What’s Actually Happening – March 11 (Tattoos, Generosity, Kindness and Craig Bankey)

Posted in Uncategorized by johnwildman on March 12, 2010


I just got the words “generosity” and “kindness” tattooed on my right and left wrists, respectively. A few years ago I had a stained glass image of a dove flying out of a sunburst tattooed on my right shoulder blade. I had never dreamed of getting a tattoo prior to that because I thought it would silly on me – I was way too boyish looking to pull something like that off. But I had been robbed at gunpoint while walking a girl to her car one night in L.A. and even though I had talked everyone (muggers included) down and through the situation, I had a very clear realization of how fortunate I was that “kids” were holding that gun and mugging us and not some hard core type that would’ve shot us just because.

So, I saw this reproduction of a stained glass window from a church in Illinois, I believe, and the image kept returning to me. You know, like that phoenix rising from the ashes kind of thing. And so it seemed right to have that image on me, with me, a part of me – permanently.

So, why do it again? And why those words? And why in that location? Well, there is a lot going on in my life right now that has great, great potential to send me on my way to a life I’ve been inching toward for a very long time. I’ve taken a somewhat long and circuitous route to get to this place that is so close and over the last year or so because of my experiences with the film festivals, with AFI, with the movie and the people I have dealt with and those that I work with everyday those are two things I thought I should make sure are very close to being first and foremost on my mind as I proceed from this point on.

I will very easily fall into earnestness – maybe that’s the Midwestern Indiana part of my background – and this certainly smacks of that, I know. But after 40+ years of some successes, but many more near misses and almosts, I was both fortunate enough to find someone in my wife Justina, that flipped every expectation I had about my future romantic prospects by being the first woman whose very company I felt was a “reward” for all the other crap I had done over the course of the day, but also shared and/or complimented damn near all of my dreams as to how I wanted to live the next fifty years. Therefore, I had my very pretty Japanese Irish dark humored and twisted sensibility techie dream girl and I got someone that from the word “go” pushed me with praise to really go after everything I had always wanted to career-wise. All kinds of wins. And yes, I meant fifty. That’s what we agreed to when we got married, with an option to renew.


You would think that those two things are pretty simple. And they are. But I’m often astonished at how easily they are ditched by people on a daily basis. So, I thought I would remind myself to temper the moments that might be going by really fast and to put those pressure situations into a greater perspective, to “give” maybe a few times more than I would if the damn word wasn’t right there in front of me, and yes, to work harder to put aside the anger and frustration that is so easily piqued doing what I do and operate out of just a little more kindness each day.

Okay back to business…


So – I’m still on the hunt to secure people for the DALLAS International Film Festival, either as DALLAS Star honorees, or panelists or jury members or just to support their movie that we’ll be playing. And I’m calling and emailing a lot of publicists that I used to work with a few years back when I was at ID PR.

On one side of the scale I’ve got the publicist that was my bestest buddy and partner-in-crime while I was there that sent me a terse reply after I IM’d her on facebook just to make sure she got a message I had left with her assistant (since she was in the thick of Oscar weekend with her nominee client. And, I understand, it was a huge weekend, she probably hadn’t decompressed yet and she read more into the IM than was intended. It happens. Then again, she never did return my call. So, there’s that.

Then there is Craig Bankey. I was always a fan of his at ID because he’s both smart and he’s not a panic-first guy. And you look at his clientele and they are people like freshly minted Oscar winner Christoph Waltz, Michael C. Hall, Djimon Honsou, Cillian Murphy and freakin’ Muhammed Ali. No tabloidy or shallow cover babies in there. No, look-at-me types. And I believe there is a very good reason for that. He’s just come off of a great Golden Globes/Oscar combo and I couldn’t be happier for him. So, I call him up to ask about three of his clients. And I get three “no” responses from him. But the three strikes not in my favor were delivered with real justifiable reasons and what followed was an offer to speak in my favor to the other publicists at his firm that didn’t know me that well.

That rarely – RARELY – happens. And I’m pretty sure he didn’t pull a muscle during the phone call. And my guess is that it didn’t really “put him out”. But no one does that. Just does not happen. But it does with Bankey. So no surprise that he’s balancing multiple award winners and really no surprise that Michael C. Hall (with Craig’s assistance) maybe had the least newsworthy celebrity bout with cancer in recent memory. Because the standard operating procedure there is smart, pragmatic, calm and tasteful.

And Wolf Kasteler looks pretty smart for getting him to set up camp under their roof right now…