Could you write your own obituary? James Rebhorn did and it is beautiful.

You may not recognize the name, but you’ll recognize his face, and after reading this, we should all recognize his life.

His Life, According to Jim


James Robert Rebhorn was born on Sept. 1, 1948, in Philadelphia, PA. His mother, Ardell Frances Rebhorn, nee Hoch, loved him very much and supported all his dreams. She taught him the value of good manners and courtesy, and that hospitality is no small thing. His father, James Harry Rebhorn, was no less devoted to him. From him, Jim learned that there is no excuse for poor craftsmanship. A job well done rarely takes more or less time than a job poorly done. They gave him his faith and wisely encouraged him to stay in touch with God.

He is survived by his sister, Janice Barbara Galbraith, of Myrtle Beach, SC. She was his friend, his confidant, and, more often than either of them would like to admit, his bridge over troubled waters.

He is also survived by his wife, Rebecca Fulton Linn, and his two daughters, Emma Rebecca Rebhorn and Hannah Linn Rebhorn. They anchored his life and gave him the freedom to live it. Without them, always at the center of his being, his life would have been little more than a vapor. Rebecca loved him with all his flaws, and in her the concept of ceaseless love could find no better example.
His children made him immensely proud. Their dedication to improving our species and making the world a better place gave him hope for the future. They deal with grief differently, and they should each manage it as they see fit. He hopes, however, that they will grieve his passing only as long as necessary. They have much good work to do, and they should get busy doing it. Time is flying by. His son-in-law, Ben, also survives him. Jim loved Ben, who was as a son to Jim, especially through these last months.
His aunts Jean, Dorothy and Florence, numerous cousins and their families, and many devoted friends also survive Jim. He loved them all, and he knows they loved him.

Jim received his BA at Wittenberg University and his MFA at Columbia. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Nu Zeta 624, a life-long Lutheran, and a longtime member of both the AMC and ACLU.

Jim was fortunate enough to earn his living doing what he loved. He was a professional actor. His unions were always there for him, and he will remain forever grateful for the benefits he gained as a result of the union struggle. Without his exceptional teachers and the representation of the best agents in the business, he wouldn’t have had much of a career. He was a lucky man in every way.
–Jim Rebhorn, March 2014


Three Pieces of Advice for Those About to Get Their First Job


Last month I wrote about helping students at Pacific find their story to prep for their first job interviews.  I was back this month as part of a panel of alumni hosted by the Pacific American Marketing Association and the Eberhardt School of Business on tips for helping students find that first job.

At the end of the panel we were asked if we had any last pieces of advice to share.  I had three:

  • Be professionally curious – Always keep learning. Especially at your first job. If someone gives you something to copy, read it. If you are searching articles for mentions of a client or competitor, read the articles, don’t just do keyword searches.
  • Find inspiration outside of work – I work in a semi-creative industry, where I’m writing a lot, and increasingly helping pair images and stories.  To stay inspired, I look outside of marketing and PR.  I love museums, have a pile of art books that I look at, and follow Instagram accounts that are inspiring visually.
  • Give back – I was at my alma mater, and to be honest for the first ten years after I graduated I didn’t contribute very much to the community.  Now, I try and help out students when I can by sharing my experiences, acting as a mentor and when possible pointing students in the direction of jobs.

What are your three pieces of advice for those just getting started?

Good interviews rarely “just happen” take it from Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Neil Degrasse Tyson and Jon Stewart from "The Daily Show"
Neil Degrasse Tyson and Jon Stewart from “The Daily Show”

As a PR guy I watch interviews a little bit differently than most people, I look for themes and for what the subject says that gets picked up by the interviewer.   Sometimes this just happens serendipitously but often there’s a lot of preparation by PR folks in the background on what interests the interviewer, how they’ve interacted with subjects etc, but I was impressed with what Neil DeGrasse Tyson said he did before going on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” which I learned from from a great blog post.

He explained that, before getting on the show, he spent a lot of time studying Jon Stewart’s verbal habits. He paid attention to how many sentences Stewart usually grants a guest on his show before inserting a witty comment. He paid attention to what kinds of words or phrases Stewart particularly likes to pick up on. So, when he went on the show, he made sure to describe astronomy using sexually suggestive language, which prompted Stewart to say “WHY IS IT THAT WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT SCIENCE YOU TURN ME ON?” and then, “I FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE.”

So….next time, before an interview…count the sentences and please watch it.