Play by Play Act One.

Celebrities and Politicians Mingle at the The Hill-Extra-Thomson Reuters Reception at the Embassy of Canada the Night Before the White House Correspondents Dinner (April 29, 2016)
Tony Kornheiser of ESPN stands beside Corporal John Fitzgerald of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the red carpet at the The Hill-Extra-Thomson Reuters Reception at the Embassy of Canada in Washington D.C. on April 29, 2016, the night before the White House Correspondents Dinner. Kornheiser is a former sportswriter and columnist for The Washington Post, as well as a radio and television talk show host. He co-hosts Pardon the Interruption on ESPN. (Photo by Jeff Malet)
     I have been working hard on reconstructing my first act 
of my current play, Play by Play.  I told you I would have an update for you.  The update is now upon us.  My problem with
the act was that it was taking too long to bring my second 
lead character into the script.  I had to cut and 
unfortunately that means I had to sacrifice bits I liked.  It was all for the good.  Now I have the staff meeting in first 
five pages of the play.  Now Marty is in the second scene of
act one on page 19. 
    By bringing Marty in earlier, I was able to play with 
Marty and bring about his naive nature.  Marty thinks he's 
therefor an interview, with the owner, who told him he would
like to meet with him.  Marty thought he was having an 
interview for the new Play by Play jobs for the Seadogs.  What didn't realize is he's already been hired  When he arrives,
the staff is about to watch a video of his most embarrassing
broadcast moment that was seen on the internet.  Let this be a lesson not to post embarrassing videos on YouTube.  
Management believed it was an air check Marty wanted radio 
stations to see, when in fact, Marty's whacky cousin Skeeter 
put it up there as a joke.  
     All in all I am happy with the way act one is going. 
The play is beginning to come together.  It's the broadcast
version of the "Odd Couple." The main characters are lively 
and active.  Chick McSorley is bitter that his Baseball careerwith the Red Sox ended due to injury.  He arrives at WPME whenhis former broadcast partner, the legendary Ned Plummer finds him in a bar, drinking his life away.  Ned saves his life and hires him as his broadcast analyst for the Portland Seadogs.  Chick is the type of character you love to hate, and hate to 
love.  Personally I love complex characters and this guy is 
complex, obnoxious.  He  will say anything to get a rise out 
of his loyal listeners, no matter the FCC fine or the 
suspension he receives from the Tinkle Broadcast network.  
Marty Busby is a young upstart, whose forte is Basketball 
because it fits his rhythm as a broadcaster.  He feels 
Baseball is too slow and holds him back.  At the end of act 
one, these two are put on the air together for a talk show 
called, The Chicken Coop.  Chick is not given a say on who is partner is and he's angry about that.  Chick decides to 
embarrass Marty by bringing up his YouTube video, which leads to an outburst by Marty.   
     I put the characters in the zaniest situations.  The 
Program Director holds the big meeting and loses control.  TheOwner announces he's hired a Consultant.  The Consultant 
treats the staff like children.  Chick's Producer, Renee 
dresses in black and is an inept mess.  The Receptionist, Abbyis Renee's fill in and when Renee messes up one final time, 
the Program Director makes her Chick and Marty's producer
full time.  
     Act Two is in the works. Marty falls in love with Abby, 
even though she's dating the Seadogs star Pitcher. The stationis under attack by outside influences, but outside influences
eventually save it.  Marty is put under broadcast pressure 
with hilarious consequences.  One scene involves Abby's 
boyfriend throwing a no hitter for the Seadogs.  Marty doesn'trealize that mentioning a no hitter is a broadcast no no.  
Marty jinxes it. 
     All in all the show is moving along quite nicely and I
have been working hard to finally finish this play.  I hope
when it's done, I have a play I can be proud of and in future
see it staged.   

