maybe "rants" isn't the right word. these are simple thoughts about my life. some may be more colorful than others. some language may be offensive, but it depends on your definition of offensive. consider this your warning ;)

12 September 2010

more than that

This weekend has undoubtedly been filled with thoughts, prayers, memorials, and flashbacks of the events of September 11, 2001. I’m no different, but in the last nine years, this weekend has had an array of perspective casting memories and thoughts that beg to be written.

September 10, 2010 would have been my 5th anniversary…if I had stayed with her and in Virginia Beach and got married like we planned to. I didn’t come to this realization in a desire for that life. I came to it as a watermark of perspective. My engagement in 2004 came the day after I separated from US Navy, Sept. 20, 2004. Needless to say, we broke up, and I moved back to Northern California in the Spring of 2005. In the last five and a half years that I’ve been back here, I’ve worked, drank, loved, lost, and learned. I’m now in my final year of my undergraduate program at CSU Long Beach, living with my beautiful, smart, driven, lovely, (I could really go on for a while) girlfriend and much happier than I (thought I) was with Alison and her daughter Anna back on the east coast. There is still much I miss about Virginia Beach, and I will probably always call it home,

but I’m so glad that didn’t just celebrate my fifth wedding anniversary this past week.

I transferred duty stations from Naval Training Center (NTC), Great Lakes, Illinois to Goose Creek, South Carolina in January of 2000. Having finished boot camp not too long ago, my training at NNPTC (Naval Nuclear Power Training Command) was set to begin. It consisted of three parts: six months of Electrician’s Mate “A” School, six months of Nuclear Powers School, and six months of Prototype training. That year and a half in South Carolina was absolutely amazing, Folly Beach, Isle of Palms, Myrtle Beach, all over the place in the humid south. On September 7, 2001, my class graduated from prototype and we received our orders to o

ur respective duty stations. Some of us volunteered to go subs, some carriers, a couple retained to stay in the educational pipeline and teach, and many others off to bases around the world.

My silver, four-door ’95 Ford Escort was packed with all my clothes and I was driving back to California for a month of well-deserved leave before I reported to the (now decommissioned) SSN-709, USS Hyman G Rickover, Los Angeles Class submarine. I followed my fellow newly-graduated nuke, Josh, and his then girlfriend Belinda to Abilene, Texas, where they were from to have some company on the road. We made a stop in Nebraska, and stopped on the side of the road somewhere else in Texas for the worst rain storm I’ve ever seen (apart from a hurricane) before we made it there. With my final destination being Antioch, CA, I went on and made it back to the 925, which actually may have still been 510 at that point, the night of September tenth. It had been more than a year since I had seen my best friend of over six years, and I had called her along the way, telling her that I would stop to see her first before I went home to my parents’ house. Driving up Wildhorse to her house I wore a white tank top, navy blue (surprise!) board shorts, and a Corona visor (also navy blue) and was definitely funky from sitting in the

car for over twelve hours to make it home in that last push. Excited as anyone else would be to see their childhood best friend after 1) such a long absence and 2) after such a great accomplishment as graduating from Nuke School, I rang the doorbell and stood their agitated and impatient to see her. Her sister opened the door with her mother not too far behind, and they welcomed me in, telling me she was in her room upstairs.

You know that scene in Beauty and the Beast when Belle comes down the grand staircase in that golden ballgown? That’s what she looked like to me. Wearing a white t-shirt and a pair of black umbro soccer shorts, she descended the stairs in her home and I was able to hold my closest family member once again. She was still in high school, just having started her final year at Deer Valley Hig

h School, and she was as busy as I was at DVHS, if not more. Actually, she was probably always busier than I, as that’s just the way she was. We sat and talked in her room and caught up and it’s one of my fondest memories of her. Ten years ago, that was, and it’s still as vivid a memory as if it happened last week. Fortunately, I got to see her again before she suddenly passed in 2006, but that evening of September 10, 2001 will always be with me.

Angelina Rose Malfitano (12/12/83-5/30/06) Continue watching over us, please and thank you forever.

The very next morning, after sleeping in, my mother told me to come downstairs and watch the television. The next few moments were a blur, and all I could think of was…I just graduated from school, I have orders to a boat, and I have a month of leave…will I be called in early? What about my fellow sailors who went home to that part of the country? I called my buddy Andy who was from Boston, and he saw the smoke bleeding from the Pentagon on his way home.

