During one particular Economics class in high school, Jim's teacher went around the room and asked everyone what they wanted to be in the future. When it came time for Jim's turn, he proceeded to tell the class that he wanted to be an MTV VJ. From that moment on, Jim made every effort to chase down his dream.
Throughout his late teenage years, Jim was the play-by-play announcer for his high school's basketball, football, and wrestling teams. His unconventional and unique broadcast attracted many local viewers to the telecasts. In his spare time, Jim brushed up on his graffiti art, and penned rhymes for the D-Boiz, a hip-hop group he had started with his friends.
Following high school, Jim attended Waynesburg College, where he majored in English. Jim continued to announce sports, and was also an instrumental member of the school's radio station, WCYJ. Not only was he a popular DJ during his four years at Waynesburg, but he was also the station's assistant music director, and ran several promotional events. Jim also wrote a music column for his college's newspaper.
Following the death of Kurt Cobain, Jim and his roommate purchased instruments, and started a band called Milkweed. Jim was the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist for the band, blending his Nirvana influences with his love of hip-hop. In a few years time, Milkweed went from throwing concerts in their dorm room, to playing out at several colleges and house party gigs. Around this time, Jim also created an independent music magazine called Milkit, and assumed the position of editor-in-chief. He also wrote a bulk of the publication's articles, as well as creating most of its artwork. In addition, Jim also produced, directed, edited, and acted as on-air talent for WCYJ's Video Countdown.
After graduating from college, Jim continued to run Milkit, and maintained his regimen of interviewing bands and attending concerts. He also created and promoted a yearly music festival called the "Wiffle Ball c," which showcased many up-and-coming local musical acts in Pittsburgh, PA.
Finding problems landing a media-related job, Jim decided to go back to school. He earned a Master's of Arts Degree in Television Radio and Film at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Communications. Jim ended his studies at Syracuse by interning in New York City at MTV's Programming Department. He secretly wished someone would notice his VJ potential, but alas, they didn't. Down, but not out, he returned home to Pittsburgh with an MA, but no job.
Jim worked maintenance at a local cemetery to cover his bills, as he continued to send out countless résumés, writing samples, and homemade audition tapes to MTV/2. He loved their all-music format, and knew he'd be a great VJ, however Jim never received a reply from his submissions.
In March of 2001, Jim moved to New York City. Like a c rags-to-riches story, Jim arrived with a few bucks on his debit card, and a dream. While working as an office temp, Jim noticed an ad for an open casting call on MTV/2's website. He immediately scheduled for an audition during a lunch break, and over the next five months got called back for four more auditions. MTV/2 eventually tried him out on-air, and in January 2002, they offered him a full-time gig as a VJ-making his high school dream a reality.
When not fulfilling his VJ duties, Jim continues to write, draw, and make music. He also runs a youth program in Queens, mentoring high school students to help them live a positive and fulfilling life.