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Cleveland Police Union Refuses To Back Down From Criticism Of NFL Player For Tamir Rice Shirt

Cleveland Police Union Refuses To Back Down From Criticism Of NFL Player For Tamir Rice Shirt –

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Native American Heritage Month: What a white girl that grew up in cornfields learned about Native American culture.


Experiment: Conversations with 6yr olds, 2014, middle class, majority white, Ohio, during Native American Heritage Month

(Shows a picture of Chief Stephen Adkins) “Do you know who this is?”

“Indian/a chief!”

“This is Chief Stephen Adkins he along with 11 other people called a tribal council lead the Chickahominy tribe. We should also call him a Native American rather than an Indian.”

“What do Native Americans live in?”

“a tipi/ the woods/ a fort”

“No I mean today, right now not a long time ago.”

Blank faces

“Well, where do you live?”

“house/ apartment/ with my grandma!”

“That is where Native Americans live as well.”

“What kind of jobs do they have?”

“Hunters/ warriors!” kids started running around slapping their mouths.

“Ok, I am sure some Native Americans hunt as a job and I know many are in the United States military, so they are warriors, but they are also lawyers, doctors, writers, police officers, cashiers and a ton of other jobs. Also, doing that with your mouth isn’t very nice.”

I was frustrated, not with the little ones, but that this is what they know of an entire culture of people. I understand this is not the same answer I would get if I lived in a different part of the United States, but really? Luckily, I made a slight difference. The next time I saw them I was told that one of the kids went up to their teacher and told her that Indians don’t live in a tipi and also they don’t like to be called indians, we should call them Native Americans. I’ll take it.

When I was little I barely understood that Native Americans existed let alone that some still lived in impoverished conditions on reservations that were forced on their ancestors. How did a girl that went to a blue ribbon school in an affluent town not know about modern day native culture? Even stranger was that Russell Means, one of the most well known AIM (American Indian Movement) members lived in Cleveland and started a chapter of AIM here in the 70s. His hand print is all over this city and I didn’t have any idea until I started doing my own research into Native American culture for a character I was developing over a year ago. Where for the past 20 years a man named Robert Roche along with several others dedicated thousands of hours in protest and education to change the MLB Indians team name and develop their community in a land that tribes/ tribal law were forced out years ago.

Back to my point, I want to talk about White America as a whole and our understanding of Native American culture. We watch movies that portray Native Americans as savages or silly sidekicks and follow sports teams that use the culture as a caricature. Ultimately painting the wrong picture. Of course there are movies about amazing Native Americans that don’t portray this, but they are far and few between. That coupled with my later argument will neatly wrap up why there is a stigma.

Other than a few, the proverbial wool is pulled over our eyes. We are taught in primary school that the government gave Native Americans a choice with organized treaties that would benefit everyone. We quickly glazed over battles, Wounded Knee, revolts, Trail of Tears, yet we focus on a story that Christopher Columbus was a stand up guy who sailed the ocean blue in 1492. Accept, he was a tyrant, rapist and overall dumbshit who got lost. How does this man have his own day?

This brings me to argument number two, our education system is lacking. As proven by my experiment at the beginning of this essay. I understand that it takes money and process to change a system, but when will my kids learn true history?

The solution is that I will teach them, we should teach them. I have started reading to my girls Coyote and other books that show the thriving native community it is today… the real truth.

Recently, MTV had a special called Rebel Music, it featured stories and music by Mike Cliff, Frank Waln, Inez Jasper, and Nataanii Means. They are modern day activists for their people, for their tribes and for Native America as a whole. Mixed with others in the Native American community actively trying to crush the stereotypes, like Gyasi Ross (lawyer/author/activist) and Tatanka Means (comedian/activist) promote a sober life and mentorship for native youth. Dennis Banks (notable AIM member) rode cross country to spotlight the importance of nutrition and diabetes in native culture. Artists like Virgil Ortiz (fashion/photography/sculpture) and Matika Wilbur (photographer) are proving that traditional themes can be modernized with stunning results. Leaders are emerging.

I learned that this is the 7th generation and they will start a revolution. It will not be with violence, which got past AIM activists in trouble . It seems this generation will teach by way of art and storytelling, by singing and most of all by keeping their traditions ongoing. There are 562 federally recognized tribes and over 4 million people in America self recognize as Native American. Those numbers promise change.

What I learned I will teach my daughters, show them hoop dancing and pow wows. That in this culture there is a huge importance placed on protecting their land by protesting fracking and pipelines. Fighting still for what treaties promised and the ultimate fact that Native Americans are the originals and what happened to them at the hands of men like Christopher Columbus, government officials and others needs to be rectified.  

