Friday, April 28, 2006

Chapter 7 - Murphy's Law

Murphys Law states, "what ever CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong." Murphy and I had been friends for quite awhile now. We'd go for drinks, dinner, hell, we were inseparable after I decided not to follow in my father's footsteps and go to Med School. When my father and I exited the movie theater after watching Raiders of the Lost Ark, I had made my decision on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was gonna make movies. My father ignored my plea that day, thinking it was just a kids pipe dream. Boy, if he would have only known. With a very calm and silent irritation, my father started excepting that I would not be attending Chapel Hill or Wake Forest to continue my education. I wasnt a very good student to begin with. I had been blessed with an above average IQ, but cursed with the plague that is sweeping the nation, ADHD, learning disabilities and all the other lame excuses for a kid to be labeled, abnormal. When I did have a chance to do well, upon returning to public school after being shifted from boarding school to boarding school, I wasted it by spending my time writing and designing an underground newspaper. It was a way I felt to channel the anger of that Generation X founding generation. We were pissed about something. Looking back, I cant remember why. My sister had finished up the Preppy generation where beer drinking consumed the weekends with occasional ganja use thrown in. With our generation the "Ganj" and Alcohol were a prerequisite and LSD and Mushrooms were the drug of choice. Desert Storm was going on, OJ Simpson was killing his wife, the murder rate in our small town was up 30 percent and our school was a 'firearm on property' away from metal detectors. My newspaper made fun of all this including critiquing the revolutionary alternative music coming in. Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sound garden and Mother Love Bone had just penetrated the radio airplay and little knew how big it would become. With my opinion obviously not the Voice of a whole generation, I would throw in the school gossip to keep people interested. There columns on who was fucking whom; where the parties were; who was dating and breaking up with who and who was fucking whom again, of course. These little columns were the ones that would have people begging me for a copy every Friday afternoon. At the height of the papers popularity and about the same time we published the brackets for the 65 man drinking championship to take place that summer, an assistant principal would acquire a copy of my debacle of a periodical. With heavy interrogation of students, the principal, (already having a hard on for me,) found me as the prime suspect. He pulled me out of Spanish class and searched my book bag. In it, he would find the master copy of the latest issue. That was all he needed.

The first time I met Murphy was in that principals office with my parents sitting next to me. My father had to leave work, canceling all his afternoon appointments, which was an absolute no-no in his book unless somebody was dying. What he didnt realize is that there was death-taking place. My chance to attend med school. The principal without blinking an eye suspended me for a whopping ten days. How fitting You were only allowed to miss nine days, before you would flunk out of high school. This punishment was also the record for the school as the biggest suspension given outside of the alcohol, drug and firearm policies of the NC Board of Education Procedures. (There were of course no Debauchery Style Newspaper actions in that book, so I was free game.) All that for a harmless newspaper? I suppose the principal handing out my punishment was not pleased about the joke I made about him in my in school column and maybe thats why there was such a vendetta. Who knows? As embarrassing as it was, Murphy, my parents and I walked off the school grounds and I could not help but try and forget that I had just become Class of 94 instead of my proposed 93 alumnus status.

Then Murphy and I had a falling out and parted ways for a couple of weeks, as members of my school began protesting the harsh punishment bestowed on me and staged small rallies on the freedom of speech and press. They pasted banners, signs, and flyers that read Save Garrick. Save our Rights, all over the walls and lockers. Then, with a petition signed by almost 700 classmates and a school board meeting in my favor, I was released from my ten day suspension and allowed to return to school, one day shy of the flunking out deadline, leaving me only one thing left to do. Not miss another day. Of course my paper was banned from the school grounds. There was such a demand for the return of it, that of course being the idiot that I was, I continued to do it. Only I was smarter this time, and distributed it in McDonalds parking lot on Friday nights. So needless to say, I managed to graduate, but my grades reflected my actual work in the books. I had done all the cool things at all the wrong times. If there is a positive twist on the situation, I had at least built a legacy that is still talked about as of today.

