‘I’m sorry that I’m such a mess’

“I’m sorry that I’m such a mess.
I drank all my money could get.”

Those lyrics kept popping into my head. It took me a minute to figure it out at first. I kept thinking, “I know this song.” And then I realized it was “If You Don’t, Don’t” by Jimmy Eat World.

It’s interesting how a song or a lyric – or just a line or phrase – can grab you. As a musician myself, I always have that hope that maybe something I’ve written will resonate with someone.

Generally this blog is reserved for projects I’m working on, but every once in a while, I go personal.

Last year was the year I actually went public about depression.

There are lots of sites and blogs that post about that and other related issues, and it’s almost a recurring theme in some of those, that the writer would discuss writing about it, but be hesitant to actually post it publicly, thinking it was too personal or that others wouldn’t get it. It’s a scary and vulnerable feeling to actually go through and hit that “publish” button. But then they share it with a friend or two and get a reaction like, “me too!” or “I thought I was the only one!”

In the depths of it, it can feel lonely and hopeless. I think that’s because it’s such an internal struggle. It’s brain chemicals and thought processes and coping habits. It’s not visual or tangible like a broken arm or even a cold.

And you feel like “such a mess,” as the song states, and you feel apologetic for being that way. (I don’t think the entirety of that song really has anything to do with what I’m writing about necessarily; it’s just that one part that resonated with me.)

Maybe being more open can help end the stigma around issues like depression or anxiety or a host of other things that can be uncomfortable to talk openly about. Maybe it can create more understanding. Maybe it can make people feel less alone when they read something and have that “me too!” reaction. I don’t know. But I hope so.

Much love to you. Thanks for reading.

 

BFF on the news…

My mother recorded a recent newscast on her DVR and made sure to save it until I could see it. Not giving anything away, she told me she had something she wanted me to see and asked, “Do you have time now?”

“Sure,” I said, as she loaded the program and hit the play button.

On the local news, they were talking about a Black Film Festival being held at Alabama State University, and there in the background was a scene from Best Friends Forever (The Love and Crimes of Tiye Ra and Corey) by my friend, writer/director C. DeWayne Cunningham of Carolyn Jean’s Son Visions. Specifically, it was the scene of me in the role of “Daniel Andre Wilson” standing over a handrail talking to the main two characters.

I said, “Woah… hey… I’m on TV.” It was quite surprising. And then the next part showed a portion of the scene of Ebony Jones as “Tiye Ra” dragging a body on the ground.

Nice surprise. Thanks to my mom for catching that for us.

Oh, and speaking of Ebony, she made the news again. There is a scene in the film with her boxing in a ring, but what you may not know is that she’s really a boxer. Another news agency ran a story about her. See it here.

Hey @ibetheshooter, we made the news. #BFFcjsv

A video posted by Josh Carples (@joshcarples) on

Audience connection

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Four Thousand Wings

On Saturday, my friend and fellow filmmaker C. DeWayne Cunningham and I got to screen three short films at the Cloverdale Playhouse in Montgomery. (Many thanks to them for allowing us to hold this event!)

First up was Animus by Ce Anderson, followed by my short Four Thousand Wings and then DeWayne’s Best Friends Forever (The Love and Crimes of Tiye Ra and Corey.)

We did Q&A sessions after each film to answer any questions about the story, filmmaking process, or anything else one wanted to ask.

I’ve described my film as a “surreal drama” and there are some things left ambiguous in it, so I was not sure how people might react to it. Love it? Hate it? Meh? So I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised during the Q&A that people seemed to really like it. The feedback was very positive, and as an artist – whether the medium is film, music, painting, theater, etc. – having others connect and appreciate your art is a great feeling.

This Tuesday – Aug. 16, 2016

 

Normally, I’m the photographer at the monthly Guitar Pull at the Cloverdale Playhouse. But this Tuesday, I’ll be one of the three artists on stage.

This will be my third time performing at this event, which, if you still haven’t been to one of these, I’ll say it again: you’re really missing out.

I’m joining my friend Bobby Lee from Dothan and a duo consisting of Will O’Rear and Al Alysworth.

