SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 267: “Walk The Extra Mile”

Hollywood: Land of captured dreams and broken souls; the city where fame and fortune is to be found, and a metropolis with an innate capacity to crush the grandest of hopes.

We see it every day in the tabloids, on the entertainment programs and in the very hearts of all who walk away from the big screen with starlight in their eyes.

With its façade promises of glamour, prestige and wealth, the Hollywood procession is endless. Some succeed… some falter, but one constant is ever-present.

The entertainment industry is riddled with snares in wait… all sitting steadfast to trip the most distracted of talented travelers.

I know this first hand. Twenty-two years I have navigated the streets of stardom. Two decades I have chased the dream and exposed the depths of who I am. And for better and worse, I have to own the emotions I have gained from the battles I’ve won as well as scars I’ve accumulated.

However, in all fairness I have to give thanks to the advertising and entertainment industries. They have been good to me, and I met some amazing people. By no means am I rich, but enough has been provided. From this I’ve been fortunate to works with an uncountable list of the extremely talented as well as taken the heat, and felt great compassion, for an equally comparable count of lost souls.

I bare this history, not to grandstand or to position myself as a martyr in any way. That would be contradictory to purest purpose of 365, and a terrible snub to an industry that has fed, housed and clothed my family for many years.

My disclosure is put forth in the greatest respect to the artists of the world and all those who dare to dream. But in the dream there is a humbling price. A lesson that I think all humanity can benefit from. A life curriculum that is what I call “Humility in the storm.”

In other words, it really does not matter who we try to be, or how hard we push unfelt and/or calculated will on the world around us. What does matter is that we honor one another, and ourselves, in embracing the unique talents that can be found in everyone. Whether they are pained or whether they are exuberant, they still emerge from the spirit of an individual. That alone is cause to celebrate. So with this diploma of perspective, the Emmy, the Oscar, the Golden Globe or whatever trophy we are seeking becomes background to what really matters. For is the winning of grandiose splendor of applause worth receiving if it is at the cost of losing a soul or hurting another?

365 has been about real people, whoever, wherever and however. People whom in whatever circumstances have found ways to navigate through their existences.

We’re in the final count down of 365… even down to double digits of day left in completing its one year commitment. The journey is nowhere near over, but it’s traveled deep enough to slowly reveal some of its findings. One of which is my now developed cultural rule of thirds. The 365 math supports it.

Of the roughly 1500 people I have approached thus far, 1000 have been receptive to our mission. Many sharing similar core hopes. The other 500 consist of the very bitter to the slightly skeptical. Only a few have been violently reactionary to our outreach.

The resulting calculation, two-thirds of our mini society is embracing each other. Some boldly, others in mind only. But, none-the-less, this entire majority has accepted our handshakes and challenge to pass it on.

And today we meet another such person, Actor, balanced human and new friend Adrian.

“Treat everyone as you would treat your own family. This was distilled upon me by my father.” Adrian begins.

He deepens the thought; “’I guess some people do have more issues with their family. But it even goes back to, ‘treat everyone how you want to be treated.’

You never know… The smallest thing could make the biggest deal to somebody else.

We have to look beyond ourselves. In the middle of the biggest annoying part of our day… we can still make somebody else’s day better. Maybe it’s only a simple hello.

Just treat everyone else the way you would want to be treated… Just treat them like family.’”

“The Golden Rule.” Over and over we’ve heard it. Shall we never again think of it as cliché.

“Some people like The Golden Rule, but they just don’t know how to put it in action.

It’s not very easy to do… to put it out there. We all have our own problems. We all have our own issues. And some just don’t want to go the extra mile. But, I promise that extra mile doesn’t really take that much effort. And, it causes so much more beauty than darkness out here.” Adrian challenges.

“’I’ve never been much of a counselor, but I am an optimist.

How many people out there say, ‘We are going in the wrong direction,’ that we are set to fail, the world is going to explode and we’re all going to be nothing.

I think there is a portion of people out there that won’t let that happen. People who will make sure we are going in a direction that will make everyone happy in living and excited to be here. That’s the glass half full side of me, which is the biggest side of me.”

I hope you are seeing why I spoke of Hollywood earlier. Adrian is a working actor; he’s got his TV deal, a list of leading and supporting roles in theatrical releases and is positioned to be a mainstream name. But in meeting him there is no pomp, zero entitlement, and a majorly developed sense of respect for community and values.

He realistically talks of the negative perspectives he has observed and replies with incredible optimism, “I think there is a portion of people out there that won’t let that happen.

The world we live in is really hard sometimes. If you have a family or children, you’re constantly thinking about the future, or someone else, as to how you are going to provide for them. At the same time I feel if more people would take a portion of their day and live in the moment of where they are at, they’ll kind of be able to look around and realize how much beauty is actually around them.

I see the people in the world finding their way, whatever way that may be, but I feel it will be positive.

The problem that blocks is that we’re all just living our own lives and worried about our own crap and I think that is where that issue lies.”