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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Monday, December 14, 2015

2015's HOLIDAY CARD REVEALED!!!

I'm very excited and proud to reveal the official image for my 2015 Holiday card!!

As you know, this is a yearly tradition that I always look forward to!  This year's image makes the holiday tradition eight years old!!  Eight images (well, technically more counting alternate shots), and eight years in total!!
As in previous years, I am so happy with the end results and appreciative of all of the hard work that went into this year's card!
I want to thank all the talented individuals who helped me create my iconic moment from Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol!  Special thanks to Photographer, Paul Webster, who was my photographer this year! Please see the entire team's details and names below!

Be sure to also check out http://www.getpaulhoward.com/marley/ for more holiday magic (and additional images)!!

Happy Holidays!  Hoping that you are visited with JOY & MAGIC in 2016!!

Paul

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THIS YEAR'S TEAM:

**LINKS**

Photographer:
http://www.paul-webster.co.uk/

MUA:
https://www.facebook.com/jules.roman.SFX/

Hair/Wig:
http://www.wigsandmakeup.co.uk/

Special Thanks:
http://ez-productions.com/
http://laurabasci.com/
http://www.garethfient.com/
http://www.largerthanlifestagewear.co.uk/

And for those of you who want to see more of Marley's origins...

Saturday, December 12, 2015

3000!

Christmas Visitations has been out for just over 2 weeks and we just passed another milestone....
3000 views of our film on YouTube!!

It really is a HAPPY holidays!  Thank you to everyone supporting the film by watching and sharing!  And if you haven't watched it yet, or shared it... now is the time!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Paul

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Holiday Card Edition!

Well it's December, and if I'm going to be doing any Throwbacks (#tbt) I figured they should all be HOLIDAY THEMED!  So, this throwback Thursday is dedicated to my holiday card tradition!

Can you believe it?
2015 will be the eighth year of my Holiday card tradition!  EIGHT YEARS!  How time flies!!  You can see ALL of my official Holiday Card images below, in chronological order, from the first year to the most recent.  In addition, just for you blog readers, I have even included a "clue" image for THIS YEAR'S card! Just a little sneak/tease.  See below!

Speaking of, I'm so excited to be revealing this year's image...soon...in the next week or so!  You know the drill, I have to first get the hard copy versions mailed out, THEN I can reveal online!! 
So if you are "on the list" or if you were one of the Christmas Visitations backers who signed up for the Holiday Card Reward, watch your mailboxes for some holiday magic very soon!!

This year's holiday card will ALSO come with an "online portion" just like last year's Blue Christmas did!!  I'll be releasing the link when I release the image!

Thank you for being a part of my world.  A very HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and to your loved ones!

Paul

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Find the ONLINE portion for Blue Christmas here: http://getpaulhoward.com/blue

AND THIS YEARS IMAGE IS STILL... COMING SOON. In the meantime, your tease:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Visitations, of the Christmas kind.

November 25th, 2015

Exactly two years to the day, that I premiered my first holiday short film, Everything Twas, I am excited... no, actually, I'm overjoyed to premiere my new holiday short film, Christmas Visitations! I'm so proud of the film and all involved! Truly!

Thank you to all the cast and crew and to our kickstarter backers who helped make this film a reality!! You all are... AMAZING!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

*Remember to help spread the word about Christmas Visitations by sharing and liking and commenting!

Paul

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