Sunday, October 16, 2011

Workaholic...?

work·a·hol·ic [wurk-uh-haw-lik, -hol-ik]





noun
a person who works compulsively at the expense of other pursuits.






Yeah... I've realized I totally fall under that category. Is it a category? Or more just a group of people who can't stand being bored with nothing to do?
I've just finished production on 'Clayman'. I had an AMAZING time! Everyone, entire cast and crew was nothing less than professional and kind. Had a great time...
...but on the next day - when I had gotten back home, 'withdrawl' set in.
I have nothing to do.
Nothing at all.
I don't have a call time for tomorrow - I don't have scenes to break down - I don't have any lines to memorize...
...and I started freaking out.
"There's no business like show business like no business I know
Everything about it is appealing
Everything that traffic will allow
Nowhere could you get that happy feeling
When you are stealing that extra bow.."
Now I say 'freaking out' and you think, 'She's running around her house pulling out her hair' kind of freaking out. No, it's more an internal freaking out. I don't like vacations. I don't like not doing anything. I'm in this industry because I want to work - not only do I desire to do the work, I'm in absolute head over heels bat shit crazy LOVE with the work! I love acting, I love the business, I love being on set - everything.
Not working - not doing what I love...
....drives me NUTS.
So - I sit. I make calls to the agency, I spend absurd hours looking up projects. Make more phone calls than needed to people who won't, as of right now, see me important enough to call back.
Meaningless?
Sometimes, it feels that way.
I had this talk with my good friend Ashley Gray not too long ago. Why in the world would any sane person have such a burning desire to be in this industry when all you seem to get is a door slammed in the face at every reach you try and make?
I can't think of it that way - it goes against my whole 'positive attitude' rule. But, it feels that way sometimes. I just had a couple great projects. Some, nothing will really come from - some fell apart - some had things happen beyond our control... but that's what happens! Welcome to the industry! I still love it. I can't help it. Above all, I learned something very valuable from everything I've done.
Like my mentor Lucille Ball says, you better take a learning experience from everything. You are able to learn from everything - so learn. And girlfriend, I sure do! Check and checkmate!
"..There's no people like show people
They smile when they are low
Even with a turkey that you know will fold
You may be stranded out in the cold
Still you wouldn't change it for a sack of gold
Let's go on with the show.."
So - to fill my time - I've jumped on some projects as a producer. I haven't produced anything before - nor have I spent an extensive amount of time with producers to really understand what they go through, but holy bananas - it's insane! Sometimes, I want to pull my hair out. As much as I'm in love with the acting, I kinda dig producing, too.
There's no business like show business, I tell'ya.
But it's nice, being a workaholic, to fill my time with producing. It's a lot of work. I hear stories about other actors who have diva-fever, and think they're the big stink of that particular film. I have personally never felt that way, nor ever understood that thinking. Everyone is a part of this team. Without the script, there would be no actors. Without the actors, there would be no movie. Without the studio/investors, there would be no anything... so on and so forth. Everyone is important - and everyone should be treated equally.
But - man - my hat goes off to everyone. Really. I always see the crew busting their butts and want to help so badly, but I have no idea what to do outside of learn my lines. My appreciation for everyone has jumped through the roof.
"..There's no business like show business and I tell you it's so
Traveling through the country is so thrilling
Standing out in front on opening nights
Smiling as you watch the theater filling
And there's your billing out there in lights.."
A film family is just that - a family. The crew, everyone, is your family for the time you're working with them. I have been so blessed to be with amazing people. I truly believe everyone comes into your life for a reason, and I am happy to call most of my 'film family members' - life long friends.
You all know who you are... thank you. I love you. All of you.
Anywhoo - I think this was my 'workaholic' venting. Clearly, you can see I've spent roughly... Eeh.... 9-12 mins typing this thing... not so much, but'cha know - give or take. There are other things this workaholic needs to go do!
"..Yesterday they told you you would not go far
That night you open and there you are
Next day on your dressing room they've hung a star
Let's go on with the show!"
I'd classify this - random rambling? Copy.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

bring back the good old days

I live in classic Hollywood.

The 'Golden Age'.

I live at RKO.



The studio that brought you Lucille Ball, Kathrine Hepburn - Gable, Wayne, Fred & Ginger. Bette Davis, Orson Wells, and Hitchcock. I live with the real stars. I am one with the legends.

