Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Me.

- If I found a time machine and could go back to the 1950s, I'd go and never look back.

- I love animals more than I could ever explain. I wish I could work in a more hands on way with animal shelters and stuff, but my heart is too heavy. I sit and cry the whole time, wishing I could take each and every one home.

- Halloween is my favorite holiday. Next up is Christmas.

- I see dead people. Talk to them quite often, too.

- My guardian angel, Jonathan, and Archangel Michael are the reasons I'm alive. They knew my mission, my value, before I did. I'm forever grateful to them for the life I live.

- When you hire me, you hire Lucille Ball. We're a 'two for one' deal. She never leaves my side.

- I love candles.

- I love poetry. More so, I love when people read it to me.

- My favorite channel is TCM.

- My cats are my children. Period. 

- I have multiple sets of parents, ranging from my friends parents to industry mentors. I'm thankful for every single one of them.

- I love Christmas lights.

- I love getaways. Cottages, really old bed and breakfasts, vintage inns... *sigh* Love it.

- I love reading.

- I love taking walks.

- I love reading and taking walks in graveyards. 

- I love sitting outside in the rain. No umbrella, just sitting in the rain.

- I love inspirational quotes.

- I'm a lover, AND a fighter.

- I love tattoos. I'd get more if I could.

- I love writing scripts. So much so, I feel like I have so many ideas that come so easily, there's no possible way I could ever write all of them.

- I think the movie 'Titanic' is one of the most beautiful examples of spontaneous friendships. How some people, if given the chance, can be the most important people in your life. What if Jack & Rose never met? 

- ...I'd go to 1st class, steal all the women's clothes, then go to 3rd class and chill with the normal people. Unless I could stay with Molly Brown, then that'd be okay.

- I love counseling people.

- I love making friends.

- I love learning. I ask more questions than most people have ever heard on any given topic when I'm trying to learn.

- I can't stand people who aren't honest, and truthful. Even if it hurts, I want the truth. The blunt truth is always better than a well dressed lie.

- Seeing people be taken advantage of makes me extremely angry.

- My most painful lesson in life so far has been that you can't help everyone. Even if you see the train coming, and you know it is about to destroy everything... Some - most - people don't want to see it. Witnessing a destruction I knew was coming is always horrifying. 

- I've realized that carrying knowledge, wisdom and abundant intuition is often a very lonley road to live on.

- If it was socially acceptable, I would live in men's sweatpants and a hoodie.

- I love dancing. I've danced for a really long time. Specialty: Hip Hop.

- I won't settle for any love less than the likes of The Notebook, or any other powerful romantic couple you can think of. Period. I know what I'm worth, why settle for less?

- If you have my back, I have yours. If you fight for me, I fight for you. I'll be your ride or die till the end. I will do absolutely anything for you, no questions. If you screw me over, you're dead to me in an instant. No time for fake friends.

- I'm a giver. Have been told I need to learn how to accept sometimes, too.

- Red is my favorite color.

- I love snuggling.

- I love hugs.

- I love really long phone calls.

- Food always tastes better after midnight.

- I know part of my life's mission is to empower others to live their dreams, and take them under my wing to teach them how.

- I love kids. I can't wait to start having my own.

- I know horses are a lot to take care of, but I've kinda always wanted one. 

- You can never have enough pillows.

- I love board games.

- I drink so much water, I sometimes worry about myself.

- Most of my closest friends are over 40. I'm under 25.

- I eat what I want. As long as I don't eat 5 whole pizzas to myself, shut up and pass me the fries. 

- I've grown to love my body. Marilyn Monroe had one just like it! It's classic!

- I find inspiration in little things every day.

- I love driving. 

- I love road trips.

- I'm horrible at wrapping presents. Seriously, I suck.

- I want to go to Italy and meet my family.

- I have a twin sister.

- My Grandpa and Frank Sinatra were friends. 

- The only person anyone should ever trust to attempt to remake 'Gone With The Wind', is me.

- If TCM is showing something I've already seen, The History Channel, HLN or NatGeo will substitute. Depending.

- If acting and film didn't work out, I was ready to be a Laywer.

- I love Nancy Grace.

