Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Birthday Boy

HASANI G.

Today marks the 36th birthday of a new friend!  He's talented beyond description and has soooooooooo much love to give.  I wish him the very best life has to offer.  Because he deserves it.  I just hope & pray his attitude and outlook on life---HIS life---soon rises to the grand heights of his talent level.  I respect him.  I see him.  I hear him.  I appreciate him.  And I do honestly believe he realizes such. --- Happy Birthday, Hasani G!!!!!!!

FADE IN:

While working The SAG Awards After Party last Sunday I got an idea for a screenplay.  I told myself as soon as I got home from the party, I'd open up Final Draft and write something.  Well, I've written the title of the script.  Now, I've gotta write the opening scene.  I think I'm gonna use an actual situation from the party as my opening scene.  It'll set the tone for the lead character's displeasure with the status quo of his life.  Which, in all honesty, is the status quo of MY life!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tired Tail

Elijah Kelley
Elijah Kelley in Red Tails

Last night I went back to see RED TAILS.  My friend, Chris, wanted to see it and offered to pay, so I didn't bother to tell him I've already seen it.  Well, I saw most of it last night, too.  That is, when I wasn't taking a cat nap.  Yes, I was pooped.  I had worked earlier, setting up the After-Party for tonight's SAG Awards.  I'll go back later tonight to actually work the party. --- Anyway, I've just gotta say again how incredibly talented I think the young actor, ELIJAH KELLEY, is!  I mean it.  The young man has such screen presence.  He might be 5 feet nothin', but his talent and charisma are through the damn roof!!!!!

Friday, January 27, 2012

And It Feels Good

It's 5:30 PM and I'm about to go look for somethin' to eat.  Lord knows I love me some food!  Because I have an elevated cholesterol, I have to watch what I eat.  So, that means no Pizza Hut or fried chicken.  But this ol' dude is gonna find SOMETHIN'!!!!  If I was back at home in NYC, I'd have to hop a train to Fairfield, CT so I could break bread with my homie, Madeline!!!  She and I love food!  Just love it!  Especially bread!!!!!!  Forget about fancy, sports cars and designer clothes.  My idea of the good life is spelled F-O-O-D!!!!!!!

I Just Wanna...

Awakened with a nosebleed.  This is the third one within the past couple months.  I'm not 100% sure what that's about, but I've always stopped them very shortly after they started.  Right now, I'm just sitting and resting.  And, despite the nosebleeds, I just wanna say, thank you, Lord, for allowing me to be here.  Thank you.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Less Than Infinite

I am 48 yrs old.  I don't suspect I have another 48 yrs on the other side.  Thus, I'm in a tailspin, trying to figure out what it is I truly love doing.  Wait a minute!  I know what I love.  But believing I can earn a living DOING it is the hurdle I need to clear.  Every day I go to my Facebook page, someone has posted a message to believe in yourself.  My pastor.  Friends.  Acquaintances.  Everybody has a message along those lines.  But NONE of those messages provide a step-by-step means of accomplishing that task.  So, I have to sit still.  In silence. And think about how to achieve that elusive goal.  I know I'm intelligent.  I know I'm thoughtful.  I know how to set a goal and map out the steps toward achieving it.  However, what I know I know I'm second-guessing!  What the hell!!!  And time is of the essence.  I don't have an infinite amount of time to keep messin' around with this foolishness.  Over the years I've spread myself thin.  One day I'm a sitcom writer.  Then another I'm an actor or a voice-over artist or a talent manager or a screenplay writer.  Geez!  No wonder nothing has popped off just yet, 'cause I've given my time to everything and its mama, instead of simply zeroing in on ONE thing and blowing it up!!!!  Yes, I talked about Tyler Perry telling "me" to focus on one thing.  And, I know he's right.  So, today, Thursday, January 26th, 2012, I'm declaring ONE avenue to travel.  Pushing my energies down ONE path.  I want desperately to be in a position to pay for a glorious, 50th birthday dinner here in L.A and back in Indiana.  That's only a little over a year and a half away. --- Dear God, I know I have what it takes to live the life I want.  So, please, please, please help me align myself with my destiny.  'Cause, truth be told, I've been deviating from its path for far too long.  And that HAS to stop!  'Cause I only have a FINITE amount of time left.  And I wanna spend that time LIVING & LOVING at the HIGHEST level I'm DESTINED to!!!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

