By Gregory Zschomler
For The Daily World
Bryan Gallinger grew up in Hoquiam. He finished high school in Puyallup (though he remains a Hoquiam High Grizzly at heart) and went on to become one of the area’s premier drummers, event planners and celebrity hosts.
His charismatic personality, interests and talent landed him on television and eventually took him to Hollywood, where he’s worked as a TV and film producer.
“I realized (early on) that entertainment was my calling,” said Gallinger, now 42. “You can travel the world — the work can take you anywhere.”
At first it was music, and then he pursued his dream to become “the next Tom Cruise,” he said, “but I’m a terrible actor.” He soon left that behind to do what he was good at: organizing and developing in the entertainment industry.
Now, after years of entrepreneurship and creative enterprise, he’s returning to his boyhood home to shoot the pilot for his latest TV show, “Be Great.”
He’s also looking to help raise local awareness of human sex trafficking with a community event next Saturday, Sept. 30, at the 7th Street Theatre in Hoquiam.
Gallinger, who said he has “at least three or four things spinning at once,” said his entrepreneurial path has taken him to multiple countries and that he’s built more than 25 businesses — the first of which he began at age 16 — and helped develop more than 50 others.
“I burn out. I get bored,” he said. “I need to have several things spinning at once. I love the art of multitasking.”
He specializes in marketing, branding and event production as well as working in TV and film. Over the past 15 years he’s backed a handful of films and worked on development of several television shows. Right now he’s working on five different TV and film projects.
“I can’t do the 9-to-5, 401(k) routine,” he said. “I thrive on entrepreneurism. If one door closes, I’ve got 20 more business plans.” Right now, among other things, he’s here to shoot the “sizzle” (promo) and then the pilot for “Be Great,” which he calls “a variety television series spotlighting individuals and organizations that are doing extraordinary things around the world.”
Why begin in Hoquiam? “There’s great people here that strive to do great things,” he said.
The former life coach said he likes to make a difference and has found that he’s good at moving others to change. He regularly asks himself, “How can I take all of the things I’ve learned and who I’ve become to make a difference?”
Over time, his passion for helping others led him to involvement with 10 nonprofit foundations. About 15 years ago he considered starting his own.
“I began praying to God about it,” he said. “God really answered my prayer when I met Craig Scott.”
Scott is a survivor of the Columbine shooting. His sister, Rachel, was killed in the massacre. Gallinger helped the family build the nonprofit Rachel’s Challenge.
For the past seven years, he’s been actively involved with Called to Rescue, an organization dedicated to helping victims of human sex trafficking. He met its Vancouver-based founder, Cyndi Romine, at a Bible study in the Philippines. In what he describes as “an aha moment,” he realized he could volunteer his expertise in marketing, branding and business consulting for charity.
“I knew it was a divine connection,” he said. “What was supposed to be a six-month stay in Asia turned into five years.”
He learned there are tens of millions of human trafficking victims globally — many of them children. With some research, he discovered that missing persons and sex trafficking were also significant problems here on the Harbor.
His community event to raise local awareness of the issue will run next Saturday from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the 7th Street Theatre, 313 Seventh St. in Hoquiam. It will feature music by locals Ericka Corban, Wil Russoul and Jackie Mitchell, along with a presentation by Romine. The cost of the all-ages event is $10, and Gallinger will emcee. Tickets are available at begreat.ticketspice.com/be-great-grays-harbor-community-event.
A post-event celebration will follow from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Hoquiam Brewing Co., 526 Eighth St., featuring the music of Karl Penn from Centralia.
Shooting of the “Be Great” pilot episode will begin shortly on the Harbor before Gallinger returns to Hollywood to juggle his other projects.
Where does he get his drive to do it all? “I’m highly self-motivated, (but) I think it’s from God,” he said. “With events, you create something from nothing,” he said — and seeing the impact of those events on others is what brings him alive.