Greetings, labias and genitals! The name's Brunk—Julius von Brunk.
Dig my totally bitchin' homemade X-Wing pilot uniform!
People describe me as the coolest dork they ever met. . .
To begin, let me ramble aimlessly about my interesting and heroic life full of peril, hardship, scorn, chaos, poverty, struggle, tacos, and cats!
I was born and raised in the vast, boring countryside of Amish land in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Childhood wasn't that great for me, to make an understatement. My formative years filled with neglect and abuse caused me to turn to creative outlets to suit my needs—therefore, I began crafting with LEGO at an early age (in fact, I learned to spell "LEGO" before I could write my own name as a wee lad). School wasn't any picnic either—well, I mean, early elementary school kicked ass, as I had lots of Incredible Crash Dummy action figures to play with at recess. I got ridiculed frequently for sucking at kickball, so I spent my recreational activities with my old friend Nintendo when I was in 3rd grade. Around that time, I watched more Nickelodeon than any kid should, and the exposure to so many vivid cartoons made me decide to become a creative artist and/or cartoon animator as a career, despite the signs of discouragement from my dimwitted relatives.
To answer your question, yes, in school I was that weird quiet kid who never talked to anyone and spent all day doodling pictures in the back of the class. In fact, this would pretty much describe me consistently until my senior year, when I opened up my mouth and talked for the first time—to which the other kids paused and said, "Whoa, slow the hell down, you talk way too fast." Suffice it to say, I was picked on a lot in high school, and not so much over the speed of my voice—but because I was different than the other drones walking down the halls to class every day—you know, I had something few folks have: Independent thoughts. I wasn't out to make hordes of friends and dress in expensive designer clothes made by third-world pseudo-slaves, as I was more focused on getting the hell out of that institutionalized hellhole before the stress would turn me into a Romero zombie.
Speaking of zombies and George A. Romero, right after high school, I met up with an aspiring indie film maker (who was 17 at the time) named Mr. Mike Lombardo, to whom owned a camcorder, fake blood, and a ton of knowledge of movies I never knew existed. With his ambition and my extreme creative integrity, I joined forces with him and helped propel his burgeoning film troupe called Reel Splatter Productions, and lent my talents as needed. I've helped young Mike as a partner in his ventures, and more or less aided him into becoming a more refined director that he is today. With a few film festival features and awards under his belt, I'm proud to be one his closest friends.
Me at the age of 21 in the intro for our short movie "Skyler Phalanges: Zombie Hunter" — the undead Johnny Cash!
In my early adult years following high school, I sort of went into a dark age of life, which was gradually being extinguished with a slowly-growing enlightened era. Newer talents were starting to rise—from animation to graphic design, to acting and illustration. My early 20s were spent mostly in my mother's basement, as I churned out dozens of crude (but increasingly elaborate) animations, websites and digital designs—all in all eking out a mere living through various short-lived unskilled jobs. For example, I spent the summer of 2006 sweating like Richard Simmons as I painstakingly stocked shelves at Home Depot, only to rush home everyday after my shift to spend six hours on the computer creating a new Flash cartoon or two (and of course wasting time on the internet). This pattern continued well up until my mid 20s.
Trying to be a creative artist in Lancaster wasn't possible in the least bit. Our art scene consisted mainly of old women who painted still-life pictures of barns, whilst the younger people strove too hard to mimic Andy Warhol and make endless amounts of esoteric, meaningless scrawlings. Lancaster had maybe one or two companies that offered work to graphic designers, however, the city was so small that the desire for my skill was limited. And like high school, I was unable to make friends or network within my realm; hipsters thought I was too "normal" or mainstream, whilst normal/mainstream people mistook me for a hipster (?). I mean, any person I'd have otherwise been friends with in Lancaster wouldn't take me serious when they discovered I genuinely listen to '80s thrash metal and not to make an ironic statement —meanwhile, regular uneducated folks branded me as some sort of "art fag" [sic] when they knew I'd rather read a book as opposed to wasting time watching MTV. In other words, I'm indescribably different and much smarter than the average bear. Sure, Lancaster was calm and serene unlike New York, but that's only great if you plan on owning a farm or becoming a hermit in a secluded shack like the Unabomber. As for me, I required a larger city which could complement my talent, other than letting my savvy go to waste.
This sign can still be found on Greystone Road, Route 722 in East Petersburg, PA!
Now, let's move onto the winter of 2008/2009: There I was going in and out of employment, only doing mere freelance work as a designer, and having some personal issues with family at home. Despite my best intentions to build a portfolio and trick myself into believing I could succeed as being an artist in Central Pennsylvania, I realized some sort of great migration would need to take place. For the most of 2009, I was working third shift at a major retailer, owning three cats and living in a cramped 1.5 bedroom quasi-house in the outskirts of Lancaster City. I had enough to support myself (barely), but the way things were going—in terms of my future and my prospects of romantic relationships with girls of my caliber—I came to the conclusion of randomly moving to a major U.S. or Canadian city to start anew, with no regard for my former past as a poor child raised in a dysfunctional household. The time had come to get serious— for real fer real this time!