That's What He Said

Yesterday, I stumbled across a short, webcam video Tyler Perry posted to his Facebook page.  I tried to figure out how to "borrow" it from his page and place it onto this post.  However, I am not technologically advanced enough to know how to do that.  So, I'll simply have to tell you what moved me most about the video.  The crux of the posting was him answering the question, "How did you make it?"  His simple answer was, "The grace of God."  Simple as that.  He used the analogy that he planted a seed and constantly watered it until the grace of God made his seed grow.  He said focus on one thing instead of spreading yourself all over the place.  Make that one thing grow and, once it has grown, other things will follow.  I needed to hear that.  I need to DO that.  I have written screenplays, written tv scripts, acted, done the talent manager thing, and a few other things.  I've  never narrowed my focus to one idea and directed all my energy toward it.  Thus, I am still searching for professional fulfillment.  One of my friends, Greg Phelan, has always told me I'd be great as a talk show host of some kind.  Heck, tons of people have told me that over the years.  And I know I'd  love the work because talking to new people comes as naturally to me as breathing.  Anyway, I've gotta make a decision about where all my focus will go so that I accomplish at least ONE, professional goal before God calls my number.  Thank you, Tyler Perry, for that video.  Oh, how I wish I could repost the darn thing here!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gun Hill Road

HARMONY SANTANA

I just returned from attending a screening of an excellent film: GUN  HILL ROAD. The screening was in conjunction with the Film Independent Spirit Awards.  I had seen the trailer for the movie last summer or so and could tell it was indeed a film I'd want to see.  The story revolves around the homecoming of an ex-con to a wife who had found someone new and a teenage son who longed to be a teenage daughter.  Needless to say, the ex-con and his son don't quite see eye to eye.  

Esai Morales, as the father, infuses his role with emotional depth that I know measures a hundred feet deep!  I felt for this man on soooo many levels.  Even when he wasn't making the wisest decisions I rooted for him.  Judy Reyes, of SCRUBS fame, portrayed the committed wife of the ex-con and the lovingly understanding mother of the effeminate son.  Now, that brings us to the son.  Whoa!!  Newcomer, HARMONY SANTANA, who is an actual, transgender woman, brought a tender, yet in-your-face reality to her character that I truly doubt even the greatest biological, female actress could muster.  And, yes, that includes the mighty Meryl Streep.  Although I'd love to see Meryl take a whack at it.  All in all, this film, along with PARIAH, are my two, favorite films of the year thus far.  I might even have to break down and buy myself a copy of both!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Playa And Wifey

LEON WALKER

It's FINALLY here!!!!!  The new web series, PLAYA AND WIFEY!!!  Conceived, written and directed by multi-hyphenate, LEON WALKER, this web series infuses a breath of fresh air (and sorely lacking, rich, milk chocolate) to the rom-com genre.  Co-starring the vivacious DAFFANY MCGARAY CLARK, this new series is MUST-SEE YouTube!!!!  Check out Episode #1 below! - All photos by Natalie Young Photography

CAMP

I was just surfing around on YouTube (my favorite past time) and came across a song from a little movie I rented several years ago:  CAMP.  I just knew I'd love the movie because I'm a frustrated actor/singer deep down.  And because I truly relate to the misfits who usually comprise high school, drama and glee clubs.  This particular song came at a point in the movie when the lead vocalist just couldn't take any more of her dad's meddling in her life.  I wish I had the courage when I was that age to tell my mother I was gonna live my life the way I wanted to.  Oh well, can't cry over spilled milk at this point.  So, I'll just sit back and enjoy this song again.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I STILL Have A Dream

Although his birthday was actually yesterday, today is the day this nation celebrates it.  Yes, admittedly, people who look like me have come a long way since Dr. King's death.  But...unfortunately...some things are still very much the same.  Thus, I STILL cling to his dream.  And I STILL hope it one day comes to pass!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Car From Hell

One of my friends has had a white, convertible Chrysler Sebring that really looked great when he bought it.  He was soooo happy and felt so proud when he drove it off the lot.  Now, some four years later, the car has turned out to be the car from hell!  And I mean, from a hot, fiery hell!  Since he bought it, only God knows how much money he's spent on parking tickets, traffic tickets, collision repair, maintenance repair, theft and vandalism (remember, it's a convertible with a rag top that folks seem to enjoy slashing).  His mother has paid some of his tickets because he couldn't.  Well, a couple of days ago he was pulled over by a policeman for changing lanes a couple of times without using his blinkers.  Turns out he couldn't use his left blinker even if he wanted to because it doesn't work.  When the policeman ran his driver's license, he informed my friend that his driver's license was suspended.  Uh, oh!  The policeman then handcuffed my friend and stuck him in the back of his cruiser.  He had the car impounded.  He told my friend whatever he told him, then uncuffed him and released him. --- My friend has told me that DMV has told him they can't get to his suspended license case till AUGUST!!!!  And his car can't be released UNTIL his driver's license is current.  Uh, oh!  My friend called me today and told me that it would cost him $9,000 to get the car back in August.  The car ISN'T worth $9K.  As far as I'm concerned, I'd simply let it go.  I know he's terribly upset that he's contractually bound to pay the bank until he's paid off his loan---regardless whether or not he has the car in his possession.  My heart aches for him.  But, at some point, I hope he sits alone somewhere and asks himself, "What part do I play in this situation?"  Better yet, I hope & pray he ANSWERS that question.  Honestly.  God bless him.

Friend To Friend

These past, few days have been a celebration of friendship.  My dear friend, SMERALDA ABEL, flew into L.A. to tie up some loose ends left behind when she moved back to NYC almost three years ago.  We got together Wed, Thurs. and Friday.  It was as if we hadn't skipped a beat.  We walked the mountains in Griffith Park and fed our faces at Bob's Big Boy.  I took her to my new fave, Happy Hour joint, The Well.  We talked and talked and talked.  Last night, I even went up to her hotel room and hung out for an hour or so before she kicked me out to get some sleep before her early flight this morning.  All in all, her visit was truly a godsend.  I've already received word from her that she has arrived safely back to NYC.  Before year's end, I just have to go back to NYC for a much overdue visit.  There are a few ol' gals I wanna visit when I get there! --- Whatever becomes of our lives in the days, months, years to come, I hope & pray Smeralda and I remain in good health, sound mind and optimistic spirit.  I wish that for every person I know/will know/encounter!  Amen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Out Of Character

A video has recently surfaced of what appears to be American marines urinating on deceased Taliban members in Afghanistan.  The U.S. Marine Corps has said it will investigate the video's authenticity.  If it turns out that the video is legit, all I have to say is, it speaks volumes about the character of the soldiers.  And, according, to a commenter on YouTube, about the character of the folks who sent these young men to Afghanistan in the first place! --- Read about the video HERE.  And check it out below.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Simon Says...

I have yet to put one word down on paper toward the completion of my second, children's book.  I've been telling myself I'd start writing since a week or so ago.  If I wanna get it written, there's only ONE thing I can do!!!!  And NOBODY says it better than terrific writer, BRIAN DURKIN.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Roll Call


I checked out a one-man show earlier today that a friendly acquaintance, AARON BRAXTON, wrote & starred in:  DID YOU DO YOUR HOMEWORK?  The show offered a glimpse into the psyche of a substitute teacher in an urban school and his love/hate relationship with teaching there.  Aaron portrayed the substitute teacher, the sassy students and a couple of their "interesting" parents, too.  I enjoyed the show and wish him continued success with it.  If you're in Los Angeles, performance dates and times for the show can be found HERE!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Talent On Top

Somebody posted the video below onto Facebook and that's where I found it!  Since then, I have reposted it to everybody and their mama!  Honestly, nothing makes me feel happier to be alive than listening to a singer whose voice sounds as if God is talking directly to ME!  Heck, I won't even attend a particular church more than once if I don't love the music ministry.  I don't have to hear one word from a pastor if I love the church's choir.  Well, I'm saying all this to say that SYESHA MERCADO, who was the third place finalist in the seventh season of American Idol, has got me trippin' over here whenever I listen to her in this video!  I mean, she's just sittin' in a dressing room with her background singers, rehearsing before she sings at some function.  What I hear on this video is living proof that if you've got the goods, you don't need flashy lights, flashy costumes or even instrumental accompaniment.  All you need is a VOICE!!!  And boy, oh boy, does Syesha have a VOICE!!!  ENJOY!!!!!  And, you're welcome!  :) :)

Don't Believe The Hype

When I was a preteen and teenager, I was a hypochondriac to the Nth degree.  Every headache was the telltale symptom of a life-threatening tumor.  Every nosebleed signified major, blood loss.  My poor mother got so tired of hearing me go on & on about how I was near death.  Well, here I am thirty years after my teen years and I've discovered something that may not be life-threatening, but is still cause for concern.  I noticed blood in my stool two nights ago.  It was bright red which, according to the trusty internet, might indicate that there might be hemorrhoids or piles (I think they're the same), caused by constipation.  I know, T.M.I.  Being the man I am, I immediately called The Beverly Hills Cancer Center and left a message for an appointment for their free colon and prostate cancer screenings.  If I don't receive a callback sooner rather than later, I'll take a trip over to the center or to The Saban Free Clinic (where I usually go).  I hope and pray it's nothing serious, but I can't let it go unchecked because that's what Tammy Faye Bakker did and wound up dying from colon cancer.  --- I did indeed have an apple today, but I don't think that accounted for anything more than just having a tasty apple.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dear God...

