Thanks so much for visiting Adventures in Culture. I’m Jeff Dobbins, a writer, tour guide, avid traveler and culture aficionado. This site was born of my passion for experiencing the world’s rich cultures – folk culture, performing arts, visual arts and cuisine. In fact, my quest for culture has driven the course of my life…
As a teenager I left a small town in Northern California (on a Greyhound bus, no less) for a life in New York’s theater. I studied acting at Circle in the Square and Balliol College in Oxford, and worked as an actor in off Broadway productions, national tours, a bit of television work, and lots of lousy showcases.
During those lean years as a young actor I took lots of interesting jobs to survive in NYC. I worked as a ballroom dance instructor, cater waiter, tour guide, apartment cleaner, sales person at Tiffany & Co., spear carrier at the opera…even an elf and Santa Claus at Macy’s Santa Land.
My love of theater led to writing. I joined the prestigious BMI Musical Theater Workshop, where I studied and created book and lyrics for musicals. I also provided scripting and lyrics for corporate theater and scripts for Metropolitan Opera Radio for several years. A highlight of that time was writing five seasons of the Drama Desk Awards where I wrote for many of my theater idols including Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera, Patti LuPone, John Lithgow, Vanessa Williams, Kristin Chenoweth and Christopher Plummer. A particular thrill was collaborating with Lily Tomlin and Harvey Fierstein on creating special comic material.
Later I turned to the administrative side of theater. I was a press assistant for several Broadway and off-Broadway shows including Smokey Joe’s Café, Forever Tango and The Weir. That position led to theater management and I became House Manager for the original off-Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch as well as the Duke on 42nd Street. I was House Manager for four Broadway shows at the Hilton (now Lyric) Theater, and later Performance Manager at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater, home of the New York City Opera and New York City Ballet.
My career as a travel writer began in 2011 when I launched a blog about all things New York City called NYCxplorer. It wasn’t long before that site led to collaboration with Walks of New York, a new endeavor of Walk of Italy. For a couple of years I wrote and edited the Walks of New York blog, acted as their Social Media Manager, created walking tours, and managed tour operations. I so love sharing NYC with others I’m still happily leading tours of the city.
My trip to study in Oxford, U.K. began a life-long passion for travel. Whenever my schedule and budget has allowed, I’ve traveled throughout Europe, Central and South America, Turkey, Morocco, and Southeast Asia. Now as a travel writer I seek out places and experiences that will allow me to immerse myself in local culture. My writing has appeared on Yahoo Travel, Yahoo News, Nomadic Matt, and Bohemian Traveler to name a few.
Again, thanks for stopping by and joining me to explore the world’s rich and fascinating cultures.