Courage Under the Stars with Michael Vieyra

"I know I'm not always right" with Ski-ter Jones

October 19, 2022 Michael Vieyra Season 1 Episode 8
Courage Under the Stars with Michael Vieyra
"I know I'm not always right" with Ski-ter Jones
Show Notes Transcript

Family man and creative cyclone, Ski-ter Jones, joins me today. Here’s what we talk about:
Duke Ellington School of the Arts
Not knowing his father
New terminology
Sibling love
Friend’s parents
Being a father without having one
Expressing anger
Father/son talk
Conditional love
Work ethic

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Welcome to courage under the stars with Michael Vieyra. That's me, I am Michael Vieyra. Here I speak off the cuff with people that I find interesting, where you're going to sit in a darkened room and just allowing you to eavesdrop.I tell my guests, no politics,no religion, but otherwise, I don't care what we talk about as long as it comes from the heart.I hope even just a small part of it resonates with you. Some of it will, some of it won't. And that's okay. But I'm just glad you're here. I really do love all of you, and thanks for coming. Let's get this thing started when the stars are aligned in a good yes indeedy.Do you remember the last time that you were under the stars and who you were with?I I'm pretty sure I was under the stars with Deena that's who I was with now. Where? I think it was in Branson, Missouri.Under the Stars, yeah.Branson, Missouri. Yeah, we're doing out there.She had got a gig up there. And I drove her out there to the Grand Ole Opry and all that other stuff. She was a dancer.I had no idea. Yeah. Total performer, singer dancer. Yeah,no, just she would laugh as you say a singer, but definitely a dance. You can't say. But um,yeah, she got a gig. You know, I think it was. I think it was a year gig. So I had to go out there a couple of times. You know that long distance love and stuff.Right? She's you guys are married?Yes. In the eyes of the government that the government had exactly.The rest will remain silent.Exactly.Yeah, that's my boo.What about you ski? Have you done stage work?Not stage work. You know, my whole thing is, you know, coming from Washington, DC, I went to Duke Ellington School of the Arts. And that sounds prestigious. It is very prestigious. But while I was there, I wasn't in the I wasn't doing I was in music department,not the not the drama department. What? Yeah, man a tried to get me to play the French horn. Because nobody else would do exactly. So what they did was the year I came in, they went around the city, because I think they want to lose funding.So they went around the city to different high schools, I mean,different middle schools. And they gave us a piano test. And if you tested well, you could go to Duke Ellington. But they wanted you to go to Duke Ellington, and they would give you a instrument or whatever the case in our tournament was the instrument. So people were like you said peep, people didn't play the oboe, or they didn't play french horn or they didn't play, you know, these obscure,you know, instruments. So they would take us out and most of the time we were inner city kids anyway. So, to go to a school like Duke Ellington that was in Georgetown by Georgetown University. It was a it was pretty cool. And I hated I did not want to go there. Because I was a ballplayer, I wanted to go to one of the schools and play,you know, football, basketball,baseball, but now I'm going to this art school. And they were,the reason I went was my cousin went there. He was an artist.So, you know, they were like,oh, no, it'd be good for you now let us stuff but I cried to go there. And then I cried. When I left. It was such a fantastic experience.Will you supported by your parents going into that?Will you say support it? Would it? Would it be?You know, were they like, yeah,go do your thing. Or that you son of a bitch, you better do what we tell, you know,first and foremost, and never knew who my father was. So, you know, my mom was all I ever had.Your dad was never around, never around from birth from birth. Do you know who he is? Now?I do not. And do you have an interest in that? You know what?I'm not really I mean, it's, it would be fun to see the other siblings and to see how they fared and, you know, so forth and so on. But besides me seeking him out now, I'm good.You mean, you know that you have other siblings that you don't know about?I would think so. I don't I don't know. Maybe I'm the only one. But yeah, exactly. And then, you know, my mom passed when I turned 21 When I was turning 21. Yeah. So I lost all all. You know, you have no familial ties around there.absolutely zero zip.Now, wow. I don't have many familial ties around. But the ones I do I love. Where are you in that?I have two brothers with two biological brothers. Different father, same mother. Yeah.They're still back in Washington, DC. And then you know, cousins from. I was originally from Oklahoma. But when I was 10, I moved to Washington, DC. So,Skeeter, I asked you this,because I grew up in what I didn't realize was a very happy family. We had our shit, of course, and I paid my dad at certain points, and my mom bugged me. But at the end of the day, I loved my family, and we had a great time. So I don't even have a clue what it would be like growing up without a father. Can you express that to me?For the longest if I hated a male figure, you can tell me shit. Yeah. Yeah. If you wanted me to do something that had to come from a female, or a woman,I don't know, the I get in trouble for calling a woman a female. It was like, I was like,Oh, is that a thing I didn't need one was how long ago was that? I went to I was a guest keynote speaker at a at a psychologists retreat. And I said, I don't you know, me, man.I didn't even know I said female. And at lunchtime, one of the attendees came up to me, it was like, you know, I thought your talk was very good until you said female. And I'm like,did you know that was a female that said that, of course. And I just started laughing. I said,Look, and there was no, you know, and she gave me her spew.Or, you know, I don't even remember it right now, to be honest with you, but I just remembered that was shocking to me.Yeah, I gotta agree. I mean, I'm not. I mean, maybe it's one of those things where we need to be educated, but I wouldn't have thought anything of it.And I asked the lady who was given it, who was my friend, Dr.Marcia bow. Vasia. Yeah. And I say, does that disrespectful?She was like, No, it's disrespectful to her, but not the I was okay. I just wanna make sure. So, I think that young lady had a problem, not the overall, you know, problem,but now we're into pronouns, I haven't arrived yet.That does change everything,especially as to to us old codgers? It's a little bit of like, Wait,what the fuck are we doing?Absolutely. But at the same time, you and I are both so liberal. It's like,okay, what do you want to do?Right? Where do you want to? What do you want to be called? Yeah, you