Here are a couple of covers of the infamous newspaper.

After graduation night, Murphy and I were friends again. With my post high school future looking grim for a four-year college right out, I knew I had to hit the books at the local community college. Despite my fathers belief, I considered turning it around and actually working toward a four-year degree followed by med school at a North Carolina college.

Then Fucking Murphy. In the class of 1990, beyond my group of friends knowledge, there was a group of guys who had an enterprise shaping up, or should I say, shaping out. They were running marijuana cross-country from San Diego and bringing it to our little town. The police were aware of the amount that was coming in and after a string of events; they were all caught two years after they had started it. Two of my friends actually worked for one of the guys involved, (in one of his legit businesses,) three months before the big bust. This led all of us to end up partying together after the work and school were done. We had no idea that they had been put on surveillance and been getting tracked. We just enjoyed hanging out at their house, because we had still not left the teat of our parents casa. When they were busted we were shocked, but really did not think much about it. They had just been friends for the moment anyway. A month after their trials began, the police were baffled that the same amount of drugs had been pouring into our town.

They must have missed something, they thought.

Of course We had inherited the business. They had seen us on surveillance. We were the masterminds behind the whole operation. It was the kids fresh out of high school too dumb to go to any college, but smart enough to import pounds and pounds of weed from the West Coast and distributed to all the masses in our shit town.

I did not even smoke pot. I hated it. I wouldnt know how to sell it if it were legal, but before long, I had become Joe Pesci in the movie, Casino and I am not exaggerating. There was a police officer waiting for me outside of work and following me wherever I went. I went on a date one night and they pulled us over after leaving the movie theater, searched my car with dogs and claimed I had been drinking, just so they could escort my date home in a police car, (ruining any chances for a second one.) Every time I left school they would follow me home. If I left a friends, they would pull me over, search the car with dogs, give me a Breathalyzer and completely harass me to the point of complete frustration. After a fabricated charge of a concealed weapon for a pocket knife in a camping pack, a DWI where I even passed the blood test, and a Larceny charge over a handicap placard that I never knew was under my seat, (all in a week,) my father had disowned me. He believed the polices ploy that I was the drug kingpin so he told me that if I was going to Los Angeles, that was the time to do it. He drove me out there, handed me a wad of money and told me good luck. I was ashamed and baffled about what had happened, but looking on the Brightside, I was in Los Angeles. I had a chance to make it all right. I needed a handful of electives and I was shooting for UCLA. I was going to spare my dad any more money and not apply until my California residency came up. That was the least I could do. I dropped Dad off at the airport and spent two tanks of gas driving through every city in Los Angeles County, studying my new home with a smile on my face. With the top down on my prized Jeep and the sun in my face, I thought of the films I was going to make. I thought of how lucky I was despite Murphys presence in those last months of my hometown career.

But hey, there was no more Murphy, police, newspapers, court dates It was me alone in the big city and another chance at greatness, I mumbled passing the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Two weeks later, my Jeep was stolen from the secured parking lot of my apartment complex and I never saw it again. Murphy had found me. We were now blood brothers. He would shadow me from that moment until this very day.


I hand Jon the business proposal for my video plans for him to deliver the dossier to the Hot Investor.

I am going to see her the day after tomorrow, Jon assured me. I again emphasized the importance of not being pushy. We parted ways. I could not help but feel relieved almost anxious about the endeavor I was about to embark on. Maybe Murphy had gotten sick of my shit since I had settled down a little and made my self a two year plan. Maybe he needed a new friend to push around. He had been almost non-existent in the past three weeks. Maybe he had become bored of making my life miserable. If that was the case, I can't say Id miss him all that much even after all these years together.

The Day after Tomorrow came...... A car struck Jon on his bike when it ran a red light at an intersection.

