NJP (Nice Jewish Person) Scotty Felsenfeld!
Each month, The Well highlights an amazing (and eligible!) individual.
This month, we have a conversation with NJP Scotty Felsenfeld!
TW: How did you decide to make your adult life in Metro Detroit?
SF: I was born and raised in Michigan so I always knew I wanted to live here. Plus, my parents grew up around the Metro area, so it just seemed natural.
TW: You spend your days doing video editing at ABC 7 - tell us more!
SF: Well, I'm a video editor for the news, specifically promotions. So I edit "commercial-like teases" for stories that air (usually before the 5pm, 6pm, or 11pm). It's challenging, but editing is my passion, so I'm lucky to be able to say I get to do what I love for a living; plus it doesn't hurt to be able to see my work on television!
TW: You also work as a videographer for weddings, Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, and other special events. What do you love about that job?
SF: First off, I'm very grateful to my friend Adam Luger for allowing me to join his team of talented professionals who do this job. What I love most is being able to capture these moments for people that they will be able to hold on to and treasure. I feel very grateful to be a part of their journey and to give them this gift that they will remember for years to come.
TW: It's clear from your jobs that the arts and creativity are important to you. Where else has that been present in your life?
SF: My grandfather is one of the funniest people I know. When he was younger, he was in the arts doing pantomime acts and acting in movies and commercials. He was always entertaining us when we were younger. I believe he's where I get my talent from; I mean, the guy can tell me a joke now that makes my family and I burst out laughing, and he's 94!
TW: You've performed quite a bit, as both a musician and actor. What's been your favorite performance?
SF: Hmm. This is a tough one. So my favorite performance as a musician would be the time my bandmate Josh Zimberg and I walked into the Leo's Coney Island on main street and started playing "Hey Jude." The ENTIRE restaurant sang along. It was beautiful. We subsequently got thrown out shortly after. As an actor, I recently performed one of my grandfather's own routines for him during his 94th birthday party as a surprise. The look on his face was priceless. It made him incredibly happy and it's a moment I'll never forget.
TW: You have a tattoo that says "Slow Down" and looks like a road sign. Can you tell us more about that?
SF: I do! This is hard to explain in a few sentences, but the gist of it is that life is too short and hectic - we need to remind ourselves to slow down when our thoughts and feelings start to snowball, take a breath, and calm ourselves. As someone with anxiety, I remind myself all the time to breathe and slow down when life seems out of control. Additionally, one of my mother's brothers passed away at a young age and it was then that I realized that life can pass by pretty quick, so I wear it as a reminder to myself, and to others. I also have two other tattoos, but those are stories for another time :)
TW: Where would you most like to travel to that you haven't visited?
SF: Probably France. I took French throughout high school and college, so I'd like to try and test my remembrance of the language where it's spoken at some point. Plus, I hear it's a beautiful place to visit!
TW: How do you like to give back to the community / others?
SF: I give every year to the Human Fund. In reality, when I can I give to causes that hit home. I’m trying to reach out to the community more and hope to be able to with the aid of The Well.
TW: What's your favorite Jewish holiday and why?
SF: My favorite Jewish holiday would have to be Hanukkah. It always reminds me of when my family used to have a big gathering with everyone and we'd get presents and sing and dance. It was a blast. My mother also makes the best homemade latkes on this Earth.
TW: Fav Jewish food?
SF: Besides my mom's latkes, it may be strange to some, but I LOVE gefilte fish. My grandmother used to make it from scratch and it's absolutely delicious.
TW: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
SF: I went on Birthright in the summer of 2010 by myself. This was huge for me as I never really traveled much, and I got to connect with my Israeli cousins for the first time. And not only that, I met one of my best friends and even stood up in his wedding!
TW: Would you rather win an Olympic Medal (for what sport?), an Academy Award (in what category?), or Nobel Prize (in what)?
SF: I would definitely want to win an Academy Award - for either acting or editing. It’s honestly a long-term goal. I think it’ll happen 🤞
TW: Best movie ever made, hands down?
SF: It’s tough, but it’s gotta be Shrek the Third.
KIDDING! This is another tough one, but it’s a toss-up between 2001: A Space Odyssey, Back to the Future, That Thing You Do, Shawshank Redemption, Casablanca, and Fargo.
TW: How about a fun fact?
SF: Fun Fact: I was a stand-in for Jesse Eisenberg in the movie 30 Minutes or Less. I got to hang with him, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson, and Danny McBride for 8 weeks in Grand Rapids. My hand is also in the trailer.
TW: Finish the sentence: When I go to The Well...
SF: I hope to meet like-minded people and make new friends; possibly play some music and join in fun events and community involvement.