Really, there is only a small handful of people who understand the insanity and sacrifice within my own soul I'm putting up for constant belittling and chaos for my dream, and the dreams of others.
One day, this will all make sense. Everything I've ever said and done. When what I'm working on, who I'm working with, meets the bright lights of Hollywood... Everything will be pulled apart and analyzed. Only then, will it all make sense.
I have a vision, a dream, a business plan... And a company. The company owner, well... It's complicated. Let's just say he is a very confused man. One day he wants to be an award winning actor. The next, a man completely silent - privacy in mind, far far away from anything Hollywood related. The next, a sports tycoon. The next, a happily married man with children nowhere near any business of any kind. The next, a maker of dreams. The next, just working to make my dreams come true. The next, completely washing his hands of any and all business. The next, a douchebag macho man, banging as many chicks as possible with his flashy millions. The next, belittling art and wondering why he's doing any kinds of films at all. The next, an award winning actor. The next, a man completely silent... So on and so forth.
One day I run the company. The next, he runs it. The next, it's ours. The next, he wants everything... I don't know where I stand from one day to the next.
One day, all my visions are wonderful. I'm leading my departments and the part of the company I lead... Which has been everything film. The next, it's the complete opposite. Two hours later, he's the big flashy owner doing everything... Two hours after that, well, second verse. Same as the first.. And second.. And third...
I've spoken all this to him. I've said it all time and time again. I've explained that if he wants his privacy, there are certain things he must do and not do. I've also explained that I will not be held responsible for whatever privacy is compromised if he chooses to go against my advice. Because, I'm also always somehow held at fault for his personal and private decisions.
In the same breath, it changes... It's no longer a concern of privacy, but how I can configure the biggest action film around him as the star.
I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I feel insane, I feel abused... I step away from others in business like this.
I know why he's like this. Psychologically. I get it. He was the only child. He never had to share, or learn to respect other people's feelings or opinions. He's co-dependent, hence the fact that he's 'in love' with absolutely every single woman he dates, and plans marriage with all of them. Never actually been in love, despite his arguments against that statement.
He's never had to work. Just slipped thru a series of auto show jobs and into the life of a wealthy 'business man' who dabbled in acting a time or two.
He doesn't understand a 9-5, he doesn't understand hustle or passion. He's said time and time again, "I'll never understand any actors dreams. Ever. I just don't care, or have the same passion." In the next breath, a sentance contradicting everything that was just said.
Is he a genius with technology? Yes. Anything else? Not so much. He thinks he is, tho. And it's his 30+ years of religiously watching wrestling and RAW and all that crap that has warped his mind into him really thinking that walking and talking so egotistically and 'me me me' will get him anywhere.
It'll be me fault somehow when he makes a snap decision to put himself front and center of a media covered event, and he's being poked and prodded at. I'll get the, "This is why I didn't want to do this shit. I fucking hate film, and the media, this is the shit I wanted to avoid. I hate this company, this whole thing ruined my life." It'll be my fault. Somehow. As always.
Then, when he makes the decision to say away and go private, I'll get the, "This is MY company. I need to be recognized! I did all the hard work!" Blah blah. My fault again.
Basically, it's a no win situation. I'm damned if I do, damned if I don't.
Plus side? Beyond all of that... He is still the only person who's ever believed in me enough to fund my ideas and my grand business plan. Only person.
Beyond all of the schizophrenia, what feels to me like harassment and constantly putting his displeasure for what effects his choices have made to his personal life on me and what was supposed to be OUR business... He's let me go this far.
No one else has ever done that before.
Can I take constant harassment and resentment and inability to make any choice? Sure. I guess so. Hey, I'd rather be dealing with this than sleeping my way to the top!
My fear? His vision and determination to be the 'top dog' will completely overrule and leave him blind to the way he not only treats others, (me particularly), but makes them feel. It's already started.
Another fear? His indecisiveness. This has already been a 3 year long struggle, and he can't see the connection between absolutely any kind of business - and keeping your word. Because he's never worked with or for anyone other than himself, he is blind to what we all know to be the simple fact that being a man/woman of your word is very, very important. And that delivering on days/times you've promised are mandatory. Expected.
He doesn't understand anything I say, or hear anything I say, unless it comes from the mouth of a man. Another douchebag he determines to be a true business man.
Do I know he's lied to me about things? Absolutely. I know each and every lie that comes out of his mouth that he tried to color with numbers and technical figures, names and clearance deadlines, hoping I will get confused and not understand. Hoping that he'll lose me in his lie.
The only thing I know for sure, that I continuously pray for, is that this battle is coming to an end.
I see what he can't see, which is very important.
I see the people. I hear their dreams. I feel their struggles. Regardless if I have the same ones myself, I recognize and sympathize with another human being in distress. It doesn't matter their specific dream, I speak the language of the lost. More importantly, I know how to get them found.