- English was my best class in school. Math was my worst.

- I love vintage stuff. Furniture, trinkets... Keep me away from vintage stores! I dont need anything else!

- My crew is truly my family. No ifs, ands or buts about it. 

- I make it a point to spiritually receive any good deed done for me, and pay it forward.

- I wanna snuggle with a panda. And a lion. And a bear. And a fox... Not safe, I know... 

- I don't like shopping. 

- I don't care for or like 'fashion'. Don't care about brands or names. 

- I don't read magazines. 

- I'm a night owl.

- Noon is early for me.

- I'm usually better friends with people's grandparents than they are.

- ...I've been known to hang out at nursing homes.

- I don't like high heels. 

- I love DCs. 

- Yoga pants is an everyday 'jean replacement' that I am thankful for.

- I can't cook.

- I hate cleaning.

- I have more perfume, body sprays and lotions than anyone will really ever need.

- Can you stay the night in a castle anywhere? I'd really like to do that one day.

- Have I mentioned how much I love Christmas lights? Seriously, I don't remember...

- I hate bugs. Hate hate hate hate them. 

- I will never go camping. Ever. For any reason. 

- Continuing: Camping would be my hell. I'm sure of it. Ewe. Bugs and dirt and... No.

- I love hearing other peoples life stories.

- I want to have a library in my house one day. Not some crazy one, but a good solid wall or two of books in an office or study is just fine by me!

- I never want some huge house. Unnecessary. I'd just get lost in it.

- I love rap music.

- I curse all the time...

- ...Really, it's more than you'd think.

- I love coffee, but realize for my own sanity I need to cut down.

- I can't shop for any kind of present until the day before. I always end up giving it to people too soon. I can't hold onto them!

- I love surprising people.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Too Soon

I think it's weird.. So much of my time used to be comprised of dreaming about death.

My own, of course.

I would fantasize about the funeral, the people, the changes that would be made in my absence...

...the peace, the calm, the light, the love.

Now - I find myself thinking of it in a totally different way.

...With faces that aren't mine, and memories attached that I miss from the bottom of my heart. 

Odd - how much death and destruction surrounds me. 

Odder - none of it my own.

Kyle Linford and Jared Radtke.

How I'm sure they hate being grouped together... Kyle, regretting his decision to kill himself and Jared being so proud of it. Sorry boys, I have to.

So much of my life is 'thanks to' or 'because of' or 'I learned it from' them. So much, that it's most of what I think about. 

I was once asked which I thought was worse - having someone unwilling to contact you anymore who is responsible for half of who you are, or having said person die.

Die, for sure. They're not even able to be contacted anymore, you know?

Suicide is a permanent choice for a temporary problem. 

People would say that to me at the height of my self injury and addiction - I always got angry. I would yell and scream, "THIS ISN'T TEMPORARY!"

God, how little I knew.

Anyways - I miss them. So much. Let's face it, I'm going to be kind of a big deal in the entertainment industry with everything I've got going, (that's not egotistical that's fact. Can't work as hard as I do, and refuse to give up like I do, and have that not be the outcome) I think about Kyle and Jared all the time.

I miss them. They were the only people who got me, knew me at my core, and loved me just as I loved them. They knew I am a nerd who loves the 1950s and video games and scripts and film and acting and rap music and everything in between.

Kyle would write scripts with me. We'd do nothing but walk to the gas station at midnight, get a bunch of snacks, and wrote scripts for hours. He'd have me analyze his, and ask for my input. 

He'd actually take it. Care about it.

He let me try my hand at writing scripts with him, while he wrote his. He'd be stuck, and ask me to come help. See if I could write him out of writers block. He'd answer any and all questions, explain everything patiently, and encourage me the whole way. 

He would get so excited when I came up with an idea he wasn't thinking of, or an idea for a scene. He would shove me into the computer chair and insist I wrote it - or explain to him how to flesh it out.

He'd act out parts of his scenes, get up and go through the motions. I'd take the role of another character in the scene to see how he liked it - or he'd have me read it back to him to see how it sounded from outside himself. 

I could just lay on his bed and watch him write for hours. Reading the dialogue over his shoulders as it was typed. 

