Sammy Younan is a left-handed writer, journalist — the program director of Girth Radio and the Host of My Summer Lair a pop culture celebration podcast where he’s talked to DMC from Run-D.M.C. to Cory Doctorow.

this is what he looks like:

Be Dope.jpg

Inevitably at a party I’ll be asked: “So Sammy…what do you do?”

I’ve yet to come up with a witty or even pithy response so I tend to shurg: “I do stuff.” Indeed and below is some of the stuff I do.

The spark for the variety is my interest in telling tales fueled by my ardent belief of not being bound by medium. I’m not sure if that makes me selfish or artistic: it’s a thin line. Tales can exist in myriad forms much like water can be ice or steam.

So: here’s some of the common campfires I’ve gathered around to share stories.

Music Tales: NewMusic Ten

Karim Awad from big time design and communication set up the site you’re currently reading. He was fun, cool, creative and laughed at about 70% of my jokes. In short what I look for in business partners. So I pitched him the idea of NewMusic Ten and we were off and running.

Imagine an alternative to iTunes with no aggregators and...yes AND...2 revenue streams! Itunes only offers artists 1 revenue stream. Imagine iStockphoto mashed with iTunes. Then you have The SampleBank!

It’s All Happening: I get to be lazy and hip: at the same time! Thanks to The SampleBank I get to chat and meet with all kinds of bands, especially fresh bands like The Jilted Lovers Club.

Fashion Tales: S’up Cuz

My business partner DC and I set up this t-shirt company to explore ideas of community, comedy and of course comfort. We were propelled by failing to find particular images or ideas on t-shirts. One of those classic if you’re not finding what you want go out and make it deals. Really and honestly the t-shirt is one of the most inspiring canvases: there’s just no limit save imagination.

It’s All Happening: We often host a booth at the Toronto Clothing Show. One year a group of 8 senior ladies approached us in chattering excitement. They wanted to buy 8 Yo! T-shirts.  Which from a sales perspective was freshtastic but DC and I were curious…why? Obviously senior ladies not being our primary demographic. They laughed as they informed us there were all here on a cousins reunion! Too Fresh! They even put on the t-shirts right away, one of the ladies checking with me: “Does it match my vest?”

Print Tales: National Post, Geez, Relevant, Comic Books etc.

The tales I dig are not confined to my life…everybody has some sort of story to share. Being a freelance writer has allowed me to connect with different lives; to hear unique stories. Often working in the field of entertainment it’s the story within the story…meeting an actor in a tv show or movie. Indicative of celebrity culture I’m asked post-interview if the celebrity is “nice.” That’s always another tale for another day.

It’s All Happening: I got a dynamic opportunity to meet No. 54 on Maxium’s 2007 Hot List: Missy Peregrym. Not only did I meet her but I got to make her laugh.  Awe. some. Not to shabby if I do say so myself.

Film Expressions I: Actor

Being so animated I’m often asked if I am an actor. Ummmm, no but I play one on tv. While my range will never earn me a guest spot on Inside the Actors Studio it has allowed me to connect with many diverse talents. A film set is like a casino…there are no windows, no clocks…you’re just there until it’s all over. I love every minute of it.

It’s All Happening: Some of my favourite scenes include playing a corpse on a hospital gurney (under the sheets I fell asleep! Very Method!) and this is so radically beyond greatness: I got to be locked in the trunk of a car. Take that one time! Scary when mobsters do it to you in real life tons-o-fun when it’s playtime.

Film Expressions II: Writer/Producer

Filmmaking is really applying creative solutions to problems. Oh sure when directors go on Letterman they sell it sexier than that but…that’s all it really is. That’s the way (uh, uh) I like it. It’s like a game or a puzzle trying to make everything work, attempting not to compromise too much all while serving the vision that brought all these beautiful people together. I hope to do more writing and producing for the screen soon.

It’s All Happening: My good friend and director Jerome Skeete called cut and turned to me on set. The scene clearly wasn’t working: could I fix it? Neither of us were sure what exactly was wrong but off I went in a room nearby with a laptop to hurriedly “fix the scene.” The longer the clock ticked the more money and time we wasted.  I took a sip of tea. Within minutes my fingers blazed the keys…I hit print, grabbed the fresh hot pages and ran em over to the director. Barely finished reading them he smiled and said: “Oh yes!” We assembled the actors, lit the scene and even on the first rehearsal could tell…the scene was working. Whew.

TV Expressions: That Guy!

I’ve been in a few commercials…one of which I was dressed as an Elf. We’re not here to talk about that. One commercial I was in got pulled after viewers complained about the 9-11 connections….what the? I’m Egyptian! Probably the best tv gig I got though was on a now defunct late night tv show: Ed The Sock. I got to hang out in the wanktank a hot tub with a bevy of beauties. Well it didn’t start out as a bevy. First it was 2 girls, then I came back for another episode where it was 3 girls then when I showed up for a third time it was 5 girls!  Crazy. I suspect my parents were glad my last night didn’t appear on the program.

It’s All Happening: I just said I was on tv in a hot tub of 5 ladies…what more is there to add? Course I could lie and say that’s how I always roll so the only thing different this time was the tv cameras but you’d see through that and really it’s a lie that would hurt us both.

Radio Expressions: Lunch Boy {sadly now, this adventure has come to an end!}

You’d think the beauty of radio is anonymity. Fame but not famous. Not so…though I’m not even close to what you call a regular voice I’ve not only been identified at parties and such but I’ve even had to sign autographs. Twice! How bizarre is that? And no despite the name I don’t bring lunch…I just come with my own and yam that. I do try to bring goodness and tons of fun facts. If you’re a flower bloom where you’re planted.

It’s All Happening: I started dropping by Edge 102.1 every day during lunch since my office wasn’t too far. Didn’t say anything to anybody just came, jammed silently to the music, had a good time and left. After a few days the radio DJ Kelly Cutrara inquired: “So…ah…you just going to come in here everyday and eat your lunch, not say a word and leave?”
Considering that was the general plan, I nodded. “Yes. Will that be a problem?”
She laughed. “Nope. But I’ma call you Lunch Boy!”

And a legend was born…

Well that’s just some of the stuff I do. Any questions?

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