I did not get called early because the boat I was assigned to was a special operations boat that wasn’t attached to a battle group. I never went to the middle east, but my affiliation with the armed services made me the immediate sounding board for everyone that I came in contact with while I was in the east bay for those next three weeks.

Over nine years have passed since the events of the World Trade Center crashes. Songs have been sung, movies made, documentaries spun, the list goes on. It has become commercialized, idolized, covered up, and stretched in many ways. I take this opportunity to celebrate that fact that I’m here. I helped a friend move into her new apartment this morning. I saw a friend from Northern California at Downtown Disney tonight, and I snuck in some theatre today with the closing night of a local play festival. September 11, 2010 has officially passed, and now in the early hour of September 12th, I will go to sleep alive and happy. Cherishing what I have now and have had before. I look forward to what I will and what I cannot forsee. This is about celebration for me and knowing that no matter what happens at any point during the year, not just early September, I will always have a guardian angel.

18 August 2010


I’ve stopped a passing of the rule of threes. Two months ago Courtney was in Chicago and I took a trip to the bay for my paternal grandmother’s passing. Last month Courtney and I both were in San Francisco for my brother’s wedding. Today, Courtney is once again on the road, this time with her mom and brother on a vacation in Disney World, and I…this is where the chain is broken…am in Long Beach (but in a new apartment, and occasionally with daily trips to Illyria).

Elena Espiritu de Leon was the last surviving grandparent in my genealogical traces. My maternal grandmother, Pilar Lim, passed in 1989 and I never met her husband, Jose I believe, because he never came to the US with my mom’s family, and I never went there. I think he passed on to a greater life around ’94 or ’95. My paternal grandfather, Aurelio de Leon, passed while I was going to Nuc School in South Carolina, sometime in late 2000 or the earlier half of 2001, I believe. I remember getting a page from my mom (yep, I had a pager back then) and calling her back after the phone call from my apartment line was over. I remember asking if my father was ok, and…that’s about it.

This past Thanksgiving there was a family reunion of sorts on my dad’s side. For some of us, there was no “re” about it, as I had met my dad’s oldest brother and his wife for the first time. Sometime between then and my grandmother’s passing, Courtney and I saw a show at South Coast Rep called The Language Archive. It was a clever play, and one of the most memorable bits about it is that it takes two people to keep a language alive. If those two do not talk, that language fades away and is gone…at the mercy of whatever is hopefully remaining in written records. My parents speak Tagalog to each other, and they speak it to other Filipinos. They are quite fluent and probably will be for the rest of their lives. Neither my brother, sister, nor myself learned to speak that language. My brother and I both took French in high school, and my sister learned to speak Chinese. I learned to speak on stage and publicly, my brother learned to speak computer, and my sister learned to speak for herself. The only Tagalog I know is what’s for dinner (at my mom’s house) and when I was in trouble as a kid—the important stuff. English has always been my primary language, and as long as I can remember back, my grandmother would constantly try to speak to me in Tagalog, a language that all of her children and most of her grandchildren know.

Corn. Really, stay with me, this relates. Until it dies and falls off the cob, it cannot spur further generations. That’s an interesting concept, because, as mammals, we procreate while alive and nurture the offspring. I know that corn isn’t an animal, but it IS alive, and it sacrifices itself to perpetuate it’s own genetic composition. (end of tangent)

My separation from the Filipino culture started early, in junior high and high school even. Fast forward to my time in the Navy, after boot camp (which is conducted in English, if there was any doubt) I was transferred to Goose Creek, South Carolina. Growing up in the Bay Area all I had heard about “The South” involved gun racks, Confederate Flags, pick up trucks and country music. “Culture shock” would be an understatement for the biologically Filipino boy who was in need of an identity stamp transplanted into the Carolinas as part of the greatest Navy in the world. Country music seeped into my soul. NASCAR. A southern accent (true story). I became an American of my own right. Not a Filipino-American, not a Filipino, not even an American of Filipino/Chinese/Spanish descent…but an American. That’s how I answer the questions of “what are you?” when I know full well people are referring to my ethnicity/ethnic background/cultural heritage whatever you may call it. I’m an American. I don’t do a lot of “Asian” things as stereotyped in American society: I can drive well, I don’t drive a race car Honda, I don’t own a rice cooker, or have a shrine to Jesus and or the Virgin Mary in my home. I am good at math, though, and yes I can play the violin, but I don’t play ping pong in international tournaments, and I can hold my liquor quite well.