And so, the fall of 2009 has reached upon me. As I stressed out every night at work, I had visions in my head of possibly living in one of three areas I narrowed down to: Los Angeles, Chicago, or New York. The problem with the first is that it was much too far away to drive to, let alone carry all of my stuff [LEGO pieces] with me. As for Chicago, I sort of felt the same, and then realized New York was only a three hour drive. Even though I had never so much as stepped foot in that town previously, something in my head told me I should first try moving to a neighboring city in New Jersey, then gradually trying to make it big as an artist/actor/comedian in Manhattan—which is exactly what I did (as you'll eventually read about). And since I knew little or nothing about New York at that point, and because I knew not a single soul in said town, I came up with the idea of meeting a girl via OkCupid (who lived in New York), having a long-distance relationship with weekly visits, and then using that as my proverbial vehicle to learn about the city's geography, customs, and culture—and so that I wouldn't be completely lonely and without an acquaintance when I'd ultimately move there.
Baron von Brunk - 1, New Jersey Turnpike Authority - 0
In October 2009, I met a short pixie-haired seamstress from Brooklyn, by using OkCupid and getting closer personally through Facebook. Within a few weeks of chatting, I took a roadtrip to meet her, and for the first time ever had my true New York experience. In just one weekend, I was changed as far as my ambitions were concerned, and opted to relocate to an area near Manhattan if I planned on doing anything interesting with my life. The girl and I eventually became boyfriend and girlfriend, and during the next few months, I'd drive to see her almost every weekend, all in all gauging New York as a potential new residence to start my real life as a real artist. Unfortunately, our relationship was very short-lived, and we rolled back into an "it's complicated" status in January 2010, when I had already begun making arrangements to move out of Lancaster permanently. The emotional trauma from the break-up was being eclipsed by the extreme stress of trying to move across state lines. To this very day, people still claim I moved to New York solely to patch-up the waning romantic relationship I had, and that I had no ambitions nor plans otherwise to live here on my own. I pity those fools.
I wasn't entirely screwed upon migration: Fortunately, my job at the time offered to relocate me to another store, which was in Secaucus, NJ (the closest location in the New York City metro), and using the magic of Craigslist, I found a cheap room for rent in a house full of college kids from other countries in Jersey City. On February 1st, 2010 at approximately 3 pm, I had my rustic station wagon filled to the brim with most of my belongings (the rest kept in a storage shed in Lancaster), a huge queen-sized mattress set strapped to the roof, and a dying, elderly cat in the passenger seat. It was about 20º outside, and there was snow and ice on the ground. I drained all of my available funds to get there, using up every last thin dime for gas money and moving supplies, then finally settling into Jersey City by that evening. Shortly after first dwelling in that town, my quasi-girlfriend at the time finally broke up with me for good, my feline servant Tiggs died of old age, and I resumed work at my job (but in a different store). Things were dark, depressing, cold, and barbaric. With barely enough money to survive (let alone drive to work every day), I somehow used my last remaining pennies to get MetroCards to New York to look for graphic design work and possible background spots on TV shows. I was so poor that I was living off a large bowl of sloppy brown rice for about a week and washing my clothes in the sink. My spirits were too strong to succumb, and my will to succeed was powerful enough to keep going. This brief period of my life I refer to as my personal "Great Depression", as my scrounge-like lifestyle made me feel like Tom Joad.
By early March of 2010, my life took another major shift as I finally found—after spending countless hours and days searching for—a full-time graphic design position for a small electronics company in Midtown Manhattan on Madison Avenue, steps away from Bryant Park. Getting hired for a true, non-freelance art position in a white collar setting was just like that scene in the end of Transformers: the Movie when Hot Rod harnesses the power of The Matrix, and kicks the shit out of Galvatron. In fact, when I first was hired for that job (and quit my crappy position at the store) "The Touch" by Stan Bush started playing out of nowhere. It was magical, in the Disney sense. It made me feel like a big man. I cried manly tears. And started speaking in sentence fragments. Within weeks of getting adjusted to the hectic life of hustling in Manhattan and Jersey City, I had just enough money saved up to move to Brooklyn (to avoid paying dual state taxes), and soon began looking around for cheap but not ghetto places to live in Kings County. I was rushed and had not a real choice in selection, and therefore took the first place which came up: Bushwick.
My first professional actors' headshots taken by Michael Sevelo, shortly after I first moved to New Jersey in early 2010. The resemblance to Elvis Costello is purely coincidental.
