Three weeks ago I went to an acting workshop in Los Angeles. This workshop was held at the home
of a producer in Hollywood. Am I an actor? No, I am not but the Eventbrite event invited writers
and directors to take part and I was looking for something as a middle between two different events
I was going to in Greater Los Angeles. It was close enough and it was cheap enough that I thought
I should check it out. There I met the producer and director of the class, Peter Valentino. There
were some warm ups then we paired off into male-male and male-female pairs and took on
four page script passages passed around in binders. It was my first acting experience wherein
I had parts in “Sideways” and “Blade Runner,” two films of which I am fond. It was great to talk
about acting and see things from the actor’s perspective. I met aseveral actors and gave my card
to a few of them with the invitation to check out my website and add me on Facebook. You can
never have enough contacts and friends in an area in which you hope to explore. Helping one
another is so important, it’s great karma and helps you gain insight and get more opportunities
coming your way. One of the actors I gave my card to was D’Nez Westmoreland, he had done
a scene from Seinfeld with another actor and he struck me as a fun and personable fellow.
I never heard from D’Nez but I got an email from his husband last week informing me that
he had passed away on March 28, just three days after I met him. It wasn’t known why my
business card was in D’Nez’s possession and he had just started taking acting classes.
I explained to Peter, D’Nez’s husband that we had met at the acting workshop and that
I had given him my card because I write and love connecting with creatives. I got Peter
in touch with the other Peter, who runs the workshop, so others might know of D’Nez’s
passing. The reason I’m telling this story is because it is a reminder.
I’m reminded again of the fragility of life. Last summer I visited with my ailing father
in Rhode Island in July and one month later, on August 21 he passed away. He had a
full life at the age of 90. The day he passed was the day I got my first writing credit as
a co-writer of a film, “The Demand,” in the 48 Hour Film Project, a bittersweet day
because I never got to share my talent for writing with my Dad. Though I didn’t know
D’Nez really, his death reminded me of the fragility of life and how important it is
to go after your dreams and utilize the God given talents you have been provided.
We all don’t know how much time we have on this Earth and its up to us to make
sure that we reach our own potential.