My wife and I had literally been living in L.A. a month when we learned that I had been cast in this film and would need to fly back to the Midwest for filming. Little did I know stepping onto the plane at LAX that I was flying out to meet friends I'm still honored to hang out with today.
For those who don't know, I'm not the biggest fan of horror films. Not because I don't enjoy scary things, or hate gore. I don't mind that stuff at all. What I dislike about most horror films are the ridiculous choices the characters in them often make. As comedian Pablo Francisco hilariously sums up. "Those kids are so easy to kill, you can strangle them with a cordless phone."
House of Purgatory was different. An awesome premise and (gasp) solid character development intrigued me to sign on for a couple weeks of night shoots on the frozen tundra of Green Bay. It was also the first big film I would act in where I was one of the starring players.
Seeing House of Purgatory on the big screen this past weekend was crazy awesome. For starters, it premiered at Raleigh Studios, one of the biggest independent studios in Hollywood. While waiting in the commissary for the screening, I wondered what my Western-loving grandpa would think if he knew I was hanging out on a set built for Frank Sinatra's Johnny Concho. Craziness.
After the film ended, I watched two my best friends, writer/director Tyler Christensen and producer Nick Harder, take questions from the audience. Sitting there, listening to their answers, I thought back to the SAG Foundation screening several weeks ago where I listened to another good friend, writer/actor/producer James Gilbert, answering questions about his film, The Contract. Or writer/director Patrick Christl and his film, Ends Runway, at the Illinois International Film Festival, and watching all the numerous commercials and works recently filmed by my friend Wojciech Kielar.
And it was then I thought of a line in an Emerson quote:
"A man is known by the company he keeps."
I can't tell you have privileged I feel to be in the company of doers like the men I just mentioned.
You'll notice I didn't say 'dreamers'.
Anyone can dream. Doers see dreams accomplished.
Most people will never know the obstacles each of the men I listed above had to face in order to see their dream realized. Whether losing locations at the last minute, carving pumpkins and slogging through the freezing mud to hang them, or, most importantly, believing in themselves enough to knuckle down and truly work to do what they said they would...my hat's off to each of you and my many thanks for allowing me to contribute what I could to see your dreams realized.
Author. Actor. Rascal.