I’m Justin Dobies—an adventure enthusiast, political researcher, background investigator, actor, stuntman, and writer. I’m constantly on the hunt for the most authentic expressions of living, the best ways to explore and employ new ideas, and the best ways to give back to the world around me.
Originally hailing from Minnesota, I’ve backpacked around Alaska, horse-packed through Yellowstone, built a raft and traversed the entire Mississippi River, lived in a Celtic monastery, and lived as a volunteer in a transitional home for homeless and recovering youth.
During my time as an undergrad at Yale I focused my academic effort around writing, performing, and studying violence in the performing arts—serving as fight choreographer for over 30 theatrical productions, operas, and films. The first play I wrote, DANGER MEN, AT WORK premiered as a part of the Yale Drama Coalition 2012 Playwrights Festival and is currently being adapted for the screen. Additionally, in 2010 I won a journalism grant through Yale to produce a documentary about sex-trafficking in South Africa and Zimbabwe during the Soccer World Cup.
After graduating I moved to New York City where I worked as a professional editor and copywriter while pursuing a career in performance. I soon landed a role in the Sundance hit Dear White People, which brought me out to Los Angeles and into a whole new career as an actor (Broad City, Get The Girl), a stuntman (Untitled Avengers 4), and a men’s interest writer and researcher.
In 2014 I began my freelance writing career contributing to one of my favorite outlets, ManMade, a DIY website devoted to “creativity and the handmade lifestyle for the postmodern male.” Drawing on my adventuring background and love of literature, my writing there explored the intersections of cultural literacy, manual competence, and the adventurous spirit in an attempt to explore what it means to be a man in the postmodern era. I wrote many “how-to” articles as well as a number of cultural guides for ‘the everyman’. I also contributed two articles per week to the blog of the upcoming social networking app, ManScore. My glorified listicles there covered everything from travel and adventure to entertainment, self-improvement, and style.
Acting on the desire to better contribute to the American political process, I dove deep into the world of opposition research and background investigating by pulling freelance duties for the consulting firm, LM Strategies. Drawing on the research skills I honed at Yale, I compiled detailed background reports for senatorial campaigns, internal political organizations, non-profits, and numerous high-profile corporations and individuals. Within a year, I was performing similar duties for Smart Campaigns, only with a greater focus on the eccentricities of the Los Angeles elections office, court archives, and justice systems.
I’ve always been keenly interested in masculinity and the ways in which men choose to express it in their daily lives.
What does it mean to be a man today, and what should it mean? How do we engage with the legacies of “great men”—both exploring their lives’ virtues and also wrestling with the more toxic, shadow sides of their masculine expressions? Above all, how do we practice positive masculinity in a way that is both affirming and inclusive?
After years of writing and reading as much as I can on the topic—I still don't have many answers.
If you’re interested in exploring any of these topics with me, please drop me a line.