Archive for the ‘Actor & Stuntman’ Category

Speaking Well of Others Speaks Well of Ourselves

June 17, 2017
Be careful how you speak of others.
That sounds like the start of a stern lecture, so let me word that another way. Take care to think through what you say when you speak of others.
It doesn’t matter whether they are living or dead. The more negatively you speak of others, the more negative the reflection on you.
This stuff is called dirt for a reason.
I’ve always marveled at the interest of others have of drama not on the stage. Soap Operas, Reality TV, and a host of other things suck people in. This in addition to the drama we find ourselves facing on a daily basis. Speaking poorly of others only feeds that beast. How much is enough?
If you wish to speak of someone in a way that might warn others about their behavior, then consider the trust but verify approach. It carries more weight than muckraking.  An example I’ll share involves a referral. I was asked by a stunt coordinator about an individual she wanted to hire. The stunt side of the Film and Live Show entertainment business is different from the acting side. Where actors have to audition, stunt performers typically get their work through relationships and referrals. I was honest with her. I told her this particular performer had presented performance challenges on a previous project, and that I had to chase her for several weeks to get her info for a production I was coordinating, which ultimately opted not to hire her. It would have been easy to say, “the kid is lazy, immature, and unreliable” but there was a better way.
Find the better way.
A word when spoken is a bird taking wing for flight forever. The things you say you cannot undo, you cannot change, and you cannot take back.
This past week found me remembering my brother’s birthday, gone five years, and marking the passing of two people close to me. That qualifies as a pretty crappy trifecta in my book.
Neither who jumped ship this week was perfect, but both were worthy of stories that make us smile. In the one case, an old friend from my Rocky Horror days in the 80’s (and part of the then-famous Wild and Untamed Things) passed away after a lengthy battle with mental and physical health issues. At the memorial, my dear friend Jack and I both determined that stories to make people laugh was the order of the day. The Matriarch from my mother’s side of the family also shuffled her mortal coil. Her story to share (since I was and am still not ready to grieve openly) involved her walking up besides me, in the midst of a group of people we both knew, and rubbed my belly…as she looked at me and said, “Say it, honey. Lower and faster.” and then she walked away, laughing hysterically. In a rare case, I was left speechless.

When we are saddened by loss, someone more callous might observe and say, “boo hoo, people die.” That is not in the least bit mature, and we should not be those people. Nor should we pay any attention to those who demonstrate such ignorant temerity.

Speak well of others, living or dead, no matter how much the temptation to do otherwise. It’s better to be the better person than to live with regret because you said something in haste. Similarly, look for every opportunity to speak well and positively of those you know and those you love. Finding and extolling the good in others brings out the good in ourselves.
That’s how we should immortalize others; this, no doubt, is how we ourselves would want to be remembered.
Speaking of remembering, remember to call someone you love and remind them of how important they are to you.
Do it now. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
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The Stunt Life

December 31, 2015

I miss morphine.
I didn’t say that to get your attention, but I do get it. I Understand now why people seek that one of many conduits, one that allows them to become comfortably numb.
I probably should have worded that first sentence differently. I should have said something along the lines of “I miss the paliative effect certain treatments can have on a chronic pain patient’s body.”
When I say I miss morphine that’s not the truth. The reality is I’ve been a chronic pain patient for over two decades. One of the side effects of my car accident, the initiation of this enduring Understanding, was a migraine that lasted 4 months. I was seeing a team of doctors at the time and one of them, a neurologist, prescribed some heavy duty narcotics. I realized, after a couple of days of being swallowed by the couch, staring at the stucco pattern on the ceiling and the television, that it wasn’t for me. I also came to the realization I’d no longer be able to return to my former career in the financial industry.

I worked hard in incremental steps to bump up my threshold and tolerance for pain. Becoming a stuntman served many purposes: learning stunts taught me to regain my motor skills, severely affected as a result of the accident; it taught me confidence; it provided for me clear direction where one was lacking; it taught me to work through pain. Most important, though not clear at the time, it became my true and rightful career. And pain has been my constant companion.

