John Anthony

Actor. Filmmaker. Alien

Wade Wofford, Director, Writer and Producer of the upcoming feature “The Answer”

“Much like the adage that "you make a film three times: writing the script, shooting it, and editing," I find that working with actors is very similar; you work with them in a very different way in all three parts of the filmmaking process.  Most actors, in my experience, do not shine across all three...  John Anthony, on the other hand, proves a pleasure through each stage of the process. His intentness on understanding relationships and willingness to build character history enriches beyond the script in preproduction. During production, his sense of humor, willingness to work his ass off, and "turn it on" on demand were assets to shooting swiftly and efficiently. And during post, his consistency and strong choices shine through; movements made on specific lines from wide to close make the editor's task able to focus on quality rather than tedious technicalities. A true pro, and craftsman at his art.”

 

 

Empathy, like chivalry is Dead. THat PaRt.

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Swipe, like, swipe, laugh, scroll, stop, like, scroll, stop, groan, swipe, smirk, scroll, shit falls our your ass, wipe while swipe, stand, flush, or flush, stand, wash hands. Hopefully.  

Did you catch the terrible news out of the Waffle House?  I know, which one right.  It seems like that establishment is just the recent hot setting for all things anti-black.  Whether its forcibly arresting a black woman and ripping her clothes off for no apparent reason in front of other patrons whom sat there silently eating their chemically infused chicken thighs, or another quote on quote "disturbed and troubled" young white man coming in guns hot like there was a war going on killing four people of color, or just your run of the mill daily dose of call the cops on two educated black men simply waiting for their friend at your friendly Starbucks...it's very clear to see that these motherfuckers don't care about us.  

Growing up as a young man, the often poignant phrase that my father would throw out here and there did not fall on deaf ears, you can't trust them "white devils".  I would laugh, as most kids might because there is something comically sultry about that phrase.  Especially with a thick Jamaican accent supporting the words, yet he was dead ass.  Obviously he had lived a lifetime of witnessing at first hand how evil this race of people have and can be.  Whether secretly in the privacy of their own homes where their tongues can express their true sentiment, or in public where in between tolerating smiles they can whisper their true sentiments, I would grow up to experience exactly what my father meant by these two words time and time and time again, all while trying to keep hope alive for my white brethren.    

But I digress.  I got a little ahead of myself and surely will revisit the times stop and frisk were a regular day in the life of this young brother long before they had the catchy term coined.  Still, how could I not.  When you wake up everyday to another slaying.  Another unlawful arrest.  Another massacre.  Are you still with me, cause by now is when the attention begins to wain.  The subject matter is too heavy, too redundant, too...well, black.  Remember, these motherfuckers don't care about us.  The sad part is many of our own don't care about us.  By design.  Until we truly start to right this psychological wrong, we will never be "free".   

We are sick.  Diseased for four scores and a millennium.  They kill us, we kill us and they kill us again, affirmed by the aforementioned. You think murdering an innocent black man or woman resonates?  There is no such thing as an innocent black woman or man to them.  That term is as foreign to them as cleaning their meat before cooking it and you're expecting the seasoning to be right?  Come on my nigga!  These are the same minds that told the black mayor of Flint Michigan when she confronted the early cutting off of bottled water to the people of the city she represents to quote "Get over it".  End quote.  How about Cobb County's very own police officer, Greg Abbott, whilst assuring a nervous white woman during a traffic stop, "No need to be nervous, you're not black.  Remember, we only kill black people."  End quote. 

This might be a good point to mention that I don't feel this way towards the entire white race.  Of course I don't.  Backed up by my countless relationships with them.  Whether business, friendship or romantically, I have and have had it all.  I mean, one of my best friend's is white!  I mean...hello?!

Whether we are selling cigarettes, CD's or simply walking home eating a bag of skittles, we have and will be a threat to the very existence of the white race because we are a constant reminder of their very own decrepitude and insolence.  How they love to hate and hate to love us.  Like beating a trick with a wire clothes hanger then drawing her a warm bath and dressing her wounds.  Truly I don't know what else they can take.  Apparently, according to Jordan Peele, our very beings are next.  I suffice that they already have. 

