My Eureka Moment: From Construction Manager To Late-Night Crooner

By Adam Kaufman

QUEENS, N.Y. – Jim Altamore arrived early to a Queens restaurant and ordered himself his usual -- a plate of pasta with marinara sauce. Regulars strolled by to shake his hand and give them his song requests. It's his regular "pre-gig ritual" since 2009, when Altamore became the restaurant's Tuesday night crooner after getting laid off from a management job in construction. When the recession hit in 2009, high-rise construction projects across Manhattan were stalled and Altamore was out of a job. But soon after, he had a stroke of luck -- the kind that can change your entire life. A part-time singer and Sinatra-phile, Altamore was contacted through his website to perform a set of Frank Sinatra songs at a large concert in France, as part of a jazz festival.

Altamore's first love was always music -- he'd been singing part-time for over 20 years. He'd supported himself, though, with "day jobs" in the construction management industry. But this gig in France changed him. "I took a good hard look at my life and said, 'Maybe this is the time you try to take this [singing] full time,' " he explained to AOL Jobs.

As swiftly as his old career ended, a new one began.

Watch the video above to see Altamore sing and discuss his inspiring transition.

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Rick Breton

It is wonderful to have the opportunity to turn adversity into a dream come true. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a singing voice, the time to experiment and practice and the place to do it. Good for him! We should all be so lucky.

May 09 2012 at 4:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How DARE he "sell out" and become successfull!!!

May 09 2012 at 2:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Best of Luck ever get laid off again, you can always go to sunny Florida and play retirement communities and the Holiday Inn circuit on the Gulf Coast !!!

May 08 2012 at 9:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice ,2 hear blessing bro

May 08 2012 at 8:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good for him. There will never be another Sinatra, but it should not stop this man or anyone else from trying their best to do what they want to do to make a living. To really think about this for a minute, I suppose it is hard anymore for anyone or anything to be original. How many rock bands, rappers, country singers, and DJ's are there? Countless and inumberable ammounts of them and for every success there is at least 1,000 failures. Even though the rate of failure is high and the chances of being an original are slim if not risky; that does not mean that nobody else should ever try again. I rather enjoy Jim's singing.

May 08 2012 at 7:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


May 08 2012 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good luck Jim! It's a hard gig to sing or play an instrument while people are eating or talking. More power to you. You found a way to turn your life around, and do something you really like. Congratulations - break a leg!

May 08 2012 at 5:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Don't get laid off from your day Good luck Jim

May 08 2012 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How can he make a living only working on Tuesday nights?

May 08 2012 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sounds great! He's making a living and he's happy.
Good for him.

May 08 2012 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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