Rekindling That Fire

As I was sick last week, I ended up being motivated to do an off-shoot project. I decided that  I wanted to get some camera work going, and since Unexpected Side Trip hasn’t gotten everything ready to start funding, I decided to do something else. Ed, myself, and a few other creatives had meetings a couple years ago, and were thinking of doing shorts for our next thing, and we couldn’t completely agree with the way we were going to take it. In fact that’s how The Reunion(2019) ended up being that next project.

Since I wanted to start doing something, because filming and any aspect of being creative is something that I need in my life. I had been thinking about a full story, but had a character that I really wanted to start to develop.(I feel like I’m rambling a bit) So, this idea came into my head about just introducing a character in a very short, no budget video, just to work on something. Now with the Coronavirus out break, our poor little thriller is being halted until further notice. Unexpected Side Trip will still get made, just has to stop for the moment.

This is important because while I’ve been enjoying writing, I miss working with my crew. It gives me a high that keeps my spirits up. Being on the nightshift at work has had me in some weird places mentally. I’m not saying that it’s bad, just that I need to find something to give a bit more focus too. Now that I’m back at work, I’ve had to start dealing with what effects the Coronavirus is having on the general public. Again, my mental health needs that distraction.

I was just going to talk about getting the fire back, however I feel that the current event of the Coronavirus outbreak has a need to be discussed, and I will give my opinion about what’s going on. I work with the public so this is a particular hot subject for me right now.

I’m going to start out by saying “shame on you, media, for letting fear mongering get in the way of solid, state of the fact news. Yes, there is a reason to be concerned, but if the advice is followed, we should make it through just fine. For us who have healthy immune systems, this isn’t a concern that we won’t survive it, however our precaution is for the one’s we love: parent’s, spouses, children, friends.

I’ve read how rapid it can spread, and it’s much like any other virus, but again we should be vigilant. This is always, because who really likes to be sick. Sure a normal flu could kill us too. It just pays to be careful. I do it for the sake of my family, because that’s what’s important. As with every decision we make in life, we should remember what’s important to us in life.

The worse part of this epidemic, in my opinion, isn’t the actual virus, but it’s what’s showing how our society is acting towards it. The hoarding of toliet paper, the robbing people of groceries, and the biggest one of all, the blatant racism that has come out towards the people of Chinese decent.

I understand discrimination, being a person who was over weight for so long. Having friends of minority races, I’m baffled by the concept of disliking someone of a different color. Studying the Civil Rights Movement, and Slavery, again, the mindset boggles my mind. I can’t believe that we, as a society, still have this mindset. I figured that we would have been more conscious of the ugliness of our past. Let’s put out more positive, and love. The world can be capable of such wondrous things.

I’m done with my soapbox rant, and actually did start filming the short when I started this blog, so I’ll get back to that regular scheduled topic at hand.

It was exciting, the energy that comes out of filming is always great. The crew had fun all around, and it was exactly what was needed. It reminded me of why I love doing what I do. There was something different about this project though as I was actually in front of the camera, and not really worrying about the behind the camera work. Sarah was assistant director, as Little Chris was camera, and assisting with sound. Bringing in my sound guy Chris Matthews was great because he’s such an asset to the team. It’s good to build a good team, and there isn’t too many people better to have on my crew than Alisa Wiggin, because she’s been involved with everything since, my school projects. She’s proven that loyalty is an important quality

It was fun to take Sarah’s cousin and give him a role to act out. The character is a bit out of place for him, and this is his first time acting, but I’ve never shied away from actors with no experience. I’ve built my acting stable with a good variety of both, just the non-actors are the majority of who I’ve worked with. This was fun to take something and just turn around and do it without much time to prep. It was a way to challenge ourselves as a team, and it kept me on my toes with the variety of jobs we each do.

I find the challenge in coming out with some content, and keep it brief. This project was going well, but our batteries where failing us, and then the weather got crappy, so we decided to push the rest of filming until the next weekend. This does a few things for us. It gives me a bit more time to polish the script, some extra time to get it to flow better, and we should be more organized for the shoot, and get it done in a quicker amount of time, while also having a better weather.

So, I’m going to give you a preview of what The Driver is all about. Marcus Ballinger is a driver for a crime lord. He’s been working for the organization for fifteen years. One night things seems to go bad for a younger member of the group and Marcus is to meet with this kid and find out where things went wrong.

