Every so often, I get a familiar panic regarding my health. I feel like a small muscle ache or an over exhausted day are omens for my impending doom. I know it’s a silly feeling, but I can’t help these invasive thoughts, only combat them.
I suppose they make sense considering I once had a variant of life-threatening cancer…Read More »
Traditionalism had never been my forte, whether via my recent marriage or the content we produced in The Guttersnipes. Our comedy troupe had been releasing some solid work and some mediocre work. I could tell that something was missing from these ideas, and I was adamant that it was the lack of a proper script framework. Ideally, to me, I thought if we had better prepared for the shoot, then maybe the quality would have been better.
Others in the group loved the improvisational approach to our comedic voice, and instead, questioned my edits or my contribution to shooting the videos. The improvisation wasn’t the issue for me, I just wanted a stronger framework around it to enable a more efficient workflow with the little time we had. Both arguments wanted the same thing: a better product. We were like the Hatfield and the McCoy’s facing off against one another without actually sitting down to listen to one another. The majority of the members stayed out of the tussle or never voiced their concerns (to me) directly.
Once we got engaged, Deirdre and I began our humble planning phase. Actually… Deirdre handled the majority of it because I was so busy with school and my projects, but still, we had open discussions about the guest list, the location, and our wedding party. We decided to keep our guest list to a minimum, all the while looking for the cheapest location we could muster. We didn’t care to have a “formal” wedding with a wedding party and all…
Okay, truthfully, I had wanted a minor semblance of that. I had always envisioned Shawn, Travis, and Jason in our own version of Frank the Tank’s wedding in Old School. Shawn would be the Vince Vaughn to my Will Ferrell, and it would be hilarious, and Deirdre’s and my version of “traditional.”
Maine was going to be my basecamp for filmmaking success. At least, that’s what I decided. I mean it’s not as though I could move Deirdre and Kaitlyn to LA…
I toiled away on the Fort Thomas, but the scripts were slowing to a trickle, and I felt that Travis’ work should have been done by now. I was waiting on his finished artwork in order to create the animatic, so I didn’t want to rework the scripts so much that the animatic would be irrelevant.
As busy as I had proved to be, I wanted to do more to help others who were currently fighting their own cancer battles. It was another reason for my existence beyond those four colorless walls, and yes, it satiated my Survivor’s Guilt– but I personally wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for my visitor, Mitch. And sure enough there was only one thing holding me back; I thought that oh too toxic thought: “I don’t know how.”
Luckily, I was asked by one of my former nurses to speak to a patient that was upstairs combating the children’s version of Leukemia, ALL. I had a brief moment of pause, not because she asked me to do it, but I wondered how I would navigate such a conversation with a fifteen-year-old. I was almost twenty-five, and I felt too far removed from my childhood. Then I thought of Tori, the girl in the hospital that was from Presque Isle. I seemed to talk with her just fine, and she was only fifteen then, so I decided to keep it simple. After my lapse in judgment, I said, “Yes, I’ll meet David.”
With every receding tide in my life, there was almost certainly a complementary wave rushing back from the horizon. In the most serene moments of my holiday break, I felt the resurgence of my impending doom. As I lied in bed one night, in pitch-blackness (as how Deirdre and I preferred to sleep), I thought of death and the finality of it. I had narrowly escaped a sudden end a few times before, and I knew that no matter what I accomplished or how long I lived, it was inevitable.
With that essay, I handily won the Brian K. Welch scholarship and with it, a renewed desire to reacquaint myself with my passion. Around the same time, a wonderful employee at NESCom informed me of an annual poem collective called “Crosscut,” which was accepting submissions. I hadn’t been focused on poems much lately, but I knew that it would be a welcomed reprieve from my Photoshop and video projects.
I wrote four for the book and believe it or not, two were accepted! I was overjoyed with their literal acceptance of my work! To me, it was a validation that my entire career wasn’t a fluke! Three of the poems had rhymed, and for the fourth, I played with the notion of revision, forcing myself NOT to rhyme. Here are the four I had submitted (the latter two of which, were chosen):
The New England School of Communications was the perfect school for me. Here, I could actually rent film equipment out like expensive library books, and make the movies that I’d been literally dreaming about since I was a kid. Of course, I didn’t think those ideas feasible back then, but thankfully, I made sure to at least jot them down in the moment!
In an effort to bolster my success, I took out some money against my retirement plan at EMMC and bought a brand new MacBook Pro laptop. And with the remainder of my student loans, I purchased the Final Cut Studio Suite (with the state-of-the-art Final Cut Pro 7), Microsoft Office 2010, and an Adobe Creative Suite that included Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator, and many more.
I decided to spend the remnants of the student loans only if it was to better my studies during school and what better to spend my money on than the actual programs I would use in school? This way, I could maximize my time to work on assignments from home.
Boy, after the show argument and then this, Travis must have thought I hated him.
In the fall of 2010, after Travis and I’s lease expired, I wanted to take the next step in my relationship with Deirdre and move in together. She had just moved out of this beautiful apartment and into a place owned by her boss at EMMC, the head of the kitchen, Jimbo.