I am a Bay Area-based content creative born and raised in Los Angeles, California. After moving to the Bay Area to attend San Jose State University, I received a BA in Radio, Television & Film, with a minor in Creative Writing. I currently live in Oakland, California with my beautiful wife and try to explore my creativity every day. Being a recent Kidney Transplant recipient (❤️ thank you. wife ❤️), and the ongoing management of Type-2 Diabetes, I understand how precious and important health is and I strive to take advantage of every day.
Reaching back to my pre-teen years, I’ve been obsessed with discovering what it means to be creative. Combine that with a curiosity about ‘how things work’, and you have my journey through discovery. At the age of 5, I was tearing apart appliances to see how they work. At age 9, I saw Star Wars and realized I wanted to tell my own epic stories, so I started writing. At 15, I heard Run DMC’s “Rock Box” and became obsessed with Hip-Hop culture. I started learning how to DJ, make beats, and sell mixtapes to the neighborhood. Reaching college, I was an on-air DJ and descovered my love of design in all its forms.
My ongoing goal has been add new skills to my toolkit. Currently I work professionally as an online course developer, as well as create motion graphics and video editing. Outside of work, I make music under the name Big La vs. Todd and spin for a series of online mixshows and podcasts.
In 2020 I was diagnosed with stage-3 Kidney Disease. My kidneys were functioning at only 12%. For the next 3 years (with most of the help from my wife) I was able to stay off of dialysis by switching to a vegan diet and walking 3+ miles a day. Reluctantly on my part, my wife got tested and it turned out we both have Type-B blood, so she was a rare match. And in May, I successfully received one of her kidneys.
During high school, I never even considered the option of going to college. I just wanted to get out of school and get on with my life. But on that day, I accompanied my best friend to his Guidance Counselor to fill out his paperwork. While we were waiting for him to finish, she just looked at me and said: “Hey, you wanna go to college too?” I gave her a nonchalant “Yeah, ok.” She gave me enrollment and financial aid papers to fill out, and within a couple months, I got my acceptance letter and financial aid award. I wish I could remember her name. I need to give her a big hug but changing my life.
Arachnophobia (the fear of spiders) sends me into a jumping and screaming fit like a 5 year old girl. And I have a mild case of trypophobia where I can’t stand looking at large holes/pits on people’s bodies.
I grew up with a crippling shyness.. to the point where I would get panic attacks if I made eye contact with another person I didn’t know. It took years of conditioning to have functional interactions with other people. I can still feel it creeping somewhere inside me.
I had this dream of designing fighter planes and rocket ships when I entered college. I knew I was a great student when I would apply myself, but I couldn’t hack the entry level math courses. I knew I had to find something else I would be passionate about. I researched getting a design degree but the course list didn’t really appeal to me. Luckily I chose a Radio, Television and Film degree with a minor in Writing. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I shaped what I do for love and for money.