My descendents are from Europe, so what does that mean for me?  I don’t have to fight for my basic rights. I do agree being a female has some disadvantages, but overall I won the American lottery. That means that as a White American I have an obligation to learn on a broader level. If not, we are missing the point.

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Eat Spirit Eat, Didn’t Disappoint.

   In Eat Spirit Eat a band of orphans use their strengths along with their promises to help Oliver find and create a perfect world for his absentee father. The audience will immediately recognize the love and characterization that writer/director James Bird brought to all of the misfit orphans, it is remarkable.

 I had the proverbial  “Awww” moment seeing the relationship that the main character, Oliver (Owen Williams) and Mrs. P, the free spirited house mother who is really the catalyst for the group. My only issue was a break in character every once in awhile from Williams, but overall he was absolutely amazing and I chuckled a bit trying to figure out if he was just a man child or actually not very bright.

 Watching Vera (Adriana Mather) with her spectacularly neurotic behavior and speech was refreshing. Her type A personality was very lovable rather than annoying and Mather, played it perfectly.

 My favorite character was Inny (Ezequiel Stremiz) . I thought he was just so funny having a Latino accent yet he wasn’t raised in that environment, he adapted. He recognized his Native American Heritage, which was a big plus for me. Inny just genuinely loved and appreciated the people around him. The happy, supportive best friend type is always my weakness.

    This movie has it so right that even the music has a mention. Anya Remizova put together an array of cool bands to score the film. Whimsical, edgy and dare I saw I felt some 80s influence, killer. Hoping a soundtrack is in the works!

 Lastly, I enjoyed how Bird introduced each character into  the script. They have a back story but it didn’t take over,  the questions were answered and it was relevant to the main concept. Eat Spirit Eat was great overall, really loved this movie and would highly recommend it. I can’t wait to order From Above and catch Honeyglue after I can only imagine it wins a plethora of independent awards. Both From Above and Eat Spirit Eat can be found on ITUNES, no excuses!

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Paying Homage to my Superhero

I have four brothers, while all of us are different we share a geek gene. Movies, computers and comics are just the start of our geekdom each of us seek out. Chad is the forth brother and our light…the reason why people would leave our home with a smile. Surviving eight years after a horrible accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down he moved into his bat cave in the sky. Chad dealt with demons all his life, he fought and conquered each one. He was the playboy of his time, girls, football, school, awards and speeches. After his accident he was like that little boy searching for a way out of the darkness…he had a personal connection to Batman. Chad said “Batman made his own destiny”

Thank you Chad for letting me experience your light for 22 years. I wish I understood who you were earlier…

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Learning the Cultures of your Character

In researching my role for my mentor, I decided that I wanted him to be Native American. My purpose for this story is to build strong male role models and who better to emulate that than them. I have been excited to learn and find out about the various cultures that make up the Native American population. I am not thrilled with the treatments and stereotypes….below is a letter I wrote and posted on other blogs as an apology for the varies offenses to the native american culture I have seen, including a girl with a discriminatory sign at a Famous Dave’s restaurant.

A letter to those who should be completely offended:

Let’s get the bad out of the way first…I am an Irish girl living in a city that idolizes a baseball team that is offensive to Native Americans (you can call me a fair weather fan). I grew up having a crude almost cartoon vision of what the Native American lifestyle is. My mom once went to a reservation in Nevada and brought home gorgeous handmade jewelry and I found it magical for some reason. So when a guy walked in my office and said his last job was at his tribes casino, I was floored (I’m going to elaborate on my thoughts, but know I have learned better since). I thought “Holy shit, in 32 years I have met my first real Indian!” I say that now and cringe as this guy has become one of my best friends. We speak about his culture and family and I shove my foot in my mouth when I ask stupid questions about stereotypical stories of tribes and reservations. I took him to his first Indians game and after years of never even noticing the dude that drums before a pitch…my dear friend looked up and asked where that drumming was coming from and that he was doing it wrong….you know I wanted to run up there and punch that drummer! My friend has been such a gracious teacher and I have now looked at the nasty way we disregard such an exceptional group of people. By following articles, news, art, movies and history of the Native American people I am an advocate for the betterment and education of everyone else that makes dumb references and choosing non native people in movies to play a native part (terrible). I am in process of writing a short story involving Native Americans and I promise it will be authentic to what I find in the pages and minds of Native Americans. I apologize for my ignorance and the above stories make my blood boil.

Sincerely yours an Ex-idiot on Native Americans

My question…have we seen a strong, complete and compelling Native American character in films recently? Of course we see them in historical films, I mean who is this generations idolic characters? Tell me and share!

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You said what?


In writing or in life the wrong sentence can bring your story to halt, bring it to a new beginning…or find out the secret. Words are not wrong and honesty is precious, but putting those words together in a string that will prolong and enhance your story is key. What are your biggest word blunders? How did you fix them?

