Archive for May, 2012

Dear, good-natured, sweet and gentle readers…


…The host of this blog has deceived you!

That’s right, and GASP you should!

See, this Jared guy sure puts up a nice front, acting all wizened and caring and whatnot, but he never fooled me! No sir, not for a second! Well maybe ONE brief second, I did discover him by reading and following his blog after all, but not for a second longer than that initial second… which was an inordinately brief second to begin with! (I swear!) He’s not some nice dude, concerned about your happiness and well-being — NO — he’s a sham! A rouse. A villain! A vampiric siphon for your digitized web traffic and time, operating solely to further his own dastardly and duplicitous motives!

(Go on, have another GASP!)

Who am I, you say? What proof do I have? Well, for security’s sake, let’s just call me a concerned citizen. Someone tired of all the BS. And on behalf of all of us subject to said BS, and in order to seek out the truth behind this tyrannical monster, I’ve broken into his home in Astoria, Queens and am perusing his bedroom. I know, the irony’s not lost on me. It’s just that, well, someone needed to learn the truth, and learn the truth I have!

Firstly, I have to say, this place is a mess! Papers everywhere, scattered about without cohesion, dirty dishes stacked irregularly along the floor, hand-written pages with hastily scrawled and satanic looking images taped all about the walls, a pair of wooden nunchaku left abandoned on the bed alongside stacks of dirty clothes (one, a canary yellow button up, has blood splattered all across the fabric…) and, possibly the most ominous and disturbing facet to this whole incongruous scene — a lifeless parrot hangs helplessly upside-down, forgotten, serving as a misbegotten gate-keeper to lead you through the portal which is his bedroom door…

He’s named it “Nolon Effe”, two palindromes. Curious, that… Remnants from what I believe was a pirate party held here at his apartment… Curiouser and Curiouser…

Does this seem like the type of place an honest, caring man would keep!?

I would think not. You, his good-natured, gentle and sweet readers, deserve better than this. I know you think that he’s preaching about pacifism, love, creativity, openness and well intended insanity on here, but, trust me, it’s only a matter of time until his subtle brainwashing technique kicks in, and he’s got you walking the ole’ zombie shuffle up toward capitol hill. Still not convinced? Well, let’s have a look-see at his calendar than, shall we?

Oh — what’s this? Knife class? Fight lab?

That’s right. Sounds mighty peaceful, doesn’t it? For the last month your ‘enlightened’ author, who wont shut-up about creation, love, invention and non-violence, has, every Wednesday night, taken a two and a half hour course with knives, at a place called Combat, Inc. A knife is a very personal weapon, readers, and one which requires you to fully embrace and acknowledge the pain that you are about to inflict on another person… sounds rather violent, wouldn’t you say? Psychotic, even. Furthermore, every Tuesday and Sunday, he has his calendar marked with something he’s calling, “Fight Lab”. I wonder what could that be? Do you suppose he kicks cute little Labrador puppies? Fight Lab(rador)!?!? Oh, I bet that’s it… and every Tuesday and Sunday too!

ThE MoNsTeR!

Oh wait — crap — someone’s coming! I hear keys jingling just outside the door. Now someone’s slid one into the tumbler! Ahh, oh no! There’s no more time! I have to go, gentle readers… but remember, FOR ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY IN THE WORLD, stay away from this creepoid! For, after all these lies, who knows what he’s truly capable of?!

And I’m off!

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(Screw it, I’m stealing Nolon Effe!)

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OK then…

So, wow, yea… uh, hey guys. It’s me, J, now. Evidently some nut-job, some sunflower loving fan, broke into my house while I was away at the dentist today, and left, not only this crazy rant on my blog, as you can plainly see up above, but also tons of bar-b-que flavored sunflower shells all over my floor. WTF!? He also stole my prop shoulder parrot. Double WTF!? Who steals a shoulder parrot, I mean really? Nolon, was the man! He’s irreplaceable! Ugh… Plus, evidently, he broke my window during his hasty escape.. Seriously, what is wrong with people? You think I have the money to replace that? I’ll give you a clue……… NO. Why don’t you all go ahead and take a wild guess at, “who has two thumbs and will be eating salad for a month so he can pay for a busted window?”

Yea, that would be me… on both accounts.

But, whoever he was, he wasn’t completely off…

I haven’t been completely honest with you all, and I’m a bit ashamed that it’s taken all this insanity to make me come clean… I — aside from genuinely believing in unilateral love, cooperation, hard work, and general pacifism — am a fighter.

As a child I’d studied multiple forms of martial arts, and, as I got older, I traded my know-how with a good friend who was a boxer, picking up some of that. My years in school were not kind to me; I was picked on a good deal — leading to at least a fight or two a week. Yea, that many… Most of these I lost, I did not like to hurt others and so I held back what I knew, but I did learn how to end a fight without landing a blow, and how to take a beating without being hurt — mighty valuable skills in and of themselves.

I then became a wrestler in hopes to advance my physical capabilities further, finding that I was rather talented at it too. I took a few tournaments, pinned plenty of people who were purportedly out of my league, and had a damn good time while I was at it. Also, as my confidence grew and as rumor of my winning circulated, I was picked on less. I guess no-one wanted a ‘fair fight’ after all, just lunch money.

