Complementing my interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the three hundred and eighth, is of autobiographer, motivational speaker and interviewee Gary Goldstein. If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at author-spotlights.
Gary Goldstein came into the world on October 18, 1961. John F. Kennedy was President of the United States. The film West Side Story was released, and would go on to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Major League Baseball was celebrating Roger Maris of the New York Yankees, who hit a then-record 61 home runs that season.
Gary was an excellent student, although a bit of a class clown too. He spent a majority of his time playing sports, but fell in love with newspapers, which was how he was initially introduced into writing and storytelling.
While attending Kingsborough Community College from 1979-1981, he served as editor-in-chief of the school’s paper, and then joined the staff at Long Island University’s Seawanhaka for his junior and senior years. At L.I.U. where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism in 1983, Gary was also a selected member of Sigma Delta Chi, as well as Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges.
His last year in college included an unpaid internship at WCBS-TV, Channel 2 in New York City, where Gary learned so much about the television business. Upon graduation, he landed a job at the network, starting as a news clerk for The CBS Morning News with Diane Sawyer, and also weekend shifts for The NFL Today with Brent Musburger.
After quickly rising in the ranks to producer, Gary’s life suddenly went on a downward spiral due to addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling, which ultimately led to nearly six years behind bars for robbery.
Gary’s time incarcerated gave birth to his first published book, Jew in Jail, which tells his true story of how he finally decided to deal with his addictions and turn his life around, all the while under the toughest conditions imaginable of being a minority in the prison system, forced to fend for himself.
Writing Jew in Jail – as he was doing his time – allowed Gary to become very introspective, and realize that he could help others in similar situations of being an addict and / or living with low self-esteem.
Today, Gary still resides in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York, where he is working on his next book project, continuing to promote Jew in Jail, and always helping other addicts through his motivational and inspirational speeches, and one-on-one consultations.
And now from the author himself:
It’s still hard to accept to this day, but in retrospect, getting arrested on June 13, 1998 very well may have been a blessing in disguise.
If this is indeed true, then writing my book, Jew in Jail, served to be even more therapeutic to deal with my disease of addiction – alcohol, drugs, and compulsive gambling – than I could ever had imagined, not to mention the low self-esteem and self-confidence I was toiling around with for years too.
I experienced a normal childhood. My parents provided everything I ever wanted. I had a top-notch education, was an excellent athlete, popular with the girls, funny, and seemingly without a care in the world.
Little did I know or realize at the time, but I felt inferior to those around me, although I never displayed any outward signs of it.
Rather, I began to dabble with alcohol and drugs, all the while continuing to excel in school and later in the business world.
It wasn’t until I started working at CBS Sports in the early 1980’s and “took up” gambling that my world slowly came crashing down on me.
I figured I found something that I thought I could use my brain to succeed at where so many others before me had tried and failed.
Between my alcohol and drug use, and time spent studying statistics and trends in sports and horse racing, I quickly became consumed and lost all interest in work and women.
I went from job to job – CBS TV to NBC TV, and other media companies – until the only place I went to in June of 1998 for nearly six years was straight to jail for robbery.
My addiction had caused me to do the unthinkable: robbing some unsuspecting, hardworking people in order to pay off my gambling debts.
While incarcerated, I did the usual stuff inmates do on a daily basis, like working out, going to the law library, hanging out in the yard, and making pennies on the dollar holding a prison job!
However, I did one thing that practically NOBODY else does while behind bars. I wrote a book, namely Jew in Jail, which details all of the trials and tribulations I experienced as a minority behind bars while fending for myself and attempting to recover from my past addictions.
By physically writing my book as I was doing my time (under the most difficult conditions imaginable), instead of waiting until I was home a free man, it served to be very therapeutic as far as allowing me to become introspective and come to grips with why I had become an underachiever and was living with such low self-esteem.
These days, I not only promote Jew in Jail, both in person around the country, as well as via my radio interviews and guest blog posts, but also deliver motivational & inspirational speeches on recovery from addiction to help others who are either still sick and suffering from this terrible disease, or young and possibly heading down this same destructive path themselves.
It seems so silly now to think back to how I was when I didn’t have much self-esteem, especially considering how I was able to land such great jobs and climb the corporate ladder with those prominent companies that I worked for in the first place.
But that is all in the past, and what I know now is that I – like everyone reading this right now – possess greatness, and can do anything I put my mind to.
My passion these days is helping others, and it gives me more satisfaction than mere words could ever describe.
So whether you spend your time writing, selling cars, keeping house, being an accountant, fashion designer, chef, secretary, or any other profession in the world, the fact remains there is nothing you cannot do either, as long as you are healthy and happy in your own skin.
A $100 bill starts out crispy when it is produced at the mint, and over time, becomes crumpled, gets stepped on, dirty, and changes hands – but NEVER, EVER loses its value.
We, as human beings, are the same way. Throughout life, we may be bumped, bruised, stepped on, pushed around, or even locked up.
However, no matter what, we are all still valuable, unique individuals who are loved and have so much to offer society.
Therefore, always remember that there will never be another person exactly like you in this world.
It’s time to be that shining star you were born to be!
You can find more about Gary and his writing via…
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I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
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