If there ever was a passionate person with lifelong pursuit to learn all that life has to offer, Damien fits that description whole-heartedly. An attempted animation major out of high school, Damien eventually chose to follow a decidedly different career path to one that’s more technology-based. Now residing in Anaheim, CA this New-York born, New Jersey native has worked in System Administration and Engineering for over 20 years, eventually moving to California after accepting a position at DreamWorks Feature Animation, a career opportunity that he would eventually parlé into a move to Walt Disney Feature Animation / Animation Studios. He currently heads up the systems and networking teams for an academic software company specializing in digital platform A.I. for Mathematics and Chemistry.
Occupying much of his spare time, Damien is the owner and creator of the Krakatoa Lounge, a personal immersive storytelling endeavor he has been actively developing, show writing, producing, designing and programming over the last year. The lounge boasts an explorer and exotica theme, transcending far beyond the threshold of purely Tiki, and reminiscent of a late 1900s private social club complete with chesterfield furniture and wood paneled walls. He remains focused on storytelling via ever-detailed and intertwined backstories through museum-curated collection of artifacts on display, with interaction and enchantment around every corner, or as he describes it: “The British Museum with a pulse and a bar program”. To him, it’s the perfect convergence of his passion for antiques, Tiki, world history, and storytelling. Standing prominently before it, is a 10 ½ foot tall, fully synchronized erupting volcano he co-designed with “Bamboo” Ben Bassam, complete with pyrotechnic, lighting, and synchronized audio effects.
His claim of “Collecting Hobbies for a Hobby” is as accurate a statement as they come, finding many of them to graduate into “passionate pursuits”. Often assumed to be a career bartender, Damien maintains a love of cocktails and their history, having lectured on both topics in several notable venues in Southern California, including the Queen Mary, and The World Famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, a fraternity in which he has remained a member in good standing with for over 15 years. Simultaneously while working in his technology-based profession, Damien held positions as a tour guide at Disneyland and was also briefly part of the bar staff at Disneyland’s Club 33 (Because….Why not?)
Damien has also been an avid theme park goer since childhood - having a fascination and love for their delicate orchestration of art, technology, storytelling, imagination, innovation, ingenuity, and tried-and-true tradition. It’s these key components combined with the meticulous application of supporting details that he feels evoke a true sense of immersion, and elicits a carefully choreographed spectrum of emotions within the human spirit. Like many, these elements have served as a source of joy, inspiration, and motivation for his creativity, and continues to nurture his firm belief that being a lifelong student is a necessity in any endeavor.