"Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself"
                                                                                  -Charlie Chaplin

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Nala is Swahili for "Beloved" or "Gift" (depending on who you ask). Either way, she is both. Nala is my new pitbull mix puppy. She came as a surprise and I certainly didn't plan on having her, but when these things happen, they happen. And as we all know, I'm no stranger to fate.

Having Nala also represents a shift in my life. Like the "reset button" in 2011, this attitudinal change in my life is both welcom and necessary. Don't get me wrong, I love being 24 and going out and being crazy, but that will always be there (or at least for the next twenty years if West Hollywood is any indication). With so many factors in my life demanding a greater focus, Nala is one of things I now feel more responsibility towards.

MMM is another area in which my focus grows with greater focus and attention. As I said before, I see this year as our keystone year. That's only going to become a reality with true focus. I've begun the process of truly moving this company forward, reaching out to other businesses for advise and government organizations for direction and aid in getting started. Taking seminars and classes, creating a business plan, consulting with business owners who have fought this battle already - there's many avenues I can walk to learn and grow.

My personal life is yet another area. This year I'll be turning 25 and with that I want to secure a greater accumen for personal financial freedom. Instead of spending so much on bars and clubs; I can begin to adequately pay down student loans and put money away. I've also begun going to the gym again and spending time thinking more acutely about my physical health.

Now, let's be honest: while my life isn't rife with financial and physical irresponsibility, there is that sweet spot we tend to hit which breeds complacency. Life is great. Everything is going our way. Nothing can harm us. Alas, in that complacency, I find little groves of rot can form and eat away at my own productivity over time. I don't want to be a victim of my own sweet spot! So, now is a time of small, but vital adjustments; making sure that the pastures stay green, without weeds or rot.

I gladly welcome these responsibilities and I gladly welcome the little, but indicative changes. I continue to pray for wisdom and favor (as my roommate loves to remind me). With one month down in 2011, I feel the tides turning in a lot of areas in my life. I choose to be fully prepared for what's ahead.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Reset Button

Just like that, it's 2011. Like always - time keeps moving along and passing us by. It's easy to get stuck in a single second of the clock's endless ticking. Being stuck is easy - moving forward is not. Let me rephrase that: With the inertia inherent to time, it seems like moving forward would be a breeze; in actuality it's one of life's more difficult tasks.

A good friend of mine advised in his Christmas card this year to stay creative in 2011; do something every day that feeds my creativity and mind. So I'm updating this old blog again. It's been a while and a lot has changed. 2011 is dedicated to what my friends and I have lovingly called the Reset Button. Resetting expectations. Resetting our growing list of regrets. Resetting our ability to move forward and break that pesky time barrier.

One of the toasts I heard this year, stuck will me in particular; that is, that 2011 being about reaping the seeds planted in 2010. As the new year approached, there was this overwhelming feeling that 2011 would be a turning point to many of the people I love. For me, 2011 IS about reaping the seeds sown in my life. Whether that means my company and my business partners taking the next big step in our careers, my family and I proving the old adage "love conquers all," or me finally striking the proverbial balance in the very different areas of my life; 2011 seems to be the year to make it all happen.

There was a tangible turning point in my career this year. The completion of MMM's first feature OPUS (my first feature, producing credit), marked the beginning of something bigger. I've seen huge steps in my professional life for which I couldn't be more grateful. I see people trusting my judgement and my experience to get the job done. I feel my partnership with MMM growing and flourishing and, in this, I see a future I never expected.

The same goes for my family. Returning home this Christmas was a 180 degree difference from the last. Where last year, the soil felt parched and hard, this year felt fertile and rich; my roots a little stronger than before. I spent a lot of time with my Nana - who against all odds has become my biggest advocate and supporter. This past year, she has taught me more about love and tolerance and understanding than any other person in my life. I also got to see and hold my Nephew Jackson. A year into his journey and he's already a beacon of joy and life. My siblings and I found more peace in our ages, in understanding and in a clearer perspective of our childhoods. And my parents. My parents and I found a way to not only coexist, but love each other and see each other beyond our differences. The steps may seem few to the outsider, but their span is immeasurable to me.

And my personal life? In 2010, I realized for the first time I was truly happy with myself. I found the ability to truly love myself and in turn love others. I made relationships I never thought I'd have here in LA and am very blessed for my growing support system. In 2011, I hope to see this grow even more - that the collective wisdom of friends and myself will inform my growth and faith.

I thank God for this New Year; for the chance to reset my life and to move forward into the greener pastures of a life well-cultivated. I've been blessed in many ways and regardless of whether things grow into the plants and flowers I envisioned, in 2010, I must remember that no weed is unable to be cut and no thorn is unable to be removed. Time will continue ticking and I will choose to follow its hands and move forward.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Imagine what you can do...

Finally! After many months of hard work, Emerson has posted our commercial "Imagine what you can do..." on their newly launched website! Check out the link to view the video on Emerson's site below!

