On Valentine’s Day in 1970 in Connecticut, three months after that blind date, a 33 year old bachelor named George Hahn married a widowed mother of four named Lynda. George and Lynda spent their wedding night at the Essex House Hotel on Central Park South in New York City, before departing for their honeymoon in Barbados. Exactly nine months and one day after the wedding, I was born.
I was born and raised just outside of Cleveland, Ohio in Lakewood, where I went to grade school at St. Luke School. During my pre-sixteen time in Lakewood, I spent a lot of time riding my bike, mowing lawns, playing golf, and sneaking cigarettes. My Jesuit education began in high school at St. Ignatius in downtown Cleveland. Once I had my driver’s license, I started a car cleaning business, which enabled me to make enough money to get through the first month of the school year. During this time, I aspired to be a country club man, with a convertible and a Ralph Lauren wardrobe of pink, blue and khakii.
Once high school wrapped, it was off to Boston College, where I sought the kind of attention that only the stage can provide. My first play was a one-act called “The Lottery” during freshman year. The applause was intoxicating. From there, my college theater career grew to lead roles in productions of Arms and The Man, The Rainmaker, The Normal Heart, The Rimers of Eldrich, and Julius Caesar. I delved further into alternative directions with the Boston College radio station (WZBC), where I hosted a weekly radio show and served on the Board of Directors. As a full-fledged alternative/theater person, I traded my pastels for lot of black, patchouli, earrings (in both ears) and several pairs of mid-calf Dr. Marten’s in several colors (all dark).
After graduation in 1993, I spun my wheels in Boston for a year and a half as a hair salon receptionist by day, and a night club personality by night. I also found time to play the lead in the Boston premiere of The Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, for which I painfully shaved my legs without knowing that flesh-colored dance tights were an option. I also played the feeble Joad brother Noah in an outdoor production of The Grapes of Wrath.
In the Fall of 1994, I got an opportunity to move to New York. For my first 18 months in Manhattan, I worked as a receptionist in one of New York’s most exclusive hair salons, where I made hair appointments for some of the most pulled faces in the Northern Hemisphere. My cousin Kathryn Hahn eventually joined me behind the reception desk where we both charged New York’s wealthiest Prozac-stoned women thousands of dollars for highlights, bang trims and manicures that didn’t make them look any younger.
I eventually moved on from the salon to the glamorous world of restaurant table service, working on both sides of the bar in places like Joe Allen, Film Center Café, 10th Avenue Lounge, Cafe Luxembourg, Revolution and Asia de Cuba at Morgan’s Hotel. After working in several unseen Equity showcases, professional representation eluded me. So I capitalized on the rich opportunist traditions of The Copacabana School of Dramatic Arts and made enough strategic alliances to win auditions (and the roles) for “Sex and the City,” “Law and Order: Criminal Intent,” and Miramax’s “Kate & Leopold.”
I always had a knack for design. As a youngster back at St. Luke’s in Lakewood, I developed skills as a sketch artist. I studied advertising design and layout at Boston College. When I was interested in hiring a web designer in 2000 to create a website to showcase my “work” as an actor, a friend gave me an unused copy of Photoshop and Dreamweaver, along with the user manuals. A hobby was born. After doing small web and design work for friends, someone wanted to pay me for the work. A hobby grew into a business. From 2004 to 2012, I owned and ran my own small graphic and web design business, catering to individuals and small companies in entertainment.
In the Fall of 2011, in the wake of the Occupy Wall Street protests, the recession knocked on my door, forcing me to sell my Rolex and a few other valuables to pay my rent and feed my dog. I decided to re-invent georgehahn.com as the blog that I wanted to read: a journal designed for men who weren’t millionaires, but who also wanted to look good and live well, fashioning myself as a self-made “thousandaire” in hot pursuit of sartorial stealth and effective living.
And here we are.