know,yeah, that's fine with me, I have no problem with that. You know, you bring up the female thing that you just said, I wish there was a time in casting when I was talking to a group of actors.And, you know, we give the explanation before you come in the room. Absolutely. And I said, to the few guys that were standing around, there's a mixture of mix of race in this group. And I said, Alright,boys, come on over here. And we got into a hole. Not argument but a discussion about not to call us boys. Because it's offensive. To black men.Wow. I know, understand, I can understand that. But I think that's also who is coming from you and I have been friends for how many years? I've known you to be nowhere near that. So for you to say that I would have not even thought about it. So was it a group of guys that said it or was it one or two that popped off?So it was a group of four or five guys really? And there was a mixed race and the two black gentlemen Now excuse me, one black gentleman and one white guy. Both explained to me. Why it's unacceptable? No, they weren't upset about it. They weren't they were just, you know, they were actually friends about friends like you and me,but they were friends and I thought okay, like, like we just said a second ago. It's like, I don't see it, but okay, that's if that's what we're saying.Then I'm down.Yeah, exactly. And I know I know. You went you know, okay,no problem was you know, what would you rather have there's so much I your hurt your head.Yeah, understanding I think it goes case by case. Again, I wouldn't I don't even if you know, I go down south now. Hey,boy, you know, oh, that says that does sound ugly. Oh,absolutely. Yeah. However, man.Yeah, whatever do Yeah, just keep it moving. You know, I don't have to Are many more to fight that fight. Now, you know,you didn't touch me. You didn't spit on me. You're not talking to my woman or my or my son incorrectly sticks and stones keep it movin, bro. Keep it moving.I had a guy once we're walking down the street and I forget how he said it, but I know all I know is that at the end of the sentence, he used the word wetback. And all I could do was laugh. Exactly. I was like,Really, bro.Okay, it that's, it's so funny.Because if you gotta go there I go. Gotcha. Yeah, it's like I know who you are. Gotcha. No problem, do ya? Gotcha. because my hands were good then. And they still good. Now I got that.Like they say that, that oh, man power. That's true, man. Old man. Strength is incredible force. Exactly. So I don't know,I was never a hothead. But I also being fair skin. I had gotten a lot of battles. So, you know, I my hand skills had to be at least okay. You know, I'm not gonna say I was knocking everybody out. But I had to hold my own. Put it that way.Yeah, you know what you do strike me as a guy that you don't want to mess with?Although you're one of the sweetest guys. I know. And I wouldn't hang with you.Otherwise, you do seem like somebody I wouldn't want to piss off.Well, you know what it is? It's all a balance. I tell my son that all the time I go, dude.You know, especially coming from Washington, DC, DC, to California. It was a brand new opening for me. And so, you know, I coming from DC get I told you. I was gonna be dead or in jail. So were you gangs?Wasn't that I was in a gang. But I was I had no direction, dude.I mean, I never knew the Father.Let me retrace. So. Going from Oklahoma to to Washington, DC.What happened was the reason we had to go to Oklahoma was my,my, my brother's dad ended up,you know, beating up my mom.Your mom? Yes. And I was in a car. And when she called up to her brother, who was in DC, it was going to come down. And of course, you know, his house.Yeah, exactly. And probably killed him play. He was that kind of guy. Very beautiful guy.But he was he was like me, it was like, you know, don't tolerate, you know. So he was like, Look, you you come here or I'm coming here. And if I come in there, then our lives are gonna change. Yeah, either way is going to change, but it's going to change for the bad.Right, you know? So we ended up you know, she packed up, you know, three boys. And we headed to DC. And we stay with my uncle who had five kids. So we got eight kids, three adults in a three bedroom. Apartment. Yeah.Oh,we've been sleeping on the same mattresses for Exactly, yeah. But, you know, it was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had Oh,Kaminsky, because, you know,there was always someone there.And it may not be the person you wanted. Because, you know, with that many people you got, you rent to different folks. And I've always been a mama's boy.You know, that's one of the things my mom used to say she was like you I stay with my mom everywhere. Whereas though, my older brother, he was with my grandmother or somewhere else,but I was with my mom until my younger brother came. Then my younger brother and my older brother, were probably with my grandmother, or something else,but I never left my mom. So it was me and my mom and one of them or me and my mom and you know, both of them. Or just me and my mom. You seen I'm saying I do.But ski you gotta clear something up for me because my brain with all these health issues I have. I don't have any clarity. Absolutely. You have brothers, you had siblings you grew up with. But I thought Are they gone now? Are they passed away?No, no, they're they're still in Washington DC. Okay,you have no connection with them anymore. No, no, no, we still talk to him, you know, on a regular base. I love I mean, I love my brothers, my little brothers, my heart Alright, my older brothers. That's my guy.But my little brother, that was my dude, you know what I'm saying? My older brother is funny because he called last week and usually we call you know, the Christmas birthday.He's a sick, I'm a Cowboy fan.He's a Redskin fan. So he's trying to ride me on everything.And they haven't beat us in years. Right. He's still want to talk crap. But he's still talking John Riggins.So he called last weekend to give me his new phone number for some reason, he gets a new phone number every six months. So he gives it to me. Nothing criminal going on there. Because I'm like, you know, at one point, he did some. And I think this stems from there. He did some security work. Okay. So I know, I think he concealed he has, you know,that makes sense. I'm like, man gave you a gun. They wrong for that, you know, you one person don't need nothing. Damn. So and he was, he was my, he's my little Big Brother. Because now I'm taller than him. And, you know, so, but um, I could tell last week when he called, he just had something to say, and usually our conversations five,maybe 10 at the max. But my man had something to say. And it was good to hear, you know, to get stay on the phone with him. You know, 3040 almost an hour, I guess. But, and I'm just Yeah.Or, you know, but because I don't usually get that. It was just perfect. Man. It was beautiful. Well, it sounds like he was in a good place for himself. And