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 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


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



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, 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 ; 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: