A MOVIE PREMIERE, LIMOUSINES, RED CARPET, MY PRODUCING PARTNER, EGYPT AND… JESUS.
I recently had the wonderful opportunity to attend my third movie premiere.
There I was dressed in my Italian designer suit, lovely woman in arm surrounded by dazzling lights, flashing bulbs, stretch limos, powerful yet well-meaning individuals from all walks of the film industry and... Jesus. Yes, that's right Jesus.
It never ceases to amaze me how the law of attraction works. In the meantime… back to Jesus.
One of the producing partners for my movie projects is Ron Sirota. I can't give enough praise with reference to how instrumental Ron has been in bringing my dreams closer to fruition and he continues to do so. He's believed in me for the last ten years and together, with the help of executive producer Brian Beaton, created our company Strategic Films LLC.
Ron is the epitome of positive thinking. He is unfamiliar with negative energy and the words “can’t” “impossible” and “no” are not in his vocabulary. Because of this he was promptly added to my team and in doing so I made one of my greatest investments.
Through Ron, we proficiently funded the preproduction on my first movie project (which incidentally is still on the back burner) called Frankie Met a Movie Star. In doing so, the following took place:
Katherine Helmond from “Who’s the Boss?” fame loved the script so much she signed on to play my aunt. Connie Nielsen was to play my leading lady and through the very talented up-and-coming director Michael Soccio, I found myself at the movie premiere of Men in Black.
There I was gliding onto the red carpet waving at fans that enthusiastically waved back screaming and scrambling for my autograph even though they had no clue as to who I was. Such is Hollywood. A place where selling the sizzle is emphatically more significant then selling the steak. Apparently, I was sizzling like a 10 ounce steak on a barbecue grill. Actors are after all, referred to as pieces of meat.
Reporters were clamoring to get a hold of me. Microphones all began to magically lean towards my direction as though I was about to say something really poignant. I was more intrigued by the psychology of my new found surroundings than anything else.
Eventually, I had the pleasure of meeting Will Smith and his family and the opportunity to discuss my movie with Barry Sonnenfeld. Anyway, that's not the crux of the story.
What is the core of the story is that Ron believed in me and because I went with my gut instinct instead of listening to what everybody else was telling me, I ended up closer to my dreams by manifesting all of this in Syracuse, New York than I ever did when I was living in LA or New York.
Back to Jesus...
I had the privilege to also meet New York Times bestseller author Paul Perry who wrote Jesus in Egypt. It’s an archaeological account concerning the first five years in the life of Jesus. He traces the holy family's difficult plight from King Herod and the adversity they encountered for the next five years. Paul's dream was to turn this into a docudrama.
Through the powers that be, Paul met Ron who was intrigued by the project and decided to take it on. Through assiduousness and determination, the project eventually came to fruition. It was a monumental task to face but as I mentioned, Ron was, as he always is, oblivious to impossibility.
Eventually, through blood, sweat and tears the docudrama became a reality and then sold to a distribution company. Ron raised a significant amount of finance in order for this to happen. The final packaged project is called Jesus -- The Lost Years.
The premiere took place last Monday night and this is where yours truly was dwelling happily and confidently dipping into the tray of crab cakes that came around many times. It was amazing to be introduced to some very influential heavy hitters who I found to be well natured, generous when it comes to giving back to society and have a wonderful sense of integrity.
Here’s where it gets interesting. It appears that many studios in Hollywood crave to turn this docudrama into a major motion picture. I guess after the success of The Passion they realized one very important aspect about getting in touch with your spirituality and God... it apparently makes a lot of money at the box office.
After consuming what seemed like my 27th massive shrimp... these looked like bodybuilders of the sea... in cocktail sauce and swapping an insurmountable number of business cards, we eventually sat at a table with one of my future investors and the producing partners who will be involved with the All My Friends Are Getting Married as well as the Jesus movie.
