Hometown: I was born in Mankato, Minn. A little spit of a town on the eastern edge of the state. I spent my growing-up years in Minnesota and North Dakota, then decided to, one day, jump from my wheat field to Midtown Manhattan. Culture shock much?! A decade there then off to Seattle.
First job: Snoopy’s Pizza and Suds. Snoopy’s P & P, as we liked to call it, was the last stop on Main Street in Bismarck, ND. A little corner joint where you could grab a quick beer and a greasy slice of the house combo before you headed off the road to the sandbars on the Missouri River for late-night shenanigans. I was maybe 18.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: Getting up at the crack of dawn, having a good cup of joe (Starbucks), slipping into my favorite green rubber gators, grab my trusty, rusted bucket and head out for the low tides and dig for those big, fat geoducks. Just kidding.
Biggest accomplishments: Being smart and marrying the right person.
Biggest obstacles to overcome: Me. Myself. And I.
Someone who inspires you and why: My wife inspires me because she’s a master at what she does, and she does it with grace and generosity of heart. Oh, and she puts up with me.
But someone who probably inspired me the most and influenced my life’s pursuit in the arts was my grandfather, Burr. He was, what I would call, the total renaissance man. He ran all the movie theaters in Jamestown, ND, when I was a kid. As a kid, nothing was cooler than having your grandpa run all the movie theaters, including the drive-in. He was also the founder and president of the El Zagal Clown Society in Jamestown and raised money for those disadvantaged in the area. He was an avid hunter and flew a “Spirit of America”-style plane. You know, those really old ones! That was pretty cool. He was a totally cool guy. It didn’t hurt that he and my grandma also looked like movie stars.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: My one piece of advice for anyone wanting to follow the arts, any kind of art that requires you being the master of a craft is: patience, persistence and focus. We suck at everything in the beginning. Finding your voice takes a lifetime. Just stay with it, and learn to love the journey.
Favorite quote: “I ain’t fish’n for fish. I’m fish’n for fish’n.” The last line from the play, “Back County Crimes,” by Lanie Robertson.
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I was once tasked with the job of teaching Bill Gates the Shag!
What makes someone fabulous: Generosity of heart and spirit.