Monthly Archives: September 2013

CRUSH IT online with video. Convo with Relentless Aaron

Biggest Things On My Agenda…

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Mason’s Miracle (Documentary), The Godfather/Wesley (short Film/Book Trailer), Tabboleno (Book Cover & E-Book setup), Clarence (Dot Net website, plus 2 video clips), a couple audio clips for Kysa, Eugene (Logo), CrossFit (Video Opener), Wilder (New Commercial), Mail Letters to Prisoners, New Video for Starbucks event, Plans for November Starbucks grand re-opening, East Atlanta website tighten up, 3 books in progress, Newsletter, Relentless Radio recording, Sanchia’s Wedding DVD & E-book…. and then there’s tomorrows show at Starbucks. In between there is the eating, the workouts, the sleep?

 In all, I hafta say life is very busy; a GOOD busy, thank God. The consistence led to the mastery. The mastery led to the acknowledgement, the acknowledgement led to the respect and investment… it all adds up to a legacy fulfilled. Gettin it. Workin it. Constantly. Alone. I asked for it. But in the meantime, I get to choose my clientele. I get to work my own hours, and I get to do it all in an environment of my choice, STARBUCKS.
I am grateful to all of you who have supported me and rooted for my over the years, as much as I am grateful to the clients, both long-term, new & old. This is a wonderful life.
#Relentless

 

AND AWAY SHE GOES; LESLIE ESDALLE BANKS, AKA “LA BANKS” (DECEMBER 11, 1959 – AUGUST 2, 2011)

(December 11, 1959 – August 2, 2011)

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LESS THAN A YEAR AGO, Leslie reached a pinnacle for a fiction writer, having introduced Barack Obama to an anxious audience, relating to Health Care Reform. She said in her speech that she and her daughter were “in perfect health.” But she also dropped in a “what if“, speaking to the possibility of her succumbing to a tragedy and not able to meet the rising costs of health insurance for herself & her daughter.

Today, that “what if” became the “what now,” as my friend Leslie Esdalle Banks, affectionately known as “LA,” lost her battle with cancer. I can’t help thinking, WHAT THE FUCK? In perfect health YESTERDAY, dead from cancer TODAY? Forget that she had dozens of books, and that she was author of the “SCARFACE” PREQUELS. Forget that she was up there with Barack and that she had legions of fans. Forget the fame and the glory of being an author known throughout the world. What I’m zooming in on is DAMN… is THIS my fate? Leslie was a great human being, much less a great author. She had a crystal clear sense of things; what the world calls on an author for; and she was talented in her pinkie, moreso than 5 Jay-Z‘s and 25 Lil Waynes are in their whole mass of flesh. All that and she gets dropped like a chunk of lead? I’m seeing all these news reports being pushed to my iPad screen about government and weather and traffic jams, and I’m wondering, CAN THIS BOSS-BITCH GET SOME LOVE!? (Please don’t get on me; Leslie and I were raw JUST like that; and she always appreciated my every word IN PUBLIC). But, I’m just sayin, does a writer hafta hold their crotch, strip naked and/or get into some domestic shit to get love. And people wonder why I’m so harsh with my words, and why I attack life as I do. Number one, THIS SHIT AIN’T PROMISED TO NOBODY. Number two,YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE. And finally, IF YOU DON’T RAP or TOSS A BASKETBALL, THE WORLD AT LARGE DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT YOU.

So, from today, I have learned a lesson; on Leslie’s name MASSIVE SUCCESS AWAITS ME. I AIN’T GOIN OUT LIKE THAT. I’M RIDING FOR RELENTLESS. I’M RIDING FOR MY FAMILY, MY READERS; MY CULTURE AND MY LEGACY. BUT, FUCK THAT, I’M RIDING FOR LESLIE!

R.I.P. MY GOOD FRIEND MY condolences to your family; my consideration to your agent and friend Manny Baron, and I wish good health and well-being to the rest of you, in this game of CHANCE & CHOICE that we call LIFE.

 

MURDER, JILL SCOTT & A CHEAP BURIAL AN EVENTFUL MONTH, INDEED!

If there were ever a weekend that can be entitled “Bananas,” then this past weekend was it. I shot two short films, went to see Jill Scott in concert, and there was the “wow moment” Like to hear it? Here it goes:

Thanks to a close friend managing the Jill Scott concert tour, I get to see my first concert (as a spectator) in over 5 years. *Explanation? I don’t have the time, and I am NOT a spectator. Meanwhile, it was “up in the air” as to weather I’d get backstage passes or if I’d get prize seats where I’d hafta sit my ass down and watch the show, just like everyone else at Chastain Park. Well,it was my FIRST encounter at Chastain, so I wasn’t prepared: didn’t know I could bring a cooler w/food, liquor, etc. So, I couldn’t “ball” like everyone else displaying their brands of Hennessy and Don P, or the home-cooked chicken and corn on the cob. It was just me, my baby and some concession wine (gag me with a spoon on the concession shit). Anyhow, while I could’ve been seated anywhere in the intimate arena, why was I positioned to run into, then sit nearby my very FIRST girlfriend (we’ll call her the actress), and why was it such an out-of-body experience? Well, the short story is our relationship was long & short, sweet & sour. At age 16 she snuck across all of New York, from her Mom’s Brooklyn crib, to be in my arms, dry-humping in my cove/the family basement on Lorraine Avenue in Mt. Vernon.

We humped until we ran out of options. Its just as well, since I was 19/just right for first loves, but just right for jail too. One thing led to another and my obsession with the actress ran out of steam.