My time in Brooklyn was both quick and painful. Despite living in a brand-new luxury apartment with full amenities, I soon learned of the unfortunate truth which is the Trustafarian—otherwise defined as a spoiled kid born into wealth who lives for free off a parents' trust fund, and maintains the false charade of deliberate Bohemian living all in all not working a job—and instead staying up playing bad Pearl Jam songs on an acoustic guitar and smoking pot whilst the people with jobs [me] try to sleep at night and earn an honest living. That wasn't just a description of my fucking god damn roommate's mooch, rent-free boyfriend—it was a vivid description of every inhabitant in our building! The hottub on our roof wasn't worth using when the water was dirty and surrounded by empty Pabst's Blue Ribbon cans and cigarette butts. The balcony on my bedroom wasn't exciting when the views from the window only gave me glimpses of the adjacent run-down graffiti-ridden bedbug-infested hipster building across the street (a street that was lined with dog waste, broken glass, vandalized cars and discarded McDonalds' containers). Brooklyn sucked (at least the parts I lived in). Therefore, in the summer of 2010, I packed up all and moved to a small residential house in Flushing, Queens. At the precise moment I'm currently typing this, I'm still living in my house in Flushing (in a little attic apartment), riding the Port Washington LIRR train everywhere, and spending my weekends consuming energy drinks from 7-Eleven and dim sum dumplings from those hole-in-the-wall places that smell like cabbage and soy sauce.
Making LEGO creations with a LEGO hammer. Whoa, meta. (photos by Roz Smith)
Life for me is essentially stable most often, as it is for any true bachelor who lives in a town where no one else speaks English. I've had multiple similar-related jobs in the graphics field for over three years now, and at one point, I even joined AFTRA (which then merged with SAG) to hopefully become a permanent television actor through background work, commercials, and ultimately principal roles. I've done a bunch of background spots on Nurse Jackie, Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Bored to Death, and a commercial or two. Since my foray into the acting world, good gigs have come in slow and sporadic as most agents are interested mainly in theatrical experience, and not so much my history of blood & guts via Reel Splatter. Ergo, I've gone back into being an in-house graphic designer for numerous companies in the consumer goods field, and in the spring of 2013, I managed to get along the right track and help launch a new electronics company. I'm currently employed as a professional graphic artist for a sports promotion company in Long Island, and hopefully by the end of 2013, the electronics company shall be fully launched, and I'll be the official art director at said company. I'm more focused on my day job and LEGO sculptures if anything, but if I had it my way, I'd gladly go back into doing TV shows again -- whether as a background actor or a principle star.
I do what I can to be happy with or without peers. Sometimes I turn into hermit crab mode and be a recluse for weeks. Other times, I'll go out to a diner with complete strangers who don't know my name. All in all, I almost never get to go on vacation. I mean, I keep telling myself that one of these weekends I'll hop on the L.I.R.R. and go to Montauk, but alas, something always comes up (mostly LEGO-related). Hey, those transforming robots don't build themselves!
A recent creative venture of mine that I've been sort of tinkering with is possibly writing and booking small shows, such as local burlesque acts and/or music video ideas. I'm going to team up with my best pal Skot of Testosteroso notoriety, Lombardo & the Splatter boys, and for my main starlet, a close ladyfriend of mine named Rachel—with the stage name Red Bettie—a New York native, to whom lives in my former hometown of Lancaster (how I met her)! I've got all sorts of multimedia spectaculars planned out currently, as we're collaborating to think of some original show ideas for potential burlesque performances, go-go dances, animated movie ideas—and maybe even a public access talkshow featuring puppets and pyrotechnics!
Me and Red Bettie: Staten Island's stacked, sultry Semite! She's my sister from another mister, and I plan on being her personal "Jimmy Hart!"
In my professional sense, I've got a long career ahead of me as far as my company(ies) is concerned, so perhaps after I've raked in my profits from electronic devices, I'll go back into the show business world permanently and start doing commercials, voice overs, and minor roles in movies/television. I mean, as much as I love creating things and using my infinite imagination for the greater good, I don't plan on sitting behind a desk and playing with Photoshop forever. Who knows: Maybe I'll replace Flo, the Progressive Girl. Maybe I'll collaborate with Uwe Boll and make a movie about Atari's Asteroids. Maybe I'll help direct the next Weekend At Bernie's sequel. Whatever, it's a free country.
P.S. - I eat too much!
