Tag Archives: Gabi Conti

Jane Green, Gabi Conti: Very “Bad Influencer”s

In nearly 2 decades since graduating from Staples High School, Gabi Conti did a lot.

At Emerson College she studied broadcast journalism, and writing for TV and film.

She moved to Los Angeles, worked as a production assistant for Comedy Central, did stand-up and sketch comedy, wrote videos and editorials, and blogged about her comedic musings. She hosted shows on Snapchat, YouTube and other platforms.

Gabi wrote “20 Guys You Date in Your 20s.” (The first guy was actually a fellow Stapleite, when she was 16. But he made the cut, because they reconnected a decade later.)

Gabi Conti, with her book.

Then came the wedding of her longtime friend and fellow Staples Player alum Emily Hardin, in Los Angeles.

Gabi noticed a woman with “great style.” They chatted; the woman said she loved Gabi’s dress, and introduced herself: “I’m Jane Green.”

Jane knew Gabi’s name; the best-selling author loved her true crime podcast, “Am I Dating a Serial Killer?!

Staples High School Class of 2005 graduate Gabi Conti.

They talked about their Westport connections, Jane’s friendship with Emily’s parents, and that Emily’s new husband Tommy Lombardi had written with Jane before.

After the wedding, Gabi and Jane followed each other on social media. Jane told Gabi she was developing a podcast network of original scripted fiction with another Westporter, Spencer Brown. (It always comes back to this town.)

One of the shows was called “Bad Influencer.” A “13 Gong on 30″/”Big”-style romantic comedy set in New York, it’s about a wannabe nobody who makes a wish, wakes up as a famous influencer — and finds herself caught in non-stop scandals.

Gabi knew a lot about the influencer world. Jane asked her to write the series.


Writing for audio only is not easy. Yet Gabi learned quickly. She banged out 9 episodes, each 20 to 30 minutes long.

“It’s written for millennials like me,” Gabi explains. “But Generation Z will enjoy it too.”

There are “nods to traditional rom-coms. If you love pop culture and celebrity scandals, you’ll love this.”

Gabi took on a producing role, helping secure actual, real-live influencers and celebrities.

Then she headed to Gemini XIII‘s Emerald Audio studio in New York, for production.

The episodes were finished in 2 days, plus another in L.A. Gabi played a few of the characters herself.

She is pleased with the project. “Jane and I are on the same page,” she says. “It all just came together, like what I had in my head.”

Of course, there’s one more Westport connection.

When Gabi was part of the casting process, she noticed a familiar name: Adam Kaplan.

Could he be the same Adam Kaplan who was a freshman in Staples Players when she was a senior — and went on to fame in shows like “Kinky Boots,” “Newsies” and “A Bronx Tale“?

He was indeed.

Jane — who, as the mother of a Staples Player, knew of Adam too — agreed with Gabi and the casting director: He was their first choice.

From left: Adam Kaplan, Jane Green, Gabi Conti.

“He’s such a pro,” Gabi says. “He played his role” — the best friend of the nobody wannabe, before she becomes famous — “so well.”

“Bad Influencer” will be released this spring.

By then, there may be more Westport connections to report.

(“06880” is truly “Where Westport meets the world.” Please click here to support our hyper-local work. Thank you!)

Roundup: Slice & Dog Fest, Khaliq Sanda, Gabi Conti …


A few folks grumble about paying admission to the Slice of Saugatuck or Westport Dog Festival.

Quit bitching. Held this fall after a COVID hiatus, they helped fund donations of more than $10,000 to non-profit organizations. The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce sponsors both events, and announced the grants.

The traditional recipient of the Slice of Saugatuck is Homes with Hope’s Gillespie Food Pantry. This year’s donation of $4,500 brings the grand total since the Slice began to over $30,000. The giant neighborhood food tasting tagline is: “Food for those who can afford it, and food for those who can’t.”

Donations to local non-profits from the Dog Festival total $6,000 this year: $4,000 to co-producer TAILS; $1,000 to the Westport Police Department (split between the K9 unit and Animal Control via Westport Animal Shelter Advocates); $500 to Fidelco Guide Dogs; $250 to the Connecticut Humane Society, and $250 to Adopt-a-Dog.

The Dog Festival returns this spring to its usual date. Slice of Saugatuck will be held right after Labor Day.


For years, Richelle Evarts has been a familiar, friendly face at Organic Market.

She’s been diagnosed with colon and liver cancer. Her husband William is reaching out for help.

He writes: “After exploring many options, she decided to take an integrated holistic medical path to recovery.

“Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t cover such a path. We found a facility in Mesa, Arizona, with an extensive 6 week-stay.

“I’m reaching out to all who know Richelle and what a beautiful, wonderful and giving person she is, I’m asking you to help us reach our goal for her to live many more healthy and active years. Any donation is greatly appreciated.”

Click here for Richelle’s GoFundMe page. (Hat tip: Sarah Gross)

Richelle Evarts


Often, the state Department of Transportation works slowly.

This time, they got the job done quickly. And right.

