Monday, September 13, 2010

The Real Thing

7 Years ago when I first came to Hollywood, stars a twinkle in my blue eyes, I brought my hot off the press screenplay with me, THE REAL THING.  An action-packed dark comedy about a Coca-Cola addict.

Hero of the tale is Reverend Fear.  He's the smarmy head a drug rehab clinic. He looks down on the junkies he treats. One day Coca-Cola is discontinued and Reverend Fear then learns what it feels like not to be able to get his fix. There's a fizzy mix up as the preacher tries to buy Coca-Cola on the black market... but ends up instead with a huge shipment of, you guessed it, coke. 


Logorama from Marc Altshuler - Human Music on Vimeo.

Surprise! No Hollywood studio bit.  One lower level exec worried Coke would sue.  Doh!  Someone can be addicted to this blog if it's good enough.

What's your take?  Could Coke sue for making a fictional tale involving their product, which is perhaps in fact addictive for the sugar/corn syrup and caffeine?  Any experts out there with some free legal advice for a free can of Coke? And if Coke did sue, wouldn't that be awesome publicity?

That's why when I saw this video that lambastes every corp in America I really got a thrill.  These are the kind of ballsy in-your-face producers I need to get the script for THE REAL THING to.  Oh, and yeah, this short won the Oscar and opened Sundance.

Sip on that Coca-Cola.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Childhood Revisited for Charity

I had a father and mother who loved me, but who were both so caught up dealing with my dad's drinking issues that it left me feeling like an orphan.

So here's the very personal story of my family's troubles, told from the POV of the soul of my first house, thanks to what I learned from Connie Miller's amazing Souldrama workshops.

Please give to The Cool Change Foundation to help prevent families, like mine, from suffering needlessly.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Soul Surfing at Souldrama LBI

By Ken Sheetz

I began covering Souldrama events around the world just a few short months ago thanks to my BuzzBroz.com client and pal Bradley Quick introducing me to guide to the soul Souldrama founder Connie Miller.


This journey was cross country to Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The group was 90% American, people from coast to coast but mainly from New Jersey, with one student from Greece.

What made this event extra special for me as a Hollywood filmmaker was that Barnet Bain, producer of WHAT DREAMS MAY COME was in attendance and shared a viewing and discussion of the film deep metaphysical premise. Barnet is one of the true Hollywood visionaries and it was an honor to have him present and acting out key roles in all our dramas. His facilitation of Souldrama LBI was a triumph of the soul for him and for the brilliant Connie Miller for letting it evolve soulfully.



What was cool for me was to see how we all carry on the dramas of our life like some internal never ending show. It was, dare I say, far more exciting than going to the the typical commercialized, un-Barnet Bain-like, Hollywood movies to look, unflitered, deep, deep into the hearts of people who were mostly strangers until the group formed, but who felt like family as the 8 days drew to a close.



I got Barnet interested in Souldrama after hearing him speak on a radio talk show which I cover. And I was thrilled he got and gave so much from the event on LBI, an affluent island near Atlantic City that has 18 miles of beautiful beaches to enjoy.

In fact, I had such a wonderful time that I rescheduled an assignment in Malibu to enjoy the entire 8 days workshop and honored myself and the group by taking the time to properly finish this chapter of my work on myself, exemplified by this drawing of a safe house for my inner child that Barnet Bain and I created together.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Formation of the DreamShield 10/10/10: A Talk WIth Barnet Bain

I am an artist, an interior architect, builder and filmmaker and very used to visualizing things and willing them into physical reality. But the visions unleashed in Italy have a life of their own. So as I lightly doze on the flight back to LA from a social media assignment in Italy, I worry more visions might me make talk in my sleep about Galactic invasion and make a fool of myself.  I start to question my sanity.

I decide on the long flight back from Puglia not to blog or talk about the experience until I speak to a man in Hollywood I had the honor to film and get to know via BuzzBroz social media job, mega-producer Barnet Bain.

Barnet possesses a brilliant mind and is totally versed in vision work, having produced such great films as THE CELESTINE PROPHECY and, right up my alley, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME.



Here is an interview I filmed where I met Barnet.  You can almost see Barnet's amazing mind work in his talk with my BuzzBroz client Filippo Voltaggio.



MAY 2010 MEETING IN MALIBU

My pal Ramon Govea, writing partner for a new sci-fi screenplay about wormholes and actor in my short film SCARICTY, and writer for Ancient Tomorrow, came along for the meeting with Barnet in Malibu. I still had not told Ramon what the meeting was about but he was excited to be meeting the great producer.

We meet Barnet at the Coffee Bean in Malibu. He's dressed in his typical elegant casual style I've come to admire about LA's laid back yet business style of dress. One I've yet to master.

Barnet is warm and curious and takes instantly to Ramon. As we grab our coffees the shop almost seems to tilt, ala INCEPTION.  Yep, I'm still shook by the vision.

I share the entire Italy vision story with Barnet and he listens with rapt attention.  I tell him of the vision of the energy bands assuring a gentle 2012 (read all about in the prior post). I also share with Barnet and Ramon an after vision I'd had, post Italy:

AFTER VISIONS IN NORTH HOLLYWOOD

One night, as I lay awake in bed, mind racing like nothing I have ever felt before, I see the energy bands that extend from the hall in Santa Maria Del Sole, begin with a mighty groan like a trumpet, to slowly rotate. The vibrations and noise from the energy bands pierce me to my core. I'd hoped to be spared further visions and this one is even more spectacular than the one in Italy.

I continue to explain how the white energy bands, that run north and south and east and west from Santa Maria's yoga hall and Gulia's group healing, spin at incredible speed, punctuated by brilliant flashes of power like silent lightning. The bands at last blur to form a white/blue energy shield around our entire planet.

But the DreamShield 10/10/10, as I recently came to name it, is no ordinary shield I explain to Barnet and Ramon. I next saw Earth vanish... invisible in the empty void of space to the meddling ETs Sheldan Nidle talks about in his vision, safe from DNA transformation by a superior Galactic civilization.



I could not have imagined what the energy bands, which I originally mistook as a simple metaphor for the web while in Italy, are doing to protect us. Yes, the energy bands became a cloaking device big enough to hide our planet from the DNA reprogramming and drastic terra-forming and tectonic devastation of the Earth, that Nidle predicts in the 1 hour video series above, to start in November of this year.  I tell Barnet that the vision finally ends and I bolt up in bed gasping for air.

"I'm a regular Joe from a family of Wisconsin welders.  Am I losing my marbles?" I ask Barnet.

The great producer and human being reaches over to touch my arm while he looks deep into my eyes.  Barnet speaks with incredible calm, "Ken, visions can be both real and unreal at the same time. A vision's power and origins are simply a mystery we need not have a rational explanation for.  And who's to say what this can all mean?  Relish in the mystery.  And thank you for sharing this with me."

"Me too, " Ramon adds in wonder.

