Tom Sepe, born in New Jersey in 1971, transplanted to the West Coast in 1976. He grew up in Moraga CA where he began tinkering at an early age.
"I remember Legos and my chemistry set as being fundamental to my early development, as well as fixing and modifying BMX bikes. I was also a voracious bookworm - loving science fiction, such as Isaac Asimov's "Foundation Trilogy", and fantasy novels like "Lord of the Rings." Then there were the numerous plastic model sets that my friends and I would meticulously build and paint and systematically blow up with firecrakers and M-80's." He also began acting in community theater productions at the age of 5, and the intersection of arts and science have been a major avenue of exploration his whole life.
A natural aptitude in Math and Science prompted Tom to apply to UCSB as a Physics major, then switching to Environmental Studies with and emphasis on Physical Sciences. However the outbreak of the Persian Gulf war in 1991 became an awakening into this country's addiction to petroleum, and he realized that more technology wasn't going to necessarily make things better. So he began studying activists movements as a way of breaking through the partisan and didactic political thinking and appeal to a mass audience. This lead him to the prestigious College of Creative Studies, where he was able to create his own major in Performance Art, including classes in anthropology, bookmaking, dance, theater and new media. He became involved with numerous anti-war protests and guerilla theater events while at UCSB.
He graduated with a BA in 1995 and moved back to the Bay Area, where a drunk driver hospitalized him with internal bleeding, and stalled any performance activities for a 6 months of physical recovery. Undaunted this led him into the digital world, where he began creating graphic design for the T.V. show "Nash Bridges" and the Warner Bros Film "Sweet November." In 1997 he helped create a stop-motion short film "Marylou" which screened with critical acclaim at the Sundance, Cannes, and numerous international Film Festivals. During this time he worked closely with musician Mark Growden to create an independent record label, Wiggle Biscuit Records, producing album art, posters, and screened printed t-shirts.
In 2001 he received a grant from The Black Rocks Art Foundation to manage and rebuild "Draka the Dragon" a 110 ft long flaming metal Art Car for the annual Burning Man Art Festival in Nevada. In 2002 he taught a class called "How to Build an Art Car" which resulted in the creation of the "Runamock Fishvan" a silver fish art-car built out of an old R.V. and recycled materials. The Burning Man art festival provided a context for numerous small and large artistic collaborations, most notably Tom has worked closely with Michael Christian on his numerous large-scale metal sculptures, and helped install them in San Francisco, Burning Man as well as Coachella and other private events. in 2007 he began working with the Steampunk Treehouse crew, which fed his inspiration to build a hybrid steam-electric motorcycle in the steampunk style, the "Whirlygig Emoto." Private clients for Tom's fabrication work include: RedBull, Cafe Gratitude, and the soon to open Awaken Cafe.
Since 2001 Tom has been performing with numerous circus and performance art troupes, perfoming for Cirque De Soleil afterparties in Vegas, RedBull's Flutag in San Francisco, ADP VIP Party in Aruba, as well as numerous festivals and private events up and down the West Coast. In the Bay Area he works with Apsara, El Circo and Mystic Family Circus, and Circo Zero. He has built over 100 pairs of kids stilts for the Prescott Clowns in West Oakland.
Most recently, he's been creating short video promotions for The Crucible (a non-profit industrial arts school in West Oakland), teaching stilt-walking and fire-breathing, as well as performing in their numerous Fire Operas, and Fire Arts Festivals
But wait, there's more! Tom has worked as a professional catering chef, for diverse groups as UC Chancellors, PIXAR, Rainforest Action Network, as well as innumerable private weddings and parties. His favorite is Back To Earth Organic catering, a company committed to transforming our realtionship to the environment by producing healthy, organic meals from sustainable sources.
Tom spent part of 2007 & 2008 travelling, to Oregon, Canada, India, and then spent a few months living at Boone's farm; the 64 acre home of the Siskiyou Crest Goat Dairy outside of Ashland Oregon, as an attempt to move out of a energy-intensive city life and get back to a simpler more sustainable life-practice. However creative projects such as producing a documentary film about Tibet, Non-Violence and Activism have drawn him back to the city life.