She was on her amateur carpet ride thru The School of The Arts/NY while I was still navigating my way through life as a ne’er-do-well entrepreneur-slash-promoter-slash-connector. So, seeing her now, the visionary that I’ve become, knee-deep in hit novels, quickly threw me back into time. In that instant, my mind raced, zipping along the timeline of my first love… our 1st meeting at The Fun House, where I begged my friend (and big brother) Tiny Wood (promoter of Friday nights at the busy club) to allow then-unknown Dougie Fresh to rock the mic… the timeline that reminds me of our many phone calls where I would fall asleep during the convos… there was our mild break-up and our re-uniting thru my prison letters… there were her visits to the prison and our vows to see life thru until death do us part, and then of course the homecoming. Ahhhhh, the homecoming.

Sweet redemption it was to have (in my young eyes) the most beautiful, talented, aspiring ingenue waiting for me… waiting to give herself to me, wanting (in her words) to feel “all of me” and our making that b-line for the local CVS for contraceptives…

“the sponge” is what it was called. (Do they still manufacture those? lol) And so hasty was I to get inside of her… just throw this mattress on top of these milk carats, since there was no bed frame/you know, the normal shit in a bedroom?  Yes, all of that flashed thru my cranium, including all the advice I impregnated her with; advice she swore helped her ace her studies and master her craft. Sure, here is where I play the high road and humble myself: “Oh she was destined for greatness, with or without me.” But in the back of my mind I know better. I know that we’re all connected and that there is always cause and effect. So then, maybe I caused Lisa’s effect? Maybe I directed her, coached her, mentored her so that she’d achieve greater results in school, and then in her professional life as an actress? Yes, indeed, I’ll need to claim at least that, even as our short love affair ended quaintly thanks to a sex that was sort of confusing. Our sex was so miserable and uncharted (no skills/no purpose), and there was a point when it all came to an abrupt halt. She didn’t know what to do for a man coming home from a 33month prison stint, and I didn’t know how to nurture, elevate or mature the love we claimed. So, that merely prefaces the reality of now; how I was a deer caught in headlights when running into her Lisa some 25 years later.

Yes, I’ll say that I’m the ex-boyfriend you wanna keep hidden and tucked away/especially if you’re mixing and mingling with the Tyler Perrys and Cicily Tysons of the world.

But doesn’t everyone have a past that brings them to “now?” And for me, now was even quite interesting, how I ended up in Atlanta and not California. How I ended up in Conyers Georgia, more comfortable for me than Cascade or Camp Creek, places I tested and “camped” at with my computer and talents. And of course, here in Conyers is where I met, connected with and became close friends with a guy who manages concerts… concerts that include Jill Scott. Add to all the ironies, Lisa & I us were so many years from ever connecting directly, and so many miles from her Brooklyn upbringing and my Mt Vernon upbringing… so many miles and so many years away from NY and that single night at the Fun House… this was one of those moments where the Heavens opened up and music serenaded me, reminding me that I was special, that God is watching and that I could not and would never escape Her presence in my life. God, not Lisa.  So, here we are at the Jill Scott concert, on the Saturday/my choice between 2 shows, 2 rows away from my old flame, my first love, my student, my long lost… and our eyes connected from about 100 feet away. It wasn’t an sort of magnetism as though we were crazy about seeing one another. It wasn’t me being star-struck. After all, I had worked with quite a number of celebrities in the past 25 years, from the rapper 50 Cent, to the actor/Film maker Bill Duke with over 150 films to his credit. No, it wasn’t her celebrity that got me. And I’m sure Lisa had also grown into her own reality as a celebrity; I had seen her in a few movies beside leading actors. So then, why was this so special? And why didn’t I make that approach upon first sight? Was I too cocky? Too proud? “Girl, I know you made it to the big time, but do you remember who helped you get there? No, this was crazy (or as I said, bananas) for a number of other reasons. Number one, I could’ve chosen another night to come to the show; it didn’t hafta be this night. Number two, Jill Scott performs in many states throughout the country, and Lisa , with her acclaimed actress pocketbook could’ve easily seen this show somewhere else. Furthermore, we could’ve totally missed one another in this cord of thousands if, say, I was positioned on the other side of the arena; or if I’d been backstage, the only place I know. ADD TO THAT, DOUGIE FRESH up on stage, emcee’ing the Jill Scott concert, importing his various “Greatest Entertainer” skills to keep the crowd rockin. Much different from 25 years earlier when I brought him onstage at the Fun House… the night I met Lisa for the first time… the night where the crowd made that abrupt/screaming exit when someone got stabbed… No, I won’t give it all away (you’ll need to read the book for all the juicy details). But lets just say the irony of me and Lisa running into one another at this Atlanta concert was a million-to-one. Something that leaves you asking: “What are the odds?”

But the greater point here is Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 9.39.12 PM My life, I’ve come to realize, is truly a MAGNET. In fact LIFE IS MY MAGNET. It draws to me EXACTLY what is supposed to come my way. And that’s how I live. And so it is.
BTW, the photos at the cemetery are from a film I shot the same morning called “TYRONE’S REVENGE, starring the Comedic-actor Donald Long & Comedian C Davis. And herein is the trailer for the “Facebook Murder” episode: Enjoy and COMMENT!

 

As for the murder that I witnessed? I really planned it all. I stalked this pretty mothafucka via Facebook, I called her office and eventually followed her home/broke into her house to stand over here while she was naked and masturbating in her jacuzzi. Yes, I did all this, but I did it thru a script, actors, and filming! And now, if you haven’t already seent it, here’s the trailer for the episode of Facebook Murders