As usual with things like this, I have to be somewhat enigmatic or secretive if you will. I will say however, that at this stage it appears as though there is serious talk about me being involved both behind and in front of the camera when this eventually goes through.
There's also the possibility of a trip to Egypt. Do they have comedy clubs over there? Maybe I could do a gig or two. ;-).
A funny thing happened to me on the way to the pyramids...
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY
A friend recently told me that a large portion of Americans believe that July 4 is when we celebrate fireworks. I'm not kidding... this is what the poll showed. That’s ridiculous. Everyone knows that it's really about the celebration and appreciation regarding the invention of the barbecue.
Okay, enough nonsense. For those of you who don't know, Independence Day commemorates the birthday of the United States of America. Founded July 4th 1776, with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, America is celebrating its 231st birthday this year. I know these things. Trust me, I'm Australian. ;-)
That's a pretty heavy-duty thing to happen to a nation. It resulted in freedom. You can celebrate with fireworks, barbecues, drink and fabulous fornication... whatever tickles your fancy.
I have a suggestion. Perhaps you could use the date to declare your own independence from something that has been stifling you, depressing you, annoying you or perhaps trapping you from being who you want to be.
It could be a whole series of negative influences... an addiction, a bitter and sour relationship, a job you loathe, a person who's driving you nuts, Internet porn (I'm not sure about that one... ;-), or a series of emotional problems that have been plaguing you for the longest time.
Independence means freedom and there really is nothing like freedom and how it makes one feel. It's enough to make you want to set off thousands of fireworks to commemorate your new found joy every year. If you read my previous blog, you'll see how it affects me.
Then every July 4, you'll not only be celebrating the independence of this wonderful country, you'll also be remembering and celebrating how you set yourself free from whatever it is that was tormenting you be it either emotional, physical, professional or otherwise.
Have an incredible and wonderful Independence Day!
Happy Memorial Day
It's astonishing how many things we all take for granted, especially that which we value most... our freedom.
My dad always tells me that being independent and free is the absolute epitome of happiness and well-being. He should know having lived in Nazi occupied Greece during World War II.
Both my wonderful parents constantly sing praise about how appreciative they are to be living in Australia... a country that celebrates the same freedoms as the US. They still commemorate Anzac Day - Memorial Day for Australia.
A few years ago, I was waiting for my connecting flight at Dallas airport during a pretty lengthy layover. I decided to go on a jaunt to find the healthiest possible lunch that I could. I've always wondered why a healthy restaurant chain doesn't set up at airports. They would make a killing from people like me.
While I was sitting at my table, a very old man was sitting at the table beside me. He was dressed in a brown suit and wearing what looked like a 1950s hat. He must've been well into his early 90s.
He had a walking stick, a glass eye and looked very frail yet dignified. He picked up his cup of coffee bringing it slowly to his lips, took a sip, and then with his hand and the cup shaking, struggled to put it back onto the small plate. His wife was sitting beside him and placed her weathered hand in his.
I've always been captivated by married couples who have stayed together that long and still show signs of affection and love beyond beauty, beyond status - beyond anything; a testament to their unconditional love for each other.
She got up and headed to the ladies room. After a while, the old man stood up and took hold of his walking stick, gripping it tightly in an effort to help himself stand upright. He looked like he was about to fall.
I couldn't believe how fragile he looked. At that point, I didn't know whether or not I should offer him my assistance. I didn't want to embarrass him but I didn't want him to come crashing down either. I decided to help him up. He placed his hand on my shoulder and hung on.
He thanked me and said, “I have a glass eye, bad leg, not so good hip…a lot of injuries from World War II... June 6, 1944, Normandy.”
“I'm so sorry to hear that but look at you... still going strong." I replied.
He smiled as he regained his balance and said,
“Did you see Saving Private Ryan?” I told him that I had.
“It was just like that... maybe worse. I was one of the fellas on that beach.”
Something of a haunting nature went through me when he said that. I had recently seen the film and found it overwhelmingly powerful and realistically disturbing. Never had I wanted a scene in a movie to hurry up and end so much. If you saw the movie you'll know what I'm talking about. Now here I was face to face with someone who lived the horrifying experience.