 

Drake’s Spiritual Guides

One of the great things about writing a Science Fiction is that it allows you to embellish.
For me, it not only allows me to embellish, it allows me to ask the question what if?  I always enjoy playing with what if, when I am writing.
Drake Darrow had his roots as a screenplay character.  In the movie he is in search of a link to Atlantis which takes him to Egypt.  A funny thing happened on the way to researching Egypt.  I found a myth that links Egypt to Atlantis through a God named Thoth.(Pronounced thought.) Thoth-amon The rumors were that Thoth, the God of magic and fire(Read the stories of Osiris, Isis and Horus @ http://www.crystalinks.com )had migrated with the survivors of Atlantis to Egypt and the Atlanteans had taken their knowledge with them there.  Myth also has it,  that the surviving Atlanteans helped build the great pyramids and the Sphinx.  Who knows if this is true.  I did extensive research on Thoth and came across something interesting.  There are 12 pyramids across 12 different parts of the earth.Sphinx with pyramid in background   (http://www.crystalinks.com/12pyrthoth.html)They are called Thoths 12 pyramids.  Each Pyramid is rumored to lead to a higher level of consciousness.  Each pyramid has a guide that leads you to that next plane.  When I found this I nearly went nuts with excitement.  My imagination soared to new heights.  What if Drake had met Thoth after an accident in his coma.  Thoth fears what happened to his civilization, is about to happen to earth and he tells Drake he has been chosen to save earth from itself.  He tells him he has twelve spiritual guides from twelve different Pyramids around the globe.  They will all come to him and guide him through his maturation process.  In the early portion of my series we concern ourselves with 2.  Others will follow.  First Drake meets the very strange interesting character called The nanditas-dream-keeper-2-Dreamkeeper.  The Dreamkeeper is located in the bush of Australia at Pyramid seven.  He is Aboriginal and brings Drake important messages through his dreams which help him solve cases.  When I read about the Dreamkeeper, it hit upon a theory about dreams.  My theory has always been that we travel in our sleep.  Could the Dreamkeeper be responsible?
The second guide that Drake meets is the most important one.  He is at Pyramid Six located in the mountains of Tibet.  TSU LITsu Li is a Tibetan Monk, who has passed through the twelve lives and twelve resurrections.  He is millions of years old and knows all and sees all.  He is the keeper of knowledge and wisdom.  He knows how to harness Drake’s telekinetic abilities.  Thoth tells him he is to go to Pyramid Six on a pilgrimage and drink from his wisdom.  He not only teaches Drake how to harness his abilities, he teaches him how to be centered and about balance.  Through Tsu, Drake learns about Buddhism and gives up the Catholic teachings he was taught.  At times this can cause Father Michael a great deal of consternation.  Tsu, teaches Drake how to fight, not with a gun, but a set of Gold Nun Chucks that radiate an electric energy much like he has.
Through the series Tsu Li will act as Drake’s conscience.  He knows that Drake’s drinking is his weakness and he constantly warns him that in order to use his telekinetic abilities he must keep his mind free of alcohol and drugs.  Any foreign substance that Drake ingests becomes like Kryptonite to him.
Tsu not only warns Drake, but when he needs help, they have a telepathic line open and Tsu will show up in animal form or as himself.  He has a special magical orb that he uses to protect Drake or attack the enemy.
In my movie, Tsu was very prominent, but somehow I had written him as a caricature and I wasn’t happy with him.  I had this fear that I was going to recreate the mentor to David Carradine’s character in Kung Fu, which I didn’t want.  Luckily, I never watched much of that series, so I wasn’t sure if I had or not.  As always my character’s scream at me, telling me if I got them right.  Tsu was pretty quiet until, I wrote a flashback scene where Drake gets his tutelage from Tsu.  He quietly bowed his head and told me I got him right.  He wondered what took me so long.   It’s not that it took me so long Tsu, it’s just
that I hadn’t figured out how cool you were.  Now that I know we can move forward and so can Drake.