That was truly one of my favorite things to do. Still is... But, now I have no one to sit with, to learn from. Suicide took Kyle from the world way too soon.

We would take breaks and watch Family Guy. He introduced me to Robot Chicken. He loved The Notebook, and had no shame in blasting Kelly Clarkston. He loved his comic book movies, and could analyze any film way better than most critics. 

He would be writing all day, or editing something way into the night (there's something he taught me that I loved to watch too, editing) - then I'd get a phone call at 5am...

"You up?"
"Am now."
"Hungry?"
"Always."
"I'm gonna pick you up, be ready."

He'd bring pages of script he'd been writing, and we'd go anywhere to sit and go over everything. He always wanted my input, valued my opinions, and often gave me pens to make permanent changes. 

We would drive aimlessly for hours, not caring where we were going. Wherever we ended up, we ended up. Sometimes the sun would be setting, sometimes it would be rising. 

We would play video games, board games (we came up with one hell of a version of 'Guess Who'), and even draw. We would cook, shop, go on walks everywhere and anywhere at absolutely any time. He was the first and only person I've ever braved Black Friday with on a mission for a robe and slippers.

Kyle was very quiet to most people. He was a man of very few words. He was brilliant, and always willing to help others. I've been told I was the first and only person Kyle ever let into his life so deeply.  That will forever mean more to me than I could ever describe.

We talked about traveling, about all the movies we'd make. We talked about books. We hated bugs equally. We talked about absolutely everything, and had cried on each other's shoulders a good hand full of times. 

Kyle was the very best friend I could ever have. 

...and he killed himself.

The hole that's missing the part of him in my heart seems to grow bigger as the days go by. I've come to question how deep this wound will go. 

His funeral... Well, some of all of us was in that casket. The most painful thing to do is bury basically the only person - above family, and any other friend - who knew you so completely. Accepted you and was your 'other half'. He knew the side of me no one else ever saw, or got close enough to notice.

Same for him, I suppose.

It took time to throw myself back into work again. Next up? 'Elmwood'. Horror movie. Big role, lots of promise. 

After a week or two, people started pointing out our DP. Jared Radtke. 

He was silent. Never spoke unless spoken to. He was like a chameleon, blending into his surroundings so effortlessly you barely noticed him at all. 

As always, I make it a point to befriend these people. 

Of course, they all remind me of Kyle - but it worries me what kind of emotional scars they have that may be the reason for their silence that no one takes the time to explore. Or even show they care. 

I don't want anyone feeling overlooked.

So, I said, "Hello." 

In time, I realized that there may be more people out there like Kyle than I realized. 

Sensitive, loving, genuis, knowledgeable dreamers who love film just like Kyle and I did!

Loving to learn, I asked Jared an endless stream of questions about cameras. He was the very best DP this world would have ever seen. Forget what you heard, Jared was the best.

He killed all the bugs for me. He let me pull focus on the camera a time or two. He showed me how to change lenses. He sat with me and showed me basic story boarding. He broke down script with me, he answered tons of technical character questions.

He wrote poetry, and would call me up to ask what I thought. He would often read me his short novel-style stories. I loved every one of them.

We would take walks in the woods, and he would let me mourn Kyle as long as I needed to. He would ask questions about him, and actually care.

We started writing a script together. He taught me a lot about pre production - I sat with him and watched him edit and color correct a feature. He showed me tricks and stuff with editing that I absolutely loved learning... He showed me many things I wouldn't know, had it not been for him.

He would send me scenes as he wrote them, asking what I thought and what should be changed. We scouted locations, and I asked a million more questions. 

He sat with me and snuggled me when I wa having a hard time. He protected me when he knew I was reaching my personal limit and needed time to myself. He built decks and sang songs. He loved rap music and classical. 

He was the first person I really opened my heart to since Kyle, and then...

... Jared killed himself, too.

As brilliant as both of those boys were, they sure made stupid decisions.

Kyle went peacefully. There was no shocking gasps or screams at his funeral. I didn't realize how thankful I'd be for that until I went to Jared's. 

He jumped off the 9th or 10th story of a hotel, so use your imagination. 