*Footnote: When I departed for LA and my friends disbarred soon after. The very cop that had me pegged as the drug kingpin, went undercover and caught his drug importers a year later. To everybodys surprise, none of us were involved. It took over ten years, a private investigator, thousands of dollars, and two lawsuits to get an apology and my fabricated papers displaying the background of my life expunged of the false reports. (My background check had prevented me from six job opportunities in LA.) The only positive that came out of that situation was, I had proven to my parents that I had not been hiding any truths. I had been right all along.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Chapter 6 - The Hot Investor

So everybody back at Smut Headquarters in Charlotte are stoked about my movie plans. We have tried to keep it on the down low for one simple reason. AEBN has said they would love to fund the movie, but in that lies the double edged sword because if we would go to the big guys we would get our movie made, but our goal to be a profitable business would be crushed under the corporate sixteen wheeler. We would make a couple hundred bucks and the movie, its rights, and everything involved in it would be theirs. That is why we are seeking outside funds in the first place; so that we have leverage on the amount we sell it for, right? If I became desperate a year down the road Id jump under the truck. For now, I still have pride. My friend and soon to be business partner, Jon, who I trust immensely had taken a real interest in my endeavor. When I began the gig at AEBN, we immediately hit it off. We shared the same interests with the exception of music. He listened to the Eels religiously. I would just assume press on my eyes for six hours than to listen to the Eels. Mark Everett has a voice like finger nails scraping down a four-story chalkboard. Despite that, we gelled. He started to tell me how about a friend of his that may have the means to help me and she loved porn, smut and all the debauchery that comes along with it. Jon and her were close. He brought this up to me a couple of times. I listened but didnt really react to it at first, due to my training in this sort of talk. I have spent years and years surrounded by bullshitters and dead beats. I was on the theory that about 15f will do intentions in people are actually carried out. Ive always been a bullshitter as well. Ill stretched the truth if needed and Ill save a friend with a little white lie occasionally, but you will never hear me talk about doing something and not do it, (without at least attempting to.) Nor will you ever catch me look you in your eye and tell you I will do something and NOT do it. To make a long story short, I keep my guard up when somebody tells me they can do things or they know, a friend of a friend. Nine times out of ten, its smoke. With Jon, there seemed to be a little fire. He was persistent and from what I could tell followed through on his ventures. He was determined to put his friend and I in the same room together. I began to believe him and became curious. He was actually stoked on being a part of this. In all honesty, he had done more in a couple of weeks, than any of the sales guys we had done in six months. He had actually scored me a tangible in the flesh lead. I told him if this deal could be sealed, he would get ten percent of profits on top of a quick cash check on principal photography day. Unfortunately, in the real world, people have to work and live, so its not easy just to get people together with out plans and calls. It takes time and I had plenty of it. I was patient. I still searched other leads during the time, but Jon just kept talking about this girl.

Do you have any pictures of her, so I can match a name with a face, I finally asked.
You can go to my profile on Xpeeps or My Space and look her up, he replied. (Of course. My Space Imagine that.)

I grazed his profile and found her. I had heard nothing but good things about her for three weeks; I had to see what she was all about. This girl was beautiful. I mean, wow. I dont know if I was intimidated at first sight or just relieved at what I saw. It turned out that Jon had failed to tell me she had a little girl, which made her triple cool in my book. I was blown away. Shes totally hot, and she may be interested in helping me?

Jon, I love you man, I rejoiced silently. This would be the coolest outcome a desperate guy could ever ask for. We could meet up. Have a drink. Talk on the same level. I could lay out the plan for her. No bullshittin. No kissing ass. No graphs. No projected annual earnings. No red tape. Simply, a look youll make your money back. That is a guarantee.

I thought how it would be if she stayed on the set with us and saw how we were making the masterpiece with no pressure at all that some schmuck, fat business man pushing fifty would follow me around asking obscure questions like: When do I get my blow job? This would be the greatest scenario in the quest for adult film breakout. Young, hip artists doing their thing, having a good time and making some money on the back end To think, all this from a guy who only knows my reputation from a couple of smut films and my work ethic at AEBN. I could not let him down. He had put too much faith in me.

