From the archive: Nason interviews Zane Lamprey of Three Sheets

I had the idea once to interview random up-and-coming celebrities for my old company’s blog site, attracting new viewers and helping us stick out a bit. Unfortunately, celebs are not the most reliable to connect with and almost all of my interviews fell through…except this one. From February of 2008, enjoy my interview with Zane Lamprey, host of MOJO’s Three Sheets and Food Network’s Have Fork, Will Travel.

My friend Rob doesn’t just have an HD-TV. He has a HUGE HD-TV and is quite the host in showing off his prize possession. On one such night following a trip to the Portland, Maine, den of sin called the Old Port, Rob asked if I had seen the MOJO Network, an HD-only channel. In between bits of stale nacho chips soggy with chili and cheese, I answered no and within a few minutes, a wonderous program hit the screen all about visiting places around the world and sampling the various drinking spots they featured. It seemed ironic that on one of those nights that leads to morning-long headaches, I was introduced to Three Sheets for the first time.

While there are no shortage of travel-style programs on TV, there was something about Three Sheets that made it different. In this case, the ‘different’ is Zane Lamprey, the host responsible for traveling this fine sphere of earth, wind and fire in search of the world’s best drinking spots. He has been to Japan, Croatia, Belgium, Portugal and even good ol’ Kentucky. If you haven’t seen an episode, you might be inclined to roll your eyes at the spectre of a grown man downing booze and getting paid for being drunk. However, you’d be wrong. Three Sheets is more about customs than it is keg stands, more fun than frat. Lamprey is inquisitive, insightful and immediately likeable, disarming even the staunchiest critic with his charm. (Still not with it? He also hosts Food Network’s “Have Fork, Will Travel”.)

So why am I telling you about a show or a host that has nothing to do with email marketing? Because this marks the first installment of the SendLabs Interview series, a series of talks with up-and-coming celebrities and interesting personalities where we ask them some not-so-typical questions including their email habits. And now to kick it off, allow me to introduce Zane Lamprey of MOJO’s Three Sheets, currently preparing for his first round of ZaneCrawls and for the third season of Three Sheets to begin.

Josh Nason: I’m sure many watch Three Sheets and think, “Wow, that’s the dream job.” What’s the toughest part of being Zane Lamprey?

Zane Lamprey: It’s a boring answer, but the worst part is leaving my family. I hate leaving my wife and son for any period of time, and most of the time with Three Sheets, I’m on the road for about two weeks. My wife came with me a bunch (Belize, Venis, France, Rio) until she got too pregnant to fly. Now my boy is about 5 months old, so they’ll be traveling with me in season four.

Josh: Being on tv and the celebrity that comes along with it affords you a lot of privileges. What’s the best perk or situation you’ve experienced since become well-known?

Zane: Three Sheets is more of a cult hit than a mainstream success. So I have no problem leaving my house and going to the grocery store without getting recognized. When I’m at the mall or at a bar or restaurant, I do usually have someone that tells me they love Three Sheets, but that’s about it.

Josh: Is it possible to go out to bars/clubs/drinking holes in the U.S. anymore without being bombarded by fans and other people that recognize you? I would think after a while, that might get to be a bit much.

Zane: It has happened. People always want to put me on the phone with their friend, who doesn’t believe that it’s me. So I have to try and convince a stranger on the phone (that I don’t want to be on in the first place) that I’m me. Weird. And people often offer to buy me drinks, but I do so much drinking on the road that when I’m home, I give my body a break. I only drink when I’m working….

Josh: How do you locate/find all of the great spots around the world and what goes into actually making an episode of Three Sheets?

Zane: The production company, Screaming Flea in Seattle, do an amazing job. They get all of the credit for that. They work very hard behind the scenes. I do make some suggestions — and push them when I really want to go someplace. And they usually oblige. They’re great.

Josh: Finally, I assume you have an email address like everyone else. What entices you to sign up to be contacted by a marketer (retailer, restaurant, etc.) and what gets you excited when you log on to your email account?

Zane: Hmm…interesting question. I’d say that “deals” get me the most interested. I love my work and I love entertaining, but what I really love are opportunities for financial security for my family. I don’t know if that’s the answer most people want to hear, but it’s the truth. Money doesn’t buy happiness. But I’ve never been upset when I’ve gone to my mailbox and found a check.