I'm in the days of 'cattle call' success, chances, and hope. Believing in one another. Sharing experiences, and getting opportunity.

I am a member of the 'studio system'. Contract players. I work for the umbrella. I am a part of the 'pay it forward' and 'help out the dreamers' program Lela Rogers runs - the little theater. I want to be born here - like so many others.

I ride my bike into the lot past Orson, Gable, Ginger and others. I share their trailers. They teach me their lessons. They give me a chance. I am contracted into 7 movies this year... RKO helps me audition for each. RKO places me. RKO gives me my dreams.




Lela pushes me on. Cary Grant gives me words of encouragement. Robert Mitchum tells me how he started here. They all wish me well, and keep me going. They invite me to their family studio outings, refer me to castings, dress me in gowns I can't afford to meet people I would have never otherwise known.

David O. Selznick, Val Lewton, Adrian Scott, Mel Ferrer... They all want to help me.

Howard Hughes says I'll be his next Jane Russell.

People see that I'm working, learning, showing up every day - and even with my 50 extra roles that I won't see credit for till long after I've 'made it', they know I'm trying. I'm showing what I've got. I'm learning. They're noticing me.



I hear the warnings from other girls who to stay away from. No matter who they are, we don't play that 'casting couch' game here. We see the girls who do, and they're not one of us. Lela would never allow her into our little theater. Hepburn wouldn't allow her to be a part of her production. Morals stand at RKO, in classic Hollywood, to the many as opposed to the few.

I have a dressing room here. I often sit on my steps and talk to Lucy, Ginger, and Orson - who I can see down the way. They always have nice things to say - seeing as how I finally have a credit. It's one line, but everyone is happy for me. Security gave me the congrats on my way in this morning.

For even one line, RKO is giving me the full treatment. I want to be a star, they said, so they're giving it to me! They called wardrobe, hair, makeup, coaches. Hedda is on her way - she already knows who I am! Introducing... me! My next production, Hedda mentions, she is very excited to see. We spoke about our love her hats this evening - she invited me over her home for dinner this weekend.


My next couple films, the studio says, will have the full treatment. They see my work, the response from the world. The public says that they're waiting for more from me - that is what the studio waited to see. My next film they're writing for me. They're setting me up with the stars, the already established talent, to really help me succeed.

Here at RKO, in classic Hollywood - the studio system doesn't fail. Contract players are grateful. It's a completely different breed of people. The world will never see another set of legends other than the ones RKO made.

Why?

Here at RKO, in classic Hollywood - we are the Golden Age. We took chances on each other, believed in everyone, and there was enough room for everyone. Not only is it about making money here - it's about morals, kindness, and love for everyone. Dreams mean something, and they make sure yours are taken to heights you would have never thought possible.    

The Golden Age might be dead - my hero's might be gone - but that doesn't change the fact that I still believe in everything it stood for. That doesn't mean that it isn't my heart.      ♥

Thursday, September 29, 2011

- a return to love -

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves,

Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous,
talented,
fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?





You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us;

it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.


                                                                                           - Marianne Williamson

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Rose That Grew From Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? 


Proving nature's law is wrong it learned to walk with out having feet. 


Funny it seems,
but by keeping it's dreams,
it learned to breathe fresh air. 


Long live the rose that grew from concrete






when no one else ever cared.


                                                 
                                                                                              - Tupac

Hollywood Dreams...

I used to think as I looked out on the Hollywood night —

there must be thousands of girls sitting alone

like me,

dreaming of becoming a movie star.


But I'm not going to worry about them...








I'm dreaming the hardest.   



                                                                                        —    Marilyn Monroe


Friday, September 9, 2011

Che bella vita...


Is it just me, or does it seem that people always fail you?

Sad to say. Worse to believe. Horrifying to experiance. Truth? They usually do.

It goes without saying that obviously if I'm blogging about it, it must have happened. In more ways than I'd like to believe, but it does. You put your heart into someone, your help, your time, your friendship, your compassion - and it all gets stomped on, ripped apart, and thrown back in your face.

At least in my case. More often than not.

I'm trying to think about what lesson Fate is trying to teach me. I can't think of anything. I like to just trust that it will all show the 'why' in due time. I guess that's all I can wait for. I know there is a reason... why this way, at this time I do not know.