Third Eye Diary 2

Third Eye imageRecently I wrote a diary post about rewriting my teaser for my pilot.  Today, I finished my pilot.  I loosely structured the new pilot around an outline I did.  The odd thing about the is I didn’t follow it much.  Every time, I started working from the outline, a new scene popped in my head.  I followed that and got away from the outline.  However a large part of the outline is still in tact and can be used for episode two.
aborigeniI have plenty of flashbacks in this pilot, because they are all part of Drake’s backstory.  In one of he most important flashbacks I have a character named the Dreamkeeper.  He’s a spiritual character that enters through Drake’s dreams and they travel to parts of his past.  In this flashback, the Dreamkeeper takes Drake back to the time when he was given up to Father Mike to the orphanage.  Father Mike knows the woman, her name is Bridget.  We won’t know how Father Mike knows the woman until a season or two later.  Bridget is torn up about giving her son up, but she and her husband, Ronald are concerned for Drake’s safety.  His real father is a very dangerous, powerful man and would stop at nothing to have access to Drake. As I was writing this scene, something sparked inside Drake like it had never sparked before.  His emotional side came out.  He allowed himself to feel anguish watching mother give him up.  I suddenly felt myself feeling his pain and started to tear up myself.  Having lost my own Mother in December, I am not sure if that had anything to do with it or not, but I was there with Drake, I saw his pain and I really felt for him.
PI for diary 2About a year ago or so a friend of mine read the first few pages of the script and he gave me some very important notes.  Make us care about this guy.  Yes Drake had been too angry.  He wanted to see what a normal day was like for this guy.  I tried to do that as much as possible for him.  In his eyes, we didn’t root for him enough.  This latest pilot, there’s more of a human feel to Drake.  We see him coach a little league team in a championship game.  We watch him offer his hat to a curious Iraqi boy and of course the scene I just talked about.  I haven’t read this episode back to myself.  That will come tomorrow, then an edit and off to copyright it.  All in all it has been a pretty good week finishing up the pilot and moving Drake’s story along.  Now onto episode two.  Drake lands in Iraq to save a Navy Seal. Who knows what kinds of trouble he will get into with that.

Third Eye Diary

June 23:  8:00 am.
I am finding the hardest part of writing a television series is the teaser.  The teaser is that opening scene that sets the stage for what your episode is about.  If it’s a good one, then your audience will stay with you after the commercial break.  If it’s a bad one, then your audience will flip the channel and go watch “Game of Thrones.”  The teaser must be short, at least five to seven minutes, so that’s about five to seven pages.  michaelsnipes“Burn Notice” always had great teasers.  Usually the show’s teaser picked up the story arc, where it left off.  Here’s how it worked.  Michael Westen would have a secret meeting with some source.  This source had information about who burned him.  If it was dangerous, Michael would have his team tag along,  out of sight.  At this point, something unexpected would happen and that would set up Act One. For the opening of Act One, the team would get together and discuss what went wrong and they would put together another plan.  In the midst of that plan, Michael would get his next job and it always dropped on him at the wrong time.
Over the last few days, I spent time touching up my Pilot.  The teaser wasn’t working.  Monday night, I identified the issue and I set about to fix it.  The problem was,  the teaser takes place a month after a key element has occurred.  We meet Drake in the Iraq desert near Mosul outside an Isis compound on a high cliff face.  His mission is to retrieve a captured Navy Seal, this was the key element I left out.  I decided to take Drake out of the teaser and focus on the Navy Seal’s capture.
Tuesday night, I worked on the new teaser and found it too long.  So I cut the first two pages off it.  My other problem was the antagonist.  He wasn’t in the teaser.  I stuck him in on the back end of it.  I ended it with a puzzle and a cliff hanger.  My Navy Seal discovers one of his team is a mole.  Both of them are captured, while the fate of the rest of the team is left hanging in the balance, although through some foreshadowing, we pretty much know what will happen to them.  The result,  was a pretty strong teaser that I am  happy with.
Today I can begin my first act,  using my brand new outline.  Since, the teaser has changed, I have to tinker with Act One.  Act One, we will go through Drake’s normal day.  We learn his story through narrative and discover his past through flashbacks.  We discover he was the rising star in the Physics world, till the sabotage of his experiment.  We learn the experiment almost killed him, but through some miracle he survived and was forever changed with telepathic powers.  We will meet members of his team, such as Kitty, Father Michael Barry and of course his client Senator George Peters, who brings him the case of the AWOL seal.  Later in the episode we will meet Drake’s ex-wife Doctor Harriet Alfredsson, who will cause all kinds of headaches for Drake.  Now it’s off to write.

