Saturday, December 31, 2011

I won't forget you 2011

365 days. 2011 will be a year I will never forget.

I've mentioned that I like the comedy & tragedy symbols, in fact my company mission is to continue to join the two in any work I produce. It's no surprise to me that this year has brought me some of the happiest moments and some of the saddest.

The blog received a jump start earlier this year when my dad was battling Cancer and I was needing a way to express my thoughts. I've since mixed in some other things as I felt the need to share random things.

I'm not one to set concrete goals, maybe that is why it is always hard for me to think of a New Years Resolution. It's not to say I don't have a list of things I plan to accomplish, but, I'm just not the type to really make it a hard priority. Perhaps I need to split the difference a little more, because I do know, I get distracted by interests in many things. I've just always KNOWN what I want and somehow through will, determination and fate...I find them.

There is an exception of a time I was going to be meeting with an Acting Manager, and I was jotting down the things I see myself having in 2,3,5,10 years time and actors I admire, or career paths I'd like to follow. I lost that book, but I never forgot the gist of it. I can't remember EXACT details to say I've been checking things off the list, but when they happen, I know.

Well, for some reason I was looking at something related to my acting endeavors and started to look back at 2011. I realized that this was the third year in a row where I was a lead or starred in a feature film. In 2009 I was the star in a MICRO, MICRO, MICRO budget film, HOSTILE ENCOUNTER. The film had been written specifically for me by Eric England who would go on to become one of my dear friends and collaborators (we've worked on 7 projects, 3 of which are features). That lead us to 2010 and MADISON COUNTY which I was one of 5 leads & a few short months later, a starring role in ROADSIDE for 2011, a film I'm so proud of. One that is special for many reasons, but most because everyone involved rose to a new level when working on it. It's the type of movies I would love to continue making and has tastes of some action elements that I plan to one day find more of.

Thinking abut ROADSIDE and it's importance to me and my growing career, I started to look back at 2011.

January brought be good news that Daniel, Eric and I would be going into production on our 3rd feature in less than 15 months, ROADSIDE.

I also attended The Sundance Film Festival for the first time which was INCREDIBLE & I didn't even know where to begin there. Instantly it became something I would make sure to attend every year from then out. I'm really looking forward to it this year, because I have several friends that have movies premiering there and the last two years have really helped me come grow as a filmmaker to appreciate it all that much more. It was also something that left me SUPER inspired to get back to Los Angeles and make some strides! (We'll be returning in a few weeks for 2012!)

I returned to go into pre-production for ROADSIDE and prep for a great table read of a feature by James Helsing of THE ACTRESSES.

I made sure to watch a bunch of the Oscar contending films since it was the season and had the honor of doing do at the Academy's theatre.

I'm a huge MMA enthusiast and was asked to be a correspondent for the the new website, MMASAVVY.COM where I did a few fight pick videos and analyzed some upcoming fight cards while make my predictions.

While continuing to prep ROADSIDE, I was asked to do a short film, SNAPPER, that was written and directed by a good friend and ALADDIN cast mate, Scott Damian. We shot in an awesome location and banged out over 20 pages in a day. It was a great experience and everyone was incredible to work with. I'm fascinated by prison themed movies so it was a treat for me to do this film. It's gone on to make a bunch of appearances on the festival circuit.

Click here
to view video!

March brought some fun times. We launched the official trailer for MADISON COUNTY which spread like wildfire!

I'd also been auditioning tons for pilot season, but made sure to take some time to play. I came up with a concept that would tie into my production company and the comedy/tragedy element. It was a photo shoot by Nikki Dalonzo that would show good vs evil. She named it GEMINI. I ended up using several of the images on my website. Ryan Gosling later drew some inspiration for his Esquire cover ;)

Oddly enough, the day I was shooting the Gemini shoot, I was called in last minute, straight to Producers for LAW & ORDER: LOS ANGELES. It was a scene with me and one of my favorite actors, Alfred Molina. I knew in my bones, it was mine, but ya never know. Thankfully, LOLA did too and booked me!

That ended up being a very nice treat and send off to Virginia, where I'd spend most of April filming ROADSIDE! I was very excited to be teaming up with some returning crew members and friends. My little sister also came out to work on the film! It was great to be back on set and although it would prove to be our most challenging film making endeavor, it would be an experience that would teach me a lot and change my life.

I never had been more excited to return home after filming a project. Thankfully, it wasn't for negative reasons (entirely). With drama and stress playing major factors, it didn't get in the way of getting good stuff on the screen. I couldn't wait to get back to see my girlfriend Erin and our dog Wolfy. There was also good stuff brewing for MADISON COUNTY. As soon as I arrived, our editor and friend of mine, Levi Blue, told me about a race that he thought I'd be interested in. It was the TOUGH MUDDER which would be making its debut in SoCal. A 10+mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces to benefit then Wounded Warrior Foundation. I decided to run it in honor of my uncle who had passed away from cancer and my Dad who had been presently battling his own. This would take place in less than 30 days, near the end of May...not really the preferred time to train, but heart goes a long way.

It was also Erin's birthday month so we celebrated throughout the month as is customary ;)

June brought news that I had been booked with another ALADDIN castmate, Hilary Maiberger, on a nice gig for CARLS JR! We had a great time filming a rap video, corporate training video and then MC'ing a corporate event!