I remember standing at his casket - which took me an hour to get to - with my friends Taylor and Matt. I don't know who grabbed who first, but either Matt or myself were ready to pass out. We grabbed each other so fast... 

Visible broken bones. Bruises. The whole nine.

Quite honestly, I think people who contemplate suicide should have been invited to come. Talk about a slap in the face.

Not one suicide - but two. Not even a year apart.

The only positive thing I can pull from any of that is I guess it makes you really appreciate people. In a way most people don't appreciate anyone. 

I know they're with me - Kyle more than Jared, but I know they're with me. They're helping me. Kyle had said to me before, "You're not allowed to die before me." Well, you made sure that was factual. 

I still wonder how I'll make it through the rest of my mission here on earth without them. Hiring crew for the films I'm working on is an excruciating silent pain... How can I hire any DP other than Jared? How can I hire any director other than Kyle? 

I will forever miss them. I can't even think of any other words to use... They will forever be in my heart. Everything I do has a piece of them in it. 

Really truly doing tons of real intense work with films, crews and companies... It's hard to not call them when I have a question or concern. I'm really out on my own now... I know I'm not completely on my own, but... It hurts just the same. 

I can help other people like Kyle and Jared have helped me, that's how I make it through sometimes. Other times, it's listening to songs or reading books or watching movies that have them tied to it. 

I don't know where else to go with this... I just fucking miss them. 

Fuck you both. I love you.

----


I'm working on a better picture of Jared, but there he is! Far left, hat and longer hair. He's editing a film, helping the other two get it done. I was sitting in the leather recliner for hours in the studio, just watching. 

----


Me and Kyle. One of my favorites. Kyle was wearing his production company shirt that I designed. I have that shirt now. 

----

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, please call the suicide hotline or visit www.twloha.com/vision 

Unfair Advantages

I realize I have many unfair advantages in life.

Or, well... That's how I think of them, anyways. When I think about my life - where I've been, where I am, who I've become, where I will go.

Not in monetary ways, or tangible things. Just... Living.

There's not many people who can live day to day like I can. I wish everyone could see life, people, animals, things... Like myself.

I'm thankful that I came into this entertainment industry after I knew fully and completely who I was as a human being. After I knew my soul, entirely. No one could use me as their mouthpiece. No one can program me with ulterior motives, or brainwash me into some media poster child for something they want to see happen - someone they want me to be.

I'm a free agent - completely. I have arrived at all my own conclusions, I make all my own decisions, I choose what I do and don't do. What I say and don't say. I'm not afraid of the truth, or anyone trying to hide it. There is no group of people planting subliminal messages in my head, I haven't been so upset I've sought people outside of myself... I've done it myself.

The group of people I love and support love and support me, too. I haven't been damaged by 'the public' or perceptions of people - yes, there are bad apples - but I'm thankful my spirit is open enough to see light and love in others, and because of that I will always have open access to new souls.

I will always be ready and willing to make a new friend, therefore open to always having my life grow and change for the positive. Open to always being touched and moved, taught new things, by new people who may grow to be some of the best friends and best things to ever happen to me.

I'm able to stand on my own two feet. I can fight for myself just as hard as I fight for others. I can scream and swing without being promoted, I don't need someone holding my hand or doing it for me. I am my own protector, and usually the protector of others. Manly, yes, but a blessing. Not many people - man or woman - can be that, for themselves or anyone else. I'm not afraid of anyone, or anything. If you're in my heart... Sometimes, even if you're not... I will defend and protect you even if it kills me - without hesitation.

I have known extreme sadness, so I can not only feel - but appreciate - happiness. I can sit in a moment and filter it away for moments of sadness. I am also able to pull others from darkness, because I know how. I know what worked and didn't work for me. What's the right and wrong ways to handle depression, addiction, and the spectrums between.

No one can hurt me more than I can hurt myself. That is a fact. I am the only person who is able to destroy me. I am the only person who can make me happy  or sad. I am the only person who determines what kind of day I have - good or bad, negative or positive. 

Never will there be a day I lack compassion for others. When able, I don't just throw money or someone else at other people in need. I roll my sleeves up, and get involved. Physically, spiritually, wholly. 