He tipped his hat off to me as he walked away. “Thanks again. Have a good day.”
“Thank you, you too.”
I watched this tall, thin and hunched figure walk away slowly to catch up with his wife. I got very emotional. You know that sensation when you're in public and you try to hold back tears? The one that’s so powerful that even though you're suppressing your tears they “fall” out? That's what was happening to me.
At that moment, fixing my gaze upon this veteran, I became aware of where I was and who I am... a Greek/Australian in Dallas, Texas, USA.
I was on my way to a gig to entertain people… something that I've always loved, wanted to do and continue doing.
I can travel between the US and Australia. I can travel to the UK, Canada to Asia... wherever I want. (So can you)
I can come to America and pursue a dream. (So can you) It occurred to me how incredible it felt knowing I am free.
I am free because of what the old man and his brothers in arms sacrificed in their youth before I was even born.
I wanted to thank him. I composed myself and began walking back to see him.
I didn't care how corny this was going to sound or what he or anybody else thought of me for saying what I was about to. I felt it was something I wanted him to hear and something I needed to say.
I caught up to him again.
“Excuse me; I hope you don't mind me saying this. I could never comprehend or understand what you and your buddies went through. I'm several generations later and I appreciate everything you sacrificed. I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing if it wasn't for you. I'm so sorry for the suffering you had to go through but please know how grateful I am.”
I tried so hard to keep it together and I could see he was having the same problem.
He took his hand and affectionately tapped me on the shoulder. His way of selflessly saying you're welcome. Even as I write this, I've turned into a blubbering mess.
Everything we do on Memorial Day and indeed in every day life... road trips, barbecues, visiting loved ones, traveling... are all possible because of war veterans.
I never got his name but that's okay... I don't know the names of all his buddies either or all the names of every veteran but every Memorial Day and beyond, I'll always remember my encounter with him and be forever grateful to him and all war veterans for my freedom.
With so many soldiers dying in Iraq today, it's important, so important, to never ever forget what the military does for us. Regardless of your political view or your religious beliefs, it's so important to support and pray for the troops. Those past, passed, present and future.
IS LA SEDUCING ME?
I’ve often referred to New York City as my girlfriend. Why? Two reasons - one because I love her and the other because I’m nuts.
Ever since I left Australia, I could never really commit to New York. Our relationship was somewhat tumultuous. Occasionally she'd depress me and other times she’d propel me to an unconditional high. To say that she was temperamental would be an understatement. Then again, how couldn't she be? I was commitment phobic.
It wasn’t until the painful events of 9/11 when she was so battered and hurt that I began to comprehend my true love for her and understand how much she had done for me professionally, personally and artistically.
When I attended the Edinburgh Comedy Festival a couple of years ago, I began to miss and appreciate her even more.
So finally, I committed to her and we've had a glorious relationship ever since. It's interesting how commitment is really rooted in the courage of being free even though it doesn't seem that way. It's based on making a decision and when you make a decision to commit to something or someone, life seems a lot more relaxing and maybe even a tad more secure. I guess this also applies to cities.
As much as I love New York, you've possibly gathered by now that I don't unerringly have the same feelings for LA. I often make fun of that city because it's so easy. But something is shifting.
The City of Angels seems to be seducing me. Through diligence and resolve, every trip to LA so far has been very fruitful. Opportunities are mounting. Add to this the people I'm talking to (in the film business), are actually being very sincere and honest. Somebody pinch me!
Could it be that LA is slowly and successfully enticing me?
Maybe I'm becoming bicoastal. I wonder if this means that I'm now two timing New York. New York is and will always be my true love but maybe it's time to play the field in order to take my career to the next level. ;-)
I've always said that if you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting, and if you're not happy with what you're getting, then you better start doing something different. Do you like that? I think Fonzie should write it on the bathroom wall.