I've been thinking about a lot of things. We know I had posted about my best friend, Kyle, who took his life April 6th - but recently, I also lost my Grandpa. My Grandpa was the rock in my life. In my family. It's always horrible to not know how important someone is in your life until they're being taken from you. I spent as much time with him as possible, have amazing memories. Doesn't hurt any less. My Grandpa was Italian all the way. Broken english and all. One thing I will never stop feeling is the love my Grandpa had for me. Not like, 'Oh my Grandaughter, I love her.' - No. His love for me was a lay-down-and-die-for-you-in-a-moment love. That meant and still means more to me than I think I'll ever be able to explain. He was the one person I never had to worry about impressing. Never had to worry about how I looked, what I said, what I did. Never. He understood me, and would love me unconditionally. No matter what I did, I would never be anything less than his baby girl. His pride. His heart. And he was mine.

And he's gone.

Kyle - well, let's go there again. He was the only other person on this planet that got who April is. What April is about. He let me be me, and I didn't ever have to apologize or explain. My heart was always in the right place, and he knew it. As mad as we would get at eachother, it never changed. Never were words spoken that would be damaged beyond repair. Nothing was ever not out of a good place, a safe loving place. At the end of a horrible day, I could show up at his house and rant and rave for hours. Until I felt like it was enough. Until I said I was done. However long it took. I would always get his hug, and his "It'll all be ok."

...Liar.

My only two rocks are gone. I've had situations with these other 'people always fail you' friends who I thought were good people. One friend from school who I had been close with for a long stretch of 9+ years - one of those girls who you don't matter if she has a man. Can't for the life of her figure out how to have friends and a boyfriend at the same time. Needless to say - this was the last straw for me, I understand when I'm not even thought about. Don't talk about how great of friends we are when I say I need to spend time with you as my friend - I need you to be my friend right now - and you flat out ignore me, lie to me, and plan around my request with the guy you've spent a whopping 2 weeks knowing.

Done.

Another, I had known a couple months. Odd. Very weird. But, I don't judge. Tried working out some business, helping any way I could - because that's what I like to do. I don't want any credit, I just want to be involved in the process and lend a fresh thought or a creative idea where I can. Suddenly, because of a small non-business related confusion, I'm a huge 'liar' and a horrible person. I would totally understand if it had been an obvious problem with books, contracts, investors, etc... Not even close. Most importantly - not in any way related, and not a lie. I don't lie. Confusion? Yes. Guilty. We're all human. Furthermore, this individual doesn't understand the process of normal human emotions, so anything I try and explain - 'specially now that I'm a big fat liar - is completely over their head.

Done.

I don't find myself thinking, 'Gosh, I wish it would have worked with these people', it never would. I don't want a friend in my life who can only be there for me when she feels it's necessary but I am there at the drop of a hat. I don't want a person in my life who I bust my butt for and can spin me into some horrifying individual out of nothing. Don't want it.

I do find myself missing the good people. The people who really mattered in my life. For every horrible thing someone says to me, for every horrible thing someone does, for every time I am wronged... I find myself thinking, 'God, I miss Grandpa.' or 'Why, Kyle? Why?'

My family of course is always here for me, as is Kyles family. I don't know what I would do without Kyles Mom and sister, Emily. Of course, his Dad too. His family is the most loving and accepting group of people I have ever met. The second I met them, I was welcome. To this day, I feel so at home with them it's insane. I have told them alot, but I don't think they'll ever know how much their love and acceptance means to me. I wouldn't be the person I am without all of them in my life.

Good people are left, sure. Absolutely. My big brother is a rock. He's the most honest and forthcoming person I know - well, of course, he's my brother. He is the last consistant positive person in my life. I'm allowed to be me, be a girl, have emotions - and no matter what, underneath it all - he knows I have a heart.

People think because I'm so tough, either my heart is non-existant, or it doesn't break easily. Break easily it doesn't, but that doesn't mean I don't have one. The only people who had the power to break me, have. It was their time to go home, and God is watching over them now. I hope they get a chance to pop in on me every now and then. I feel them around, sometimes. In a smell, a thought, or a presence. I smile for a moment, and think about the good times. For that, I am blessed.

Realizing this may sound like complaints, please don't be confused - I'm blessed to have emotions. I'm blessed to be living my story, good or bad. Right or wrong. Happy or sad. There were times all of this would be too much for me to deal with, but now - I realize I'm a good person, and I am lucky to have loved and been loved by some of the most powerful people this world had ever seen. They didn't have to be 'big time' to be a big deal - and selfish or not, I'm glad I didn't have to share their love or attention with anyone else. They meant the word to me. Again - for that, I am blessed.