Jon promised to get us together. I told him there was not rush. We had until mid-May. I took the liberty of giving him my business plan for the movie.

"Give this to her first. Let her look it over. I dont want her to feel like were pushing, because we are not. By all means, its her money. Her investment. I want her to want to do it. Not feel muscled into it," I explained. If she likes it, then well make a date for all of us to meet.

Jon agreed nicely, even after repeating my spill three times while both our hands were on the business plan, with Jon waiting patiently for me to release it. He walked out. I sat for a moment. Exhaled

I thought, my God. This was the first relaxing moment I've had during this whole ordeal.

Maybe Just Maybe.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Chapter 5 - Vindicated by Myspace

So there's this little thing on the Internet in the past that I have made fun of. Called it childish B.S. A self-indulgent attempt to bring attention to yourself. Called it as bad as having a website about yourself when you have no product to sell or are not some kind of known person. Presently, they call this virus, "My Space." I was doing a television show down in Florida and some guy signed me up for it, because he said it would be a good way for the cast and crew to interact. I had always used the telephone or email... Did not need any kind of "space" to do it. I completely ignored our account until an old ex-girlfriend somehow found me on it. I had no profile picture. No bullshit stuff about me... Nothing. I got the message through my email. I had not talked to her in awhile. Then another friend from out west found me. I thought it to be OK for the moment. Then my Fianc found it and did not take well to an ex being a friend on the profile thingy. She quickly cancelled the account. At that point, I was OK with it. I had not really paid that close attention to it anyway. To me, it was just another log in and password to keep up with. Three months later, my web guru showed me his profile. He had snazzed it up tremendously and told me that it was a good way to advertise a little. He had already scored a little work off of it. I had also improved my web skills quite a bit so I made another attempt at the My Space thing. I too snazzed my profile up, making links to my company site, requested a friend from out west and let it rest. The next time I logged on, I had found every friend I ever had out west and suddenly the My Space idea was becoming a little cool. Then week after week, I began to find friends, I went to high school with. I had yet to score any business off of it, but at this point I did not really mind. It was a nice way to find out what all the "old school" people of my past life were doing. Myspace I began to say, was a place to catch up with somebody without having to actually call them. Although real conversation is much better than any email in the virtual world, the Myspace messages get you in and get you out, because some of the people you reacquaint with are people you would fall short of conversation with on the phone, in ten minutes. I have 57 friends... That would be some minutes on my cell even if I limited my conversation to three minutes apiece. So anyway, you email once to say hey, then you reply a hand full of times and then you dont correspond for five months and then Repeat process with everybody you find.