The mind controls everything.  If you are in the fundamental thought that the heaven that biblical teachings indoctrinate in fact represents our minds and earth being our bodies, or matter, then mind over matter makes quite literal anatomical sense and the old sages have forever been telling us all that we think we become...then the cave dwelling caucasians were more clever than we thought.  Control the psyche, control the being.  

Delorean jump to present time, we see the affects and effects of this psychological warfare.  Still, there is the bigger battle going on that supersedes race.  The real war that has been waging since the dawn of the have and have nots.  Class.  While they kill us unarmed in our own backyards like rampant dogs, and press knees into our tracheas for resisting arrest until they are crushed, those very people are also under the grand slumber.  They just so happen to have a different role they are playing.  If this was tv, us black folk are the under 5 and they are the series regulars.  All while the real enemy's eagle eye sits in the palm of our hands. 

Scroll, scroll, like, scroll, chuckle, like, scroll, grunt, scroll, suck teeth, scroll, whisper to self *that's fucked up*, like, scroll, laugh, shit drops, wipes ass, flush, stand, or stand, flush, Wash hands.  

Hopefully.

 

 

Smile Harder.

 

 

I'm about to get bigger...(or) "My Little Valentine, America...I'll bleed for you."

I know!  Dirty minded immediately.  I know how you perverts think.  You are right though, people's minds are exceptionally polluted.  It's quite telling though.  That visceral thinking that we all are truly governed by.  It's more apparent right now than ever.  In my lifetime at least.  The courage of such hate fueled people to share the darkest parts of their minds and just blurt out the tar that resides in it.  And whom are the victims?  Apparently the real monsters.  The apparent uneducated, lazy and criminal by nature.  The ones that should go back to Africa, or Mexico, or Christ cause Jesus can draw that gay right out of you!  I often wonder how the KKK and southern "blacks" can come to praise the same God.  Like the hilarious line from "Oh brother, where art thou"..."Not my God!"

The fact is, I'm not in the least surprised at the wack station of today's society.  If you are, you're forgetting a very important thing.  Change is hard.  Like extremely hard.  Think about your own life and some bad habit you have tried to improve on or rid yourself of all together.  Not an easy feat, so why would we think people whom rarely if not ever have traveled out from under their primordial umbrellas to know what the rain feels like.  Watching storms from roofs built from the aching, bloodied backs of "criminals" that are lucky enough to be given the chance to praise their one true God.  And the children follow suit. And their children. And so it goes.  

There is a light though.  You know the one left on to illuminate the ones traveling underneath the veil of night.  The same light held by men like Wentworth Cheswill.  You know, the other guy riding that faithful night Paul Revere took to the streets with his lantern.  Yea, that black guy you never hear about in your history class.  Within the muck, the mire is being loosened by truth seekers, and the disenfranchised looking to get to the bottom of their true family trees.  This great nation's roots are black, so so so black and I get it...many people are afraid of the dark. 

 

Smile Harder.

 

 

 

The Warm Machine, (And): Resolved to no Resolution.

"I memorize the basics, making strange faces, tread slowly for I know, there's a thousand miles to go, without blinking..."

If you not only know, but can relate the rest of these lyrics to your own sensibility, I applaud your poetic veracity.  If you don't know, well, you just don't know and I am still in good company cause what the hell do I know, right?  We are all just out here, arms stretched out; feeling the darkness for something solid.  Do you believe that?  I don't.  

Happy New Year by the way!  In a week I feel like that can't be said cause I already see the new year lull washing over the faces of my fellow NYC'ers.  The post holiday potentially suicidal cliffs that are January, February and March looming ahead.  The wickedness of these months can leave you straight up trying to Netflix and Chill every night if you aren't really truly steadfast in those wonderful resolutions you all have made!  You know them.  More gym!  Less cheese!  "I swear bih, no more procrastinating...word life!"  "Fuck him girl, I'm not seeing him no more!"  (Sing with me..HHMmmm...oh my God, stop fucking lying!!!) 

The aforementioned lyrics came back into my life recently during a wonderful little road trip I took a couple days ago with my partner in life and crime, heading out to visit some really great friends who were recently wed and are expecting their first child.  During the drive, I was transported back into time through music I haven't heard in a very long time. Music that I discovered in heights of creative exploration that I use to find such ferocious light in.  And somewhere between "Letting The Cables Sleep" and "The Warmth" it dawned on me.

