I love hearing about other people's journey, especially when the story is complemented by photos and video, it fascinates me how similar yet different we are as people trying to survive and thrive on some random rock spinning aimlessly through space. My brand marketing experience allowed me to convert that natural curiosity into strategic and succinct customer narratives that solve problems and help connect people with products and brands in an organic, authentic and meaningful way. Here's where you can view my career journey with strategic storytelling. While I think I'm good at retelling the stories of others, I am terrible at telling my own story. I either overshare or edit out all the good stuff for brevity and end up seeming basic. I believe everyone has an interesting journey that led them to the exact moment in time when they're asked the dreaded question, "Tell me about yourself". So, here's my attempt...
TL;DR... Child actor who worked in FM radio until becoming a Creative Producer. Won a few advertising awards before transitioning into Creative Operations and Design Management. Here's what my peers, colleagues and leads have said about my work. Southern California born and raised but the Bay Area is home.
ONCE UPON A TIME... My professional career started as a child actor with small roles in film, television, commercials and theater productions. At the age of 15, I accepted a part-time job as a board operator for a radio station in my hometown of Palm Springs, California. I was soon supporting the advertising and production teams and eventually given an opportunity to host my own on-air shows where I had to balance high school life while evolving my career in radio broadcasting. My responsibilities in radio expanded to later include Production Director, Imaging Producer and Assistant Music Director.
My background in radio led me to be hired as an audio mixer in the sound effects department at CBS Television in Los Angeles, where I worked primarily on network promos. Occasionally, I would be assigned to the television shows that taped on the lot, "Bold and the Beautiful", "Young and the Restless", and my ultimate favorite, "The Price is Right"! I was lucky enough to have been able to work on that show back when Bob Barker was host and Rod Roddy was the show's announcer. Oh, and the rumours are true - Bob Barker was so mean to people, he even yelled at me twice, but that's a story for another time. I remember my first day working on The Price is Right. The SFX Mixer area was awkwardly situated next to the area used by the contestant producers (where winning contestants were told about the taxes they now owed on prizes they just won). Both areas were located stage left behind those famously cheesy red curtains with the CBS eye icon in a step and repeat pattern. THIS was the game show I would fake sick just to stay home from school to watch, and here I was NOW in charge of playing the sound effects for the yodelling climber in the Cliff Hangers pricing game and the *DING* after each bid was given by a contestant standing down in "contestant row". At one point, the SFX workstation was repositioned next to the sound engineer who was lucky enough to hit the play button on the DigiCart tape that played the iconic theme song at the beginning of each episode. I stared at the engineer's finger hitting that play button with the same vigor that other people have when they watch NASA rocket launches at Cape Canaveral. Still fanboying over that experience, so I'll stop before I begin to actually hum the theme song.
I continued my career in radio / audio while also taking production management jobs in television, I consciously let the acting opportunities fade into the background while I maintained my steady stream of voice over work to help pay the bills when freelance production work was slow. I eventually spent more time working behind the camera than in front of it, which was more exciting to me anyways. My list of Producer / Director credits exceeds 130 projects and include digital content as well as a healthy amount of national television commercials and broadcasts + cable network shows for HGTV, CMT, and MTV. I became known for my work in unscripted content because of my ability to holistically look through a user experience lens and identify strategic opportunities to create genuine moments with customers that allow them to share their unique stories connecting with a brand, product or experience. My work with customers as testimonials is reflected through my Producer / Director reel where I led story development, drove the conversation with real customers as the off-camera interviewer, as well as directed editorial and post-production.
Dylan and Denise DuBarry
My career was forever changed when I met Denise DuBarry, an accomplished tv / film actress and the talented CCO for a global direct response company responsible for launching new consumer brands into retail through DRTV, home shopping television and new emerging digital media channels. One day, Denise heard my voiceover work in a television commercial and asked her producing team to "find that voice". When they tracked me down through my agent, Denise auditioned and then cast me to be the voice over artist for two of her national television campaigns ("Body Vibes" and "Resolution Clear Skin System"). I later worked as a freelance Production Manager for a few of her film shoots until Denise eventually offered me a full-time role on her creative production team as a Unit Production Manager (UPM) and Associate Producer. That opportunity applied my creative production skills to product + brand programs and allowed me to work alongside and / or direct legendary talent like Joan Rivers, Ed McMahon, Mr. T, Suzanne Somers, Nicole Ari Parker & Boris Kodjoe, Tanya Memme, Paul Rodriguez, Monty Hall, George Wallace, William "Bill" Asher (Director, I Love Lucy), Barbara Eden, Quincy Jones, and Carol Channing to name just a few. Denise was a beautiful human whose energy lit up any room she walked into. She was a strong leader, savvy business mind and a brilliant mentor who helped mold and shape my career within creative production, operations management, brand building, strategic storytelling, as well as product marketing. I am so grateful Denise was channel surfing that day when she stumbled upon that random tv commercial with my voice.
I would later serve as an Executive Producer and PMO lead for the largest direct response creative agency in North America where I was personally responsible for multi-million dollar production budgets and driving creative and marketing strategy for consumer brands like Comcast, RosettaStone, vacuum brands ORECK, Hoover and Dirt Devil as well as P&G Beauty [ producer reel ]. Several of my broadcast spots were nominated for awards through the Electronic Retailing Association. I took home four awards for my brand work and even received special recognition from my peers and leaders within the Direct Response industry.
Producer / Director for ORECK brand marketing
Behind the scenes shot of Dylan directing a tv commercial shoot w/ David Oreck, founder of ORECK vacuums
My uniquely diversified experience working as a creative, collaborating with creative and managing creative within both the client and agency environment provides me with the optics to successfully drive operational strategy and improve efficiency for high-performing creative teams. I partner closely with creative talent and leadership to build and manage programs that allow creatives the space to be creative.
Manager, Creative Ops
Lead, Creative Services
WB Interactive / Games
When I'm not stuck in back to back Zoom meetings, I enjoy gaming, photography, getting lost in nature and aggressively trying to lose the pandemic weight (*sigh*). I also like animals more than people, but I digress ;)
THE END... for now anyways