CNN


DREAMING: The 2014 Fall Playlist, Vol. 3


For the final playlist of the year I have gathered a number of tunes that should act as the perfect soundtrack to your holiday weekend. So before y'all succumb to your food comas, make sure to sample this cornucopia of goodness...

1. "Dear Future Husband" by Meghan Trainor
2. "Got Love" by Tove Lo
3. "Teacher" by Nick Jonas
4. "Just Like Me" by Betty Who
5. "Shut Up And Dance" by Walk The Moon
6. "Dead Air" by Chvrches
7. "Style" by Taylor Swift
8. "Gladiator" by Dami Im:


9. "I Won't Let You Down" by OK Go
10. "Uptown Funk" by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
11. "Under Control" by Calvin Harris feat. Hurts
12. "When We Were Young" by Dillon Francis, Sultan & Ned Sheppard:


13. "Dreaming" by The Knocks
14. "Come Alive" by Chromeo feat. Toro Y Moi
15. "Ready To Run" by One Direction
16. "What Is Love" by Kiesza
17. "Torn Apart" Bastille vs. Grades
18. "Never Been Better" by Olly Murs
19. "The Heart Wants What It Wants" by Selena Gomez
20. "Capsized" by You+Me
21. "Medicine" by The 1975

Listen to it all (well, except for some - cough - Taylor Swift) here on Spotify:

@TheFirstEcho


Nerdgasm of the Month: Watching the 'Jurassic World' Trailer on Repeat


"The Park Is Open."

I know what I'll be doing all Thanksgiving weekend long...

Watching this trailer over and over and over and over...

[in my best John Hammond voice] Behold, and welcome to Jurassic World:


TLC's "Creep" Just Turned 20 Years Old


File this under: Holy Crap, I'm Old.

One of the songs that defined most of my high school experience turned 20 on Halloween last month (it was officially released as a single back on October 31, 1994). It was a track prominently featured during several school dances I attended during my freshman year at Iona Prep in the suburbs of New York.

I hear this song, and I can't help but flashback to baggy Tommy Hilfiger jeans, Timberland boots, and plaid flannel shirts on Friday nights.

And, to this day, I still can't get enough of it.


@TheFirstEcho


Call My Agent: The Age of Literary Representation


It feels like I have entered a new stage of my life here in Los Angeles.

The reason: I now have literary representation. I have an agent. I now have "people." People who can talk to your people. I'm one of the many many folks in this town who rely on individuals to pimp out their creative work and then wait by their iPhones to hear the latest developments and be on the receiving end of numerous rejections.

This was the day my 22-year-old self had been waiting for. It's the first step towards what I hope will be many more steps.

However, it wasn't quite the experience I had envisioned for myself.

The whole process wasn't as glamorous as one would expect. There was no glass-walled conference room with me seated at one end and a team of suits on the other with nothing but a fruit and muffin platter between us. No champagne corks were popped. No hands were shaken.

Everything all came together...over email. There were a few phone calls. And then, three days of trying to decipher the terms of my contract and one signature later, it became official.

Regardless of how it all went down, I'm happy that, after nearly a year of putting together the pieces of my book, I finally have someone who believes in me and wants to get my writing seen by every publisher possible. I like to think that my 26-page proposal will be enticing enough to throw a few offers my way (the dream of anyone working on their first book).

And the work shall continue. Only six of my twenty chapters are complete. I still got a ways to go, so if you don't see me out and about for the next two or three months, please know that I am probably holed up in some cafe or in the shadows of my bedroom, isolating myself in order to finish my non-fiction endeavor. (For those who have asked: it's part memoir, part satire on health and lifestyle guides. I'll let you know more the more I know it's closer to becoming a reality.)

Thank you, Garson & Wright.

Fingers crossed and reaching high,

@TheFirstEcho


Song of the Month: November 2014


WALK THE MOON's "Shut Up And Dance" is giving Neon Trees's "Sleeping With A Friend" a run for its money in the 80s Pop-Rock Revival category.

Just when I thought 2014 didn't have any more spectacularly awesome tracks up its sleeve, along came this fantabulous track I happened to catch on the radio while commuting home after a tedious 11-hour day at work.

This just might be a last-minute addition to my Best Of list of the year:

@TheFirstEcho


#TBT: That Time I Got Chased Out Of The Glendale Galleria By Security


Picture it: Glendale, 2010. Two weeks before Halloween.

On a very family-friendly Sunday afternoon, six men start stripping in the middle of the Glendale Galleria (in front of Crabtree & Evelyn no less) and proceed to dance and grind to "It's Raining Men."

And yours truly was one of the masterminds behind this failed flash mob (one of many that took place throughout Los Angeles that weekend).

You see, I was the producer for a viral campaign promoting the DVD release of Vampires Suck, which involved a series of public stunts that recreated the Twilight spoof's homoerotic dance number. We were hired by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, so we were a totally legit production...except for one tiny detail.

We neglected to inform the aforementioned shopping mall of our plans and totally went in unannounced.

Cue the mall security guard who immediately came over to stop the performance. Cut to: a dozen other mall cops who started running after us the second everyone on our crew scattered and fled the scene. Eventually, despite my pounding heart, I was able to calmly talk to the Head of Security in the stairwell of the mall's parking garage (some of the dancers and I were cornered and trapped at one point). We explained our case and apologized for the sudden burst of beefcake that had been put on display.

Although I'm sure a soccer mom or two (and some giggling teenage girls) got a kick out of it.

You can catch some of our footage here (needless to say, none of the mall footage made it):


Now I know how that kid must've felt in Johnny Knoxville's Bad Grandpa.

@TheFirstEcho