I want to personally wrap my arms around others, personally hear their struggles, personally take a stand in their life where no one else has. Personally be a contactable force that can offer light to put their soul into focus - with the industry, or basic personal stuff. 

I have a team of people only I can see and feel - and a select group of other 'sensitives' - that are with me even when I feel alone. I know no one is ever alone, but the gift of knowing and communicating with all of the people who I truly feel friendships with that others call 'ghosts', or 'spirit guides' - 'guardian angels' - 'angels', whatever... Is the most beautiful thing. That is something I truly wish I could give to everyone.

They are a huge reason I am where I am, I am who I am, and I continue to do what I do. It's without question that I could have taken my previously desired way out... I could have succeeded when I tried to kill myself at 16... 

I am so thankful I didn't.

The people I have loved and lost, the struggles I have fought against and overcame, the overwhelming sadness and uselessness, the struggle to find myself again in a world and a business that will never really truly care about your soul. Your individuality.... I did it.

Me. All alone. By myself. I had no help from any human force other than myself. No one gave a shit about me, no one helped me get where I am...

For that, I am thankful. 

I am the most dangerous thing to happen to any negative force. With as much light as I possess, it will never win. 

You won't take me, my job, my life, my soul, or any more of my people if I can help it.

To be honest... I am the most unfair advantage in the world.

Damn it feels good to be a gangster. 
(That was just stuck in my head, felt like that lyric was a funny close...)

But really... I've never been happier being me. Being alive. Being in life.

You are the best thing that will ever happen to this world. You have to believe that. 

Hugs and love. 


Saturday, November 9, 2013

I miss you, Jared.

My friend, Jared, was an amazing writer. Scripts, poems, short stories - he really had a promising future. 

His poems are brilliant. I remember talking with him about them... He wrote one for me what now feels like so long ago. It's my favorite. 

I was cleaning out my email and I found it. When he sent it to me... When he was still alive. Before he jumped off that building. Back when he still believed in himself, and had hope.

My favorite poem - probably the sweetest thing anyone's ever done for me, honestly.

Here it is:

-

The Fighter

A powerful thing you are
A beautiful thing
Born and made of Violence
You are sworn to it
Both a captive and a politician of it
You are the fighter

Every stomp and quiet step you take is a battle
Take them! Take them on I say!
The children the parents the dictators and the lovers
Show them your dominion
Inform them of your power over them
They shall not pass and you shall stand above

Scars? What of them?
You flash them brazenly like all your bloodied comrades
"Chicks dig scars" and P.S. Fuck Off
Yes I hear you and thus I will not assume an iota of you
You are complex, impenetrable on all fronts
You are the fighter

Fight for your power so they know you never fell
Fight for your friends and family so they may never be touched
Fight for the weak under your wings
Fight for your survival
Fight the sex that destroys and vanquish it
Fight the men with their own swords

Your gloves are as iron as your will
The arena you've built is astounding and vast
The walls feel cagey like iron; like your gloves; like your will
Gripping the walls peering through the spaces I think I see you
Your swing is percussive and piercing
I've no doubt your stamina outlasts entire stars

Your arena is vast.

-

I can still hear his voice in my head when I read that. 

I miss your hugs, your cuddles, your kind words. How much you believed in me, wanted me to succeed, how great a friend you were to me.

I'm sure you and Kyle are up there planning some insane Hollywood takeover, or hopefully helping me with mine...

...I just wish you wouldn't have jumped off that damn building.

I can never work with you again, or send you a script or call with an idea to get your input... You were the only person that would do that with me since Kyle. 

Damn if you didn't kill yourself, too.

I love you, Jared. God, I miss you guys. Miss you every day.

#StopSuicide

** To see a film written by, directed, edited by and starring Jared, go to this link. It's in parts - http://youtu.be/K4rm158mFHg

** To read more of Jared's poems and short stories, go here - http://jaredradtke.blogspot.com 

For the love of God, let's #StopSuicide. Seriously.

If you or someone you know is struggling, visit www.twloha.com/vision or call the Suicide Hotline.