Often I encounter other Filipinos in hospitals (surprise! Filipino nurses!), karaoke bars, or even at the post office (all places of supported stereotypes), and they ask me, but not after shiftily looking around, “you Filipino?” and I appease them with a, “yes.” They immediately crack into a big smile and most times greet me in Tagalog (which I understand, but cannot offer any other reply but in English), and ask me where my parents are from. When some see me with my white girlfriend, I’m often glared at by older generations, sometimes Courtney gets the evil eye, but you know what, not their relationship…move along.

Close to fifteen years ago, I think, my cousin Janice married a tall white boy from Indiana (who didn’t play basketball…really). I remember it being a mild fiasco because she was marrying out of race, but to me, I didn’t know better, because I just figured marriage is about those two people…not about the two families. Last month, my brother married Doreen, who is Chinese. I now have a brother-in law and a sister-in law, but I don’t feel any different. It’s going halfway out on a limb, but I don’t think my sister nor I will be marrying Filipinos. I can’t make that call for her, but I definitely don’t think I will be, I’ve actually never dated a Filipino, and don’t plan on dating one (or anyone else for that matter) anytime soon. Case in point, the Filipino-Filipino pairing won’t be happening in my immediate family, one of my cousins has, and who knows what the future may bring, but in the group of branches that belong to Bayani and Maria Elena de Leon…they’re the end of the double-Filipino punnett square.

In some cultures, the joining of two families is still that, a joining of two families, but generally speaking, in today’s American society, the term “nuclear family” is ironic because the members of whatever family might occur rarely branch out…if they even stay together. I don’t want my kids growing up not knowing who their grandparents are whether they speak the same language or not. I’ve come to the conclusion that my kids will be of “mixed race” but, you know what? Who isn’t at this point in the game? My kids will be American (unless of course, they are born elsewhere, then yeah…yada yada yada).

I didn’t really have a point or moral to this blog, but I often look at events in my life in perspective…relating to others that may or may not be related right away, but I find a way to make them so. Today’s blog is in lieu of me not being out of town for the third month in a row in the 18th. Like a letter left in a corner of a crowded room full of friends and strangers, I leave this blog to the information superhighway (which was quite the popular term for “internet” back when AOL and Prodigy meant something). Good day, sir. I say, good day. I’m going to continue being American.

10 August 2010

SF film seeks Asst Dir and Male Lead

Hey friends! Long Story, Short: Good looking caucasian male AND
Assistant Director needed for film in SF. Here are the five W's on the
audition. If you are interested/have more questions please contact
Mayene de Leon at asap.

My sister works with this company and she asked me to blast since I
know more theatre folk than she does. If appeals to you or anyone you
know in the SF area, please send this onto them. Direct any questions
to Mayene (email listed above) and I think that's about it!

WHO: A Zemrak/Pirkle Production, with the help of In The Bag, Inc.

WHAT: Rick Wilder (lead male role) in the film Santa's Dog; Male /
Caucasian / Late 20s to early 30s: Charming, winning, warm person.
Attractive. Leading man type. Large role in the film, so must be
charismatic. Range of acting goes from down-trodden and out of luck,
to happy and successful. Is a career man that makes a difference in a
young person's life and turns a company into a big success. Has a
romantic encounter with woman to add a love interest to the movie.
Must be a very strong lead.

WHEN: Friday, Aug 13th. (mwa ha ha! fri the thirteenth!) Note: Call
backs will take place all day on Monday, August 16th, so they should
keep that day open if they come in to audition.

WHERE: Auditions being held at In The Bag, Inc. (582 Market Street,
2nd floor, San Francisco, CA 94109)

WHY: Feature film to air on Animal Planet later this year (I think);
would be a great experience! Please also note that this movie deals
hugely with a dog (pit bull), so actor must love/be comfortable with

***Gig is paid (details to be worked out later)

***The tentative shooting schedule will begin roughly around September
6th and last through October 15th; the actor should be aware he may
need to be on call during and between those dates.

