I Have a Heart-Shaped Box in Tetris

I used to be a real estate agent, like a billion years ago, or so it seems. I got out of the business, because I felt that I was too honest for the business. Anyway…today I’m at my desk at the studio, and I realized that I my desk was starting to look the way it did ten years ago, while in said profession.

My desk has always been in a moment of utter chaos. Papers are everywhere(kind of like my kid’s rooms), and I decided I needed to get my act together and organize. I guess my desk has always represented my mind, as in my thoughts are everywhere and I barely think in as  straight pattern. It usually ends up all over the place(kind of like when I play my iPod on long trips).

I don’t know if this is a sign that I’m finally reaching my journey to a respectable adulthood, or if I’m just finally trying to get my shit together(ask me in a couple of weeks for that verdict). Maybe it’s the fact that I’m taking my position as a writer and director far more serious than any job I ever had before. Part of my failure at real estate was that I wasn’t ready for that kind of responsibility at the time. It’s hard to live off of just commission when you’re a bit younger. There is something to be said about getting that check every week for sure.

Alas, I know that going this route isn’t going to make the pay checks any easier, but I’ve grown over the last decade and I’m ready to attempt to make my wealth on my own terms. Not that I’m really looking to get rich, but to have a decent life that my family can live comfortably and maybe send the kids to a higher learning institution.

This was just a quick thought for the day. This is the Director, and that’s a wrap.

Welcome to My Funeral, I Think I’ll Be Late.

Well, I guess that is an unusual title, but it’s more about mindset than actually dying…good God, I’m not ready for that, yet. I never tried hard in school when I was a kid, I always skated by with B’s and C’s. As long as I passed was all my parent’s worried about.  Too bad, that I didn’t take it upon myself to do better. I should have done better for me.

All I cared about was having fun, or at least between the time I wasn’t getting bullied or feeling lonely. I had more friends than I thought at the time, and I did okay. I just wanted to have fun and not worry about school. My, how things have changed though. Determination, maturity, and a bit of desperation are great motivators to get the ball rolling.

So the first change came about the time I was thirteen, it was February 29th, 1992. It was that extra day in the year that brought me more trouble than I was expecting. I had been rejected by a girl I liked and it bothered me. I was being a kid, who didn’t pay attention to any of the signs on a road that I traveled down most days on my bike. I ran a stop sign and was ran into by an oncoming truck. Being a kid, who needed a helmet and pads, right? Nothing ever touches a kid, right?

I hit the front end of the truck and roll up on the hood, when the truck stops, I fly about ten feet, yards, I’m not even sure, because I don’t remember any of it. I just pick up bits after I wake up from my comma. So, I fly and hit my head on the asphalt. I suffer from severe head trauma. Broken bones, oh so many broken bones, scares and asphalt embedded into my hand to remind me that I’m a stupid kid.

After about three weeks of a medicated comma, I ended up in rehab to get my abilities to do everything back.  I took a chunk out of my femur bone and had to have a steel rod put in place to help it heel, I had a cast on the right arm I broke, and my hip was broken in two places. I forgot to mention that it was on my right side. Thank God for that because I’m a lefty. Always about silver linings. The thing that changed about me the most, according to my parents, was that I had a major personality change. I used to be a softy at heart, and very emotional. I was a kind person. At least that’s the story, I’ve been told. Things went in the complete opposite direction for me after that.

I’m not saying that I became mean, though I can get that way(if you’ve been following along since the first blog, then you might have heard me mention being bullied a few times), but I was a bit tougher. I’m kind of a cynic, and I have a very crass sense of humor. Mom told me it was like I went to the dark side.

Over all, I like the person I am. I think it’s toughened me up for what this world really is, but I do care about people. I just don’t like to put up with bullshit. I don’t think most people do. Any way, to continue on….

I had to fight to get my grades back up. I had to relearn how to use the bathroom. All that fun stuff that comes out of rehab. I made it though. Some people where glad I came back to school, others not so much, but I was changed.

When your young, you tend not to appreciate the fight, and as I went to high school, I started slacking again, but I did graduate on the first try, even with a couple of close calls. Then I moved to California and took a year off, before I went back. Part of that reason was because my parent’s said that if I took a year off, I won’t go back, and surly I had to prove them wrong, I mean that is the kind of person I am.

I went to school, fell in love with two girls, at the same time, and I choose the wrong girl to marry, but I didn’t know that at the time. It was an interesting time in my life, and I’m far better from that situation as a person. Choosing the wrong mate, put me through a time of hell, and I ended up being a broken person because of it.  That was when the second girl I fell in love with came back into my life. I suffered PTSD from that first marriage, but Sarah came back into my life and saved me. It wasn’t long before we were pregnant, and then married. Second chances don’t come along often, but I was blessed with that.