that was another thing too is, you know, usually.You know, it's, it's a quick one, and I don't particularly like, you know, people call me up and I gotta hear you just complaining all the time. I'm good with that. I'm like, I'll give you one. I'll give you one,maybe even maybe two, because you gotta get it off your chest again. salutely. I mean, I'm here, but I can't. I can't be that guy. I can't absorb all that negative energy and can't can't do it, man. So, but he has something to say. And it was just, I got off the phone. Happy that I spent that much time with, you know, on the phone.Good for you, you know, and it wasn't like, I did a wrong thing or anything. It's just that I was just Oh, no, you know,good for you in the sense that yeah, it's a great thing to have that sort of love there. And then my little brother, he called me. You would think My name is Joe. What's up,Joe? What's the deal? Man, I have no, I think there's a slang for it. But it's funnier than just Oh, get loud. Mojo.We need to figure that out. Next conversation. I need an answer for that.And I'll get that for you. But I think I just think this has vernacular.Talking about growing up and your fatherhood and you have a son now Aragorn. And how old is he?He just turned 18 just graduated from high school.Graduated from high school. Wow.Yeah, exactly. He was just a kid. It's like, Dude,I don't even get me started.I'll start crying.There'll be a little girl. Let me ask you something Skeeter.What effect did not having a father have to do with how you raised Aragon Aragorn?That's a great question. I think about it all the time. I think about it from a point of view of I've always wanted a kid. But I've always, you know, I've always wanted to be a father,not just to be somebody's dad,or whatever. You know, you can switch them. What's the different risky? That's a good question. I don't know. I don't.I think that's a good question.I just talked to my friend Mark Howard, who I'll bring up later but we were talking about.Remember earlier I said I didn't have any faith in the mail.until my senior year of high school. I had. I went from Duke Ellington School of the Arts to North Hall. Northwood, which Duke Ellington and is in DC in Northwood is in Maryland. So by the way, I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts so if you're gonna keep dropping, do you know where I went, you gotta say it like that.Dude when I first started going to marry Academy of Dramatic Arts. And I couldn't have enunciated every word anymore.Where do you go to school? I'm at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.Exactly. But, um, but and also,I have a much mouth so I'm trying to articulate, you know.So that's one thing, or you will be like, I can't use this ski.But tell me you were talking.But what happened was, I in one,met, one of the best friends I've ever had in my 12th grade year, his 11th grade. And he his father wasn't with his mother.Typical, you know, that plight,however, he was, at, marks everything that Mark did he was there everything that Mark needed if he was there. And so of course, I'm his run and partner so I was able to, to get that love. You know, from, you know, just aside I was, and he restored my faith in the mill.In a male, you know, I guess,was the word I'm looking for,from a man. Let's just say that.And because he was there, he was present, even though he wasn't with them. The mother, you know,they weren't together, right? He was present. And I loved him. i He was it, Charlie Howard. And we call them Charlie had Chela had. And he was fantastic. He was a great, great guy, and I loved him. Because the way he was still in the life of his son, even though he wasn't with the mom. And they co parented.Well, you know. So from that point on, that's, I knew there was faith. And I've always been a guy who, you know, I always wanted a son or a kid. So sure,when I got my son, even if the mom and I didn't work out, first and foremost, I knew she was going to be a fantastic mother.That was one of the reasons I could have a child with her is because I knew if something went live, she still was going to be an incredible mother, which she is, and has been. And I also knew for myself, I was going to do everything in my, in my being to be the dad or father that I didn't have. So, you know, and it's been a fantastic ride up until I want to interject, and don't forget where you are, if you had more to say on that. That was you.I love the way I watch you raise Aragorn because you're very supportive. And that kid is a product of your support for sure. And at the same time, I see you scold the kid. And there's times when I've seen you scold them, or I thought Jesus bro back off. But But before I'm done thinking that, you're coming back with like, here's why I just scolded you. Here's what you need to learn from that. Now, pat on the butt, go do your thing.Exactly. And I think, and thank you for saying that. Because at some times I even go, dad that I go too hard. You know what I'm saying? And, you know, half the time, I will say, Hey, man,please forgive me. And please understand Daddy didn't have a daddy. So we learn in this together. You know what I'm saying? Do you think he took that in an early age? I understand that.I don't I don't think any kid it's funny that you say that?Because right now he just man is my dog. And he just right now goes I remember when you did this, and I didn't like it. But I see why now and this and then I go and I always told him I just for me personally. My mom told me, I need you to have manners. And I need you to be able to have your shoulders back and your head up. Nice. So that's where I come from with him. You know? Hey, man. Yes,thank you. Yeah, I don't even live him call me sir. You know?No, no, not at all. No,I don't know where that came from.Why No, remember, I think I think it came from again. I didn't have the I wasn't calling nobody, sir. I don't get in. It wasn't even in a job setting your wasn't Oh, yes, sir. No,sir. That's why I couldn't go to the army or Armed Forces show We say, right. So I don't even let him call me that now, even though and I don't say it, of course, but I do say Yes, ma'am.I do say, you know? It, that's a big thing with me having manners, because manners can take you a long ways. And if you have manners usually, you know,because we have a lot of people who have manners, but they're still doing, you know, suspects things. But usually you're,you're, you're in the right area you should be.I think, in this day of the world, I think it probably longer than that, but I'm just really picking up in the last five years or so that just because somebody has manners,doesn't mean they're a good person. Exactly.And I think you're absolutely right, especially now, I think that's a cover. But that's why I always tell my son, you know,it's not enough to just hear anybody anymore. You gotta you got to be around him, you got to see him, you know, we were talking about, you know, he's 18Now on and we got to talk