Barnet then shares his own past, how as a child he would see things, as I had and Ramon had, things that were not there. The experience he had as a young person of leaving his physical body. Like me.  And how our families thought hi, both strange and wanted the visions to stop. Ditto.

"I am planning a trip home in July, Barnet," I interrupt, the matter so pressing on my mind. "I come from simple Midwestern stock. I am afraid all this has changed me so much that my friends and family will think I am nuts and have me committed. Maybe I should bury all this vision stuff and just get on with my life."

"Be open and honest with your family and friends back home. You'll be a beacon." Barnet says.

And so, feeling more sane than I had in weeks, I open up to Barnet about another disturbing vision, "I was told in a dream by what could only be described as an alien that on 10/10/10 at 10:10:10 AM and PM that the Dream Shield needs to be strengthened somehow."

"Binary code!" Barnet exclaimed. "10/10/10 - 10:10:10! The date and time is all ones and zeroes!"

"Binary code... I should have noticed that myself." I groused, always too tough on myself for not being as smart as someone like Barnet.
















Our talk went on for another half hour with Ramon giving amazing insights of his own on 2012 based his findings writing ANCIENT TOMORROW. Ramon filmed the whole event for us, but sadly I had some tech problems that destroyed the precious footage. But I feel confident I've done a good job of reconstructing Barnet's amazing talk for you because this talk is indelible in my mind.

Take heart.  I plan to film another talk with Barnet on this topic well before 10/10/10.  Stay tuned.

The meeting ended with all three of us feeling like brothers. I gave Barnet a Wisconsin style bear hug for all this wisdom. I was feeling better about all this vision stuff that was so new to me. Ready to embrace my Italy and subsequent vision.

Barent loved the peaceful nature of the gentle 2012 vision as a counter to all the negative images conjured up by the Mayans from so many thousands of years ago and the new interpretations of people today. Why not have a 2012 that just kicks off a new era of peace and prosperity?

On the way home to NoHo Ramon and I made a pact to break me out of the nuthouse if my family had me locked up on my visit to Wisconsin.  I was still shaky but feeling better by the minute.

But that night after the talk with Barnet another vision came to me. Again more fantastic than the last and again I would be rattled to my core...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Vision in Italy of a Gentle 2012


















Connie Miller had a surprise for us to wrap up SoulDrama in Puglia Italy. A group healing with the great healer Guilia of the Yoga/Spiritual Retreat of Santa Maria Del Sole.



I picked a mat near the end of the yoga hall, once a stable. There were a few empty mats from the group members who were almost always late.

Guilia, who speaks little English, asked though her assistant interpreter, that we lay on our backs and relax. The week of working long days both in the group sessions and doing interviews with the workshop members had left me exhausted. Guilia began to chant in Italian and I gladly shut my eyes.

I’ve done meditation and EMDR therapy and had healing visualizations before but never as part of a group. Something new was happening in my head. The images were so clear.

I felt the resentment of the group incomplete state on the yoga mats vanish as celestial beings materialized and lay in the empty spots. One was right beside me. I could hear their thoughts as they communicated with me telepathically.

I thanked them for filling in the grid of students and I felt the circuitry of the group amplify. Blue/white energy crisscrossed between the group. We were a living satellite dish.

As Guila passionately chanted over us several students fell into such deep sleeps that they began to snore. Dream power now coursed through the group. Subconscious energy of enormous proportions.

I felt Connie Miller transform beside me into a white angel with a sword held to her chest. The vaulted brick ceiling became lustrous gold bars. The floor we lay on changed from oak to glass and the room became cylindrical as our groups power magnified.

I was aware how uncomfortable it was to lay oin the yoga mat on the hard floor when the ends of the long yoga hall began to extend to infinity. I am seeing all this from outer space now, A band of white energy racing north and south until the ends join.

Now bands of white energy shoot out east and west and complete another belt if energy. I am pleased by this as I imagine the reason for the bands is to get out the message of Souldrama and Santa Maria Del Sole via the web, symbolized by the conduits of energy.

The vision ends and Guilia’s assistant announce the end of the session. I excitedly ask others in the group if they felt or experienced what I did but most say they just relaxed or slept. No one seems to take what I saw, my vision of a message via the web as much. Visions in meditation are normal in the semi conscious state you enter.

A few nights later after Souldrama ended and I was getting ready to return to LA I was woken from a deep sleep by a dream in which I was given a message that the bands were more that a symbol for the web. And that on 10-10-10 at 10:10:10 AM Puglia time the bands needed to be strengthened to make 2012 a gentler shift. I wept. Why were these messages coming to me? I felt lost. Crazy.

Next day I went back to Santa Maria Del Sole and filmed this interview with Julia. As you’ll see my vision was what she was hoping for. A gentle 2012.

Guilia asked me to share any more visions I might have. I was frightened. More visions. This one was huge enough!



But sure enough a few after I returned to LA more visions came. Even more amazing ones that would nearly drive me over edge of sanity…

Friday, July 9, 2010

Facing My Shadow Self

The Souldrama Italy week flew by.  We moved through Connie Miller doors of transformation.  I was growing faster than I ever dreamed possible.



I dreaded the day when we were to face our shadow self.  Fearing the rage darkness I have hid inside myself since I was a child.

But Connie gives you tools to cope with the stuff coming up from your dark shadow self.  And one of those is understanding how we can be loved just being who we are.  She calls it "Your Moment of Love" where you reenact that first moment in life you knew you were loved unconditionally.  For me and many in the group it was with our grandmothers.  Lucky grandma's don't have the burden of raising us an can love us just who for who we are.

And I recalled Grandma Gooder making me apple pie in the kitchen in Milwaukee near Lake Michigan and hugging me to her bosom.  She patted the top of my head and said "Why, Kenny,  You're as tall as my heart."  Love... Yes, I was doing nothing but being me.  No great feats of over compensation.  I was just a kid in the kitchen feeling the love of another human being, my Grandma.



















Connie taught us that day how our shadow is an important part of us not be ashamed of.  My rage is my champion not a villain.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Where's Superman?

Connie Miller's Souldrama got through to me so quickly.  I'd done a lot of work on my issues in therapy over the years.  EMDR, anger management, psychoanalysis, self-help books; I had tried them all.  But eventually I felt I running in place and stopped working on myself and started working on films.

My screenplay STEPS was about the pain of divorce, the project that brought me to Hollywood 7 long years ago.  The project got dreailed because I was not strong enough financially and spiritually to stand up to the strains of Hollywood and the cavilcade of hanger-ons who siphoned my cash away while messing up the story to the point where I hated it and myself.  Thus ended my first foray into Hollywood.

I withdrew into learning how to make movies myself, without the need for all the bums I usually stumble across out here like some kind of asshole magnet.  Perhaps it is me who has been the asshole.

But out of that learning to be low cost and independent, along would come YouTube and social media marketing where all my new hard won film skills and business skills would converge in a venture I call BuzzBroz.  So named as I wanted so badly for my brother Fred to leave his factory welding life behind and come out here to build a social media company with me.  Fred never came, not wanting to give up the comforts and security of life, what little there is in this mess of an economy, in Wisconsin.

