Young white man with brown hair and a Bexley T-shirt holding a small American flag

I don’t typically get personal in my columns for The Free Press -- I usually rant about the latest antics of the two party system or the Ohio Republican Party -- but it’s time for me to reflect on my last year and a half in Ohio because now I’m leaving. Although my move is subject to several variables (including the ol’ bank account) it could possibly be for good. We’ll see.

I spent nine years in New York City (off and on and back and forth) from 2008 until November 2017, when I loaded my belongings into the family van to move back with several projects on the table for 2018. My production company had raised the funds to shoot a feature film about killer raccoons. The Libertarian Party of Ohio had lost their official party status and wanted me to run for governor. Columbus Crew SC was going to be moved by an evil millionaire and the fans had to save it. My comedy career had plateaued with my debut album and I was in a rut comedically. And my journalism career had floundered despite freelancing for many great outlets over the years. My move back to Ohio had all the typical stenches of defeat, but also the promise of new potential. I had the possibility of doing all the things I did in New York City in Ohio instead.

The journey wasn’t perfect, but in the end we prevailed on all fronts. Our feature film Killer Raccoons! 2! Dark Christmas in the Dark brought together a talented cast and crew of Ohio actors and filmmakers. As principal photography wrapped and post-production began, we were out of money and a plan, but we received help from several Columbus production companies to finish the movie in July this year. I’ll always be grateful to the Greater Columbus Film Commission, Vital Companies, Central Cameras, Horizon Companies, Kinopicz American, Little Rock Bar, Ohio University’s School of Media Arts and Sciences, the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway and City of Bexley for providing the equipment, crew and locations to get our ambitious project over the finish line.

On the political front, we fell 1 percent short of our 3 percent goal in Ohio’s gubernatorial race, but the dedicated members of the Libertarian Party of Ohio deserve praise for getting out our message of liberty against all odds. Ohio’s political and journalism establishment tried to keep us out of the news and debates, but we still got our campaign commercials on TV and earned more media attention than expected. We also have a legal precedent to stay on the ballot in 2020, thanks to some brilliant work by our lawyers and a 2015 court case out of Tennessee. Ohioans will have another chance to give the Libertarians their due 3 percent (or more!) in next year’s presidential race.

The #SaveTheCrew movement also prevailed with a grassroots campaign that spread the message of our team’s plight around the city, country and world. At the end of the day, no millionaire can just swoop into town to take away a team that has been here for decades -- Crew SC is more than just a sports franchise, it’s a piece of U.S. soccer history. In October 2018, the owners of the Cleveland Browns announced that they would buy Crew SC to keep the team in Columbus. And while the team isn’t having the best season this year, the fact that we still have a team to cheer for means everything to the fans who love it.

Comedically, I was able to jump into a burgeoning Columbus comedy scene and connect with new and old comedians alike, plus I helped new comedic ventures begin and wrote fresh material to replace my old stuff. I’m proud of this scene for diversifying and developing as much as it has, and it only has upwards to go. Wherever I end up next, I’ll do our comedians justice and represent Ohio well.

And lastly there is journalism, including my monthly columns here in The Free Press. While I also wrote for and a few other out-of-town outlets, The Free Press has provided me with a consistent home to spout off whatever is on my mind -- usually politically -- and for that and their other activist work, I will always be grateful. Even if we don’t agree on everything, the folks at The Free Press know that Ohio can and should do better in several arenas, and together we worked towards that goal with our words. Although I won’t be writing from the Buckeye state anymore, I’ll send a dispatch from the road wherever I end up as long as The Free Press will let me. After all, 2020 is just around the corner -- and it’s going to be a shitshow. Stay tuned.