Third Eye Characters

When I recreated Drake Darrow, he was a movie character, but then I realized that he was the type of character you would never be bored with, so I turned him into a Television character instead.  In the transition, I took many of the characters from the movie and put them into show.
After watching Burn Notice. Burn Notice teamI decide that Drake should have his own team.  Many of those characters came from the movie.  It wasn’t because Drake wanted or needed a team, it was because they liked and cared for Drake and wanted to help him.   Some of them just fell into his life, like his partner Kitty Lange and some members of his team are hidden.   Meet the Third Eye Team.

                                                              THE TEAM:

   FATHER MICHAEL BARRY.

8728089-catholic-priest-praying-with-his-rosary-beads

      Father Michael Barry is in charge of St. Patrick’s orphanage for boys in Baltimore Maryland.  He’s Drake’s guardian, and the man who raised him.  He worries about Drake and constantly meddles in his life.  Sometimes his meddling has positive consequences.  At other times, the purpose is to keep Drake from discovering his dark past, that only Father Mike truly knows.

                                                                    KITTY LANGE.

fiona-glenanne-machine gun

Kitty Lange is a lot like Fiona Glennann  from Burn Notice, but instead of an ex IRA terrorist, she’s an an ex Boston Mobster.  Her real name is Barbara Faltagio.  She ratted out the mob and went into the Federal Witness Protection Program.  They changed her name to Kitty Lange.
Kitty used to work as Father Mike’s Personal Assistant, but Father Mike found, she didn’t have the necessary skills to do the job so he pawned her off on Drake. When she met Drake, he was fending off to thugs trying to break into the cabin of his yacht.  Kitty took command used her martial arts and kicked the crap out of them.  Drake was very impressed and hired her to be his partner.
The two work well together.  Kitty is Drake conscience and his most trusted ally.  She’s never afraid of giving her opinion and Drake listens to her.

 SHERIFF JOE DUNCAM.
Sheriff Joe Duncam
Sheriff Joe Duncam is a good old southern boy, who moved to Ann Arundel County Maryland from Tyband Georgia.(Tyband is a fictitious town in Georgia.)  Joe is a former Marine and high school Football star.
When Drake and Joe first met, they didn’t see eye to eye at all.  Most of the cases they worked on seemed to be connected and Joe felt threatened by it.  Eventually the two managed to find common ground and there is a mutual respect for each other.  However, sometimes Joe thinks Drake’s a God darned fool and sometimes Drake just likes to get under the good ole boys skin.

                                                     SENATOR GEORGE PETERS.


     capitol-hill-4     Senator Peters and Drake met many years ago when Drake was a Physicist.  Peters was impressed with Drake.  He witnessed the sabotage of Drake’s Quantum Physics experiment, and sensed that it had been tampered with.  When Drake’s special telepathic powers kicked in, Military intelligence saw to it that Drake was institutionalized.  Senator Peters, hired a good lawyer and managed to get Drake out, but not before some serious damage was done.
Once Drake became a Private Investigator, Peters hired him to blow the lid off some highly classified Government cases.  The deeper Drake travels into these cases, the more clues he finds to his past and Peters.  The cost could be a high price to pay for Peters and may destroy his Presidential ambitions.

                                                 CLAYTON HORATIO BAXTER.
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Drake’s former boss at Military intelligence and now a high profile NSA Agent.  Baxter is a self centered man, who thinks about only himself and his own future.  Drake and Clayton have a checkered past. After Drake’s sabotaged experiment,  Military Intelligence wanted to silence Drake.  He knew too much about what went on at Montauk New York.  They pressured Baxter into having him committed.  While Drake was institutionalized Baxter stole Drake’s wife.  Drake and Baxter are always at odds, but as the series moves along, they find they have to work more and more closely together.  The secrets that both dig up are shocking for both of them.

                                                    DOCTOR HARRIET ALFREDSSON.

Drake’s ex wife, Harriett is a well renowned archaeologist, whose passion for the dig always came before her marriage to Drake.  Drake met Harriet through her father Doctor Johan Alfredsson.  Harriett is hot headed, vain and thinks she is the center of everyone’s universe.  Harriett always manages to find an excuse to storm into Drake’s life. Usually there’s some stolen artifact she wants him to find, or her father is in trouble and she needs his help. Mostly because she still harbors feelings for Drake and would like him back in her life.

                                                DOCTOR JOHAN ALFREDSSON.

