“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ― Sun Tzu

(Philippines) Is that Hilary Clinton with DJ Perry? No:)

My Hazelnut coffee wrapped in an American flag greeted me on my return trip from the Philippines for PR and 1st public showing of the directors cut of “Darkest Night” for cast, crew and their family and friends. Now the hard part of seeing what scenes will kiss the editing room floor in the attempt to get our run time down to theatrical. If you’ve been under a rock look up “Darkest Night” movie on Facebook or go to http://www.darkestnightmovie.com

For those that have also traveled from one side of the world to the other it must be much easier to understand the concept of parallel universes. I mean you can find yourself in a distant place that is at times extremely different (the language), sometimes strangely homelike (the friendliness of the people) or sometimes familiar but something is a touch off (ketchup, taco-bell crunchy taco).  But be it here or there it is the same you walking through this place. A long trip into the clouds and you walk back to your grounded place of reality that would in turn could be someone else’s parallel universe. Two places and people bound together on this one eco-sphere different yet connected.


Over a beer (common to most cultures:) I got to answer questions about the Cherokee medicine bag I often wear. I got to explain how that western film “Dean Teaster’s Ghost Town” brought us in deep with the fine Cherokee people living UNTO THESE HILLS of N. Carolina. Search ON DEMAND on Comcast

That is the other part of my job I love. As I travel – I get to laugh and share stories of other fine artists I’ve had the pleasure to work with.   The Philippine trip was worthwhile and maybe a touch long as the holidays stirred many thoughts of home within me. Every time I go away I come back with a deeper appreciation for my home state. Lansing, Michigan is many things to many people,  but what I love is what Michigan isn’t.

1) It isn’t one steady climate but allows one to attune with the cycle of seasons.

2) It isn’t a place that tries to be anything that it’s not.

Nope – Just many hardworking (Or wanting to work) proud people who carved out a few good industry’s here in our not so distant past. (Bring Film Incentives back!) I get frustrated at my own state on many occasions but I’m one to just go try to improve conditions and not depend on all the checks and balances built into most political systems. Often they’re justified as being helpful but are actually just dysfunctional mechanisms that slow or stop forward movement.

From within the system I’ve often seen the existence of adult artistic social clicks. Much like how I remember high school but I always prided myself at being able to float between most circles. I guess the insecure artists who honestly don’t feel they offer something unique (They do, they can) end up acting more in competition than just selling their art.

Now this is a real attitude among some artists – they live by the FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT path. Simple fact – Words can be faked and actions cannot. I’ve always felt that actions speak strongest and as a martial artist I know the FAKE IT will only get you kicked around. Be humble to the masters of that art form until you also acquire the right amount of experience.

“Snatch the pebble from my hand quick as you can.” – If you don’t know what this means your training is surely not complete:)

Behind the camera always remain yourself. Yes. I’m “method” (Acting) often but make “polite” a “method” always. I say if you’re too “method” to thank the assistant who brings you a water than you’re not too “method” to get your own damn water. I’ve had an assistant on a handful of films and is does help when on set and also someone is keeping your stuff close. They get to watch and learn (Darn – I owe Terry Knox a dollar)

The Lesson (Especially young talent)

Don’t believe the spin and marketing associated with the film to be anything more than what it is. An opportunity to tell good folks about a new story/film you helped to tell. And to invite those good folks to honor you with a watch. It is a big world and I really do realize what a sacred gift it is to be a storyteller. To furthermore be a storyteller given the opportunity to cross oceans and reach new audiences – that is  amazing. The sharing!

It has been rest and recoup as my body fights to rebalance itself since getting home last night. MSU won in football yesterday and maybe the Lions will win today. Next week is a family holiday and Christmas lies beyond it. I have lots of end of the year wrap up work before  our industry goes on vacation. That said, I make some of my best plans during the “DARK TIME”. I know 2012 is going to be exciting as every year proves to be. I’m not sure which of the irons heating in the CDI forge will burst to life but 2011 had some good ones catch ignite.  More premieres lie ahead and many deals still in motion. I’m back to resting!

I hope Hilary had a good Philippine trip. Sorry we couldn’t meet for dinner. I wish I could have flown on Airforce One.


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