After that situation took place, I went back to school, but just got burnt out. I crammed the last month of school into a week and a half because I got a job on the Disney film Holes(2003). I kept up with school for about a year more before I decided to just work and be a family man.

I had tried to do a few classes like pharmacy tech, and then an accountant, but I hadn’t found any of that satisfying, so I worked until my break down at work that took me on an extended vacation for seventeen months. During that time I was soul searching and trying to figure out what I wanted to do in life.  Learning that I needed to make the smart decisions and go for “real jobs”, but I never was satisfied with that either. About half way into my suspension from work, I decided to follow my dream and go to film school. By this time, I finally figured out that I was smart enough to do this and I felt that this was what I was meant to do.

Thank God for that, or I wouldn’t be sitting here blogging about my life, and the things I learned. I wouldn’t be here communicating and trying to build a name for myself. Every like, follow, and subscriber is a check in the win column for me. I love what I’m trying to build. I’ve never been more passionate, except about Superheroes and Star Wars, but I do really love what I’m working towards. I do love writing, and I’ve found my prose(google it). I think it works for me. I appreciate that I have a great group of supporters, and fans. Who would have ever thought?

Remember, I’m Chris Keeling, and I’m the Director, and if you like everything I do, like, subscribe, leave some words…. I like words. This is a wrap until next time folks.

 

 

Last Five, Did I Just Bite Off to Much?

So, this is seriously crunch time in school.  I started looking at everything that has to be done for this class, and I’m a little more then intimidated.  There is so much to get done, even though I thought that we were going to ease into this, I’m a bit nervous, and my script is a bit more than I think most would plan theirs to be.  With that being said, I’m confident in the team that I have…just a bit anxious to know where this might go.

To start off, I didn’t think that what I wrote would be too hard to do, but I find that needing a number of extras, and locations might present a challenge.  Again, I’m sure the team can handle it, but I’m feeling out of sorts at the moment and not as confident in myself.  I just have to bring my A game when it comes down to what we are going to be doing.

I have a couple of things that are going for me: One, all other projects are pretty much on hold until we are done with Nash Gray’s story, and two I’m expanding the crew on this.  At this time, I do have three people that I’m adding to this project. I have a friend and fellow Los Angeles Film School  offering his help, so I’ll take him up on that offer as a second camera man.  I have a friend who is interested in film school and I’ll try and use him in a grip position.  Finally, I have someone who not only has worked with me on stage, but as worked for me in Appreciate What You Got. I’m thankful that he’s willing to help me as a casting agent.

Tonight is just a night for a short thought, and I’m prepping for one hell of a ride.  This is Chris, the Director, and that’s a wrap.

Sixteen Years and How the Hell Is This Working?!?

So, yesterday was my sixteenth year being married to Sarah, and instead of the usual love note of how great I think she is, I think I’m going to reflect on the experience on how I survived the same person putting up with my mischievous ways. I hope this shows a how our bond works, and helps show others that it’s possible to do.

First on the list is communication, yes it’s cliche, but it’s also the truest fact in making anything work.  If you’re not going to talk about what bothers you, then how’s it going to get fixed?  All the bottled up feelings do is cause bitterness, and that’s not positive progress.  Honest communication is the only way to go.  If you don’t like something, say it. If you do like something also say it.  Too many people are negative in this world as it is.  Showing your partner that you appreciate the things they do, is a great way to say I love you.

Secondly, have a sense of humor. I realize this might sound strange to some people, but laughter is the best medicine and a great way to enjoy each others company.  Sarah will say that it’s my fault that she has all the laugh lines on her face, but I guess that’s what you get when you marry someone with a strong sense of humor.  Besides laughing’s always a fun time.

Third in this list is sex.  There is a bond between a couple who enjoy the physical contact that they share.  I’m not going into the science, but there are plenty of articles about the benefits in sex.  Yes, it feels good, and yes, it does help you relax, but it’s always great to bring you and your partner back together as one, maybe that’s why orgasm’s also referred as the big O? One, orgasm…something to ponder.

Now it gets to the more tricky parts of a union.  You’re going to fight, and do it many times throughout your journey, that’s just a fact, people have opinions, and sometimes those opinions are assholes about it.  At some point if you look at the arguments, you realize that most of the time, their over petty little things, but they do generate the most heat.  It’s the bigger fights that get concerning.  I know that there have been times that I’ve wanted to call it quits, but if you can endure the rough times, you can make it.

When being in a relationship as  long as I have, you really do get to know the person, and in my case, I know my wife, inside and out. Sad part is that isn’t even a cliche or a joke.  We went through some rough pregnancies together and I’ve seen her insides.  Ultra sounds, X-rays, you name it, and I’ve seen it.  I’m thankful that we made it through those times, and have two great children. They are a pain in the ass, but I love them regardless.

