Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jump Right in!

Carol Lee is my mom and she is awesome. She is empowering. She is the eldest of 7, stubborn, strong willed and till this day, I believe she can do anything in the world. Her light and her aura is so grand, it took me 23 years to learn that she was only 5'2.

She has instilled in me something invaluable. And that is a fearlessness and an ability to jump right into a deep end and not drown. Whether you know how to swim or not. You will float to the top. I'm just a kid from St. Louis who was never taught that things were impossible. Impossible to me just means it's never been done before. The word can't had no power or place in the Lee residence. It just didn't make sense like Gz%e\ye doesn't make sense. It doesn't register. My brain can't digest it. I'm a Can'titarian.

Most people don't start something because they're afraid that they will fail, therefore, failing a mission they haven't even tried. Talk talk talk talk and when the door of opportunity arises, they're still talking about what they're going to do. And that door closes and they're still talking waiting on the next door. But sometimes when that door opens you just gotta go through. Shoes untied, belt unbuckled and a wrinkled shirt. What the person outside 'talking' doesn't realize is that even if while in this door of opportunity, things don't go as smoothly as planned. Or it turns out it's much harder than you thought and you start to second guess whether or not you should have come through when you did. There is always another door or a hallway or a vent that opens along the way. But you can't see that from the stoops outside talking to yourself. You gotta get in there. And behind another door is someone else in a hallway trying to figure out how to get to another elevator shaft. They see you, and you plan together. Then you run into more people figuring shit you and you're right there with them. Navigating this crazy Land of Can.

The door is open now and you are where you are now for a reason. If you believe you are ready enough you are ready enough. If you believe you can you can.

Think about it like this. God wouldn't even let you SEE that door if you weren't ready to go through. It's as simple as that. The door has probably been there for awhile now, you just didn't see it yet. You didn't have the right people in your life yet. You didn't have the right life experiences or hardships yet. You hadn't gone through the proper training camp yet. But now that you see it, you've got to trust that you see it for a reason. And don't let your fears and other people's fears get in your way.

In closing - holla at your boy
JL
"You don't get a quote"

Monday, August 24, 2009

Boss.


I'm a boss. Yeah, I said it and I'm proud of it. I think I always knew it, but sometimes I forget. And sometimes, the Man Upstairs reminds me just how boss you are.

Over the past 2 years, As an actor I've been up for a lot of really good projects. Came close to a lot of them and got disappointed when I didn't get them. Thought these were 'career changing' roles. But alas, just wasn't my time.

But every time I missed on a film, I went back home and worked on my own thing. Worked on my own scripts and projects and ideas. I tried my hardest not to let self-doubt and fear set in because they will knock on your door as soon as you let them know you're lonely. So every time I missed on a project, like clockwork, something else popped up. Produce a tv show here. Do a voice over there. Get inspiration for a script here. So here it is, a couple years after I didn't get cast in a film that I thought would have changed my career. And I'm now producing a script that I wrote during that time frame. And I wrote myself a part in it. So the person who decides if I get the role is none other than yours truly. And I think I'll give myself the role.

My boy J.R. said it perfectly. "Some people are meant to come into the game as workers. And some are meant to come in as bosses". What are you? Either one is fine? But which one are you? I came into the game hoping that a casting director would hire me. Now, I hired a casting director to cast my film. See how that works?

You may think you want something. But God has bigger and better plans for you that you haven't even thought about. Your dreams are nothing but goals with plans. Simple as that. And when the breakdown for my film came out today it gave me a friendly reminder. I'm a boss.

J Lee
-whether you think you can or cannot. You are right

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Doing it!

WHAT IT DO?!

Mane! Ya boy J Lee has been busy. But busy is good in LA. For the past month or so, I've been working as a producer for a new TV show called "Pay It Off" which will air later this year.

While I'm doing that, I'm finishing the re-write for the big epic/fantasy script that writing partner and I have telling the story of one of the dopest Greek monsters in history.

While I'm doing that, I'm prepping for another movie that my writing partner and I wrote. And we're getting ready to shoot it later this year. And if you know me...you'll love this story of how it came to be.

We wrote the script about 2 years ago. Once our BIG BUDGET script got picked up by a studio, it sat on the shelf as we had to do re-write after re-write for the big boy. Meanwhile, this little comedy was sitting back waiting on his turn. One day, we decided to take it out, brush the dust off and take another look at the comedy. And while we were doing that, I said to myself "this b***h is funny. I forgot we wrote that". And suddenly something hit me. And I said 'I'm going to shoot this'. When I wake up in the morning, I try to take a moment to just ...be. Before I get on my phone and start emailing and all the things that consume my day. I go out by my pool. Breathe and pray. And that's when I'm the most clear. And in that moment, it made sense. And I realized that I had everything I needed to make this movie happen.

Made a few calls. Connected a few dots. And here I am in preproduction for my film. Director, casting director, producers, script attached. The journey will be long, but I'm on the trail and I'm prepared for the haul.

Anyway..what else? That's it. Shooting a movie. Producing a TV show. Re-writing a script. Living life. And I'm happy.

