April 18, 2013
DR. MEL'S WEEKLY MESSAGE
|Dr. Mel in the passenger seat|
|Robby Cook Stroud driving|
We took the Southern route and took our time to stop along the way at many different destinations and points. In fact, we took a cue from the life of our friend, Destiny, who I say not only stops to smell the roses, but stops and smells every petal. That is exactly what Robby and I did on this trip. We took the long route, the side and back roads, and roads not usually traveled. We turned a three-day drive into a six-day drive. Each day, we started not knowing where we would stop, or where we would spend the night. We stayed at places we wanted too.And, we took Furbs with us. He loved the wind blowing in his fur and he picked up a girlfriend in Arizona, Furbette.
|Furbette and Furbs|
I'm not sure if I even have my favorite spot, as all quickly became my favorite. Furbs and Furbette had a wild time as he met up with Lions, tigers, bears, cowboys, Indians, chili peppers, cactus spurs and more.
You'll get the general idea by some of the pictures posted in this blog below.
The first night we made it to San Antonio, Texas. Wow! This city must be one of the cleanest cities I have encountered. Simply beautiful. The skyline of this town is also magnificent at night and one everybody should take the time to go see one day. And, of course, we did remember The Alamo.
Also, we spent the night with my middle daughter's God Parents who we have known for a very long time. It was great seeing friends who had moved away from New Orleans. Early the next morning we set out to drive across Texas. Texas really is a huge state; as it took us two days to simply reach New Mexico.
One of my favorite things we did while in New Mexico was to stop at a winery. Personally, I was shocked to even discover that wineries existed in New Mexico and Arizona. But they do. I also was amazed by all the leather goods that are handmade in both of these states and I purchased to styles of moccasins. They really do feel good on your feet.
Anyone that knows me well, knows that my mind is always spinning. Robby quickly came to the realization that I had a very unusual way of seeing the sites in our cross country travels. As we approached Tuscan, I asked if we could stop and go to the federal prison and visit someone. You see, one of the most famous "Serial Killers" is currently on death row there and I wanted to go and interview him. Unfortunately, they wouldn't let us visit him or interview him. I would have had to make prior arrangements and get clearance etc. from the Superior Court Judge. But, we still didn't waste our time and I did get an interview. But not with a serial killer, but with one of the nation's foremost doctors in toxicology treatment etc.,Dr. Michael Gray. We took off to Benson, AZ where he practices. While visiting him, I was able to interview him for 2 1/2 hours for my documentary on toxic environmental poisoning. Some really great stuff forthcoming that I hope will have an impact and provide hope for those who suffer.
Now, there is a strange thing in Benson- in the Butterfield RV park, just across the street from Dr. Gray, is a $20 million dollar telescope. Wait! Think about what I just wrote and ask yourself, "What is a $20 million dollar telescope doing in a RV Park when there is nothing else close to it or in Benson, AZ?" Then, you also have to start thinking about the surroundings. Less than 30 miles away is the town of HUACHUCA, which according to the historical marker was established in 1958. Is there a Roswell connection there? How convenient if you ask me. However, also in this town is the famous military base FORT HUACHUCA where many of the scenes in my film A.D.A.M. takes place. So here we were, just 20 miles from the setting of my next film. Of course, we had to go and off we went down another beaten path.
First, we routed ourselves to TOMBSTONE, AZ. The first stop was at the US Tombstone Marshall's Office. I know, another unusual place to stop for tourists, but I love getting to know the local law enforcement. You never know when you might need them. We also visited the tourist traps, had a beer, and ate dinner at Kate's and listened to a local band. This is where Furby met his first true cowboy. How fitting, don't you think?
The next morning, we headed to Sierra Vista, AZ, home to FORT HUACHUCA. One of the amazing things is I got to visit this place on my Birthday.
But, wait. OMG! You won't believe what happened next. As we were driving there, just above us flew two UFOs. Really! But, the closer they came to us, we concluded they must have been the new military AMERICAN DRONES, which soon were followed by A-10 Fighter Planes. We quickly pulled off onto the side of the road to take pictures and simply enjoy the FREE AMERICAN AIR SHOW along our path. They flew right over us several times. It really was amazing.
Then we continued to go to the military base and along the way we saw something else. Not only was it radar, a flight tower, and a "Launch" pad for stealth helicopters. It was amazing.