A note about pain and professional stunt performers: if stunt guys and gals went to the doctor or reached for narcotics every time they’d tweaked this or torsioned that, there’d be no one to perform those awesome action sequences that drive people to see blockbuster films movie in the first place. And your choices would be Fried Green Tomatoes or Driving Miss Daisy (not that I didn’t enjoy Both). The truth is stunt performers work through strains, sprains, and tears. Maybe they’ll reach for Naproxyn. I once tore my medial meniscus doing a stunt and ignored the pop until a month later, when the pain refused to subside. That’s when I’d learned there was something amiss with my knee.

As masochistic as it seems I feel the awareness and experience associated with pain is a gift. Plenty of times when we’re experiencing joy and happiness we fail to register and taste every moment. But when you’re in pain? The seconds seem to divide themselves, a kind of mitosis dedicated to letting you know it’s not going away just yet. A minute becomes an hour and an hour becomes a day. A day is an eternity that brings respite only with the possibility of sleep.

A part of me says sure, I could have picked another career. But it was the accident and subsequent career that picked me. It’s a career that continues to give me great opportunities and experiences, including the chance to travel the world and work with some great performers of stage and screen.
A career that’s had me hitting the ground, fall pads, water, and everything in between. I’ve jumped and two-wheeled (or high sided) vehicles for years. Going up is fine. Coming down is more often than not physically jarring. I’ve described the sensation to those not in the know as feeling like someone has slammed your tailbone, full force, with a mildly padded cricket paddle.

Every time we break or twist something we wonder how long to heal. And, amidst all of the other thoughts, that this could be a career ending injury. This reminds me of a comment a fellow stunt man made years ago. He said we are intentionally doing things that could potentially break us and usually with the bare minimum of safety equipment.
So it’s reasonable to believe if I’m beating my body up, then I deserve the beating I get in return.
That’s the thing that causes me some days to feel much older than I really am.

Which brings me to my newest badge of honor. An impinged disc is a literal eye opening experience.
The pain associated with neuropathy? That’s a whole new level. I know plenty of individuals who believed if you can’t see the source of the pain then you’re just making it up. I’ve always wondered about things like sciatica, constant tingling in the extremities, pain that manifest itself in ways that create new benchmarks for personal pain comparisons. But then impinged discs step in to give you the kind of experience that makes a first person narrative too dramatic for words. Suddenly, trying to find a way to get from point A to point B with the barest minimum of debilitating discomfort and – this is almost just as important – not demonstrating to the rest of the world what’s happening. It’s like being a poker player in the game of life where you don’t want to tip the rest of the table to your tell. Dealing with the pain, you start thinking, “what could I have done differently? Maybe I should have spent more time warming up and stretching as well as warming down and stretching.” I know it’s not the latter.
An old friend of mine once gave me a hard time about being so careful with my pickup truck. It was a good natured ribbing about me not wanting to get my truck dirty or scratched. He said a truck needs to be rode hard, that was the thing that gave a truck character and told you it would be reliable.
I guess the human body is the same way. If I were to use my friend’s assessment of trucks as a model of comparison, I’d have to say my body is full of character.
Because let’s face it, nobody ever thinks about stretching after a physical activity. And when I say nobody, what I mean is most every individual I have ever worked with or talk to. The reality is any time we do anything physical we should warm our bodies up for the process. And we should stretch and cool down after. Being aware of this is useful but does little to distract me from the realities of the pain.

And that’s something else to think of. If you know somebody who complains of these issues? try to be a lot more sympathetic and empathetic then you might be.

Early in my Film and TV career I was at a social event bragging about being a stunt man. This old timer, Glen Wilder ( one of the truly finest and venerated individuals in the entire industry), overheard me and leaned in.
“you’re a stuntman,” he asked?
I said, “yes sir.”
He said “you’re not a stuntman till you broke something.”

I’ve been a stuntman for a long time. Like every other stunt man and woman in the business, I can walk you through a connect-the-dot diagram of every injury sustained and tell you where, when and how it happened.

It has been an incredible journey, getting to where I am. I’ve traveled the world, lived in several countries, and made lifelong friends. Two plus decades of defying death in the name of art has been a life alive with charm. It’s never the gravity, or the fall, but the sudden stop at the end.