This coming Tuesday, starting at 7, come out and enjoy some music.

And for some history, read Bubba Hall’s take on the Pull and its founder, Joe Thomas, Jr.

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AL film projects to screen in NY

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Still from Mercy and Plea.

I’ve got to give a big ‘Congrats!’ to my friend and fellow filmmaker Sylvester Folks, who has two projects in another film festival.

After screening his web series The Ghost and the Negro at the LA Film Festival a couple of months ago, he’s now taking that one, along with his series pilot Mercy and Plea, to the state of New York for the Hudson Valley International Film Festival.

Both of those projects will screen on Saturday, August 27.

July 2016 Guitar Pull photos are up!

Photos from this month’s Guitar Pull at the Cloverdale Playhouse are up on my Facebook page. Click here to view the entire gallery.

‘Spiritus’ wrap and interviews

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Writer/director LC Holt, left, and production manager Rick Gardner review crane footage on the last night of principal photography for Spiritus.

Saturday night was that bittersweet moment when a project comes to completion. You’re happy and proud to see it finished, but you’re also kind of sad because it was so much fun working on it.

All that to say: Spiritus has wrapped principal photography!

It’s all post-production now, as writer/director LC Holt will continue editing and then hand things over to Foolish Henry Films‘ Shane Gillis to score. (Click here to listen to some of Shane’s music.)

So while we’re talking about Spiritus, be sure to check out this interview LC did with Tom Holland’s Terror Time about his work in You’re Next, V/H/S 2, and Spiritus.

And on the subject of interviews, check out this interview with Sylvester Folks on the We Are Moving Stories site about his project The Ghost and the Negro.

‘Death to the World’ now on Amazon Prime!

DttWprimeThe Foolish Henry Films production Death to the World – the one where I play a serial killer – is now available to watch for free on Amazon Prime (or with ads if you don’t have a Prime account) just like City Federal.

See what the critics are saying:

“First of all, the “actors” were ALL terrible, especially the one who played the killer… [Hey, that’s me!]”

But in that reviewer’s defense, he gave this lamp four stars.

And then there’s this classic:

“Worse,worse,worse.”

So click here to watch me be both “terrible” and “worse” for FREE!

‘City Federal’ now on Amazon

CFamazon_promo A short film I worked on with Foolish Henry Films is now on Amazon and can be viewed for free with your Prime account (or for free with ads if you’re not on Prime.)

Click here to watch City Federal on Amazon.

Principal photography finished in the fall of 2014, and the final version debuted at the Montgomery Film Festival in early 2015.

Foolish Henry Films is the company that also did the feature horror/slasher film Death to the World that I was in. (Disclosure: I am the PR director for Foolish Henry Films.)

The cover art and poster art was created by my friend Hillary Andrews of Pint Bottle Photography.

The film score was done under my Glorious 70mm project:

More score work can be found on the Glorious 70mm Bandcamp page.

For more on my film work and the projects I’m involved with, visit the ‘Filmography‘ page on this site.

Thanks for watching and listening, and for your encouragement and support.

Listen

There is a scene from a movie that has been playing on repeat in my head. It’s from the documentary film Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore.

In the scene, Moore is talking with Marilyn Manson, and he asks, “If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?”

Marilyn Manson’s response:

“I wouldn’t say a single word to them. I would listen to what they have to say, and that’s what no one did.”

There are things in this world that are beyond my direct experience. I do not know what it is like to be black in America. I do not know the experience of being a member of the LGBT community. I do not know the ins and outs of being a police officer or the spouse/partner of one.

There is no way for me to say with any perfect certainty the phrase “I understand,” because without direct experience, there is no way to fully understand.

What I can do is empathize. What I can do is give an honest attempt at understanding. What I can do is show love and respect for the diverse makeup of people in my life. I can support efforts of peace and equality. I can agree that black lives matter. I can be saddened by the losses of life in Baton Rouge, Dallas, St. Paul, and so many other places around the country. I can agree that there is a problem.

And going back to what Marilyn Manson said in Bowling for Columbine, I can listen.

Much love to you.