***since this is for the lead role, actor may be asked to be on set
for most of this time, and filming will take place in San Francisco.
Also get to meet Louise Fletcher, who is starring in the film as one
of the lead roles. ;)

***Those who'd like to audition should prepare a 1-minute monologue
and also bring their most recent resume and headshot.

04 August 2010

Why do YOU do it?

Here's my latest article with the Long Beach Acting Examiner. Is it the money? Is it fame? Why do you do what you do?

comment below, or comment on the main article...I'd like to hear your thoughts...

wine helps memory

A Naval War College, arguably the best aquarium on the west coast, Cannery Row, and oodles of Harry Otter paraphernalia are some of the highlights of a town you will hopefully be acquainted with before you die-Monterey. Amidst the touristy cornucopia is a little wine-tasting cellar belonging to Bargetto. My dear friend Casi and I happened to waltz into here and we bought two bottles, a zin and a muscat. I took the muscat with me to Long Beach, and she held onto the zin, vowing that we would only drink it with the other when one goes to visit the other. Despite a couple visits up north (one being for her birthday in October) the bottles are still sealed. I came across my bottle Saturday night, July 31st, realizing it had been exactly one year since we were in the Bargetto Winery collection.

That was one of the best going away presents of last year, a day-trip to Monterey with antics around the aquarium, pictures with a shark on the curb, and just general
i-dont-know-when-the-next-time-i'll-see-you good times. That following Monday, August 3rd, i took off from norcal with my car, Mary Jane, full of just about everything I had except for my bed, violin, and TV, and took off for Long Beach. Scott was working VBS and Martina was running amok in Yosemite, so it was up to me to travel down a week before the others, sign the final papers and get the keys to Apt 8.

Today, my belongings were shuffled into a storage unit and my good friend Madison moved into that room, and as I was walking through the halls of the storage complex (which looked eerily like a hospital) I mentioned that exactly a year ago today i moved down here. Crazy. One year. To. The. Day.

One year down at CSULB, one to go, a couple of Asst Directing gigs, a whole lot more acting than I t
hought I'd be doing, a new relationship (that's still going quite well, thank you!) networking to other companies, and now I write for the Long Beach Acting Examiner as a reviewer, House Manage for Long Beach Playhouse, and am currently a Directing intern with the Long Beach Shakespeare Company for a soon to come summer production of Twelfth Night with professional actors and kids from the summer Shakespeare camp. 365 days is a long time, but not really. This school year shot by, with Songs of the Siren, Much Ado, Human Interest, The Big Funk, the New Play Festival, and Out of Thin Air, and, oh right, classes.

I'm not going to call out everyone, but there are a few things I want to say, pick whichever ones think may apply to you ;)

thank you opening your arms
thank you for not judging
thank you for not thinking of me as "some kid"
thank you for trusting me
thank you for helping me
thank you for "talking me off the ledge"
thank you for asking
thank you for not asking
thank you letting me breathe
thank you for smothering me in a hug
damn you
to hell with you
screw you
fuck you
thanks for giving me one less person to worry about
thank. you.

I think that about covers everything. Who knows what the next year will bring, other than a few more theatre-based projects and a diploma, there isn't much else I've planned on. I'll be sure to keep you posted. It sure hasn't been easy, but if I'm still writing, that means that's another day I've woken up and have been pleased to find myself still breathing.

Thank you, Long Beach.
and Thank you, you.

30 July 2010

"update" (term used loosely)

so i've been wanting to blog for a while, but everything has ramped up to warp speed. here are some of the milestone/benchmarks/highlights/lowlights:

I now write for the Long Beach Acting Examiner

I caved and signed up for Twitter to support my Acting Examiner column

I started training to be a radio host at KBEACH radio to st
art a weekly theatre talk show

I start training to be a House Manager at Long Beach Playhouse this week

I'm an Assistant Directing Intern with Long Beach Shakespeare

I'm a temp (potentially permanent) at the CSULB Bookstore

The last surviving grandparent in my family passed away last month.
Corn, The Language Archive, and being Filipino (they link together, really)

My older brother got married.

My younger sister caught the bouquet at said marriage.

It's been eleven years since I swore
in at MEPS Oakland to fly out to Naval RTC (Recruit Training Command, aka bootcamp)-July 29.

That's all for now.