So..moral of the story is what? I don't know. But I do know that all the lumps you take along the path only prepare you for when you're ready to do what it is you do. Over the past 2-3 years, my oven has heated up, placed me inside, burned me, had me on hold..and just when I thought I heard the 'ding' and was done in that oven and ready to get out...it kept me in there just a little longer. But that only made me stronger once I came out. Ya dig? So enjoy the struggle, folks. Because that's what keeps you going. Just keep some sunscreen handy 'cause undoubtedly you will be tested in the heat. Just know. You won't burn. You can't burn. You're fire proof.

But if YOU don't believe that...I won't either ;-)

Holla
J Lee

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Thong Song!

This post is just in time for the summer.

You guys remember the "Thong Song" by Sisqo? I came across it on youtube today and was ROLLING. If you remember the video, you remember it had a few nice video 'actors' in bikins, dancing on the beach. The song was eh, whatever...but the video made you forget about the song. But peep the video and then we'll discuss why Sisqo is an idiot. Whether you like the video or not, you at least have to get to the 1:50 mark.



Dude..all these bad chicks laying on the beach half butt nekkid, shining and probably tipsy from Malibu and pineapple and this dude is doing back flips on the beach. What the hell is Sisqo thinking? When was the last time you hopped in your drop top benz, sped to the beach, saw some bad chicks, and then decided to go and do a back hand spring for no reason? Who does that?! I don't care if my hair is silver and I got my bird chest out and I'm wearing some hammer pants, if I'm on some chicks, I'm good to go. But if I'm doing gymnastic flips and kicking up sand on chicks trying to get it in...please feel free to slap me.

Holla!!!
J Lee
-sorry it's been so long since my last note, folks. But I'm baaaaack!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Letting go...

Let it go. Seems like a simple concept but sometimes it's easier said than done. My mother used to always tell me that sometimes you have to let go of the bad stuff you've got in your hand to let a blessing inside.

I remember when I made my decision to leave Family Guy like it was yesterday. I had a great job. Worked with great people on one of the most successful shows on television. But I knew I had to make a move. And on paper, I did it at the worst time. It was the beginning of the year, I didn't have a lot of money, and no gig lined up. But in the back of my mind, I knew I had to let go of one thing to get another. And it took my willingness to plunge off of the bridge with no parachute and only talent, hope, and God on my side for me to realize...that I cannot fail. I will not hit the bottom. It just won't happen. And as soon as I left, all of sudden 'luck' kicked in. And if you read my blogs, you know I don't believe in luck. Luck is nothing more than opportunity meeting preparation. So moral of that story is stay ready so you never have to get ready. And even though it might feel like you can't take that leap of faith. Just know that you can.

Sometimes you have things in your life that you know you shouldn't have there, but just can't seem to shake it. It's like a drug. At the time, it feels great. But when you step back and look at your situation, you realize that this 'thing' is no good for you. But it's too late. You're stuck on it. You try to 'make it work'. And this can be a person, a relationship, a job...it can be anything. And the only advice I can give is that you're going to have to be in that 'uncomfortable' area for a lil bit. That 'lonely' place. That ..'damn, I should just call 'him/her' place. That 'damn, I'mma quit this drug tomorrow. Just one more hit'. That "at the end of the week, I'm quitting this dreadful job.". But you can't give in. You have to go through with it and when it feels like s***, you have to stay there. And it's going to suck. And it's going to hurt. And it's going to feel bad. But at the end of it all, you're going to end up in a much better place than where you started. But are you willing to go through the fire to come out golden?

It's still early in 2009. If you've got some baggage you need to throw out, throw it out now. Because one thing you don't get back is time. And you don't want to lose valuable time on something that you know is bad for you. Let it go. Trust me. Something better is waiting on you.

"Why everything that's supposed to be bad make me feel so good?
Everything they told me not to, is exactly what I would.
Man I tried to stop man, I tried the best I could but...
You make me smile.
What's your addiction? Is it money? Is it girls? Is it weed?
I've been afflicted. By not one. Not two, but all three.
She's got the same thing about me, but more about us
So she's coming over. So I guess that means I'm a drug"


~Kanye West - Addiction

Friday, February 06, 2009

On a positive note

I just read the last few of my blogs. I said 'whew...that boy J Lee is angry' lol. Nah, just had some things on my mind, folks. So getting back on the positive side of positivity, I decided to come back and do a little lighter blog. Something happy. Smile for the camera.

I was cast in a new film and will be heading to northern California next month to shoot. Should be a good time. It's a scary movie and if you know me, I don't even watch scary movies. But it'll be cool to be a part of one that's well done. Plus, my boy Gary lives up there so on my off days, I'll go up and hoop out the cats at his 24 hour fitness. J Lee AKA 'dribble drive', AKA 'no, you guard him', AKA 'where do you play ball?'. And on Monday, I'll be going back in for the new Cleveland show (spin off of Family Guy) to record the voice for my character, Rod.