We finally got to the gate of Fort Huachuca and we were stopped by the Military Guard. Our goal was to see if they would let us onto the base. (Now you might understand why I have an unusual way of sight-seeing). Having never been on the base before, and knowing that this was the setting for a part of my film, I wanted to see the base for realistic writing. Guess what? They took our passports and driver's license and let us onto the base.
While driving around the base, we weren't alone. In fact, we had escorts everywhere we went and were being followed. We were able to see everything including their obstacle course, and the US MILITARY INTELLIGENCE COMMUNICATION MUSEUM. In fact, they had two of them.
I wanted to take footage and pictures badly. We were already strictly warned that we couldn't take any pictures or footage while on the base, off the base, or pointed toward the base. If we did, we would have gotten arrested. Do you know how hard that was for me not to do this? Extremely, but I didn't want to press our luck and have my camera gear confiscated since I had already taken some amazing footage while off the base. Needless to say, it was very, very exciting and provided me with a perfect memory to write my scenes.
One of the best things that I got to spend my birthday at a canyon watching the sun set.
Then, on the road again. the things we saw, the things we did all the way to Los Angeles. I enjoyed every minute of it. One fascinating area were the Wind Farms. Again, we got off the beaten path and took the dirt roads right up into the wind farm. Then on to San Diego and to Los Angeles.
In fact, once we arrived into Los Angeles, we weren't ready to stop. We wanted to keep going and maybe land in San Fran. But, we didn't, as it we knew we had to get things ready to open our Los Angeles office and find a place for Robby to live.
And, speaking of A.D.A.M., today we filmed another scene with Bill Ensley, as General Anbar, along with DH Lewis, as Dr. Bradford. James Karnes got a bonus role as he visited our office just as we were about to film and put him in the scene as the N.A.E.T. Communications Director. That is the beauty of being the producer/director/screenwriter and having ownership of a project. I can write in or delete any character I want to. And, that is exactly what I did for James.
|James Karnes, Bill Ensley, Clyde R. Jones|
|CLYDE R. JONES as Agent Ed Morrison|
|Bill Ensley as General Anbar|
|James Karnes as the N.A.E.T. Director of Communications|
|DH LEWIS as Dr. Sandra Bradford|
|General Anbar Confronts Dr. Bradford|
Bill Ensley and DH Lewis
I hope as a screenwriter you find the above information helpful. As an actor, anytime you are cast in a role, investigate the meaning of your character's name. It just might have more impact on how you interpret the character than you initially may think.
BY ROBBY COOK STROUD
We also took Furby to the Alamo. We got up the next morning and it was cold. So we had to ride with the top up for the first and only 2 hrs of our whole trip. We finally made it across Texas and stayed in Las Cruces New Mexico. Found the world’s largest Chili Pepper .
So the next day we spent in Arizona. We did go to Fort Huachuca and to see Mel’s Dr. Gray. What a delightful and very intriguing interview she conducted for her next documentary film on Toxic Mold Exposure.
We spent that night in Tombstone. We had so much fun at the old bar that looked the same as it did in the 1800’s.
We also did a night tour, at midnight of the oldest cemetery in Tombstone. Another weird sight-seeing request of Mels. I think we have some footage of ghosts. We will have to see. The next night we stayed in Yuma Arizona.
As you can see it took us a while to get out of Arizona. The sightseeing was incredible there. One of the best vineyards I have ever been to was there. Santa Clara Vineyards. They have a wine made from chili peppers that is awesome. You owe it to yourself to go on line and order this wine. The last and final day of our trip we went the southern route and went to San Diego so we could cruise up the Pacific Coast Highway.
We had so much fun , we weren’t ready for our road trip to end. I think we could have driven the northern route back before we where road weary. Needless to say the Jag is very comfortable on the road. Next week I’ll get into what I have accomplished here in LA love and hugs to all.
BY JAMIE URIBE
My problem has always been finding just the right monologue that fits me, that is current and not outdated, and something that I can relate too. Every time I picked up a book on monologues, none of them suited my needs because they were outdated. That is why I started writing my own. And, now, I am going to start sharing my monologues with you through Dr. Mel's Blog. I hope you enjoy my first one. Feel free to learn it and use it for your needs.
Subject Matter: Life Crumbles
Title: My World is Crumbling
Target: Adult M/F Monologue
NOTE: Jamie Uribe is an actor and writer. Last year she published her first book of poems, WHERE THE MIND WANDERS, and was in the T.D. JAKES film WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED: ON THE 7TH DAY. Below is one of her poems and the information on how to purchase her book.
LESSONS ON LOVE
BY JAMIE URIBE