19 June 2010

13 June 2010

two semesters down, two to go

2 white pills, 800mg each of prescription ibuprofen, 3 times a day. chased with a single 500 mg hydrocodone twice daily. less than a week after getting discharged from several hours in the emergency room of Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz. Needless to say, the beginning of the summer was a medically-induced haze. That was me this time last year. In the last twelve months so much has happened, and 99% of it revolves around the place many of my friends and classmates refuse to call "home" even though we all spend most of our time there than anywhere else: Cal State Long Beach. It's funny to think about how much has happened in such a short period of time. Just last summer I had the pleasure of combining forces with Martina and Scott, and with the good graces of Vicki and Lutz Moeckel, our visits to Long Beach had a cozy pair of welcoming arms in Garden Grove.

SOAR of mid-july i met my hub of transfer friends: Michelle (HAND!), Virginia, Dustin, Mark, Elyse (muggle!), Tiffanee and Farzi (my Indian family), Jason (TADS!), Diego (Golden Keeey!) and others. Congrats to Dustin on his walk last weekend, but we all thought you were one of us! ;) Class of 2011 here we come! Fast forward to Welcome auditions, Digby, you bastard, i knew i met you at open house, Taryne, you're my favorite nervous auditioner ever, Eric, Brian, Erica, Damian, y'all did a killer job and welcomed us with loving arms ;) Anne, thank you. I'm glad I got to meet you before the school year started and I thank you for everything else this year.

Coming from a community college, I had never worked with or around Graduate students, and come the top of the year I got the opportunity to work with the amazing Lysa Fox as her AD. That led to my pairing with Albert and the vault into our Los Lobos world with Lauren, David, Madi, Aaron and Susana. Songs of the Siren: The Greeks that was an eye-opening experience. I distinctly remembering standing on top of "the table" during light tech and telling Anne that if it weren't for my time in the Navy, I would've tapped out a month or two earlier. Helluva run friends, even with the holiday week in the middle (which included my first Disneyland annual pass ever, my new girlfriend, Courtney's, birthday, my 28th birthday and turkey weekend up north).

Relaxing over winter break was much needed and quite lovely, but little did I know that the first half of Spring semester would be even busier than the last. Acting in Much Ado About Nothing in Santa Monica, Assistant Directing for Edgar with A Human Interest Story, and Directing Shanley's The Big Funk: A Casual Play for showcase was the recipe for internal combustion. being surrounded by talented, passionate, and COMpassionate people was such a reward for this triple-booking, and i mean it in every sense of the phrase, "i couldn't have done it without you"

The latter half of the semester was just as eventful, but sleep was actually a part of it. A few doors have opened in the last few months and I'm excited for each one. I'm proud to say I'm one of LB State's Directing Majors, directing the Scholarship Showcase next semester with a cast of talented actors, there's a voice-over role in the works, and just general growth. In the fall I'm taking my first acting class in at least a couple years, and I'm looking forward to sharing 318A with the lovely bunch of folks that are also involved. Being a director has taught my a lot about acting as well though, watching the auditions, the process, the growth, and sometimes just listening: to each other and to myself can bring you things you can't learn in a classroom.

Jay Samit, the guest speaker at COTA's Commencement this year spoke of a few rules in his speech, and Rule #4 was my favorite: [paraphrased] Live your own dreams for yourself, not for others. I may be almost 30, and i may have spent five years between high school and college working in engineering as a nuclear reactor plant electrician, but I'm here now. Not because I'm supposed to be, or because that's what I do after high school, but because I want to be. I do it because i want it. I love it and I will continue to do it. As long as I'm doing what I love, I'll get up the next day and do it again. I may kick, scream, and cry at times, but every opening night, every closing, every time there's another episode closed, I can look myself in the mirror and say I still love what I do, and I've got nowhere to go but up. I'm still learning, and I'll continue to learn, because the day I think i know everything is the day I should stop doing what I'm doing.

here's to us, friends. whether you're walking next spring with the rest of the Class of 2011, walked already, walking in the future, or walking to whatever drum you beat, this one's for you. [raises beer.] Thank you CSU Long Beach for this past school year, and here's to the summer time. Cheers.

ps. thanks to madi moon for being in the Studio that day. BAM.

11 March 2010

My Southern California Directorial Debut!!!