Now then, where is that ibuprofen?

Jim Robertson – A Mission of Love

November 17, 2011

It was quite the gathering, somber and subtle.  The steady flow of people suggested the hope of getting a glimpse of someone known to many and loved by all, their mere presence a testament to the man.  They came from everywhere, current and former work colleagues, and all friends.  Jim’s storied history as an entertainer encompassed everything from clowning around to stunts.  Really.  He was a clown with Ringling Brothers and stunt performer at Wild West, calling upon his ability to make people laugh while doing stunts so effortlessly he made you believe anyone could do them.

It is said we are measured by the company we keep.  If you want to know a little about a man, take a look at the people he calls “friend.”

By such reckoning Jim is a man wealthier in character than most who measure their wealth by something more tangible, yet no more substantial.  His love and connection to those who paid tribute by their presence to him showed a man who had not only made peace with God and the complexity of the human condition, but he made the effort known to each and every soul who reached out to him.

Perhaps that is a bit of a misnomer.  In sooth, he reached out to everyone, one delicate and fragile soul at a time.  It was like watching a receiving line for royalty.  He had special words for every person.  Even in pain, the love on his face shone through his smile, a beacon to each one of us lost in the confusing darkness.  Some of us chose to remain nearby, standing sentinel, others had not the strength to wait for the moment the ferryman would arrive.  His family was never far away, each one at one point or other in the evening offering every one of us a hug as thanks for being there.  Except for his father.  His father sat at the foot of the bed and gently massaged Jim’s feet.  The image is a powerful one that will forever remain with me.  You see, I lost a brother years ago, and the pain and sadness that affected me, while deep, was different from my parents, faced with the unsettling reality of having to bury their son.   No parent should ever have to stare this reality in the eye.

I said goodbye to an old friend tonight, careful to remain sure-footed and stoic in his presence. I’d summoned up the courage (which was nothing compared to Jim’s daily battles of late) to come to the house. I was conflicted about going, because I knew why I was going. By his invitation we all were there. I dug deep as I walked in to see him, bolstered by the presence of so many friends and loved ones gathered under one roof. Most of us tried the same tact.  But our body posture shouted something else entirely.  And Jim? He knew better. It’s why he smiled as he held my hand.  He spoke to me of marriage and of flying, the former a passion of his and the latter a passion of mine.  He offered wisdom to a neophyte married man with the same lucidity of conversations we so recently enjoyed at work.

Have you ever wanted to hug the pain out of someone?  I felt that way, and yet sensed Jim wanted to hug the pain out of all of us, one at a time.

That’s a lot of love.  That’s a colossal giant of a man.

I remarked later that I admired him for so many things, and most recently, for his strength.  To have the wherewithal to make peace with the world in general and accept the hand one is dealt, while capitalizing on the moments still hanging in the pass, takes remarkable fortitude.  I have never been so strong in the brilliant points of my life, allowing rather the crest of momentum to carry me.  I know with fair certainty I could never be so strong faced with the imminent advance of my own mortality.  I will never understand what sort of Herculean strength is required of a person to stave off the advances of organ failure simply to say good bye to those who need.

An anxiety attack is cause for concern in most.  Yet here was a man who found a way to smile as he sat at the portal, refusing the suffering any quarter as he kept the pain at bay in favor of the company of we few who trudge onward, forced to face the day of our own reckoning in the gentle eyes of a man twice as good as most of us will ever aspire to be.

People often use clichés to the point of exhaustion.  One such phrase, “…Charming to the last,” has seen more than its fair share of exposure for causes and people unworthy.  Yet such a simple phrase does not describe Jim in those hours and moments.

To say Jim was charismatic and charming to the last denigrates the statement and does little to stress exactly how much love and charm exuded from this man.  He inspired a prominent local entertainer, himself a charming and charismatic fellow, to take on the task of becoming a concert promoter, building a night of entertainment dedicated to a singular purpose: helping Jim and his family. During the pre-production period of bringing the “Mission of Love” concert experience to fruition, Donn managed on a few hours of sleep a night.  He didn’t care.  Forging forward with this pressing need, he touched upon its importance with every person he spoke to.  And wound up having to turn people down.  What’s that say for a man’s worth that entertainers were lining up when they heard whom the benefit was for?

