Gradually, rekindling my love for art, it helped me gain control of at least a minor part of my life, and in turn, I recreated myself from the inside-out.
My incarceration has been a very long road, sometimes easy, a lot of times uncertain; but one thing it hasn’t been, is a waste of time. As a screwed up teenager, I looked up at prison and the 30 flat years I had to do before I saw parole, as some great behemoth that would surely crush me. Now, I can’t imagine what I would have become without it. I fell into drugs and depression as a teen. With no genuine friendships or female relationships, I was a wayward, thwarted youth; my own worst enemy. My mental downward spiral resulted in murder when I was 19. With undying love and support of family and friends, I managed to overcome many dark, burdensome years of guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Being socially awkward has always been my handicap. Naturally introverted, it only worsened in prison, as I tried my hardest to stay away from the gangs and negativity. Determined to be a director one day, I joined a public speaking club. I was scared as hell but I did it anyway. I struggled and sweated through it until I became an effective public speaker which helped in future meetings with producers, investors, and actors- I had also become something I never thought possible: a mentor. In actuality, I became an effective human being.
I started exhibiting drawings, collages, and watercolors at events around the country with help from a friend who has sold my work since ‘04. Along the way I discovered scriptwriting, with the future goal of directing. I have written countless crappy scripts, studying movies on dayroom TVs, reading every movie-related book in the library, and having my family send me movie making magazines. As I write this, collaborators on the outside are shopping some of my scripts around to producers (fingers crossed). I’m on the second revision of my prisoner self-help book (showing prisoners how to live better prison time by seeing it differently), and catching up on portraits for guys in here (I never get ahead). “However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light.”