It never has anything to do with money, or who you know. It always has everything to do with your ability to really and truly hear the other person. Feel what they're feeling, even if you don't understand it. Not be egotistical, and reach down to help them up. Not because you have to, because that's what people do. That's what we're all supposed to do, for everyone else.
My hopes for this? Create dreams. Help people find themselves, because who they are is hidden in their seeming inability to connect the dream in their soul to the life they're living.
If they want to be the worlds best baker, I hear that. The worlds best, I don't know, balloon artist... I get that. I know what it's like. Apparently, the biggest problem is those who've never had a dream... Who've had everything handed to them. The spectrums of reasons between.
I'll take always feeling exhausted from having to endlessly repeat myself, always being worried he'll change his mind - again, always being the end of every problem - having it all screamed and yelled at me in tones of 'I'm a fucking bro, I'm the shit, listen to me because it's mine and I said so', wondering what else is being hidden from me - or conveniently not told to me, being on a continuous brink of tears because he just doesn't understand that other people don't treat other people that way - and because he doesn't understand that he doesn't understand business and everything it entails - truthfully... And everything else... I'll take it.
I'll take it. If that means seeing 200 people's lives make sense. If that means seeing an entire state rise up, become something. If that means creating a new wave of positivity in 'Hollywood' with what I can do... I'll take it.
A part of me believes that in all of this, he may just find himself. He doesn't know that regardless how he treats me, he doesn't even understand any of how it resonates within me. Regardless of hours of explanation. He always says, "It's just women." Or, "I'm just not a good people person, you're better with that." Or, "I'll just never get it."
He won't. Not now. He doesn't even understand that all of the above has basically pulled my friendship card. How do you maintain a friendship with someone like that? Who would want to?
But maybe, just maybe, one day.. He will get it. Maybe, one day, it'll all make sense to him... For his own good.
Regardless, given that everything remains positive and hopeful... It's going to be a movement.
I understand all my work and contribution and exactly all that I've done and continue to do may fall away, be hidden by him standing on a stage proclaiming his ownership. I understand that. I understand that what I know needs to happen to be successful, for his benefit and everyone else's, may be halted one random moment by a decision he finds to be better somewhere in his mind. I understand that.
I've never even been someone who is about, 'put my name here, here and make sure they know I did this'. I'm not. But you have to remember, in this industry? It matters where your name is. It matters what credits you have, because if you don't? You never did it. You can't continue to rise up. You can't ever get anywhere else, other than the place you're currently in.
What will never be hidden, overlooked, or made to feel inferior are the lives about to be changed. The amazing reward in their souls, the new uplifting outlook on life because someone believed in them won't ever go away. Nothing I ever try to do with the intention of bettering everyone will ever be taken away from me.
Call my ideas yours, fine. Claim the entire business, fine. Stamp yourself everywhere your penis says you must because you're 'the man'.
I've already had what had been promised to me as co-ownership taken away, he's proclaimed over and over that now - the company is 'MINE'. I've gone from a co-owner, to the Film Division Management.
I've already accepted that I accept the scripts, I write the scripts, I hire the crew. I work absolutely everything out in pre-production to set up the film(s) to be shot and do 200 things while he pushes buttons on a computer... I figure out the marketing plans, tailor them to each specific films story and actors and message... I was promised co-ownership for all of the work on basically running every piece of what will make him the most money. I was promised co-ownership for creating what he will sell.
I've already had my authority and knowledges belittled and abused time and time again. I've been told, "Yeah, you can handle that. You know more anyways." To only have that turned around, spat back in my face, and told I know nothing. That this man who has said his only concern is making millions and has no passion or knowledge in film at all, now knows - suddenly - overnight - how to run a film set. I'm doing it wrong.
I've been promised things that he has taken back violently, with yelling - shouting of 'MY COMPANY' - and confrontation.
I've broken down numbers and marketing plans to be told I'm wrong. Then, he turns around and asks another person who 'knows more', and suddenly it was his idea and he's agreeing with me.
"My money." - "My company." - "My work." ...Such selfish statements. He's said time and time again, "I don't know people. I'm not a people person. I don't relate to actors or film people at all, I don't care to." Yet, because he's a victim of violent masculinity, misogyny and male entitlement... He needs to continuously stomp on me, kick me while I'm down and verbally assault me to make damn SURE that I know 'who the fuck I'm dealing with'. 'Who the fuck is in charge, here.'
He doesn't even understand that he has no passion, and no compassion for me or anyone else. If you ever met him, he sure looks like it. He's been explained to be in terms of the "abusive husband" type. It's been told to me that he is exactly that way - nice, kind, polite to people's faces... But when you get to know the real him? Well, let's just say if you were around and someone was about to shoot him, he'd use you as a shield & not think twice. ESPECIALLY if it came to money. He'd offer your life for cash.
