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About The Documentary

I was asked what motivated me to do the documentary. Early in my life I was driven to help people. Whether, it was to give a voice to those who had been silenced, to get justice to those who had been denied it, or to fix the problems of the weak and forgotten. All my life I felt my voice was never heard, and that justice had been denied me so many times. So, if I couldn’t have it, maybe I could somehow give it to someone else. Then, in doing so, in some small way, I would have it too.

Keeping with that theme, I became increasing frustrated with our government that was asserting its will while ignoring the people it represented. It didn’t make sense to me to elect people, pay them, and have them ignore the very voices that kept them employed, with a high salary, great health care, and full retirement benefits -- everything most Americans will never have. So instead of just sitting around complaining, I decided to do something about it. I had always wanted to make a documentary and to see the country, so why not do both?

But the deciding factor to make this dream a reality was the unexpected death of my best friend, Mike, of twenty years. They say, in death brings new life, and for me that was true. His death, at one time could have easily destroyed me, but instead it gave me back my life.

I always admired Mike because he lived life on his own terms, and he was true to himself. He lived life without regrets. I thought to myself, “If I died tomorrow, would I have any regrets?” The list of regrets filled my page. For years I told myself that I would get around to my dreams when I could, when I had the time, or the money; as if I was promised tomorrow. The truth was, I was too afraid to live my life because I was too busy living the life everyone else expected me to live.

At that moment, I made myself a promise that I would no longer live my life for anyone else, and that I would live my life without regrets. I would actually embrace the past I had tried so hard to forget all my life. I finally understood and accepted, that my past experiences, as tragic and life altering as they were, shaped me into the human being I am today. And to have any regrets means to deny my essence.

My dream was to make a documentary to give people a voice, and to see the country, so that is exactly what I planned to do. Thus, the idea for “America Speaks” was born. Of course, there is something to be said about ignorance being bliss. In reality, if I had sat down and really thought what it would entail to accomplish this dream from beginning to end, I probably never would have even attempted it. It was truly the hardest thing, I have ever done, and it was against all odds. Taking over eight months and still counting, costing tens of thousands of dollars, living homeless and having no idea what I was doing or how I would do it. But I never gave up, and always believed in my heart it would be a dream come true.

If you want to see just what it took for me to accomplish making this documentary then look for my book, “My Journal While Making the Documentary America Speaks, coming soon.