Speaking of children, this will move on to the next point.  You have a partnership, either marriage, civil, domestic, etc… and some times you have kids. When child rearing, you really need to be on the same page, or total chaos. Mom says no, dad says yes, then you have kids swinging from the ceiling fan in total anarchy.  Really, get on the same page, then the kids don’t get away with their evil ways, which also doesn’t lead by to my point from two paragraphs ago, about fighting.  And yes, there will be plenty arguments about the kids along the way.

A convenience that should be on the list of things you should have, two bathrooms.  I know that not everyone has that, as we don’t currently, but I live with three girls, and with my son and I, dude, we could use that extra bathroom.  With bathrooms, people also start to see the less pleasant habits of the partner.  The tooth paste being squeezed from the middle(you monster), hair in the sink, clothes strung everywhere, the list can go on.  I’ve learned to leave the toilet seat down after I’m done, as not to get into an argument.  It makes life easier to give that one to her that way.

I hope you’re finding things insightful, or at least entertaining so far, because there is so much more to talk about, like responsibility.  When you have a relationship, mine being close to seventeen years together, you learn that the best way to work is to help each other. Build your partner up, support their passions, in the end they chose you to spend their lives with. I don’t know how the hell this woman, who is beautiful, supportive, caring, strong, and talented, would ever pick up this average, egotistical, loud, foul mouthed person to want to stick around for such a long amount of time.  She builds me up, and supports my crazy ideas.  I try to support her, but I faulter in my own arrogance.  I do try to support her. She like photography, and wants to do that for the rest of her life, and I try to support that.

The other ugly truth, nothing is equal.  Truth is, she has physical things that calls on her demand, remember the rough pregnancies?  They took a toll.  I have mental illness that also takes special demands.  Then we have kids that have their needs as well.  So nothing is equal, and you have to just except that.  Cliche- mother is care taker and father is disciplinarian. Where’s the equality in that? Mother stays home and takes care of the kids, and father works, where’s the equality in that?  Just except that having a relationship and family isn’t something that ends up being equal.  Sure there are times that the dynamic changes a little, but in my family, mom is needed for everything, and dad is the protector.

One more thing, that I forgot to mention earlier- if you find someone that you might want to possibly start a life with, don’t rush the family part.  Sarah and I got together, and Autumn wasn’t that far behind, so almost our whole relationship has been as parents. I wouldn’t change it, and to be honest, I’ve got the most awesome parents who’ve given us the chance to have time so that we can just be a couple. So, spend time being a couple, learn each other, see if that’s who you truly want to spend the rest of your life with. Once children come into play, everything changes. I know couples who rushed into the family part, and as the kids have grown up and moved out of the house, the parents don’t know how to be a couple.  That’s why communication, honesty, knowing that person is important for a successful relationship. While children are a blessing, they become the main focus while they are young, and sometimes people forget how to be a couple.

This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

 

A Step for Success.

I wasn’t confident at some point this week, and I started to doubt myself and my working with a great team, but alas, today showed that I’m going in the right direction.  I always found that I was my own worst enemy.  I doubt myself at times, but at least this time I over came it and presented my ideas for the project.  My clients liked what I had to present them, and I’m confident moving forward that my creative team can build something around the ideas presented.

I know the next thing I have to consider is how we want to structure the ideas and get a narration written for the project.  I’m also excited that they agreed to shooting on off hours so that I can have a bit more control over who appears on the camera.  That’s just another issue that I’m glad we can control.  I’ll have to assemble my team for this shoot, but I think that things will run smooth.

I’m loving the experience of trying something different than I’ve done, and I know that we’ll have to do a bit more research before finishing the treatment.  Just to make sure that we’ll have enough time before we decide to film.  I don’t think I can say that I’m excited enough times.

I’m trying to get my homework done before the weekend so that I can enjoy it fully, much like I did last weekend.  Father’s day is among us once again, and I can’t believe that I’ve had sixteen of these so far.  Time flies, and it’s incredible how much you realize this after parenthood.

I hope you have a good night, and find joy in the people around you.

Finding Experience

About five years ago, I was invited to a local writers club meeting by my father’s co-worker.  It was a day during December and the club was having a guess speaker, Ted Lange(imdb.com). Ted’s most known for his character on The Love Boat(1977), as the friendly bartender Issac Washington, and I really paid attention to what he said.  He was funny and personable, but his message was that he became a writer to give himself work.  He said that it was hard for a black man to break into the business and that’s why he became a writer.

I took that to heart, and as I write this tonight, I keep thinking that everything that I’ve been doing for the last several months, and more so now since my last months classes, is that I’m creating that experience.  I’m starting to grasp the concept of marketing myself on social media,  I’m learning programs that I will need to have experience in to get jobs in the field that I want to get work in.  So, that’s my advice to anybody frustrated in searching for work, or getting experience.  It might take time, but find a way to do it yourself.  We live in  world that doesn’t want to give most people a hand, and that’s why reading books, researching, and doing are the keys to getting the success that you want.