There are some people who don't have anyone. Have maybe never known the power of true friendship. Never known the unconditional love of a parent, not to mention a grandparent. For those people, I fight. I continue doing what I'm doing. One day, no matter who is beside me - I will be able to be who I want to be, and live my dreams out loud for all to see. On a movie screen, or a charity event - I will be making a positive difference.

For that, I am blessed.



Grandpa, you were the love of my life. You always will be. Your heart and passion for everyone is an inspiration. I want to be half the person you were. Thank you for always being so proud of me, and treating me like nothing less than an adult. Always. Sometimes, for no reason, I want to find you and crawl into your lap and cry until I can't cry anymore. That opportunity has passed, and I know that you are ok. I know you will always be watching over me, my guardian angel. I love you to the moon and back a gazillion times. Il mio cuore, amore mio, il mio eroe, il mio angelo.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Happy 100th Birthday, Lucille Ball!


The other day, 100 years ago, Lucille Desiree Ball was born. If you don't know who she is, I'm sorry for you and I honestly would like to seriously question your upbringing. If you do - you already know about her. She'll be The Queen of Comedy until this world stops spinning. Personally, she is an inspiration. As an actress, she is my teacher and mentor.

When I was growing up, I always watched I Love Lucy. I remember sitting in my grandparents living room in Detroit, MI watching her on TV Land. Did I know what was going on? Nope. More than anything, I remember the bouncy lights on the Lucy Desi Comedy Hour intro, and the conga drum in the beginning. When I got older, still, that is all that was allowed on the TV in my Uncles house. I was only allowed to pick from the array of I Love Lucy VHS tapes on the shelves for entertainment.

As I got older, I didn't care for or watch her much or at all. I still loved my classics, and would watch when they would be on. Here and there I'd catch a TV Land marathon of I Love Lucy and The Golden Girls, but Lucille Ball wasn't heavy on my radar.

When I turned 21, my best friend Kyle's mother got me 'Love, Lucy' by Lucille Ball. I had spoken with her on the phone several times while I had watched my I Love Lucy marathons, and so she knew I had some kind of interest in her. I had a flight to take the next week to Georgia, so I started reading the book on the plane... I can't tell you how much I gave a shit about Lucille Ball after that book.

Personally, as an aspiring actress, that book spoke more to me than anything else I could find. More than any class I could take. More than any living person I could talk to. She gives so much advice to aspiring actresses, and tips and hints on how to behave and what to do. After reading that book, YouTube and I became best friends. I made it my mission to research everything she had talked about - see every movie she had refrenced - and watch every lecture that was availiable.

Lucille Ball cared about the younger kids, like me, trying to make it in this industry. She brought on Carol Cook, helped out Carol Burnett, and worked on several other things with other people and other kids trying to further them. She would look for kids who really would work, she she expected you to work. If you didn't work, you got axed. She expected you to do as well as she knew you were able. Lucille Ball! The biggest star in the biz! Can we even think of any huge A-List celebrities who would do that now'a days? I sure can't.

Would go to schools and answer questions... and when people told her how much they loved her, and how amazing they thought she was - never once did she take it light heartedly. It really meant something to her every time she heard it, because she fought for it for so long. She made me realize what it means to develop as a woman first, and an actress second. She taught me what it means to work hard in this business, and how to 'pay it forward'.



I guess I'd just like to say an official Happy Birthday to you, Lucy, on your 100th. I can hear you now, "100 is depressing! Why in the hell would anyone want to celebrate my 100th?!" ...but you'd be elated just the same. Thank you so much for leaving so much behind for people such as myself to learn from. Thank you for being an inspiration - from a girl who just had a dream, being kicked out of Drama School - to being the Queen of this whole industry! Classy, and full of morals - but loved no less. I admire you. I aspire to be half of what you still are. Every time I re-watch anything you have done, I still ALWAYS learn a new lesson. I have everything via comedy to thank you for - I know you always say you can't teach what you do, but your a great study... and I hope you think I'm doing pretty well. People quickly forget that you weren't just amazing in comedy, but drama and all else too. You were all around an amazing actress.

