I was born with the entrepreneurs’s blood in my veins! What started out as mowing one neighbor’s yard for ten dollars at the age of 11 grew into multiple lawns and my fist business. Unlike many kids I knew I was earning decent income each week. At just 14 years old I was hired to work as a busboy in an Italian Restaurant. Little did I know that small job would lead to something life changing and put me on the journey I am now on.
I discovered I had a talent for comedy and celebrity voice impersonations when I was 12 years old. Within the year I was performing as a stand up comic at parties, school events, and family functions. It had become my passion and my dream. I knew then what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. While working as a busboy my boss had become a huge fan of my comedy. Each night he would call me out to the dining room and have me perform mini comedy acts for the patrons. This lead me to doing a special hour and half comedy night in the restaurant that was filmed and aired on local TV. To my surprise the TV special was a hit! One particular fan of the special, who was a grade above me in the same High School, introduced himself to me and we became instant friends.
One day in study hall we were talking and out of the blue we came up with the concept for a comedy talk/variety show that we would air on local TV. Although he didn’t think it was possible I set out to prove it was. After all this was a big part of my dream. A few months later “Comedy After Dark starring Mike Burke” was born! I was 16 years old by this point. Our broadcast appeared weekly on local television and became wildly popular in our community and the surrounding communities. I had many roles on the show. I served as Executive Producer, Head Writer, Director, Host, and video editor. The show ran successfully for 100 episodes in a two year span of time. We chose to end it on top at 100!
Since then I have become a filmmaker producing independent films with my production company Mystic Night Pictures. My duties include screen writer, producer, director, lead actor, and film editor. To date I have made over 15 films and numerous film shorts. I have decades of experience in front of the camera and I’m very comfortable with it.
In more recent years I have created a number of home based businesses. I run a very successful Etsy shop building and selling Electric Hurricane Lanterns, a Fiverr business featuring my very successful Santa Claus gig, and I’m involved in art and photography work as well. I have learned much about working for myself and controlling my own destiny since I made my first ten dollars mowing my neighbor’s lawn. I feel that the loads of knowledge I have received should be shared with others. Many throughout my life have come to me for answers about many things. I always found it funny when people over the age of 60 would come to me for advice or to learn something but at the same time it felt great teaching someone something new.
We never know where our journey will take us. If I had not worked as a busboy in the restaurant, I would have never done the comedy special that aired on television, which was viewed by a fan who would become a friend that lead us to creating a TV show that has brought me to where I am today. I believe in dreaming big and then making it a reality. A dream is only a dream if you do nothing about it. Everyone has a chance at success if they truly believe in themselves and what they are doing. Understanding that failure leads to success is key. We all fail at some point, some more than others, but failure is not a bad thing. It is a life lesson. We learn what we did wrong and we try a different solution. It may take awhile but we will get there. The only real failure is giving up.