about hey, man, I'm, you know, he's, I think he's a very handsome guy,and I go, Look, you're gonna get plenty of, you know, and but I need you to be first and foremost, responsible. Second of all, I told him, you know, going experiment, enjoy the process of it. Yeah, you know. But respect yourself first. Because if you respect yourself first, you will respect the other person. You know, and you won't get disrespected from another person. You will let them go quicker. Right. You know, so I just tried to have I've always tried to have balance. When I'm when I when he was coming up. I knew as I'm his biggest fan, and he and his mother, me and his mother, we always tell him who you know, who is your biggest fan? You know, and we both are,but in my eyes, you can't get no big I'm, I'm, I'm 100% I'm200 304 Whatever the case, and I know she is too. So anything he does great. I'm all in. That's what I'm talking about. That's why you motherfucker, that's why you cool. That's why you are you're great. That's what I'm all in. But I also am a parent,and I have to go, Hey, man, half of the reason I'm scolding you is because of security reasons.Don't touch the plate because it's hot. Or the stove. Okay,you want to go Go right ahead.Yeah, well, back then I could smack the hand. And he could equate that with Brewer. If I do that. This is what's gonna happen. So, you know, I'm Stern.You know, I'm stirring to a point of, Hey. My mom used to be able to give me a look. So that's what I want. And I don't I don't wanna put my hands on you. Unless I have to. But I'm gonna give you a look like Are you are you fucking kidding me?Okay, no, bro. And if you have that kind of attitude is like Ooh shit. That's why most of his friends would come over they love coming over our house.Because they come in Okay, who are you? No, no, no, no, no No Look me in my face and shake my hand and they shake with that you know that lamp hand in my hand. You sound like my brother.Yeah, well you have to be it's a good thing and it is because each and every one of his friends love coming over because they get structure now you know they get boundaries no no you come over you don't you don't leave there into somebody tell you to first of all you stay right in that spot you come in you stay right and as banana go oh, you can come back here or you can come this way. That way.You take off your shoes you don't just take them off and split you take them off you put them down nicely. You go about your business hey you will which wants to eat you know and every time they come over I'm usually going to give them some E you know so they love of course they love them. And Mr. Jones can we have in and out Mr. Channels can we get pizza?Yeah, and all this shit I didn't know you were supplying to in and out and pizza dude, I'd have been there.Love it, man. I love it. Because I want him to understand that,you know, hey man life and give you everything. Everything you want. If you do what your part,so when he's growing up, I never really had to get in as as about things that other people do.Because my biggest thing is do what you supposed to do. So you can do what you want to do. Let me repeat that. Do what you supposed to do. So you can do what you want to do. So half the time I go Um, hey, did you do your homework? I did it. Okay,do whatever you want to do. But if it comes to a point, Hey, did you do this? Nah. Well, why are you over here doing this when you know you're supposed to do that? Sure. So now we don't have I don't have to do anything. All right, all I had to go to which is supposed to do any books get done. Now there's no, there's no back and forth. And now he understands from a very young age, that if I'm doing what I'm supposed to do, I get to do whatever I want. So I didn't understand were kids, and this is a really big thing is kids have temper tantrums. And even if you give it to him, they still gonna have a temper tantrum. And I go, so you will be you will want to hold out,cry all this stuff. And I go, if you just do this over here, you can fight me. If you just do this over here, you get it? I didn't. I never understood that.Right? Yeah. So now, and even my son, he goes, I understand what you're talking about. I go,Dude, don't fight me. What I know is good for you. And you know, is good for you. So but that's what a kid's job is, is they don't know any better. They haven't learned they don't know any better. So these parents are coming up. Now I go look, you know, their job is to test you every five seconds. That's their job because they don't know any better. It's your job to be like, No, this is how it goes.And also give them room to fuck up and be like, Hey, man, what did you learn? While learning this? Okay, let's move on. I remember. Because I I'm not so big on our our educational system, as you know, or maybe you don't. I believe first and foremost, most of the training comes from the house. My whole thing is I wanted him to go. And I every day that I dropped him off I go okay, what are we supposed to do? Have fun while learning? Have fun while learning. And the fun part comes first. So go have fun while learning. Now. My biggest thing was don't have these people call me because you acted up. Or you are failing you to first and foremost you too smart to fail.Yeah. So you act in a some boy stuff or this person stuff. I'm many girls do the same thing. So you know, but don't call me don't have them. If they call me we got a problem. So it's 11 an hour is early on. He they call me and um, he doesn't know I'm friends with the well he does know but he doesn't know where I'm getting my information from.And one of my friends in I get this his report card narrative report card. But his was stepping in to give before the report card like your progress report. Okay, get the progress report. And he's failing a couple. I'm like, dude, wow. You know, and then I'm going up and not going up and going. Okay, so if he's failing, I need to know how. So I put fail safes in place. So he was failing because he never He kept not taking his work in, he would do to work and I take it in or don't do it until the last minute we all it's all good. But I go okay. So in order for me not to kick your ass. This is what we'll do.Because, again, I'm in to getting the solution. We know the problem, what is the solution to the problem? So solution is have every time you finish your work, have your teacher sign off. This has been done. And then you show it to me nice. You see them saying so problem solved. So now it's a failsafe in place so now I shouldn't I should never get there. So this is what this is what this smart star for Junaid?Good lord. Exactly. That sounds like me. So, but it was great.Here's the thing about it is so I didn't catch it until the next year. And he's like, you're so smart. Dude, I didn't catch to the next year because someone went down and I'm going to the teacher. The only reason he got in trouble because I wanted to teach and I'm going here's your signature. How is he failing