My name is Gregory Michel Henry Marcel Gochtovtt (yes, that is my full legal name.) This is my biography. I was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine (in Paris), France, and lived there until 1979. We moved to America in October of that year, and I became a U.S. citizen in Florida in 1982. I went to high school at Bishop Luers in Fort Wayne, Indiana and then transferred during my junior year to Bishop Shanahan, in West Chester (now in Downingtown, PA.)
I went to college at West Chester University for one year, took a few years off to “find myself” (mainly by bartending, blowing money, and being stupid), and then attended Indiana University in Bloomington, where I met my first love, Betsee Sadlier (I loved her, she didn’t love me. That’s why i wrote her two songs which I recorded in a guy’s basement and still have on tape.) During my years at Indiana University, I wrote many poems to waitresses (and left my number on them, which they never called.) I also acquired my love of drumming for bellydancers when a friend of my roommate’s, Lee Guth (who was then a professor) showed up at her house for Halloween and played his doumbek drum for us. I fell in love with the sound, and soon thereafter joined his drumming group every Thursday to learn the art of drumming for bellydancers.
After college, I joined the real world of business, worked for several companies (including Indiana University at Fort Wayne’s campus, where I was the secretary for the Sociology Department, and at Ivy Tech, where I was the secretary for the Business Department.) I was still heavily involved in drumming, and I was one of the lead drummers for the Fort Wayne YMCA’s children’s African Dance Troupe with dance teacher Diane Wilson, under the tutelage of Master Drummer Deborah Flye
I joined the army in March 2002, not only because of September 11th, 2001, but mainly because I was being evicted from my apartment, having lost my job and not able to find another one. I spent four years in Fort Polk Louisiana as an army cook, where I was deployed twice to Iraq In November 2006, I left the army and joined the Pennsylvania National Guard, during which I went on two voluntary tours, one to Iraq (a decision for which I was featured in a two-page spread in Time Magazine on November 22, 2008), and one to Afghanistan.
In the recent years, I have had the pleasure of drumming for bellydancers Najia of Philadelphia, Jeehan of New York, Caleena of Virginia, and most recently, Raja of New Jersey. I also collaborated with Master Drummer Crispin Masuka of Zimbabwe on a few of his performances at Ten Thousand Villages in Exton, PA. I am currently seeking a drum gig, so I welcome any drumming students, or any bellydancers who are seeking a drummer for their gigs or classes.
I spent a few years in and out of online schools, including Kaplan University (where I refined my web design and Photoshop skills), and National University Online (where I started a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in screenwriting, and completed my first screenplay). You can also find me on Facebook.