The Boulevard

21 May

My incomparable mother taught me in my earliest years to welcome my accountability for my life. Her loving, familial vision gave me a clear, broad pathway to her heart’s deepest offerings, and facilitated solidity in my Father’s heroic family, its history and rich heart. I truly believed I could do anything. The guidance toward, and of, my Icons in art, the written word, the brilliant moving pictures of our human condition, and the compassionate oneness, justice & truth of Spirit provided abundant “evidence” to substantiate that belief, which drove my dreams. Things quite other than those, to the jeopardy of the former, came to drive my choices.

After a bountiful beginning in my teens in Theatre, Film and Music in Seattle, I was invited and moved to Los Angeles, CA in early 1988. I Pilgrimed as a Poet highwayman, an Artist soldier; with my kit bag, my guitar, the works of Brando, Dean and De Niro in my heart, Dylan, Waits, and Bowie in my head, Kerouac & Whitman, Blake & Patchen in my soul, sincerely, riding a swelling wave of shining momentum –with two hundred dollars in my pocket, fleeing pending legal complications and extricating myself from a drawn out, come closer/go away breakup with a rising Hollywood starlet.

Though only somewhat consciously (and probably poorly) calculated, it was still a pure, decent, great dream… as well as a crafted avoidance of consequences, and a downright, bright light/good night 7/11 crapshoot. I rolled sevens & elevens for a long run, on gut feelings, hunches & intuition alone.
I rolled like a wheel into the Hollywood Machine, turning out favor consistently, for the better part of twenty years as a working Actor and Musician in “The Industry”. I’d been fortunate doing what about two percent of Screen Actor’s Guild members get to do; make a living on work in film and television, and better than just survive, I had thrived in my career.

I’d worked with great directors & actors, writers, cinematographers, producers, and in my music career I’d had similar opportunity & success as well, respectively. I’d had lovely homes, passionate romances -Celebrity and otherwise, parties with legendary personas, world travel, toys, close friends, strong family relationships, transcendence and more. I was not yet a household name “movie star” or “rock star”; I was working, laying foundations under seeming celestial alignment, bridging spans from past to future, from nothingness to material, from myself to others, and manifesting that life song pretty well. Given the sheer odds of even the most talented people actually “making it” in the industry, those parts of my story are uncommon.

Conversely, through mutated attitudes & actions in the fullness of time, I’d progressively repeated decisions and deeds in that awesome forum, taking it as my playground, undermining and alienating myself from it, and the generally assumed, previously predicted, great outcomes. These parts of my story are not original; youthful entitlement, arrogance, indulgence, dark devotions, destruction, resentment, road closures, bridge burning, self-pity, envy, dysfunction, addiction, desperation, and probably thirty two or three other classic character flaws that will destroy a life in any profession. I had cultivated all of these through errors in judgment, faulty choices & indiscretions one after another & another, lost in seeing my case as different or special, it wasn’t me it was them… I was in evident peril of being terminally “unique”.

Drinking and drugs were merely indicative symptoms of deeper-rooted shortcomings cultivating in me, and influenced manifestations of the latter in a major way, without question. Believe that this book does not constitute or aspire to be another tragic tale of battles with substance abuse. If what I have come to find were simply that, I would not seek to bother anyone with it by hunting and pecking out another bound printing to heap upon that over fed pile. What I have come to find has been more astonishing.
-BDF

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