Web Series – Stay Zen (2014)
Film – Boulevard Zen (2009)
Book – Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood (2012 & 2013 AudioBook)
After losing his wife, Bobby D’Angelo goes through a drastic career and lifestyle change. Bobby discovers the power of yoga and uses its principles to help him cope with his daily struggles while inspiring others to overcome their challenges. Runtime: 60 Minutes
Written and directed by Rich Tola, the PG-rated film co-stars Stephanie Drapeau, Whitmer Thomas and Troy-Titus Adams.
Here’s the theme song, “Life’s Boulevard”, written by Rich and LA Music Awards “Best Male Vocalist of the Year”, singer-writer Erick Macek. Performed by Erick Macek and Bill Jones.
“It was a fantastic read.” – Dan Brady
“10 years ago my net worth was $10,000,000; today it’s zero. I’ve spent the past 5 years in Hollywood, to pursue “a calling”. My colorful memoirs are wild and inspiring, from a three year-old Sicilian boy hanging around his father’s barbershop in Trenton, NJ, to the former Wall Street Junk Bond salesman – and boy-toy for married women – turned actor/filmmaker and yoga teacher looking to fulfill his destiny. I’ve traveled the globe and seen it all – and I tell it all.”
There’s 69 short chapters about being Sicilian, the cute boy syndrome, Goombata Sal, The Wharton and Kellogg business schools, Wall Street, the Jersey Shore, sleeping with NYC strippers and wealthy engaged/married women, the Dot-com crash and burn, Donald Trump, Interventions, the Winner’s Circle (my racehorse), sex-filled yoga retreats, sobriety, Hollywood “babes” and booty calls, auditions, transsexuals, goth gals, making a film for $50,000 and 140+ videos, and Rich’s Yoga-inspired charity helping women and children, The Boulevard Zen Foundation.
So what does it take to go against conventional wisdom, to gamble your entire life’s savings and turn your back on millions from Wall Street, to pursue a lifelong dream in the “nobody makes it here” world of Hollywood? The answer: balls, courage, and a “helluva lotta” perseverance!
GIVING UP MILLIONS FOR A LIFE OF PEACE
Written by Bryan Cain-Jackson, Dec 2012
“Nothing exceeds like excess.”
That is one of my favorite film quotes of all times – it comes from Scarface, written by Oliver Stone. Oliver has taught this message in many of his films. It never came across as clearly as it did in Wall Street.
Charlie Sheen’s character, Buddy, was overwhelmed and attracted to the money, the power, the booze, the sex, the drugs, and the limelight – all of which came in excess and by the end of it all, he realized it came at a high price.
One thing that we never see at the end of Wall Street is Buddy’s sense of redemption. Yes, there was a bit of a crowd pleasing moment when he defeated the great Gordon Gecko. That merely means that he took the first step in going back to the doing the right thing.
What about his soul?
Just because he no longer has the financial success that he once had, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he isn’t rich – or even that he won’t be rich again. This time it’ll be different and on his own terms.
Of course now, we’re talking about a completely different individual.
Meet Rich Tola.
He was that hot shot Wall Street guy – more or less. The cool thing about Rich is that he wasn’t committing crimes.
Rich hit a total net worth of $10 million at the height of his career. His life was a cesspool of sex, booze and business deals. It all came easy to a young, good looking guy who sold stocks for Goldman Sachs and junk bonds for Drexel Burnham Lambert on Wall Street back in the 1980s.
So what was the catalyst for Rich’s change to a Zen based lifestyle?
“I had an epiphany one day while I was walking down the street.” Rich said. “I saw this sign that read ‘One Full Yoga session for $20.’ So, I went in and it changed my life. I started to meet people whose driving force in their lives was not their financial gains. Their lives were not dedicated to and all about the money. Their lives were about open-heartedness, being kind, compassionate and being in the present.”
According to Dictionary.com, Yoga is defined as the “attaining of liberation from the material world and union of the self with the Supreme Being or ultimate principle.” Achieving a control of the body, mind and tranquility is exactly what Rich’s soul had cried out for. He didn’t know that it needed that, but our mind and spirits will manifest a particular need or desire in ways that you might not be aware of – ways that are beyond our control.
