HEY, I'M STEVE!
At 26-years-old, I love everything about communication.
Whether it's staying up until ungodly hours in the morning working on a speech, designing graphics, strategic planning, video editing, creative branding or downing a cup of coffee at 6 pm to put the finishing touches on a well-written piece of content, I will do whatever it takes to help others be better communicators and create things that move people.
I LIKE TO CONSIDER MYSELF COMMUNICATION ENGINEER
There are a lot of forms of communication and a lot of routes a person can take to communicating a message. As a result, I've become very well-versed in several skill sets: public relations, creative writing, social media & content creation, public speaking, video editing & production, graphic design, event planning, and networking.
Growing up the son of a digital communication specialist, I became familiar with the Adobe Suite at a very young age (before it became known as the Adobe "Suite" actually). As a result, I developed an interest in graphic design and video production that ultimately led to designing for the Chicago Cubs and working TV production for ESPN3 and the University of Notre Dame.
However, it wasn't until high school that I learned about my passion for public speaking. After I gave my first ever public speech, I put the pedal to the metal and never looked back. Since then, I have been asked to return as a guest speaker at every school/college/university I've ever attended, have been privileged to be trained by the former speechwriter to the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon, and have consulted for nearly 1,000 TEDx Talk hopefuls.
As a Multimedia Specialist within the Chicago Cubs organization, I managed all social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat), wrote player profile stories of future major leaugers for the Chicago Cubs VineLine magazine, and worked in public relations to serve local communities through our mascot appearance program.
Overall, I believe tactical-empathy is one of the best skills a person can have and--consequently--I believe that is what has led me to so many amazing experiences and connections with so many amazing people. This could also be known as the "relatability-factor" and it's what I consider the secret sauce of great communicators.
In addition to my work as a designer, storyteller, and strategist... I also perform as a magician and keynote speaker.
You could say I was a natural communicator growing up. After experiencing how quickly magic tricks got people's attention at age 6, I picked up performing magic as a hobby to make it easier to make new friends. Fast forward 20 years, and now I've performed for thousands of people across the country, designed custom magic for the CEO of a billion-dollar company, and have been seen on NBC, CBS, FOX, and The CW TV networks.
I love being a magician because magic gives you permission to dream without being bound by the rules that govern our reality. It's like Darwin Ortiz (one of the greatest magicians in the world) says in his book Designing Miracles, "Artists create the illusion of reality, magicians create the illusion of an impossible reality."
WHAT MAKES ME COME ALIVE...
The Slogan I Live By... Courage Over Fear
On November 9th, 2019 I took on a HUGE challenge by running a marathon in a straitjacket and escaping it just before crossing the finish line to show courage over fear.
I wasn't kidding when I stated above that I would "do whatever it takes to create things that move people."
Though it manifests itself in different ways for different people, everyone experiences fear and everyone runs the race of life. But, what is important is that we remember that fear is always accompanied by an equal opportunity to experience courage. And I want others to experience MORE COURAGE!
Running the marathon in this way was a tool I used to remind others that it's possible to keep moving forward despite whatever fears, failures, or obstacles a person may be dealing with. And, at the end of the day, there's a lot of courage to be found in doing so.
This crazy challenge of running a marathon in a straitjacket and escaping it just before I cross the finish line started in 2017
during a show in which I first allowed members of the audience to write on my straitjacket before I attempted my escape. Allowing them to do so served as a powerful metaphor of what it is like to let go of your fears and failures just as the escape from the jacket reminds them that it's possible to escape whatever straitjacket they were dealing with in life. Since then, the jacket has been covered with words such as, "divorce, drugs, suicide, anxiety, miscarriage, skin color, depression, etc.," but after realizing the most frequent word written by people in the last three years was "fear," I knew I needed to do something to spread courage, which is how the idea of running a marathon in a straitjacket covered in fears and failures became a reality.
As a 4-year collegiate athlete, I'm committed to excellence in everything I do. During my time as a pitcher for three National Tournament bidding teams, I learned many valuable lessons that I still carry with me today.
1. Being a good teammate is more important than winning.
2. At the end of the day, umpires are people too and they don't deserve to be treated as anything less than that.
3. Championship teams are built on AND off the field.
4. The crowd only sees the final 15% of the work-the other 85% is done when no one is watching.