During the CARL's JR gig, actually between the first and second part (they were spaced out about 3 weeks) I got word that my Dad's cancer had returned. I ended up flying home and it was at this time that I started blogging again. Here is the first entry:
My return to blogging.

I ended up being home in NJ with my dad and family for most of the summer. I've blogged a lot about that, so I won't go into great detail, but this would be the sad part of the year I mentioned. Even with the great sorrow we encountered, there were many beautiful things to be grateful for. We went on a what would become out last family vacation and it was a great time.

It was the longest I had been around my family since moving to Los Angeles and I got to spend a very special birthday with them and Erin.

August was the toughest month. We lost my dad on August 3rd. It is still so real and fresh and everyday there are reminders of my dad. I've since been back to visit for Thanksgiving and most recently Christmas and it was tough. We all dearly miss him. Before he passed away he was able to see a rough cut of ROADSIDE. The film wasn't complete so he didn't see the end, but he was really into it and it was a great moment for me to share it with him. Towards the end of August I flew back to LA. It was a crazy time. Bittersweet. We had to prepare some things for MADISON COUNTY & we submitting it to different festivals.

I was also contacted by a friend and the Cinematographer of ROADSIDE, Dan Hertzog, to see if I had interest in helping to produce the feature, FOR BLOOD OR JUSTICE. The concept piqued my interest so I agreed to jump on board.

September hit and we got word that MADISON COUNTY was accepted into SCREAMFEST for it's World Premiere! On the other end Roadside was making great strides in the editing lab and was looking great!

This would be a crazy month and it was a lot of prep to get the film ready. We also got word it would be making its European Premiere in Barcelona!

October did not show signs of slowing down. I began working with a publicist and had been attending some press events to promote MADISON COUNTY & my other work and I was arranging stuff for our premiere. Eric also approached me about shooting a Halloween themed short called the TRICK OR TREATER. We shot this and planned to release it before the premiere a little appetizer.

This got my brain going and of course I wanted to develop this further and Erin approached me as well about another Halloween short and asked me to Produce it for her. This one was called MEET THE TWEEDS. As stressful as it would be to add another juggling ball to the mix, I loved the idea and Erin's passion!

It was time for the premiere of MADISON COUNTY & time to sit back and enjoy the work put in. I've blogged about the specific experience so I'll keep it short, but it was amazing. Here are pics from our red carpet & sold out screening!

November was incredible because we received a bunch of offers for distribution for MADISON COUNTY & as a result things are moving along nicely. More on that later. It was also the month that we were going to be filming the teaser trailer for the movie FOR BLOOD OR JUSTICE. I played a psychotic killer and the whole shoot was incredible. I can't wait to share the teaser! I also then went home to NJ for Thanksgiving and to celebrate my sisters 18th birthday!

December hit and I wanted to shoot a scene for a character I had in mind and it grew into a short that is going to be used to pitch for a new project I'm developing. Eric directed it for me and did an incredible job. It should be completed in a few days. I play detective and I'm coming for you...

Erin and I had our famed cooking/holiday party which was an absolute blast and of course I passed out like years before, with Wolfy on our couch,

figured this was going to be my last effort for 2011 & to my surprise someone had another plan. I booked a great role and two weeks of filming on the ABC show BODY OF PROOF. I worked right before Christmas break and will return in a few days. The cast is great and I am working closely with Luke Perry, who's a great vet.

Christmas was spent with my family in NJ and then visiting Erin and her family in St. Louis.
Today marks the last day of this year and I have plenty to be thankful for. Even with the heartache. I've learned a lot...a lot about love. I know that 2011 has changed me. I've experienced things that are shaping me in many areas to be the man I'm destined to be.

2011, you've made me appreciate a nice professional year, but more importantly, you've made me realize and appreciate life so much more on a personal level.

I've squeezed a lot of juice out of your orange and I say goodbye as I welcome a new year. It's now your time to rest, 2011.

To everyone who has read or may read this or any of my blogs..thank you. There is something strange about the very act of writing in this fashion. It's private, but public. It's meant for me only, but everyone too. I can't figure it out, but it's helped me and you are a part of it.

I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

As always, HAVE FUN.


Ps- 2012, let me introduce myself to you. My name is Adolph "Ace" Marrero II and I will be a relentless force of nature, but I promise you'll have a good time. A few things for you to look forward to in January alone; filming for BODY OF PROOF, my second TOUGH MUDDER run (in Arizona this time) & a trip to Sundance. Get ready.

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Location:I won't forget you 2011.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

It is impossible to reach every person I am thankful for right now. No amount of phone calls, emails, texts, messages, tweets & blogs could reach them all. In actuality even if I did, I'm sure I'd miss a lot of people.

I'm someone that believes, "everything happens for a reason." Sometimes, that can ease my frustrations because I'll remind myself of this and just, "know" that there is a bigger plan for me. I believe in fate. I'm also someone that like's to play Monday morning quarterback, where you can look at how things COULD have, SHOULD have or WOULD have been, but it's usually to extract the lesson that is hidden, waiting to be learned. Because in my opinion, there is always a lesson to be learned. I feel people use that phrase and it has a negative vibe to it, but I don't mean it in that way. I am a student of life. I like to learn and I'm thankful to be taught.

