I believe in keeping things simple, so my site should be fairly intuitive. But here’s my brief orientation speech: You’ve landed on my “About Me” page… if you want to know a bit about my past, then scroll down. If you are more interested in my future, then head over to Now, Now, Now! to see what’s been keeping me busy. If you’d like to sample my creative work, then click on Dave Writes Fiction, Dave Makes Films, or Dave Takes Photos. Or if you’d like to connect with me, then check out Contact Dave for a link to my email. Thanks for stopping by!
— Dave Holton
About Me (The Short Version)
I am a lifelong creative with an eclectic grab-bag of experience & education to rummage through for tools & inspiration. I’ve worked behind cameras, written scripts for screen & stage, penned articles for travel magazines, analyzed screenplays for studios & agencies, performed for live theatre audiences, practiced Improv Comedy at Second City, & studied Producing for Film & TV at UCLA. Though my primary focus is writing fiction & drama, I also enjoy travel, street, nature, & life photography.
Before pursuing the arts full-time, I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering (with additional studies in Creative Writing) & a Master’s in Business Administration, achieved a professional engineering license in my home state of North Carolina, worked for four years in bridge & heavy civil construction across the Southeast US as a field engineer, & traveled around the Americas & Europe for two years as a management consultant. Over the years, I built a firm foundation for a career in the arts on four cornerstones: Writing, Visual Arts, Project Management, & Business Strategy.
About Me (The Long Version)
Growing up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I immersed myself in tales of ghost pirates & lost colonists, acting them out with my friends out in the woods & on the sandbars. Fact & fantasy were never too far apart. Storytelling was all around me. After all, on the Outer Banks, everyone knows that Blackbeard’s headless body swam ’round his ship three…no, five… no… seven times before it sank away into the depths. My love of stories followed me right into adulthood, & even as I pursued a degree in Civil Engineering, I hiked across campus to take Creative Writing classes on the side, just for fun.
Back then, I still thought of writing as a hobby, so I spent my twenties on a different path: After undergrad, I worked for four years as a field engineer building bridges, then two years earning an MBA, & another two years advising Fortune 500 company CEOs as a management consultant. Neither engineering nor business consulting turned out to be my passion or calling, but they both taught me an incredible amount about working with others, managing complex projects, building a vision & strategy, & executing a plan. In both roles, I learned how to “see all the way to the end” then make the tough choices needed to get from here to there, one small step at a time. I have zero regrets about the time I spent in my prior careers because that unique mix of education & experience has since allowed me to be an effective producer & entrepreneur in addition to being a storyteller.
Eventually, I decided to make my love of stories & storytelling more than just a side gig, & so I moved to Los Angeles to burrow my way into the entertainment industry. For three years, I cobbled together my own “film school” curriculum from practical experience & classroom instruction. During my first year in LA, I studied Producing for Film, TV, & New Media at UCLA’s Extension program. Then, I spent the next two years working on film productions of all sizes, from features to web series to music videos. I also worked throughout as a freelance script reader for well-known, busy clients like Amazon Studios & Resolution Talent Agency. Overall, it was a wonderful mix of theory & practice & allowed me to explore filmmaking from idea to execution all the way through distribution while meeting & working with a bevy of amazingly talented makers & doers.
After several years in Hollywood, I decided it was time to get back to my roots on the Outer Banks’ serene beaches to focus on building my own ideas in fiction & drama from the ground up. In 2017, I made the big move back east, & while I still enjoy visiting the west coast from time to time to catch up with friends & do business, I have been happy to call North Carolina my home these past few years—I have found the history & culture of the region & my own personal experiences here have been a gold mine for story ideas & inspiration. That said, every now & then, I still get itchy feet… & when that happens, I like to go wandering with my notebooks & my camera in hand to search of new views, ideas & experiences. Whether my wandering is far or near, long or short, I always find what I’m looking for… there are so many stories out there just waiting to be told.