In times of trouble, and all too often at the expense of a person’s demise, does the kindest of words begin to drift skyward. We too often delay our effortless endeavor until we are robbed of the opportunity to say, “I love you” or offer some other sweetly noble cadence.  We create this sadness for ourselves and then wonder why we waited.

Yet Jim never waited, and he never allowed us to wait, either.  He compelled us to speak our mind, from the heart, in one voice.

Don’t wait.  The world needs the possibility of a universe with love, of people not willing to remain the silent majority, taken to task for thinking, “what if?”

I heard someone question why God takes all the good ones, and leaves the miserable, villainous sots behind.  I have an answer:  He is sometimes a selfish God, and when the mood strikes him, he wants the best for himself.   Or, to put it in the words of Donn:  “Open the Gates!  You got a good one!!!”

If you knew Jim, you’d agree.

Thanks Jim, for sharing your heart and showing us foolish mortals the hopefulness of a world with Love.

Passion and what it means

October 29, 2009

Passion.
Think about the word for just a moment.
In this age of instant access and immediete fulfillment we lose sight of the importance of passion as we pursue in epic effort all things that might be side bars but are not germane to our necessary objectives.
For some, passion is like love. Fleeting and elusive, it appears both tangible and wispy at the same time, a haze that at first blush looks like a wall but remains little more than a reasonable facsimile.
For others, passion is all consuming and choking, with no room for nuance or interpretation.
Somewhere in the middle is where I’m aiming. As the co-architect of our destiny, we ought to find this standard and define it for our own purpose.
I’m a late bloomer. Torn between the absolutism of looking over my shoulder at what might have been, and looking forward to all the great things that can be, I strive every day to choose the latter, though admittedly it might be easier to frame my life based on the choices I’ve already made.
We should direct our pursuits. We should find our passions and define them. Primary among them is:
how does this help me and improve my world?
If the answer involves casualties, I recommend exploring other options. Choices exist.
Find your passion and embrace it. Welcome others into your plan and they will embrace it with you, and nothing is better than the support of family and friends when it comes to lofty efforts.
Our passions, like every other choice, can be rendered for good or bad. That choice remains our dominion.
My passion and energies in years past have been sometimes misdirected.
But introspection and analysis do much to offer insight and guidance. What we do with these life lessons influences our impact on ourselves and our world.
Find your passion. Nurture it. Make it a part of your life and a force for good. Whether it is a passion to perform, to do good deeds, to create, your offerings will offer peace, inspiration, and solid footing in a sometimes perplexing world.
This world needs passionate people, people dedicated to making the world a better place.
Let your passion be your legacy. Let it triumph your accomplishments. If your aim is true, others will take up the banner and cause.
Find your passion. Evolve. Change yourself. Change the world.
Your passion CAN make the world a better place.

Small General Aviation Airports and their Importance

September 20, 2009

I’ll keep this one brief.

Recently an article appeared on the front page of USA Today – Thursday, September 17th: Feds keep little-used airports in business.

Bad form all around. An article appeared in this paper many months ago regarding airport impact fees and how GA (general aviation) doesn’t shoulder its fair share.

Before anyone decides to assume the lynch-mob mentality, please consider this: Smaller airports serve many. They are departure and arrival points for a wide range of smaller international carriers, they manage the carefully choreographed ballet of small aircraft (and by small I include the entire range up to commuter jets) they provide several thousand jobs, and offer points of interest and education for those looking to get their pilot’s license among others.

But small airports also serve as centralized launching points in times of crisis and disaster. Many of these provide an invaluable service as a command center to mobilize support and aid. They also serve as centralized locations to mobilize to another location en-masse.

It’s critical that people understand there is more than meets the eye in almost any endeavor.  In general aviation we often hear about the waste of tax dollars on Citation jets as politicians jump around the country, or the corporate marauders who abuse such perks with indescretion and obscene inconsideration.