Anyways, thank you. I know you recognize how much I do truly look up to you. I hope one day I can use your old dressing room at Paramount. I hope one day I can shoot a film where you shot I Love Lucy.  I hope one day I'm at your studio, and I get to have one hell of a memorable experiance. My only wish is that I had the opportunity to get to work with and learn from you first hand.

It's been said to you a million times in a million different ways, but I do love you, Lucy.


Happy Birthday, love. You truly are missed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

On April 6th, 2011 - at roughly 8:35pm - I lost my best friend, Kyle.


I met Kyle in highschool. If I remember correctly, we first met in math class. Not strangely, we both equally hated math. Neither of us were good at it. We sat kiddy-korner to eachother. We would copy off eachothers tests - borrow eachothers book (which we were not allowed to do) - and pass notes. I blew up on our math teacher one morning. I don't remember what the arguement was about, but I do recall being treated very unfairly. I stood up, threw my 5lb book on the floor, and screamed, "THEN I'M LEAVING!" and walked myself to my principals office. That afternoon, I saw Kyle in the hallway. He stopped me, and told me, "Just so you know, today in math class? Your my hero."

From there, we shared a number of other classes. Kyle has, and always was, a shy individual. You would usually find him in the back corner of a room by himself. Sometimes with his headphones in. Sometimes writing another amazing screenplay. Not usually with anyone else. Kyle was picked on... alot. In highschool, he was the kid with the emo hair - the fingerless gloves - the band shirts. People were cruel. Hurtful. He would never show it, but I could see it in his eyes. One thing I always took pride is was knowing what it was like to be that kid. The kid who is picked on. The kid who no one likes. It took me quite some time before I really didn't care what people had to say, and stood up for myself. I remember standing up for Kyle a couple times. I don't think he ever knew it. I would do it when he walked out of a room - so he wasn't to be embaressed. I never told him I did that for him. It was my little secret with myself.

Our senior year, we had our last class of the day together. In Mrs. Freidman's Sociology class, we grew to be the best of friends. Every day we would sit next to or close enough by eachother to talk the whole hour. He told me all about his dreams of going to film school and becoming an amazing director. I told him all my dreams of becoming a famous movie/TV star. Kyle didn't have a car yet, and I had to leave school early... he would always beg me to drop him off home early.

Kyle: "Please, April! Please! It's only 10 mins early!"
Me: "No, Kyle. I can just see it now... your parents will hate me."
Kyle: "No they won't, they're cool people."
Me: "Yes, they will Kyle. The girl who brings their son home from
school before class is out is usually frowned upon."

...But, I did. As fate would have it, it turned out he only lived no more than 10 mins away from me! How perfect! Upon graduation, I started going to his house basically every day. His whole family is so loving, and take people in with open arms. I to this day call them both Mom and Dad... which is fitting, since I basically lived there. I would get to Kyle's house at 1pm, and stay till well past midnight. We would play video games, go out to eat, hang out with the family, watch movies, write screenplays, play with Que (their dog), pick Emily up from school, hang out with Dad at work, cook with Mom... everything.

My favorite thing I remember we did all the time, basically every night... we would go outside in his driveway. He would sit on the trunk of his car, I would sit on the hood of mine, and we would talk. We could talk about everything and anything - and when I got in my car to head home around 2am, we still found more to talk about when I called him after I put my pajamas on when I got home.

One thing Kyle and I bonded about was our knowledge of Depression. Kyle had been diagnosed with Clinical Depression and Bipolar Disorder pretty early on. He stayed on pills and kept seeing councelors virtually his whole life. I had my severe bout with depression before Kyle and I really became the best of bestest friends. He would talk to me about random things, topics, issues that popped into his head that he knew I would understand. I would tell him lots of times, "Kyle, when you truly get sick and tired of being sick and tired - you will find a way to be happy." He would counter me with, "It's not that easy." Sometimes I fought him on that comment. Mostly, I let it go. His self confidance wasn't amazing, so I always attributed it to that. Regardless, however, I made sure to always say, "Well, Kyle... I don't know what to tell you then outside of I love you. You know I'm always here for you." I was. There were several times with crappy girlfriends, shitty personal situations, and 'Hey I need you to drive here with me..' days that I held up my 'always here for you' offer.

