JEREMY IVERSEN is fast establishing himself as one of Generation Y's most exciting new talents.
And after finishing some big projects, the young Californian is looking forward to mixing it up even more.
So where to? He laughs. "Going on camera looks like it would be fun. That or being a bartender in the Caribbean."
BORN IN MANHATTAN toward the end of a presidential term that shall remain nameless, Jeremy Watt Iversen and lightbulbs were both named after his great-great-great-great-great grandfather James Watt, who invented the steam engine.
Aware the good genes had been lost by 1876, Jeremy resigned himself to Abbot-and-Costello with the jokers in first grade. ("Watt's your middle name?" "Yeah." "What?" "Watt." "No, what?") He knew that he and the lightbulbs were in it together, and appreciated their solidarity.
Childhood passed without event. He got kicked out of summer camp at age seven for brawling. Film scouts discovered him for the part of Mikey in the movie Radio Flyer, but he lost the role in the end to another little kid named Elijah Wood.
He went to Phillips Exeter Academy, a boarding school older than the Constitution where every day felt like winter but never Christmas. He almost got expelled three times, but survived the odds, wrote the new school anthem, and graduated cum laude with highest honors.
After spending some time print modeling for magazines in New York, Jeremy set off for college to Learn Things. He majored in international relations and political science at Stanford University, where he would eventually graduate Phi Beta Kappa with distinction.
The TA in his required freshman English class was a crew-cut woman with a chain wallet who had just won a world powerlifting competition. She assigned him to keep a journal. He asked if he could write a short story instead. "No," she snorted. Eventually she shrugged. "Oh, whatever. I'm not going to read it anyway."
So he wrote a story about a college junior hitting a life crisis on his 21st birthday. Drawing on his experiences as vice-president of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity, Jeremy expanded it and showed it to an editor friend on a whim after graduation. She passed it to Simon & Schuster, and the very first person who saw it published it as the novel 21. True to her word, the TA never read it.
Although he has not yet managed to pull off the next Industrial Revolution, he's done other things.
Jeremy saw a Newsweek cover story about the biology of religious experience and contacted the head researcher just for the heck of it. They worked together at U. Penn, and Jeremy became one of the world's leading experts in the really tiny field of neurotheology. His chemical meditation model became, among other things, required reading at UCSD. They are unlikely to forgive him soon.
A fluent Spanish speaker, Jeremy traveled to twenty-five unsuspecting countries and even lived in a few of them. He was selected to debate the Communist Party at the People's University of Beijing, addressed the University of Havana in Cuba, and consulted for an oil-and-development company involved in West Africa. All of which probably explains why he gets searched at the airport.
Back on the home front, he worked with both Republican and Democratic state and federal campaigns on foreign policy and fundraising. Shortly afterward, Iraq became unwinnable and the budget deficit exploded to record highs.
To atone for all his helping of the Man, Jeremy grabbed a camera and associate-produced a documentary film about hilariously corrupt, bellbottom-wearing and indicted Rep. Jim Traficant. Highlights included getting a surprise noogie from the Traf himself at his House Ethics Committee hearing after sitting next to him on C-SPAN for twelve hours, right before they fitted him with his orange jumpsuit.
Jeremy also worked at Merrill Lynch in New York, but realized he lacked the deep motivation and commitment to golf that would have made investment banking a viable lifestyle choice.
So in his mid-twenties, he did the precise opposite and spent a semester undercover as a seventeen-year-old surfer at a Southern California public high school. The only person who knew his real identity was the principal, and she forgot.
The true story of his shocking life among the Millennial Generation cool crowd will appear in fall 2006. Highlights include so much sex, drugs, corruption, and ethics violation by our nation's youngest that even the Traf himself would be impressed.
After his second "graduation," 21 came out. It centered on the popular and deadly ritual of celebrating a 21st birthday with 21 drinks, so Jeremy set off on a nationwide promo tour to Playboy's Top 21 Party Schools. He crossed America by bus, from Florida to Washington State, speaking, signing copies for thousands and, well, partying.
He's appeared on a bunch of radio and television, both local and national. He lives in Los Angeles. Contrary to reports, his favorite color is silver-gray.
Books:Rush, November 2011
High School Confidential, September 2006