My trip to LA last week was astonishing. Within four days, LA was showing me a lot of love as endless possibilities and opportunities began to accumulate including directors calling me to tell me they were considering me to play principal roles in their feature films.
No matter what happens, New York will always be my babe and because of this I somehow feel as though I'm cheating on her.
I made an assumption about LA's personality and it seems as though Miss Angeles is showing me her other side. Then again, at the foundation of a relationship, everyone involved is on super behavior. They often conceal all their faults until you're truly in love. So I guess for now, LA is in the research and development phase.
Who knows? Maybe my new attraction to LA is just a fling and there's only one way to find out. When opportunity comes, one must take it, run like there's no tomorrow and so long as your feet are planted firmly on the ground, aim to shoot for the moon, the stars... maybe even higher.
THAT WAS JERRY SEINFELD... AND NOW LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…JIM DAILAKIS…
Several nights ago, my good friend, comedian Bob DiBuono called me to come in to the city and fill in a spot because another comedian had canceled at Stand Up New York.
Never one to let down an opportunity, I willingly obliged.
I told him that I’d do a set but would have to leave as early as possible as I was picking up a friend from the airport at 11:20 p.m.
I always make it a habit to watch the entire show regardless of when I go on because I persistently like to obtain a feel for the show. This time was no different. I stayed in the wings watching the present comedian performing.
After several minutes of my professional surveillance, I noticed somebody was suddenly standing beside me. I didn't pay any attention and continued to focus on the show.
Eventually, I glanced to my left to see who it was standing beside me. He looked vaguely familiar. Did I know him? Finally, my senses kicked in and I realized it was Jerry Seinfeld. I really didn't want to bother him so I just smiled to acknowledge his presence and he smiled back... I think.
I went inside the showroom and sat down to mentally prepare myself for my set. It was then that Bob came up to me and said, “Seinfeld just walked in and he wants to do some time so I'm going to have to put you up after him... is that okay?”
Is that okay? What am I supposed to say? Tell Jerry he can forget about it. I was here first and he should wait his turn? Naturally, I said of course it’s okay. Not that what I decided would’ve had any bearing upon the situation.
Jerry confidently glided up on to the stage and got a standing ovation right off the bat before he even uttered a word. Everybody, including me, felt very privileged to be there and see a surprise spontaneous set from one of the most successful comedians of our time.
He had new material that he was working on and a lot of it was ad lib. He was getting riotous applause, adulation and admiration from everybody. It was now 25 minutes later and all I kept thinking of was that as much as I'm enjoying this, I hope I make it in time to the airport to pick up my friend Joyce. Then it suddenly hit me like an electrical jolt... holy shit - I have to follow Jerry Seinfeld!
Several thoughts went through my mind. I don't know if you guys I don't know if you guys are familiar with the book the Screwtape Letters. It's the one I'm currently reading.
It expounds on how we have an evil side and a good side trying to make our decisions. The angel on one shoulder and the demon on the other if you will.
My demon tried to instill all the fears and insecurities upon me plagued with as much pessimism as humanly possible. You can't follow Jerry Seinfeld. You should probably leave. You're going to make a fool of yourself. He's a famous television star... you're a nobody. What are you thinking? You've got a legitimate excuse... you have to pick your friend up from the airport anyway. Get out now before you fail.
The angel on the other hand, or shoulder I should say, began to wash away all those thoughts with confidence building optimism. So what? So he's Jerry Seinfeld... you're Jim Dailakis. You've been doing this a long time. This is a perfect opportunity to rise above whatever fear you may have and take on the challenge. You can always tell people you were on the same bill as Jerry Seinfeld. If you fail, it's not a big deal. This is what you do. You're always encouraging friends in your blogs to rise above the challenge. Don't be a hack. Get on the stage and knock ‘em dead!
I won't lie to you... I was a little nervous and definitely anxious. I chose to disregard anything the demon told me and reached deep down for that overwhelming confidence we all have, grabbed it, hung onto it and felt ready.
