The Story of My Life

With September fast approaching I am scrambling to get all of my shit together!  I have my hands in many cookie jars at the moment and I kind of hate to admit that I actually like it.  I am definitely turning into a modern day renaissance man.  How so you may ask?

Here is a little backstory to my life as The Average Jim.  I grew up in Michigan, but I spent a lot of time in California.  Anyone who knew me growing up could tell you how all I would do is talk about moving out to California as soon as I graduated high school.  Seriously, I talk a lot and this was the main topic of my conversations.

When I finally moved to California I had to wait a year to go to college because of residency.  It is much more affordable to wait that year and a day!  So in this year I worked at a carpet warehouse.  My dad had owned a floor covering store since before I was born so I know this industry back and forth.  This was a fun year, but I quit as soon as I could go to college.

I took nearly all art classes.  Theatre, photography and something else which I ended up dropping almost immediately.  This is where I think I found my true calling.  Although I already had a passion for photography, being around actors really brought me into people photography.  Plus they always wanted to be in front of my camera!  I’ve thought about taking another acting class at a community college just to have access to willing subjects so eager to be photographed.

Monique by The Average Jim

After getting a lucky break or two in the photo industry I hung up my “professional” camera for a bit to pursue my music career.  I recorded demos, played a ton of shows and wrote hundreds of songs.  This was such a fun time of my life but I needed to finance it, this is where construction came back around.  I would work construction during the day, play music at night and occasionally take photos on the weekends.  I still had my darkroom set up in my house so I was definitely living the life!

When I moved to Florida I had to break up the band and while I was now playing as a hired gun for bands who were looking to get signed I wound up starting my own construction company again while also starting up a photo business again.  The last band who “hired” me (and I put that in quotes because they have still never paid me for my work) was cool but not exactly what I was looking for.  Honestly I wanted to quit before our showcase but I liked two out of three of the band members so I wanted to stick around.

Monique by The Average Jim

I probably played the best show of my life, my guitar solos were of legendary status that night.  We were playing for a small record label out of NYC in a fairly cool spot in Orlando, FL.  I was told to not talk to the guy from the label as only the band’s manager would speak with him as he is very eccentric and doesn’t want to be bothered with us blabbing in his ear.  I didn’t care because I knew I was quitting the band very soon.

After the show and after packing up the gear in my truck as I came back through the bar the owner of the record label walked by all of the other members of the band and came right up to me and said “You are a fucking phenomenon!  Where did you come from?”  I just said, “California.”

Monique by The Average Jim

A few years later I was asked by this record company owner to be in his band.  I recorded and toured with The Love Kills Theory as lead guitar and backing vocals and we are always talking about doing another album and tour.

During this whole time I closed my construction business in Florida, moved back to California and got married to my long term girlfriend.  Once back in California we immediately started up our photo studio again, now my wife was actually running the entire business end of the studio and had been for a few years.  I went back to construction for a while to help with the money, but after a year of that we were so booked that we both needed to be there full time!

Since then I have worked side jobs in construction, played music gigs, and have been a full time photographer for the past 10 years.  But I’m getting the itch again.  I want to play music again, I want to build again and I still want to take pictures.  But I don’t want to do anything “normal” or anything that isn’t creative or just plain fun!  If there is one thing about me people should know it is that I have a very eclectic sense of humor.  I love dark humor, silly movies, and since I’m going on with the entire story of my life, I really like awkward humor.  Things that will make people cringe and feel very uncomfortable.  I think I was the only kid in school who really got what Andy Kaufman was all about and I loved his comedy!

Monique by The Average Jim

This is where I am going with this long winded post today.  While I do good work as a photographer, am a professional musician and am a very talented carpenter I will be taking a stab at my comedic and dark humor side.  Soon with this blog you will be seeing new posts, some will be regarding music, some will be regarding construction, some will be completely off the wall while others may leave you guessing as to what the hell am I thinking?

For a while people looked to me as a solid resource to how to be a professional photographer, well I’m not that anymore.  I have pretty much left the industry as a working photographer trying to get published in magazines and I no longer shoot commercial work.  My music is for me, if you end up digging it then awesome!  If now, oh well.  And while I may offend some, I’m sure I’ll make some laugh.  And this is my goal.  We are all just a bunch of slightly more evolved apes spinning around on a little blue dot in the middle of a vast universe.  If you can’t laugh at yourself and have fun with life, well then what is the point of it all?