My high school and college buddy Eddie Keels is thriving. He’s always been a super creative type, talented across a wide array of genres including the singing, writing and arranging music, playing guitar, acting, and graphic design. In the last few years, however, he has achieved big-time success in founding Philly Current. I was honored when he asked to feature me in his “Homegrown” issue. This excerpt is taken from the issue:
… It all started at St. Joe’s Prep, where the Publisher of this magazine happened to have attended high school also (note to people trying to get published in Philly Current: sign your email to Eddie, “Yea Prep”). As part of a service project, I was asked to step outside my comfort zone and write a reflection on an experience. I chose to perform a juggling show for The Don Guanella School for developmentally disabled boys and young men. Until this point, I had performed solely in my parents’ kitchen as after-dinner entertainment, and at a handful of events as the young sidekick to an established local entertainer.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that that show literally changed my life. It was extremely fulfilling, and marked me on a course from which I can look back 15 years later and trace my career to that show. My love for charity shows stuck, too: In addition to producing/performing, I am also the Founder and Chairman of Win-Win Entertainment, a legal 501c3 nonprofit that matches performers with charity events
These high school charity shows eventually turned into The St. Joe’s Prep Juggling Club – a group of students who performed at nearby hospitals, nursing homes, and the like throughout the Philadelphia area. Fast forward 10 years through countless gigs at theme parks, colleges, cruise ships, corporate events, and eventually casinos in Las Vegas, and in May 2012, I got my own show on the Strip.
… You can often sniff out the East Coasters in the entertainment industry in Vegas — everything from how they dress, to how they talk to you, to how often they don’t bring up being so busy because it’s pilot season in Los Angeles.
I can’t say how many times I meet another business contact, and after a few minutes of chatting, we really connect. More often than not, it turns out that we are both East Coast transplants to Vegas. There’s always that “I knew there was something I liked about you!!” moment.
… In a town based on the illusion of having more money, fame, and power than you actually have, I try to operate from a more honest perspective. I believe that has a lot to do with roots in Philadelphia…
Read the whole article in Philly Current.