I've become way too cautious.  That was the what.  Which then led me to the why. 

It wasn't an AH-HA! moment.  It was more like standing on the shore and a soft wave washes over your sand covered feet and once the wave is pulled back, some of the sand is washed away. The water returns, washes over your feet and takes a bit more off. And so on.  Shit was made so clear, song after song.  Now, I could of been like "Yes!" that's it, I've got it.  From now on I will....yadadadada, blah blah blah..and exclaim to the Gods and Goddesses what I will and will not do from now on...but chill son. I've fallen for that before.  It always ends up...well, it always just ends. Prematurely. With no true resolve to the source of the problem.  Old habits prevailing.

In this case, it was a new habit that I became aware of as the hindrance.  I unearthed the source. The root. Thanks to following through with a promise I made.  Thanks to just picking up and going. Thanks to not over-thinking.  It wasn't by chance, blindfolded dunking my head into a vat, bobbing (no homo, not that there is anything wrong with that! Seinfeld!) for hopes and dreams. It was a choice.  

When the lights are shut off, our eyes adjusts to the new lack of sight.  On top of that, all of our other senses are immediately heightened.  Ears become small satellites, the hairs on our skin become like micro hands, the part of our brain that is responsible for smell fires up like a firefly under a contour scan, even the levels of saliva increase on the tongue to increase the ability to "taste the air".  I won't even get into the sixth sense.  When we really want something,  when it's life and death,  we will do absolutely anything to reach our refuge.  Hugh Glass did it, with one leg.  Let it be life and death.  All of it.  Our goals are worth it.  We already had everything we needed to resolve our short comings before the bell tolled 12:00am on January the 1st day of 2016.  There are a thousand miles to go.  I am not blinking.  

 

Smile Harder.

(WO)MaN -Vs- TiME

Literally, as I was writing this at a restaurant in Brooklyn that I often go to work and clear the mind, I started to fell myself being faced with the exact idea of what I speak on in the next few paragraphs. My mortality.  Now, in this hospital bed after an experience that humbles the spirit, having to add a prologue of sorts to these thoughts, it becomes absolutely crystal as to whom and what deserves my love and light.                                                                                                                                        The following has been untouched.    

The biggest mistake that (wo)man make in this life is that we THINK we have time.

That warrants a repeat just to try to drill in the notion, but I'll save myself some time and continue my point, my rant, my observation.  Yes, observation.  Whatever you want to call it, but don't call this my opinion.  Opinions are useless most of the time.  Usually a person going off about a singularly visioned idea of what they believe to be true without pulling their own vices from the fact.  Ego-filled and almost always begins with "In my opinion…"  See..already it's bias.  This though, just happens to be fact.  

We all have done it.  Put something off because we are certain we will wake up tomorrow.  Turn on the news or flip through a Daily News or New York Post and you will see just how many tomorrows never come.  Do you think those husbands, mothers and sons didn't have plans for the next day?  A date, doing two weeks worth of laundry they've been putting off, making amends after a senseless fight, visiting a daughter...

We put a lot of worth in the things we make time for.  So know that when someone says "Sorry, I just didn't have time for the 16th time, it's safe to assume that unfortunately whatever that thing may be or human being being affected by this, isn't important enough for that person to delegate enough time for.  When someone cares, they find the time.  Period.  They will put laundry off.  They will be late for work for an early morning love session.  We literally make the time.  Now, sometimes time is very important.  It heals wounds, mends broken bones and revives a broken heart.  Still it's deceptive.  Makes you think you have it.  What you may have the chance to do today, just may not be there tomorrow.  And yes, it may seem that life is longer than it is shorter, but you can't tell that to Trayvon's parents.  

This is just my humbled observation.  If you love someone, tell them courageously.  If you hurt someone, apologize empathetically.  If you're greater than your present situation, upgrade yourself.  Don't waste time, thinking time will do it for you. 

Smile Harder.  

 

Can you hear me now? (Or, holla if ya hear me!)