Jerry said goodbye to the audience and thanked them politely. As he left the stage, the applause was deafening.
The MC didn't waste any time which made it even harder for me. He just got on stage and said, “I'm going to bring up your next comedian now…”
The room was filled with laughter after that statement. I heard one of the comedians standing next to me whom I didn't know say, “Oh man!” I looked up at him and said, “that would be me!’
I knew I had to do something that was pretty powerful in order to follow Jerry’s performance. I got on stage and said... “You saw Seinfeld so it's only fitting that you see Kramer!” I then broke out into a wild Kramer impression. (If you haven't seen it, click on my clip)
The audience went into a wild fit of laughter and applause. At one point, I saw Jerry turn around to see what all the commotion was. After that, I felt confident and most importantly, happy. I've always maintained that an audience can sense fear in a comedian and I most definitely had destroyed any of it by that time. In some ways, I felt as though the audience were expecting me to fail yet hoping that I’d succeed. The rest of the set went beautifully and I felt that I bonded with this audience like I do with any other.
When you're a performer you're always told never follow kids, animals… and Jerry Seinfeld.
I was on stage for about 15 minutes and I was having an absolute blast. Now I can always say that I'd like to thank Jerry Seinfeld for being kind enough to open for me. ;-)
I'm not writing this in any way to display arrogance or brag about how wonderful I am. I'm writing it because it's always important that one practices what they preach. I'm forever telling you to be confident, optimistic and faithful in your abilities.
What at first looked like a difficult and fearful situation, turned into a positive and challenging opportunity that I can always look back on fondly with no regrets.
In one of my other favorite books Illusions -- Confessions of a Reluctant Messiah, there is a passage that reads... “Problems are opportunities in work clothes.”
Remember that problems will always be opportunities to grow.
Now if you'll excuse me I need to go and seek out more problems. ;-)
My New Years Resolution:
HELP THE WORLD
There's no denying that show business is a lot of fun and I'm grateful that I manage to sustain myself doing something I truly enjoy. I'm accumulating very fond memories such as the time one individual in the audience had to run out because she was laughing so hard, she peed her pants. That's very flattering to a comedian. I wonder if I can put that on my resume. I feel blessed to have worked with Aretha Franklin, Larry the Cable Guy, attended Hollywood movie premieres where I met people like Will Smith...okay, that's enough. I don't want this to turn into a name dropping rant.
As much as I love the show, I dislike the business. Somebody once said (they may have said it twice), it's called show business not show show. There's really no way around it because when you're a performer you're essentially a commodity, a product…a block of feta cheese maybe, or perhaps a free range egg. How many times have I heard, "You're just a product, don't take it personally." I really don't... not anymore anyway.
Show business can also be an abyss of self-indulgence. Countless hours spent scrutinizing your headshots, continuously, judging, trying to convince yourself that maybe, just maybe, you're beautiful. You contemplate collective suicide because you just spent nearly $500 on these photos and the tiny, throbbing pimple under your left nostril, now magnified many times, is where your eyes gravitate to.
You constantly taunt yourself with questions plagued with insecurity; how do “I” look? What was “my” performance like? Do you like “me?” Do these jeans complement “my” ass?
The positive side of show business is that it can be a very bountiful experience. I feel this when I'm on stage helping and encouraging people to laugh. Performing artists provide people with an escape from sorrow and concerns. When the attention is taken away from the “me” and focused on “others” it takes on a whole new perspective and ultimately feels so much better.
Some performers take it one step further and employ their fame to help the less fortunate which is a very noble and admirable gesture. Humanitarians like Oprah, Bono, Angelina Jolie, and Bob Geldof just to name a few.
There are other compassionate people who are doing just as much but because they're not famous or a “marketable commodity” they don't get the credit or attention they also deserve.
What makes them even more beautiful is that they're not concerned with admiration, just helping others.
