Tobias is always moving. It’s the American berserk via U-haul. East to West, then back again. Forever the question, You an army brat or something? Answer: No. His mum’s an itinerant newspaper journalist.
Which might or might not account for Tobias’ early affinity for books – indeed & unavoidable here: we’re talking early-onset horrible-little-nerd syndrome.
To wit, watch this 11-year-old short-story-underliner pound the table, cheer & jeer the first time he beats his grandmother at Scrabble.
And yes, we probably should say DEAR GOD WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU TOBIAS!? But really we’re proud of him – cause, after all, not only is Tobias’ Grandma ranked Third Place Amateur Regional Scrabble Champion in the women’s over-60 category, but she maintains a ‘Scrabble Room’ where she keeps her trophy & a lot of ashtrays & OK- sure, maybe she does share cigarettes quite freely with her young grandson, but still: First the pride, then the fall – Grandma Doris had it coming.
Anyway, suffice to say, that while his ferocious Scrabble doings may ensure adored standing at small family gatherings – this gift does seem a bit limited in its real-world application, especially w/r/t schoolyard dynamic & being The New Kid each year.
Maine, St. Croix, Boston…Clack-clack goes the typewriter – new newsroom, new town…Missouri, Oregon, Connecticut…
A kaleidoscope of half-memorable plot points along the way: mild brushes with authority (the fireworks in-grocery-store incident); received words of wisdom (verbatim: “Stick with the books kid. Stealing’s bad for your character”); various defeats (Captain of the losing’est basketball team in his high school’s history), and, too, a few semi-triumphs (got into an adequately good college AND graduated).
But none of these equal the great & long exhale of The Big Move to New York City – where, for the first time, Tobias feels instantly, truly at home.
OK- obviously he’s not off to a total Wow! level beginning. But still, he’s earning his first-job sorta-stripes temping around town as a night-shift inputter of legal documents. And if that doesn’t sound glamorous, it’s not.
On the plus side, however, Tobias is a noticeably fast typist – and to such an extent, his temp agency superiors have begun calling him “Crazy Fingers.” As in: “Hey Crazy Fingers – they wanna book you again.” So let the records show: Tobias has a steady income, a nickname, and he lives in NYC.
Soon, and the result of miraculous timing (his) & personality (theirs), Rolling Stone hires Tobias. Editorial. A familiar sense of black on white, words on paper. We observe an ascent.
Now, Tobias is working with a spread of notable writers. He’s also suffering quite nobly as Hunter S. Thompson’s editor. Yes, things are happening. City life’s taking hold & a career beginning to form.
But there’s a crack in the edifice: MOVIES. He loves them. Can’t get enough of them. Each good one hits with the force of personal discovery – and the simple question: What would it be like to make something like that?
And so, after a period of long walks & considerable hand-wringing and, more pragmatically, learning final cut (if y’re curious, here’s what the inaugural learn-to-edit project looks like)… Tobias does it.
He leaves his job and goes freelance (writing for TV & magazines), whilst leaning into the wind of Trying To Make It Happen… Edits, makes corporate films, gets hired to write screenplays, co-directs a documentary which fails just miserably, co-directs a documentary which goes to Sundance and wins some awards.
Still crazy for stories & images, and the original tonal worlds they make – Tobias has directed TVC’s & online films (for clients including: Burger King, Hornbach, Siemens, Smart & Footaction). And we’re happy to say, he’s received a nice heap of accolades for them…
What else can we tell you? His favorite color seems to be blue (purportedly also Ghandi’s favorite color– the implication: natural leadership skills), he might get a family cat (likes & is liked by animals), and he’s a pretty nice guy.