If you think you can hang with Zane, I’d highly recommend one of his newly-christened ZaneCrawls, a weekend-long pub crawl to international drinking establishments. Essentially, you can experience an entire season of Three Sheets in three days! Get all the info by clicking here for either Los Angeles (March 14-16) or New York City (April 25-27). The new season of Three Sheets kicks off on Thursday, April 10th.

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Job security, lifestyle and plugging along in the new economy as a 30-year-old

We must view young people not as empty bottles to be filled but as candles to be lit. – Robert Shaffer

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist. – Mark Twain

I am facing a crunch at work with bringing in ‘numbers’. As my tenure has progressed, so have the expectations that the dreaded word of “sales” is more a growing part of my universe. I say dreaded because to be known as a salesperson these days can be a kiss of death. You’re known as always trying to push something. You have an agenda. You don’t have conversations, but exchanges of words that should mean something to your bottom line. I don’t think of myself as a salesperson, but rather as a marketer by heart that can help influence people into making decisions based on their current needs. I find myself thinking a lot more about the future and wondering what I want to be known for and what I want to do. I am 30 years old and feel like life is just beginning.

I was talking tonight with a friend who is having issues with his work. Because of an out-of-character shift in focus at his firm, he is now working in a lockdown environment. They have let quality people go because there simply wasn’t enough work for them but the excess they have piled on to everyone else with the expectation of just working longer hours. A 50-hour work week has now turned into an 80-hour work week. It’s starting to wear on him and he is thinking about looking other places for work, just a few years removed from finding what he thought was a home for a long, long time. He is also just 30 years old.

My friend and I aren’t alone as people of all ages are now trying to make their way in the new economy we are smack-dab in the middle of. You rarely hear that people are doing well, but rather surviving. Gas prices are high, food prices are high, medical bills are high and if you’re trying to invest as well, money can be tough to come by every month. I feel lucky that I got a great education and tried to diversify myself early on in life where I could do a multitude of tasks and still feel happy. It’s worked well so far, but others I know aren’t that lucky. I still don’t understand how people can financially raise kids at our ages. I would be terrified in a cut ’em culture like this that one day, I’d be without work and potentially have that child go without. Young parents are stronger than most give them credit for.

Another buddy found out his company is being sold. He now has the “luxury” of either moving to Wisconsin/Minnesota or finding new work by December. All he wants to do in work in investments, but he realized this too late in life. He either must go back to school or move to Boston in a hope of someone giving him a chance. He’s had several careers and just wants stability, but the clock is ticking and he’s not sure what to do next. He is 28 years old.

Everyday, there are more and more stories of mass layoffs in all walks of business. Do a Google search under News and type in the word ‘layoffs’. You’ll see story after story of 25 here, 200 there, a whole plant there. No one is safe these days, but what happens when the good people get let go? The ones that care about the company, put in the overtime and try to make a difference? Should they be the casualties or is it the responsibility of those in charge to do whatever they can to hold onto valuable employees for when things do change?

Another friend of mine was laid off last year and had a devil of a time finding work. An English major, she searched…and searched…and searched. She’s a good person that someone could surely take on and train her to the best of her qualities. But she is still searching and now has a job that is just that…a job, until the right key turns the right door and she finds what she is looking for. Sometimes even a college education isn’t worth the paper it’s presented on. She is 27 years old.

So during all this time, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking (big surprise) about two items: debt and efficiency. People have a tough time changing lifestyle, so my guess is that credit card debts are just going up and up and up. Combined with mortgages, student loans, car payments and the other necessities in life, it’s no surprise that there have been so many foreclosures and repossessions of property in the past few years. On efficiency, I often wonder if people look within their company to minimize inefficiencies so that they don’t have to let people go. My friend Chris is a logistical genius and is written up quite frequently in the news for his abilities to save his major employer money. He virtually is paying for himself time and time again simply by doing something so simple it’s scary: looking for problems that aren’t apparent and fixing them anyway. He is 33 years old.

Finally, there’s the story of my buddy Mark. He works for a major financial investment company that was recently in the news for laying hundreds of people off. During the time this was happening, he was on vacation and was unsure of whether he’d have a job upon his return. “I’m not checking my email or voicemail while I’m on vacation,” he said with a resigned look on his face. “Whatever is going to happen is going to happen. I’ll find out when I get back.”

Even in this era of uncertainty, there one fact that has never changed: sometimes it’s still best to just stay in bed.