Little do we hear of Doctors Without Borders, many of whom are pilots who travel south of the border on their dime to assiste the less fortunate, or the wide reaching network of Angel Flight, where pilots offer to fly the critically ill and sick  – most often children – across state and country to get the medical treatment they need, or the outreach network of PilotsNPaws, a dedicated group of volunteer pilots who travel the country in their free time finding homes for rescued animals.

The next time we read or report on something, let’s take enough time to understand all points of the topic, because by doing so we stay on point, and understand better the world around us.  It is sometimes difficult to resist the temptation to nod and agree, especially if it’s something we either do not understand or don’t fully appreciate or agree with, but a little acquired knowledge applied goes a long way.

Black Top – Now that’s entertainment!

September 11, 2009

I just returned from a trip overseas and got the chance to visit  some old friends.  The trip was a highly necessary foray of a personal nature but I was fortunately afforded some leisure time.  One of these outings involved a visit to Harderwijk (NL) where the band Black Top ( www.OfficialBlackTop.com ) was performing that evening at a well known and often frequented establishment known as Nicky’s Inn.   Nicky’s was celebrating their 25th anniversary and they had a full complement of entertainment for the evening.  Black Top was one of the evening’s star bands.  (A disclaimer:  I have been well acquainted with the guitarist of the band, Mick Hup, for ten years and consider him a close friend).

I have known Mick almost since he first picked up a guitar.  Even then, in one of his first competitions, Noel Redding, a guest judge at the event, recognized Michiel’s talent.  That is noteworthy. 

Collectively, he and his two band mates comprise one of the most solidly innovative and rich-sounding groups to emerge in a long time.

These guys not only look and sound like musicians (whatever that is) they also compose themselves on stage in such a fashion to convey to their audience and each other they’re totally into what they do.  All three were “in the zone” as they played, and I remembered the first competition I attended where Mick played.  There is a passion and love in performing that cannot be faked.

I have said this before:  when we find our passion and pursue it, and make the honest commitment to ourselves, that sense of loyalty to self creates all kinds of gifts for us.  When we perform with passion, all other elements fall into place.

These guys play with passion.  They love their music, they love their fans, and they love the gift  of music.  And the focus of their energies seems so effortless that even with a cursory glance at their bios one readily knows there is a great deal more to their training and knowledge than is presented by the written word.  That level of professionalism is no fluke.  It is part of a collaborative effort that these three men have made with themselves and each other.  I wrote of the professional attitude and performance of a KISS tribute band I had seen a couple of months ago, and the same sense of preparation and level of top shelf behavior is a part of the Black Top credo, even if they don’t use it as a motto.  Their performance in a live venue is as crisp and energetic as the tracks they record for their albums.

Whether one wishes to listen to music, or study the subtle mannerisms that make someone top league, Black Top is a good place to start.  Their commitment to offer the best part of themselves and be the best in what they do is evident every time they step into a studio or onto a stage.  Those of us who are entertainers and seek to entertain benefit by studying and observing those who perform in a variety of venues, skills and genres.  We do what we do best when we challenge ourselves to experiences “out of the box.”  It is these encounters that entertain, enrich, and educate.

The three P method to Entertainment

July 13, 2009

For a friend’s 40th birthday his wife threw the Bash of a lifetime.  Eddie has been a KISS fan since he was knee high to a grasshopper.  His loving spouse found a KISS tribute band and booked them to play the common space on the first floor of the beach-side condo they share.  The space was two enormous rooms, and in one the band set up, and in the other was a cornucopia of food offerings.

I arrived early to help her set up the room.  Every kind of KISS paraphernalia from concert one-sheets to dolls and limited collectors items filled every possible space.  As we worked to ready the one room the band worked in the other to ready their equipment.  They checked their play list, went over sound checks, and played several songs.  From the other room they sounded awesome.  I went over to watch and saw the band in ordinary street clothes working through their sound check.  They were thorough, though, and took great effort to make certain nothing was left to chance on the technical side of things.

That night when Storme went upstairs to get Eddie (under the guise of going to a wedding), the tribute band finished last looks before making their appearance.