“This is different, these people are happy with just being here. It wasn’t about the size of an apartment, what car they were driving – I was spending $500 a month to park my car. It was crazy! It totally changed my life. Within 6 months, I was going every single day. Within one year, I had become a full time yoga instructor. I went into acting and 6 months later I went to Hollywood.”
Rich had found solace in his discovery of a life that wasn’t about money. At heart he wasn’t the capitalist that he thought that he was.
“I had money, now I have none. I went from spending $20,000 a month to now spending less than $2,000. I am okay with that.”
Rich has written a book chronicling his journey – a journey that spans more than 40 years of a life that has been exciting, risky, and sexy; one that many could only dream of having. You and I might have only lived this out through watching the film Wall Street.
Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood takes you on a journey that you can relate to. There are those of us who would give anything to be able to leave what we do on a daily basis to be able to find solace in our lives through our passion. Rich has found two passions – his careers in acting and in helping people find the peace that he did through yoga.
NEW JERSEY NATIVE, FORMER WALL STREET INSIDER WRITES MEMOIR ABOUT FOLLOWING DREAM TO HOLLYWOOD
Written by Erica Lamberg, Special to NJ Press Media, Nov 2012
For most people, it’s hard to imagine having a net worth of $10 million, but even more difficult to imagine falling
from there to becoming penniless — in less than 10 years. Losing it all, however, sometimes is part of a journey to find your true calling.
Rich Tola, who attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and received his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School, is a native of Mercer County and recently released his memoir, Simply Between Millions: From Wall Street to Hollywood.
The book chronicles his wild ride from a working-class background outside Trenton to playing baseball at Penn and working on Wall Street. He shares his coast-to-coast escapades, yoga, deal-building, breaking hearts and how extreme wealth isn’t the key to happiness.
An Ivy League graduate and financial executive, Tola’s gritty, sizzling ride through two colossal worlds with billion-dollar players, Wall Street and Hollywood, his book includes a look at a wild life most will never see — including growing up a Sicilian boy in an old-school Italian family, the impact of the “cute boy” syndrome, Wharton and Kellogg business schools, endless expense accounts, dozens of personal relationships, the dot-com and real estate boom and bust, wild yoga retreats, casting auditions, drunkenness and sobriety, and spiritual awakening.
His dream was to move to Hollywood and act, write and produce movies. In 2006, he did just that.
“Since I began my Hollywood career in 2006, I promised myself I would I keep creating — whatever it is — so I would keep honing my skills as an artist and an entertainer,” Tola said.
He has produced movies and yoga videos, and he is working on a screenplay and hopes to be casted on a Reality TV show. He said his creative pursuits keep his mind sharp, his heart happy and his spirit positive. It’s not all about having material wealth, he said.
“Writing a book was a continuation of my creative efforts that also quenched my desire to inspire and entertain people with a good story,” he said.
Mostly, he said, he hopes that this autobiography helps people find the inner strength to pursue their true life’s calling. “I hope my life’s journey inspires people to take action and make a difference in their own lives,” he said.
As recent college graduates are embarking on their new careers, Tola suggests they determine what their true quest is — what do they really want to be doing, and he said they should follow that path instead of one they are expected to follow.
“Start small, read everything you can about your dream career, work for free, become friends with other people in the industry, get involved and go to events, research trends and increase your knowledge base until you’re certain it’s the right calling for you,” Tola said. “All goals and aspirations are achievable if you commit enough time and energy and learn to love it. Because if you truly enjoy the process and stay committed to the journey, then the right opportunity will present itself and you’ll be on your way.”
COMMENTS FROM READERS ON AMAZON:
“What an incredible story! I never wanted to put the book down. This book is witty, funny, charismatic, intriguing, inspirational and extremely heartfelt.” Sharon F.
“Rich is the real deal! This book is about his journey through two worlds and the cast of characters who shaped and influenced him along the way! On the surface, is is a wildly entertaining book. On a deeper level, it makes you rethink what it means to be happy, successful, fulfilled, and ultimately at peace with your decisions.” George G.
“The book was honest, very heartfelt and showed Rich’s vulnerable side. It’s fast paced and raw with passion for life and finding the rainbow!” Megan T.
“Think Big! Rich Tola never gives up! Says it like it is and doesn’t hesitate to give back as much as he gets. What an inspirational book on life never getting you down…even when you’re down!” Jeanie M.