BUT LET's tell the real story...
Let's take it back to college days: Alcoholic Skateboarder musician philosopher with a business degree and a lot of insecurity, pressure, and self doubt. in college, I would avoid all classes that had presentations, which stems back all the way to 7th grade. or, if i couldn't get out of them I'd get drunk beforehand. I was deathly afraid of any situation where i was put on the spot. I graduated and felt a huge weight to make a bunch of money and be "successful". i went deeper into the alcoholic ways as i waited tables and felt like a waste even though i was in bands and having fun.
my friends had an intervention when i was 24. Huge thanks to all my friends including my brother, Lauren O'neil and spencer and the cole family for helping me make the first step that day a long time ago. To try and be in a healthy environment, I decided to get a job as a salesman at 24 Hour fitness in camarillo. I was around fitness and was learning sales which helped me stay busy and get my mind off the struggle to stay sober. I did so well in my first few weeks that they transferred me to the santa barbara pre-sale location, which was a highly sought after position, but i had no idea at the time. only problem was i had extreme anxiety when driving on the freeway and was one of the other things i had avoided for a while and the main reason why i drank so much just a few months earlier. It had developed into full on panic attacks and high anxiety anytime i would drive or leave my safe zones, and i felt crippled without alcohol. after a few panic attacks i just avoided all freeways and travel. I had developed agoraphobia and was terrified at this job transfer.
turns out, although i was terrified, I made it through and the drives got easier. I ended up breaking the pre-sale sales record at that time and was ranked top 10 in the entire company nationwide. One month i even finished #1 in the entire company.
I ended up getting burned out and then did a few more sales jobs up in Santa barbara before moving back to camarillo. i loved it for about a year but all the money i made at those sales jobs was dwindling and my zones were shrinking again because i wasn't pushing myself to travel. After working a few more jobs i hated, i decided to become a trainer where i could be fit again and also do sales, which i was very good at. i did really well as a trainer and was the top producer. I was there 5 years and met so many great clients, all while playing in a band and a lot of local shows. everything was great but i wasn't pushing the agoraphobia thing at all. I was happy to be where i was as long as i didn't have to face the problem. I was constantly avoiding.
After 5 or 6 years i quit 24 hour fitness and started my own fitness company called Gamut Fitness. Although I wasn't facing my main issue i was taking risks and they paid off. Most of my clients followed me to my home gym, and my schedule was stacked. And i got to keep all the money. but my anxiety from not facing my travel issue was increasing.
but that's about when i got into art, to decorate my new condo, and also to help me cope. Art Changed everything for me. i started really wanting to change and was no longer happy staying here. I couldn't stop painting. I was obsessed and started missing a lot of fitness clients because i was staying up too late painting. My clients were understanding but it was obvious that i was transitioning and opening up a lot as a person and tapping into some underlying energy i was unaware of until that point. that's when i decided to change from Gamut fitness to Gamut. It was clear what the brand was now: Art and wellness, mixed with music, sports, the full gamut. and on top of that the empowering messages that i was telling myself to help cope with my anxiety and avoidance made their way to the apparel.
Since then I have had some small successes with traveling and haven't overcome it by any means. This is going to take a lot of work, and telling you about it is a big step for me. I wanted you guys all to know that I am agoraphobic. I struggle to leave the area. The brand has stayed in CAMARILLO and ventura because of it. I have turned down countless huge opportunities because of it. I have also had huge inspiration and success because of it. i have developed some great coping tools and i am determined and resilient. I am kinder and more sensitive. I am learning and growing a lot. my paintings reflect what i go through. I am ready to share the real story and be vulnerable with you all. My growth depends on me trusting that I can be me 100%(not the half story you see on social media) and unashamed to be who i am. the world needs ME to be open.
THANK YOU FOR READING. IF YOU'd like to hear more about my story please listen to my audio diary released earlier this year on endpain.com. They are an amazing resource for storytelling and aDdressing tough issues, reducing stigma and Connecting people.
Here's some new pieces that will be shown in an upcoming show called CURRENTS ON AUGUST 25th at STUDIO CHANNEL ISLANDS ART CENTER: