The Shack

Just finished reading “The Shack”, by Wm Paul Young. I don’t pretend to be a literary critic. I just like to read. It took me a while to get through it. It isn’t a particularly difficult read. I just had a lot of things going on that made it hard to do this in one stretch. It was a moving book that had me weeping as I read one day on a Metro bus. I decided then and there that I shouldn’t read it in public. We had a pastor who used to say “God’ll mess you up!” I can say that this book messed me up.
I’m not going to write here what the book was about, aside from the very general. It’s about overcoming tragedy; about healing and forgiveness. It’s about changing our notions of what relationship means.
It’s a book that has generated controversy in some circles. It messes with some of our Western traditions. Some from the more religious persuasions might not feel comfortable with how God is portrayed. To those, I can only say, It’s a novel. To some, who believe that the God of the Judeo-Christian world is merely a fairy tale, I say, okay. Read it as a fairy tale. To those who are seeking after things spiritual, I say this is a spiritual odyssey. Give it a look.
To those who would like to view the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in a fresh way, read The Shack.

Will Act for Food

bw vine wgreen copyA friend of mine cast me in a film that he’s making. I’ve been in three of the four shorts that he’s done so far. This is by far his most ambitious project, being his first feature length work. We just shot my scene last night. The film is called Hollow, and deals with the sex trades, and some of their consequences. I play Ivan Gorski, a Russian, who produces porn vids for the web. Pretty sleazy, but a fun character to play. It’s only one scene. In and out in one evening.

It isn’t a low budget film, but a no budget. Needless to say there’s no pay, but I’m happy to be a part of the project. In the scene, Ivan is drinking shots of vodka. It’s easy to stage vodka, since the color doesn’t matter, all you need is a tap. After several takes, I think my kidneys were well flushed. So in addition to all the water I could drink, someone brought a tin of cookies, and there was a bag of carrots. Not to mention the homemade biscotti, the night before at rehearsal.( I could easily put on 30 pounds if I were around them on a daily basis.)

I was a wino in Chris' last project, "The Sword"

I was a wino in Chris' last project, "The Sword"

Director Chris Corey is developing quite the ensenble to draw on for cast and crew. It’s fun watching Vine Media Group grow from a vision to reality.  I’m not sure when the premiere will be, but I’ll keep you posted. See ya on the red carpet.

Previous projects of Chris’ that I’ve been involved with include:

Baggage, which is based on a sketch that I wrote

Super Hero

The Sword

Visit: The Sword Theatrical Trailer to see the trailer for “The Sword”

What Movies Make You Cry?

Filmmakers have a goal. “Of course” you say. “They want to make money”

Well, yes that’s true. But the non commercial goal is to emotionally affect us. If a film is unable to elicit excitement, amusement, sadness, anger, joy, or fear, it doesn’t seem worth the time or expense to see it. Many of these emotions can produce visible or audible reactions; laughter, screams, gasps, or tears. I love laughing out loud at a rollicking comedy. I remember seeing “Aliens” in the theater with a group of friends. The last 30-40 minutes was so intense, that I think I got an aerobic workout from the rate of my heart.

Some movies are tear jerkers. That is, they elicit such emotion as to bring tears to ones eyes. Sometimes they are tears of sadness, sometimes tears of joy. When I was in high school there was a field trip to see Zefferelli’s “Romeo and Juliet”. This was not a highlight for us macho guys. The girls on the other hand cried their eyes out. We mocked them severely. Guys didn’t cry. (at least not in public).

Well, I’m here to publicly confess that, the older I get, the more movies are able to make me cry. Okay, there. I said it. Sometimes I cry at movies. I don’t think I’m the only one. Yeah guys, I know you’re out there too. My wife sometime mocks me. She looks over at me to see it I’m tearing up at a particularly emotional scene.