That was my Myspace experience until last Thursday night when I found, my mentor, who I consider pound for pound one of my best friends of all time. Our interests were exactly the same. When we were working together the production was flawless. When we were playing we were entertainment enough. We just got it. I have spent years fighting between committing to a life as his right hand man and staying on the East Coast with my woman, making my own way. The decision I had to make at least four times had never really given me resolve. I had just been forced to accept it. In a perfect world, I could have him as a friend and business partner while being able to have my life with her here. (She wouldnt move anywhere away from her family. I on the other hand could go anywhere, anytime.) I left LA for all the wrong reasons and I will never forgive myself for that. There is no telling where I would be in my career almost four yeas later had I stayed and stuck out the burnout period. After leaving I had spent a year being just as financially unsound as I had been when I was out west. This guy had given me opportunities to come back where I belonged. The only problem was that the gesture in itself was a double-edged sword. The first time I did the LA trip I had stayed for a month. That was how long I was going to need to make the money to return. I had managed to finagle a client I had been working for at the time to let me use his UPS account to send my editing bay, cameras and everything I owned to his house. Unbeknownst to everybody, I was not coming back. By living on his couch for a month with no substantial way to save money due to the glass we were doing to stay awake at the editing bay, eating out and money spent catching up with everybody else, I was no better off. Meanwhile, on the East Coast, the house I had left hoping my old roommates would step up to the plate was falling apart. Mandi, my girlfriend had taken over my spot in that very house. Unfortunately, I had not covered my ass and left my name on the lease. I left LA to return and take care of business, with the intention on going right back and well, my Jeep never made the trip back across the desert.
(If you want the full story of this situation, you will have to read the BACKSTORY of it all.
For the short version of the story, this guy and I both had a plan. He needed a partner and I needed somebody that could inspire me and help me with my big ideas. It was unfortunate that every time we tried to merge as a business it had always been bad times and the situation had always been easier said than done. The worst part of the situation was that I would always have to go to him and only had his resources he could provide for financial stability. I had only worked in adult movies through him. He was the front man. I was the man behind the curtain. He would split his workload with me. So instead of each of us making our own money. He would make money and pay me out of that to keep us both afloat. It was like robbing Peter and giving to Paul. The last time we tried the merger, I drove from Florida to Rhode Island with my dog and belongings in June of 2005. He was getting movies shipped from out west to him, cutting them and sending them back. He was also going out four times a year and shooting two of his own. Two weeks later I drove all the way back to Florida. My girlfriend had gotten cold feet about moving up north. I should have known and never even thought nor brought up the idea of going to New England in the first place. But I did and again, I had to let him down. He went to LA four months after which would have left us moving to LA as well, and Mandi would have never gone for that, so it worked out for the best. Unfortunately, this situation caused a major fallout of our friendship. Six months later, I contacted him via email to congratulate him on his new baby boy only to find out he thought all these times I had just been using him for money. This was so far from the truth, but looking back, I can understand why he thought this way. After a couple of replies, I finally told him why I had done and what I did. He did not reply to that one and that was that He went to LA, signed a deal with Mayhem and I went on to Fox.

On my way back to Florida, I passed over the George Washington bridge in New York and vowed the next time we met, I would have my end covered as well so I did not have to depend on his ability to sale and keep business rolling. I vowed that the next time we met wed both have equal pull, equal push. That decision in New York prompted this whole endeavor of making my own porn

Upon returning to North Carolina, I had put high expectations on my talent and myself. I had made a two-year plan to make my own mainstream film. Doors for me began opening to do an adult film here and I thought, what perfect irony. After countless attempts to find his whereabouts to congratulate him on his prosperous career, I had come up short. I had followed his career through news articles, and DVD releases, but had not been able to locate the man himself Until two weeks ago.

In the profile search, I had stumbled across a Ryan whose picture and profile matched my long lost friend. (Frickin Myspace, again.) This Ryan was also known in the adult industry as Zak Wylde. I requested him as a friend and sent him a message, catching up. I was worried he would reject my request and cancel his account after seeing my face turning up again, but he didnt. He replied and we shot the shit back and forth. We laughed at the fact that I was putting together my own porno. He then like always offered a helping hand. He had stressed that if I could raise a little more money than I had been asking, I could come out there and shoot the movie with real talent and real marketing pull. I took in everything he said, but did not change my course. I would do this thing the way I have been doing it and let the chips fall as they may. (I had also vowed the next time Ryan and I did a project together, I would be able to pay him.)
I had used this quest to make a porn in NC as a stepping-stone to regain Ryans trust and confidence in me, also leading to future. opportunities to join the Super Powers, our friends used to call us. Of course, I was not counting on finding him on Myspace before he saw my movie or at least heard about it, but this was OK too. I had always valued his friendship and knew I had let him down countless times, but maybe all of it had a reason Until the money is raised to do the upgrades and maybe steer toward Zaks idea of going back HOME to shoot the movie, Ill look forward, work hard and find those resources, and only use my friend as my Obi-Wan. Thank you Myspace. I retort all my statements about you in the pastEnough of the sappy whiny shit Back to work.

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