Monday, April 25, 2016

Deeply Personal

I have to be honest, it's a bit surreal and very strange to share this. Something so personal, so DEEPLY personal.
Ultimately, I have to share it though. No other option because the possible benefits far outweigh my personal fears of being exposed.
It is my belief that as others read and eventually share this article we will be sending out a life preserver to those hidden or completely forgotten victims. Children who grew into adults alone and filled with shame. This lifeline giving them a new voice, giving them closure, and finally giving them a community that understands and relates to them, after feeling so utterly alone for so long.
My other hope, is that by sharing my personal traumas I will help to bring awareness, understanding, and that I will educate others…. encouraging others to share.
The laws must be changed.
Our children must be prioritized and protected.
To abuse a child is not the worst thing we can do to them. No.
To neglect and ignore and allow them to carry their shame alone, that is the greatest injustice inflicted on a victim.
Please help me to start somewhere, to stop these injustices by sharing and spreading awareness.
Thank you.

Sacramento Bee Article

Paul

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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Democratic, Republican, Pizza...

Which Party do YOU affiliate with?


Regardless of your answer, I'm hoping you'll take a few minutes (4:45 to be exact) to check out my new project, "Feeling the Bern?!?" that was just released to YouTube Saturday and already has over 800 views!
The video really has got something for everyone... Fun, Facts, and a whole lot of PAULITICS!

And who doesn't need a bit of that in their life?
See FEELING THE BERN?!? now by clicking HERE!!

And thanks for your vote... I mean, support....

Paul

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Things change...

Sometimes, when you do promotion for a television show BEFORE the pilot has been shot or completed... things end up changing.  This was the case with UNDERGROUND (premiering tonight on WGN).  Sony hired @ez-productions to do a publicity shoot of the entire cast, with photographer Justin Stephens that would be used to create artwork to promote the show.  At this point absolutely nothing for the series had been shot yet.  In fact, part of the coordination for EZ Productions was coordinating around hair and makeup tests for the talent.
Case in point...The amazing and talented actor Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU) was originally envisioned as a long haired, gun slinger type seen in these behind the scenes photos.  This was changed and the wig was lost.
Which meant... so was the photoshoot we did!  Ah well.  It happens, and at least we got to meet the talented cast!  I’m also really glad that at least a few behind the scenes photos survived so that I could share them with you all!  The shots really did turn out amazingly!
The series premieres TONIGHT on WGN America!!
Underground is a period drama series created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski about the Underground Railroad. Starring Aldis HodgeJurnee Smollett-BellChristopher Meloni, Alano Miller, Jessica De Gouw, Amirah Vann, Renwick Scott, Marc BlucasMykelti WilliamsonAdina PorterJohnny Ray GillPJ Marshall, Theodus Crane
On February 27, 2015, WGN America gave a 10-episode straight-to-series order for the series.  The show is filmed in Baton Rouge, LA.









Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hello! It's Throwback Thursday!

The short film/music video hybrid HELLO premiered on June 25th, 2014.  It was filmed in London (to look like New York City) earlier that year.
The project was directed and edited by Gareth Fient and besides myself starred Gemma Hepworth.

I've previously written about the project and it's deeper meaning and concept (you can check out that blog entry HERE) but for this Throwback Thursday I thought it would be fun to share some more behind the scenes photos of the cast and crew and chat a bit more about the direct influences on the project.

HELLO uses Lionel Richie's iconic eighties pop song of the same name and was a concept I had had in the back of my mind for a few years.  I was always struck by the lyrics and "saw" a completely different narrative then the romanic interlude that most hear in the song.  Lionel's own music video for the song, about a professor (or is he a high school teacher?  It's sometimes hard to tell) following, watching, late night calling and basically stalking a blind student only encouraged me and the version of the song I heard and saw in my mind.



One of the main influences for HELLO's style and concept interestingly come from another eighties-rific music video, George Michael's Father Figure.



Many may not know this fun fact, since the final version of George's Father Figure music video removed most of it, but the music video's original concept was conceived as George playing a taxi driver who doubles as an obsessed fan (stalker).





Originally George was seen following a successful New York fashion model, spying on her and basically going into full on stalking mode.  The audience would have seen George stalking the high fashion model that he beds and who's seen throughout the current version of the video.
The music video's final version only has a few remaining moments of this "stalker scenario" and they can easily pass for stylized "music video moments" but if you watch the video now, with this knowledge, I guarantee you'll clearly see what was originally planned.