Eddie appeared to thunderous applause with a very surprised look on his face.  As soon as the camera flashes subsided the band appeared.  Already surprised by the party he was completely floored by the band.

We all were.  Myself especially.  The transformation was incredible.  These guys looked like KISS.  They sounded like KISS.  They had the mannerisms and affectations down.  We were watching Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, and Peter Criss make their magic.

Between their two sets they made themselves available for photographs, autographs, and being present to add to an already electric atmosphere.  Gene Simmons stepped outside to do some fire eating which had people eating out of his hands.  And after their break they played their second set.

The band is called DESTROYER.  I believe they are based out of South Florida and they are absolutely dynamite all the way around.

The reason I mention this experience is they epitomized certain critical aspects of entertainment, aspects that are easily transferred to almost any other business model in the world.

Their focus on Preparation, Presentation, and Professionalism showed a consummate sense of effort to their final product.

Preparation:  they came in with their equipment and went to work immediately on identifying the show/concert space and the logistics of their performance.  They set up their equipment and made several adjustments as they worked alongside their technical crew.  They checked their instruments and gear, speakers and mics and made sure there were no surprises.  They played several songs to make sure sounds were crisp and feedbakc issues would be minimized.

Presentation:  They made their appearance striding into the room as if they owned the place.  They picked up their guitars and drumsticks and began to play.  And they had everyone entranced.  Eddie’s mouth was open for the first ten minutes as he watched like a kid locked inside a candy store with his favorite chocolate.  The band members acknowledged Eddie several times, and got the audience involved as well.  They had taken great care in their costumes, make-up, and musical ability to present something that was a turn-key package. Each member of the band had taken the time to study and understand the person whose work they were recreating.  It was truly a visual feast.

Professionalism:  The members of the band behaved like veteran performers who understood their obligations to themselves and others.  Like a well-oiled machine, they knew what needed to happen, and when it needed to happen.  Their timing was impeccable.  They were KISS, and left little doubt to the others who gathered to watch.

The lessons here are simple:

Whether one is preparing for an audition, a table read, or the first day on a set, whether a supernumerary or a principal player, the necessary demands on self should be the same.  Be prepared, be ready to present what you are arriving to present, do your research, and be totally professional with your finished product.

These apply to anyone, anywhere.  These can be applied to our personal as well as professional lives.  It requires time and effort, but the end result is worth it when we realize our goals.

It’s simple: We stand to benefit greatly when we are willing to give more than those around us expect.  Do the absolute best.  Be willing to listen and learn.  This applies across the board and is good to remember as we find our way down life’s river and encounter others doing the same.

The civic obligations of being an actor

July 11, 2009

I’ve mentioned in other venues the responsibility one has to one’s self when it comes to the path of pursuing entertainment as a career. Along with this sense of being and direction is the important culpability of always doing: -What feels right (morally, ethically, & professionally) – is the thing that defines you. I recall a friend in the industry once telling me, years ago, that “character is what defines our choices when the choices aren’t obvious.”

 When I first began to learn the stunt side of the business (and am, as actor, stuntman, coordinator, and director ALWAYS learning) I said to the person who had taken me under his wing that I had no idea what to do to thank him. He told me that in time I would be doing the same thing, offering people guidance and instructing people on how to approach a stunt or improve on something they were already doing. An old friend came to visit and brought his daughter to the show. Afterwards I brought them back stage and gave them a tour of the facility. The talk shifted to one of our loves, live shows and live and interactive performance. He reminded me of a stunt show we were both involved in and how I wound up teaching an impromptu high fall class. Two things happened: One – I helped people fine tune the skill they already had, or in other cases showed them the basic mechanics of what a high fall entailed. Two – I taught people.

I am not an expert, but believe in offering insight when approached. We all have the obligation to offer guidance to others who enter the realm of entertainment. To expand on this posit, it behooves us to offer guidance and insight to any person seeking to gain footing in our area of expertise.  This ought to not be confused with telling people how to do things.

For me, no matter how star struck or rooted in reality the person is, I always offer the same information, though often slightly tailored to their specific concerns or issues. I have also taken to writing letters, or emails, when issues concerning our industry come frothing to the surface. If we don’t offer contrasting, counterpoint insight to news reports or topical concerns, then at the end of the day we don’t deserve to say anything. This applies across the board to anything.

