“And… Action!”

I’m about to embark on a 3 month journey around all 50 states of the USA with my motorbike and a skeleton film crew who are to capture the adventure, and I’m directing it.  

Day we decided to do this adventure

It’s only a few weeks ago I was unable to get out of bed, unwilling, lacking purpose and a desire for a blackout to my story. 

I was in pain, a psychological, metaphysical pain, and with the mind so tormented, the body gave up hope, as if it had accepted its fate and petrified itself much like the corpses found in the Pompeii ruins; death now or later seems to have little consequence in a universe that seemingly doesn’t care wether or not you achieve anything, for any efforts is erased by the weathering of eternity. You can be the most successful and philanthropic of humans or a genocidal maniac, an ordinary family man or a hermit; eventually, you and any traces of you will evaporate in inevitable entropy.

When this existential quandary envelopes you, it is quite a challenge to inspire yourself with meaning on this pale blue dot we call home.

With nothing to lose, in debt from a medical bill, unemployed and feeling unemployable, yet persistent to continue living, I decided I was going to go out for one last valedictory effort to find some purpose to my life, into the wild of this enormous country and see how far I could get, accepting that the unknown could engulf me, crying by the side of the road perhaps as I accept that I was out of my depths, but too proud to quit and thus slowly die in the middle of nowhere with a selfie of me and my motorbike “Sygin”, so that it could be used at the end of some biopic with Timothée Chalamet, about a deluded man desperately clinging to a dream that doesn’t want him.

Strangely, I had an unshakable trust that things would unravel itself organically and in my favour, because, and maybe I’m a fool, but if I am of nature, and in nature, man with consciousness, in consciousness, then isn’t it feasible that one could collaborate in some sort of symbiotic relationship with the cosmos, because maybe, just maybe, it has a way of taking care of its moving parts. 

This of course coming from someone who has been to a psychiatric hospital twice, so… what do I know?! 

A couple of days after I answered my call to adventure, a friend named Jade hears the news and, having just started a production company, tells me she wants to fund and film this American odyssey. 

Needless to say, I was humbled and grateful for this sudden change in my life.  

Thrust into this unexpected challenge of performing in front of the camera, and simultaneously keeping an eye behind the lens, I am now daunted, thrilled, exhilarated by the prospect of creating a collage of this journey of self-discovery in the aftermath of waking up with amnesia and forced to experience reality through a fractured sense of identity.

Perhaps my story will be able to alleviate the pain and stress of those who experience challenges with their memories, with grief and trauma, I don’t know, but that’d be nice.
Stories have healing qualities.


Playing both actor and director, is coincidentally ideal to construct the feel of a personality in flux, of a split mind concurrently co-existing in more than one space and time, and unlike most travel shows, the filming itself is part of the story. 

In reconstructing myself back together again, I used art, specifically cinematic storytelling, to somehow explain both to myself and others what was happening in my World. 

Although experimental and sometimes outlandish, I’ve spent the last few years imbibing the necessary jargon and skills that is now going to put me to the test.

What is it they say? Luck is preparation meets opportunity. 

Perhaps I will surprise myself. 

That feeling when someone asks you something complex, but with a deep breath, you stun yourself with an answer. 

That’s what I hope from this assignment.

Jessica Steiner; cinematographer extraordinaire

In 2017, I wrote and directed a short film, The Morning After Thrill, about a dispossessed family who, having just escaped their haunted home, must now come to terms with the aftermath of their supernatural ordeal.

Maybe my subconscious was trying to tell me something…

Once written, I decided to film it and invested a chunk of my money to do it as professionally as possible, and looking back, I could’ve done it all on my smart phone for a fraction of the price, but it drove me to take it seriously. 

I was focused on this project for a couple of months, maybe more, and I was in love with every minute of it. 

Those couple of days on set was an absolute joy.

Orchestrating all the parts like some ballet routine, and dancing with the various heads of department to somehow turn words from a page into moving pictures.

Conducting and guiding people in order to put all the pieces of the puzzle together.

I loved it.

I was bad at it, but it made me so happy, and I desperately wanted to get better.

Although grateful for a talented cast and crew, who gave me more than I asked for, the finished film didn’t come out how I wanted.  

It was clear that I was out of my depths, and I didn’t have the language to effectively communicate what I had in mind to the many parts who required coherent direction. 

It was a flop.

A beautiful flop. 

Eager to get better, I spent the following years learning and revising how to tell cinematic stories, but it was mostly phone footage attempting to tell myself stories as I emerged from the trauma of amnesia; a sudden reset of my person which coincidentally became a real gift to an Actor; a blank mannequin to pick apart at will like a fleshy Mr Potato Head. 

The Morning After Thrill

Today, I have the opportunity to put what I’ve learned to the test, although a travel documentary is a different skill to creating a movie from a blueprint. What I’m about to embark on is going to take some improvisation, capturing as much as possible in one take, and remaining fluid with the story that develops itself in front of me. 

There is no script.

I don’t really know what the beginning is.

Nor do I have any clue as to the ending.

Who will I meet along the way?

How will the character grow from this adventure? 

What highs and lows await him? 

Will he have a character arc, or remain the same? 

At the very least, I’m getting three months of collaboration with a film crew. I’m bound to become a better performer and director, and for that I’m already grateful. 

But this character… 

The version of me that will be captured, in order to tell the best possible story… 

It can’t possibly all be smooth sailing for him. 

Things have to go wrong.

It is an odd and comical sensation to know any pitfalls, mistakes and pains along the way is what will make this journey more pleasurable for the audience, and strangely hoping for some to happen along the way.

You want to see the hero fail to watch them conquer the problem.

And we all love a bit of shadenfreude.

Although the audience may not know the difference, I don’t want to create tactical barriers and fake problems on purpose just for the benefit of a more interesting story.

That feels disingenuous.

I’ll simply trust that in three months of road tripping, on a motorbike, across the United States, meeting all sorts of strangers, that it won’t all be rainbows and butterflies. 

I pray that I have the fortitude of character to face these adversities with valiance, and if not, let me be the fool who excites laughter from those observing.

“And…. action!”