In HELLO we see our lead guy stalk his prey, of course, but we also see him smoke and him hang black and white photos of his obsession on his bedroom wall. Both of which are also seen in Father Figure and pay direct tribute to the eighties music video.
Another connection to Father Figure is that we see the stalker, and his prey, as a couple, in happier times.  They laugh and cuddle and walk throughout the streets of New York talking and holding one another.  The audience can potential believe that they were once together.  But just like the Father Figure video this narrative is fuzzy and a bit unclear. Were they actually a couple?  Or is it in the men's imagination?  Is it all fantasy?  What is true and what is imagined?  The questions are never really fully answered.


Filming the short film/music video was a complete joy, the cast and crew amazing, and I'm truly so happy and proud of the final cut.

Please watch (or watch again) HELLO by clicking below and be sure to check out the behind the scenes pics I have included....

Happy Throwback Thursday!!


Paul

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Saturday, January 30, 2016

DEFINITION of an ARTIST

Something that DEFINES an artist, and in my opinion, separates them from the current cultural confusion of "social media popularity," "reality stars," and "famous" is a desire by the artist to use their ART in a very personal way, to tell very personal stories.
Sure, there is also a desire, in many cases, to entertain, but equally there is a desire to educate, to provoke or in the specific case of my short film/music video hybrid, boys become men, to use said art as a way to a deeper, PERSONAL understanding of my own feelings of my past, AND a cathartic release for the present and my eventual future. All the while, there is a hope that this deeply personal journey will also benefit others by inspiring and educating them!
I somehow doubt that is what Instagram or the Kardashian's, or reality shows strive for.
I'm VERY proud of this deeply personal and emotional FILM that has become all the more emotional and poignant for me with recent events and challenges in my life.
If you have a moment, I would LOVE for you to watch and then to hear your thoughts and feelings either here or via the comments section on YouTube!
Thank you for supporting my ART and for supporting ARTISTS.


Paul

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

2015's SHITSTORM. 2016's FRESH START. But first, I'm going public...



I love this gif!  Besides absolutely LOVING the TV show it comes from (Blunt Talk on Starz) I thought it was also the PERFECT way to express, in a sentence, what 2015 seemed to me. 

Well, to be fair, it at least expresses part of what 2015 was for me.

Let me try and explain by starting with today, January 5th, 2016.
Safely and finally in the new year!!

I type this, on a plane, according to the TV monitor in front of me, some 11,000 miles in the air.  I’m currently on a flight to Los Angeles, from Dublin, Ireland, where I spent about a week vacationing, celebrating a dear friend’s important birthday and generally ringing in the new year.  I share this information not to brag or to boast but to illustrate, a micro example of my year.
Happening at the same time, in about 30 minutes from when I write this, my family will be paying tribute in Sacramento, California to my recently deceased Grandmother, in a celebration of life. 

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend due to previously booked travel plans and commitments I feel would be wrong to break.  While I am comfortable with the choice, and my family understands, I feel a bit of sadness and guilt for not being there.  Not because I have any unresolved issues, quite the opposite, I know my Grandmother loved me, and I know she knew I loved her.  She was an amazing woman, who was flirty, and funny, and loving, and often had a mischievous sparkle in her eyes.  She was also a fighter, and fought off (and for a long time succeed) against a cancer that kills many, many less fortunate.

She was 90 years old.


As much as it pains us sometimes, it was her time.  I understand that, and now celebrate her and the many memories I have of her in life.
No, I do not feel sadness and guilt for my Grandmother, but for the simple fact that I cannot be there to support my family, the living who are understandably all at different points in the grieving stages.  My presence would not changed that, but may have at least added a level of comfort. 

But as many things in life, this was not meant to be.

My grandmother was not the first family death of 2015 either.  A month or so prior, my Uncle, who had been battling cancer successfully for many years was also suddenly taken from us.
And while I’m happy to report that my Father, who was diagnosed with cancer in late 2014 and received treatment for the first half of 2015, is now, cancer free, I would be lying if I said that the entire process was quite traumatizing and stressful.  Besides the initial shock, and fear, you begin to prepare for the worse.  I cried many a tears over the possible loss of my father.  Things don’t have to literally happen to effect us.  Knowing they could, or there is a chance, can do enough damage.

Another major event (or more accurately, events) happening in early 2015 (February) for me and continuing all the way through into this month (almost exactly a year!) I have been facing one of the most important and challenging events of my life.  I do not say that to be dramatic but instead to illustrate the seriousness to me and for me that these events have caused.  Events, that until now, I have never publicly shared.  Only very recently have I even told many family and friends about.

