So wish me luck and here we go.
Robert Young, my life partner and best friend, my fiancé, you put up with so much insanity and obsessive behavior and blatant wack-job activity from me, the late nights of work, the times apart at residency, allowing the space for meditations, but you pushed me, believed in me, encouraged me, sat and listened to me read passages from scripts and watched movies with me that you never wanted to see, you did all this and more and I couldn't have done it without you. Thank you my love. I adore you for all time.
And now, like a movie, I'm going to mention thank-yous to people in the program in the order they appear.
Dorothy Rompalske, our program co-founder and fearless leader, I cannot thank you enough for accepting me into the program and putting this thing together. Your indefatigable energy and spirit is a marvel to behold. I don't know how you do it, how you put up with us crazy writers and creative maniacs, how you subtly and not-so-subtly mold and shape and challenge us and facilitate us facing who we are to be who we can be. I am so grateful.
Erika Richards, the program administrator, our mom away from home, you nurtured us, facilitated our needs and concerns, partied at us, yelled at us, laughed with us, and lead us such that we were never wanting. You are amazing.
Master Class Instructor Dara Marks, thank you for teaching us the power of the Transformational Arc. I used that knowledge on a final and throughout my writing process - it is the way!
Dr. Rod Eason, June Humphreys, David Navarrete, and his wife, Jennifer for sharing your knowledge of the practice of TM.
Administration and Tech Wizard Ryan Marks - Ryan, you fixed everything, You're the glue that holds that college together. Thank you for our many talks and rides to the airport!
David Lynch, your Q&A's were the highlight of any residency - to be in your program and the extraordinary people who make it work, I hope you are proud of us as we are of you. I felt your presence at all times, and you will always inspire me and others and the world with your passion, your vision, and your art. This has been beyond the beyond, as you say. My gratitude.
(This is when they start playing the music to get you to stop saying thank you and leave the stage. Yet, we've only just begun.)
To Amine Kouider, our teacher and Professor of the Science and Technology of Creative Consciousness, I cannot even begin to thank you enough. I don't know where to start nor do I plan to end. You are the center of the Program to me. Your kindness and commitment to each and every one of us, I always felt heard in your presence. You exude righteous bliss and true humanity. When you allowed me to interview you, I just was so profoundly grateful. And on top of all that, your musicality blows my mind. You have enlightened me so profoundly. Endless thanks from my deepest self.
Thank you Dr. Fred Travis. Your illuminating lectures on TM and the Human Brain, how we think, feel, learn, create - just absolutely mind-blowing.
Dr. John Hagelin, the President of our College, having met and talked with you personally on several occasions and attended several of your addresses, I am so proud you are our President. As a scientist and a humanist, with boundless energy and the way you've put together the scientific with the Vedic knowledge, I become more intelligent and aware just standing next to you before you even speak. And then you speak and it's like mainlining the cosmos. To know you, as Paul McCartney says, "It's a joy it's a joy it's a joy joy it's a joy joy..."
Master Class Instructor E. Max. Frye - thanks for your lectures and advice, and especially for keeping it real.
Master Class Instructor Deb Norton, your work-in-the-book exercises in combination with Dara Marks gave us the experience of doing - put the mind in contact with the body and the pen and paper. Your gift of foundational exploration in the writing process is invaluable.
Master Class Instructor Director Susan Seidelman, your lectures and classwork really enlightened us all to the process of making and directing films. To sit next to you and watch your film Suddenly Seeking Susan in the Orpheum Theatre was the highlight of my experiences. Gonna' thank Joanna Plafsky here too because as the co-founder of the David Lynch program, you've given me and others this life-changing extraordinary opportunity to really "up our game" and get in the big picture.
Adam Nadler, I had the honor and privilege of you being my mentor twice for two scripts, Elmer's Saucer and Roach Buddy. I don't know if you've been reading the blog, but Elmer's Saucer is gonna' be a Hollywood Movie. Thank you!!! You taught me so much about how to get the script clean, real, how to utilize the best of my imagination, what works what doesn't, so many things. My favorite thing to tell people working with you when we started was, "My mentor is an editor at Vanity Fair." Ha ha. I know we'll be friends forever, and hope to see you at the premiere of Elmer's Saucer. Or if it ends up streaming on Hulu or something, we can teleconference in and avoid Covid.
Dr. Marty Peters - our Gainesville TM Instructor - it's been a real treat to group-meditate with you and your students locally here, and I hope to do much more of that now that I'm out of school and ready to go deeper with my practice.
Ron Peterson, writing instructor, you were a member of the thesis committee, you read my script, and took extra time to give me advice going forward and for that I am grateful!
Everyone who not only gave me encouragement and advice, but folks who supported with patronage - that truly meant a lot.
Johnny & Elizabeth
Chuck & Amy Lynn Martin
Michael & Eileen O'Meara
Charlie McWhorter & RJ
Michael Presley Bobbitt
Chef Andy Faas
and Robert J. Ramsthaler for that ten-dollar loan without which I'd never have made it to Santa Fe to register for classes all those years ago. Ten bucks made all the difference!
And special thanks to Angel Tidwell. You stepped up to the plate and co-signed a student loan that kept me going. I certainly owe this opportunity in large part to you. Graduated with a 4.0. I wasn't kidding around, and you're gonna' be on my Christmas list every year going forward! They don't call you Angel for nothing! Thank you.
Dr. Paul Morehead, Ph.D, for explaining advanced Yoga and breathing techniques to us in his Master Class.