There are times I've often thought when I really hit the big time or when I'm incredibly rich that's when I'm going to help. It occurred to me that in order to help your fellow human beings in need; you don't have to be rich or famous. Mother Teresa never flaunted her abode on “Cribs” or her means of transportation on “Pimp My Ride” and Mahatma Gandhi didn't have any serious “Bling” to complement the bed sheet he was wearing, yet they contributed to humanity well above and beyond anybody's expectations.
Sometimes, you don't even have to give financial donations, only your time.
Here's what I'd like to do:
My long-term goal is for all movies produced by the LLC we've created have a percentage of the box office go to various charities that we're working on...
…starving children, children with cancer, breast cancer, families of fallen soldiers, the homeless... women who are victims of domestic violence... as many charities as I possibly can.
With the help of Alan Payne, and fellow comedians Daniel Nainan and Carl Yard, I'm bringing this to fruition.
It will be the LAUGHTER MAKES A DIFFERENCE COMEDY TOUR. Together, we'll find sponsors who will help us with our mission. We'll go from city to city and play in theaters making you laugh (and maybe even pee) whilst simultaneously raising money to help those in need.
We'll try to get well-known artists to possibly make an appearance at our shows.
We're hoping that the tour becomes so huge; it takes on an international appeal… Australia, Canada, England... the whole world dammit!
The money we raise will go directly to each and every one of these charities. In addition, with the help of some sponsors, we can help finance the rest of my current film and my other movie projects so when they hopefully do well at the box office the money will go directly to the cause. Sound good?
That way, you don't have to worry about some rich producer who has 11 Ferraris in his driveway; a bloated bank account and a giant cigar in his fat face spending the money on more cocaine or on a buy one get one free hooker. ;-)
How can you help?
All you have to do is come to the show or tell people about it. If you or your company would like to sponsor us or if you know of any company that might want to be involved, or even if you'd like to be involved, please let me know.
At the moment, it's still a work in progress so I'll give you more details as they come to hand.
So that is my New Year’s resolution…to help the world...okay, that and to overeat dark chocolate and a mountain of tiramisu with Salma Hayek….naked preferably but not necessary.
Have an extremely Happy New Year!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Part one.
Have you noticed that we choose to celebrate every happy and wonderful occasion with food?
We are grateful for America... so we get a turkey, jostle stuffing up its butt and eat it.
Jesus died then came back three days later. Awesome! Let’s throw a lamb on a spit and eat it.
Jesus was born to save the world. Fantastic! Let's roast a pig and stick an apple in its mouth.
Every optimistic and joyful occasion is celebrated by cooking an animal and inserting an added food item into one of its orifices.
(Sorry vegetarians. I used to be one once)
When we commemorate a sad occasion, we generally do so by depriving ourselves of food, Passover and Easter for example.
Growing up Greek Orthodox, I remember being a kid and my sisters and I trying so hard to be happy about eating olives and wheat thins during the Easter fasting period...mmm delicious.
We couldn't wait for Easter Sunday to arrive. Starving and now angry at the mere thought of olives, we’d frantically tear into my mother's beautifully cooked, succulent roast lamb like three little hungry mountain lions.
There's no doubt that eating makes us cheerful. Watch the glee on people's faces as they're about to invade the buffet table, armed with silverware as their weapon. Or better still; did you ever notice the impatience and desperation you feel until it's your turn to attack the buffet?
Even meeting the potential love of your life begins with the celebration of food.
When you first meet someone you're interested in you just go for a coffee. It's like you're telling them that they have potential, but for now, you'll just keep it at the beverages level - kind of like an interview if you will.
As you become more intimate with one another, you inevitably graduate to dinner.
Eventually, you might even decide to eat food off each other but that's another story and I'll leave it to your imagination. Mine is getting carried away. Of course, none of this is set in stone and we're all different in our approach.
Unfortunately, a lot of people, including children in developed countries like the US are hungry. You always want to do something for them and sometimes feel incredibly helpless. I feel like that too.
Here is my New Year's resolution. How's that for a segway?