when here's your signature. And just before I went to to teach,I went to my friend and she looked at it. She was like,skeet. That's not her or he has I forget who that's their signature. I'm gonna what she was like, I think Aragorn is fortunate enough like well When I go home, I'm laughing, because that's what I would do. Yeah,I'm laughing I'm crying out, but I can't of course you can't go home laughing and so I go home I go, dude. How why you do me like that. And I made up this. I made up the story, how I had to go in and, you know, I had a meeting with them. And he made me look stupid because here I am thinking that they signed it and they, they were like, This is not my signature. And I said,You made me look like booboo the fool. Of course. That's worse than whipping his eyes. Because now he looks like oh my gosh,because I know my son looks up to me. You know? Oh my god. I'm like to you made me look like Boo Boo food. I'm over there fighting for your honor. And you how you do this to me. And he just he's crying. Oh, sorry. And I'm laughing inside because I'm going. Dang, that was some good stuff. He had me for about a year. And I go just done.What what? You know what's great about that is that he did cry.He cried because he cared.Exactly if he didn't care. He just kind of like sit there and take the scolding. Yeah. So good for him.So, you know, he was upset and and he thought he was gonna get hit even to this day. He was low. I thought you were gonna kill me. And I just told him I said, Dude, the only the only reason I ever said anything to you. I was like, Dude, I did that too. And we can't be. We can't act like we didn't do the stuff. You know, saying, Man, I did that too. I said, I'd say now I tell him I go dude. I was laughing. I was laughing and to be honest with you, Aragorn. I was kind of happy you did it. It made me show that hey, you're a kid that beneath your feet. Just like he was I really I was like,now I can't tell you that. And I say it because when you get a kid you will see the same thing I said and half of the stuff that he thinks he's going to get in trouble for he doesn't because that's just the way the world is like we did it too. I said the only thing I said the only reason I call us a smart enough which he really was but I told him he was it. It was a smart enough not to get caught.Because the toughest part, man.I'm such a pushover because that was another thing. I always tell my son now I was like, and he even goes your your bark is much bigger than your bite. Really?Oh, absolutely. Especially now.And you have a big bark. I do I cuz I first and foremost,because I'm such a guy that loves life. So you know, I'm always smiling. What's going on with sapra? How you doing Papa?All that good stuff. But if some term is some term itself, you're gonna know it. Cuz? Oh, snap.Did you? Did you see that? Did you look at you know, you're gonna know it.Skeeter? How do you rise above when you go when things go south, because you can go two ways. You can ride with it and just be pissed. Or you can rise above it and move on and keep the happy tone in your life can't do it. So which way do you go?I'm pissed. Okay, you're going to hear it earlier. We don't get into it. And what I mean by earlier in my life is oh, we might even go, you know, hands two hands. But as you know, you evolve and get older. I'm just gonna tell you my position.Right? You know if you'd like it or not, I'm gonna tell you my position because then at least I got it out of my system. And I'm one of those guys as long as I get out of my system. Let's go get a beer. Let's go. Even our own drink. Let's go get a tea.Let's go. You know, go get a juice.Skeeter. Are you just saying simply what I think you might be saying is you can't let it bottle up. You got to let it out before you can get past it.Absolutely. You're going to try to get past it sooner than later.I want to get past it quickly now, because I don't like the feeling of holding it in and then then just thinking about it constantly. Because I want you to say this. I should have done this right. Did you know that?I'm gonna I'm gonna tell you exactly how good or bad because I'm not always right. Even though I tell my son. I'm always right. I'm not always gonna say even though you feel like you are. Oh, absolutely. But it's your job. I was. It's your job to show me why I'm wrong. And here's the thing about me is I I know I'm still evolving. So therefore I know I'm not always right. So I'm one of those people who look to have conversation about you and I love talking to you. Every time we talk every time we especially when we used or used to come in And for auditions. You will one of my favorite people to break it down because you would no nonsense. You know, hey, Skeet,they want to like this. They want to like that drill. I'll come in and if I do it the wrong way. Let's take that off ski.Yep. Okay, ski again, they want to like this one like that. But pom pom pom. Okay. Then I'll get by the second time. I've taken the direction. You said, I'm saying? Yeah. And I give a good performance. That's why I was I was I have you. And a couple other you know, Charles carpenter and a couple other JP,you know, Jeff pride that gave me such great direction. And not, it wasn't a buttery stuff.And if I did it wrong, yeah,what he raised from the tape,and put me back again, you know,so now, as a writer, director,that's what I look for. Can they take direction? You know, I'm saying, and in my life, that's my whole thing is, can I take direction? And I can take direction? Can I be that chameleon? Because every bit of information that we get new information that we get should affect us, our old way of thinking or the way of thinking,You know what I'm saying? So that's how I live, that's how,you know, I try to not try I, I instill in my son. You know,I feel like the way you're saying it is possibly what I've been doing, as well, as I've gotten older, and I'm gonna say within the last three or four years, I've let go of all that control all that feeling of, I know everything. And now, I think I think I just started evolving three or four years ago, who I was before, I don't regret that guy. But I do wish I had this mindset from early high school. What does what is that saying? The the,the youth is wasted on the young young?Yeah. Yeah, it's very, you know,it's very correct. If you, but you know, what does test us, you know, evolving again, I want to constantly evolve until we go,go six feet. I remember, you know, having a discussion have not even this guy. argument for,for that sake, we're having, you know, some kind of big blow up with, with Deena and I was just like, you know, you knew what you got into, you know, that macho, got into, you know, this is me, and I ain't never changed. Horrible. Exactly. And when she looked at me, and said,that's very sad. Now, that's not the guy I thought I was going to be with forever. And, of course,it was like a brick, just, I mean, bad or good. I was like,Oh, snap, yeah, she right. You