Thank you all for your support during this long process! And be ready for some more loving as Emerson has just hired MMM to do another spot for the School of Communications. Boston, here we come (again)!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

I've spent the last week in Atlanta visiting my cousin for her high school graduation, but I guess I didn't realize that a vacation from LA would be so welcome at this time. Things have been going immensely well for me the last month or so, but stepping out into the humid Georgia night and feeling the thick air fill my smog-lined lungs; watching lighting dance in the sky and hearing distance rumbles echo across the eastern city just made me so thankful for a change in scenery.

It's been five years since I've graduated high school. Two years out of college seems like a greater distance than five years from AP exams, SAT's and senior dinners. Watching my cousin - more like my sister, as I've watched her grow up literally from birth - walk across the stage brought a little perspective (my favorite word) to my time away from Los Angeles.

I love visiting my aunt and uncle in Atlanta because I feel the deepest connection to this part of my family outside of the immediate. In the course of any given trip, no topic goes un-discussed, no button un-pushed, no argument un-fought. I say all of this with a great deal of love as these trips have become unofficial benchmarks in my life; an easy gauge of my growth into adulthood. At a young age, I would loath my aunt poking fun at my shortcomings - only to grow and realize her true intent. As my aunt and uncle constantly challenged me to be better, show a little more respect, speak a little more clearly and act a little more my age, I began to view these visits as my own interpersonal SATs - awaiting eagerly for the final verdict on my behavior, securing my acceptance into the adult realm.

Five years out of college and now in my mid-20's, I joined my family in Atlanta for the first time in several years. Already anticipating the familial pop-quizzes, I was surprised to discover I had already passed my entrance exams and graduated to their adult world. Five years ago, I was 19; a selfish, naive boy ready to run away from his family to live out college. At the age of 24, I actually think I'm still all of those things, but I realize how much everything else has changed. The topics of conversation are certainly new, the analyzations more indicative and my family, the most transparent its ever been.

I'm grateful to have found a huge deal of support with my aunt and uncle who indicate and insure the growing support in my entire family for the many changes we've undergone these last few months. I think I'm comfortable enough now to say that I am gay in a more public sphere - I've come to terms with a lot about myself, about my upbringing and my family in this last year and I'm a lucky guy to say the least. While this is a still a new adjustment, I know that my parents are not walking away, I know that my family supports me in my adult life and I know that this is just one of many finals we'll have to pass in order to graduate into each new chapter of our lives.

My short time here has opened my mind a lot more than I would have expected. Again, I've had the chance to actively watch my family bloom, another member taking the next step in their lives in Atlanta. Meanwhile, miles away at Penn State, my brother graduated from college (the last of the Cramer children to do so) on the same day. The day-to-day movement of my family continually reminds me that time is a commodity we cannot waste with empty arguments and unfair assumptions. We continue to reshape and evolve and grow very much together and very much apart. Five years ago, I don't think I would have guessed that my family would be having the discussions we're now having. And now, the Perano's have graduated high school, the Cramer's have graduated from college and I'm taking each day as its own celebration of growth and learning.

Monday, April 26, 2010


The power of yes. One word.
Relieving stress. Unleash. Contest.
Unwavering faith. One word.
Abate. Open my eyes.
Say yes. Confide.
Relinguish pride.

Say yes. Accept.
One word. Forget.
Erase a notion.
Embrace emotion.
Accept the corny metaphor.
Accept my knocking at your door.

The power of yes. One word.
Love in name. Under one he came.
Saying, "Yes, I know.
and yes, you'll grow.
Yes, you'll hear.
And yes, you'll fear.
Yes to all, even when you fall.
A world contests, but I accept."

Say yes. One word.
A world apart.
To live in love. A brand new start.
Conflicting views to the same end.
The power of yes. One word.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Shades of Grey Matter

The human psyche is a fairly puzzling thing - I think that's safe to say. Why do we do the things we do? What countless numbers of outcomes per any given situation fuel our motivations? Why do we connect with certain people? Is it the place, time, convenience, need; the list goes on.

Relationships are one of the most invaluable aspects of my life. I've made that clear, whether it be my family, my friends, significant others or my colleagues. There are people in my life that fall into one of these categories and others that encompass all; and if you know me, you know I take my relationships very seriously. I've been built to function in a support system. While, I'm independent enough to "go it alone," I don't think people were meant to thrive this way. Everyone has someone that they draw strength and insight from in some form or another. I'd be hard-pressed to think of anyone who is truly a one-man show.

Still, we often encounter people who operate regardless of the world around them - they are tough, fierce and impenetrable. If the rest of the world doesn't "get it," then to hell with them. It's not that person's problem.

The more I grow, the more I realize that people cannot operate this way and be truly happy. God knows I have tried, but to little avail. I have attempted making decisions and choices without regard to the world around me. I've been determined to carve my path in spite of what others think. I've done all of these things, but the fact of the matter is is that human beings are social creatures. We rely on interaction, contact, acceptance and love to survive emotionally.

I say these things very carefully. I do not mean to impress that I believe we should fear the opinions of the masses or to simply mold ourselves to what we're taught and told to believe; no. What I intend to impart from my personal experiences is that I'm learning more now than ever that a strong support system is one of the most invaluable things in life and worth the battle wounds and scar tissue that inevitably come while searching for one.