A few years into our friendship, I was in college. I got a voicemail on break from Kyle's Mom asking me if I was in the movie with him. I called her back, told her that I was in school today so I wasn't in the movie. We didn't think anything of it, because Kyle would always go see movies by himself anyways. He prefered it. I got out of school rather late, home by almost midnight. At 4a-5a, his mother called me again. I answer, and she's screaming and crying, "Kyle left suicide notes on his bed, took all of his stuff, and is gone." I panicked. He wasn't answering the phone for either of his parents, so I told them I would be right over - hung up - and started calling him like I have never repetitively called anyone in my life. Finally, he answered.

Kyle sounded like he hadn't slept in weeks.. which I knew he had. He said he had been drinking. He sounded very calm, cool, and collected. At the same time very sad, upset, and hopeless. Nothing like the Kyle I talked to all the time. The happy, giddy Kyle who would dance and sing in the car with me. Nothing like the Kyle who would rock our Guitar Hero with me. This was the Kyle that would have those 3 hour '..if I killed myself..' talks with me, and it made my skin crawl. I always talked him out of those thoughts before. Myself, or one of his parents. Why hadn't he turned to one of us for this?

I remember tears springing to my eyes instantly at how done he sounded. How ready he was for this. I remember begging him to tell me where he was, and pleading with him to let me come see him one last time. Give him one last hug. He wouldn't tell me. He didn't even hint. He told me no one was to know, and it was better this way. I was in his parents driveway at 4:00 in the morning screaming at him, telling him over and over again that he was my best friend and I loved him. I went inside the house, and it was hysteria. Mom and Dad were on phones, trying to figure out where he was, pacing around the house. I went upstairs to his room, and on his bed was a stack of notes and things for people. I remember on the top was a picture of him and I stapled to my page in his yearbook I wrote for him. I now regret not taking that and keeping it, when I had saw it there that day.

I got on his computer and tracked down everything I could, from inside his hard drive to everything he had deleted. With that, and other phonecalls to other people, we tracked him down. He had drained his bank account, and drove several hours to another state and was in a hotel room. Upon mine and his parents efforts, we had contacted his other friends and they had contacted him. We convinced him to wait another day before he took his life. The next day, he said he would end it around 11p. The next day his mother, father, and myself, drove to him. It was a whole huge deal - I won't elaborate. Kyle ended up getting his stomach pumped, and was in the hospital for the standard 72 hours for observation. I remember sitting with him in the hospital... I just looked at him and shook my head. I couldn't believe what has happening, what was going on. We had this conversation:

Me: "Kyle... what the fuck, dude?"
Kyle: *laugh*
Me: "No, I'm serious. Why didn't you call me? You know I would
have came right over and helped you through this."
Kyle: "..that's exactly why I didn't call you, April. You would have talked
me out of it. And that's why I didn't tell you where I was. I didn't want you
to see what was going on."
Me: "..and that's a bad thing? That I could have helped?"
Kyle: *gives me a look*
Me: "You know what.. I love you, but your an asshole."
Kyle: *laugh*

He got through that incident. The family told his therapist about it. They worked it all out. He was doing fine! We shot his first film (where he put me as the lead, bless his heart. My first film ever!). We made some new friends. We let go of some old friends. Whatever either of us did, it was me & Kyle, together. I remember family get togethers on holidays. I remember sitting with him the exact day, time, and place he decided he wanted to try his hand at being a stand up comic. I remember when he moved into his first apartment, and how I helped (just a baby bit) with the deco. I remember having 'throwback game night' and sitting at his kitchen table for hours playing the weirdest version of 'Guess Who' I think I've ever played in my life. All the while, helping him with jokes and assisting in the writing of screen plays.

As the time went by, we grew apart. He made friends who enjoyed smoking pot, and he grew to enjoy it too. I was never someone who thought it was cool, or had any desire to try it for any reason. Some of his new friends would tell me that I wasn't cool, and poke fun at me about it. He did stand up for me, but it still made me feel like crap. He didn't smoke around me at all, ever. I always thanked him for that, and appreciated it. However, it did start to change the person he was. Little by little. He wouldn't want to do the things we thought were fun anymore. Spent more time inside, isolated. I would still go to the house and spend some time with him, but the time I spent there was more and more with his parents and sister as opposed to him. He stopped writing scripts. I would push him because I knew how immensely talented he was. My attempts didn't do much, anger and avoidance most always followed. Did I love him any less? No. Was he still my best friend? Always.