know, and ever since then, I,you know, I live by that. We got to change, man, we got to change daily, we got to change. And,you know, another big thing for me to have has been, you know,people got to be their own person. My friends, I got a couple of friends that, you know, as I've gotten to a certain degree of, of, for lack of better word riches, or, you know, enlightenment or whatever the case may be money wise, and just all that good stuff. You know, you want to take your peoples with you, right. And I remember a partner, my two partners, you know, I'm always saying man, you could be dead should be disregarded. Do you know? And one of my partners are older gentleman said shady,Grady. Shady. All your friends and family have nicknames.Great. Exactly. Shady. Granny says, I like who I am. And I don't mind going to my grave the way I am. And every since then,Mike, I've never had a problem with any of my friends. Because I can't put what I think they should be. Awesome. You know what I'm saying? Yeah, I just am there to assist what they want to be. Right. So don't get me wrong. I will say hey, what do you think about this? Now? I'm cool, then we're cool with it.And ever since that day, I've never had a problem with any of my friends. Because I accept them for who they are.Dude. I will tell you I got friends that will tell me things And I'll tell them, hey,straight up, you're playing on the freeway. You should you should get off the freeway if you don't want to get hurt. And then they'll say, No, I like playing on the freeway. Okay,cool. Yeah. So those are the things, you know, now that I am instilling you in my son, and he'll get it when he's supposed to get it. I think he gets it,you know, he's a, we have daily talks, and that's one of the best things of being a dad and being around for me, is I get to talk to him, I man, I'm so fortunate dude, that I'm able from day one, to pick them up,take them to school, and just be around and still live the life that we live. Because the choices that I've made, you know, along the way.Are you guys when you have talks? Are they father son? Or does he or you guys like a movie fathers on where he tells you every little thing in his life?No, we're we cut to the bone on everything. But then again, we,you know, because I'm still again, I still want him to do well. So we talk about everything. Just the other day we're talking about hey, man, he hasn't he hasn't, you know, done the booty yet. Ah, so So you talked about that? Oh,absolutely. Okay, dude, let's go. Let's go get you some condoms. Let's go. I gotta know.You can know how to put them on.Holy cow. Now this. I feel the oddness of me because I never had any conversation with mom or dad now.I'm, I'm on there. I know what his type is. Because I was like,you know, hey, do you like to?Hey, you like that? And then what about this? Who? Oh, so you like that? You know? And then you in this day and age, man,you got to make sure. You know,Hey, are you in the wrong body?If you're what I'm talking about, so I got them. Hey, if you are I'm going to love you. I don't care. Right. But I want you to be happy. Are you in the wrong body? Are you? Do you like, you know, the same sex? So you know, I got to know all this. So we can be happy. You know? And I remember when I'm having a talk that goes, Dad, I like women. I go well, I you know, and just because I don't get a boner them in? Yeah. Okay.I'm just making sure. All right.Well, well, it's what's great,though, is that you're giving them the opportunity?Absolutely. Because I don't want I love being a dad. And I don't want that kind of friction. I've seen it we're using years and years go by and they could have you can't get those years back man would have been disappointed, probably. But he wouldn't have you know, I love you. I don't care. He's I told him the other day. You're the only person that loves me unconditionally. And he goes,what about Mom? I go, No, she loves me. We get mad love. But if I wasn't if I didn't do the things and somebody else can do it, and I get you know, you will see it's, you know,Skeeter, you think, as long as you and Deena have been together. And the fact that you're still together now. You don't consider your love unconditional.I'm not I do to ascertain. I'm not. I'm a realist. And the reality of it is No. Do I think the fairy tale of it?Absolutely. Because I didn't if I if we today, and she still was so damn fine. If she walked out this door. She's still copying every guy who Hey, you know, she gets a better opportunity for whatever, not that she would do it. Right. It's just that, you know, if something happened, and we weren't together again, I would still and and I think she would do this for me, we will still take care of each other.You know, if I was with another woman, she don't she wouldn't have to worry about that. Don't get me wrong angle, flaunt it in front of the new woman or whatever the case may be. And she probably wouldn't flaunt it in front of dude, but we will take care of each other.We'll listen I'm talking about as if you're in a relationship with just the two of you. Are you saying you guys date on the outside?No, no, no, no, not at all. Not at all. I'm just saying when you say unconditionally, I just think everything is unconditionally or let me say you say that again. I think everything is conditional. It's very few that are unconditional and love for me. I you know,we've been together I love her to death. That's my you know,yes, Miranda died. But I also think, you know, I don't put it past anyone. You know, the only unconditional I can say is my boy, that doesn't diminish what I have with Dina doesn't diminish what she has for me,unless I understand that. But I'm just saying the reality of it is it can go south at any time.The fact that it can go south is not congruent with how she feels about you on a day to day basis.I'm pretty sure if you ask her some days, she wants to kill me in some days, she'd love to shut up. But that's true. But that's where I go that, you know, some days I'm like, man, we're human.Right? Some days, I'm like, Hey,is it better if you know, if it's better? You know, you go on a trip by yourself. And it's like, I like this. I like just coming to the, to the hotel, and it's nobody would hear but me.That's true. You said I'm saying but on the other hand, I have friends go do it. I want what you have. You know, for me,personally, I like it for one,two, maybe three days. But then I love going back go What are better? Yeah, you know, hey,give me and we're hugging and kissing every day. And it's like, you know, hey, I'm out.What do you want anything? I love having somebody as my as a as my partner? Well,I'll tell you what, I don't want to put words in your mouth. But I think it just semantics. I think the what you're explaining to me is unconditional. You guys love each other. And even better than unconditional because you allow each other freedom.Exactly. Exactly. And see, oh,you know what? Now? There it is?Because that is unconditional.If