I recently took some time out one evening and Netflixed "The Kings of Comedy".  I would like to assume everyone has seen it, but I am sure some of you have not.  Do yourself a favor and do so.  A classic I had to revisit.  Now, obviously the line up are all legends and prolific in their own right,  but I was really looking forward to hearing Bernie Mac do his thing.  No comic delivers verbage the way Bernie did.  That southside Chi-town twang.. "You sunabitch!"  He ends his set on a rant about how black people can use the phrase, "mother fucker" in every kind of grammatical form.  Noun, adjective, adverb.. It's the funniest mother fucking shit ever.

Bernie is dead.  Passing away, unfortunately, at the height of his career.  Plans unfulfilled and checks not cashed.  He left an indelible mark though.  Something tangible and something untouched.         

What do we do in our own lives to stop ourselves from realizing.  From real-life-ing.  The great comedians all have something in common.  In some fashion, they were and are able to conquer their egos enough to allow us to see who they are.  They get away with saying some crazy shit too.  Shit that a normal man or woman reciting might and have been patronized for.  How dope to be in such an arena, that you can just be free to be you.  Ugly, phantasmal, wretched and beautiful all at the same time.  And be applauded for your truth.  We literal pay to sit and hear them speak.  

Maybe we are all missing out on some free joy in our lives cause we aren't listening. 

Smile Harder.

Shade, Salty air and Sulfites..

You ever just wake up in a mood, like fuck all ya'll.

That would be the easiest way to express those feelings, but we all know that actually isn't what's going on.  Maybe we do not all know that, so then we continue the day with that, "I wish you would spill that coffee on me, standing right above me, and not holding on on this shaky ass train this morning..", or "Yea, I wish you would try to get on this train while I'm about to get off.  You are all the way catching the ill football dropped shoulder in your chest.  Say something.."

Ignorance is bliss.  A self indulgence that gets finer with age.  And just like the wine reference, our tolerance for intaking our own bullshit increases the more we consume it.  Becoming less and less affected by ourselves, without the right people around you to make sure you don't feel yourself too excessively while intoxicated on you, we can all be at risk of sounding foolish, looking uncompromising, and generally playing ourselves.  Thus throwing shade, leaving people with a bad taste in their mouth and becoming the sediment at the bottom of a good bottle of red that sometimes slips into a sip, ruining the experience.  

It's simple.  Don't be sediment.  

Smile Harder.

 

 

 

 

 

Autumn Leaves…

Or better yet it comes.  Rolling in like a GOD damn tsunami.  Prepared or not.  Seasons do change.  Forgive me Lord for taking your namesake in vain, but these veins running the metropolis of my biological city carries the reasons why I do and do not want those Fall leaves to fall.  The reasons seem to never truly change cause change is the hardest thing in the world.  Don't make a promise to do such if you know you are still holding on, trying not to autumn off.  

What the fuck are you holding onto though is the ponderment while I'm wondering, looking at you questioning the laws that govern the direction that you are moving in.  Thinking in. Or not.  Systematically stagnant.  

Montepulciano minded.  

Stunted by blunting.  

Renewed visions by noose asphyxiation.  Why does it take damn near dying to alter missed-conceptions? On the eve's eve of my born date, it's a cool 68 degrees in the NYC and I'm a bit layered up.  Entering GOD's hour, ready to shed these extra layers if need be.  Feel me?

Smile Harder.

Go Baby, Go...

You ever find yourself walking down the street, in no particular rush and there is someone else a few strides ahead of you and almost unconsciously your own stride starts to speed up.  And speed up.  And it is as if the other person knows someone is on their heels, so their stride now picks up.  Until the unknowing becomes quietly blatant and now you two are in an all out semi-aggressive foot race down the street to absolutely nowhere.  Now you find that you are catching up! Headphones in your ears, listening to a tune that you should retire by now, trying to ignore, but giddily succumbing to the fact that your brain is saying, pass this biiiitch!  Two strides more and now you are belmont stakes neck to neck with the finish line you already have designated in your mind to be the sixth tree ahead of you with the flyer of a missing Shih-Tzu on it in your sights.  Yes! You did it!  You are now passed this absolute stranger who has now become the vein of your existence, and at this point they must admit to their soul's ego and ultimately to you that they have lost this subconscious conscious race.  You see, in fact, that they slow down almost immediately after being passed as to not arouse your knowledge of what just took place.  Mother fucker knows.  