If he only knew that speaking to others with compassion, considering their feelings, treating them how they want to be treated... It goes a long, long way. Regardless his demands, if he spoke kindly and respected anyone but himself - it would be beautiful.
He's said he's read this blog - and the only thing he has processed in his warped mind to take away from it is, "I need more power. I need people to make sure this is MINE."
My soul is tired of fighting. My head is numb from rewording everything 1,000 times. My nerves are shot from the constant ups and downs of 'will it/won't it'. My heart is bruised because, well, no one understands. No one.
I spent a half hour today in tears due to a recent demand he threw at me, I - of course - having 'no place to argue' - being stuck. I know the rules of a film set, film ettiquite. He doesn't, he said he didn't care. "I don't care, it's MINE." How does someone deal with that? How?
I had a nice long talk with a very compassionate male friend who advised me, "April, this isn't a good person. No one treats others this way, especially YOU. All that you have done! You and only you are why he can make his millions, and he's treating you like 2 day old trash. You don't deserve someone treating you that way. Ever."
It's so hard to stay. I feel like I'm in the worst abusive relationship ever. I feel like every single day, my heart and soul are ripped out of my body by this company owner, and beaten until there's nothing left. Truly, I even believe he enjoys it. He enjoys my heartache, and tears, and misery.
I believe, hell - I can truly even say that I KNOW - he's sitting there with a smile on his face. He's thinking, "This bitch wouldn't throw away everyone's dreams. Or hers. I can treat her however I want and do whatever I want and she won't go anywhere."
He needs to figure out how to be a good person who treats people kind and with the respect they deserve before he ever considers being an active one. But, I'm just some idiot who knows nothing, so... Ignore me. I report to my master, like a fucking slave.
Regardless how many times he throws, "I want MY life, I want MY retirement, I want me first, before anyone else..." At me... Regardless how it makes me want to throw up due to the horrifying egotism and lack of consideration for others coloring everything he says with selfishness... It will never take away the reason I stay and fight, and believe, and continue.
I don't just want to take over the world. I want to give people a reason to keep dreaming, keep hoping. Keep waking up with smiles on their faces.
There are a million ways to do that. I'm just choosing to do it with film industry pros/hopefuls.
There are hundreds, hell, even thousands of women aside from me in the world - not even just the film industry - that have had to work/deal with/be ran by men like him. I'm not alone. I guess that's something I should always remember. It's so sad that it's being continuously proven to me that men in business treat the women who should be their equals like dog shit. He's texted me in relation to this blog, and aside what I have spoken above - he's just taken a stance on why he is the way he is. How I just need to accept it. "Wrestling is who I am, I want money, I want dominance."
What any decent human being who read this, being about them and how they make someone feel, may have said? What I would have said, and most of you would have said?
"I'm sorry I made you feel that way. I apologize. What can I do to change that?"
Nope. Not - even - close.
But, why should I expect him to? If he hasn't cared at all the first time I spoke all this to him on the phone, 2nd time, 3rd time, 4th time, 5th time... He's even had an ex-girlfriend suggest to him to, "Treat April like a human being, stop being so disrespectful." What did he tell her? "Mind your own business."
That's why they broke up, actually. He spent a good 6 months yelling at me, telling me that I and I alone was the reason for their breakup. I was the only person who coul have caused that.
Couldn't possibly have been the fact that another human bring requested kindness toward another, and he spat in her face?
Nope, my fault.
I just... I don't know anymore...
He's succeeded in beating me down until there is nothing left. When he calls, and I have no energy inside me to even sound happy or joyful or pleasent... And I say, "I'm just tired, I can't do this anymore." What does he say? "Well this is my money, and my company, so deal with it."
Everyone sacrifices something for the greater good I guess, right? I'm just hoping the stress and upset doesn't create a tumor or ulcer or anything.
*another big sigh*
Say a prayer for me? I need all the prayers I can get. So does he, really, I guess. Send me prayers of strength, send him prayers of compassion and understanding.
Please also understand, contrary to popular belief - being viewed as 'overly emotional' or 'upset', or crying and venting isn't something I 'just do because I'm a woman'. Men should be able to release their feelings, also. This is a very lonley road. Speaking it to him has done nothing, and I'm only human - I need to sort out my feelings and release them. The best way for me to do it is here. I, well... I have really nowhere else to put it. No one else to fully describe it all too. It's my outlet.
So, thank you for allowing me to be human. Whoever you are. (Let's grab lunch? *wink*)
To be honest, I typed all this out and sent this post to him in a last ditch effort as a 3rd person message to hopefully, maybe, this time get thru to him. To maybe, finally, have him understand. To maybe, finally, have the change or the talk that will change things.
Beyond my life, i want to see the lives of others improved because I have lived. Because I have done what I'm doing. Because I sat and wept with them, held their hands and looked deep into their eyes, telling them with my whole being, "I believe in you, and I will do everything I possibly can to help you."
In the end, that's all that will ever matter.