I want to save the world. Is that too much to ask?
How am I going to do this?
Part two coming soon.
CALIFORNIA THERE I WENT
I'm back in New York City. There is no greater welcome than looking out of the plane window and seeing the grandiose city of New York twinkling and seemingly smiling upon my arrival. Ahh…The Big Apple, happy to see one of its resident worms returning.
I guess I'll always be biased regarding New York. This is where I learned my craft…acting, comedy, flipping the bird and not taking any crap. I grew artistically and personally as well. New York can be a tough disciplinarian yet an incredibly loving and addicting one as well.
I give LA a pretty hard time because of the unfortunate superficial reputation the City of Angels has garnered. On this trip, I was pleasantly surprised to find scores of artistically talented and wonderfully genuine people.
I did the usual things one expects to do when in LA. Networking meetings, networking dinners, networking walks, networking seminars on how to network with people who network, networking lunches, networking sex… okay, I'm kidding. We really didn't have any networking lunches. ;-) Kidding again.
I've always believed that if you're self sufficient, optimistic, confident and possess the spiritual and physical abilities you will eventually bring your dream to fruition… especially if you know Steven Spielberg and offer to vacuum his living room (or at least one of them) or if you know Oprah and grant her request of detangling the dingleberries that have accumulated on her diminutive dog's butt.
That's not to say that you won't fail along the way. I fail all the time. I failed to wake up early this morning. Come to think of it, I failed to wake up early quite a few mornings. Why is it so much easier to wake up when you don't have to do anything? If you have an appointment, sleeping-in is that much more gratifying.
You can fail your way to success. Two of my heroes, Thomas Edison and Abraham Lincoln, failed more times than you and I ever could. The secret ingredient that kept them going was persistence… and corn flakes I'm sure.
When Mr. Edison tried 10,000 different combinations to see if the light bulb would go off, he must've got so excited when a light bulb went off in is head as to how to get the light bulb to go off. I believe he was enjoying the journey to success and it's something that I'm learning to do.
Sometimes, especially with comedians or actors, we tend to focus on the end result whether it be a sitcom deal, movie deal or getting laid for the evening (I'm kidding... stop taking me so seriously) rather than being in the moment.
I've learned that another key ingredient to achieving goals (aside from sleeping with people in the industry or untangling the dingleberries on the butt of Oprah’s dog) is enthusiasm. If you love what you do, despite what the financial dividends are, then that is success. I'm not sure if anybody really enjoys cleaning a toilet bowl though. Then again... shit happens so maybe they do.
Enthusiasm rubs off on people. When one is enthusiastic you can be rest assured that the gods will join in.
This is why I enjoyed LA this time around. I allowed my enthusiasm to spread further than Paris Hilton's legs near a night vision camera and because of this; the creative individuals that I met became excited for me.
They would boisterously tell me about their projects which then got me energized and the whole chain reaction began.
Springboard Productions Inc. is not only working on my movie but on another movie based on a novel by Sweeney Ballman called Tamarind… it's an amazing imaginative story and the movie will have a lot of special effects.
I was asked if I was able to do a demonic voice for one of the lead characters that is a reptile, moth like creature. Perhaps I got a little too enthusiastic as I read some of the dialogue, spitting and sizzling out the words. When I was through, I looked up to see them all staring at me somewhat stunned. I'm sure they thought I was insane or possessed. They're not too far off. They smiled and were pleased. So now I get to provide the voice for the head evil demon in Tamarind. Enthusiasm prevailed.
There really isn't anything irksome to report other than I fell asleep in the lobby lounge of the hotel and missed my flight. There I was sitting with my laptop on my lap…hence why they call them laptops drifting into such a peaceful slumber.
Knowing that I missed my flight, I almost became aggravated but instead went to lunch with an incredibly wonderful and benevolent person by the name of Alan Payne. This man's generosity blows me away. He offered to not only rally round the rest of the funds for my movie project but to also help me launch my huge dream regarding what I want to do for charity. If I made my flight, I would've never met him.