Now, maybe this is just my own personal, almost daily experience whilst walking down the street to anywhere NYC, but it reveals a lot.  I will not lose. In anything. And even if on one particular day that someone else does get the best of me and passes the sixth tree ahead with the same tattered flyer of Mootsie the Shih-Tzu on it first, in my mind I still won.  Today's race was who can take the easiest stride and for once…don't rush.

Smile Harder.

When the funk hits you…Dance motherf*cker, dance!

Even the most optimistic of us are at times at odds with desparative feelings.  The motivation, the drive, the fire that sustains the pace wains and we fall into a lackluster gaze.  A lull of an expression that reads, how in the hell am I to execute the next steps?

We go hard for so long that when the gear gets downshifted it's easy to feel like, "oh shit, I'm off pace".  Now, if you have ever driven a manual vehicle in any capacity you know that downshifting is an essential part of maneuvering this vehicle.  I use the word maneuver over drive because isn't that what we are do everyday of our lives?  Strategically (hopefully) making judgements when we need to speed up or slow down, veer to the left or right or just fucking stop completely and bust an ill U'e in the middle of traffic like "so what, kiss my ass mother fucka"(Michael Blaxson), because you just realized you've been driving in the wrong direction this entire time.

You might need to yell and shout at someone, most likely yourself, but after you get that out of your system that's when you reevaluate and recalculate your destination.  Turn that music back up, cause you know the music gets turned down when we get turned around, get that head nod back on the right tempo...

And go.

Smile Harder. 

An Oscar and an escalator...

Believe in your place.

I say this because it is the only grounding we have right now.  

So, an evening ago in a bookstore, I ran into an Academy Award winning writer and director yadadada so on and so forth. Simply an artist that I respect and admire, whom I had the pleasure to meet a couple months back at a private screening for one of his films through a mutual degree of separation we both shared and whom I said out loud, literally and in my mindscape, I want to work with and meet again.  Up four escalator flights in re-introductory banter into a chat about the perception of time on the top floor.  Farewells eventually shared and now my point.  

We all are exactly where we are supposed to be right now.  Whether in what seems like the gutter or a righteous place, our placement is the accumulation of our choices.  Granted we have the power to make them.  Know that "the pull" has put us where we ought to be.  It put me in that bookstore on that escalator at that exact second to share that moment that was meant to take place.  The interconnectedness of seemingly unrelated events.

Even in the thick, I guarantee there are blessings.  Signs, doors, gates, ropes, ladders, maps with fucking treasure X's on them screaming this way, outstretched hands to pull you out of the fire.  It may not be the path expected, but sometimes you gotta get burned to learn.  Whether burdened or divine.  We all are right on time.

Smile Harder.

40 Days and 40 Nights and then some...

What does it mean when you go back to something you had written eons ago and yet you find yourself still at that same shore...

-Excerpt: (c. a while back)

"Standing on the bank of me realizing I'm wasting time by the river.  Contemplating over the reflection in the water and thinking what am I actually thinking about...

Past things.  Memories bleeding out the veins in my brain hoping to GOD the last drop comes quick.  Looking for the bliss in the madness and only coming to the corridor of sadness and I know I have to go on.  It's not in my nature to relax or chill when nothing will do except me doing me yet how is that possible when I can't find myself without you..."

It means there is still water to wade.  There is still heavy breathing ahead.  There is still tears and blood to shed.  Then, after all that. Then...

There is the still.

Smile Harder.

 

Having your cake and wearing it too...

I use to not care about my birthday.  I guess a part of me still doesn't give it its just deserts, but as the years continue to go by they are increasingly starting to kind of matter again.  You know when your a child, it's sort of a big deal.  Birthday parties and maybe a gift or two or ten.  The knowledge that your getting closer to being a teen or closer to being able to legally buy a brew.  Then for me a void happened.  I couldn't care less.  I in fact purposefully tried to avoid any special outings or events.  Shrugged off ideas to do the shit "BIG", and when asked how my bday was, I wasn't lying when I would say, "It was aight...".  It was just aight.  

Now I can get into the reasons why that which did matter dissipated, but that is for another sharing episode.  I will simply say that nothing changes without you making the change.  This year I ate some cake and wore more of it while doing what I absolutely love to do.   And after wiping vanilla frosting off of my eyelids and finally opening them to look around,  I was able to actually see all the love around me.  How sweet it is. 

