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My 2018 in short and my top personal moments!

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised.” James 1:12

Ahhh 2018… good f-ing riddance. I had an inkling that the year was gonna be a tough one when it started out with a knock on the door from the police after New Years Eve, telling me that a family member was found near death in a snow bank, and if she would have been there 20 minutes longer, she would have died  due to hypothermia. Thankfully she was saved but I was sadly right – 2018 was gonna be an endurance test of epic proportions.

Still found solace in nature.

What followed was pretty much a relentless beat down. Sickness in the family, health ailments of my own (knee, arm, foot problems) hence keeping me out of the gym and stopping me from hiking/climbing (which are the ways that I stay sane), then there was a cancer scare (which wound up being a false diagnosis but the stress it brought to my life was silly), then a family member was arrested by the cops and taken away, then my grandma died… the fun (sarcasm) just wouldn’t stop.

The cherry on top was that I got swindled real good business wise and lost out on a considerable amount of coin and I’m still dealing with it (lawyers, police and such). I knew the risk going in, but when it fell through, it hurt my pockets and acted as a domino affect in terms of affecting the purchase of my new house. Looking back at that biz misstep, I’m not sure what’s worse – being ripped off or my ego taking a hit – but what can you do except learn from your mistakes and not repeat them.

Was awesome getting back out in the wild and battling the elements.

On the upside, the year wasn’t a total loss. I wound beating my injuries just in time for winter and got back out there. And although I didn’t travel as much as I usually do, I did wind up taking a couple of a key trips. And after much struggling, I did get my house and that was for me a huge win. I come from a low-income family, was raised in apartments the bulk of my life and was always told that we were born to live with very little and to accept it. I never did. So for me to get this house – which is everything I’ve always wanted (in the wildness, big, with a spa, a pool and close to the mountains) was a huge accomplishment and the fact that it was not made easy, an even bigger one.

Am not alone in loving our new house. 🙂

Moreover two films that I’m attached to moved forward. The horror film Woodland Grey wrapped filming (am a producer on it) and the short film The Proposal (am a producer on  it and wrote it) got to premiere at the Sitges FIlm Festival and got rave reviews. This was also the year of Marc Natoli (whom I had met on The Siege set last year). I traveled to the UK, Barcelona and Sitges with the lad and he then came down to stay at my home to hustle (that prick is still here) and now we got great things lined up. It’s a blessing to meet a guy that works as hard as I do, that can keep up with me on every front, that I can learn from fighting wise and that’s also as easy going as I am. A new brother!

Finally my passion project HERETIC made some major headway over the course of the year. I couldn’t be happier with the people I have onboard (love working with Producer Asko Akopyan) and I’m beyond excited to see how it all unfolds in 2019. The ducks are lined up. Lets bring her home! With that, here are my Top 6 fav moments of 2018.

Against all odds I got my new house. My dream house. And I guess the victory is all that much sweeter because it was a fight and a half to get it. Every obstacle you can think of was tossed my way, but I persevered and won. Highlight of my year!
Took a trip to London, England with my bro Marc Natoli. Saw the Templar sights, met some cool people (Rachel!!!) and partied a little too hard but hey, all part of the fun.
Visited Barcelona Spain with Marc Natoli. Had an epic meet-up with my brother Mike Hostench, one that we will all remember for a while…lol, got to explore the city further (yes, more Templar sights) and see old friends (Gonz!). Good times!
Last time I acted was in The Siege of Robin Hood (which I also produced), so it was nice to get a random gig in Broken Trust, playing yet another scumbag. I had forgotten how it felt to just be on set as an actor. Was almost like a vacation.
Visited Pittsburgh with my bro Berge Garabedian and went to an old school arcade convention. Retro video games + drinks + all we can can play = great times!
Our short film The Proposal premiered at the Sitges Film Festival. The film played well and made way for new opportunities and it was awesome to catch up with old and dear friends (Mike and Sarah Hostench, Greg Nicotero…) and meet new ones.  Once again Sitges was simply a blast on all fronts!


Got to shake Chuck Norris hand and exchange a “God bless” – nough said.

So all in all, although 2018 just kept bombarding me with vicious sucker punches, I take pride in the fact that I not only took the hits and never quit, but I also managed to pull off of some wins throughout the beat down. I have a lot set up for 2019, am excited for the year as I am wiser, more hardened (who knew that was possible) and as persistent as ever. My gut tells me that 2019 will be the year of winning. So here we go again! Happy New Year! One more more round! Go get it!

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My 2016 in short and its top personal moments!