What else, what else. Finished about 3 other scripts and they're making the rounds in Hollywood. I feel like 2009 is starting to shape out pretty cool. A lot of the stuff I was working on last year is finally starting to sprout. AND, I have one project in particular that...if it goes through, your boy J Lee will be quite a happy camper. I'm talking, first round's on me. No matter what city you're in. I'll fly there, and first round is on me.

Ok. That's it. I'm out.
JL

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Do you love America? Really?

American Flag

Today is Jan 20th, 2009 and we just inaugurated the 44th President of The United States of America. Barrack Hussein Obama. It is a proud moment in not just our lives, but lives spread across the entire world. Truly it is. And the fact that this great man was sworn in as the 1st Black man to be the Head Of State, a day after Martin Luther King's holiday, is just an added bonus.

But I got some things on my chest that I need to get off. To all of those people who didn't vote for President Obama. For Fox News, who were openly biased and racist during the entire election coverage who who immediately after his inauguration tried to let us know the 'problems' in President Obama's speech, for the teachers and institutions who punish people for wearing Barack Obama T-Shirts to school And kicking kids off of school buses for saying President Obama's name this next part is for you.

When does your difference in opinion over the man who is now our leader, become disrespectful? And furthermore, unpatriotic? You pride yourselves so much on being American and how much you love America, but you ride the line of utter insolence, so much so, that you actually don't even deserve to call yourself an American. So many Americans stood by our country and our President(s) during some of the worst things in history. Wars, economic hardships, bailouts, hate crimes, civil rights, slavery and the list goes on and on. You name it, we stood by and dealt with it. But we still stood with the tag and pride of calling ourselves American. Now, we have a very qualified and important man ready to lead our nation through the bulls***t the last one dealt us, and you STILL won't give the man the respect he's due. How can YOU call yourself American. To those people, you're even more of a hypocrite than that word will allow. To those who were all about the war and keeping America safe from those terrorists; you wanted us to shut up and ride or die with the President. It was Un-American if you didn't. And now, because you're afraid of change and you're afraid of what American REALLY is (a nation of nations), you want to pout like a little bitch and continue to turn your back. Well guess what. You're a part of the problem. Not the solution, my friend. Mind you, I don't mind if you voted against the man or who you voted for. And you might have problems with him. He's not perfect by any means. But at some point you need to get on the bus or get the f*** out of the way because we don't have time to go back and teach you that the ways of the old days are long gone and change is inevitable. And you know what, whether you like it or not, Preisdent Barack Obama is YOUR president too. So shut the f*** up, pay your taxes, and for God's sake, quit being a hypocrite and respect the man in charge. Period. That, or get the f*** out.

JL

"When Black will not be asked to get back.
When Brown can stick around.
When Yellow will be mellow.
When the Red Man can get ahead, man.
And when White will embrace what's right.
Let all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen. Say Amen. And Amen!"
'Reverend Lowery during President Barack Obama's Benedection

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

'NO!'

IN 2009...people are going to have to start telling me 'NO'. And quite frankly, I don't think you can do that. Let me explain. See, in LA, mostly everybody is dependent on someone else. An actor is dependent on a casting director. A casting director is dependent on a producer. A producer is dependent on an executive producer. An executive producer is dependent on a studio. A studio is dependent on a director. A director is dependent on a good script. A good script is dependent on a scribe. A scribe is dependent on somebody else's opinion on what's good or not. The cycle goes on and on. It's a big clusterfuck. In the midst of all of this co-dependency, hands get tied. People feel like they can't go on until they get everything else, all of their co-conspirators...I mean co-dependents lined up. So if you're in the middle of said fuck of clusterfest, you're just looking for an answer. "Did I book the job?" "Are you going to buy my script?" etc etc. But the funny thing about Hollywood, is people are VERY hesitant to actually say the word 'NO'. Because nobody wants to be that somebody that passed on that thing that ends up being a huge thing. Be it a person, project, or concept. So if they don't have an answer for you yet, or if they're in the grey area, you'll most likely get the "I'll call you back" responses. The "I'm going to have my people look at it". The I'll get back to you". And maybe even a "not right now". But that definitely ain't a 'NO'.

So, I'm going to take control of the things I can take control of. And I'm going to make people say NO to me. If that means slapping you with a new script everyday until you read it Mr. Producer dude, then get ready for a red face. I'm going to be in people's faces so much, that by the end of the day they're either going to have to call security or say 'DAMN! J Lee just won't go away. Give him 100 Million'. I'm cool with either 'cause I been arrested before lol.

Mind you, this does not just apply to just me and my journey. No matter who you are or what you do, you go out there and you make people respect your hustle. And you hustle so hard that people can't do anything but give you the green light and watch you work. If you look at all the people you admire or look up to or aspire to be like, I guarantee they'll echo what I'm about to say. My belief in myself outweighs your doubt. Trust me.

"You aint' gotta like a n**** just respect my mind
And this is how I'm eatin' now, so respect my grind"
-Young Jeezy

About Me

Just a guy trying to put his stamp on the world. Everything else you need to know about me, will probably be in this blog.