I was raised in Los Angeles. My Mom has been an actress / model/ jack of all trades as long as my twin sister and I have been alive. I was raised in Hollywood’s reach, literally. I was raised to be
This was an interesting factor in my life which lead me through unconscious self-defeat, escapism and denial. I lived all over the world from 2001 -2014, concluding in 3 years of habitation
It was towards the end of this time that I had the most life-enhancing and liberating realization in my life. That being ‘in Hollywood’ didn’t mean I had to be an actor.
I was on a bus.
It was sunny that January day in Istanbul. I was taking the bus from my home in Etiler, towards the old Pera district now known as Beyoglu. The sun was beaming through the musty windows, creating a heat and stench, unparticular to most western cultures. I was facing west, the sun was in my eyes and at that moment the weight rolled off my shoulders, as if Atlas shrugged.
That moment lead me to large realizations, inspired decision making, and strangely fortuitous emails. I knew I had to leave Istanbul. My wife and I, HAD to leave Istanbul.
There would be no more energy drain tied to a career in Istanbul. The fluctuating emotions and let down would succumb to my greatest inspiration, becoming a television host.
I began contemplating how to make the quickest transition from Istanbul, disruption no matter. I had endured years of my favorite city, to be held in little regard within the sphere of
The email arrived 5 days later.
A friend in Capetown had worked at a modeling agency. He wrote me they were looking for guys to come down to finish out the ‘season’, to enjoy the end of summer in Capetown, and hopefully make some money. I had been to Capetown multiple times previously on direct bookings throughout modeling, so I knew it was a great place for me. And would be, for us.
We needed sun, after gnawing disappointments, we needed fresh energy. Thank the gods for new energy. I know not all of us have
After discourse, we agreed to leave in 9 days, we would purchase our flight and they would cover rent for 6 weeks. I knew modeling wasn’t my main objective going down there, it was filming, and my fleeting opportunities would finally be mine.
You see in this industry you can create your own work. With youtube, vimeo, vine and a plethora of digital advancements making your own content is easier than ever.
Capetown would be my first foray into hosting and
I shot video everywhere I went, with the iPhone and my Canon 550D, an entry level DSLR. I loved it. I had purchased a lavalier microphone a year earlier and we experimented in using this unglorified apparatus. It was entry level, sound quality bad, lots of static, and often times never connecting to its own channels.
After a few weeks we were a bit fed up. My wife would film me doing stand ups and walk and talks, that often ended in escalating annoyance at both of our lack of knowledge / experience/ ignorance and of course arguments were always nearby.
It was at this time, we were to attend the Design Indaba conference in Capetown, a design conference in all aspects including furniture, graphic arts, fashion, and jewelry.
After shooting within the hall, and another bout of inadequate sound quality my wife had enough. We went to buy some ice cream, in a fit of frustration she decided to walk up to the next person carrying a video camera. Not knowing videographer from amateur she went for it.
It was in this way we met our first mentor in video production and hosting, Zach Vincent, who was in all ways poised to be our guy. Laid back, understanding and well versed, Zach discussed with us some options we had to shoot and to set up a meeting if we wanted to work with him.
A few days later we sat down with Zach at a local cafe on Kloof St, popular with model types, creatives, and local Capetonians, we laid the groundwork for what would become my first pilot show for
‘In The Cut: Capetown ‘.
We discussed the show pitch, the market, the length, establishing a script, the ideas, camera, mic, assistants, and logistics. We were setting up our own production in that very moment. 3 brains uniting together under an unproved show title, lead by Zachs experience and local knowledge and our enthusiastic blindness.
That day is one I will always remember.
The shoot day(s) went off without a hitch. We shot a yoga / workout sequence on top of signal hill the first morning. We broke for the day and caught up the next. It was Saturday, we were to visit Bo Kaap, take a walk through downtown, go to the Old Biscuit Mill, Woodward Arts District, Kalk Bay on the south coast and finally Hout Bay, where we would end the day under an epic sunset.
Through direction, mad inspiration and consistent effort we churned out the days greatest events, inciting events, conversations, and opportunities to work with all under Zach ever rolling shutter.
I’m very thankful for the day my wife broke free of traditional thinking and literally grabbed Zach, whom we now count as a
great friend. Zach in turn helped us create one of the greatest experiences of our lives, while documenting every step to create a beautiful first pilot show.
Watch here: Jeff Young In The Cut: Capetown, South Africa
That was the first time I ever stepped in front of a camera professionally, to host.
Since then I have made over 40 videos, learned countless tricks in video production, visited multiple cities, all through passion and undeterred action of which I have gained increased self respect… Thank you for being a part of my journey.