The day began early as my father and I headed south on the freeway
towards Long Beach in the family Cadillac Coupe de Ville. There, we
would board a U.S. Navy minesweeper on which we would spend the day as
guests of the Navy watching it performing maneuvers and demonstrating
how a minesweeper would snag and reel in enemy mines. Somewhere along
the way, a rock flew up and hit the Cadillac's windshield leaving a
large, spiderweb crack obscuring much of the view. I remember thinking
it was a lucky thing the windshield didn't break open.
minesweeper was a pretty big craft and a navy boat has to be quite
substantial in size before it's called a ship. I'm not sure I understood
all that was happening but I was fascinated by how the boat carried out
its tasks. The crew members were friendly but business-like. At a
certain point, we--the guests--were summoned to the mess where we were
served lunch. I seem to recall it consisted of sandwiches and soup;
tomato soup that was spicier than I was accustomed to.
lunch, we returned to observing maneuvers and it wasn't too long before I
began feeling ill. I don't know if it was a case of seasickness or a
reaction to the rich soup, but I suddenly found myself unable to
maintain interest in the demonstration that would continue for at least
another couple of hours. One of the crewmen lead me to a bunk where I
could close my eyes and hope to recover. Eventually, I began to feel
somewhat better but the boat was returning to port.
on the way home, my father and I stopped in Westwood at the home of
family friends. She was a friend of my step-mother (who was visiting her
parents in Oklahoma) and he was a cameraman for KTLA-TV. While they had
dinner and talked, I watched television in the den eating ice cream
still not feeling as I should. When it grew late, my father and I said
goodbye to Connie and Jim and started on our way home to Woodland Hills.
It had been a long day in the sun and sea air and I was quite tired. Riding home, I fell asleep in the front seat.
don't know what woke me but, at one point, I opened my eyes and looked
up to see a pair of lights coming at us. My initial impression was that
they reminded me of a bird of prey swooping down on us. Immediately, the
lights disappeared, obscured by a glimpse of something white. Later, I
would realize it was the Cadillac's hood as it crumpled from the impact
of a head-on collision with another car which had been on the wrong side
of the freeway. Before I could grasp what was happening, I was
Some time later, I regained consciousness. My father
and I were slouched down in the front seat of the Cadillac. Most of
the windshield had disappeared. The steering wheel had broken its spokes
and was hanging from the steering column down near the dashboard. I
couldn't move my left leg --it was dislocated--and I could only move my
right leg down to about mid-thigh--it was literally broken in two. My
right elbow hurt like hell; broken. As I sat there taking it all in, I
realized what had happened. Outside, I could hear people walking around
on the freeway. "These two are dead," someone said. I hope he's not
talking about us, I thought to myself.
I looked at my father and
saw that he was conscious. "I think I broke my leg," I told him. "Good,"
he said meaning he was glad if that was all I had suffered. At that
point, the right side of my face got very warm as blood began to flow
from a head laceration. It would require 150 stitches but before anyone
could worry about that, they had to get me out of the car. The passenger
door was too crumpled to open. They were able to open the driver's side
and, after putting my father in the ambulance, the paramedics were able
to get me out that side by pushing a board under me and pulling me out.
ride to the hospital was memorable. The only pain I could feel was in
my elbow. The paramedic later told me that he couldn't stop the bleeding
because when he put pressure on one area of the cut with his fingers,
blood would start spurting from another area. He told me it was like
playing a piccolo.
When we arrived at West Park Community
Hospital, they wheeled me straight into an emergency room and, after
strapping me down, they elevated the foot of the operating table. I was
later told that I had little or no pulse and they were trying to get the
flow going. The last thing I remember seeing before I went unconscious
again was a very large, curved needle coming towards my forehead as a
doctor (Dr. Justin Brandt, who later became my GP) was about to stitch
up my wound.
That was Friday night, Good Friday. I regained consciousness on Sunday, Easter Sunday.
father suffered lacerations, some cracked ribs and a bad gash on his
knee. Apart from nearly bleeding to death, I suffered a dislocated hip, a
broken leg, a broken elbow and a jaw that was broken in three places.
For all of that, my father and I were incredibly lucky as head-on
collisions at freeway speeds aren't considered survivable.
of the factors in the outcome was the car we were in; it was a large
Cadillac impacting a small Opel Kadett with a closing speed of about 140
miles per hour. At impact, we pushed the other car backwards more than a
hundred yards. The two occupants of the Opel died instantly and a
posthumous blood test revealed that they were so inebriated that they
should not have been able to walk much less drive.
I would speak to the widow of a man who also survived this accident. He
had been behind us and rolled his car to avoid becoming directly
involved in our collision. The story of my conversation with her is
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
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Examples of Responsive Reactions
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Action/ReAction at Stella Adler
Point of Departure
A Series of ONE...
Stephen and Dragonuk
Stephen Mitchell webinar for Stage 32
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Ray D. Shosay's Journal
Dispatches from a (junior) suite in Paris
Ray D. Shosay's Journal (excerpt)
"Saturday, January 27, 2007
They say you can fool some of the people all of the time. Accordingly, I think we should concentrate on this group initially. We can move on to the people you can only fool some of the time at a later date if we deem it necessary. I hope to hear back from my agent about this as soon as he's out of rehab, as I don't think my messages have been getting through."
Ignorance is Bliss by Stephen Mitchell
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Exerpt from Ignorance is Bliss
"Out of the corner of his eye, Martin saw Martha shift in her seat. She leaned forward, as though something was about to be decided. This caused her breasts to push up against the neckline of her dress in a way that couldn't be fully appreciated out of the corner of one’s eye. So, Martin turned his head to look directly into the abyss of her cleavage. He was vaguely aware that Murray was talking again."
Carrera Panamericana (1950-54)
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Ferrari GTO 3987
Elysée Wednesday: Drive!
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“You ought to meet Steve. The two of you have the same kind of Ferrari.”
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Meeting Enzo Ferrari
I came across this on a late night stroll in Paris near the Louvre.
I bought Bentleys in England and Ferraris & Maseratis in Italy to re-sell in Los Angeles as a teenager. I met Enzo Ferrari, Juan Fangio and Steve McQueen. I 'grew up' on the set of Mission: Impossible and other episodic TV series of the era. For a few years, I owned a Ferrari GTO that is owned by Ralph Lauren today and valued at approximately $52M. I began my film career by writing, producing and directing Montmartre in Paris in French. I founded and ran a repertory company for film & TV for 20 years in Los Angeles. I created a TV series which had fans that included Marlon Brando. I authored the first new acting technique--Action/ReAction--that was not based on Stanislavski's Method. I am currently writing my third novel and shooting my spy thriller Exigence. If you can't make movies, live your life as though you were in one...