Wayward Nation is a story of 5 friends and their search for the new American Dream. Each episode brings host Mikey McManus, Ethan Amarant, J Pinder, Andy Laub, and Eric Rusch to a different part of America where they meet young pioneers who do what they love and make the world a better place. 

Join the Movement


Hey everyone, Ethan of Wayward Nation here. To me The New American Dream is about the pursuit of passion and the help we receive or offer each other. The Pioneers below helped us launch our dream, live our passion, and spread our message (Thank you so much!), and now we want to offer this space for YOU, and ask that you join us in pioneering The New American Dream.
Interested in having your picture and bio up on our site and supporting the efforts of Wayward Nation? Then become a Pioneer by clicking  on “Share Your Story.” This is how we, as a generation and as a nation, can come together to voice our accomplishments and our desires and how we can offer help, support, or inspiration to our peers. Because I believe a world where our dreams matter is a better world.
Seriously, we’re starting from scratch. Tell us your dreams, share your stories, ask for help or offer it. Admitting you have a desire takes guts, going after it takes character, and asking for the help you need to reach it takes humility and a large amount of self-assuredness. So, is there a problem in your life you want to fix? Or something you wish to change? Or anything awesome you want to do, see, taste, try? Tell us all about it. Be a pioneer. This is our nation.

Mikey McManus


What does Mikey want out of life? On the surface he’d probably answer, “be handsome,” but he really wants the same thing as everyone else: that one unbelievable thing that hasn’t yet been discovered. The world is full of buried treasures, and he believes in a world where pirate maps still exist.

He’s trekked across many dotted lines as he explores the world. Mikey’s worked on political campaigns, edited documentaries, produced reality TV, and plucked lobsters from the ocean floor. Some of the paths panned out, and others ended in a boiling pot of water. In the end he knows the journey is worth it even if “X” doesn’t mark the spot.

Follow Mikey: https://www.facebook.com/mikeywayward


Ethan Amarant


Ethan spent the last year of his life living in a hut somewhere in South America. Where exactly has been a mystery since he’s returned. The details are as rough as the bark he claims to have chewed on as a kid. What we do know is that his trip was life-changing.

The month after he returned, Ethan clipped the bird’s nest on his face, chopped off his long locks of hippie hair, quit drinking, and jumped in the gym to become the “strongest” member of the Wayward Nation crew. Deep down Ethan believes that everyone is capable of changing his or her own life, and honesty be damned, if he can do it we’d be willing to bet just about anyone else can do it as well.

Follow Ethan: https://www.facebook.com/waywardethan


Eric Rusch


Aside from being the only Muppet on the team, Eric thinks himself different from the rest of the world in the same way the great Jim Henson did; he lives in a magical world full of untold stories.  Every person he bumps into is capable of a mythical adventure or the transformation into an unlikely hero, and it’s his job to bring those stories to life. 

He is the great puppeteer of our troupe, constantly pulling our strings and forcing us into situations that create the most compelling stories.  Laughter and heart are his Statler and Waldorf. In Eric’s world, we’re all stars, and he’s the reason we shine.

Follow Eric: https://www.facebook.com/waywarderic


J Pinder


A man with many nicknames is usually a man you want in your life. Pinder, or “J,” “Jackrabbittt,” or “Pinz” as his friends call him, grew up in west Philadelphia. He spent his childhood on the playground dreaming about making film, and would occasionally take a break to play some basketball. After a little skirmish on the court, Pinz decided the mean streets of Philly weren’t meant for him. He hopped in a cab, and 3,000 miles later; he was in sunny Los Angeles.

He’s been living out his dream ever since, and jumped on board the bus to encourage others to do the same. We suspect, however, that he’s just bumming a ride home to grab one of the cheese steaks that he misses oh so much.

Follow Pinder: https://www.facebook.com/sexyjpinder

Andy (The Mountain Man) Laub


Andy’s birth certificate says he came into this world in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, but it’s a damn lie. The truth is Andy was born hiking the Appalachian Trail. A true son of the wild, Andy has spent years living on his wit, intuition, and the pack on his back. After filming his last adventure, a six month hike from Mexico to Canda along the majestic Pacific Crest Trail, Andy joined us to become Wayward Nation’s official Mountain Man.

We all know that as soon as this adventure ends, it will likely be the last time we ever see him. He takes off for a year in New Zealand, and from there… I’m not even sure Andy knows where he’ll be.

Follow Andy: https://www.facebook.com/TheDustyCamel

Harris Fishman


To the rest of the world our mentor is known as Harris Fishman, devoted husband, loving dad, and serious documentarian, but to us he’s known as “Uncle Joe.” Uncle Joe tells us tall tales about the wild times known as the 90’s. Sure we were there, but while we were finding the value of “X” in algebra, the gen-x crowd, apparently, were finding their values at dingy underground clubs in the meat packing district of NYC.

If it was a different era, Uncle Joe would jump on the bus and travel the country with us, but instead it’s his duty to keep us company from home, offering us his insights and experience on do-it-yourself filmmaking, entrepreneurial brashness, and the thrills of wild youth.  This one’s for you, Uncle Joe.