Now, less than six months into the BuzzBroz venture I was hanging out in Italy with a really cool bunch of people.  Therapists from all over the world and a rock star who owned the resort.  And I had earned more in the first sic months of BuzzBroz than all my seven years in Hollywood put together,  Now, this was not much.  But all the film biz had been money out not in.  It felt good to be getting paid for my film work, even if it was only for Youtube.  And you realy can't say only about YouTube.  It is a miracle of a site if you can generate Google ads for videos and I can when clients have good content and let me do the promotion right.

So when Connie had us talk about our childhood heroes and how their energies were going to help us in this week of group I was shocked when it came my turn to play Superman, my kid hero -- because nothing could hurt him, a skill I longed for whenever dad got out the belt -- and Superman said he was prepared to do nothing for Ken, me, all week.  Connie askes why and Superman explained he had given up on me a long time ago.  How he had tried.  Supes was fed up!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Settling Into Santa Maria Del Sole

The gates of Santa Maria Del Sole in Puglia Italy swung open.  Marco, the resort driver who had picked up at the train station, explained how this place was a farm before Salvatore, the owner, an Italian music celeb turned resort owner, bought it.  And that 100 years prior it was run by Monks as a healing place for almost 200 years.

Marco pointed out the small out building that was the chapel and how Salvatore had bought the property not knowing that gorgeous frescoes were buried under the stucco.



My room was under a Trulo and just the right size for a solo traveler. Far more luxurious than my room in Rome, I wondered why I did not come here sooner as Salvitore, had offered me 70 Euro per night rate.  Which was half what I paid in Rome for a tiny room not much bigger than a walk-in closet.

But I shook off second guessing myself and took a nap on the beautiful bed, knowing my work with Souldrama was going to start in about an hour and that I had a strenuous 6 hour train ride from Rome to sleep off.

As I lay in bed starring up at the dome of the Trulo over my head I began to worry. Client Connie Miller had insisted I do more than film the event for YouTube, she wanted me to participate in Souldrama, as a group member. I have never done group therapy and I was worried I'd make a fool out of myself.

And an hour later I would find myself expressing this to the amazing international group that Connie has assembeled from Greece, Holland, Brazil, Italy and America. Most them were therapists themselves looking to hone their skills.

Connie explained who I was and that I would be filming interviews with anyone who wanted to participate for Connie as my cleint. I assured the group there would be no filming of private moments in the group itself.

Here's one of my favorite interviews from the group, a group would come to know like a second family over the next exciting week.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Arrival at The White City, Ostuni

But despite the glimpse of Monopoli I am excited to hear some passengers speak of Ostuni.  A few stops later, we pull into the rather non-descript train station of Ostuni, well, non-descript compared to Monopoli.

An Italian with a gentle smile spots me stagger from the train.  I think it is Salvatore, owner of the resort who said he'd be greeting me.  But it is a handsome young man, about 30, who introduces himself to me simply as Marco.  No last names here.

Marco gives off a welcome air of calm charm as he begins a tour of the Puglia countryside as we wind our way up the narrow country roads that are lined with stone fences.

Marco explains the stone the walls comes from the rocky soil of the region when ancient farmers tilled the soil.  The homes I notice have strange roofs, pointy domes with a little ball on top. Marco tells me these are called trulos and that the homes of the region are made of the same stone as the fences and have no mortar.

The reason for the lack of mortar is that the farmers would take their homes apart whenever the tax collector was visiting from Rome to avoid taxes.  This was done in America I recall to myself for the same reason in the original colonies, not wanting to interrupt Marco's fine tour of the gorgeous Puglia countryside.

We pass through a fairy tale castle of city called Ostuni, the white City.  I want to ask Marco to stop so I can take some photos with my trusty Flip camera but I'm too tired and he says we'll be back here duing the week for the tourist thing.  I'll end up working 12 hours days without a day off covering Souldrama and never making it back.  One of my few regrets about the trip.

Here's a pic I found on the web of the amazing White City, like something out of a Tolkein novel.  Yeah, it really is this beautiful.  And if I make back to Puglia for Souldrama 2011 I will spend a day here.

Still, the interview I posted to YouTube just before leaving for Italy featuring Sheldan Nidle's prediction for a 2010 SHIFT of monumental proportions, toppling mountains, causing tsunamis, aliens, yes aliens, changing our very DNA, nags at the back of my brain.

Ostuni, I think to myself has existed peacefully for centuries.  Surely a galactic civilization that Nidle so calmly describes wreaking havoc on our world that it chilled me to my core, that you can watch here, would appreciate Ostuni's perfection, compared to our pollution and crime choked cities back in America?  Perhaps a city like Ostuni is mankind's best hope if Sheldan's wild predictions are true.

Not to say I believe even a fraction of what Sheldan says has a chance of coming true.  I just feel guilt.  Guilt that I had a small part in putting on the 55 minute of interview videos, filmed by Filippo's friend, and mine, Dorothy Donahue, onto the web and using my BuzzBroz.com skills to get them seen by 10s of thousands of people already.

Social media is so new and open. I've filmed Filippo, who has become one of my most fascinating friends, interviewing channelers, palm readers and various New Age gurus, who all seem to speak of the SHIFT centering around this era of 2012.  Some take the SHIFT literally like Sheldan, while others like the great Barnet Bain, producer of WHAT DREAMS MAY COME and THE CELESTINE PROPHECY, take a metaphorical look at the SHIFT.

But as I wondered who might be watching the Sheldan Nidle interviews, I worry that for someone with less of a Midwestern skepticism like my own, that the predictions of Galactic first contact will be scary.

This is what I am worrying about as we careen through the Italian countryside, Marco at the wheel, as I have been the whole trip from LA.  I gaze over the peaceful White City. Happy to be so blissfully far from the eccentricities of LA.

Fortunately, Marco wakes me from my waking dream/ guilt trip with a hearty invitation to a special treat!

Take a trip back to Italy with me.  The 5 star treatment of Santa Maria Del Sole began before we even reached the exclusive resort!



Tuesday, June 1, 2010

PRESS RELEASE ABOUT OPTION OF JUNKIE TO TALK SHOW HOST STORY

We interrupt this talk about my trip to Souldrama in Italy for an important announcement!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


SHEETZ OPTIONS EPIC TALE OF RISE FROM JUNKIE TO TALK SHOW HOST


June 1, 2010

Hollywood, California


Filmmaker and social media guru Ken Sheetz (see IMDB), CEO of Overactive Imagination Pictures and its distribution arm and SMM provider BuzzBroz.com, announced today that he has optioned the life story of talk show host, author and speaker Bradley Quick from the popular novel "The Quick Fix" about his rise from a Skid Row junkie to a Hollywood talk show host, author and motivational speaker into a feature screenplay.


