"You only hear the music when your heart begins to break." - My Chemical Romance.
Why did I begin this fruitless blog writing exercise with quotes from two bands who most would say aren't as important or worthy of quotes compared to other titans of musical writing such as Tom Waits or Bruce Springsteen?
I could have opened it up with crazy quotes such as . . .
"The eggs chase the bacon around the frying pan and the whinin' dog pidgeons by the steeple bell rope..." - Tom Waits "In the Neighborhood" or some such noise.
But if you need a kind of lyric-less musical palate cleanser while reading this I'd recommend "4" by Richard D. James cause that's what I was listening to while writing this.
Almost a full year ago I sent in an audition tape to play a character in a new Stephen Spielberg film called "Ready Player One", a character by the name of Wade Watts, whom I've come to find out is the lead.
I'd completely forgotten about this until recently last week while stuck at work I decided to slay my procrastination by cleaning out my laptop and found my old audition recording with copies of my paperwork for the submission on my laptop. No sense in dwelling on that now. Or drowning myself in the preverbal 'what could have been world'. I've been in that world. I've swam around in it and I assure you it's not a nice place to be. I didn't get the part, I'm sure most of you have guessed that by this juncture, but I'm happy to say I did shoot for the moon. Missed horribly. But I aimed right at that fucker.
I've spent over 10 years working in film and T.V. working a verified cornucopia of hats as a 'jack of all trades' from focus pulling to editing and from editing to acting and from that to script doctor I've done all kinds of wild and interesting things that will nowhere near give me any sense of fame (which I don't want) or a trajectory for a career path whose outline probably looks a lot like an Umberto Boccioni futurism painting but in my old age will maybe give me the kind of menagerie of stories I desired so much to tell in my pitiful youth by the time I became old.
However despite all that I still feel, like so many people I'm sure do, trapped in a machine trying to escape the pains of their past.
This past week has been nuts. It's been so nutty in fact I've taken time out of my busy nutty schedule to sincerely reflect on my future and how I want to proceed in this muddy swamp filled with machiavellian monsters known as the prestigious "entertainment industry".
Like most people in this business I love the work but hate the pettiness, thanklessness, and egotism this industry attracts sometimes. I don't like to suck up to people and if I ever do a good piece of work I hope no one will ever suck up to me. Well that is to say if people ever see the good piece of work I've done because it's now dawning on me that I've done something quite good and soon if I play my cards right people will see it.
I can't talk about that too much, too many hands involved, but that is the crux of why I'm even writing right now. My past like a pack of rabid wild animals have caught up with me all at once and a part of me is frightened and a part of me is deeply elated by the prospect of these metaphorical hell hounds gobbling me up.
A project I spent years trying to develop just e-mailed me back with a resounding "YES", well more of a tepid yes, but a yes after waiting so long on a project that I thought was DOA is something more than I ever would have expected.
. . .
At the same time
Another project I helped develop when I was back in LA came back. It's basically finished but this time a ruff cut of the film was sent to me for notes and I've been making those all week. This is a film I tried to find financing for while managing a gas station in Orange Beach over this past Summer. Which is quite an odd thing to try to do and even odder after all this time to see that project completed...holy fuck!
And it ain't half bad, and might be, what's the word I'm looking for . . . poignant.
. . .
And this next one is painful.
An essay both I (from my point of view) and one of my very best friends (from his POV of course) got finished regarding the time I was put in the hospital for 4 days on my 30th birthday. For those of you that don't know the full story it's a very long one and an incredibly painful one especially for me to remember.
I can't say I cried when I read my friend's account about me. I can honestly say I cried throughout reading the entire experience. It was like re-living dying again emotionally. But it was beautifully well written so hopefully it can be shared in time.
It snowed here in Mobile. That's something that very rarely happens.
. . .
A film I worked on, though just as a tiny cog in the machine, still makes me a little proud that it might actually get a Best Picture nomination and that's something I'm not sure I could accomplish even randomly like how this all worked out if I still lived in LA.
All of these and all manor of other things too numerous to recall happened all within about an 8 day period. It was like a whirlwind sucking me back into a life I thought I was leaving behind but now fear I may never be able to escape.
It's funny how things workout and it's also very funny how things don't. My failures are even more impressive I think than my successes. I've always felt I was hanging by a thread on the fringes of my own industry barely hanging on for relevancy like a gremlin on the wing of a plane. But upon reflection in this strange place called Alabama that I've grown more accustom to seeing as a home . . . maybe god just likes to gaslight people and send them all the strange feelings at once. But I sit here with some amazing opportunities, still struggling, and saying to myself . . . this thing called life isn't speed chess. You've lived a lot rushing around. You can breath. You can take a little time with this next move. Your past as it is will always haunt you and will only grow thicker as you grow older so if that forrest in your head, a sea of older rancid memories, grows thicker than fill it up with all manor of new wild things to then reflect upon once again when you are older than you are now.
“Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history. No purpose or place. We have no Great War, No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars, but we won't”― Chuck Palahniuk,