People Getting It Done: Singer/Songwriter & Improv Meister Craig Kotfas #payitforward @CraigKotfas

I Love It When I See Friends of Mine Getting Creative Things Done! Today’s spotlight is on Craig Kotfas!

Today, and for the next couple days, I’m going to hand pick somebody from my ever widening circle of friends and known associates and highlight some of their accomplishments. The goal is twofold: first to shine a light on some wonderfully talented individuals, and second; to tell them thank you for being a source of personal inspiration. These are the folks whose stories inspire me to try and find the time to accomplish my own creative goals. I am not coveting mind you, I am purely gathering hope and the confidence to be able to put my own mark on this great big world we share. Because let’s face it, we all talk a big game about our plans and dreams. We’re all writing a novel, or jotting down lyrics, or filming some indie short film, or auditioning for a part, or etc., ad nauseam, rinse, wash, repeat. Yet, it seems like very few of us are actually putting anything tangible out there in to the universe for the masses to consume. So it is with a certain amount of giddy (perhaps the spirit of 76%) that I have chosen to talk about somebody that I know on a personal level, who is not only working on all of the above in some capacity, but he has already released 2 full length music albums, been featured in theatrical film releases, and has been a staple of the Austin TX improv scene for nearly 20 years. Craig Kotfas, today I’m paying it forward for you!

We're cool Craigy, but could you stop undressing me with your eyes... it's distracting
We’re cool and all Craig, but could you stop undressing me with your eyes… it’s distracting.

Full Disclosure: I’ve known Craig since first grade. We quickly became friends due to a shared love for baseball, good music, and building Legos. Also, there was copious amounts of farting on Cubbie Bear, but that’s a story for another time. Poor Cubbie Bear... Over the years, we’ve moved to different cities, gotten married to the respective loves of our lives, and are on wildly different paths in life. We don’t keep in touch like we used to, but we still call each other on our birthdays and exchange random Facebook replies. He never fails to “like” my silly little blog posts from Nerfed Llamas on Facebook, even though I’m almost certain that most of them probably don’t interest him in the slightest. He’s just kind of like that, always spreading the love. Craig maintains a constant stature of being a beacon of positivity in a world full of pessimists.

Here's this goofball at my house circa 1993. I'm the dork behind the flash...
Here’s this goofball at my house circa 1993. I’m the dork behind the flash…

What I Can Tell You About Craig: At an early age Craig showed a flair for the dramatic (and I suppose the comedic), as he and I both went through the Drama program in High School together. It was during those years that he started writing his own music and performing with other young and talented musicians. he also dabbled in sketch comedy with a group of students in the AV club as they put together the morning announcements video. In the late 1990s he moved to Austin, TX and started getting plugged into the comedy improv scene. In 2004, Craig became a founding member of the improv troupe The Knuckleball Now, which has brought laughter in the bucket fulls and still performs to the delight of many an Austinite to this day. He, and the company he keeps are exceptionally funny individuals and well worth your time. If you are going to be in Austin, I highly recommend checking them out!

Not gonna lie, this is pretty much one of the coolest album covers ever
Not gonna lie, this is pretty much one of the coolest album covers ever

Craig as a Singer/Songwriter: Over the last decade or so, Craig has released 2 full length albums, Best Case Scenario and Autopilot Disengaged, which are available for purchase on CD or digital through his website and also via iTunes. Craig’s music brings a lot of his warmth, positivity, and humor to the forefront with a folksy sound that is reminiscent of the Dave Matthews Band or the Bare Naked Ladies, and yet still very much his own. In many ways, his albums are indicative of the Austin music scene, as each track features a wide variety of musicians playing a broad selection of instruments. It is not unusual to hear strings, brass arrangements, keys, and unique percussion sounds in his recordings. It is pure marzipan with fantastically harmonic sounds that help create wildly listenable music with infectiously catchy lyrics. Take a listen to the following tracks and dig the creative videos that he put together for them:

Design Guru: Craig also freelances as a graphic designer. His work has been featured at Austin Film Festival, OOB Comedy Fest, Industry Brewery, Cold Brew Coffee, and so many more! He offers a wide variety of services including: logos, branding, posters, brochures, jingles, web banners, image editing, and just about any other marketing or design need you may have. For more information, check out his site: Craig Kotfas Creative

An example of the kind of design shenanigans you are in for if you contract Mr. Kotfas. Muy Bueno!
An example of the kind of design shenanigans you are in for if you contract Mr. Kotfas. Muy Bueno!

Craig has done a lot. Like a lot, a lot. That’s one of the many reasons that I keep a keen eye on him and all of the different things that he is up to. So go forth and purchase his albums, have him brand your new product (or spruce up the branding for your existing product!), show him some love on Twitter, or catch an improv performance by The Knuckleball Now if you can. Craig Kotfas is sure to brighten up your day no matter how you interact with him. Thanks for all the laughs and encouragement Mr. Kotfas! I am working on my Magnum Opus as well, and with each day I am getting closer to a finished product. Until then, just know that you are a source of positive inspiration in my life.

I think somebody may want to teach Craig how to properly string a guitar... just sayin'
I think somebody may want to teach Craig how to properly string a guitar… just sayin’

Also, for a little bit of fun, here’s a song of his titled: Make Up Sex (which is not available on CD or on iTunes but if you pester him enough maybe he’ll release his studio cut that I know he has… because I have it too.)

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