Says Sheetz:


"Bradley's true life story is one of the most inspiring and compelling I've ever heard. His tireless and selfless work for his charity, The Cool Change Foundation, helps others battle substance abuse by backing his talk show "The Quick Fix with Bradley Quick", where over 700 hours of shows can be heard at http://bradleyquick.com. ; Bradley's show features health tips, advice on matters of the recovery and inspirational guests like Wayne Dyer, John Bradshaw and Don Miguel Ruiz, famed author of "The Four Agreements".

It is my sincere hope that once I finish the adaptation of his rise from Skid Row junkie to talk show host that Bradley's tireless fight to overcome substance abuse both in his life and the lives of others finds life on the big screen.


Bradley just celebrated being clean and sober now for 23 years. I am honored to have created his popular new YouTube channel that has about a 250,000 views in just over 60 days and to be adapting his dazzling true life story into a screenplay."


Sheetz has produced a popular election TV series since 1996 called Kids Talk Politics, which has aired as the lead into the 2000 Presidential debates on PBS in prime time and that has a popular YouTube channel with over 500,000 views. The KTP DVD about the exciting 2008 Presidential election, "Kids Talk Politics: A New Puppy in the White House" has been number one in its topic on Amazon for 14 months and counting.


In his 7 years in Hollywood, Sheetz has also produced several pilots, over 100 short films and written 12 screenplays that are in various stages of development.


Prior to becoming a filmmaker Sheetz was a successful real estate broker and developer in Chicago, where he brokered well over a billion dollars worth of business, built a $162 million skyscraper and Oprah's Harpo Studios.


On July 1 Sheetz is traveling home to the Midwest for an extended family visit and to raise capital for the screenplay about Bradley Quick's inspirational rise from junkie to talk show host as well as his other film ventures.


For further information email Ken Sheetz at: imagitv@aol.com.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Monopoli

I hop off the bus, throw open the hatch, dig out my backpack and... Phew.  My trusty Flip cam in there.  We hop another train and it's onto Ostuni. The train is smaller and traveling south along the coast. There no conductor and as we reach the time when I was suppposed to arrive in Ostuni, 5 hours from Rome, I am worried I missed my stop.

A few weeks earlier to conserve money for this trip I switched to Boost Mobile's basic $50 per month service.  I find myself kicking myself for not sticking with my Blackberry Verizon phone as I have no way to know where I am and can't call the resort to know if the delay with crazy bus detour is going to mean I am going to be stranded if I am in fact on the way to Ostuni.  Finally I tell myself to shut the hell up and that it will all work out somehow.  Enjoy the Italian countryside, bitch.

Amazing little cities pass by the train window and we are now 45 minutes late.  I figure if we keep going south the end of the line I can always backtrack and make my way to Ostuni again if I missed it.  We pass an amazing town I want to visit on another trip.  Beautiful architecture that looks like giant layered tiramasu in a town called Monopoli.

It looks like a paradise.  A paradise I've never heard of before where life goes on every day without ever a thought about we people working like slaves to a dream that died a while ago.

Then Monopoli is gone and I wonder why I was ever worrying about making it to Ostuni.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Working my Way to Puglia Italy

Sorry I have been away.  Far away in both body and spirit. For years I've read, written and watched science fiction voraciously.  Today I am living science fiction. 

I've been filming social media for YouTube for Bradley Quick, which led to my meeting an amazing new client for my fledgling business BuzzBroz.  The cleint is Connie Miller, founder of an group therapy workshop she holds all over the world called Souldrama.  Souldrama teaches you how to lead a more soulful existence.

Now, I am a regular Joe from the Midwest, always will be, Hollywood can't take that out of me.  So when Connie insisted that in addtion to making her YouTube videos that I take the class in Puglia Italy at the amazing private resort she booked to our exclusive use for Souldrama, well, I almost didn't go.  I kept making excuses not to go, not enough money, it was a barter deal after all and I did not want to do group therapy.  I'd not done any therapy on myself for a good 8 years.


But Connie and Bradley would not give up on me.  So eventually I was set on going to Italy.  The last time I went to Italy, 20 years ago, I was a mega real estate developer building Oprah's TV studios and 38 story $162 million skyscrapper.  Now, post divorce and post financial disaster I was a struggling artist, signing for his supper making YouTube videos.

20 years ago I was rich in money but poor in spirit and now I was poor in both departments. I lost my faith on the way to Italy reading THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES by the great Joseph Campbell, who opened my eyes to the fact all religions share common mythologies.

Now, in 2010, Italy was calling me back for a new kind of spirituality, one that infused my belief in a great universe we all share as spiritual beings having a human existance, to borrow from Wayne Dyer.

As the time to go to Italy approached I worked intensely to make the trip.  No $162 million dollar project to pick our marbles for the lobby to back me up this time, I had to make many little YouTube videos, do Twitter work and Facebook assignements to earn my way; the fees in the hundreds of dollars this time instead of the hundreds of thousands like back in 1990.

I did social media for an amazing client I met through Bradley named Filippo Voltaggio.  A larger than life American Italian, Filippo hosts a New Age show called Life Changes.  And after doing a lot of work on spec for a percentage of YouTube ads I was forced to start charging him as Google ads I've learned, unless you have videos consistently getting millions of views, are not going to make you much money.

But I love the subject matter Filippo covers along with his producer and Reiki teacher Dorothy Donahue, an amazing woman in her 60's.  A motherly figure who watches carefully over her New Age flock.

One day Filippo called me that he had filmed an interview with famed ET expert Sheldan Nidle about his views on the coming "Shift", all centering around 2012.  Filippo needed the video edited and posted to YouTube.  I agreed because I wanted to learn more about "The Shift".   As you'll see in this video from the 6 part series on YouTube, I learned more than I bargained for.

Please watch the video before reading further.



See what I meant earlier in this post about living science fiction?

Sheldan's calm description of the collapse of banks, nations, mountains falling and rising, tectonic plate shifts, aliens reprogramming our DNA left me shaken.  His great certainty about it all was unnerving.  But I worked some long hours and got the videos loaded but they were hard for me to watch even though I'd help make them.

The last few days before Italy were spent in Las Vegas covering social media for Bradley Quick and his Quick Fix talk show.  Bradley is the single worst driver I have ever met.  And as we left Hollywood for the 5 hour drive to Vegas I wondered if my trip to Italy would be cut short as Bradley zig zagged through traffic with our assitant for the trip screaming at him to slow down and drive with his hands on the wheel.  Bradley is a notorious text and drive guy.

But somehow we made it into town and despite trouble with the assistant, an Italian/Iranian woman with attitude like I've never witnessed -- who we had to let go, and who's parting crack was that I was Bradley's wife -- we managed to make a beautiful collection of videos and I had money for Italy just in the nick of time.



The flight seemed easier compared to 20 years ago.  Perhaps because I was imagining travel to be tougher post 9/11.  But it was a breeze.  My passport sailed me along.

I staggered onto a train to Rome from the Rome airport and the first thing that struck me was the amount of graffiti lining the train's path.  The city was not the same.  The pristine Rome of 20 years ago was not to be found.  Of course I was in a far richer hotel at the top of the Spanish Steps in 1990.  Now the Lira was no more, replaced by the Euro and the exchange rate was terrible.  I had to Western Union home to friends and my brother to be able to afford my way to Puglia.