Sankari Wegman, T.M. Teacher and Ph.D. Candidate for her introductory presentation on AyruVeda.
Julie Goldstein - Artist, Animator, and Professor Nynke Passi for your Master Classes in animation and film-making, and creative writing.
Director Monica Demes for her Master Class Skype-Session Q&A about Directing her feature films.
Screenwriter Anya Leta for her Master Class.
Mentor Neil Stevens for escorting me through the gates of Hell writing The Tabernacle of Hedonism - my most personal and strangest screenplay. Neil, you kicked my ever-loving ass, made me cry on several occasions, whipped me into shape, and gave me untold secrets and gifts of screenwriting in exchange for the survival of your gauntlet. You were a favorite among our class, highly revered, because you provided NO BULLSHIT! And you also would not accept OUR BULLSHIT. And you are brilliant and funny and hardcore, and dangerous, and witty, and a gem of the program. My gratitude forever, and wishing you only the best! I don't say this proudly, and yet I do - not everybody survived your course. But I know for damn sure I did, and I'm grateful for the humbling. You sculpted me into a screenwriter.
Thank you Daniel Nearing, Filmmaker, for your Master Class, and for your insightful comments on my thesis project!
Thank you Professor Alex Kustanovich. Your film analysis course was a delight, your passion and joy for films and film-making infectious, and your humor and wit and intellect refreshing. I could spend many hours with you over coffee, or brandy, or you name it, discussing cinema. I hope I have the pleasure of your continued education and friendship.
Kate Purdy (Producer & Writer, BoJack Horseman), Matthew Weiner (Sopranos & Mad Men), and Ellen Sander (Writer & Producer for Everybody Loves Raymond, Coach, and a Writer for a primo double-episode of Taxi) for your remarkable master classes!
Dr. Martha Nochimson, Ph.D. for your challenging, astonishing, mind-boggling Master Course: Going Deep with David Lynch.
Jonathan Lipman, Maharishi Vastu Architect for the tour of your lovely house and the lecture about Vastu Architecture.
Rebekah Del Rio for that extraordinary intimate concert, your heavenly voice, and your kind words and autograph for me and my beau.
Glenn Gers for your Master Class and your generosity with the time you took to personally interact with each and everyone of us.
Antonia Ellis for your Master Class and great insight into the world of television and feature writing.
Kathie Fong Yoneda for your Master Class on pitching. Just so you know, it worked!
To my Mentor, Matthew Kelil - I can't thank you enough. I truly loved your Master Class on creativity and writing. You have me born-again on the Re-Write and on collaboration. You took me through a new take on Elmer's Saucer, and now they're making it into a movie! I hope we remain friends. You've taught me so much, challenged and encouraged me, and what a damn lot of fun you are to boot! I just think the world of you.
Dr. Andrew Stenberg for your lecture on Maharishi Ayurveda and Self Pulse.
Professor Judith Kenny! Wow, what can I say? You tied the whole program together in actionable tools and knowledge that directly led to me optioning my script. I have your voice in my head as I organize, plan, and research with all the valuable skill-set you transmitted to me. I truly hope we keep in touch.
Joel Roodman, Producer, Creative & Development Executive, hearing your in-the-field experiences listening to pitches and sharing how we can be more effective was eye-opening and brilliant.
Joshua Blum (Film Producer), thank you for your Master Class as a guest of our Business of Screenwriting course. You gave, in a kind way, blunt no-bullshit real-deal stories and advice which have served me well and continues to serve to this day. Your kindness in accepting my continued acquaintance with your advice is so humbly appreciated.
To my peers and fellow students along this journey, you have all made me a better writer. You've challenged me, pushed me, shared with me, I am a better writer and person because of crossing paths with all of you. May your journeys lead you to great rewards, cosmic consciousness, and the betterment of the world through the sharing of your many gifts and talents.
Lily Casille Tucker
Mary Ann Willoughby
To my Professors and Mentors at UF who inspired me to continue:
Dr. David Young
Todd Bedell (Thank you, my man!)
Nichole Hamilton (A-) lol.
Dr. Ralf Remshardt
Dr. Judith Williams
To my Professors and Mentors at Santa Fe College:
Liz & Owen Reynolds
To ALL the Glorious Members of the Tabernacle of Hedonism Including:
The Reverend Angeldust
Thanks Andy Krone & Pamela Lynn Smith (Andy, you started me going on Roach Buddy with our improvised "Meatball" scene! I won't forget that: SEE THE SCENE HERE!
Thank you to my sister, Gwen Bowers for starting the ball rolling in my childhood with her introduction to me and RUTH FOREMAN - Florida's First Lady of Theatre (whom I really owe everything to...)
Nathan and Alfreda Miller (the parents!) and the angel, my Aunt Alice Miriam Reed for instilling in me an art of music, art, comedy, and Storytelling.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, for the gift of Transcendental Meditation and your wisdom which echoes forever through the infinite halls of Cosmic Consciousness, my deepest most humble gratitude for everything you have achieved and shared with me, and with the world. Jai Guru Dev.
If I screwed up and left you out, I'm 54, I drink a lot, I have maybe one good neuron still firing, and I apologize, and it's without any malice or intention, and please just send me a kind reminder of what a shithead I am so I can with great shame covertly add it into this list. I want you there.
The Academy Awards are now very angry I've gone on this long, and you've reached the end of this record of experience. Thank you for joining me on this journey, which having ended, begins right now.
Here are the final grades. Good night, and good morrow. "May the road rise to meet your wheels." -- Sherrif Frank Truman of Twin Peaks.