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.