For this, I am thankful for EVERYONE.

Even people who have not had the most positive impact in my life, I am thankful for. A lot actually! I mean this sincerely...and positively. I do my best not to get caught up in some deep desire to prove anyone wrong, it's not about that really. I am human, so I may get caught up in that from time to time. I am naturally a stubborn individual, so I tend to hold onto my beliefs or passions tight, and have no problem defending them. I'm also very competitive, so sometimes they all factor in and I'm more than ready to go to war. But really, I like to think I've learned a few lessons to know better. For the most part; I always check myself, address my ego and do my very best to be open, reasonable and available. Because after all, I enjoy that in people.

As much as I like a challenge, I like to have my cake and eat it too! Who doesn't?! LOL Really, it's a respect thing. We are all human...or even further, creatures of some kind...and we all deserve some respect.

I recently attended a screening of THE DESCENDANTS that ended with a Q&A with Shailene Woodley, Matthew Lillard & Judy Greer. The movie was Directed by Alexander Payne and starred George Clooney. I've known Alexander for a couple of years since my old long time Acting Coach, Tom Todoroff brought him into a class. They were close friends and he spoke at length and then a few of us went out to eat with him as well. Alexander Payne is a great director and after hearing him speak, he was someone I knew I wanted to work with. I can go on and on about the methods he shared, but this is not about that. As an ACTOR, I was very appreciative of his directing ways, as a person I really responded to how much RESPECT he had for the WHOLE process. It's not simply a camera, some lights and a body. A lot goes into it and it's no surprise to me why a lot of the stories he chooses to tell are slowly paced. He really gets into the psychology of his world. Well, the three Actors who attended the Q&A are at all different places in their careers. About twenty minutes in, the moderator asked each what it was like to work with Clooney. Usually when a question is asked, if the moderator is smart, they'll address one person and then ask the next, because if not, they all sit there looking at each other waiting to see who would respond. This one was being navigated smartly and they had it down. Well, when she asked the question, they all just let out a large sigh of some sort and it was almost like a brief, "where do we begin?" You could tell immediately, that it was going to be very positive. They went on to absolutely RAVE about him. It didn't go on forever, but you just got it. They said, he was exactly as you would imagine him to be in person. Now, I realize that might not be relatable to everyone, because that would imply everyone thinks he would be the coolest person ever, but I understood luckily. To me, regardless of what you think of his work, his personal life or whatever...he just looks like he would be a really cool dude! They said his charm was just as real as you see on any show or interview. He's just a good guy. Very respectable and respectful. To me, I was very happy to hear that. Because it proves, that it works. It's not just a show for him. You can be one of the most successful or powerful people and still be a good guy or gal. No one is perfect and we all make mistakes, but I really enjoy that type of dynamic.

I'm thankful for the experience of that Q&A.

I'm thankful for my mom and sister. I love them dearly. I am thankful for my Dad who continues to teach me lessons from above and who did a great job of leaving me with things that I am starting to realize more and more with each day. I'm thankful for my my girlfriend Erin who shows so much love and is an incredibly powerful and fearless woman. I'm thankful for my dog, who is the BEST EXAMPLE...of CONSTANT LOVE. He only knows how to love me or anyone else and no matter what, can bring a smile to my face. He teaches me a lot by this. Showing me that you can live simply by just giving love to all. I'm thankful to be healthy. I'm thankful to be making a living by living my dream. I'm thankful for the people I have worked with and for my team of players who come to bat willingly whenever needed. I'm thankful for pain, because it teaches me pleasure. I'm thankful for the mistakes that teach me how to do things right. Even death I'm thankful for, because it helps to celebrate the importance of life.

Grab your loved ones and if you can't, think about them.

I'm thinking about ALL OF YOU.

Love to you all & let's enjoy today, right now! Take each day as it comes, while this year approaches its end, because we'll never have them again.

Tomorrow is not promised, the past is over -- right now is all we have.

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"To Remember Me" - what I draw peace from at times.

When we were going through some of my Dad's belongings, my Mom showed me this newspaper clipping my Dad had saved. We always knew his wish was to be cremated and it just made sense after reading this.

There are times when I hurt or think and I do my best to refer to this poem Dad left behind. Almost as if it was his way to help us find peace.

Recently I attended a memorial service for a son of someone I had worked with in a play. His son was my age. He remarked how difficult it was for a parent to lose a child and for my whole life I could sympathize with that idea. Having been through what I have been through though, I don't think there is ANY way that is easier at all to deal with. The memorial service really hit home and I felt so much for my friend and his loss. It made me think about my own loss greatly and reminded me of this poem. I'll have to share this.

"The day will come when my body will lie upon a white sheet neatly tucked under four corners of a mattress located in a hospital; busily occupied with the living and the dying. At a certain moment a doctor will determine that my brain has ceased to function and that, for all intents and purposes, my life has stopped.

When that happens, do not attempt to instill artificial life into my body by the use of a machine. And don't call this my deathbed. Let it be called the bed of life, and let my body be taken from it to help others lead fuller lives.

Give my sight to the man who has never seen a sunrise, a baby's face or love in the eyes of a woman.

Give my heart to a person whose own heart has caused nothing but endless days of pain.

