How was life on tour?
NG: I have mixed emotions about it. Traveling
is hard period. And traveling to a spot for a
contest, to somewhere you've never surfed before,
to compete against veterans that have surfed these
places a million times and know the waves so well
is definitely difficult. But the coolest part
is traveling somewhere unique. I never thought
I'd go to Europe to surf, I felt like it was a
big feat to get sent there, coming from Florida.
Also meeting all the awesome people who are doing
the same thing is just priceless. I made friends
I wouldn't have made otherwise.
But now you're done competing? Do you miss it?
NG: Yeah. I kinda miss it, it was a big part of
me, going down to the beach and hanging out with
all the girls... that rivalry, talking smack,
but you know, it really puts a risk in relationships,
in friendships. And all the politics behind it
all, I don't miss that part. I'll probably still
do some one stars here and there just to hang
out, surf some heats.
What are you up to now??
NG: Ha, I work two jobs waiting tables, slave
in a restaurant. It's good money, hard work, but
you gotta do what you gotta do. I'm going to college,
wanna get my degree in photo communications.
Communicating through photos…kind of?
NG: Yeah, so not just an art degree. I'm not necessarily
into studio work or fashion, but more so Photoshop,
website building, marketing, that kinda stuff.
I'll always shoot surfing for fun. But my main
goal right now is to explore all the different
areas of photography and get my degree.
And once you get that degree…?
NG: Probably sell all my stuff and travel around
for a while. That's what I really want to do.
My heart is always pulled in so many different
directions. I have a really good friend in Australia
so I want to travel there, and I have another
friend in Costa Rica I want to visit for a while.
Most of my friends are like me, with surfing in
their heart, so I want to take off and do what
Chris is doing kinda, document them and the whole
experience. So do that for a while, then maybe
get a real job, work out a retirement plan, and
buy a house somewhere warm.
Nice, but for now it's table waiting. You like
working in food service?
NG: It has its ups and downs, it's just really
conducive to what I'm doing right now. It's temporary.
I work in a couple really cool, non-corporate
who owns the sushi bar I work at in Laguna Beach,
she's an artist and a sushi chef. Se lets me sell
my art in her store. She's really inspiring. So
it's not so bad. Scraping plates and waiting on
people kinda sucks, but it's worth it.
Do you fake compliments to get better tips?
NG: Nooo. I tell people to chill the freak out
man. Part of what's cool about my work is they
understand that dealing with the general public
is hard. You get all kinds of people. Sometimes
you get really cool people and we have a really
good time, you know that's kinda my job, to entertain
people. If they're not having fun I just call
them out on it, like "hey man, you're out
to eat, let's have some fun, relax". People
come in on a Friday and they're still stressed
out, so I try to calm them down. I'm a people
person, got that from my dad, so I really enjoy
it, talking to people and making sure they're
having a good time. If people are mean to me I
just ignore them, so be nice to your waitress.
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