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All access or no access? Let’s talk about Larry’s Theory

I had the pleasure of working closely with Larry Meistrich, the founder of Nehst Studios and all companies affiliated with it. He is most notably associated with The Shooting Gallery , a very prosperous indie studio when the idea of indie was less then novel. Larry tried then and is still trying to make a project accessible for an audience from beginning to end. When I mean the beginning, that means from watching producers pick a concept, greenlighting the project, writing, casting, funding, everything and my question is this…good or no good? Do we like the “magic” of moviemaking?  Or do we want to see the full monty of it?

I say hell yes, let’s see the next Universal blockbuster in the nude! Maybe then we won’t be so anxious to see who Kristen Stewart is doing this week, because we saw her fart in her trailer yesterday and we don’t care anymore….it becomes everyday. Maybe just maybe we will look to other aspects of our lives with more care, like how cool our kids are and the economy in southern Ohio. Don’t get me wrong I love the movie magic, grew up with it…I basically live and breath imagination and in my thinking movie nerds like me would look to all access like gamers look at World of War Craft, a lifestyle.

Larry and his team are brilliant and I wish more production companies would follow his lead, you can reach out to them via facebook, twitter and websites. They also work with people who take is upon themselves to inform the public about a project. Here is an example:

Sridhar Reddy

The director/writer/producer above is very invested in his movie, so he blogs his thoughts on his creation and it is killer. He is a fierce writer and true movie lover…

These are the things people like me want to see real work, real pain, real fight, nothing scripted ;) Who am  kidding, if I had a camera on me while I was creating my blockbuster hit “The Creation of Creed”  I would purposely make it interesting…I’m a Casino Host during the day (drama always, no script needed) and research/writing/trips to East Cleveland/talk to the best people/create fantasies at night…come to think of it, I’m pretty fun in general. Come follow me!

Check out my friends at Nehst…they have some amazing documentaries, movies and other very creative methods of bringing their audience in.

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The first piece of Music in your Screenplay sets the tone….this is why I chose “Cleveland” by Machine Gun Kelly


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Who do you write for?

You don’t write for the whole world, for ten people, or two. You write for just one person. -Kurt Vonnegut

Is the above statement true? But who are we writing for? Ourselves, our true love, friends, kids, our secret crushes? Vonnegut wrote  for his loves, wrote for therapy (after his suicide attempt) and the social, economic and political issues of his time. here are the guidelines I am living by for my shorts and the screenplay pieces I am working on:

Kurt Vonnegut: 8 Basics of Creative Writing

Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut created some of the most outrageously memorable novels of our time, such as Cat’s CradleBreakfast Of Champions, and Slaughterhouse Five. His work is a mesh of contradictions: both science fiction and literary, dark and funny, classic and counter-culture, warm-blooded and very cool. And it’s all completely unique.

With his customary wisdom and wit, Vonnegut put forth 8 basics of what he calls Creative Writing 101: *

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

I admire his writing style and thank you to Gotham Writer’s Workshop for the wonderful article.


Wishlist! Picking from the Sag Pile!

As I sit down to write about my bucket list of actors to play in my fictional universe. I get to thinking about all of the famous people I have actually met. I may live in Cleveland (which if you are famous, nobody will think you are actually a celeb, so live your incognito life)  but in actuality it is a great place to film movies. We have old and new structures, beautiful art, lake, forests, countryside, urban, tax incentives, well I’m not the film commission, but Cleveland has major arenas and a rich history in theater that draw celebs every week if not day in the summer months. I worked at the only 4 diamond hotel as a VIP reservationist/concierge, worked in a production company (my god what producers go through, shit) and now I am an Executive Casino Host at the only place that is keeping Cleveland alive, so you can guess I am severely busy with all of the VIP’s that grace the tables. I have celebs, frat guy, CEO’s , guys who pay off CEO’s, the family,  sometimes the guy who pisses in the street, and especially the people of my great city that own said street :)  Point is I have a huge true barrel of people to pick from. It was so hard to sit back and say this is who I picture because so many people influence what I write and the story I want to tell. I did  choose my 3 main Characters

Dezmond Creed: I know I said I picture Shemar Moore as  Creed (age doesn’t fit), I would LOVE a hybrid of Shemar Moore and Collins Curtis Pennie…make it happen Hollywood!

Det. Murray Ross:  So I have three picks, I love them all for different reasons, but they all have a certain edge and Murray will get darker as the story unfolds. Jamie Dornan, Cam Gigandet, or Charlie Hunnam

Helena: There was only one actress that I pictured as my heroine…Natalie Portman. She is innocent, but  damn she can peel the wallpaper off with her sexy vapor. I need a short actress, Helena is tiny, long flowing brown hair and brown  eyes.

There is my love triangle  :) Please enjoy the pictures below…I know I do!








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