So I was in Espanola, NM back in April 2009 at the Ohkay Casino Resort. I had just performed with legendary comedian Paul Rodriguez. Paul was nice enough to ask me to open for him. I had a great time. After the show, the after party happened in the casino's lounge. The music was good...the spirits even better. While I was there, I was surprised to run into David Valdes, a hollywood producer ("The Green Mile", "The Assasination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford") who also produced Paul's "Comedy Rehab" special that I was proud to be a part of as well in May 2008. As the night wore on, the spirits took a hold of me, and I decided it was time. Yes. I was going to "pitch" an idea to a Hollywood producer...in Espanola NM (thank God making movies is so popular in NM!). I told David my idea. I pitched it enthusiastically. I told him the concept. I told him where the idea came from. I told him...well, everything! Guess what? He LIKED it! David Valdes...Hollywood big shot...liked MY idea! I couldn't believe it. He told me we should meet soon to discuss the idea. Was it gonna be a TV sitcom? A movie? My mind was racing, yet we never met after.
Within the next 2 weeks my life changed drastically. On the Monday after I met with David Valdes in Espanola, I was honored to meet him on the set of the new movie he was producing at ABQ Studios. The movie is "The Book Of Eli", starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, and directed by The Hughes Bros. I had a great day on set. It was incredible. The next day, I was fired from my radio job at Clear Channel Radio's Hot 95.1 in Albuquerque, NM. I was a victim of budget cuts. The same day I was let go from my job I received a call from my brother to tell me that our father, who had been diagnosed with cancer 6 months earlier, was going to be flown from our small hometown to Albuquerque. So, I met my father Tuesday evening at the hospital just hours after being released from my job. My father passed on to be with the Lord on Friday afternoon later that same week. Needless to say, the whole TV/movie idea I had discussed with David Valdes was the last thing on my mind.
Well...it's been a hard 4 months now. Still no radio work for me here in Albuquerque. I keep getting asked by former listeners why I was let go. Deep down I'm very happy to hear that they don't listen to my former station anymore. Loyalty is a big thing to me. I've filled in for Bob Brown, who is the host of an afternoon sports talk show on 101.7 The Team in Albuquerque. I like it. However, the economy is my enemy once again and I can't get a permanent gig there either. I've been passed over for a couple of positions on air. I get the same story every time. "Benny, you know we love you. Management loves you. But they hired someone else." Trust me. After 17 years in the biz, I still am surprised to find out that people you thought were there for you can dissapear real quick when you need them most. But enough whining from me.
I'm still doing the stand up comedy thing. I'll actually be opening for "Original Latin Kings of Comedy" star Alex Reymundo on Wednesday, September 16th at Leo's in Albuquerque. It's gonna be a great show! You have to remember: this show will be ON 16th of September, which happens to be Mexican Independance Day. Leo has got a Mariachi group performing before the comedy show and he'll have drink specials on your favorite Mexican drinks (margaritas, Patron, Corona, Tecate, etc.). Those of you that know me know that I take great pride in being an American. However I also embrace, very much, my Mexican heritage as well. That is why I'm so excited to do this show (shamless plug: tickets for the event are only $20 in advance and you can call 505.341.9564 for more ticket info! LOL!). It should be a real party!
Well, on top of all that, I've decided that it's time that I get this TV/movie idea rolling. I thought "Well, I've got a lot of free time right now and the idea is mine. Why don't I just write the screenplay myself?" Great idea except for one thing...I've haven't written anything, let alone a screenplay, since high school! So it's time to learn...and quickly! I purchased a book online and I'm currently halfway through it (after 3 days I think that's pretty good, seeing as I can't read anything longer than a magazine or newspaper article without going to sleep!). I hope to start writing within the next 2 weeks or so, so I will keep you updated here on the blog. You can also follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/bigbennyradio for updates.
I don't know that I'll win an Oscar or anything, but if I can sell it and make some $$, I can live with that! LOL! Talk to you soon. I love you...you know that!