He really started hanging out with different people. I did, as well. Nothing was thought of it on my part. My best friend Sarah and I had a pretty good stretch of time in highschool where we didn't talk at all, but to this day she is my best friend. We found eachother again and grew back even stronger. That was exactly what I figured would be with Kyle and I. We do our own thing, find a little more of ourselves, and come back better than ever! He couldn't help but keep me in his life somehow.. his family, the amazing people they are, became my family and I still spent lots of time at the house.

I don't know how long it was, truthfully. A year, maybe? Since the last time we had spent time together. I spoke with him briefly when our friend Megan had passed away a couple months ago. When he answered the phone, and I spoke, he didn't know who I was. That broke my heart in ways I don't think I can describe. Really, Kyle? How many hours would we spend on the phone and you can't tell who I am? I would never be able to forget you! I didn't say those things, but I felt them. I just told him Megan had passed, and that was all. I remember trying to find something to talk about - but I was afraid he didn't want to talk with me. Silence can really be deafening. We just said goodbye, and hung up.

You don't know how badly I wish I would have known that would be the last time I would ever get to talk with him.

His mother kept me up on all the family news. Kyle was doing amazing! He was writing again, planning to go out and film again. He had held casting sessions for his film. He was getting back to being Kyle! He was happy, really involved in things with his family and all else. He was doing well with himself, and the whole family!

..Or so we thought..

April 6th, 2011... I get a call from Mom.

Mom: "April, honey, I have something to tell you.."
Me: "..Ok.."
Mom: "Are you driving?"
Me: "..No.."
Mom: "Are you sitting down?"
Me: "..Yes.."
Mom: "Are you at home?"
Me: "Yes.. What's going on?"

I was thinking it was Grandma. She hadn't been doing too well.

"April, honey... It's Kyle. He killed himself tonight."

Kyle? My Kyle? Your son, Kyle? My best friend, Kyle?

Killed himself?

Are you sure?

I know his mother well enough to have asked all those things, which I did. To every question, regrettably, I got a 'Yes' answer. I heard police in the background, people talking, Emily crying, Que barking... it didn't seem real. At all. No, this wasn't real. This isn't happening. It can't be. It isn't.

Mom told me she'd call me back in a couple mins once she talked with the medical examiners. So, I hung up my phone.. and I just remember sitting on my floor. On my bedroom floor. I must have been staring at my corner for a good 5 minutes trying to compute in my brain what I have just been told. I remember looking around, and suddenly I was in my mom's bedroom. I turned on her light, and woke her up. After I said, "Kyle killed himself.." all I remember being able to say was, "..He was my best friend, he was my best friend.." over and over again as I collapsed onto my mom's bed.

My first instinct was to call him and start cursing him out for causing all this trouble... alas, I couldn't. I went to his mom's house the next morning (his parents are divorced by this point), and sat with her while she cried. I talked to her about how I never thought he'd do it. About how I was sure if he did I'd get at least a phonecall... nope. Didn't get a letter, either. Selfish as it may be, I wanted a damn letter. It was the least he could have done for me after our years together... I'd have settled with a sticky note, even! A scrap receipt that he just wrote, 'Hey, April' on the back of! I mean come on, Kyle!
(He would laugh at this, by the way.)

Anyways, I think my reasoning for blogging this whole horrible story (outside of the fact that it's therapeutic) - May is National Suicide Prevention & Awareness month. I think that it's important to be able to talk about. If you don't talk about it, it can't be cured or prevented. If you don't share a story, you can't empower or change anyone. Sometimes the most painful confessions bring about the strongest and most positive change. For the same reason Oprah does all those shows about horrific situations - there are many out there who feel like it has touched them, helped them. If it can help one person, it's worth it.

Final Thought:

Kyle, your a douchebag. I can't believe you did this. I could kick your ass. Seeing as how we can't take it back, and as hard as I've sat and prayed to God to have him turn back time... he can't. I keep hoping that when I go to sleep I'll be able to wake up on the phone with you the last time I talked to you. I thank you so much for every memory you gave me - there are so many things we did together that I will carry with me until I see you again. If you never knew on earth, you now know in spirit how much you were loved. By not just me, but a great deal of people. I would have taken a bullet for you, regardless of how long we went without speaking. I had told you before, "No matter how long we go without talking, you'll always be my best friend." I meant it, Kyle. I always will.


Please take a moment to visit To Write Love On Her Arms . Any donation you can make will help them go up against fighting addiction, depression, self-injury, and suicide.

I love you, Kyle.