Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Never Can Say Goodbye

It's been 13 days since the passing of the King of Pop and it still hadn't sunk in until today when I was watching the funeral on television. Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz came on and sang the Jackson 5 classic "I'll Be There" and I lost it! I know this sounds funny but it really feels like I've lost a relative, a strange one, but a loved relative nonetheless.

It's almost as if I can "Remember the Time(s)" of my life all set to a soundtrack by this great artist! I can remember a time back in the 70's when I wanted to BE a Jackson! I had the fro and everything! I remember the day when my dad brought home as a gift for my sister and I the Jackson 5 album (this is what we had before they made "CDs") "Maybe Tomorrow" and my sister and I played it over and over until my father insisted that we stop playing it or he would return it back to the store.

I remember when my sister and I and some of the kids in our neighborhood would make a "Soul Train" line in our back yard (since we couldn't play in the street) and would do our very best "Robot" off of the song "Dancing Machine"! I remember in college when my friend Kendell and I would play "Thriller" and I would play Michael dancing around her "overstuffed" Ola Rey as we dance around the dorm blasting the song over and over!! And there is not a person alive who hasn't tried to Moonwalk while listenting to "Billie Jean!" Ya'll know you did!

Despite his eccentric qualities, I will really miss the artist known as Michael Jackson! As a song from his "Dangerous" CD goes, he really is "Gone Too Soon"

Saturday, March 14, 2009


This week I received the Gus Van Sant film "Milk" from Netflix! Last night I finally had the chance to see it! And I want to let the WORLD know how much I loved this film. For anyone who doesn't already know, it is the story of the first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk. He is to LGBT people, what Martin Luther King Jr. is to Black people. And I can say that because I am both! He fought for gay rights when it wasn't popular and he set the precedent by which we still fight today in the rights for equality. I am so glad that Gus Van Sant, an openly gay filmmaker himself, has finally brought this story to screen. It has to be said also that the writing, by Oscar winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black was very worthy of the Academy Award that it did receive! He also gave an amazing Academy Award acceptance speech when he won this year! Nice going Lance!

One of the reason's why I loved the DVD is because of all the extras on included with this disc. It contained several featurettes, however in particular was the "Remembering Harvey" short. This featured many of the people who were with Milk during his historic rise to fame in San Francisco during the 1970's. Many of these same people are portrayed by younger actors in the film itself. Cleve Jones, who many people know as the man who conceived of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, talks about Harvey with much affection and the impact that he had on him as well as the gay community then. In the film he is brilliantly played by Emile Hirsch.

Speaking of acting, I have to say that Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, James Franco as Scott Smith, and Josh Brolin as Dan White were excellent! It's always a treat when actors can so immerse themselves into a role that you forget that they are the actors themselves. The entire cast was great! Gus Van Sant has done a fine job once again!

Many of you may already know that I am a BIG fan on Mr. Van Sant's work as a director (with the exception of his remake of the Hitchcock classic "Psycho") Hitchcock should be emulated and paid homage to but NO DIRECTOR (myself included) should ever REMAKE an Alfred Hitchcock film (except Alfred Hitchcock himself like he did for "The Man Who Knew Too Much") but I digress. Ever since "My Own Private Idaho" I've been hooked on Van Sant! Of course I feel somewhat of a kinship with him being an openly gay filmmaker too! He, much like Harvey Milk, uses his artistry to send a message with the media of film. I hope to continue this same concept as I embark on my film career.

It's funny, but I saw similarities between Harvey Milk and myself. Like me, starting my film career in my 40's, he didn't start his gay activism until he turned 40. I never knew how much his actions in the 70's have contributed to me being the man I can be today! It's also very fitting that this film should be released in this particular time when California conservatives have passed Proposition 8 which prohibits same-sex marriage in that state. Coincidence? I don't think so! That being said I hope that Gus Van Sant continues to put out great works such as this. He is one of my many inspirations and I hope that one day I can win an award and thank him and Harvey Milk for all that they have done for our community!

Now, GO rent (or buy the DVD to add to you Gus Van Sant film collection like I am). You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Shot Nicole Richie (with a camera, silly!)

Last week my photography professor, Cal Vornberger, took us on a field trip to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Actually it wasn't that much of a trip, per se. All we did was walk out of the door of school and walk across the street to Bryant Park. I was there walking to a photo shoot the week before and saw the paps surrounding Lindsay Lohan as she was going into the back of the tent. So on this particular day, I suggested that we go to the back. The photo on thee left is the one I took of Nicole Richie. Doesn't she look like Once, Twice, Three times a lady? Anyway this was my day as a Paparazzi photographer! I rather do headshots and video!

BTW, if anyone is interested in headshots, HOLLA! I'll give you a really, REALLY good deal! Hey, I'm working on getting my book together too! So I'll work within your budget. Just email me if you are interested and in the subject line just write: HEADSHOTS NEEDED and I will get back to you asap, provided that you put your contact information.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome President Barack Hussein Obama

Today will go down in history as the day the first African-American and the 44th President of the United States of America will take office as our Commander-in-chief. From this day on people will remember where they were when President Obama was inaugurated. After 8 years of George W. Bush's White House, this is a new day that we all have been waiting to happen.

I am proud in so many ways by this historical day. I'm proud to be an American! I'm proud to be African-American. I'm proud to be a Gay-American. I'm proud to be a 44-year-old man living in this day and age to see this particular day come when an African-American will step into the White House and sit in the Oval Office. I'm am tearful today because so many people in my life who never lived to see this day happen. My father, who was my hero, never lived to see this day. Friends who I have lost over the years never lived to see this day. Today Mr. Barack Hussein Obama is becoming the reality that, like many of our fathers was the Dreams from My Father.

I don't think it's ironic that yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A man who never lived to see this dream of his come true. Today when President Obama will be inaugurated there are expected to be crowds in the millions on the mall in Washington D. C. Believe it or not, I couldn't sleep because I was so excited about today! Not because I had a job interview today at 12:30pm, but because a black man who is only 3 years older than me will be stepping into an office that many of my ancestors could have never imagined see happening.

Who would believe that a little boy from Hawaii (see photo above Obama as child with his mom) would grow up to become the man that will become leader of the free world? I am beyond happy today to see this day happen. I may not be on the mall in the cold, but I'm alive! Although I could do without seeing Pastor Rick Warren today! That man is a bigot and a homophobic asshole! And I don't think I'm alone with that belief. Am I? [I welcome your comments]

Welcome President Barack Obama! Welcome First Lady Michelle Obama! Welcome First Daughters, Malia Obama and Sasha Obama! Welcome to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!