ALVESTER

I haven't thought about helping a singer build his career since my SCOTT PEOPLE days!  Oh, how I wanted to move the heavens and earth to get Scott's incredible voice into the public's consciousness.  We accomplished what we accomplished, then we quietly parted ways and that was that.  Well, here it is January 2012 and I'm gettin' that hankering to help another vocalist:  ALVESTER.  He seems to have everything going for him.  A great look.  A good voice.  And he can dance!  The only other piece to the puzzle he's in dire need of is someone to push for him.  The performer can't do it all himself.  A part of me wants to do whatever I can do to lead him to "The Promised Land."  But, the other part of me---the LOUDEST part---isn't sure I want to expend so much time and energy toward doing what's necessary to make him a bankable, international star!  'Cause it takes damn near EVERY, WAKING HOUR!!! --- Well, I'm gonna take this situation to the Lord in prayer.  Before too long I'll know what to do.
---Photographs of Alvester Martin by Natalie Young.  

Today Is...?????

I've been goin' about my day---ALL day---thinkin' today is THURSDAY!!!!  I actually set up a meeting for Thursday, January 5th, and WENT to it today!  You wanna know what's even funnier?  The person I set up the meeting with SHOWED up!!!  I don't know how, but he thought our meeting was today, too!  Whew!  I tell you, when you don't have specific things to do each day, remembering which day is which ain't so easy.  The fact we both showed up must mean something.  I'm gonna sit quietly tonight and let God tell me what it means.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Call Me

HERE are 10 facts about phone numbers I've NEVER, EVER thought of.  EVER!  But they sure are interesting to know!!!  :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Phenomenal Man Is He

TAYLOR HAMILTON

Discard any thoughts that there are six degrees of separation.  'Cause, truth be told, I believe there are, at most, TWO!  And let me tell you how I've come to this conclusion:  On New Year's day I went to a home in Beverly Hills for a luncheon. Since I was the only black person there (I just know that was her reasoning), the party hostess told me about driving by her old house in L.A. on Christmas day and seeing two, young black men in the front yard.  She told me that she and her daughter stopped and approached the young men and asked if they could see what the house looked like now.   When she said, "They were a nice, African-American family named, Hamilton," I asked, "Was one of the young men named, Taylor? His mom, Bonnie?"  The party hostess was shocked! She said, "Yes! Do you know them?"  I then went on to tell her how I know of the family.  I met them when I used to work the parties hosted by Pauletta & Denzel Washington in their lovely home.  She and her daughter were absolutely floored!!!  They went on to tell me that Mr. Hamilton had, for a while, filled the same job at Universal as their husband/father.  I tell you, the notion that there are six degrees of separation is a farce!  There's more like ONE!  At most, two! Haa! --- Well, all that talk about the Hamiltons made me want to find out what the older son, TAYLOR HAMILTON, was up to.  When I first met him at the Washingtons' home, he was probably sixteen or seventeen years old.  I was instantly intrigued by his intellect, maturity and graciousness.  As soon as I returned home, I googled him.  And, boy, oh, boy did I stumble upon oodles & oodles of INSPIRATION.  I discovered he has his own website. And that he shoots really interesting videos.  One video, in particular, sums up this young man's incredible life much better than I can describe it.   I've embedded it below. The video also inspires a man old enough to be his dad (that would be ME) to live more DARINGLY and with MORE PURPOSE! --- As the new year has begun, I deem it DIVINE INTERVENTION that reintroduced me to the phenomenal young boy who is now an even MORE PHENOMENAL, YOUNG MAN.  Honestly, if I were his dad, I'd feel HONORED & PROUDER THAN PROUD to call him my son. I know he's human, therefore fallible, but his existence on this planet is assuredly not to simply occupy space.  He has something to say and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the way he goes about saying & doing it. God bless him.
Center of Passion from Taylor Hamilton on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy Happy New Year!!!!

I cancelled my plan to ring in the new year at West Angeles Church Of God & Christ.  Instead, I ushered in the new year in the lovely home of my dear friend, Chris, and his wife, Julie.  Chris cooked up a storm and our glasses were filled and oftentimes refilled with bubbly!!  Everybody laughed and talked and ate and ate some more!  Honestly, it was a terrific evening.  I'm glad I spent the evening with people who genuinely adore me.  Yes, I'm sure I would've had a nice time at church, too, but, truth be told, the people in the church DON'T adore me.  And that's because 99.9% of them don't KNOW me.  I wanted to be where I'm known.  And adored!!  I mentioned that before, right?  Haaa!  --- Well, 2012 IS gonna be the year I embrace professional fulfillment, working as a tv host, voice-over artist and film writer!  You hear me???  It CAN be done!  2012 will also mark the year I purchase my first home!  Again...it CAN be done! --- I hope & pray that 2012 will see me LIVING, LOVING & GIVING MORE.  --- I pray for everyone and everything.  Amen.