I am a survivor of child abuse.

I was violently, repeatedly, and cruelly abused for years (roughly 12 years) by my day care babysitter.  As were all the other children there.  A trauma that in itself is another abuse.  To be forced, as a child, to watch other children be hurt, taunted, and attacked fills my memories almost more then the tortures I personally endured.  All done by a cruel, and again, excuse my drama, evil woman who is still currently still being allowed to run a day care and babysit.
Before you become angry though or ask how that is possible, I am happy to report that last year she was investigated by the state and the multiple claims against her, have in fact been substantiated!  The only reason she is still able to run a daycare is because she is allowed to appeal the decision, which is her right.
Later this month, in a Sacramento hearing, I, and others will face her and share our stories and hopefully solidify the investigation against her and it’s findings and she will forever, finally be stopped.  I have prepared myself, that even if things don’t go my way, I am so thankful… no, grateful for the opportunity to tell my story publicly, to stand up and face the woman I have not seen in decades, and to finally shed the traumas of being a victim and fully own that I am a survivor.  Many never get this opportunity.  I am not naive of this fact.
That is another part of why I have chosen to finally share this all, publicly.  It is in the hopes of inspiring others, to come forward and to share!
It is also deeply selfish, this confession, in that it allows me to more completely shed the guilt and shame always (in my opinion) associated with abuse of this nature.

Which brings me back to the main reason I write this.  2015, with all of it’s very personal challenges, also had amazing opportunities, accomplishments, and successes.

I visited Japan for the first time and had amazing adventures there!  I created and independently released two very personal and very different films this year.  boys become men, my short film/music video hybrid and the period drama, holiday short film, Christmas Visitations.  Christmas Visitations which in just over a month is at almost 12,000 views on YouTube.  A cool accomplishment for many, and a career best for me so far!

I celebrated an eighth year of my holiday card tradition and I traveled all over the world, to Ireland, England, Canada, and a whole slew of places in the United States.  I worked on the Sony lot for weeks (where I first saw Blunt Talk before it’s release) and was involved with Lifetime photo shoots.  I auditioned and I worked.  I ran a successful Kickstarter campaign.  I directed and I produced.  I laughed, hard.  I cried, sometimes hard too.  I was challenged.  I was often brought to my knees by the loss, the pain, the memories of the past and it’s traumas but I also kept getting up.  Even when I didn’t feel it.  Even when I didn’t think I could.  Sometimes I didn’t know why, but I did.

I had the opportunity to work on many different projects in various capacities.  Learning, growing, and fine tuning my skills as an artist, an actor, a son, a friend, a writer, a human being.

Which is what I share with you.  Life can absolutely and completely be a shitstorm!  So much annoyance, so much drama, so much negativity, so much… shit.  But, life is also a gift.  A beautiful and precious and fleeting gift. 

That cliche, about the glass being half full or half empty.  It’s so true.  It’s so right.  We decide.  How much have we lost, how much do we have.

Through a fairly traumatic 2015, a year that I have to be honest, I didn’t feel “normal” or like myself for about 80% of, I am happy to report that in the end of and now the beginning of 2016 I feel like I’ve returned, renewed, and better.  Part of that is luck, and opportunity, and the randomness of life, but a lot of it is my choice. 

So 2015… you were a handful and to be completely honest, kind of sucked…often…but I survived.
 
2016, be warned, I am better and stronger and more prepared the ever.  The past is exactly that.  Gone.  Unchangeable.  The future?  Well, the future is a gift, one in which I fully intend to accept and celebrate.

Thank you for reading.  Thank you for being a part of my adventures and thank you for your support.

Happy New Year.  Wishing you JOY, SUCCESS, HEALTH, HAPPINESS, DREAMS, and the ACHIEVEMENT of those dreams!  
Celebrate life today.  

Celebrate life every day!

Paul

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Nearly (almost!) 12,000 views for Christmas Visitations!!

A very Happy Holidays to you my amazing followers and supporters!

I hope this finds everyone well, and hopefully mostly rested from the cascade of holiday events...
You know though.... There is one more event left.... and it's an important one!!!

Can we get Christmas Visitations to hit 12,000 views before NEW YEAR'S DAY?

We're sure going to try!  Help us hit another milestone before the end of 2015 by continuing to watch, comment, and of course SHARE our film NOW!

A very HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Wishing you success and health in 2016!

Paul

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