Education, personal identity, and self-expression have been primary themes throughout my life. As humanity evolves, the parameters by which we live and thrive change. This necessitates that each of us re-evaluate ourselves, our purpose in life, and in what ways we appropriately, yet comprehensively and distinctively, express our most authentic being. My aim is to assist people in achieving this, most specifically through writing, discovering the core of identity, and working on projects that in some way uplift humanity.
In 1973, while in a production of "Hello, Dolly," the idea of becoming a dancer was introduced to me by the director, Jo Lindauer. I was 20 at the time and thought she was crazy, but she explained that I was a natural and should check it out. I did just that in September, heading over to Colorado State University to the dance department. Without my even auditioning, I was given a full-tuition scholarship — the need for male dancers was so dire. During those nine months of dance, my teachers strongly encouraged me to move to New York City. After working as a dishwasher in a restaurant that following summer, I was on a bus to the Big Apple.
I danced professionally in New York for 12 years (1974-1986) appearing with the Chang Ching Dance Company, Chamber Ballet U.S.A., Theater Dance Collection, May O’Donnell Dance Company, Joyce Trisler Danscompany, and numerous guest appearances with various companies throughout the U.S. I appeared on CBS Cable with the May O’Donnell Company, Cspan with Theater Dance Collection, and PBS Great Performances: Dance in America with Leonard Bernstein in “Mass” at the Kennedy Center, 1981. I also performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Central and South America.
Some of the schools I taught at include the High School for the Performing Arts, Alvin Ailey School, Joffrey Ballet, School of American Ballet (ABT), The Neighborhood Playhouse, May O’Donnell Studio, Joyce Trisler Studio, American Dance Festival, and throughout the U.S., Europe, and Central and South America. I also worked with the Metropolitan Opera, Bolshoi Opera, Asolo Opera, Manhassett Bay Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Stuttgart Ballet.
In 1981, I suffered a serious back injury during a photo shoot for the N.Y. Times. After being diagnosed that I would eventually end up a quadriplegic the rest of my life and it was suggested I have my spine fused, I instead did Pilates for 9 months, learned to walk again, and performed for 4 more years.
In 1986, I was hired to dance at the Santa Fe Opera House for the summer. A week before flying out there, I tore my right Achilles tendon, thus, ending my jumping ability. With my last performance of "Die Fledermaus" on August 28th, I brought my dance career to a close. It had been a great journey graced with many amazing and talented people and some extraordinary experiences!
Upon retiring from dance, I immediately was hired by WICAT Systems, a computer-based training company. I was so intimidated by computers, I was afraid to even touch one for fear of blowing it up. Despite my fears, I learned the basics of instructional design, design implementation, storyboarding, graphic design, lesson development, and testing.
I worked with clients in developing course specifications, taught classes in both basic and advanced principles and operation of the WICAT authoring system, and the structure, operation, and effective use of courses for classroom implementation.
From 1986 to 1992, I developed courses for companies that included NASA/Lockheed’s software integration for the first space station at Johnson Space Center, Northern Telecom telephone operator training, F-14A & D jet training for the Top Gun School at Naval Air Station Miramar, North Island Naval Strategic Communication program, American Airlines Flight Attendant Training School, the CIA, Halliburton Oil Company, Honeywell, Fireman’s Fund, Ford Rental Company, McDonnell-Douglas, and Northern Telecom.
Additionally, I developed several on-line demo packages for various companies, including a “virtual office suite” showcasing Halliburton Energy Services in 1993, which won a national design award.
AIDS reared its deadly head right around 1981. Three of the very first people ever diagnosed with the "gay cancer" lived in my building. Being that these were friends of mine, I began taking care of them the best I could. To learn more, I began making regular visits to the Gay Men's Health Crisis Center and started attending support groups at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center in N.Y.C. All three neighbors passed on within a 3-month period upon their diagnosis.
I wanted to do more to help out, so became more involved at the Community Center. Upon moving to San Diego in 1988, the day after I arrived, I "accidentally" walked into their LGBT Community Center and struck up a fast friendship with the then Executive Director, Scott Fulkerson. I was amazed that the Center didn't have an wholistic response to AIDS. Soon after in 1988, the Center convened its first meeting to begin what became the AIDS Response Wholistic Health Program.
I had found a new calling becoming heavily involved with the program and created the program's first newsletter. I was affiliated with The Center for over 12 years, facilitating numerous groups from AIDS-related to wellness to gay issues. I was also a 6-year member of the California Lavender Smokefree Project, a group working to reduce smoking in the gay and lesbian community.
In 1992, I began working toward attaining a Masters in Counseling Psychology. I never got to finish the Masters program, as I was hired by Anthony Robbins to be the Director of his Creative Department in 1994. Despite that, I was asked to facilitate the Married Men's Coming Out Group at the San Diego LGBT Community Center, a group that was initiated in 1992, the first of its kind in the country.
I began facilitating the support group in 1993 with a 1-year commitment. Six years, later, I passed the group on to another facilitator. The work I did with this group prompted my writing Married Men Coming Out! The Ultimate Guide to Becoming the Man You Were Born to Be (click here to learn more).
From 2001 - 2005, I was senior consultant to the president of the Foundation for Global Awakening. I also produced Deepak Chopra's corporate training manuals from 2001 to 2010.
Starting in 1995, I began ghost writing books and providing editing services. I've not looked back. To read more about my writing background, click here.