What can I say? I’m an emotional guy. I remember the first movie that did me in. “Old Yeller”. I was four years old, and my parents took me to the movie theater to see it. Needless to say, I made a spectacle of myself when Old Yeller was going to have to be put down because of rabies. “Don’t shoot him! Don’t shoot him!” I screamed, in the crowded theater. My parents were a little bit embarrassed, but my mom probably cried too. That’s the last time I remember crying at a movie until I was well into my thirties. It might have been sooner than that but I’m not sure.

Sometimes I’ll merely get a lump in my throat. Other times, tears will start to form. On occasion, (Usually when I’m alone) I’ll bawl like a baby.

Sometimes a film will trigger an emotion in me that’s related to my past. “Field of Dreams” usually gets to me when Ray Kinsella asks his dad if he wants to play catch. I think that has affected me more since my dad has been gone. Another scene that gets me is in “Braveheart”. It’s When

young Murron hands young William Wallace a thistle at his father’s funeral.
A tear trickles down his cheek. That one always gets me. “The Color Purple” has the scene of Shug Avery marching from the juke joint into the church as the choir is singing “God’s Tryin’ to Tell You Something”. It is such a redemptive scene. I just love it.

There have been films that illustrate suffering to the point that I realize I’ve never begun to suffer. Two dealing with apartheid in South Africa, “The Power of One”, and “Cry Freedom”, ripped my heart to shreds. “Schindlers List” did the same. It’s a good thing I never saw them in a theater.

What movies make you cry? C’mon guys, fess up! You know some of them have gotten to ya.

A Conversation With Jason Earls

I had the opportunity to sit down with local comedian, Jason Earls. This is the podcast of the conversation.

A Conversation With Jason Earls

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Well, here we are; another year. 2009 sounds strange. A new year always has sounded weird to me. We’ve spent a year saying 2008, and now with the tick of a clock, we’re no longer in that year. I’ve done well the past few years not writing the wrong year on checks.
Today was a total vegetate day. It’s Jean’s birthday today, and we spent it in a state of semi-concsiousness in front of some bowl games.

I’ll be hitting the South Beach diet trail again after two months of reckless indifference toward what I’ve been eating. Oh yeah exercise too. Mid January, My step-mom, Alice will be celebrating her 90th Birthday. We’ll join her down in Mesa Arizona.
Right now, I’m focused on this weekend’s Saturday Night Life. After not having a show in December due to The Joy to the Children production, I expected to have it all together. Yeah right!
January also marks something new for Anastasis Theater. Beginning the 23rd of this month we will be doing a TGIF show at the Corridor, in SeaTac, on the 4th Friday of the month. This will be a unique blend of music, comedy, and drama that will bring a smile to your lips, a tear to your eye, and bounce to your step.


It’ll be a good year.

We Made It!

We’ve made it past another Christmas. I’m immensely grateful that I did not have to work on the 26th. Christmas day is never a particularly restful day for us. It was a fun day, but we’re always shopping right up to the wire, and this year has been no exception. Jean was sick the whole week before, and then we were blessed with the “Winter Wonderland” that made getting out to the stores pretty dicey. We spent the day with kids and grandkids. That’s usually a wild time. It was a joyous day, but it’s good to be on the other side of it.

I love Christmas, but I’m weary of the stress we put on ourselves to follow the tradition of buying, and “celebrating”. We go nuts making sure that we find that gift. In the malls you see a barely contained state of panic in the faces of parents and grandparents. They have a list, and this list drives them into a state of frenzy. As much as I enjoy Christmas, and what it’s supposed to stand for, I’m always ready for it to be over, and look forward to New Year’s Day.

Several years ago I wrote a script dealing with the absurdity of Christmas shopping It’s called Ballistic Battlestar Bob. It’s Christmas Eve. Steve and Janet have invited another couple over for some Christmas cheer. Steve, however hasn’t returned from last minute “Panic Shopping”.


The full script may be accessed here: Ballistic Battlestar Bob