I had little money to spend during my 2 days in Rome.  So I tried to get some social media gigs, but the language barrier prevented any of that from happening.  I made the best of my meager budget and saw some of the sites and even managed to buy a lightweight tripod for my trusty flip camera.



It was to be a relaxing 5 hour train ride from Rome to Ostuni, on the heel of the boot of Italy, where the Santa Maria Del Sole staff would pick me up.  But the train ride proved confusing as hell.  Half way to Ostuni the train stopped and emptied out.

I was still drowsy from the flight and grabbed my bags and followed the passengers to a cluster of buses.  The bus driver could not speak English, or I should say I could not speak his Italian.  But he checked my ticket, and told me to get on board.  There was one seat left and I squirmed in.

As the bus pulled onto the highway I felt my pockets for my trusty Flip camera and it was missing.  I thought about the beautiful train shots and kicked myself now for taking out the camera.

How was I going to cover Souldrama without a camera?!

TO BE CONTINUED...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

7 Years in Hollywood

I made it. 7 years I've survived in Hollywood making scripts, movies, commercials and YouTube videos. Survived is the word. I certainly have not thrived. But one day when I'm on that death bed ready to move onto the next life I won't be saying, "Wish I'd have tried making it in Hollywood."

My only mistake was doing it too late in life to make it big. But then I'd have missed out on my life back in Chicago as the guy who leased 3 skyscrapers, built Oprah's studios and had two amazing kids.

So I have no regrets Hollywood has not paid off like I wish it had. And I wouldn't trade the Hollywood I've experienced for the glamor one of say a Kevin Spacey's, a guy about my age who I admire.

I'm enjoying covering Hollywood as a social media guru. You can see that I really am having fun in this new BuzzBroz video.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Cats...

Ya either love 'e, or hate 'em. That's the old saying but for me it's somewhere in between. Especially when I get up in the middle of the night and the bathroom I share with cats at the amazing Mr. Quick's studio are hogging their turf and that turf happens to be the sink and toilet.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

SCARCITY



Real-life Scarcity Inspires SCARCITY the Short Film

As my followers know, it's been a rough past year for me.  I was evicted last fall from an apartment I loved nestled in Agoura Hills.  I led an ideal creative life in Agoura writing a dozen screenplays, making three feature length docs and over 100 short films.  So losing all that was rough on me.

But I've slowly been rebuilding my life via a new SMM venture called BuzzBroz, with a lot of help from some amazing pepople talked about in this blog at great length.  As part of that SMM work I started a group of projects I call "Let's Watch Radio." that you can read about on my BuzzBroz blog.

But since last fall I've been so busy with cleaning up the mess in my life that I've not done any fictional work in over a year.  So it is with great pleasure I present to you my newest political satire SCARCITY.

SCARCITY is set in a dark near term future where China has called in America's loans, decimating our economy and the very fabric of our society.  The scary thing is SCARCITY is not a huge stretch of the imagiantion.  It stars two amazing young actors Ramon Govea Gomez and Brett Collier.  And also an amazing old actor Tom Katsis.


The idea for SCARCITY is somethig I've been working out since today's crazy jobless recovery cost me a home I loved and my beautiful little dog Sophia, who I found a wonderful home for.

When I moved to North Hollywood, renting a small studio / bedroom to cut down costs, after being used to a mansion of an apartment, I began wandering the area and came across an amazing find.  A grocery store going under in the bad economy.  It closes this week and looks like something out of the Great Depression.


A ready made set!  After challenging a bunch of writers to give me a story about SCARCITY and coming up dry I began to wrack my brains for a story I'd write myself.  One day at the store I learned there was only 10 days left until the amazing Great Depression set would be gone.  As I shopped the sad store I came across a lone can of olives perched on a entirely empty shelf and the script idea for two competing shoppers came to me.

SCARCITY was born.  As I'm fighting to scratch out a living, as is everyone in my cast, we worked fast and cheap.  I shot with my trusty Flip, did the ADR in Tom's Saab in the parking lot and edited the whole film together in less than 24 hours.

I hope you enjoy SCRACITY.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Reiki Ricadrdo

Through Bradley Quick I've been meeting some very cool people.  Musician producer David Longoria, radio star and producer Robert Eibach, the author of THE FOUR AGREEMENTS; Don Miguel Ruiz and his beautiful kids and niece Karla (pictured below), famous hypnotherapist Tom Silver and radio star, singer Filippo Voltaggio.


Fillippo's the guy with great hair in the photo above.  Heck, at this stage of baldness I'd settle for bad hair, hence the hat.




Life is full again.  I'm making great videos, like this meditation series I just did for Bradley's channel.  And I think his ELIMINATE FEAR AND ANXIETY message in this video is working. 

I've let go of worrying about money and I am healing from a lot of wounds.  I've even gotten so over fear that I've started roller blading again after stopping 10 years ago after breaking a wrist.



A big person responsible for the Quick Fix of Mr. Sheetz is Dorothy Donahue.  Dorothy Gale as I nicknamed her for the girl who flew over the rainbow is a Reiki master, renonwed and sought after by people all over the planet.

I'm bartering with her, doing some BuzzBroz SMM work in return for Reiki therapy and training.  Stay tuned for future blogs where we'll go behind the scenes to an actual Reiki class.  Meantime enjoy a bit of unconditional PURE LOVE from Dorothy Donahue.


Friday, March 5, 2010

The Quick Fix for Ken Sheetz

For the past month, since my abrupt departure from Kim and Gilley's lives, --  a departure I hope is only temporary as I love them both for their parts on my 7 Years in Hollywood journey -- I've been doing social media marketing via my new baby BuzzBroz as part of my rent with Bradley Quick (pictured left) who runs a foundation called The Cool Change Foundation that helps families devastated by drug and alcohol abuse. 

Bradley's a great man and I have enjoyed these past 30 days, filming his life and getting the word out for him into the world via BuzzBroz.

Bradley had a horrific childhood that led to early substance abuse. He ended up a skid row junkie before a family intervention turned his life around.  23 sober and clean years later Bradley is a famed author for The Quick Fix and the radio by the same name which he hosts.  He's also an awesome  motivational speaker as you can see in this video I made for him that's already buzzed up 10,000 views!



DAILY KARAOKE WITH BRADLEY QUICK

Try being depressed with a motivational speaker to inspire you every day!  Impossible for me with Bradley around.  Bradley's office is up the hall from mine and he bursts into boisterous song at random moments all day long.  Here's his favorite of course because it inspired the name of his Cool Change Foundation.



I enjoy Bradely's "karaoke without the machine" style so much that I built him a Blip FM radio station. Check it out.   You can hear some of the tunes that he sings in his rough booming radio voice that are guaranteed to brighten your day!

