Time Marches On

In times when you feel scared who do you turn to for help? There are times when you can feel like you are on an island and no matter how loud you scream out for help, no one can hear you. Regardless of the challenge if you are reading this then you have probably felt this way at least once in your life. Many of us have our own spiritual guides to turn to in times like this. Throughout my days I have believed in, prayed to and sought out God. I never put a face, color, gender, or denomination to the God I pray to and at times it has varied amongst varied religions. Born to a Jewish mom and a Christian father I had free range to find my spiritual source. Throughout my now six years of battling cancer I have had my internal battle with religion as well. Thanking God for the good days and shying away from God during times of conflict. There have been plenty of great days during my time here on earth. Highschool and college graduations to friend's getting married and starting families, I have enjoyed in all of the happiness of these events. What we have to learn in life is to enjoy the moments in difficult times as well. I am speaking to myself just as much as I am telling you. There is always a silver lining when there is breath to breath. There is always a chance for a miracle to take place and for your life to change at the drop of hat. In my times of solace when I feel alone, though it may not be often, I do look within and I do have conversations with a higher being. As my relationship grows with God my times alone are not as scary as they might have been without it. I wish all those healthy and happy lives and for those in a battle or struggling, I wish for you to be able to look within and find that strength that as human beings we all possess. I thank God for my best friend and life partner who also gives me the strength, courage and inspiration to be the best me that I can be.

Much Love and Never Quit

 

3/4/16

Consistency

I once heard that in order to be great, you must study the greats. What justifies great to one may not be the same to the other. To me, greatness is present when one is able to do what he or she loves to do while at the same time contributing to the betterment of society. That being said I have read many biographies, fiction and nonfiction, as well as self improvement books. Thoughout my reading, no matter the genre, there has been a recurring theme among them. Consistency in the work and in my daily living has been the ultimate driving force when creating habits. Of course this is only beneficial if you are doing things of a positive nature consistently. No judgement here just stating the facts. No matter what the challenge, if you make consistent progress towards your goal, you will eventually reach it. One step at a time is how I felt when climbing Mt. Rainier. One treatment at a time is how I feel when battling cancer. One word at a time is how I grind through when writing a book or a script. Consistencies will eventually get you through to the other side. 

Much love and never quit.

10/27/15

Mountain Climbers

A little over three months ago I was met with a reality that I had secretly feared since sending my first battle with Hodgkins Lymphoma into remission. Though I enjoyed my three years of remission immensly,  there was that little voice that would pop up and say but what if it comes back. Well it did and all that worrying, though it wasn't daily, was wasted time. Why worry about something that may or may not happen. The fact is that neither option will stop the progress but worrying could accelerate disease. So here I am before you in my second battle with this disease. Thankfully we caught it at a much earlier stage and with the advancement of medicine and technology I was able to get on a drug that is less harmful than chemotherapy and one can still maintain an active lifestyle. So much so that I was able to accomplish a feat that I was unable to accomplish last year when I was cancer free. Last month a group of us went back to Mt.Rainier in Washington state and summited. I was overcome with emotion as I passed the point that I reached the previous year. Knowing what I was dealing with and the new medicine that I was on, I wanted to summit. Not just for me but for the doctors and nurses that have dedicated so much time to my survival. For the other patients that would come after me in hopes that there would be medicine that would allow them to continue with a normal life while beating back this disease. Rounding the bend at the summit and seeing the sunrise I could not hold it any longer and I burst out into tears of joy. We did it. I try to make everyday special because at 36 I am now a two time cancer survivor and fully aware that nothing is guaranteed. I am thankful for my friends who were with me step for step and my family who constantly supports me. I am thankful for my fiancee who believes in me 100%. We are all in this game of life and we will all face challenges. I hope that my story may inspire the next man or woman to continue to live throughout the challenge to the best of their ability. Much love and live life.

 

08-09-15

Rumsey Hall 2015 Commencement Speech

These last few weeks have been quite the adventure. To start it off I was rediagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Luckily my doctors were on it early, much earlier than last time, and there are new drugs that have had incredible results. Nivolumab is the name of one of them that has been receiving much praise so my friends and family are hopeful and thankful. Soon after we got this news my second book of poems, 'Choose Your Path', was released on Amazon. The works speak mostly about the importance of making your life your life by following your heart and not the crowd. Then my mother and I flew out to Connecticut to give the commencement speech at my Jr. Prep school, Rumsey Hall. This was one of my proudest moments as I was honored to give back to a place that gave me so much. Hope you enjoy and much love.

#neverquit

 

 

June 12th

Nature's Medicine

What is our generation? Every generation has a war. I am thirty-six. Isn’t our war an internal conflict making everyday a battle? We fight the police. We feel the affects of the drought. We battle disease created by food companies. Companies that are run by people who do not know how to care about humanity by taking less money to show and help people do things in a healthier way. Is it possible take more time making food for mass distribution instead of doubling the speed through genetic mutation? Is it possible to use the billions of dollars they make to help educate people to eliminate food from their diet that will eventually try to kill them?

 

My education has afforded me many great experiences. One experience that never gets boring is reading a good book. I especially love the books that help me to question life’s mysteries.  When I was first diagnosed with cancer, over five years ago, it was a complete shock to my friends and family. I’m not going to lie, I was shocked too but not because I got it but because I thought I was untouchable. Therefore I ignored all the symptoms as if it could not happen to me. Why did I think that it could not happen to me? I was not reading the books, I was not listening through the surface news to hear the real news. The news given by those who care about humanity and speak about the improper farming of animals and plants. Once you start chemo, you start listening. 

