I'm an Independent Artist, Entrepreneur, Creative, Friend. I'm the person who catches the glass before it hits the ground after rolling off the table. I'm your one phone-a-friend who always has the answer (and always answers). That person who will come through for you whenever, wherever, however, whatever the situation may be and without judgement or expectation. While It really shouldn't be this complicated to describe what I do, I'm somewhat of a unique one stop shop. I've Co-founded 2 companies, produced over 300 successful events, and designed hundreds of graphics for clients of all types. Artist Management and Development, Community Building, Recruiting, Sourcing, Operations, Logistics, Quality Assurance, Creative Strategist, Copywriter, Editor-In-Chief, the list is limitless. To be completely honest, I normally hand people my card and suggest they utilize it like a Get Out Of Jail Free card. Next time they need anything, ranging from a ride to the airport at 4 am, a friend to walk them home after a long night at the bar, or a business plan and pitch deck for their latest great idea—I am that man. For all of it. Seriously.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
At 18, I moved to Long Island, New York and as a young, excited, teenager I dove into a ‘never-in-moderation’ lifestyle and quickly realized that time management and balance is also a requirement for living a healthy, prosperous life. I was another person in the city that never sleeps, that would also never sleep. I remember having a job at a movie theater at the mall, then waiting tables at a Red Lobster, then delivering pizzas at night. I thought it was a perfect formula for success because I now had a hookup on drinks, dinner, and a movie for dates. What I didn't realize is I was overworking myself, and definitely doing things in a 'harder not smarter' route. So I cut two of the jobs, kept the pizza delivery gig, and when I would drop off the pies, I would also leave a custom menu I designed so customers could order pretty much anything you could imagine from a gas station, bodega, or liquor store. People would hit me up before they made their order and tack on other nice-to-haves like condoms, tampons, beer, cigarettes, chips, candy, etc.I was basically the OG Postmates/Pinkdot/Doordash before any of them existed. This allowed me to generate a lot more cash, in less time and give myself more freedom to do recreational activities such as rapping at nightclubs, deejaying, blogging and playing an online game that I also made quite a bit of money on through paypal. The interesting plot twist was, I was underage to be buying a lot of the items, and by growing a beard and speaking with confidence, I was never really checked or questioned. If I faced denial I would just go to the next guy til someone finally said yes. I'm not gonna lie though, at this age had I got pulled over by the cops, I would have likely told on whatever business sold it to me illegally, luckily that never happened and mama didn't raise a snitch.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
Drive, Confidence, and Respect.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
A full service agency and label. Two festivals. A relaunch of UnderRaidar. A New Years Eve yacht party. My newsletter and a handful of other projects that truly have me filled to the brim with excitement for the future. Oh and I'm also dealing with 6 months of bed rest from a near fatal car accident where I fractured multiple ribs, totaled the vehicle, required leg, hip and heart surgery. Talk about a rough year, now through recovery and rehabilitation I'm making strides to be walking again. It's crazy to wake up every morning and look in the mirror with a daily reminder of your mortality. The feelings of enlightenment I've since received are invaluable life lessons. www.gofundme.com/ericspivak has more info.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
Everything that I do is an expression of me, my style is like a fingerprint on anything that I touch. How you do anything is how you do everything. So for me, you can look back at pretty much anything I've produced in the past 10 years and see my personal touch reflected in it. It's pretty cool to have friends and peers recognize your work, just based on your consistency.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
Personal Development. I have nothing to prove, only to share, and I truly would love to be mentoring, teaching and consulting more than I currently do. Since my experience is widespread and knowledge is valuable - I definitely want to work on speaking for a few panels or keynotes soon.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
My lack of mobility due to my accident, and the struggles that come along with it are pretty frustrating. Never take your health for granted, this is by far the most exhausting process I've dealt with in life. This is coming from someone who's cleaned absolutely filthy carpets with 30 years of build up on his hands and knees when selling a $2,400 vacuums door to door to in 100 degree weather to complete strangers. Oh yeah, and I've also had to deal with my house being completely destroyed by a two-time ex-felon and the LAPD busting up all of my property to get him, forcing me to move. I've got some of the most unbelievable stories that I want to share, it frustrates me that the proof of some of them is simply a memory at this point. While extremely grateful to be alive, and thankful for the supportive people in my life, this whole situation is very challenging and has proven to be increasingly more difficult with each passing day. It makes me think about other times of adversity like back when a European scam artist ruined my credit when I was 18 and the subsequent hoops I had to jump through in order to build credit, open a bank account, deal with check cashing and more for the following seven years.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HOUR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
Have them maintain the quality and consistency of the things I create so they can continue to generate revenue, while I produce bigger and better things.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
I don't have any regrets so to speak, but when I lived in Florida, New York and Texas. I definitely didn't take enough advantage of my resources and in retrospect, I had the world in my hands a few times, but didn't quite know what to do with it. The next time it happens, I'll know and I'll be ready.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
Women. I have so much love and respect for the women in my life, it's a mutual thing, and I've friend zoned myself with so many, haha. I would love to talk to a female love doctor that can break down some things for me that could potentially give me some further perspective and insight into how women decide who their potential partners are.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I'm unique, with a diverse skill set and very much prefer work that's outside of the box. Challenging with lots of potential, but I'm also down for passion projects and matters of the heart. Ideally stuff that's gratifying to my interest in helping others. Music, Art and Events seem to have been a constant my entire life, so keeping those elements inclusive would be nice. -- Although, I'm down for whatever, so hit me with your best shot! Especially while I have this downtime due to my bed rest / recovery.
WHAT IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?
My ideal clients understand my worth and value my work. If I am given $1000, I want you to feel like you received $10,000 in return. If you give me $100,000, I want you to feel like you got a million back. It's been years since I've had an unsatisfied client, and I'm really fucking proud of that.
WHAT IS YOUR RATE?
Consulting I charge $250/hr for whether it's music, art, events, business, relationships, etc. I've got a handful of satisfied clients. For everything else, I've got varying flat rates, but I am very flexible and understanding and do my best to meet people in the middle. For an Annual Salary, ideally nothing lower than 50k, unless it's a start-up or there's some other potential opportunities involved.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Email, Phone - I'm easy to reach, talk to, and don't care if you send a carrier pigeon or a message in a bottle - just please don't waste my time, because I wouldn't do that to you.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Loving Everything That I Do.
This member profile was originally published in September 2016.