We had the good fortune of connecting with Zack Peter and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Zack, what do you attribute your success to?
Resilience, for sure. I’ve had a to rebuild and pivot so many times in my life. I originally thought I wanted to be an actor, which ultimately led to 10 year career in non-profit management and fundraising for major celebs. I did that while building a career as a writer, publishing four books and contributing to sites like POPSUGAR and Men’s Health. Then I ultimately landed myself in this current role of being a leading pop-culture podcaster. But it was all about that resilience to take every ‘no’ and continue to find new ways to break down barriers in whatever industry I found myself in. That tenacity is what got me everything I have today.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve always had a gift of gab! I’d often have to get separated from the other students in class for talking too much. So it was natural for me to build a career as a writer and podcaster. Words were just always something I was good at, despite them always getting me into trouble!

I began a career in writing when my mother encouraged me to write a book when I was 15 about my experience with my brother who has special needs. I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I couldn’t even properly nail an English essay in class. But with her support, I gave it shot and researched how to get a book published. And within a year, I had a hard copy in my hands and online sales coming in!

From there, I saw my potential and love for putting words onto paper. I loved the process of writing so much, it taught me how to be a go-getter and find ways to make opportunities happen for myself. I wrote a total of four books, with my last book (published in 2014) being bought and distributed by Simon & Schuster. From there, I gained new opportunities contributing articles for Popsugar and Men’s Health, tackling wellness trends and covering TV and entertainment news.

After a brief stint doing stand-up here in Los Angeles, I found myself creating YouTube videos. They were mostly focused on doing comedic skits and trendy challenges. This then led to an opportunity to host a podcast, which I was initially against.

“I’m not a voice talent. I’m an on-camera talent!” I convinced myself. But something about the opportunity just felt organic. So I took a stab it. At first, it was a total bust, only racking in 30 downloads every week, but I remained consistent and kept trying out new types of content. Eventually, I found my footing breaking down pop-culture news and interviewing reality stars.

The show has grown into a go-to YouTube channel for the juiciest reality TV tea and a cheeky Real Housewives-inspired wine line. I was able to find a niche within the market and build a brand around it!

I started very young and there were many barriers in my path. But if I could give people a takeaway from my story, it’d be this: Obstacles are only put in your path to help you prove how badly you want something. Find out which obstacles are worth overcoming for yourself and go get your bag.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Downtown, which I feel is still so under-appreciated. There are plenty of guides, so I’ll just give you my favorite hidden gems, from a true (born and raised) local:

I would say for a cocktail and a view, go to Cara Cara or Pilot. Bot are rooftop bars, one on top of The Proper and the other on top of The Hoxton. They’re true a hidden gems, because they have the best sunset views in Downtown. Most people go to Perch or the Ace Hotel, which are great, but both have become so tourist-y. You want to go right before the dinner rush and just in-time for the sunset.

For dinner, I’d recommend Manuela, Bavel, and BRERA. All great ambiance, great good, and great cocktails. I also really love District DTLA. It’s hidden and low-key (at The BLOC), but the food is always a hit. And the portions are massive! If you want something a little extra, 72 Above is quite the experience. It’s got an insane view and a multi-course menu that’s sure to please.

For brunch, I like Zinc Cafe on Mateo street! They’ve got great dishes. I love their avocado toast. I also like Zinqué, which is a French-inspired spot. But I like Zinqué as more of a nightcap cocktail spot. I love their fries and that secret SAUCE!

Then for dessert, Bottega Louie is a CLASSIC. You’ll fall in love with their macaroons. I usually end a night-out with a macaroon and martini here. Another dessert hot spot is Little Damage, but mostly for their Instagram-worthy black ice cream.

I could go on all day, but those are some of my top favorites!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to stay, I was raised (and mentored) by some really strong, resilient women that always paved a path of their own. My mom was a single mother, my grandmothers each were the heads of their households, and I even the bosses in my life were admirable independent women. They taught me how to be a strong, ambitious go-getter. So I admire them for supporting me, pushing me, and being a leading example for me.

Website: www.justplainzack.com

Instagram: @justplainzack

Twitter: @justplainzack

Youtube: youtube.com/justplainzack

Image Credits
Main photo (blue couch/magazines) credit: Marco Bottiglieri 4 promotion photos, credit: Sarah Halwani 2 photos in-studio, credit: Zack Peter

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