Would you like to know more? Here be my favorite things:
Patton, Jaws, Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (1986), Predator, Swamp Thing, The Great Escape, The Longest Day, Stalag 17, A Fistful of Dollars, The Blue Max, The Warriors, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, Billy Madison, Clash of the Titans (1981), the original Star Wars Trilogy, The Wizard of Oz, Return to Oz, Return to Oz, Back to the Future (1, 2, and 3), Raiders of the Lost Ark, Starship Troopers, Beetlejuice, Dumbo, Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, Wrongfully Accused, Victory Through Air Power, Goldeneye, Weekend At Bernie's, Spaceballs, Planet of the Apes, RoboCop, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters 2, Wayne's World, Death Wish, Goldfinger, Moonraker, Battle of the Bulge, Tron, The Big Gundown, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, The Blues Brothers, Rocky IV, 633 Squadron, Monty Python's Meaning of Life, Happy Gilmore, The Dirty Dozen, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan, TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE*
*In no way whatsoever do I mean those piece of crap 2007, 2009, and 2011 Michael Bay movies which I refuse to watch. The only Transformers movie I will ever acknowledge is the original 1986 animated masterpiece (well, that and the subsequent made-for-TV movie about the resurrection of Optimus Prime).
Wax (in quasi-alphabetical order)
AC/DC, Accept, Aerosmith, Alice in Chains, The Animals, Anthrax, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Black Sabbath, Cornbugs, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Circle Jerks, Duran Duran, Dio, The Doors, Deep Purple, Frijid Pink, Ennio Morricone, GWAR, Green Jello, Gustav Holst, The Hollies, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Jethro Tull, Johnny Horton, John Fogerty, Johnny Cash, John Philip Sousa, Joe Walsh, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, Manowar, Metallica, The Moody Blues, Kiss, Mercyful Fate, Motörhead, Nazareth, Neil Young, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Pink Floyd, Quiet Riot, Rainbow, The Raymond Scott Orchestra, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Rolling Stones, The Sex Pistols, Skid Row, Soundgarden, Styx, Saxon, Spooky Tooth, Scorpions, Spike Jones & His City Slickers, Stone Temple Pilots, Ringo Starr, Tears For Fears, Tom Waits, Thin Lizzy, Tesla, Twisted Sister, Three Dog Night, Van Halen, The Ventures, Wesley Willis, The Wesley Willis Fiasco, Warren Zevon
Falafel, lamb gyros, steamed hams (patented Skinner burgers!), hummus, quesadillas, meat, tacos, nachos, burritos, Guinness, Swedish Fish, black licorice, Jelly Belly (buttered popcorn flavor), bread, everything bagels, ramen noodles, sushi, cheap sushi, crêpes, General Tso's Chicken, Shrimp Lo Mein, egg rolls, fried won ton, steamed dumplings, shrimp, raw tuna fish, Powerbar, V-8 Juice, Chef Boyardee, mozarella fries, meatball pizza, Subway subs, Baked Lays potato chips, Rockstar energy drinks, black olives, mushrooms, Cheez-It, pizza flavored Goldfish crackers, hushpuppies, baguette bread, dark chocolate, beer-battered stuff, garlic chicken, pork fried rice, white rice, California rolls, shrimp egg rolls, Dove chocolate, gummy sharks, human souls, black olive, meatball, & mushroom pizza, Chex Mix
The Ren & Stimpy Show, Salute Your Shorts, The Kids in the Hall, Mobile Suit Gundam 0079, G-Gundam, Doug, Wacky Races, Dastardly & Muttley, The Adventures of Pete & Pete**, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Legends of the Hidden Temple, Kids in the Hall: Death Comes to Town, The Sifl & Olly Show, Cartoon Sushi, Liquid Television, The A-Team, Hogan's Heroes, The Transformers (1984-87 series), Simon Schama documentaries, The Young Ones, The Ripping Friends, Sealab 2021, the History Channel, Bill Nye the Science Guy, Whose Line Is It Anyway? (U.K. and U.S.), Futurama, 1992-2003 era Simpsons, Beavis & Butt-head, Monty Python's Flying Circus, MacGyver
**I met Steve Buscemi on the set of Nurse Jackie and talked to him briefly about his minor role as Ellen's dad on The Adventures of Pete & Pete! Oh, and I dressed as Artie: The Strongest Man in the World for Halloween in 2010 -- then flash forward to early 2012, when Mr. Lombardo and I attended the Pete & Pete reuinion show in Bowery -- where I met the whole cast for real, and got a rare photo op with Artie himself, Mr. Toby Huss. . .
Baron von Brunk: Too badass for Lancaster!™
©2005-2012 Situs Julius, Baron von Brunk. All contents are property of Julius von Brunk (unless specified).
Official website of "The Baron" Julius von Brunk, a native Pennsylvanian and current New York City resident! The original Amish cowboy, the tattooed LEGO maniac, and the metalhead with mutton chops! Featured in Nintendo Power, CNN Geekout, and recognized as the creator of the massive LEGO Super Mario 3 airship model!