"A hell of an artist, a great guy, a cheeky monster, and a first-class collaborator."
What I admire most about Dan is his ability to charm and inspire others. He has a way of instantly friending people he meets and intuitively knowing what help they need or how to make their day better. This combined with his great talent and vast knowledge makes him an expert collaborator.
With Songs on Sunday and SOSstudio, two Internet-based music projects on which we've worked together, Dan has been a loyal collaborator offering his singing and guitar talents, but he has also stepped up throughout the years offering feedback on the projects' processes, goals, and future successes. This year, he officially took over the project coordinator position, keeping 20 collaborators on the same page while they produced 10 original songs in 10 weeks. He then wrote, posted, and promoted the blog posts that engaged the SOS audience on social media.
Dan's a hell of an artist, a great guy, a cheeky monster, and a first-class collaborator.
"Dan is able to find those connections and use them to bind a room together in celebration of each other"
I remember the first time I met Dan when he was a trainee in Chicago, learning to become a Blue Man. He stood out as a bright and confident guy who could hold a room easily. He seemed fearless in the face of that old, crusty cast of veteran Blue Men and crew, and everyone warmed to him immediately. I recall him finding out I was a drummer (most Blue Men are actors with limited drumming experience), and mentioned that he admired celebrated drummer Steve Gadd. It exemplifies his ability to speak to people in ways that connect with them – he offers the connection and pulls himself toward you, rather than pulling you towards him.
It’s a gift that certain people possess – making someone feel like they’re the only person in the room when you’re talking to them, and Dan has that gift. He’s able to find those connections, however thin or even frayed, and use them to bind a room together in celebration of each other. No one knows it’s happening until it’s happened, and that’s the beauty of it.
Above all, once you’re in Dan’s circle of friendship, he excels at maintaining it. A postcard here, a phone call there, a remembrance of a special connection only we share; that’s Dan. I value our relationship immensely.
"He is an instigator, a leader, and a friend with a sincerity and follow-through rarely seen"
Dan brings an incredibly valuable combination of willingness, vibrancy and hard work to any project, and nearly any interaction, I have seen him approach. His personality is inspiring and disarming. As his friend, I have witnessed him deal with setbacks with realistic optimism and fortitude, and I have seen him grow good opportunities into great opportunities that become awesome learning experiences.
While working with him at Blue Man Group in Chicago between 2007 and 2009, Dan was an important hub of the company. He was approachable by fellow performers, company managers, ushers, cleaning staff and salesfolk as a friendly face and informed team member. During his time in there, he also created a well-nurtured network beyond Blue Man Group and used his position in a renowned show to further himself creatively, playing in several outside musical projects; and to give back to the larger community. More than once, Dan eagerly jumped on opportunities to work with students to discuss his creative and professional work with them. Several years later, working with the odd schedule of Blue Man Group on Norwegian Cruise Lines, he used his furlough time to personally build a global network that he continues to keep in touch with, and to grow remarkable new skills and life experience including work as an Australian ranch hand and as a project coordinator for European off-shore wind farms. He is constantly seeking creative outlets, challenges and connections.
He is an instigator, a leader, and a friend with a sincerity and follow-through rarely seen.
"Dan is not only proficient in taking on tough schedules but an expert at navigation through any complications."
Over the past 5 years I have worked with Dan on a number of exciting, creative projects which every time resulted in success. Through the projects I have learned that Dan is extremely good at working on clearly defined projects that have a specific outcome. In my experience he works fast to take a project from conception into the early stages of creation which in every case has helped to drive the project to completion.
We have worked on a number of media projects that have included advanced training and very tight schedules to complete the work. Dan is not only proficient in taking on tough schedules but an expert at navigation through any complications. Just like any large project there are sometimes bumps along the way and with Dan’s silky smooth ability to work through problems, it has made it a pleasure to work with him.
Specifically, we have completed a number of film projects together; always with levels of complexity like travel, personal arrangements, tight schedules and specific deadlines. Each time Dan did a fantastic job at taking the reigns to ensure all the elements were completed. One of the most important aspects of working with Dan is the personality and ease he brings to a project. He is always a delight to work with and a lot of fun. In today’s world it is easy to be focused on the technical aspects, Dan is able to bring personality back into the room and ensure the client has a great experience whilst getting the job done.
"Dan reminds me that life is short and to embrace every moment of it to the fullest."
Dan has a wide knowledge about creating exciting environments, impactful entertainment, audience engagement and is able to apply it to traditional and immersive performance. Working together on Movember, he utilized his vast experience to help performers connect immediately with the audience and aided our client, Bagavagabonds in winning the best event of the year for the internal company. His adventurous and playful spirit is contagious.
I never know where he is in the world, but if it's not performing or creating it's working on some insane project like a ranch cowhand in Australia, or some pipeline in the ocean. Dan reminds me that life is short and to embrace every moment of it to the fullest.