Rage, Dear Brave One

In the spirit of International Women’s Day, I want to salute all the women who’ve survived/escaped/rejected abusive relationships.
Know that you are strong.
Know that you are worth more.

“Rage, Dear Brave One”

Ripped through
Reeling from the
Refuse of a
Relationship gone toxic and
Repressive.

Read my eyes and
Realize I’m not that. I’m
Real. I’m here to
Reject the idea that being handled can be
Read as being held.

Rain and tears aren’t ‘sposed to mix.
Remember when you wore flowers in your hair?
Realms of daring princesses and
Reigns of dragons?
Raging wars that were never ‘sposed to touch
Reality? Take back the dream and
Rage against the animal that’s
Ruling you
Rendering you lifeless, breathless
Ravaged.

Rage, my dear brave one.
Rage.

It doesn’t have to be this way.
-ijs

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Echoes – an essay

Three notes. Three notes pulsating through the darkness. Something within me rises to meet them. I’ve never heard them before, but I could swear a buried memory wants to claim them. Around me, the dimmed theatre sits hushed as the opening chords of “The Mighty Rio Grande” whisper in. For a moment, the movie takes a back seat to its own score; the story somehow overshadowed by the melody.

The moment passes. But somehow the music touched somewhere. Stirred something.

You know the feeling: a chord, an arpeggio, a riff . . . you hear it, and a memory explodes across your mind. A memory so clear, so present, you can taste, smell it. You’re there. Somehow.

“Jessica’s Theme” . . . It’s dusk; I’m on a ridge looking down across the North Carolina mountains. Fog slowly fills the fields, puddling like some lazy stream. A breath of mountain air ruffles my hair and whispers on through the trees. Absolute solitude. Reverence. Stars fight their way through the last light of the bleeding sun, their icy brilliance adding another dimension to the deepening void. That song somehow takes me there every time.

Through the years a group of songs has become so entwined through my being all I need to hear is one whisper–notes through the open window of a passing car, a barely-caught bar while scanning the radio, background mall music–and my senses jump on edge. Ears straining to catch it. Imagination somehow already replaying the scenes. “Taps,” “Bolero,” bagpipes wailing “Amazing Grace,” “Freedom,” others . . .

What is it? I hear it. Eyes widen. A smile tugs at the corners of my mouth. I feel myself turning to the nearest person. Wanting to explain. To share. The half-smile freezes. The words die before they’re born. I’ve learned–it’s not their memory. It’s mine. I sit back.

In the theatre. Not alone, but alone, I take in the music. Acknowledging the rare moment–the moment when another song adds itself to your life’s playlist. You don’t pick the songs. They pick you.

I sit back and listen.

*author’s note: I wrote this on September 27, 2011, but over the last week a couple of songs crossed my path again. They took me back. Way back. So I decided to dig in my files and dust this off. Hope you enjoy it.

Adrew Bradford – new cinematography reel

Bradford” as he’s known to those closest to him is one of the gutsiest, hardest-working dudes out there. His vision behind the camera is magical.

I’ve had the opportunity to work on a few films with him, and I was even lucky enough to have him on board to DP my latest short film “Prelude.”

He recently dropped a new cinematography reel. You should check it out. Also, you should hire him. You won’t regret it.

“Homeland” role

Working with Mandy Patinkin on “Homeland” was the highlight of my career in 2017.

When the casting director texted me and told me that I’d be working with Mandy, I geeked out. I grew up on “The Princess Bride,” so he’s one of the first actors to make an impression on me.

He had a lot of dialogue in another scene that day that he was working on when we were introduced, so I said hi and then kept to myself.
After we worked on our scene for a bit, he loosened up with me; he couldn’t have been nicer.

At the end of the day he gave me a hug, congratulated me on the scene, and then said “Call me and offer me a job when you’re a big star someday.”

I’ll never forget that.

Silence Falls

Rain whispers
And the cars they pass
And I watch
Faceless drivers inside going and going.

And I realize I am one of them
But where am I going
And once I get there
Must I go further?

I don’t know
And thinking about it frightens me
I am so deeply tired
I find that I want to stop.

If I can look from a safe place
Maybe I’ll see where I am going
But I have lost my way
The black is around and under me.

I think I will pull others down with me
So I run deeper into myself
Where questions won’t reach
And silence finally falls.
-ijs

Hello, 2018

2017 went out with a bang, and 2018 is already off to a strong start thankfully. At the end of last year, I put together an “overview” video talking about some of the projects I worked on as well as my plan to head out to LA for an extended trip this spring. You can check out the video here

Since traveling to LA and living there for a couple months is expensive, I threw together a GoFundMe campaign which you can check out HERE if you like. I’ve had a lot of friends and family ask how they could help out with my trip, and that’s where the idea for the campaign came from.

Depending on how my LA trip goes–who knows, maybe I’ll land a role that keeps me out there!–I plan to move to Atlanta in May. I’ve worked so much in Atlanta (and it really has become the Hollywood of the southeast), it makes sense that this would be my next move. I’ll miss living in Nashville, but I feel like the bigger markets are calling, and I’m ready to stretch my wings.

Onward and upward, friends.