Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter

I'm out of sorts. Mason, Gunner and I made the long drive to Utah to see my family. My mom has been declining in the recent months and it was just time to get there and see her. My mom waited for me to get there and then today, took a turn for the worse. Even though death is expected as our parents age, it brings out questions of mortality, and all kinds of emotions that are impossible to articulate. What's the point to working so hard for this, or making that just right? We're all going to die anyway. Of course, the point is that we make the most of each day that we have so when our time comes, we don’t look back with regret. We don’t wish we had tried harder, or done more. I know that I live out loud and I’m coaching Mason to do the same. It doesn’t matter if you step up and fall flat on your face. In fact, if that happens, it will be an epic story for years to come! Step up again, and again, and again. Learn to play the guitar, be an actor, skydive, take a cake decorating class, write a blog - make it you life story so your family has it when you’re gone, learn to dance and then go invite someone you don’t know to dance with you, the list could go on and on. Ultimately, make the most of today - no, every day. 

Tell those you love that you love them. Let the little shit go. It seems the disagreements only matter if we think we can continue arguing our point. What if you are walking away for the last time? You can't talk about it any you still want to be right? Even if you are? It's all so surreal. Faith really helps those that believe there is a home, they're going home to family and father. I get that, even if it's just for the comfort that there is something more, or better. What will it be like for our kids to have to say goodbye to us? That makes me even sadder.

It was a long drive both ways and an emotional trip. I want to thank my sister Teri Cartwright for taking care of my mom as she gets ready to transition to whatever is next. The job of the caregiver is not an easy one and my sister is the strongest, most giving person I know.  

Sunday was Easter. It was a lovely day. We all slept in, Mason got to hunt for eggs that all had scratchers in them and ended with his basket that contained the entire series of The X-Files on DVD. He was over the moon! We watched tv, laughed, sat in the hot tub, and Dave made a traditional Easter dinner while I made brownies for dessert. Not a chocolate bunny in the house. It was so nice to just live the ordinary with my family, these are the moments that ultimately will be the most special memories, wouldn't you agree?

Monday, April 10, 2017

That's A Wrap!

Grayson and Mason (don't mind the makeup residue)
Mason is done shooting the movie. This has been an epic experience on so many levels, mostly because Mason got to see that so many of the things I’ve been saying to him are true. I’ve shared with him how casting works, what producers and directors expect from talent, and proper etiquette through the casting process and on set. This shoot was not a big budget production, but it was big enough for Mason to note, “If this is how it is making movies, I want to make movies for a living!” I assured him there are all kinds of opportunities and sometimes the smaller productions offer more to new talent. I think that was true in this case. 

Even more interesting, Mason got to see what happens when talent behaves badly. I’ve worked diligently to impress upon him to be on time (early), to be willing to do whatever it takes, to listen more than he talks (we both struggle with that one), and to bring light and positivity to the set. Not only did we see someone “released” from the production, but we also met someone who everyone loved! Grayson Russell is a talented young actor (started at 8 and just turned 18) and to say he was a joy to meet and work with wouldn’t do him justice. You might know Grayson from his role as the young son of Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights, or as Fregley in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid films. He was just so polite, friendly, and genuinely interested in every one he met, including Mason. An amazing role model for sure! Good job mom, although I know, some of it is what we do, and some of it is the character of these amazing people we call our sons. 

This impressive and spooky castle is the location where Mason had the experience of a lifetime, Preston School of Industry in Ione, CA. We met amazing people, he got to do a stunt, he had to shave his head, and he got to be made up by real Hollywood makeup artists. I've expressed my gratitude every step of the way and I still feel like I need to say thank you a million more times. I know Mason will make more movies and I can't wait to continue this journey with him. He's a good kid and makes his dad and I proud every day.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Happy 50th Birthday Jules!

Happy 50th Birthday to my most longtime best friend! I can't believe I've been able to be on this journey with Julie for darn near 40 years. To be her best friend since fourth grade, well, to say it's an honor would be an understatement. I'm so glad so many of her friends joined me on Saturday to celebrate her, her life, and the awesome woman she is. So glad to call her, and all of you friends!

Julie’s birthday is March 30th, but to celebrate on April 1st (yes, April Fools Day!) with a “theme” that combined Steampunk, Pirates, Mardi Gras, and Disney, well, it fit Julie to a tee! Almost everyone dressed up and the food was off the hook. If this party did not make Jules feel loved, well, I can’t imagine what would. She is loved and I can’t wait to see what the next 50 years holds for us!