I remember not that long ago, that was my thought process, “how am I going to get another job without the experience they’re looking for?”  It’s a scary thought, but as I’ve grown in knowledge and determination,  I’ve discovered that there are ways too find a way to learn those skills.  A good start is looking online for classes, or workshops for gaining that knowledge.  Another thing is too look at the local employment agency.  They should be able to point you in the right direction.

I’m adventuring into the world of owning my own business, and I’m blessed with the people who are involved with the process. They will keep me grounded, and we work well together.  The scary part is that I know that there will be failure along the way, but that’s the other way to gain experience.  As I’ve seen stated in books, magazines, and various other places, failure is a teacher, and if you keep failing, you learn how to not fail as bad.  It’s also a great way to teach you what works and doesn’t work.

The best thing to do is be cautious, but don’t be afraid to succeed, and don’t let failure stop you either.  We as people tend to be our own harshest critics, and in general, we also get in the way of our own success.  I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I messed up something because I got into my own head, and had self doubts.  That’s why we tend to sabotage ourselves.

The other thing I have to say about this is do what makes you happy.  As cliche as it is, there is a reason for that.  I listened to everybody else for so long and I was miserable for doing what I was “supposed” to do and it almost cost me my life.  Wouldn’t you rather feel happy about chasing your dreams then be stuck in the same spot in life?  Yes, I won’t lie, it would be much easier to just do what I love and not be concerned about anything else, but I have a family to provide for, but I was given the motivation to prepare for a different life when opportunity came and gave me the chance to go for something I had want to do for most of my adult life, and most of my life in some way that, evolved into wanting to make movies.  Remember that survival is the most necessary part, but going for the dream is important too.  While it might seem crazy, the skills that I’m learning in film school, are things that I can apply to the “safe” jobs as well.  So there is a back up plan in place, and it would still involve what I want to do in life.

I will leave a final note before this thought train leaves the station:  Be kind to each other, there are too many negative energies out there wanting to bring you down.  they want people to be down on their levels and can’t stand other people’s success.  Don’t add to that problem.  Try to be positive, and keep that mentality.  If you wake up and look in the mirror in the morning, tell yourself that you’ll have a good day.  Positive affirmations work far better than I ever thought, and it generally keeps me going in a positive direction.

 

Collegium

I am an active member in the Society of Creative Anachronisms, and I’ve been “playing” with my family in the middle ages for the last three years.  Due to my situation in life at this time, I haven’t been as dedicated to certain aspects of it as I did in the beginning.  Being busy with school mostly, has put many aspects of my life on the back burner, but has I near graduation, I’m trying to add parts of those aspects back in little by little.

While I still do local events in our barony of Naevehjem,  I’ve always been one to help set up tents and assist where I can to get the day’s activities going.  Besides our March Melee, Baronial Barbecue, and our anniversary Frost Dragon,  our first out of town event was Great Western War of 2015.  I enjoyed seeing the various people in their garb, and going out to the fields to watch the mock battles that take place.  The best part is seeing the fellowship and great bonds that are formed over this little hobby.

When we joined, my wife ended up becoming the Youth Point officer and has done a tremendous job within the SCA.  I started out as a field herald, as I like to talk in front of people.  I enjoyed this for a while but wanted to turn my attention to other things.  One of those things was the baronial web right.  That means that I would be in charge of the online portion of running the barony for the kingdom of Caid(Ki-eed).  I took the position as something that I wanted to learn and add to my marketable skill set.  I’ve been slowly doing so, and I will hope to get the update completed soon.

My wife’s gained a reputation as youth officer, and last year she was asked to do Youth Point for our neighboring Barony Dun Or,  so that was the second official Kingdom out of town event we started going too.  She’s now done the job twice for them.  This year we took our travels and went to Collegium.  Yesterday was fun, with the classes we decided to take, and she had a class to teach as well.  We were introduced to the art of rapier, also known as fencing.  We enjoyed taking that class together, and then I had gone off with her to watch her teach her class about bringing special needs children to events.  While the class had just a few people from our barony,  I was proud that she went through the process of teaching a class.  This is a big step from when we first got married and she was shy around people.

After her class, we went to a youth class about a newer program to get youth and families to participate together.  She sat down with the teacher who had been our kingdom youth officer at one time, and I was looking over the program, and talking to the teacher’s wife.  They are good people, and the conversation was nice.  After looking at this program,  I want to help teach and learn with my own kids about this stuff, and I think we’ll get a good amount of bonding time with in our family and our SCA family while learning to better our hobby.

I want to go back and take more classes next year, and I was glad to be able to end the day with a good dinner with our friends from the barony and also have our baron and baroness partake in good food and conversation with us.