Updated: Sep 21
Most people I meet are completely perplexed and frustrated by my personality until they get to know me. Initially, they see me as loud, opinionated, contrary, and difficult to get along with. Of course all of these things are true, but perspective goes a long way. I would like to take you all on the sometimes interesting, mostly frightening journey that made me the "me" I am today. Once i share the story with you, i think you will understand why virtually every person I have met has grown to like me... at least a little bit.
Our adventure begins around 11:45pm somewhere near San Francisco. I had no way of knowing where I was; I had a seizure and my mind was elsewhere so it is difficult to say what time it was exactly. Seizures cause waking thoughts to turn into vivid dreams and hallucinations. So, though I was wandering aimlessly down the Caltrain tracks near the Bayshore station, I was under the impression that I had drifted asleep on the train. The freezing temperature and blistering pain in my leg finally brought me back to the horrifying reality playing before my eyes.
I had no idea where I was and was still extremely fatigued so I walked (more like gracefully collapsed) onto the rocks near the tracks; I then slid down near the dirt where it would be far more unlikely for me to get hit if a train started barreling down the track in pitch black. I had no idea what time it was. My backpack, which had my phone in it, was gone, along with my favorite jacket. I looked around for the phone, but could not find it anywhere. Oddly enough, the account to it was finally locked a few weeks back. You were only nine months late google. Good job!
As I slowly and painfully limped to the bay shore station I thought to myself, "Is this it? Is this what I've been working so hard for?"I sat there and cried for awhile, thinking of my life, and the fact that I wouldn't be home till 2:00am. I thought about having to crash at my mom's again and how my wife would worry about me. I thought about my son never seeing me and the anguish that probably put him through as a young boy. I thought about the seizure I had on stage at Stanford Rep and how they never cast me again. I thought about not being able to drive and having to commute for seven hours a day to work five hour shifts. I thought about being looked over by casting director after casting director because I was too loud, too proud, too over the top, too black, too fat, too thin, whatever... The point is you're never good enough. You never live up to their standard; you'll always be second best. So I cried. I cried like no man has ever cried before.
The train arrived about thirty minutes later and i hobbled on. An hour and a half later I was in San Jose and sleeping on my mom's sofa bed with a badly bruised leg. At the time I had a bachelor's degree, had performed with well known Broadway actors, and was a published poet. So... what went wrong?
Basically, I was too sick to be an actor. My epilepsy was seen as an obstacle to peak performance, even though epileptics have been shown to demonstrate superior intellect, especially in the arts. But Californians don't go for all that fancy book learning. In fact, California has a long history of eugenics tightly sewn into its liberal veneer. It did not allow epileptics to marry until the 1970s and barred epileptics from the very theaters I have acted in across the state. This should not be surprising as Adolph Hitler used California's eugenics policy in particular as a model for his sterilization and killing of jews, romani, poles, french, blacks, and various others, including epileptics. But I'm sure that's just happenstance! Forced sterilizations of women prisoners were found to be occurring in California only a few years ago as well. But, i digress.
So I decided to get well. I had already invested too much time and energy in acting. So, I started eating healthier, sleeping better and taking my medicine again. I had stopped taking my medicine because, according to Christian cults, which I was a member of, medicine is of the devil. I joined a Christian cult online (there are many in California) after the mental breakdown I suffered as a result of losing my career to epilepsy. I had grown to hate the person I had become while in this cult and I projected that hatred onto my friends and family, destroying relationships along the way. But that's a whole other story.
I did get well. I lost about eighty pounds and I have not had a seizure since December, 2019, which is really big for me because I generally have seizures at least once a week. I was also able to obtain four jobs in four months, all of them acting jobs, and, for a time, I finally got to live my dream. Now, that's all been wiped out by the children in chief who bicker over pennies instead of caring about our health and well-being. Policies are always too expensive if it involves helping the peasantry. I don't blame the pandemic for my job loss. I don't blame average people either. I blame the idiots in charge who tried to kill me by not approving my disability insurance, including both idiots in the prior and current administrations. They are genocidal maniacs and deserved called that for what they did to me and my family.
So, here I am: a thirty-five year old artist who beat the worst odds to achieve his dream only to have it snatched away again. Did I cry when the pandemic hit? Sure, a little bit, but nowhere near as much as when I cried at the train station. In fact, deep down, I was happy to just be with my wife and son again.
I still wonder if I'll ever go back to acting full time after this all ends sometimes. I wonder if acting is worth the commute, the lack of family, the isolation... But I also know I was not meant to sit behind a desk or stand behind a podium. So, here I am. writing the blog that i said I would never write. If there's one thing you can say about me it's that I never give up. I guess that's the real reason most people end up liking me. There's nothing more human than laughing in the face of adversity.