13528422_10154367892279759_6452184030626893313_o“Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him.” – John Paul II

Although the world around me seemed to go totally bat-shit crazy (the older I get, the less I relate to our society – I think that’s normal… right?), I had one major professional let-down (a film role that I was sure I had locked but lost due to politics…) and that death/near death was rampant in my inner circle (my uncle died, my aunt died, my dog died, two family members almost died…), 2016 wound up being a solid year for me personally and professionally.

I grew a lot as a human being, got close to my family again, started seeing life in a new light, solidified my spiritual path (which sent me on pilgrimages and lots of diving into books and shit soaking in knowledge…) and switched gears (for the better) as to the man I want to be. I also finally started reaping the rewards of my hard work. Yeah it felt good and definitely gave me the moral boost I needed to keep digging deep and going for my goals no matter the cost. Amidst doing what I love (traveling, being in nature, training, hiking, kayaking, hanging with close friends aka family like Berge, Deke, Elaine etc.) here are my top moments of 2016!

After what felt like an eternity of pushing, hustling and overcoming obstacles, I steered my directorial debut THE SHELTER in the direction it needed to go and pretty much reached a peek with it. The film had a successful premiere in Beverly Hills, a solid QNA, it screened in theaters, got lots of good reviews (like in the LA times), the script is now part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences library and the film comes out on DVD in North America today (Jan 3, 2017). It should be said that every time somebody tells me how the film moved them or made them think – it affects me. Although the battle is not over (still have foreign to lock), 2016 felt like the beginning of the end of The Shelter chapter in my life. What a ride it was! I grew so much in every way imaginable through it.
I returned to Sidney Australia! Not only did I get to take in the sights and hang with old friends, I also got to visit the set of Ridley Scott’s new ALIEN movie: ALIEN COVENANT. Wow. It was a film buff’s dream come true.
I spent less times in Pubs and more time in the ring this year. Yup, went back to boxing full time with a great coach in Daniel Guerin and have been loving every second of it – even the beat downs. It relieves stress, challenges me, keeps me in shape and helps me remain sane.
I’m the type of guy that doesn’t have many friends, but the buds I do have, usually become family. So it was a pleasure to visit my bros Jason Hewlett and Shawn Knippelberg in Kamloops, BC this year. We partied, shot guns, hiked and partied some more. And yes, I consider both gents to be family now – blessed!
The last feature length script I had written was THE SHELTER. Being that all of my energy went into getting that film where it needed to be, my creative energy was fairly non existent i.e. tapped out. This year though, with The Shelter sold, the pressure lessened. I got the chance to spend lots of time at my bud’s lake house and finally pulled off writing a new feature length screenplay. It’s a grounded and harsh female vigilante flick called EVA and it’s gonna own. Am back baby! 😉
I meet a lot of people in this business but now and again you encounter folks that you can totally relate to and that you wind up respecting fairly quickly. Lucky to have met guys like Mark Lawson (right), Kevin Interdonato or even Paul Sloan (left), whom I’ve known for a bit but will still mention cause he’s on the fucking pic 😉 You’re only as good as the people around you!
I finished off 2016 by going to Washington DC to visit my brother who now lives there (am still in DC as I type this). Loving spending time with him and visiting the sights (and the bars). I missed the basterd…

So that’s pretty much it! I’m personally very excited for 2017! Professionally, I have EVA and THE PRIZE (two films that I will direct) that are heading in the right direction in terms of getting off the ground. Am also diving into HERETIC today, a screenplay that I am writing with Karim Chériguène (it started off as a short by Karim, one that was so damn good, that it begged to be a feature). Think Apocalypse Now but with Templars! Am very excited about that one and already have some production pieces locked in Spain for it. It’s my new passion project! Meaning I’ll kill myself to see it through.

I also anticipate in traveling further this year and establishing myself even more within the film biz. Lots of new cards were handed to me in 2016 and I’m gonna play them the best I can this year. No matter how it goes, I am now better equipped to deal with what goes down, which will make the process easier for me. I see hardships differently, take on obstacles differently and view life as a whole differently. Get in the ring 2017! You’re mine.

RIP Toby. My heart is missing a piece since you’ve left us and I hope you’re running around freely and happily on another plane of existence.
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My top personal moments of 2012!

Desert rats! American Muscle cast & crew!