Through such catch phrases as "f**k my life" and "epic fail" adorning such minor mishaps as a pencil breaking or a dropped slice of cheese on the floor, many people have lost sight of the greater good. Society has taken a turn for the worse and has become its own worst enemy, sending the masses into a funk of wallowing misery. It isn't that bad, folks. It can always get worse, so enjoy it for what it is and just "live and let live."

The Big Funk,
by John Patrick Shanley
*edited for time

Directed by Marlon Deleon

Cast (in order of appearance):

Jill-Amelia Gonsalves
Fifi-Kristina Philipson
Omar-Steven LeFever
Austin-Corey Leis
Gregory-Mark Dunham

Start Time:
Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 11:00pm
End Time:
Friday, March 19, 2010 at 1:00pm
Room 24/26 (Showcase Room) in the basement of the Theatre Arts building at CSULB.
Long Beach, CA

NO ADMISSION FEE! Free theatre in LA County!! True story!

CSULB University Players presents...

Cal State Long Beach’s University Players Spring 2010 production of A Human Interest Story.

Somewhere in America, a man fantasizes about his best friend's wife. In another city, a young housewife momentarily loses sight of her children. Elsewhere, a politician relives a tragic second that forever changed his life, and a mother wonders where her teenage son got the gun. And in one town, a man on the verge of committing a horrific act of violence watches all this unfold on his TV screen. A HUMAN INTEREST STORY (OR THE GORY DETAILS AND ALL) is an unflinching portrait of an America obsessed with voyeurism. This mesmerizing, funny and frightening work asks the question: Is the imagination more cruel and unforgiving than reality?

Directed by Edgar Landa

Male Voice 1.................Martin Cruz
Male Voice 2.................Ivan Rodriguez
Male Voice 3.................Kyle Jones
Female Voice 1.............Jenna Skeva
Female Voice 2.............Lauren Thill
Female Voice 3.............Cassandra Babcock

Assistant Director: Marlon Deleon
Stage Manager: Natalie Riemer

Opens March 5th 2010 @8pm
Runs through to March 20th @8pm.
Tuesdays-Saturdays 8pm with Saturday 2pm showings.

Tickets are $15 for regular admissions and $12 for students and seniors.

Tickets can be bought at the CSULB Theater Department box office,

or online at:

Singing, Swing Dancing, and Shakespeare in Santa Monica!

Cruthaigh Productions presents:
William Shakespeare's MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING

Sunday and Monday nights, 7:30pm
February 21st-March 15th, 2010

A special guest production of the Promenade Playhouse
1404 3rd St Promenade, Santa Monica CA

Tickets $18 at the door (Cash Only)
or online (recommended) at

Starring (in alphabetical order)
Eric Billitzer as Leonato
Leon Cohen as Antonio
Marlon Deleon as Friar/Watchman
Tara Donovan as Beatrice
Dean Edward as Don Pedro
Ben Fitch as Dogberry
Roxanne Jaeckel as Verges/Balthasar
Robert Kane as Borachio
Sky King as Claudio
Sarah K. Morris as Hero
Sean Naughton as Benedick
Bryan Thomas as Conrade
Evelyn Christina Tonn as Margaret/Watchman
Constance Wu as Ursula/Seacoal
Brian Willis as Don John/Sexton

Directed by Josh Gren
Produced by Tara Donovan & Sean Naughton
Stage Manager Angela Lingrosso
Choreographed by Evelyn Meinz
Costume Design by Danielle Ozymandias
Hair Design by Matt Valle

10 January 2010

a crash course in honesty

originally written Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at 12:58am

