I was just awaken in the middle of the night, I heard what sounded like a hand on the doorknob of my bedroom and padded feet walking across my hardwood floors to the side of my bed. Half asleep, I admit I was a bit scared, well not scared per say, but nonetheless, a bit frozen. As I felt a presence next to my bed I struggled to open my eyes slowly, thinking, I live alone, I wonder if a cat or something somehow got into my apartment and was wondering around or my girlfriend, decided to come back in the middle of the night and climb into bed. And as I struggled to slowly open my eyes to see what visitor I had in my room in the middle of the night, my mind flashed back to my youth…
I remembered being less than 10 years old in the back room of my grandma’s house. Now this was sometime in the 80’s. That night happened to be a night of a “prayer,” which usually meant there was a potluck in the neighborhood and many families would gather to someone’s house, tonight, being my grandmothers. It was basically a potluck, everyone brought different dishes and mostly the kids would play, men would be in the living room eating and watching tv while the women would be in the back doing a prayer, usually the Rosary. See, I’m Filipino and as Filipinos, we are Catholic and my grandmother being from the homeland, the Catholics there can sometimes lean towards a Catholic religious way mixed with some old world practices that may remind you of occultism. In any case, I remember being in the back room where all the old ladies gathered around the the alter, portraits of Jesus and the Virgin Mary, usually a plate a food that sat at the alter as a form of offering. Now, this gathering happened every week, somewhat of a social gathering in the Filipino community, but tonight was different.
As me and my brothers made our way to the back room, I remember seeing the elders on their knees, dressed in all white in prayer, with cloths gracing their heads, the difference tonight is they weren’t saying the Rosary, no tonight they were saying some different kind of prayer. Matter a fact, I remember there were women I didn’t know in town from the Philippines and the prayer seemed so much more serious on this night. No how I remember it all was that woman were praying and praying hard. What does that mean? Well, I don’t know, it does seem kind of ridiculous now describing it, but let me tell you, however they were praying, it was fast and furious, so furious in fact that it began to physically change them. Yes, as they furiously prayed, their bodies would begin to move, first swaying then into a full convulsion, some would have tears streaming down their cheeks, others not so much, and then at the peak of the commotion, they would drop. Yes, drop to the ground, pass out cold. I remember one lady, who was my Auntie Alice from the Philippines, passed out and was caught by my grandmother to ease her collapse to the wall to wall brown carpet of my grandma’s bedroom floor. Then in the next moments she awoke, yet she awoke, not as my Auntie Alice, the cousin of my mother that recently came from the Philippines and would sometimes babysit us on nights my mom and dad stepped out, no Auntie Alice all of a sudden had become someone else entirely! As she woke up, she became this child. Yes, all of a sudden she had become a little girl, a little girl with a different voice. Auntie Alice’s Filipino accent had been replaced with the voice of a young girl, a girl with from England, with a British accent in fact and her name was Littles. If you think I am telling you that I witnessed my aunt get possessed by a young British soul… you would be right, that is exactly what I’m telling you! This thirty something year old Filipino women had prayed so hard that she somehow got possessed by an eight year old English girl. Now for some reason me and my brothers weren’t scared by this extraordinary event, I remembered being more fascinated more than anything. Maybe because it was my grandma’s bedroom and it was Auntie Alice or maybe because the spirit that possessed her was so close to my age, it didn’t scare me. Auntie Alice, now Little’s was this total jubilant little girl that was kind of playing with us. She kept asking for grapes, she said she liked grapes and she explained to me and my brothers that she missed food, being a spirit, they don’t get need to eat and can’t taste food anyway, but she misses it nonetheless. We asked her questions like how she died, which she explained, in an accident on a bridge and we wondered what exactly she was doing here. She explained of the spirits or ghost that still are around the living and the people they watch, something about things that need to get done before they can move on and my Auntie Alice was one of the people she had to watch. As she moved around the room she would walk on her tippy toes, as would the others that were possessed, Littles explained that what happens when they enter someone’s body, “We’re not of this place anymore.” Then she she said, almost suddenly, “I have to go,” and in the next instance, her body collapsed and upon opening her eyes, it was once again my Auntie Alice, although with significantly less energy, no longer the mischievous 8 year old, now she was back to being my aunt from the Philippines and she exclaimed how tired that ordeal was on her body. Throughout the night we met a few other ghost, even had a conversation with the Virgin Mary herself… I hadn’t thought about that night in a long time, but with the feeling of a ghost in my room, all those images and feelings rushed through my mind once again.
As I finally got my eyes open, I was half expecting to see someone leaning over my bed, but nothing, my room still dark, I can feel the ceiling fan gently moving the air around my room. I look at the clock to find that it’s 6:19am and I lay awake a bit. I justify that it was probably just the ceiling fan making noises around my room. But as I listened, there was just the subtle sound of the fan spinning round, no doorknob sound, no footsteps, just me laying in the dark… Then I look outside my window to see in the dark that the first sliver of light is cutting through the night, I realize, I probably was awaken just to see the sunrise and so I stayed up to watch the day begin.
Now if you ask me if I believe in ghost, what would I say? Just because I met one when I was a kid doesn’t mean I do, just means I’m not that scared of them.