 

I was in optimal health, so I thought, when I got sick. Body was rock solid. I was jumping rope for hours and running in canyons yet still I was doing something wrong. Months after feeling just not quite right, my situation turned into dire times and my now fiancé, then girlfriend forced me to the emergency room. Fifteen hours later I was moved to the oncology unit. Eight days later it was revealed that I had stage IV Hodgkins Lymphoma. I had tumors everywhere. Some were breaking my bones and eating my body from inside out. Through nutrition, prayer, laughs, love, some luck and a stem cell transplant, we knocked it back into remission. My mother would personally cook a fresh fish and vegetables everyday as well as two to five mixed berry shakes. As many as she could convince me to drink was her mindset as berries were found to be an excellent preventer of cancer. That type of information should be screamed from the mountain tops. The phrase, knowledge is power, is never more important than when the knowledge is about you, your dna, and your health, physical as well as mental.

 

Our generation is seeing cancer diagnosis double each year and I’ve found that those within ten years of me are conscious of it. Most young adults who have yet to graduate from college still feel invincible. Then there is the affordability factor. That is the biggest hook to fast food, bagged and processed snacks. It is cheap. A man once stopped me in the store, an older man in his sixties. He looked me in the eye and asked me, why did I buy bottled water when the coco-cola was cheaper? He had four cases of coke and I had two cases of water. Then he said he drinks the water right from the sink. So the younger generation just doesn’t care and the older generation just doesn’t know. Or they know and stubbornness forbids them to change. I know more of the latter. 

 

Our generation will be known for taking the world a cleaner world and we will reverse the number on cancer diagnosis. My cancer has come back after four years of remission and the first thing that I did was create a mantra with my great friend and produce an outline or game plan for my nutrition and not just for the time period while fighting off this disease but for the remainder of my days. It was because of the knowledge that my friends have through experience and trial that they were able to provide with nutritional information that made me feel better just at the thought. I am all for Western Medicine as it helped prolong my life, I also am a believer in preventative medicine through nature. Fruits, vegetables, water, cannabis, all provided by the earth. I work out six days a week and eat almost all organic yet still I put unnatural sugars in my body as well as foods with preservatives. Occasionally, I will have red meat, pork and chicken, yet I know that the best diet for me is a vegetarian diet. Its not the best diet because it’s the cool thing to do but because it is scientifically proven to be better for me. Look into yourselves and ask what’s best for me then be brave and do it. Change is good and so is life. I know for sure I’d rather eat a steady diet of brussels sprouts then twenty one days on seven days off of chemo. Much love and live life.

 

5-13-15

April showers bring May flowers.

Its been a while since I've dropped some ink on these pages and it's not for the lack of things to say. The first quarter of 2015 has recently come to a close and I have to say we started out of the blocks strong. Last year I completed my first feature film project as the Executive Producer and Lead actor. I knew that it would be a tremendous undertaking but I grossly underestimated the amount of time, energy and money that I would and continue to put into this project. Before I go on I can say unflinchingly, it has all been worth it. The experience that you will gain from completing a motion picture is the best schooling you can get in the business because you learn about the entire process. Script writing is of course essential when trying to make a shootable script with an independent budget. Pre-production and getting the right team behind the project may be the most important part of film making. Most people in my business are just getting by and in need of work to pay bills, rent and just live. Thus, once the job is said, "DONE", most will be looking for or will already have their next job lined up and your's is forgotten. Those that enjoy the process of film making and especially in independent film making, will understand that the journey of post production is what enhances your film making experience. The edits, the color correction, the sound mix, the film festivals, more edits, new trailers, a new one sheet and poster all make the magic of film making complete. Because you see the project from start to finish and with each polish it gets better and you see the story that you set out to tell being told. So here we are almost a year exactly from when Battered first screened to friends and family. Our official trailer will be live next week with a summer release on its heels. I want to thank all those that have been a part of the process in making the film, especailly my friends who lent their acting talents to the film. Artist are often taking advantage of and used as pawns in the grand scheme of things so I truly tried to give new and seasoned actors, including myself, an opportunity to shine in a feature film that will soon be available for the world to see. Much love and never quit. 

 

4-16-15

Follow Your Passion

Just when you think that you have hit the wall of all walls a crack appears. Just one tiny crack is all we need to see the light. I have witnessed, not only in my daily life, but also in the lives of close friends that when you follow your heart and have a passion and drive to accomplish certain goals, if you don't quit then it will come to fruition. Don't stop believing in yourself. Just when you think that you cannnot go any longer thats when something usually breaks. Nine times out of ten thats the wall breaking down. You can do it! Much love

2-19-2015

Kicking off 2015

With 2015 now full in affect I wanted to put some closure on last year's battles and accomplishments. Almost a year ago from today we started principle photography on the first feature film that I Exec Produced as well as being the lead. It was truly one of the most challenging feats in my career to date. Having to bounce between character and producer while shooting is not something that I would recommend to any artist but with the limited budget it was what had to be done. That being said I learned as much as one could on the production side of film. Now that Battered is complete we have been hitting the festival circuit and the response has been more than pleasing. It has taken a year to get all of the kinks out. We now have a great final edit of the film in Blu Ray, a quality one sheet and poster and international exposure as we have just returned from the Bahamas International Film Festival. With more festivals to come we highly anticipate getting distribution in the following weeks. Stay tuned and here is our new poster and one sheet. Thank you for all of the support and well wishes. Start 2015 off strong!

 

january 9th

Bahamas International Film Festival

Much has taken place over this holiday season. For me and my production team the highlight of the year was our premiere at the Bahamas International Film Festival. We were well received and Candice and I were able to meet new and creative film makers.

The festival is great way to exhibit one's work across international waters. We are grateful for the opportunity and love that Leslie Vanderpool and her team has given to us and BATTERED!

Dec.16th 2014

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