Harriet’s father and Drake’s mentor.  Throughout his whole life he has been trying to solve time travel and he always believed the answer lies with the Lost City of Atlantis.  When Drake was offered a position with Military Intelligence, Johan warned Drake not to take it, because the Government ruined his father’s life.    At the beginning of the series, Drake and Johan have not spoken in years.  As the series moves along they patch things up and whenever some sort of problem comes up, involving Science, Drake comes to Johan for his advice.

                                                             SOURCE.

stock-photo-portrait-of-the-invisible-man-on-grey-background-92831974
     A mysterious man wearing bandages and speaking through a voicebox.  All we know about him is that he used to be a Physicist and he worked in Military Intelligence.  He knows a great deal about Drake and wants to help him find the clues to his past, but why?
The answer may very well be in Source’s past.

                                                                   RINGER.

Lone gunman
     A Computer Hacker whose real name is Waldo Kasparsky.  Waldo as he hates to be called, once hacked into Drake bank account and stole his identity, causing Drake a world of trouble.  Rather than throwing Ringer in jail, he decides to hire him to hack into classified security agencies.

                                                        THE BAD GUYS.

                                               THE MAN IN THE SHADOWS.
 The man in the shadowsDoes the Man in the shadows walk the halls of Government, or is he someone who has far more power than Government?  No one knows for sure.  What we do know is that he is extremely wealthy and has Congress and the White House at his beck and call.  If they don’t jump, he will destroy them, because he has the means and the power to do it.  He knows all about Drake and will stop at nothing to thwart him from finding out about his past.

                                                              MORPHINE.
He is the Man in the Shadows, hired assassin.  A man who speaks few words.  He’s small with a receding hairline, a thick bushy mustache and dark beady eyes.  He has a long, dark history in Black Ops and would kill any man without thinking about it.  His weapon of choice, a needle dripping with powerful narcotics.

 

 

The Evolution of a PI Character.

 