So I freestyled this poem on my instagram last week and my friend Paola, wanted to shoot a little video for it. So I recorded the vocals and she went out to the beach with my brother, Dion and they shot this on their iPhones!

I think of this as the perfect little love note to say goodbye to Summer… Hope you had a good one…

 

So here are a few examples of my 15 year old face adorning the bodies of a few people out there in the world… Over the last few years, as tattoos have become apart of our generation’s way of expressing ourselves, I’ve been stopped a few times by people that recognize me to point out that someone they know has my face tattooed on their body.

How does that make me feel?

Well, being a person with tattoos myself, I know what each one means to me and how I spent many hours contemplating exactly what I wanted to be on my body for the rest of my life. So quite honestly, I’m flattered that a role I’ve played means so much to some people that choose to carry my mug around with them for the rest of their lives. I understand that character, that movie, means something to all the Lost Boys and Girls out there. With all that being said, it is a bit weird to see your own face on someone’s arm or leg or wherever… Of course you take in the fact that this is an artist’s rendition of how you look, or how I looked over 20 years ago… Rufio, in all his glory, red tri-hawks and all.

And then there’s the realization that I am officially a part of pop culture. Growing up, the tattoos I saw were Playboy bunnies and Mickey Mouse or actors like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” tattooed in indelible ink on some bad ass’s body letting the world know a little something about themselves, now here I am staring at my face etched into someone’s body… I don’t know what it all means, I’m not sure if it means anything at all, but I have to admit it’s kind of cool.

To some people I’m a hero… or anti-hero, but to all those who are rockin that Rufio tatt, we all know its BANGARANG!

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End of Summer…

Posted: August 31, 2014 in Blog
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Every year after my birthday I always get that feeling, somber, almost melancholy feeling in the pit of my gut, like the weather is still warm, but the day slows down and as I walk around the town I reminded it’s the end of Summer. Makes me think of all the fun we had at the beach and the carefree days we spent doing… well, actually doing nothing and loving every moment.
Well, it’s been busy Summer this year, traveling around the country, even got to Australia (shout out to Melbourne, even though it was winter when I was down there) working, making appearances, speaking at colleges and even got to see my close friends get married, this year’s was a good one.
See, Summer is my favorite time of the year, born in the Summer and always been a Summer baby and as the Summer ends, I can’t lie and say that it doesn’t leave me with a little sadness.
But there is always things to look forward to, like the Fall, I mean, as sexy as Summer is, I’ve always thought of Fall as being romantic, so I say bring it on… Plus there’s football. Guess I’m just an optimist, always looking on the bright side, or maybe it’s my constant Summer State of mind… Hope you guys had a good one too.
Farewell Summer.