Give my blood to the teenager who was pulled from the wreckage of his car, so that he might live to see his grandchildren play.

Give my kidneys to the one who depends on a machine to exist from week to week.

Take my bones, every muscle, every fiber and nerve in my body and find a way to make a crippled child walk.

Explore every corner of my brain.

Take my cells, if necessary, and let them grow so that, someday a speechless boy will shout at the crack of a bat and a deaf girl will hear the sound of rain agianst her window.

Burn what is left of me and scatter the ashes to the winds to help the flowers grow.

If you must bury something, let it be my faults, my weakness and all prejudice against my fellow man.

Give my sins to the devil.

Give my soul to God.

If, by chance, you wish to remember me, do it with a kind deed or word to someone who needs you. If you do all I have asked, I will live forever."

--Robert N. Test

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A lot happens in 112 days

My plane ride back home made it a perfect time to catch up on some much needed blogging.

It has been three months since my Dad passed away.

It's so hard to explain what these 112 days have felt like, because honestly, I've felt so much.

Leaving my Mom and sister in our new home, to leave for my home, was not easy. They didn't move into a new place, but it is obviously just different now. I was left to be the man of the house, but...from afar?

My sister was starting her senior year in high school, my mom was starting a new job, two actually as she is now also the main provider of the household.

I got back home to LA and had to take a week to I was due to return to ALADDIN, but I wasn't ready, even after it being almost three weeks since Dad passed. Coming back was strange. There was a lot to get done, with one of my movies gaining steam, but I needed time still. I had been good about keeping to my responsibilities from afar, but I was back now and things were different. I felt differently. I held a higher regard for certain things that I'd mostly taken for granted. Who knows if that is even fair to say, because I wasn't really in a position to be, "aware" until now. I took the week and went on hikes, got a massage, be around Erin, my cat & dog and just relax. I needed it.

I started to really take notice of things that previously were bothering me and I addressed them. Personal things, but mostly professional things. For me, I'd just lost the person that was the biggest advocate of, "family time" and I was not going to let smaller, petty things continue to eat at me. I'd address them and if that meant going in a different direction, so be it. Time is precious. I'm still sorting those things out, but I feel loads better as a result.

MADISON COUNTY had been accepted to World Premiere at the famous Grauman's Chinese as part of the prestigious Screamfest Horror Film Festival and it was time to take the charge.

Last year, Eric, Erin and I attended one night and I made two promises. One to Eric, that the next year, we'd be in it for MC, and to Erin, the next year we'd be walking the carpet.

I tend to be an extremist at times. Sometimes I carefully plan and attack, but mostly, I am driven by instinct, passion and my heart.

This has gotten me into trouble, but I cherish it more times than not as it's lead to a lot of great things. I like being impulsive and doing spontaneous things, sometimes it saves you from nerves getting the best of you. The night before my 28th birthday I decided go jump from a plane. 30 days before the event, without proper training, I rallied a team of soldiers to tackle the Tough Mudder (10+ miles of obstacles designed by British Special Forces in the mountains of Big Bear). I can go on and on. This festival was going to take 20% planning and 80% instinct/passion. After all we didn't have time to wait. To be fair, I had been doing tons of work for over a year now for the film, but my next promise to my team was that we were going to sell this event out and get an encore screening.

As much as getting ready for the festival could serve as a distraction for my recent loss, it also served as a reminder, because every little achievement, every bit of news or any success was something I wanted to share with Dad.

It also was time for Football season to kick in, a sport I grew up with thanks to Dad. The last seven or eight years I really got INTO it, calling Dad on Sundays to talk about the game, or to see if he just saw a recent touch down. Now every week, when Sunday hits, it's tough. There is always some point during the day, that I instinctively almost reach for my phone to call him. A few weeks ago, one of my hardest days came on a Sunday. I was just other way to describe it. I miss him. It was a Sunday that I was going through past texts on my phone to drop a line to friends to remind them about our upcoming premiere, when I came across an old text from Dad as I scrolled down. I literally let out a, "Ohhhh!"

Weird-- I just recently stopped receiving emails from Dad with the subject line, "How are you?" His account has been phished or something. I didn't want to report it though.

If Sundays weren't enough, September was the time I was set to begin a 9 week basketball league on Wednesdays through Disney. It's my favorite sport to play and one that I always played with Dad. I decided to change my longtime number of 15 for that of my Dad's, 53.

There was an issue EVERY week and had to use someone else's jersey for every game because mine didn't come in. Every week I'd show up with only one thing on my mind, "Is my jersey in??" It pissed me off. Still does. I need that jersey.

In between Sundays and Wednesdays, I was back getting into the swing of things. Back home, Mom was not liking the new job, Alexis was prepping to visit and apply to schools. I'd also get calls or emails from the two of them venting a little about the stress the other was causing he other lol.

I started working with a PR company to help take advantage of the big premiere and they started getting me out to events and in front of some of the horror crowds and such.

I did a some radio shows, tv shows, interviews, podcasts which was great exposure.