i am here.
i am imperfect.
i make decisions for myself.
i know when i make mistakes.
i learn from them.
i love music.
i live with music.
i have songs that are memories.
i have memories that i don't like.
i am from oakland.
i am also from antioch.
i was raised in california.
i grew up in virginia beach.
i laugh when people say, "high school years are the best years of your life."
i have no family.
i have a family.
i have friends.
i am my own friend.
i am a musician.
i am a sailor.
i am a submariner.
i have traveled to the arctic circle, italy, norway, and scotland.
i know what it is like to be away from home.
i have disappeared from the world for weeks at a time.
i know what it is like to be alone.
i know what it is like to be loved.
i have loved.
i have lost.
i tried again
and again.
i keep trying.
i am going to make it happen.
i am in college.
i am an actor.
i am a director.
i am a student.
i am also a teacher.
but i am not a student teacher.
i used to be an alcoholic.
but i'm better now.
i do not hurt people intentionally.
i know when i do, though.
i don't say "i'm sorry" enough.
sometimes i'm still afraid to love
but i still do
and i probably always will.
i've been a fiance
and a daddy
but not a father.
i will be a husband
and a father
and a daddy.
i will love my wife and my children the way they should be loved.
i want a family.
is it possible to be an actor, a director, a husband, and a father?
i can only pray that being good at one will make me better at the other.
i am a brother
and a son.
i am a role model.
i am happy
as i am sad.
i do not regret.
but i am ashamed.
i know what i've done
and i will know what i am to do.
i am not an addict
nor am i an object.
i am a predator
and i have also been the prey.
i pray that strength comes to me as it is due.
i am honest.
i lie.
but i do not lie when i love.
truly love
honestly love
from the recesses of my soul that i cannot access willingly.
my mind will react
my soul will create.
i will ultimately decide.
and so will He.
i left.
He did not.
He never does.
i did.
but i'm back now.
i feel better now because of it.
i tell the truth because i want to.
i lie because i don't know what to do
or simply because i am scared.
i am scared.
i am sacred.
i love.
i do.
and i trust.
sometimes too much.
sometimes in the wrong thing.
i regain focus.
i do not look
i see.
i do not hear
i listen.
i love.
because i can
and i want to.
and i always will.
thank you.

getting cast in life, and making the most of your duty station

originally written Monday, July 21, 2008 at 6:52pm

actor. sailor. I am both. and this week I realized that they are more similar than people may think. whether your duty station assigned by the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines, or Navy, you are assigned to a location, a team, and a job.
I was sent to Great Lakes, Illinois, onto Charleston, South Carolina, and then to Norfolk, Virginia. All three of those locations are Navy bases. I went to boot camp, I went through the Nuclear Powers Program, and I was stationed on my submarine. I make friends at each site. I have stories and memories that only those that were there will understand. People will hear about it, but it's only the truth for those of us that lived it.

I did plays in high school at Deer Valley High School and Holy Rosary Theatre. When I moved back in '05, I started doing shows at DVC, and now I'm in a show with Shotgun Players in Berkeley. Different groups of people, different shows, different chapters of my life. whether it was with my submarine, my church theatre group, my directing class, or at John Hinkel Park, I've made friends. I've learned, I've watched, and I've experienced. many times, integrating chapters of your life are difficult. my fellow submariners may never meet my friends from high school. some of my fellow actors from DVC may not meet my UBU castmates.

sailor, actor, or director, one idea rings true. when the objective is reached, whether it is for national security or public entertainment, when the curtain goes down, some of those people will never be seen again. you try and try to stay in touch. but at some point, 99% of the time, it fades. another chapter in your life has closed, and you're transferred to another duty station 3,000 miles away, or you're doing another show in a different part of the country. granted, the theatre community is much smaller, and staying in the Bay Area the term "mutual friend" is like taking a breath. in the military it isn't that common. Ubu for President opens in two weeks. seven weeks after that the show will be closed, we'll all be doing other shows, I'll be getting ready to direct a play at DVC, and you'll be off singing, dancing, and/or auditioning with your boyfriend, for somewhere else, maybe nearby, perhaps across the country.

everyone has chapters. I get that. but mine end quicker. and happen faster and more rapid succession than a lot a people I've met. maybe it's making up for lost time, or maybe it's just because, for some reason, I was built to handle it. or at least handle it, better than most.
I know another chapter is approaching soon, and well, that means this one will be closing. maybe this transition will be smoother, and maybe I'll bring more people with me from this chapter into the next. with Shotgun I've officially started to branch away from DVC, and with directing at DVC, I've opened up another side of myself that can be marketed and publicized just as much as I can acting, singing, dancing, and musicianing (?).
maybe I will go to Long Beach, or if I can afford it, perhaps I actually will be able to move home to the east coast. or maybe I'll stay around a little longer than I intended in the Bay Area and learn more from all the new people I have just met. who knows. I sure as hell don't, but as the fingers fly across the keyboard, and the pencil scribbles across the notebooks, the chapters will end and begin again. they've been doing that for almost 27 years, and well, I think I'm doing okay. we'll just have to see.