BRADLEY'S AA MEETINGS INSPIRE ME

An amazing experience for me in filming Bradley's amazing life is attending some of his AA meetings, as a filmmaker without his camera.  These sessions are private affairs.  Sitting in a auditorium filled with guys who keep each other on the wagon is nearly overwhelming for me.

An AA man somberly shares his story about how all his friends who used to drink with him are all dead now.  Reality is far more powerful than my daydreams.
As I sit there beside Bradley, feeling way out of place as a sober man except for some rare party moments, I'm touched by how thsi very macho bunch "Share" tender stories of the way booze and drugs have ravaged their lives and how AA saves them each day.  And I begin to sadly feel at home.

Why?   Because in all their stories I hear echoes of how my being a workaholoic has stolen so much life from me.  I think about missing most of the 20s of my two great kids, and not hangin' with my brother Fred, a heavy smoker and who I worry I'll lose to cancer one day.  All missed while I've been out here in heartless Hollywood working my ass off for 7 hard years, chasing a what seems an impossible, and sometimes meaningless, dream of being a Hollywood director.

I think about how I use work to hide from feelings, my family... myself. 

The leader of the AA meeting snaps me out of my self-reflection when he announced the chapter is running dangerously low on funds.  So, despite not having much money, with 3 BuzzBroz clients behind on paying me and not likely to soon while the bailed out bank keep our capital frozen here in the Great Depression 2, I dig deep and toss $20 into the donation basket.

STEPS & THE 12 STEPS

Twenty bucks is small price for inspiration from all the stories these men shared.  7 years ago a screenplay I wanted to bring the silver screen called STEPS had brought me here.  It's a multi-protagonist tale about three divorce ravaged families,  told like CRASH, with the various plots all meeting at the end.

At Bradley's AA meeting I learned what one of the stories in STEPS should really be about: How the 12 Steps can save lives and families.  STEPS has always been about how divorce tears families apart and what tears more families apart than booze and drugs? 

The 2002 STEPS trailer you can watch here, shot in glorious 35MM, stars Jennifer Estilin, a great Chicago  SAG pro and non-professional actor, and Dave Curry.  Dave's my friend and BuzzBroz client for his amazing re-invention of the shoe for PodiWear.

These casting choices were made before I learned the hard way that you must use known stars to get distribution or have a completed film that becomes a festival hit.  But I think Dave turns in a solid performance for a first-timer and Jenifier is flat out amazing.


















BRADLEY INTERVIEWS DON MIGUEL RUIZ

Two weeks ago, following Bradley around as his videographer, I was so proud to film Bradley's masterful interview with famed author Don Miguel Ruiz whose best-seller THE FOUR AGREEMENTS sold over 4.4 million copies that has been translated into 36 languages.

Don Miguel's new book THE FIFTH AGREEMENT, authored with his son Don Jose, is already in the top ten on the New York Times best-seller list!

What was cool was Don Miguel beautiful niece, Karla Ruiz, also had a Flip camera. So I devised a strategy to film a two Flip camera interview.

I was the only camera operator, however, so it was a bear in post.  But the final result, a 45 minute playlist you can watch here. It already has buzzed up over 7,000 views and YouTube.



BRADLEY IS INTERVIEWED ON "LIFE CHANGES WITH FILIPPO"

In filming Bradley's getting interviewed for a switch on a cool radio show about modern spirituality called LIFE CHANGES WITH FILIPPO I met the host Filippo and his co-producer Dorothy Lee Donahue.

Here's the playlist for that radio interview, which I also had the honor to film.  It gives you a complete overview of the man, the legend, Bradley Quick.



COMING BLOG ATTRACTIONS & TRANSFORMATIONS

You'll be learning more of my adventures in meeting the amazing Filippo and Dorothy, a Reiki Master, who became BuzzBroz clients and great new friends thanks to the glowing recommendations of Bradley.

And so another amazing chapter in my spiritual journey 7 Years in Hollywood opens.  Perhaps the real reason I am here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My First Roomate Experience - An Apology

You always remember your first car, first kiss and I'll always remember my first roomates, Gilley Grey and Kim Griego, and the great kindness they showed me. Even if they now hate me, I'll always love them for how they helped me.

How did a relationship I count as one of the best of my life end in such a mess?

Let's start with the short notice from my first roomies.  One week. Which I brought on myself by saying I only needed a week, which is exactly what I got.  I was overconfident about finding a place and it left me scrambling.  And not knowing where or how big my new place would be left me in a panic. When I asked Gilley for some more time he refused. A week and I was out. After all the months of sharing life I never saw this inflexible side of the man. It seemed my wanting to leave had severed our brotherly bond and I was SOL.

And I didn't know where to go because my check from a new client was 2 months past due.  Now in normal times a 60 day past due invoice is not big deal.  You borrow from your bank to cover stuff like that.  But my bank is heartless giant Bank of America and a self-employed man like me who was just evicted in 2009 is not good credit material.

So all I could do was plan an interim move on a couch and stick everything in storage.  But there was just one problem with that.  My storage space was 2 weeks late on rent.  It would have been worse except Kim paid me up as a loan.

All this uncertainty left me wound tight as a drum and when Gilley would not let me borrow Kim's car for an extra few hours to get the job of moving done. I flew into a rage on the phone!  I must have called that poor guy every name in the book.

No matter what my friends and family tell me, I had no right to speak to Gilley so crudely.  No matter how unreasonable he seemed to my fear fevered brain at the time. I've apologized for my potty mouth and the rotten stuff I said in rage, but with some people, like my stepfather, they never forgive.  So who knows?  Are you reading Kim and Gilley?  If so consider this blog post another apology.

I did not grow horns and a tail.  And neither did Kim and Gilley.  We're all just people coping with an economy that is not showing signs of life.  The pressures are enormous and we crack.  I'm grateful I'm not doing crack at this point.  I need a long rest and there's no rest when you are working to just keep one room over your head.

In my house growing up in rough Italian neighborhood in Milwaukee the F was used in about every word in every other sentence.  But to hurl that at a guy like Gilley, who's been nothing but kind, makes me see I have a lot of work to do on myself if I am to be the enlightened being I want to be.



In the end the miracle of the one week move did happen despite losing my mind.  I don't exaggerate.  I lost it.  At one point shuffling stuff in an out of the apartment, my storage in Agoura and the new place in North Hollywood and tossing excess stuff in the dumpster at Gilley's I accidentally began keeping the trash and trashing the things I wanted to keep!

So I had to climb into the dumpster to salvage important lost papers.  I was moving out without Gilley's help and I dropped a nighstand and it punched a hole in a the door to room I "rented" from Gilley.

This roommate thing was a whole new experience for me.  I've always had my own place, either owned or rented. And in whole I did OK until the end. In December when cash ran low I'd exchange services for the missed rent or food and that all seemed clear and to be working.  Seemed is the operable word.

It's all a mess at this point with me doing a ton of barter work and their doing a ton of favors and small loans that are intertwined into a Gordian knot of hurt feelings, angst, broken dreams and frustration we may never untangle.