It was a lot of fun and even though a lot of the same questions are asked repeatedly, it helped at the time reinforce what I was here to do...constant reminders of my goals. My new focused mission. As I would share with my friends or send to my family back home, I would always think of Dad, but I started to grasp that he was already aware and watching it all unfold :)

One night I was due to hit an actors tweet up (a meetup organized and attended by twitter users). I'd failed to make any previous ones, but promised I would attend this one. It was a week before our big premiere and I thought it would be a great way to spread the word so I said I'd go. 8pm rolls around and I'm not feeling it. I don't want to leave the house. I had so much work to do and didn't want to disrupt the flow. I tweeted a few people telling them I'd be "flaking out" (so LA) and that was that. A friend then messaged me saying they were not going to go, so I even felt that much better lol. I started to work, and then it just hit...I NEED TO GO. I ended up rallying and going. I saw some friends and spoke to a few of them at length, which was very nice, but it was a few hours later and I was ready to hit the road. At the very end, as I was saying goodbye, a friend of a friend said bye and I introduced myself. We started to talk and somehow it got deep fast. I can't remember how. I think we were talking about auditions and I had explained how I recently had one that really hit close to home and we ended up talking about my Dad's passing. I think I was mentioning how I was in a position at an audition where it was just a real situation for me, one I could relate to now and how I felt IN THAT MOMENT, that I had really changed. He went on to speak about how he too had experienced similar loss and mentioned a quote or something he heard. I can't remember the exact quote but it was basically, "Not until a son loses his father, will he become the man he is intended to be." It just really brought my recent discovery full circle. More so, I realized that my chat with this new friend was the reason I was meant to SHOW UP. I left energized.

The day was quickly approaching for the premiere and now my sister and best friend, Peter were flying in. I was excited.

My mom couldn't make it because of her new job, but I was ok. I was still busting ass to get things together. I had ordered shirts, a back drop, posters, post cards, posters and came up with giveaways, raffles and everything else to get people excited about the premiere. I wanted this to be more than just watching a movie, this was to be an EXPERIENCE. I was fitted for a new suit and spared no expense-- that was for Dad. I knew he'd see to it that I looked sharp for this so I carried it through knowing that would be his wish.

I was a machine. Early estimations on ticket sales were sounding good, but I wasn't letting up. I caught wind that there was a free screening at Arclight in Hollywood for the remake of THE THING and I was read to attack. I called up Eric to see if he would help, but he was going to instead try to sneak in as a "non-filmmaker" to see the movie. I went early, grabbed my dog (nothing is an easier condo starter than my pup) and grabbed a shit ton of post cards and headed for Hollywood. I was going to be a one man street team for the night. I started at the front of the line asking people jokingly if they were horror fans or just along for the free movie. Most people were big fans of the genre so it was an easy in. I'd tell them that about our movie; how we did this for little money, how we were going to be premiering at Grauman's and people were hooked. If I needed to, I'd pitch further about there being a free movie playing right before ours, so that they could see two movies for $5 a piece. More? There would be some tshirt and poster giveaways (people LOVE free shit). More? I had more for days. The best feeling was about 15 people KNEW of the movie already and most of them already HAD tickets! I wasn't done though. I went into the parking decks and post carded all of the cars. I would not be denied.

Well the day of the event hit and it was game time. The place was PACKED. INSANELY PACKED. People were being turned away AFTER an hour delay due to stand by tickets. MADISON COUNTY...had arrived. We had huge names in the genre show up to support and WITNESS THE RISE (one of our tags)! One of which, provided us with a cool story. James Wan (the man behind the SAW franchise and director of the recent hit, INSIDIOUS) actually payed someone a good chunk of cash to have their ticket. He also was VERY complimentary to the film and took the time to send a bunch of us personal messages on a job well done.

After over an hour delay, the theatre was packed and some people were sitting in the aisles. Daniel, his girlfriend Bri and I were not going to have seats. Eric had a seat saved that he tried to give to Bri, but she wouldn't take it, so he was safe. We finally entered the theatre and walked to the front and when I turned around...I was in shock. This must be an ounce of what it feels like when you are a rock star on stage in front of a sold out arena.

500+ people were pumped (some crabby at the delay)! We were beyond sold out and ready to play our baby on the big screen for the first time for everyone, including us! We said a little speech to thank everyone for coming and then we intro'd the film. I had put together t-shirts and Posters (with my sister and Peter's help) and threw them into the audience creating even more of a frenzy and headed to our aisle seats. Our logos hit the screen first, beginning with Daniels then Eric's and then mine.

At that moment I looked up and just teared instantly. I thought of Dad, sad he wasn't here, but I was very, very happy. I knew my mom would be there if she could, my dad was watching down and I was SURROUNDED by my loved ones. Erin, my closest friends, Peter & my sister were near me. Even Erin's family flew out from St. Louis. I had so many friends show up to support including my Aladdin family, which always rolls deep! I recently heard from a friend who wanted to let some time settle before dropping me a line to tell me how much they enjoyed the film, I didn't even know they had come! Thank you to EVERYONE who made it out and who supported from afar. The movie was a hit that night & the energy in the room was incredible!

Leading up people were asking me if I was nervous and I honestly wasn't. I was prepared. I've been working hard for a while and this was my time time to enjoy. The most nervous was about two hours before the movie was due to start. We were having dinner and I wanted to hurry to get to the theatre, so I could change into my suit and do my hair lol. I was worried if get held up and not have time. It worked out.

Erin and I got to sneak a few pictures in together on the carpet. Both my promises from a year earlier had come to fruition.