you really love someone you let them be. Yeah. You know, so yeah. Okay. And this is where I go. mindset change. Whereas I'm thinking one thing, but really,I can see, your job is to convince me or not even convinced me Your job is to give me a different way of thinking.And you just did. Yeah. And I love that. Because now I can take that. And and go, Well,this is what I mean.And it might sit better in your soul.Well, it's it always sits better in my soul, I'm not going to be in a position, I'm not going to be anywhere that I don't want to be. And I choose to be with in,in that situation. And I love it. So I choose to be with D I choose to, you know, come home every night. I choose to love it so good. You know,I want to I wanted to ask you about what you're doing career wise. I know for the longest time you were the commercial king of LA, I think actually you had it put on a t shirt for yourself.I don't remember that. But I definitely felt like that. But now you started to get myself that moniker either.All right, whatever you'd like to use it.Oh, I'll take it. I'll take it at some point. Yes, I was the commercial King, you know,booked in you actually booked a lot. Yeah, I don't remember that. But then you kind of slowed down as we got older,and you started directing more,and doing your own thing. And now you're like, full on working a lot. It seems like if I'm correct by your social media.And what I want to ask from that is not about it, you could tell me about it if you want to. But more than that, I want to know where your work ethic comes from. Because Skeeter as long as I've known you number one. Back in the day when I started photography, 10 years plus ago,you were extremely generous with your time and your equipment.And your knowledge, which a lot of people don't like to share,which is one thing I learned from you is to share your knowledge right now. And but on top of all that just watching you your work ethic is Go go go.Where does that come from?The work ethic comes from just loving what I do. I think I wouldn't have this kind of work ethic if I had to dig ditches every day. You know what I'm saying? Yeah, that's why I said,don't get me wrong. You know,when I did have to, you know, I worked at JC Penney's, Steve's ice cream. And AHA jobs. I was a Bellman and a doorman at, you know, the Marriott Hotel. Yeah,great times. And I showed up every day and I just know that.It's a means to get to where I want to be. So why not show up every day? And not only give,give 110% but also be happy about it. I don't man. I've been around people who are there.It's just yeah, I'm not there.Cat. Yeah, you know, I want to have fun I want to, you know me I want to, I want to laugh,joke, play music and dance and just, you know, we can do that.Cool.That's the fun of your set is that you are like that baseball player whose first one on the field and last one to leave, and in the middle having a great time.And that's what it is. Yeah,that's perfect analogy of it, is we just have a party man. And now that I'm in a position, that I can do it the way I want to do it, of course, I'm going to do it. You know, people get on my set, and they just like, look,this is one of the best experiences of our head, which to me, I like that. You know how, you know, you know, okay,we're wrapping such as such, but they don't they wrap, but they don't leave because they want to keep on soaking this up. You know, you're still here. You're still a party going on? Yeah,exactly.That's one of the things I learned from you. And the Farrelly brothers is to have fun on the set, and to take. I can't think of the word but when somebody pitches in an idea. Oh,you collaborate? Yeah, go ahead and take it. The PA has an idea.What's up, bro, tell me. And not because I need your idea. But because I want you all I want everybody to feel like we're doing something together.Absolutely. And I I've been very fortunate. And as you know, man,every chance I get, or at every turn. somebody's done it for me.Yeah, I got out here. I'm a success story. I'm walking down a block. Somebody's broken into Joe. Somebody taps me on the shoulder and says, can I put you in a commercial 250 commercials later? You know, I got this incredible, you know, you know,now I'm in the industry, right?And then somebody says, Hey, you would make a great director.Then next, you know, I'm directing? Because I have, you know, I have you started directing because somebody told you that?Well,I started directing because I as much as I love acting, I love creating it, right? So when I started directing, and some of the bigger directors says, Oh,you got a great, I owe you this.If you ever want to disk. That's all it takes to. And that's, I'm glad you said that. Because that's all it takes anywhere.That's why I try to uplift the person. If they want it. I go now I don't never lie to a person. But if I think somebody's got the juice. Oh,Joe. Yeah, that was dope. Yeah,you should try this.And at the same time, I'm a little bit less of this nowadays, because I want to just express love. But back in the day, and even a little bit today, I don't want to mislead somebody if they don't have it.But that's why I said I don't lie to people.And one of the greatest things I love you and that's why we're friends to this day is you never ever, ever ever lied to me about my performance, or what you thought skate. I thought you did this. I thought you could do better here. If I wrote something you read it skate. I liked this. But hates Do you think that you do? Did you explore this over here? And the you know why?Of course I know. You know why.But that's because it says that gives you it does, you know service apps to lie to you?Absolutely. Hey, Michael read this thing for me. I just did.Okay, great. Watch this short film. I just made no problem.I'm not your grandma, who's gonna come back and say, Oh, my God, that was so good. But see,that was one of the reasons you are still to this day, one of the people I trust that will give me great feedback, not just blowing smoke. That's right. I won't give actors my work because they want a job. They want to tell me spread. You know, I don't give people who want to work for me. I don't give them a chance to unless you know you. I give it to to them and then I'll listen to what they have to say if they're very constructive. I'm like, okay,they're not. They're not jiving for something. But if somebody Oh, I love it. Well, what did you love about it? Well, I just love it. Okay, no, no, no, no,no, no, no, you see what I'm saying? And on the flip side of that, if you don't like it, tell me why. Tell me what you say. Oh, I didn't like that. Yeah, that's certainly no purpose. Exactly.So that's one of the reasons me and you bonded from day one, you know is because hey, game recognize game.Man, I don't even recall how we initially bonded other than meeting into casting.Well, how we bonded was I think in quote me, I think you had some going on and I got all this equipment. Yeah. Okay. And I was