 

So this last month I gave myself a challenge to vlog everyday for the month of August. First, why did I do this? Well, lately I’ve been doing a lot of media online, collaborating with some great artist from the new digital world, the likes of KevJumba, AJ Rafael, the Elder Statesmen, Mike Capes from “Hacks of Life.” And this whole new world became open for me, recently signed up with Maker Studios and I’ve decided to stop dabbling in this new digital world and really jump in and start to create some new content for any and all out there watching…

Challenging myself to vlog for a month was scary. The Hollywood I grew up in valued their anonymity and exclusivity, the new world is a world of more openness and has a way of seeing celebrities as real three dimensional people instead of the deities that I grew up, the Michaels and Madonnas who were larger than life and even in death, seem to be beyond this world… And in the middle of my month of vlogging, one of the legends in my life happened to pass, it’s weird to have gone through that while doing this. RIP Robin.

More than anything, it reminded me of the journal I used to keep in my teens and twenties, a self scribed documentary of sorts that capsulized the world and the way I saw it at that very moment.

So thank you for all that watched, it will stand as a record of my August 2014. I’ve just spent a half hour going through some of the videos because I lost a pair of glasses and I was looking to see when the last time I wore them. (Tortoise Shell Ray Ban’s if you want to help) & please subscribe to my youtube channel, “thedantebasco” for new web series, poems & yes vlogs… not everyday, but at least every month, maybe every week!

Farewell to Robin Williams…

Posted: August 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

Today Robin Williams past away and it’s been so surreal, it felt like it came out of nowhere… A text message from a friend made me aware of the news and frantically I jumped online to see if it was true. Sadly, I found out it was and even more sad, I read of the circumstances. I couldn’t keep reading the stories online for it’s too sad.

At times like this, I get very reflective and being a writer, I guess it’s best to write and what better place but my blog. It’s surreal because I haven’t seen Robin for many years yet in he’s so connected to me due to his close involvement in the biggest role of my career in “Hook” where he played Peter Pan and I played the punk kid who took over as leader of the Lost Boys when he left Neverland… Rufio.

Although working with him changed my life, in truth, he impacted me several years before when “Dead Poet’s Society” became one of my favorite films and really started me being interested in poetry, at which I later became a poet.

I was lucky to work with him as an actor and witness first hand the magic of what made him a legend, the wit and other worldly improv skills. As well as see him single handedly put the morale of a movie set, easily hundreds of people, on his shoulders and kept everyone laughing as they worked long hours for what seemed like months on end. And at the same time, I was fortunate to spend private times, many mornings in the makeup chair, (which with my tri-hawk hair took hours), just talking about poetry… And soft spoken and introspectively we would discuss Walt Whitman and Charles Bukowski.

With “Hook” and so many other films, I, like millions of others became a fan and was always delightfully surprised by the performances he managed to produce, but with his passing, I can’t help to feel, along with my generation… I can’t help feeling like it’s the death of my childhood. I guess we can’t stay in Neverland forever, we must all grow up.

But I just want to bid a sorrowful farewell to one of the greatest I’ve been able to work with and be around and I’ll always remember my time with you as some of the greatest moments in my life… and just like the rest of the world, I’ll remember you with joy and laughter.

O’ Captain! My Captain! See you in Neverland…

Table For One. Melbourne.

Posted: July 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

Jet lag while traveling really sucks, my confused body, waking up way too early for no reason. One of the only perks is being able to watch the sunrise in some new city from your hotel room. As I’ve been traveling so much lately, I’ve been getting accustomed to living life on the road. One of the biggest things I’ve had to get used to is eating alone. See, I grew up in a big family, 5 brother and sisters, and number of cousins and friends that lives with us throughout my life. Never even had my own room or bed for that matter till I moved out of my parents house and even then it was house with my brothers. 
So my whole life, I’ve spent my meals amongst a feeding frenzy of friends and family. I’ve never felt comfortable eating alone, for some reason it used to make me feel sad for some reason. In fact, I used to skip meals if one or two of my brothers weren’t around to grab a bite. I’ve even went to bed some nights and in the back of my mind I thought… I forgot to do something today, and sure enough it was, I forgot to eat. That’s when I would start the conversation with myself to see if I was more tired or more hungry…
That was then and now here I am, table for one, up early, a bit jetlagged in Melbourne, watching this city wake up. Drinking an excellent cappuccino and my new favorite breakfast, sourdough toast with avocado and feta.  And I’m not sad, actually not sad in least. I actually don’t mind spending time with myself these days. I actually kinda like it sometimes. 

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