The movie was done and I still had more work to do, I needed to get over to our after party venue to set up our, "press room" for the night. We didn't really end up using it, but it looked good lol

The next two days...sick. Lol. The high of what we had just experienced was not calming. Then we get the call..."Do you guys want to have an encore screening...tomorrow?"

Holy shit.

Here comes instinct and passion 100% I quickly confirmed, got on the computer and typed up a press release to announce our sold out hit, encore screening and used the momentum of the sell out to try to get as many people as possible. I pulled out the big guns and offered free tshirts to the first 50 people and free posters to the rest. We also had a Q&A planned since we didn't want to do one so late the night of the premiere. In less than 24hrs we had just under 100 people show up. I think it's a success considering it was strictly word of mouth.

The dust was settling, the festival was over and it was bittersweet. We had such a great time and now it was over. We were also a little bummed that we didn't get some kind of audience appreciation award, considering we were the only film to sell out the festival and gain an encore screening. But, on well. That's life. Screamfest was very appreciative of the job we did and we are beyond proud to be a part of their history. Thank you Rachel & the Scresmfest team!

Now time to sell this bitch. It was around this time where I started to really be affected by my dad's death. Things were settling in and it was about the two month mark and it was hitting even harder. Everything was reminding me of him. I started to think back to everything and had those brief regrets or sad thoughts of, what if?"

I had a couple of dreams about him recently too. One was he and I running in wooded terrain. We were trying to get away. All of a sudden he yells, "watch out for the scorpions!" and before you know it there was a scorpion flying at me! I woke up. Dad was a Scorpio.

I had a couple of others, nothing as intense though lol

I started to think back to something we found in Dad's briefcase a few days before I was set to fly back to LA. I felt it deserved it's own blog, so you can check it out by clicking this link:

It really helped me and continues to help me during this time.

Things are going well for the most part. MC is about to be sold to a great company & we are really excited to be working with them! We have another company selling territories over seas for the movie to bring it to an international audience. Our follow up film ROADSIDE, is going to be incredible. It's been submitted it to the big festivals so far, so we'll see what happens. This film is special to me for many reasons. It's my juiciest role to date and closest to the types of films I want to do for the rest of my life. It also is one i showed my Dad when I was home and he was really into it!! At the time we only had the first 3/4 ROUGHLY assembled, but he was hooked and wanted to see more. This one will be dedicated to him. I can't wait to see what this does when it is ready for the world!

I helped Eric shoot a halloween short which was a lot of fun and a much needed, no pressure shoot that brought back a lot of our gang from our past two features.

I then helped Erin on her film directing debut, another Halloween short. This one was shot by Daniel, who was not able to work on the first one. It's called MEET THE TWEEDS & I was solely a Producer on this, but it was such a great experience! I'm very proud of what Erin did! Her past experience with directing theatre and her technical awareness was impressive.

Erin and I also had a very nice trip to Palm Springs and are planning our Sundance trip as we speak!

I had a chance to shoot an episode of SPARAH a web series by Virgin Mobile and it was an absolute BLAST!

I'm flying home to Jersey as I type this and its going to be the first time I visit our home without Dad. I expect it to be tough, but I'm very thankful to be spending Thanksgiving with my family and WOLFY who is visiting too! In a few short weeks we'll be back again for X-Mas, this time with Erin! My sister turns 18 the day after Thanksgiving so I wanted to be here for that. How fast time flies. 112 days flew by. I can't believe it's the holiday season already. Last December my dad was having his surgery for the cancer. Crazy.

When time flies as fast as it is now, it's important to value the things that really mean the most to me. No more time for non-sense.

It's game time.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, October 7, 2011

Madison County World Premiere Contest

The official countdown has begun. We are less than 10 days away from the WORLD PREMIERE of MADISON COUNTY!!!

What's a fun way to help count down the days? A ticket giveaway contest! Don't worry we won't ask why you don't already have your tickets (
but really, why don't you? *wink)!

On October 17th, at about 9:30pm PT, Los Angeles fans as well as some who have traveled from all over the country, will officially WITNESS THE RISE and be welcomed into the world that is MADISON COUNTY. Damien is soon to be unleash
ed into the horror world and you can be there for it all...AND receive some cool swag as a result.

There are two ways to enter.

If you are on twitter FOLLOW @MadisonCoFilm & Tweet, "I want to attend the official #worldpremiere of @MadisonCoFilm @Screamfest so I can #WitnessTheRise!"

If you are on Facebook, LIKE the MADISON COUNTY page & post, "I want to attend the official world premiere of MADISON COUNTY at SCREAM
FEST so I can Witness The Rise!

The more times you tweet or post, the better your odds. One winner will be picked at random (and influenced by their enthusiasm) on October 14th at 3:00pm PT and it will be announced on the FACEBOOK PAGE. Deadline to ente
r is October 14th at 9:00am PT.

You will win the following:
  • A pair of VIP reserved tickets to the World Premiere (airfare/lodging not included)
  • Pictures with the cast & crew on the red carpet
  • An exclusive invite to the post screening party
  • A VIP gift bag containing various sponsored products
  • MADISON COUNTY merchandise
In order to claim your prize:

Winner has 24 hours to respond to any tweet or facebook message we send out to notify you.
After the winner responds to us, we will reply with the specific instructions to claim the contest prize.

