Authors, Musicians

Nick Anastasi

June 5, 2014

Born in South Philadelphia during the Reagan Administration, Nick Anastasi spent much of his twenties traveling the United States as the lead guitarist for Fat City Reprise, a five-piece rock band named after Hunter S. Thompson’s bid for Pitkin County Sheriff in 1970. The band released a self-titled album in 2007 and, finding success on the west coast, relocated to California. Anastasi left the band in October of 2009 and has since moved back to Philadelphia and joined indie rock band Southwork.

In addition to his musical career, Anastasi is an avid writer, and he spent much of 2007 through 2009 covering anti-war, Prop 8 and various other protests for several blogs in Los Angeles.

In April of 2014, Anastasi released his first novel, A Better Mousetrap, a dystopian tale about questioning authority, realizing potential and following one’s heart in a bleak world. READ MORE

Video Game Developers

Janrae Mendoza

May 2, 2014

Janrae Mendoza is a video game developer and the creator of Honesty Games. Born and raised in the Philippines, Mendoza attended King’s College of the Philippines and the College of Saint Adeline, where he studied game development and took a Trainer’s Methodology Plus for Creative Arts in Game Programming at the University of Makati.

In 2011, he founded Honesty Games, and released Kagerou Days, a rhythm game based in RPG Maker.

He is also currently a Game Development instructor at the Cordillera School of Digital Arts.

What initially drew you to video games, and how did you first get involved with programming games of your own?

I was inspired by the creators of Breath of Fire IV and the Phantasy Star series when I was young. Being addicted to both franchises, I started to learn programming at the age of 13. Back then, my cousin was helping me cope up with how to code. When I got to college, I started coding simple games in Java. My first involvement in making a game I really started was for my portfolio when I was 16. READ MORE

Entrepreneurs

Kamil Grzych

June 19, 2014

Kamil Grzych is a former A&R executive and the founder of Nastraq, a unique new website that connects music listeners to indie artists using a dynamic sales model. While the songs are free to download initially, their price increases as they grow in popularity, with the artist receiving 70% of the sale price.

Grzych, who spent the past decade cultivating artists and their work, oversaw the development of the site and each week, he and the rest of the Nastraq team painstakingly curate artists from hundreds of submissions and promote selected songs through the Nastraq marketing channels.

Nastraq is not just another music store, but rather a platform for artists to launch their careers.

What was your childhood like, and how did it shape who you are today?

My career started in a dark alley in Poland selling American sneakers to Polish teenagers. I realized at the young age of 14 that I was going to be a serial entrepreneur. I came to the US and immediately fell in love with the music community in LA and hooked up with a lot of talented artists. That was when I founded my own record company, searching for talent, growing the talent, and making them heard. READ MORE

Actors & Actresses

Tino Orsini

May 27, 2015
Tino Orsini

Stemming from an intense desire to foster creativity and remarkable dramatic representation, actor Tino Orsini’s career has featured portrayals of numerous compelling and intense characters. Born in 1970 in Capua, Campania, Italy, Orsini’s passion for acting took root at an early age, when he was featured in various school plays and later trained at The Stella Adler Conservatory and Drama Studio London.

Orsini made his film debut as Walter Gannet in the critically-acclaimed mockumentary The Making Of… And God Spoke, directed by Arthur Borman. He has also delivered strong performances in films such as the 2014 romantic comedy Mum, Dad, Meet Sam and the post-apocalyptic drama After the World Ended, directed by Tony Sebastian Ukpo.

In addition to his film work, Orsini has appeared in a number of off-West End shows, having received favorable reviews for roles such as that of Dionysus in “The Frogs” (Theatro Technis), Polonius in “Hamlet” (Barons Court Theatre), V in “Project Lolita” at The Vault Festival, Baptista in “The Taming of the Shrew” (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival), Michael in “The Blind Bet” (Hen and Chickens Theatre) and, most recently, “Under the Blue Sky” (Drayton Arms Theatre). READ MORE

Musicians

Billy Grima

February 17, 2016
Billy Grima

In October of 2015, at the 3rd Annual International Music and Entertainment Association Awards, Canadian singer/songwriter Billy Grima was the proud recipient of the Best Adult Contemporary Artist Award. For Grima, 2015 was a year of remarkable achievements, as his album Sugar & Cream received critical acclaim and radio airplay on more than 100 stations across North America and over 500 around the world.

Born in Australia, Grima started writing at a young age and was singing in the church choir by the age of eight, and when he was 15, Grima and his family moved to Toronto. His first album, I’m Just Standing, is a rock-pop blend influenced by the sounds of the 1980s. He followed this up with A Little Piece of Heaven, which was dedicated to the underprivileged, with all of the proceeds from the album’s sales going towards helping the homeless and children in need. In September of 2014, Grima released Sugar & Cream — produced and engineered by Pete Swann (Glass Tiger’s Alan Connely, Adrian and Justin Lifeson) — a collection of heartfelt songs about happiness, pain, and relationships both good and bad. READ MORE