Days turn into weeks into months into years - we've all heard this. With the passage of time comes seasons and with seasons come change; some are inevitable and others unexpected. Growing up in Philadelphia, I'd watch the leaves turn every Fall. By winter, bare trees would freeze until Spring brought a fresh bloom. Beneath all of this, the roots that anchor these trees quietly and ceaselessly provide the nutrients necessary for the tree to survive and re-bloom every single year.

A wise friend often reminds me that relationships operate very similarly. There are those in your life who are the foundation, your roots. You trust them to always be there and sustain you no matter what season. Then, there are those people who are branches. Strong extensions of the former, the branches form the shape and character of your life. Branches can also break and fall away as time and seasons wear on just as new branches grow. Finally, there are the leaves. Entirely seasonal, these people offer shade and sustenance until the sun changes its angle and a new season begins. New leaves will grow in the name of a similar fate; they simply flutter away in the wind or die as the cold sets in.

I have been here for two years now and I'm continually learning where to find my support in LA. Who are the people I turn to and trust? Where do I connect? Why do I connect? How do I figure out which people will fall away with a strong gust of wind or who will branch out from my core or root me in unwavering support? Unfortunately, I think this only comes with experience.

Yes, this interpersonal intuition come with time, with effort and with wounds. It comes from constantly pursing these connections and feeling out the human condition. It comes from not giving up even when a branch gives out or when Winter reclaims its leaves back to the Earth. It means loving amidst all the shades of grey the exist in our heads and under the shade of our tree.

The pursuit of the relationship is one I gladly undertake. It's one I do not fear, despite its dangers and its traps. I choose to find the roots, learn from loss and love the journey.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

And now we grow...

As 2010 rounds its first corner, I find myself standing back a great distance, looking at my family. After spending so much time scrutinizing the microscopic anomalies, the confusing little tidbits, the deformities; I find myself standing back a great distance, trying to see the bigger picture.

My family underwent a number of metamorphoses during Christmas. Some of these gave birth to butterflies and others left us with moths dancing around the last light of some played out argument. It was the strangest sensation - feeling my family pull apart at its seams while simultaneously growing stronger. The conflicting forces left me disheartened to say the least.

There's only some peace in silence; solace from the distress of unwanted company. Even in the silence, there's the noise of your own thoughts. I did my best to reach out to my family and talk - if only to say"hello" - and break the silence.

Warmer and warmer. A smile felt through the phone. The heavy hate that lined my stomach finally being cleansed from the body.

I think standing this far back I realize how difficult, yet blessed these last few months have been for us. Christmas began with the most overwhelming, emotive love I've ever felt. Conversely, I also experience what I think it truly means to have love taken away from you.

I say I'm blessed because I realize that my life encountered a natural disaster. It's been affected by time affords all living things. Like wildfires that arise and burn every so often - eradicating the brush and the bulk of forests, destroying life, stripping the earth of its structure and peace. After the fires subside and the smoke settles, the dead decompose and fuel new life; stronger life. A more select and stable ecosystem arises.

From this great distance, I see that mine is rising. My family's is rising. We burned to the ground. A new seed was born and planted. And now we grow. And love prevails.

Monday, April 5, 2010

To Do List

It's been quite a while since I've actively and regularly updated my blog. Since Christmas, things have been a blur. Constantly moving, constantly changing, constantly growing. I keep promising myself to set aside a little time every day - or maybe even just a couple times a week - and dedicate said time to myself, writing, playing music, being alone with my own thoughts; the list goes one. Obviously, these self-inflicted promises are to little avail.

Additionally, sitting down, I find myself staring at this screen wondering where to start with these updates. So much has happened. What do I say? What do I divulge? What would anyone really care about reading. Then again, I told myself I'd keep this blog, more importantly, as an ongoing portrait of my life for me to look back on. So I suppose, I'd better keep myself interested.

Being a goal-oriented person (aka a person that makes too many lists), I've decided to give myself a to-do list for this week. I'm going to make it a personal goal to post on the following topics in one form or another by the week's end:

1) Work
2) Family
3) Travel
4) Faith
5) Relationships
6) Creative stuffs

I suppose, these have become my main labels over the course of the last two years. I'll feel better if I can accomplish this task - although it's looking a little ambitious now. We'll see how this turns out.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Appreciation Post "Beating of a Lifetime"

Today, MMM Productions' music video "Beating of a Lifetime" for the Appreciation Post is featured on PureVolume.com. Director Chris Cullari and MMM resident DP Elie Smolkin shot the project while in Boston on another MMM venture for Emerson College.

This year is shaping up to be a busy one with a number of projects coming up in the next few months. I'll have more updates shortly - just wanted to quickly post this and put it out into the blog-sphere!


Saturday, January 9, 2010


I wrote the following a while ago. I keep looking at it, expecting to be able to finish it. But I haven't been able to. Maybe this is all this is. Either way...

silence fills my ears with drums
beating deep inside
silence pounds, the night feels long
my mind dancing in stride

Unknown's the way my eyes will fall
landing on which door
But when I think I've got it all
I hide from silence more