So, this character had been nagging at the back of my head, ever since my friends got their house, which seems like it could be a Columbian drug lords place. Plus, I’ve been wanting to get away from just tragic stories, because I’m growing as a storyteller and want to challenge myself.

With that being said, keep following the brands at: https://www.facebook.com/Luckeybomfilms/ https://www.facebook.com/ChrisKeelingProject/ https://www.facebook.com/groups/211929539208755/

During this quarantine we’re going to be adding content to all three. That’s between when I do have to work still. You can also find all three brands on: Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr. We also bring out podcasts frequently, so keep a look out for that. Remember when you see new content from us, give us a like and subscribe. It feels rewarding to know when people are paying attention to what we’re doing. This is the director, and that’s a wrap.

The Position Changes

There are things that happen in a relationship that can change the dynamic. I know that a I’ve talked about how the ideal relationship that’s supposed be fifty-fifty isn’t usually the way things are, and my relationship has never been that. The most beautiful part of my relationship is the fact that I have this wonderful support system that’s been formed as a part of it. I have the most loving and supportive wife, and a great set of kids that do the same.

As I’ve had my struggles with mental health and being overweight, the brunt of a lot of our relationship has been placed on her. No, I don’t think that it’s fair, but it happened that way. Now that I’ve been in a better place, things have come up that have caused me to have to pick up the slack. Sarah was officially diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in November of last year, and we are still discovering everything that is related to her health issues.

We discovered that she doesn’t have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so that is a check in the win column. There were other things that came up in her results that had left me more questions then answers. I also know that we are in for a long journey to get her to where she can deal with her issues in a better manor.

One of the great things is that I do have a support system, and they’ve reached out to me, too help be a support system for her. People that I’ve known longer than I’ve known her, have talked to me personally about it, some who have to deal with Crohn’s themselves. That was the most touching thing that happened while at work.

Relationships, aren’t fifty-fifty, and I think that when the majority shifts in the other direction, that’s what shows what a relationship is truly made of. You see these examples all over Hollywood. Look at Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, as soon as the popularity switched, they were done as a couple. If you explore the net, I’m sure you could find so many more examples, I just don’t have time right now.

Back to the fifty-fifty though: I’m not sure how I’m doing with this change in dynamic. I want to say that this has been the easiest transition, but it hasn’t. It’s been hard to deal with the frustrations that come with Sarah’s problems. I get frustrated because I can’t do much to help her as her joints ache and her body swells. She can’t grip things like she used to and then the frustration of that gets projected on the rest of the family.

I understand her being pissed off because her hands don’t work as well as they used too. I understand that most of the time she doesn’t feel well. I’m frustrated and pissed off for the same reasons, but it’s hard when that energy gets directed in a different direction. I’m trying to be strong for her, but it doesn’t always work out that way.

It’s put some insecurities on me, but I’m overcoming any traces of depression. My frustrations with the situation has caused me to want to quit. I haven’t because I view it as a pretty shitty move, especially since she’s been there for me through everything. I want to help, but most of the time I feel helpless because I know that I can’t just make everything better.

I think that the recent switch in shifts is going to help out so much. I know that it’s helped put me in a better mindset, and that with recent news not going the way I was hoping, I’ve been able to handle everything fairly well. I’m not letting this stuff keep me down, and I hope that all her news won’t keep her down.

I know that while we are dealing with this, other things in life tend to get in the way, i.e. children going through puberty and getting attitude with the hormones. Me, not getting the promotion, us still dealing with the aftermath of the Earthquakes and the aftershocks that keep coming. Yet, we remain vigilant. We will overcome.

John Lennon put a line in his song, Beautiful Boy, and it says that “life is what happens to you, when you’re busy making other plans”. I’ve quoted this line before, and it’s probably one of the most relevant things ever to speak to me, and it’s so true. In the end, we will overcome, we will survive. I’ll do my best to love and support my wife for as long as we are allowed, I just know that it isn’t easy.

I remain diligent on my weight loss journey, and my self care is just as important as it ever was, because if I don’t take care of myself, I’m gonna be useless to my family, even with their own issues.

I leave you with this final thought: We all have a journey that we take in life, we all represent something that we stand for. Some people take this serious, some don’t care for how they represent themselves. My own representation has evolved over the years, as I was toxic to myself, more than others. I had close minded ideology, and I needed to change. I now represent positivity, and stand for physical and mental health. The uplifting of others is how I choose to present myself to others as well.

As always, this is the is the director and that’s a wrap.