became intoxicated.”

The nauseating monotony of American Literature, British Literature, Argumentative Literature classes started to eat at his dreams. English just wasn’t enough anymore.

One day, he left his life behind and packed his bags. Friends, family, and shelter were left in the dust as he waved his old life farewell. Brian, his wife and his writing partner were headed for bigger dreams. He decided to go for his far-fetched dreams, and shipped up to New York. He changed his life in an instant, and the gears of fate started churning as soon as he made his decision. Brian and his writing partner had a show in the works, and decided to bring it to the Big Apple. He had graded his share of papers. They wanted to become “little fish in a big pond.” The move was inspired by their “highfalutin ideas about changing the world,” Brian described with a self-mocking fake cry.

Shortly after moving to New York, he obtained an MFA at the Actors Studio. After finishing his MFA, he decided to finish his dissertation to complete his phD in English – pulling upon five comedic shows he directed (including Boy’s Life, the just recently passed Baruch production). He is currently writing a book on the art of Comedy Acting with a friend of his, a fellow director.

After finishing his dissertation, he focused his energy on teaching Acting and Directing in various colleges and theater groups – including Baruch College. Brian is more interested in form-breaking, innovative realism in the theater. He has worked on many forward-thinking workshops primarily based in Germany.

He has also worked on dozens of productions that break boundaries, and is continuing to do so with his new project “The Mistakes Madeline Made.” Among his most popular endeavors was directing the Broadway tour of The Wedding Singer in 2007; since then, he has accomplished a virtually unimaginable amount of successful performances.

That life-changing decision was indeed the right one. He is never seen without a smile and a jovial pat on the back; his laid-back and happy aura eminates and infects all those around him. He loves what he does, and he does what he loves on his own terms. Despite initial hesitations, he uprooted his whole life and started anew. That takes some guts.

December 7, 2010   5 Comments