But, after six years in the sport, during which I had moderate successes in all three styles of wrestling, I began to feel that I no longer had to worry about fighting. And, being that it was so tied to a negative memory from my past, I was more than ready to let it go too. I’d learned plenty about self-defense by then in my life, and, because of why I’d begun to learn, I worried that it would only be detrimental to my psyche if I kept moving forward. Who wants to have their history solely dictate their future? Not me. No sir. So, even though I enjoyed the sport, I hung up my violence cap once and for all (or so I thought), and took, instead, to the sanctity and freedom of the stage.

I should’ve seen this coming…

I mean, what did I expect? A whole chapter of my life to just… disappear? Sure I’d left fighting and the whole physical aspect of myself in the past, (where I’d thought it belonged), but my body knew, all along the years that preceded this stoppage, that something was missing…

So I kept in shape, I couldn’t really tell you why, and not the, “Look how much I can bench-press”, rounded shape, which some guys prefer, but rather the, “I can do hand-springs, back-bends, and a whole bunch of push-ups” shape — practical stuff only, nothing just to look flashy. I never had the biggest biceps, but I took first place in a college arm wrestling tournament with my dominant arm, and second place with my non-dominant one. It’s still, to this day, one of the first images that comes up when you Google me ;-).

But why, right? Why bother? Well — I liked it. I knew this. I liked being physical. However, simultaneously, I denied myself of this same pleasure in order to ensure that I was pursuing it only for the right reasons. I never wanted to be anything like the kids who used to harass me, enjoying violence for the manipulation and fear that it could create in others. And so still, all throughout college, I ignored anything physical — even when it came to cooking up some good Theater, my major, despite it’s inevitable healthy dash of Stage Combat.

Now fast forward eight years — to my accidental encounter with Fight Lab.

“Lab”, as in laboratory. As in the way that Dexter says it.

Firstly, the sunflower jerk was wrong in his assumption. Fight lab is not at all about punting Labrador puppies, (nor full-grown ones for that matter), it is about taking fighting to the laboratory. A dash of this, a hint of that, stir it all up and see what works. Now this is not to be confused with “Fight Club”, for, if it were that, I’d be breaking the first rule by even writing all this (and Brad Pitt would already have a lackey en-route to deal with me). No, this is Lab; a controlled environment where a group of talented people get together twice a week to geek out on all that is fighting for stage and film.

For me, my involvement began when I met one of the fighters, Dina, by chance on a film I was doing for a friend: Sweethearts; a film made for Valentines day, about just how screwed up love can be at times (I’ll try to tuck a link in here later so you can watch it). Throughout the day of shooting we got close, as actors tend to do, and I told her about some of my past in combat.

“Well than you should come to lab tonight”, she said offhandedly.

“Sure” I said, without really thinking much about it.

See, I thought I was being polite by agreeing, I’d not really expected to go, but she thought, (cause why shouldn’t she), that I was serious. Now, you have to understand, Dina’s the type of person who could sell Ice to an Eskimo, Sand to an Egyptian, Funk to Parliament Funkadelic, and so, despite my objections post filming, even after no sleep and a thirteen hour shoot day, I found myself running home to Queens as soon as we wrapped to go grab some workout gear.

Yea, she’s that good.

What can I say — I got hooked. It’s been every Tuesday and Sunday now since I’d worked with Dina back in early February, and I wouldn’t give it up for the World. The people there are all hard-working, honest and real, easily the first group of genuine friends I’ve had since moving to the city all those years ago, and, under their tutelage, I’ve been chasing away my own private demons. It’s exactly why I took that knife class the sunflower bandit highlighted too, to support my growing knowledge of choreographed combat. So you see, gentle, good-natured readers, I am NOT — contrary to sunflower-boy’s claims — a violent person. I am just one who enjoys exploring the potential for the human body. It’s just another form of creative obsession, and, let me tell you, there is plenty to be obsessed about over at Lab. Check us out!

Here on the blog for the Deranged and Enlightened, we often talk about breaking out of our comfort zones in an attempt to keep growing as a person — so what kind of hypocrite would I be if I kept running from my past? In Lab we choreograph, rehearse, and then film a new fight each and every night, and, though I still get butterfly’s when I have to hit someone, I am slowly getting accustom to the practice. Hold the pencil. Punch the parrot. Sell the strike. This stuff is fun incarnate.

It’s not all just for fun either…

…These guys have a master plan, and one which has already been initiated. If we get our way, we’ll be the guys and gals that flood your movies, TV shows, and stages, heralding in a truer type of combat for all to enjoy. As a matter of fact, the timing of this break-in couldn’t be more fortuitous, (that is, if any break in which resulted in a stolen parrot and a broken window could honestly be labelled fortuitous), as the group, CKT (Contact Kick Therapy) has just released their first Commercial! I joined a little too late to be a part of this glorious foray, but I’m just so gosh-darned impressed with the product that they’ve put out for “The Baconery”, a bakery where everything is made with — yep, you guessed it — BACON, that I couldn’t resist sharing.

Now I’ve really got to run, it is Tuesday night after all, and now that my deep dark secret is out you all know exactly where I’m headed (plus I still have to clean up all this glass before I go…), but, please, go on over to You-Tube and “thumbs up”, as well as “Favorite” this video, as it greatly helps us as a group.

Thanks everyone,

Let me know what you think in the comments 😉

And, sunflower man, if you’re reading this… please bring back Nolon. I miss him dearly.

~J