Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Work is Starting to Pick Up...

Hey folks, sorry to keep you waiting (or drive you away from the inconsistency), but as I predicted, the work has picked up.  Currently I am driving for a reality show for P Diddy (it's not "Making The Band") , wherin Chyll Will gets to test drive some SUVs all day/night... I've driven an Expedition (the training-wheels brand for full-size SUV owners), and the Chevy Tahoe (nice, but not much for cargo room when all seats are up).  I've heard top marks for the GMC Yukon (handles well and smooth ride) which I'll eventually get behind the wheel of soon... well hey, it is P Diddy after all.  

The past Monday, the production caravaned down the NJ Turnpike to Fort Dix, NJ, where the contestants (more on that in another post) participated in some competitive drills.  I found a number of crushed empty rifle shells, which I plan to give to my niece >;)  and I chatted with some of the Army soldiers who escorted us.  I can say this with absolutely no fear of reprisal or contradiction, that the soldiers are not happy about Iraq and how it's caused havoc and financial distress on their personal lives.   It's cool that most civilians I've observed have been sympathetic to the trials the soldiers have endured personally while having to fight in a war that should've never happened in a lot of peoples' opinion, but unfortunately the federal government... well never mind, that's an entirely different post yet to come. 

After this, which should wrap around mid-May, I'm helping a publisher convert some files into Microsoft Publisher for a yearbook-type of thingy, I'm not sure (but apparently I'm the only temp in the tri-state area with experience with Microsoft Publisher, which makes me wonder how bad this possibly could be...) and then I'm lining up some stagehand work, doing concert load-ins and load-outs.  Hey, it's steady work, which I need to support myself for two reasons:

A.)  I intend to move from my current basement (and periodically flooded) apartment asap, likely to a larger space that is AWAY from the noise and filth of lowlife neighbors, so I need consistent paystubs to show that I'm capable of maintaining the rent, and...

B.) This might render the first point moot, but I'm planning to produce and direct several scripts I have written or edited, which means that I will be approaching the big time soon.  

I have a feature that I've been writing and rewriting for several years, and it has generated some interest among aspiring producer folk.  I have a producing partner who's making contacts like crazy and reaching places I've not dared to go who is absolutely behind me on this; he told me today that he showed a piece of my work to another aspiring producer who now is interested in contacting me (I'm flattered, but I'm also loyal), not to mention some of the experienced industry folk who have peeked at a portion of my work and have really liked it.  So, now you have an idea of the stress I was feeling at least a month ago, which has dissipated somewhat as I put plan A in action and actively develop plan B.  I predict major relief by June, but in the meantime I'm hanging on and making adjustments.  

So, what does this all mean?  I'm cautiously optimistic, but working hard to make this really happen.  I'll keep you posted... >;)  

Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Chyll Will!

See this guy, who probably has better things to do than to pose for a group photo? Back in the early part of the seventies, they all probably did. I recall times and places in that era like they were yesterday, mainly because they were a time of innocence that didn't require a lot of filtering or blocking. My oldest sister Terry took this picture of her younger siblings, including the new addition about to protest on the right. He's not quite certain how he ended up with a fade, nor how he's caught wearing all pink. Perhaps it's to accesorize the pink Cadillac he's expecting to drive in a few years (he ended up driving a '67 Mustang instead), and he doesn't seem quite thrilled with the sudden burst of light. (A subsequent picture with Terry in it confirmed that he's not a fan of flash photography).

We lived at 273 Spring Street in Ossining, NY at the time. Years later, when I was working at a vinyl factory in Ossining, one of my co-workers wondered how he was gonna get back home in time for something, remarking that he lived right on Spring Street. "Is it 273 Spring Street?" I asked off-handedly. His eyes grew wide in disbelief. "How did you know??" his jaw dropping to the floor.

There was a large ochre-yellow building across the street from out building that first served as a kindergarten school, then a plumbers' store. It's gone now, replaced by a church with a steeple. In the subsequent years after we had left Spring Street, 273 had been boarded up for a number of years, but some time in the nineties it was refurbished and is now a co-op. From the looks of it now, you can tell that it was probably once a mansion; what with a front door that was sectioned off as another apartment (my best friend Ernest lived there) and a detailed facade. I recall the huge steel door that enclosed our apartment. I also remember tossing things out the window; books, silver, anything I could get my hands on. For years, we had incomplete series of World Book Encyclopedia, Encylopedia Britannica and The Young Children's Encyclopedia... did I mention that I love books?

I remember tripping on this large root under a tree in the backyard (still there, I'm told) and crying everytime I fell down. I also remember Mom's car right before we moved; a white 1974 Chevy Impala. I sat in the baby seat and watched intently how she shifted and maneuvered everything that made it go. Noting this herself, Mom bought a toy steering console to keep me occupied (did she suspect something?) and we had many adventures riding to and from the stores nearby and in distant towns. At this age, I often visited my grandparents and uncles, who still lived in North Tarrytown. I remember when my father would come home and we all sat down for dinner; when we had steak he always cut my piece into little bite-sized cubes that I would happily chew on forever (or throw at everyone, whichever I felt like doing at the moment)...

Everyone in the building we lived in took their garbage to a shed on the end of the dead end street that the building cornered. Often I would follow whoever's turn it was to take the garbage down the street to this shed, where we were just as often met with the familiar stench of old garbage and skunks. Yes, skunks. On several occasions we witnessed skunks tipping the tops off the metal trash cans, and that would be our cue to RUN!, with or without the garbage bags in tow. I was pretty fast when I wanted to be; you can ask anyone of my family who tried to give me a spanking for any one of various infractions of my youth >;)

The walks were the best. We walked all over town or wherever we happened to go. There's a park not far from 273 Spring Street; Nelson Park, and my Mom or siblings would walk me to either the park or towards the main highway (Route 9, also called Highland Street throughout Ossining), and invariably carry me back home. There's a KFC along Highland Street that seems to have been there forever; whenever I have occasion to stop in Ossining, I go there. I learned to love Kentucky Fried at this age, so much that I walked there myself two or three times. I learned the lay of the land fairly easily for a really little child; an instinct that serves me well to this day. Of course, nowadays I don't get spanked for wandering off by myself...

Sing-Sing Prison was also nearby, and my youngest sister and I would often walk over there and try to throw rocks over the wall. I had no idea that it was a prison, mind you, and I'll bet my sister didn't really know either. I can't honestly think of what I thought it was, but I do recall admiring the setting sun over the sillouhette of the walls and watchtowers. Maybe I thought it was a marina of some sort, because I remember thinking of boats. I'm certainly glad I was not curious enough to want to know what was inside. I have a good idea now, and to say the least, I'm not that interested, but they do have a museum...

We left Ossining in 1974, mainly because my mother and father were splitting up again. I remember the Ryder moving truck in front of the building, and how various relatives and friends helped to move our things into thr truck. My contribution was to roll my brother's billiard balls up the ramp... thr truck moved on and we climbed into the Impala and moved on ourselves, to a very wooded place that would prove to be my most favorite address in my life. Welcome to Teatown Lake Reservation, Croton-on-Hudson...

(I have a feeling that this will be continued!) >;)