I don't know if the big hearted Gilley and sweet Kim did not believe I really have a home back in Wisconsin to go home to or not, and I prefer not to as my father is old and sick a lot these days and we never got along well.  So on the hopes of some big social media work that would have saved the day, but that never materialized through no fault of mine, Kim and Gilley kept me afloat when they should have sent me packing for home back in December.

In my new situation in North Hollywood I keep the boundaries totally clear.  I take no favors and have clear understanding of doing one hour of BuzzBroz work per day for Bradley Quick, my new landlord.  Brad is super just to be around for his positive energy and he has a huge three bedroom home here in LA. I now have beautiful studio with a ginormous work station, big enough that I've been editing videos for him on three computers and once.

And it at least says something about me I ended up in such a great spot working for such a great guy to help pay my rent.

Bradley is just what the doctor ordered for this weary filmmaker/social media guru.  I'm filming him giving motivational speeches, doing his weekly radio show and being a guest himself on talk shows.  I already have 3 amazing hours of material and have built him twitter, youtube and facebook fan pages to get the word out.



Here's hoping I learned from the wonderful Kim and Gilley how to be a better roommate this time around with the amazing Mr. Quick.

But most of all here's hoping that when tempers cool and times are better, debts settled, that Gilley and Kim will forgive me as I've forgiven them.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Life is a Super Bowl

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!

I'm here at my favorite Starbucks in Sherman Oaks on Ventura the last time before moving out of Gilley and his fiancee Kim's LA place.

I was watching DVDs from Gilley's library as the cable was canceled earlier in the week.  I had never seen Travolta and Winger's URBAN COWBOY and just a few minutes into the great flick, the kind of humanistic, zero CG, flick we don't  see enough today, I see Winger doing a sexy mechanical bull ride in a joint called Gilley's.

I'll be asking Gilley when I see him tomorrow -- when I give back the keys on the VW his fiancee, the lovely Kim, loaned me when she headed off to New Mexico -- was URBAN COWBOY, and the mega nigh club called Gilley's, the inspiration for his stage name?



Gilley Grey was born Gilbert Anderson.  But since someone with that name already existed in the Screen Actors Guild, Gilbert became Gilley Grey.

Kim does not like the Gilley name but I find it fits Gilley's energetic generous personality.  But Gilley Grey is mighty tired right now because he did stunt work and transpo on PASSION PLAY, the new film with Mickey Rourke, Megan Fox and Bill Murray for 6 weeks solid, 16 hours a day.

Gilley hit it off well with Rourke and Murray in particular.  Bill as Gilley tells me is much fun in real life as he is on film.  And Rourke is the charming same charming rascal on and off the silver screen too.  Gilley did not get to spend much time with Megan Fox, but Gilley did get to see her in her angel wings, as she plays an angel that Mickey's character must rescue.

Sounds like PASSION PLAY might be a great flick that would silence some of Megan's detractors.

Today Gilley hooks up a trailer and hauls it to LA to load his stuff up and split to New Mexico for about 5 months.  I worry he's going to fall asleep at the wheel making a 34 hour round trip after a marathon film shoot.  I'll volunteer to drive him back if he can book me a flight back to LA.

Gilley's been a unbelievable roomate and so has Kim.  They feel the same about me.  We had all hoped the great sitcom CARMEN'S PLACE, about a stripper fitness club, that we all worked so hard on creating, well, I did all the writing as a way to bater for rent, might be a quick sale and change our lives.

But it's been the usual huge struggle just to get it submitted and I had to call in some favors with my entertainment layers.  It's slowed us down and we started the process too late in the pilot season but maybe this summer we can take run at it again.  It is one of the funniest things I've written and I am proud of it.  One of my pals at ABC who works on LOST loves it.  So who knows?  Ageism is alive and well in Hollywood and a guy in 50s like me is really up against it.

Now Gilley and Kim are leaving for New Mexico.  At least I won't have time to miss them too much as I'm battling to launch BuzzBroz in the middle of an economy so tight it feel like the labors of Hercules.  I find myself constantly making wrong guesses about work and cash flow.  People I usually depend on for backing are nowhere, acting frightened and behaving erratically.

Take a billionaire pal who called be just before New Year's.  The billionaire said, "I love this BuzzBroz thing to market one of my empty condo towers. Expect a call from my people tomorrow.  Give them a good quote and the job will be yours."  Kim and Gilley heard the call on speakers in the car and we were all high as kites as with the big job I'd be able to hire Kim and pay her a modest salary.

Now it's Super Bowl Sunday and still no word from the billionaire's people.  When I finally chased him down yesterday he basically called me a pest for calling him for the final word, which was, "We'll call you soon as we know.  Don't call us."

I could leave for year for World Trip and not miss a thing.  I may just do that as I continue to pair down my possessions.  I filled half a dumpter of stuff I tossed that I had tucked away in Gilley's place.  Half a dumpster!  And after my eviction last fall I'd never imagine I still have that much stuff.

Stuff!  I rented a 10 foot by 10 foot storage spot in Agoura where stashed stuff I was when the eviction hit.  I've pulled all that matter from there and that's half full of old furniture I'll now abandon.  I held onto it hoping things would get better with the new BuzzBroz biz that has been a drizzle instead of the steady rain I need. Now I'm abandoning ship on the storage spot and losing all that furniture.  Oh, well, most of it was 15 years old anyways.  New stuff awaits this purged warrior of the Great Depression 2.0. when the storm is over. I' haven't had less stuff since college.

More soon on my ongoing search for a new roomie.  One of my new clients is now 60 days behind on paying me and I'm flat broke.  But thankfully, I found a couch to crash on with an amazing radio star and motivational guru, Bradley Quick.  Brad stepped up from the filmmaker group called THE TABLE, how I also met Gilley.  I needed some rescue with the short notice Gilley had to give me when we leased the apartment in only about 48 hours thanks in part to a BuzzBroz video I made of the nice place. 

I like Brad and we may even do a 90 day lease once my check comes in next week as my struggling client has promised.  But Brad's used to living solo so I'm going to keep looking.  Harder to do now without a car but that's what the internet is for.  I'd like to live near the ocean for a while.

Too bad that nice lady with a place in Venice Beach was worried I'd be good for the rent based on my honesty.  I may be a deadbeat but I'm an honest deadbeat. 

My lesson from all these hard times is we all more connected than we realize.  The daisies in this daisy chain are wilted and brown.  But spring is coming, even if it skips a year to 2011.  Meantime, it's a great time to write, , film, blog, hike and bike.

Even in the worst of times... Life is a Super Bowl.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Roomie Hunting in the Great Depression 2.0

Greetings from my favorite Starbucks in Sherman Oaks on Ventura Boulevard.


I'm blogging and making video here at Starbucks today, dear reader, because I am using the web to hunt for my new place.  You see, the internet just got cut off at Gilley's place, whose sudden move to New Mexico, has me looking for new surroundings.

So pardon any typos but working with the cappuccino machine next to my head is distracting as hell.