 

  Smile Harder.

  

 

 

Why are you all up in my air though..

On the second tier of the Columbus Circle building looking out of the big glass facade entrance. Thinking...but, not.   After a few text exchanges I walk off and head to the escalator.  It's my turn to go, so I hop on to my now designated two steps. To my surprise a young woman hops on and positions herself next to me, on my steps.  I turn my head slightly to the left and the translation of my facial expression had to be.. 

"No other steps on this escalator to choose from bitch?"  

After breathing in the inconsideration for half the trip down, and if you know those escalators, it is long enough for contemplation, what followed was what I can only describe simply as...pleasant.  

Maybe it's just my NY impulse that makes me screw my face up when someone unwarrantedly gets too close. I try to practice positivity daily, but sometimes you get caught failing out there in the simplest universal pop quizzes.  So, I said to myself, shut the fuck up and be nice.  So, I did.

When we reached the bottom together, there was no serendipitous exchange.  No slight smiles or head nods.  Just the feeling.  And it felt good.  

 Smile Harder.

 

 

 

 

We all become a was...so what Are you.

I had a interesting thought, once I heard the sad news of the passing of James Gandolfini, I wanted to know just how fast we become the past tense in society.  So with an almost certainty of my expectation, I flipped open my mac and searched for him under wikipedia to see if his "is" had become a "was" and sure enough it was.  Or is, if we are speaking in the present moment and since we are, that brings me to my point...

We think we have time. 

51.

In today's life expectancy standards, that rings closer to 31.   Frightening. So fucking frightening.

We think we have time.

Maybe, but maybe not. Gambling man, that's a bet the house always wins.  Eventually.

Always be climbing my beautiful people.

 

Smile Harder. 

 

Murdered moonlight...

I built it up in my mind, it's better you never come.  

How else would we keep in touch, constantly reminding ourselves to forget.

Memories like zombies coming back from the dead.   

Water in all forms invokes reflection and even the narcissist in me doesn't want to look.  Still I welcome the rain,  We can all cry in disguise.  Dew-burdened.

At the risk of rejection...or maybe not.

How on earth is it a rarity that we can be in such proximity to one another everyday and not even share a word?

Yes, while a head nod constitutes some level of acknowledgement and sometimes that's all that's needed or even wanted,  I can't help but see the missing.  I mean, I'm in Whole Foods pretty much eating elbow to elbow with a perfect stranger,  elbows even touching at times and not even a hello.   

And this shit is the sad norm.  Then it's a mad dash the minute the last bite of food is in the gullet to get back to what?  If your lucky something you love, but for most it's something you are constantly working to forget.   

Now I know this sort of behavior has many variants, whether it be culture, place, nuture, hell..the time of day, etc...but that isn't in our nature.  We are tribal.  "Una Familia"

That person you are sitting next to, or staring at over your cup of coffee across the cafe may be that singular degree the universe is pushing you towards.  Connecting you to your goals, your dreams, or the mate to your soul...if you believe in such a thing.  Even better, you may be that degree for them.  

Take in, give back, and be surprised.    

 Smile Harder.

Advice from a veteran in the game...

During a callback today, which I plan to book, I got some of the best, simplest words on acting from the very talented and respected Paul Haggis.  

He was directing me and before I started he said...

"If you can feel it, I can see it.  You don't have to show me."

Knowing my own personal vices I work on in my art, these words really hit me like a bullet and sank deeeeep.  Less is more, and even less is too much.

"So, don't do shit?"  

"Exactly, now I believe you!"

God, I love this work.

Smile Harder.

Relapsed, ungrasped and so sure.

All memories are bittersweet. 

Homeward all sailed off souls walk.  Angels bound by lockets and initials carved in oak.  Spouses left in heat after flames subside and Eden is overtaken by weeds and tractors.  

I felt her humming in my air.  Ears only heard the sun pouring into the bedroom.  Fumes of conversations fueling up the temperance.  Left her wanting a sign of relieve.  Silence is comprehensible.  

We are all walking altars.  Written, never to be written over.  Grave consonants and scratchy vowels.  

We remember only to forget.  

We forget only to remember.

Smile Harder.