Authors, Filmmakers

Josh Mitchell

October 9, 2014

Writer, director and publicist Josh Mitchell is originally from Boston, but currently lives in the heart of Hollywood. In July of 2014, he published his first novel, The Dude Who Did Dictionaries, the story of a man who leaves his high-paying job as a advertising copywriter to instead work in a bookstore and attempt to write the world’s first all-sexual dictionary. A sprawling, gritty depiction of a recession-afflicted world, The Dude Who Did Dictionaries is a gripping account of one man’s fatalistic downward spiral.

In August of 2014, Mitchell released Pissing on the Pulse of the Planet, a book that offers unique musings on sex, politics and pop culture, all viewed through the lens of Mitchell’s subversive comedic wit.

Mitchell recently wrote, directed and starred in Lack of Cockery, a feature film about a venture capitalist who finds himself questioning his perspective on identity, life and love. READ MORE

Chefs

Danushka Lysek

June 3, 2014

Private chef Danushka Lysek grew up in Canada to Czech parents and, at a young age, developed a love of cooking. After graduating from the Culinary Arts program of the renowned Le Cordon Bleu school in 2006 — and subsequently realizing that working in the restaurant business was not for her — she became a private chef in Los Angeles.

In 2010, Danushka appeared on an episode of the Food Network’s 24 Hour Restaurant Battle, which she won. In 2012, she returned to the Food Network and competed on Chopped and, in 2013, was a contestant on season nine of Food Network Star.

Danushka currently lives in New York, where she continues to cook unique and inventive farm-to-table cuisine with seasonal influences.

When did you first realize you enjoyed cooking, and what inspired you to pursue it as a career? READ MORE

Musicians

Nick Valentini

May 26, 2016
Nick Valentini

Born in Los Angeles in the fall of 2015, The Nick Valentini Collective is a critically-acclaimed eight-piece musical collective that blends elements of indie rock, jazz and psychedelic soul into a captivating, multi-layered melange of rich melodies and soulful, cathartic vocals. Led by Nick Valentini (singer, keyboard), the group also features Erik Shibowski (bass), Hugo Shibowski (tenor sax), Nate Schwartz (guitar), Nicolo Scolieri (flute), Nick Velez (drums), Gabriel Wheaton (string orchestration) and Tyler Wennstrom (keyboard/percussion). On the strength of their dynamic live shows, the group has garnered a devoted following since their debut.

The group’s two singles, “Carousel” and “Mr. Mister,” will both be featured on their debut album, scheduled for release in late summer 2016. In the meantime, The Nick Valentini Collective will be touring extensively during the coming months. READ MORE

Authors

Susan Meissner

April 13, 2016
Susan Meissner

Born and raised in San Diego, the second of three daughters, author Susan Meissner acquired a passion for books and writing from her parents and, from an early age, was driven to pen stories of her own. By the age of eight, she was writing poems and stories in a journal given to her by her second grade teacher, and in high school, her freshman composition teacher saw promise in Susan and encouraged her to develop her skills.

In 1993, Meissner and her husband moved to rural Minnesota, where she began working for the local newspaper, first as a part-time reporter and later as the editor. In 2002, her paper was named the Best Weekly Newspaper in Minnesota by the Minnesota Newspaper Association. Despite her success, Meissner had a gnawing desire to write a novel and, after the passing of her grandfather in July of 2002, she resigned from her position at the newspaper and wrote her first book, Why the Sky is Blue, a story of faith and sacrifice and the rewards that can emerge from seemingly tragic circumstances. READ MORE

Video Game Developers

Jeremy Zink

May 12, 2014

From a very young age, video game developer Jeremy Zink wanted to create games. Even before he began working on his first game, he conceived of an entire series of adventures, including character designs, storylines, gameplay features and more.

“Game design is very meaningful to me,” Zink muses. “It’s a powerful form of creative expression that combines all art forms into one interactive experience.”

His first game, Elements: Soul of Fire, was completed with the assistance of his father and features 21 playable characters and over 70 hours of gameplay.

What was your childhood like, and what made you first want to create your own games?

First of all, I just want to say that being a creator is awesome, and the greatest thing ever. I’d rather have no other talent than the ability to create. As well, to me, Elements isn’t just a game; it’s a story about a world filled with characters who feel. A lot of video games don’t get the credit they deserve, in some cases even from those who create them. Some people consider them trite, while others treat them as art; I find myself siding with the latter. READ MORE