“You’re the guy who is with Jeremy London, aren’t you? The zombie guy?” The security guy for the celebrity room seemed star struck when he noticed my writing partner Jason Robbins and myself’s presence. Jason confirmed our identity and the tattooed mountain of manhood pulled back the curtain to escort us so that we didn’t have to wade through the throngs of fans waiting to meet Jeremy and the other cast members of Kevin Smith’s “Mallrats” at Pensacon in Pensacola, Florida.
When Jeremy saw us, he hugged us all and made certain to introduce us to Joey Lauren Adams who is best known as Alyssa from “Chasing Amy.” We got settled in his area and people smiled and asked each other where they knew us from. We had to be someone if we were in the “Mallrats” area. An older man walked by and looked at Jeremy’s headshots and posters, pausing long enough for me to nod to him, trying not to freak out when I said, “Mr. Cummings…”
His familiar soothing voice responded, “Hello there!” Jim Cummings, the voice of Darkwing Duck just said hello to me. What is my life?
Every bit of this is thanks to a new short film I helped write called, “Monsters Anonymous.” In the film we sit in on a group therapy session where the classic movie monsters of the 1930’s try to cope with modern audiences not finding them scary. Frustrated and irritated with the continuing popularity of zombies, they learn a powerful lesson at the end regarding relevancy from the very zombies they vilified.
Just a few months prior, I almost gave up. In my journey to make a better life for my little girl, it seemed like I was making negative progress and it wasn’t fair to her due to many personal setbacks and tragedies.
Then randomly my writing partner sent me the idea and partial script for “Monsters Anonymous,” asking for help fleshing it out, it didn’t surprise me none. He had done this kind of thing before and I love the challenge. He explained he would be given a little money to produce a short with the members of an acting class he was in.
I liked the idea so I agreed to rewrite it for him. I added jokes, restructured the scenes, and inserted new characters to make it more lighthearted and when Jason received my draft work, he said it was one of the funniest things I had ever written. I explained that it was just my first pass on it, but Jason gets excited and can’t help himself sometimes. The next day he told me that he sent it to everyone including his acting teacher, “Mallrats” and “Party of Five” actor Jeremy London.
It wasn’t until we were in Jeremy’s home working out the ending that he had come up with that it hit me that this was real. After the story meeting, he and his wife lead us out telling me that “Monsters Anonymous” was one of the funniest scripts he had ever read and this is the guy who read “Mallrats” before filming, which is one of my favorite comedies.
The last few months have been incredibly surreal. Just a few months ago, I wrote a letter to myself entitled, “I Hope,” where I basically asked myself if this was all going to work. I asked if my little girl would ever get to see the type of life I want to provide for her. Now, I have co-written a movie in the living room of the lead actor in the movie that got me wanting to write movies, Jeremy London.
The star of Kevin Smith’s first movie, “Clerks,” Brian O’Halloran has agreed to star in it and there is so much more I want to be able to tell you, but at this stage, I cannot.
I understand that this short film alone will not bring me to my dream of providing my princess with a better life while doing something I’m passionate about, but I’m a whole lot closer than when she was born and it feels amazing.
If you have ever felt like a dream of yours is out of reach, please believe me when I say that you can do it. Right now we are running a Kickstarter campaign to get funding for “Monsters Anonymous” and at certain levels you will have the opportunity to spend the day with us as we shoot the film. You will be able to get professional zombie make up and be an actual member of our cast, but the real value will be in the experience. There is nothing more inspiring than to be with a group of passionate people who want nothing more than to create.
No matter who you are or what you want to do with your life, take a deep breath. If you can complete that breath, you still have time to achieve your dreams.