I am a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since I was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens I grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword. In middle school my hero was David Lampel whose velvet voice could be heard reporting the news over my grandmother’s radio. Whenever I heard him I would substitute ‘Lamb’ for ‘Lampel’ and pretend I was delivering the news. Sure that I was destined to be famous reporter I was happy to go to a high school with a journalism program.
Like most kids, by the time I finished high school I had a whole new career in mind. After high school I went to Hunter College and majored in Economics because I wanted to be cool like that college kid who came to speak to us my last year of high school. He was an Economics major, he was dressed sharp and above-all the girls thought he was the man! So like any unreasonable high school boy fueled by overactive hormones I figured, what the heck, if I major in Economics they’ll think I’m cool. Luckily it turned out I had a knack for Economics and studying hard, and in my senior year I was blessed to participate in the NYS Legislative Intern Program where I was randomly assigned to work with Assemblyman José Serrano. When I first introduced myself he gave me a strange look, and I was standing there self-conscious and wondering what I’d done wrong. Finally he said that when he’d first moved to this country from Puerto Rico the first person he’d met was Ricky Lamb—my uncle! And by sheer chance I’d been assigned to work with him. Life can be magical like that sometimes.
After finishing college I went on to graduate school at Princeton and law school at NYU, but all the time writing was still in my heart. While working as a lawyer by day, at night I transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens. The first night of the play my beautiful awe-inspiring wife, Jamillah, and I stood with our ears pressed against the door of the theater waiting for the first laugh. And then it came, and then another and another and the audiences have been laughing for more than ten years.
Of course eventually when audience members found out that my wife and I worked together without killing each other they demanded to know our secrets! Which we were happy to share in our book Perfect Combination. (Which I humbly recommend to anyone looking for love and happiness.)
Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life’s challenges is a great gift that I truly enjoy and thank you for allowing me to share with you in On Top Of The World: Until The Bell Chimes.