High Hopes And Daring Dreams


Friday April 11th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

I read a fascinating interview with Mel Brooks a long time ago where he said that every one of his movies was a major source of disappointment to him. He told how whenever he’d begin each project he’d have grandiose visions of what it would be, but what came out was always a lot less.

I wish I couldn’t relate, but I feel exactly the same way. I feel like I have worked so hard to get where I am, but have painfully little to show for it. In my mind I should have accomplished a lot more, but it doesn’t matter now. Here I sit with what I have, and a clock that keeps ticking faster.

It sure would have been nice to have a career mentor the whole way through. I would have had a lot more successes, and a lot less headaches. I would love to be the career mentor of somebody just starting out, as I could totally offer them a lot from an experience perspective. I’d be able to save them a lot of time and heartache, and point them in a positive direction early and stay there.

What brought this all on today was running across yet another old stash of notes I had forgotten I made years ago. It was from 1991, and I was just going to work at 93QFM in Milwaukee at that time. I was 28, and full of high hopes and daring dreams. Coincidentally, that was right when life really started to get hard, and I’ve been in recovery mode since. Seeing the notes made me laugh.

I wrote that I wanted to have the first comedy album of all the comedians in Milwaukee, and it would be done by my 30th birthday. Actually, I was only ten years late, and it ended up being on CD instead of vinyl. And like Mel Brooks, I was disappointed with what eventually came out.

I remember seeing an interview with Bruce Springsteen talking about wanting his albums to be life changing experiences for those that heard them. He wanted the listener to be blown away and not be able to contain themselves. I have to admit, that’s what I wanted too. Does it ever happen?

How many times does something come along and really change the game with anything? It’s a very rare occurrence, and only a few ever experience it. I haven’t come close, even though I have had a lot of positive feedback on not only my CD, but my comedy as well. Still, I can do better.

Also in my notes from back then were pages of sitcom scene ideas and a dozen movie outlines I came up with for feature length films. Many of the ideas held up surprisingly well, and I could still see someone fleshing them out today. I’d love it to be me, but who has time for all of that?

I’ve got all I can handle and then some working on the King of Uranus idea. Even that’s had an extra long germination period, and I am terribly disappointed. I only hope to salvage a fraction of the grand vision I had with the initial idea, and hopefully it will provide a little bit of a retirement where I won’t have to sleep under a freeway bridge and bum change from exit ramp motorists.

I did catch a few bad breaks along the way, but everyone does. The hard part is to keep looking ahead rather than bitch about the shortcomings of the past. The sitcom and movie ships in reality have sailed. It stings, but that’s life. At least Mel Brooks had some hits. I’m counting on Uranus.

Mel Brooks has grandiose visions before he starts a movie project- but he is always disappointed with the final results. I can relate.

Mel Brooks has grandiose visions before he starts a movie project- but he is always disappointed with the final results. I wish I couldn’t, but I can relate.

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