like, Yo, I got equipment. What do you need? Well, I know that happened, for sure.But I just don't remember. How would I know that?Oh, just because coming in And I mean, you just always talking when I came into audition for you, and oh, hey, so what is what's going on? It's good. What are you? What are you up to?What? I'm up to this? Oh, wow.Okay, so tell me about it. Just get her Tell me about that. Now them. So here you are, you've moved on, you're done acting,you're still doing acting if it comes up, you're directing and writing great. Where are you on on your career spirituality? Are you where you want to be?Obviously, I know you're not you want to be more? But are you happy?Oh, I'm definitely happy. I'm not where I want to be at all.But I'm happy the journey is.This is a great journey, dude.I'm happy. I'm learning so much.In the last two years,especially for the pandemic, man I went, I was fortunate enough that my DP had took a job. And he was like, Hey, I just need you to come and make sure as a director that I'm doing stuff,right. So I came in, but I came in as a swing for G and D, G,okay. Grip and electric. So I'm the bottom of the bottom, right.But man, I learned so much to this day, I you know, I say thank you. And during the pandemic, we just kept on doing it, he just keep on keep on getting these jobs. And when he got these jobs, he I was be on his staff and gne. So now not only am I learning, the director, now I'm learning why it takes so long. They're light.Now I'm learning why, you know,the different nuances of film.So it's been a fantastic education. And my now I have more equipment, because I know how to use it more, you know, so I've become a better director because of that. So I'm happy man. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not content, but I'm happy.Which is the most important thing, man, right? It's the journey. Oh, absolutely.And, you know, even as I heard those words come out of my mouth right now. I just think old Michael thinks, oh, that's so cliche. And so dry. No,motherfucker. No, that's the way the happy in your journey. And you'll never fucking be wanting for anything else. Do it even with you. I mean, you've been friends for a long time now. And just to hear your voice and just to hear the way you're thinking now. Not that mean, you have always been good. But man, I love that light that shines around you so different now. Thank you,first of all, thank you.It's it's not it's not that it's different, Mike because you were always a dope guy. True. But now is illuminated a little bit more. It's brighter. You see them sander with with the stuff that you already had. That's the thing.It's nice, because you're right,it does. It carries the old knowledge, but the good elements of it. And the one thing I love that I've done is just really letting go of control, which is huge.And speaking of control, so I told my son, I say hey, man, I'm in the business of I can't make you do anything now. There is no I can't. I'm a guide. Okay,guide I call it a guy. That's all I am to you still lives with you? Oh, yeah. Yeah, I'm with you. And and he doesn't have to leave. I was. And that's funny.He thought he had to get out at18. Oh, how did you? I was like,your mom, I go first of all,your mind will let you get out.And I never said anything. He was like, Oh, I just thought that that was those if you want to get out? Absolutely. Because he doesn't want to go to the biggest thing with him was okay,so what do you want to do? So I know what he wants to do. But he didn't want to go to school. So I said, Okay, I'll tell you what, if you don't want to go school, every five months, you have to take a trip for at least two weeks, somewhere, preferably out of the country. And you have to document it. And I will pay for everything.Oh, snap. All right. Well, I was gonna say I love that. But then I don't like that you're paying for it. But no, no,no, no, I pay for it. Because it's remember, I would have paid for years of education for him going to college. That's a great way to quit. So to me, I'm getting I'm that's nothing but a drop in the bucket. And not money wise, but I'm just saying I dropped up. Why wouldn't I do that for my son? Because more importantly, right. Exactly.It's an education for the kids.We all know now is world or that the youth you should be traveling when you're young.Absolutely. Get it out of the way. Absolutely. And the fact that I want them to be worldly dude.Ya know, I want him to be you know, he's, you know, he's, he's biracial. Are you or I you know,he's a Blasian, which is Asian and Black. If people don't know,I'm black. His mom is Asian. And but I want him to be you know,go anywhere and everywhere and be able to give the stories. You know, I Hey, I went to Australia for two weeks. And I did this.Hey, I went to England for two years. I went to Japan and what the great thing about it is he's already got a foundation of civility. Yep. And most kids his age students out, and he put you add some worldly travels to that, forget about it, that kid can fly.If he only just frickin you know, he's been learning Chinese forever and I'm like, dude, take it for serious man. What are you talking about? Like a panelist,but I think all you really need to know is Arigato, Mr. Arigato hopefully. But he's gonna,whatever, I'm very excited for his journey. And but I probably would have to go with him the first couple of times. Because you and I can go uptown and downtown. I don't know if he could do that. Right, you know,and he lost what, two and a half years to the pandemic and that was a growing year. Right. So I want to make sure that he not gonna go out of the country and you know, loses his mind and get stuck all that stuff. You know,yeah, you're right in the streets are an important element of it's very,you know, I need him. That's why I was telling him Hey, man, you don't always have some of the same friends. Right? You're gonna need that friend that you can get a bootleg whatever. You gotta be in the house all the time. Once you read that guy.I'm not gonna pirate that song.But if you'll get it for me,great. Well, listen, I know you gotta go, but I think there's much more we can cover on a later podcast. Oh,dude, you when you call them answering the phone.Fair enough, my man. I love talking with you. I love finding out more about my friends that I don't know. And new included.There's stuff that I feel still feel like shit. There's I want to talk more about things we talked about today.Let's, let's do it. So maybe a part two is, you know,I like it. All right. That's it.I need you to ask Andrew to take us out. We're jiske Andrew,take us out.always you guys, thanks for coming out. That was awesome.We're going to be back in a couple of weeks. So hopefully you'll join us then. And if you feel so inclined, please leave a positive review on any of your favorite platforms. And if you didn't like us, of course, this is Xavier McGillicuddy signing out for today. It's Michael Vieyra. You knucklehead See you later