So the sleep, food, and New York deprivation was definitely worth it. I made up for it by sleeping right through Tuesday. Thank you LA.
I don't mean to sound preachy here but I will encourage you to be confident, enthusiastic, and optimistic as you fail your way to success while simultaneously living in the moment. I'm confident and optimistic that you'll be able to fail your way to success with enthusiasm… for the moment anyway. ;-)
CALIFORNIA HERE I COME... Part 1
November was yet another incredibly productive month. Optimism and faith continued to be my fuel towards long-term goals... so did the overabundance of Turkey at Thanksgiving - indubitably my favorite American holiday. There is no exchanging of presents and you get to stuff your face as though you were Jabba the Hut.
You express to your loved ones just how much they mean to you by exuberantly devouring as many food items on the table as humanly possible. Nothing says I love you more than shoving a massive load of stuffing into a twenty two pound Turkey's butt, then eating the stuffing, the Turkey and its butt. I'm very thankful for that. God bless America. Plus, I love the whole family thing.
Now that we've all burped sweet potato pie and warm cornbread, and that the distribution deal has been signed by Shoreline Entertainment, the quest to find a marketable female lead continues.
Do any of you have any connections to talented female movie stars? If you see Ashley Judd, please let her know that we need to talk. Explain to Miss Judd that in this movie, she doesn't have to be chased by her maniacal, knife yielding ex-husband through a deeply dark forest whilst wearing see-through lingerie so skimpy, you'd swear it was made by Kleenex.
Seriously, do you guys know of any movie stars? Salma Hayek anyone? Is that too much to ask? Somebody once told me that one of the greatest secrets of success is to just ask. I thought I'd give it a whirl. The worst thing that can happen is I’ll get a no.
You know what “no” means? It means... NEXT!
Shoreline Entertainment and Springboard Productions Inc. requested a wish list of actresses from me. I had to come up with a list of about ten actresses who I thought would be excellent for the part of Jill. It's not as easy as it sounds. They had to be actresses who I thought would do a phenomenal job, look right, and yet ensure that they were marketable but not too pricey. So after scratching out Julia Roberts and Charlize Theron from the list, I began thinking (I do this from time to time) about exceptionally talented and marketable female leads who wouldn’t be too expensive. Does this sound like I'm trying to buy a hooker? You see how glamorous Hollywood is.
Hollywood is often shrouded by an enigmatic cloak mostly due to legalities. Care must be taken that I don't mention any names publicly in case we find ourselves drowning in a pool of some unnecessary legal battle. Sometimes, I think it goes a little too far. At one point, I thought one of the producers would call me and say, “Jim, we have an actress who might want to play the role but we can't tell you who it is and neither can you so when she, if she, is on the set, you'll have to wear a blindfold.”
Next week I venture to LA -- a place with more broken people than you can imagine. Media attention usually dwells on the negativity. Maybe that's why God sent us Oprah and Dr. Phil… and Bugs Bunny.
It's always important to focus on the positive though. Yes, there are a lot of crazy, insecure, desperate and lost souls in the City of Angels (how's that for irony?) However, there are a lot of positive, uplifting, creative and artistic warriors who through all odds, took life by the throat and didn't let go until they succeeded. These are the souls that we should seek out. I certainly will be.
I'll keep you posted on the progress. I'm sure there'll be plenty of crazy, amusingly irritating, positive and definitely fascinating things to report once I'm there. That's the motivating thing about being a comedian. No matter how annoying an experience is at the time, my thought processes will keep grinding the creative silly wheels until I eventually find the humorous side to the situation that hopefully, everybody can relate to. Without sounding to wanky, (that's an Australian term) it somehow brings us closer together.
In the meantime, I'll start contemplating my Christmas shopping which should start as usual, on time every year at around December 24 at 5 p.m. Oh yeah, since I'm going to be at a CVS around that time, what flavored gum would you like for Christmas this year?
Part 2 to follow…