Need inspiration to follow your passion?

Posted on: December 25, 2010

Originally posted elsewhere on September 19, 2007:

Today is my son Daniel’s birthday. He would have been 27 today. Over the past 6 years I try every year to get through his birthday without anguish. For those that don’t know, he died in a car accident in 2002. On Mother’s Day.

Why post today? Why not just hide away like I planned? Because his story is one of passion and ambition and brilliance. And unlike so many other people, he *did* what he was passionate about. He didn’t talk about doing things, he did them. And he had obstacles, oh did he have obstacles. He didn’t finish high school because he had panic attacks. And he went on to attend Hofstra University and got into the highly competitive NYU Dramatic Writering program. I lived with him at NYU in the dorm for a year (well, it was almost a year) because he went there right before 9/11. When the buildings came down, they weren’t concerned with finding a health aide for a 20 year old in a wheelchair, they had bigger issues to deal with. But that’s another story for another day.

He wrote his first complete novel when he was 10. It blew me away. It is no longer around, the files got corrupted on the computers it was on, the hard copy is no where to be found. It wasn’t meant to be his legacy.

I want to share some of the things he wrote, they are movie scripts, so they are not easy to read if you aren’t used to the format. And he had a bizarre sense of reality, so if you dare to read them be prepared, they are definitely not mainstream material. No happy endings…

Passion… when you think about how hard it is to do what you love… think of Daniel and how he managed to do what he loved, and know that he was poised for greatness when the universe claimed him back. He followed his passion… to the day he died. He had a movie in independent pre-production, he had an internship with the Emmys, he was ready to fly.

If you dare, here are his scripts, both movies and plays:

The Movies

Slay the Demons – When a random act of violence forces Brent Fischer to relive the traumas of his past, he’s forced to finally face down his demons or let them destroy him forever.

Age of Experience – An exploration of the difference between age and maturity seen through the eyes of two male prostitutes and a disabled college student. It’ll suck the funny right out of the room. And then you’ll get to the climax.

kiuljuk – An online plea from an old college friend fills Greg Mitchell with confusion. Because what happens online isn’t real life. That is, until it is.

kilran – Death in a funny suit

These are Daniel’s short plays. He has one or two full length that I may post another time.

Ask Why
Nobody Dies Originally titled “Gotta Pee” this one won a writing competition at a junior college, and he wasn’t *in* the writing program there, and all the teachers and writers wondered W(who)TF this was.
Rational Irrational Produced by NYU, part of a short play competition.

Enjoy, or better yet, follow his lead and go do what *you* are passionate about and don’t make excuses why you can’t.

Page with more info on Daniel, in his own words

Daniel Fogg with Bob Guza and Wendy Rich
Dan with Wendy Rich and Bob Guza, executive producer and header writer respectively, of the TV show General Hospital.

A wise man told me in May, “just keep thinking of the future”. And today he said “go forward, go forward”. I am going forward and not dwelling on the past, but the past has some issues I need to deal with now and then. And Dan’s accomplishments going unnoticed are one of the things that bother me now and then.

Daniel was also a huge positive influence on people that knew him. He made a huge impact on a community of script writers, Project Greenlight. Most people only know that now because of the tv show, but it started as a community, a forum, where a young man named dfogg had a huge influence and following. He met his girlfriend there, he made friends that were his business partners, he inspired other people to write and attempt to market their writing, when they were too shy or lacked confidence to do so. Sound familiar?

He stirred controversy, went to live events – in LA, and believe me flying cross country was not easy on us. Especially the trip that all three of us went. Neither Dan or Chris could sit in an airplane seat comfortably, and airlines don’t really know what to do with 300 pound wheelchairs. I sat between them, taking turns letting them lean on me or holding them up. But I digress….

He started on a message board and made people do what they were afraid to do. He inspired people. So maybe that is why I am so pushy about inspiring people myself.

And he *is* the reason I repeat “life is too short”. His life was too short. He is the reason I pressure some people to get out of their comfort zones and do certain things.

Follow your passion, follow your heart.


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