Humprey Bogart

Thee origins of Drake Darrow are very interesting.  I had been writing a soap opera in college.  In the soap opera I had this character named Drake Darrow.  He was a Defense Attorney.  His story line dealt with helping a troubled kid out of jail.  The Soap Opera didn’t last and Drake was dropped from my mind.  When I graduated from college, I started working in radio and Drake started to speak to me.  His name kept coming back to me.  It was if he was trying to say to me, “Kid, you got the name right, but you were using me all wrong.”  I loved the name and I had to find a way of creating a character around the name.  Once again, Drake spoke to me at the St. Albans Vermont Library.  I found a book on Atlantis.  Atlantis had always fascinated me.  My mind began to race and I came up with a story that revolved around the lost city of Atlantis.  Drake was now a Private Investigator.  He was hired by his ex-wife Harriet Alfredsson, an Archaeologist, to find this stolen Atlantis gemstone from the Florida Antiquities museum.  Now I had something.  I had always been a big fan of Indiana Jones and  the Mike Hammer series.    I wanted the character to be a combination of the two.  It didn’t work out quite the way I wanted, but then again Drake was leading me somewhere.  He became more Sam Spade then Mike Hammer and that was fine with me.  I liked Sam Spade.  He and Sam had a kindred spirit.  He was full of himself and he didn’t take any guff from anyone.  As much as I like the new Drake, the drafts I wrote were crap.  I tossed it and moved onto something else.  Now, what I learned about Drake,  is that he is a determined son of a bitch.  In 1999, that damn PI came knocking at my door again.  “Okay kid, you have the right idea, but you really need to do your homework on your story.  Research kid.  Research.  The Atlantis thing is fine, but you don’t know enough about it.  And for that matter, you have no idea who I am or what I am about.  You need some history on me kid and I’m going to give it to ya, but first research.”  He was right, I needed to do research.  I didn’t have the internet before, but now I did.  I began to research Atlantis so much I was with it.    A website called Crystalinks became my research guide.  Sometimes till 2 or 3 in the morning.  I just kept finding stuff and I kept saying, “Okay, I’m gonna use this and use that and use this….Some of the theories on Atlantis took me to Egypt.  Supposedly, when Atlantis fell into the sea, the survivors moved to Egypt.  A further theory is that they built the pyramids.  Whether I believed that or not, didn’t matter, it was good enough for an awesome story.  I took the next movie to Egypt.  As I am writing this new story, Drake’s talking to me, telling me about himself.  “Kid, I grew up in an orphanage, with a 160 IQ.”  He was raised by a priest, who became like his real father.  Drake became a Physicist.  And there was always this mysterious man who used to visit Father Michael Barry, who wore the ring of the Yale secret society, Skull and Crossbones.  Drake’s mentor was Harriett’s father Dr. Johan Alfredsson, who taught him everything he knew about Quantum Physics and the idea that time travel could exist.  Drake’s work got him a job with Military Intelligence, but during a time travel experiment, there was an accident that almost killed him.  He managed to survive, but the accident suddenly left him with the power of telekinesis.  He was able to read people’s minds, move and bend things, disappear and levitate. I must have written about 8 different drafts of a movie called “The 12 Keys to Knowledge.”  The title came from something I learned about a higher consciousness.  I was happy with it and it really worked.  And the best part is I created a new character along the way.  A character named Kitty Lange, AKA Barbara Faltagio, a former member of the Boston mob, who is in the Federal Witness Protection Program.  She started out as his secretary and now is his partner.  She is secretly in love with Drake.  She is hard-nosed like Drake and doesn’t take any guff.  Her catch phrase, is “Have you got nuts for brains?”  And just to let you know, Kitty speaks to me too.  A lot.  Sometimes she won’t shut up.  After I had gotten a draft I liked, I sensed there was more.  So I started a sequel, but I got blocked.  Drake kept talking to me as I was writing it.  “Do you really want to do this kid.  If you want more of me write a TV. Series.  I’m game for it.  Believe me kid, I am a character that has plenty of stories to keep you going for years.”  So Drake got his wish.  The two of us are stuck with each other.  He’s like a little birdie that talks to me every so often.  I feel I know Drake very well now.  He’s evolved through the years.  Drake has told me things these last two years that are quite enlightening.   He is no longer in Florida, he said it wasn’t right for him, instead he’s in Baltimore Maryland. Through meditation, and his Buddhist faith, Drake now has a third eye.  Which helps him to piece broken parts of a puzzle together.  His third eye helps him to sense when things are not right, or when impending doom is about to happen.  It’s his Spidey sense.  We see his third eye on the screen.  It’s  to let the audience know there is something not right.  Drake’s weakness is any type of drug, which includes Alcohol.  Kentucky Bourbon is his weakness and he drinks that when he is depressed.  Because of his sabotaged experiment, Drake is electrically charged.   There is only one thing that can revive him and it is something odd, water.  The water recharges his batteries. Drake has also toned down some.  He is not so much the Sam Spade type I portrayed him in the beginning and I believe that is a good thing, since times have changed and I want this to be as modern as possible.  He is a very bitter and angry man about his circumstances.  As Drake would sum it up, “The third eye, isn’t something I asked for, it’s my curse.”  Through this series, Drake’s one goal is to know who he really is.  He can’t know who he is until he finds out who is parents are and why he was abandoned.  He will get some help along the way.  Like Michael Weston from Burn Notice, Drake has his own team. A high-ranking Senator from Massachusetts to help stamp out corruption in Washington.  His partner, the tough as nails ex mobster Kitty Lange, his surrogate father Father Michael Barry,  Johan Alfredsson the retired mentor, a no-nonsense Sheriff of Ann Arundel County, named Joe Duncam, originally from Tyband Georgia,  (Don’t look that up on a map, I made it up.)His ex wife, Harriett, a neurotic self-absorbed woman who believes Drake is still in love with her, a mysterious man named named Voice Box, who leaks important government secrets to the Senator, and a strange computer hacker, who goes by the name of Ringer.  He also has his enemies, the chief one a man named Shadow, who has a very strange henchman named Morphine.  As the series moves along, I have a myriad of twists and turns in store.  This is a series that is a little “Burn Notice”, a little 24 and a whole lot of x-files.  So as I continue to write this series I will refer to it from time to time.  And please be kind to Drake if he shows up.  Say hello, he’s had a rough life and he needs some nice cheer.