After the cluster-fucks that were the end of 2009 and the whole of 2010 (aka the rebuild myself year) in terms of my personal life going to shit (which of course affected my professional life), it was great to get back in the swings of things come 2011 and that good joo-joo thankfully continued in 2012. Yes I had a pretty good year. I upped my sport intake and did more 4 wheeler, sea-doo, hiking, cross country skiing, downhill skiing, snowmobiling and kayaking then usual. I also took an overdue vacation. Me, a cabin, a lake, a book, screenwriting, a kayak, all good. I got to travel lots too (one of my fav things to do, I feel so lucky that I am able to), see some good fights live (GSP, Bute), see some Habs hockey, before that damn lock-out (all good, I saved some money for more traveling – thanks NHL) and made some head-way professionally.


I discovered new things about myself as well. It’s like I always say, you can’t evolve unless you recognize, make peace with and work on your own faults. I am good at that, pointing the finger at myself as opposed to others. This year I realized that I have a tendency to be too hard on people. Too black and white. To quick to drop the axe. So it’s something I am now working on. Self awareness is the first step. I also let pressure get to me for the first time on a set but again, managed to calm the fuck down and overcame it. That was a first and now I know how to deal with it. What else… oh yeah, my place flooded. You haven’t lived till you’ve seen turds floating in your living room. I almost lost it there, for obvious reasons but kept it together. Actually, that’s one of my new assets, I am now able to keep my cool way more than I used to. I surprised myself this year. I usually have a short fuse, but showed mucho patience in dire situations. Ahhh the advantages of growing as a person.

Mother Nature still recharges me.

Now, although I am going through a end of the year jinx at the moment (it rarely fails, life always vomits on me in December for some reason, as my Grandma used to say, God bless her soul: “Encore Jesus”), I tried my utmost best to steer the wayward ship in the right direction, it didn’t work and it is now out of my hands. Am praying it works itself out. Am trying for it to not affect me too much emotionally and ruin my Holidays. A bit tough. Doing my best. But I”ll be damned if I let this end of the year BS tarnish what was a WELL EARNED positive year for me. Won’t happen! So with that out of the way, here are my personal fav moments of 2012 in NO particular order.

Attending Dark Fest as a guest in Kamloops, BC. Showed Deaden and The Red Hours, did the interview rounds, made new good friends (Shawn and Jason = class acts) and didn't go to jail. Awesome!
Writing and acting in American Muscle! First screenwriting by committee job ( did my best and learned), met awesome peeps (Nick! Todd! Laura! Travis! Robin! Joshua! Trent! Buzz! The list goes on!) and lived in the Joshua Tree desert for a month. A crazy adventure!
Spent a month in LA! Saw all of my friends, made new ones and spent time with one my best hombres Eric Red!
Went camping in Louisiana! See my old buds Donny Broussard and David Lawson! Lots of fishing, biking and drinking!
Dead Shadows premiere in Paris! Was groovy to see my friends (David, Laurie, Sylvie, Marielle, Rurik, Fabian, Julien), the screening went down smooth and I had a blast! I miss Paris already! See you next year I hope!
The first concert I ever saw was Iron Maiden with my brother. So we went back this year, it was like we were kids again, but VERY, VERY drunk! One of the best concerts I ever attended! ROCK!
Met one of my heroes Jean Claude Van Damme. He is one of the reasons I am in the film biz, so it meant a lot to me. Spoke with him for two hours and possibilities are afoot. Lets see!
After 5 years of trying, I saw my script Billy Trigger finally get made. And I got to act with Fred The Hammer Williamson. I learned a lot about acting and being an action guy from the man. I also learned a lot about myself via this shoot.
I said I'd do it last year and I did it. I went back to boxing and I am in love with it again. My goal is to have one amateur fight by the end of next year. And yes, I'm gonna win it or die trying.

I am excited for 2013 (even though the film market is shit right now and it’s scary for peeps working in the Indie film scene in terms of MAKING MONEY). I just founded my production company BRUISE PRODUCTIONS, I already have a first project in the works (DAY OF BLOOD by Gonzalo Lopez) and I will continue to build on and learn more via what I have achieved thus far. I also have other projects and acting gigs up in the air, lets see where they land. Also it looks like I’ll be seeing lots of LA next year. But hey, nothing is done, till it’s done.

Ya know, I may bitch and moan now and again and yes I basically still sleep in an office (by choice), but you know what, I still love my life. I have great friends, I travel the world, I get lots of opportunities and my work makes me happy. Even when shit doesn’t go as planned and spits in my face. the payoff makes it all worth it. I can’t really complain. This is what I wanted, and I got it. Am doing what I love, am making a living, what else is there?Am looking forward in challenging myself even further in 2013! Onward and forward mofos and mofettes!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
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