I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar

I title this entry with one of my all time favorite Joss Whedon written quotes, because while this isn’t a post about how that creator has influenced me and brought me further into the geek fold over the years, it’s perfectly sums up the way my life has been. 

Some people are born, right from the start with exactly what they want to do in life, and they go to school, finish school, go to school for what they want to do, and go off and save the world, entertain the world, in oft cases make butt-tons of money whilst destroying the world, but that was never my case.  I’ve never had that all encompassing desire, that dream well other than writing, so perhaps that’s to be my purpose. 

Though, I’ve come close twice to having an overall purposeful goal in my life.  The first time was while in high school, I’d started leaning further towards my childhood dreams of becoming a filmmaker after I saw the movie ‘Clerks’ for the first time, after my grandmother’s recommendation believe it or not, and saw that it was entirely possible to make your own movie, the way you wanted it to be, to tell the story that you wanted to tell.   So, all throughout high school I devoted myself to this passion, and found some likeminded friends that also shared the passion, and we took the Video/Film class, and made our movies on the side, well to be fair I acted for the first part until my friend Brad had graduated, and I’d “inherited” the movie making role, and well in junior year, a few friends and myself hashed out a script, really great, dark script about two lonely high school outcasts who meet and then get revenge on their tormenters in a dark fashion, and then pay the price.  This was pre columbine era mind you, so it was okay, it was just a movie.   

The next year, my senior year I directed and starred, (because at the time I still had aspirations that I could act) in the final version of that script, which I’d entitled ‘Lunchbox’ after the Marilyn Manson song….so ’90s.    And me and some good friends, we pulled off this movie, of course some scenes had to be altered, characters eliminated do to casting issues, and then some sound effects problems, or lack thereof of proper sound effects led to some interesting choices in the movie, a ‘lazer’ gun, a phone with a cow ringtone, before ringtones were even a thing.    And an altered climax, but we pulled off this short movie, and it was pretty damn good.  

My video/film teacher, Mr. Liebenberg, upon seeing this film, thought it was brilliant, and read a bit too much into some of the subtext I put on screen, saying that the character’s lockers, while separate from each other, were still close, meant some really deep thing about the characters themselves and their intentions, when in all reality that was just where the two lockers that we were able to use to film, were located.  But I went along with it though, because it sounds good, makes the project seem a lot more arty then I just wanted to make a movie.

I didn’t make another film in high school, well there were two other projects, a feature length American Pie (pre American Pie mind you) comedy called ‘Flamers’ which wasn’t about what you’d think with that title, that my friends and I had worked on, and ‘Bittersweet’, a script I’d written for a girl I’d messed things up with with my awkwardness.  It’s a story I’ve tried to repeat over the years,  and that’s now evolved into the novel I’m working on, well trying to work on currently.  But that’s a whole other story. 

So, from there I went to college for filmmaking, well video production really, at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, where I’d also encountered a great number of likeminded people, and we’d made some very hilarious short films, was also where I learned how to rap, but that’s another story.   We were pretty innovative, and stupid at the same time, taking backyard wrestling from the backyard into the dorm room with CCW,  or the pre Jackass and Tom Green show that we were working on towards the end there, and we’d done a lot of hilarious sketches, which had all gone to plan, both shows were to have been featured on the dorm’s  dorm tv channel. 

Unfortunately though, in between going to class, and making those bits of awesomeness, all of which I wish I’d had a copy of, or at least were on the internet, but I digress.  In between all of that, I’d also discovered partying,  for which, to paraphrase Dexter, of Dexter’s Laboratory, I did too much party, not enough study, and I got the boot from the school, twice in fact. 

So, the next few years I floated along, like a leaf on the wind, tried my hand at the rapping thing for a bit, with various friends, but nothing ever stuck.   So that’s how I ended up in the military, the Navy precisely, well I got into that because of my ex wife to be really fair.  I was happy, coasting through life, working at Blockbuster, but she wanted more than that out of life, stability, benefits.  And without a college degree where does one go for that, the military. 

So long story, well many, many stories some interconnected, some not, short, I did seven years serving my country, and while I’m extremely proud of the work I’d done, it never really clicked with me either, well had I been able to keep my original rate (job), it might have, but that’s in some other reality other than this one.   

So, I’m out, on my own once again, a freelance writer, and no day job to speak of at the moment, but hopefully things change with that soon, since for one, I need money, and for two that’s where a lot of my inspiration comes from in my work is just life experiences, and you can’t have those just sitting on your couch.

 Basically in what all of this I’m trying to say is, that I was never a career based kind of guy, I’ okay with that, my story isn’t everyone elses, it’s my own.  Now let’s just see where this next chapter takes me.



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5 responses to “I am a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar

  1. Fred

    i thought if anyone had a copy of all the AiPh antics, it would be you! Sadly, this little animated gif of Chris body-slamming me on to the tile floor is all i have left of those days. http://i.imgur.com/TGvb0sw.gif

  2. That gif is hilarious, I think I watched that thing for like a full minute, looking around what I can see of the old dorm room in that clip. But sadly no, all the footage was lost to time as it were. It exists now only in that gif and in green smoky, malt liquor and ramen tinted memories.

  3. The Navy isn’t the worst thing you’ve ever done. So many memories and life-shaping events that came alone with it. And is there really anything wrong with life-shaping, good or bad?

    • Never said it was a bad thing, it shaped my life differently, the whole experience than it would have been otherwise. It did bring out a different side of me that Im still not proud of and hope never to see again but it shaped me as I am now, so Im thankful for that experience.

      • That’s how I feel about the things I’ve been through as well. All of them. Were I to be given a time machine, even knowing the eventual outcome of my life, there isn’t a single thing about the past decade I would change.

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