Charlie Fleischer of ROGER RABBIT fame sits next to me, sipping on a iced coffee and doodling.  Charlie's a regular here like me and a sweet guy.  I'd love to interview him before I blow Sherman Oaks. 

I did a rooms for rent search Monday for my new place for the next 90 days.  My budget is tight and I thought my options would be limited but I found hundreds of options on Craig's List that fit my tight $500 to $700 per month budget.

That amount of people searching for roomies says a lot about how hard times are by itself, but I came across some sad stories that drives the point sadly further home.

One was a lovely, lonely woman living in the valley in an area that would best be described as a mugging waiting to happen. As I pulled up to the spiked metal fence surrounding the apartment building I knew this would never work for a guy who likes to walk in LA, a rarity I know, but it works as long as you're not dating and you work from home like me. 

But I never break an appointment so I went in, even though I knew this war zone wonder was not for me.  The lady was former actor who was now a beautician, and as we sat and talked I thought about the story of the pioneers who set of for California, only to stop along the journey to establish places like Denver and Salt Lake City.  Short of the destination but happy with where they settled. 

The actress turned beautician  impressed me as happy but then next sublandlord was not so happy.  Unemployed and likely to remain so in this rotten economy, the next lady needed a roomie to make the mortgage.  As she tourd me past the broken washer in dryer sitting in her living room she explained,

"It gets chilly here at night because I had the gas turned off to save on money. But a space heater might keep you comfy."

Someone the other day told me that America was already a third world country and we're just to brainwashed to know it. I couldn't help feeling this might be true given the third world conditions that rivaled DISTRICT 9 that I was seeing today.  Cable's down at Gilley's and I was watching the director's commentary and he in fact calls LA "Johanesburg Light" that the world is heading for a society where the elite live behind fences to keep out the poor.

So as I thought about D-9, I tried not to feel too guilty telling this desperate woman not to wait for my answer.

Justified though I was in running, not walking, out of that sad house perched among choked weeds on a sunny middle-class Burbank street, I still felt like a jerk. The poor thing needed a lot more help than my little monthly rent might provide.  But God help me if one of my clients stiffed me and I failed to pay rent on time and she and her little Toto looking dog ended up on the street.

So, not wanting to be a roomie in in place that sounded like it was heading for foreclosure or worse, I headed over to Venice Beach in Kim's car that she's kindly letting me use to get resettled after she and Gilley decided to move to New Mexico with only one week's notice.

BTW, normally I'd be bugged about this short string move notice but Gilley's been awesome.  Yep. I'd be a dick to complain. I love Kim and Gilley so I'm joyfully making this work, even if I end up throwing my stuff into storage and go on a camping trip for a week at Big Sur or crashing on a pal's couch.  No bitching allowed.  I'm seeing all this as an adventure
And though the Venice Beach place is a little above my price range, I hope this works out not just for the cool location, only a couple hundred yards from the beach, but for chance to get to know the nice woman who'd be my new roomie.  But it's hot property and I have the disadvantage of being a guy when she'd prefer a fellow female roomie.  So I'm keeping up the hunt!

Stay tuned for more of my adventures in Hollywood here in the Great Depression 2.0.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And the Oscar for Best Roomies Goes to...

I may be away for a week or so while I get myself resituated in LA. Sadly for me, Gilley Grey, my awesome roomie and his girl Kim Griego are packing up for New Mexico.



 The fact both Kim and Gilley have been away the better part of the time since December on the new Megan Fox film PASSION PLAY makes losing their companionship a little bit easier.



Who would have thought when I went through an eviction last October that it would lead to one of the happiest periods in my life? Gilley and Kim have been "above and beyond" kind; treats to restaurants, theater, Xmas in New Mexico and even a Dennis Quaid concert.



And this time with them was explosive time for my creativity.

I wrote a sitcom inspired by Kim's crazy job working for a fitness center that uses exotic dancing to get desperate housewives into shape that is off to several networks with Gilley's help and my fine entertainment lawyers Greenberg & Glusker.



I finished the Lincoln is Back web series with Tom Katsis.



I produced my first viral hit on YouTube that's starting to earn money.



I made many BuzzBroz viral spots, including one for Podi shoes with a sexy and funny idea by that was inspired by Kim. Kim and Gilley helped on making the spot for just a free pair of Podi shoes.



I built a new website for a new Social Media Marketing company BuzzBroz, that I started just before I met Kim and Gilley.

But most fun of all were some of the many improvised videos Gilley and I made just for fun. Like this one about the universe being flat. Gilley is a rocket scientist and the flat universe is a real theory! Turns out ancient man was not that far off saying the world was flat!


BTW, in his 40 some years Gilley has enjoyed the following real life roles:

State Senate Page
Rocket Scientist
Teamster Driver
Stuntman
Stunt Co-ordinator
Actor
Fire Fighter
Ambulance Company COO
Trick Roper

There's more.  I just lose count with Gilley Grey, Renisance Man.  BTW, that last career, trick roper. I suggested that should be the name of Gilley's new production company, which I hope will become a partner in many films with my Overactive Imagination Pictures production co.

Gilley is a born producer. He gets things done and done right and he's a ton of fun to work with. One of the flat out most likable people I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. And Kim is his perfect compliment who keeps this rocket scientist turned filmmaker grounded.

My new buzz business has been slower getting rolling cash flow wise and Gilley has been very kind and patient.



Kim too. In fact, I was so grateful that I went to New Mexico and used my design background to help Kim redesign their home's interior. Gilley liked it all except the sun porch which he felt was too bold. My guess is once they put the furniture in Gilley will love it.  Well, Kim loves it.  That's good enough for me.  You want bland I'm not your guy!



I even picked up a paint brush for the first time in 30 years and painted for 6 days straight 12 hours a day to get Gilley's New Mexico house, which prior renters had trashed, fixed up!

And to top that off I gave Gilley free real estate consulting on his Q2 Studios project using my experience having built Oprah's Harpo Studios. My opinion is the market officially became overbuilt with the December announcement of Santa Fe Studios breaking ground and giant Albuquerque Studios already in place.



So I suggested roping that project in for the time bieing with a press release, written free courtesy of BuzzBroz.  Gilley's still deciding about my free advice on halting Q2.  I'm mighty conservative after losing my shirt in 1991 building a skyscraper that went busto and me with it.  If anyone could make a studio go in these times it's Gilley.  And with his move out there who knows if he'll push on with Q2?



Still, even with all I did for Kim and Gilley, I still feel they did more for me. I was in rough emotional shape after losing my beloved Chihuahua Sophia in the move.



I found Sophia a great home BTW as you see here. Sophia was my constant companion for 2 years and she's more famous than me in Hollywood having starred in a film I made called ZACK'S MACHINE with the great Ed Asner that's been to 8 festivals.



Kim and Gilley truly cheered me up after the loss of my home and dog. They were an anchor in the storm. And though I'll miss them both, as I write with a sad smile on my face, I know I'll be OK and I am looking forward to discovering who my new roomies in Hollywood will be!

And here's why I'm staying in LA and ain't going back to Chicago. Not until summer anyways.