Earlier this month, the Hillspoint Road bridge over I-95 was named for Khaliq Sanda. He’s the smart, energetic, dynamic and popular 2013 Staples High School graduate (and A Better Chance of Westport scholar) who was diagnosed with brain cancer while majoring in pre-med at Duke University. His death in March devastated Westport.

Today, signs went up on the span. They’ll serve as a constant reminder of all that we lost.

(Photo/Ben Joseloff)


Speaking of bridges: Sunday was UN Day. As always, flags of member nations flew proudly on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)


A few days ago, our “06880” Roundup previewed Todd Suchotliff’s upcoming New York Marathon — which he would run entirely in Westport. A recent arrival in town, he invited his friends (and strangers) to run a bit with him, or cheer along the route.

It happened Sunday. Todd reports:

“It was a great day, made all the better with help from the amazing community here in my new hometown, from start to finish.

“My neighbors came out to cheer me on. Three people from the Joggers Club ran with me — one for the first 20 miles (!), the others to run the last 6.2 home. Plus my family chased me all around Westport, holding up signs and cheering for me.

Thank you fall. And we raised close to $8,500 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, in my mom’s memory.”

Todd Suchotliff and friend.


In June 2020, I started an “06880” story on Gabi Conti this way:

“The guy who got away. The guy who’s hotter than you. The guy you always go back to. The guy who’s much older. The guy who’s toxic. The guy you can’t remember.

“Gabi Conti knows them all. She’s dated them all.”

The hook was that Gabi — a 2005 Staples High School graduate — had just written a book. Called “20 Guys You Date in Your 20s,” it was a compilation of her greatest hits — and misses.

Gabi is now 34. As of earlier this month, she’s also married.

This past weekend, the New York Times featured her Greens Farms Church wedding. Click here for the whole story.

Spoiler alert: The 31st date was a charm.

Gabi Conti and Daren Johnson (Photo courtesy of Robert Norman Photography)


The Town Clerk’s office (Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue) will be open this Saturday (October 30, 9 a.m. to noon) to issue absentee ballots for the November 2 election.

Absentee ballots will continue to be available on Monday, November 1, until 4:30 p.m. All ballots must be returned to the Town Clerk’s office no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Questions? Click here; email tclerk@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-1110.


With all our recent focus on animals, “Westport … Naturally” has neglected a no-brainer: fall foliage.

This wonderful shot is from Gray’s Creek.

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)


And finally … Jay Black, the 2nd “Jay” of Jay and the Americans, died Friday in Queens, of cardiac arrest. He was 82, and suffered from pneumonia and dementia. (Click here for the full obituary.)

The first Jay (Traynor) had a great voice, on songs like “She Cried.” But Jay Black’s baritone made his predecessor sound like a wannabe. Consider these classics:

Ask Gabi: “20 Guys You Date In Your 20s”

The guy who got away. The guy who’s hotter than you. The guy you always go back to. The guy who’s much older. The guy who’s toxic. The guy you can’t remember.

Gabi Conti knows them all. She’s dated them all.

Now she wants you to know them too.

Gabi — a 2005 Staples High School graduate — is in her early 30s. But all those experiences happened in her 20s. Hence the title: “Twenty Guys You Date in Your Twenties.”

(The first guy was actually a fellow Stapleite, when she was 16. But he made the cut, because they reconnected a decade later.)

Gabi Conti, with her book.

“Twenty Guys” is not some random collection of thoughts. Gabi began writing at Staples for Inklings, the school paper. At Emerson College she studied broadcast journalism and writing for TV and film.

She moved to Los Angeles, worked as a production assistant for Comedy Central, did stand-up and sketch comedy, wrote videos and editorials, and blogged about her comedic musings.

Starting in high school, she kept a “love journal.” At 23 she had a “traumatic break-up”: The guy she’d dated for a year had been lying all along about his age.

At 29, Gabi decided she wanted to get published before she turned 30. She realized she had all the material she needed. It just needed to be, um, massaged.

She also needed to make sure it was okay to publish. She contacted 19 exes. Some were surprised. But all were fine with her idea. (She changed names and certain information to protect, presumably, everyone.)

She got an agent, and a contract. “Twenty Guys You Date …” was just published.

One of those guys.

It sounds racy. But, Gabi says, “it’s really PG-13. It’s more about relationships than sex.”

In fact, the final chapter is about her parents’ dates (and marriage). Spoiler alert: It does contain a little sex. But just a little.

“Twenty Guys…” is not only for 20-somethings. “If you’re single at any age, this book is for you,” Gabi says.

“You can also change the pronouns, based on who you are and who you love.” Bad dates cross genders and sexualities.

Of course, I had to ask: What’s Gabi’s dating life like now?

After writing her book — but before it was published — she did a “dating experiment” for Cosmo. She went on 30 dates in 3 days.

“I learned really good dating habits,” she says diplomatically. But when that was over, she met a guy…

In September, they went on 3 dates in 3 days. Now they live together.

I did not ask if she’s still taking notes.

(To order “Twenty Guys You Date in Your Twenties,” click here.)