If the original winner doesn’t respond within 24 hours of the announcement, a new winner will be chosen the following day.

See you at the movie!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Partial prep for the big role...

American Psycho 2. "Morning Routine"

I live in the American Gardens Building on West 81st Street on the 11th floor. My name is Patrick Bateman. I'm 27 years old. I believe in taking care of myself, and a balanced diet and a rigorous exercise routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I'll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches. I can do a thousand now. After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower I use a water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial masque which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion. There is an idea of a Patrick Bateman. Some kind of abstraction. But there is no real me. Only an entity. Something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel flesh gripping yours, and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable, I simply am not there.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Birthday & an ultimate celebration of life.

With everything going on with my Dad, as my birthday was approaching it was bittersweet. In fact as much as I love the arrival of my special day, I was a little anxious at its arrival. I'm not really one that has to have the big bash or anything, but of course, I still like and enjoy the extra attention and care. In fact the biggest deal I've made was that I wanted to do something special for my golden birthday which was last year. It's when you turn the age of the day your birthday falls on. In honor of the once in a lifetime day, I jumped out of a plane. It was an incredible experience and I was introduced to something that would end up playing a big part in this years birthday. You can spot it in this video...more on that later.

I also find it very difficult to say what I want when asked for something around Christmas or my birthday. I can think of things any other time of the year, but my brain sort of locks up at the times when they matter most, lol. It comes from many things; not feeling I need anything, not wanting to put people out & I'm sure there is a part of not wanting to be disappointed in not getting perhaps the one thing I actually want.

This year, actually it was a few weeks ago when I first revisited this blog and was setting it up, they gave me an option to create a wish list that would be attached to the blog. I added a few items that I wanted and felt like a kid making his Christmas list full heartedly believing Santa was going to be reading and granting him with his wishes. It disappeared. I don't know where the hell it went, and I've never seen it since lol. I knew everything on it though as there were only like 4 things.

Fast forward and my birthday is approaching, but I'm more concerned with other things. My dad.

When people ask how my Dad is doing, it's getting tough. It's hitting. It's hard to explain for many reasons. He's very weak and basic things are becoming very difficult for him. He's strong still, maybe not in the physical sense, but even that could be argued and I would back that up on his behalf, because he has some serious things his body is putting him through and he fights with vigor. I can't and pray I never will (or anyone I know for that matter) be able to understand his position or know what he is going through. Watching is beyond scary. But I can say that my dad is not making this easy nor is he looking to. He has refused to return to the hospital and simply wants to be home. For the most part though, that puts him in the care of my mom, sister and I. No one will love or care for him more than we will right now, but we're obviously no doctors. We follow along with what we are given to treat and aid him, but it is easy to think a hospital would offer more. Thats the obvious thought though and doesnt mean it would offer him more in a positive way. Maybe being home and in the comfort of his own bed outweighs everything else for dad. I feel that's the case.

Well we are leading up to the big day and I'm getting asked what I want. It's an easy choice, one I'm sure anyone could figure out from my recent blogs. A sentimental one, a loving one. I have however been talking about a camera I wanted. The Go Pro Hero.

I first saw this camera in action at the NAB Tradeshow in April of last year. There was a huuuuuge line and after being nosey I realized why, this camera was awesome. It's used in a lot of sports and records in HD and comes in a waterproof housing so you can use it pretty much anywhere. I'm a technology dork, but moreover I like taking pictures and I LOVE recording videos. Anyone that knows me well, knows I'm quick to bust out my phone to record something and then post it somewhere. I really like to share things...experiences. I also have this thought that if I god forbid something happened to me and I lost my memory, "I'll be ok, just hit play." :) Well, I thought having that camera would expand the ways I could record and share. I also like to be able to show certain things to my family across the country. A couple of months ago, I started to think about the camera again when I signed up for the TOUGH MUDDER in California. It's a 10+mile run, with over 20 crazy obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces. I did this in honor of my late uncle and for my Dad. I thought having the camera would give me an opportunity to share with my dad everything in the race. I didn't end up getting it, but I found an alternative in a waterproof flip cam that helped me capture some great moments to send to dad!

I loved the race and quickly signed up for one in Arizona and soon another in California, but I promised this time I'd get the camera and do it right.

It ended up dropping the hint for the camera to Erin, lol although I knew it was a bit of a stretch. It's not the cheapest thing out there after all. As I was asked what I want I'd continue joking about it, but I honestly wasn't going to be expecting it or be upset about not getting it- I knew the situation. Really, this birthday was going to be special for me because it would be the first in close to 5 years with my family and now Erin was with us too. I had a lot to be thankful for and I was already cherishing the moment.

Leading up to it, dad had been having a very rough couple of days. It almost feels like I'm just repeating that constantly, but I guess that's where we are.

I could continue to write, but I put together this video (of course) that I'd like to use to share. I privately posted the video and wasn't sure if I would share, but it feels right because I feel there is so much love within it.

It was tough for me to look at the card everyone signed for me. I lost it instantly when I did, so I couldn't look at it for long or I'd be a worse mess. As I write this, I still haven't revisited the card. It was difficult and then I needed to address other things that didn't leave me the time I wanted to revisit. I will now. It meant so much to me and everything in that video made it the most special birthday ever for me. I thank everyone & love you all very much.