Example – I heard a report on the tax incentive program and how economists stated “states were lucky to break even,” and “the jobs were temporary.” I live in a state that offers a tax incentive to film production, and have worked in other states where those states offer tax incentives to film production.

The reality? For every dollar spent to bring a film project to a location that film project spends on average 5.50 to 6.00 dollars. That is a remarkable return. Those temporary jobs? A lot of your below the line folks move from project to project, making a great living while supporting both the industry and their families. But people don’t know unless you educate them.

My point to this is if you have to question the veritas of a statement, then by all means do the research. If the information is not correct, then become a voice and offer another perspective. This not only makes you more aware, it makes you more efficacious. And if you take the time to do the research, it makes you knowledgeable.

It makes you a responsible member of the community, no matter what that community is.

Knowledge is power only when properly wielded.

Ronald Fox Actor / Author / Stuntman

http://www.RonaldFox.com

feed your mind; feed the world http://www.freerice.com

writing, acting, flying, and focus

May 22, 2009

Much to the chagrin of a couple of my closest friends, who are also heavily skewed fans (In my opinion), I have taken on yet another sporadic writing project. The first link follows.
EzineArticles.com: http://EzineArticles.com/?id=2346834
I simply decided to share a bit of the history and experience I’ve amassed in the entertainment industry, and it made me realize how critical focus is in our lives.
I mentioned in a previous blog / article the eagerness I have in getting my private (pilot’s license) and getting my ticket punched (another way of referring to the certificate for the specific certification) and have spent time working on the writing portion, prepping for the written FAA Airmen’s exam. I realize I need to get that out of the way before I can move on unfettered to the practical aspect.
Plus, I have taken on another business enterprise, as well as begun the outlay for something that may enter the realm of the physical down the road. Sounds cryptic, I know, but until I’ve got the necessary things in place for the latter it does little good to elaborate.
The first thing I refer to is simply a business enterprise I’ve entered with a colleague with the sole purpose of creating a self-sustaining vehicle. I’ve discovered as I talk to people who areinvestors, and with my own experience, the truly successful people have several projects going at once. It’s doesn’t dilute their efforts as much as as fuel the fire to grow and create. Every person with a measure of success has their focus on several things at once; whether those things are physical, emotional, business, spiritual, or religious, direction guides decision.
I once heard a good friend talk about how pursuits are like a ladder on a wall. A goal might be beyond reach because the ladder is on the wrong wall. I put forth another possibility: why not create more than one ladder?
I truly believe dreams become goals when you touch them with your mind.
My focus on writing, flying, and the cornucopia of other things that take my attention are simply ways of direction.
For all of us, guided direction should guide decision.

Film work, Flying, Fine food, and other F’s

May 18, 2009

Been a while…
Been working in Louisiana (Donaldsonville) shooting a film and I found remarkable things in the middle of what is still by and large an area that looks war ravaged. The people are overwhelmingly kind and upbeat, and the food remarkable. Tuna steak and shrimp etoufee? I would never have thought of the two. And though not a big fan of fried food, I would love for someone to explain how chicken can be fried so lightly it not only doesn’t taste fried but doesn’t leave grease on one’s fingertips.
On the flying part, we had to drive up to bring equipment to the set, but it is yet another reason I am motivated to finish my private and get my ticket punched so I can continue to expand my aviator’s knowledge base and ability. Plus, there is a great deal to be said for flying somewhere in a couple to few hours versus twelve hours on the road.
I love flying. I admit it. I am one of those people who loves the smell of av gas and jet fuel. I am one of those people who likes to go to the airport even if I am not traveling somewhere, simply because it feels adventurous. There is something amazing about the orchestrated hustle, the unchoreographed dance of travellers as they move through the terminals and tarmacs.
And flying? Amazing. The sensation of the roll out and bank, and watching as the patchwork below becomes more geometric, that is a sort of magic that is best left to experience, as the description does more to tease.
I have to get my written exam out of the way and I can get back to the task of flying -which isn’t really a task.