10 Questions with ... Big Mike Sangiamo
July 21, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
In 2005 I started my career working for Subway restaurants in N.Y. In that role I performed at radio remotes and got to record various commercials for the Subway Radio Network in the studio at the top of the Howard Stern building in N.Y.! That led to an opportunity to be the TV and radio voice of Subway in NY and a membership in SAG/AFTRA. After a few TV appearances on The Tonight Show, Good Day NY and America's Funniest Home Videos, I appeared on the air on "The Fat Guy Show" with Jason Kaplan on Howard 101 as well as a local station in Rocky Point Beach, NY. Currently, I host "The Big Mike Radio Program" podcast until the next opportunity comes my way.
1) What do you do to maintain a positive mental attitude and stay motivated?
I really enjoy hearing about other inspirational stories. In fact, I believe I have become a student of inspirational stories. There are lots of good resources to find these remarkable tales, and more often then not, they are 100% true! Sometimes it doesn't even matter if it's a true story or not ... sometimes all a person needs is a relatable story to inspire them. I believe that is at the heart of all motivation and positivity.
2) How are you occupying your time, besides looking for a job?
I've been getting into a lot of different things. My SAG/AFTRA membership gives me flexibility to seek out other exciting opportunities in films and TV. I still do a lot of work centered around my book, "The Fattest Guy in the Room." And I use my weekly podcast "The Big Mike Radio Program" to stay sharp behind the microphone, waiting for that next commercial or on-air gig to come around.
3) What has been your best resource for finding out about job openings?
I'm not just towing the company line here; All Access is certainly the best. It has the most updated and plentiful listings available. I occasionally seek out opportunities with IHeartMedia and non-terrestrial sites, but usually, All Access has the same information available at the same time.
4) What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get a job?
I showed up at a station dressed up as Santa Claus on the day I heard they were hiring. It was my intention to stick out in their minds as the best candidate for the job, and I think I did.
5) What is the next job you'd like to obtain?
I would like to stay local and work for a station on Long Island in N.Y. I feel I would be a perfect fit there and I really get excited about the possibility of being able to stay close to my friends and family. I know I have what it takes to speak directly to the Long Island crowd as well. I believe it is imperative that you have confidence in your ability to obtain the job you want.
6) How are you finding the "courtesy level" at places you've applied? (Callbacks, e-mails, rejection letters, etc.)
Unfortunately, it's not a very courteous climate out there. I would say about 85% of inquiries go unanswered and 10% send a generic rejection letter. As of right now, I can probably build a small house out of the stack of rejection letters I have received. (That will give you an idea of how many inquiries I have sent out.) But all that is part of the business and it makes me very appreciative of the 5% of stations and managers who send personal responses. Every time I get a non-generic, personal response, either with feedback or with a request for more information, I get really excited.
7) What's the most unbelievable question you've ever been asked in an interview?
This is going to sound weird, but the question was "Would you get naked right now, if we needed you to?" Let me explain. A few years ago, I had the rare opportunity to be on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I was featured in a short film and in this film I was shown taking a bath in milk in my underwear.... Yes, a bath in milk in my underwear. Anyway, as you can imagine, I highlighted that fact when I was trying to stand out as a character, especially in job interviews. So, that's why I was asked the question. I did excuse myself in the interview and I returned from the bathroom in my underwear, recreating the Tonight Show clip. I didn't get the job, I'm not sure why...
8) What has been your biggest career accomplishment?
My biggest career accomplishment was certainly inventing "The Feast" for Subway restaurants. That one accomplishment led directly to my voice over role with the company and my opportunity to join SAG/AFTRA. I have been able to secure a ton of other opportunities as a result, but I can trace all the opportunities back to the day that my creation, my sandwich, was launched in a national campaign; something that no one around me even thought was possible.
9) What have you learned about yourself, others, or life in general in your downtime?
I have learned to expand my scope of capabilities. I have learned how to turn nothing into something, and I have learned how to allow myself to get excited about things, even though the success that could come as an end result is unknown, uncertain and most times unlikely.
10) Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?
In five years, I would like to be living on Long Island, working steady between and on-air gig and my appearances. If I could make that life a reality, I would be happy. In 10 years, I'd like to expand my family and have written two more books.
Any books you can recommend to people who need something inspirational to read?
By far, the most inspirational book out there is my book ... (shameless plug, lol) but a close second is "An American Original: The Walt Disney Biography" by Bob Thomas. In all honesty it is my favorite book and I feel it should be required reading for all dreamers. It makes me feel like I can accomplish anything every time I read it, and I read it often. There is valuable information in those pages and you can find an applicable lesson to almost every part of your life. When you're feeling down about yourself, one or two stories from Walt's life will always be able to pick you back up again.