That was the last time dad made it out of the room, and for the most part, the last time he got out of bed. I knew he would not have it any other way.

Two days later dad woke up late night/early am with extreme pain! We were instructed to give him medication to help the pain, but it left him beyond lethargic and he was out of it. I had an overwhelming sensation and upset feeling that perhaps I would not get a chance to see him out of the this state...where I could talk to him, say hi...say I love you and hear him say it back...say bye...Dad fought hard again though & was with us and responsive as the days passed. Even in that state, he would talk to us and respond - one afternoon I said, "I love you dad" and he moved, but didn't say anything. Maybe it was selfish of me, but I innocently asked, "Do you love me dad?" he told me :)

Adolfo Marrero, my dad, passed away at 8:30pm on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011.

It was a sad couple of days leading up, but they were also some of the most heartfelt and loving moments I've experienced with my family and during those days I learned a lot about my dad. There were tons of things to take care of, things to be concerned about, things that needed to be addressed - but dad made sure he was there for us, as he always was.

I was having a rough time during those days. Really rough. I was being tested in absolutely in every way possible.
You start to think about what if's, regrets and all sorts of other things. My mom, sister and I were with my dad all day, we'd switch off at different points, because someone had to be around since he wasn't making much noise at this point and we didn't want to risk not being there if he needed us.

I spent a lot of time with him, but a part of me felt distant in some ways and I realized why on Wednesday, I was not wanting to leg go, but I also was regretting two things. I was there to constantly tell him that I loved him and to let him know we were always there, he wasn't alone and such, but I was lost on what to say at points. Later in the evening I took a shower and came out and headed straight for the room where dad slept. It was a miracle but we were alone. At this point that was rare. I just sat down and had a heart to heart with him. I told him I loved him and eased his concerns about some things I knew he was thinking about during the last couple of weeks...that we would be ok. I promised him that. I'd be there and take care of mom and Alexis. Most of all, I let him know that it was ok for him to rest. I was told by an uncle and good friend that has experienced similar situations that in this time that would be important to my dad. I never thought anything less would happen and knew my dad knew what I told him, but maybe he needed to hear that. I also then addressed the two things that had been on my mind and apologized. Dad probably was smiling at my concern of them. I felt better. I said more things then hugged him, kissed him told him I loved him and went down to eat.

My mom and aunt were upstairs with him and called my sister and I up about an hour later. My mom, sister and were with him. Together. A family. LOVE.

My mom told me about the moment she shared with her sister, my aunt and my dad before calling us up. Beautiful.

With everything considered, we are able to laugh a lot & smile. Tears flow, but you celebrate and remember great things. I believe comedy and tragedy are the truest of unions, they are always together and this time is no different.

At my fathers memorial service we had the greatest showing in my dads honor. My dad wasn't one to make a fuss about himself, but he did ask for that service. It caught me off guard, but there was no question, it would be done. He knew, I think that his friends would want this, and they did. My dad was a star athlete in high school and played his first year of college (I did the exact same, but I think he had me beat lol) he had coaches come out from his past teams, friends that remembered my dad since 1st grade and co-workers who loved him that showed up in huge numbers. Some of the more touching moments that day were from his co-workers and they were flying in from all parts of the country to pay respect & share how great of a man he was. In fact they were some of the people that I noticed cried the most. I think my mom, sister and I learned how much my dad touched the lives of many, it became evident that day. It was a common message. It was being repeated almost with every person that came up to say hello and pay their respects. I heard lots of stories, had many laughs, shed some tears and took away even so much more about dad. So much love.

On my dad's legacy page his guestbook shares a lot of these thoughts. Adolfo Marrero Legacy Page

One story sticks out still to me. One guy talked about how my dad represented him and so many people as a stand out Latino basketball & baseball player and how even though he was the same age as my dad, he looked up to him as a big brother as many did. "Even though he was the good athlete, he was a GREAT MAN!" I was beyond touched. He continued by saying that there was also no surprise that he and my mom ended up together. The cheerleading captain and star athlete lol. I think I knew this, but forgot about my mom and cheerleading and I still keep laughing at the thought. I have a picture of my mom somewhere in her outfit I have to dig up. I know my dad loved sports and playing. He was my coach for many years and it is a part of the reason I love playing. I always met his friends, a lot of the same ones I saw Saturday and they would remark how good my dad was on the court but off as well and that I had big shoes to fill. I never felt intimidated by it. In fact my dad and I would play against each other often, but I loved it. He was my personal hero. I loved Michael Jordan, but he was no Dad. I was proud to be his son and represent his name as ADOLPH MARRERO II.

I'm now the last Marrero male. The man of the house. It's hard to think of because of what it means we've lost, but I'm proud and happy to take care of my family. I can't remember who, but someone recently remarked that it hurts when you lose someone because of all the good things they represented. I like that. This has taught me so much about my dad, my mom my sister, myself- everything.

I'll continue to honor my father and carry out the things I wanted To give to him and my family.

I love you dad. YOU make me smile. I know that you'll see all of the things that will mean so much to me as time goes on. While I can't share a hug or kiss, I'll be happy because I know you now will have the best seat in the house!

I love you.

Your son,

Adolph Marrero II