I don’t want to be the publisher. I don’t. Or maybe I wouldn’t mind being the publisher if I had a good editorial staff to make me look good. That’s how newspapers work. I worked for several newspapers and published in a few magazines during my Hollywood days in the 1980s. I considered working FOR a newspaper until I saw how they were run. Very high pressure. The extremely huge amount of last minute decisions going into a publication with a deadline down to the minute…
I did work in the movie business and will always remember with a slight pride how I drove the 35mm film reels to the Kodak processing lab after working a straight 24-hours on a music video for REO Speedwagon. I was slapping myself in the face to stay awake as I drove from the old Star Wars special effects studio renamed, Apogee, to Hollywood in my one-ton 1969 Ford van (named Evan). Point is I do believe in total commitment to my job or employers. We all need to find employers we are willing to be that committed to, and who deserve that kind of commitment. (They did pay me overtime rate!)
Maybe if I ran a newspaper I’d figure out how to avoid the pressure. It was unhealthy for those editors, journalists, and publishers to work so hard so intensely for long hours… So I remained a freelance journalist, or photo-journalist when the journalist didn’t show up for the gig. I worked for flat fees and charged for each 8 x 10 print that was ordered. Sometimes fans would contact me and I made prints for them. I specialized in concert photography since I am a blues-rocker. It was fun and I could go backstage and shoot groupies… and free food… and…
I was graduating Shaolin Kung Fu at the time. In retrospect I see how Shaolin Kung Fu influenced my life. The effects were indirect because they were decisions that I made naturally… but with a foundation in Shaolin Kung Fu daily practice… I couldn’t jump into many of these endeavors that appeared unhealthy. My healthy lifestyle also limited my career potential in the 1980s. As they were filling the 3rd pitcher of beer and the girls were running back and forth to bathroom to “powder their noses” I didn’t fit in. Weird. Me, one of the original hippies since 1966. Not that I ever had a ‘drug problem.’ But I was around and amidst a lot of drugs, especially in the 60s, then I was a recording engineer in the 1970s, then I was “The Coyote” rock’n’roll photographer, then I became a Mr. Mom in the 1990s. (No drugs in the 90s: in Salt Lake City, Utah. But with my experience of hanging around drug users for 30 years plus my Shaolin Kung Fu and Tai Chi Chuan: I became a healer, able to turn kids around without threatening them.)
When I wrote this ACT ZEN TO BE ZEN book a dozen years ago for my daughter I knew less than I know now. My value increases each year as I realize new facts and see new perspectives and discover new results from new actions or confirmation of past beliefs… A person can BELIEVE they know what they are doing in their twenties. A person can be DEVOTED / COMMITTED / LOYAL in their thirties mostly based on their devotion to their family. A person realizes in their forties that they are not living for their self–and in confusion create the ‘mid-life crisis.’ In their fifties a person must find their own future without the family they were devoted to for twenty years. In their sixties people look for their final resting place.
This book, ACT ZEN TO BE ZEN, is the starting point for actors to understand how even a single person can be several different people in one lifetime. Oddly, or normally, most people are only of a couple identities so they are easy to imitate.
My advantage IN WRITING THIS BOOK, Act Zen to Be Zen, is that I have lived over two dozen life styles and worked under a dozen aliases… so I am a bunch of people in one body who has experienced a wider range of persons in my environments. My insights seem normal to me, but I’ve realized since the 1970s that my awareness, appreciation and ambition was unfathomable to my friends and associates. My newest friend Oscar Barrera has known me for three years and I think he has finally grasped more of me than anyone else this century. I’m not trying to be a mystery… I just have many layers… Let’s avoid the onion reference.
I look forward to teaching classes with this ACT ZEN TO BE ZEN book so I can improve it and learn how to help different people to achieve the different results that are best suited to them and their lifestyle and their career… and to BENEFIT THE MENTAL HEALTH of all actors. All people need to improve their mental health also. The mind, like the body, requires exercise to be healthy. I want to provide healthy futures for everyone who studies and completes this book Act Zen to Be Zen written by me:
- Richard Del Connor
- Rick Connor
- Dicky Dare
- Richard O’Connor
- The Coyote
- The Hippy Coyote
- Tom Calder
- Steve Hixon
- Rory G
- Don DelaVega
- THC The Hippy Coyote
- Kung Fu Cowboy
- Sifu O’Connor
- Zhen Shen-Lang “Spirit Wolf of Truth”
- Master Zhen
- Buddha Zhen
- Buddha Z
- Rich Connor
Each of those identities are a different job or time period of my life, and they are all comfortably a part of me.
Now that I realize how much more I know than I knew thirty years ago… I am anxious to both share my wisdom and find other persons who accumulated wisdom instead of selling their time to other people.